I watched the Watchmen

Finally! And it was… Ok.

I didn’t hate it. Some of the dialogue was great (although a lot of it was poorly delivered) and the art direction was amazing, but these are attributable to the comic.

The movie was certainly the most faithful adaptation of Moore’s work I’ve seen, but is that enough? You can trace over the Mona Lisa and produce something almost as good as the original, but will it have that je ne sais quoi that keeps the staff of the Louvre in new shoes and crème patisseries?

Why Zack, why? Where was my giant squid?

I felt that instead of adding to a great book (or taking a story and creating something new but enjoyable), the movie lost a lot of the grittiness that leaves first-time Watchmen readers reeling. The cold war, post-‘Nam anger and 80s yuppie bleakness are reduced to freeze-frame images and an artfully choreographed riot.

I enjoyed seeing frames from the comics writ large in technicoloured, dolbied glory. However, the fact that Snyder reproduced them with such fetish but still changed the ending made me a little fidgety (plus I’m bad with long movies, attention span measured in diehards (SI unit)).

On top of that, the soundtrack was jarringly eclectic, and a lot of the performances were dialed in, especially Malin Ackermen and Mathew Goode, although Jackie Earle Haley redressed the balance.

Come to think of it, lacklustre omigod-I’m-so-bored-we’ve-been-green-screening-for-12-frigging-weeks acting was my main complaint with 300. Maybe Snyder is just really bad with people.

So yeah, not a bad effort, but not the film to make Alan Moore accept that screenplays from books are a valid medium.

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2 Comments»

  d. wrote @

Russell and I both decided that the next time we see Zack Snyder, we’re going to punch him in the back of the head.

That said, I’m of the opinion that the Director’s Cut DVD boxset (out just in time for Christmas, capitalism fans!) will salvage something. Fingers are crossed.

  elle wrote @

Long time listener, first time caller? I like how you are a nice discreet ‘d’ but Russell is just Russell. P’raps we should post his phone number :-p

I’m not sure whether the pacing would be helped or hindered by adding an hour and a half.

The only long movie I ever thought should be longer was Once Upon a Time in America, but like I said, I generally have the attention span of a mayfly.

I am excited to see Tales of the Black Freighter though. I’m picturing something like the Matrix animations.

As an aside, the other reason I didn’t like 300 was that I thought it was made by Rob Rodriguez, so when I got to the cinema I was mad at Snyder for not being the director I’d expected.


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