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    Watchman review, by grognard Amp. Some spoilers.

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    Watchman review, by grognard Amp. Some spoilers.

    Postby Ampoliros » 07 Mar 2009 15:23

    Saw it last night. I give it two "Enh's" I was hoping they would at least try to justify the new ending...they don't. I'd say it was 50/50 for a film that claims to stay "as true to the original" as possible.

    Acting out the Comedian's death in the introduction, along with giving him speaking lines..... The Detectives going over the crime scene, with interspersed clips from the actual murder was much more effective. As much as they tried to keep the great lines in the film i think they missed one of the best. "Ground Floor...comin up."

    Zack Snyder's use of music was also 50/50. While he picked great music to use in each scene, using the music to evoke the proper emotion, he failed to tie it into the scene fully. We get blasted with loud and recognizable and perfectly chosen themes, and yet he seems to avoid as much as possible overlaying music with speech and action, where it would have the most impact. The sound of silence for the comedian's funeral seemed a bit off. Fortunate Son would have been much better. :wink:

    On a good note, i think they did a near perfect job of casting. My only complaint is the Comedian, which Snyder seems to have begging to cast with Robert Downey Jr, and instead has Jeffery Dean Morgan attempt to emulate him. His maimed face is missing, that i think was an important part of the Comedian with his disfigured, joker-ish face.

    At first I didn't like the choices for Rorshach and Dr. Manhatten, but both of those actors convinced me they were well chosen. Dr. Manhatten's special effects could have been a bit more convincing. He looked as if he was just pasted on to the screen. I think it had more to do with his aura, and possibly was meant to be a visual representation of how he's not really there (psychologically).

    Dropping the side stories of the cops seemed to take the film out of the real world and focus it on the superheros. Leaving that thread in would have only cost him a couple of minutes of screen time. There was so much in the background that was placed and not used. I'm almost waiting for an Extended edition ala LOTR. with the upcoming webcomic and animated Tales of the Black Freighter, we might get something like this.

    I think this film might 'bomb' a bit. It seems that the only people i can think of that will really enjoy it are the people who love comics and/or sci-fi, but for some crazy reason have not read Watchmen. people who love the comic (especially OH-type people like me) will definitely be disappointed. Let me know if i'm wrong about that. People expecting a super-hero story will probably not have the attention span to sit through a 3hr movie for about 1hr worth of action that is on par with other films.

    I liked that they show a very brutal fight when a gang of knot-tops try to mug Dan and Laurie. it shows us first hand that the old costumed heroes did not pull their punches and are more than willing to cripple or kill a 'bad-guy'. I did not like the savage conversion story of Rorschach however. I think it was much more methodical when he leaves the guy to burn and watches to make sure he doesn't get out rather than Snyder's savage execution.

    THE ENDING: SPOILERS GALORE

    WTF. I wish they could have at least lent 20 seconds to explain how nuking the major cities of the world and making it look like AMERICA'S GREATEST WEAPON is supposed to stave off WWIII. They even mention that the Ruskies are biding their time to make sure Dr. M's disappearance isn't a ploy to lure them into a conflict. Why then, would they have a sudden change of heart when "dr. M" nukes them all. would they even hesitate to check"...oh wait, we weren't nuked, Dr. M blew us up...oh but he hates america now too?!?!?!?" No the Russian response would be, "you brought this on us all, deploy all nukes!!!!"

    I was discussing this with my friends last night, who wanted to see the film first and then read the novel. I explained to them I think the reason to not use the Giant Alien Psychic-vagina-squid (with tentacles) was that it's appearance would be too cheesy. No cheese is the director's fault. Alien invasion is an outside attack, that can occur without warning. we get glimpses of whats coming in the comic, and even then at the end we are still in WTF mode. But it works. Its something we aren't comfortable with, its shocking, and we don't know what it can or can't do. thats the building block of fear what will cause the doomsday clock to stop and go back down.

