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mygif

I have to say, I found that that the most riveting character in the movie was Manhattan’s giant blue dick. A pack of angry penguins could have flown by in the background and nobody could have noticed, focused as they were on Manhattan’s Special Freezie.

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mygif

It wasn’t as bad as I expected. But that says alot for my expectations. Since I had low expectations I was able to mostly enjoy it. Though I didnt see the last two minutes of the happy ending since the film caught fire (true story).

My biggest complaint is if you drop the slow mo it loses an hour. Christ Snyder hurts my head,

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mygif

Told you: No Such Thing as a good comic-book-to-movie adaptation – at least, when you’re adapting directly from a single specific source. Moore saw this coming and backed out; Gaiman saw it coming with the first script to Coraline (which, I admit, is an illustrated novel, but it’s essentially the same difference), and had Henry Selick make it into, you know, a movie.

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mygif

I’m actually pretty glad that everybody thinks is a mediocre-to-bad movie, cause I have no money to go to the cinema. I guess I’ll watch it on DVD in a couple of weeks.
On the meantime: Into the Wild Green Yonder.

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mygif

Man, I was afraid I was going to be the only geek not blowing Snyder after seeing this.

(Rorschach’s hot fat attack actually got applause at the screening I attended.)

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mygif

But wasn’t the film supposed to be funny, even verging on camp in parts? (Rather than just “obviously put forward as Really Serious”?) I thought that Snyder was pretty clearly trying to parody superhero movies & their tropes, and on that level I thought it worked. And if you’re trying to play up the parodic aspect of Watchmen, then a meta-humorous laugh is just what you want at the dramatic climax of your movie.

After all, the original graphic novel is parodic too, it’s just that Moore’s irony and dark humour is mostly overshadowed by the serious aspects of the story… Ozymandias’s “Republic serial villain” line was always supposed to be funny & self-reflexive, even though it’s also serious and chilling at the same time.
I think I kind of agree with everything you’ve said, but I thought the actors’ arch line readings and the film’s ott elements were kind of the point… or Snyder’s point, anyhow.

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Eric TF Bat said on March 6th, 2009 at 7:03 am

Uh, actually, I quite liked it.

Some of the metaphysical imagery was particularly effective. Interesting rhythmical devices too, which seemed to counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor…

(And how many of your audience will get THAT reference, hmmm?)

But no: I think it was quite good enough. I didn’t mind Laurie, though I found Richard Nixon’s nose to be entirely obnoxious, and the makeup generally let the whole thing down. Especially Sally-at-67. The slow-mo got a bit dull at times, but at least it was easier to follow than the chaotic fight scenes in The Dark Knight. It worked for me, and left me smiling.

Guess I’m just not enough of a po-mo literature wonk. Hey ho.

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@Eric: OK, I’m ready for it to be bad, but it can’t seriously be *Vogon poetry* bad, can it? Or else you would all be *dead* with brains liquescing out your ears.

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lairdofdarkness said on March 6th, 2009 at 8:14 am

I really liked it. There are a few things that have annoyed me very slightly (the bad old age make up being one of them) but overall I am pleasantly suprised how much of the book is in there. Some scenes could have done with more time dedicated to them (Laurie and Jon on Mars for example) but overall it was as good an adaptation as I could have hoped for. I did go in thinking it was like a cover version of a song I loved and that definately helped. The mate I saw it with has never read the book and he got almost everything. He is off to read the book this weekend and then go back with his wife to see it again next week. It will be very interesting to see this weekends box office figures compared with next weeks though. I have a horrible feeling it may not entrance the general public as much as is hoped.

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Quixim said:

“I have to say, I found that that the most riveting character in the movie was Manhattan’s giant blue dick. A pack of angry penguins could have flown by in the background and nobody could have noticed, focused as they were on Manhattan’s Special Freezie.”

Who watches the Crotchmen?

