Movie: "Watchmen"
Year: 2009
Rated: R
Genre: Action / Adventure
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Writing credits: David Hayer, Alex Tse, Alan Moore

Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Posted: 3/9/2009

Plot: Vigilante Rorshach is investigating the murder of The Comedian, a costumed hero employed by the US government. It appears that there is a conspiracy to kill a number of other retired costumed heroes, but this only the beginning...

Review: One of the perks of working at I-Mockery is that on occasion, we’re invited to early movie screenings. I admit I’m not the biggest fan of Watchmen, but I did read the comic in anticipation of the movie. In retrospect, that might have been a bad idea.

Fans of the comic have been passing speculations on whether or not the movie will be true to the comic or not since it was announced over a decade ago. Already, the producers have admitted that the “giant squid” has been removed for being too weird, and that the “Tales of the Black Freighter” side plot has been removed because test audiences felt it sounded a tad racist. What surprised me, however, was the number of changes to the source material that were not mentioned at all.

For the most part, it was a lot of little things. The decision to give Dr. Manhattan a Brooklyn accent, I felt, really undercut his aloofness. Also, in deference to the omitted “Black Freighter” segment, a number of scenes feature extras in pirate outfits in the background. In the long run, changes like that don’t ruin the movie, per se, but they did seem a tad unnecessary.

The thing that really struck me as odd was all the changes to the character Rorshach. In the comics, he’s portrayed as a merciless crimefighter living on the fringe of society. In the film, however, he receives a considerable makeover. For example, whereas the comics had him acting as a doomsayer wandering the streets, the movie has him working as a pastry chef, solving crimes at night and then sneaking back to his bakery early in the morning. His living arrangements have also been changed so that in the movie, he is roommates with Dan Dreiberg (aka Nite Owl II). Also, and this really threw me for a loop, he adds a sort of trilling sound (“like a dove,” one of the characters explains) to the end of sentences that contain his superhero name.

Those who have read the comic will recall the scene when Rorshach was captured by the police. It was a great scene where he wards off SWAT team members with an improvised flamethrower, lights an apartment on fire, and jumps out of a window, only to injure himself and land in police custody. The film, however, changes this scene considerably. Rather than being caught while investigating a possible lead, Rorshach is caught when, while watching a news report on a TV in a window display, he accidentally smashes the window with a frustrated headbutt. He gets away from the police initially, but then the police spot him peeping out of his hiding place inside a post office dropbox. It was all too much, especially the following scene where they simply airlift the entire mailbox directly to the police station.

If you can get past changes like that, you’ll still enjoy the movie. The good news is that they got Danny Elfman to do the score. The bad news is that they couldn’t afford to pay him for new music, so they had to reuse the score from Beetlejuice. Still, I thought it worked well for this movie. I thought the actors were well-suited to their parts, although the one portraying the Comedian looked like a poor man’s Robert Downey Jr.

Looking back, the whole script kind of reminded me of that movie, Mystery Men, and not just because of all the heroes with no superpowers. I guess you’ve got to go with what works. It’s worth noting that this is the first film adaptation of his works that Alan Moore has officially approved of. Normally, he prefers to skip the movie and post a rant about it on his beard lovers message board, but this time, he actually watched the film AND gave it the thumbs up. When asked, he explained that, “it was just nice seeing the characters up on screen without me having to explain to an artist exactly what they’re supposed to look like.” And when he was asked about the treatment as a whole, he admitted, “look, I’m finished with Watchmen. If someone else wants to take a crack at it, I say more power to them.”

If that doesn’t count as a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what does.

Overall rating: Half
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

The Goddamned Batman
Mar 10th, 2009, 12:03 AM
Here's the Protoclown take:

Though I'm not sure a Watchmen movie should ever have been attempted, it was inevitable that Hollywood would get around to it sooner or later, and chances were that it would pale in comparison to what many people consider the best comic ever written. I'm happy to say that Zack Snyder's version was actually pretty good, all things considered--he managed to condense the story down into less than three hours and keep all the major themes intact, which is a pretty impressive feat by any measure.

However, I couldn't help but feel as I watched the movie that the plot seems rushed along--too many characters suffer from truncated back stories (Rorshach and Dr. Manhattan in particular), and this really lessens the emotional weight of the film. By necessity of the immensely complex story and the time constraints of film that don't affect the comic, the story doesn't have nearly the gravitas that its print version enjoys. This is one of many reasons why Alan Moore said way back when that he wrote Watchmen to illustrate the things that the comic book medium could do that neither film nor straight prose could accomplish. This movie only serves to prove his point. While the book is an innovative, revolutionary masterpiece compared to other comics (especially in 1986!), the film fails to tower above its celluloid siblings in the same way.

