David Thompson
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July 18, 2008

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John D

Can't get the youtube clip to play.

David

It’s probably the heavy traffic. The high-def version linked above is working fine. I’m a little bit excited.

Anna

Wow. It looks... pretty good, actually. Go, Dr M!

dmatr

Dammit! I don't want to get my hopes up... but it looks good.

JuliaM

Pretty impressive. I have high hopes for this one...

David

I don’t doubt that Synder will come up with something visually striking that in appearance at least resembles the original comic. I suppose the question is whether that will make for a good film. It’s hard to see how many of the things that make the comic special - in terms of *how* the story unfolds - will translate to a different medium:

http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2008/05/long-shot.html

Still, we live in hope.

Matt M

I just hope it gets the running time it deserves - two and a half to three hours would probably be right for such an epic tale. If it's less than that it'll probably turn out like 'The Golden Compass' - the content was there, but it lacked any real substance.

David

I suppose it’s a question of whether Snyder will simply transpose the comic imagery to film, or play with the conventions of film storytelling in a way that’s analogous to how the comic plays with conventions of the comic book form.

Still. Jailbreaks, disintegrations, palaces on Mars… what’s not to like?

Anna

And nudity. :)

randian

The thing that worries me is Snyder shot over 3 hours of completed film and left it to the studio to cut it. I do not trust any studio to get this right, they always screw a film up when they take control from the director (most likely Snyder never had control so I don't blame him).

Matt M

I guess a lot of people are going to wait for the (possible) Director's cut with added 'Tales of the Black Freighter' footage.

longshot

From Entertainment Weekly -
http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20213273,00.html

David

ARG & Matt,

“The thing that worries me is Snyder shot over 3 hours of completed film and left it to the studio to cut it.”

“I guess a lot of people are going to wait for the (possible) Director’s cut with added ‘Tales of the Black Freighter’ footage.”

As I understand it, the issue is one of final running time rather than content as such. Warner Brothers don’t want a cult R-rated no-star film that’s also three hours plus, which is understandable. There are very few 3-hour films for a reason. Very few people want to sit through them. Myself included. If you want to make a Watchmen film that has a hope of making some money, or at least covering its costs, it really does have to be under two and a half hours in length. And that’s pushing it. Even a much more commercial film like “The Dark Knight” – which runs for two and a half hours - seems too long for comfort and makes me wonder whether to wait for the DVD. I really don’t want to sit in a cinema for two and a half hours - which actually means three hours when you take into account trailers, ads, etc.

Matt M

"There are very few 3-hour films for a reason. Very few people want to sit through them. Myself included."

I think it can depend on the film - I found it a lot easier to sit through the two and a half hours of 'There Will Be Blood' than the one hour and twenty minutes of 'Cloverfield', for example - but you do have a good point. Some films do need the longer running time though - else they just feel rushed and unsatisfying. It's hard to see how, without some major pruning, 'Watchmen' could be done in less than two hours.

phantom menace

Here's a trailer >comic comparison... looks pretty close so far.
http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/article/watchmen_trailer_to_comic_comparison/

David

Matt,

I think the enjoyment of Cloverfield depends on how long you can endure the dialogue. I think it was when someone screamed “Rob! Rob!” for the 67th time that I found myself having to suppress my own homicidal urges. Actually, I sort of enjoyed the film, or at least I enjoyed its visual conceit, but I wouldn’t want to see it again. And wanting to see a film again is how a lot of people judge whether a film is any good.

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