Saturday, March 14, 2009

Coraline and Watchmen

On it's opening weekend I saw Coraline and this past Sunday I saw Watchmen. Been a bit too busy to post about either one. Coraline is gorgeous. It's hard to think of too much else to say.... It was just stunning. I loved the animation, the design, the sets... My jaw dropped when all those mice started a choreographed dance in the other world... I noticed the lighting and little details in the kitchen of the real world as soon as the camera cut there, how stark grey and depressing it was... I could feel the uselessness Coraline felt in that world... And when compared to the warm and perfect inviting kitchen of the other world... How inviting it seemed. I had read the book ages ago... So there was a good amount of time between the reading and the viewing. I thought it was a perfect story for the stop motion animation medium.Check out some more artwork by Shane Prigmore here with links to other artists on his blog.

Some Corline artwork by Jon Klassen at his blog and website.

Some cool colour studies by Courtney Booker:
Check out these Coraline Boxes!

Here's a cool Coraline blog called Evil Buttons.
I read the Watchmen graphic novel maybe half a year ago or so... A friend at work had found out the movie was being made and when he spoke about the book I had to read it... It sounded so interesting just from his description. There were parts of the book that were actually shocking and emotional... I felt more detatched when I saw the movie. The movie was good, and looked great, but I felt more like it was trying to be an action movie that had to pause to narate a story to you (while using a lot of music) but the novel was more of an intellectual ride... I didn't get those feelings of shock or anticipation or curiosity or revulsion from the movie as from the book... It was a good movie... but just a little watered down. And that's not how you want to go... I had read a blip from Alan Moore just before seeign the movie too on his opinions of film vs. comics and comics being made into films. When reading the article I felt like he was being a little closed to possibilites, (it bugs me when people are pissed off a movies for not translating books to the screen as literally as possible) but I agreed with Moore while the movie was on my eyeballs. Moore was trying to say that both comic and film are experiences and mediums, not either like the other much at all. He was just trying to say that this story was best suited to the medium it was done in already, and why meddle with someting so good the way it is? (Probably because it was so good a lot of people wanted more... But there is no more story... So retell the story...)Here's a fantastic blog entry on comic pacing and design with examples from Watchmen by Andy Clarke at 24 ways.I just read this review of Watchmen. Mike Scott kindly writes up a list of all the events in the movie he found too offensive and graphic, and claims that people are off to the theaters these days for light laughs. He asks who would find events like a pregnant woman being shot dead at point blank or women raped or beaten or people being burned to death entertaining? It's not meant to be entertaining! It's making a point on humanity and the point of it all and how human life is often a big joke... These things are not pleasant but they happen everyday to real people...

Dammit... I read a way better review of Watchmen a few days ago but I can't find it anywhere... That review was basically saying this: Three of the main characters, Rorschach, Doctor Manhattan and The Comedian all have certain negative or neutral opinions about the state of humanity. The Comedian gets humanity and sees it as a joke, Rorschach sees unjust acts everywhere and had a terrible upbringing, he wants to bring justice and doesn't go for forgiveness and Dr. Manhattan, while not devoid of emotion, has little opinion on human life. He since human life as one eyeblink compared to the vastness of existence. It lives, it dies. Out of so much negativity is born two certain people, Silk Spectre II and Nite Owl who fall in love. One message of the movie is that it's possible to find things worth saving in a world so twisted.

Hm. When I went to Mike Scott's blog homepage, I noticed he has a post devoted to cute animals. There is a photo of a kitten with it's paw on a baby chicken.

Some further reading on the making of Watchmen.

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