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Watchmen *Spoilers... So Don't Complain If You Read*

Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 12:05pm

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CX3

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Wow...

I thought this movie was amazing given the time allotted. It's kind of crazy hearing the characters in this movie sounding very close to what I imagined them sounding like when reading the novel ha.

The part that really blew me away though was that I preferred the new ending in the movie to that of the actual novel. I'm really glad they left out the giant squid. Putting the blame on Manhattan was genius imo.

If I could have added 2 things to the film though, it would have been to:

1.) Introduce Bubastis earlier on in the film (Adrians cat). I'm sure it was cool to those who read the book but to those who haven't, I bet it through them off a little bit and came out of nowhere.

2.) Introduce the newspaper publishers earlier in the film. Would have had more of an impact at the end.

I'm sure if Snyder had his way though, this film would have been near 7 hours ha. Either way, this movie was great and I cannot wait to see the directors cut of this film.
Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 2:10pm

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Simon K Jones

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Most fans of the comic seem to have enjoyed the film so far. The big question mark is how it plays to people that haven't read it and don't have that advanced knowledge. I fear that it'll just be incomprehensible to them...

Anyway, I'm seeing this Sunday so will be back with comments then. Unless I cave in and go to see it tonight, of course.....
Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 3:12pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Rating: +1

Tarn wrote:

Most fans of the comic seem to have enjoyed the film so far. The big question mark is how it plays to people that haven't read it and don't have that advanced knowledge. I fear that it'll just be incomprehensible to them...

Anyway, I'm seeing this Sunday so will be back with comments then. Unless I cave in and go to see it tonight, of course.....
In my opinion - screw those people. This is undeniably a film for fans, any other way would have probably been a complete train wreck. Let's not forget that the comic itself isn't for everyone.

-M
Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 3:25pm

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Simon K Jones

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Heh. Presuming that most of the complexity and depth of the comic has been retained, I'm really curious about whether standard audiences will be able to cope. Bearing in mind that 99% of sci-fi and comic book are utterly guff and have nothing in common with sci-fi/comic literature or even television.

Dark Knight was a big step forwards, of course. But in the scifi genre people still basically think of 'Star Wars' as being all it has to offer. It's been a while since we had a Blade Runner that I can think of.
Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 4:11pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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The world will wonder if they will really appreciate Watchmen, given that is it not a stereotypical superhero movie. And I will whisper 'no'.

-M
Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 4:19pm

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Simon K Jones

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Hehe. Reminds me of a reaction I read to the Watchmen beat-em-up computer game:

The accumulated filth of all their raped licenses and murdered ideas will foam up about their waists and all the abominable movie tie-ins will look up and shout “Play us!”… and I’ll look down and whisper “No.”

It does look godwaful:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2009/03/05/watchmen-the-demo-is-nigh/

Just look at that second screenshot.

It's odd that Synder got the studio on board with a very faithful adaptation, but could'nt convince them not to make crap like this.

Last edited Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 7:01pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 5:27pm

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FreshMentos

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Saw it last night/this morning at midnight. I really, really liked it. I thought it stayed very true to comic which I really liked and I think the actors did a great job portraying how I imagined them to be when I read the comic. I didn't quite dig the ending because of how differently it was handled compared to the comic. I actually wanted to see the squid. I was confused at some of the soundtrack choices. The opening credit montage with Bob Dylan is brilliant though.

I'm not a big fan of Snyder's previous works, but I loved this movie.
Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 7:22pm

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Evman

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I'm just gonna go ahead and say that *gasp* I liked the ending in the movie much better than the comic... (Don't kill me, please!)

And that's not just cause I literally had a nyquil induced dream where I totally called that that would be the ending without reading any spoilers or anything of the sort. I pride myself on it actually! razz
Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 7:50pm

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ben3308

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I saw it last night (midnight showing) and I really liked it. It was a little more 'fun' and caricatured than I thought it would be - probably in the vein of Spiderman 1 or something - but still great.

I'd read the first few chapters of the comic, but other than that not a lot, and I felt many parts were disjointed or hard to follow. The constant flashbacks and flashforwards were cool, and I normally love that, but they became a bit confusing when it started to flash back in different increments for different characters.

By this, I mean that I didn't know really what time it was at all when the Comedian jumped off the owlship, etc. This wasn't a huge deal, but it made the first half of the movie's timeline a little stilted, in my opinion. And no, I'm not just being stupid, it just felt a little scattershot in terms of flashing forwards and backwards for the first bits.

That being said, I liked most parts except for a few:

- The lynx animal. I knew it was in the comic, but when it was introduced, I literally said to myself "oh, okay, so they're just gonna fudge it into the story" and that's exactly what happened. No explanation, no pre-introduction (like maybe show an action figure of it when Ozymandias is talking about new villain toys?) just added right in. Not a huge deal, but as a non-reader this was just....stupid, to say the least.

- The relatively predictable plot. I understand this is Moore's doing in many ways, and can happen from translating a story, but I felt that many parts of the plot (in terms of narrative economy) were obvious. NY blowing up, okay, I didn't see that coming. But Ozymandias being the end villain felt a little predictable considering how little screentime he was given earlier (it being just enough for him to be a culprit, but not enough for him to be a protagonist or foil). I dunno.

- Little quirks like Malik(sp?) having pointed ears. I understand it's in the comic, but still unnerved me in the movie. They didn't make the 'world' that the movie was based in seem that 'fantasy-like', so things like this (and the lynx thing) were sort of unexpected.


All things considered, I liked the movie and thought it was really well made. But being one of the few on here who hasn't read the comic, I think that the movie could have been clearer on most accounts.

