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mygif

I think it’s impossible to really judge this film until we get the complete, uncut, 302-minute long version on DVD this fall. Only then will we really see how well the WATCHMEN movie holds up. Until then, we’re just getting the abridged cut.

And if anyone thinks that cuts don’t matter, that extra scenes or different editing can’t improve what’s already there, chew on this thought: the Director’s Cut of DAREDEVIL is actually *watchable*.

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@John Hefner:

“And if anyone thinks that cuts don’t matter, that extra scenes or different editing can’t improve what’s already there, chew on this thought: the Director’s Cut of DAREDEVIL is actually *watchable*.”

LIES.

ALL LIES.

(ETC.)

As for Watchmen: I really enjoyed it. And I have you to thank, MGK! If I hadn’t gone in with such bargain basement low expectations, I might have been disappointed.

What’s funny is that everything you complain about for this movie, I complained about for the original Harry Potter films, which were damn near word-for-word the books. But then, I didn’t like the first few HP books.

I think the dialogue in Watchmen could have used the tangy zip of a good rewrite, but other than that I thought it was a fun ride. Certainly got my mind off of work for 3 hours.

Promos were great, too.

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mygif

John, absolutely. Why they cut the hell out of Daredevil I don’t know. The DC was MUCH better. It still had a lot of issues, but it was much more enjoyable and much closer to the comic DD/Matt. The directors cut of FF was better as well, though the difference wasn’t as big as DD.

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mygif

@Steph: The director’s cut (of Daredevil) is actually watchable. It is much more coherent (the hooker’s death tying into the plotline, forexample), more violent (the barroom brawl scene), and much more emblematic of the Matt Murdoch character.

That said, Citizen Kane, it still ain’t.

The theatrical cut was much more respectable from a normal-theatre-going standpoint, but much dumber from comics-fan standpoint.

Which, I suspect (I’ll let you know more tomorrow) is where Watchmen fails.

I feel sad, though, because your average-theater-goer isn’t going to have the same background, and therefore, will experience the film from a vastly different perspective. Most comics movies I’ve seen have failed from trying to be both things to both audiences; I recognize that the “normal” audience isn’t going to enjoy the subtle ironies of Watchmen, and then also recognize the comics-savvy fan isn’t going to enjoy the dumbed-down Watchmen.

I think the real solution is to reimagine Watchmen for the modern movie-goer, but I also think that’s a pretty hard task to fulfill.

*shrug* anyway, that’s my drunk-with-my-gf-in-the-other-room perspective, I’ll repost once I’ve seen the damn movie.

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mygif

Saw it last night. Glad I did, but I won’t be rushing out to see it again. I’d pretty much agree with your assessment MGK, although I actually HATED the action scenes. The characters in Watchmen are supposed to be normal humans who hit the gym a lot (Manhattan excepted) and they start throwing each other about like bloody ragdolls. Annoyed the piss out of me.

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mygif

I think the movie was perfect, it was exactly what I hoped it would be. I think the pacing was good, the casting worked out real well and the placing of the ‘flashbacks’ were done at the right times.

I think one of the problems that some may have with the Watchmen has to do with the fact that the Watchmen book was an ‘Iron Age’ story told right in the middle of the “Silver Age’ of comics. It appealed and incensed comic book fans making them see their heroes in a different light.

But 23 years later, people are use to heroes that kill without remorse, are morally ambiguous, or just plain dirtier than the likes of Superman.

Watchmen was able to cast a light into those dark thoughts. In today’s world that darkness is common so less disturbing when see on the screen.

Snyder was faithful to the book, the only choice he could have made and still call the project Watchmen.

Now I await the 2 DVD scheduled to be released, Under the Hood and Tales of the Black Freighter.

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mygif

The mid-80s were the Silver Age?

Huh.

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Marc Mielke said on March 7th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

They had to change Ozymandias’ line to SOMETHING. I read Watchmen in monthlies, and I have no idea what the hell a “Republic Serial Villain” is!

