(Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

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(Rating The) WATCHMEN!

10
3
6%
9
8
15%
8
11
21%
7
11
21%
6
11
21%
5
4
8%
4
0
No votes
3
0
No votes
2
1
2%
1
0
No votes
Waiting for the DVD/Blu-Ray Director's Cut
1
2%
If I wanted to see blue dongs, I'd watch Siberian pr0n!
2
4%
 
Total votes : 52

Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Al Shut on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:30 pm

How come nobody mentiones Ride of the Valkyries especially when talking about music that was used in other movies.

That one actually made me think 'Oh no he didn't'
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Hermanator X on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:35 pm

Al Shut wrote:How come nobody mentiones Ride of the Valkyries especially when talking about music that was used in other movies.

That one actually made me think 'Oh no he didn't'



Maybe in that universe Apocalypse Now wasnt made, cos the war had a different turnout, leaving the music free to use. Or something.....
...and so forth.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Al Shut on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:41 pm

that makes an suprising amount of sense
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Nachokoolaid on Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:46 pm

Hermanator X wrote:
Al Shut wrote:How come nobody mentiones Ride of the Valkyries especially when talking about music that was used in other movies.

That one actually made me think 'Oh no he didn't'



Maybe in that universe Apocalypse Now wasnt made, cos the war had a different turnout, leaving the music free to use. Or something.....


I actually grinned when it played because I thought, "This is what Apocalypse Now would look like in this universe-- Doc. Manhattan blowing shit up instead of helicopters."
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Worst Part's Almost Over on Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:14 pm

After seeing the film last night, I was struggling to find the correct words to express my opinion. And then Massawyrm's review just pretty much nailed how I felt about the movie after seeing it the first time. I first read Watchmen 11 years ago at the age of 14 and it's been very special to me ever since. And in light of that, I'm suprised at just how much I did enjoy Snyder's work here. Especially as I was feeling particularly cynical and precious about this. Will be very interested to see the director's cut.

Yes, there are a lot of thinks I could nitpick - a hell of a lot - and as Massa said, there's no escaping the new ending and what it's actually lacking (and it ain't the Squid). But none of it is anything new that hasn't already been said in this thread and countless reviews elsewhere. However you look at it though, as a stand-alone movie based on the comic, it was ten times better than it had any right to be or than I ever expected it could be. And yes, Rorschach is note perfect. Thanks again to Massa for putting into words what I couldn't quite manage and yes, I'll be seeing this again. Though probably when the director's cut comes out.

7/10
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby bastard_robo on Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:16 pm

I watched this again last night... and on the second go around.. i found it to be a far more full filling movie experiance. Now that I"m not looking for every little bit of stuff from the book, i could enjoy the performances and visuals of the movie. I think that this will be a movie that people will enjoy more and more over multiple viewings...
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby DennisMM on Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:52 pm

WPAO, I also found Massawyrm's review my touchstone in the online community. I think it's by far the best of the online reviews I have encountered.

I saw the film this afternoon after leaving work. In brief, it's a seven as a superhero movie (as compared to an eight for Iron Man and and eight/none for Dark Knight), a six as a Watchmen movie and a nine for absolute love of the material. There are moments of wonder in the film, but it's often flat and lifeless, perhaps because of its slavish attention to the comic. For ten minutes or so towards the end I couldn't stop smiling at how good Snyder was able to be. That was after Laurie and Jon arrived at Karnak. In those brief moments I saw what could have been.

A real review will follow after a night's sleep and a while to shake this sinus/whatever infection.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby burlivesleftnut on Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:26 pm

DennisMM wrote:...but it's often flat and lifeless, perhaps because of its slavish attention to the comic.


WTF, you did not just go there. After all the griping about this change and that change. I need you to explain, because that statement? Fucked. Up. At least coming from you.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby DennisMM on Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:29 pm

I almost worship the comic, but that doesn't mean it's visually flawless. Snyder's work is like looking at a posed photograph instead of a movie sometimes. It could be too slavish to the look of the comic, except when it deviated for no obvious reason. The dialogue can be very difficult at times, while at others, again, it deviates for no clear reason. Sometimes it is better, sometimes worse for doing so.

The movie frequently mimes, rather than acts. More in my review.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:31 pm

Nachokoolaid wrote:"All Along the Watchtower" might have worked in the Vietnam scenes, but it seemed out of place in the Arctic.


I liked the use of the song in that scene. People said it sounded out of place, but I thought it worked just fine.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Heyoucantlaughatthat on Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:02 am

Am I the only one who liked the fact that they kept Adrian's bullet catch in?
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:11 am

The bullet catch wasn't exactly necessary, but I liked it. Also, when Rorschach kept fighting Adrian and getting his ass handed to him. There's so much shit left in the movie from the comic book, like the porno comic featuring Sally Jupiter. Who the hell would even bother putting that in? It's cool that it's there, though.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Heyoucantlaughatthat on Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:13 am

An open letter from David Hayter (one of the film's screenwriters) to fans of Watchmen.

David Hayter wrote:So it has been five months since I saw my first rough cut of WATCHMEN, and eight days since the premiere of the film I've been working on since late in the year 2000.

The reviews are out -- Some outstanding, others rankly dismissive, which can be frustrating for the people involved, (though I can only speak for myself,) because I firmly believe that WATCHMEN, the novel, must be read through more than once to even have the faintest grip on it. And I believe the film is the same.

