Watchmen

Discuss films.
User avatar
jcaffoe
Posts: 264
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:28 pm
Contact:

Post by jcaffoe » Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:25 am

First, I felt the soundtrack was AWFUL. Coming from 300, which had an incredible orchestral score, to throw a bunch of licensed music in was a horrible decision. Every time a song came on it took me right out of the moment. All Along the Watchtower? Hallelujah? Flight of the Valkyries? Awful. None of it fit, and it totally ruined the immersion. I'm pretty sure every time I heard a licensed track I checked my watch.

The sex scenes were overly drawn out to the point of being awkward, and I felt like the gratuitous violence sent mixed messages. This is one area where I feel Zack Snyder could have taken a page from Christopher Nolan, who crafted incredibly violent scenes but left out the gore, allowing you to focus on the character instead of the action. Rorschach hammering a butcher's knife into a man's skull should have been an incredibly powerful character turn, and all he had to do was focus the camera on the mask instead of the knife.

I felt the film was poorly structured, moving from one flashback/backstory to the next without pausing to reflect on how these characters are connected nearly often enough. Not to mention Veidt/Ozymandias was almost completely omitted from the story until the end, making his 'betrayal' feel trivial.

Overall I felt like it was overlong and self-indulgent, though that's not to say I didn't enjoy it. I thought the characters were fantastic, especially Rorschach, and I thought once the film kicked into gear (after Rorschach's arrest) it really came into its own. I'll probably see it again just to get a better grasp on the narrative, but I felt like there was a lot of missed opportunity and a few stupid mistakes.

And god I can't get over that soundtrack...

User avatar
dark77778
Posts: 468
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:03 am
Location: Toronto

Post by dark77778 » Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:40 pm

I didn't want to spoil it for anybody when I saw it on Tuesday so I decided to wait a bit to analyze my own thoughts on this film, which are really complicated because my reaction to this film is mixed. I can't say I hated the film, but I can call this film out on being shallow. Visually, yeah it's great. In terms of making a companion film to the book, it's nicely done. In terms of taking advantage of the filmic medium, it's terrible. The movie takes little to no risks and when it does try to take risks, it just falls flat on its face. The only exception to this being the washroom scene in the prison, which was beautifully choreographed, but sorta feels like a fluke of design...the exception which proves the rule.

I more or less agree with jcaffoe on his points, except for the soundtrack. It wasn't poor selection, because it fits the themes of the graphic novels, they were just made too dominant in the film played to their full length, which was disgusting and it could have used some original orchestration. Everything else though, I share the same thoughts with.

I can't say that this is a bad film though, unlike many of my other cinema studies friends. I liked it, for some inexplicable reason, the same way I dislike The Incredibles for some inexplicable reason. I felt that for what it played safe, it did well, but everything else that wasn't cut and paste from the graphic novel seemed to overwhelm the director and made the movie slowly get worse and worse until its terrible ending sequence. If I had to give it a score, I'd probably say anywhere between 3/4. It's not stellar, but I can't say it wasn't fun to watch, it was just oh so lacking. If they had just cut out the slow motion bits and replaced the 30 mins that they lost with the action and 15 minutes of sex and replaced it with story elements, it would've been fantastic!
I'm my own breed of eccentric.

User avatar
mr cow
Posts: 1293
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:32 am
Location: tampa, fl
Contact:

Post by mr cow » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:51 am

i don't expect everyone, especially those that have never read the book, to enjoy or even understand this movie version of watchman, but it really was the best adaptation we could have got. i really enjoyed it. for all it's faults, it was an entertaining, faithful pulling of the source material and i look forward to seeing it again for things i might have missed. i do think it's hard to reserve too much judgment for this version knowing that the studio had snyder cut a half hour to 45 min out his final version. who knows if those additions would have been better, but i doubt he cut out more action or sex. i like to assume it was additional character points that would have fleshed out motivations. at the very least i hope the extended cut explains bubastis!