It was a damned fine adaptation, don't get me wrong--I don't think anyone could have done it better--but so much of the mind-blowing synchronicity and symbolism in the comic is completely lost here. Even if they do restore the "Tales From the Black Freighter" story into the director's cut, I doubt its parallels to the main story will be as apparent or as poignant to the viewer. And the fifth issue, "Fearful Symmetry", which is probably the most ambitious and elegantly designed single comic ever put to paper (wherein the second half of the issue visually mirrors the first half) is by its very nature impossible to replicate on film. It's not that the film was particularly lacking by any stretch--it's just that the comic has a whole bag of tricks to employ that the film can't possibly take advantage of.

A friend of mine after watching it said that he couldn't believe that anyone who hadn't read the book could make much sense out of the story, and I'm inclined to agree. Granted, being very familiar with the book it's hard for me to see the film through the eyes of someone new to the story, but I can see where the events of the film might have seemed somewhat disjointed and chaotic to the average audience member who didn't walk into the theater already a fan.

A lot of people complain about the removal of the squid from the film, but I'm here to tell you that swapping out the one MacGuffin for another doesn't really affect the outcome of the story, so I don't have a problem with it. The aftermath of the squid is far more visually striking than what they used in the film, but ultimately the difference means very little. And Dave Gibbons, artist of the comic, endorsed the new ending and even drew up storyboards for it in the style of the comic. If half the creative force behind the book is okay with it, then that's good enough for me.

The most offensive thing about the film to me was the fact that they referred to the group of characters as "the Watchmen". Those who have read the comic realize that there was not only never a team called "the Watchmen" (in fact, the word never once fully appears in the comic--you only ever see portions of the word in various instances of wall graffiti), but that those characters never existed as a team in the first place. They had one group meeting, during which the cheesy name "Crimebusters" was proposed, but the Comedian pointed out the absurdity of their foolish dream and that was that. Some of the characters worked together afterward, sure, but not as a cohesive "Justice League" kind of team, coming back to headquarters after a job well done and giving each other high-fives before hitting the showers. The title refers instead to the concept of authority itself--"who watches the watchmen?" basically means "who's keeping tabs on these guys who have appointed themselves our protectors?" The fact that Zack Snyder utterly ignored that tells me that he either doesn't understand the title himself, or (more likely) he or the producers felt that the average American was too dense to get it. Sadly, they are probably right, but given that the film was smart in so many other ways, shouldn't they have given us the benefit of the doubt, rather than insult our intelligence?

If I hated any one thing about the film, it was that. If I hated two things, it was that and Richard Nixon's ridiculous nose, which made him impossible to take seriously. Any other changes made I can live with, and I suspect (and hope) that the upcoming director's cut may alleviate many of the problems I had with truncated back stories. I look forward to seeing the full version of the movie as Snyder intended, and I think that might be just the thing to bump this up in status from "good" movie to great movie.

Oh, and for my money, the most exciting and interesting part of the movie was the opening credit sequence, where Snyder really got to flex his imagination muscles, putting together an extremely effective montage sequence showing the history that leads up to this alternate 1985, set to the perfectly chosen "The Times They Are A'Changin'" by Bob Dylan. Snyder gave us his interpretation of a bunch of moments that were mentioned but never actually shown in the comic. It was the only time that the movie brought something new and creative to the table, and given how much I loved that brilliant sequence, it's almost a shame that Snyder didn't take a few more creative liberties here and there, fleshing out the previously unseen bits of the story with more extrapolations.

Mar 10th, 2009, 01:07 AM
I will enjoy the movie, but all these little changes will probably bother me while I watch it.
Forum Virgin
Mar 10th, 2009, 01:23 AM
I agree that the opening credits were a work of art. Luckily for us, the people who made the sequence were so proud of it they posted it for all to purvey.

Forum Chaos Lord
Mar 10th, 2009, 02:01 AM
the movie has him working as a pastry chef, solving crimes at night and then sneaking back to his bakery early in the morning. His living arrangements have also been changed so that in the movie, he is roommates with Dan Dreiberg (aka Nite Owl II). Also, and this really threw me for a loop, he adds a sort of trilling sound (“like a dove,” one of the characters explains) to the end of sentences that contain his superhero name.
....There is no god.
Forum Virgin
Mar 10th, 2009, 02:27 AM
This is the first time I've heard of this movie, since comic books couldn't interest me in the least.
Forum Virgin
Mar 10th, 2009, 02:50 AM
OK...hahaha.. I'll be the one to call the joke about the "changes" and I look forward to a real review. I literally stepped back and wondered if it was April 1st.

