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Watchmen Film Review

Rohan Williams watched Watchmen and he wrote us up a review of the film. Enjoy! – BC

When it comes to Zack Syder’s Watchmen, most of us seem to fall into two camps: those expecting a laughable mess, and those expecting a masterpiece (the latter group, while starting off small, seems to have grown considerably as the marketing campaign ramps up). Both groups are going to be disappointed.

The true winners of the Watchmen sweepstakes are those who expected the film to be… just kind of there, I guess. The quality of the production oscillates wildly between ‘solid adaptation’ and ‘fan film’ (or, perhaps, community theatre in slow-motion).

Obviously, Moore’s masterpiece inadvertently creates a number of problems for anyone trying to adapt it to a different medium. Looked at from that perspective – as a formal exercise – Snyder simply can’t keep up with the bearded madman. The famous (infamous?) use of dialogue as overlapping narration doesn’t survive the translation, for example, and Dr Manhattan’s mind-bending sojourn on Mars becomes a fairly pedestrian flashback sequence.

Synder’s handling of the story’s major ‘reveals’ is also perplexing. Walter Kovacs is barely seen (and never heard from) before his unmasking, robbing that scene of much of its impact. It doesn’t help that the few times we do see him, the film seems to be screaming his ‘true’ identity at us.

Likewise, and far more detrimental to the story, is Matthew Goode’s performance as Ozymandias. He possesses none of the inherent nobility given to his comics iteration by Dave Gibbons, and – in a move that can only be designed to appeal to the LCD – is backed by ominous music and/or thunder virtually every time he opens his mouth. The same twist that resulted in fans saying ‘holy shit’ on the comic book page gets little more than a ‘well, DUH’ here.

It’s not all bad news, though. In the moments when Snyder (with screenwriters David Hayter and Alex Tse) chooses to actively adapt the work for the screen, rather than slavishly recreate the comic, the film shines brightest. Despite the predictions of some people based on a few YouTube clips, it’s nowhere near as direct an adaptation as 300 or Sin City.

In fact, the much-ballyhooed replacement ending (yep, the Squid really isn’t in it) is actually quite clever, and works better in the context of a two-and-a-half hour movie than the alternative would have.

For all the criticism traditionally directed at Snyder’s handling of actors, a few of them acquit themselves quite well here. Haley’s Rorschach is every bit as good as you might expect, while Billy (Dr Manhattan) Crudup and Patrick (Nite Owl II) Wilson are as close to their comic book equivalents as possible.

Despite their best efforts, much of the charm and subtlety of Moore and Gibbons’ work has been lost, and that’s a shame. The loss of the pirate comic is acceptable, but the sheer amount of ‘callback’ scenes we get that don’t actually call back to anything (as the original moments were cut) is quite galling.

Speaking of the ‘pirate comic’ – weirdly enough, Tales of the Black Freighter is only ever referenced as a poster in the background, while Hollis Mason’s Under The Hood biography is mentioned countless times. You have to wonder if the direct-to-DVD people have focused their energy in the right place!

For over 20 years, a successful adaptation of Watchmen has been Hollywood’s Gordian Knot. I can only admire Synder and co. for doing their best to cut it, but ultimately, they leave it slightly frayed at best.

57 Comments

Awww dammit……

Really can’t say much more than that. I’ve been swaying between the two groups mentioned early in the piece, this does not bode well for me.

Did just think of one thing, we should wonder if some of the problems mentioned, especially the lack of Kovacs and the form of the Dr Manhattan Mars scene will be somewhat fixed with an extended director’s cut that we are all expecting on DVD.

Oz, that’s a good point and something I meant to mention (this review was pumped out pretty quickly after a screening) – there’s a good chance some of the things I didn’t like about it will be fixed in the director’s cut. Snyder’s talking up at least two extended versions of the film on DVD, after all.

Hmmm….

If the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes (currently 8 positive 1 negative) are anything to go by it might just be comic fans who are disappointed – but then that was almost invetivable.

Obviously we’re all going to see it regardless anyway

I still think Watchmen should have instead been made into a high-production-value television serial in 12 parts, one for each issue. Someone needs to someday swing the clout needed to take advantage of the Television medium. Hurm.

