Watchmen: “Inna Final Analysis”

When we recorded the Watchmen Special Edition Podcast, I’d finished the movie about an hour beforehand. Yesterday, I went back and saw it again, after reading three solid days of internet reaction. The first time through, I did my best to look at the film objectively, but as someone who is basically a student of the original work, that’s impossible There’s no removing what I know from the experience of watching the movie. For example, at no point am I going to be confused by who someone is, or where or when a scene is taking place. That might be an advantage, but until I saw it a second time, I couldn’t really say if I was filling in all the blanks, or if the film was really that clear. But as I watched it, I was mentally ticking off boxes of the complaints, and to tell you the truth, I didn’t find weakness, but instead more strengths. So let this be close to my last word on Watchmen, at least until the extended version hits my house in a few months.

“It was/wasn’t the same as the book” – Watchmen the movie is an adaptation of a prior work. It is not the book, and will never be able to replicate the experience of reading the book. There are many different ways to do adaptations, and on this one, Zack Snyder chose to do it a certain way. You might not like that style, but it was his prerogative. I’m sure Alan Moore wouldn’t like it either, but on the other hand, Dave Gibbons did, so it can’t be that bad. In adapting, there are concessions that must be made. Things must be made to fit in a space where they previously wouldn’t. As such, things will change, out of necessity. Other things, perhaps should be changed. In most of these, it’s a crapshoot, but the constant is, there will always be people who are unhappy. Overall, I can’t really complain about anything Snyder chose to do, since the reasons behind all the changes are fairly evident. I look at it a bit like a cover song. It’s evoking the spirit of the original to a point, but it’s not the same, and it’s not going to be. If you’ve read the book, you’re going to be hyper-aware of what’s happening as well, and that’s going to interfere with your ability to actually just enjoy the film. They couldn’t fit everything in, but if you know the text, all that stuff is there, just more subtle. There are plenty of details that most people won’t notice, but are there for you to enjoy. There was only so much Snyder can do, and I think he went above and beyond to create that experience for people. Things were changed, but I would be loathe to call many of them actual mistakes. On the other hand, they also left out the silly cigarette holders and goofy hats.

“I didn’t like the music choices” – The music chosen was incredibly important to this working as a film. Many have complained that they would rather have had a score on the picture, but really, that would have been the wrong choice. The end of every chapter in the book contains lyric quotes from various songs. Some are reflected in the film, and other times, the music is used to evoke the same idea. Bob Dylan is quoted at the end of the first chapter, and the first song in the movie is Bob Dylan. At the same time, the music is necessary over portions of the film where the book had no words, and perhaps a stylistic choice would have been to use an orchestral score, and at places there was one. Further, the music was used as a real storytelling device in a way that a score could not. One of the major ideas in this story is that it takes place in the real world, as opposed to a fictional one, but one that just veered off at a certain point, due mostly to Dr. Manhattan. The songs, and many other elements prove to be cultural touchstones, reminding us that this is supposed to be in the real world, and not Metropolis. The songs also serve to clue the viewer in to when a scene is taking place. People who were confused about the flashbacks were not paying enough attention. It’s the late sixties, so it’s Jimi Hendrix. It’s the mid eighties, so Tears for Fears is playing. A mistake would have been a soundtrack by contemporary artists, but that’s not what we got in Watchmen.

“The people who didn’t read the book were confused/bored” – With two viewings, I’m going to have to clearly point to the viewer as the culprit. That being said, like the book, I don’t think this movie is for everyone. Snyder made a stylistic choice to give the viewer information, but not spell things out directly. It is true that if you don’t pay close attention the whole time, you’ll miss things. But it’s all there. As I mentioned, the music was a primary clue as to when something was taking place, but there were others. There were little hints of information everywhere, and if you pay attention, you’ll have no problem. That does require a gargantuan attention span, and not everyone likes their movies that way. It’s a fair criticism, but it comes down to viewer taste, not filmmaker error. Watching the movie the second time, I realized one thing that Snyder took from the book was the idea that you’re rewarded for multiple readings, or viewings in this case. The first time I read Watchmen, I didn’t love it, nor did I see everything there was to see. Subsequent readings showed me over and over the brilliance baked in there. Watch the movie again, and you’ll see more. That’s always a plus in my book. Watchmen, neither the book nor the film is a passive viewing experience. You need your eyes open, or you won’t appreciate it.

“The fight scenes/love scenes were inappropriate/excessive” – I think this has a lot to do with what you bring into the film. This is incredibly subjective, and so much of who you are and what you believe will factor in to how you take it. The first thing that I think is important is that the fight scenes and the love scenes are interrelated. One doesn’t exist without the other, especially in the case of Dan and Laurie. Both are about a minute long (yup, that’s it), and they’re bookends to character development. Moore continually referred to the fetishistic behavior of these costumed heroes, and it was reflected in these scenes. Dan can’t perform sexually, and has no confidence before he goes back to some crime fighting. He’s a different man in that costume. The fight scene in the book takes place over 6 pages, and represents a sexual scene. It’s scary, and then intense, and then awkward directly afterwards. The sounds written on the page evoke a sex scene. If it’s too violent for you, again, that’s what you bring to it. Violence isn’t supposed to be comfortable. It should make you feel bad. It should feel like too much. When Blake attempts to rape Sally Jupiter, you should feel awful. If you were possessed of excellent fighting skills, and a gang of multiple thugs came after you, you’d fuck them up as quick and as easily as possible. This isn’t G.I. Joe, where no one hits anything. A short time later, Dan and Laurie make love in the owl ship, a scene that last three uninterrupted pages in the book, with many panels. The flame thrower joke is there as well. I think that people who said it was too much miss the point. This story is a deconstruction, and when you read traditional comics (at least prior to 1986), you didn’t see much real sex or violence. These scenes are to invert what you expect of superhero comics. The scene was about a minute long, and implied a lot more than you actually saw. There was no frontal nudity, and other than some thrusting, it really wasn’t that explicit. If it made you feel uncomfortable, it worked. That was the point. I think both the sex and violence were amped up for the movie versions because audiences have seen a lot more since this was written in 1986. I guarantee you that if Alan Moore wrote this scene today, the pages would be much more explicit than what Dave Gibbons drew. Bottom line is, this isn’t meant for kids or delicate sensibilities. It’s meant to cause a visceral reaction, and the film succeeded doing that. The sex scene is the culmination of the relationship between Dan and Laurie, realizing that they’re only really excited by the danger of being costumed heroes, and following the fighting, sex is the next step.

“The ending was different/bad” – This is a slippery slope involving some backseat quarterbacking. Snyder and the screenwriters had a real challenge in front of them when it comes to the ending. The original ending in the book isn’t the most beloved part of Watchmen, and I believe would have been difficult to pull off on screen. Further, the 12 issues were crammed into less than three hours, and just barely. Setting up the genetic engineering and artist kidnappings would have been much more difficult to portray and lengthened the movie considerably, and really added nothing to the character arcs. The movie took all the characters to exactly where they were taken in the book, but more cleanly. There are no less plot holes or silliness in the squid-less ending than the be-squidded ending. Every character makes the same choices, and come to the conclusions of their stories in the same way. From a storytelling standpoint, the slight tinkering, for efficiency sake didn’t make a bit of difference. Again, this is an adaptation, not a re-enactment, and in the end, who can say what would have worked better? I believe that, in this case, the change was a helpful, and necessary one, preserving everything that needed to be preserved from the original work.

“A-and don’t worry about about payin’ for that book. I mean, life’s too short… inna final analysis.”

 


 

Comments

  1. I declare that from now on, all sex scenes on screen shall have Hallelujah playing in the background.

     

    I don’t think the original ending was ridiculous, any more than themovie ending. I think the "back story" reason youy stated was the reason for the change.

     

     As a fan of the book, I had no problem with it as an adaptation. I don’t know anything about those who haven’t read it.

  2. This is basically what I thought of the film also.

  3. I’m not convinced the Dan/Laurie alley fight wasn’t too brutal. Aside from those characters being the least likely to be comfortable with that, it makes the other violence, which should be shockingly brutal, not so impressive. Rorschach’s threatening to break your thumbs? Who cares? "Softy" Nite Owl there will rip your arm off. And the fights with Ozy should not have been so drawn out.

    Really, though, the more I think about the movie, the more I realize that those are really my only big problem with it. I need to see it again in DLP.

  4. What makes you think they’re uncomfortable with violence, or that they were "softies?" They trained for years, and acted nightly as supheroes.  They’d have some impressive fighting skills.  They weren’t bad superheroes and they didn’t get killed, so it follows that they could probably kick some ass.  Also, they’d been repressing their urge to go out adventuring, so it would make sense that they’d overdo it when the animal instincts of self preservation took over. 

  5. I made the same arguments about the heightened sex/violence when a friend of mine who saw it was complaining about it.  (I still haven’t seen it yet) Glad to know I wasn’t offbase with it. 

  6. I wouldn’t suggest they weren’t capable of it. But Dan bought into (or at least liked to thing he did) the higher ideals of being a superhero, and was a bit squeamish at Comedian’s brutal treatment of, for example, the protesters, which is really the only time we see him in action. And Laurie was never into the lifestyle to begin with. I just imagine there are ways they could have disabled the goons in a less deadly fashion, especially if they are as skilled as they should be.

    I can buy that it represents their pent-up frustrations, though.

    Either way, I still think it lessens the impact of the rest of the violence.

  7. my only problem with violence is this. Too much was used too early.

    the ultra violence of the mugging scene lessened the impact of Rorschach’s origin. Why did that situation disturb Rorschach so much when he and all the heroes are confronted with that amount of violence constantly?

    The sex was fine. Scenes like that have happened in a thousand movies. “it made you uncomfortable” now that’s weird

    There is no possible way I could know if the movie is confussing for people who haven’t read the comic.

     

    what did you think of the acting on the second pass Joshua?

