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2010.07.28

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Watching the trailer filled me with dread (aesthetic revulsion) and now this review makes me worry about it being Watchmen-style hard-to-watch. I thought your review of Watchmen was one of the few that got what was so wrong about that movie. It'll be interesting to read reviews from mainstream outlets unfamiliar with the source material.

My impression of non-specialist or movie-specialist reactions so far (and obviously we're talking press screening stuff here, not a wide release) is something akin to the Kick-Ass reception - i.e. a pretty surface-level engagement with ideas that are unique in their application to movies-of-the-genre. Like, you'll want to expect lots and lots of chatter about action movies turning into video games (which isn't a new thing at all, it's an easy, established means of access) and whether or not there's broad, generational differences at play.

It's not nearly as bad as the Watchmen movie, btw - I actually considered walking out of that awful fucking thing around the 45-minute mark. Wright's work suggests a much tighter, more considered plan in place for his adaptation of the source material, even though I think it ultimately downplays much of the unique value of the comic in favor of building a shinier, more self-referential brand of chest-beating action movie.

(Plus the action's not as good or deep as Speed Racer's... like, if you were to accuse me of failing to properly appreciate the movie on its stated terms, I'd counter that it's less down-the-rabbit-hole engulfing than the Wachowskis' mania - there's this bit in the first race where Speed is zooming around, and they use the gaming notion of a ghost player, like a transparent character running the course that you need to beat to win a time trial or beat a prior score, as a symbol of Speed's lingering memories attached to that place... there's nothing in the Scott Pilgrim movie as elegant as that, and you don't hear 'elegant' and 'Speed Racer' together very often!)

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