Watchmen (*)

If you are a fan of the graphic novel, under the age of 18 or offended by genitalia stop reading now. I went to see this movie as a complete virgin to the series. I had heard nothing about Watchmen, which surprised me because I thought I knew a little more about comics than your average person. I am not sure if reading the comic book before would have made this movie better, but I think that people that judge it with those eyes might be a little more kind. I don’t think so though, because even though I like Superman and Spider Man a lot, the most recent movies sucked.

If you are never going to watch this movie, then continue reading because I am about to tear it apart… along with probably some of the comic book and probably make a couple of enemies along the way… but hey, I voted for Obama and that already lost me friends, so what is another couple just because I thought a movie was completely ghey.

The superhero genre is getting a little over saturated. I think Dare Devil and Electra started to show us that, and well from then on we have seen a series of crap where the only golden nugget has been The Dark Knight. Everything else as movies has been a pile of crap, and Watchmen seriously felt like stepping on steaming poo.

I would like to start by what I did like. I think that Jackie Earle Haley as Walter Kovacs / Rorschach is impeccable. He kept the movie flowing and I was waiting to see what he was going to say next every single time that he appeared on screen. His character was the only one that seem to have not only depth but any type of likability. Even as a very flawed human being he was still able to be someone you wanted to survive, but he ended up getting blown to pieces because of the greater good.

For a second imagine a world where Superman does not put Lex Luthor in jail, but rather becomes his ally because he thinks humanity is so flawed that what is 15 million people’s death if billions can be saved in the future. In the same train of thought imagine that Batman is not as good of a detective he is, but more of an accountant type that can’t get it up for a beautiful woman, he has to first take the batwing for as spin to regain his manhood that was left hanging along with his cape. The joker is a rapist that is actually allowed to be part of the good guys. All over this comic we see caricatures of other beloved heroes. It is almost like their flaws are being inflated and the painted on top of a canvas mirroring our current paranoia and divisiveness. It is not that the heroes have gone bad, it is more like the heroes were never good.

I get the fact that people live violence and sex. I also think that there is such a thing as too much blood and violence. The blowing up of human bodies is just not something I enjoy seeing, along with attempted rape, bones broken and being exposed through skin and child dismemberment. It did not seem to add anything to the story and the fight scenes just seemed like an excuse to poor some more blood on the camera. In a world already so full of destruction I want to go see a movie that entertains me, not a movie that depresses me.

Every single character is flatter than the pages of the graphic novel that they came from. I am sure the true fans of the series would say that I am missing the point or the satire in the content, but trust me, the package it was delivered on was pretty horrible. Talking about packages, I never though i would see a movie where there would be 4 blue penises on the same frame. If you thought 300 was homoerotic, well there are about 300 frames of penises in this movie. When there was for I had to resist the urge to yell out loud, come on, enough of the blue penises. While there were a couple of bare breasts in the movie, they did not make up for the penis overload, not even one vajajay.

The special effects throughout the movie felt wrong. The camera angles tried too hard to be comic book frames. When the most believable part of an alternate universe is that Nixon stayed in power for three terms, you have serious issues. To me the movie was pretty bad, and it was only somewhat entertaining. I would not even consider this a rental unless you enjoy looking at mans buttocks and full frontal over and over and over.

15 comments on “Watchmen (*)

  1. When the most believable part of an alternate universe is that Nixon stayed in power for three terms, you have serious issues.”

    Says it all, my friend. Nice review.

    I have my own issues with movies based on comics, so I would not have gone to see it, but the mention of multitudes of blue penises sealed the deal.

  2. Have not seen, cannot read review, cannot comment.

    I can say that as a fan of the original material, I tend to be either very hard or very forgiving of movies based on my favorite books/comics.

  3. The superhero genre is getting a little over saturated. I think Dare Devil and Electra started to show us that, and well from then on we have seen a series of crap where the only golden nugget has been The Dark Knight.

    I agree with your statement that the superhero genre is getting over saturated. As for your review of WATCHMEN, you have convinced me more than ever to skip it. I was reluctant to go see it in the first place. But you honestly thought that THE DARK KNIGHT was the only good superhero movie in recent years? With that crappy last half hour? Huh. To each his/her own, I guess.

  4. Thanks for the review! I want to see the flick. It’s just trying to find the time… maybe towards the end of the month!

    Hope you’re doing great these days. I have to catch up on your blog posts.

  5. Please don’t let the steaming pile of cancer that is the Watchmen movie dissuade you from picking up the graphic novel some time. It’s really quite good, and simply didn’t lend itself to the movie format.

    Also, Rorschach was based on Mr. A (or the Question, probably both), Night Owl was based on the Blue Beetle, not Batman. The Comedian was based on Peacemaker, and Ozymandias was based on Thunderbolt. None of the main characters were based on villains. Originally they were going to use a bunch of old Charlton Comics characters, but the editorial staff decided that the story would ruin the original characters.

    One thing I take issue with, though, is the assertion that The Dark Knight was the only good comic-book movie to come out recently. Iron Man was excellent.

  6. Well my friend you are a true critic now. It wasnt that bad, I didnt read the novels, but the movie wasnt that bad. If you were going in thinking it was going to be an academy award winner, then shame on you. It was mildly entertaining, but then again I only paid 5 bucks to see it. If you went in looking for a mindless superhero movie that what you got. Its at least two stars out of four.