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mygif

“They had to change Ozymandias’ line to SOMETHING. I read Watchmen in monthlies, and I have no idea what the hell a “Republic Serial Villain” is!”

I thought the movie serials of the 30s and 40s were pretty well known for their melodrama and OTT performances.

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mygif

Someone pointed out that Snyder’s style is exactly the type of fetishing that Rorschach rails and fights against, and yes, some of his choices are just indefensible — what, two relatively panels uncompressed into a “Hallelujah” grinding sex scene while more meat of the story’s left on the cutting-room floor? I’d have liked more of Jon’s precognition on Mars — the meteor shower, dropping the photograph — instead it all comes off as retrospect, and I don’t think his perception/slavery to fate is baked into the narrative enough. Richard Nixon’s caricature made almost-flesh, the ultraviolent alley fight and a handful of dropped lines that would’ve completed so many plots (“Tell them I don’t have any enemies,” “Also, I was thinking about getting a gun,” HJ’s fate as revealed on Mars) and wouldn’t have taken five extra seconds of screen time but would’ve made Moore’s tapestry of dysfunctional humanity so much more complete….

As was mentioned above, thanks for the review — it did have me braced when I walked in for a celluloid atrocity, but no, like most above, I rather enjoyed it, with significant moments of exception. It could’ve been much, much better, and should’ve been, but Christ, it so easily could’ve been so much worse.

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Alteisen said on March 7th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

I think the worst part of the movie was the ending sequence’s changes. Not the lack of squid, as that was fine, but things like Dan’s “NOOOOO!”, Dan being the one to confront Veidt rather than Jon, and making it out to look as if Veidt was very much the bad guy.

And yes, the dialogue was awful, and Laurie’s acting was terrible. Her story was completely butchered, in part due to the acting, and in part due to the film’s cuts.

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mygif

Back. I think they got enough of the important things right. I think the stylized sex an violence were deliberate irony.

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mygif

Is Bubastis in the film?

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mygif

I thought it was pretty good. Not Dark Knight great, but I liked it. The altered ending was all right as well.

And yeah, Bubastis is in the flick.

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mygif

Not sure if you read 66 comments down, or if you value my opinion, but your review was pretty much spot-on. I don’t know if I blame the actors or the director for the woeful performances; Snyder’s slavish adherence to a precise panel-to-frame translation of every good moment of the film never gives the actors to develop a rhythm to their performances. The dialogue feels unnatural, but that’s because it consists of one person delivering a ‘Watchman’ quote, pausing for the audience to savor it, then letting the other person respond with a ‘Watchmen’ quote of their own. Nobody would sound good delivering dialogue like that.

Oh, and you left out Nixon’s terrible comedy nose. Other people complained about the distracting blue penis? I watched every scene set in the White House thinking, “Does he know they made him look like that? How can he not?”

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Marc Mielke said on March 8th, 2009 at 3:01 am

Distant; thanks, but I figured out in context that they meant ‘James Bond villain’. That might have worked, come to think.

My point was, I’m 30+ years old, smarter than your average person, and really have never heard of most stuff out of the thirties that wasn’t in history books. Movie is targeted at a way younger audience than myself, and needed updated referents.

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jonnywarlock said on March 8th, 2009 at 9:32 am

Anybody else think some of the soundtrack choices were suspect? Some of them (HALLELUJAH!) got the biggest laughs where I was watching…

Definitely agree that Rorschach was the best part of this movie. I also liked the Comedian’s scenes, Blake evokes all the right emotions: Fear, anger, revulsion, even a bit of pity… just like in the original.

Also, the title sequence was just lovely.

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mygif

Having not read the book, I disliked everything but Rorschach’s badassness. Once my roommate explained the book to me however, I appreciate that they tried to stick to the book as closely as they did.

The music may have still been too much, though.

