Stop! Don’t read before reading PART 2.

Or, for that matter, PART 1.

Ok… So, I should probably preface this by mentioning that there are only 4 or 5 other people in the theater. I am able to find perfect seats right in the middle with a great view of the panoramic screen… But the lack of people leads me to think that Watchmen will most likely not be one of the big blockbusters of the season here in Chile. I’m sure everybody is just biting their nails waiting for Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which I think opens next week or something.

Or maybe I’m just one of the few jackasses sitting in a movie theater at 11:30 on a Satruday morning.

Okay… Here we go.

11:45am – The show begins…

They show trailers for:
Underworld – Rise of the Lycans. (Yawn.)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine. (Hurm.)
Star Trek (Uh-huh.)

And something I at first presume to be an as yet unheard of remake of Sorcerer (or The Wages of Fear if you want to be a snobby douchebag), that actually turns out to be Fast and Furious. I realize I have yet to see a single one of the movies in that franchise… And I don’t care. I don’t think I’ll be seeing this one either.

Then… The movie begins.


(This is arranged in chronological order… And don’t worry about spoilers. Read with confidence… This only has ambiguous in-jokes for people who have read the book.)

- This is a very arresting opening.

- Heh. Heh… Issue! blah, blah, blah, Issue! That’s great.

- Hey… fidelity be damned. This is a tremendous way to open a picture!

- Wow… The hype about the title sequence turned out to be 100% on point. This is possibly the best opening credits sequence I’ve ever seen. It actually tells a story. I had heard about the song choice and was concerned it would be too laid back and lack the propulsive force to bring you into a movie like this. Not so. This is brilliant.

- Giggle… They have it both ways for fans who are disappointed it doesn’t start exactly like the book.

- I’m actually watching this. This is coming to life on a movie screen. I’m not dreaming this.

- Ok… So they’re actually called “The Watchmen.” Yeah, that’s perfectly reasonable and I don’t want to be the dick that complains about that. Besides, it beats having to explain the concept of Quis custodiet ipsos custodes to an audience in a movie that’s already pretty packed with information.

- Am I the only one who finds these little moments with Rorschach kind of really funny? It’s the “comic relief” that some critics seem to feel is lacking.

- I keep clapping and giggling. I’m like one of those toy monkeys that crash cymbals together.

- I’m actually kind of glad I’m seeing this alone for the first time. (Fuck that handful of Chileans in the theater – they don’t know me.) This inexcusable behavior would have been pretty fucking embarrassing.

- Gugino’s age makeup? Not great… And her big scene with Blake has been slightly overhyped. Though it’s definitely powerful stuff.

- Ok… Malin Akerman has to be the sexiest thing I’ve ever fucking seen.

- Some of this stuff is playing out quicker than I would have liked. But 400-odd pages in just under 3 hours is hard enough without my pointless bitching. I look forward to the Director’s Cut.

- Jeffrey Dean Morgan is getting a lot of mileage out of his part. People will remember him.

- Ok. Seriously developing a huge boner for Malin Akerman.

- Dr. Manhattan is making me feel terribly inadequate.

- Was that bone protruding through flesh? This is a violent fucking movie.

- Ok. Not really on board with that Nixon.

- How about that? A superhero adventure film with an esoteric Kubrickian 10 minute montage shoehorned into it… I can feel the mall crowds scratching their heads.

- Christ! This is some seriously gory shit!

- Jackie Earl Haley is the greatness.

- I’m surprised something this exposition-heavy and loaded with minutae is working so well, but it is. The narration is brilliantly handled.

- Are people going to get that a muzak version of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is playing during this particular scene?

- “Plot twists” are coming off as predictably set up for me. But I can’t judge that because I know it going in… Though that one scene (avoiding spoilers) seemed too obvious to me. Need to see this with a virgin.

- This is sweet. I am actually identifying with Nite Owl. I am moved by this subplot… He is me. And… (in-joke for friends in the know).

- Watchmen is actually TERRIFIC date movie material! If I’m dating anyone come May (Doubt it), I will take her to see this. If she hates it, I’ll never call her again.

- Predictably, Rorschach will be the breakout character. Haley’s delivery of all his “witticisms” is spot-on. And the character is just fascinating.

- Too bad about the downsizing of the psychiatrist. It’s the role Reginald Veljohnson was born to play. Who’s this asshole? Anyway…

- No Kitty Genovese reference. Could have been cool and resonant. Director’s Cut?

- Wow! The kidnapping thing was MUCH more brutal than in the book! Holy shit!

- Loving the score by Tyler Bates, by the way. Must buy score. The musical soundtrack? Hurm. I’ll end up buying it but I wish they’d chosen some more evocative pieces.

- All that stuff with Big Figure … Who says there’s no humor in this?

- THAT is insanely sexy! This is definitely date movie material. If I’m not dating anyone in May, I’ll force myself into a relationship.

- This is actually a lot of fun and very entertaining… I don’t really see what all the gloom and doom complaining is about. Were they expecting a fucking Disney movie or something? Jesus!

- I’m surprised how much of the book is actually in this.

- Hey… All things considered, this is still a really action-packed movie. Because the action is really visceral and well-done. Very satisfying stuff.

- “Excuse me. I have to use the men’s room.” HA HA HA HAAAAAHHHH!!!!  Humorless? Go fuck yourselves.

- Very cute moment between Nite Owl and Rorschach. Wilson and Haley are definitely the stars of the film. But that’s how it should be. Their characters carry the narrative. This is great… Zach Snyder really nailed this shut.

- Just realized… Not enough Hollis Mason. His character is almost pointless. Director’s Cut?

- I missed “only once.” Director’s Cut?

- Didn’t really like the way they handled that revelatory scene between Jon and Laurie. It could have been paced better. Director’s Cut?

- However, the ineffectiveness is made effective by Billy Crudup’s brilliant monolgue. I think I got a lump in my throat.

- Bubastis was definitely short changed. Will anyone give a shit? Director’s cut?

- The “New Ending” is great. I mean, it’s not actually a new ending. I don’t get what all the fuss is about. It’s the same ending, just done in a different way. And, actually, much more resonant and effective for the narrative arc of the film. You actually care and it makes the conundrum much easier to grasp and follow. This was a brilliant concession from the screenwriters. I love this ending.

- Now THAT was more emotional and gutwrenching than I expected. Good job guys!

- Not enough Minutemen and Gugino is a glorified cameo. Director’s cut?

- Wow! That was fucking intense. 2 hours and 40 minutes? Really?

- Yeah… Really liking that Desolation Row cover. That’s one reason to buy the soundtrack at least.

- Hmmm. I wonder if I live in a world where a thoughtful, idea-packed, dense film like this is actually a blockbuster. Probably not. But at least I have a Watchmen movie that I can be proud to call by that name. Good job you fucking people… You pulled it off.

- Shit. I have to wait until May to see this again.

- Fuck.

2:35pm – I leave the theater on an ecstatic high (see blurry picture above) and anxious to speak to someone I care about to just say out loud that I fucking loved the movie… I spend a few moments walking around the mall looking for a pay phone.

3:05pm – I call a friend in La Paz and interrupt her during a wedding (not hers, but still). I feel like a shithead. I apologize profusely and she whispers not to worry and call back in a half hour if I want to talk.

4:15pm – I call back. I simply say something to the effect of “Themoviewasfuckingamazing… Telleveryonetogettogethertomorrowforbeers! Iwannaraveaboutit!” I must sound like a fucking turd.

5:00pm – I head to a quaint little restaurant across the highway, which is facing the beach. It’s called La Nueva Estancia. I order a seafood stew with an ice cold mug of (I guess) Chile’s finest lager on tap to wash it down.

Goddamn if it isn’t the most scrumtious fucking thing I’ve ever eaten. It’s better than this morning’s Egg McMuffin, which was – up to that point – the best thing I had ever eaten.

6:00pm – I take a brief walk along the beach that is across from the highway. It is quiet. The sun is setting… And I find myself humming Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?”

8:00pm – Night now. I head back to the Iquique terminal to board my bus back to La Paz. At the newsstand, I notice this month’s issue of Conozca Mas. (The Latin American equivalent of Omni – or, rather, it used to be until it became the Latin American equivalent of Maxim minus the T&A) It has a cover story on Watchmen. I buy a copy and board the bus.

9:00pm – Ready to leave. This time I have no seating companion. And the bus is relatively empty. This is good. EXCEPT – The bus is now mostly filled with drunken indigenous Bolivians (at least in my immediate vicinity) that make me understand why there is so much social resentment and classism in this country. Not condoning this, you understand. But, for a few minutes at least, I “get it.”

9:20pm – The bus leaves the terminal as the drunks yammer on. After one of them spent 20 minutes screaming at the top of his lungs for the bus to move already. The only thing I can do is return to my iPod. I have no interest in watching Saving Private Ryan on the 13 inch television hanging from the ceiling. Much rather have Morrissey distract me with this track from Ringleader of the Tormentors

I am sure that when we reach Arica, more assholes will board the bus and my comfort will be short lived.


8:30am – We arrive to Bolivia… I am astonished to find I slept like a baby most of the way. And no one ever bothered me. Time to do the customs thing again. The only thing I have to declare is that Watchmen is a great fucking movie.

This is also a rest stop where the people sitting near me decide to buy some food. The food they choose is some highly-condimented pork with corn, potatoes and rice – all served in a plastic bag. Breakfast of champions.

So now I must ride the next 4 hours to La Paz in a bus that reeks of death. And with Perfume – Story of a Murderer playing on the 13 inch screen. I notice that George is at the customs area. I think he even buys himself some of that pork. So I’ve truly come full circle…

But he sits at the front of the bus… And I isolate myself once again with my iPod and Aimee Mann where I last left her. Halfway through the I’m With Stupid album…

Yes. It was a good fucking movie.

Worth 32 hours on an unpleasant bus?

Name anything that is.