I've seen it twice now, and despite having run the movie in my head thousands of times, my two viewings still don’t' allow me to view the film with the proper distance or objectivity. Is it Apocalypse Now? Is it Blade Runner? Is it Kubrick, or Starship Troopers? I don’t know yet.

All I know is that I had a pretty amazing experience the two times I've seen it. And both viewings produced remarkably different experiences. The point is, I have listened for years, to complaints from true comic book fans, that "not enough movies take the source material seriously." "Too many movies puss out," or "They change great stories, just to be commercial." Well, I f***ing dare you to say any one of those things about this movie.

This is a movie made by fans, for fans. Hundreds of people put in years of their lives to make this movie happen, and every one of them was insanely committed to retaining the integrity of this amazing, epic tale. This is a rare success story, bordering on the impossible, and every studio in town is watching to see if it will work. Hell, most of them own a piece of the movie.

So look, this is a note to the fanboys and fangirls. The true believers. Dedicated for life.

If the film made you think. Or argue with your friends. If it inspired a debate about the nature of man, or vigilante justice, or the horror of Nixon abolishing term limits. If you laughed at Bowie hanging with Adrian at Studio 54, or the Silhouette kissing that nurse.

Please go see the movie again next weekend.

You have to understand, everyone is watching to see how the film will do in its second week. If you care about movies that have a brain, or balls, (and this film's got both, literally), or true adaptations -- And if you're thinking of seeing it again anyway, please go back this weekend, Friday or Saturday night. Demonstrate the power of the fans, because it'll help let the people who pay for these movies know what we'd like to see. Because if it drops off the radar after the first weekend, they will never allow a film like this to be made again.

In the interests of full disclosure, let me also point out that I do not profit one cent from an increase in box office, although an increase in box office can add to the value of the writers' eventual residual profits from dvd and tv sales.

But I'm not saying it for money. I'm saying it for people like me. I'm saying it for people who love smart, dark entertainment, on a grand, operatic scale. I'm talking to the Snake fans, the Rorschach fans, the people of the Dark Knight.

And hey, if you hated the film, if you think we committed atrocities, or literary mistakes of a massive, cephalopodic nature. If the movie made you a little sick to your stomach, or made you feel bad about your life. If you hated it for whatever reason, that's cool too. I'm not suggesting you risk gastro-intestinal distress just for the sake of risky filmmaking.

But if you haven't seen it yet? Well, I'll just say this...

It may upset you. And it probably will upset you.

And all along, we really meant it to.

Because face it. All this time...You there, with the Smiley-face pin. Admit it.

All this time, you’ve been waiting for a director who was going to hit you in the face with this story. To just crack you in the jaw, and then bend you over the pool table with this story. With its utterly raw view of the darkest sides of human nature, expressed through its masks of action and beauty and twisted good intentions. Like a fry-basket full of hot grease in the face. Like the Comedian on the Grassy Knoll. I know, I know...

You say you don't like it. You say you've got issues. I get it.

And yet... You'll be thinking about this film, down the road. It'll nag at you. How it was rough and beautiful. How it went where it wanted to go, and you just hung on. How it was thoughtful and hateful and bleak and hilarious. And for Jackie Earle Haley.

Trust me. You'll come back, eventually. Just like Sally.

Might as well make it count for something.


David Hayter


I quite like this, and will make every effort to see Watchmen again next weekend.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Bloo on Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:18 am

I don't know when I'll get the chance to see it, it's not even listed on my theatre's list of upcoming films...which is disappointing me
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Seppuku on Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:21 am

Bloo wrote:I don't know when I'll get the chance to see it, it's not even listed on my theatre's list of upcoming films...which is disappointing me


:o Where do you live, Vatican City?
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:22 am

I already plan on blowing my Friday off on it.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Bloo on Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:52 am

Seppuku wrote:
Bloo wrote:I don't know when I'll get the chance to see it, it's not even listed on my theatre's list of upcoming films...which is disappointing me


:o Where do you live, Vatican City?


freaking Kansas, one theatre, 2 screens...small town 5,000 people

my borther is coming up this weekend though I may sweettalk him into the two of us doing a little road trip to go see it
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby CeeBeeUK on Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:37 am

caruso_stalker217 wrote:
Nachokoolaid wrote:"All Along the Watchtower" might have worked in the Vietnam scenes, but it seemed out of place in the Arctic.


I liked the use of the song in that scene. People said it sounded out of place, but I thought it worked just fine.


In the cinema, I though it was quite an obvious choice...

Outside in the distance a wild cat did growl (cue Bubastis),
Two riders were approaching (Dan and Rorscach),
and the wind began to howl (it certainly looked windy as they crossed the ice!).

Then I got home and started flicking through the book checking dialogue and realised that this scene in the book is in the chapter 'two riders' and the images of Dan and Rorscach walking to Karnak are followed by the quotation above as the chapter ends.

Something else straight from the book, Mt Snyder!
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Fried Gold on Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:04 am

CeeBeeUK wrote:
caruso_stalker217 wrote:
Nachokoolaid wrote:"All Along the Watchtower" might have worked in the Vietnam scenes, but it seemed out of place in the Arctic.


I liked the use of the song in that scene. People said it sounded out of place, but I thought it worked just fine.


In the cinema, I though it was quite an obvious choice...

Outside in the distance a wild cat did growl (cue Bubastis),
Two riders were approaching (Dan and Rorscach),
and the wind began to howl (it certainly looked windy as they crossed the ice!).

Then I got home and started flicking through the book checking dialogue and realised that this scene in the book is in the chapter 'two riders' and the images of Dan and Rorscach walking to Karnak are followed by the quotation above as the chapter ends.

