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The Watchmen - The Movie based on the graphic novel

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I was so excited after watching the movie, I had to do a blogpost on the entire thing. I'm anxious to hear what others think.

Here is my short synopsis of it all:

I thought the cinematography was absolutely amazing. The angles of the camera made everything seem so rich and the colors were so vivid, that this film seemed full and deep.

This show is based on a graphic novel written in 1986.

One of my favorite lines was: “There is good and there is evil, and evil must be punished. Even in the face of Armageddon I shall not compromise on this.”

Also, I love the line, "Who Watches Over the Watchmen?" and I thought it was interesting that the superheroes were really The Minutemen not The Watchmen. But maybe the watch correlation came into the script with Dr. Manhattan's Dad being a Watchmaker...?

There were so many great lines, I’m going to have to watch it again—maybe when it comes out on DVD (because taking a family of six to see a show nowadays is crazy expensive—just one pop and one bucket of popcorn was over $12.00) to see them all again.

It was a beautifully written story and the movie stayed true to most of the graphic novel, which I find admirable.

The character I connected with the most is Rorschach—especially since he was the writer, with his journal. I also thought he was heroic because he tried to warn his “friends” that someone was trying to kill them. And, he was willing to sacrifice himself and die for what he believed in.
#1 - March 08, 2009, 09:16 AM

Martha Flynn

Guest
I did a blog on the movie vs book thing, but as to the movie itself, I really enjoyed it!  My main issue being the casting of SS - I didn't buy into her chemistry with the two other male leads which is unfortunate since those relationships serve as the impetus for quite a bit of action.
#2 - March 08, 2009, 12:36 PM

Oh I was sooo pleased with the casting. Of course one question I had looking at them, is how could Adrienne be so strong??? Of course he's a super hero - I know but looking at him...
#3 - March 08, 2009, 12:38 PM

Toothpaste

Guest
The thing about Adrian (not Adrienne, just a minor quibble, as that is my name, and it is the feminine spelling - so weird watching a film hearing my name over and over, it isn't that common and I don't hear it a lot) is that he is super strong.  As well as being the smartest man in the world he is in peak physical condition, and you really get a better sense of that from the graphic novel.  In the novel we see this whole gymnastics sequence he does.  I think it's one of those cases where every single part of him is pure muscle, not bulky like the Comedian, but lithe and completely toned.  Like a gymnast.

I actually didn't mind Malin Akerman as SS at all.  At first I found her stiff, but I found all the performances at the beginning stiff.  But they grew on me.  So much so that now I have an uber crush on Dan, lol.

I wrote a review of the film for the website I work for (Hardcore Nerdity).  I was challenged to write it a la Dr. Manhattan.  Can't believe I actually did, was a heck of a lot of work:  http://www.hardcorenerdity.com/profiles/blog/show?id=2239098%3ABlogPost%3A40082
#4 - March 08, 2009, 01:14 PM

Sorry Adrienne. I suck at names. I tried to join the Hardcorenerdity but couldn't get my profile in.

Loved the "I am watching buff oiled men in tiny loincloths beat the crap out of each other." Who wouldn't like that?
#5 - March 08, 2009, 02:44 PM

ecb

Guest
I haven't read the GN, so my take is a little different.  DH (who has read it) and I saw it yesterday, and we spent the whole rest of the day/night talking about it.

1. I thought it was visually amazing, and the opening sequence where they were trying to establish the backstory was probably the best part of the whole movie.  The recreation of the Kennedy assassination was stunning.  That said, I'm not sure I found the aesthetic *personally* appealing.  Amazing, yes--but did I like it?  Meh.

2. I am now so deeply in love with Patrick Wilson, it's ridiculous. (I found him insipid in "Phantom," and now I'll have to go re-evaluate that.)

3. It is without doubt the most graphically violent and sexually explicit movie I've ever seen.  Neither of those things bothers me (see #2 above :dr), but it was hard not to notice.

4. I found the story/plot completely confusing, almost irrelevant, and difficult to follow.  On the one hand, the development of the backstory for all the characters, past and present, was critical and fascinating... and yet it somehow failed to give me a deeper understanding of the "front story."  I would say that lacking a well-structured story arc is probably the film's greatest (and perhaps fatal) flaw.  This is a story that definitely would have benefited from more telling and less showing (except in the almost cliched comic book ending, where the supervillain explains all).

