WATCHMEN (SPOILERS FOR REALIES!)

All the dirt. All the top secret stuff. Anything that has to do with the process of getting us to sit and watch something projected on the big screen.

Have you made up your mind about Snyder's Watchmen??

Yes, it will be fantastic, or very good, or at least I will subjectively like it.
10
29%
Yes, it will be disappointing because of Snyder's influence
3
9%
Yes, it will be disappointing becuase it's not faithful enough to the book (no squid, no love)
2
6%
Yes, it will be disappointing because of BOTH of the two above factors (Snyder, not faithful enough)
4
12%
Yes, it will be disappointing because it's too faithful (if I wanted Watchmen panel for panel, I'd read the book)
0
No votes
No, I'm keeping an open mind (be honest, fools...)
15
44%
 
Total votes : 34

Postby Nachokoolaid on Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:52 pm

Thanks for that link to the Valdosta student project. I loved the guys accent that played Rorshach. I never imagined it that way, but it totally worked. Sure it was low budget, but that was pretty fun to watch. The Dreiberg actor wasn't that great, but it was still fun.
User avatar
Nachokoolaid
THE DORK KNIGHT
 
Posts: 5588
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:00 am
Location: Gotham City

Postby DennisMM on Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:14 pm

I wasn't taken with Dreiberg and I found the Rorschach actor in this and in the "Watchmen Page 5" short too expressive. We're told that Kovacs speaks in a creepy, almost whispery monotone. This is one reason I've long though Malkovich would do well as Rorschach.
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky
DennisMM
NOT PARTICULARLY MENACING
 
Posts: 16808
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:02 pm
Location: Watchin' the reels go 'round and 'round

Postby The Garbage Man on Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:33 pm

talkbacker with no name wrote:Cgi fan trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAqfeYvephI


Holy shit that's cool.
Thanks, TBWNN!
User avatar
The Garbage Man
AIRWOLF
 
Posts: 2558
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:27 pm
Location: The Big Blue Velour Marble

Postby DaleTremont on Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:26 am

talkbacker with no name wrote:Unlike a lot of watchmen fans, I think a lot of the book can and should be trimmed down a bit for a movie version. It's getting that balance right and I don't envy Snyder with this mammoth task. He's got my support and looking forward to see the finished film.


i think someone posted an interview with snyder where he said something to the effect that, reading watchmen, he was thinking ahead to powerful images it contained that he could use in the film- images that would draw people to the movie. i think snyder might be one of the savviest directors working today just because of the grasp he apparently has on marketing- he knows you have to convince people they're going to like the film even before they see it. i think that's actually going to make him really well suited to watchmen. dude's like ozymandias.

Image

he observes. he controls.
User avatar
DaleTremont
Loincloth Bronson
 
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:51 am
Location: Москва, bitches!

Postby talkbacker with no name on Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:37 am

The Garbage Man wrote:
talkbacker with no name wrote:Cgi fan trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAqfeYvephI


Holy shit that's cool.
Thanks, TBWNN!


No problem. I came across it while searching for Moore interviews. There are quite a few fan made Watchmen videos on there that can be found with a bit of searching. It has also lead me to thinking about how big the Watchmen fanbase is. Maybe I've under estimated the demand for this movie a bit. It's certainly not as cult and underground as it was.

DaleTremont wrote:i think someone posted an interview with snyder where he said something to the effect that, reading watchmen, he was thinking ahead to powerful images it contained that he could use in the film- images that would draw people to the movie. i think snyder might be one of the savviest directors working today just because of the grasp he apparently has on marketing- he knows you have to convince people they're going to like the film even before they see it. i think that's actually going to make him really well suited to watchmen. dude's like ozymandias.


Very true and let's not forget that watchmen can be quite an acquired taste. I know a lot of average Marvel/DC comic book fans that hate Watchmen (or just don't get it). There's a small fear I have of it being dumbed down a bit for the mainstream, because at the end of the day people will be expecting a comic book movie...well, depending on how the film is marketed, but as you point out, snyder knows how to do that for sure.

Is this the video interview you are talking about? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5f2AmQ5Sms

Whatever I think about the direction he took his Dawn remake in, I have to admit I get a real feeling of trust with him, more so than I did with Gilliam and I'm a Gilliam fanatic!

DennisMM wrote:I wasn't taken with Dreiberg and I found the Rorschach actor in this and in the "Watchmen Page 5" short too expressive. We're told that Kovacs speaks in a creepy, almost whispery monotone. This is one reason I've long though Malkovich would do well as Rorschach.


Yeah it wasn't well acted at all, but you really can't help but admire their love and dedication to making it. The 'Page 5 one had a nice look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w14DoxRIXW4

DennisMM wrote:Hoarse, quiet but filling the room:

"I've just broken this man's little finger ...

and his index finger."


You have gone too far this time, Dennis...my willy just burped!
Last edited by talkbacker with no name on Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
"You're crazy to know who I am, aren't you? All right! I'll show you!"
User avatar
talkbacker with no name
PRIMITIVE SCREWHEAD
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:19 am
Location: The whole world's my hiding place

Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:46 am

Some really excellent stuff there TBWNN. Thanks a bunch for sharing.