  8. I’m one of those who didn’t care for the music, but that’s just a personal preference.  To me, when the score distracts me from the movie, I don’t like it.  The music should complement or augment the movie experience, not distract from it.  Again, just my preference.  I’m pleased that this was my biggest complaint.

    I’ve been reading some complaints about Ackerman’s performance, but I thought she was fine.  In a movie filled with mostly unlikeable characters, you need a character to root for so that saving the world has more meaning.  Silk Spectre for me was that character that you rooted for.  All the performances were pretty good to me except for Guigno, who’s Mae West pinup girl impressing didn’t come off as well as I hoped it would. 

  9. I thought the film was absolutely terrible.  It adulterated the book’s poltiics, lost its metacritique in favor of a shallow mawkish grim and gritty milleresque noir emptiness, and became the very thing the book sought to deconstruct and parody.

    The acting was generally ok.  Patrick Wilson was the only actor who I felt really got the character, but I place the blame on the directing, which failed epically at anything not involving cinematography, and on the adaptation, which threw away or mishandled important Moore stuff and interjected truly horrific bits of "original" material.

    Really, though, I think this is a testament to how right Moore was when he told us the work that he produced was unfilmable.  Shame on hollywood for this, and shame on Zack Snyder, and shame on me for paying $12.50 to see it.

  10. Also, it takes a reeeeeaaally bad movie for me to be too disgusted by the closing credits to care about my chemical romance massacring "desolation row."  Ugh.

  11. metacritique?

  12. Watchmen’s a comic book about the comic book.  One could argue it’s a comic book about being a comic book about comic books.  That’s why there’s so much reference to text, to sequential art  – the tijuana bibles, the black freighter, etc.  This is one of the major elements, if not the defining element, of Moore and Gibbons’ work; it frames the story and how the story is told.  In the film it’s meaningless when present and mostly absent.

  13. oh! but still "metacritique"

    and it’s kind of there in terms of Comic book films with the Matrix action, tim Burton like NiteOwl II and joel schumaker like Ozymandias. i dunno…

  14. I have to agree with most of your points. I watched the movie at midnight on Thursday and listened to your podcast the next day and felt very much the same way. Then I took my Wife to see it on Saturday and she liked it and I talked about it some more, and while I liked it the first time, I liked it better the second time. THEN, I saw it again on Sunday with the same people I went with on Thursday and we all liked it better. I think a lot of it had to do with seeing a long movie at Midnight, we were tired! I think it works very well as an adaptation. The book will always be better, but this is very, very good. 

    I think one part some people may have when they compare it to something like the Dark Knight is that we as an audience didn’t really know the story of the Dark Knight cause it was new, while Watchmen is based on THAT paticular story and we knew how it would end.

     Good review Josh.  

  15. i agree wholeheartedly with you.

  16. Well said Josh.

    It’s not the book, it’s a different beast, and does an excellent job of being that beast.

    Still, I would’ve liked a squid monster, if only to see the image in IMAX.

  17. Watchmen is a tough sell, and from what I’m seeing, six out of ten people dig it, so all in all not a bad job by Snyder and company.

  18. I never liked the hard leaning left wing politics of this movie.  The only republican hero is a rapist and killed.  The enemy is essentially the "Republican," the same as in V For Vendetta.  Ozymandias, the smartest man in the world, is sick of republicans, so he does the right thing, for the good of everyone and all liberals, etc.  He complains there’s no money for "The ELDERLY, children’s EDUCATION" meanwhile a result of republican rule is the "tearing down of FORESTS."  (CAPS = bolded words in chapt. 11)

  19. @KickAss – You might not agree with it, but it’s pretty clear that Alan Moore was voicing his political opinions through the work, and he’s always been consistent in that.  Certainly that can cause you to like it less.

  20. @KickAss

    Alan Moore on Steve Ditko’s Right Wing Views infulencing Rorschach: His views were apparent through his portrayals of Mr. A and the protesters or beatniks that occasionally surfaced in his other work. I think this article was the first to actually point out that, yes, Steve Ditko did have a very right-wing agenda (which of course, he’s completely entitled to), but at the time, it was quite interesting, and that probably led to me portraying [Watchmen character] Rorschach as an extremely right-wing character.

    link: http://www.twomorrows.com/comicbookartist/articles/09moore.html

  21. It’s part of the reason Moore says his works don’t translate to Film, V for Vendetta for example was a very specific political story written during a very specific point in British history.  20 years later the story doesn’t have the same impact, and loses something knowing how the future unfolds.  It’s a valid point he makes.

  22. I thought the movie was a mess myself, for pretty much none of the reasons listed above, minus the music, which is way to on the nose. Also, most of the chapters end with quotes from authors more often than musical lyrics. It doesn’t make the choices in and of themselves better or worse but it’s not as constant as you might remember.

     

    Anyways, they can cut and change whatever they want, I just want the film itself to stand on its own and it doesn’t to me. It’s the first Harry Potter film, all look and no life. I reviewed it here. 

     

    http://www.examiner.com/x-1550-Seattle-Movie-Examiner~y2009m3d9-Watching-the-Watchmen-unfortunately-a-bore

  23. Excellent points!  Probably the greatest compliment I can give the movie is that it will now enhance my reading of the book.  Even though I have read the book many times, I never had the proper frame of reference for Dr. Manhattan’s character.  I couldn’t properly imagine how a godlike being would act and talk as he loses his humanity.  Watchmen the movie, I feel nailed it, and now when I re-read the book I will enjoy it even more.

  24. My wife didn’t find the story to confusing and she never read the comic.

    But then a friend of mine told me it was weird as hell and he couldn’t follow it. 

    It really just depends on the person, I totally agree with that.

  25. Great analysis, Josh. I think you’ve hit every nail on the head. Personally, I have no problem with the film that I don’t have with the book. Sure, Hollis Mason’s death or the missing artists or the giant squid would have been fun to have, but those pieces not being in the movie did nothing to detract from it. As a stand-alone flick, there’s no reason it couldn’t be enjoyed on the same level of Dark Knight – both were much more cerebral than your usual punch ’em up super hero flicks.

  26. I have to admit as someone who was really worried about it when i heard it was being made, i thought the movie was great, i really, really enjoyed it.  It wasn’t the book (of course) but in my opinion it was about as close as an adaption could get.  It seems to me if someone is a "Purist" who isn’t satisified by this faithful of a movie.  They should give up seeing movies based on books entirely, in less they just enjoy being dissapointed.

     

  27. I pretty much agree with everything you outlined, Josh. Honestly, the best way to really alienate a non-comics audience would have been to include even more from the book. I mean, a movie has to focus on the important elements that forward plot and character. Unlike when reading a comic, you can’t flip back a few pages to remind yourself of who did what to whom, or where you’ve heard this or that person’s name before. You’re on a train, so you have to streamline the concepts and events to make sure that they can be followed while you’re speeding down the tracks.

    That being said, I actually saw the film with a number of people who don’t read comics. I did notice that the friends of mine who had read the comic (particularly recently) enjoyed the film a lot more than the others.

    Of course, my friends are mostly unbearable pricks, so that could be part of it too.

  28. actually the "goofy hats" are kind of in the movie, in spirit at least. the psychologist wore it in his final scene

  29. Yeah, but that hat was way toned down.  In the book, it was a weird helmet thing.

    Either way, in case you didn’t pick it up, I love the news vendor.  I kept hoping he’d get a line or two. I look forward to seeing the extended cut for him alone.

  30. "The people who didn’t read the book were confused/bored" 

    I’ve only seen the movie once, so i’ll look for these next time i see it, but there were three things my friends and I felt Snyder didn’t explain properly. These points bothered my friends who hadn’t read the comic

    One: Did he ever name Dr. Manhattan? I know he was called Jon multiple times, but the only time i remember hearing his last name is at the end when he pronounces that "IT DIDN’T KILL OSTERMAN!" now this would make no sense to someone who hasn’t read the book.

    Two: Bubastis’ appearance made no sense if the movie didn’t discuss Veidt’s experiments with genetic engineering. My friends who hadn’t read the book were very confused by this. It would have made more sense just to have used a regular tiger/lynx then needlessly confuse the audience with a genetically engineered one.

    Third: there was no explaination as to how the Comedian stumbled onto Veidt’s plan. Now the guy isn’t an idiot but having him investigate an island and see Veidt’s monster first hand is far more believable than having him piece together Adrian’s complex plan of framing Dr. Manhattan with a series of nuclear reactors. This really bothered me, because i felt it truly did need more explaination. The Comedian simply wasn’t shown to be smart enough to figure out this plan without somehow accidently stumbling upon it.

     Correct if im wrong on any of these point and Snyder had actually coveredl these bases, like i said, i’ll be on the look out for them the next time i see the movie.

  31. Well said josh…..it’s pretty much my thoughts on the film in general.

    Your right, it’s an adaptation not a translation. If it was a translation then we would’ve had the entire book right in front of us for a good 4-5 hour film. Does anyone want to sit on their butts for that long just to see the newspaper vendor and kid, the scientists and psychics working on the alien, and any other minor thing Alan Moore wrote convolutedly?

    I wouldnt. Not to say I dont like those parts of the book, but as a film it would totally slow the film down to the point where it’s unbearable to sit threw.

    All this film was is a basic adaptation of the book; plot and characters are basically the same with a few tweaks and some other moments from the book taken in to the film. To me, people from day 1 should’ve realised not everything Alan Moore and Dave Gibbions put in subtley would be in the film. It’s hard to translate the layers of story and literary techniques into a film, cause basically it could go right threw people’s heads and not realise what happened.

    I stand by my argument that this is the 2nd greatest comic book film ever made with Dark Knight a soild 1st and Iron Man a good 3rd place. There were barely any problems with the film for me other then a tiny amount of nitpicks. So take my opinion for what it’s worth but I just feel most of the people’s/critics complaints on the film are nitpicks and nothing more.