This review and the other reviews I’ve read so far remind me of why I don’t usually put too much stock in reviews in the first place — when it comes to film, or comics, or any other art, really, its all mostly a matter of taste. One review I read (I can’t remember which) cites the Dr. Manhattan flashback as one of the strongest of the film, and Rohan thinks it is pedestrian.

I remain cautiously optimistic about this movie, not because of the good reviews or in spite of the bad reviews, but more on the strength of what I’ve seen so far. I’ve never had much hope that the true greatness of “Watchmen” could be captured on film, but I still think I’ll enjoy seeing the characters and certain scenes brought to life on the big screen.

I know this is overly simplistic, but if they ever make a comic book out of Citizen Kang Kane, I don’t expect it to be as good as the movie or as good as Watchmen, but I would expect it to be a good gateway to the movie. I don’t expect Watchmen to be as good as Citizen Kane the movie or the Watchmen comic/graphic novel. I hope this is good enough to be a gateway for non-comics readers who don’t already know about Watchmen.

As Ittousagi said, this could have been so much better as a serial tv event. You’d think with the popularity of the crime procedural, someone would have recognized this and taken advantage of it.

So what’s the over/under on % of critics who use some version of the phrase “Watch/Don’t watch the Watchmen” in their headline or review? And can we hit them?

Under the Hood will be on the Black Freighter DVD.

This is one of the three most negative reviews that I have seen so far for the movie (out of around 20), and the fact that it isn’t truly negative is probably a good sign. Only a British tabloid seems to actually hate the movie so far. The clips I’ve seen don’t really impress me, but from what I’ve read it seems to indicate that its a poor selection of which scenes to show rather than an indicator of the quality of the full movie. The supplemental stuff I’ve seen, like the Keene Act thing, has been far stronger though.

No one seems to agree on Matthew Goode’s performance. This review and others say he stinks; still others say he’s great. Pretty much everyone agrees that Haley is fantastic.

How is the film from a technical standpoint (ie cinematography, etc)?

I still think Watchmen should have instead been made into a high-production-value television serial in 12 parts, one for each issue. Someone needs to someday swing the clout needed to take advantage of the Television medium. Hurm.

Absolutely. Because it, you know, kind of sucks that we have to wait around for the Extended DVD to see the “real version” of the movie. At the very least, the full Watchman probably could have made a great “Kill Bill” style 2-parter.

Honestly though… regardless of the “faithfulness” of the adaptation, it has already gotten more people reading comics (sales of Watchmen have gone through the roof). For some reason, Watchman seems to have already had a bigger effect on sales that even Iron Man, Spider-Man, and The Dark Knight. This is a *good* thing for the medium, and I’m very happy about that.

Are these people going back to read more comics? That I doubt. They’re participating in the blockbuster zeitgeist. Nothing more, nothing less.

I find it’s interesting that people who would not give the comic a second look are reading it as part of ramp up to the movie.

Case in point, my ex-girlfriend who wouldn’t give Fables a try is currently devouring Watchmen.

Saw it yesterday to review. I won’t spoil anything but:

Cinematography is great.
Production design is patchy/ inconsistent.
Acting is good to great (Rorschac & Doc Manhattan).
There’s an over-use of slowmo to try to match Gibbon’s pacing.

Any changes are generally well implemented and make sense. I’ve one or two niggly fanboy issues but hey.

My overall thoughts on the film are these:
Firstly, it wasn’t enough of an adaption. Any problems I had were with pacing/music that were trying to stay too true to the book rather than change it for a different medium.
Secondly, I think this will appeal more to those outside comics than to fans directly, which can hopefully be a good thing for the industry. The color and imagination I saw in Watchmen I see in comics quite often but I almost never see it on screen.
Thirdly, I though the violence was too graphic in places, which took away from the places when it needed to be to shock, but maybe I’m getting old.

All the cutting between stories and characters makes it feel like Twin Peaks to me, of all things.

Ultimately, I’d strongly recommend it. It’s far from perfect but it’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen anything like it.

Using an extended DVD to “fix” the problems of a movie is a cop-out. It’s one thing if the studio totally overrides the director (a la Bladerunner or Brazil), but another when they say “Oh, we’ll show that on the DVD.” It’s like LOTR – most of the extended scenes were nice bonuses, but the fact that the major villain died off camera in the theatrical version was just bad writing and/or editing.

