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March 07, 2009

Comments

Matt

In the book, young Kovacs grabs one youngster and puts out his cigarette in his eye, then tackles the second and gnaws on his cheek.

I was a little upset that Snyder felt the need to go as far as showing young Kovacs ripping a chunk out of the kids face, as that's not in the comic.

Speaking of that, there were a couple of scenes where the violence and gore just seemed thrown in for no reason. I don't mean scenes where it serviced the story, as in Rorshach's flashback (although I wish they'd kept his original punishment for the rapist), but rather scenes where it wasn't in the book. Dan breaking a knot-tops bone through his arm, Laurie stabbing one in the neck...some of it seemed to be just too much. I'm no prude when it comes to this sort of stuff, but most of the violence and sensuality in the original seemed to serve a purpose - in the film, it comes off as sensationalist.

"I actually didn't mind the actor who played Veidt. I'm not convinced someone who's never read Watchmen would think it's "obvious" the Veidt was the villain. Some of the same feints from the comic book version were in there (such as the assassination attempt on Veidt), so I don't think his true identity was spoiled. "

Mark, it wasn't so much about the story beats as it was about the actor's portrayal. He tried for charm and confidence, but it came off more as a pompous arrogance that befit an actor playing the villain of the piece.

As for Captain Metropolis, I read something on IGN that sums up my thought better than I could:

"The script even goes so far as to replace Captain Metropolis with Ozymandias in the crucial Crime Busters scene, virtually spelling out the fact that Ozy will eventually take it upon himself to save the world any way possible. The scene was quite possibly the most subtle and thematically important sequence in the novel. In the film, it's just another conspicuous directional pointing towards the end."

These are nitpi

zubzwank

Re: bringing kids to inappropriate movies: I saw Species at a $1 theater full of kids 3-15 w/parents. All got to see the explicit scene of the guy (Doc Ock, right?) having sex with and then being gorily torn apart by the alien. Can't beat a bargain family day out, I guess.
That excuse, of course, doesn't apply to Watchmen.

So many of the discussions above are on the money. The movie has its flaws, but..
It's a fantastic adaptation--without significant compromise (though A major Lovecraft fan, I can live w/o the squid)--of the "unfilmable" book.

I hope it's at least a reasonable hit because the people need to see a movie with gunplay, explosions, sex and intelligence.
The fact that it revolves around costumes heroes is a plus, especially for the crowd that visits this website.

Ralph C.

Whenever I go to see a movie that adapts a character/characters or a book to the big screen, I hope that the essence of the character or book is captured in the movie. When you adapt something to the big screen, there are always going to be changes, modifications and such, because of the difference between the storytelling in books and comics and movies, however slightly one might think of the differences. The first "Spider-Man" film, for example, captured the essence of that character very well, though the movie wasn't a complete literal translation of the comic book character.

I saw the movie Thursday night with my girlfriend. I thought the "Watchmen" movie captured the essence of the graphic novel. I enjoyed the film, thought the acting was well-done, the story coherent, and the visual experience arresting, at times.

I tried to watch it with two sets of eyes-- one set seeing how well it adapted the novel, the other set trying to see it as someone who never read the novel. My girlfriend is someone who had never read the novel. I asked her afterwards if she enjoyed it, was able to follow the story, were there any plot holes, questions of that nature. She told me she liked it a lot and was able to follow the story, explaining to me what it was about, demostrating that she was able to follow it. We did this as the credits rolled. When I like a movie, I stay in the theater until the credits and such run out, to show my appreciation of the effort the filmmakers made. This is an unseen appreciation, to be sure, for the filmmakers will never know I was there until the very, very end of the movie.

So, based on our viewpoints, I think "Watchmen" accomplished that rare feat of pleasing both types of audiences: readers and non-readers of the graphic novel.

The secondary effect of how well the movie was done: I want to read "Watchmen" again.

The desired secondary effect of the creators, financers and distributors of the film: I want to see it again.

The wishful effect for the secondary market for the film: I can't wait for it to come out on DVD (I'm not a Blue-Ray'er at this time).

Mark, a very good review, by the way. Your quibbles weren't mine, though. I really don't have any quibbles, to be honest. What you liked about it is, basically, what I liked about it. I am a Bob Dylan fan so it was nice to hear a few Dylan songs during the movie, especially at the opening of the film that, even now, is giving me goosebumps. I loved the beginning of the film, which gave the audience a timeline, of sorts, of the "Watchmen" world, the background that readies the viewer for the world we were about to enter. Also, "Patrick Wilson's likeable Dan Dreiberg" was a dead-ringer for the comic book character, which was amazing, and character of Rorschach, right down to the voice and attitude, was spot-on to me, too. I thought all the casting was well-done and the actors portrayed their characters very well.