I liked it. I'm one of the few who are familiar enough with the source that sits back and says, "No one will be happy, let's see what they do". Aside from being one of the hordes wanting his giant squid back, I acknowledge that there was no "right" way to do this and was just happy to see my little fan boy moments on screen. A couple of characters they nailed in casting (Comedian, Rorschach), some were missed (Ozymandias..... yep). But overall I won't bitch. Zach or the screenwriter had big blue balls to push for what they accomplished, and though we may be happy in our displeasure... It was made, it was OK... And if you think about it, that's a feat unto itself considering the source.
Mar 10th, 2009, 03:35 AM
I'm in line with Proto on this one. (You have to take the wrapper off the cigar before you smoke it, Dr Boogie!) Overall it's a flawed masterpiece, IMO. Eventually, the full 3 to 3 and 1/2 hour version will come out on DVD, and that will truly be awesome.
Mar 10th, 2009, 04:05 AM
I saw the previews for this film, and found it midly intriguing and left it at that until I heard of the HUGE pre-orders of tickets and thought, "there must be something to this". I had heard of the watchmen comics before, but seeing as how I was never a big of these overly thought-provoking social commentary pieces I ignored it all these years until just last week when I read the whole thing in one shot. Simply put, the book itself is AMAZING, even to a guy like me who writes off similar books as pretentious crap. Upon finishing the series though, three things became apparent to me that would make this film IMPOSSIBLE to translate into a single film.

1. This is a very wordy series with next to no filler (The pirate side-story excluded.) Seriously, ingnore the special interviews/documents at the end of the books and just read all twelve issues. I think there's something along the line of 6 HOURS of dialog, and that doesn't include time for shots of action scenes or dramatic vistas. It seems to me this book could only be translated to a mini-series and NOT a film. It is simply too long and there isn't a single conversation that can be cut without removing either a crucial backstory, or a situation that'll be used for an emotional payoff later.

2. Upon first reading the book it becomes apparent that the visual style of the book is terribly terribly bad on purpose. Upon further inspection, this bad visual style is crucial to the comments that the book tries to put across. From the "silver age" first generation to the "holy impractical costumes and pot bellies batman" next generation to the "kids love XTREMEZ" designs of Dr. Manhattan and the final version of the comedian, this book is a quite blatent pardoy of how bad comic book designs were and how badly they translate to real life. Of course a film is pretty close to real life visually and seeing as how hollywood visual designers are complete morons they had to ruin this aspect of the film as just from the previews, it is apparent that even though the film is supposed to be set in the 70's they gave all the heroes modern movie style costumes. Miss Jupiter II, instead of wearing basically a swimsuit with a nightie over it, is in some lame xmen the movie ripoff getup, nightowl, instead of looking like the dork wanna be he is (think addam west's batman) looks all dark and cool and the comedian looks like something out of batman forever, which isn't too far off, but still. Even poor rorshach wasn't immune. See if you read the book it becomes apparent that this guy isn't exactly clean, in fact he's down right filthy. He picks up his costume from a new york alley for christs sake! Also it is explained in the book that his mask is made by suspended fluid sealed between two layers of latex, in other words, those "bloody scream" masks you see at halloween. I'm still on the fence as to if the "magic cloth" look effects the character adversely though.

3. Sort of related to #2, but a unique problem in it's own right is the fact that with the exception of Dr. M, Jupiter Girl and the rich guy (sorry I can never remember how to spell his name right) ALL of the characters in watchmen are down right FUGLY. This is a CRUCIAL part of the book as it mirrors the sentiment "on paper super heroes are a good idea, in real life not so much". Night Owl II is fat pudgy dork who's a glorified fanboy straight out of comicon with too much time and money on his hands. Rorshach is a down right fulgy little imp of a man and his appearance is a CRUCIAL part of his character. I watched the trailer right after I was done reading, and sure enough, all of the characters are pretty boys. They even went so far as to remove the scar from modern-day comedians face, which again, was a crucial part of his character, symbolically representing the emotional scars he had carried all of this years.