It’s not like Watchmen’s complexity should have surprised anyone, nor should Snyder have been surprised that the studio wouldn’t let him make a 3.5 hour movie.

Rohan, you suck !

I am a bit put off going to the cinema. I don’t generally ever watch films twice (too many films I haven’t yet seen for that) so part of me wants to wait until the full version is out on DVD rather than seeing a cut down version at the cinema.

This is definitely worth going to see in the cinema

Are these people going back to read more comics? That I doubt. They’re participating in the blockbuster zeitgeist. Nothing more, nothing less.

I can’t really see your logic here, Joe.

So out of the millions of people who have bought or will buy or will borrow Watchmen the comic, if only a few thousand branch out to other Alan Moore works or any other comics/graphic novels, that is STILL a good thing. I think it’s rather silly to dismiss the fact that “these people” will stop at Watchmen (huge generalization, I think) as an entire group. Just because Watchmen probably won’t usher in major, huge comic sales like Batman 1989 did does not mean adding a few hundred or even thousand new readers is a bad thing at all.

Dark Horse sold a lot more units of 300 and Sin City books due to those movies. Batman books like Killing Joke, Arkham Asylum, and the Joker graphic novel have reportedly done fairly well due, in part, to the Dark Knight. The American Splendor movie exposed an entirely new fanbase to Harvey Pekar’s work (including myself) and helped allow to net a pretty good contract with Vertigo. You’re going to tell me that all that isn’t a good thing for the industry, even if someone only buys one other book? A sale is still a sale, and some of those sales are gateway sales. Of course not ALL of them.

I’m sure DC, Marvel, and the rest of the companies affected by even the smallest amount of “bumper” sales are happy with the results.

I think I’ll probably like the movie, but as a person who only read Watchmen recently, I do feel the comic is slightly overrated. Part of that probably stems from the fact that I fundamentally disagree with Moore’s take on “how superheroes would really be” and the political message presented throughout it.

That’s not to say I didn’t like it or don’t think it’s one of the best Graphic Novels of all time, I was surprised that I actually liked it after hearing so much hype. I guess because I don’t really feel that much invested in the book’s ideas as much as the presentation, I’m less worried about them being preserved as I might be in a movie adaptation of say, the Bible, or even the Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings (Prince Caspian ticked me off).

How much of the movie is in slow motion?

“You’re going to tell me that all that isn’t a good thing for the industry, even if someone only buys one other book?”

I think what he’s telling you is that he doesn’t believe they’re going to buy one other book. And I agree with him. Most people will actually use the quality of one work to justify not reading any others.

“I read Watchmen, but I don’t really like comic books.”

I don’t really see it as a bad thing, no. I just don’t think even a thousand people will try another Moore book. It’s just not likely to work like that.

I don’t know how to feel about all this. I baught a bunch of my friends copies of the book for them to read before seeing the movie. They know how passionate I am about comics and don’t want to disresect me or the art form. I always try to get everyone interested by loaning out my favorite stories – Preacher, Sandman, Ennis Punisher, Y-TLM, Phewcilage, Fables etc.
Powering up….finding lunch-meat omega citron filter.
Holy World War Iron Scarlet Spiderman True Believers!
I just wanted them to appeal firstly to the comic book fans and secondly to the mainstream, of course that would likely not prove econically wise. My name has been several others like me to believe what my name used to be.
War : “Alan Moore is today’s greatest living Englishmen” – Neil Gaiman.
Late.

I think what he’s telling you is that he doesn’t believe they’re going to buy one other book. And I agree with him. Most people will actually use the quality of one work to justify not reading any others.

I don’t really see it as a bad thing, no. I just don’t think even a thousand people will try another Moore book. It’s just not likely to work like that.

Once again… how do you know this is “most people” or “not likely to work”? Tossing out generalizations doesn’t really make one’s point. I can just as easily say “most people will probably hate the movie.” Doesn’t make that statement true or false. But then again, this is comic book fandom. Where would we be without negative generalizations?

