March 9, 2009

Off Topic: DKSB Reviews Watchmen

(Yes, I know those are the Minutemen.. I just thought it was an awesome pic, so I stole it from a post on io9)

I’ve never read Alan Moore’s Watchmen, and I went out of my way not to read it before seeing the film version Friday night. I wanted to judge Zach Snyder’s film adaptation strictly on its own merits instead of comparing it to the graphic novel, but I probably should have come in armed with more backstory jammed into my mind grapes.

This movie is painstakingly aimed at satisfying the fans of the book, at least in a visual sense. On that level, Watchmen is a beautiful film. For film nerds, this will demand multiple Blue-Ray viewings on giant HDTVs in a few months, just to catch all of the obsessive detail that Snyder crammed into each frame of the movie.

However, even at almost three hours long, most of the characters seem too thin, and even the world Moore/Snyder created seems short of “fully realized.” The source material seems to demand an old-fashioned big-budget TV mini-series treatment (HBO?) to fully flesh out the characters and the world they inhabit.

It’s a solid, entertaining night at the movies, and probably the best any filmmaker could have done with the “unfilmable” source material. I’ll give the rumored four-hour cut another look on DVD in a few months.

Some random observations:

-Woah, maybe I’m becoming an old fuddy-duddy, but did the movie need to be THAT brutally violent? I certainly didn’t see that coming.

-Seriously, why put young women in terrible old age make-up to play old women WHEN YOU COULD HIRE AN OLDER ACTRESS?

-Lots of Dr. Manhattan’s flaccid blue dong. LOTS of it… Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

-The most interesting characters/performances BY FAR? Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian..

Grade: B… What did y’all think?


Cat Eating Alien said...

I think you had to have read the comic to really enjoy the movie. It's the comic, panel for panel minus a lot of the character development and minor characters. I wasn't in love with the squid, so I didn't find the new-ish ending as offensive as other did. But the loss of the sidetracks is what makes the story look not as great as made out to be.
But the side stories +deeper character development +Tales of the Black Freighter would've been bordering on a 4 hour movie so I can't fault it too much.

AH said...

It was pretty good, real close to the novel, which I'm reading now. Nothing wong with violence, but as you was a bit much at times.

B seems like a good grade.