Watchmen - no discussion?

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Movie Talk' started by joeranger, Nov 3, 2011.

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  1. joeranger

    joeranger Sr Member

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    After multiple attempts to watch this all the way through, I finally saw the full directors cut last night.
    I don't read comics or graphic novels but have enjoyed many of the movie versions.
    Visually it was awesome. Special effects, costumes, filming, cast...Great
    Story: interesting, cool alternate reality
    Characters: again, interesting but there are so many you don't really identify with all of them.
    Pace: It's slow but there are multiple story lines that need to be supported by flashbacks to make sense.
    Action: Great action scenes, I had to fast forward through some of the "silk specter" scenes. Might need to go back and review.
    Audience: Not a kid movie. Very adult themes and complicated political/cultural issues. It is a movie worth supporting just to let Hollywood know they can take a chance every once in a while.
    Success: $130m budget and made $180m ww.

    Interested to hear what other people have to say.
     
  2. JD

    JD Master Member

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    Read the book.
     
    Dave Porter likes this.
  3. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    I need to grab it. I had little interest in it but I'm a fan of David Hayter who worked on the script after seeing his other movies (and it doesn't hurt he's the voice of Solid Snake). I know he said that Fox kept getting in the way of how the movie was made. From what I can tell I'm not sure the characters were meant to be likeable.
     
  4. joeranger

    joeranger Sr Member

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    I have the book but am not a fan of graphic novels. A really good book plays like a movie in your head.
    I will try reading it again. Cool story.
     
  5. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    The graphic novel is....a thing unto itself.

    It's a very very VERY different experience from the film. First, Dave Gibbons' art style is distinct and, in my opinion, beautiful. But there's often A TON going on in each frame, sometimes literally, sometimes symbolically.

    It's a very thought-through, meticulous piece of work. Or at least it reads that way. Maybe they just lucked out and stuff all fell into place.

    Anyway, it's not just a "trade paperback" collection of comic issues. I mean, it is, but the story is crafted as a dense tale with a beginning, middle, and end. It's well worth it.

    I gave it to my cousin who's so-so on comics and he LOVED it. Gave him a copy of Crisis on Infinite Earths and he was far more "meh" about it because it lacked a lot of the deeper thematic issues that Watchmen addresses. That's actually a good sort of dividing line there. If you're a comics fan, you may appreciate Crisis because of what it did in the comics industry. You don't have to be a comics fan to appreciate Watchmen, though, as a story and exploration of aspects of human behavior. It also raises a few interesting ethical questions.


    I heard the film was frame-for-frame very very similar to the comic, but changed a few crucial elements (specifically the ending). I gather they kept the thematic punch of the ending in place, but I haven't seen it (missed it in the theaters, and saving it 'til I get a blu-ray player and an HDTV).
     
  6. Birdie

    Birdie Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The characters really aren't likeable in the book, either, at least not in the 'hey, I'd like to hang out with that guy' sense. The fact that they are mostly either sociopaths or psychologically damaged is kind of the point.
     
  7. Kommissar

    Kommissar Well-Known Member

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    i like the ending of the movie more than the book.. the lovecraftian ending of the book was disliked by the author as well, and he has said in interview if he could rewrite history, he would have changed the ending to be closer to the movie.
     
  8. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I read the book after seeing the movie, but I enjoyed it and was amazed more by how close the movie was to it, rather than how different. I agreed with most of the changes/omissions.

    The Black Freighter asides did nothing for me. I didn't see how they contributed at all.
    I like Dave Gibbons' overall sense of composition and construction, but his draftmanship doesn't work for me. The poses are stiff, the figures lack weight. They look like posed mannequins. His anatomy is lacking, and he doesn't draw females well. Men with *.
     
  9. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Black Freighter was a parallel to the main story. Didn't think it was really necessary in the movie though.
     
  10. Dave Porter

    Dave Porter Sr Member

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    This.

    I read it as it was coming out in the 80's. I have probably been through it 10-20 times since.

    I have seen both the regular and the extended BluRay, and the book beats it out every time.
     
  11. ONEYE

    ONEYE Sr Member

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    Didn't care for the comic or the movie.
     
  12. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    I thought the movie was great, but I saw the theatrical. What was added to the director's cut? I saw the animated Tales of the Black Freightor, and it was ok. It worked in the comic, but I can't imagine cutting it into the movie. Did they? Seems like it would ruin it.

    I also have long been a fan of the book. I hate to say though, I prefer the ending of the movie.
     
  13. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Yes, they cut it into the movie.
     
  14. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Depends on the release. There's an extended blu-ray (with a bonus disc) that does not have it cut in, and there's one without a bonus disc that does. I rented the separate release of Black Freighter just to see it, and decided I didn't need to have it. Don't really like "motion comics" anyway.
     
  15. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    That would be called 'animation'. :)

    I got the Ultimate edition:

    Disc 1:
    Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut Film
    Audio Commentary with Zack Snyder and Dave Gibbons

    Disc 2:
    Over 2 Hours of Special Features
    • The Phenomenon: The Comic that Changed Comics
    • Real Super Heroes, Real Vigilantes
    • Mechanics: Technologies of a Fantastic World
    • Watchmen: Video Journals
    • My Chemical Romance Desolation Row
    • Under The Hood
    • Story Within A Story: The Books of Watchmen

    Disc 3:
    Digital Copy of the Theatrical Version

    Disc 4:
    Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comics BD-Live
     
  16. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, if you want to call cutting the characters out of the comic book art and pasting them back onto modified backgrounds and moving the layers around "animation"... ;)

    edit: whoops, BF wasn't one of those, I forgot. It was pretty limited though. ;)
     
  17. JD

    JD Master Member

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    ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.

