March 7th, 2009


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03:29 am - Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - graffiti.maverick

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Comments:


[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 11th, 2009 - 02:32 pm (Link)
* you and I had previously discussed the action scenes, so of course I agree completely. I think that the bullet time effects have much greater impact when used sparingly. Blake gets thrown out of a window, Jon gets his intrinsic field removed, then fine, slow me down. Punching a random thug or incidental fighting in a prison brawl, should happen at lightning speed. Screen time as well. Jon and Laurie's fight with the muggers should have taken 60 seconds of screen time tops.

* Another review I read made a really good point about the movie. It's not really an adaptation. It's an homage. It was an attempt to say to all the fanboys out there, "you've always wanted to see Watchmen on the big screen! Well now you can!" The problem is, you and I are atypical fanboys, I guess. We'd much rather see an actual good film. Despite all of [Bad username: jameel>'s protestations about how ] confirmed below that not having read the book, she was really confused by the movie, and that's a problem. She happens to be a big old geek and will likely read the book now anyway, but I'd rather people come out of an adaptation of an epic saying "wow, I really have to read that book now to see more of that world" not "oh, umm... that was neat, I guess." I expect most of the non-geek population would fall into the latter category.

* Had I been tasked with writing a big screen adaptation, I'd have shortened it another 40 min. or so. I would have removed present-day Hollis from the film entirely, as without his death, the hanging out with Dan scene is meaningless. I would have removed Rorschach's origin flashback, as they only told the second half, and while I agree that it's one of the coolest scenes in the movie, it doesn't serve any story purpose unless we see the first half of the origin. It just tells us "rorschach is nuts! here's why!" It doesn't give us transition or growth. We already knew he was nuts, we don't really need to know why (in the movie context). I probably would have beefed up Laurie's character a little bit. Blake being her father more or less comes completely out of left field and has very little impact. In the book, it's clear she HATES Blake. In the movie, she almost seems ambivalent to him up until then, other than when she's directly confronted with it while speaking to her mother.

* A trilogy might have worked, but I think it'd have been hard to cut in the LOTR style since the breaks aren't as natural (despite it coming out as a limited series). I'd rather have seen a 5 part miniseries on SCIFI or something. I actually think that was the right medium. I could do without Hollywood style special effects in a story like this, as I'd rather give the characters breathing room. The effects budget of a Galactica episode would have been more than sufficient for each installment.

* Fights. Again, agreed.

* Sex in the clouds. I think this is important, but it was just done badly. First, I didn't think they made it clear enough that Dan was impotent the first time Laurie tried to jump his bones. It just felt awkward ("I need a moment") not embarrassing. Second, I think Snyder was trying to be HOT, but failed miserably. It was WAY less successful than your average late night Cinemax romp, and that's troubling. In particular, the slow pan up Laurie's legs to show that OMGSHESSTILLWEARINGTHEFUCKMEBOOTSANDTHEYREACTUALYFUCKINGHAWTHAWTHAWT!!! was just laughable. If I were a 13 year old boy, then maybe I might have jacked off to that. But I'm not and it just seemed silly and overtly wankerish.

* Jokes, I dunno. In general I did feel that the dialog comes across as awkward. People in comic books just don't talk like people in films. And neither talk like people in real life. They tried very hard to use script lines directly from the book and it just seemed forced. I don't know that jokes would have helped, but a good rewrite would have done wonders.
[User Picture]From: sui66iy Date: March 11th, 2009 - 02:57 pm (Link)
I like the idea of a mini-series. That would have been a much better idea. Lower budget, more room for the actors, and it gives the viewers bathroom breaks!

Yeah, I don't know about the jokes either. The other thing about the lines from the book are that they are very consciously lined up against specific artwork, often in an ironic fashion. Occasionally they tried to do that in the movie, but it wasn't really working so well.

Interesting data point from someone who hasn't read the book: Jill liked the "biography" parts much better than the "plot" parts.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 11th, 2009 - 03:21 pm (Link)
Interesting data point from someone who hasn't read the book: Jill liked the "biography" parts much better than the "plot" parts.


Not surprising., They're good. Though I'll agree that they would have been harder to fit into the context of the film. They are being included as a DVD extra though. At least Hollis's book is, having been translated into a documentary about the Minutemen.

Ok, now all we have to do is get SCIFI to give us a budget.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 11th, 2009 - 03:15 pm (Link)
Part of this was garbled from a markup error. Bullet #2 should be:

* Another review I read made a really good point about the movie. It's not really an adaptation. It's an homage. It was an attempt to say to all the fanboys out there, "you've always wanted to see Watchmen on the big screen! Well now you can!" The problem is, you and I are atypical fanboys, I guess. We'd much rather see an actual good film. Despite all of jameel's protestations about how "awesome it is" I doubt he can truly point out any artistic merit to the movie in its own right. Maybe he'll comment and provide examples. But as much as I am a comic geek, I'm also a film geek, and this movie is lacking in its own right. diosa_en_disfra confirmed below that not having read the book, she was really confused by the movie, and that's a problem. She happens to be a big old geek and will likely read the book now anyway, but I'd rather people come out of an adaptation of an epic saying "wow, I really have to read that book now to see more of that world" not "oh, umm... that was neat, I guess." I expect most of the non-geek population would fall into the latter category.
[User Picture]From: jameel Date: March 11th, 2009 - 03:29 pm (Link)

The Philistine replies!

You're absolutely right that I'm not a film geek; I'm also not a film connoisseur. Why do I think it was an awesome movie? Because I do, that's why, and that's all that matters to me.

I don't pay much attention to what the critics say about movies, either.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 11th, 2009 - 03:43 pm (Link)

Re: The Philistine replies!

That's completely fair and a side issue. I can't tell you what you should and shouldn't like and wouldn't dream of trying. There are lots of movies that I absolutely love that aren't very good in even the slightest. Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death being one of my all time favorites.

Where Watchmen fails isn't in lacking fans, clearly they're going to make money on it. So that people are enjoying it is indisputable and therefore not interesting to have a discussion on. What we can discuss is what made it and didn't make it work. What made it or didn't make it good from a technical sense.

(Same is true of music, books, comics, video games, painting or any other art for that matter)
 

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