    If Dr. M is obviously behind the attack, well the world knows about him. sure they might fear him but he's a known variable. he's also a variable that has caused the clock to be paused at 5 to midnight and whose removal causes it to march forward. I must say again that the Russians wouldn't halt all aggression because we got nuked too. Hasn't Snyder seen Fail-Safe?

    Overall I give Watchman a 5 out of 10. That's because for all of it's great moments, and accuracy, its still a grand attempt that fails miserably in it's first and foremost goal of accuracy to the comic.

    I have to agree with Alan Moore in this, i don't think his works can be turned into films, not while Hollywood is more focused on block-busters rather than making art pieces. While Watchmen is a superbly made film, it fails to adequately tell the story of the novel, and that is almost worse than not even trying.
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    Postby Ampoliros » 07 Mar 2009 15:26

    Oh BTW, Patrick Wilson was f'n perfect for Dan/Nite Owl II.
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    Postby Seraphan » 07 Mar 2009 15:37

    Great review Ampoliros. <thumbs>
    Watchmen is one of those cases in wich i would prefer if they had not made a movie at all. Why can't Hollywood leave these works alone.
    Movies are movies, graphic novels are graphic novels, books are books, music is music, games are games. There's no need to churn one into another, in most cases with works of art like Dune, Watchmen, Sandman, etc, it is an almost garanteed fuck up.
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    Postby orald » 07 Mar 2009 17:06

    I'm begining to see what the big change in the ending was, and I'm NOT happy with it.

    Never compromise, even in the face of aramageddon! :x


    I'll probably be d/ling it instead of going to the cinema then, and to hell with Hollywood! :cry:
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    Postby SandChigger » 07 Mar 2009 19:32

    Well, on the bright side, this cheers me immensely re the prospects of for the upcoming Dune movie:

    Yet another MASSIVE FAIL with the names Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert attached. :D
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    Postby Lisan Al-Gaib » 07 Mar 2009 23:45

    I think I will disagree of the main opinion here: I liked the movie very much also as the ending.

    I don't think the movie was perfect. It fails to create a emotional link between the orients and the death of millions in the end, also to show us the real Ozymandias.

    I think the actions scenes, especially the prison rebellion's scene, could have been shorter. And the free violence during some scenes were unnecessary (the guy having his arms ripped off was too much).

    I loved the casting, I don't have any special complaining, but the actress of Silk Spectre II was under the expected for a characters who should show more sentimental reaction.

    And, finally, the end:

    **SPOILER**

    I liked it very very much. I'm not a guy who worship Alan Moore works as the ultimate art, but I always think the end of Watchmen as one of the best I ever read, however the solution found by Snider et al. to preserve the final idea of watchmen was superb.

    Blaming Dr. Manhattan insert itself in the context of the movie better than the Vagina-Squid of the graphic novel. I think that would function even for the GN as well. Why? Well, the story explain by itself:

    Dr. Manhattan, even being American, is feared by all the people in the world, including Americans themselves. So, when this Being shocking disappears during a TV show after have been accused of provoking cancer and having not sentiments for life, all the world will start trying to figure out to where did he go and what he is thinking. For me, that is frightening as a alien attack. So, when attacks start to happen on many big cities all over the world I'd probably think this God started to judge the humanity.
    It works as well as the alien attack. And even explain better why Manhattan decided to leave the Solar System.

    My 2 cents.
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    Postby Ampoliros » 08 Mar 2009 11:29

    While I agree that the film did a good job depicting Ozymandias, I still think the ending makes no sense. As I said, the Russians would see this as an American weapon that was unleashed and it attacked everyone. Also, with the TV interview, they now know that Dr. Manhattan is vulnerable psychologically, that no matter how physically powerful he is, he's still human.

    Seeing this happen to Watchmen, the joke that was V for Vendetta, and repeatedly with PKD's stories I think that Seraphan was right. If you are going to adapt something to the screen make it into a film, and don't promise you are going to make a faithful adaptation if your going to change major details.

