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Thoughts on "I Love You, Man" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, March 30, 2009 14 comments

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Matinee or rental. This enjoyable, shaggy dog film about one man's quest to find a best friend serves as a fine lazy Sundy matinee, but it would also make a solid rental without suffering any ill effects from the big to the small screen.

Will I Own It On DVD: No. I would watch it one more time because it was good enough to warrant that, however, a single viewing doesn't pay for itself in terms of buying the DVD.


1) The previews for "I Love You, Man" - at least the second round - were misleading as they pushed this film towards a best friend versus new female fiance rivalry that would be peppered with loads of physical humor and an unrelenting tug-of-war for the affection of the prospective groom. Luckily, that is not the case as those comedies are a dime a dozen, and very few of them amuse me in the least.

2) Instead, this movie is concerned with a recently engaged man, Paul Rudd, who suddenly realizes that he has no close male friends once he needs a best man for his wedding. It's a very simple idea as it does become harder to make good friends as you get older, and "I Love You, Man" plays this concept very well and most of its running time is spent on the growing bond that Rudd forms with Jason Segel, a schlubby affable guy who works in investements.

3) Rudd gives a very relaxed and natural performance in this film as a man who is far more comfortable around females than other guys. His fiance, Rashida Jones (TV's 'The Office'), encourages him in his friendship quest, and although she isn't onscreen a lot, Jones displays nice comic timing and comes off as very likable. Segel rounds out the trio, and is better here than in 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' as he seems more comfortable in his own skin (and keeps from flashing his penis in this one) as he plays well off of Rudd in a fairly realisitic portrayal of the early stages of friendship.




4) The film also uses a uniformly excellent supporting cast that includes Jaime Pressley ('My Name is Earl'), Jon Favreau ('Swingers'), Andy Samburg ('Saturday Night Live') and others which makes even plot-driven scenes more interesting. Of the bunch, Pressley & Favreau are pretty damn funny as a married couple who fight heatedly and then have make-up sex afterwards.

5) Overall, I was more impressed with "I Love You, Man" than I anticipated. That being said, my expectations going in were exceedingly low, and while this isn't a flat-out hilarious comedy, it does provide enough laughs to keep from feeling bad about the ticket price.

-BDS

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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, March 27, 2009 21 comments

” Excuse me if this off the subject a little bit, but just take a guess at how much I can bench press. Come on, what do you think? Take a guess. 315 pounds, at the top of my game, maxing out at 500!” – Fred Willard, “Best in Show”


This line of conversation is a great non sequitur to use at parties or any conversation where you don’t mind looking foolish, which is why Willard is generally a funny guy and why he was hilarious in ‘Best in Show.’ But I’ve already done my bench pressing this morning at the gym before work, so now the only heavy lifting I have is making a few phone calls, tidying up our CRM system and then escaping from the office by 3 p.m. at the latest.

So, before I eschew work completely, let’s look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Bruce Willis married his girlfriend of a year, model/actress Emma Heming, 30, this past week at a small, private ceremony at Willis’ home in Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos.

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher attended as well as Willis’ daughters Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah Belle. The couple plans to hold a civil ceremony when they return to California.


I’ve got a ‘Sixth Sense’ this marriage might ‘Die Hard,’ but then again, Willis might be ‘The Last Boy Scout’ around and things could work out if he stays out of ‘Striking Distance’ of any seductive co-stars.

In other matrimony news, David Letterman announced on the ‘Late Show’ that he had married longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko on March 19th at the Teton County Courthouse in Choteau, Montana.

Letterman and Lasko, whose son, Harry, was born in November 2003, didn't take an immediate honeymoon.


I guess once you’ve been to Choteau, Montana then any other honeymoon location would just be an utter letdown.

"Today" show co-host Matt Lauer was forced off the air Monday after a bicycle accident which occurred when a deer jumped into his path. He flipped over the bike's handlebars and was slightly hurt, NBC said.

"Matt's banged up with a displaced shoulder, it popped out," Meredith Vieira said. "So hopefully he'll be on the mend soon."


In a related story, Tom Cruise donated $100,000 to the family of the deer who gave his life to take out Lauer.

Lindsay Lohan's next new movie, "Labor Pains," is being released straight to cable as Nu Image/Millennium Films has confirmed that the comedy will premiere on ABC Family in July 2009.


Meanwhile, Lohan's career will continue its steady trajectory straight into the toilet.

