Amazon Holiday

Thursday, March 12, 2009


(Guest Review by Jack)

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: Adapted from Alan Moore's landmark comic book series, Watchmen is a story set in an alternative 1985, where the world is ticking closer to the brink of nuclear war, and a plot to eliminate a band of ex-crime fighters is instigated, but why? and by whom? It is up to two of those ex-crime fighters to investigate the plot, before the plot exterminates them.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Malin Ackerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketStop! For all but the die hard fans of the graphic novel, this movie will not live up to expectations or the hype. It is not your typical Superhero movie, in that (much like in the novel) there aren't that many fight scenes or action scenes. Just a lot of standing around and talking– which is very heady when you're trying to enjoy your popcorn. Plus, if you have not read the book, you will most likely be lost a good portion of the time, since some of the key back story is left out. Concurrently, if you did read the book, and didn’t like it, you won’t feel any differently about this incredibly faithful movie adaptation.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Not intentionally. I did hear a few laughs during the screening– but they had that air of confusion, as if to say, "What is going on?" Having read the graphic novel, I could tell from what they weren't getting, that those laughing had not.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: At 2hrs40, my eyes were filled with tears from the large Coke I had to drink to get through it– I was running for relief when it ended.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Maybe Visual Effects, if somebody wants to throw it a bone.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Malin Ackerman, who plays Silk Spectre 2 (one of the major characters), falls flat most of the time. But the rest of the cast does well, and the standout performance by Jackie Earle Haley, as Rorschach, made me want to see a movie based solely on him.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: It is extremely faithful to the graphic novel– even framing most shots to replicate the novel’s visuals. While not requiring the imagination that made Lord of the Rings transcend its source material, Zach Snyder does a good job with this movie.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: The problem with the movie is its source material, which holds this movie back from mass appeal. The Watchmen is a challenging deconstruction of the Superhero. This is something that works on the page in a way that can't possibly be translated to the screen. On top of that, some scenes come off campy, using word for word dialogue taken from the novel-- this is especially true of the final confrontation.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: I don't know why Warner Brothers thought that Joe Blow in Idaho would like this story. And it begs the question whether the guy at Fox who thought the script was unreadable and passed on the project had ever read the graphic novel. My guess is that he only read the coverage.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

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Kenny Wyland said...

Meh. I think you aren't giving the viewer much credit.

Anonymous said...

way too much blue frontal male nudity in the watchmen

Kenny Wyland said...

I've continued to think about it. I think this kind of elitism that looks down on the viewer is a problem we've had in Hollywood for awhile now that we're starting to fix. If you assume the viewers are too dumb to enjoy a complex story, then all you are going to make is crap because you are appealing to your image of the lowest common denominator.

I'm still shocked that you told "all but the die hard fans" that they shouldn't go see this movie. That's ludicrous.

Film-Book dot Com said...

Jack, I too think you might not be giving the viewer enough credit.

Everyone is ragging on Malin and yes, Haley owned as Rorschach.

I thought Watchmen was visually stimulating and entertaining.

My take on Watchmen:

coffee said...

Watchmen is a visual and psychological cornucopia -- definitely worth watching

Jack said...

Yes, perhaps I have underestimated some of the Watchman's audience... I've now talked to more than a few people that had not read the book but saw the movie and thought it was worth watching.

I probably should have given it a yellow light.

But... I have still yet to meet anyone (having read the book or otherwise) that says this is a great movie. Worth watching? - yes several have said that, but no one has been overly enthusiastic.

I just feel that the graphic novel has so much layering that the movie cannot possibly have, that the movie really suffers for those that had not read the book.

So, I did not mean to be elitist when I said that this movie was only for fans of the graphic novel. I was trying to say that the audience for this movie is not the tent-pole audience to which it was advertising.

And seeing the box office numbers plummet in their second weekend... I don't think that I was that far off with this sentiment.

Reel Whore said...

I couldn't make it the full 2hr40, I had to rid myself of the Coke just before the big climax!

I'm glad you called out Malin, too. I've been getting flack for picking on her performance. Now I'm not alone.

All said, I enjoyed Watchmen a lot. My wife and friend, neither who'd read the book, enjoyed it more than me. I think if you like thought-provoking films and/or action flicks, it's worth the cash. Otherwise, I think Paul Blart might still be open for you to catch.