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mygif

Hilarious element to the soundtrack which probably spoiled things for those who figured it out:

The Muzak playing when Veidt talks to the oil execs is “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”

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mygif

Just got back from seeing the movie, having read the graphic novel through a second time last night. I liked the movie for what it was. It was entertaining and I never got bored. It had it’s strong points and weak points, just as the graphic novel does. I like the graphic novel and have respect for what it did for the medium, but I’ve never found it to be the end all be all that many make it out to be, so I suppose my feelings about the movie will naturally be more accepting and laxed than people who have strong feelings about the book.

Viewing from a parody/hyper-realistic standpoint it works and makes the lines and the stylized action believable in a way where trying to look at it as “reality” doesn’t. I think Snyder managed to carry over a lot of the general themes and feel of the book, though it wasn’t as dark. I have the feeling that the director’s cut might work better in that regard.

I actually liked the ending in some ways better than the graphic novel’s. I thought the “doomsday plot” for the movie worked better, and I liked that Dan actually showed some emotion and reacted to things as opposed to just shrugging and saying “Ok” as they all go along with it. For an adaptation I think it worked rather well for what it was, though I don’t think people who haven’t read the graphic novel will like it as much. My dad went with me to see it and didn’t like the story. Like I said in a previous post, like the novel, the movie will probably end up being fairly polarizing.

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mygif

I agree that the opening credits are fantastic and used to great effect.

I fail to see the problem with the soundtrack. Wagner in one scene and Boogeyman in another, I thought, were just fine. I thought Snyder was going for a darkly humorous note with them.

And yeah, Nixon’s make up was pretty bad. Being a Michi-gander, I missed Gerald Ford. Was Ford in the movie? If so, I did not see him.

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Robwiss: It’s not a snafu. Mason’s sign about obsolete models just refers to non-modern cars now. In the book, there’s been electric cars brought about by Manhattan/Veidt for years. In the movie, the developing the energy is the point setting up the ending. Shooting Lee Iacoccoa is the new kidnapping comic artists.

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malakim2099 said on March 8th, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Well, having seen it yesterday, I think it was a decent movie.

But it really could have been so much more. And in that, it’s a disappointment. I don’t even mind the lack of giant space squid, as the new solution works a little smoother, to me anyway.

And honestly, I didn’t think the actress for Laurie was that bad. I just think she was forced to portray a character that is never given much of an explanation or rationale, like she was in the comics. I think she really gets the short end of the stick. The Mars confrontation between her and Jon were given short work in favor of… what, stretching out the prison break-in and the hawt sexx0rz?

(And I would have really liked to see the confrontation at the end between Rorschach and his landlady in there. It’s just a small bit, but it shows that he’s still got a tenuous grasp on his humanity. Also, why a cleaver? Just burn the place down like Rorschach did in the novel!)

I will wait on my final verdict until I see the Director’s Cut. But too much that was important was rushed, and too much that was not was stretched out. Overall though, it wasn’t a bad movie to me, just a disappointing one (but still, overall, more on the good side of things).

Rorschach is going to be the hip costume for 2009 Halloween though. I’m calling it now.

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mygif

Chalk another one up for Bad!

Snyder replaced most of the big themes, dilemmas, ironies, etc. with his passion for lurid slomo sex and violence. I knew things would go wrong when the movie “faithfully” cut Dr. Manhattan’s interview with Laurie/Dan fight scene, which upstaged the interview instead of played off the strange parallels in the situations.

I don’t expect the director’s cut to fix stuff like this (and most of the other stuff everyone else has pointed out). I think the best possible adaptation of Watchmen would be in 12 (TV?) episodes, maybe one hour each, and not by Zack Snyder, who fails to grasp the material. And this would still not be a “perfect” adaptation, but it would have a better shot.

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mygif

What’s up with all the people who are waiting on the Director’s Cut? Director’s Cuts are total cop-outs now. I mean, before they represented the unique vision of the creator before the studio or the general difficulties of the filmmaking process got involved (and represented the fact that the creator couldn’t deal with people worth a damn). But now they’re just compromises. The abridged version gets released to theaters so the movie has a hope in hell of making money, and the 17-hour Unrated Cocksucker Edition gets sent to DVD to squeeze the fanboys for a little extra cash and convince the director that he’s a real person with his own opinions and everything. So then the fanboys gush over the cut, because it’s more complete than the theatrical edition, and people start treating guys like Zack Snyder like they’re real directors. Directors should be unstable and pretentious like Welles, not all geeky and reverent.

