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OlFuzzyBastard
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#1 Posted on 6.3.09 1141.42
Reposted on: 6.3.16 1142.40
Saw a midnight screening last night. I'm thoroughly impressed. They filmed the unfilmable. It was remarkably faithful to the comic*, most of the performances were solid (although the girl playing Silk Spectre II was a little too Drew Barrymore for my tastes) and they managed to cram in all the backstories and 40-odd years of alternate history and make it make sense to the people I went with who never read the comic.

Very highly recommended.

*:

Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
The new ending still seems pointless to me. Ozymandias makes it look like Doc Manhattan destroyed several major world cities, instead of the giant squid alien invasion. I don't see why that wouldn't unite the world AGAINST the US, even if he blew up New York in the process.

Otherwise, Bernie the news vendor is limited to a very brief cameo in the destruction scene - and most of the other street people are nonexistant - and they skipped Hollis's murder - but I've seen stills of all those things and I know they filmed them and I expect them on a Special Edition DVD.

The other big change is that you see a lot of the alternate history, instead of just having it alluded to. You see The Comedian assassinate Kennedy, for example. And you see a hell of a lot of Still-President Nixon.
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SchippeWreck
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#2 Posted on 6.3.09 1313.56
Reposted on: 6.3.16 1315.29
I saw it at a WB employee screening on Tuesday night. My initial reaction was that I liked it, but had a few problems with it. Having slept on it a bit, I can say without reservation that I loved it.

Rorschach steals the film, just as he stole the book. Jackie Earl Haley is astonishing. Solid performances from Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, and Billy Crudup too, even though Crudup's performance was hampered by occasionally dodgy CGI. Malin Akerman wasn't bad, just out-acted by everyone she shared the screen with.

I love the book (even though I didn't read it for the first time until just about a year ago...I was a Spider-Man guy back then) and thought the movie was a faithful adaptation and a loving tribute.
    Originally posted by OlFuzzyBastard

    Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
    The new ending still seems pointless to me. Ozymandias makes it look like Doc Manhattan destroyed several major world cities, instead of the giant squid alien invasion. I don't see why that wouldn't unite the world AGAINST the US, even if he blew up New York in the process.


See, I think when...

Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
Dr. Manhattan is manipulated into leaving Earth, that sets the table for him being a global threat. The rest of the world sees that he bailed on America AND left the planet entirely. Sure, they'd be unhappy with America for unleashing him in the first place, but self-preservation would be a greater motivation.


I can't wait to watch it again in IMAX.

(edited by SchippeWreck on 6.3.09 1114)
Wpob
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#3 Posted on 6.3.09 1317.08
Reposted on: 6.3.16 1318.46
Is this a movie that someone who has no knowledge of The Watchmen would like or should they stay away from it?
SchippeWreck
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#4 Posted on 6.3.09 1319.04
Reposted on: 6.3.16 1320.48
My wife has no knowledge of The Watchmen, outside of a few things I told her beforehand, and she liked it a lot. NOW she wants to read the book.
CxMorgado
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#5 Posted on 6.3.09 1415.19
Reposted on: 6.3.16 1420.04
I'm very, VERY pleased with how this turned out. A+ for effort, A+ for the design team (this was just AWESOME to look at, I want to see it again just to try and catch all the background tidbits), and an A- for execution (some flat acting from Ackerman and a few missteps in tone and pacing).
The King of Keith
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#6 Posted on 6.3.09 1447.50
Reposted on: 6.3.16 1447.51
I loved it, but I think the movie was faithful to the book to a fault. I feel like it was a shot by shot homage to the book rather than a film. The pacing was weird, and aside from the first forty five minutes never really gelled. Everything else was incredible.
dMp
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#7 Posted on 6.3.09 1502.45
Reposted on: 6.3.16 1503.44
I loved the Comedian.
In the books he is alright, but in the flashbacks in the movie he came across as really awesome and badass.

Rorschach was very well played as well, the same goes for the Owl (2)

Fuzzy, you are right. Some of the things you refer to would be in the 3.5 hour version that will include extra footage.
And IIRC they bring out an extra dvd soon with the freighter stuff.

The differences between book and movie?
Shrug. I understand it.
But it doesn't improve the story perse.
Nor does it make it worse if you can overcome the fanboy urge to demand 110% faithfulness to the soure material.
Torchslasher
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#8 Posted on 6.3.09 1615.14
Reposted on: 6.3.16 1616.02
I have never read the book and knew nothing about it. I thought the movie was awesome. It raises some interesting questions. I got a little bored of all the flashbacks, but despite that the time mostly flew by. Rorschach was indeed a terrific character.

My only complaint...too much male nudity. It was more like DONGtor Manhattan amirite?
John Orquiola
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#9 Posted on 6.3.09 1807.06
Reposted on: 6.3.16 1807.20
    Originally posted by SchippeWreck
    My initial reaction was that I liked it, but had a few problems with it. Having slept on it a bit, I can say without reservation that I loved it.




Ditto. I saw it at midnight last night and enjoyed it, but with several quibbles. But I slept on it and went to see it on the IMAX and walked away much more impressed overall. I really like it. And the experience is awesome on IMAX. Thousands of details sprinkled throughout each frame.

Malin Akerman in that yellow and black suit made me want to bite my fist.

Full review here (with spoilers):

http://www.backofthehead.com/nerd/2009-03-06.watchmenreview.html
MUTigermask
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#10 Posted on 6.3.09 2110.47
Reposted on: 6.3.16 2112.44
I have to concur with pretty much every opinion here that I loved it. Sure there were little things that bothered me. Minors changes from how the book went, not a fan of a few of the songs used, Spectre II's being too damn young, minor CGI quibbles with Dr. Manhattan. There were times when things seemed a little overdone. But I'd still give it *****s.

Rorschach was freaking awesome as he was in the book. Loved all his little one liners, which were all from the book itself. Having just read the book a month or so ago it was fun knowing what lines were coming. Personal favorite would have to be "You all don't understand, I'm not locked up here with you, you're locked up in here with me!"

I always love movies with high-impact fight scenes and bones jutting out from legs and such.

Did they really need to change it that instead of DrM disintegrating people they had them bloodily explode?

I had no real problem with them changing the end a bit instead of

Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
the giant squid alien invasion. I think people who haven't read it might find it hard to understand what was going on.


Comedian was such a bastard but he's just so badass. Sort of the Vic Mackey of The Watchmen. You just root for him regardless.

I enjoyed most of the flashback scenes. I can understand how they could confuse someone who hasnt read the book yet. My friend that I went with me who hadn't read the book had trouble keeping up with things.
J. Kyle
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#11 Posted on 7.3.09 0733.40
Reposted on: 7.3.16 0734.10
Morgan brought the Comedian to a level that I just didn't see on the page.

Rorschash's portrayal was all we could ask for and more. That's how you do a voice, Christian Bale. Not to mention the kid playing young Walter was also in-fucking-credible. Like Ron Howard on the Twilight Zone to the nth degree.

At first I suffered extreme nerd rage over the changed ending but after seeing it I don't think it hurts the film in any major way. In fact, I understand The King of Keith's criticism as maybe some other things could have been altered to make it a better film (the nonfanboys had the wind knocked out of their lungs by Rorshach's death and the scenes after it could have been quicker paced or intercut with the credits) but I still think it's damn good on its own merits and beyond awesome if considered as a companion to the book.

I await Laurie's reunion with her brothers Sam and Dean to KICK SOME ASS in Watchmen 2: The Search for More Money.

The opening credits (and thanks Bob Dylan!) were the first time I've watched a movie and thought 'this director could pull Sandman off.' Can you imagine Zach Snyder's version of Prez?

(edited by J. Kyle on 6.3.09 1934)
OlFuzzyBastard
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#12 Posted on 7.3.09 0947.49
Reposted on: 7.3.16 0948.40
I always thought Sandman would be perfect for Terry Gilliam. Of course, it would never actually get finished that way, but nonetheless...
lotjx
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#13 Posted on 7.3.09 1050.22
Reposted on: 7.3.16 1051.42
I loved it as well and I am a little disappointed with the reviews and the typical net bitching about the film. I feel that parts of the end where made better by the film, but there is one scene that was re-arranged at the end that really missed the icing on the cake for me on the film. You couldn't ask for a better cast and even though the pace could have been picked up at times, Snyder did the impossible here and I doubt he will see an Oscar for this, but he deserves it.