And Eric…all of us. Sheesh. You could at least try dropping a Dirk Gently ref if you were trying to be obscure. :)

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Noah Brand said on March 6th, 2009 at 8:32 am

I saw it months ago at a test screening, and I saw it tonight, and the theatrical release is worse. No Captain Metropolis, no Hollis Mason after the first scene (Hollis had a very, very awesome death scene in the cut I saw) and a lot of similar small, stupid cuts. They did, however, keep in the one scene that got howls of derisive laughter at the test screening: Dan and Laurie’s inTERMINABLE sex scene. It just keeps going and going and going nowhere.

What’s more, a lot of the changes seem to be in a certain direction: that of getting WATCHMEN declared one of those Great Conservative Movies that fight against Liberal Big Hollywood and so on and so forth. I know, I know, it’s not, but if you live in the parallel world where Obama is a communist and THE DARK KNIGHT was about George W. Bush, you’ll find a lot to like in this movie. Ozymandias’s status as a liberal is underlined more than once, and he’s played as though he knows he’s the villain. If he had a mustache, he would be twirling it. His joy at successfully saving the world is deleted, and Nite Owl gets an additional new line about how he’s perverted human nature, or something. I don’t know, I’ve seen the line twice and it didn’t make sense either time.

Mind you, I still liked the movie overall. I just liked it better in the other cut, and I’m sad that certain assholes will take it as validation.

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mygif

Some of the metaphysical imagery was particularly effective. Interesting rhythmical devices too, which seemed to counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor…

(And how many of your audience will get THAT reference, hmmm?)

Pretty much everyone. Thanks for the softball.

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mygif

With this crowd, a sports reference is more likely to go over people’s head than a Douglas Adams one.

Rather disappointed by the bad reviews from fans of the original work. I was expecting it from ‘outsiders’, but this… well, at least I’ll go in with low expectations.

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Odd King said on March 6th, 2009 at 9:20 am

Good to know. After seeing 300, I was surprised to see positive reviews for any Snyder comic book movie, especially one based on a comic I had actually read.

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Lister Sage said on March 6th, 2009 at 9:27 am

“Rather disappointed by the bad reviews from fans of the original work.”

It was obvious to me once I’d heard that they dropped the squid (which I don’t know if they acctually did as I haven’t seen it and don’t plan to unless a Rifftrax comes out for it) that this movie, despite what Snyder has said, is NOT about appeasing the fans. He may playcate to them so that they will still spend the money to see it, but it in no way was going to be anything more then Generic Comic Book Movie #84. Nothing I read in the post or comments has swayed by opinion otherwise. It’s a multimillion dollar movie and WB wants it’s money back. So they will simplify (read: dumbing down) the plot so that anyone can come in go, “Oh, so Ozmandaius was the bad guy.” and leave feeling satisfied.

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Nora Bombay said on March 6th, 2009 at 9:28 am

Thank you for saving me the $10 I was thinking of spending on this.

I’m going to use it for something more socially productive, like vodka.

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Lister Sage said on March 6th, 2009 at 9:29 am

Something I forgot: Kevin Smith said this was awesome? See, this right here, is why I don’t listen to Kevin Smith. That and Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil that Men Do.

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mygif

Actually, MGK, you’ve raised my expectations a bit here. Nowhere in your review does it sound like Snyder missed the point of the novel, which means it’s already better than I was expecting. I was expecting a movie where the audience is expected to cheer for Rorschach and Nite Owl as if they were heroes and boo at Ozymandias as if he were a villain without getting at the fact that all of the characters in masks are fucking nutjobs with deep personal issues and shouldn’t be cheered as heroes but rather locked up somewhere for the safety of everyone else in the world.

The clips I’ve seen of Veidt sure gave me the impression that Snyder had decided to cast him as the villain in a melodrama – the makeup, the clothing, the somber attitude, the grey tomb that he has for an office – all of it screams “Here’s the Villain – Look over here!” Which, you know, kind of undermines the whole fucking deal with Veidt, who is a monster, but whose monsterhood is hidden behind a really good veil of gregariousness, high achievement, and “good intentions”. And the clips with Rorschach all look like he took “Rorschach as hero” seriously without internalizing the (what I always think is) fairly obvious irony that drips off the page when Moore writes Rorschach.