Still loved it, it was just so VERY clearly made for those who have read the comic, not those who didn't.
Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 7:55pm

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CX3

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FreshMentos wrote:

I didn't quite dig the ending because of how differently it was handled compared to the comic. I actually wanted to see the squid.
Haha, man that squid would've looked TACKY! And besides, they really didn't have the time to introduce Adrian's biological experiments and creations. Hell, they didn't even explain Bubastis ha. That's really my only small gripe (When I try to imagine it from peoples p.o.v. who haven't read the comic).

I'll be seeing it again soon.
Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 8:06pm

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Shadow013

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I have seen this movie twice already. I saw it last night or this morning, and then I got to go to a special advanced screening of it on tuesday.

I really liked this movie! I have never ever read the comic either. Anyways it was kind of weird that the cat thing was just throw in there, like most people have already mentioned, but other than that I thought it was great. One of my favorite lines in the movie was said by Rorschach and it was; "Most of you don't seem to understand. I'm not in here with you. Your in here with ME!". I loved that part! I don't know if I quoted it right, but you get the idea.
Posted: Fri, 6th Mar 2009, 8:37pm

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The Strider

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I read the graphic novel. I liked the structure and concept, but I hated where the story went. It asked too many questions without even attempting to answer them... which is one of Moore's problems. I've no issue with the concept, but the execution of the novel's story just didn't strike me as compelling. It all rang hollow in the end. I don't intend to watch the film, but I may end up seeing it down the line. Maybe on DVD or Blu-Ray.

EDIT: I have gone into much greater detail on my blog, which of course there is an easy link to above this post's contents.
Posted: Sat, 7th Mar 2009, 12:10am

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spydurhank

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Wow!
I read it when I was a kid.
I'm glad they didn't glam it up with well known actors.
Just for a second, right after the comedian dies, I thought it was gonna be campy. I'm glad it wasn't.
The only guy that I recognized was the dude who's mask kept morphing.
He was the only one old enough to drive in the original "Bad news bears"
The last movie I saw him in was "Semi Pro" which kinda sucked.
I thought his acting was really good in Watchmen.
I kinda liked everyones' flashback thing when they were remembering the comedian. You could really tell what time period they where in by the extras style of cloths and music that was playing in the background, again that was cool I thought.
I wondered, why the weird ending with Manhatten but then thought "well whatever it was still a pretty good movie".
It was well worth the ten bucks I made my brother let me borrow to go watch it with him. biggrin
Posted: Sat, 7th Mar 2009, 12:27am

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Pooky

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Wow.

Well, it's definitely not for everyone. Anyone who's read the graphic novel, however, will love it. It's the best adaptation I've seen yet, that's for sure.

I thought Earle Haley's Rorschach stole the show. He is absolute perfection, not only capturing the feel of the comic but surpassing it. The whole prison sequence was amazing.

I came out of the theater feeling like this is the best superhero movie I've ever seen.
Posted: Sat, 7th Mar 2009, 7:18am

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crazymonkey01

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I haven't read the book. But I loved the movie. I didn't have any trouble following it, except for the tiger thing. However, a few of the friends I went with were thoroughly confused afterward.
Posted: Sat, 7th Mar 2009, 7:29am

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Aculag

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Tarn wrote:

Most fans of the comic seem to have enjoyed the film so far. The big question mark is how it plays to people that haven't read it and don't have that advanced knowledge. I fear that it'll just be incomprehensible to them...
Just got back from seeing it. I have not read the comic, so I only had a basic knowledge of the characters before going in. And I knew the basic story. It was certainly not incomprehensible, but I think it's definitely tailored (At least the theatrical cut) to appeal to people who know what's up already.

I was pretty impressed! Very impressive visually, Dr. Manhattan was such an excellent character, and I really liked Billy Crudup's take on it. The only part of his arc that I didn't really dig was on Mars when he used the "oxygen into gold" analogy twice, practically in the same sentence.

On that same note, the only parts of the film that pulled me out of it were times when the dialogue was a little too exposition heavy. It's a necessary evil when you're trying to compact something like Watchmen, but it does sound a little forced. The scene at the end when Ozy reveals his grand plot was perfectly done, however. It's the typical "I'm a bad guy, let me explain my evil plot" scenario, totally redeemed by "I'm not a comic book villain, I activated it thirty-five minutes ago." Genius.

The guy playing Dan/Night Owl really owned the role. He absolutely nailed the timid alter-ego/badass action hero thing. Worked out nicely. Really, I thought the cast was 100% solid. I wasn't disappointed by anyone's role at all. Rorschach, Dr. M, Laurie, Ozy, Comedian... They were all perfect anti-heroes. Just the opposite of your standard comic book heroes, who are invincible and always perfectly witty and charming. These characters have real flaws, and real depth.

I can't wait to see the extended BluRay cut. I'll probably finally read the comic now that I've seen it.

Ps. Both Silk Spectres: Hot as hell.
Posted: Sat, 7th Mar 2009, 8:17am

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spydurhank

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Good call.
My brother never read the book, he only glanced through a few pages when we were kids so he didn't know anything about what the movie would or should be like, story line wise. The same for our buddy that came with us but they both were still able to follow it farely well.
We all liked how the story spanned through several decades of history and again the actors where pretty bad-ass.
I just realized that the first Silk Spectress was "Dizz" from starship troopers. Wow.
Posted: Sat, 7th Mar 2009, 9:39am

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Evman

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Aculag wrote:

[
The guy playing Dan/Night Owl really owned the role. He absolutely nailed the timid alter-ego/badass action hero thing. Worked out nicely.
For all those of you Nite Owl/Rorschach from the movie fans, I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you check out the movie "Little Children". Both of those actors are in that film, and it's seriously one of the best films I've seen in a while (aside from Watchmen, of course razz).
Posted: Sat, 7th Mar 2009, 10:18am

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Aculag

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I've been meaning to check that out, Evman. Mostly because I love Jennifer Connelly. Will do.
Posted: Sat, 7th Mar 2009, 4:50pm

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No Respite Productions

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Just been to the flicks!

