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Tales From the Portland Screening

Yesterday, at 7 PM, Warner Bros. tested Zack Snyder’s Watchmen at the Regal Lloyd Center 10 Theater in Portland, Oregon. As luck would have it, one of this site’s moderators (let’s call him Curiosity) lived close by so we sent him in last night to see if he could get in.

I got to the theater an hour early and I didn't even need to cross the parking lot to know that something was wrong. The line was doubled up on itself and everyone in line had a little yellow slip that was quite obviously a pass of some kind. I asked around and found out that the passes had been handed out a week ago.

But hope was not lost. He knew that the fans who come to this site for information wouldn't appreciate it if he threw up his hands and went home, so we had already come up with a plan in case he wasn't able to get a seat. No, that plan didn’t involve C4, knockout spray or an elite team of ninjas.

We figured that if we couldn’t get in, we could at least get to the folks who were going to see the movie and let them know we would be interested in hearing what they thought. Now, we know these folks would have had to sign an NDA, but we figured that a minimal “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” wouldn’t rustle any WB legal feathers.

…I spent the bus trip writing the [WatchmenComicMovie.com] URL and the “hurm” e-mail address on index cards… people were taking them… so I kept writing up more. I thought it was kind of strange that people should take such blatant advertising willingly, but then it occurred to me: So many strangers are handing all these people so many forms and cards that I was clearly the only person in attendance who knew exactly which end was up… Sure enough, as the line wound down, more people finally started asking what the cards were for. Later still, people started declining them. This was when I knew that post-screening questioning probably wouldn't work.

It was at that point Curiosity figured he’d kill some time before the screening let out by grabbing dinner and then seeing a showing of Religilious at the same theater which would end right before the Watchmen screening ended. At 9:45 PM, exactly 2 hours and 45 minutes after the Watchmen movie screened, Curiosity headed to the theater where Watchmen was letting out — which also confirms the film’s current running time.

The door to the theater was guarded at all times by some of the biggest, most pissed-off looking guys I've ever seen in my life… Precisely on schedule, some guy came out of the theater. I offered him a card and he tried to ask what it was about. In our brief exchange, he confirmed that the movie just screened was, indeed, Watchmen.

Not thirty seconds later, one of the guards came over, grilled me quietly and kicked me out of the theater. He got one of my cards, so he knows the site I'm from.

Anyway, my past exchange with the moviegoer told me that I wouldn't get much. They weren't going to spill any beans when the guards were still in earshot and the ink on their NDAs had barely dried. Besides that, I had already been kicked out of the theater, so it was only a matter of time before they chased me off the premises altogether.

So, there you have it. We tried our best to get you some early audience opinions, but, at the theater, there was too much pressure on attendees to spill any beans. I’d like to personally thank Curiosity for all of the effort.

Now, if you were one of the lucky few who was in that theater and want to send this site your opinion, please feel free to do so. We’re not asking for spoilers or for you to break your NDA, but it would be great to hear anything you’re willing to share. Of course, you will be kept anonymous.

At this time, there have been rumors floating around some random forums stating that the ending has changed quite a bit from the one in the original comic series, and that has some fans, myself included, a little worried. Hopefully some credible source might come forward soon to help dispel or confirm those rumors. All I can say is, if we hear anything, we’ll let you know.

10.17.08 Source: WatchmenComicMovie.com

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