If he managed to avoid those kinds of mistakes and the problems come down to “poor adaptation skills” and “bad choice of actor”, I’d actually count it as a minor win, given that I was expecting it to be a couple hours of “visual example of missing the point entirely”.

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mygif

They’re gonna get my 10 bucks. We’ll see how it goes.

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lance lunchmeat said on March 6th, 2009 at 9:45 am

He’s gearing up to make another post entitled “It’s good,” you know.

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K. McAleese said on March 6th, 2009 at 9:49 am

Well, I guess I don’t have to drag my coughing body out of bed to see the movie then! I’ll wait for the netflix.

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bliumchik said on March 6th, 2009 at 9:58 am

I, too, was hypnotized by Manhattan’s swingin’ action in a couple of scenes – it’s quite hard to take somebody seriously when their dangly bits are swaying gently in the breeze.

My main complaint about this movie is that APPARENTLY it was SO HARD to fit as much material as they did into it and SO HARD to choose what to cut AND YET the Comedian’s death scene, proportionally speaking, streeeetched in between the book and the movie, and the sex scenes, tastefully conveyed in a few panels in the original, streeeetched, and really? REALLY? They COULDN’T FIT THINGS INTO THIS MOVIE?

I hate it when directors don’t get the “less is more” principle. Hitchcock would’ve known what to do with this movie. For christ’s sake, the moment BEFORE the saw hit the man’s arm was TERRIFYING, and every extra second of gore-focus after that was more and more irritating. You DO NOT NEED to punch the comedian in the face thirty times and throw him around the room over and over again, WE GET IT ALREADY. (Besides which, this is Ozymandias, who likes to think of himself as a good guy – would he really spend time picking the guy up and throwing him down again when he could go for a cleanish kill as soon as he subdued him enough?)

In sum: Zack Snyder/Slomo is my OTP. (not really)

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mygif

I had absolutely no expectations that this would be anything relatively close to a decent adaptation of the original novel. I think I’ll be waiting until this hits the cheap theaters.

Lister,

The first two issues of TETMD were decent, its everything that followed that sucked ass… including the.. what was it? a three year delay between issues?

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mygif

I refused an invitation from a friend to go see this with her tomorrow night, not so much because I expect not to like it as I don’t want her to see how much of a dick I can be when I don’t like something.

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karellan said on March 6th, 2009 at 11:05 am

I’ll be seeing it over the weekend. Because of Snyder’s approach to these kinds of things, I pretty much expect him to just copy panel for panel, word for word, as much of the comic as possible within the time limit. Of course, with Watchmen, that’s not going to work. The thing is so packed with metaphor and symbolism that context becomes absolutely vital.

The only way to really make a “good” movie out of Watchmen is to completely reimagine it. I’m thinking like they did with the Children of Men, Fight Club, and Blade Runner film adaptations. Watchmen isn’t like Sin City where you can just make a direct 1:1 conversion.

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mygif

LIES

ALL LIES

IT WAS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE

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mygif

I loved it, but I’ve been deliberately avoiding the comic – I prefer films to comics, so I didn’t want to see it and think “They ruined character X or scene Y!” – I wanted to view it as a movie.

As a movie, I think it stood up.

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Lister Sage said on March 6th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Zenrage: Yeah, three year delay.

Honestly, I’ve only read about three pages of it. Unfortunately it includes the date rape part and up until that moment I thought that Smith was a good writer. But to fall onto that old cliché of female characters, especially a character I like, and as a motivation for her character? No, sorry, fuck you Smith, no more from you. Oh, and that dance sequence in Clerks 2 was OOT and shit.

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mygif

Huh. MGK, you are the first person that doesn’t like the movie whose opinion I respect. Every other blogger or critic whose opinions align with mine likes it. Interesting.

Well, tonight I’ll find out for myself.

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RobotKeaton said on March 6th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I’ll be one of the other people to say I liked it. It was fun and funny, and just an overall enjoyable film. I was kinda worried that Snyder wasn’t gonna play up the irony, but he did a good job.