Absolutely awesome film, I was stunned with what Zack and co were able to do with such a short space of time. As a die hard fan of the comic I came away wanting to watch it again, and I can't wait for the extended cut either.

I was a *little* bit miffed about leaving out the weird alien from the end as I that was the one thing I was most curious to see done. Out of everything in the Watchmen, that was the one part where I wasn't sure if it could be done well.

That all said, and thinking hard about it, I do prefer the films ending to the comic book, I think it's a slightly more realistic scenario than what Moore had originally written.

All of the actors in this film were outstanding, I was a little concerned about the actor who played Ozymandias, mostly because he looked nothing like the world's strongest and smartest man, but it was clear that he was chosen for his acting skill and not to fit the look.

As others have said, Jackie Earl Haley was excellent as Rorschach, by far and away he did an incredible job with bringing that particular character to life.

Visually this film was stunning, there is barely anything bad to say about it (apart from little nitpicks here and there) and the credits sequence in the beginning was a fantastic addition!

9/10
Posted: Sat, 7th Mar 2009, 6:33pm

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Coureur de Bois

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Loved it loved it loved.

Loved the "Times they are changin" Minuteman montage at the beginning. Definitely boner inducing.

My only gripe at this point, and as far as I'm concerned, the only facepalm worthy moment was using "All Along the Watchtower" during the Antarctica scene. Stupid, dumb, totally lost me at that point for a second.

Whoever made some of the soundtrack decisions is a real butthead.

Edit: Who else thought Dr. Manhattan's phallus was amazing? It definitely deserved a speaking part... shame
Posted: Sat, 7th Mar 2009, 7:27pm

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CX3

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Gorion wrote:

Edit: Who else thought Dr. Manhattan's phallus was amazing? It definitely deserved a speaking part... shame
Yeah you could tell it definitely got in shape for it's movie role.
Posted: Sat, 7th Mar 2009, 8:30pm

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ben3308

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Evman wrote:

Aculag wrote:

[
The guy playing Dan/Night Owl really owned the role. He absolutely nailed the timid alter-ego/badass action hero thing. Worked out nicely.
For all those of you Nite Owl/Rorschach from the movie fans, I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you check out the movie "Little Children".
I'm going to further this recommendation, and also suggest seeing "Hard Candy" starring Ellen Page (bleh, I know) and again, Patrick Wilson (Night Owl).

The movie is, in so many words, about a photographer in his mid-30's who basically gets trapped into home imprisonment and child molesting allegations by a 14-year-old girl, who is just apesh!t crazy the entire movie. I thought the trailer for this film was excellent/disturbing when I saw it back in '06, and it is shot incredibly (underexposed film that they added more silver to when they developed it to make it shiny and high-contrast), but all that aside, Patrick Wilson is really incredible in the movie. He plays the inner-tormented character so incredibly well that he was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to see Watchmen.

Pretty much, because of 'Hard Candy' I've had faith in Wilson as an actor (Lakeview Terrace FTW) and pretty much any movie he's in.
Posted: Sat, 7th Mar 2009, 8:49pm

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No Respite Productions

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CX3 wrote:

Gorion wrote:

Edit: Who else thought Dr. Manhattan's phallus was amazing? It definitely deserved a speaking part... shame
Yeah you could tell it definitely got in shape for it's movie role.
I believe a monologue by the phallus was originally cut from the theatrical release but will be reinstated for the extended DVD cut.

Apparently it will reveal more of the backstory behind how Manhatten and Laurie fell in love... make of that what you will.

That all said I felt it's acting was a little stiff.
Posted: Sat, 7th Mar 2009, 9:56pm

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Atom

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Terrific movie, terrific casting, terrific everything.

With the exception of some of the incongruous music choices aside from the original score. As a reader of the comic well before we saw any shot of teasers and such, I knew Moore wrote these songs in between the individual comics as sort of an indicator as to how the soundtrack would sound- but it just didn't resonate with me. Really, it actually pissed me off; because for a music choice Snyder made that would primarily appeal to the creator who wanted it so- that douche won't even see the movie. He'll just call it trash and Snyder trash for making it.

But that's the only part that got to me. More than anything else, I think this movie succeeds largely because of the director. The actors chosen, their direction, the screen direction, the editing direction, and the care put into keeping the integrity of the source material- I'm astounded and pleased with Snyder- someone go make Moore thank the man, honestly.

Some parts didn't work as well in the movie simply due to translation- ala Adrian Veidt being the Comedian's killer- much less-obvious in the comic- and Laurie's father being the Comedian- much less-predictable in the comic because they interlock some scenes of him 'coming on' to her that make you disregard any notions of him being her dad; only to go back to these scenes during the Mars bits and you realize he's just taking a paternal interest in her.

I could tell from how the flashback scene worked, though, that the comic-style was intended but trimmed out of interlocking-style for timing.

Lastly, as I said earlier- the casting. Pitch-perfect; especially with Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl II and, obviously, Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach. As someone else said, both not only owned their roles- they surpassed the comic's portrayal of them. Next there was Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian- another excellent acting job given his brevity in the film. Oh, and of course, Billy Crudup! Terrific, how could I forget him? Not many people in the cast weren't amazing.

Malin Akerman and Mathew Goode were also both excellent, albeit overshadowed by the (Oscar-worthy?) performances by some of the actors I just mentioned (specifically Haley). Despite what many have said/speculated, I found Akerman perfect in the role to be accepting of John but clinging to Dan for comfort- the chemistry/relationship between the three in the comic really shone through in her.