    The author, Alan Moore, has made it clear he will not see the movie adaptation oh this - or any of his books. He has a great deal of disdain for adapting his work and would probably go on a rampage if he saw these changes.
     
  18. JD

    JD Master Member

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    I read the Watchmen when it was initially released in issues (and still have them). I was much too young to appreciate the depth in this book, but even as a teenager, I knew this was something special. There are things on there that seem like throwaway pieces of information, but it all makes up this story and makes it more real and more visceral.

    The movie couldn't do this book justice there's just too much going on. It's an honest attempt and outside of the ending, somewhat faithful... But a two hour movie barely scratches the surface.

    It would have been an amazing miniseries on HBO.
     
  19. terryr

    terryr Sr Member

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    The movie had too much 'talking about it' instead of 'showing it'. Never read the original. Rorschach was about the only interesting thing for me. It was like watching retired cops talking about when they were cops.
    It was on TV a few nights ago and I switched off half way.

    I saw a few of those late night. Weird and stupid and unlikable. Moving unmoving cartoons. Like a kid put the comic book on sticks and moved them around. And it seems like all the voices were done by one guy, including the woman.
     
  20. JoMamma_Smurf

    JoMamma_Smurf Master Member

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    The directors cut is amazing... I love it sooooo much. It's one of my all time fav movies.
     
  21. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    ...aaaand **** you, George Lucas.
     
  22. Seabass

    Seabass Sr Member

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    highly recommend the Under the Hood 'documentary'
    It adds a lot of depth into their world
     
  23. Scareb

    Scareb Sr Member

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    Needed more naked Malin Ackerman
     
  24. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    I agree about it would've been a good miniseries. I tend to think that a lot of comics and stories would do better with a longer form narrative than 2-2.5 hrs.

    And definitely agree that there are elements in the frames in the comics that just seem like nonsense. Little nothing asides and such, but it ends up playing into the larger story. That's what I meant about the layering of the comic. You can take it at just the surface level, or you can really spend time and pore over it.

    Which, I gather, is a big part of why Alan Moore has said he doesn't like his comics translated into film. You lose a big part of the experience in the translation. Personally, I have no problem with his stuff being translated to film, but I think to fully appreciate it you have to go back to the source.

    It may be that some folks still don't find it entertaining, which is fine. Watchmen isn't for everyone. Much of it depends on what you know about comics going in, and/or on what you expect to see. It's also why the film, I think, was likely IMPOSSIBLE to market. It's a superhero story...except not at ALL what you expect in that sense. X-men this ain't.

    Yeah, in the comic they have a lot of that kind of stuff stuck in between the issues. It works better. You learn a lot about the history of the universe, the background of the characters, etc. That's another example of how the translation probably doesn't "work" exactly the same way. The richness of the experience (or at least the potential for a rich experience) is lost if you start stripping that stuff out, yet it really WOULDN'T be appropriate to leave it in a film.

    I mean, honestly, I agree that cutting out the Black Freighter stuff makes sense if you're making a movie. It's like how EVERY adaptation of LOTR gets rid of Tom Bombadil, but...no, wait, actually, Bombadil adds NOTHING to even the book version. :lol Ok, bad example. BUT, my point here is that sometimes a film version of a story needs trimming. Even a miniseries version would've likely needed trimming of that sort of stuff. And again, that's what you lose in the translation. Does it matter for the overall story? No, not in a "A-to-B-to-C" sense of the plot, but it does kinda matter in terms of getting the full impact of the tale.
     
  25. Bobtherocker

    Bobtherocker Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  26. Dave Porter

    Dave Porter Sr Member

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    I saw that on the Movie Network, and that is why I went out and bought the BluRay.

    It adds the background that was presented in the comics, with the excerpts from "Under the Mask"
     
  27. The Rock-a-who

    The Rock-a-who Well-Known Member

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    LOVED the movie and thought it is one of the better comic adaptations out there.
     
  28. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    I agree with JD on this. Trust me, the book is more enjoyable.
     
  29. clancampbell

    clancampbell Sr Member

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    Never cared for the book much, but loved the directors cut of the movie on BD.....

    Neanderthal or what......

    Rich
     
  30. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    Hey, I teach English for a living--books are my life, basically--and even I will admit there are some times I prefer the film version to the book. Only about 5% of the time, but it happens.
     
  31. clancampbell

    clancampbell Sr Member

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    You are kind and merciful to me, a mere luddite!

    Rich
     
  32. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    I prefer the film version of L.A. Confidential to the book version. The film was a better told tale, in my opinion. Much tighter, less meandering. Far fewer apparently irrelevant side plots. They changed a ton of the book, but it made one of my favorite movies. In general, I think that it's better to see the film BEFORE you read the book, because if you do it the other way round, you're never satisfied.
     
  33. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    :lol Philistine!

    Dan: I generally agree better to see the film first, but the danger is the actors and sets influence your reading of the book, robbing you of something in the process. As much as I love the LOTR movies, it's a shame I can only see those actors in my mind when I read the books now (mind you, I'd read the books a half dozen times before the films came out, but you know what I mean).

    I loved the movie Let the Right One In so much I didn't WANT to read the book lest it spoil the MOVIE for me...how odd is that? When I finally did read it, I found that it added some really important info that I loved, but was saddened that without the great cast and score the emotional impact was lessened for me. In my head, I treat them as two different entities, different takes on the same tale, much like several bands can cover one song. I'm happy with that.
     

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