Who Watches the Watchmen?

      1 Comment on Who Watches the Watchmen?

Well I did, duh.

I finally got around to seeing the movie Watchmen tonight. Assorted thoughts, in no particular order.

  • I’m a fan of the original graphic novel the movie is based upon, so I approached the movie with some apprehension. When the credits rolled, I was satisfied. For me, the movie captured the mood of the book, and was faithful to many of the iconic images and intentions of the original. Several things were omitted, or changed out right. None of those particularly irked me.
  • I commend Zack Snyder (the director) for not hacking the material down to the traditional 1 hour and 45 minute movie. The story warranted the longer running time. But jeeze, movies that long should come with a catheter.
  • I was especially struck with how the actors in the movie matched my memory of how the characters in the book looked. That was one of those nice touches that made the movie especially satisfying.
  • Apparently, IMAX versions of mainstream films just means they’re showing the film on a properly large screen, rather than the typical mall cineplex postage stamp screen. It’s not even remotely the massive dome/immersive experience you get in a proper IMAX movie.
  • It was obvious that Snyder decided to use large swaths of the comic as storyboards for the film. I think this was an excellent decision. Dave Gibbons (the artist) doesn’t get enough credit for his part in making the Watchmen comic.
  • Big Blue Penis! Sorry, “Penises!”
  • I was tickled to see Veidt’s computer was a vaguely period Macintosh SE, dolled up in black, running some variant of System 6. Cute. But you’d think the World’s Smartest Man(™) could pick a better password.
  • When movie theaters are a thing of the past, you can lay some portion of the blame on 30 oz “medium” sodas that cost $5, and 15 minutes of ads and trailers before the movie itself begins. (Yes, I timed it.)
  • The budget for the soundtrack of the movie must have been staggering.
  • If you’re planning on doing cosplay as Dr Manhattan at some con, you better have the proper build for it. You’re running the risk of being mistaken for Papa Smurf.
  • I noticed one of the video snippets on Veidt’s bank of monitors was Apple’s famous 1984 commercial. Cute.
  • The best aspects of the Dr Manhattan special effects were the most subtle ones. For instance, close-ups on him seemed to include little dust motes hanging in the air around his body. Other-worldly.
  • The movie is riddled with great details. The Batman poster. The smiley face crater. The bloodstain/inkblot in the snow. Moloch’s ears. I’m looking forward to the eventual DVD release, with the obligatory “behind the scenes” and “making of” material.
  • I strongly dislike a lot of action movies today. It’s as if directors assume spastic cuts and extreme closeups and loud noises and explosions will convey the energy and violence of the moment. Mostly, it just makes my head hurt. I’m pleased Snyder didn’t fall into this cliché. In fact, he used periods of slow motion in his action (did Guy Ritchie popularize that?) to excellent effect.
  • I don’t know if I can say whether Watchmen was a good movie or not, or whether someone else would enjoy it. I’m a little too close to the source material to have that kind of objectivity. But I sure dug it.

Okay, I’m done now.

1 thought on “Who Watches the Watchmen?

  1. lonnerz

    I saw it at 10pm last weekend and it way to loooong near the end where it seemed like each plot line ended but the story kept going. However, I agree with almost every one of the points listed above 🙂


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