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Who Hated THE WATCHMEN?

22

Oct

Posted by Steve

watchmen_final_poster.jpgIn this piece, our good friend and girly geek Kaci examines THE WATCHMEN.   I realized that I never quite gave my review of the movie and Kaci’s views (albeit harsher than mine) are kinda similar.  So what you’re about to read is a blogversation (a word I just made up) between Kaci and I concerning THE WATCHMEN.  My words are in blue italics an Kaci’s are normal.  Enjoy and comment:

Watchmen.

Lame. Lame. Lame. Boring. And more lame.

I wouldn’t say LAME.  It is a movie and a graphic novel that is full of it’s own self importance, but what a story.  It is one of the fullest, richest stories to come out of any comic that I’ve ever read.  Of course, I’m referring to the graphic novel.  The movie, while a good adaptation of the comic did have to strip away many of the elements that caused the comic series to be so layered.

Yesterday, when I went out to check my mail, I found two red envelopes in the box. Whoohoo for Netflix! I love getting fun things in the mail. (Agreed) One disk was part of the “True Blood” series and the other was “Watchmen.” So far, I think “True Blood” is … meh, but perhaps I should wait to talk about that another time. I was ready to watch “Watchmen.”

And after three long hours, I have to say this girly geek really hated that movie.

(It was the naked blue guy wasn’t it?)

I hated how Rorschach imitates Batman’s deep, raspy voice and how the ink in his mask kept moving around. It just made me want to smack someone. — Hey, special effects guy, get over here!

Before everyone jumps on Kaci, she’s read the comic, she knows the ink is supposed to move.  She just didn’t enjoy how it looked on film.   That’s the point she’s making.  I do have to say however, I can’t think of any other way for Rorschach to speak.  When I read the comic I imagined that rough, raspy, “Batmanish” voice.   I DID have a little problem with the mask effects though.  I thought the ink moved to swiftly.  I would have preferred a slower more subtle movement to the ink because I think that would make Rorschach a little more intimidating to his enemies…a little creepier as it looks like his face may be slowly coming apart or drooping or melting.  The effects crew just decided to move it faster than I imagined it is all.

I also hated how Dan Dreiberg sounded like a cheap imitation of Reeves’ Clark Kent; Ozymandias was laughably too skinny; and all the outfits and costumes were terr-i-ble — the 80’s were not nice to adults, apparently. Laurie’s hair was eww. — I really hope that was a wig. And Dr. Manhattan was pathetic. I understand I should feel bad for him since he is so tragically falling out of touch with humanity, and the women in his life eventually leave him because of his emotional distance, but I feel nothing for the guy.

Well, I think this is Alan Moore’s most blatant point with this book.  I don’t think the guy particularly cares for superheroes.  So everyone in the movie was a deconstruction of sorts of several different (what have become) archetypal superheroes.  Dan represented the altruism of characters like Superman coupled with the adventure seeking of characters like Blue Beetle.  Ozymandius is that Lex Luthor type who fancies himself the hero of the story when ultimately he’s the villain.  (His character is a lot more gray than that, but just go with me for the sake of argument.)  Dr. Manhattan represents the alien side of some of the more powerful superheroes like Superman or Martian Manhunter.  I honestly think that Moore, for all his genius, can’t wrap his mind around the simple concept that someone as powerful as a Superman or Martian Manhunter would actually be concerned with humanity.

But I should not have been surprised that the movie was lame. I read the graphic novel a few months ago because I heard the writer was a genius, and it was torture. Actually, there you go military folks. Heck with waterboarding. Just stick that terrorist in a cell with nothing to do but read “Watchmen,” and he’ll give you answers. I think Alan Moore writing was egotistical and self-indulgent. And the movie came across the same way. I guess in that respect it was an accurate portrayal of the graphic novel.

I totally understand where you’re coming from.  I agree to a point.  I didn’t like WATCHMEN on my first read either, but as I think back on the story, I can’t deny how well-crafted it is.  However, there are a LOT of people that worship at the altar of Alan Moore.  I can’t say that I’m one of them.

