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Thread: Watchmen

  1. #31

  2. #32
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    i'm getting a german version for girlfriend this week.

  3. #33
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    I saw Watchmen last night and it was very sloppy. The change in the ending would actually have been forgivable if the rest wasn’t completely missing the point and done in this paint-by-numbers way. I believe Zach Synder believes he really has made an edgy movie, although I don’t think he understands at all what made the Watchmen an edgy comic. Alan Moore was experimenting with the blockbuster superhero genre with this dark, political and psychological look at what a superhero might realistically be, given the way people really are. Zack Snyder made a poorly-paced, poorly-explained blockbuster comic book movie and slapped an R-rating on it by throwing in extraneous blood splatters, CGI cock, Matrix-style fight scenes (and here I was thinking the point was they weren't superheroes) and a laughably pornographic sex scene.

    Edgy.
    Last edited by Sick Boy; 10-03-2009 at 01:11 PM.

  4. #34
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    yeah thought it was awful as well

    weird combination where its superficially quite faithful to the comic, apart from the ending and a few ridiculous moments (night owl and silk spectre basically killing those muggers towards the end? what the fuck was that about.. and that daft sex scene... and the entire soundtrack), but still managing to completely miss everything about the book that made it great.

    in recreating the comic i think the nature of the film itself is kind of cloaked. it's only in the bits outside of the original story, like the fight scenes for example, that you get a glimpse of what the film is really about - nothing at all.


    it was also really long and boring

  5. #35
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    That being said I really did like the guy who played Rorschach.

  6. #36

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    I disagree. I don't think I've seen a film that replicates the tone, feel and look of it's source material as well as this does.

    I watched it only a few days after reading the comic. It was like taking the same medicine, only in liquid rather than tablet form.

    The film felt as empty as the comic, whose philosophical and political points are cliched and simplistic - the kind you read daubed on the walls of a university toilet. It's a pose, a pose that, when you set it in a real context (parallel timeline - Nixon ,Vietnam, Cold War etc.), has no resonance: the world was not and is not like that. There are heroes and good people everywhere, and love and profound emotion.

    What we have here are some navel-gazing vigilantes tediously musing on their broken lives/souls while trying to save a world that they don't actually seem that bothered about, a world we are given only cynical and stereotypical glimpses of: rioters, paedophiles, the Doctor's selfish wife, the onlookers during a rape/murder.

    Nite Owl's reaction to the massacre - putting his hand to his chin and thinking a bit - sums up the whole exercise, I think. The snide, offhand way it has with its Hiroshima allegory (Laurie's comment: "that's all they wanted, tandoori to go") is particularly irritating too.

    It is a comic made to impress: with its twist on the superhero myth (hardly revolutionary), with its oh-so-learned use of popular and classical culture references (Dylan, Alexander, Juvenal, Jung etc.), its sub-noir language and so on. The book doesn't seem to care about anybody or anything. The Watchmen are impotent, the people are sinful and the world will die whatever. We are doomed blah blah blah.

    I never felt invested in aims and motives. The potential is there for a moving epic yet the plot, world and characters never cohere. Soulless.

    Moments stick with me: The origin of Rorschach's 'face' in the comic and his brilliant portrayal in the film; the scene on Mars; the Comedian almost pleading with those around him to save him from himself (not as well put across in the comic); vivid and lucid imagery; use of recurring symbols give it a fateful/playful mood....

    Hurrm.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sick Boy View Post
    From the reviews I've read it seems the opinion is polarized: either the critic loves the book and dislike Zach Snyder's commercialization of it (changing the ending, putting in matrix-esque fight scenes, etc.
    = Me

    Quote Originally Posted by Sick Boy View Post
    or they hate the movie because they hate the book (The Washington Post, The New Yorker)
    = You

    I was telling my girlfriend afterwards that this movie fails because it's almost not going to please anybody. If you've read the book and liked it, you won't like the movie. If you've read the book and disliked it, you won't like the movie. If you haven't read the book, you won't like the movie.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO over easy View Post
    ... and the entire soundtrack
    Dear god, this part could not have been any worse. It was so bad, I started thinking maybe they were trying to take the piss or something. Then I realized, no, it's most likely just one more brilliant concept conceived by another idiot who is told he's a visionary.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by boombox View Post
    The film felt as empty as the comic, whose philosophical and political points are cliched and simplistic - the kind you read daubed on the walls of a university toilet. It's a pose, a pose that, when you set it in a real context (parallel timeline - Nixon ,Vietnam, Cold War etc.), has no resonance: the world was not and is not like that. There are heroes and good people everywhere, and love and profound emotion.

