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Thread: Watchmen

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    Watchmen

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    Anyone seen it? I've seen it twice already (it's rare I ever see a movie twice), but what an awesome movie. I'd say apart from the pacing and amount of plot they had to jam into three hours, it rivals Iron Man.

    The second time I saw it, there was a guy behind me who brought a young kid to it. He quickly got the picture and they left. How this movie is not NC-17 is beyond me.

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    I haven't seen it. I haven't even made plans too...I never heard of the Watchmen until everyone started about a movie so I didn't think it appealed to me.

    Then ontop of that I was sure that if I saw it I would want to start playing Superheroic RPG's....

    If enough people tell me that it's that amazing I'll have to go see it I guess but nobody has.

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    Some of my friends were like "meh", but then I realized that they were too young to remember the 80s, so a lot of the theme (threat of nuclear war) was lost on them...

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    Great movie. Saw it on the Imax. Spectacular and a worthy adaptation of perhaps the finest graphic novel ... well, ever.

    Even if it does have a lot of shots of 'Lower Manhattan' in it.

    Is it better than 300 or Sin City (as movies)? I don't know, I'll have to see it again (and to be sure ... I will!) but it's close.

    Definitely a movie not to miss.

    Gary

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    How does it compare to the graphic Novel?
    Saluti
    Carlos

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    I saw the movie this past Saturday. I will try to elaborate my thoughts and impressions as best I can muster:

    Quote Originally Posted by gdmcbride View Post
    ...Even if it does have a lot of shots of 'Lower Manhattan' in it...
    For all the reviewers that made a big deal out of this, it didn't bother me nearly as much nor was it nearly as prominent as I was expecting. Besides, it's fraggin' CGI. It's not real nor should it be distracting to the *average* viewer.

    Quote Originally Posted by gdmcbride View Post
    ...Is it better than 300 or Sin City (as movies)? I don't know, I'll have to see it again (and to be sure ... I will!) but it's close...
    IMHO, it is a far cry above Sin City (the only part of Sin City I liked was Marv's tale) and is probably at least as enjoyable as 300. I liked 300.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimthar View Post
    How does it compare to the graphic Novel?
    The comparison between to two gives me difficult pause because of 2 considerations:

    1) The *events* of the film follow those of the graphic novel about 90%. That is to say, it is very faithful to the overall plot, scene structure and characterizations of the book.

    2) However, it's primary hang-up is the fact that (as is demanded in a film format) it often doesn't give you enough time to let things settle into your brain. Because they are crunched to tell the entire story in the span of 160 minutes, the film must constantly barrel forward without allowing the audience time to reflect.

    That is the most difficult thing to "feel out" when reviewing this film. Overall it is gorgeous, detailed and very faithful to both the style, substance and structure of the book. The problem is simply that the story was not meant to be told in such a medium. Watchmen is the kind of story that needs ample time to deliver background and character development and it needs to give the reader time to contemplate the significance of what they have read. As a consequence, the film has all the right "parts" but what it's missing is the undercurrent of significance to give it value. Watchmen would probably have been much better delivered as a mini-series than crammed into a theatrical film.

    Okay, what does this all mean?

    It was a good film. One of the overall most enjoyable and interesting "comic book" films to come out for at least several years.

    My advice: If you have not read the graphic novel...do so before seeing the film. It is nothing short of fantastic and will only make you appreciate both the film and the book more. It is best enjoyed one step at a time, with breathing room and time for contemplation in between its weighty chapters.

    If you have read (and liked) the graphic novel...see the film. It is every bit a labor of love and it shows. At times, the dialog is stripped straight out of the book and works quite well. While it isn't perfect, it is far closer than I ever expected a film treatment of Watchmen to be and that is saying something quite impressive.

    I will be waiting for the Ultimate Edition DVDs to release, at which point I will pick them up.
    HARRY DRESDEN WIZARD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webhead View Post
    If you have read (and liked) the graphic novel...see the film. It is every bit a labor of love and it shows. At times, the dialog is stripped straight out of the book and works quite well. While it isn't perfect, it is far closer than I ever expected a film treatment of Watchmen to be and that is saying something quite impressive.
    I'll second this. I didn't read the Watchmen comics in the 1980's, I read them last fall in anticipation of the movie. Time has made the graphic novel less awesome or surprising, but for it's time it was foundation shattering -- I know because I was reading the regular comics back then so I can see why it stood out.

    The film made me appreciate the comics more, hearing the actors do the dialog instead of the voices in my head really added impact to what the characters were saying and feeling, in ways that my read through the comic did not deliver.