And finally something intangible that I'm certain they couldn't put in the film due to all of the above is the thought-provoking ending of the series. This is one of these books in which different people can get diferent things out of it, but for me at least, it came out as a re-evaluation of what exactly a hero is. At the beginning of the series you are introduced to this very dark, almost evil rorshach and this band of goody-goody "true" superheroes as well is this almost imhumanly bad comedian. By the end of the series, due to backstory and the exploration of the reasons this individuals became heroes as well as their reactions to the ending, everything flips. Rorshach, is the only true hero in the book, with the rest turning out to be pretentious, self-absorbed pricks. It's important to realize that rorshach is the ONLY character in the book that simply wanted justice in the world brining about the moral that why you are being heroic is far more important that any herioc deeds you do at the end of the day. The comedian turns out the be the most human of the characters, despite his impressive list of flaws possibly understanding the grander scheme of things far better than the god-like mr. M or the genius pretty boy know it all. This drive home the old "with great power comes great responsibility" gimmick and that knowledge is power and not the other way around.

There's no possible way these things could be fleshed out in a single 2 hours of film and because of this I've ironically chosen to skip the film that inspired me to read the book in the first place. I suggest everyone else do so as well. Simply read the book, realize how terrible the film must be and simply let it got, possibly to watch it on cable some night a year or two from now.
Last of the Time Lords
Mar 10th, 2009, 05:26 AM
I completely agree with Protoclown on this one. You read my mind, dude. I'm looking for ward to the director's cut, which I've read is over 190 minutes long and restores a lot of the backstory.

The movie is a fine and faithful adaptation without that stuff, but adding it back in may push it over the line into true greatness.
Forum Virgin
Mar 10th, 2009, 06:05 AM
When asked in an interview with ReelzChannel.com about original 'Watchmen' writer Alan Moore's dismissal of his movie, Snyder was quoted as saying "Worst case scenario - Alan puts the movie on his DVD player on a cold Sunday in London and watches and says, 'Yeah, that doesn't suck too bad.'" When this was brought up with Moore himself in a later interview in the British Tripwire comics fanzine, the writer commented "That's the worst case scenario? I think he's underestimated what the worst case scenario would be... that's never going to happen in my DVD player in 'London' [Moore very famously lives in Northampton]. I'm never going to watch this fucking thing."

Doesn't really sound like an endorsement...
Forum Virgin
Mar 10th, 2009, 09:40 AM
To start, I have not yet seen it. I was wondering though, for those who have:
My worry with taking out the squid is from the structural end of things. I mean, as far as I see it, part of the idea is that Veidt is so fucking smart that he's planned out everything, and getting Manhattan to abandon humanity just seems like such a big part of that. How exactly does Snyder justify having Manhattan appear to come back? Or is it just that everyone starts going "Space God's a'comin'! Space God's a'comin'!" I mean, look, I'm with you in a way, Proto -- the squid is... well it's a big fucking squid in the middle of a comic book. But still, I've read through "Watchmen" a bunch of times, and the more I've read it, the more I've come to the decision of that, though in a lot of ways it doesn't work, Moore has put in the work to get it in there. Outside of the whole, apparently there are psychics thing.

Also, just to sort of disagree with what HowardC has said... I don't know if Moore would look at Rorshach as a hero. I mean, what Moore is talking about with "Watchmen" is that the hero is a fascist at its core. Rorshach included. Now, Rorshach is the only guy who's willing to go to the mat for his beliefs, that's true, but at the same time... Rorshach is going to destroy the entire world. The New Frontiersmen is going to print Rorshach's journal, and the incredibly fragile peace that Veidt has created on the bodies of millions of New Yorkers is going to vanish. Nothing's black and white in "Watchmen", there are no heroes, just freaks in costumes dispensing some form of vigilanty justice. The reason that Dan and Laurie wind up being the only ones to sort of come out intact on the other end is because of their humanity. That's what Moore's really setting up: the human v. the superhuman. I'm just saying, I don't think you can really see Rorshach as a hero either.
The Ugly Puckling
Mar 10th, 2009, 09:58 AM
Zack Snider got My Chemical Romance to cover a Bob Dylan song for the soundtrack to this.

Dead to me.

Mar 10th, 2009, 11:32 AM
I plan on seeing it later in the week when it opens here. I've never read the comic, so I will have no unrealistic expectations going in. Then later when I do read the comic, I'll write off the movie as an abomination. That's how it goes, right?
Jason's a Furry! Run!
Mar 10th, 2009, 03:28 PM
Wait... oh wait, I get it.

I do agree a bit with Proto's review, but in general I really enjoyed this movie. The actors did a great job (especially Manhattan and Rorschach, they were spot-on), the visuals were great, the changes were either too minor to worry about, going to be put back in with the DC (Hollis Mason anyone?), or worked for the film (I'm alright with the no-squid ending, is what I'm trying to say). I suppose a big problem with it, though, is that so much of the movie is exactly the same as the comic (shot-for-panel and line-for-line) that there isn't much new to learn or interpret. But hey, still looks cool (and the prison sequences were exactly what I hoped they would be; sock-rockingly awesome). So, I say good movie, and I'm definitely seeing it again.

