3.09.2009

the long road to watchmen


At last the curse has finally been broken. I am no longer broadcasting to you live from the moving confines of a bus, but rather in the antiseptic gray walls of knowledge and forgetfulness I’d rather call the shifting zones, borrowing from neil gaiman’s concept he used to represent that space between the dreaming and the waking worlds, in his sandman series of comic books; in a way, this is a space where I am awake yet still has the feel of something out of the twilight zone—because witches issue out orders on a whim, as if ordering dishes from a restaurant menu; and the gentle person that I am is relegated to the kitchen, slaving it out, lest the hag throw tantrums in the dining table. Hehehe.

You might be wondering what did I do with my idle time at the bus yesterday; a four-hour drive is counter-productive, if you’ll just sit idly and watch houses and trees go by outside your window. Well yesterday was different. For the first 30 minutes or so, I was seated at manong driver’s right side, looking at the world passing by in 180 degrees. Yes, I exchanged the backseat for the frontseat? Ahehehehe. The bus was jampacked with passengers, and I was lucky enough to be offered a seat by kuya konduktor, his seat, beside the mechanized/pressurized door that swings open when letting in passengers. If not for that kind act, I would have ended sitting on a monoblock seat along the aisle, at the mercy of sudden stops that will definitely send me gliding across, loosing poise. Kuya conductor took the improvised seat between manong driver and me; pointing to this and to that building; stating why the local malls in Urdaneta does so much better with their finances than the sooo far away SM Rosales—why, that mall looks more like a museum than a mall, as mall goers come in trickles compared to the downpour of people that ravaged me last Saturday at Magicmall; the mall in urdaneta I went to, looking for ingredients for my spaghetti (see related story in the preceeding blog entry). After a few more kilometers, kuya konduktor began to doze off. I would’av found it funny, seeing a bus conductor dozing off beside the driver, as it is his implied responsibility to keep manong driver in full grasp of his senses and faculties while driving us safely to our destinations; well, well, well, I would’av found that funny if I didn’t feel the same—slipping out of consciousness into a blissful nap, headlining a speeding bus. Afraid! Hehe. Thankfully, my stint with manong driver and kuya konduktor didn’t last long enough, as a passenger alighted somewhere in Gerona; a smooth-sailing ride from then on.

The temptation of bringing out gael, to type away oblivious of other passengers was there, but what deterred me from doing such, was my placement—I wasn’t lucky enough to get a window seat. Being in one would allow me a more private setting while typing my thoughts; and it minimizes gael from being seen by other passengers that, for all we know, are members of salisi gang. Hehehe. it’s a good thing that aside from gael, I managed to bring my copy of alan moore’s watchmen, the comicbook that already has a live action counterpart being shown in moviehouses. I bought my copy for almost a year now. You might be wondering why oh why, am I still reading the damn thing when I should be finished by now, given that its almost a year already since I bought it. well, there are factors to consider, dear reader. First and foremost, you should be acquainted with the gentle reading pattern. Gentle reads gently. Oh-so gently, in fact, that he likes chewing the words oh-so-delicately, complete with facial expressions, when playing out scenes in his head while reading. Secondly, although a comicbook, watchmen reads like a novel. A very detailed one at that. I love stories, don’t get me wrong; but loving them and being a fast reader do not come hand-in hand, especially in my case. The very first novel I read back in college, Stephen king’s “needful things”, took me a whopping six months to finish hehehe. though that might be the case, it didn’t stop me from gobbling up volumes and volumes of anne rice and clive barker novels afterwards; of course I finished all of them in my own sweet time, no rush. And I mean, no rush at all. Hehehe.

now that work eats up most of my waking time, I rarely find time to read a good book anymore. Whereas before, there was only the plot to be considered when selecting a good read, a good read for me now includes the length of the material—something that won’t eat up all of my free time. If one is familiar with mark haddon’s “curious incident with the dog in the night-time”, I have that novel exactly in mind.