Something else straight from the book, Mt Snyder!

The sentiment is entirely correct and was right to be included.

I personally thought the problem was that the song itself didn't quite seem to fit with the imagery.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby CeeBeeUK on Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:35 am

I don't disagree, I just thought it was amusing that while watching the film, I thought Snyder had picked a trite song because the lyrics matched the pictures.

Then I got home and realised that he slavishly adhered to his source regardless of suitability.

Seriously, the dude can't win :twisted:
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Fried Gold on Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:09 am

CeeBeeUK wrote:I don't disagree, I just thought it was amusing that while watching the film, I thought Snyder had picked a trite song because the lyrics matched the pictures.

Then I got home and realised that he slavishly adhered to his source regardless of suitability.

Seriously, the dude can't win :twisted:

He never was going to win with Watchmen.

At least he did raise his game somewhat.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby DennisMM on Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:20 pm

CeeBee, you've hit the nail on the head with just a few words. Maybe I shouldn't bother with the review.

Home sick from work. Considering going to see it again in a weakened state but with my notebook so I can make legible notes. Notes from the first screening are largely unreadable and sometimes overlap in the slip of paper I had. :( This is a film that deserves multiple viewings from people like me, just so we can absorb all of the good - and all of the troubled within a troubled production.

The bullet catching was nice, though less impressive given his armored glove. :wink:
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby TonyWilson on Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:43 pm

Just saw this, liked it more than I thought I would (and that's always a good thing) I'll give some more thoughts later but for now let me just say Jackie Earl Haley was FUCKING INSANELY AMAZINGLY BRILLIANT, it's a beautiful performance, there's a couple of moments when he's talking to the psychiatrist where Haley's eyes look just like a small frightened, bullied, abused child's. It's uncanny and terrifying and stone cold brilliant. Give the man an Oscar, stat.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby John-Locke on Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:08 pm

When I saw that scene I was just reminded of his equally brilliant performance in Little Children, you can see why they cast him for the role, he taps into the same thing there.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby TonyWilson on Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:29 pm

So...

So, politically muddled and stupidly violent Watchmen's subtleties don't translate to well the screen but luckily the central conceit - team of masked vigilantes and a demigod represent the 20th century's dominant political ideologies - is rich enough to take a horrific penthouse beating and survive lessened but still fairly intact.

Snyder manages to get a lot of what makes the comic great up on screen but at times the amped up violence and sheer spectacle threaten to make the serious human and "political" drama seem weightless, undefined somehow.
As I've said Haley is brilliant as Rorschach and conveys the tragedy of Walter Kovacs with his eyes - it's there the film approaches the depth of the original and in the masterful Doc Manhattan looks over time montage (was that Phillip Glass on the soundtrack or an approximation?). Vietnam scored with Ride Of The Valkyries on the other hand was a good example of Snyder fumbling the point. In Apocalypse Now the music is diegetic and highlights Kilgore's dreams of bloody hardfought glory while he massacres women and children, here the music merely reinforces the awesome (in the true sense of the word) power of Manhattan and the US by making the whole thing seem "cool".

Visually it was autistically faithful but there seemed way more primary colours in the palette and the slick look at times jarred with the rather drab almost sickly colour scheme of the comic. Another small thing that probably wouldn't matter to anyone who hasn't read the comic but is actually quite a telling detail was that in the film it was the criminals who started dressing up first, in the book it's the other way round and the change implies the audience are meant to think the first wave of vigilantes at least are a suitably proportionate response to the threat. Moore makes it clear it was the other way round and it's fundamental in the books ultimately anti super hero message.

The soundtrack was right the fuck on apart from the Valkyrie thing, All Along The Watchtower is perfect as has already been mentioned. 99 Red Balloons seemed off at first but being as it's upbeat while talking about war it worked for the date that turned to talk of nuclear bombs and murder. Hallelujah worked great I thought it's such a moment of release (haha) that sort of half parody and half serious tone was definitely right for Nite Owl and Laurie finally getting it on.

So yeh overall I enjoyed it, I think without seeing it on the big screen you may as well just read the comic but the potent images and themes are pretty damn intoxicating when it's larger than life.

Edit: I'm still to see Little Children yet, if his performance is equal to the one in Watchmen Imma gon track it down fast.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Nachokoolaid on Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:28 pm

See, I thought "Unforgettable," "The Ride of the Valkyries" and "I'm Your Boogie Man" were the three music cues that really worked. I thought the others stuck out a bit too much.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Brit Pop on Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:22 pm

It is August of 2008... I hear a lot of talk about a graphic novel called 'Watchmen'... I have never heard of it - but I am intruigued. I look on the internet... I find a download of the novel and proceed to view it... I see a image of a man being thrown out of a window... but the download I have is in Spanish... I give up... and forget about it.

It is October 2001... A friend of mine... for arguments sake, lets call him TPP...

He tells me of a film called 'The Fellowship Of The Ring'... I resist, saying it is the stuff of fantasy...

I tell him the only thing of that book I know is that the intellectual kids were forced to read the book by their equally intellectual parents... it is not a book I was ever introduced to... but I go with him to the cinema... watch the film...

It is March 2002... I have read everything Tolkien have ever written and am thouroughly hooked!

It is March 2009... I have just read the graphic novel 'Watchmen'...

It is earlier in March 2009... I have just seen the film 'Watchmen' at thye cinema...

From my laimans point of view... a better film of the graphic novel could not have been made...