As for the WATCHMEN fanbase...I think it is pretty diverse and rabid. I just recently converted 5 of my friends to the comic book fold via WATCHMEN. They are all philosophy majors and we started our own little book club. We usually read Pynchon, or Marquez...stuff like that...but I finally convinced them to go with WATCHMEN and they were stunned. They had no idea comics could be...THAT. I think a lot of folks have similar experiences and therefore the fanbase is unusually large and dedicated. This may just be my own personal experience, but I have a feeling that it goes far beyond just my friends and me.
Image
User avatar
Leckomaniac
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 11031
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:32 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby talkbacker with no name on Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:54 am

For sure, Leckomaniac. I'm dreading the "I've always loved watchmen!" crowd. You know the type I mean? The ones who started getting into all this stuff after seeing X-Men but claim to have been a fan since birth. Nothing wrong with getting into watchmen et al later on in life, in fact it's so great to turn people onto all this stuff, but at least be honest about it and for god's sake please don't sit next to me while watching the Hulk, spunking out quotes you read in that month's movie magazine as your own to your friend!

...sorry, pompous little know it alls like that just really get my goat and I seem to be stuck with them at every comic book movie I go see.
"You're crazy to know who I am, aren't you? All right! I'll show you!"
User avatar
talkbacker with no name
PRIMITIVE SCREWHEAD
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:19 am
Location: The whole world's my hiding place

Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:06 am

talkbacker with no name wrote:For sure, Leckomaniac. I'm dreading the "I've always loved watchmen!" crowd. You know the type I mean? The ones who started getting into all this stuff after seeing X-Men but claim to have been a fan since birth. Nothing wrong with getting into watchmen et al later on in life, in fact it's so great to turn people onto all this stuff, but at least be honest about it and for god's sake please don't sit next to me while watching the Hulk, spunking out quotes you read in that month's movie magazine as your own to your friend!

...sorry, pompous little know it alls like that just really get my goat and I seem to be stuck with them at every comic book movie I go see.


I didn't find WATCHMEN until very recently. In fact, I believe if you search through this thread (or maybe it was a WATCHMEN thread in the comic book forum...I can't recall) you will find my posts documenting my first experience with WATCHMEN. I know DennisMM was there from the start...he has some of the promo materials even...He would never belittle my experience or love for WATCHMEN simply because he got there first, but sadly there are people that do just that. So I know exactly how you feel. Thankfully, those type of folks do not frequent the Zone.

It has actually been pretty awesome being able to watch my friends discover the wonders of WATCHMEN. Talking with them after each read and discussing the stuff they had covered...teasing them with my knowledge of what is to come. It is such a glorious thing. I can only hope that the movie experience captures some of that magic.
Image
User avatar
Leckomaniac
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 11031
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:32 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby talkbacker with no name on Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:24 am

Leckomaniac wrote:Thankfully, those type of folks do not frequent the Zone.


Which is what makes this such a great place to chat to like minded people.

Leckomaniac wrote:I know DennisMM was there from the start...he has some of the promo materials even


Dennis, I would be really interested to know what items you have?
"You're crazy to know who I am, aren't you? All right! I'll show you!"
User avatar
talkbacker with no name
PRIMITIVE SCREWHEAD
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:19 am
Location: The whole world's my hiding place

Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:30 am

If I am not mistaken...I believe that he has one of the original promotional posters...and for some reason I think he may have a couple other items.

The man has an amazing understanding of comics and has been there for some of the great moments. I always enjoy his perspective on the world of superheroes.
Image
User avatar
Leckomaniac
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 11031
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:32 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby Conroy420 on Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:30 pm

I liked some of the imagery used in that CGI fan trailer. Especially the Comedien getting tosed out the window.

As for the Page 5 short. Although heavily influenced by 'Sin City' it it's production, I wouldn't be surprised if 'Watchmen' ends up looking in a similar fashion, although with far superior budget.
To read some original works by me, please ask, I need the feedback!
Conroy420
BOMB IN RIBCAGE
 
Posts: 591
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:06 pm

Postby DennisMM on Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:06 pm

talkbacker with no name wrote:Dennis, I would be really interested to know what items you have?


I have two of the three (four?) "quote" posters that were released in the USA. These featured individual characters and a quote from the series. I have Rorschach and the Comedian. Rorschach is in an alley walking away from the viewer, with the body of a criminal in the foreground. The quote is, "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the earth had one throat, and I had my hands about it." The Comedian is in a third-world hotel room, laiming a sniper's rifle as a parade passes. The quote is, "Whatever happened to the American dream? You're looking at it." Both quotes are attributed, with dates, as if excerpted from media in the Watchmen universe. Crappy photo follows.

Image

I wish I had the other two (if they actually were produced; I'm not clear on this), which featured a brooding Ozymandias ("I don't mind being the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one.") and a typically detached Manhattan ("We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."). One odd item I have is a promo poster for the Watchmen merchandise DC was selling, including the watch, Mayfair gaming book (which I own) and a couple of items I can't recall. The poster is a Kyle Baker chalk-and-ink piece, very nice.