This movie was very highly praised when it opened, although I don’t understand why. Maybe all the critics watched were the opening and closing credits. Perhaps they were like, “Wow, that was a really great movie. I haven’t slept so good since ‘Titanic.’”  BAAA-ZING!

For me, the best part of the movie was listening to “The Times, They Are A-Changin’” playing over the opening credits. But I mean, who doesn’t dig Dylan. Now that man’s a genius. (Agreed.  In fact, he’s playing as I’m preparing this blog article.)

So even though this is not a timely review this probably matters little, but I would still give this a one-star rating at best. And I would tell anyone who hasn’t seen the film to consider him/herself lucky. The only thing you’ve missed is one seriously lame and boring flick.

I have a different take on the film on several levels.  The movie does something that only a handful of superhero movies have done to date – it strays very little from the source material.  The choices of what to leave in and take out were reasonable and understandable.  The costumes WERE the costumes of the characters in the comics. In my opinion, the casting was just right.  I can’t think of any other actors I could see in those roles.  However, as well executed as this film was, I can’t get past the fact that I didn’t really like the premise of the story or the presuppositions about superheroes that Alan Moore brings to his story.  So that detracts from my enjoyment of the movie.  It’s not the movie’s fault.  This was as nearly a flawless execution of any comic book adaptation that we’ve seen.  So I would give it 2 and a half stars.  It’s half perfect and that comes from the people who worked so hard to give the fans of this comic a great movie.  They succeeded in pleasing fans of the Watchmen comic I think.  However, I came to the party not a fan so my opinion was tainted before they ever started playing Dylan.

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4 Responses to “Who Hated THE WATCHMEN?”

  1. Robin Says:

    Lame? No, you are wrong.

    So what you’re saying is: the only good thing about this was the Dylan song. But buy the movie to support the site? lol You lost me when you decided to comment on Laurie’s hair, Girl Geek.

    And Steve, if you don’t think Alan Moore cares about superheroes, I suggest you check out the Superman stories “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow” and “For the Man Who Has Everything”. Also, of course, “The Killing Joke” and his proposed series to DC called “Twilight of the Superheroes”. I really think he thought a lot about what makes superheroes tick. If he can’t wrap his head around their emotions and their connections with mankind, he wouldn’t have put so much thought into these stories and “Watchmen”.

    And when it comes to Doctor Manhattan, I think his mind is working on a totally different plain than Supes or the Manhunter. He can take apart and assemble things even as tiny as atoms. His mind is very analytical since the accident and his consciousness is in the past, present and future at the same time. After he had been set up with the whole cancer scare, he is obviously going to feel a bit distant from humanity.

    Anyway, I’m sure this doesn’t change either of your opinions, but I couldn’t help but retort. Some of the criticism of this movie just felt a little bit unjustified. I think this is one of the best comic book adaptations to date.

  2. bighonkin Says:

    Hey Robin, I’m not an idiot, I know people like or are curious about the Watchmen, so if they want to check out the comic or movie, OR pick up one of the best film soundtracks in a while and click right through from the site and pick it up from Amazon thus supporting the site. (You know I’m the shameless self-promoter)

    As to your other points. I agree that it is the most well done comic book adaptation to date. I said as much. I just am not a fan of the story.

    I am also familiar with those Alan Moore stories you mentioned. I’m also aware that the Watchmen storyline is adapted from a story he pitched to be a Justice League story that DC rejected. So, I don’t think it’s a stretch to call Dr. Manhattan a Superman or J’onn J’onz type character, not because the powers are similar but because he is so much more than human.

    All in all, I see why people are so fond of the story, I’m just not a fan, and I can see why Kaci isn’t either.

    BUY STUFF!

  3. Robin Says:

    BUY STUFF! lol

  4. Grant Says:

    I loved Watchmen. I have never read the dead tree version, but the movie knocked my socks off.

    There is something so beautiful to me about the telling of a tragic tale. That is the same reason why Godfather 3 resonates with me, but not with other people. I don’t need my protagonists to be happy. All I really want out of a story is to have strong emotions evoked. Watchmen accomplished that in spades.

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