Mathew Goode was also rather perfect in the role, even with his boyish looks people worried about. His nondescript accent and narcissistic/esoteric-idealist/scary-pacifist nature was well-played by Goode; I genuinely believed him in the role. A different, less-threatening/physically-less-intimidating version of Veidt; but one more believable as a CEO of NY's biggest company and the sociopath who's willing to blow up the world. They were all perfect. My compliments to the casting director.

All-in-all a terrific film and a benchmark for comic book movies. Spiderman 2 still reigns at the top for me, but Watchmen isn't far under it. (And above The Dark Knight, for me at least.)
Posted: Sun, 8th Mar 2009, 2:13am

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FreshMentos

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I think I was a bit lukewarm in my review because I was so exhausted. But Atom pretty much sums up how I felt about this movie. I highly doubt that it will get any Academy Awards, but loved this movie so much. Only thing I'd disagree with Atom with would be that I thought Watchmen was leagues better than Spider-Man 2 wink
Posted: Sun, 8th Mar 2009, 2:22am

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Atom

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Ahhh, I'm a sucker for Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker; most-especially in Spiderman 2. Some implacable way the movie resonates best with me plus has enormous entertainment value- I'd put Batman Begins tied with Watchmen right underneath it- both respectively getting points off from the top spot for tiny preposterous plot points and unfitting music in places.

But that's just personal taste. And I dunno, FreshMentos. I think Jackie Earle Haley has just as much of a shot at an Oscar as Heath Ledger would've had had he not generated a multiplied buzz/hype due to his death.
Posted: Sun, 8th Mar 2009, 6:40pm

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Coureur de Bois

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I don't know if this is old news yet, but I just stumbled upon this hilarious parody. It's basically what would happen if the Watchmen comics were turned into a 80's Saturday morning cartoon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDDHHrt6l4w



...I'd love to see Alan Moore watch this
Posted: Sun, 8th Mar 2009, 6:54pm

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Simon K Jones

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Finally saw Watchmen this afternoon, and utterly loved it.

Crucially, the characters on the screen are exactly as I saw them in my head when reading the book, and that was always going to be the main thing for me.

I haven't made my mind up about the changes to the ending yet. I've never been a huge fan of the alien invasion ending from the book, and while the Manhattan trick fixes some of the problems I've always had with the book it also introduces a whole range of other problems.

Regardless, though, the disappointment with them changing the ending wasn't enough to spoil the rest of the film, which was pretty flawless for me (other than some dodgy make-up). Loved the sense of 'place' in the alternate 80s, the constant feeling of impending doom, all the little details they'd got absolutely right, the love triangle with Laurie-Jon-Dan, the odd friendship between Rorscach and Nite Owl 2...

This, of course, is approaching it from the point of view of a reader. Schwar and Tim both seemed to like it as well, but I can only imagine that it felt like a bit of an info-dump of a film - so much backstory and character and plot to get through, without any room to pause, breathe and let it all sink in. I found it emotional because I had the comic to fill in the gaps, which meant I didn't have to filter through all the information of the unusual world that is presented. For newcomers I imagine it's so dense that there isn't really time to get emotionally invested.

All of which means I can't wait for the director's cut. The extra 15-30 minutes should hopefully give the film time to pace itself a bit more, and to fit in some more time for the the incidental characters such as the psychiatrist, the newsvendor & comic book reader etc.

As for the music...dunno what you guys are all complaining about. I thought all of the source music was superb and spot-on, evoking the period piece or particular historical/pop/political significance. Even Ride of the Valkyries was great - very satirical, amusingly contrasting the Vietnam we're so familiar with (ie, Apocalypse Now & co) with the Vietnam that occurred due to Manhattan's existence.

This is a serious step up for Synder from the fun, but rather shallow interpretation of 300.
Posted: Sun, 8th Mar 2009, 7:50pm

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Evman

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Tarn wrote:


I haven't made my mind up about the changes to the ending yet. I've never been a huge fan of the alien invasion ending from the book, and while the Manhattan trick fixes some of the problems I've always had with the book it also introduces a whole range of other problems.
Such as? I still stand by the ending of the film as far superior to the ending of the graphic novel. The end result is the same in both cases, but the film ending incorporates new levels to all of the characters, rather than having a very arguably Deus Ex Machina moment, with a completely random alien.
Posted: Sun, 8th Mar 2009, 8:03pm

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Pooky

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One problem I saw is that Dr. Manhattan isn't a neutral being: "The Superman is real, and he's American". I'd have thought, then, that his attacking major cities in the world would be blamed on America.
Posted: Sun, 8th Mar 2009, 8:13pm

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Evman

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Pooky wrote:

One problem I saw is that Dr. Manhattan isn't a neutral being: "The Superman is real, and he's American". I'd have thought, then, that his attacking major cities in the world would be blamed on America.
Until he... you know... nuked New York too... And Nixon outright condemning him on TV.

(Which, incidentally, led to one of the most eerie images of all towards the end - with a giant, familiar looking hole in midtown Manhattan being excavated, with an American Flag hanging from it. It wasn't until the end of the shot that I realized that it was framed looking south, towards the still standing Twin Towers. A little bit of business given meaning only by the movie and not the novel... I thought it was eerie yet cool.)
Posted: Sun, 8th Mar 2009, 9:08pm

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No Respite Productions

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Evman wrote:

Tarn wrote:


I haven't made my mind up about the changes to the ending yet. I've never been a huge fan of the alien invasion ending from the book, and while the Manhattan trick fixes some of the problems I've always had with the book it also introduces a whole range of other problems.
Such as? I still stand by the ending of the film as far superior to the ending of the graphic novel. The end result is the same in both cases, but the film ending incorporates new levels to all of the characters, rather than having a very arguably Deus Ex Machina moment, with a completely random alien.
The alien wasn't completely random though, it did have some bearing to other elements that were happening in the plot (the artist and the guy who wrote Tales of the black freighter for instance).