    What we have here are some navel-gazing vigilantes tediously musing on their broken lives/souls while trying to save a world that they don't actually seem that bothered about, a world we are given only cynical and stereotypical glimpses of: rioters, paedophiles, the Doctor's selfish wife, the onlookers during a rape/murder.

    Nite Owl's reaction to the massacre - putting his hand to his chin and thinking a bit - sums up the whole exercise, I think. The snide, offhand way it has with its Hiroshima allegory (Laurie's comment: "that's all they wanted, tandoori to go") is particularly irritating too.

    It is a comic made to impress: with its twist on the superhero myth (hardly revolutionary), with its oh-so-learned use of popular and classical culture references (Dylan, Alexander, Juvenal, Jung etc.), its sub-noir language and so on. The book doesn't seem to care about anybody or anything. The Watchmen are impotent, the people are sinful and the world will die whatever. We are doomed blah blah blah.
    most of your criticism is valid, boombox, but most of those points such as cliches and stereotypes and cardboard cutouts and "soul-lessness" can be applied to most fiction out there, be they novels, films, or comics. what work doesn't want to impress the audience? and if you want to make the distinction between that which tries too hard and that which doesnt: there is surely a place for grand theatricality, and works which try to impress in obvious ways (as there is for works which are subtle and understated).

    also in Moore's defence, it is difficult in a work of such scale and scope to be completely free of cliches and stereotypes, and to have the kind of nuance and detail which would presumably warm the characters to you. he was trying to paint a well rounded picture of a decaying society, one dimensional, maybe, but did a pretty good job of it.

    but your philosophical gripe seems pretty meaningless to me: it's like saying Romeo and Juliet is too one-dimensionally dark and sad - because there are lots of happy lovers out there! get me?

  10. #40
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    I think I'm just going to read the book.

    I've had it on the shelf for a few years, never really got round to it. THIS interview with Alan Moore is really interesting, though, and it has made me want to read Watchmen (and From Hell, V For Vendetta etc...).

  11. #41
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    Also, I'd say that Alan Moore doesn't try to hide the fact that the Watchmen are soulless, detached, or cruel people. That is why the irony concerning Dr. Manhattan's dilemma over whether he should save the world or not is so great. He is the only actual superhero, and his detachment is accidental and attributed to his gifts. His cold universal logic extends much further beyond the scope of human life on Earth.

  12. #42

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    it's like saying Romeo and Juliet is too one-dimensionally dark and sad - because there are lots of happy lovers out there! get me?
    Yes, but Romeo and Juliet are actually happy together to begin with.

    Also, I'd say that Alan Moore doesn't try to hide the fact that the Watchmen are soulless, detached, or cruel people.
    My point is that the comic is detached from the world, the general people we are meant to care about saving and how we save them. It is possible to show the Watchmen as detached, disillusioned, cruel without letting those perspectives completely rule the story. We would understand that the world is in trouble morally without the blanket, over-the-top portrayal of it we are given.

    but most of those points such as cliches and stereotypes and cardboard cutouts and "soul-lessness" can be applied to most fiction out there, be they novels, films, or comics. what work doesn't want to impress the audience?
    It can be applied to most fiction - and that fiction is bad too. A lot of great works work because they want to inspire, amuse, entertain, educate the audience - not impress it. I feel Moore is too busy trying to earn kudos points to bother with engaging characters and story that could more subtly reveal his points for him. I want to see the puppet, now and again the strings, but never the puppeteer.
    Last edited by boombox; 10-03-2009 at 04:16 PM.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by boombox View Post
    It is possible to show the Watchmen as detached, disillusioned, cruel without letting those perspectives completely rule the story. We would understand that the world is in trouble morally without the blanket, over-the-top portrayal of it we are given.
    I think this is a fair point. I don't think that some portrayals of people not being the way that Rorschach and the Comedian percieve them would've particularly hurt the story either. It would have given it more depth. It would've, more importantly, given a better picture of why the Comedian's "joke" was wrong. His character is not meant to be endearing at all, in my eyes. At times, though probably unintentionally, the book starts to feel like a thesis for The Comedian's fucked up nihilistic view on human depravity.

    I still wouldn't call Watchmen a bad piece of the work though. The movie, on the other hand...
    Last edited by Sick Boy; 10-03-2009 at 04:21 PM.

  14. #44
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    What's wrong with trying to impress the audience?

    That desire to impress, the 'betcha can't do this' nature of a lot of Alan Moore's work is what makes it great. Y'know, panache!

    And the other thing about Alan Moore is that he's not all that concerned with what you (the reader) want. If he wants you to see the puppeteer, you're bloody well going to see the puppeteer.
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  15. #45

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    The story needs to have its own life, not just feel like a vessel for a writer's concerns and ideas.

    I want to be impressed by what the puppet is doing (and then I'll praise the puppeteer).

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