Zack has been working for some time on the long-languishing comic-to-film translation of the Citizen Kane of comic books, The Watchmen. Now I've been against these types of translations from the start. My feeling is that it's a perfectly good comic, people should just go read it. There's no need to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen it up.
Fortunately for me, out of the many people who tried, Terry Gilliam said it best, calling it "unfilmable," essentially guaranteeing that I won''t see it ruined. And let me tell you, when Terry Gilliam says something is unfilmable, I say you best listen. He knows a thing or two about difficult shoots. Anyway, every time I'd hear something new about Watchmen, I'd get uneasy, but would very quickly be comforted by the fact that yet another name has decided to agree with Terry and backed out.
The thing is, though, since Zack got involved, the backing out part hasn't happened. This had me very worried for a very long time. Then I saw 300, and remembered back to several years prior when I read Frank Miller's comic and deemed it unfilmable, and thanked my lucky stars no one would ever try to make it into a movie. Then I remembered back to when I scoffed at someone remaking Dawn of the Dead. "They're just throwing their money away," I said. "I won't go see that."
Well, in both those cases, Zack greatly surpassed my expectations. He didn't just make "passable" movies out of those two properties, he made really darn fine films. I've now dediced to "let go; let Zack" and trust that he knows what he's doing, and have actually begun to get a little excited about seeing The Watchmen on the big screen.
Zack is going to do it. There's a good chance it might be good.
If, like me, you found Grindhouse to be a bit lackluster in the "mocking a genre lovingly" department, then perhaps Hot Fuzz will be a bit more to your liking. I know it was to mine.
Hot Fuzz is excellent at both making fun of the Michael-Bay-dual-guns-diving-sideways-in-slow-motion genre of films, and actually being a great Michael-Bay-dual-guns-diving-sideways-in-slow-motion film.
Like with Shaun of the Dead, I went into Hot Fuzz completely sure I was going to like it. Like with Shaun, I didn't just like it, I loved it. Usually for me, expecting to love a movie is the most sure-fire way to ensure that I don't, so the fact that these two films held up to my lofty expectations really says something about their quality.
In short, best film I've seen all year. The only problem? Now I really want to watch Point Break and Bad Boys II.
Attached to the film was a trailer for 28 Weeks Later, which I had been planning to avoid due to its violation of my "no remakes, sequels, remakes of sequels, or sequels to remakes" policy. Unfortunately I'm going to have to consider modifying that policy somewhat, because Weeks looks really awesome.
My adherence to this policy has been on somewhat shaky grounds recently anyway, since Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead is one of my favorite films in a long, long time, remake policy notwithstanding. What I've heard Zack saying about where he wants to take his zombie world next has me pretty amped up, so I had considered changing my policy to "no remakes, sequels, remakes of sequels, sequels to remakes -- unless Zack Snyder is to blame," but with 28 Weeks Later on the horizon, that's not going to work either. I could make it "unless zombies are involved," but then some lunatic might let George Romero make another Land of the Dead and I'll just want to hurt someone.