My point is that the Watchman film has already had a clearly strong and positive effect on sales on the book. Levitz ‘s comments about selling out on printings and Bookscan numbers prove that moreso than unfounded generalizations. That in itself is a good thing for the industry. But even if a small fraction of those readers branch out to other comics, that is a good thing also, right? But we certainly can be negative nancies about it and say “well it *probably* won’t draw too many new readers, so oh well.” Wrong on two counts: it already has had a sizeable impact in sales of Watchman, and no one has any idea yet how big or small that impact will be on other books. Will it be huge? We CAN say probably not, based on past film adaptations, whose sales seem to stop at the adapted books. But if revenue produced by Watchmen book sales and merchandise sales helps in some little way to fuel future projects in the industry, I’m glad. I’m sure DC won’t be complaining.

The glass can be half-full, you know.

Ryan –

I see your point, but I think it simplifies things a bit too much. Yes, Zack Snyder knew the material was complex, and also knew that the studio would not let him release a 3.5 hour movie (though I guess if he were Tarantino they would have let him cut it in half and release it as 2 movies). In the face of that, what should he have done? Refused to shoot the extra footage? Work from a weaker script that out and out sacrifices some complexity so that the initial cut is 2.5 hours?

I haven’t seen the movie, and certainly don’t know exactly what comprises the longer cut (though I do know that the 3.5 hour cut has the “Tales of the Black Freighter” animation spliced in). I do know that releasing a 2.5 hour cut to theaters for a mass audience, while releasing a 3.5 hour cut for Watchmen purists, is probably the best solution, if you take as true that: a) Warner was never going to allow a 3.5 hour cut to go to theaters; and b) Snyder (or anyone else) could not produce a 2.5 hour cut that crammed in all the little things for the hardcore fans and made sense to someone who had never read the book.

McK,
You’re being way too defensive. Neither of us are making absolute statements of fact. We’re giving our opinions, based on personal experience. Of the people I’ve met who only read a comic based on a connected movie, not a single one has gone on to seek out other comics to read.

If you really want evidence, though, there’s a post on Kevin Church’s blog that tackles this exact issue. He asks for feedback from retailers, and what they have to say supports Joe’s assertion.

http://www.beaucoupkevin.com/blog/reader-participation-a-question-for-the-comics-retailers-out-there/2009/02/24/#comments

There’s a difference between pessimism and realism.

I still think Watchmen should have instead been made into a high-production-value television serial in 12 parts, one for each issue.

If you want to see something that is exactly like the comic, then why not just read the comic?

I was looking forward to this back when I saw the first preview, but then I decided I don’t want scenes from the movie going through my head whenever I read the book. I’m going to pass.

Uncle Joe Mccarthy

February 25, 2009 at 3:30 pm

the two bernies are basically cut out of this theatrical version…that is why kovacs isnt in it as much….for the scenes go hand in hand

and yes, without seeing kovacs as the “end is nigh” guy…the impact of rorshach losing his face is not as powerful

if the original run makes money, zack has stated that the extended version will be released to theaters in los angeles and nyc come july

in any case, im waiting for the directors cut

Neil K said…

“One review I read (I can’t remember which) cites the Dr. Manhattan flashback as one of the strongest of the film, and Rohan thinks it is pedestrian.”

For me, there’s one moment in the entire flashback that totally nails Dr Manhattan’s temporal perspective, that gets his sense of being everywhere at once. I applaud that moment, and I think you’ll know it when you see it. The rest is more your standard ‘and then this happened, and then this, and so on and so forth’, which sells the idea short.

joschschr

“I know this is overly simplistic, but if they ever make a comic book out of Citizen Kane, I don’t expect it to be as good as the movie or as good as Watchmen, but I would expect it to be a good gateway to the movie.”

I see your point, but why would you want to make a comic book out of Citizen Kane, though? Especially if you’re going to paint a big signpost on the sled in the early scenes that says ‘THIS IS ROSEBUD’? As someone who rates the actual plot of Watchmen fairly highly (I’m not one of those guys who thinks the work’s rep is entirely down to its structure), I agree that it could be translated successfully to another medium, but I guess I’d prefer more of the charm and impact were intact.

William O’Brien said…

“Under the Hood will be on the Black Freighter DVD.”

Yeah, I know, but the focus of the marketing is entirely on the Black Freighter story. I love me some Black Freighter, but if people are picking up the DVD based on their enjoyment of the movie, they’ll probably be wondering what the heck it has to do with anything. The connections to Under The Hood are much more explicit.