I have an original smiley, not a promo but still a Watchmen tie-in. I have had two, but gave one away to a woman I was interested in. Ah, well. And I have the Graphitti leather-bound, slipcased, limited edition on which the Absolute edition was largely based.

Image Image

Would anyone like to read my 1988, pre-issue 12 essay on the series? It's not illustrated and assumes a good deal of familiarity with the series, but I'll happily post it if people are interested. I also can send it as a pm. It's not very long.


Lecko, thank you. I think you give me too much credit, but thank you.
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky
DennisMM
NOT PARTICULARLY MENACING
 
Posts: 16808
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:02 pm
Location: Watchin' the reels go 'round and 'round

Postby talkbacker with no name on Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:57 pm

oh man, they are amazing!

I've seen a couple of those posters on ebay every once in a while and have been tempted to bid on them. Next time I think i'm going to.

Yes please can you post or send me the essay :)

It's worth getting your hands on the 'mindscape of Alan Moore' Documentary DVD if you can find it.

Image

EDIT - They have one of the posters on the US Ebay. You think this is an original release or a reprint? http://tinyurl.com/2hh8yt
"You're crazy to know who I am, aren't you? All right! I'll show you!"
User avatar
talkbacker with no name
PRIMITIVE SCREWHEAD
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:19 am
Location: The whole world's my hiding place

Postby DennisMM on Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:07 pm

Promo posters don't get reprinted, at least in the way that they might reprint a comic book. If more posters are needed they can go back to press, but all of them would be considered an original edition.

I made the mistake 20 years ago of hot-laminating mine, which means they are so shiny they're hard to display.
Last edited by DennisMM on Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky
DennisMM
NOT PARTICULARLY MENACING
 
Posts: 16808
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:02 pm
Location: Watchin' the reels go 'round and 'round

Postby talkbacker with no name on Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:15 pm

DennisMM wrote:I made the mistake 20 years ago of hot-laminating mine, which means they are so shiny they're hard to display.


oh...well at least they will be nice and safe.

Found this fan poster today. Look at the director credit :shock: Music by radiohead is also a very bizzare choice.

Image
Last edited by talkbacker with no name on Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"You're crazy to know who I am, aren't you? All right! I'll show you!"
User avatar
talkbacker with no name
PRIMITIVE SCREWHEAD
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:19 am
Location: The whole world's my hiding place

Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:18 pm

Yeah that poster was posted a few pages back. M. Night directing this movie would scare me.
Image
User avatar
Leckomaniac
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 11031
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:32 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby wonkabar on Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:30 pm

Ed Harris?
Image
User avatar
wonkabar
CHIEF OF THE BEEF
 
Posts: 6219
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:41 pm
Location: The Double Douche

Postby DennisMM on Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:39 pm

Could be worse. Could have been Bruce Willis. He's bald and he's worked with Shyamalan.
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky
DennisMM
NOT PARTICULARLY MENACING
 
Posts: 16808
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:02 pm
Location: Watchin' the reels go 'round and 'round

Postby Fawst on Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:44 pm

Actually, I kinda dug the Ed Harris and Mel Gibson casting ideas. Harris would just need to get in the best shape of his life, and Gibson would have to really turn the douche-level up to 11.
Prince of the Land of Stench!
User avatar
Fawst
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 3088
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:11 pm
Location: MacLaren's

Postby Nachokoolaid on Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:48 am

Dennis. Post that essay man. It would make an interesting read.
User avatar
Nachokoolaid
THE DORK KNIGHT
 
Posts: 5588
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:00 am
Location: Gotham City

Postby DaleTremont on Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:13 pm

Over at Darkhorizons they posted a Russian website that gives more casting "news."

more names:
Kate Winslet- Silk Spectre
Jeremy Irons- Moloch
Virgina Madsen- Sally Jupiter
William Fichtner- Detective Fine
Noah Emmerich- Captain Metropolis
Gretchen Mol- Janey Slater


http://www.kino-govno.com/comments.php?id=15494
User avatar
DaleTremont
Loincloth Bronson
 
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:51 am
Location: Москва, bitches!

Postby Conroy420 on Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:21 pm

Russian website? Yah, that's legit....

I mean they are all great selections, and quite realistic (Glad to see Fichtner getting work!) choices for the budget.

Some great talent in there too. I just don't know why this site, of all sites, would have this info.
To read some original works by me, please ask, I need the feedback!
Conroy420
BOMB IN RIBCAGE
 
Posts: 591
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:06 pm

Postby DaleTremont on Mon Jun 25, 2007 9:59 pm

that's why it's "news". but, if it is true, i like that they're putting really strong character actors in the smaller roles. nothing should be thrown-away in watchmen.
User avatar
DaleTremont
Loincloth Bronson
 
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:51 am
Location: Москва, bitches!

Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:51 pm

Some more names to add to the rumor mill:

June 27, 2007 - Director Zack Snyder must really have loved last year's film Little Children because three of its stars are rumored to be up for key roles in the helmer's next movie, Watchmen.

In addition to the previously reported contenders (Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl and Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach), FilmIck.co.uk claims that Oscar nominee Kate Winslet is up for the role of the Silk Spectre. The site, however, isn't so sure about its scoop so they advise readers to take it with a grain of salt for now.

