Who Watches the Watchmen?

I said what about my eyes?

"Keep them on the road."

I said what about my passion?

"Keep it burning."

I said what about my heart?

"Tell me what you hold inside it."

I said pain and sorrow.

He said, "Stay with it."


Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's Watchmen, the Citizen Kane of comic books, appears to have been turned into a beautiful film (though I'm a little vague as to whether the director, Zack Snyder, is the "visionary genius" mentioned in the trailer and not an "honest craftsman", since every shot is a computer enhanced re-creation of Gibbon's drawings and Moore's words.)
How do you explain to the uninitiated that Moore's Watchmen is sad and funny and horrific and haunting, that it is not for anyone under the age of 18, that it is one of those books that leave you forever changed, disturbed, unsettled? For my desert island library, I would prefer Moore's Promethea, but there's no denying that Watchmen is a masterpiece. It breaks your heart, but it's not an easily quoted book, because so much of the emotional impact of a given scene or dialogue depends on context, its connection with the rest.
I'm excited by the musical choices too-- Smashing Pumpkins' “The Beginning is the End is the Beginning” as good a theme for Rorschach as any, along with songs referenced in the original: "All Along the Watchtower", "Unforgettable", and I assume "Desolation Row".
Like everyone else who loves the book, and honors what Moore was trying to tell us, is worried that the film will simply illustrate the action sequences or spend its time tracking the doomsday plotline, too much Nixon and not enough Kitty Genovese.

In the original, the Watchmen's alternative history is only an interesting backdrop for the characters in the foreground. The heart of the story is in Rorschach's interview in prison and Jon and Laurie's conversation on Mars. That's a danger with almost any effects film, that the skills of the SFX crew can outrun the ability of the director and screenwriter to create a human being, and you wind up with monstrosities like Independence Day. If they keep Moore's script and let Rorschach be Rorschach, Watchmen could be the first superhero film to win and deserve an Oscar for Best Picture, with Jackie Earle Haley winning Best Actor as Rorschach.

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