He also asked…

“How is the film from a technical standpoint (ie cinematography, etc)?”

I avoided mentioning a lot of that stuff because this review (more a collection of notes, really) is aimed squarely at comics fans – I’m saving more of the technical stuff for the published review.

Anyway, the effects are actually pretty good (as you know from the trailer, Dr Manhattan looks fantastic) and the fight scenes are very well choreographed, but I’d prefer not to see so much of them in slow motion. They’re also more than a little over the top, and tend to work against the ‘superheroes in the real world!’ feel. I’d probably love them in any other action movie, but I don’t think they’re a good fit for this project.

For the most part, I don’t think the sets look lived in – they tend to look like film sets, not like real New York streets – but the costumes are pretty good. Rorschach, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre and Dr Manhattan look great, and the Minutemen have an appropriately old-timey, homemade look, but I couldn’t stop thinking of Batman & Robin when I looked at Ozy. This may have been deliberate, but the film didn’t seem to be commenting oin superhero movies in the same way that the book commented on superhero comics, so I’m not sure. Still, one or two dodgy costumes out of an entire cast of superheroes is a positive result.

Look, as a film, what can I say? The effects were more than solid, the acting was fine (and, in some cases, much better than that), the sound was impressive and the sets were so-so – I can’t help but think it all levels out at a little bit above average, by blockbuster standards. I think fanboys will like it less than other cinemagoers for the reasons I laid out in the post, but that’s not necessarily a bad result. It’s not an injustice, but not a triumph by any means – like I said, it’s just kinda there, and doesn’t even begin to do for cinema what the book did for comics.

Rohan:I’m pretty sure the DV D is being marketed as a Tales From Under The Hood DVD with the Tales of the Black Freighter story as bonus material.
And I read in an interview that Ozymandias’ costume (whatwith the nipples and all) was supposed to be direct commentary on the Batman and Robin movie (though I’m not sure I think that was a good move).

He asks for feedback from retailers, and what they have to say supports Joe’s assertion.

I’m not being defensive — I’m just really anti-sweeping generalizations.

Anyways… I read the link you sent me, and somebody doesn’t need to walk into a comic book shop to buy Watchmen or any other graphic novel these days. I think retailers tend to forget they aren’t the only source of the product, in fact, for many people who don’t know where a local comic shop is or don’t even have a local comic shop by them, retailers aren’t an option.

I could see the $3.99 comic having a tremendous impact on TPB sales, also.

That’s cool about the Under The Hood DVD, sononsj. For some reason I thought it was being marketed as Tales of the Black Freighter; the other way around definitely makes more sense.

And yeah, Ozy’s costume does seem to be a deliberate Schumacher reference, but I can’t figure out why. The rest of the movie doesn’t seem to have anything particularly ‘meta’ or satirical to say (at least in regards to other superhero movies), so it stands out as an odd choice. Once it’s out, I’d be interested to hear whether or not people see a wider genre commentary I’m missing, or if it’s simply a ‘oh, those wacky superhero costumes!’ thing.

On the positive side, one of the people I saw it with said they were definitely interested in buying the book after watching the movie. I have no idea whether they’d rush out and buy any more comics afterwards, but you know, at least the movie’s not turning people off the book.

“I’m not being defensive — I’m just really anti-sweeping generalizations.”

Well, that’s an absurd thing to get all riled up about.

So, what you’re suggesting is that people are likely to read Watchmen before seeing the movie, because they’re excited about the movie, go see the movie, then be inspired to go to a book store and buy something for $20, just because it’s presented in the same format as the supplemental thing to the movie they have now already satisfied their anticipation for?

That just doesn’t ring true to me.

I don’t know which $4 comic you’re talking about.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

February 25, 2009 at 8:13 pm

If the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes (currently 8 positive 1 negative) are anything to go by it might just be comic fans who are disappointed – but then that was almost invetivable.

None of the ‘top critics’ have posted reviews though.
The guy at Ign was going to say it was good regardless.

. I just don’t think even a thousand people will try another Moore book. It’s just not likely to work like that.

You suck Joe Rice!

I disagree, but also agree.
I think if DC and shops had stands with ‘Watchmen’ and other Moore books – as opposed to just Watchmen – they would sell them, or re-released his other works with ‘From the writer of Watchmen’ plastered across the top, they would sell.
But everyone only seems to be interested in pushing Watchmen at the moment.

