Monday, March 9, 2009

The Watchmen Review

Who's watching Watchmen? Everybody apparently. This book - or comic book, graphic novel, whatever you want to call it - has been picked apart endlessly in the last 20 years since it was published. So much has been said about Watchmen. Some call it the “Holy Grail” of graphic novels, while others say the book is responsible for changing the face of modern comic books. To date, Watchmen remains the only graphic novel to win a Hugo Award, and is also the only graphic novel to appear on Time Magazine’s 2005 list of “the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present.” It's no wonder this is one of the most celebrated comic books of all time.

Now I'm not a huge Watchmen fan. Frankly, I didn't know a thing about it till I saw the trailer a year ago. I am however a huge fan of comic book movies. I feel when done right (Batman, Superman, X-Men) it can translate into an exciting and interesting joy ride from start to finish. I love the comic book stories, the adventure, the action and most of all the altered universe with the realistic world backdrop in which we live in. It opens the doors for fictional creativity, which to me is fascinating.

Gritty and visually striking, Watchmen is a faithful adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel. We begin our story in a grimy and alternative 1985 world, in which Richard Nixon still resides in the White House, superheroes have been outlawed and the world is ticking closer to the brink of nuclear war. The only superhero still in operation is under direct control of the United States government and suddenly he is brutally murdered. This crime brings those outlawed superheroes together once again to investigate this vicious murder. "An attack on one is an attack on all of us." During their investigation they find themselves targets by an unseen enemy, who wants to kill them off one by one.

I read somewhere that if you don't read the comic book prior to seeing the movie you will be completely lost. Uh... I don't know who those people are because I followed the story line perfectly. I mean it's not rocket science. It's also not your usual comic book, action movie either. From the trailer I was expecting tons of action. Don't be fooled - it is about 15% action while the remainder is more or less character development. It was done really well that I didn't seem to mind. It was a refreshing surprise - a lot more depth then I expected, not that there's a great deal of depth, but still. When there was action those scenes were amazing! Like I said if done right comic books can translate very well on the silver screen. That's exactly what this film did.

I'm was a big fan of Zack Snyder's visionary work in 300. I had no doubt his latest work (Watchmen) would shine through with awe and wonder. I love his work, his use of color against the darkness, the special effects and most of all I love his action scenes - he slows down the action senses at just the right spot only to speed it up again. The movie was complex, thrilling, artistic, fun and exciting from start to finish. The ending was a little thought provoking too. It made'ga kinda think a little - didn't expect that coming from a superhero movie.

There's only a couple things I would have changed. I would have picked better music. I know the setting is in the mid 80's, but this is a dark movie and in my book calls for "dark" music. The light, happy-go-lucky music kind of detracted from the mood a little. Also, I will say for a comic book of this stature I felt the sex/nudity scene was unnecessary, as well as the excessive gore and violence. They could have toned down a couple scenes a tad and been just fine. Other than that I was impressed with this movie. If you're going to see this film I highly recommend seeing it at the IMAX. A-MA-ZING!!



Groverfam said...

was Nixon really still in the white house in 85- i thought it was Reagan. Anyway very nice review! you do have a way with words...I was interested and read the entire thing.

Kristen said...

Yes, in this movie Nixon is STILL president. lol Like I said it's an altered universe.

Big D said...

I feel like I live in an altered universe. But if I did live in an altered universe, how would I know? Unless someone else came along and told me...

Good writing, except I must object when you say Alan Moore's celebrated graphic novel is so well known. Few people outside the literature world have ever read his works. Plus, some will scoff at the fact it's a comic book (not I)

It's also telling when Alan Moore wants nothing to do with this movie. It is either literature pride, money or he does not think the movie has been done correctly.

I'm sure Alan Moore has said something and I'm sure you could see it somewhere on the web.

Melain said...

I didn't know it was playing at the Imax! That's for SURE where I want to see it.

Go shawty! said...

Here is a topic:
I recently saw a "thanks you for smoking". I thoght it was a great witty movie and wish those that care about what Kristen has to say on this fine blog would watch this movie and post what they thought about it.


Go shawty! said...

Big D is a punk.
On the other hand BIG "D" with the nice new staduim is awesome and next season we will be in the playoffs! Winning a game (or 2) 0.o
When that happens I will subscripe to second life as by then my life will be so great I will need another one. Perhaps my second life avatar will sell paper and fly.

Kristen said...

Tom -
this is not a forum for ur blah blah chit-chat yo... Even though I'm glad u comment try to keep it related, mmmkay. LOL grrrrreat.

Go shawty! said...

BLAH BLAH chit chat yo!?

I do what I want!!!!!

Maybe I might just chat about how I feel regaurding the current state of the economy or how there truly is no differnace between table peeper and that magic wand the waiters wave over your food while you are out at a resturant.
I might even discuss the future where my favorite sister is coming to watch my son so my wife and I can go and see the movie "Taken".
I might just do these things if I am provoked.

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