Sunday, March 29, 2009

Howard the Duck Review

Rich Knight
111 Mins
No Rate
Starring: Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, Tim Robbins, and Chip Zien
Produced by: Gloria Katz and Ian Bryce
Written by: Willard Hyuck and Gloria Katz
Directed by: Willard Hyuck
Lucasfilm and Universal Pictures

The Hulk who? Spiderman, huh? X-Men, whazit? Before ANY of those illustrious Marvel characters ventured into major motion pictures territory, there was Howard the Duck, a VERY obscure (But actually pretty good) Marvel comics character adapted to the big screen to middling—and that’s putting it nicely—results. Love it or loathe it, the duck with the cigar in his beak is now out on DVD.

The Movie

3 ½ stars

Howard the Duck is not a good movie, and I don’t mean that in a good way either. Big Trouble in Little China and C.H.U.D., are good movies, even though most people who don’t understand the meaning of camp would probably just call them abortions in cinema. Howard the Duck, on the other hand, is just bad—you know, the kind of bad where even as a kid you thought it was pretty lame for a duck wearing a tie to play a guitar with his beak at the end.

Even so, I’m going to defend Howard the Duck, and not just because I want to be different from every other critic who has ever reviewed it over the past few decades or so. Howard the Duck, for all its corny faults, is a product of its time, and looking at it now in 2009, I think it represents a pretty good time capsule of what the 80s were generally like as a whole—loud, garish, and entirely into itself. The story alone is vintage 80s.

Howard, living on a planet much like Earth except everything has references to ducks on it (Playduck, Rolling Egg, the list goes on and on), gets pulled from his house by a weird ray beam and is brought down to Earth in a freak accident, which is good for planet Earth to have such an awesome duck now residing on it, right? Right, but the only problem is, this ray beam also manages to bring down a dark overlord that, similar to LoPan from Big Trouble in Little China can also shoot light from his eyes and mouth. Before said overlord (Who’s played by Jeffrey Jones, a familiar face in the 80s, probably most known as the bloodhound Dean of Students in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), starts lighting up and taking on a hideous voice though, we get to see the misadventures of Howard as he gets a rocker girlfriend (Played by Marty McFly’s mom, Lea Thompson), works at a sex sauna, and gets harrased by Tim Robbins (Yes, THAT Tim Robbins) who thinks Howard is the greatest discovery in science since the cure for Polio. In other words, this movie doesn’t make any sense, and I applaud it for not doing so.

The comic, which I’ve only read here or there, was always a little off center, and while I don’t think the movie comes anywhere NEAR representing that askewed sense of reality, I do approve of the effort put into it by the director, Willard Hyuck. And before you even ask it, no, George Lucas DIDN’T direct this movie, even though that’s a common misconception that he did. Instead, he just helped produce it, but that doesn’t mean his greasy handprints aren’t all over it, as the humor is VERY George Lucas, and when I say the humor is very George Lucas, I mean to say that it’s very corny.

The thing is, though, the humor in this film actually sometimes transcends being just George Lucas corny and actually falls into a territory where you just shake your head and say, “God, what were they THINKING back then?” In one such “God, what were they thinking,” moment, Howard is in bed with a woman (Yes), and when she rubs his fluffy chest, the hair on top of his head stands on end like he’s getting an erection. Okay, wait, what? Isn’t this supposed to be a children’s movie? Only in the 80s, man, only in the 80s. In another scene early on in the picture, Howard is flying out of his house and he passes through the bathroom of a female duck taking a bath with her bare breasts exposed (!) Only in the 80s, man, only in the 80s. Granted, George Lucas wouldn’t be quite as risqué today as he was back then when he funded a movie like this. But really, a strangely obnoxious but harmless character like Howard the Duck is not too far off from a blantantly obnoxious and harmless character like Jar Jar Binks, but I digress.

In all honesty though, the reason I’m giving Howard the Duck a better than average score is because I actually LIKE the movie, and I like it BECAUSE it’s so bad. I mean, in the end, sure, I can talk about how it’s “like a time capsule” to my childhood, or how the music isn’t all that bad (How-ard, the Duck! Hey, it’s catchy!), or some bullcrap like that. In the end, though, I just can’t hide the fact that deep down inside, I actually LIKE Howard’s story of landing on Earth, getting the babe, and blowing up an overlord or two. Yes, don’t get me wrong, Howard the Duck IS a bad movie, and not just bad in a John Waters’ campy kind of way, but bad in a, Did I really just buy this on DVD? kind of way. All the same, I still like it, I still watched it, and I’ll still watch it over again when nobody else is looking. You got a problem with that, Mack? Well if you do, then you can take it up with the hero that quacks. (Heh, heh, heh, I just made a funny. Whoops, wrong 80s movie).

