Tag Archives: watchmen

Neverending Watchmen

12 May

I’ve figured out the similarity between the movie adaptations of The Neverending Story and Watchmen.

One of life’s big mysteries solved.

Here’s the deal.  If you saw either movie before reading the book, you probably liked the movie.  If you saw either movie after reading the book, you probably think it’s a pretty bad adaptation.  This is because both books are, at least in part, about the fact that they are books.  The movies can’t do that without somehow being about the fact that they are both movies – but the stories don’t work for that.  They are native to their format.

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Juno’s Top Nine Movies of the Decade

20 Dec

Filmmaking has really turned a corner this decade. Special effects are truly at the point where absolutely anything is possible. The first movie on the list attests to this amazing fact. While being able to produce any imagined image can be freeing, the story is still king. Several new directions were explored in this arena as well, from Memento telling a story backwards, to Primer telling a story in, uh, whatever order Primer is (or isn’t) in.
Movies on this list are not just supreme examples of movie-craft, they are also entertaining and enjoyable narratives. Enjoyable, for this list at least, is a key word here. Many many movies came out this decade which are, technically speaking, brilliant. Many of them are, critically speaking, better than some of the movies on this list. Movies like Pan’s Labyrinth, Tsotsi, Babel, Brokeback Mountain, Traffic, or City of God are technically excellent movies, worthy of becoming classics. But they are not on this list because the stories they tell are not enjoyable. They’re told magnificently, yes, but I don’t anticipate revisiting them. I don’t long to sit through them again. All the movies on this list I enjoy watching, and enjoy re-watching (and with one obvious exception I have seen each one at least twice). I should also note here, in the interest of fairness, that I have not seen even half of the movies that were made this decade. Particularly recently, I’ve been very remiss in my movie watching. Many critically acclaimed movies are not on this list because I simply haven’t seen them. Movies like Slumdog Millionaire, Everything is Illuminated, or Monsoon Wedding (to throw out a few random ones) could very well be deserving, but I don’t know.

That out of the way, let’s get on with the list that I know you’ve all been waiting for (as well as a list of some runners-up).

9. Avatar (digital 3d version) – written and directed by James Cameron:
Avatar validates movie theaters. Seeing this movie in digital 3D is an experience like nothing else. Now, to be clear, this movie will not change the world. The story is as derivative as Star Wars with characters no thicker than stereotypical cut-outs. It’s Dances With Wolves. It’s Dune. It’s Pocahontas in space. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before. Yet you’ve never seen, or experienced, anything remotely like Avatar. I actually wonder how they pulled off some of the visual effects in this film (like Jake’s withered legs), and that’s rare. The action is clear and easy to follow and incredible. This movie, when seen in proper digital 3d, is a glimpse into the future of cinema where screens become not just moving pictures but true windows into vast (and in this case beautiful) new worlds. Also: dragons.

The rest of the list

Preacher, the movie

24 Jan

After looking through Carl’s comic book/graphic novel collection and mining V for Vendetta, Sin City (I worked on that one!), 300, and Watchmen, the movie industry has finally latched onto Preacher for their next big screen adaptation, one of the comic series that I’ve actually read.

Sam Mendes (American Beauty) is attached to direct, which is a good thing, and John August is writing the screenplay. Nothing else is set, which means it could very easily not ever get made. If it does though, it’s potentially great. John August can write great things (Go) when not interfered with. He can also write merely mediocre things (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory), so we’ll have to wait and see.