Archive for March, 2009

Has it really been 16 years, Natasha?

A long time ago, when I worked for Big Blue, my regular commute down Brighton Rd through Elwood to the city was invariably the usual dull crawl with the only entertainment being the frenzied stylings of  “breakfast show crews” on FM radio as they laughed ( in a mainly self convincing way) at their own witty repartee.

One day, all that changed.

On the window of the Cat and Dog Grooming shop at 71 Brighton road appeared – in giant letters – IT’S A GIRL!

The next day, we knew her name.  Again in big letters: NATASHA!natashas!

That day was just over 16 years ago, for recently, on the window, below the permanently badly-signwritten “NATASHA’S”  that appeared on the window top soon after the birth announcement came down, was “SWEET 16!”

Natasha became part of the regular commuters’ journey.  Her proud parents declared her talents to the world.

We watches  “NATASHA’S SHE’S CRAWLING” ,  “NATASHA’S HER FIRST STEP” then her first word (though we don’t know what it was), her first day at school and even saw her childish artwork posted in the window which was  sadly (or perhaps fortunately) too far away for us to see without stopping and getting out of our metal chariots.

More recently we learnt that Natasha has started work experience training, and now, of course, the girl is 16.

I wonder about Natasha.  How does she feel about thousands of strangers following her life story?  Without her consent, her whole life has been window-blogged in three to five word precis.  Does she have any siblings? Why have we never heard about them too?

If you ever read this, Natasha, let us know.

That was Huge.

That’s what my son (18) said as we left after the Watchmen movie.

Does it to full justice to the comic/graphic novel story?  No, how could it? The movie was 160 minutes long and they had difficulty squeezing in just the main plot line.  Nevertheless, it all hangs together in the end.

Is it visually awesome? Yes!

Is it too violent?  Probably was.  Waaaay too much gore,  Rorschach’s gruesome epiphany was made more graphically violent – yet strangely less horrific – than the original’s and given that these are supposed to be real mortal people in tights, not actual invulnerable superheroes, they absorb far too much punishment before going down.

What about the visual style?  Great, loved the 40’s retro and wished there was more of it. And as everyone says, they absolutely nailed the duplication of many of the comic’s core visuals.  Rorschach was a characterisation triumph and the Comedian was better humanized in this version.  Nite Owl probably wasn’t podgy enough (probably just my own middle aged jealousy creeping in here).  As in the novel, Manhattan’s change of heart on Mars seems a little Deus ex Machina, but given that it really doesn’t matter because ultimately apart from Rorschach’s legacy almost everything except Manhattan’s decision take the fall for Viedt’s flawed vision is just back story, it’s a niggle.

The other niggle,  maybe I blinked, but how did the Comedian discover Adrian’s plot in this version?

I give it four and a half rubber chickens.