  32. Also, ALL the women who saw the movie with me felt the sex scene was overly excessive. having read the book, i got the point but when i tried to explain it, i was quickly shot down. it actually offended them. that’s not to say it offends all or only women, but i did find it interesting that they were the ones who took the most offense to it

  33. Also I forgot to add, I totally forgot the sex scene in the book had that flamethrower joke.

    Even still I hate it in both versions…..cause it’s such a lame joke no matter what. I thought Alan Moore was a smarter writer then that.

  34. I dunno. To me, while I largely enjoyed the film, the stuff that detracts aren’t the quibbles, but a kinda "whole" that becomes greater than the sum of the individual quibbles.

    It’s a good adaptation, but it can’t adapt everything. We all know that and accept it. But Snyder tried to translate as much as he could, and in doing so, he sometimes lost sight of the fact that this was a film. But then when he DID remember it was a film, it was to use the same slow-motion, super-violent techniques that he used in 300. And while that on its own is not a bad thing, it adds up. I dont’ think his "filmmaker" eye is as keen as his translation skills, if that makes sense.

    Ultimately the film tries to straddle a weird line between translation and adaptation, and the translatey bits miss things while the adaptey bits miss other things. 

    All in all? If I had to give it a rating as a FILM, I’d probably say… 7/10? Maybe even an 8, on a good day. 

    But I will go down on record defending one point: the changed ending did have a subtle ripple effect toward at least one aspect that the book didn’t have. But I’ve belabored that point ad nauseum in another thread, so I’m done with it. 😉

  35. @TNC-I don’t think the joke was as lame in the 80’s as it is now.

  36. @TheNextChampion- lame? really? The superhero genre thrives upon the exaggerated physical expression of emotion. it got hot, so… fire!

  37. one other thing i didn’t like was that Adrian felt far more like a traditional movie/comic book villain (making his statement at the end slightly more ironic). I had absolutely no sympathy for him, while in the book, he truly did feel more tragic. i felt the movie really missed the boat with that character and they should have perhaps left int he final scene between Veidt and Dr. Manhattan (where he asks Jon if he truly did the right thing). it would have humanized the character. I think his character suffered the most out of all Watchmen

  38. this article is yet another example of why I love this site.  

     

    thanks for not being an elitist douche Josh.

  39. I guess my main point would be: I can’t wait to see what they will add in the Extended DVD 😉

  40. Interestingly, I’d never compare this film to films such as The Dark Knight or any film about an iconic character who originated in comics. I think films about characters like Superman, Iron Man, Spider-man, Hulk, et al, are not really on the same wavelength because they are not really adapted from a singular source at this point. They are films about icons, their origins derived from various stories from various sources in various eras. Thus, Christopher Nolen has an entirely different task than Zack Snyder. Nolen has a lot more freedom, frankly. Making a film about a mythic icon gives him a lot more flexibility because Batman has already had so many incarnations.

    By contrast, Snyder is adapting a book. As such, he’s got a tougher time of it. He falls under the same category as those who have adapted League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell, V for Vendetta, 300, Sin City, Ghost World, etc. And among THOSE films, Watchmen is probably one of the best (maybe next to Ghost World, but those two are so different its hard to compare).

  41. Thank good some defending the soundtrack. I personaly think they went the Gaduate rout with music in this movie.

    All the agruments were every good and I totaly agree with you.  To bad they cut out him and Roshack talking.

  42. ooh, Mike — great point about that final scene with Jon and Adrian. I do agree with you 100% on the the treatment of Veidt in the film.

  43. so no one else had a problem with the acting in this film? it seems to me that Snyder and his team spent so much time trying to transfer the watchmen’s visual aesthetic to the screen that they forgot to hire actors with a basic grasp of their craft. billy crudup and jackie earl haley both overcame their physical limitations (Crudup’s acting through CGI and Haley’s acting behind a mask) to deliver performances which temporarily made me forget that i was watching a hack-job dramatization of Watchmen. Nearly everyone else in the film however, malin ackerman and carla gugino in particular, came off like amateurs and ruined what could’ve been at the very least wonderful visual spectacle.

  44. The ending in the book is so my most beloved part of Watchmen. You are Captain Wrong, Josh!

     That said, I can begrudge the ending the film has, because, as you said, they do mostly all reach the same points as they do in the book, it just felt kindof lazy and sterile to me. They did the same thing (conclusively) throuigh doing less (cinematically) by doing more (literally). And what I mean is that the characters pretty much acted the same, but since adding all the genetic engineering and artist kidnapping and all of that just to explain how an alien showed up to destroy New York would have added a ton of time to an already long movie (because if they didn’t, you’d leave the general public really, really confused and probably a little cranky when the squid showed up) they needed something different and more easily explained, and to have the world powers to do the same thing would require a shit-ton more people to die, in way more cities than New York, which is what they did. The same through less by more.

    And that just strikes me as lazy, sortof. I mean, it predicated by necessity, but even though it gets to the same place, it feels like a different one. The thing that I love about the ending of the book is how much sense it makes. It says something more interesting about humanity that we all unite when something larger and outside of ourselves appears and shows us what we are. In the movie it’s not the epiphanous "Holy shit!" momentof the book, it’s more a "That motherfucker! C’mon guys, let’s round up a posse and kick his ass!" one. I mean, one can definitely say that Manhattan is the thing that is big and outside ourselves, and so you do reach that conclusion, but in watching the movie it didn’t feel like that to me. The ending of the book to me feels like humanity ducking into a cave, desperately trying to find something to protect itself with, so that the fucked up shadows that it thinks are monsters outside won’t get it, and the ending in the movie feels like someone just spilled a beer on humanity and they’re kicking back the bar stool and looking for a fight.

     This is rambly and overlong so I am going to shut up. A more coherant reaction from me exists over at http://evin.livejournal.com/390924.html if anyone cares.

  45. @mikegraham – Absolutely right.  Veidt didn’t come off as sympathetic and the ambivalence the reader should feel about him after reading the comic simply isn’t there in the film.

  46. @Evin –

    Watchmen is already a hard enough concept for people to buy into even without the squid.  Including it might have had audiences screaming "bullshit".  I would have prefered the squid, but I had already bought into the world before the first frame.

  47. As to the actors, they didn’t bother me the second time at all.  If anything, some of the dialog was clunky, but that’s not exactly their fault.

    There was an aborted paragraph on the acting choices, Adrian in particular that wasn’t included in this (I DO edit). Basically, it was a read on a character, that wasn’t the same as what people had in their heads. But it didn’t contradict what was in the book, rather what most people imagined he was like.  In the end it didn’t bother me.  As far as good or bad acting, if you’re looking for it, you’ll find it with anyone’s performance, but I can’t say this bothered me.  The tone between pulp, realism, and humor was a unique one and they did an admirable job with something that wasn’t easy.  As far as Laurie goes, I think Paul said on the other thread that her apparent lack of skill worked in favor of the somewhat naive character. Worked even better the second time.

  48. My only complaints: Sally Jupiter’s acting and Nixon’s nose.

    A friend of mine, huge Watchmen guy, said he would have "appreciated the effort" if Snyder had re-wrote the script to be in 2009 and be more relevent on some such bullshit. When Watchmen was announced as ACTUALLY going to be made, everyone on the planet got on their knees and prayed that it wouldn’t be modernized, wouldn’t be changed. Then it wasn’t and I read a fair number of people complain that he should have.

     I loved the movie. 

  49. Great review, Josh!

    On my first viewing, the violent bits annoyed me because they brought to mind Zach Snyder’s work on 300, reminding me that I was in a movie and sucking me right out of the experience. After the movie, however, a friend pointed out that there are two distinct kinds of violence in this film: PG-13-rated violence, and R-rated violence. Dan and Laurie’s alley fight is a bloody, R-rated mess, but the scene where Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre II break Rorschach out of prison is bloodless PG-13. I saw the film a second time last night, and with this observation in mind was able to appreciate these scenes more. Not only does the violence help Snyder further deconstruct the superhero film (as "realistic" as The Dark Knight and Iron Man may be, the action is still meticulously choreographed and impossible in reality), but it also gets the audience into the heads of these two characters. Dan and Laurie both have double lives, one behind the mask where they must follow certain rules, and the ones they live day-to-day in a world gone mad where rules are becoming irrelevant. Whether you like his decisions or not, Snyder is asking you to think, just like Moore and Gibbons did.

  50. Woah, sorry for the weird formatting up there…

  51. @ultimatehoratio

    I definitely agree. Like I said, I can begrudge it the ending it has because it does mostly get us there, and also because to have the original ending would either make the film way too long, or make normal people confused/mad/whatever.

     I am just now worried that the thousands of people who are seeing this movie without having read a comic in their lives will then pick up the book, get to the ending, be all "Wait, aliens? What? That is weird. Comics are stupid."

  52. @Evin — oh, I have to believe that anyone who reads the entirety of Watchmen would never think that comics were "less" because of the Squid. There’s so much MORE depth in there before that point, that I can’t believe that people would dismiss it for that.

  53. @Evin

    Without a background in comics, I don’t think anyone would get it anyway.  Pirates/horror and aliens are tropes from the the 50s and 60s and their appearance in Watchmen is part of the analysis of comics as an artform.  This is lost on even modern (younger) comic readers.  Laypeople don’t have that frame of reference so the squid and "The Black Freighter" would have no meaning for them.

  54. I lied. I am in the honeymoon period. The fight scenes were awful. Looked something out of Equilibrium or The One or some such crappy post-Matrix action movie from the early part of the decade. I don’t get the ultra-violence  opposition. Yes some scenes were violent but it was the Road Runner/Saw/Hostel cartoony, over-the-top violence. It was distractingly bad.

