Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cinematic Geekgasms

There have been a handful of movies that have fundamentally altered my perceptions of the world and its future. The earliest one I can remember is, unsurprisingly, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Another is Tron. As with 2001, I forgot I was watching a movie and thought I was seeing a documentary of the future as it was surely going to be ... no, of having been in the future. It was an imperfect movie, but it captured my imagination and my thinking.

News of a sequel has been floating around for years, but it looks like a real, true new Tron movie is coming. You can see a trailer here. It's a grainy, murky, tiny, bootlegged view, but it's more than enough to impress the living crap out of me. I'll say only two words: light cycles.

There's also a movie adaptation of the graphic novel Watchmen coming out next year. A trailer has been released that can be seen here. In this case, the trailer is giving me conflicted emotions. On the one hand, the adaptation appears to be scrupulously true to the original. Characters and settings in the movie look like the graphic novel. It's fantastic; especially the depiction of Dr. Manhattan (the blue guy). Everything looks exactly right.

And that's the problem. If the whole project is the literal "book on the screen" then what's the point of me seeing it? I already know the story and have thought deeply on some of its themes. What's gained by seeing one guy's vision of how it might look as a movie when Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons have already given us the definitive one?

There are nits. Can a cinematic Rohrschach character possibly be as creepy as the guy in the novel? The Ozymandias character in the movie is, I'm sorry to say, not quite as impressive as the novel's version. He looks puny! I have to admit, they certainly got Dr. Manhattan right. Maybe even the Comedian. (briefly glimpsed flame-thrower guy)

Barring reports of a true disaster, I'll probably go see it, though, just to see it.

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