I can sort of see where Tarn is coming from with this, I don't think peace would be as ever lasting with Manhattan as a deterrent, there is far less mystery involved as to who he is (rather than a random alien attack) plus the fact that the technology would soon be or currently is developed enough to spy on Mars, it wouldn't be too long till they found out that Manhatten was nowhere to be seen.

Also, with Ozy's plan, only a fraction of the people were killed in the graphic novel versus the film, when he set off the same cataclysmic explosion across most of the major cities in the world, it did seem, even by the original event's standards, a little extreme.

Actually this was another minor, teeny tiny let down with the film, I was hoping for a very graphic and very upsetting view of the carnage and destruction that was caused (as the comic book showed), but sadly they left it to a large crater and nothing more unsure

That all said, I was so pleased to see the embrace between the news vendor and the kid, that was one of the most, actually scrap that, the only truly moving moment I've ever seen in a graphic novel.

I still think the ending was well converted, and I agree with you in some respect, it was a lot more realistic to what happened originally. Overall I reckon it was a move for the best, otherwise they would have had to spend more screen time explaining the origins of the alien and, at the end of the day, most of us were only interested in the Watchmen themselves.
Posted: Mon, 9th Mar 2009, 10:07am

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Simon K Jones

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Evman wrote:

Tarn wrote:


I haven't made my mind up about the changes to the ending yet. I've never been a huge fan of the alien invasion ending from the book, and while the Manhattan trick fixes some of the problems I've always had with the book it also introduces a whole range of other problems.
Such as? I still stand by the ending of the film as far superior to the ending of the graphic novel. The end result is the same in both cases, but the film ending incorporates new levels to all of the characters, rather than having a very arguably Deus Ex Machina moment, with a completely random alien.
Squid ending

Pros:
- Completely unpredictable and unexpected.
- Absolutely not traceable to any one nation/person on Earth
- Horrifically violent
- Localised to New York, keeping the body count relatively low (a sacrifice worth making, from Ozy's POV)

Cons:
- So completely bonkers it can dislocate readers/viewers from the dramatic experience entirely
- Potentially a very one-off threat, so once the hysteria dies down, and presuming Ozy doesn't do future attacks, sooner or later humanity would go back to killing each other

Manhattan ending

Pros:
- Creates a persistent threat of Manhattan 'watching over them'
- Links the threat to existing characters, more emotional involvement
- A much more 'normal' conclusion, less wacky than the squid

Cons:
- Manhattan is American. Regardless of what Nixon says, and that New York was destroyed too, he is still American. People will blame America for creating Manhattan, for losing control of him, etc etc. If there's even the slightest risk of this happening, it destroys Ozy's plan
- Destroys so many cities, kills so many people, that it imbalances Ozy's 'kill few to save the many'
- Would Ozy have been able to keep this from Manhattan, given how it DIRECTLY effects his future? The squid was only indirectly linked to Manhattan, so the future interference works. In this case it seems unlikely that Manhattan wouldn't have picked something up
Posted: Mon, 9th Mar 2009, 5:30pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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There is some confusion regarding the end of the comic going on;

There is no Alien Attack in the comic, you'll note that the psychic discharge from the alien which kills half of new york is described as a 'Sting on death' type of act and that it appears as if the Alien transported there accidentally, killing itself in the progress.

Just saying!
-Matt

p.s. Tarn, Manhattan doesn't pick anything up because of Ozymandias's Tachyon 'stuff'. It's the same reason Manhattan becomes confused near the end of the comic and is talking to Rorschach and Silk Spectre at the same time, 90 seconds apart. He describes his amusement at being once again uncertain of something when he visits the Alien crash site in New York.

You could also argue that Ozy wanted Manhattan to know, as he felt that he would understand. There's a weird connection between Ozy and Manhattan. As to Ozy, Manhatten is the only person of intellectual worth, he has scorned the rest of humanity through his attempts to save it. Notable parallels here to the Black Freighter.

This said, I'm sort of talking from a 'Only read the comic and heard stuff about the film' perspective. We will talk more when I see it!
Posted: Mon, 9th Mar 2009, 11:31pm

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Sollthar

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Just coming back from seeing it. I haven't read the comic nor did I know anything about it, and I got the story (it's complex, but not incomprehensible in any way). Rorschach was great, really liked him as a character. The problem is: he was the only one I found interesting. sad

All in all, the film kind of ran by me for over 2 hours and left little effect or impression. I found myself pretty uninvolved and uninterested in what was going on on screen. The beginning was nice and got me hooked, but when the film started to dwell more and deeper into some of the characters and backstories, I realized: I don't really care... They're all kinda uninteresting, with the exception of Rorschach. (My favorite bit was Rorschach telling the "joke" of the clown and finishing that with a totally monotone "good joke"). And the Dr. Manhatten character was way too far fetched for me.
The film poses some interesting moral dilemmas, but I felt it didn't really do much with them and took itself for being cleverer then it is. But maybe that was how it was set in scene.

All in all, it was okay. But nothing I'd watch again. Or not in any way as entertaining or brilliant as Gran Torino, which I saw this weekend.
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 2:21am

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Atom

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Surprise, surprise.
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 2:56am

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Pooky

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Gran Torino is actually good? Might have to see that, then.
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 2:56am

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Evman

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Rating: +1

Pooky wrote:

Gran Torino is actually good? Might have to see that, then.
It was overrated, IMO.
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 3:00am

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JohnCarter

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Grand Torino is great! Absolutely loved it! Makes my top movie list of the year.

I like Watchmen a lot too - very impressive visual effects amongst other things - but it definitely helps to have read the comic beforehand because otherwise a lot of subtleties pass right by you (even though I think the story stands on its own two legs).