    I think the two are best paired together. No matter which one you find first, it's worth the effort to find the other one and fully appreciate what is happening.

    I'm eagerly awaiting the uncut DVD as I think some of the pacing is just on the cutting room floor.

    Two thumbs up, changes and all... the movie was a pleasure.
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    Grimwell

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    idk. I still don't care enough to try and watch it...nobody has made it appealing enough yet.

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    SPOILER WARNING

    As a long-time comic book and superhero movie fan, I am far on the other side of the fence.

    I thought the acting in the movie was horrendous. The only character that I felt any connection to was Rorshach, a psychopath with an annoying raspy voice. The character development for everyone else was underwhelming and their personalities were bland.

    The action scenes (especially in the jail) were cool. Other than that, there was too much dull talking. They could have cut out half the dialogue (and probably a half-hour out of the movie) and wouldn't have lost anything in the translation.

    Now, I'm a red-blooded american guy who likes violence and sex as much as anyone, but there were a few scenes that were simply offensive to me (not to mention my poor wife). The rape scene, the pregnant woman getting shot, and the little girl being eaten by dogs (not to mention the brutal killing of the dogs) were completely unnecessary for the story. It takes a seriously sick individual to actually enjoy those scenes.

    The sex scenes were clumsy, uncomfortable, and not sexy at all. With sex and this much full-frontal nudity (all male, by the way. I think I saw one lady's nipple all movie, but plenty of blue and normal wang and butts to last me a lifetime) this should have been rated NC-17 at the very least. Was there any good reason for the blue guy to not be wearing his speedo? Why did they have to show him from the waste down so much anyways? DO NOT TAKE KIDS.

    The song choices throughout the entire movie were poor. Slow, cheesy songs during fight scenes ("Unforgettable" during the first fight scene) and awesome, rock and roll songs during scenes when they are just walking (when they are walking in the snow it's playing Jimi Hendrix "All Along the Watchtower", what a waste of a good song)

    Look, I get the movie. I get that they wanted to stay true to the graphic novel. However, to me this movie isn't much more than a superhero porno. I guess I'd have to be a fanboy to really appreciate it.

    The best part of the movie was the opening credits (which were a cool background montage). You can now see those online for free (http://io9.com/5166169/the-best-part...men-online-now). After that, it was all downhill.
    Last edited by DeathByDM; 03-10-2009 at 07:32 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soft Serve View Post
    idk. I still don't care enough to try and watch it...nobody has made it appealing enough yet.
    My advice...read the graphic novel first. If you don't like the graphic novel you won't like the film. If you like the graphic novel you will see that the film is very my a showing of respect to its phenominal source material.

    In case you're not up on exactly what Watchmen is about here it is in a nutshell:

    It is an alternate 1985. Since the 40's, a small handful of normal people would decidedly dress up as "super heroes" and fight crime. There were no super-powered beings...that is until the 60's when a freak accident transformed a physicist into Dr. Manhattan, a being that can manipulate matter at will. The existence of Dr. Manhattan and his seeming loyalty to the U.S. plunged the nation deep into a nuclear arms-race with the Soviets. The confused, panicked and restless American populace outlawed masked vigilanteism in the 70's and has fallen into a rut of social recklessness and decay. Now, with global armageddon looming on the horizon, the masked vigilante Rorschach uncovers a conspiracy that begins with the death of one of his former collegues and he sets out to warn the other retired heroes of its possible connections to the war.

    It really is an excellent book. One worthy of multiple readings.
    HARRY DRESDEN WIZARD
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    In case you missed it, Billy Crudup (Dr Manhattan) was interviewed by Jon Stewart recently, and had a few things to say about the movie:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-epi...isodeId=220269

