Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Alan Moore's movie miseries

Over the weekend,I read Alan Moore's The Watchmen,sort of my way of getting ready to see V for Vendetta on Friday. The Watchmen is also due to be a feature film sometime in the future but as with VFV,it most likely will not have his name in the credits. Moore hates all adaptations of his work with a fiery passion,similar to the passions that flow thru out his graphic novels.

On the one hand ,you can understand his frustrations-Hollywood tends to muck up quite a few literary works and since comic books are considered by many to be the red headed stepchild of the industry(a viewpoint that is rapidly changing but is still in the early stages),the goofiness factor is set much higher. As someone who actually paid money to see the likes of SuperGirl,Superman IV:the Quest for Peace and Tank Girl in theaters,I can testify to the horror,the horror!

However,as James M.Cain once said about how movie versions of his work turned out,the books are still on the shelves,just waiting to be read and appreciated by the right audience. I've also read the first two volumes of Promethea(recommended to me by a fellow bookseller who called it"Wonder Woman,if they actually did it right")and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-Moore weaves intricate details into his plots with a hearty mix of spiritualism,political theory,social commentary and existentialism.

Alot of that naturally falls to the wayside when it comes to making the movie. From some of reviews of V for Vendetta that I've read,many of Moore's ideas seem intact but there are the usual changes. Since I didn't read the original comic I won't go into them but even for those who know the book by heart,my advice is to just go with the flow. Sure,maybe that character had a different job or someone else said that line on page 97,but if the basic elements of the plot hold up and it's true to the spirit and intents of the author,give it a chance.

The only movie I can really see Moore having a legit beef about is League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-the comic and the movie are as different as night and day. The simple explanation for that is Sean Connery;he not only stars in the film as Allan Quartermain but is one of the producers as well. Realistically,the odds of Sean Connery playing Quartermain as written(i.e. an opium addict)is as likely as Kayne West singing The Star Spangled Banner at a White House function. I did enjoy LOEG when it was out and even own the DVD-some of it is goofy(particularly Stuart Townsend as Dorian Gray in a cult movie kind of way)but not as bad as say,Batman and Robin.

From Hell was a damn decent flick as well,even with Heather Graham in it. Johnny Depp keeps the movie on track and it's one of the better films by the Hughes brothers. As we all know,the Matrix boys put V For Vendetta together and maybe another team of collaborators will do right by Watchmen. After all,graphic novels and films have one thing in common;good or bad,it's a team effort.


Jake McCafferty said...

LOEG was so-so, and I'm a big Connery fan. It just seemed to move so slow.

lady t said...

The pacing of LOEG is one of the things I liked about it-it took it's time to tell the story. It was one of the few movies I've seen that felt like I was reading a book.

I did neglect to mention Constantine,which was also a pretty damn good film-my mom even liked it!