I also found that I like the new ending of the film better than the comic one - that giant squid thing was always too much for me to swallow as a believable treat in the comic.
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 8:04am

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Simon K Jones

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Sollthar wrote:

Just coming back from seeing it. I haven't read the comic nor did I know anything about it, and I got the story (it's complex, but not incomprehensible in any way). Rorschach was great, really liked him as a character. The problem is: he was the only one I found interesting. sad
Yeah, Rorschach always been the most interesting character from the comic, too. A brilliant creation. Although I'm not sure I could say that I 'like' him, given his homicidal, psychopathic, right-wing outlook on life. smile

All in all, the film kind of ran by me for over 2 hours and left little effect or impression. I found myself pretty uninvolved and uninterested in what was going on on screen.
I did feel that the film was so busy with plot that it didn't have time to breathe and let the characters live a little. It worked ok for me because I had the comic to 'fill in the gaps' and make me care for the characters, but for non-readers I'm not sure the film works emotionally (except on a purely 'spectacle' level).

(My favorite bit was Rorschach telling the "joke" of the clown and finishing that with a totally monotone "good joke").
Hehe yeah. I also love Rorschach's daft puns to anger the prisoners outside his cell. "Tall order." "Fat chance." Heh.

And the Dr. Manhatten character was way too far fetched for me.
That is rather the point though. Watchmen is meant to be a deconstruction of superhero mythos, shining a light on it for the unpleasant place it would actually be. Dr Manhattan's creation isn't the important bit; he exists purely so that there was an invulnerable, ridiculously over-powered Superman-style character that would inevitably 'break' dramatic tension due to being so powerful...then exploring what would happen in Superman really didn't give a crap. It's discarding all the sentimentality of the Superman stories and saying "why would Superman care about humans? He has nothing in common with them."

The satire is what appeals to me about Watchmen and brings me back to the story over and over again. A recent analysis I really liked - while Nite Owl II is obviously a Batman parallel, with his underground cave and gadgets, it's even more effective if you consider Rorschach and Nite Owl II to be both sides of Batman. Rorshcach as the violent, vengeful, self-righteous side of Bruce Wayne and Nite Owl II as the human, intelligent, detective, side. Put them together and you have Batman - separate them and you have a sociopathic madman and an impotent, ineffectual, middle-aged man.

The film poses some interesting moral dilemmas, but I felt it didn't really do much with them and took itself for being cleverer then it is. But maybe that was how it was set in scene.
I think the film definitely missed out on the subtlety and details of the book, at least failed to highlight them in the same way. Another reason why I'm looking forward to the longer cut.

I've had a few people say that the film thinks it's cleverer than it really is, which makes me think that maybe the satirical/comedic side is getting lost in translation.
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 8:55am

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Sollthar

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Gran Torino is actually good?
Next to Changeling (another Eastwood feature) and Frost/Nixon, it's my favorite film of the year so far. Eastwood is a fantastic director and storyteller.

Watchmen is meant to be a deconstruction of superhero mythos, shining a light on it for the unpleasant place it would actually be. Dr Manhattan's creation isn't the important bit; he exists purely so that there was an invulnerable, ridiculously over-powered Superman-style character that would inevitably 'break' dramatic tension due to being so powerful...
Yeah, I get the constructional necessity of Dr. Manhattan. But even outside of satire, I find overpowerful superheroes with godlike powers entirely uninteresting. I also find superman interely uninteresting as a character.
I'm much more into constructions like Rorschach or The Comedian (Or the Punisher, Batman etc) so I found those satires also more interesting to unfold on screen.

Maybe the film was also simply not fast enough for my tastes. Not sure why. It just left little impression on me. Especially compared to the series of absolutely fantastic films I've seen in the last 30 days.
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 2:18pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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You didn't like it because you're a passionless film god - much alike Manhattan. Just come out and admit it Sollthar, I'll still like you. razz

God, why haven't I seen this yet?!
-Matt
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 3:08pm

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Sollthar

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You know, I glow red in the dark and have my genitalia bouncing about too, don't you Matt... I know you do. I know you watched me. You're the Watchman.
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 3:15pm

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Coureur de Bois

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Sollthar wrote:

I glow red in the dark and have my genitalia bouncing about
Will.Never.Sleep.Again. doh
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 4:14pm

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Pooky

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Tarn - the sarcasm is absolutely getting lost in translation. I was watching Craig Ferguson the other night, and he was joking around about the guy with "owl-themed gadgets", the guy named after the ink blot test and about a superhero called The Comedian who probably uses the power of sarcasm or something. At first he introduced it as a movie about a guy getting bitten by a radioactive watch and deforming into a superhero with one large and one small hand. It kind of goes to show that people take it as just another addition to the genre instead of a parody of it.
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 4:27pm

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spydurhank

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Sollthar wrote:

You know, I glow red in the dark and have my genitalia bouncing about too, don't you Matt... I know you do. I know you watched me. You're the Watchman.
Oh man, this had me laughing for three minutes straight.
My friends and I were talking about they same thing last night at a pub.
My buddy Mike hasn't see it yet but he heard about the sex scene with the silk spectre and night owl.
He asked me if it was bad because he heard bad things about it. I said "come on dude... if you were a superhero and were about to have sex with a hot superchick, would you do it in your couch while in your civvies or would you go out and fight crime for a while, get all hot and bothered and then do it in your super duper crime fighting vehicle above a night time cityscape"? Hmmm?
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 4:37pm

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No Respite Productions

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[quote="Sollthar"]You know, I glow red in the dark and have my genitalia bouncing about too, don't you Matt... I know you do. I know you watched me. You're the Watchman.[/quote]

But who's watching him? crazy
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 6:25pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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No Respite Productions wrote:

But who's watching him? crazy
I'm recording myself watching Sollthar, we'll watch it back together later.