All in all, one of the best comic book films I've seen. Way to go, DC! Now, if they only could fix Superman and Batman....

Joseph

Excellent review. I agree with almost every one of your (and many of the readers') points. I'm so glad that (for the most part) the comic-reading crowd seems to hold such a sober and thought-out opinion of the film. The past twelve months have really been a triumph for comic-related movies.

Mark Engblom

Ralph-

Thanks for the great report on your Watchmen experience! I agree...Watchmen absolutely captured the essence of the original comic book story, which I view to be a profound accomplishment.

Joseph- Thanks! Yes, the past year has definitely been a big one for comic book films, with plenty of promise for coming years. Can't wait!

Loren

Someone mentioned that the 'Boys' folder was a cheap shot and made Adrian seem like a Michael Jackson character--I didn't see it that way.
In the novel, Rorschach, after speaking with Veidt and warning him about the Comedian's death, says "Possibly homosexual? Must remember to investiage further." They didn't have that scene in the movie, so I took the 'Boys' folder as something to amuse those of us who have read the novel. If you caught it and have read the novel, you'd probably remember that part. I did, and I thought the folder thing was hilarious. Just Snyder throwing in a bit of humor.
Most of the people at the theater I went to hadn't read the novel, and they didn't notice the folder. There was a small group of us who laughed at that, and a large group who had no idea what the hell we were laughing about.

Loren

Oh, and for the predictability of Adrian being the villian--I went with five other people who didn't even know what the hell Watchmen was, and every one of them gasped when they realized he was the bad guy. They all said basically the same thing: "He seemed so unimportant!"

When I explained the novel ending to them, they all said that they would not have enjoyed that ending at all. It would have been "stupid" and "completely unbelievable". They thought the movie ending worked better, and I have to say, I agree for the most part. The novel ending worked in the novel, but it would have ruined the movie, I think. (at least for anyone who hadn't read the novel)

I loved the extra violence in the movie. I mean, the whole arm snapping and arm sawing was a bit ridiculous (it worked for the most part, but I'm having a damn hard time convincing my mom that No, only Dr. Manhattan had powers), the extra violence in the Roche scene really worked. It made that scene so much stronger. My stomach was twisting and I cried just a bit. The transition from Kovacs to Rorschach was displayed beautifully.

The only thing that really irked me was how little they showed Walter cameoing in different scenes. That was one of my favorite elements of the novel--this random red head showing up everywhere with his sign, like a pure observer of all of the evils. I absolutely loved figuring out that he was Rorschach. It made the character seem that much stronger. He was only shown that way, like, once. Disappointing. And the cutting of the news paper salesman and that little boy. Seeing them in the end made me depressed, but without the salesman's commentary on life, the scene was not at strong. I completely understand the cutting (not vital to the plot, TIME,omg) but it still made me sad.

Sorry for the double comment, I was going to say all of this before but I forgot. xD

s-kat

Wow! I've just been reading through all these glowing reviews of the Watchman movie and I can't help but think...Huh?

Personally I found the movie to be a joyless depressing experience.

The extended fight scenes, pointless and boring. And worse all the actors used all the same fighting techniques. Wouldn't different superheroes have their own personal fighting styles.

And as for our "villain" Veidt, Super Whimp would be a more apt description. A totally pathetic performance.

As for the soundtrack, yes I know it took its cue from the original books but some things work better when they are kept subtle and in the background. By bringing the music forward like they did made the soundtrack sound cobbeled together and cheesy.

And speaking of cheesy, that opening sequence was one of the cheesiest I have ever seen in a movie, even for a movie about comic books.

Shall I go on. Why bother. I am sorry to say but I found the movie so boring I didn't even bother to make a copy of it before I returned it to the library. I sure am glad I didn't pay money to suffer through it in a theatre.

Sorry guys. I am not trying to spoil the party but I am just trying to point out that there were good and legitmate reasons why it justifiably died a quick and merciful death at the theatres.


Mark Engblom

"Personally I found the movie to be a joyless depressing experience."

As opposed to the rollicking, laugh-a-minute comic book version?

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