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mygif

I just realized today what this film reminded me of.

Gus Van Sant’s Psycho. It wasn’t an adaptation, it was a remake. A pointless, empty remake.

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mygif

I saw it tonight and I’ll explain it the way I explained it to my girlfriend…

You’re at the beach watching as the sun goes down and strikes the glistening sea just so; the image itself is enough to make you believe in a higher power. You take a picture of the sunset.

Days or even years later you look at the picture you took of that sunset and are reminded of how glorious that sunset was, and though the picture captures the vision of what you saw, it doesn’t capture the essence. To somebody who wasn’t there, they may look at the picture and say, “Oh that’s beautiful,” but to you it’s just a picture of something infinitely more beautiful.

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mygif

Joel,
People wait on the directors cut because unless you’re Steven Spielberg with enough clout in Hollywood to keep the suits from screwing with you incessantly, the directors cut of the film is generally the only time the movie can be shown the way the director intended it to be shown without being cut to pieces or dumbed down for the general audience. I agree, they can be a cop-out, because the DC DVDs have become something of a compromise for filmmakers, where they may not fight as hard for the original cut of their work when they know that the they’ll get their super-ducky edition later on to validate themselves to the fans. I don’t really lump Snyder in that category in this case, however. Watchmen was already nearly three hours long and it’s understandable that stuff would have to be cut down or out of the theatrical cut to make it viewable for theaters. That’s just how things work. Hell, I’m a fan and I wouldn’t sit through a 6 hour version in a traditional theater, no matter how good it was. At home is a different story.

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mygif

I just realized today what this film reminded me of.

Gus Van Sant’s Psycho. It wasn’t an adaptation, it was a remake. A pointless, empty remake.

Funny enough, that was how I explained my reaction to a friend. This wasn’t an adaptation, it was a shot-by-shot remake of another film.

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equinox216 said on March 9th, 2009 at 10:29 am

I felt like it wasn’t fantastic, not tremendous… it held off from disappointing me, but it didn’t make me go ‘Woo! Definitive and great!’ Fending off disappointment was probably because Rorschach WAS fantastic, and Dr. Manhattan was pretty good. Their character establishment sequences (and, generally speaking, Rorschach as a whole) were the high point of the movie for me.

But all I could think of when I saw Nite Owl II on screen for the first time was “Fletch lives?” He grew on me, gradually, but STILL.

It just didn’t click for me as an adaptation, and it wasn’t for fanboyish reasons. It didn’t work for me as a MOVIE; I would’ve forgiven it a lot if it’d just been well-constructed. But the ‘nuclear scare’ tension simply didn’t get communicated to the point of saying “This is a civilization on the brink of total self-annihilation”, which I think is really key to the feel of Watchmen. That, and Malin whatserface was turrible.

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mygif

“Anybody else think some of the soundtrack choices were suspect? Some of them (HALLELUJAH!) got the biggest laughs where I was watching…”

Yeah, same when I saw it. That ridiculous use of a fractured piece Mozart’s Requiem also got a lot of laughter, but that might have been Snyder’s intention.

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Thousand Sons said on March 9th, 2009 at 9:18 pm

“Anybody else think some of the soundtrack choices were suspect? Some of them (HALLELUJAH!) got the biggest laughs where I was watching…”

I felt that “Sounds Of Silence” was a weird choice for the Comedian’s funeral.

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mygif

Eh, I liked it quite a bit. It wasn’t genius, but it was okay. I was mostly going for the sake of finding out important things like what would Rorshach’s mask look like if it were really moving.

