Watching the Watchmen...

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Watching the Watchmen...

Post by Renny on 3rd March 2009, 07:23

I've taken next Tuesday off work and i'm going to see "Watchmen". Anyone else planning to see it?

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Re: Watching the Watchmen...

Post by rogartheranger on 3rd March 2009, 12:35

Oh yes, I am eagerly planning to see it on Friday night!!!! This looks like it might be the mutts-nuts of comic-book movies and I can't wait to see one of my favourite novels translated onto the big-screen!
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Re: Watching the Watchmen...

Post by rogartheranger on 7th March 2009, 13:09

Well you know that age old question, 'who watches the watchers?' Well, I can now supply the answer, as I have just come back from watching the Watchmen in a sold-out screening tonight. Oh...and I loved it!

Here are my first impressions:- (there are no spoilers)

On the whole Zack Snyder has been extremely faithful to the graphic novel (barring one particular sequence - which I wont discuss here yet) - and produced a movie that is visually stunning (with brilliant SFX) with most of the diologue adapted straight off the page of the book. It was hard to contain my delight at seeing one of favourite books coming to life on the big screen in such a satisfying manner.

I thought that the casting was spot-on, especially the actors playing Rorschach, (who absolutely steals the show), The Comedian and Dr Manhatten who were absolute dead-ringers for the characters in the book. Another great thing was that all the main-cast members were well fleshed-out over the running time with all their individual foibles and flaws exposed in a way that you just wouldnt see in a standard 'super-hero' movie. It would have been easy to fall into the temptation of focusing mainly on Rorscharch as he is the most crowd-pleasing star of the movie - but thankfully everyone gets their moment in the limelight as we follow their backstories and get under their skin.

There were obviously a few areas which had to be cut/trimmed from the book due to the length of the original source-material but it didnt spoil my enjoyment and I was so absorbed by the narrative that the 2 hours 40 mins running time just flew by (I didnt once check my watch whilst watching Watchmen - heh heh - sorry couldnt resist). Infact I could quite happily have sat there and continued watching a longer version of the movie which bodes well for the confirmed extended 3 hour 10 min DVD cut.

The movie is very diologue-heavy with a dense narrative that demands that you pay close attention to what is going on. So if you're expecting a kiddie-friendly flick with lots of black-and-white (good vs evil) characters who have easily defined motivations then this isnt it. Instead you will experience a very refreshingly different approach that presents you with moral conundrums that have no easy answers, plus a sprawling narrative that avoids the usual superhero plot-cliches, with characters who are recognisably flawed with lots of shades of grey. The movie also doesn't pander to the audience by repeatedly trying to explain things more then once and expects you to pay attention and keep-up throughout. This wasn't a problem for me as I had read the book previously - but I would be interested to hear feedback from the uninitiated who were watching this for the first time without having read the book? Were you as enthralled as me, or did you struggle to follow everything? In either case, this is a good example of a movie that will reward repeated screenings.

This is obviously a 'costumed-hero' film of course and so contains plenty of action sequences for you to enjoy - and these were on the whole very well executed. But, this being an 18-certificate movie - these action scenes were also very brutal to watch at times with graphic scenes of violence that may not appeal to everyone. I didnt have a problem with most of the violence (as I enjoy a good bit of arse-kicking as much as the next person) although there were a couple of sequences that were a bit extreme beyond even that depicted in the graphic novel and did make me wonder whether some of it was really necessary to serve the narrative? For example there is one bit in the book where a minor-character gets his throat slit, but in the film version Zack Snyder opts for a different demise that was more lingering, very gruesome, and a tad stomach churning to watch, (I'll leave you to experience this moment for yourself).

My only other minor-gripe was the portrayal of President Richard Nixon, due to the odd creative decision (in the first instance) to feature the character (who I dont recall being in the book) and also for the actor playing the role to have to wear this big false nose that I found a bit caricatured and felt out of place amongst the other cast-members. Thankfully Nixon only plays a small-role and can be easily overlooked amongst all the other joys on offer here.

Overall I would rate this 4-out-of-5.

Right you guys, you can stop reading now. Get yourselves down to your local cinema and watch the Watchmen!!!
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Re: Watching the Watchmen...

Post by Renny on 8th March 2009, 19:49

Looking forward to Tuesday

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Re: Watching the Watchmen...

Post by Mykilus on 8th March 2009, 22:36

Haveing not read the original graphic novel i approaced this film in a compleatly neutral frame of mind, So it was off to the cinema for the the 11pm showing. Maybe this was not such a good idea as my last `superhero` outing was The Spirit, the only movie ever to litraly put me to sleep. And this was a concern due to the time of the showing.

I should not have worried, From the start i was drawn in and hooked,The story moved along at a good paice and if i did have a gripe it was that it did seam at some point you were just waiting for the next `origine story`
for each charecter to start.However this did not detract as it was nesscery for the overall story to progress.
I liked the use of visuals and music and the fact that the effects were not over done above what was nessercery for the story. There were some nice sceans and some nice gags in it witch lightened the mood just enough.
The film required that you paid attention, but did not punish you for missing something as has happened in other movies,The only time i looked at my watch i was shocked to realise that their was still another hour and a quater to to go..
I really liked this film, though i feel in no rush to go out and see it again as i feel it may detract from last nights experiance and i dont want that. I feel that i was told a good inteligant story and i am satisfied with that. So what if some parts of it where changed from the comic, what matterd to me was what was on the screen and i felt that worked and that i was not short changed.
Some films leave you wanting moor (pun intended), This was like sunday lunch, leaveing you full and satisfied.

Myke
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Re: Watching the Watchmen...

Post by Renny on 9th March 2009, 06:27

You should do yourself a favour and borrow the graphic novel from Rogar or get it out of the library. It does deserve it's classic status.

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Re: Watching the Watchmen...

Post by Renny on 16th March 2009, 06:42

Saw it and loved it. Even more graphically violent than the novel in some places but excellent all the same. The guy who plays Rorschach totally nails it.

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