And yeah, the Nixon nose was a bit much. Pinocchio connections aside, that's something to tone down (though I had seen Frost/Nixon a few days before I saw this, so that probably put me off as well).
Live long and prosper
Mar 10th, 2009, 03:31 PM
DB gives it 1/2 pickle, PC 3 1/2 pickles....WTF!!!
Watchman was the best comic I ever read, you have to know going in that no film will ever come close. But hey, it made 55 million in 2 days, thats all Snyder cares about.
Dirty Birdy
Mar 10th, 2009, 04:21 PM
I love I-Mockery. All the boards over at Fark can talk about is Dr. M's penis' screen-time. I'll probably wait for the DVD, sounds like the best thing to do, since I read and liked the novel.
Mar 10th, 2009, 04:24 PM
Don't hate on Fark.
What Video Games?
Mar 10th, 2009, 05:05 PM
I've never read the comic, so going to see the movie would probably not bwe the best idea, eh?
Mar 10th, 2009, 09:31 PM
eh you might actually enjoy the movie more if you haven't read the books
Forgets Passwords Easily
Mar 10th, 2009, 09:38 PM
I have been waiting to comment here since I saw the Thursday night/Friday morning midnight show.

First of all, I take it Dr. Boogie really hated even the slight changes they made due to his outlandish accusations. I believe you're saying that the film basically did these things just by bastardizing the comic into film?

Now, Watchmen has always been to me a character-driven story. So, the actors need to be cast properly and do their jobs well. The actor playing Dan Dreiberg was born to play the role in my opinion. He was the greatest shlub I've ever seen and so properly overwhelmed. The Comedian did a fine job as the Comedian, and I enjoyed the portrayal of Rorschach by the super ugly dude, though if I were the director I would have expanded his backstory to fit the comic. Silk Spectre did not protray the Silk Spectre that was in the novel. It was a much different type of character, yet for the movie worked incredibly well somehow. She fit with the movie's interpretation, so it fit. Dr. Manhattan was a bit too...obvious, I guess, and a bit too high-pitched for my tastes. They could have done better, but it didn't bother me too much.

Which brings me to Ozymandias. WHY, GOD, WHY? I spent the entire movie thinking: I want to strangle this man. I want to apply a lathe to his skull. Maybe if I believe, and get the theater to all clap our hands, his head will explode. Alas, I had to deal with this fool. Not only was he the worst actor in the movie, not only was he completely miscast and the size of a toothpick, not only were his story and motives butchered to where he actually seemed like a Bond villain, but his speech impediment drove me to madness. Let us sample some lines as they sounded:

"And now, my plan will come to frooithhon."
"Modeled my self af ter the great Alex thander of Mathe donia."

Of course Watchmen could have been done better. That's why there's a comic book. And you guys may insult for this, but I for one am glad the topknots did not bust in and kill Hollis Mason. That is my least favorite part of the graphic novel. And yes, calling them "watchmen" got my guff too.
The Ugly Puckling
Mar 10th, 2009, 09:48 PM
I honestly didn't really like the graphic novel, and I don't like Moore as a person or a writer, he's got entirely too much of his own freaky crap that gets in the way of everything he writes. I liked the characters, I liked the plot progression, I liked the well planned out history for everything, but the awkward and garish choices that could have been avoided to increase its artistic merit and emotional impact really ruin it.

Alan Moore also has the problem of writing like someone would if they were writing narration for Morgan Freeman, he tries to use repetition to increase the emotional response as is common in poems and songs, but he forgets to make the repeated phrase take on a new perspective when it "pays" off. He does use it fairly well in Doctor Manhattan's time-travel/flashback sequence, but often when the technique is employed it rings hollow.

I like adaptations of his work though, I really loved V For Vendetta, the Wachowski brothers took a mediocre, pretentious, silly and at its core, faulty story and made a truly fantastic movie on the same level as A Clockwork Orange, by using his talent and eliminating the crap. I had hoped this would be a similar situation, although there was no way it could be as good as V, I really enjoyed Snyder's remake of Dawn of The Dead, and 300 was pretty good the first time I saw it, but from Protoclown and Boogie's comments, I can see that he was just too faithful to the wrong details, and unfaithful to the important ones.

Plus, the whole ending has always bothered me, the story has got such a slow burn build up and then suddenly they put everything together, go to the place, have a ten second chat, some more stuff happens then its over, it always seemed very rushed to me, like they forgot they were telling a story.