Also, the music choices were hilarious. Anyone that didn’t laugh when 99 Luftballoons came on is soulless.

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mygif

I keep hearing drastically different opinions about this. It’s so confusing.

It’s likely I won’t see it anyway, as I barely watch movies anymore.

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mygif

I had a different reaction, but there were only three of us in the theater:

http://fullbodytransplant.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/watchmen-review-with-trading-cards/

Good times.

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mygif

The movie was poor.

The flashbacks that fill in the backstory of the characters are not set up. A viewer who has not read the novel would have a hard time understanding why they should care about the flashbacks.

My favorite jokes and moments from the novel were all gone, rewritten to not be funny anymore, not set up with the appropriate backstory, or acted and edited poorly. These include Manhattan telling the low rank soldier he’s leaving for Mars, then disappearing; Laurie setting Dan’s basement on fire when she tries to light her cigarette; Rorschach’s interaction with Big Figure (The background music was so loud I could barely make out what Rorschach was saying, not to mention there was no set up of who Big Figure was before Rorschach got to prison); Veidt explaining that if the assassin had shot him first he would have caught the bullet, then smiling when he’s asked if he’s serious. The only reason Rorschach’s “You’re all in here with me” line got a cheer from the audience in my theater is that the theater was packed with fanboys for the 12:01 showing. The delivery and timing of the line were both mediocre to bad.

An earlier commenter correctly complained about how Veidt is portrayed more as a villian in the movie. He’s in a somber, gray office, he wears an evil purple reminiscent of Mr. Glass from Unbreakable, he’s not nearly as handsome as in the novel, and he has on ridiculous looking armor with fake muscles carved on it instead of having real muscles. Veidt wasn’t supposed to be a villain.

Rounding out the list of complaints, the fighting scenes included an excessive amount of combat (excepting the final confrontation between Veidt, Rorschach and Drieberg), the sex scenes were, as previously mentioned, interminable, and there was far too much slowmo. Lastly, there was a snafu. The electric cars are not seen until the end of the movie, after Veidt’s company has begun rebuilding New York yet Hollis’s auto mechanic shop still has its “Obsolete Models a Specialty” sign.

Oh, and for God’s sake Hollywood, let the characters smoke.

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Sean Martin said on March 6th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

,i>As a movie, I think it stood up.

That’s what I’d really like to know. Did it work as a movie? The review I heard on NPR this morning described how the graphic novel was an apex of the artform and incredibly dense (as in “lots of stuff crammed in there”, not as in “stupid”) as ONLY a comic book could be and the movie just could not do the same.

In other words, the entire review was how movies aren’t comic books. But ot one word on whether the movie worked as a MOVIE.

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mygif

So Sean Martin, did the E.T. video game work as a video game?

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mygif

“So Sean Martin, did the E.T. video game work as a video game?”

Given that it had poorly conceived controls and very limited gameplay, no it didn’t.

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mygif

I liked it overall. I missed some stuff, like the psychiatrist’s storyline, but I understand why they cut what they did.

The opening credits were amazing. The ending was rushed. The violence was exaggerated too much by the slow motion, making otherwise normal amounts of violence seem gratuitous.

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Jason B. said on March 6th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I pretty much agree with every single thing you said, and yet I still really enjoyed myself. Weird!

(Oh, but you’re totally dead-on about the “comic book villain” line. That bothered me.)

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Sean D. Martin said on March 6th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Zenrage: So Sean Martin, did the E.T. video game work as a video game?

No idea as I never played it. (Never even heard of it, actually.) But I am considering seeing the Watchmen movie, so if you have anything actually relevant to say please post it. Otherwise…

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DistantFred said on March 6th, 2009 at 4:22 pm

“Worst bit: changing Ozymandias’ “What do you think I am? A Republic serial villain?” to “comic book villain,” to get a meta-humorous laugh, which is just what you want at the dramatic climax of your movie.”

