Why is it that movies with all the potential and early buzz to be great always end up getting mixed reviews (the same thing happened with Australia, and I hope it doesn't happen with Watchmen as well).
Even though a handful of L.A. journalists have already seen the geek holy grail of the moment, Watchmen, reviews are still technically forbidden. Which is why the only information we've been getting about the film so far are wildly conflicting snippets of responses from people who submit anonymous reviews to movie blogs.
Ah, you've got to love embargoes. The first person to throw themselves into the fray was Matt Selman, a Simpsons writer who wrote at Time Magazine that the movie was "a loving, detail-rich, almost obsessive recreation of that universe. It had my heart pounding and head swimming. I barely slept that night."
Of course Selman, an admitted fanboy, was pretty much expected to fall in the love with the movie. Which prompted another anonymous Watchmen fan to write in to Hollywood Elsewhere that the movie is "a staggering failure [...] an empty, inert, meandering and, yes, boring 2 hours and 45 minutes. "
Uh oh. And the reports over there only got worse, with another viewer writing in that the movie "basically alternates between campy silliness and 2nd-rate comic book melodrama." The write-up is very detailed, and lays out some pretty convincing arguments why, despite being slavishly true to the novel, Zack Snyder could turn in an unsatisfying effort anyway.
Reviews are embargoed until opening day, which means it'll be a long two weeks of online buzz and word-of-mouth before we can finally figure out the verdict on this hugely anticipated film. Warner Bros. probably shouldn't be sweating, since these early negative reviews will do nothing to affect the rabid fans who show up on opening day. But if the movie really is as long and tedious as it seems, will the other audiences show up? And will our first big superhero movie of the year turn out to be a big bust?