    In hindsight, the movie did justice to my favorite character, Dr. Manhatten. That’s why I like it. But I really want to see what Snyder makes next. I never saw 300 because it was too close the comic, which sucked. We know the guy can copy-paste panels from comic books, and can direct really lame fight scenes, but he can also give us something like the Manhatten parts in the movie. I think he should go for some original script. 

  55. i really do think my opinion will change once the extended DVD comes out. I think a lot of Veidt’s complexity felt the cold sting of the editting room floor

  56. I definitely found that the things that bugged me my first viewing didn’t bug me in my second. Maybe I was being over-critical the first time around or had different expectations. And it didn’t help that my entire audience was laughing hysterically at the Dan/Laurie sex scene when I saw it at midnight. It kinda of destroye the whole ambience to what was going on there. Ironically enough, I ended up enjoying it more when I saw it with my dad and high school english teacher.

    All good points Josh. Thanks for clearing it up for the masses.

  57. @drake/john42: Maybe lame is a harsh word, but that joke just seems too obvious. It’s groan inducing because it’s so cliche (it’s so hot in here, flamethrower!) that in both versions I find it the weakest thing in it. Again I would think Moore would be a better writer and not put that in. But that’s just me.

    Can we all at least agree this is the best adaptation of a work by Alan Moore?

  58. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I like the flamethrower joke. 

  59. Question: Do we know the run times for the DVD versions? We know the Black Frieghter will add something like 25 minutes, but how much longer is the non-Freighter Extended DVD compared to the theatrical?

    Is the 3 and a half hour run time I hear WITH the cartoon added or not?

  60. Would it be fair to say the left wing stuff is too preachy?  I’ve heard various writers say the last thing they want to do in their comics is preach through their characters. 

  61. @Paul

    When I read it in the book I had no problem with it. I had, for some reason, COMPLETELY forgotten about it and when I saw it in the movie I didn’t like it…. then I realized it was in the book and I am now fine with it in the movie.

     I don’t know what that says about me, but I rescind any remarks I’ve made about its inclusion in the movie. I like it now >< 

  62. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    You can like it in one and not the other.  It’s not hypocritical.  (I liked the image in both; Moore can afford to be silly sometimes.)

  63. @KickAss – again, I think that comes down to a taste thing.  Moore hasnt’ been shy about sharing his opinions.  I didn’t find it that way.  But you also have to remember the context of when this was written.  It’s not a reaction to George W. Bush, but Reagan and Thatcher.

    @BenBugenig – Who’s to say the sex scene wasn’t a bit tongue in cheek?  Maybe it was supposed to be a bit funny. The song certainly indicates that there’s some humor involved.  The book isn’t all serious.  There are jokes in there. I don’t think people realize how funny Moore’s work is on the whole.

  64. Yes but I think when dealing with politics, it can be executed in a more subtle way, like in "All Star Superman."  There’s a bit of a pro-peace anti-war message in there somewhere, done in a subtle way.  And I dig it there.  But Moore tends to call out republicans by name as villains.  (Which he literally does in "V For Vendetta")

    Though Josh you are right.  It is a matter of taste.  It may not be for some people, and great for others, especially if you’re liberal.

  65. I realise Moore can be funny when he wants to be. Watchmen has a lot of black humor in it and I understand.

    Maybe it just isnt the best joke in the world with the flamethrower I dont know. All I know is my entire theater groaned when they saw that joke.

  66. Well I think it was more the intention that I applied to it being in the movie. The gag itself wasn’t something I just hated, but when I saw it the first time I had zero recollection of it from the comic that I just reacted with this sort of "And who was it that pressed for this to be in the movie?" I still feel a little awkward about it but I certainly don’t have the animosity towards it I first had. 

  67. I don’t want to repeat what I’ve said in the other thread, but I found this analysis to be pretty on par with how I felt about the movie.  I’m actually planning on seeing it again sometime next week, and I’m thinking I’m going to enjoy it even more the second time through.  Thanks giving us this second look Josh. 

  68. Not trying to be political but:

    I always wondered if Moore really believed Nixon was actually like how Moore wrote him (how he wrote into the JFK plot, ordering the killing of Woodward and Bernstein via Blake, nuclear armageddon, etc.) or if he was just writing like that just to get the book to where he wanted.

    I also love that the Comedian was "inspired" by G.Gordan Liddy.  I get the guy isn’t a saint, but inspiration for the Comedian?  Burglary and wire tapping = murdering rapist?  Really?

  69. Josh, that’s a great piece, nice one.

    @mikegraham, I thought they did use ‘Dr Manattan’, certainly there’s a scene in which he explains that his name was chosen for him for its connotations to frighten enemies of the US. But maybe the name isn’t used out loud, perhaps it’s just on the odd newspaper.

    As for Bubastis, come on, it’s a superhero film, what’s so odd about a freaky pet? Couldn’t you just have quickly whispered ‘genetic experiment’ to your pals?

    And the Comedian stumbled upon Veidt’s plans somehow, as Josh says, we’re on a speeding bullet train, I never thought about it for a second.

    Your point about Veidt being shortchanged at the end is dead on.

    I really enjoyed the film and it had enough in it for me. I never liked the pirate stuff anyway; didn’t Moore or Gibbons recently acknowledge they only came up with it on finding the page count was going to be more than they expected? Yeah, they made something of it, but if it was that vital to the work it’d have been there in the original plan.

     I don’t even remember Hollis Mason dying in any significant way, or the kidnappins, and the giant squid always seemed a nonsense to me. As doomsday engines go it was like being slapped in the face with a wet kipper.

    I hate Hallelujah and Bob Dylan under any circumstances, but every moment of every film isn’t going to please everyone – there was certainly enough in there to enjoy. The credits sequence, for example, was masterly.

    I think there’s just no pleasing some people. A friend at work has read Watchmen, and reveres it. He saw the film and said it was as good an adaptation as he could imagine, yet he didn’t enjoy it. I asked why he went if he couldn’t see enjoying a film version, but he said he just had to see it. I don’t revere the Watchmen comic, I found it easy to admire but difficult to love. If Adrian Veidt were a comic, he’d be Watchmen – gorgeous and intelligent, but cold and calculating. Consequently, I’ve not re-read the issues since they came out.

    As for metacritique, I can speak media student but I don’t want my films made for them.

  70. I was more referring to the fact that the sex scene made people laugh. Also, people do that when they’re uncomfortable, and long sex scenes can do that to people. MikeGraham said all the girls he saw it with didn’t like it, but I wonder how much more that says about them than the movie.  The power of these ideas and images can be strong in the right context.

    @Tork – it’s possible for something to inspire something else and have little to do with the original germ of an idea. If it was exactly Liddy, it would be pretty boring. Just a starting place as far as I’m concerned. Also, I think Nixon spent a good many years, certainly the 80’s as a living characature, and he was used that way in this movie.  Having him be the president instantly sent a message about the world being envisaged.  Again, it’s a taste thing, and obviously, people who come from the more conservative side of thinking have a different reaction to the story than the opposite.

    Personally, most of you know what I’m like politically, and I don’t like political preaching in either direction. This is a fictional alternative reality, and I don’t see it as preachy.  It’s against nuclear war more than anything, which doesn’t seem like a political take to me, rather than an "I don’t want to die" sort of thing.

  71. To be fair, when I heard Liddy was the inspiration for the Comedian, it was accompanied by the revelation that he was also inspiration for Cobra Commander.  I had the same reaction to it when I read the intro to V for Vendetta where Moore’s speaking of how Thatcher and Reagan were the inspirations for Norsefire, more bemused at the concept than anything.

  72. Actually, more a mix of bemused and amused.

  73. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I think the political influences are just starting points.  Moore then takes it to the nth power.  It’s playful hyperbole.  

  74. @KickAss

    I can understand your distaste in regards to the overt political themes in both the book and the film however Thatcherite Britain at the time was a grim, nasty and brutal split of cultures. Subtle responses mainly felt inadequate due to the brazen approach of the Tory government of the time specifically taking a devisive and punitive approach to society.

    Believe me, living in England at the time was a shit-scary thing to go through. On the bright-side living through cultural desolation can really inspire some great art (Moore, Morrisson, Ellis, Ennis, The Cure and so on and so forth).

  75. About the music, I just don’t understand why they decided to put in covers instead of the original versions which are quoted in the book. My Chemical Romance was really painful to listen to. Anyway, the reason I didn’t like the movie is:

    I just felt like the movie was rushed pacing wise. It just jumped from scene to scene. I never got the feeling like I was getting to know the characters like I did in the book. I never cared for them. Rorschach, Nite Owl, and the Comedian were great, but the scenes for each character in the movie seemed so short that I never developed a connection with the characters. With the book, I felt that I was with the characters in their struggles and felt their pain, but in the movie, I just kept thinking,"I remember that scene from the book. I want to go read that scene now."

    In addition, the death of the citizens of New York didn’t hurt as much as it did in the book. I never cared about the New Yorkers in the movie, but in the book, the death of all these people tore me up because I felt so close to them and realized how cruel such an event is.

    The book really left me with a profound sense of the value of life and kept me asking myself what the right decision was. It led to internal conflict. The movie just left me thinking how I liked the scene much more in the book. Some scenes were great, but they also reminded me how much more I enjoyed them in the book and how much more of an impact they left.

    Overall, I felt like the movie was a hollow shell of the book. It had all the pieces of the puzzle, but they weren’t put together like they were in the book. I felt like the book was really speaking to me as I read it. The overall message sent across by the book left me thinking,"That was amazing." I left the movie thinking,"I want to go read the book." 

  76. "I also love that the Comedian was "inspired" by G.Gordan Liddy.  I get the guy isn’t a saint, but inspiration for the Comedian?  Burglary and wire tapping = murdering rapist?  Really?"

    Exactly.  This is what I’m touching on.  (Comedian) Republican = rapist, is killed.  (Ozymandias) Liberal = SMARTEST MAN IN THE WORLD!

  77. @KickAss: Um, smartest man in the world and also mass murderer…

    You’re reaching.

