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Mar 18 09 4:56 AM
I've read a number of reviews of this movie and the all seem to fall into 2 categories: the review either loathes it completely or he loves it
unreservedly. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground. Yours is the only really balanced one I've seen, demos99. Thanks a lot.
By the way, I appreciate your comparison to Kubrick. Two of the other reviews I read, one loving, the other loathing, said the same thing, but you mentioned
I'm still trying to fit the movie into my schedule, but your review has moved it from my "maybe, if I get to it" column to my, "yeah, I
wanna see it" one.
Mar 18 09 9:51 AM
Man of TomorrowWizard of ScienceBy night known as:Captain Future
Mar 18 09 4:09 PM
The Quiet Man
Immanuel Kant: sapere aude
Mar 19 09 1:17 AM
Mar 21 09 5:57 PM
Mar 22 09 11:26 AM
Crewman Number Six
I saw the film last night in a reasonably packed cinema in Milton Keynes. My main reaction was I think it's fair to say Watchmen's not a
'feel good' popcorn movie that wears its heart on its sleeve, not does it seem to manipulate your emotions like most films do. Rather I would say it
the sort of film Stanley Kubrick or Peter Greenaway would make; it's cool, calculated, incredibly intricate, even - for a film about nuclear armageddon -
antiseptic, but since I happen to like Kubrick and Greenaway's films that's not a problem for me. In fact it's a plus in many ways.
In accordance with this emotional detachment then, the audience of Watchmen is very much an observer, much like Manhattan or Veidt, standing as one
remote from the action rather than thrust into the middle of it, viewing events objectively rather than subjectively. In that respect I think it captured the
spirit of the comic very well - I don't know if I ever really believed the nuclear clock in the world of Watchmen was really ticking to midnight unlike, say, my feelings about Frank Miller & Bill Sienkiewicz's near-contemporaneous
Elektra: Assassin - and remarks that Watchmen is a film you'll admire rather than love are probably not far off the mark. But equally I
think that probably means that as a "work of art" Watchmen will have longer legs than more popularist fare like Iron Man or
The Dark Knight (neither of which I've seen I should add). I think Watchmen will be a film that - like the comic - you'll get more
out of from repeated viewings rather than getting everything in one go.
Overall, it was great seeing scenes from the page 'brought to life' on the screen - I particularly liked the opening shot of 'chapter two' -
and the performances from the main cast were all excellent, especially Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jackie Earle Hayley and Patrick Wilson. Malin Akerman really
is the spit of Dave Gibbons' Laurie Juspeczyk. Even Matthew Goode, who I had concerns about from the early publicity stills where he looked way
too young, was credible as Veidt.
Most of the changes from the comic to the screen made a sort of sense or at least didn't niggle too much, although I wish Rorschach's meeting(s) with
Dr. Long had been less telescoped. I'm still not entirely convinced that the altered ending works as well as the original but within the logic of the
film's world it's perhaps not unreasonable but
if Doctor Manhattan really wanted to 'destroy' the world what could Humanity possibly do to prevent him. Alien squid-monsters are at least
mortal, whereas even the world's smartest man can't kill the Indestructible Man. As such I'm less persuaded that Veidt's plan would
achieve a lasting peace before petty human squabbling brings things to a head once more. In theory, Veidt could keep detonating his 'SQUIDs'
every few years just to keep the world afraid of Manhattan, but I think even Dan and Laurie would find it hard to remain silent about Veidt's lie in
that case. Ah well, it's all speculation, isn't it?
One thing I think the film got across very well - which maybe other non-18 (R) rated superhero films I've seen haven't managed - was that although
the 'Watchmen' (as the film calls them) claim to be heroes a lot of their motivations for what they do is morally ambiguous. This was
particularly pronounced I thought in the prison breakout sequence, although it's also there in the earlier alley fight scene, and it does give you an
idea about why the public turned against 'masks' in the '70s.
As a film Watchmen's not perfect (as though any film could be) but it's good enough to make me really want to see the
Director's Cut to see the scenes that were cut, as well as the Extended Edition with Tales of the Black Freighter re-inserted (although how that
will work I'm not sure). As it stands in its present form though I give Watchmen a creditable 4/5 (hopeful that the DC/EE will improve on it).
I don't know if I ever really believed the nuclear clock in the world of Watchmen was really
ticking to midnight
Mar 23 09 10:47 AM
Race to Witch Mountain squashed Watchmen at the box-office over the weekend. Attendance for Zack Snyder's controversial adaptation dropped by two-thirds
to around $18 million in receipts, while the Disney remake hauled in an estimated $25 million. But the dystopian comic blockbuster isn't dead yet. Far
from it. With over $49 million in total international receipts to go with its domestic take of over $86 million, chatter about Watchmen's failure to
recoup its $200 million expense is grinding to a halt. And, as Wired.com noted earlier, until potential blockbusters Terminator Salvation, Star Trek and
X-Men Origins: Wolverine arrive in May, Watchmen has few rivals on the horizon. It seems likely that Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' canonical comic will
survive its evolution to the big screen just fine, thanks.
And that's just theatrical revenue. Once the DVD campaign gets rolling, Watchmen could easily make back its costs with cash to spare, especially if
Synder puts together a director's cut that reintegrates extra material along with the entire Tales of the Black Freighter meta-narrative. Throw in the
limited-run theatrical release of an already announced director's cut in July, and all that Monday morning quarterbacking pigeonholing Watchmen as a
letdown could boil down to uninformed speculation by parties unaware of the comic's enduring power and influence.
Mar 23 09 7:15 PM
Apr 2 09 10:28 AM
Apr 2 09 11:55 PM
It's a much better movie than I'd been led to believe. Did I enjoy it (and appreciate it as an adaptation)? Hell yes.
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