Why would Doctor Manhattan keep his genitals after deciding he was post-human and utterly beyond humanity? Post-humans don't breed, they don't need floppy bits, the answer is because Alan Moore is a freak.
Vigilante All-Star
Mar 11th, 2009, 02:51 AM
I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought V for Vendetta the movie was far better made than the comic was...

Also, kinda sucked to be the only one in my group that had read The Watchmen prior to seeing the movie...
Forum Virgin
Mar 11th, 2009, 06:35 AM
And Proto, I'm sorry but "The times they are a-changing" as a song to show the transition from the 60's to the 80's? Mmmm, that's not a perfect choice, it's the obvious choice, like choosing "Unchained Melody" for a transition from clay to pot!
The Ugly Puckling
Mar 11th, 2009, 07:42 AM
Originally Posted by Grishnak View Post
And Proto, I'm sorry but "The times they are a-changing" as a song to show the transition from the 60's to the 80's? Mmmm, that's not a perfect choice, it's the obvious choice, like choosing "Unchained Melody" for a transition from clay to pot!

The book is interwoven deeply with Bob Dylan quotes, they bookmark the beginning and end of several chapters and tie in significantly with whats ongoing, so while it is a typical song to use for a transition, it has a deeper importance and connection with the Watchmen then is typical of things that make use of it. So, yes, it is a perfect choice.

The word "perfect" means "bring to completion" at its most basic core, so if if a circle is missing a triangle shaped piece, and you have a triangle piece and two octagons, despite being the most obvious choice, the triangle is the perfect choice, and the song in question is the triangle piece to the opening sequence, no song would have been more appropriate, better fitting or a better companion.
Ba dum dum dum dum
Mar 11th, 2009, 07:47 AM
First off, having watched the movie with someone who had never read the comic, I can confirm that according to her 'It was kind of hard to follow what was going on sometimes.' Which is a sentiment I've seen some question.

And now, my thoughts/takeaways

I liked most of the casting except for Silk Spectre and Ozymandius. Silk Spectre just wasn't written the way she was in the comics, take of it what you will. She worked alright in the context of the film I suppose. But Ozymandius was poor casting all around. He looked too young and not world weary enough. In the comics, almost everytime you're given a close up of Veidt he's wearing this immensely knowing, sad smile. His character was always the perfect encapsulation of hope and despair, and a lot of that was lost more by the actor than the writing.

Some of the changes I fealt worked fine. Having Doc Manhattan admit his awareness of the Tachyons and potential nuclear war earlier in the story worked alright. But some I wasn't so keen on, like having Dan warn Adrian instead of Rorschach. That served only to inflate Nite Owl II's importance which was kind of contrary to his personality. Dan is supposed to be kind of an impotent nobody in the beginning of the story. Plus, having Rorschach not meet up with Ozymandius denied Rorschach of some of his good insults, and having him ignore one of the original costumed adventurers in his warning run doesn't make sense in the context of his character. Cutting out even the slightest acknowledgement of Hollis Masons death cripples Dan's character and motivation, and wouldn't have taken that long to add to the movie. I considered it an odd cut because they seemed to be interested in inflating Dan's importance and it is exactly that sort of thing that would do it. I'd also like to note that, having watched it with someone who hadn't seen the movie on the way out she was asking 'I couldn't tell, where they supposed to have super powers? Because I didn't think they were but in some of the fight scenes they seemed to be flying around a bit.' Which I will concur with. I understand that it makes the film more visually interesting, but I always envisioned Rorschach as more a stealthy, shadowy kind of guy and not a flip out style ninja.

One of the cuts I was upset about personally, but didn't matter much in the grand scheme of things, was Rorschach leaping out of the refrigarator. The story moved fine missing that scene with Moloch, but just having that whole buildup and have him freaking leap out of the fridge was awesome in the comics.

Of course, it must be said, Squid versus Manhattan. I completely understand the change to Doc Manhattan but I have a problem with it. The reason why it worked was because it allowed them to cut out a lot of the side story they didn't want to film, which is fine for an adaptation. The Squid only works once you realize all the stuff that's been building up to it (the off hand news stories about artists dissapearing, Ozy's work with Bubastis, etc.), and to keep things to a more principal cast shifting the weapon to something associated with them is fine. However, I don't exactly see the Russians as being alright with the U.S. after Manhattan blew up a bunch of major cities. You mean to tell me the Russians weren't thinking 'You guys created this monster, you held him over our heads for years, lording your superiority over us, and then you lose control of him and he starts destroying the planet?' The alien threat worked because it wasn't associated with any country, but the Manhattan threat still has a lot of ties to the U.S. I don't think the Russians are just about to up and forgive. Also, Veidts tracks would be a lot harder to cover, it's not as though his work on free energy was secret, they show him talking about it with heads of business and the press. So we're to assume that they day he finally finishes his free energy generator (which he's been hyping up) the world blows up and no one puts two and two together? At least with the Squid he went through the trouble of picking a plan so ridiculous that it would be very, VERY hard to just come up with it off the top of your head. The Manhattan plan isn't bad, but it lacks some of the insane brilliance of the Squid.