Harrison Ford, 66, and his longtime girlfriend, Calista Flockhart, 44, became engaged after he proposed marriage to her over the Valentine's Day weekend, People magazine reported this week.

The celebrity couple have been together for 7 1/2 years, but the magazine said no wedding date has been set.


Flockhart has said she won’t marry Ford until he apologizes for his participation in that horrible nuclear refrigerator scene from the latest Indiana Jones film.

Zac Efron pulled out of the starring role in Paramount's remake of ‘Footloose’ this week.

No reason was given, however, rumors had Efron not wanting to get typecast a musical-only actor.


My own feeling is that Efron finally realized that he would never surpass Kevin Bacon’s insurmountably stellar work in the original.

One of Michael Jackson’s crystal-encrusted gloves will be on display in Times Square this week in a preview of a planned auction of the pop legend's possessions which are currently scheduled to be sold during a televised auction in April.


The big prize in the auction is the glove which was used to spank Macauly Caulkin as that piece is expected to fetch in upwards in of $500,000.

As always, let’s end with a gold image or two:



I always prefer curves to stick figures, and it seems that breasts look best in black and white. So, don’t be afraid to let it all hang out today, let the color drain and . . . Happy Friday!

-BDS

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Dating From Dusk Till Dawn . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, March 25, 2009 18 comments

I was flipping channels last night when I came upon “From Dusk Till Dawn.”


“From Dusk Till Dawn” is a lot of things: one of George Clooney’s first starring roles after jumping to the big screen from ‘ER,’ a vaguely entertaining killers-on-the-run turned Vampire massacre movie, another example of why Quentin Tarantino should stick to directing over acting, and it also showcases Salma Hayek at the absolute peak of her seductive powers, a mastery which director Robert Rodriguez lovingly displays in a slow-motion, writhing bikini-clad dance complete with an oversized snake wrapped around her. Seriously.


But the film holds a special place in my heart for reasons largely outside of its relative cinematic merits. During college, over the course of a 1-week span, I took three different girls on dates to see this movie for reasons that even now remain an absolute mystery to me.

“From Dusk Till Dawn” is not a good date movie – it’s violent with frequently rough language and then it descends into a grotesque killing spree once the vampires appear. It wasn’t the violence, however, that seemed to up the dating ante, but rather an extended speech given by Cheech Marin outside of the vampire bar which caused me to utilize my peripheral vision to warily to gauge reactions from my dates.


Marin dominates the particular scene by grabbing a microphone and loudly proclaiming:

All right, pussy, pussy, pussy! Come on in pussy lovers! Here at the Titty Twister we're slashing pussy in half! Give us an offer on our vast selection of pussy, this is a pussy blow out! All right, we got white pussy, black pussy, Spanish pussy, yellow pussy, we got hot pussy, cold pussy, we got wet pussy, we got smelly pussy, we got hairy pussy, bloody pussy, we got snappin' pussy, we got silk pussy, velvet pussy, Naugahyde pussy, we even got horse pussy, dog pussy, chicken pussy! Come on, you want pussy, come on in, pussy lovers! If we don't got it, you don't want it! Come on in, pussy lovers!

To be fair, during my first date, I had no idea this extended speech was coming into play, but after that initial experience, the scene provided an always uncomfortable litmus test moving forward.

I can’t say that any of the girls loved that scene (I don't either) nor can I articulate my rationale for continuing to take first dates to this specific film, however, all I can say is that things worked well afterwards 2 out of 3 times and sometimes you have to protect a winning streak regardless of the circumstances.

Or maybe “From Dusk Till Dawn” is actually a great date movie that has flown under the radar – until now.

-BDS

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Thoughts on "Duplicity" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, March 23, 2009 17 comments

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Matinee. This movie is so lightweight that it fits perfectly as low-pressure matinee escapism. Don't ask too much of 'Duplicity,' and you'll likely walk away happy.

Will I Own It On DVD: No. It was enjoyable enough to sit through once, however, there was nothing shown that made me want to rexamine it during another viewing.



1) 'Duplicity' is a trifle of a movie; a project that rests its success or failure on the star power, charisma and likability of Clive Owen and Julia Roberts. How much you enjoy the film is highly dependent upon these two actors, and if you don't care for or about them, then you should probably just stay home. Personally, Owen is one of my favorite actors working today. Roberts can be very good within certains roles/genres, so 'Duplicity' worked for me as a date movie and piece of fluff to consume like cotton candy.