There is a studly news vendor... and a young black boy in the novel... we see them briefly in the film... but their interaction is as poignant as it was in the cold wood pulp they originally occupied.

Apart from a bit of poor casting... I am as happy to hae seen the film before reading the novel as I was when I experoenced the LOTR phemomnon. Watchmen works the more you watch it.

It is past midnight, March 13th 2009... I watch Watchmen again... It is good, and complex... like a circulatory system.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Nachokoolaid on Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:01 pm

I don't know why, but I really liked that post. (Maybe that I agree with it 100%).
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:27 pm

Yeah, but where's the glowing blue junk??
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Hermanator X on Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:49 am

caruso_stalker217 wrote:Yeah, but where's the glowing blue junk??


Just off screen to the right of your sig by the looks of it.
...and so forth.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby TheBaxter on Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:19 am

alright, i just watched this last night.
i hadn't read they book before i heard about the film, but i decided to go ahead and read it before i saw this. ultimately, i'm glad i did, but there were pros and cons to doing that. obviously, there were things changed or removed from the book that i missed, that i wouldn't have missed if i hadn't read the book, wouldn't have even noticed. but then, there were lots of little details that i wouldn't have appreciated without reading the book first either. and moreso, i'm not sure if the film would have made a whole lot of sense without having read the book... at least, certain things would've been a lot more confusing if i had seen the movie first. the only regret is that i wish i hadn't read the book so recently before seeing the film. i just finished the book on monday, so it's still very fresh in my mind, which obviously made the book-to-film comparison fresher in my mind then it would've been if i'd read it, say, 6 months ago.

i liked the movie, but ultimately there are two things the film got wrong, or that i felt were missing:
1) the feeling of impending doom that permeates the book. in the film, they never do a very good job of establishing just how close to the brink of war the world is. (it doesn't help that the few scenes that do try to establish that involve nixon, who i'll get to later). the film goes for long stretches without ever mentioning the war in afghanistan, and how that is making nuclear war nearly an inevitability. i didn't miss the scenes from the book at the newsstand (didn't care for them while reading the book) but i realized during the film how important those scenes were to establishing that sense of doom. i don't think they should have included those scenes, necessarily, but they should have found another way to express that sense of impending and inevitable disaster. maybe through news reports, or some other device. it weakens the film, because it weakens ozymandias' rationale for what he does to prevent it from happening. which then weakens the central theme, or moral question, of the entire piece, about whether his actions can be justified or excused.
2) emotional resonance. and this goes specifically both to the ending, and to laurie's character, so i'll talk about those more specifically. but a combination of writing choices and performance choices undermined the emotional impact of many of the story points.

laurie's character, for instance. i thought malin akerman was doing a pretty good job, up until the debate with manhattan on mars. i think she especially dropped the ball performance-wise with her daddy revelation. the writing didn't help her out, though. i realize a lot of things have to be cut to make it work for a film, but one scene i thought was essential which they cut was her confronting the comedian at some gala ball after finding out he had tried to rape her mom. that scene provides a lot of the emotional context for her despair when she finds out he was her dad. in the movie, it's not even clear if she knows that comedian tried to rape her mom. so if she doesn't definitely know that little fact, and if she hasn't had the confrontation where she said all those nasty things to him, then the impact of finding out he's her dad is lessened by a lot. much of the emotional content of that revelation is based on what he had done to her mom, and on the fact that she had been so hurtful and mean to him without knowing who he really was to her. as for the rest of her debate with manhattan, i thought it was weakened, again, by that lack of impending doom. in the book, she's certain the world is about to end and that jon is the only hope to prevent war and the extinction of all humanity. i didn't get that from the film. furthermore, there's no sense of her frustration at trying to debate someone who sees things fundamentally different from her, and who's so detached that he doesn't even seem to care about the debate to begin with. i think that was as much a flaw in her performance as the writing. the actor needs to bring that frustration and fury into the performance, regardless of whether it's explicit in the writing. finally, the scene with her and manhattan at the scene of the crime, was too short, and we never see laurie's despair and grief over all those who have just died.

i think the other characters were well done though. manhattan was perfect, actually better than the book i think. the performance really highlighted that sense of detachment and disconnect and coiled power better than the book could do. rorshach was well done too, and dan dreiberg also. wilson did a good job of injecting just enough of that regained cockiness, the smirks and such, when he puts the costume back on. there were things left out from those characters in the screen play too, but the actors in those cases were able to bring those things back in through performances and therefore those characters felt complete.

finally, the big controversial change to the ending. conceptually, i actually prefer the movie's ending. conceptually. in execution, not so much. what i like is the fact that manhattan becomes the bogeyman who is used to scare the world into peace, instead of some vague interdimensional alien threat. i just think, both from a character perspective, as well as a thematic perspective, it works better. the execution undermines it though. first off, i understand why people think manhattan is a bad choice because he was american, and thus the world would still blame america and it wouldn't lead to world peace after all, yadda yadda yadda. i think the solution to that is, they shouldn't have made the attack on all those different cities. they should have kept it to an attack on just new york. if the world had seen manhattan turn on his own country, attack it, then that would still serve to function as the threat that, if he could do that to his own country, what might he do to the rest of us? i mean, i thought the idea that some out-of-nowhere squid appearing in the middle of NYC would inspire world peace to be kind of implausible already... manhattan just is more plausible, to me, as a bogeyman the whole world would fear. the other problem with the ending is the lack of impact. they really dropped the ball on that... we don't necessarily need to see thousands of bodies littering the streets or draped out of windows, but we needed to see SOMETHING that drove home the point and the scale of the disaster. and we needed to see more of how it impacted the characters emotionally. laurie was the one in the book who served that purpose, but we only get a few seconds of her and manhattan in nyc before they beam over to antarctica, and without the extended period of her grieving over all the dead, there's just no weight to what happens. and again, that undermines the whole point of the moral question the story poses.

and finally (for real this time), the nixon stuff was just horrible. in fact, i didn't like a lot of the "real people" used in the film (mclaughlin, buchanan, koppel, iacocca, kissinger etc.) ... it was like they randomly dropped rich little into a bunch of scenes to do impressions. most of those weren't too bad though, and were only in one or two scenes. but nixon was horribly performed, horribly made-up, and horribly over-used. i realize this was probably mostly filmed before frost/nixon was released, but it doesn't help that this came out just a couple months after someone else was nominated for an oscar for playing nixon in a different film. i haven't even seen frost/nixon, had no interest in seeing it in fact, and i still couldn't help thinking about that film any time faux-nixon was on screen. i didn't have langella's performance of nixon in mind to compare it to, but i have seen anthony hopkins' nixon, and if you're going to do nixon in a movie, you have to either go the langella/hopkins route and have a non-imitative performance of him as a character, or if you're going the other way and do an impersonation, at least find someone who actually looks and sounds like him. i've seen LOTS of impersonators who do a better job than this. my god, that nose! it was about twice the size of his actual nose. terrible makeup. in fact, i didn't find carla gugino's makeup as bad as most people, but overall the makeup on the film was pretty bad. comedian's scar. nixon's nose. even rorshach's freckles (especially as a kid, they looked like someone dotted them on with a red sharpie). for such a big expensive production, you'd think they'd be able to find at least one competent makeup person.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby TheBaxter on Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:25 pm

Docventure wrote:I'm just curious on whether or not Rorschach's death gets the attention it deserves. In the novel, I hated how after Rorschach died, hehehe,, there was no mention, no reaction from Nite Owl, just Dr. Manhattan walking away like he just took the dog out to pee. I've always wanted a chance to grieve Rorschach and I hope the movie focuses on it a bit more than the novel did. Will we feel the heartbreak? The wrenching? Will people who have never read the novel cry out in despair upon seeing Rorschach atomized? How bloody will it be?


revisiting Rorshach's death scene... i'm now eagerly awaiting the Nite Owl "DO NOT WANT!!!!" animated gif.

Seppuku wrote:
BlueHawaiiSurfer wrote:He lost me at "they should have used Tom Cruise".
:o|


Oh yeah, can you imagine Tom Cruise of all people playing a guy so isolated from the world he thinks he's the mouthpiece for the rest of humanity? :roll:

You've gotta admit, the dude can put in a good performance every now and then. I'm having trouble imagining him with blonde hair, though.


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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby TheBaxter on Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:26 pm

Heyoucantlaughatthat wrote:An open letter from David Hayter (one of the film's screenwriters) to fans of Watchmen.

David Hayter wrote:So it has been five months since I saw my first rough cut of WATCHMEN, and eight days since the premiere of the film I've been working on since late in the year 2000.

The reviews are out -- Some outstanding, others rankly dismissive, which can be frustrating for the people involved, (though I can only speak for myself,) because I firmly believe that WATCHMEN, the novel, must be read through more than once to even have the faintest grip on it. And I believe the film is the same.

I've seen it twice now, and despite having run the movie in my head thousands of times, my two viewings still don’t' allow me to view the film with the proper distance or objectivity. Is it Apocalypse Now? Is it Blade Runner? Is it Kubrick, or Starship Troopers? I don’t know yet.

All I know is that I had a pretty amazing experience the two times I've seen it. And both viewings produced remarkably different experiences. The point is, I have listened for years, to complaints from true comic book fans, that "not enough movies take the source material seriously." "Too many movies puss out," or "They change great stories, just to be commercial." Well, I f***ing dare you to say any one of those things about this movie.

This is a movie made by fans, for fans. Hundreds of people put in years of their lives to make this movie happen, and every one of them was insanely committed to retaining the integrity of this amazing, epic tale. This is a rare success story, bordering on the impossible, and every studio in town is watching to see if it will work. Hell, most of them own a piece of the movie.

So look, this is a note to the fanboys and fangirls. The true believers. Dedicated for life.

If the film made you think. Or argue with your friends. If it inspired a debate about the nature of man, or vigilante justice, or the horror of Nixon abolishing term limits. If you laughed at Bowie hanging with Adrian at Studio 54, or the Silhouette kissing that nurse.

Please go see the movie again next weekend.

You have to understand, everyone is watching to see how the film will do in its second week. If you care about movies that have a brain, or balls, (and this film's got both, literally), or true adaptations -- And if you're thinking of seeing it again anyway, please go back this weekend, Friday or Saturday night. Demonstrate the power of the fans, because it'll help let the people who pay for these movies know what we'd like to see. Because if it drops off the radar after the first weekend, they will never allow a film like this to be made again.

In the interests of full disclosure, let me also point out that I do not profit one cent from an increase in box office, although an increase in box office can add to the value of the writers' eventual residual profits from dvd and tv sales.

But I'm not saying it for money. I'm saying it for people like me. I'm saying it for people who love smart, dark entertainment, on a grand, operatic scale. I'm talking to the Snake fans, the Rorschach fans, the people of the Dark Knight.

And hey, if you hated the film, if you think we committed atrocities, or literary mistakes of a massive, cephalopodic nature. If the movie made you a little sick to your stomach, or made you feel bad about your life. If you hated it for whatever reason, that's cool too. I'm not suggesting you risk gastro-intestinal distress just for the sake of risky filmmaking.

But if you haven't seen it yet? Well, I'll just say this...

It may upset you. And it probably will upset you.

And all along, we really meant it to.

Because face it. All this time...You there, with the Smiley-face pin. Admit it.

All this time, you’ve been waiting for a director who was going to hit you in the face with this story. To just crack you in the jaw, and then bend you over the pool table with this story. With its utterly raw view of the darkest sides of human nature, expressed through its masks of action and beauty and twisted good intentions. Like a fry-basket full of hot grease in the face. Like the Comedian on the Grassy Knoll. I know, I know...

You say you don't like it. You say you've got issues. I get it.

And yet... You'll be thinking about this film, down the road. It'll nag at you. How it was rough and beautiful. How it went where it wanted to go, and you just hung on. How it was thoughtful and hateful and bleak and hilarious. And for Jackie Earle Haley.

Trust me. You'll come back, eventually. Just like Sally.

Might as well make it count for something.


David Hayter


I quite like this, and will make every effort to see Watchmen again next weekend.


i'm amazed that a professional writer could use this many sentence fragments in one piece. i guess writing all that rorshach dialogue must've rubbed off on him.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Al Shut on Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:50 pm

TheBaxter wrote:i liked the movie, but ultimately there are two things the film got wrong, or that i felt were missing:
1) the feeling of impending doom that permeates the book. in the film, they never do a very good job of establishing just how close to the brink of war the world is. (it doesn't help that the few scenes that do try to establish that involve nixon, who i'll get to later). the film goes for long stretches without ever mentioning the war in afghanistan, and how that is making nuclear war nearly an inevitability. i didn't miss the scenes from the book at the newsstand (didn't care for them while reading the book) but i realized during the film how important those scenes were to establishing that sense of doom. i don't think they should have included those scenes, necessarily, but they should have found another way to express that sense of impending and inevitable disaster. maybe through news reports, or some other device. it weakens the film, because it weakens ozymandias' rationale for what he does to prevent it from happening. which then weakens the central theme, or moral question, of the entire piece, about whether his actions can be justified or excused.
s.
[...]

laurie's character, for instance. i thought malin akerman was doing a pretty good job, up until the debate with manhattan on mars. [...] it was weakened, again, by that lack of impending doom. in the book, she's certain the world is about to end and that jon is the only hope to prevent war and the extinction of all humanity.


Well it's not the same but Doctor Manhattan announces nuclear war will happen in his first scene when Rorschach visits him. BUt I agree that that is not enough or done very well.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby DennisMM on Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:52 pm

That Hayter letter had some pretty rough, rude material in it. The reference to the attempted rape of Sally Jupiter was bad enough, but saying, you'll come back to it like Sally did is crass in the extreme.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Al Shut on Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:33 pm

That letter made me think.

It's certanly a good think if a movie rewards repeated viewings but aren't movies that "must" be seen more than once a bad thing?

The way they are shown in the cinemas and on TV doesn't seem fit for such movies.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Hermanator X on Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:51 pm

Al Shut wrote:That letter made me think.

It's certanly a good think if a movie rewards repeated viewings but aren't movies that "must" be seen more than once a bad thing?

The way they are shown in the cinemas and on TV doesn't seem fit for such movies.


I agree. Must see again to understand something is a bad thing maybe, but wanting to see it again for more understanding of the depth is another.

One that straddles the gap between the two situations perfectly (for me anyway) was Primer. In this case, you shouldnt need to see it twice, but want too.

Saying that tho, I dont see whats so hard, my fiance who speaks english as a second language really "got" it, and the only comic books she has ever read were donald duck as a kid.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Al Shut on Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:58 pm

I didn't feel I had to watch it again too, maybe because read the comic a dozen times.

I just thought it's a bit wierd that Hayter says he tinks more viewings are an absolute must and sounds like that is something positive.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby TheBaxter on Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:02 pm

if a movie must be seen more than once to be enjoyed, then that's a FAIL.
but if a movie must be seen more than once to gain a full understanding or appreciation of the material, there's nothing wrong with that. as long as it makes sense and is enjoyable the first time around.
i find there are very few non-superficial works of art, be it music or film or literature or otherwise, that can be fully appreciated on a single listen or viewing or reading of the material.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby DennisMM on Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:09 pm

I would say Watchmen could stand more than one viewing simply because it's long and dense - if you want more than a very superficial viewing experience from it. A comics fan or superhero fan probably would benefit from multiple viewings, but I doubt there's much a typical moviegoer needs to see more than once.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Hermanator X on Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:12 pm

It sounded to me like an obvious drive to get the "fans" to garner repeat sales. It shouldnt need it, and in my opinion it doesnt need it. Its like if Joss Whedon actively encouraged the browncoats with their crazy ass campaign. No need.

But it did inspire me to think of this, but needs more allan moore photoshopped in.

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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby fireiceguy on Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:36 pm

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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:31 am

I found the movie even more enjoyable the second time around. That title sequence really is one of the best I've seen and the exile on Mars/Manhattan's origin sequence is fantastic. Still gave me chills.

I don't get why people say Malin Akerman gave a bad performance.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby DerLanghaarige on Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:21 am

Heyoucantlaughatthat wrote:An open letter from David Hayter (one of the film's screenwriters) to fans of Watchmen.

David Hayter wrote:So it has been five months since I saw my first rough cut of WATCHMEN, and eight days since the premiere of the film I've been working on since late in the year 2000.

The reviews are out -- Some outstanding, others rankly dismissive, which can be frustrating for the people involved, (though I can only speak for myself,) because I firmly believe that WATCHMEN, the novel, must be read through more than once to even have the faintest grip on it. And I believe the film is the same.

I've seen it twice now, and despite having run the movie in my head thousands of times, my two viewings still don’t' allow me to view the film with the proper distance or objectivity. Is it Apocalypse Now? Is it Blade Runner? Is it Kubrick, or Starship Troopers? I don’t know yet.

All I know is that I had a pretty amazing experience the two times I've seen it. And both viewings produced remarkably different experiences. The point is, I have listened for years, to complaints from true comic book fans, that "not enough movies take the source material seriously." "Too many movies puss out," or "They change great stories, just to be commercial." Well, I f***ing dare you to say any one of those things about this movie.

This is a movie made by fans, for fans. Hundreds of people put in years of their lives to make this movie happen, and every one of them was insanely committed to retaining the integrity of this amazing, epic tale. This is a rare success story, bordering on the impossible, and every studio in town is watching to see if it will work. Hell, most of them own a piece of the movie.

So look, this is a note to the fanboys and fangirls. The true believers. Dedicated for life.

If the film made you think. Or argue with your friends. If it inspired a debate about the nature of man, or vigilante justice, or the horror of Nixon abolishing term limits. If you laughed at Bowie hanging with Adrian at Studio 54, or the Silhouette kissing that nurse.

Please go see the movie again next weekend.

You have to understand, everyone is watching to see how the film will do in its second week. If you care about movies that have a brain, or balls, (and this film's got both, literally), or true adaptations -- And if you're thinking of seeing it again anyway, please go back this weekend, Friday or Saturday night. Demonstrate the power of the fans, because it'll help let the people who pay for these movies know what we'd like to see. Because if it drops off the radar after the first weekend, they will never allow a film like this to be made again.

In the interests of full disclosure, let me also point out that I do not profit one cent from an increase in box office, although an increase in box office can add to the value of the writers' eventual residual profits from dvd and tv sales.

But I'm not saying it for money. I'm saying it for people like me. I'm saying it for people who love smart, dark entertainment, on a grand, operatic scale. I'm talking to the Snake fans, the Rorschach fans, the people of the Dark Knight.

And hey, if you hated the film, if you think we committed atrocities, or literary mistakes of a massive, cephalopodic nature. If the movie made you a little sick to your stomach, or made you feel bad about your life. If you hated it for whatever reason, that's cool too. I'm not suggesting you risk gastro-intestinal distress just for the sake of risky filmmaking.

But if you haven't seen it yet? Well, I'll just say this...

It may upset you. And it probably will upset you.

And all along, we really meant it to.

Because face it. All this time...You there, with the Smiley-face pin. Admit it.

All this time, you’ve been waiting for a director who was going to hit you in the face with this story. To just crack you in the jaw, and then bend you over the pool table with this story. With its utterly raw view of the darkest sides of human nature, expressed through its masks of action and beauty and twisted good intentions. Like a fry-basket full of hot grease in the face. Like the Comedian on the Grassy Knoll. I know, I know...

You say you don't like it. You say you've got issues. I get it.

And yet... You'll be thinking about this film, down the road. It'll nag at you. How it was rough and beautiful. How it went where it wanted to go, and you just hung on. How it was thoughtful and hateful and bleak and hilarious. And for Jackie Earle Haley.

Trust me. You'll come back, eventually. Just like Sally.

Might as well make it count for something.


David Hayter




Sheesh, this is maybe one of the most shameless and emberassing things that have ever been done by someone who works in the business! I would understand if this would have been written by a silly fanboy at the imdb boards. Y'know, one of these people who think that starting an online petition seriously change things. I would also understand if Uwe Boll would do this for one of his movies, because that's how Uwe ticks and in this case I would know that he isn't 100% serious about it. (Kinda like his "I'm the only genius in this business"-spot for Postal.)
But here we got a writer of a long anticipated big budget studio movie, desperately begging people to watch his movie (again)! Like a kid in school, waiting that his friend will put him into his dodgeball-team. "Pick me or I'm not your friend anymore!" I wonder if he even got already payed for his work or if they promised him a percentage share from the B.O. receipts. And if would be EXTREMLY PARANOID, I would also wonder if it was him, who told FOX to sue WB over the Watchmen rights, just to give the movie more publicity. But I would never think something ridiculous like that. :roll:
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Spandau Belly on Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:11 am

Okay, I saw this last night and I have to say that I didn't like it very much.

I think Snyder was in fact, the wrong choice for this material. He clearly has well-honed comicbook sensibilities but shouldn't tackle a movie that is trying to transcend those sensibilities. Having seen this, I now think he could do a standard superhero movie like if they wanted to put him on Spiderman 4 or an X-Man movie or a movie like Speed Racer, he could handle that and deliver the goods the way they were meant to be served up. With Watchmen he just can't stand back and let characters own the scenes or let moods build.

I think Snyder would be a good patient on that show Dr. House, because patients on that show always have wierd combinations of diseases that produce bizarre unrelated symptoms, making their problems hard to diagnose. But I think I've got the Dr. House diagnosis right here for you:

Zach Snyder suffers from a mild case of Michael Bay's Disorder and Cameron Crowe Disease. His Bay problem isn't in that he's been reduced to manic editing, but Snyder's still so obsessed with getting every shot perfectly lit and framed that he loses touch with the rhythym of an overall scene and of an overall movie. He rushes everything, not letting actors pause between any of their lines or sitting back and letting us just watch a character on their own and do some acting with their face and motions 'n shit. It's about emphasis. Guys like Bay don't get that if everything is loud, nothing is loud. If every shot is beautiful, none of them are special.

Snyder's Cameron Crowe problem was the biggest barrier to me getting into this movie. Like your typical Crowe movie, it would probably be a much better movie if Snyder hadn't jammed his personal mix tape in the soundtrack. The thing about pre-recorded music is that people have feelings for it. Maybe I'm more passionate about music than others, but I usually find pre-recorded music overwhelms movies. I start listening to the music and not paying attention to the movie. I'm feeling whatever it is I feel for that song and not necissarily feeling what I should be feeling in the movie. And Snyder uses all very well known songs that we all probably have definite opinions on. Half the movie gets wasted on these annoying music video portions. It's like trying to listen to your friend tell you a sad story while you're playing a pinball machine in a noisy arcade.

They go from using 'Unforgetable' juxtaposed over The Comedian's murder right into Bob Dylan and I've only just recovered from that ten minutes of that music video feeling when they start busting more songs over scenes. I think 99 Luftballoons was the wackiest use of music in the whole thing. I just didn't get that at all. And playing HALLEJELUIAH! when Dan's dick started working was beyond cheesy. I sure hope that was supposed to be funny.

I almost always feel using known songs is cheating. It's piggybacking on people's feelings for a song because you lack confidence in your scenes. That's why the last five minutes of every cheesy primetime soap opera like Grey's Anatomy or whatever ends with a little music video featuring a song that is probably more carefully selected than the plotlines.

So this movie never achieved any consistant atmosphere or pacing. It lacked that sense of lonliness and helplessness against the nuclear threat that a rubberfaced Nixon keeps yammering about in the war room. The comic book started out as a caper and slowly and brilliantly expanded into an action story of the gravest international conciquences that challenged traditional heroism. The movie right off the bat sets you up for this being a big important action story by having the openning scene of The Comedian watching television about impending nuclear war and then seguaying into one of this film's many whoosh-whoosh post-Matrixy fight scenes full of absurd comic booky shit of dudes getting their heads rammed through granite counter tops and punching through brick walls and all sorts of other shit that, like I said, would be fine in a straightup comic book movie like Spiderman but not one that's trying to deconstruct these icons.

I read the book once two years ago, so I might be a little hazy. But I remember us not getting any fighting until Dan and Laurie get attacked by gang members in the alley and it felt like a great awakening in both the characters and the direction of the story. I think that worked better because it really let it sink in that these superhero guys had been outlawed and retired for a while and that they just might be the solution to this world that has become hopeless and doomed since their departure. I wasn't expecting action in the book, and when it started happening, I was surprised and pleased. The movie makes you just anticipate the next wire-fu hyberbollic fight scene right from the start.

I think they got most of the characters right. Manhattan was exactly as I pictured him talking and acting. Same goes for Rorschach and the Silk Spectres and Dan Night Owl. The only character I think they fucked up was Ozymadaias. I pictured him more as a Robert Redford Great Gatzby type of regal charming billionaire and not as this foppish glam rock guy with a German (?) accent. I thought a lot of the character's cred in the book came from him seeming so regal and down to earth, like a Kennedy, whereas in the movie he came across like a typical loner brilliant wierdo. I also think the Mahattan frame job ending in the movie was superior to the squid attack. But one thing I didn't like in the book and also in the movie was that epilogue with the journalist and Rorschach's journal.

A lot of people are comparing this film to Blade Runner, and I think on paper Watchmen has more going for it than Blade Runner. I think even the script for this adaptation had a much better idea as to what it was about than Blade Runner. But I think although more flawed in terms of plot and character, Blade Runner is infinitely more watchable in that it succeeds in creating intriguing moods and letting us get to spend serious time with the characters and trusting the actors to create those characters without a bunch of popular songs and hyperbollic action bullshit trying too hard to sell you on them.

I like loud fast stupid movies, and I like slow deliberate thoughtful movies. Watchmen is lost inbetween. It's a loud fast deliberate movie that can't think and fight at the same time.

I look forward to the reboot in five years.

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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby unikrunk on Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:56 pm

Okay, saw it - the verdict from the group I saw it with:

unikrunk - has read the comic many times - loved the movie
uni-wife - has not read the comic - loved the movie
friend 1 - not read comic - liked movie
friend 2- not read comic - felt the movie was entertaining at times, but overall a little flat
friend 3 - has read comic - loved the movie
friend 4 - has not read comic - loved the movie

So, there you have it. A++, great seller, will buy again
He can't' love you back...
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Leckomaniac on Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:44 pm

Well, David Hayter is going to be pissed.

WATCHMEN expected to pull in $16 million in its second weekend. That would be about a 70% drop off.

It's Friday total has it coming in THIRD with only $5.4 million.

More here
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Pacino86845 on Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:07 pm

I had predicted as much... Pacinadamus prevails again!
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby DennisMM on Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:26 pm

Spandau, that was an excellent, well-thought review. I share many of your concerns.

Thanks for the run-down of friends and family, 'krunk. Always interesting to get outsider reactions.
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Re: (Watching The) WATCHMEN! Reviews & Spoilers!

Postby Nachokoolaid on Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:59 pm

Dennis, did I miss your review? Or did you decide against one?
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