Tuesday, March 10, 2009

HBO To The Rescue?

Matt's post on Watchmen (which references Spencer's post) concludes thusly:

All-in-all, I’m torn between immense admiration for the film and regret that it was done as a movie at all. In retrospect, I kind of wish we’d instead gotten a 12 part HBO maxi-series that was really uncompromising and didn’t leave anything out.
As things like Lost and the reboot of Battlestar Galactica proves, television has become the preferred medium for intricately plotted, richly detailed entertainments. And HBO has successfuly shepherded two of the best television series of all time - The Sopranos and The Wire - from start to finish, with such loving care and genuine excitement for the richness of the storytelling that both series were stuffed to bursting with geniunely exciting characters and subplot and diversion. I'm sure Watchmen isn't the first read that Matt's imagined faring the best in the hands of an HBO, willing to take the time and stake the space to get the story right.

Wish fulfillment aside, I think that what Zack Snyder was able to do with Watchmen in under three hours was proof of concept enough for a feature film vision. I mean, I can see what Matt is saying, but compare Watchmen to a REALLY missed opportunity, like the recent film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, which was cast so perfectly (Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, Sam Rockwell) and yet had such complete hash made out of the plot (and which never made good, fun use of the titular Guide).

That's a movie that should have been a mini-series.

1 comment:

Gene Ha said...

"The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy....That's a movie that should have been a mini-series."

That's a bit like saying the Bible should be a book. Hitchhiker's started as a BBC radio serial and eventually a BBC TV series. BBC shows are, in US terms, mini-series and sequel mini-series.

The radio show remains pitch perfect. The TV show could use a new production: many of the ideas that were elegant on radio (a character with two heads, or infinite penguins on a Brighton beach) became a hash visually.