This also seems fundamentally meaningless, given the nature of comic books within the universe.
In a world where the dominant comics are adventure books and pirate stories, ‘comic book villain’ wouldn’t have the same meaning. It’s the reason why Moore went with “Republic Serial Villain” in the first place- it would have to be that or James Bond, because comics in that situation wouldn’t have overdramatic villains explaining their plans quite so often to captured heroes.

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Lister Sage said on March 6th, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Sean Martin: Snyder has been hailing this as the comic for the big screen. That this would be a completely loyal interpretation. Except for the cuts, and the line changes, and the ending, and the backstory. Comparisons to the comic are enviable, but unlike (most) other comic book movies it’s a direct adaptation. If Iron Man was an adaptation of Armor Wars and there were differences we’d be pointing that out instead. It’s like when they do a remake of a movie, it’s not just “Is the movie itself good?”, there’s also an element of “Was this worth remaking?”

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SilverMoonWolf said on March 6th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

I’m not going to try to argue against anything said here, because you’re all far more cerebral than I am.

I sat there, I drank it in, and I enjoyed it for what it was. A movie version of a book I enjoyed. No matter how well or badly made it was, people are going to bitch and bitch and bitch and give whatever reason they think is appropriate for their opinion.

I will concede one point. Malin Akerman was absolutely atrocious. I enjoyed everyone else, especially Patrick Wilson.

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koichi_hirose said on March 6th, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Well, I liked it. I read the novel, and I liked the movie. The songs were awesome and chosen well (Bob Dylan “the times they are a’changing” at the beginning, or “sound of silence”), except maybe for “alleluia” during the ridiculously long sex scene.
There was more action, which is expected and appreciated for a movie adaptation, the feared slow-mo was totally bearable, and the new end works. well, kinda.
The actors were great, Rorschach in particular (the audience here also clapped at the “you’re locked in here with me”).
My only concern is the fact that certain scenes would have had way more impact if they had lasted two seconds more, before a scene change. Well.

So i’d say it was good. Not an excellent adaptation, but a good one, and a quite good movie as well. Go see it, if only for the songs and Rorschach

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mygif

Not sorry that I saw it, but I was rolling my eyes at a couple of points. The sex scene was one. Dr Manhattan’s miracle speech was the other. The soundtrack was way too anivilicious for my taste; there were a couple of points where the music spurred an inappropriate giggle or a split-second “fan-vid” vibe.

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Durandal said on March 6th, 2009 at 7:28 pm

It’s good.

Solid B, best film adaptation that will exist unless someone remakes it in 50 years. Probably one of the better possible film adaptations.

Plus, I’m look forward to seeing Black Freighter animated. It looks like it’ll be interesting.

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mygif

I thought it was pretty good.

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mygif

Eh, I’d suggest everyone to see it for themselves before jumping to conclusions. From the reviews I’ve read so far the movie has seemed to retain the graphic novel’s general “love it or hate it” polarizing effect. I’ve not seen too many middle of the road reviews. Most either really like it (with a few gripes of course) or just really didn’t, and the funny thing is it’s not being divided by fans of the comic and non-fans like you’d think. There seem to be just as many fans of the graphic novel that come out liking it as there are people who’ve never read the graphic novel before and vice-versa, which I find interesting.

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mygif

The violence in the action scenes was just bleh. I kept having to look away. I loved best the parts that weren’t the action scenes.

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mygif

I liked it as an examination/parody of superhero movies, but as a translation… bleh.

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MGK:

Read your review shortly before seeing the movie, and after seeing the movie, I have to say that I like it. It is not perfect by any means, and I wouldn’t go as far as calling it great. Many of the flaws you cited were very much there, and they did mar the enjoyment of it – particularly Matthew Goode’s and Malin Akerman’s acting. And I did think the action scenes were way overdone, and all the slow-mo ate up far too much valuable screentime. That said, I didn’t think the dialogue was nearly as bad as your review suggested. And I don’t quite agree with you about context.

So, not perfect, not even great, but, IMNSHO, still fairly enjoyable.

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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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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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@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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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“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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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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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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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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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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