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Quint watches the new WATCHMEN footage at Comic-Con!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here fresh off of the WATCHMEN panel. My feet hurt. The press were corralled into the a little pen next to the stage, which sucked… the audio up there was distant and muted and we were standing in front of a small movie theater-sized screen… maybe 5 feet. But I’m sure a whole lot of people got turned away, so my bitching will be on the light side. The only thing I’m really pissed about is the security guard that decided to come into the pit and talk over the fucking footage, trying to move us CLOSER to the screen. Devin from CHUD just about got into a fist-fight with that dude… That was pretty awesome. Thankfully they played the footage a second time at the end of the panel, this time without the jackass security guy.

The panel had Malin Ackerman, Billy Crudup, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Goode, Zack Snyder and original Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons. The footage shown: No dialogue, but damn does it look impressive. We got the non-PG stuff… a bigger explosion that makes Doc Manhattan into big blue… which is awesome. It’s at once gory and not. It’s graphic, but not stomach-turning. You see the skin blown off, then the ribcage shows, then the organs go, leaving a screaming skeleton with one eyeball left (just as I remember it from the comic) before that is gone, too. We get Rorschach looking around the Comedian’s apartment, glimpses of his paraphernalia, newspaper clippings, photos… damn near every little detail you could want.

And Rorschach’s mask is awesome. Everything you could have wanted. Big spoiler moment: We see a medium shot of Nite Owl leaning in to kiss Silk Spectre as a nuclear warhead falls to the earth. It pushes in closer and closer as their lips almost touch. The instant they kiss the warhead falls, which we see between them. Then it cuts out to them kissing as a mushroom cloud rises in the distance, the concussion wave rushing towards the two. Damn nice.

We also see the drop of blood fall on the Comedian’s smiley face and the Comedian pushed through the window, which was glimpsed in the trailer, but we see him fall this time. We don’t see the impact, instead we follow his smiley face button, shifting focus from him falling in slow motion, arms flailing, to the button falling in slow motion. Speaking of the Comedian, we also see a couple of Comedian flashbacks, including the moment the photo is taken and he and Carla Gugino, playing the original Silk Spectre, share a moment that seems sweet on the surface, but not if you know what’s about to come up. Then the Comedian’s grin is fuckin’ creepy. We also get to see him slashed in Vietnam.

The most important thing about the footage was watching it that big I was really struck by how much the cinematography actually reminded me of the early ‘80s cinematography. While not in any way similar stylistically, the grain and depth of field really reminded me of BLADE RUNNER for some reason. I can’t wait to see this movie come together. There’s Snyder’s trademark stylization, but in a different light, done more practically. And the cast looks great together. The CG in the footage fit with the live action in a way that's not at all distracting. The panel wasn’t really filled with any great information, other than one person asking if there would be a DVD extra that compiled information and art from all the other almost-made adaptations from Paul Greengrass and Terry Gilliam. Snyder said he hadn’t thought of that, but it sounded cool.

But there you go… The WATCHMEN footage in a nutshell. What I could see of it, anyway… Got WOLFMAN coming up! Stay tuned! -Quint

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