They also claim that the Watchmen cast will include Oscar winner Jeremy Irons (Eragon) as Moloch, Virginia Madsen (Sideways) as Sally Jupiter, Noah Emmerich (Cellular) as Captain Metropolis, Jonah Hill (Knocked Up) as Seymour, William Fichtner (The Dark Knight, Prison Break) as Detective Fine, Gretchen Mol (Rounders) as Janey Slater, and Henry Gibson (Wedding Crashers) as Mr. Figure.

Jason Patric has been rumored to play Dr. Manhattan, while Jude Law and Thomas Jane are reportedly up for the roles of Ozymandias and The Comedian, respectively.


Those are a lot of names for us to kick around. I made the new names BOLD.

This is coming from IGN movies.
Image
User avatar
Leckomaniac
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 11031
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:32 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:43 am

Yeah Seymour is the kid who is with the Editor of the New Frontiersman. He is the one who notices the journal.
Image
User avatar
Leckomaniac
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 11031
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:32 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby The Garbage Man on Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:29 am

I'm just not seeing Virginia Madsen as Sally Jupiter. She's still too young and way too hot for that role.
User avatar
The Garbage Man
AIRWOLF
 
Posts: 2558
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:27 pm
Location: The Big Blue Velour Marble

Postby buster00 on Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:36 pm

Henry Gibson (Wedding Crashers) as Mr. Figure.


It took me a second to realize that they meant The Big Figure, that midget villain who gets bumped off by Rorshach.

Image

He's 5'3" and looks the part. Special effects and camera angles can make him even shorter on screen. Sign 'im up, sez I!
User avatar
buster00
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 6401
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:12 pm

Postby DennisMM on Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:17 pm

Leckomaniac wrote:Some more names to add to the rumor mill:

Gretchen Mol (Rounders) as Janey Slater


Those are a lot of names for us to kick around. I made the new names BOLD.

This is coming from IGN movies.


What is Snyder basing that bit of casting on -- Mol's hairstyle as Bettie Page?
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky
DennisMM
NOT PARTICULARLY MENACING
 
Posts: 16808
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:02 pm
Location: Watchin' the reels go 'round and 'round

You are correct, sah.

Postby Toastie on Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:29 pm

Bob Poopflingius Maximus wrote:Regardless of which thread I post in I still stand by my fantasy movie thread:

Willem Dafoe + Rorschach = awesome


Bob's a Monkey hit the nail on the head. Agreed?
Nucleus Accumbens!
Toastie
TOMBOY BEANPOLE
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA, Earth

Also...

Postby Toastie on Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:38 pm

I can't bear to watch! Tell me when it's over.

I've seen most of Moore's work just excruciatingly, mind-numbingly, lowest-common-denominatoringly reduced to absolute shit by Hollywood thus far. Watchmen is like a cultural treasure, in ways his other work doesn't quite reach, and so waiting to see how bad they're going to fuck this one up is like waiting to pass a razorblade kidneystone.

I'm sure we could think of a great cast, director, scriptwriter, etc., but Hollywood thinks about revenues, test audiences, and marketability over everything else. Dude, I'm still not over the thorough ass reaming given to From Hell by our friends in Hollywood, and I deign to mention V for Vendetta.
Nucleus Accumbens!
Toastie
TOMBOY BEANPOLE
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA, Earth

Postby Conroy420 on Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:48 pm

Thozse names, even though they are being reported by IGN now, are still the same ones off that Russian website.

Is that there source?
To read some original works by me, please ask, I need the feedback!
Conroy420
BOMB IN RIBCAGE
 
Posts: 591
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:06 pm

Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:21 pm

Conroy420 wrote:Thozse names, even though they are being reported by IGN now, are still the same ones off that Russian website.

Is that there source?


IGN got the names from a British website who, I assume, got the names from the Russian website. All sites are cautioning people to take these names with a HUGE grain of salt.
Image
User avatar
Leckomaniac
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 11031
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:32 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby DennisMM on Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:55 am

I've shared what follows privately with a few Zoners and was urged to share it with anyone who cares to read this post. Please take a couple of things into account. First, in 1987 I was 25 and while a trained journalist an uncontrolled bipolar, so I got a little out of control at times. Second, as this was written as an installment of a fanzine column my I let my style wander from formal to conversational and back. Third, it was written on deadline shortly before Watchmen #12 shipped, so I wasn't able to write about the ending. I hope it is interesting in spite of its age. Small changes have been made to correct typos and bad writing. Boastful moment: This got me cited in American Film magazine.