The Disc

1 Star

If special features are supposed to ADD to a movie once it’s released on DVD, then why does it feel like the special features on this particular disc actually detract from it instead? Without a commentary or any sort of deleted scenes added in of Howard picking up a hooker or anything like that, we’re left with its creators talking about how much they liked the movie at the time and how it was so hard to make, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Alright already, I get it, you worked hard and it was a flop, so what? Honestly, though, what I really want to hear is Tim Robbins talking about how he made all those accurate duck noises, and also if he regrets doing Mystic River over the long gestating, Howard the Duck 2: The Quack is Back (You know I’m joking, right?). Instead, we get a few bland special features, each one more boring than the last.

On “A Look Back at Howard the Duck,” director Willard Huyck and his screenwriter wife Gloria Katz (Who speaks as if she has something stuck up her nose all the time), discuss how the movie was made, and also how very, very hopeful they were back then that the movie would be a success—Poor, silly, misguided fools. The actor who played Howard also makes an appearance, discussing how he replaced a twelve year old for the role and how it was really tough to see out of that blasted duck costume (He could only see when he opened his mouth. Fascinating). Lea Thompson (Still looking hot) also discusses her role as Howard’s girlfriend in the film, and Jeffrey Jones (Still looking evil), talks about how he really liked his role. Well, I did, too, Mr. Jones, I did, too.

“Releasing the Duck,” talks about how the picture was a complete bomb when it originally came out, but has since been elevated to cult status. And the “Archival featurettes,” which include news clips, stunts, special effects, and music featurettes, leaves much to be desired since it all just seems slapped on to fill some sort of special features quota. I mean, there isn’t even a little booklet or scene select leaflet inside the actual DVD case, meaning you get the disc and nothing else. What the hell is up with that? For a fan willing to forgive a lot of the film’s faults, I think the biggest fault here is that the special features are just so paltry (Notice I avoided the pun and didn’t write, “poultry”). Where are the rub-on tattoos, the sing-along lyrics, the not for resale doll that should come along with the package? If you really want to be freaking camp, people, you have to go all out! Don’t say something is special edition if the only other special feature on the disc is the obligatory trailer for the film, which rounds out the rest of the features on this disc.

Honestly, George Lucas really should be stepping up to bat for this one since he had such a big stake in it at the time. I mean, it even says his name above the title, George Lucas presents Howard the Duck, similar to all those recent crumbum films that Quinton Tarantino keeps endorsing. Well, look, guys, if you supported the film when you thought it was going to be a success, then you should equally stand behind it when it gets panned by all the critics. Because really, besides Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and American Graffiti, what else is Lucas known for? THX1138? Um, Star Wars? Exactly! George Lucas hasn’t done anything else worthwhile, so he should at least be able to say a word or two about the movie that quite possibly almost ended his career in Hollywood.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

MadWorld Review

Let me just start this off by saying that MadWorld is mad fun. I mean, sure, you’ve played games like this before (Beat people up, eat floating food to heal yourself, fight end boss, repeat) but never quite like this, which brings me to the question—did Nintendo REALLY allow this game to be made on their, “Ooh, it’s Grandma’s turn now,” console? Are you serious? We’re talking about the same Nintendo, right? The one that once made the blood look like gray guck in the original Mortal Kombat for the SNES? We’re talking about that Nintendo, right? Because MadWorld is, without a doubt, THE most violent and vulgar video game I have ever played in my entire life, and I applaud Nintendo for being ballsy enough to allow their former rival, Sega, to make a game like this on their family friendly system, because as I said before, you’ve never played a game quite like this.

