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First 22 Minutes of Watchmen

For those of you who are not in the know, Butt-Numb-a-Thon (also known as BNAT) is an annual film marathon held every December since 1999. It is hosted by Harry Knowles of the Ain’t it Cool News Web site in celebration of his birthday. This mini-festival shows 24 hours of vintage films as well as premieres.

Well, this year the first 22 minutes of the Watchmen movie was screened at the event, and none other than Jackie Earle Haley, who plays Rorschach in the film was there to introduce the clip.

Now, most of this footage has been seen before during the Watchmen “World Tour” press event that hit New York in October, but there were a few new scense that had never been previewed in their entirety before.

The new scenes included Rorschach rappelling up and into The Comedian’s apartment via grappling gun and his discover of the retired crimefighter’s costume and weapons cache; Dan’s visit to Hollis Mason’s; Dan encountering Rorschach eating beans in his kitchen after breaking into his apartment and ending with Rorschach’s “You quit” line to Dan.

Reports of what was seen have been overwhelmingly positive and all commenting on how the new scenes show that this is not a typical Zack Snyder action film, and something with a lot more cinematic gravitas than the visceral “This is Sparta!”

Rodney Perkins from TwitchFilm.net, who attended this year’s BNAT, had this to say about the look of the film in the 22 minutes of footage that was shown:

The complex mix of effects and sets featured in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner immediately come to mind. This approach always grounds the action and performances, thus enhancing the believability of the narrative... Snyder seems to have made the best possible use of the source material... if the entire film locks together like these sequences, Watchmen will be worth every ounce of hype that precedes it.

AICN’s own Nordling shared similar sentiments when he explained:

...if I was a little worried before I'm not at all now, squid or no squid. This felt very much like Moore's and Gibbon's WATCHMEN with chunks of dialogue taken directly from the book.

Devin Faraci from CHUD.com, who in my opinion understands Watchmen more than any other entertainment site owner (myself excluded), said it best:

It will look and feel like a real movie. That's a weird thing to say, but there are lots of people out there who... are jumping to the conclusion that Zack Snyder has made a Watchmen filled with speed ramping and flashy money shots. From what I've seen this isn't even remotely true at all. The footage is stylish... but it looked more like a modern take on a noir film than anything else... Snyder allows his takes to be long, eschewing a quick cut style that many seem to think would rule the day in this film. The 22 minutes I saw didn't feel like an action film at all.

Not an action film? This is what director Zack Snyder has been saying for a long time, but many fans just wouldn’t believe him. Maybe after these reports his stock will rise a little with the die-hard fans who have been some of his harshest critics. Either way, fans will definitely be getting a Watchmen film in March they will likely never forget.

12.16.08 Source: TwitchFilm.net, AintItCool.com, CHUD.com

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