2) Owen and Roberts do share excellent screen chemistry together. This is hugely important for films like 'Duplicity' because a poor onsreen pairing can sink a project with a distinct lack of spark between the leads. But Owen and Roberts - who first showcased their ability to play off each other in 'Closer' - display a winning chemistry that pushes this movie along and allows you to root for them, another essential quality.

3) The supporting cast is also uniformly stellar, if a tad underdeveloped. Paul Giammati and Tom Wilkinson are two of the finest character actors in Hollywood, and any movie benefits from their presence. In 'Duplicity,' they play rival heads of large, dueling pharmaceutical companies who will stop at nothing to beat each other to the market with new products designed to rake in money. Unfortunately, neither man has a lot of screen time, so their talents are not used to the fullest.


4) 'Duplicity' does make a good choice by having Roberts and Owen target big Pharma companies for a brazen theft. This decision allows most viewers to pull for them since drug companies are so large and lucrative and irritating that viewers give the thieves a wide moral ground because these conglomerates probably deserve to be stolen from and fuck 'em if they can't take joke. At least that seemed to be the prevailing attitude at the screening I attended.

5) 'Duplicity' is also fun because it hop-scotches the globe with a lot of exotic locales, which I always enjoy immensely. On the contrived side, however, the film engages in time manipulation plot devices with flashbacks peppered throughout that serve as a somewhat cheap way to drive more drama. Sometimes these time switches can serve as useful tools, but they can also be a lazy gimmick and I felt that 'Duplicity' leaned closer to the latter.

Overall, 'Duplicity' succeeds if you enjoy the actors, and are in the mood for some light entertainment paired with an above average script. If not, there is always the NCAA basketball tournment or you can do both as I did this weekend.

-BDS

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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, March 20, 2009 19 comments

"If you don't have good dreams, Bagel, you got nightmares,” Mickey Rourke, “Diner”


My own dreams entail being able to run around downtown without hordes of people from the South by Southwest music festival, but since that won’t happen this weekend, I think I’ll pick some out of the way places which are equally as fun and definitely cheaper. Besides, the NCAA basketball tournament is in full swing and my bets are made, so it’s time to see what pays off.

But before I slide out of work and towards a Sports Bar without lunatics screaming (impossible, I know), let’s look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Three people were arrested and six others hurt this past week after a near riot broke out from huge crowds waiting to audition for the next installment of “America’s Next Top Model,” police said. The panic left the street outside the hotel littered with shoes and clothing, according to news reports.

"It was pretty scary," Jessica Paravati told WNYW-TV. Police were unsure what prompted the chaos involving hundreds of people outside the Park Central New York hotel in Manhattan.


It was rumored that Tyra Banks started the stampede when she became enraged that the crowd was blocking her access to a mirror.

A Los Angeles judge quashed an arrest warrant for Lindsay Lohan Monday after the document had been issued for Lohan’s alleged failure to comply with terms of her probation.

Judge Marsha N. Revel determined that the actress has been compliant, but needs to show her treatment program better documentation to avoid future court problems. The judge also noted that Lohan has not failed any drug or alcohol tests.

Lohan pleaded guilty in August 2007 to two misdemeanor counts of being under the influence of cocaine; no contest to two counts of driving with a blood-alcohol level above 0.08 percent and one count of reckless driving. She was sentenced to three years of probation.


In keeping Lindsay out of her courtroom, the judge fell in line with the rest of the viewing public who don’t care to see any trace of Lohan either.

Charlie Sheen, 43, and his wife, Brooke Mueller Sheen, welcomed twin sons this week, according to Sheen’s spokesman. Brooke, 31,had been hospitalized in February because of premature contractions, but the boys are reportedly healthy.


Sheen himself was overjoyed, though he admitted his preference was for twin girls, preferably blonde and in their mid-20s who also work as escorts.

In other twin news, Adult movie star Jenna Jameson and her Ultimate Fighter boyfriend are also new parents of twins, according to Us magazine.

Jameson, 34, delivered two baby boys on Monday morning, the magazine reported. "They're in very good health," her rep told the magazine.


I’m thrilled for Jenna, however, her boys will never replace her other set of twins in my own heart.

Jessica Simpson was booed by a concert crowd in Irvine, California this week after repeatedly forgetting lyrics to her songs.

