Tuesday, March 10

The Watchmen Movie Review


Newbie Review:
I can understand how a comic book superhero movie can be intimidating or seem dumb to a person who doesn't know about Watchmen, which is barely known to the mainstream. But if you like The Dark Knight and/or Spider-Man, than you will enjoy this movie. This movie is not for children or the faint of heart. The basic plot of the Watchmen is... what if? What if superheroes or vigilantes would actually exist? It is set in the 80's, where Nixon is still president and we are still in war with the Russians and in fear of Nuclear bombs. Basically, one former vigilante (as vigilantes have been outlawed) has been murdered and one vigilante who has not quit---Rorschach (above) researches.

There is a reason this movie is rated R. It has harsh language, blood (gushing jelly-like blood), rape, lots of gruesome murders, sex, nudity (lots of full frontal penis and butt butt butts) and much more 'depravity.' So if that is not any more reason to watch the movie, then go to the theater. If you think this movie is a 'rip-off,' it is not a 'rip-off,' it is a satire. It takes all we know about comic books and makes it more real and gritty and it is a mirror to our world.

Fanboy Review:
Since I once reviewed the Graphic Novel back in 2006, I wasn't a Watchmen-know-it-all before but now consider myself a big fan. I really do see a bit of myself with most of the characters, I can identify with Laurie, Dan, Rorschach, and Dr. Manhattan. This is a good fucking movie! It is fucking loyal to the book! It is not a page by page enactment. It is just like any book-to-movie adaption, scenes are taken out and scenes are smooshed together and characters are removed or exchanged and this happens here. The movie is wonderfully stylish and still pushes on the point. Wonderfully casted with people who I would have not imagine in the roles, they do fairly well. Theater buff Patrick Wilson plays Dan/Nite Owl (II) as the flabby sadsack he is, maybe with some youthful exuberance but still sadsack. He plays the cowboy, defiantly. Even though I would have picked someone older, Patrick has to play buff Dan and sadsack Dan in the movie, so he was a good choice.

Malin Ackerman surprised me in the role of Laurie, who I had the highest amount of respect for. Laurie has always been the strongest backbone of the book and Malin certainly does hold it. Even though her accent does leak through sometimes and her bangs are a bit distracting, she does a great job. Jeffrey Dean Morgan IS the Comedian. Jackie Earle Haley IS Rorschach, he even looks good in red hair and he has the voice right. Maybe just a bit of too much overacting in his mask---it is like mime. Billy Crudup seems a little too soft-voiced for Dr. Manhattan, I always pictured him with a deep voice but eh, what can you do? His voice seems more sympathetic than anything, which I guess was Crudup's way to make Manhattan more relateable. As for Matthew Goode as Adrian/Ozymandias, at first I thought he was too young. He embodies an elder rich feminine intelligent man, even though he doesn't look anything like Adrian in the comic, he does a good job---even with the strange changing accent. I like the touch of nipples on his costume. Carla Gugino delves herself in the character of Sally Jupiter, she is awesome and a great choice; hope she gets some more work.

The music choices were interesting. Just like in a book, we have music in own heads so they are not gonna match. Some of the choices made me cringe but I liked the 70's/80's soundtrack. I did like one choice... and it was a subtle music cue of "Everyone Wants to Rule the World" when Adrian was attacked. But most of the choices are actually in the book. I will not spoil the ending but it is a bit obvious with Pyramid, than it is in the comic book. For those purists, it was Rorschach who met with Adrian, instead of Dan. The scenes with Rorschach and Moloch (Matt Frewer, "Max Headroom") were merged, time restraints of course. I did kind of irk with the Action/Superhero slow motion stuff with the main characters but eh, it's Hollywood.

I love how some scenes were added just for the movie's opening, like the inclusion of scenes of Silhoutte, the lesbian Minuteman. The scenes added are the death of her and her girlfriend and her kissing her nurse girlfriend, echoing the V-J Day Kiss. Which is fucking awesome! "not only foreshadowing The Silhouette’s demise, but ramming it home just how different their world is." --Davebrendon's Weblog I could not have said it any better. I loved Silhoutte, no one remembers her, mainly because she was just a Tertiary character but I remembered her because she is a lesbian. Also great is how in the small part of the hero caught in a revolving door with his cape is showed in the opening part without explaination. It is cool how things exist in the movie without explaination but if you read the book, you would know what they were talking about it.

Great casting! Rob LaBelle from "First Wave" as Wally Weaver, Danny Woodburn ("Seinfeld") as Big Figure and Niall Matter as Mothman! If your biggest problem is that Dr. Manhattan's junk is shown throughout the movie, GET OVER IT!!!! The movie does reflect our current situation and how Bush could have just made war to find peace. The end justifies the means and nothing really changes, the world keeps a turning. Okay Spoilery Fan discussion stuff: The replacement of the giant squid and telepathy with Dr. Manhattan is a bit easy, but a no-brainier. It does make sense to change it to him. But it does change the equilibrium in the relationship between Adrian and Manhattan. I liked how Adrian was proud of himself in the book and thought Manhattan would support him but he didn't and then disappear through a globe of the universe. It did seem that Dr. Manhattan had a big shift in emotion and point of view, but at least Rorschach mentioned this shift---I think he mentioned in the book too. His time warp of talking to different people at the same time was omitted... sort of. And Adrian is looked down by Dan, but it doesn't really give the same impact of 'you silly boy' from Dr. Manhattan but more like 'I am ashamed of you.' And Laurie and Dan not hiding their identities in the end gave it a more chipper ending than the somber ending in the book. I never was comfortable with the book's ending even though it was appropriate.