but the characters/casting was excellent, the action was absurd yet entertaining, the visuals were like watching brightly colored, high octane panels from the book, and the soundtrack had both highs and lows (the opening credit sequence with dylan's the time's they are a-changin' was terrific. hallelujah for a bit of an overly drawn out sex scene? um...okay...?)

and i actually really liked the structure of the film- though it took me a couple of days to realize this. it felt like chapters of a book (which makes sense). dr manhatten's origin sequence was like it's own wonderful little film of itself. i think more than anything the film just need to touch on these characters more, especially adrian, and explain more if why and who they are (or were). hopefully that's what we'll get in july.
Image

User avatar
Djaxx
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:39 pm
Location: Victoria BC
Contact:

Post by Djaxx » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:42 pm

jcaffoe wrote:First, I felt the soundtrack was AWFUL. Coming from 300, which had an incredible orchestral score, to throw a bunch of licensed music in was a horrible decision. Every time a song came on it took me right out of the moment. All Along the Watchtower? Hallelujah? Flight of the Valkyries? Awful. None of it fit, and it totally ruined the immersion. I'm pretty sure every time I heard a licensed track I checked my watch.
The licensed music was of the period tho! And I believe that a lot of the licensed tracks were actually mentioned in the graphic novel! At first it really did throw me off but I just really enjoyed it!
I think that this movie is one of the best comic book adaptations there is even more so than 300!
Image

User avatar
jcaffoe
Posts: 264
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:28 pm
Contact:

Post by jcaffoe » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:11 pm

Djaxx wrote:The licensed music was of the period tho! And I believe that a lot of the licensed tracks were actually mentioned in the graphic novel! At first it really did throw me off but I just really enjoyed it!
I think that this movie is one of the best comic book adaptations there is even more so than 300!
Sure, and I got that from the moment "The Times They Are A-Changin'" came on, but at the same time you could have echoed the music of that era in an original score, even taking cues from the licensed tracks themselves. Or just integrate them better into the film. I just felt the music cues were so blatant and misplaced that it ruined the immersion.

And on that note, I don't understand the notion that the source material forgives flaws in the adaptation. I've heard this a lot and read it in several reviews. "Well, the movie felt disjointed, but that's how the book was" or "The pace was sluggish, but that's how the book was." It doesn't matter how the book was. This is a FILM, and the narrative should follow different rules.

The slow pace and awkward structure worked in the book because it allowed for reflection at each chapter break. You filled in your own bits of the story and came to your own conclusions as you read because you could skip around, move backwards, and pause at will. This is one of the reasons Alan Moore said a film adaptation would never work. As such, the structure of the narrative needs to change along with the medium.

I also don't understand this notion that adding an extra hour to the runtime would have evened out the story when the major flaw with the film is narrative pacing. Snyder could have absolutely said more with less footage.

Josh Mauser
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:00 pm
Location: Savannah
Contact:

Post by Josh Mauser » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:13 pm

Man, I find myself watching that opening sequence a few times a day now, I REALLY dug it! (and frankly it makes me want to see that prequel that Moore and Gibbons planned at one point).

y'all know a nice quicktime of it is up for download at yU+Co's website?

(...)

seems Warner made them take it down, so I'll link this instead: http://pixelatedgeek.com/2009/03/watchm ... its-video/

User avatar
thirdeyeh
Posts: 584
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 8:28 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Contact:

Post by thirdeyeh » Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:55 pm

I posted this on my blog. I know this is a deeply personal review, but its the way I feel:

A FEW SPOILERS AHEAD

I went and saw the Watchmen movie earlier this week. I've spent sometime dissecting it in my mind and really fighting through some of my feelings towards it. I feel ready to give my take. There are moments of absolute brilliance in the film. The opening credits for one, or the prison scene with Rorschach. It effectively took a comic that most people believed to be unfilmable and made a pretty compact, intriguing film. But I have a REALLY BIG PEEVE with it and many other films out there.