I don't think Snyder is fit for Sandman, because doesn't have a lot of action scenes and someone like Gilliam or Del Toro is a better fit for that world. On the plus side, Roscharch might be in the new DC Universe online game at the end of the year, so you may see more DC Vertigo stuff be mainstreamed.
EddieBurkett
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#14 Posted on 7.3.09 1359.13
Reposted on: 7.3.16 1359.38
The swinging bathroom door with Rorschach and the midget was awesome.

I liked that they included a cover of Desolation Row over the credits (I understand the point of the cover since they used Dylan to open the movie). I need to go back and check how many songs used were referenced in book. All Along the Watchtower was in the book, right?

It took me way too long to realize the cuts to Nixon were in place of the cuts to the secret goings on that result in the giant squid.

Outside of the Mason death, they fit about as much as they could in, that wasn't included in the article clippings that append each chapter. And even then, they fit alot of that information in too.

Rorschach was awesome.

Drieberg needed more of a paunch. Laurie needed to not look the same in the past and the present. I thought leaving her little mole on her face made her look older, but they kept it for the past scene as well. Oh well. Was the prison fight sequence as long as it was in the book? It felt like Nite Owl should have had a bit more rust before trying to take on convicted criminals like that. Or maybe I'm just at the point where I'm sensitive towards age...

Highly recommended for fans and non-fans alike.
oldschoolhero
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#15 Posted on 7.3.09 1427.07
Reposted on: 7.3.16 1427.17
A gloriously perfect adaptation. The squid is not missed-it's right for the GN, but would feel utterly incongruous onscreen. The new ending is actually a thematic trade-up, in terms of cinema.
CxMorgado
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#16 Posted on 7.3.09 1603.20
Reposted on: 7.3.16 1604.39
    Originally posted by EddieBurkett
    I liked that they included a cover of Desolation Row over the credits (I understand the point of the cover since they used Dylan to open the movie). I need to go back and check how many songs used were referenced in book. All Along the Watchtower was in the book, right


The movie soundtrack is:

01 - My Chemical Romance - Desolation Row 03:01
02 - Nat King Cole - Unforgettable 03:28
03 - Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin' 03:14
04 - Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound Of Silence 03:07
05 - Janis Joplin - Me And Bobby McGee 04:32
06 - K.C. & The Sunshine Band - I'm Your Boogie Man 04:04
07 - Billie Holiday - You're My Thrill 03:25
08 - The Philip Glass Ensemble - Pruit Igoe & 08:38
Prophecies
09 - Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah 04:38
10 - Jimi Hendrix - All Along The Watchtower 04:02
11 - Budapest Symphony Orchestra - Ride Of The 05:22
Valkyries
12 - Nina Simone - Pirate Jenny 06:39

Of those, the Dylan songs, Unforgettable, Billie Holiday, Ride of the Valkries and Pirate Jenny were all mentioned in the comic, tho some of them were in different places in the narrative. I was kind of bummed to see the Elvis Costello song quoted in the comic not make it in, but other than that I think they got them all.


(edited by CxMorgado on 7.3.09 1712)
John Orquiola
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#17 Posted on 7.3.09 1614.55
Reposted on: 7.3.16 1616.31
I'm disappointed two of the songs included in the movie that I really enjoyed hearing are excluded from the official soundtrack:

Nena - "99 Luftballons" and Tears for Fears - "Everybody Wants to Rule the World". The latter song was so perfect as a background track for Adrian Veidt. Both songs really helped sell the 1985 time period for me.

On this note (so to speak), I'm really happy that Watchmen included popular music in the movie. Comic book movies sometimes get trapped in the idea that "they each must have an orchestral score -- and it better be as memorable as John Williams or Danny Elfman!". Or they fill the movie with songs from the soundtrack sold in stores as chosen by the studio's music department, like the Daredevil soundtrack.

Watchmen certainly had a gorgeous musical score. The music when Dr. Manhattan teleported to Mars and they showed his origin flashback stands out to me. But I thought the songs chosen for inclusion from the movie were really kind of brilliant; each highlighting a theme or deeping some meaning or subtext of the movie or just helping sell it's period setting.