The OC Register reported that the audience began booing after Simpson tripped over the words while belting out the ditty "Still Don't Stop Me." Earlier, Simpson screwed up the opening lines of “Remember That."


It was unclear whether the crowd was booing Simpson’s lack of preparation or her inability to recognize irony.

Kanye West was charged with misdemeanor battery, grand theft and vandalism over the videotaped destruction of a paparazzo's camera during an altercation last year at the Los Angeles airport.

During the incident, which occurred in September and was filmed by TMZ, a video showed West breaking the flash of a photographer's camera inside a terminal, and his manager breaking the camera itself and accosting TMZ's videographer. West faces 2 1/2 years in jail if convicted.


I’m not certain if West will be convicted on these charges, however, if they also prosecute him for being an egomaniacal asshole, then he’ll be found guilty as charged.

LeeAnn Rimes’s denied reports this week that she has been cheating on husband Dean Sheremet with actor Eddie Cibrian, but also posted a statement on her official Web Site asking for support.

She posted: "This is a difficult time for me and my loved ones, but I appreciate all your continued support."


Rimes later elaborated that it’s a difficult time “for me to continue cheating because now everyone knows about it.”

But let’s not end with infidelity, and instead, focus on a gold image or two:



I hate when I squeeze a pair of breasts and butterflies shoot out and break my concentration. So, stay free from distractions today, keep your eye on the prize and . . . Happy Friday!

-BDS

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Who Did This . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, March 18, 2009 17 comments

Why is St. Patrick’s Day on a Tuesday?


I’m sure there is a historical reason, however, it still seems monumentally unfair for an enjoyable holiday, and it casts the rest of the week into an ugly area because it is no fun to feel like an elephant is sitting and possibly shitting on your head on a Wednesday morning. It should be Friday if that feeling is present, and now, there is still half the week remaining to deal with and productivity is being demanded with an utter disregard for timing issues.

All this because some dirty bastard stuck the holiday on a Tuesday, although it was my own fault that I felt the need to spend most of last night trying to make the perfect Black and Tan, which I finally managed to achieve after many failed attempts that were nonetheless rewarding as far as failure is concerned.


A few years ago, I actually spent St. Patty’s Day in Ireland because my best friend was getting married outside of Cork. That was an experience. I still remember eating lunch at a pub where I went through a cafeteria-style line and when they asked me if I wanted potatoes I said yes. I was then given French fries, mashed potatoes and potatoes wedges to go along with the meat. They were serious about their potatoes. But the Guinness was indeed better, and I enjoyed the holiday atmosphere as well as the time off to recover afterwards.


Recovery seems far off today. My only hope is that any work requests can hold until tomorrow and that I don’t receive a summons from the HR department in regards to any unlawful pinching which might have occurred – it was St. Patrick’s day after all.

-BDS

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Spring Break Is Backwards . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, March 16, 2009 16 comments

It’s Spring Break in Austin, which means the college is out, traffic is better and the South by Southwest music/movie festival is kicking into high gear and they can all go screw themselves as far as I'm concerned.

I was thinking over the weekend just how backwards it is that kids get a Spring Break, and adults get the shaft. What exactly do college students need a break from? It must be the brutal 15 hours a week of classes or the indiscriminate sex or the Ramen Noodles or maybe the wearing of backpacks that demands a legislated break from these activities each and every year.


These seems wholly unreasonable to me now that I’ve left college behind and am forced into an office most days. If anything, it’s the workers who should be given a mandatory week-long exodus while students stay behind and learn principles such as fairness, hard work and envy, the last of which will be driven home by Youtube videos showing sunburned adults whopping it up on beaches while students sit inside classrooms lit by fluorescent bulbs and presided over by members of the campus ROTC program, who like nothing better extolling the virtues of discipline.


That’s a world I want to live in . . . Actually, I wouldn’t begrudge students their time off if we simply broadened it out to include more people and groups as the United States has some the most draconian time off polices of any country in the world. My best friend moved to Ireland after college, and he gets 29 days of paid leave each year, which his firm actually expects him to take. Amazing.

Oh well, I’m not one to dwell on other people’s good fortune as the expense of my own, so I guess I will simply get to work and ignore any reports I see concerning Spring Break. Or I might just call in sick and head for the beach.