Zack Snyder, the director of the film, spends a lot of time for someone who wants to be true to comic, fulfilling his own obsession with over the top violence, sex and general unnecessary content. I went into this movie knowing that Watchmen, the comic, contained scenes of sex, violence and language. I expected to see it some, but then Snyder turns what is a three panel sex scene in the comic (with no nudity by the way) into a drown out scene of unnecessary personal indulgence. He did the same thing in 300 introducing the queen into the story then giving us a heavy dose of sex between them. Something that wasn't even in the comic. Same thing in Dawn of the Dead.

This sort of thing is completely uncalled for (I won't even get into my feelings about the violence). How in the world are you making the story better adding these elements?! They are completely unnecessary and alienating to your audience. I heartedly disagree with the notion that sex and violence sell. Maybe the idea of it does, but throwing it full in the face of your audience and asking them to join in with your obsession with it causes people to walk out. If you disagree, please tell me why not a single one of the top ten movies of all time are above a PG-13 rating and contain films like: three Star Wars movies, E.T., Spiderman, and Shrek 2.

These sort of things degrade your story and have a place with thirteen year old boys giggling while watching a movie their parents don't want them to. Sorry to put it so harshly, but really. I'll give a great example of how a movie does the opposite of Watchmen and is still amazing: The Dark Knight. This movie is one of the most intense and disturbing films I've seen and I think I could count the number of curse words on one hand, the number of scenes that actually have blood on the same, and finally not a spec of nudity. Oh and its the second highest grossing movie of all time.

I'm a big believer in this. There is a lie out there that we all need to be played down to, or that the more in your face things are the better. For me this killed Watchmen as a film. I walked out of it feeling a bit dirty and ashamed. Were there things I totally nerded out on? Yes! I spent the first twenty minutes so stoked seeing Rorschach clammer around gathering the other Watchmen, kicking down doors and just generally being awesome. I nearly cried at the end when he died. Synder is a talented director, but to sum up my thoughts this way:

When Snyder could have built a stronger story, he decided to indulge his own interests and yank us right out of the experience in the process.
Image

User avatar
[adam]
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:58 am
Contact:

Post by [adam] » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:35 pm

I'm not really going to go into a review, par se, as this topic has been discussed and dissected at length at various points around the internet and related media outlets. But there are just a few points I'd like to make regarding the film that I find very interesting.

Firstly, I'd like to address the use of nudity and sex in film. I think (and correct me if I'm wrong here) most Americans are ashamed of sex, or openly admitting that they enjoy it. I, admittedly, felt uncomfortable during the sex scene in Watchmen, but more so because I could sense everyone else around me feeling uncomfortable. Honestly, that scene was hot. Was it the direction I would have chosen if I were doing the scene? No, probably not, but I don't have a problem with the fact Zach decided to show us a sexual encounter for all that it was.

I also believe that this goes hand in hand with every 13 year old boy (and most of the audience in general) giggling at Dr. Manhattan's nudity. It's just a penis. Of all the things that took me out of the movie, it was people's distracting reactions to "immature" situations (though they weren't immature - they were simply reacting to their uncomfortable feelings with nervous laughter or witty banter. It would be wrong to simply sit and take it for face value, right? Perhaps according to our American society, yes.)

Secondly, I think Zach Snyder was screwed no matter what he did. This was such touchy subject matter, it didn't matter if Kubrick or Fillini or Speilberg or Aronofsky, or any other great director had taken on this film. The subject matter was too touchy. That being said, I'd like to think that what Zach Snyder did do was create, probably, the best Watchmen film HE could have created. And that being said, I think he did a pretty damn good job, because for all the hot talk and "I would have done it this way," I'm not so sure I would want to ever make The Watchmen. He took a bold step in taking on this project, and I commend him for that.

So, that's it. I really would like to see the film again, and dissect it a little further. I am, however, sad to see it failing in the box office.

User avatar
Azzamckazza
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2004 9:38 pm
Location: Australia
Contact:

Post by Azzamckazza » Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:05 pm

[adam] - I'm with you on the whole "Blue Penis' thing. EVERY single person I've talked to has mentioned it. "Oooo, could have done without the dick there all the time" "I dont remember there being so much dick"
Have really had to restrain from telling people to grow up.
ImageImage

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests