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Shaking Off the Watchmen Hangover

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | March 12, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | March 12, 2009 |

The marketing folks behind The Watchmen were more savvy than many of us give them credit for. Nevermind the millions in promotion, the countless trailers, and the omnipresence of Zack Snyder, how smart was it for Warner Bros. to open it in March. They must have known that there’d be absolutely nothing else for all the movie blogs to talk about between Oscar season and Watchmen’s release date. What were we going to write about? Confessions of a Shopaholic? The Pink Panther 2? The only other movies that had any real online buzz over the last two months were Coraline (good) and Friday the 13th (bad)? All of which is to say that, now that Watchmen has been released, we’re having a hard time moving on to … Race to Witch Mountain and Knowing.

Fortunately, there’s still a little post-mortem to discuss. The best, comes by way of a Patton Oswalt rant on his MySpace page (probably because he exceeded his allotment of friends on Facebook). He’s got a few interesting points:

Tell you what — before you go and see THE WATCHMEN, plunk down and watch CATWOMAN, GHOST RIDER and DAREDEVIL. And use those seven hours (and don’t pretend like you don’t have seven free hours in your day) to get out all of your disgust and the-world-owes-me-my-daydreams-made-real attitude you strut around with.

Because Zack Snyder STEPPED UP, motherfuckers. THE WATCHMEN was going to get made, one way or another. And instead of bleating on his Facebook status updates or Tweeting about how shitty the upcoming adaptation’s going to be, he TOOK THE BULLET and tried to do it right. Yes, THE WATCHMEN should be a limited series on HBO and blah blah blah IT WAS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN THAT WAY. Zack delivered a 2 1/2 hour, honest attempt, and broke his ass cranking out tons of free extras. Hell, he even animated The Tales of The Black Freighter for you chumps. Plus, he gave you a kick-ass DAWN OF THE DEAD remake, plus 300, plus whatever else he’s got coming down the pike. He’s the best friend the Nerd Mafia’s had since Joss Whedon and Brian Michael Bendis, so everyone please crack the tab on a frosty can of Go Fuck Yourself and go see the movie version of THE WATCHMEN.

I had to look up Brian Michael Bendis, so huzzah! I don’t belong in the Nerd Mafia. Still, I’ll grant that — if Watchmen had to be made into a movie — you probably weren’t going to get a better adaptation than the one you got. Oswalt also offered up a pretty good reason to go see it. It’s a shame that Watchmen’s screenwriter, David Hayter, offered up a significantly weaker reason to go see it again this weekend: Box-office perception:

So look, this is a note to the fanboys and fangirls. The true believers. Dedicated for life.

If the film made you think. Or argue with your friends. If it inspired a debate about the nature of man, or vigilante justice, or the horror of Nixon abolishing term limits. If you laughed at Bowie hanging with Adrian at Studio 54, or the Silhouette kissing that nurse.

Please go see the movie again next weekend.

You have to understand, everyone is watching to see how the film will do in its second week. If you care about movies that have a brain, or balls, (and this film’s got both, literally), or true adaptations — And if you’re thinking of seeing it again anyway, please go back this weekend, Friday or Saturday night. Demonstrate the power of the fans, because it’ll help let the people who pay for these movies know what we’d like to see. Because if it drops off the radar after the first weekend, they will never allow a film like this to be made again.

You know what would’ve motivated me to go see it again? If Patton Oswalt had written it (also, a shorter run time).

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.