And so, after putting down the book for more than six months now, piqued by the stunning movie posters of doctor manhattan, rorsharch, ozymandias, night owl, the comedian and ms. Jupiter, I picked up the book once more and decided to read exactly where I left off months ago. the occasional swerving and potholes in the road did not pose any problem as I found myself plunging right into the heat of things; kicking my somewhat rusting literary legs to action. Knowing that its already in the cinemas, I made a mental note to put off watching the movie until I finish the comicbook, lest it spoils everything. We all know how movie adaptations do not quite catch the essence of the original. At my reading pace though, watching it at a later time might entail me looking for a dvd copy of the movie, as my pace will definitely not keep up with the movie’s run in the cinema. This is gonna be the first time I won’t elect to just watch the movie version; discarding the original for the live action—I usually do that to save time. My principle being, it (the movie) has already outrun me with the text, might as well just catch it like the rest, popcorn in hand. I did that with all the harry potter films and I lived. I’m still here. Hehehe. Watchmen is a special case though. At the start, I already knew I had something extraordinary in hand. Sure, the events depicted in the comicbook are already outdated but you know deep in your gut that the storytelling is superb. As I say, the comicbook scenes unfold like a novel, character development, clever plotline and deep philosophizing, especially from rorsharch’s point of view, make it a complete package. And so I read. I read til the byahilo took the best of me and I dozed off again.

It was around six in the afternoon when I woke up to find shattershards and eyvicat texting me that they were at robinson’s galleria, hanging out after watching a uaap volleyball game somewhere in san juan.

Being that its nearing dinnertime already, I asked them if they wanna meet for dinner. Shattershards texted me their exact whereabouts, and I proceed to walk the long walk toward galleria from the ortigas mrt station. Arriving at iceberg’s at the moviehouse level of the mall, I saw the two of them hangin out; at the table, two plates already lay empty—well, well, well. They told me to hurry up ordering, as we still have to try out cerealicious, a novelty food shop near the movie houses. Yum! Foodtrip? The trio will always end up in one, as statistics of previous meet-ups will show. Hehehe. As I was finishing up the chilidog sandwich I ordered, they told me that the bulldog was itching to watch the watchmen and actually requested for a meet-up at greenbelt cinemas in Makati before my arrival. they were also texting with starfish, who, like me, also just arrived from the province. The resolve I had at the bus of not too long ago started melting at the thought that I’d be left out of the loop while the four of them cap the weekend watching something that is at the top of must-watch movies for comic book aficionados. Slowly that strong resolve turned to pulpy goo as I giddily rode the taxi goin to greenbelt to meet with the bulldog.

Upon arriving at the cinemas and after a few calls made, the initiator turned out unable to see his project through. The bulldog was apparently still in a meeting at nearby shangrila hotel, not knowing when it will finish. Starfish also dropped off from the list at the last minute. and so the list was down to three once more. We didn’t mind. We were used to walking on Sundays, the three of us, just coming out of a gimik, walking the length of ayala avenue nearing midnight; before eventually parting ways. Somehow it has become a ritual for us. a ritual that made our bond all the more sweeter.

We entered the movies not expecting anything. We came out loving every moment of it—every scene carefully planned, like laying-out comic panels; every action sequence fleshed out, so that the movie came out a little bit fiercer than the original. I love it that the plot remained the same; that the circumstances depicted—the impending war in afghanistan, the nuclear threat from Russia, the political figures—were all present. If any noticeable modifications were made, they were done on the costumes to make 'em more appealing to the audience with their modern sensibilities. i mean, who would actually scour the streets wearing a purple tunic and a golden headband? hehehe. I wasn’t disappointed at all. And unlike other book-movie tie-ins, having watched this particular movie, I’m very much itching to finish the book, then look for that kick-ass soundtrack later. Watchmen rocks, watchmen rocks.

4 comments:

Herbs D. said...

more like a soft porn when you ask me hahah. it's okay. the storyline, and script.

warshock is just really entertaining. and the blue 'thing' danglish was just really....hahaha

a good movie indeed.

ize water said...

haven't seen the movie either. was supposed to watch watchmen (he-he) last Saturday, kaya lang napagastos sa pagiging shopaholic.

eniwey, glad to know that I'm not alone in the slow-reading department, although I finished the entire Twilight series within a week, which is a special case. if you don't have a stack of unwatched dvd movies at home, then you're in a better state than I am. :)

try not to wake gael in a moving vehicle - it's not very good for his hard drive. also, exposing him might make your seatmate in the bus very uncomfortable. *wink* *wink*

Mr. Scheez said...

I can't use/type on my laptop when riding a bus or any vehicle. It makes me dizzy.

i'm a narnian said...

i haven't read the graphic novel but my friend insists on me reading it. Though he still hasn't seen the movie, he knows the parts that were taken out!

I saw it last Friday. I wasn't disappointed but I was really tired from a very long day that I fell asleep during the movie. I'm sure I didn't miss any important part, I think. hahahaha