5. I was disappointed that they failed to make the "Who watches the watchmen?" point.  I find that theme intriguing, but this story (at least insofar as presented in the film) really didn't address the idea of responsibility and accountability in those we ask to protect us.  It did address the idea that everybody has a messed up personal life :dr... but that's not quite the same thing.

DH talked about it with his brother (who was planning to take our 12 year-old nephew to it until we mentioned Point #2 Above), who said, "Chris--you said you didn't really like it, but you're talking about it like it was really good.  Which is it?"

...And that's where I'm kind of left, as well.  There were parts I really enjoyed, and parts I think really fell short... and I'm sort of ambivalent about the thing as a whole.
#6 - March 08, 2009, 05:44 PM

Martha Flynn

Guest
Oh Elizabeth - get in line for Patrick Wilson!!! 

He was one of my blog's top five ways the movie was better than the book.   

The story's pacing definitely suffers from comic book presentation - I remember thinking during the movie "Oh, it's the funeral scene so we're going to backflash soon to..." but when I step away from my ties to the graphic novel I realize it wasn't the most effective way to present information.

Did I mention Patrick Wilson is mine???

:duel

Martha
#7 - March 08, 2009, 07:09 PM

Toothpaste

Guest
Sorry girls, actually, I've already claimed him.  He's in my basement currently adjusting to his new environment.  He's doing awfully well.  Next step is teaching him how to make me dinner.

Actually . . . I changed my mind, you can have Patrick, as long as I can have "Dan Drieberg".  So many of my paunchy reaching middle aged male friends are very excited that I am so in love with this character, they seem to forget that while that is one part of it, there's also the whole kicking a** in a latex costume saving the day being rich and a genius inventor side that is equally important. 

Kim - no worries about the name thing, felt silly even bringing it up but felt a moral obligation.  And you don't have to join HCN if you don't want to, you can just come by and check out the news, it changes several times a day.  And yeah I mean seriously?  300 was so made for women, not sure why people were surprised so many of us went.

ecb - it's interesting to hear about the movie from someone who hasn't read the book.  I was wondering how confusing the plot might be (it was so hard for me to be able to tell. . . for example the film offers no explanation why Adrian is THAT strong).  As to Adrian's speech, well it actually is meant to subvert the comic book cliche.  He gives the typical arch villain monologue and then when told that they will stop his evil plan he says, "Dude, who do you think I am?  Why would I have shared that with you if I hadn't done it yet?"  This is what I wrote in my review about the nature of the film and why I felt it worked for me but might alienate others:

"The tone of the film may put some people off. This isn’t The Dark Knight. This isn’t a realistic setting with a superhero dropped into it. It isn’t gritty (though man is it dark), it isn’t naturalistic. We are watching a superhero movie, complete with crazy costumes, a colourful pallet, and an evil villain’s lair. We have one liners, talk of the American Dream, stylized fight sequences, greater than human demonstrations of strength, and broad emotions. It’s almost as if these characters were supposed to be just normal comic book film characters but things went horribly wrong. Somehow the real world seeped onto the screen, real concerns, real history. Yes this is a dark film postulating what would happen if superheroes existed in our world, but it is also a film about superhero films. This movie is in essence on the opposite end of the same spectrum as The Dark Knight. But in this case, this is a superhero movie with reality being dropped into it."


In all for me the weaknesses were some of the performances, especially at the start, the makeup and the special effects.  Also the occasional clunky dialogue.  But I haven't stopped thinking about it or the images, and I am desperate to go see it again.  So I must conclude I liked it.

Then again now that "Dan"'s in my basement, I guess my main motivation for seeing the film has been a bit diminished.  You know, I think I'll just pop on down there now and see what he's up to!  Night ladies!
#8 - March 08, 2009, 10:22 PM

The Get-Up Kid

Guest
Who watches the Watchmen?

That movie was beyond amazing. Surpassed my standards by a long shot. I expected some cheap cash-in (not totally unlike the videogame adaptation)!