Superheroes are very much pop culture figures, even the Watchmen (especially now), and I thought Watchmen's music encompassed everything incredibly well.
CxMorgado
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#18 Posted on 7.3.09 1646.47
Reposted on: 7.3.16 1646.55
    Originally posted by John Orquiola
    I'm disappointed two of the songs included in the movie that I really enjoyed hearing are excluded from the official soundtrack:

    Nena - "99 Luftballons" and Tears for Fears - "Everybody Wants to Rule the World". The latter song was so perfect as a background track for Adrian Veidt. Both songs really helped sell the 1985 time period for me.

    On this note (so to speak), I'm really happy that Watchmen included popular music in the movie. Comic book movies sometimes get trapped in the idea that "they each must have an orchestral score -- and it better be as memorable as John Williams or Danny Elfman!". Or they fill the movie with songs from the soundtrack sold in stores as chosen by the studio's music department, like the Daredevil soundtrack.

    Watchmen certainly had a gorgeous musical score. The music when Dr. Manhattan teleported to Mars and they showed his origin flashback stands out to me. But I thought the songs chosen for inclusion from the movie were really kind of brilliant; each highlighting a theme or deeping some meaning or subtext of the movie or just helping sell it's period setting.

    Superheroes are very much pop culture figures, even the Watchmen (especially now), and I thought Watchmen's music encompassed everything incredibly well.


I really dug the original score. At times it reminded me very much of the music in an 80s John Carpenter movie

I find myself wondering if the in your face aspect of the popular songs in the film was also a deliberate attempt to satirize the often inappropriate soundtrack selections used in comic book movies... Snyder IS claiming they tried to do some deconstruction of comic book movies after all..
John Orquiola
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#19 Posted on 7.3.09 1701.46
Reposted on: 7.3.16 1701.56
    Originally posted by CxMorgado

    I find myself wondering if the in your face aspect of the popular songs in the film was also a deliberate attempt to satirize the often inappropriate soundtrack selections used in comic book movies... Snyder IS claiming they tried to do some deconstruction of comic book movies after all..


Funny, I just had a conversation with a friend about that.

In my opinion, there were four points of the movie where Snyder did in fact deconstruct or comment on previous superhero movies as the graphic novel did the 50 years of comic books that preceded it:

1) The costumes. This is the most obvious. Nite-Owl and Ozymandias had suits that resembled Batman's suit in Batman Begins and in Batman Forever and Batman and Robin respectively. Silk Spectre's costume invoked Catwoman in Batman Returns as well as the heroines from Underworld and Aeon Flux.

2) The music, which we just mentioned.

3) The action. He used all of his slow-motion, freeze framing ultra violence in 300, but I think this was also a commentary on the action in Batman Begins, where it was all jump cutting and you couldn't tell what was going on.

4) The sex and nudity. In all the superheroes movies in the last decade, and even prior, no one ever had sex on screen. Superman II and Daredevil, I believe, there was sex implied that happened offscreen, but almost always, be it Wolverine and Jean Grey, Spider-Man and Mary Jane, Iron Man and Pepper Potts, or Batman and Rachel Dawes, Catwoman, or Dr. Chase Meridian, it's always meaningful looks and sweet kisses. Finally, superheroes, who in the Watchmen's case are full grown adults (no teenagers stuggling with great power and responsibility here), behave like adults and have sex. The sex isn't even meaningless either; Nite-Owl regained his missing manhood that he'd lost when he gave up the suit. He became himself again.

So I'd say Snyder definitely found ways to say something about the comic book movie through Watchmen.
CxMorgado
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#20 Posted on 7.3.09 1732.15
Reposted on: 7.3.16 1732.32
I absolutely agree with you John. I think the super violent action also had to do with the cartoon violence in most superhero movies, where people get the tar beaten out of them with little to no ill effects. I got into this stuff a little in my review, which can be read here if anyone is interested (it was long, so I blogged it rather than post it):

http://talesoftheshatou.blogspot.com/2009/03/who-watches-watchmen-i-do.html

(edited by CxMorgado on 7.3.09 1835)

(edited by CxMorgado on 7.3.09 1835)
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