    Dune has 2 great film adaptations, we have our nitpicks with them but I don't think we outright hate them. However watching Watchmen, and Hancock, can you imagine watching a matrix-style slow cam fight between Gurney and Paul? Or close distortion shots with time-delay while Jessica takes the water of life? How about overused dutch shots to accentuate Baron Harkonnen's madness!?!?!

    Yeah Dune's new incarnation is screwed by over-production.

    However i do think it would be interesting to see the crew that pulled off BSG do a Dune series. EJO as Duke Leto ftw. Even with some major re-imagining i think it would be well done. the downside is we know the 2 little piggies at the gate would want to put their greasy palms all over it.
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    Postby orald » 08 Mar 2009 18:19

    Anyone who compromises even a bit with a Dune adaptation is an abomination and must die. Simple as that.
    In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.

    I wish I could have been with you that one last time.
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    Postby SandChigger » 08 Mar 2009 20:44

    I'll chip in on your ticket to Hollywood. :twisted:
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    Postby SimonH » 22 Mar 2009 16:26

    I finally saw it last night and had mixed feelings (Spoilers)

    Pros:
    - Visually I thought it was great. I've only read the book once, but thought it really had a complementary visual feel.
    - I thought the compression of the story was generally done well. I missed a lot of the detail from the book, but i didn't read the book in one sitting and the movie was long enough as it was.
    - i thought the casting was great all around. Laurie's ass especially! Damn that was good.

    Cons:
    - The ending. I'm with the neighsayers above. Should have kept the original, though there would have had to have been more storyline to explain the alien thingy
    -I'm not too sure how it will go over with the younger generation. I could see the young punks in front of me getting bored with some of the longer scenes that were exposition, not action based. Not sure if this is a con or not, but my concentration was a little stretched every now and then.

    Not Sure:
    - The violence was gore-porn in some respects. Just a bit unneccesary in the extremes
    - The ever present blue dick! I know it is in the book too, but sometimes you don't need to be faithful to the source material in my opinion :P

    Overall, I was expecting the worst and got much better. I would say that I was neary satisfied.
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    Postby orald » 23 Mar 2009 00:29

    What's with all the crying about blue dicks? If those were blue veginas nobody'd complain(well, maybe the faschi-feminists would).

    Besides, all this talk of blue dicks is giving me blue balls.
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    Postby Redstar » 23 Mar 2009 01:22

    Haven't seen the movie yet, so I'm trying not to scroll up. Is Manhattan's dick really noticeably more blue than in the novel?
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    Postby GamePlayer » 23 Mar 2009 01:41

    It's North Americans. We get even the hint of a penis on screen, we go into anaphylactic shock and run to the nearest confessional :)

    You know, the terrorists got it all wrong. All they need do to truly hurt America is somehow get a penis on the air and watch the chaos tear the nation apart. Just look what one of Jackson's breast's did. Imagine the terror unleashed when they smite the infidels on CNN with the most holy phallus! :)
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    Postby Redstar » 23 Mar 2009 02:02

    Hm. So no gratuitous blue superhuman dong?
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    Postby SandChigger » 23 Mar 2009 03:32

    GamePlayer wrote:Imagine the terror unleashed when they smite the infidels on CNN with the most holy phallus! :)

    The Sword of Allah? :P
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    Postby Dunenewt » 23 Mar 2009 10:06

    -Kevin J. Anderson, a best-selling writer who has co-authored several novels set in Frank Herbert's classic "Dune" universe with Herbert's son, Brian: "'Watchmen' was to graphic novels and comics as 'Dune' was to science fiction: such an ambitious, envelope-breaking story that it showed everybody the true potential of the art form. Nobody had ever done that before in comics; not only did it redefine the way we look at superheroes, but it also was so good that mainstream audiences could not ignore it."


    http://www.gazette.com/entertainment/wa ... _time.html
    Last edited by Dunenewt on 23 Mar 2009 10:56, edited 1 time in total.
    SandChigger wrote:I thought Nekhrun made a good point (again) over on DN: that the original "girly titles" of the next two books (Jessica and Irulan ... a big GROAN on the coconut joke, btw :lol: ) probably wouldn't do well in attracting the apparent target demographic of these books.