  78. Wasn’t the MCR song during the credits? And if so, who cares? I might have missed it, but I remember Dylan, Hendrix, Cohen, Tears for Fears.  Whatever’s in the credits doesn’t bother me.

    Again, of course this wasn’t as substantial as the book. It isn’t the book. It’s *less than* the book. There was a shitload of ground to cover and not a lot of time to do it in. If you’re looking for the exact same experience, you’re going to be disappointed no matter what.

  79. The MCR song was in the credits and in the end it doesnt matter what they sang….it’s the end of the film with no more material in it so who cares is right.

    But trying to listen to that version of Bob Dylan is like scratching your fingers on a chalkboard. Really loud and annoying.

  80. "Um, smartest man in the world and also mass murderer…"

    But Ozymandias is right in what he did.  His way is right, because he is the ultimate philosopher, and truly the ultimate hero of the story.

    That’s the way it ends for me.  Ozymandias is ultimately right.  Yes he killed masses, but for the good of everyone because his politics are right.

  81. OK, you don’t agree with it.  We get your point.  This is getting too close to being a political conversation, which is not the intention of the article.  Can we please move on?

  82. @KickAss: Ozymandius is not right in what he did.  Just because he gets away with it doesn’t mean you are supposed to think that what he did was right.

    You’re injecting politics into something where there is none.

  83. @KickAss– It’s good to develop a sense of humor about these things.  Is there some critique of conservative politics in the Comedian?  Sure.  Is it over-reaching and in-your-face?  Sure, but it’s better to laugh at how detached it is from the reality of things than to get pissed about it.

  84. I’m still thinking about whether or not I liked the movie. I think I agree it’s unfilmable if only because in the end the final product felt tonally misshapen, inconsistently paced and just plain overstuffed. In other words, Watchmen is too big to fit the confines of a movie narrative. This is not necessarily the fault of the filmmakers; I think they did the best they could to deliver a faithful adaptation that would appeal to a mass audience. I think in general, this is a good example of the perils of adapting a book to another medium, specifically a feature film. I agree with Terry Gilliam’s idea that it may have worked better as a television mini-series. If you stripped away the character examination and moments where Moore revels in the history he’s created, Watchmen’s spinal narrative could be played out in 90 minutes. We’ve come to love this story for the way it was told and for the universe that is meticulously explored. The reason Watchmen risen to the peak of it’s medium is because it harkens to the great novels; those books that excitedly and thoroughly guide us through the tributaries of a fully formed creative expression.

     

    I think the movie tried to do that as well, but I don’t think a movie is meant to do that. A movie’s gotta be leaner in my opinion, and I enjoyed this movie if only to see a favorite book come to life.

     

    It’s also funny that you cite the sex scene with that specific image there Josh. In the book it’s one of my favorite moments because of the way it’s drawn: the two truly innocent people in the narrative finally make a connection and that moment is split apart and slowed down as they embrace. Snyder and company didn’t seem to understand the tone I’ve imagined from that page you cite, and they certainly added insult to injury with their choice of music. I don’t know if they were trying to be funny with the Cohen song, but using it to make a silly comment on the scene sort of cheapens the character’s experience. There are many moments in the movie where dude just didn’t effing get it. Just an opinion though..

  85. Or he didn’t have the same take on it that you did.  The work says different things to different people. I don’t find that scene touching or beautiful. It’s a little sad, and kind of funny. To me.

  86. @Josh

    I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as the book. I just wish the movie made me care about the characters and feel the impact of the destruction of New York. Just my opinion.

  87. Agreed on all points, and well put Josh.  Thank you.

  88. Hm yes, I think that’s always a valid point and that’s why adaptation is so fascinating to me when it comes to movies. I think I view that scene in relation to the abortive sex from before and the final sex scene in Veidt’s lair. Taken as a whole, I think Dan and Laurie function as the innocents in the story.. the whole thing is just too big for them to comprehend. I don’t think they are meant to be pathetic though because there’s a dignity to their relationship that kind of cuts through all the rest of the cynicism. They aren’t the smart ones though.. I think Moore is more in agreement with Comedian’s outlook (at least at that point in his career anyway).

  89. @connor – re: was Ozy right?

    To quote Spock – "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". By sacrificing a few (okay, millions around the world…) he saved billions. Was that wrong?

  90. That’s sort of the main question at the end of the story for you to decide. It’s the grey area food for thought that makes it a compelling ending.

  91. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Even if he was right, or well intentioned (not saying he was or wasn’t), I don’t know that "hero" really applies.  

  92. By the way, is ‘inna final analysis’ some pop culture reference?

  93. Hero doesn’t apply.  In a standard superhero comic, evil is punished. In Watchmen, well…that happened, and I don’t feel so good about it.

    Ozymandias may have made the big choice to save a bunch of people from themselves, but who gave him that right?  The people he had killed?

  94. Is there really a ‘hero’ in Watchmen?  By definition of the Keene Act they all break the law.  Night Owl comes close but he does break Rorschach, a known killer, out of prison.  

    Are there really any heroes in Watchmen??? 

  95. @DarthDuck You can’t break a law and be a hero? There are no bad laws?

  96. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I’ve broken many laws and even more hearts.  Are you suggesting I’m not a hero?  

  97. I would say there isn’t a hero.  There are some people who are mostly good.  As far as I understand it, that’s the point of the whole thing.

  98. By the way, I wanted to thank everyone for such an enjoyable conversation on this, and for once again, keeping everything civil.  I normally try to comment as little as I can on my posts, but this was a lot of fun for me.  I’m reminded why the crowds of iFanboy are great.

  99. OK, I have yet to read the comic and I was not confused at all. Where are people getting confused with this movie?

    Also, one thing I noticed is they barely use their superhero names, where in the comic I’m guessing they’re used alot?

  100. Josh

    I once suffered from Episode I disease.  I loved the Star Wars franchise.  A brand new film came out.  I saw it five times in the theatres.  I made myself think that I liked it.  Sure, it wasn’t as good as the original films, but dang it, it was Star Wars and it needed to be defended.

    At some point I came to realize it was a crap film, followed by an even crappier film, followed by a 3rd film that finally made use of Artoo in the opening sequences, but otherwise sucked as well.  The films had no heart.

    The Watchmen film, to me, also suffers from this.  Like the Star Wars prequels, it also looks very pretty at times.  Like the Star Wars prequels, there were some good acting performances and cool scenes.  Like the Star Wars prequels, that’s the only thing it had.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it, but I’m glad I don’t have to defend it.  If you have to defend a movie, it’s almost like explaining a joke.  The person may end of getting it, but it sure the hell isn’t funny once it’s done.

    Love iFanboy and look forward to disagreeing with you in the future as well.

    Peace

    -bh 

     

     

     

     

     

     

  101. In my earlier point I was trying to suggest that part of the ‘deconstruction’ of the genre was that none of these characters are true ‘heroes’.  Some being more obvious that others.  I don’t condemn the characters from trying to do the right thing, but they are not truly heroic.

    @paul: you are truely a hero to many

  102. I saw Episode I ten times. Episode II turned me of from midnight premieres forever. 

  103. @josh: Oh it’ll get uncivilized soon….just you wait, we wont let you down! 🙂

    My favorite scene in the book got butchered in the film. The one I’m talking about was the Manhattan interview mirroring the Dan/Laurie fight with the gang. That was such a fun sequence and a wonderful use of storytelling by Moore. It was that point in the book I realised this was gonna be a great read.

    Having said it was butchered, I understand why Synder didnt try to replicate that on the screen. A) It probably was difficult to conceive and maybe even today’s audience wouldnt get it. B) It doesnt help or hurt the film if it wasnt included. So even though my brain told me to be disappointed that my favorite part of the book was missing, I never once felt it was a bad adaptation of that part of the book. Just a matter of writing and editing for something like that.

  104. Sorry to go off topic, and maybe you discussed this elsewhere and I missed it, but I just watched Blair Butler on Fresh Ink at g4tv.com, and she was totally wearing a ‘Hurm’ shirt! 

    Super cool!

  105. I haven’t seen the movie yet (I know…I"m a bad comic fan) but I’m going this weekend with a a totally different group of friends. One of which has never read a comic in her life, another who hasn’t either, but is a film editor (so I’m interested to see what he thinks of the running time and such) and one who is reading a comic for the first time this week, and that comic is watchmen. So I’ll be able to get all these non-comic (quasi-comic) people to talk about the movie. I’m thinking I’ll enjoy this movie, hopefully I’ll love it, but i don’t believe I’ll end up hating it.

  106. What about the fact that the movie left out an incredible amount of character development and backstory, and when the backstory they DID include was far too rushed to be anything but neglectable. It’s not a matter of this movie being an adaptation for me. As far as I’m concerned, this movie simply neglects way too much of the graphic novel’s depth to be even considered an adaptation. A person who reads the graphic novel after seeing the movie will find that the characters are almost completely different people. For example, the movie focuses on Night Owl’s feeling of powerlessness and impudency, and in my opinion makes him out to be flat out sadistic in that he gets off by causing criminals pain (as shown by the excessive violence). The graphic novel, however, emphasized Night Owl’s reminiscence of the old days, his "romantic" feelings towards the job, as he says in the comic, and makes him out to be something an old retiree longing for the glory days. They BARELY mentioned the fact that Laurie was pushed into the crimefighting business by her mother, who lived vicariously through her, and that was a huge part of Laurie’s character, reflected by how often it’s restated in Alan Moore’s masterpiece. Dr. Manhattan’s monologue of flashbacks, one of my favorite parts of the graphic novel, was so rushed it broke my heart. When I read the graphic novel I was put into awe at his perception of time, and I was moved by how it portrayed his withdrawal from the human race. In the movie they pretty much said “screw the subtlety that made this stuff epic and just use the ‘god’ hammer.” I understand that they used quotes straight out of the books, but they used the really heavy stuff way too fast. The part that made it awe-inspiring was the slower lead-in that the movie left out. I could point out more character symbolism and the like that the movie was missing but I think I’ve made that point.