There's a lot of stuff I expected to miss, but some I was suprised. I don't mind truncating the story because I saw it coming, but little things that wouldn't have added to the run time kind of made me frown. For example, right after the Comedian accuses Doc of losing touch with humanity in 'Nam, as Doc stands by observing the dead woman while Comedian walks off, Docs leg is phased through an overturned table for no reason other than it seems to be in the way of him standing where he wants. I always saw that as a great little point of his 'He's so out of touch with people he's acting less and less like them.' I was also suprised to miss having Veidt performing gymnastics for charity while Dan and Sally awkwardly fumble on the couch. It was always a great scene that really fleshed out Ozy's character while simultaneously really belittling Dan's (which may have been why they cut it, with their obvious Dan inflation interests.)

With the art direction, I was a little upset to see things go too sleek. I just thought the costumes could've been a little more 'dirty/homemade' looking for a lot of the characters.

I liked the movie, but unfortunately, the comic is a celebration of the medium itself, and the film was just never going to be able to capture all of that. As adaptations go, it's probably about as good as you could get.

Oh, and for anyone who haven't seen it. Saturday Morning Watchmen
Fookin' up planets!
Mar 11th, 2009, 02:56 PM
Despite any and all bitching Rorschach's scenes hit the ball out of the park every damn time... everytime.
Funky Dynamite
Mar 11th, 2009, 05:52 PM
One of the things I never cared for in both the book and the movie is Veidt's insistance that telling on him would ruin the peace; that somehow, a genius industrialist who manufactured a worldwide catastrophe is less of a threat than a one-shot alien/bomb. I mean, has Moore never seen a James Bond movie?

Moreover, surely the smartest man in the world understood that a single alien/superhero attack wouldn't lead to eternal peace. I'm not the smartest man in the world, and even I know that people aren't going to stay scared of that stuff forever, especially when it never happens again. Unless of course, he was planning to create a new squid/bomb threat every now and then to keep people scared. If that's the case, it just goes back to the whole Bond villain comparison again.
Mar 11th, 2009, 09:25 PM
Here's my take without writing eight million words: I loved the comic and the movie. Eeek! Does not compute!
Freelance Product Tester
Mar 11th, 2009, 09:57 PM
The Reason Dr. Manhattan's voice is so high pitched is because he was twenty-something when the accident happened. Also, contrasting action and music for the win.
The Magnificent Bastard
Mar 11th, 2009, 10:03 PM
I saw the movie today. It was great.

It's not as good as the comic, but that's to be expected (and the comic had a better ending).

I think in the end, it was just a pretty good abridged version of the comic, and that's about the best we could hope for.

Though, one minor complaint is that, yes, Veidt acts like a Bond villain in this movie.
Funky Dynamite
Mar 11th, 2009, 10:50 PM
Originally Posted by Tetsu Deinonychus View Post
Though, one minor complaint is that, yes, Veidt acts like a Bond villain in this movie.
He is a Bond villain. The only difference is that he does the explaining after the fact.
Mar 11th, 2009, 11:11 PM
i always thought it was silly that they keep acting like rorschach's journal is gonna make ozymandias's whole plot collapse, book or movie- he's an escaped criminal and it's not like the new frontiersman is gonna get anyone but conspiracy nuts to believe them anyways
The Goddamned Batman
Mar 11th, 2009, 11:24 PM
First of all, I can't believe how many people were fooled by Boogie's review.

DogWelder: (Nice name). Thanks for posting that link. I can watch that shit over and over. That sequence, along with the music, summons up more emotion in me than anything else in the entire film.

HowardC: I don't know what version of the movie you saw, but the Comedian definitely had his scar, and his costume was pretty much exactly like it was in the comic. The only thing he didn't have was the gimp mask, which honestly would have seriously weakened that scene for not being able to see the actor's face. Also, Dan Dreiberg and Walter Kovacs looked pretty much exactly like they do in the comic, or at least as close as they possibly could have without being animated.