Some background for those not up on DC circa 1987. In George Perez's Wonder Woman, the traditionally hunky Steve Trevor was replaced by an attractive but realistic middle-aged man with wrinkles and thinning hair. He and the plump Etta Candy fell in love. That was a pretty big deal in a superhero comic back then. The Question was one of DC's best books and unfortunately is largely forgotten. It concerned big-city corruption and a TV news reporter who used the identity of the faceless Question to fight it. One of these days I need to write a Zoner Comics Library piece on the Question. Crisis refers, of course, to the continuity-changing Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Watching the Watchmen
copyright 1987, originally published in It's a Fanzine #39

"One of the distinguishing characteristics of the modern element in literature is that it disturbs. The more he recognized this, the more [mid-Victorian critic and bookman Andrew Lang] clutched at the primitive certainties of the penny dreadful." -- John J. Gross, The Rise and Fall of the Man of Letters

"More claymores, less psychology." -- Andrew Lang

Some good things have come out of post-Crisis DC, a few amazingly good things, and each in its way acts as an intermediary between the blood and thunder traditions of comics and the disturbing but satisfying character of serious fiction. Wonder Woman defies the conventions of adventure stories by presenting male and female characters who, although heroic, deviate widely from the standards of age, appearance and occupation common to the comics form. The Question, by focusing on a generally believable criminal community and limiting the extent to which its hero can bend the laws of physics, moves away from comics traditions and towards those of the hardboiled detective story while introducing into the equation a religious/philosophical factor rarely seen in graphic storytelling. Dark Knight awakened the nation to the idea of adult comics in which the figure of the superhero may yet play a part.

These comics, among the best of DC's output over the past year or so, span the gap between claymores and psychology, between comics and literature, like the cables and girder of a suspension bridge. Watchmen is the roadway these comics support, the means by which readers may travel safely from one side of the chasm to the other, the path from the trashy, empty-headed comics which abound today to the comics novel of the future. For Golden and Silver Age fans, Watchmen has a strong, event-filled plot. For the younger fans there is character study throughout. For all fans of the superhero genre and the comics form there are costumes and gadgets and wild adventures and deadly adversaries.

But for the non-comics reader, or the comics reader looking for more, there is reality. There is death and there is old age, and disease, and filth. More so, there are pot bellies and laws against vigilantism. Most of all, there is a world complete unto itself, faced with problems which are not so easy to escape. There is no convenient deus ex machina to save the day, no cavalry over the hill, no villain who can be punched to make everything right again. There's only a handful of middle-aged men and women in silly clothes, scared out of their wits, wondering if they can save what's left of their world and if what's left of their world is worth saving.

Writer Alan Moore imposes on the reader a few conditions, primarily the existence of Dr. Manhattan and the acceptance for a time of vigilantism. From there the book appears to become a machine that would go of itself, life influencing life and event precipitating event until it seems impossible the publication of Action Comics #1 would not lead towards a nuclear holocaust.

This seeming inevitability is Moore's neatest trick, because it is an illusion based in the reader's acceptance of the world Moore and artist Dave Gibbons have created. For his part, Moore sees the advantage of tacking and weaving within his tale, giving the reader a little mystery then a little back story, so that as the narrative unfolds the reader comes to know the characters and the situations well enough to say, yes, this is how it would have to happen. By interspersing chapters of his mystery with the biographies of his leads, Moore supplies the reader a wealth of necessary information that otherwise would have required endless and torpid expository dialogue.

Given little room by the story to shine as a comics illustrator in the classic tradition, Gibbons takes advantage of his clean, Curt Swan-ish art style to perform a tour de force of storytelling. Few artists would have been willing to lock themselves into the sort of rigid grid layouts Gibbons employs here, but the artist wisely decided to follow Moore's heavily structured lead and turn the endlessly variable comics page into a movie screen.

In both film and comics, the visual artist begins with a basic image area and then employs shot properties such as camera distance and camera angle as well as lighting to direct the viewer's attention to desired elements of the mise-en-scene -- the actors, settings and props that appear in the shot. In comics, it is the case that the artist works almost always in a "masked" image area -- that is, an area which does not fill the entire screen/page.

Masking, while seen rarely these days, was common in the silent era; the camera aperture was covered with a piece of metal or cardboard from which some desired shape had been cut, blacking out most of the screen and concentrating the viewer's attention on the remaining lighted area. This is, essentially, what a comics artist does when he designs his page layouts. As with masking, the image area selected by the artist may be of almost any shape or size, filing only a small portion of the available space or consuming the full page.

Gibbons restricts himself to a small number of masks, all rectangular, the most common of which reveals one-ninth of the page in a vertical panel -- a shape which lends itself nicely to depicting the upright human figure and is nicely claustrophobic. When a different image area is needed, Gibbons alters his "screen" shape by simply "changing masks": He splits the basic panel longitudinally on occasion and more frequently doubles its size, quadruples it or sextuples it. But most often, when he needs to show a wider vista or allow strong lateral motion to "break out" of the strictures of the standard panel, Gibbons triples the panel's width while maintaining its height, approximating an effect called "triptych" developed by French director Abel Gance, in which three standard screens placed side-by-side were lit simultaneously.

(An illustration at this point in the 'zine showed Rorschach bursting out of Moloch's refrigerator as an example of triptych.)