    An people say “Oh well they can’t add all that to a 2-and-a-half hour movie.” Ok, well I’d rather see that than all the excessively long and gory fight scenes that the graphic novel didn’t even really have. And while I’m on the subject of fight scenes: that “6 page long” fight scene of Dan and Laurie in the alley was NOT the focus of those pages. I barely even NOTICED the fight scene in the graphic novel because I was too focused on the meaning of the text that accompanied it. And then there’s the movie that pretty much implies “Oh well we don’t care about depth and meaning, we just want to show people gory excessive violence. Watch this guy’s bone pop out of his skin!” Same goes for the fight with Ozymandias at the end. In the graphic novel the fight scene was used merely to show Adrian’s superiority as he casually fought them off while focusing on talking more. Also, the fight scene at the beginning of the movie was entirely useless. All that time is wasted on trying to appeal to the violent side of viewers. Notice how there WASN’T a fight scene between Ozy and the Comedian in the graphic novel? Yeah, that’s because Moore was a little more focused on depth than he was on action. Take all that time they wasted and put it into plot and character development, THEN they’d have a movie good enough to hold a torch to Moore’s story.

    One final thing I HAVE to say: there were too many times to even count when I let out a loud sigh and rolled my eyes at how STUPID the actors sounded when they said some of my FAVORITE quotes from the book. I don’t even know how it’s possible, but they ruined Rorschach’s “I’ll look down and whisper, ‘No.’” It was way way waaayyy too rushed. Not only the actual quote, but also the timing of the quote. It just all happened too fast, before we’re even given a chance to understand where Rorschach is coming from. I don’t have my copy of the graphic novel handy because a friend is borrowing it, but I’m pretty damn sure we got at least a COUPLE more sentences before Rorschach dropped that bombshell of a quote.

    I could bring up the newspaper salesman and the kid who always sits next to his stand, but unless people are too stupid to already realize the significance of these characters, I don’t think I need to. (And it was stupid that they just threw them in there when the bomb went off. There was back story to that, and it makes me cringe to think they can just arbitrarily toss that in there)

    People say “It’s only an adaptation.” But I mean, COME ON. Adaptations are supposed to be reflections of what they’re adapted from. This is one of the GREATEST graphic novels of all time. You’re not going to hear too many people praising the movie as one of the greatest of all time.

     

  107. Looks like you expected a lot more than I did out of the movie. You’re right.  It’s not one of the greatest movies ever,  but my Absolute Watchmen is still right over there, and I can read it any time I want to.

  108. why shouldn’t I expect a lot? the title IS "Watchmen," is it not? just like my favorite graphic novel? it IS based off my favorite graphic novel, isn’t it? so why shouldn’t it make me feel at least a LITTLE like my favorite graphic novel does? i just don’t see why people think that people like me expect too much.

  109. So, after the movie, my friend turned to me and said, "so fuck was up with Rorshachs mask?"  Well, that wasn’t answered, but at least we got an extra 7 minutes of bones cracking and soft core porn…

  110. @Em: This is how I felt when Nickalodean adapted: Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Why couldn’t they have just made the show I saw in my head?! Bastards.

  111. It’s a movie. Movies adapting books, especially works of exceptional quality, don’t tend to replicate the experience all that well.  They’re different storyteliing media. I mean, I don’t agree that it was a piece of shit. X3 was a piece of shit. I expected something that was entertaining, and touched on some of the things I liked about the book, but not all of the things I liked about the book.  That would be an unreasonable expectation.

    Watchmen is my favorite comic book of all time.  I’ve read it many, many times. Never in a billion years would I say to someone, "just watch the movie, don’t bother reading the book," but I can’t agree with most of your criticisms at all.  You’re entitled to them, but you also sound astounded that more people aren’t as indignant.

    It’s not like you’re talking to someone who goes easy on movies. I could go down the list of special edition podcasts we’ve recorded where I hated the movie, and heard a ton of shit for it, where I’m known as the "iFanboy who hates fun" to this day.  

    I dunno man, clearly we have different tastes on what makes an acceptable film.  But hey, at least we’ve got the book, and more people have bought it and read it than ever would have before.

    Also, you think you didn’t like it? Imagine getting Alan Moore’s critique!

  112. Another interesting point is that if you don’t like the way Zack Snyder directs movies, you’re so not going to like this.  I don’t particularly love it, but I knew what I was in for.  It’s funny that I don’t think I was as hard on this as I have been on other movies.  I’m not sure why that is.

  113. In the cold dark recesses of my mind I like to imagine Alan Moore having an online alias (WatchManOne, perhaps) and visiting all sorts of comic book and movie message boards leaving a variety of different posts ranging from high praise to the infamous "I’ll be spitting venom all over it."

  114. He could totally do that.  But then again, he doesn’t even use email.

  115. just because they’re different media doesn’t mean they shouldn’t convey the same feeling or message. Lord of the Rings pulled it off pretty well. i got the same feeling of epicness from both the books and the movies. if they weren’t going to make an adaptation that conveyed the same message that the original did, they shouldn’t have bothered making a Watchmen movie at all

    And yeah, even though typically I say "Let people have their opinion," I sincerely am surprised that more people aren’t denouncing this movie. I just can’t see why so few people care about the depth and meaning that is lost from Moore’s original story.

     And I would LOVE to get Moore’s critique. I know Gibbons was ok with it, but that’s because he has nothing to complain about with the visual effects. It all looked pretty. that’s the one thing I’ll compliment this movie on is its special effects. Doctor Manhattan especially (though i wouldn’t have minded giving him his thong at least)

    Yeah, we still have the book, but from now on everyone will look at the movie and relate it to the book, and they’re so different that I just don’t think it’s fair. That’s another reason I’m somewhat outraged that more people don’t denounce this movie, is that now everyone who doesn’t know enough about Watchmen are going to think that the movie and the comic are just like each other and that’s just plain false.

  116. @josh: He uses carrier pigeons to do interviews right?

    For once I want to see Snyder do an ORIGINAL film. So far he’s done 2 adaptations and 1 remake.

    He is doing something called ‘Sucker Punch’ which is some weird Alice in Wonderland-like plot….So even that doesnt sound original. The rest of his future films (according to imdb) are nothing but adaptations of kids books or comic books. Then again it is 2009 and original stories have almost died off in way of remakes or adaptations.

  117. Wow, I can’t believe it when people can’t see that they are being completely unreasonable, or in this case, have unreasonable expectations that can’t be met by humans.  He said your favorite line too fast.  Are you kidding me?

  118. Snyder would have to do something original to gain street cred.  To keep making a money and getting work, he just has to keep making money for the studios.  Very different things.

  119. @Em – I don’t think you’re giving people enough credit. There are plenty of books that were made into subpar films that are still known as classics.  Jane Austen’s work isn’t suffering from any of the adaptations that have been done over the decades. I hear the Great Gatsby and I think of F. Scott Fitzgerald, not Robert Redford.  To take it way too far, Shakespeare isn’t hurting because of Claire Danes.  If you think the book is that great, you have nothing to worry about.

    And you might have liked Lord of the Rings (as I fucking well did), but plenty of Tolkien fanatics will go to their grave lamenting the omission of Tom Bombadil and how it ruined the story.

    Perhaps the fact that not too many people are echoing your complete disgust with the movie means you’re holding the reins a little tight.  I’m not saying you have to like it, but perhaps you’re having trouble being objective.  I know I did.

  120. @josh: All I’m asking is for a director to have vision in his work….

    Actually you can put vision into a remake or adaptation….as Snyder as shown in his first 3 films. Still, I would love to see an original story. Which only novelist and comic book writers can do now a days.

  121. I can see where you’re coming from Josh. I think I had higher hopes for this movie than I should have. Something that would bring the spirit of the book to the screen. Instead we got a very faithful adaptation of the story, with very good performances, and some great scenes. 

    I still feel like it’s missing some of the heart and vision of the book, but maybe those are the parts that are unfilmable. I was disappointed that the funny hats and cigarettes and electric cars weren’t in there (much).

    As for politics, Ozymandius is a semi-tragic figure, like most of the characters. Even Nixon, though a caricature, is not a monster. The political reality of the Cold War, the nuclear football, armageddon scenarios, all of that was very much in the zeitgeist of the time. For Nixon to contemplate pulling the trigger on Russia doesn’t make him evil. It was the political situation we were in. He says to Kissinger "cut out that mad bomber shit, you’re the one who cooked that up." Those were the tactics of the Cold War. Ozymandius tried to cut that Gordian knot with a phony alien attack. But the book leaves the door wide open that his gambit may fail. 

  122. I submit that noone could have made a better Watchmen film, except maybe David Lynch.  Rorschach with a weirding module?  Hell yes.

  123. "But hey, at least we’ve got the book, and more people have bought it and read it than ever would have before."

    Even if this movie had the exact same ending as "Grease"–and I do feel that Nite Owl and Silk Spectre go together like ramalamalama da dingity dingy dong– I would still feel good about its effect on the world. I think fanboys get very protective of their favorites because, "oh my God, I’ve told people I like this, and now they’re going to think I’m an idiot when they see this terrible movie!" The truth in this case is that all the movie has done is introduce this book I love to millions and millions and millions of people. I feel compelled to note that today– and indeed, for the week so far– Watchmen is Amazon’s #1 book. Not comic; BOOK. On Borders.com, it’s #2. And this **** has been going on since the trailer came out! So Em, congratulations: no matter what happens, you know what the book was like, and now so do seventy kajillion other people who never went to a comic book store. Even the guys who picked on comic lovers in high school are reading this book as we speak. You won. Enjoy yourself.

