Daily Archives: March 6, 2009

Watchmen, Star Trek, and Star Wars (sort of)

(Grab your pacemaker, it looks like I’m making two posts in two days! Will the madness ever end?)

A few things came to my attention today that I just couldn’t wait to pass on.

First of all, as you undoubtedly know, Watchmen opened today. No surprise there. But did you know these stats?

  • 90% of all Fandango’s weekend ticket sales has been for Watchmen.
  • IMAX’s website crashed four times this week due to the increased traffic of people looking for information on Watchmen IMAX showings.
  • The movie breaks the record for the most “playdates” for an R-rated film, according to Hollywood Reporter.
  • 1600 locations had midnight showings last night. Compare that to 656 midnight showings for that other Zack Snyder film, 300.

Apparently there is some demand for this movie. :)

While I’m on the topic of Watchmen, I saw a review of the film in the NY Times today. The reviewer didn’t seem to find the film relevant. As I thought about it, he probably has a point. It is set in 1985, during the Cold War, and it does help to get into that mindset when reading the graphic novel. I’d imagine the film to be the same way. So keep that in mind as you make your way to the multi-plex.

Oh, and I thought of something as I was looking at some of the commercials for the film today. I’m a little worried that they might strip a bit of the realism away from the physicality of the superheroes in the film. In the book, they were mostly just regular people who got this notion into their heads to put on a costume and fight crime. No super-strength, no amazing feats of acrobatics, just people trying to help. For example, in the book, there’s a scene where Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre save some people from a building fire. They land on the roof, run down the stairs, and lead the people back to their ship. In the clip I saw, Silk Spectre leaps from the hovering “Owl Ship” crashes through the roof, and lands cleanly in the top floor hallway. More visually stunning, definitely, but people can’t do that, really. That’s one of the things that set the book apart—its treatment of the heroes (except for Dr. Manhattan) as people who didn’t necessarily have a special physical skill, just a need to help as best they could. Nite Owl II even seemed a bit flabby in some panels, which would be appropriate for someone who was not keeping in shape during his “retirement.”

So while that exaggeration probably won’t keep me from enjoying the film, it is a bit disappointing that they’re apparently ignoring one of the central (IMO) conceits that made the graphic novel unique.

Star Trek has released its third trailer! Take a look at the goodness:

(YouTube is okay and all, but you really ought to see it at the Official Site, or even better, in HD from Apple’s site.)

This one delves a little more into the character and drama than the others (backed up by some dramatic music), and I got a better sense of the early part of the story. And it has, apparently, a planet being swallowed by a black hole weapon. That was just cool. Very nice.

You also get a better sense that the actors are not just doing impersonations of the characters previous interpretations—they’re bringing themselves to the roles. As much as that may grate on some fans, I think that’s a good thing. These actors need to inhabit these characters themselves, not channel some other actors. That never goes well.

Also, I think the battle scenes in this are going to completely blow away any Federation battles we’ve seen to date. I hope I’m right.

Finally, I mentioned in a previous post that the Family Guy crew is going to do a sequel to their “Blue Harvest” send-up of Star Wars IV: A New Hope, focusing on The Empire Strikes Back. The title will be “Something Something Something Dark Side,” which I think is kind of lame, but a little better than “Blue Harvest” (I never really understood that title… can someone explain?). It will debut in the fall.

It’s also been announced, though it’s not too surprising, that they’re already working on a third installment to spoof Return of the Jedi.