First off, though, let me get my gripes out of the way first, as there’s so much to like about this game that I don’t want to bog down my review with where it faultered. My first complaint is that the storyline really sucks, even though you KNOW Sega tried really hard to make all this carnage make sense. You take on the role of Jack, a mechanic with a chainsaw on his arm, who is much more than he appears to be. He enters a televised competition called Death Watch—think Rockstar's Manhunt but played for laughs and full of action—where your rewards sky rocket the more creative you are with the way you kill people. Makes sense, right? But then, the story throws in a political plot and starts talking about history always having some variation of Death Watch, and yada yada yada, you get my drift. It’s too overwrought for its own good. I mean, really, if this is supposed to be an arcade style action game, then keep it like that, Sega. Back in the day, you didn’t need a story for Altered Beast. All you needed was Zeus to say, “Wise fwom your gwave,” and you were off kicking zombie ass and not asking questions about it. MadWorld could have been just as simple, as the action speaks for itself, but it isn’t, and that’s a problem that I have with this game, a big one.
Aside from the story, though, the other thing that bothers me about this game is the wonky camera, which might just make you barf if you’re not careful. It works just fine when you’re out in open spaces, but when you get into some of those close call boss battles, you’re sometimes running in circles around them and you don’t even know it. The camera spins around ridiculously and you’re only the dizzier for it.

But that’s where my complaints end, as the rest of the game is better than I could have ever hoped for. What’s great about MadWorld is that aside from the storyline and camera, it’s the complete package, really. You’ve already seen the still screens online, but it’s not until you’ve seen this game in motion that it really feels like the graphic novel Sin City brought to life. I’ll admit that it’s sometimes difficult to see certain objects you need to pick up with the monochronistic tones, but once you start letting the blood fly, the bright red splotches will clear up that problem immediately. Also of note is the music, which is to die for (No pun intended…okay, you’re right, it was intended). Not since Street Fighter III have I heard rap music used so effectively. Much like the game itself, it’s light-hearted and silly, with lines like, “Jack is a psycho maniac,” and other oddball lyrics accompanying the varied stages, that range from a train station (You already know what to do, I’m sure, when the trains start flying by) to a haunted villa, with zombies and everything that you have to cut in two to make sure they don’t come back to life.
Now, this would get old REAL fast if not for the wicked combo point system, where your score skyrockets the more creative you are with your fatalities. Chainsaw a ninja in half? Yeah, that’s kinda cool. Drop a vase on a ninja’s head, skewer him with a pole, punch him a few times for good measure, and then throw him into a deep fryer to melt to death? Much better! This is made even more fun though with the Wii-Mote/Nunchuk combination, where you’re forced to do God of War-esque button tap scenerios, but with surprisingly bitchin’ results. Instead of just tapping, A, B, Z, and then A again, to stab somebody in the face, you’re forced to spin the Wii-mote around, raise it up and down, shake it left and right, and a lot of other weird motions to rip your foes in half, throw them into fans, and even catapault them into the moon (with blood splattering results). You would think that this would get repetitive fast but you’d be wrong.

I also really like the split-screen multi-player mode, too. It’s simple, and it’s fun. And while you’re not going to be playing it until the end of time, it’s still a nice diversion from the game, which is pretty darn short to boot, I might add. Don’t worry though, it’s short for a reason. It’s to keep it from getting boring.

The final touch though definitely comes from the play-by-play commentary by Bender (Well, not REALLY Bender, but John DiMaggio, the guy who voices him) from Futurama, and the improv comedian, Greg Propos, who both spew the most vulgar lines in the history of video games. They never let up in their comments, which never steer off the course to being annoying and always stay on the road to being hilarious. It really adds that added bonus to an already stellar title.

MadWorld isn’t perfect, and I think a sequel for it would be a damn shame, as the gimmick could only really work once. All the same, it’s a damn great game and a must-own title if you own a Wii and are mature enough to play it. It’s funny, it’s bloody, and it’s freaking hilarious. What else could you want from a Wii title? And yes, I checked the box twice, and this really IS a Nintnedo game. Who knew? I didn’t know they had it in them.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

UK Trying to Connect Everything Bad in This World With Video Games

The UK is nuts. I mean, of course we already knew that already—Ireland and Great Britain are pretty much tied for most WTF eccentricities in Europe (And let’s not even get STARTED with Wales). But now they’ve taken it too far with their Change4Life Campaign, which is trying to link video games with alcoholism, drug abuse, and even an early death. Um, sorry to tell you this, UK, but I think Ireland has a better chance of suffering another potato famine than Tiny Tommy taking drugs just because he played Haze just the other day.

The only problem is, this campaign is run by some pretty respectable committies, such as the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research and Diabetes UK. So in other words, this isn’t just showing some cowboy singing with a tube in his throat because of lung cancer, these are some pretty heavy hitters. And they’re connecting video games to a pretty relevant issue that really can’t be refuted—sitting around and doing nothing but playing video games all day can cause childhood obesitiy, which really IS a problem in this world today.

