I have an undeniable tendency to overconsider things. That means that sometimes, some of the things I want to say here end up becoming obsolete before I actually say them.
Like Coraline, for example. I really liked the movie. I wanted to post a blog about why I liked it, and recommend that people check it out. But movies come and go so fast, and I missed my window of opportunity for that one.
Part of the problem with writing these posts is that it’s hard for me to shift gears. It’s hard for me to post up something serious and involved, then two days later say, “Hey, y’all know what movie is really cool?”
Similarly, a day after I post up a humor column, it doesn’t seem really appropriate for me to post up the story of what I thought when I felt the pain in my chest and the tingling down my left arm.
You see, a novel needs continuity, pacing, consistency. I strive for these things, I’m hyper-aware of them. A novel can have funny bits and sweet bits. It can be romantic, dramatic, and horrible. But all those pieces need to come together to form a coherent whole.
It’s my belief that this coherency is one of the most important parts of any story. Comic, movie, or book, the medium doesn’t matter. I think that strange intangible element makes the difference between a story that’s satisfying, and one that isn’t.
In fact, now that I’m thinking of it, I think this strange something might actually be the soul of the story. It’s the difference between something that is a story, and something that just looks like a story.
You can’t just throw together a plot, some characters, some dialogue and some humor onto the page and get a real story. Not a true and vital story. It doesn’t work any more than throwing two arms, two legs, a head and bunch of organs into a sack makes a person.
Sure you need a plot, mostly. And you need characters and all the rest. But the story, I think, is the thing that connects these parts. The story is that which lies between.
Bigger stories need more of it. A novel needs it in spades.
Sometimes I wonder about what I write here. Does this collection of musings and anecdotes that I only reluctantly call a blog need that same coherency? I think not. Maybe. Probably. I think.
Still, old habits die hard, and so a lot of times I think of writing something for the blog, but it doesn’t seem timely. Other times I actually write something with the intention of posting it up, then decide that the time for it has past. Or I don’t post it because it seems odd or incongruent with what I have posting lately.
What was I talking about? Oh yes. The Watchmen.
In brief, I liked it. It was fun to watch, largely true to the spirit of the original, and I’d be happy if someone did that good a job bringing something I wrote onto the screen. Not ecstatic, perhaps. But very happy.
Did I have quibbles? Of course I did. The Watchmen was the second comic I read as an adult. I was 22 at the time, and it was a large part of what convinced me that the medium of comics wasn’t just a mess of childish bullshit.
I don’t believe in spoilers, so I won’t give anything away about the plot or the changes they made. Instead, I’ll just make some general comments.
…the casting. Whoever was responsible for the casting in the movie deserves a full, passionate kiss on the mouth. The acting was brilliant, and the portrayal of many of the characters was truly exceptional.
… the fact that the movie was subtle and clever. I am a fan of subtle and clever.
… the visuals. Normally I could give a care about things like that. But many of these were truly fantastic. Very true to the comic while at the same time adding to the overall tone of the movie.
… the acting. So good on all fronts. I can’t remember the actor’s name who played the comedian, but he rang my bell. Every role I’ve seen him in he’s been great.
… seeing Dr. Manhattan’s great naked blue dick dangling all over the place. Huzzah.
… the loss of moral ambiguity the original story possessed.
… the portrayal of Ozymandias. Not the acting, mind you. The overall portrayal.
As I’ve said I don’t go in for spoilers. So that’s all I’ll say here. Maybe I’ll chime in with a more specific comment or two below. If you hate spoilers, you’ll probably want to avoid the comments section, as I expect there will be some heated and specific discussion.
Is the movie worth seeing? Absolutely. But you should really read the graphic novel too. It’s brilliant. It’s clever. It’s full of that which lies between.