    To wit: barely post-pubescent geeky teenage boys. :P


    (Which description fits Dunenewt over on FED2K, it seems, even though he's 20 or something.)
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    Postby SandChigger » 23 Mar 2009 10:44

    Anderson also expressed his own, personal interest in the graphic novel: "I can hardly wait for Moore to die so I can fuck Watchmen over like I have Dune with a sequel or prequel or two."

    But seriously, who did Kevin steal that quote from?
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    Postby Dunenewt » 23 Mar 2009 10:46

    GamePlayer wrote:Watchmen is exactly the kind of work that has transcended it's own art form and is known internationally as a great recognized work. Watchmen is the Dune of comics; the Lord of the Rings of graphic novels.
    SandChigger wrote:I thought Nekhrun made a good point (again) over on DN: that the original "girly titles" of the next two books (Jessica and Irulan ... a big GROAN on the coconut joke, btw :lol: ) probably wouldn't do well in attracting the apparent target demographic of these books.

    To wit: barely post-pubescent geeky teenage boys. :P


    (Which description fits Dunenewt over on FED2K, it seems, even though he's 20 or something.)
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    Postby SandChigger » 23 Mar 2009 10:54

    :?: :?: :?:

    Isn't it time to crawl out of Kevin's ass now? Other people want to squeeze up in there for a turn, too, you know. Simon, for example.
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    Postby Dunenewt » 23 Mar 2009 10:55

    I was trying to show you who said that before Kevin, in other words, another poster at this site in another thread about Watchmen.
    SandChigger wrote:I thought Nekhrun made a good point (again) over on DN: that the original "girly titles" of the next two books (Jessica and Irulan ... a big GROAN on the coconut joke, btw :lol: ) probably wouldn't do well in attracting the apparent target demographic of these books.

    To wit: barely post-pubescent geeky teenage boys. :P


    (Which description fits Dunenewt over on FED2K, it seems, even though he's 20 or something.)
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    Postby Tleszer » 23 Mar 2009 10:56

    SandChigger wrote:
    GamePlayer wrote:Imagine the terror unleashed when they smite the infidels on CNN with the most holy phallus! :)

    The Sword of Allah? :P


    So the Sword of Allah is a giant, blue dick? :crazy:


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    Postby TheDukester » 23 Mar 2009 11:50

    Dunenewt wrote:I was trying to show you who said that before Kevin, in other words, another poster at this site in another thread about Watchmen.

    And the point to that would be ... ? :?
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    Postby GamePlayer » 23 Mar 2009 15:32

    I'm so honored that KJA stole my sound bite :roll:

    In other news...

    Hack writer criticizes BSG, Ron Moore asks "Kevin who?" :)
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    Postby Seraphan » 23 Mar 2009 17:45

    :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:
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    Postby Nekhrun » 23 Mar 2009 19:01

    Dunenewt wrote:
    -Kevin J. Anderson, a best-selling writer who has co-authored several novels set in Frank Herbert's classic "Dune" universe with Herbert's son, Brian: "'Watchmen' was to graphic novels and comics as 'Dune' was to science fiction: such an ambitious, envelope-breaking story that it showed everybody the true potential of the art form. Nobody had ever done that before in comics; not only did it redefine the way we look at superheroes, but it also was so good that mainstream audiences could not ignore it."


    http://www.gazette.com/entertainment/wa ... _time.html

    Too bad he was part of the problem in the world of comics that Moore had to educate.
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