Still, I miss the giant alien....
#9 - March 09, 2009, 10:15 AM

The Get-Up Kid: That's one of the things I said in my blogpost: I regretted that Dr. M. became the scapegoat rather than the giant squid.
#10 - March 09, 2009, 10:48 AM

Toothpaste

Guest
Actually I didn't mind the Dr. Manhattan scapegoat, it tied in nicely with the story.  I mean the squid is awesome, but I think it would have been just too much, too ridiculous, for the audience.  Plus it's so much better if you get to see all the stuff about the artists and stuff, and they didn't have time for that.

Just saw it again tonight, still love it.  Still in love with Dan.  As is my friend who saw it for the first time tonight with me.  Interestingly she hadn't read the book, but still understood it and enjoyed it. 
#11 - March 10, 2009, 09:02 PM

Fun to hear the different viewpoints. Thanks for sharing.
#12 - March 10, 2009, 09:05 PM

Matthew Kirby

Guest
5. I was disappointed that they failed to make the "Who watches the watchmen?" point.  I find that theme intriguing, but this story (at least insofar as presented in the film) really didn't address the idea of responsibility and accountability in those we ask to protect us.  It did address the idea that everybody has a messed up personal life :dr... but that's not quite the same thing.

The phrase "who watches the watchmen" (which is from Herodotus or some other Greek philosopher - anyone know for sure?) never actually appears in its entirety in the graphic novel.  No one comes out and says it, either.  It appears in snippets in wall graffiti and such, but never as a complete phrase.  It plays out implicitly in the theme, rather than explicitly.  Moore is rather oblique that way.  Maybe Zach Snyder was trying to match the same sensibility.

Matt
#13 - April 02, 2009, 09:19 AM

Love the phrase and the thought. Here's what I found: "Moore [said] that the phrase is a translation of the question "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?", posed by the Roman satirist Juvenal..."
#14 - April 02, 2009, 11:14 AM

Mistress of Mayhem
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Exactly what ecb said. My husband (who also did not read the book) has been reading up on it since to help us fill in the blanks where the movie didn't explain things. One of the good things about the movie is that we've kept thinking about it, which is always a good sign.

#15 - April 02, 2009, 02:19 PM
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 05:08 AM by sruble »
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KateM

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I honestly thought it was too light and wasn't as dark as the novel, the thing I found humorous is that rather than just suggest that The Comedian had been the one to kill Kennedy; which the comics did, Snyder went so far to say it was Edward who did the assassination.  The opening was amazing, and I liked how they didn't hold back on showing Blake go smashing through the window.

Jeffrey's performance was amazing, but I already loved him as John Winchester and Denny Duquette.  Patrick was cute as Dan, but my focus throughout the film was on the Comedian.  Was it just me or did anyone else besides myself cry during Blake's funeral?

It's not really something you'd want to take your kids to, I saw it by myself because I knew M would not approve because of how dark it is; and especially the whole 'man is monster' undertone that my friends saw in it.

I personally thought they could have done better, but Morgan's translation of the whole 'he's a total monster but you don't hate him at the end' ordeal was fairly good.  My one issue with the movie is they didn't show more of Bubastis which Moore did in the comics.  Bubastis is the furball that gets fried at the end when Adrian tries to kill Jon.
#16 - April 20, 2009, 11:25 PM
« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 03:20 AM by KitchenK »

I think it's hard to convey so many subplots in one movie - maybe it could be a series - but then I think it's a bit dark for that - I mean on t.v.
#17 - April 21, 2009, 09:25 PM

KateM

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I think it's hard to convey so many subplots in one movie - maybe it could be a series - but then I think it's a bit dark for that - I mean on t.v.
True, I doubt it would be turned into a series, Moore doesn't support the movie {I only saw it for the actors  :whitebunny ); I think they needed to have made the movie longer and really go deep into the characters personas and vigilante personas rather than skip all the fun involving the Crimebusters {Movie Version: Minutemen}
#18 - April 23, 2009, 01:18 AM

I know he didn't want it made into a movie but a series would be interesting - that way they could pull out each subplot and do it justice - but it will probably never happen. :(
#19 - April 23, 2009, 10:48 AM

KateM

Guest
I know he didn't want it made into a movie but a series would be interesting - that way they could pull out each subplot and do it justice - but it will probably never happen. :(

True, they made an animated comic version out of it I think which is 2D but it's still pretty good.  A series would be good, though I wouldn't use Matthew Goode for Ozymandias; I'd definitely use Jeffrey for Edward.
#20 - April 23, 2009, 06:59 PM

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