Of course, I find it odd they are selling so many – hearing something is from the writer of ‘LXG’, ‘From Hell’ and ‘V For Vendetta’ – and it’s getting done by the guy who remade Dawn of the dead and made 300 – sure as shit would put me off if I didn’t already read comics.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

February 25, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Arrghy!

My post looks all funny!

The squid is important.

The squid is a fiction with a fiction within a fiction. It is the ultimate underscore of one of the most important aspects of the book.

When you remove it, you remove a thematic element that lies at the heart of the plot, and the it’s not just a silly macguffin that look silly on screen (or whatever).

For all the talk about how “realistic” Watchmen is, it’s not, nor is it supposed to be. And the ultimate fiction of the Squid, at the end, is the focal point that these layers of imagined worlds work around.

I don’t give a shit about the movie or what they change, but that’s a pretty hefty chunk to cut, thematically.

Honestly though… regardless of the “faithfulness” of the adaptation, it has already gotten more people reading comics (sales of Watchmen have gone through the roof). For some reason, Watchman seems to have already had a bigger effect on sales that even Iron Man, Spider-Man, and The Dark Knight.

It’s not hard to figure out why? if you are a noncomics fan and you watch Iron Man, Spider-Man and Dark Knight movies, which comic do you go to in order to follow up on the comics? You have over 40 years of comics and trade paperbacks to choose from. If you want to follow up on Watchmen interest by reading a comic book however, all you have to do is by one self-contained graphic novel. Therefore all the Watchmen-generated interest gets focused on one graphic novel while interest generated by the other heroes gets diffused across a ton of books and publications.

None of the ‘top critics’ have posted reviews though.

I have no faith in movie critics and especially not top critics. Dark Knight was a shitty turd of a flick, but the critics loved it overwhelmingly, and the ‘top critics” showed even worse taste than the regular critics by rating it even higher than the regular ones.

I agree the squid is thematically important to the comic, Alex, but I’m curious how they would have adequately explained it in the space of two and a half hours. Really, the ending they use instead is pretty cool, and will probably make more sense to most audiences.

The adaptation has bigger problems than the squid, trust me.

GUH

Will Watchmen help comics sales overall? Maybe, maybe not. There isn’t a previous case like this that we can compare it to.

This is the first high profile, heavily marketed movie adaptation of a stand alone book that also has pretty broad commercial potential, and is part of popular and widely available genre within the comics industry- V For Vendetta, for example, is not a book that a lot of people will enjoy because of it’s lear political bias and relentlessly dark tone; while Iron Man, Batman, etc all suffer from the problem that people have no idea where to start with the books; and 300, Sin City, Road To Perdition, 30 Days Od Night etc are markedly different in genre from everything else on the comics rack.

This is a superhero blockbuster, with easily identifiable and available source material, that has also, let’s not forget, proven in the past to be a “gateway comic” for a huge proportion of people.

Maybe people will stop with Watchmen, maybe they won’t, but there’s no yardstick for this. The fact that it didn’t work with 300 or Dark Knight has no real significance.

ther IS a difference between being pessimistic and being realistic, but there’s also such a thing as simply having no way of knowing, in which case optimism is entirely acceptable.

###

As for the movie? It’s completely impossible for it to stand up to the book. I just hope it’s enjoyable, and it sounds like it will be to me.

If only a quarter of the people that bought WATCHMEN last summer alone come back for more comics, that’s 250,000 new customers.

That’s a quarter of three months worth of sales. And I don’t think that’s an unreasonable guess, that 1 in 4 folks might buy another graphic novel.

NOT TOO SHABBY.

I actually have quite a few acquaintances that went from reading Watchmen as part of the movie hype cycle to trying to read everything Alan Moore ever wrote. They’ll only buy from bookstores, though, and have absolutely no interest in hearing about or reading Moore runs that haven’t been completely collected yet– or good runs that aren’t by Moore. Hell, I can’t even interest them in other stuff drawn by Dave Gibbons…

Why doesn’t EVERYBODY in the world love comics as much as we do?! If only they knew! They should have become comic lovers.

Bill –

Almost every action sequence features slow-mo in some form. Sometimes it works but it’s over-used.