Within the series' five issues of biography, Gibbons introduces a number of cinematic devices to ease the reader in and out of the flashbacks. (We know today that most of the page designs were in Moore's script.) For Ozymandias, he employs a shot/reverse shot pattern of looking and being looked upon -- watching and being watched. For Dr. Manhattan, montage (an intercutting of many brief shots/images in rapid succession) is used. Silk Spectre's memories come and go surrounded by slow-motion views of a thrown perfume bottle. And for Rorschach and the Comedian, there is a doubling of images through the use of match on action, a technique in which consecutive images are linked by the presence in each of a distinctive, similar action or object (as in the duality of the funeral wreath and the exploding fireworks in panels three and four on page 12 of #2). Each of these devices creates moments of frozen time. Yet each links present and past, often in a nonlinear fashion, so that the feeling of inevitability about the story is reinforced. It seems that each action affects every other action in the story, that as in Dr. Manhattan's view of the world, every moment is linked in some inexplicable manner to every other.

I said two issues ago that Watchmen is the most important comic yet published; that is, as I said above, because it ties the comics form to literature while telling a comics-style story. Comics have always been scorned in America because they have gone for Lang's claymores; the average comic, even today, consists of a string of adventures which, because the heroes must return next issue, contain no real dangers and generates little real tension. Also, comics, unlike serious story forms, break their reality set constantly with editorial footnotes, in-jokes, house advertisements, letter columns and text pages in which the creators expound upon the creation of the comic and what lovely people the writer, artist and editors are.

Watchmen is different. Being self-contained, it need not fall prey to the emotion-killing requirements of a continuing series. Being science fiction set in a parallel society, it is designed from start to finish so that the reader is immersed for 32 pages in the world of the story. In the tiny details of story and art, those things the reader expects not to mean much, the creators make their world real. To lift the burden of disbelief from the reader's shoulders, Moore and Gibbons inundate him with so much detail that their world seems it must be real. In doing so, the creators could not afford to take anything for granted, but to discuss politics, fashion and news openly would have slowed the telling of the tale unforgivably. They chose, rather, to revel in and reveal through the pleasures of texture. The entire structure of the Watchmen's society is revealed via its minutiae, through newspaper headlines, posters, advertisements, garbage. Through these the reader learns of the continuing Nixon presidency, the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, the annexation of Vietnam, and the nation's sick romance with death and nuclear holocaust. Red D'eath, Pale Horse, Krystalnacht, Sweet Chariot sugar, mmeltdowns! candy (mmeltdowns!, for all the gods' sake!).

Even the "obligatory" text pages are used not to indulge the creators' egos or to engage in cheap self-promotion, but to further examine the characters and the society in which they live. In these four-page features we have artifacts of the Watchmen's world, presented without commentary. From these features we gain much wisdom about how the world came to its current predicament. I have wondered how many bored readers, tired of the usual collection of inanities to be found in the back pages of comics, skipped the text features entirely and thus sat scratching their heads over certain developments presented within the main "text" of the story.

Those who skipped the appendices missed so much of the detail which caused Moore to remark, "Everything in the book means something, although not everything means very much." They missed the organization of the Minutemen; the true details of the Sally Jupiter - Hooded Justice relationship; what Dr. Manhattan's former boss thinks of the "human" god; the deaths of Dollar Bill and the Silhouette; the revelation of Captain Metropolis's homosexuality; how comics were saved from Dr. Wertham and the censors by the existence of a few masked avengers; the truth about Rorschach's father; and the writing style and editorial tactics of the New Frontiersman.

The devotion to texture, to completeness, extends even to the book's packaging. As a publication it is an organic whole, from the carefully balanced cover colors past the "crawl" of the title and credits across the inside covers to the dripping blood and unstoppable clock ticking away at the rear. It does not let up or play games with the reader. It is a graphic novel in a day when the term is used to describe anything from an annual published between cardboard covers to a three hundred-issue picaresque that grows like topsy and changes direction according to its author's slightest whim. Watchmen is a novel, complete in and of itself, with no room for meandering subplots or private jokes among the creators. The beginning leads to the middle, which leads to the finish. In between, things happen simply because, in this one world of all possible worlds, they must.

Watchmen does what American comics are loath to do. It takes itself seriously, refusing to believe that, because of its manner of presentation, it is any less worthy than the work of a John Hersey or a Francis Ford Coppola. It happens in a real world where the good guys may be a mad, paranoid saint who smells horrible but stands for truth and a perfectly sane demon who knows the world is a bad joke but keeps fighting anyway.

The significance of Watchmen is that it has the power, as literature, to disturb -- that it can make the reader reflect upon where our world, so much like that of the story, is going. Its significance is captured in this horrifying notion: Adrian Veidt knew what he was doing when he killed half of New York City -- and, having read Watchmen #11, I am not at all certain that what he did was wrong.
Last edited by DennisMM on Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky
DennisMM
NOT PARTICULARLY MENACING
 
Posts: 16808
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:02 pm
Location: Watchin' the reels go 'round and 'round

Postby Leckomaniac on Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:46 am

WHOA! Dennis thanks a ton for sharing. I believe this is the second time I have read this article of yours and I must say that it impresses every time. Really great stuff.
Image
User avatar
Leckomaniac
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 11031
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:32 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby Fried Gold on Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:49 am

Main page has a piece up about a possible viral marketing site now up at http://www.rorschachsjournal.com/.