-BDS

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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, March 13, 2009 19 comments

“Me and the judge have a special relationship... I don't wanna get too graphic but I sucked his dick for cocaine,” Jane Lynch, “Role Models”


I just rented and watched ‘Role Models’ this week, and it was a decidedly decent flick with enough laughs to sustain it and good ending. Personally, I am all for a quick ending to my time in the office today as it’s gray and raining and I just want to leave the pile of work on my desk to rot until Monday. We’ll see.

In the interim, let’s look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Ashlee Simpson signed a deal this week to join the CW’s upcoming revamp of “Melrose Place.” The singer-actress, 24, plans to return to TV as a small-town girl who arrives in Los Angeles with a big secret, according to the Hollywood Reporter.


The secret, which will only remain hidden until episode 2, is that Simpson cannot act a lick.

Britney Spears continued her ‘Circus’ concert tour this week with a stop in Tampa, FL where the pop star revealed more than she wanted to the capacity audience.

During the show, one of Spears’ leotards apparently rode high, exposing certain parts of her anatomy. The singer loudly complained off-stage during a wardrobe change while her microphone was still on: “My p*#@* was hanging out!," an admission which brought big laughs from the entire arena.


Spears was apparently angry because she wasn’t supposed to flash her pussy until the encore – the encore dammit.

Chris Brown withdrew his name from the ballot of the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards this week. The embattled pop star had been nominated for favorite male singer and favorite song for "Kiss Kiss" at the March 28 awards show.

A petition had been circulated to take his name off the ballot, and on Wednesday, Brown decided to take his name out of consideration in a statement released to the media.

"Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding the incident last month has shifted the focus from the music to whether he should be allowed to be among those nominated. While Chris would like to speak to his fans directly about this and other issues, pending legal proceedings preclude his doing so at this time. Once the matter before him has been resolved, he intends to do so."


On the plus side, Brown will keep his nominations or rather his legal charges for the Piss-Poor Adult Choice Awards coming to a courtroom later this year.

Hulk Hogan's lawyers have asked a judge to grant the former wrestler access to some of his funds which had been frozen pending the outcome of his divorce.

Attorneys filed documents Monday asking that he be given $300,000 from the frozen assets, claiming that Hogan had back surgery last month which will keep him from working for a time. The motion said he has nearly $411,000 in his bank account and his bills top $312,000.


A breakdown of the bills in question revealed that his expenses were split equally among blonde hair dye, tanning beds and bandanas.

Jessica Simpson performed this week at the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, FL and showcased a slimmer figure by singing in Daisy Dukes shorts.

This counted vaguely as news because the singer was snapped wearing an unflattering outfit earlier this year, and she had previously addressed the ensuing tabloid discussion by thanking various crowds for their support telling them to "Stay positive," she added, "and pray out loud."



Simpson added she prays out loud every night to stop eating Ding Dongs at 2 a.m.

Rap star Coolio was charged on Tuesday with possession of crack cocaine and battery following his arrest last week at the Los Angeles International Airport.

The Grammy-winning performer was taken into custody at the airport after authorities said they found the drug and a crack pipe in his luggage. The battery charge was included because Coolio grabbed an airport screener's arm to prevent the search of his luggage, said Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney.


If convicted, Coolie might find prison is not a ‘Gangster’s Paradaise.”

Mandy Moore married her indie musician fiancé Ryan Adams Tuesday at a small ceremony in Savannah, Georgia after the pair were engaged last month.


Nobody came to the ceremony because nobody really cared.

As always, let’s end with a gold image or three:




The red color scheme just emerged this week as I searched for ending shots. So, keep an eye out for bold colors today, realize you can use them as a litmus test for questions about potential nudity and . . . Happy Friday!

-BDS

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Corporate Etiquette 114 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, March 11, 2009 17 comments

{The workplace is a jungle filled with jackals, wineheads and bosses with mouths like a crocodile. There are also decent people, but I'm starting to question the percentages. This is the 14th in a series of corporate encounters which offer no easy resolutions.}

Yesterday afternoon, we were holding a company-wide baby shower for one of our Vice President’s and his wife to celebrate their recent adoption.

The event was originally scheduled for 3 p.m., which seemed reasonable to me since it would break up my afternoon. I figured that feigning interest in a squealing child and saying the usual things like “he’s so cute” and “are you getting any sleep yet” coupled with any other bland pronouncements I could conjure up might be worth the break from work.

Besides, they were having cupcakes from a local bakery, and these treats were nothing short of delicious and usually cost $2.50 a piece.


