Micheal Cobley

Interstellar Tactics




Watchmen Movie Review

Yup, went to see it on opening night with SuperSusan and I’ve deliberately waited a while to let my memories of it sink in and my thoughts rise to the top.

Let’s face it, its an odd sensation seeing a much-loved work of book fiction (albeit a graphic novel)  transmogrified into a big screen visual feast. I had a similar experience on seeing Jackson’s take on Lord of the Rings, but what made that and Watchmen succeed (because I do think the movie succeeded, even with qualifications) was the casting and Snyder’s intense direction. I’ve heard quite a few quibbles and outright dismissals, all perfectly understandable, to which I can only say that only a book/graphic novel can do what a book/graphic novel does best. A movie does a lot of other things better then print fiction, movement and sweeping, visual grandeur for example.

Standout of course was Jackie Earl Haley as Rorschach – his voice wasn’t quite as low and gravelly and monotone as I’d heard it in my head, but his presence on screen – exactly right. Jeffery Dean Morgan got the tone of The Comedian pretty spot on too. And sure, there are a lot of the visual overtones and thematic resonances from the book that you don’t get in the film, and yeah, the Tales of the Black Freighter is being hived off as a seperate DVD release (voiced by Gerald Butler), and yeah, they fiddled around with the ending but in a way that made sense in a savagely treasonous way.

So I liked it, even at (especially at!) 163 minutes. I like long movies, which is why I will be in line for the DVD which will have an addition 30 minutes of cut scenes. Whoo hoo, 193 minutes. And what do you think the odds are that within a week some smartalecky web guy/gal with a digital editing suite will stay up for 48 hours, getting stoked on coffee and muffins while he/she splices together the extended DVD release and the Tales of the Black Freighter to produce…TA DAAA! A perfectly interleaved movie of the entire book, presented for our delectation, for an entire evening of Watchmen marathonosity.

It’s gonna happen, mark my words, young grasshopper.

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4 Comments already, do join in...

  1. Qatux Says:

    March 23rd, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    A question… Does you think it deserve the 18 cert? These days 18 cert usually means extreme, ‘graphic’, ‘gratuitous’ etc., sex and/or violence. Is it really that bad for say, a 14 year old, going on 19…?

  2. Mark Chitty Says:

    March 24th, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Excellent summation of an excellent movie! I’ve never read the graphic novel (I know, shame on me) but this is everything that a film should be – and definitely deserving of the 18 cert.

  3. rockitboy Says:

    March 24th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Ah, for shame, Mark – make it a priority to get hold of the gr.nov – it’ll be a beacon of quality for years to come. As for the 18 cert, well, 300 was far move overltly violent, I thought, yet it got a 15 cert. But we all know why – it was the fleshy, moist Dan-and-Sally scene that tipped them over the top. Same old story – the certifyihg board is fine with copious hacking and blood spurts but put tender eroticism on the screen…tsk tsk, thats the Big Bad!

  4. Mark Chitty Says:

    March 25th, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Indeed, whenever there is a little too much skin (or a rape scene) they always push the rating up. My personal favourite was when Rorschach poured boiling fat over the guy’s head – nothing like a bit of melted skin to put you off your popcorn!

    And I’ll be making damned sure I pick the GN up this year, the film was just too good not to :)

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