However, if you look at the html, it's been made by theonering.net
User avatar
Fried Gold
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 13919
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:28 pm
Location: ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░

Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:59 am

Dennis, that post made my day. I've partly been avoiding this thread because I almost feel like I've got too many hopes invested in the movie: I want it to be really, really good. However, I'm really glad I happened to pop in here this morning because that was a fantastic read. Rest assured, it will be printed out and added to my folder of cool articles. I remember reading my brother's copy of Watchmen when I was about 10. Some of it really stuck with me, but needless to say, most of it went straight over my head.

Since then, I've re-read it every 2 or 3 years, and every time I get something different out of it. I want this movie to be a success, I really do.
User avatar
ThisIsTheGirl
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 5689
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:42 am
Location: London, England

Postby unikrunk on Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:07 am

Dennis - that is a great piece - I love this Moore quote: "Everything in the book means something, although not everything means very much."

I am going to use that line when trying to get people to read the book (I am working on the wife right now, she likes Promethea and loved V for Vendetta...)

Great insight, and a good read - thanks for sharing!
He can't' love you back...
Image
User avatar
unikrunk
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 4845
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:48 am

Postby Toastie on Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:30 am

DennisMM wrote:This seeming inevitability is Moore's neatest trick, because it is an illusion based in the reader's acceptance of the world Moore and artist Dave Gibbons have created. For his part, Moore sees the advantage of tacking and weaving within his tale, giving the reader a little mystery then a little back story, so that as the narrative unfolds the reader comes to know the characters and the situations well enough to say, yes, this is how it would have to happen. By interspersing chapters of his mystery with the biographies of his leads, Moore supplies the reader a wealth of necessary information that otherwise would have required endless and torpid expository dialogue.


The point you make here about the pace and nature of the storytelling is why I've always thought that if any Watchmen project were to be made, it should be in the form of a series. Otherwise, I just don't see how they could possibly maintain the integrity of the source material at all. I will make the prediction that any film we see will have significant portions of 'endless and torpid expository dialogue'.

Also, very nicely done. If that's what you were writing at 25, what are you doing now at 45? Point me in the direction of some of your more recent stuff.
Nucleus Accumbens!
Toastie
TOMBOY BEANPOLE
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA, Earth

Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:15 pm

Toastie wrote:Also, very nicely done. If that's what you were writing at 25, what are you doing now at 45? Point me in the direction of some of your more recent stuff.


I'm sure Dennis has his own favourites, Toastie - but I for one am a big fan of his History of The Flash, pt 1.

Frankly, it is full of awesome.
User avatar
ThisIsTheGirl
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 5689
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:42 am
Location: London, England

Postby DennisMM on Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:17 pm

Thank you for the compliment, Toastie -- and thanks to the others, as well. TITG, you are most kind.

I gave up serious writing a long time ago. I have bipolar disorder, as I mentioned in the material before the actual essay. For ten years I've been on psychiatric medications that, I'm sad to say, push my energy level way down lots of the time and, even worse, reduce my facility with language (especially when speaking). About 18 months ago I wrote the first installment of a three-part Wally West Flash history. It was the longest bit of writing I'd done since about 1995. If you care to read it, it's here. With Wally's return I think I'm going to dig out my notes and the comics and try to get part two going. Looking at that Wally piece, I saw that my working title for part three was "Falling Into Hell." Gosh, that's melodramatic -- and I stole it from Garth Ennis, anyway. Part three likely will be called "The Runner Stumbles," which I also stole, but from a play. :D

I posted one of my favorite old pieces here in the Zone, a review of the forgotten DC comic Thriller.
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky
DennisMM
NOT PARTICULARLY MENACING
 
Posts: 16808
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:02 pm
Location: Watchin' the reels go 'round and 'round

Postby Conroy420 on Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:51 pm

After I visited that Rorshach website, a email window keeps popping up on my computer.

Not from Rorshach, it's a blank slate to send one to him.

My problem is, it keeps fucking popping up, quite often, and it starting to piss me off.

I went to that site early yesterday, so why is this shit still popping on my computer.

FUCK!
To read some original works by me, please ask, I need the feedback!
Conroy420
BOMB IN RIBCAGE
 
Posts: 591
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:06 pm

Postby captainalphabet on Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:39 pm

i wrote to him.
he wrote back.
it was cool.


-----Original Message-----

clean up teh streets amigo.

BS


-----
On 30-Jun-07, at 11:49 AM, Rorschach wrote:

working on it.



.RR.
rabbits, robots, profanity.
User avatar
captainalphabet
GLIB
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:17 pm
Location: Waponi Woo

Postby buster00 on Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:07 pm

-----Original Message-----

Hurm.



-----
On 30-Jun-07, at 12:01 AM, Rorschach wrote:


Lol.




.RR.
User avatar
buster00
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 6401
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:12 pm

Postby Leckomaniac on Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:11 pm

So has this been verified as a legit marketing tool for the film or is it just a fan run operation?
Image
User avatar
Leckomaniac
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 11031
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:32 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby Lady Sheridan on Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:38 pm

I think it's fan run myself. I don't see any viral marketing having enough manpower (or willpower) to e-mail people back.

Plus there's still no casting announcement! It's no DKR where you've got something to build a campaign around.
User avatar
Lady Sheridan
RED
 
Posts: 5035
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Croft Manor

Postby Leckomaniac on Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:59 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:I think it's fan run myself. I don't see any viral marketing having enough manpower (or willpower) to e-mail people back.