Around 1:30 p.m., however, things began to turn sideways. An email had gone out announcing the shower had been pushed back to 5 p.m., a change that seemed wholly unreasonable since it was technically outside of work hours.

“Shit,” I grumbled aloud causing a passing co-worker to ask if anything was wrong. I didn’t reply.

The next few hours passed uneventfully, and at some point, I decided I was simply going to skip the shower. I had already given money for a gift basket as well as signed the card which would accompany the offering. So, I was clear on that front, my good name unsullied.


It was almost 4:30 p.m. when I went to the break room with the intention of grabbing a water, and then heading out the doors for home so I wouldn’t get accidentally dragged to the shower. I opened the refridgerator to find several boxes of cupcakes staring back at me. The break room was deserted except for me and the cupcakes, which I regarded lustily with the door hanging open.

At this point, rationalization took over as I figured since I had contributed to the gift basket and the cupcakes would be offered at the shower - which I wasn’t attending - that I deserved one for the road. Why not?

I took another look towards the door – I was still all alone – and then quickly grabbed a white cupcake with lemon icing, palming the desert craftily just as I heard voices coming towards the kitchen. There was nowhere to hide the cupcake. Right before my CEO and the Vice President in question entered the room, I shoved the treat inside my pants pocket and felt icing smear the lining of a sharp pair of heather gray slacks.

I exchanged quick pleasantries on the way out the door, then raced racing downstairs to my car. The cupcake was removed carefully and remained largely intact on the ride home.

Today, I plan to drop the pants off at the cleaners, and of course, I still ate the cupcake once I got home and it tasted even better with the element of danger added to the butter cream icing, sugar and flour.

-BDS

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Thoughts on "Watchmen" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, March 09, 2009 14 comments

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Matinee. The caveat here is that if you're a major comic book movie fan or simply a 'Watchmen' fanatic because of the graphic novel, then you could justify paying full price for length alone - the damn thing is nearly 3 hours long.

Will I Own It On DVD: No. I was fine with viewing 'Watchmen' on the big screen, however, the film will lose effective chunks of its grand-scale set pieces when it moves to the small screen and it wasn't good enough to jusify another 3 hours of my time.


1) Among comic book or graphic novel fans, 'Watchmen' is apparently regarded as holy text, a genre-defining work that has been hailed as nothing short of a classic tomb that demanded to be noticed. I cannot be counted among that contingent as I've never read the novel nor am I a major fan of comic book movies in general. That being said, there are many examples of excellent films which have been made from this source material (The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Batman, etc), so I was interested to check out 'Watchmen' to see what all the fuss was about.


2) The story is set in the mid-1980s, and presents an alternate universe where Richard Nixon is still President of the United States and the entire world is on the edge of nuclear extinction due to tensions with the Russians. The Watchmen are a group of skilled yet also very human characters who wear masks while deliverying somewhat questionable justice. They depart from tradional comic book heroes in several ways as they still battle crime, but also deal with issues like impotence, boredom and borderline sexual assault.

3) This combination makes for an R-rated experience that combines occasionally graphic sex and violence with a prickly ensemble cast ranging from very interesting and charismatic (Rorschach, The Comedian) to bland (Nite Owl) and even the downright wimpy (Ozymandias). It also means viewers bear witness to the God-like blue presence of Dr. Manhattan (Billy Cruddup) strolling around mostly naked with his blue dick flapping in the breeze, a freqent sight which is never properly explained in the film.



4) The novel itself is apparently filled with elaborate backstories for its characters, and the movie tries to provide the audience with many of them. Some are interesting, others are not, but regardless, they also limit the dramatic effectiveness of the movie because pacing becomes an issue. The main story suffers as frequent flashbacks occur, which makes it difficult to sustain a rising tension from the threat of nuclear extinction.

5) With a running time of 2 hours and 40-something minutes, 'Watchmen' felt very, very long. Some films can justify expansive running times, however, I felt 'Watchmen' would have been leaner and more effective by editing it closer to two hours versus three. But it is far from a total drag as there are several interesting vignettes as well as some cool-looking visuals that keep the action moving along without bogging down entirely.

All in all, I found 'Watchmen' to be a competent, well-shot yet underwhelming experience. It deserves credit for taking a different perspective concerning super heroes yet if you aren't already a fan of the graphic novel, then I doubt it will win make you a fanatic.

-BDS

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