Who's [Not Really] Watching the Watchmen?

Often I lay down to sleep at an ungodly hour, knowing that if I don't pass out soon it's going to hurt in the morning. Nevertheless, a recent memory comes to mind and morphs into an inquiry which soon snowballs into a larger idea. That's when I find myself grabbing for my laptop in the dark so I can discuss...my thoughts on Watchmen.

Last summer, we had a small clique that went to see the Dark Knight a few times in the theater. One of the highlights was actually the first 10 seconds of the Watchmen trailer, where I believe a friend and I were the first two people in the packed theater to recognize it and gasped in long-awaited excitement. That we went home and immediately rewatched the trailer several more times was a common follow-up for many Dark Knight viewers, and considering the brilliant success that movie did, the popularity was seamlessly transitioned from Nolan's hand to Snyder's. Watchmen is, no doubt, an incredible book and would have garnered a great amount of promotion and attention on its own, but with the initially strong coattails of DK to hold on to, there was an even greater head start.

Days before opening weekend, I fretted a bit about not having a ticket. For the first time, I was insistent that it be IMAX and when plans had to be canceled on opening day I nearly had a minor panic attack. Eventually, I ended up seeing it (in IMAX) on the last showing of opening weekend. At times, it was one of the most loyal frame-by-frame depictions I'd seen, given that the Tales Of the Black Freighter series was taken out for the film, and the ending was altered...sort of. There were moments where the characters and scenery were so convincing that to see them come alive on screen was such a rush.

The part that boggles my mind tonight is thinking of how it's been about a month since the film's release, and no one seems to care. The Dark Knight had longevity that lasted nearly the whole summer (and perhaps that has much to do with the advantage of being a summer blockbuster), but it seems that my interest in this movie quickly waned. The quick decision was that it was/would be so good it required a second viewing, but it was much like mediocre sex: it did the trick, but by the time you've gone back to your apartment, taken a shower, and the fresh pot of coffee has brewed you are rather indifferent to the experience. Now the Black Freighter DVD is on its way and while Watchmen is still in theaters, it's really lost its explosive hype. Hardly anyone reviewed it as groundbreaking and life-changing, but I think most critics feel that it was a proper homage to something that required a rare form of dedication. I certainly do.

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