  124. @Josh from a little while up.  But wouldn’t you tell people not to see the movie until they read the book?  I know people will say they know people who won’t read Watchmen, but I still believe that this movie should not be seen by those people.  I truly believe it gives them the wrong impression about Watchmen, and since it ruins the book, they should just skip it.

  125. I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t say much, but Josh saying "The movie took all the characters to exactly where they were taken in the book, but more cleanly." made my jaw drop. Wow, huge call!

    PS — I’m still with the author in thinking Watchmen is unfilmable & shouldn’t have been made. But, after all this positive reaction, I am less apprehensive about seeing the movie.

  126. @KickAss

    I think sooomebody walks around at night narrating his on journal internally before ultimately submitting it to The New Frontiersman…

    @Josh

    I love the newsstand guy too! My favorite panel of the entire comic may be right when everything’s going ka-blooey and he covers the kid; as if through this futile act in the face of certain elimination, he hopes to protect him. I was glad that, while they weren’t featured in the film (I can only assume they’ll be around more in the special edition), they kept that part in the movie. Though due to the kid being a bit tall and everyone floating up upon impact, my friend thought he was just hugging the closest person he saw… which is nice too, but I’d rather my interpretation. 

  127. @ultimatehoratio:

    yeah, that whole quote was just not done very well in the movie. i was commenting more on how it was like only the second thing Rorschach said in the film, but yeah, if he had said it a little more gravely (and that usually entails somewhat slower tempo) it would have sent the chill down my spine that it did when I read it.

  128. I’m suprized how many people here loved the movie, cause at this point I pretty much despise it

  129. @Patio– For me, it’s less that Nixon’s finger is on the button and more the backhistory stuff he sends Comedian to go do, particularly the assassination of JFK. If anything, I’m more amused about the concept that Moore actually thinks Nixon would go THAT far.

    Though the whole "nuclear armageddon" stuff can get a little amusing, too, given how many Cold Warriors later on explained how very little they all actually planned to use nukes.  I do believe it was either Khruschev or one of his advisors explained concerning the Cuban Missle Crisis which is sometimes touted as the closest we got to World War III, "You Americans are crazy.  Did you seriously think we actually planning to spark a war with you guys?  Over CUBA?!"  It’s funny how MAD seems like a horrid prevention concept, but, hey, it worked.  I get Moore didn’t know any of that or Russia’s rapidly dissolving infastructure at the time, but it still makes me smirk a little to hear everyone in the book freaking out over the oncoming apocalypse.

  130. @Gabe-I think enough people here, and on previous watchmen threads, have given very valid arguements why the movie would not, and did not, ruin the book.  Also, your hatred for the movie is duly noted 😉

  131. Snyder’s Sucker Punch is, I believe from his own original script and/or story. It’s an all-female starring cast, his "counter" to doing an all-male cast in 300.

    At least, that’s what I read recently. Think it was in Entertainment Weekly.

  132. I’m with Jimski.

  133. I just got back from seeing it the second time and I like it much more this time around. (and just finished this thread)

    I think eagle6002

    nailed it. The movie would have had a much greater emotional impact if the viewer had developed a bond with the People being blown up.

    The argument over Ozymandias’ actions will continue as long as people read the book. And there is an actual school of ethnics called Teleology which is exactly describes Ozymandias’ point of view.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleological_ethics

    And what’s wrong with a film maker just making adaptations. Francis Ford Coppola has only never adapted novels. The Godfather being one. And so did Stanley Kubrick, maybe not eyes wide shut.

  134. IMO the only thing "missing" are the little moments that make Watchmne that much more engrossing. The foam tits part, the excerpt from a journal of ornithology etc. I guess that’s in line with "making the viewer care about the people being blown up".

    But this is still a pretty damn good movie.

  135. @TheNextChapion – the second best comicbook movie? What about American Splendor? What about Akira? What about 300, Ghost World? Asterix and Obelix have some nice cartoon and regular movie adaptations… 🙂

     

  136. @chlop People tend to forget how well Spider-Man 2 absolutely NAILED the character. it hink the Spider-Man 3 tainted people’s opinions about how great a superhero movie Spidey 2 actually is (that being said, i’d probably rank it number 3 or 4 on my list, Watchmen probably wouldn’t be in the top ten)

  137. I saw the movie 1st time late last night.  Though I’m not a fan of the book’s left wing agenda, the movie adaptation was excellent!  There was so much to enjoy here.  And I can’t get behind the majority of nitpicky complaints.  We almost never get adaptations this well done.  So much great work went into pulling this off.  The only thing I didn’t like was Nixon’s face makeup.  Looked awful in it’s first closeup.  I wished they used the actor from Frost Nixon and put more gray hair on him!

    The fight scenes were great as well.  You could actually SEE who was hitting who, none of that Dark Knight horrible action crap.  And in further comparison to Dark Knight, It seemed better balanced in that Dark Knight only had 1 good character in it.  (Joker)  And the rest is pretty lame.  Watchmen had me interested in all plots.

    Spider-Man the trilogy is still the top superhero movie though.

  138. @KickAss w/r/t Dark Knight: there are SOOOO many things wrong with your comments, i don’t even know where to being

  139. I don’t think the movie ruined the book at all. I just think the movie is boring as hell. 

  140. Oh, something I wanted to mention about the ending that I really liked – Nite Owl actually got to mourn Rorschach’s death a little. In the book, they split off in two directions. Rorschach goes outside to get killed, Nite Owl goes off to bone Laurie. I liked how the movie handled that.

  141. I thought it was awful.  The acting was bad, every shot was overly stylized and cheeseball, and every character was just a cartoon characterization.  It did an awful job of making you feel like you were in 1985 (compare it to something like American Gangster, that felt authentic), and to me Zack Snyder did the movie a disservice by making it such a literal adaptation of the book. 

    I was really looking forward to it with all the positive reviews, now i just wish it had never been made.

  142. And one more thing that really bothered me. One of the most brilliant parts of the book is the growing tension of nuclear war in the background and the forefront.  I understand its tough to adapt that into a 2+ hour movie, but throwing in a scene of Nixon talking to old men in a dark room, and adjusting the Defcon every 20 minutes was lazy and cliche

  143. Great article.  I"m going to print it up, and refer all douchebags to it when they come in and start prattling about how The Watchmen is unfilmable. 

  144. I find it ironic that what i feel to be the best part of Watchmen is one of the most original and movie specific scenes in the film: the opening credits. It’s something that couldn’t be done in the comic. The combination of "moving" still images with a great song gave me goosebumps and got me really excited for the movie. It was a great use of audio and visuals that i felt was on par with some of the artist comic specific moments in the book. It’s still online in some places, check it out here before they take it down! http://www.marty.com.au/science-fiction-to-fact/17-reviewsbookmovieaudio/113-opening-credits-for-watchmen-movie-full-sequence-in-visual-glory.html

  145. @flakbait That was the point though, Rorshach lived his life alone and he died alone (sort of). No one was supposed to mourn him. I thought the book had a far better and more fitting end for the character

  146. I like what you had to say, Josh, but I will agree with some of the rabble about the music cues being awfully literal — not enough to dispel my enjoyment, but enough to stick out.

    Re the ending, considering you "have" to change the squid scenario, I think Hayter and Tse actually *improved* on the method of destruction, using Dr. Manhattan as a weapon against the world he had changed. Much like Raimi’s organic web-shooters, it seems to be a sensible, expedient adaption towards making a motion picture work.

    Also, one last word on the lovemaking scenes — sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar, and I think there was something quite literally beautiful about watching hard bodies writhe around one another, especially when one of them is named Malin Ackerman… my new wife.

  147. The music definitely stuck out, but i still enjoyed it (i bought the soundtrack). i think some cues worked and some didn’t (Bob Dylan/Hendrix/Simon and Garfunckle = Good, 99 Luftballons = Bad)

    I didn’t have a big problem with the ending but i still didn’t like how it changed Dr. Manhattan into being a hated figure in the new world, but it was good enough, and could have been A LOT worse

  148. Spot on

  149. About the article: on sex scenes:

    I don’t get why the sex scenes in this get a "Pass" from Josh, meanwhile he complains so much about Ms. Marvel’s ass cheek in a panel of Avengers?!  Give me a break!  This movie had so much asses, dicks, tits, finger suckings and orgasms flying at you and it gets a pass?  And a drawn ass in a comic gets a prudish 2 minute complaint per podcast?  I hope that’s the last we hear of those comic book complaints and we get some consistency.  As was pointed out by others on the podcast, Ms. Marvel’s costume is part of the fun because it’s sexy.

  150. I enjoyed the article.  Well done Josh.  🙂

     

    the Tiki 

  151. Like mikegraham6 mentioned. I much preferred Nite Owl reaction to Rorschach’s death in the movie. It felt much more nature.

    I also LOVED Ozymandias’ acceptance of the abuse. The is one shot where he exhales and readies himself. It really showed a much more altruistic side to Ozymandias’ character.

  152. @KickAss – There’s a contextual difference in those different uses of sexuality. I don’t have a problem with sexuality in the least. Cheesecake in a superhero comic is different than sex as a valid story point. But honestly, I’ve gotta say I think the comparison in critiques is such a stretch that there’s not much more to say on the point.

  153. awesome. couldnt agree more.

  154. @edward i actually thought Rorshcach’s death in the book was more appropriate

  155. I think if I hear one more person complain when Watchmen is referred to as a "graphic novel", I think I might jam pencils in my ears (or theirs).  Who cares????

  156. Liked the movie, but thought it lacked heart.  After viewing, it felt like I went back to my trade and flipped from front to back in about 30-40 minutes instead of reading it.  It felt more like a highlight reel than a movie.  But hey, what do I know…

    That being said, I liked the Dr. M ending more than the squid.  Not because of the campiness, but because I always felt that one attack from a questionable threat would be insufficient to get the world to get together.  But multiple attacks from a known entity would cause a much more substantial reaction.

