Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Posted: Monday, March 09, 2009 by Shaun in Labels:

Thanks to G&B Comics for organising this outing, where tix were S$5 a pop on a Friday for their members.

Snapped in the cinema that G&B booked

I went to the screening having last read the graphic novel more than a year ago, so while I knew the plot, I wasn't keeping my eyes peeled for deviations from the book.

I liked the intro sequence - Dylan's 'The times they are a changing' over the summary of what came before, Tricky Dick still in office, Soviet's nuclear stockpiling, Ozy with the village People & David Bowie at Studio 54 & the Comedian being responsible for JFK's death.

I felt that the first few minutes of the movie was over-indulgent with the emphasis on the continually changing inkblot on Rorschach's mask as well as the Comedian getting his ass trashed in slow motion.

Thankfully, the pacing got better. It was still slow, but I began to appreciate Zack Snyder's treatment of the movie.

His attention to detail and replication of the scenes from the comic book has to be applauded. I think Laurie Jupiter's attire and Dan Dreiberg's civilian looks were spot on as they really looked like they stepped off the comic pages.

Those who diss him for being a slavish fanboy should give it a go themselves and see what they can come up with. I can't really be bothered with the result, as Snyder did a decent job already.

Having said that, I can understand why the movie was deemed as unfilmable. Simply put, the best medium to convey this story is the graphic novel.

Hearing Rorschach's voice over seemed weird and grating, and strangely, I wouldn't have minded if his thought bubbles appeared on screen.

While Snyder picked out the best scenes from the book, the richness of the original story is impossible to be compressed into a movie format. Perhaps a TV series might work better. I'm looking forward to see how the inclusion of the Black Freighter snippets in the upcoming DVD will improve the movie.

Great work on the effects, especially on Archie and Dr Manhattan. When Hot Toys gets the licence, I hope they pass on Archie as it would really bust the bank. However, I hope they do Dr Manhattan with his pecker, as other action figure iterations of the character have him in his modest black underwear.

Thankfully the costumes were given a more modern, though still cheesy look. Night Owl 2's comic costume would look really funny on screen, though I wouldn't have minded Silk Spectre 2's flimsy comic getup.

I think Ozymandias was cool in his role, being resigned to his calling of saving billions by killing millions. I'm glad they CG-ed Bubastis.

Simon & Garfunkel's Sound of Silence is a great song, but it came across as really weak during Comedian's funeral as it did at the end of 'The Graduate'.

Maybe the Beatles' 'Happiness is a Warm Gun' would've worked better during the funeral. It's cheerful verse, "Happiness is a warm gun, bang bang shoot shoot' would be jarring against the solemn sequence, but it just typifies the Comedian's character.

While having Jimi Hendrix's 'All Along the Watchtower' appear in the movie is a definite fanboy geekout moment, but it was too predictable. In all honesty, the song worked better in Forrest Gump. I think Led Zeppelin's 'Immigrant Song' would work better, considering they were heading towards Antartica, and Robert Plant's banshee screams at the beginning could well be Rorschach's.

The standout moments for me was whenever Rorschach appeared and Dr Manhattan's flashback sequence on Mars.

Jackie Earle Haley just rocked in his role, especially the part when he was in prison, and spat out Alan Moore's immortal line, "I'm not locked in here with you! You're locked in here with ME!" Pure class.

While some may find Dr Manhattan's sequence too laborious, I think it was executed very well and very close to the graphic novel.

These two things were worth the admission price alone.

If you're going as a Watchmen afficionado who lives and breathes the book, you're going to be nitpicking throughout the movie.

If you're catching it as a casual movie-goer and have no inkling of the story, don't, as it is slow build-up that tests your patience.

If you're a comic fanboy who's glad the comic finally made it's way to the big screen, you'll have a decent time.

Of no fault of the director, the movie gets a 3/5 rating from me. It's very well-executed but non-fans won't warm to it easily and it's just not the best medium to tell this tale.

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  1. inkblot says:

    "Jackie Earle Haley just rocked in his role, especially the part when he was in prison, and spat out Alan Moore's immortal line, "I'm not locked in here with you! You're locked in here with ME!" Pure class."

    Yerp... My favourite line of the whole movie too.. Haha... Rosharch is just badass.