Let's move on!
-Matt
Posted: Tue, 10th Mar 2009, 7:12pm

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Simon K Jones

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I doubt that video will be available in the FXhome.com store anytime soon, for those wondering.
Posted: Fri, 13th Mar 2009, 12:08pm

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Jonnie

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i thought i'd give my penny's worth

firstly i'm a huge comic and graphic novel fan and i have read the graphic novel which i recommend.

1) music. i thought the choice of music was pretty poor in some parts. 99 red ballons and the intimate scene with hallelujah in the background. i was a bit...yea lol

2) Thought that the estetics of the film were amazing, which is what we have come to expect from Zac Snyder.

3) Rorschach diary was taken nearly word for word from the novel which was good, but rorschach as a charcter, and don't get me wrong he was played really well, but his voice seemed to be trying to be Batman from the dark knight, which i didn't personaly hear him as but hey.

Deff worth seeing it and was a good comic to film transfer.
Posted: Fri, 13th Mar 2009, 1:00pm

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Xcession

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The choice of music was one of the best parts, but I'm not surprised people misunderstand it.

The simplest way of explaining it is to imagine each of the scenes in which the music seems rather jarring, then imagine the scene with the music you'd expect from other films vaguely in the same genre, that have less tact.

Scoring a graphically violent scene involving two men battling it out in slow-mo, with a modern soundtrack (probably metal, or industrial of some sort), causes it to become a macho glorification of violence at best and a homoerotic romp at worst (see '300').

Scoring a love scene with "Lethal Weapon Saxophone" or perhaps a pulsing Trance number, conjures at best a hurried, formulaic, slightly misogynist tone which objectifies the act of sex as a milestone - and at worst it becomes treacly and overindulgent, making out sex to be more serious than it is.

Scoring either type of scene with something unexpected causes, in the first instance, for the scene to become understated and tragically poignant, and in the second to be tongue-in-cheek and fun, much like the relationship in the spotlight.

Added to this, was the fact that the music helped paint a fuller picture of the scene and the period. The film was saturated with devices to draw the fictional comic into the real world, and the music was just one of them. 99 red balloons is an embodiment of the 80s to many people and in that respect I think it was a perfect choice.
Posted: Fri, 13th Mar 2009, 7:35pm

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Jonnie

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good points x, but i still think there was prob better music to use. I studied music in films for 2 years so i know a bit (not that i don't agree with what you said). I think one of the best examples was in Lord of the rings, when pipin is singing and you see the battle of the rohan riders but only pippen can be heard. That i think works great. Maybe it's a personal choice, who know biggrin
Posted: Mon, 16th Mar 2009, 10:00am

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Simon K Jones

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Watchmen is all about subverting genre expectations and has a satirical edge all the way through it. Hence 'Ride of the Valkyries' during the 'Nam sequence, which I thought was hilarious.

Also, many of the songs were used because they're directly reference in the book during those specific scenes - All Along the Watchtower, for example.
Posted: Mon, 16th Mar 2009, 6:56pm

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Staff Only

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My thoughts on Snyder’s Watchmen.

SPOILERS: Ye be warned!

Sometime last autumn I saw the first Watchmen trailer (the one featuring Smashing Pumpkins) and I was hooked. Having no previous relationship to the graphic novel (GN from here on) I decided I was going to read (as the trailer had told me) “The most celebrated graphic novel of all time”; Watchmen.

I went about trying to get hold of a copy. I spoke with a classmate who works at a local comic book store. He said after the trailer Watchmen had started selling like hot cakes. So with regret I realised I was part of a fad. At least it was a geek fad. I bought a copy through him and read it in February. The experience of reading it was amazing and Watchmen didn’t disappoint. It heightened the expectations for the film, as I knew it was going to be a 2 hour 45 minute faithful adaptation.

As I had been talking about Watchmen non-stop for three-four months my comic book store friend hooked me up with some pre-screening tickets for the 4th of March. It was my first pre-screening and the security was tight. They had metal detectors and they confiscated our phones. I walked in and took my seat, the lights dimmed and as the yellow Warner logo came on to the screen it felt as if I was going to be holding my breath for 2 hours 45 minutes.

I was very happy with the movie after that screening. Having read the GN only once I felt it was extremely faithful (in contrast to the Harry Potter films which pale in comparison to the far superior books). The opening scene with The Comedian getting killed to the sound of Unforgettable by Nat King Cole is a brilliant scene followed by one of the most amazing opening titles I have seen, which tells the story of the Minutemen while giving glimpses of the alternate American history. Rorschach’s introduction comes after showing us the scene that was the opening of the GN and Jackie Haley really hits the role out of the ballpark.

The respect shown for the characters of the GN is amazing. Both with and without his mask Haley is Rorschach in every way. The same goes for Jeffrey Morgan as The Comedian, Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl II, and of course Billy Crudup as Dr. Manhattan. Dr Manhattan is shown in the GN as a glowing blue man with the Greek God body design. And to accomplish this in live action Zack Snyder and Sony Pictures Imageworks made one of my top 5 favourite CGI characters. The effort that went into making him is explained in: this video, or a more in depth summary here (Note: article is 6 pages). And Dr. Manhattan’s chapter in the film, where he’s on Mars and we se how he perceives time and why he is a super powered blue man, is hands down my favourite part of the film. It was my favourite part of the GN and Snyder adapted it perfectly in the film with the most spot on music choice in the whole picture: Purit Igoe & Prophecies by Phillip Glass Ensemble from the movie Koyaanisqatsi.