  157. There’s a huge difference between Frank Miller demanding shamelessly unnecessary money shots in a book with shit story, and character-driven developmental sexuality in a book rife with story and depth.

  158. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    "Developmental sexuality" is my new favorite term.  

  159. God help the people who are involved in the discussion where Paul deems it okay to use that term.

  160. I just got a message on my facebook wall from one of my dental school instuctors saying that he’d watched the movie and didn’t know what to think of it, but was now going to read the book.

    As many have stated, we truly have won…

  161. Just watched the film a second time (life is boring when you have no girlfriend people)

    My thoughts without letting my mind wander on thinking if it’s close to the book or not….

    Still a great film. It isnt perfect mind you, but then again I didnt think it was perfect the first go around. It’s still a fun adaptation and people should really lighten up with the nitpicks even more so. Again this wasnt a fully translation, just an adaptation at it’s fullest.

    The acting was better then I thought, Snyder did an amazing job getting the book on screen, and overall I have barely any faults for this film. Again it’s not perfect nor is it better then ‘Dark Knight’….but I still find it the 2nd greatest comic book film out there.

  162. after a week of thought about this, i’m pretty sure that it is actually a good movie.

    now, i can exhale, relax and un-clench my bowels

  163. and what was up with the re-creation of The Last Supper with the pregnant Sally Jupiter during the opening montage?

  164. I agree with most of your points, can’t wait to see it a second time tomorrow, or for the extended cut

  165. After one month, four articles, and over 600 comments, I think I am just about ready to go see this movie tonight. All of you good people have officially mapped this f***er’s genome for me.

    Come what may, no one can say they weren’t exposed to every available perspective by iFanboy.com, running the full spectrum of passion and eloquence.

  166. Didn’t like it.

  167. at some point (probably won’t be possible until the DVD comes out), i’m going to watch this movie with the graphic novel in hand, so I can track exactly where the bad taste in my mouth is coming from in the movie…

  168. @Jimski

    "mapped this f***er’s genome" = HA!  I’m a little Watchmen-ed out myself.  Everytime I turn the tv on I’m seeing something about it.

    Has anyone seen "Tales from the Black Freighter" yet?  Didn’t love it in Watchmen so I doubt I’ll love it without it.  (Like Conor, I skimmed it the first few times I read Watchmen.)  I’m going to Netflix it so I can see "Under the Hood".

  169. I loved this movie.  Josh, you are completely right on all points.  This movie should be watched multiple times.   

  170. You know… I just got back from seeing Watchmen, and having discussed it for so long in advance I’m not sure how much I feel like adding now.

    I saw any number of things that I wouldn’t have done, but that’s not the same as saying the movie was bad. They didn’t consult me to ensure the film meshed with the book in my head, but that doesn’t make it a bad movie. On the balance, I’d say it was good. It made me think; it entertained me; my attention didn’t wander and my hackles didn’t raise much. We had a good discussion afterwards. These are my yardsticks.

    It seemed impossible that I would be anything other than critical/analytical going in, but I had an entirely emotional reaction to it. The opening credits made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

    Having seen these characters moving, speaking the dialogue out loud, I can say without reservation that I thank God they took away Nite Owl’s gut. If he’d done the prison break fight scene rocking an Adam West shatnerpaunch, we would have never stopped laughing until the credits rolled. Just the thought of it as I watched made me laugh. Some things are not meant to be seen in motion.

    As for that dialogue: was it just me, or did a lot of this movie play exactly like Walk Hard?

    The music dropped this movie two letter grades. I wanted to go at the speakers with my keys. Mr. Snyder: songs belong in the ears, not on the nose. "This is the only place where he can really deviate from the page and show a little of his own creativity," I thought; "either he is an imbecile, or he thinks I am." If you’re watching this movie a year from now and find yourself wincing and saying, "What was I thinking?" it will be the music that makes you say it.

    I can’t help having been thrown by one nitpick, since it was during the climax. In my brain, you could hear a pin drop during the line, "I did it thirty-five minutes ago." In the movie, it was loud and full of motion and that asinine music. Didn’t seem to bother anyone else.

    I thought Dr. Manhattan’s teleportation was a lot more flashy and complicated than it used to be, but… you know. It’s a movie.

  171. @jimski: I didnt think the music was that bad…..Some of the choices were pretty bad (like Hallejuah or Ride of the Valkaryies). But overall they make sense why they were chosen.

  172. Ugh, I’d forgotten about Ride of the Valkyries!

    "All right. He’s just making fun of us now."

  173. @Jimski: Well I cant argue for that song. After watching the film a second time I cringed a bit more when Valkyries was played.

    But I thought the rest of the song choices were great or at least suitable for the moment. Hallejuah was a cringe moment but the placement of the song made sense. Unforgettable at first was a weird choice but it totally makes sense for the fight scene, same goes for 99 Lufteballons (I know I misspelled that…but give me credit it’s 1:30am) Other songs we could go threw and I was totally fine with them.

    Let’s put this in another way, and let me say I am no way saying Watchmen is as great or a classic considering to this film…..But Forrest Gump….that had a lot of music placed for the time and it certainly dates the film. Does that stop it from being a great film? No, it enhances the film because it fits for the scene it’s being used. Exactley what Snyder tried to do for Watchmen, place songs for the time period and set the tone for the film. Is it 100% perfect? No. But at least it isnt a total failure.

  174. Did anyone else notice young Bruce Wayne in the Watchmen movie?

    Yep, it’s true. Bruce Wayne made a cameo appearance in the Watchmen movie.

    If you pay close attention to the opening montage, you will notice a wealthy couple with their young son leaving a cinema as the first Nite Owl decks the criminal…..

    So Nite Owl stopped the murder in the Watchmen movie universe. Cool Beans!!

  175. I was thinking about this last night: there are a lot of scenes in the book that have been reduced to Easter eggs in the movie. The newstand, Rorschach’s secret identity, the prison psychologist et al. When people who have only seen the movie decide to read the book later, they are going to have page after page of little epiphanies and moments of recognition: "I saw that guy! Wow, there was a lot more going on there than I realized. Hey, it’s a chapter from that guy’s book!" Then these people will see the movie again, and appreciate it on a new level.

    As a result, seeing the movie first and then reading the book makes both better.

    And there is your controversial statement for the day.

  176. @Jimski  I don’t know that there’s a right order to do it in, but I do tend to think that ‘Watchmen’ is a tough book to read the first time, but an infinitely rewarding book to reread.  So if watching the movie first makes reading the book the first time be more like rereading it, that might be a good thing.  (I told my friends to read the book first because I’m rather attached to some of the reveals, but in the spoiler-culture you’ve talked about before, I figure a lot of people are going to go in knowing the basic plot anyway).

  177. seriously, i just said batman was in there…………..

  178. @edward: How can Nite-Owl save the Wayne family when the Batman poster is behind him? That would mean Batman is a fictional character at that point…..Plus if he did save the Wayne family that means there could be a Batman around that isnt Bruce Wayne.

    I was curious if Nite-Owl did save the Wayne family…But I dont remember seeing a kid so I think subconciously your thinking he saved Bruce when you see the Batman poster behind you.

  179. @TheNextChampion Check the link, there isn’t a kid, just a rich dude, his wife and the door man

    http://www.marty.com.au/science-fiction-to-fact/17-reviewsbookmovieaudio/113-opening-credits-for-watchmen-movie-full-sequence-in-visual-glory.html

  180. @mike: Okay, then that proves my point that it isnt the Wayne family. It could be a subtle hint to it since there is a Batman poster behind them.

  181. Seriously, is this really being debated? Clearly it’s an allusion to the Batman story.  It’s not actually Batman, but Batman’s not a real character, so it’s kind of moot.

  182. Come on, people.  that’s clearly an homage to the incredible 80s show "Hart to Hart".  There’s Jonathan Hart and Jennifer Hart and Max…

  183. yay BATMAN!!!!!

  184. actually maybe it’s young Dan. that kind of makes sense. like it was the first time he saw nite owl 1 in action and thats why his idolises him

  185. mikegraham6 – Spider-Man 2 was great. I don’t have a list.

    @flakbait – but wasn’t that part of the book? Nite Owl being useless and easy to control etc. Him not caring about Rorschach seemed in character.

  186. @edward

    Just re-read Watchmen (again) and I’d forgotten that reference to the Bats origin is there too.  Seems the saving was done by Hooded Justice in the OGN though.

  187. @pyynk: really? i’ll have a look

  188. It was just what I expected, an american action movie version, so it was alright. They really messed up the character of Laurie though.

  189. Needed more time. Shouldn’t have been that true to the comics – a stupid thing to do. I liked seeing the things that in the comicbook were in text like the other heroes getting killed. The music is a prescence and is in your face but sort of suits it. Not sure about Nixon’s personality, inkyface’s voice, the enhanced violence and flying and hulking it out with some home wreckage – flying when punched in the end and inkyface jumping around like Michael Jordan, the begginning was a little cringe enducing. Didn’t mind the acting, the old people makeup, changing things and other people saying lines that don’t belong to them in the comicbook – to save time I guess.

    Ozy being a jerk and a homosexual is too blatant in the movie. Nitpicks: the stock punching sounds made this sound weird, but I also find fault in cartoon shows and movies that use stock walking sounds that sound nothing like walking – drives me crazy. Won’t it be easier to walk and record that instead of using a nutcracker or garden hose or whatever they use?

    inkyface bullshiting the psych for five minutes and coming clean really fast, the bald guy getting the same treatment or about the same as the comicbook because it doesn’t seem in this that he obstructs the door in anyway but maybe I’m wrong. It just seems unnecessary. The obviousness of the guy with the sign but that sort of thing was in the comicbook – the look at the guy fixing the door bit for example.

    It’s not a run to the theater to see, it might be a rent if you want to see the way it was adapted. Otherwise it’s best to wait for a longer version. I doubt the movie made sense to someone that didn’t read the comicbook.