Yeah, I know I'm behind on some of my end-of-the-week blogging like "Burn Notice" and "The Beast" and such(*), but right now, the thing I'm most geeked-up about isn't on TV, but the 18 or so minutes of "Watchmen" that I got to see (along with 1,000 of my closest friends) this afternoon at the New York Comic-Con.
(*)Insert obligatory disclaimer about how I'm only one man who can't always watch and write about shows in as timely a fashion as those sites that have a nation of millions to cover all of primetime.
After the jump, some brief, non-spoiler-y thoughts on the footage, plus a recap of McG's attempt to do damage control for the Christian Bale rant while plugging "Terminator: Salvation"...
I never watched all of "300," because I wasn't a big fan of the Frank Miller comic, but what I did see made it clear that Zack Snyder was almost slavishly devoted to the source material, and what they showed at the Con -- the first 18 minutes, plus a snippet of the cafeteria scene -- suggested Snyder was continuing that trend with "Watchmen." Obviously, he's not going to be able to squeeze in every detail of a sprawling 12-part epic, what he has included feels very much like the Moore/Gibbons comic come to life. And the opening credit sequence pretty brilliantly synopsizes a lot of the historical material that the comic had to detail in all those prose pieces at the end of each issue. There's even one scene in there, involving Silhouette from The Minutemen, that Dave Gibbons admitted he wished he and Alan Moore had thought to include in the book.
And even if the rest of the movie is terrible (which I doubt), I'm going to be a first-day (possibly first showing) ticket buyer if only to see more of Jackie Earle Haley, who could not be more perfect casting as Rorshach. I got chills watching him in the cafeteria scene. It almost feels like all those previous aborted attempts to film "Watchmen" were destined to fail until Haley was both old enough and had resurrected his career, because I couldn't imagine any other actor being as right for the part.
As for "Terminator: Salvation," the footage was still pretty rough (large chunks of the F/X scenes were either partially or fully-animated, and none of the wire-work had been digitally erased yet), but the explosions looked as pretty as they do in all McG films, and Bale seemed typically intense.
The infamous rant (is there anyone who hasn't listened to the thing by now?) came up a few times. Early on, there was some feedback on McG's mic, and someone from the crowd yelled out, "F---ing unprofessional!!!!" As the crowd laughed, McG smiled and said, "I don't understand." The first question during the audienc Q&A was about how McG reacted to the incident, and McG bellowed out a Bale-style "What don't you f---ing understand?!?!?!" (also to big crowd laughter), then went on to say that they worked out the problem that day on the set, Bale apologized then (and is apologizing again now), and they got back to making the movie. He suggested that, while Bale was out of line, the thing that troubled him more was that someone involved in making the movie leaked broke omerta and leaked the clip, saying that movie sets should be places where people can feel free to express opinions and even let off steam without fearing that TMZ will get involved(**).
(**) While Bale's behavior was wrong, I kind of agree with McG on this point. This may have been an extreme outburst in its volume and its length, but I know people have been having vocal creative differences on movie sets pretty much since movies have been made. Can you imagine if people had iPhones or other digital recording devices in the days when Frank Sinatra, or Marilyn Monroe, or John Belushi were movie stars? I know the gossip industry is one of the few sectors of our economy that's still booming, but I miss the days when we didn't find out every piece of dirt that went down behind the scenes.
Later on, at the end of answering yet another Bale rant question, McG admitted, "That remix is pretty hot."