The violence and nudity are a prominent and important part of the GN and are translated to the film in a way that I think came by surprise to anyone not familiar with the GN. I have now seen Watchmen three times and in my third screening there were nervous giggles and murmurs every time Dr. Manhattan’s family jewels were on screen. The very fact that they are on screen goes to prove what a brave move it was by WB to let Snyder makes this film like this and by the looks of it now, it isn’t paying of. I really hoped this film would make it as I think we need more faithful adaptations, but it doesn’t seem like people were ready for this. As Ebert said, I also think if Watchmen doesn’t make it now it will still sneak it’s way into film history like Blade Runner did. It has it’s flaws, the soundtrack being the most prominent one in my opinion. Tracks such as Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, and 99 Luft Baloons by Gothic Slut Inc. are songs I would have done without. The same goes for Snyder's use of Requiem at the end, which seemed strange and melodramatic to me. Still Watchmen has a lot of truly spectacular moments that show some real love and respect for the source material. I also know several people who didn’t read the comic, went and saw it and were pleasantly surprised, so the film works by itself as well.

Who watches the Watchmen?

Well I recommend everyone to do so, but read the novel first.

9/10

Last edited Mon, 16th Mar 2009, 10:41pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 16th Mar 2009, 7:05pm

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Jonnie

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yea most deff read the novel. They stuck very close to it, almost to the letter which was great. I want to know though, you know when rorschach grabbed the fat fryer and threw oil in the dude's face, how would that work? It's full of holes lol
Posted: Mon, 23rd Mar 2009, 10:53am

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Hybrid-Halo

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Similar to Staff Only, although less forgivably - I read the Watchmen only a couple of months before that first trailer hit and stumbled into it all very late despite having read most of Alan Moore's other comics and several directly influenced by Watchmen (Identity Crisis, The Boys).

Just saw it for the first time last night, there's really one alteration I didn't feel made much sense - which was Rorschach's treatment of the murderer. His line "That night Kovacs closed his eyes, and it was Rorschach who opened them" as he watches the building burn really felt missing for me.

Other than that, brilliant. Something I really noticed was how the impact of the violence. The moment that Manhattan blows up the thugs in the bar is a single frame in the comic whereas in the film you see peoples reactions and the reveal of the body parts stuck to the ceiling - it helped convey as to why people had become afraid of him.

As a sort of aside - I saw Watchmen on an IMAX screen, my first IMAX viewing. And jesus, when the IMAX advert started it felt like it was before the lights even finished dimming. I jumped out of my seat, it made the whole thing a brilliantly immersive experience.

-Hybrid
Posted: Mon, 23rd Mar 2009, 9:40pm

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:


Just saw it for the first time last night, there's really one alteration I didn't feel made much sense - which was Rorschach's treatment of the murderer. His line "That night Kovacs closed his eyes, and it was Rorschach who opened them" as he watches the building burn really felt missing for me.
My feelings exactly. I read the graphic novel, and when I heard how they changed this scene, I was disappointed. I never pictured Rorschach as the hack-and-slash type. Haven't seen the movie yet, but I might in the near future...
Posted: Mon, 23rd Mar 2009, 9:49pm

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No Respite Productions

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The Strider wrote:

Hybrid-Halo wrote:


Just saw it for the first time last night, there's really one alteration I didn't feel made much sense - which was Rorschach's treatment of the murderer. His line "That night Kovacs closed his eyes, and it was Rorschach who opened them" as he watches the building burn really felt missing for me.
My feelings exactly. I read the graphic novel, and when I heard how they changed this scene, I was disappointed. I never pictured Rorschach as the hack-and-slash type. Haven't seen the movie yet, but I might in the near future...
For me, this was another one of the slight "improvements" that the film had over the original comic. I just felt that the abrupt level of hatred and violence in hacking the guys head in felt more Rorschachian than leaving him in the burning house.

Given how "hands on" Rorschach normally is with criminals, I felt this change fitted in better with his approach. But then again, I can see what you guys mean. There is something very sadistic about the choice Rorschach gave in the comic book.
Posted: Mon, 23rd Mar 2009, 10:16pm

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Evman

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Yeah I appreciated this change a lot. There was something about the juxtaposition of what he did to the dog and what he did to the man and the line "Men get arrested... dogs get put down" that was much more brutal, and much more of a Rorschach thing to do.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 12:49am

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Pooky

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I particularly enjoyed how FURIOUS he seemed. The twitching and such could be seen from behind the mask, and I thought it really made you afraid of what he was capable of doing at that moment.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 9:26am

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Dr Manhattan should have been clothed in some "spoiling" spots...

mad

Other than that it was awesome. A bit confusing because I have not read the book. One question, why does Dr Manhattan blow up that detective guy that wears the mask?

Otherwise great film, the effect on the detective's mask was good. Could we do that stuff on fxhome?
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 1:21pm

Post 63 of 66

The Strider

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PLANB wrote:

Dr Manhattan should have been clothed in some "spoiling" spots...

mad

Other than that it was awesome. A bit confusing because I have not read the book. One question, why does Dr Manhattan blow up that detective guy that wears the mask?

Otherwise great film, the effect on the detective's mask was good. Could we do that stuff on fxhome?
Go read the novel. Now.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 2:19pm

Post 64 of 66

Staff Only

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The Strider wrote:

PLANB wrote:

Dr Manhattan should have been clothed in some "spoiling" spots...

mad

Other than that it was awesome. A bit confusing because I have not read the book. One question, why does Dr Manhattan blow up that detective guy that wears the mask?

Otherwise great film, the effect on the detective's mask was good. Could we do that stuff on fxhome?
Go read the novel. Now.
Seconded.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 8:27pm

Post 65 of 66

Hybrid-Halo

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Guys, you know. My inner-geek is really glad to see that not everyone who went to see the film left with a damned idea of what it was about.

-Hybrid
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 8:51pm

Post 66 of 66

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:

Guys, you know. My inner-geek is really glad to see that not everyone who went to see the film left with a damned idea of what it was about.

-Hybrid
I see what you mean. I won't lie and say that us geeks can't be a bit elitist at times. razz