Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Nerds will be Nerds

and if you know one, you may as well shake them down for their lunch money.

Seriously, when I was like 14 I remember seeing the trailer to 'Blues 2000' a film that Australian Blues Brother's fans (fanatics) helped get made allegedly. The prospect of a sequal had always seemed tantalising, but improbable because well Dan Akroyd was fat and John Belushi was dead.

So that trailer admittedly had it's merits, they found in John Goodman an actor that made Akroyd look thin, and a good actor at that, John Goodman has gone on to bigger and better things. But the moment I saw the kid in blues brother attire I knew the film would ultimately be a dissappointment and was just a money maker and vis a vis not worth seeing.

I never actually saw the film and thus I don't actually know if it was worth seeing or not. But I seem to live like everybody else, which is to say for the most part forgetting it ever existed in the first place, but with the difference of not being able to remember having seen it.

Sooooooooooooooooooooooo, I learned somewhere somehow just recently that DC have announced prequals to the Watchman series.

I've always personally had problems with DC's management of the Watchmen IP. The movie adaptation generated so much hype that I guess it ultimately lead to the now liquidated Borders shelves being weighed down with dozens of copies of the tital and prompted people to read it in anticipation of the film and thus gaining it a much larger audience. In much the same way that HBO's terrible adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire is regarded by many people as so much better than so much television that it created a new audience for the books.

So in terms of adaptations abilities to prompt new audiences to discover the truly wonderful source material, I guess that is their one and only redeeming feature.

I never saw Watchmen either, because my stance was 'at best it can only be a take for take faithful adaptation of the comic. In which case it is entirely redundant and far too likely to dissappoint.' I've never been able to understand why people get excited about the film medium, specifically getting people to dress up and act out a comic...

But get excited they did and pay money to see it in 3D on imax they also did.

And from second hand reports it was as I predicted, kind of a pointless film to make, faithful to the original with a few tweeks and ultimately forgettable. Same can be said of Sin City, and I'd point out that as they go these are probably the 'better' adaptations of comic books. In my opinion the best adaptations of the past decade or so have been Iron Man, and Spider Man 2, the lessons though are never learned.

So too I can record here my prediction for the Watchmen prequals. They won't add much, and potentially detract from the original Alan Moore run, because the Watchmen series whole narrative tool was to gradually reveal the background of the characters taking place in both the stories own past and present.

Furthermore, they will never be considered canon, but they will add an unattractive footnote to the 'legacy' section of Watchmen's wikipedia page.

Nerds though will go and buy the series, some even just so they can be offended by it. They will discuss it much on forums for months to come or until the release date making predictions, some the stupider talking about how excited they are, the smarter their skepticism and others yet talking about their exuberence for 'more watchmen'.

Manifesting in the masses is the same drive that always optimistically speculates on sequals, the human drive if you will for sequals. People who crave and look forward to sequals don't want to see a new movie or read a new story, they want to experience the same story for the first time again.

Optimism is important, but sadly it is why I guess nerds or 'the market' never learns from their past experience of movie adaptations, or getting other writers to create sequals of seminal works.

There's buzz about the names involved in the prequals, but I'm not sold, for one thing, I never watched enough Babylon 5 or read 100 bullets to feel they are 'modern day answers to Alan Moore' and two, people would get a buzz out of Neil Gaiman writing for these prequals even though Neil Gaiman's past efforts to fill Moore's shoes have been dismal and forgettable failures - see his run on Miracle Man (which Moore kind of wrapped up before he got there) or his 'Whatever happened to the caped crusader' special of Batman.

Neither are remarkable and I would contend if Gaiman can't do it, then probably even bigger names like Morrison or Miller can't do it, and let's face facts, Moore probably can't do it, which is presumably why he generally doesn't.

And that's the key. There's no real harm to doing these things, which is to say making money off assets you own. If they don't fly they don't fly, hopefully they make money and like Blues 2000 or Jaws 4, nobody talks about them in a decades time. Furthermore we are all familiar with that annoying quote 'A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.' but what I would suggest is that there is an undervaluing of NOT doing something going on. There is a lack of appreciation for the art of restraint.

You can keep adding paint to a canvas, but there is a decision an artist makes in when to stop. There are peaks and troughs in anythings lifespan, there is an art in knowing when to exit on a high. There is nothing particularly dispicable about somebody fighting their own inevitable decline, but there is something admirable about somebody who gracefully accepts that it is done and over.

Watchmen deserves to be retired, despite our nature that hungers for more that just isn't coming.

I think the Nerds know this, in their heart of hearts, they just can't stop themselves from reinforcing the producers/DC editors behaviour.