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeathByDM View Post
    ...I thought the acting in the movie was horrendous...
    I agree that there were a few of the performances that were distinctly obnoxious. Interestingly, they weren't entirely the ones I was expecting based on reading the reviews. If the film translation has a flaw, the consistency of performances is its greatest one.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeathByDM View Post
    ...The character development for everyone else was underwhelming and their personalities were bland...
    I hesitantly agree. I say hesitantly because the character personalities were mostly there, only the film doesn't dedicate enough time to allow the audience to contemplate them. It's a problem with the medium and its time-constraints. Watchmen would have been much better done as a mini-series.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeathByDM View Post
    ...The action scenes (especially in the jail) were cool. Other than that, there was too much dull talking. They could have cut out half the dialogue (and probably a half-hour out of the movie) and wouldn't have lost anything in the translation...
    Oddly enough, most of the "action scenes" seemed fair but unimpressive to me. Rorschach's escape from Moloch's apartment still being the best one (as it is in the novel). Short, brutal and to the point. I for one felt that there were several instances where dialog was cut that I wish they had left in. In the jail bathroom scene for example, I kept waiting for Nite Owl to insert the "costume design" comment but, alas, it never happened, instead favoring shots of the swinging bathroom door.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeathByDM View Post
    ...Now, I'm a red-blooded american guy who likes violence and sex as much as anyone, but there were a few scenes that were simply offensive to me (not to mention my poor wife). The rape scene, the pregnant woman getting shot, and the little girl being eaten by dogs (not to mention the brutal killing of the dogs) were completely unnecessary for the story. It takes a seriously sick individual to actually enjoy those scenes....
    Not to say that you have no right to be offended by those scenes (you certainly do) but those scene are each very important to the story and all contained in the novel. In fact, the point of those scenes was to shock the reader at just how twisted and unfriendly the world and characters of the story are. It is making sharp contrast to the "bright, honest and honorable" ideal of the classic "super hero". I certainly did not "enjoy" those scenes when reading the novel, but I did recognize their impact and significance to the characters of the story and was subsequently impressed by them.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeathByDM View Post
    ...The sex scenes were clumsy, uncomfortable, and not sexy at all...
    Agreed. The sex scene aboard Archie was awkward and tasteless. It could have been handled much better. The others (which could barely be qualified as "sex scenes") were fine and mostly intact from the novel.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeathByDM View Post
    ...Was there any good reason for the blue guy to not be wearing his speedo?...
    Faithfulness to the source material and the characterization of Dr. Manhattan. He was not human and thus had no sense of need for covering his body when not in public.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeathByDM View Post
    ...DO NOT TAKE KIDS...
    I absolutely, whole-heartedly agree. It is not a story for children and should not be approached as such. Consequently, they would not be able to appreciate the complexities of its message anyway. This is not Saturday-morning Superfriends.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeathByDM View Post
    ...The song choices throughout the entire movie were poor. Slow, cheesy songs during fight scenes ("Unforgettable" during the first fight scene) and awesome, rock and roll songs during scenes when they are just walking (when they are walking in the snow it's playing Jimi Hendrix "All Along the Watchtower", what a waste of a good song)...
    I agree about halfway. Close to half of the songs were well-placed and the other half were a little peculiar. Regardless, none of the choices (except "Hallelujah" during the obnoxious Archie sex scene) were completely off-putting. I actually liked the placement of "Unforgettable" in the intro scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeathByDM View Post
    ...Look, I get the movie. I get that they wanted to stay true to the graphic novel. However, to me this movie isn't much more than a superhero porno...
    I think it may appear as such to some because the film lacks one of the most important elements of the novel...weight. The film gets all the "parts" right but doesn't give you the underlying significance of it all. This is simply because the film is forced to rush from scene to scene in order to confine itself to the 160 minutes it is allowed to tell the story and doesn't give the viewer time to reflect and draw their own conclusions.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeathByDM View Post
    ...The best part of the movie was the opening credits (which were a cool background montage)...
    Yes, the opening montage was very cool. It did well to summarize heaps of backstory within just a few minutes.

    Quick question for you, have you read the graphic novel before or was the film your first experience with Watchmen? I'm curious to know if this is an impression coming from fresh and unfamiliar eyes. As a reader and general fan, it is difficult for me to judge the film outside of that familiarity.
    HARRY DRESDEN WIZARD
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    Not sure it was intentional, but in reference to the tasteless sex and violence in the movie, this is what movies were like in the 80s. Road Warrior comes to mind...

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    MY friends and I have been waiting for this movie since 1988 or so, when rumors started circulating about a Watchmen movie. The graphic novel brought comics out of the kiddy ghetto, I can't begin to tell you what an eye opener it was at the time. I can't wait to see it, I did hear they changed the ending though, which is kind of sad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aidan View Post
    ...I did hear they changed the ending though, which is kind of sad.
    The change to the ending is really only a cosmetic one but one which does have a slightly different bent to it than the original. I was very afraid when I heard the word "change" that the film would suffer for it. Honestly, the change isn't very drastic at all even if I'm not entirely sure I completely groove on it yet. It works perfectly fine but it does raise some other questions that I've not yet had sufficient time to ponder.
    HARRY DRESDEN WIZARD
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