That’s not to say that the gaming community isn’t up arms against these ads. Sega, Atari, and other companies are pretty irate about it, which shows a healthy looking boy just sitting around in a chair, doing “nothing.” And Sony might even take legal action against the ad agency as the boy in the picture looks like he’s holding a PLAYSTATION controller. I guess a Wii-Mote wouldn’t have been as effective, eh? What with all that controller swinging, tennis action going on at Grandma’s.

But what do you think? If you’re angry about the ad and want to complain, go here: If you want to talk about it, the comment box is below.

Soccer Player and Mother Are On the Move To Get Youth Soccer Program Off the Ground

The final article will be MUCH shorter, my editor assures me. Phew, that's a relief. I'll post the link when it's finally on the site.

West Morris Mendham High School Sophomore and soccer player, Ben Saliterman, can add one more bullet to his list of titles pretty soon—coach and organizer for an upstart soccer program for kids with disabilities.

“I wanted to start it [the program] up because I wanted to give back to kids who never had a chance to play soccer with others.”

The program in question is called TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer), which has been a national program since 1991.

TOPSoccer, which is under the umbrella of programs from the non-profit and educational organization, US Youth Soccer, is a community based program that is designed to meet the needs of children with physical and/or mental disabilities.

“I thought it was a good idea because there wasn’t a program like it in Mendham,” says Ben.

That’s not to say that TOPSoccer doesn’t exist in the state of New Jersey. It just doesn’t exist here.

“I was surprised that there weren’t more [soccer] clubs around here,” says Ben’s mother, Megan Saliterman, who originally informed Ben about TOPSoccer a few months ago after talking about it to a friend of hers in Connecticut, where they originally lived before moving up to New Jersey three years ago, “[But] If this [starting up TOPSoccer in the area] was easy to do in Morris County, it would have already been done by now.”

Currently, Ben and his mother are splitting responsibilities to get this program on the road. Ben is currently reaching out to get volunteers, as every child on the team, ranging from 7-13, will need a buddy to help them out.

“I asked the varsity coach of Mendham soccer to forward it [the call for volunteers] to others,” says Ben, “and I already have five or six people interested in helping.”

His other responsibility is acquiring donations, which he will be doing the old fashion way—going door to door.

“Ben’s going to be knocking on doors at soccer shops, “Megan says on how Ben will receive the funds, “and I’ll be going with him.”

Megan’s job is to get the actual players themselves for the team. She’s been going through many different avenues to get the word out on the street.

“I emailed the rec department, special services and the superintendent,” Megan says of her outreach to get players, which started in the Mendham, Chester, and Long Valley areas and has since branched off to areas like Morristown and beyond. “Our goal is to get 15 to 20 kids.”

Currently, the mother and son team have five.

“We’re looking to get kids who would like to play soccer on a Saturday morning for six weeks,” says Megan.

Getting the actual number of kids is crucial though as there’s a time frame as to when they can get this going, as the soccer season is fast approaching.

“Spring is almost here,” says Ben, who will be coaching the clinical team with his junior coaching license, “and [the season] starts up in late April or May.”

Not only that, but without knowing what disabilities some of these kids might come with, they also don’t have a definite field.

“We haven’t gotten any official backing from West Morris Soccer Club,” says Megan, “although they are very interested in the program and have offered to find us available field space.”

Still, outside of an actual field and the fifteen other players needed to start the team, they’re still also missing one other key component.

“With the kids with disabilities, if one of them ever collapses, they’d need medical help,” Ben says, “[So] we need a medical advisor or a marshal.”

Even with all of these missing pieces, though, Megan is still assured that it will come together in the end.

“I’m highly confident it will work,” says Megan.

If you are interested in helping out or might know a disabled child who would be interested in the program, please contact Megan at or call her at (973) 543-0304

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Former Morris County Biker Helps Build Houses For The Needy

The final piece will be a bit more edited (I'll post the link when the article is finally published)

A common theme with some young people getting out of college is helping those less fortunate than themselves. Some choose to teach in an urban environment, while others, such as former Mendham resident, Ben Brumbaugh, choose a slightly different route—such as biking cross country for two and a half months in the intention of providing a house for a family.

“I wanted to do something [like this] that I can’t do when I’m older and have other commitments like a family,” says Brumbaugh, who just recently graduated from Springfield College.

This is all part of his work as a Trip Leader for the non-profit organization, Build & Bike, which raises money for affordable housing through cross cycling trips.

“I love traveling and always wanted to get more involved in biking,” Brumbaugh says.

