Watch this and you will regret it

I’m a sci fi fan. Always have been, always will be.

One of the things I remember about my childhood is going to the cinema with my Aunt (who I love more than life itself but who wouldn’t know her Heinlein from her hairspray) and watching Star Wars.

I loved it. I’m surprised that Jabba, Han, Luke and the Cinnamon Bun Princess didn’t appear in more of my childhood drawings.

The confectionery school of hairstyling

The confectionery school of hairstyling

Actually, after a moment of quiet reflection on the previous sentence I’m actually not surprised at all.

If I remember correctly, drawing was very much a secondary pastime. Most of my childhood was spent in more incendiary pursuits. A box of matches, some dry tinder (Ma’s knitting would do nicely) and I was all set to entertain myself for hours.

A bit of a firebug.

I could amuse myself, my Grandmother (Sorry Ma), my Grandfather (Sorry Doctor Sam) my Mom, (sorry Mom), her sisters (sorry Dinky and Pete), the neighbors, and the local fire department all within one lively afternoon.

What was I writing about? Oh yes, Sci fi.

When the Salvation Army came around for donations at our flat in Sea Point I used to stand in my 5 year old slippered feet at the feet of the trombonist and wave my hands in front of him (while he was emptying his spit receptacle), squint and in the voice of Obi Wan intone; ‘these are not the donors you’re looking for, there’s nothing to see here’.

It must have been quite unnerving for the poor man.

I have always loved sci fi, fantasy and especially comics. In fact I learned how to read from the stories of Superman, the Hulk and Spiderman (thanks Ma, sorry about the knitting). Those speech bubbles guided me through childhood, into the stormy waters of adolescence and on to the delta of adulthood.

However tonight my belief in the power of fantasy has been rattled.

I loved the latest Batman, as addled and frenetic as it was, the latest iteration of the Hulk was Ok, Spiderman – meh, but alright I suppose. The X Men seemed pretty well visualised. DC and Marvel were bringing my boyhood heroes to life. It’s an exciting time for me.

And this evening after the significant other and the young one had (wisely) retired for the night…

Watchmen.

During my stay at university I was put in charge of hiring video’s (how the years slip away) for the enjoyment of the rest of the students at Rhodes University’s Jan Smuts House.

These viewings took place each Sunday night. After a few of my choices (2001, A space Odyssey was one, philistines) it was decided that a chaperone would be in order. My selections were labeled ‘Mallach Movies’ and the power of choice was removed, or at least severely curtailed My choices were in short vetted for suitability..

Perhaps they were right. I have just spent over two hours watching a steaming pile of crap. My judgment might very well be impaired in some way.

Watchmen is one of the worse, if not the worse examples of misguided adaptations of a comic book I have ever seen, and I’ve watched Swamp Thing.

The storyline shudders along for the first hour, the motivation of the main characters is muddy, the CGI is shoddy and the acting wooden, except for the character Rorschach, and he wears a mask for three quarters of the movie. If the best performance in your movie is given by a guy with an inkblot for a face you know an Oscar’s not in the offing.. And by the way, if big blue boy Dr. Manhattan can control time and space, why is he such a vacillating fuckwit.

I've got some cream for that

I’ve got some cream for that

I suppose it’s because he’s got the weight of the universe on his shoulders. I know the feeling, I felt like that after the first hour of the movie. I do envy Dr Manhattan one thing, if I could move through time I wouldn’t have taken the DVD out in the first place.

Now I know that this is from one of the lesser known titles, but come on! It’s a cult classic. Make an effort.

The movie features minute after excruciating minute of characters examining themselves through a microscope of self pity, interspersed with lighter moments of chest beating violence. I mean not even Wolverine is as self critical and he’s Australian.

Humph.

Seriously.

Humph.

District 9 had better be good.

PS: I’m working (I will be) on the conclusion of the river story.

PPS: If your immediate thought is that this review is two months late, well done. Go the head of the class. I waited until it came out on DVD. People do unspeakable things on cinema seats.

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