  7. Wook Said,

    After talking with John during lunch and not reading his review prior, it was very clear to me his hopes were based on “Superman” and “Spiderman” rose colored glasses of movies.

    LOL, here you go again making blanket statements when you could have asked for details.

    I went in with expectations of finding a “dark” movie about people wearing masks. Instead I got a movie that did not tell me much about people or really showed me why they made the decisions they made. Every single character was very simplified. I knew this was no Superman or Spiderman movie and I expected entertainment not buckets of gore, and penises and ass. If I wanted to see a bunch of blue penises I would have looked for a XXX Smurfs movie.

    And BTW, DO NOT TAKE YOUR KIDS TO THIS MOVIE. I saw at least 2 sets of parents with children under 10.

  8. Thx John, you saved me $10.
    The Watchmen comic truly is a complex, anti-hero story that fit into the decade it was written in. And while it was praised from all sides, I don’t think it was ever intended to please the mainstream audience.
    And unless the story gets reinvented for the big screen (like they did for Dark Knight or Iron Man), comic book violence often doesn’t translate well in movies. Thus, I agree with Alan Moore when he distances himself from all the movie adaptions.

  9. Yeah, thanks John. I was hoping someone would finally give me the critic I knew was out there.

  10. Logtar,

    Wook may have been wrong about the type of movie that you were expecting to see, but I think that he was right that a large part of your discontent is that the movie you went to see was different than the one you saw.

    It is almost like their flaws are being inflated and the painted on top of a canvas mirroring our current paranoia and divisiveness. It is not that the heroes have gone bad, it is more like the heroes were never good.

    In large part it seemed that way because it was. It was a paranoid Cold War piece. Indicative of a time when the world seemed completely out of our hands and out of control and people are left as impotent as Dan Drieberg. And even when they try to take control over events, it’s fruitless or dangerous. It’s not just depressing. It’s nihilistic. Rather than these being things that are wrong or bad about the work, they’re precisely the things that I loved about it. It told a story that I’d never heard before and the comic book at least did a great job of it.

    Being a fan of the comic book, it’s impossible for me to evaluate the movie from an outsider’s perspective. So your complaints about weak characterization may well be on-the-mark. I went into it already knowing more about the characters than the movie has time to tell its audience. Even then, it took a couple re-readings of the comic book for me to actually fully appreciate it, transitioning from “This is bizarre” to “This is unique” to “This is interesting” to “This is genius”.

    I also came into the movie prepared for the blue penii. I find it interesting that (adult) people were so bothered by it. The guys behind us at the theater were obviously squirming. I guess I squirmed a bit too when I first read the comic, but I attributed that to being 15 years old. Maybe I would have been squirming, too.

    To others, if you really liked the comic book you will probably enjoy the movie. Whatever its flaws, it’s an awesome experience to see a lot of the scenes out to screen. It betrays little of the original work. It leaves stuff out, of course, because it has to. It actually gave me a new appreciation of at least one of the characters that I always hated in the comic.

  11. Will,

    I guess you hit it on the head, to me to create a world where all of the heroes are just people making futile attempts at life is pretty pointless… in some way I can see the genius behind it, since it goes above and beyond to be so opposite of what a comic book hero is supposed to be and represent.

    If I would have seen the material as a young boy I might have seen it as cool to be opposite and envelope pushing. Now as an adult, that movie with all of its filth its just not palatable. I love action movies, violence for the sake of violence just makes me sick to my stomach. I guess rape and children being murdered are the two most disgusting things in my frame of morals and just not something that I want to see presented in the way it was. Same as I hate the movie that zeroes in on an assailant’s gun when it should have been a detailed I picked up, my face being rubbed with blood to illustrate that humanity can be disgusting its not appealing to me.

    I am curious about the source material and want to see how much of it is the movie medium just not being able to translate the message. I have seen how forgiving some people can be when the source material is near to their hearts even if the re-invention of it is pure crap.

    I guess what I have been trying to say the whole time is that when I go to see a movie I want to be entertained or at least moved in some way, no problem here with shedding a tear. Being disgusted by seeing the half eaten leg of a child dragged by a dog is just not something I want to pay for because I believed that and many other things added nothing to the movie.

  12. My general sense of the difference between the comic book and the movie is that the comic book in some ways is even more gruesome. However, (a) it’s within the context of a more complete story and (b) gruesome on a page is not as gruesome as gruesome on a stadium screen, even if it’s the exact same scene.

    Regarding (a), I’ll take your example. In the movie, I could see how the rape story may have seemed gratuitous. In the comic, it was crucial to understanding Rorschach’s warped psyche and where it came from. Seriously, the book (#6) that holds that scene is a masterpiece in itself. That other events in that issue (such as the significance of Kovacs’s mask an how he got it) were missing may have made it seem pointless. From my perspective, Rorschach wouldn’t be the same without that experience and other experiences that surround it.

    Given your complaints about the movie, it’s unlikely that you would really enjoy the comic book much. The violence and grit are there, too, and the overall theme is the same in its nihilism and amorality.

  13. Go and read the graphic novel….it’s fantastic and one of the most influential books (graphic or otherwise) of the last 30 years.

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