Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Watchmen Doing It Right

By now I'm sure all of you have seen the new Japanese Watchmen trailer, as well as the featurette focusing on the Minutemen. Just wanted to throw my two cents in real quick. But first, in case you haven't seen it, the trailer.

Now, as some of you may know, I saw 25 minutes of Watchmen a couple months ago. It was absolutely beautiful. I saw the Comedian's death, the opening credits (history of the Minutemen/Crimebusters through live action, moving dioramas, set to Dylan's "The Times, They Are A Changin'"), Silk Spectre & Nite Owl breaking Rorschach out of prison & basically all of the Dr. Manhattan focused issue, with him on Mars, reliving his life. It was all gorgeous and I pretty much cried the whole time, but the ONE thing that made me go "Hrm. We'll have to see about that one" was Nixon.

This Nixon is slightly older - he is going into his 3rd term, so that's to be expected - but to see someone in full Nixon makeup, who is clearly not Nixon, is a little jarring at first. It's not like Frank Langella, a brilliant actor playing Nixon - it's a dude in Nixon face. Not sure if I'm explaining the distinction well, but there's a big difference between someone playing Nixon and someone doing Nixon. Granted, seeing him is better than only hearing his voice a la Recount, but it's still odd. It took me a moment to get used to the cartoonish face and realize that an exaggerated older Nixon is just a part of Watchmen's reality. But it made me nervous. Would it pull people out of the movie early on? Would it elicit laughter? Would it be the thing that everyone jumped to as the "Would have been great except..." element?

Luckily this Japanese trailer has come around, featuring snippets of Nixon's face and voice and I think this is a GREAT move. Getting the audience used to it now can only help in the end, making the reveal less jarring in the actual film. I hope.

How do you feel about Nixon make up? Care? Don't care?

And if you haven't checked it out already, be sure to head over to Apple for the HD featurette about the Minutemen.