Brumbaugh, who became an employee for Build & Bike in the middle of November, had to go through multiple interviews to be offered the Trip Leader position, as there are only three people who are actually on the staff.

“They run a tight ship with the budget,” Brumbaugh says.

The rest of the people involved are the 30 or so young riders themselves who sign up with the organization and individually raise $4000 for their trip, half of which goes to their own expenses, while the rest of the money goes towards the voyage itself.

“Two thousand dollars goes to expenses on the side like food,” Brumbaugh says.

And a lot of food is needed for a trip like this.

Snaking across the country on an indirect route, starting from Charleston, South Carolina and ending in Santa Cruz, California, this 4037 mile behemoth of a trek that Brumbaugh helped arranged is no joke, which is why he’s hired a personal trainer to help him get prepared for it.

“[Besides Bike & Build, I also] ref games for the YMCA,” Brumbaugh says, who gets a 50% discount as an employee there for a personal trainer, who he says he “meet(s) with once a month,” to work out a routine.

“I take spinning classes,” Brumbaugh says.

The second part of Bike & Build’s mission though is the actual building of a house itself, and along the way of their trip, Brumbaugh and company will team up with Habitat for Humanity in Colorado Springs for a Blitz Build. A Blitz Build is when Bike & Build helps to build a house for a day that another organization has already been working on prior to their arrival.

“[I’ve worked with Bike & Build in the past] but have no professional carpentry skills,” Brumbaugh says.

That’s not to say that he’s totally lost when it comes to that part of his mission.

“My dad works for Habitat for Humanity in Morris County,” Brumbaugh says, which was what first made him aware of the rewarding benefits of building affordable houses for people in need, “That’s why I’m willing to give eight months to the cause.”

Brumbaugh is currently at $2800 for his $4000 total. To sponsor him or any other rider, go to the Bike & Build website and click on the donate button at:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Street Fighter IV Review

Find the article on the website it was posted on here:

Let’s get this out the way first. I love Street Fighter. I loved it back when it was called Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (Though, don’t get me started on how much I hate the first Street Fighter) and I loved the series all the way up to Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. But I DON’T love Street Fighter IV. I like it because, you know, it’s fun and all and definitely has its moments, but I don’t love it. And that’s because, at least initially, it just doesn’t FEEL like Street Fighter, if you know what I mean. And if you don’t, then I’ll explain.

I know every publication under the Mohegan Sun is saying that the transition from 2-D to 3-D was seamless for Street Fighter, but this is just not the case. Though the game play is still in regular old 2-D, the new 3-D models, which don’t look NEARLY as good in motion as they do on the web, make the controls feel a little wonky at first. Jumping in to attack—which is KEY to playing Street Fighter in my opinion—just doesn’t feel right in this game. I don’t know what it is, but the animation for flipping either feels too fast or too slow, but never just right, which is a problem to say the very least.

That’s not to say that the game feels broken, though. It just takes some time to get used to since it’s SO different from what you’ve played in the past, so don’t think you can just pick it up and play it like you would any other Street Fighter game in the series. Let’s put it this way—it’s not as stiff as say, Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha, but it’s also not as fluid as Street Fighter 3. If anything, it’s somewhere in between those two and it took me at least two hours before I finally got the hang of it. But let me tell you, when I DID finally get the hang of it, then I REALLY started to have some fun. But I’m not there just yet, so hold on.

The characters also seem way too big for the screen sometimes, making it a little difficult to move around in that small proximity. It makes me wish that the stages were more expansive. And the new Focus Meter, which I’ll admit, is enjoyable once you get the hang of it, still doesn’t feel as intuitive as the parry system in Street Fighter 3, though it serves its purpose, I guess. Oh, and kudos to Capcom for actually making a final boss so annoyingly difficult (Fight him on Easy mode, because he will sap your soul on Medium) that it deprives the game of any fun once you fight him. It took me a whole hour to beat him with Zangeif. Sheesh, Capcom, I know you like to make your bosses tough and all, but man oh man, Seth is one difficult bastard.

Still with me? Good, because there IS a lot I like about Street Fighter IV. The game, while it looks better on paper, still gives the old series a new gloss and makes it feel almost new again, sort of like what it felt like to play The World Warrior for the very first time. And the animations are hilarious, with characters sticking out their tongues and their eyes bulging out their faces whenever they receive their final coup-de-grace. Again, the controls aren’t perfect (Even though my good friend says they are), but they’re good enough to satisfy the means.

