Already well on its way to becoming the most divisive work in geek history, Zack Snyder's film adaptation of Watchmen, the most revered comic book of all time, may best be approached as a giant -- you guessed it -- Rorschach test: you either see a pretty butterfly, or you see a dog with its head split in half. The naysayers are certainly out there in force, in both the mainstream publications and the fanboy blogs, and I don't begrudge them their sometimes valid, often contradictory, occasionally deeply flawed points of view. All I can do is report that when I gazed at this dense, two-hour-and-forty-minute-long inkblot of a movie, I saw the butterfly -- I saw a brilliantly realized, richly textured pop-fiction spectacle; candy for both the eye and the brain. Is this theatrical version a perfect cinematic treatment of Watchmen? No, and I'll explain why below. But in the final analysis, seeing this beloved story come to life in a completely fresh, unexpected way gave me the same sensation I felt when I first read it in its original single-issue form over 20 years ago: pure astonishment, quickly followed by a burning desire to experience it again and again. Nothing ever ends.
Imagine being a fly on the wall of the Watchmen movie set. Better yet, imagine getting paid for it. Clay Enos is a professional photographer who also happens to be a friend of director Zack Snyder, so when Snyder offered him the job of set photographer for the highly anticipated film, he jumped at the chance. He soon learned that that meant that every photograph that appears in the movie, documents the movie, and promotes the movie would have to be shot by him. That included everything from the sepia-tone team photo of the Minutemen to last week's six different Entertainment Weekly covers. (Well, five of them -- Dr. Manhattan was a computer creation.) But whenever he had a free moment on set, he would shoot the portraits that are his signature work, and now those portraits -- of actors, extras and crew members -- are collected into a book called Watchmen: Portraits. We talked to him about the history-making shoot, his role in the movie and how he came up with the idea for Nite Owl coffee.