Saturday, March 07, 2009

Wow! What a geek weekend.

Last night, I went to see Johnathan Coulton at the Ark in Ann Arbor. I have a huge affection for his funny little songs.

I like to see my favorite artists, mostly authors (who are most accessible). It is always interesting to me to see them up close. Understanding something of the physicality of creative people does alot to help me appreciate their art. Possibly because it allows me to make snap judgments that dovetail with my personal prejudices about why I like their stories.

Also, I just like people as objects. I like how their personalities play in their features.

The show was nice, because he played alot of my favorite songs. He also played some new ones. I thought he started out kind of stiff, but he really warmed up as he went along. His songs are not just funny, they are also poignant in a funny way. His personal performance style imbues them with a charming kind of whimsy. Especially his use of a drum machine with Mr. Fancy Pants. He has a kind of funny sneer that he sings with. It's rather endearing.

I almost enjoyed watching the crowd as much as the show. All the phylums and orders of Geeks were represented: The big guys with ostentatious beard clan was out in full force. The short skinny, pug faced girls were there. The funny T-shirt wearing people. My own clan, the nebbishy, crabby pseudo professional. I felt at home amongst my people.

I also saw Watchmen, a movie taken from arguably the best comic ever written. I think it was fucking great. It is the only working superhero art flick ever created. It was beautifully filmed. I had feared that it would be cheesy looking. It's hard to make a blue guy look cool. But the look was textured enough that I thought it was very nice. The sex was almost hot, which is pretty good for Hollywood.The dialog was pretty and structured. The scenes were poised and elegant, even the action scenes.

It was not an action flick. It felt very much like the comic book. I remember reading Watchmen in college, and being blown away not by the pulp of it, but by the fact that such big ideas were embodied in four color characters given such rich human back stories. I think the film captured that very well.

That said, I think anybody going in looking for a superhero flick will be disapointed, critics will be distracted by the penis, and you shouldn't take you kids, especially if you have a problem with them looking at penises. Why people took their kids at all, I can't fathom.

Pretty much the defining factor for both of the people I went with was the graphic violence. It is a very expensive fanboy flick. Non-comics readers who like flicks like The City of Lost Children may also like Watchmen for it's visually stimulating and surreal qualities.

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