The answer to that is that Rorshach’s mask looks TOTALLY FREAKING COOL when it’s really moving. So for that, and for unexpected bonuses like the opening credit montage and Jackie Earl Haley, I consider it ticket money well spent, and I’ll probably go again so I can watch it in Imax.

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not mike carlin said on March 10th, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Nobody wants to look up “Republic Serials” on Wikipedia when they’re in the middle of watching a movie. Maybe in Toronto people are always talking about Republic and using their stereotypes as hipster shorthand, but Hollywood is under strict orders not to use ambiguous references.

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mygif

If this adaptation does anything to diminish Alan Moore’s pretentious loli-pedo-gnostic star, it will have done the world a great service.

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mygif

We found the squid in the movie!

Easter Egg Time:

http://fullbodytransplant.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/watchmen-easter-egg/

Word.

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mygif

Opinions are opinions. Everyone has one, and is entitled to it.

I saw it yesterday, and I enjoyed it. The only part of the comic/graphic novel I’ve read was the scene in Ozy’s ‘lair’ at the end and it confused me out of context. That’s okay though.

What a LOT of people seem to be forgetting – when they criticize it for being ‘too serious’ by cutting out some jokes, or ‘too silly’ because of things like “I’m Your Boogie Man” playing while the Comedian assaults protesters – is that this was a comic book movie. The original, from what I’ve since learned, is full of parody and irony, and even a little old fashioned comic book goofiness.

The movie may not have preserved it in the exact same way as the comic (I find it mildly ironic that the movie being too much straight from the comic is also a complaint in a separate breath) – I think that it captured enough of it for a good movie.

As someone with limited knowledge of the original story… there’s only ONE thing that left me going “Wait, what?” and that was Ozy’s lynx thing. It just shows up in the last section of the movie, is disintegrated, and that’s it. No explanation, nothing. I think a “space squid” would have been an even further “wtf” step into absurdity if it had been put into the end of the film (which was made to apparently be decently gritty-realistic).

Ozy’s line change (from “Republic serial villain” to “comic book villain”) worked for me. It did not detract from the moment. It isn’t like he stopped to wait for the laugh track, or winked at the camera. He continued on to explain HOW he was different from the moustache twirling villain, who typically tells the good guy his plans before carrying them out. I have to tell you that “Republic serial villain” to a standard movie-goer… would probably translate somehow to “Star Wars” – and still wouldn’t make any sense. A little self-mocking is good for a story, and I felt Ozy delivered that line well. I grinned a little, but given the drama of the scene, it didn’t get the laugh it might’ve if placed otherwise. In that, I have to second “not mike carlin” – it would have been ambiguous and detracting for me as a casual viewer had it been left as the original line.

I had no trouble with the flashbacks, and I understood that they were giving me story that otherwise I wouldn’t get. Story that fleshed out WHO these characters were, or what made them who they are now. The insult from Hooded Justice to the Comedian? I honestly can’t remember what it was. If I were reading a comic and it were obscure, then maybe the explanation (which comes later on Mars?) would be necessary – I am more likely to recall little things like that in reading than in viewing. In the movie… a guy is raping a girl, teammate comes in. He could have said “You fucking bastard” for all I know. An insult is mandatory in that situation. I don’t remember it, so it couldn’t have been obscure enough to be confusing.

The electric cars/obsolete models thing…

I guess that was one of the places in the movie where I caught a LOT more metaphor than people who want to focus on “no electric cars til the end!” When current Nite Owl left Hollis’s place – Hollis being the original and all – the sign had a lot more impact. The sign wasn’t about -cars- there. That sign was about the Masks. The old ones, the new ones – because they were no longer welcome in their world. Etc, etc. A brainer person could turn that aspect alone into an essay of gigantic proportions.

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squishydish said on April 22nd, 2009 at 9:30 am

Hey, did anyone else see the Comcast Dream Big Future Hopping Commercial Ad Sing-Along, spot the giant squid attacking the city, and wonder if it were a shout-out to the original Watchmen? Just me then? Oh well. (Mail me if you want a link to it.)

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