While Watchmen delivered a robust opening of about $55.7 million in North America, it came in lower than expectations--and much lower than Snyder's last film, the blockbuster 300--both domestically and overseas. Finally, Watchmen works best as the narratively complex, visually dazzling comics series from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Originally published in 1986, the graphic novel is flying off the shelves. I hope people do read the book, which instantly draws you in with its compelling, never confusing storytelling, deepening and peeling new layers as it goes. The movie, on the other hand, is hard to fathom, boasts too many characters, and doesn't add up to much. Set in the 80s, Zack Snyder's film deals with the Vietnam and Cold War, and the end of the world via nuclear attack, but supplies a new ending with strange shades of 9/11. Moore always did insist that his comics were unfilmable.
The Brits are unhappy with Barack Obama for the way he treated Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who may be the ultimate workaholic policy wonk but lacks a few volts in the charisma department. His countrymen are even complaining about Obama's gift to Brown of the AFI set of 25 DVDs.
Gold Derby reports that the Academy is delivering Heath Ledger's Oscar to Michelle Williams.
Ray Pride and Jamie Stuart celebrate the 10th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick's death. Here's a wonderful 2001 Kubrick special on Charlie Rose featuring Kubrick's wife and producer and Martin Scorsese:
[Originally appeared on Variety.com]