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March 2009
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Cinema: Watchmen

A little over a week ago, Brandy and I went to see Watchmen. Ivan and I spent a good deal of time talking about this on the last Curmudgeon’s Corner, so I won’t spend as long talking about it here as I usually would. Listen to the podcast.

But I will say, I liked it. Brandy hated it. (Ivan hated it too.) Here is what I think is the main difference. What made me like it was not the plot, or the acting, or anything like that (which I think the others perhaps legitimately fault it on). What made me like it was the BACKGROUND. Noticing the little references going on behind the main characters. The things playing on TVs in the background. Figuring out what the differences were between the world in the movie and the real world. (From a historical point of view, not the radioactive blue man point of view.) Looking at the concept in general of these very flawed and unsympathetic characters. Etc. Whatever the main story was would be playing out, and I’d pay attention to that, sure, but then I’d notice that there was a commercial for the clapper playing in the background, and I’d get excited about that. And I’d spend time figuring out just how many terms Nixon would have had to have to still be president in 1985, and I’d like that. Then I’d look at Pat Buchanan talking about superheroes, and I’d like that. The movie was so dense with those sort of things, they occupied enough of my attention that any other flaws the movie may have had became invisible to me, because I was always on the lookout for more nuggets like those. And I’m sure I’ll see even more if I ever watch it again at home. This is the kind of movie that makes you want to look at it frame by frame looking for more easter eggs in the background.

Of course, it takes a special kind of geek to enjoy that sort of thing. Which means everybody else hates the movie, and thus it is tanking quite nicely in the theater.

Oh well!