Ys

Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

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Re: Watchmen
Ys
ajodasso

First of all, let me say: I'm a fan of Alan Moore. I love V for Vendetta as a graphic novel, although I'll confess to loving the film adaptation even more. There's something about Moore's work that's incredibly cinematic to begin with, and, in spite of the man's cranky attitude toward any and all adaptations, I have to give the filmmakers credit.

South of Watchmen's opening credits - which are an absolutely masterful sequence of backstory-telling and anchor these events in a reality to which we can all relate before the alternate universe manifests - I found little more than a disconnected sequence of angst and violence, throughout which I could hardly raise the energy to care about what happened next. There are a few especially compelling individuals, I will grant, but more than half the cast of characters really didn't excite me. Now, this is one case in which I hadn't read the graphic novel first; if this might have made some difference in my perception, I have no way of knowing. Rorschach fascinated me, as did Ozymandias, but by and large? Every second Dan and Lori were onscreen, I felt twitchy and disinterested. And that scene with Cohen's recording of "Hallelujah" as background music? So unnecessary. The soundtrack, which had up until then been one of the film's only truly evocative elements, came to a screeching halt and never quite recovered itself (and I'm not just saying that because Cohen's recording of that song happens to be my least favorite of the myriad in existence, either).

In short: loved the opening, was intrigued by two protagonists, disliked all the rest. Flash effects simply aren't enough to get to me. This film lacked an emotional core that I had actually been expecting to find, based on the reports coming from left, right, and center. Huh. Color me surprised. I'll be over here waiting for Milk to come out on DVD.

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I just finished reading the graphic novel a few days ago and saw the film today. I enjoyed seeing the comic come to life immensely, but I think I can safely say that I wouldn't have enjoyed the movie to half the extent I did if I hadn't read Watchmen beforehand. The real joy of reading the comic for me was to slowly discover the backstories of so many of the characters. Doing so with more than a few characters in a film medium, though - they tried to be selective with what characters they covered, and cut down the details on the ones they did delve into, and still it ended up feeling spread thin and a little self-indulgent. Sigh sigh! I still loved it a lot, though. I'd suggest giving the film a second chance if/when you've found the time to read the comic beforehand, if only because it was really really fun for me personally to see what a good job they did visually - some of the scenes were faithful to the very panel - and seeing what they changed, as well, major and minor, regarding plot. It's the first film adaptation of a comic I've seen where I read the comic before watching, so it was certainly a trip.

I've heard that, yes, that many of the visuals are literally lifted from the pages. I do plan on getting my hands on the graphic novel as soon as I have sufficient disposable income again :)

I admit, I quite liked Night Owl (sans Silk Spectre, of course). Aside from that, I think your review is absolutely spot-on. That sex scene is the point where my friends and I all looked at our watches and gave up.

It's been a few years since I read the book, but I remember that it grabbed me, emotionally. The film just left me cold.

Night Owl did have his likeable moments, yes - and usually, they were sans the brunette airhead. That seems to be the general concensus amongst responders here, that the book is fairly powerful, but that the film somehow failed to harness that energy properly.

As a fan of the novel I absolutely loved the film but I did get the impression someone who hadn't read it would not enjoy it as much. I can't wait for the Director's Cut with all the extra background stuff and the depths and layers of the novel that they didn't have time for.

I'm happy to see pretty much everyone loves Rorschach though. He's my favourite, and he's done perfectly. I will agree with you on Dan and Laurie's sex scene though. Well, I mean, it's not unnecessary in itself, but the Cohen version of Hallelujah was really jarring and made it seem just ... I don't know. It didn't sit right.

It's the Hallelujah that made it unnecessary, yes ;)

Is Rorschach's backstory more fully elaborated in the novel? That, I'm interested in.

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The newspaper office bit at the end made me roll my eyes, but the rest of the ending? Wow, I was actually sort of startled and even a little impressed by it; it's not what you expect, but in a weird sort of way, it makes sense.

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Every second Dan and Lori were onscreen, I felt twitchy and disinterested.

Same here! But I felt the same way when I read the comic the first time, too. I always thought that particular threadline was the weakest in the entire GN, even if it was supposed to be the one the readers should identify with the most. I'm probably wrong though, since I tend to have a hard time emotionally connecting to mundane romances.

And that scene with Cohen's recording of "Hallelujah" as background music? So unnecessary.

Wasn't it just?! I had to leave the theater till it was over, because I started laughing out loud the second the song came on. Not only was it a sex scene between a couple I cared nothing for, but it was a sex scene between a couple I cared nothing for while playing the most sarcastic version of Hallelujah there is in existence. It was too much XD

Rorschach was lovely, though. The most human in both the GN and the movie, I think. If the actor hadn't been able to pull off Rorschach so well I probably wouldn't have bothered finishing the movie.


I wish I could've left during that scene, but I was kind of hemmed in. I did a lot of snide whispering in James's ear. Fortunately, he was of the same mind!

I even had a hard time caring about the characters in the book. I love the idea--that there are moral grey areas and really tough decisions and people are messed up--but Watchmen never clicked for me. The movie was interesting, but it felt like it was trying too hard to reproduce the comic onscreen rather than to be a movie, like it ought to have been.

I also hated the "Hallelujah," and "Flight of the Valkyries" made me laugh out loud. It seems like a decent movie to put on while I knit, but in itself it didn't seem that great.

It's frustrating that so many of the musical choices were so good, and then the horrible ones stuck out like sore thumbs!

I agree entirely, ESPECIALLY about "Hallelujah" (and hating Cohen's version). That was the worst musical selection possible, even including "Ride of the Valkyries" for the Vietnam scene.

It never ceases to amaze/amuse me that the man who wrote the song was clearly not the one born to sing it...

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