I’ve gotten a few friends to read Watchmen, and they’ve all read or are going to read other things. The next step is to get them to read Sandman.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

February 26, 2009 at 4:47 pm

I have no faith in movie critics and especially not top critics. Dark Knight was a shitty turd of a flick, but the critics loved it overwhelmingly, and the ‘top critics” showed even worse taste than the regular critics by rating it even higher than the regular ones.

What are you talking about?
Rotten Tomotoes critics don’t use a scale, although RT does use one itself based on how many critics liked, as opposed to those who panned it – which isn’t the most reliable, as they only have love or hate, and some lukewarm reviews (At best) get rated a love.
But anyway, the standard critics on Rotten Tomatoes had a 94% love for it.
The top critics had 90%.
The fans had 94% as well.

So, that kind of blows you’re argument out – the top critics didn’t like it as much as the other critics or the public.

Also worth pointing out that you are considering it a shitty turd of a flick is because it doesn’t line up with the Batman you like from the comics, not as a piece of filmmaking, which is what all the critics on RT are judging it by.

Watchmen currently has a 76% on the critics meter, but doesn’t have enough reviews posted by the top critics to have a percentage yet, although both that have posted have given it a negative.
It only got a 71% from fans who have posted.

I didn’t think DK was a turd of a movie, but to me it was definately over-hyped and tediously slow at times, redeemed only by that brilliant Best Supporting Actor guy chewing up the scenery so joyously.

I’m eagerly dreading the Watchmen. I want to find a vintage t-shirt place that sells a Squiddley Diddly shirt I can wear to it. I agree with alex that the squid was integral to the story and will no doubt scoff at whatever ending they’ve come up with, no matter how brilliant it may be.

I just came upon this: http://www.beyondhollywood.com/zack-snyder-confirms-alternate-watchmen-ending/, where a couple of comments below the article in it have some logical reasons why the squid HAD to be in the movie for it to work, unless the movie makes other drastic changes…which in that case would probably make for a different story altogether. They are very interesting points indeed.

Please note that the link above spoils the ending. The comments I’m speficifically referring to are ones made by the user names “Calliope” and “abietto. “

I can understand the Squid Swap.

Still looking forward to it.

Just as enjoyed the adaptation of Lord of the Rings despite it not having Tom Bombadil or Saruman taking over Bag End…

I like seeing other people’s takes on the same story…

For that matter, how many Bond movies are true to the source material?

I’m just glad it wasn’t made into a movie back in the late 80s… Or Joel Schumacher had got his hands on it…

Hey, quick question:
Aside from “Re-reading Watchmen” on this website, where can I find more intelligent analysis of the book?

” I bought a bunch of my friends copies of the book for them to read before seeing the movie”

I wonder just how many of the sales of the trade are purchases like this where a comic fan is buying the book for a friend(s)?

I’m a pretty blatant comics fan (anyone that knows me knpws I read ‘em) and I have yet to hear of anyone that has bought this aside from one guy that I know and he only bought it because I was visiting him and wanted to know where a comic shop was and when he took me there, he picked it up because we were in the store. he pretty much told me that he wouldn’t have bought it if we didn’t make the trip that day.

So, if all it is really, is comic fans buyin the book for people that won’t read another comic unless it’s purchased for them, then I can’t see how that’s anything to crow about at all.

At best, all we can do is try our best to expose our best friends to comics as best we can by persuading them to read the best of the best. And the worst part is that with the best in new technology, the best movie makers, and the best source material, the common man in the western world can enjoy some of the worst film adaptations ever.
Such a samll percentage of comic based movies are actually good. I believe Watchmen will be adequate enough but I really have my doubts about changing anyone’s current opinion on comics through movies.
BOTTOM LINE: READING TAKES EFFORT AND IN OUR SOCIETY, THAT WORD IS ABOUT AS NASTY AS THEY COME.

Another difficulty for some less-than-enthused new readers can be that Watchmen is so much a period piece, reflecting in so many ways the world of Reagan and Thatcher. It’s as much a product of the Cold War as Dr. Strangelove. The newsman’s reaction to the headline “Russia Invades Afghanistan” (“inna final analysis…”) was chilling in 1986. To a new reader now I think it might all feel a bit dated.

Looking forward to next weekend’s thread when we all pick this long awaited/dreaded beast apart!

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