Plus there's still no casting announcement! It's no DKR where you've got something to build a campaign around.


I think it would be quite an interesting and smart way to continue building buzz around the movie until we get something more concrete. Warner Bros. has shown with TDK that they are willing to utilize these out of the ordinary campaigns.

But if it is really being one by OneRing than I suppose that means it is fan-made...I still think it is in WB's best interest to coordinate with the site and utilize it.
Image
User avatar
Leckomaniac
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 11031
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:32 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby Fievel on Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:21 pm

User avatar
Fievel
Mouse Of The House
 
Posts: 11956
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:07 pm
Location: White Lake, MI

WATCHMEN... IN NAME ONLY..?

Postby Captain Carnage on Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:22 pm

I know there's a script by Alex Tse dated Nov. 10 2006 that returns the setting to Cold War 1985, and I know what's in it (and no, I cannot share - source confidentiality and all that).

But apart from this change and the added Nixon/Soviet hostility references as a result, it's essentially a carbon copy of Tse's first script from last summer, which is available online (over at the SuperHeroHype Watchmen boards for one).

And with today's news doing the rounds at several sites concerning the casting call for lookalikes of historical figures to appear in the movie having gone out... figures who, in the main, appear in this recent draft... it seems increasingly likely that this is the version that'll be hitting our screens.

Which is gonna make a lot of folks very unhappy, unfortunately. Some of the reasons why:

A cliched opening montage over Bob Dylan warbling The Times They Are A Changin' (admittedly, a new addition in the Nov '06 version) Hardly cutting edge film making.

Trading The Minutemen for The Watchmen... and, probably worse still, The Crimebusters for The New Watchmen? Isn't this the ULTIMATE in dumbing-down, which effectively loses all the subtle meanings behind the use of the term WATCHMEN which Alan Moore chose for those very reasons? IT'S NOT MEANT TO BE THE NAME OF THE TEAM(S).

The greatly rewritten Rorschach's journal entries - gone is the deeply disturbing yet darkly poetic prose of the book, replaced with a hackneyed, watered down Rorschach Lite. He doesn't even speak right (I must investigate further... You're joking, of course... far too 'normal' sounding)

Action scenes seemingly shoehorned in throughout. And a chase sequence, as NYPD 'copters pursue the Owlship around the Manhattan skyline after the prison break?

The absence of the entire hoax alien invasion plot. Having Veidt frame Dr Manhattan for the global destruction wreaked by energy beams fired from his Antarctic fortress, so that Manhattan himself then becomes the focus of mankind's continued terror.

THE kicker - having Dan finally kill Veidt because... it's what Rorschach would've done. And having him doing it by bringing the Owlship crashing through a window on remote control, whereupon it then lands on and squashes the life out of Ozymandias? Typical Hollywood the-bad-guy-gets-his neat ending for the villain of the piece. No morally ambiguous loose ends allowed in comic book movies, I guess.


Now, I don't know whether or not it's a case of Snyder genuinely NOT getting Watchmen, despite his claims to the contrary, OR the fact that he's had to compromise and bow down to the studio in order to stay attached to the project (the money men chose him on the back of 300, remember, and I as sure as hell bet that the Studio Suits DON'T get Watchmen).

I know that change is a necessary, often unavoidable evil in the adaptive process between page and screen. But the changes we're talking about here seem so arbitrary, designed to do nothing else but dumb-down a superlative comic book and transform it into a so-so movie when Watchmen on screen could be... SHOULD be so much more than that. Obviously this is aimed at attracting as mass an audience as possible; Warner Bros isn't gonna spend $100M+ just to please a few rabid fanboys.

But I fear what we're gonna end up with will be Watchmen in name only.

It won't do for superhero movies what the original did for superhero comics. It won't be a brave, thought provoking example of powerful storytelling on film... but just a big old dumb R rated actionfest with Men In Tights and no substance. Nothing special. An opportunity wasted.

Unless this script has undergone, or will undergo significant revision... that's exactly what'll we'll get. And no amount of 'interesting' casting choices will make it any better; the actors are going to be hampered by this material and will find themselves on the receiving end of a backlash from fans in the aftermath, the same as everyone else involved. The only hope for possible change is that, if enough dissent is demonstrated at places such as this very board you're at now, the anti-buzz will get picked up by someone with access to the production and could very well filter back to the powers that be involved in this project... to Snyder himself possibly.

Time is against us.

Thanks for reading.
I leave it entirely in your hands.
Captain Carnage
TOMBOY BEANPOLE
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:10 pm

Postby Leckomaniac on Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:34 pm

Yikes. If you are correct, then, well...man this sucks. "The New Watchmen"...my excitement for this movie just plummeted. I hope you're wrong.
Image
User avatar
Leckomaniac
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 11031
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:32 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby buster00 on Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:37 pm

Yeah, that's not very encouraging.

Good first post, though, Captain. If you've got some sort of inside track on this picture, please keep us posted!
User avatar
buster00
AIRWOLF PLUS
 
Posts: 6401
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:12 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Movie News

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron