WonderCon 2009: First 22 minutes of 'Watchmen' equals geekasm

Director Zack Snyder was on hand to introduce the footage which, by now you've probably already read a play by play of. If not, check here. What I'll do here is just give my impressions of what I saw.

Half the 'Watchmen' cast and Dave Gibbons. Eric Franklin/CNET

I'm not gonna front. This is what I came to WonderCon to see. Warner Bros. had already shown the first 22 minutes of the "Watchmen" movie two weeks ago at the New York Comicon , but this was the Bay Area's first chance to see the footage, and it does not disappoint.

*HEAVY SPOILER ALERT*
Director Zack Snyder was on hand to introduce the footage, which by now you've probably already read a play by play of. If not, check here. What I'll do here is just give my impressions of what I saw.

The footage consists of Edward Blake's--aka the Comedian--fight in his apartment with an unknown assailant. This fight is brutal and the impact of hits, blocks, and parries were accentuated by the very loud sound system set up at WonderCon. I mean, when these two guys fight you feel every hit, cut (I think there was a cut), and crunch of bone.

One thing I liked was the juxtaposition of Blake's "brawly" fighting style and his assailant's more Eastern, martial arts style. Blake puts up a hell of a fight, but his assailant is just too fast. Did I mention it was brutal? When Blake's head went through a marble countertop, I heard the entire auditorium cringe.

Following the fight is one of the most brilliant and well done opening credit sequences I've ever seen. It's basically a three- or four-minute montage of key events in the last 45 years of the Watchmen universe. It's all presented in slow motion to Bob Dylan's "The Times Are A Changin'" with fades to black between each segment. That gives the whole thing a very dream-like quality.

It works so incredibly well. I can't say for sure, but "Watchmen" newbs should have no problem understanding exactly what they're getting into after watching this sequence. Hard-core fans get plenty of Easter eggs if they pay close attention. The crowd at WonderCon burst into applause several times, basically for anything related to Rorschach.

Speaking of Rorschach, the last sequence takes place with him in prison. It's the lunch line scene, and if you know the comic you know the scene. Again, brutal and not for the faint of heart. I loved the way Jackie Earl Haley moved in the scene. Very efficiently and purposefully. The line he delivers at the end of the scene nearly brought the house down and I have no problem admitting I had goosebumps and a giant smile on my face.

I can't wait to see it again, which should be Monday night when I get to see the entire movie! Jealous? You should be, but don't be.

 

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