Gameplay wise, though, it’s vintage Street Fighter. Quarter circle, punch still unleash hadoukens, and holding back for two seconds, pushing forward and pressing punch still shoots out sonic booms, so if you’ve played any Street Fighter in the past, then you’ve played this one, too, as there’s nothing too dramatically different in the overall play department. As mentioned earlier, the focus attacks add a bit more strategy to the game, and the Ultra Combos (Uh, Capcom, Rare is calling. They say they want words back), are basically just elaborate supers that get bigger and stronger the closer you get to losing. They’re easy to use and fun, so I can’t complain about that.

For the most part, I also like the new characters, too. Well, at least half of them, anyway. Abel, a Frenchman who likes to roll around a lot, offers enough newness to the series to make him feel fresh, and Crimson Viper has enough juggles to satisfy even the haughtiest of combo fans. But Rufus, a fat, gut jiggling joke character, and El Fuerte, a luche libre with a frying pan are no good. Not at all, as Rufus is boring as all get out, and El Fuerte, while fun to watch, is a mess to control, as he runs all over the place. I’d work on using him more but he’s just no fun to use. Luckily though, the fan favorites are still fun to play as, and since all of them are back (Save for DeeJay and T. Hawk, who I hear may be downloadable soon), you’re likely to find at least a few players you can love and dominate with. Guile is still a blast to use, but the 3-D models kind of hurt my other favorite, Dalsim, who feels a bit out of place here. The story mode is an absolute disaster (This is as lame as it gets) but at least you get a lot of unlockables when you beat the game, as is the trend with these new fighters coming to the home consoles these days.

So, at this point, it probably seems like I’m on the fence with this game, but that’s where you’re wrong, because as with all Street Fighter’s, it’s never really about playing alone, but rather, playing against others, and that’s where Street Fighter IV really shines. Battling against somebody who actually knows how to use the focus attacks (Hitting the medium punch and kick at the same time) is a whole lot of fun when you learn to anticpate each other’s moves and maneuver off of them. And the game somehow feels much looser and more in tune to what it used feel like with the old games when you play against a human competitor. Plus with online play, you never have to worry that you won’t have somebody to play with, as there’s ALWAYS somebody out there just itching to kick your butt (Just make sure you turn off the feature for people to play against you while you’re in Arcade mode or you’re going to be pretty upset when you’re trying to unlock Dan and keep getting offers to vs somebody).

Overall, as I mentioned earlier, I LIKE this game, but I definitely don’t love it. But if you’re itching to play a Street Fighter game, you could do a hell of a lot worse than Street Fighter IV.

Four out of Five Stars

The Watchmen ship has already sailed, so where’s The Sandman movie, already?

I bet you can’t wait for that Watchmen movie. It’s got all the right ingredients—that killer trailer, “visionary” director, Zack Snyder, and the prospects of finally being filmable even though it’s been called un-filmable for years. So in other words, it’s a really big deal, right? Well, yeah, but you know what would be even better? An adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series, which spans eleven whole books, making Alan Moore’s opus look like a short story in comparison.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I WILL see the Watchmen movie. How can I not? It’s practically The Dark Knight of 2009. But what I’m saying is this: The Watchmen, as grand as it is, doesn’t even come close to the epic scale of the dream lord, Morpheus’ tale as he deals with complex issues like what it means to dream, and what it means to live within those dreams. All the while, he’s also dealing with his dysfunctional family as they go about their merry little ways embodying death, destruction, and other natural occurrences that begin with the letter D.

If anything, The Sandman, with its complex theories of existence would be the real un-filmable picture, right? But let’s look even deeper. The story for The Watchmen is dated. Taking place in an alternate universe in the 80’s where the U.S. actually won Vietnam, it works as a good period piece, but doesn’t address current day issues. I know Snyder wanted to stay as close to the text as possible, but the story of Russia edging closer to a nuclear scenario just doesn’t seem as viable today when we’re dealing with a conflict in the very real Iraq.

On the flipside, though, The Sandman has a timeless quality to it and can be filmed in any era, so why not this one while it’s still fresh in the public mind? The Watchmen came out in the 1980s and it belongs there, but Sandman lived most of its life through the 90s and it’s still quite relevant. Plus, Gaiman would be involved in the project, leading to a pretty close adaptation, while Moore’s lack of interest in The Watchmen movie is going to lead to some pretty radical changes, namely in the ending. So come on, Hollywood, you’re sleeping on a real goldmine here! Wake up and bring The Sandman to the masses. That Watchmen ship as already sailed.