Graystreet: Yes, the My Chemical Romance song was shite, but it's also only in the end credits, so that doesn't really count as being "in" the movie. Fortunately for pretty much all the other songs, they went with the original versions rather than crappy remakes.

HeroliciousDeBlanc: I have to agree about Patrick Wilson's casting as Dreiberg. He's hardly the most interesting character, but he was the best cast, in my opinion. Rorscach was number two, then Comedian. I agree that Ozy was pretty crap, but then he's kind of a douche in the comic too so I guess I wasn't as offended by that as I would have been if they'd fucked up Rorschach.

Alcibiades: You bring up some very interesting points. And I also missed the leaping out of the refrigerator bit, but it's not a major loss. It occurred to me that perhaps they tried to do it but it just ended up looking silly or stupid in reality. It might have turned a "HOLY FUCK!" moment into a comical one.

Dr. Boogie: Ozymandias's plan was never going to work in the long term, but I think his hubristic arrogance prevented him from seeing that. Still, I think you sell him a little short. In both scenarios there's the implied threat of another horrible event occurring: in the case of the Doc Manhattan bombs, there's the idea that John is out there watching the world, and with the alien squid, the implied threat is impending invasion. "Sooner or later whatever those things are will come for us!" Of course, Ozy underestimates human nature and the short memories that we tend to have. I have no doubt his plan would have worked (minus Rorshach's journal) for several years, but sooner or later the threat would diminish and eventually you'd have more war on your hands. His "victory" would have been a short lived one in even the best of circumstances, but were his scheme to be uncovered he would quickly be taken down and either killed or brought to justice (the remaining heroes would have no choice but to go after him at that point).
The Magnificent Bastard
Mar 12th, 2009, 12:03 AM
The only major costume change I noticed was making Nite-Owl look more like Batman. But, with a recent Batman movie fresh in peoples minds, it's a change that makes sense.

I would also like to say that I liked the ending better in the comics, but the movie wouldn't have had time to set the phony alien aspect up like the book did. I think the ending they did use works okay (and I agree with what Proto just said on whether Veidt's plan would work).

I think the Nixon still being president thing might confuse some film-goers (it was a little better explained in the comics), but that's no biggie. As for his nose, I'm not sure how else they could have made that guy look like Nixon (at least it wasn't a full Nixon mask).

Any time a book/comic is made into a movie it's bound to lose something. But, I think they did a great job with what they could squeeze into it (I'm looking forward to the extended edition).

Again my only complaint is that Veidt's Bond-villain-vibe telegraphs an ending that's a total shock in the Graphic Novel. Other than that, I think it's as good as we can reasonably expect.
Funky Dynamite
Mar 12th, 2009, 03:46 AM
Proto: But that's what I mean: this guy is made out to be a student of history, so he comes up with the idea to make a threat from without to bring people together, yet despite that, he doesn't pick up on the fact that the reason there are so many examples of this working are because it didn't work forever.

The hubris thing is the only reason I can think of for how he would miss something so obvious. Looking back, they kind of imply that in the movie with him saying that optimistic things like giving everyone enough energy means no more war. Even so, it feels like we're having to create a reason for it happening because Moore didn't think that far ahead.

This is all getting back to the ratting him out part that he warned the other heroes against doing. The guy's a super-rich genius who's already shown he has what it takes to create far-reaching, diabolical schemes. It seems to me that if his plans were revealed, there would've been an equally good chance that the world would've united against him. It would've been perfect for him: the world would be united, and he could continue to be an evil genius with a sanctimonius streak.
Ba dum dum dum dum
Mar 12th, 2009, 07:15 AM
Dr. Boogie: Ozymandius has two reasons for why he does his plan from behind the scenes, his stated one (which I don't remember him referencing in the movie) and his implied one.

The stated reason is that he believes he'll be needed to help guide humanity to a lasting peace and prosperity. If he became the villain, even if he united the world against him he wouldn't be able to do the necessary reconstruction work afterwords. That's why he needs a false threat too. It needs to be something people are afraid of but can't really fight against, if he was the villain people really could send armies against him. And since if he died the threat would be over and everyone would start squabbling again, he'd have to battle back against the armies and then his plan for peace is shot. If he died, without his genius to help the world would immediately go back to war with one another.

But the second, and heavily implied reason is that he wants the world to view him as a great man and not a villain. That's why he projects an image of perfection to everyone. In one sense it's good for his cover, but he clearly is obsessed with going down in history as a famous man for the 'right' reasons. He wants to destroy the current world order and rebuild it, but he wants to be remembered for the rebuilding, not the destruction.
Mar 12th, 2009, 02:34 PM
I hated this movie. Took too many liberties. When they were doing it in the owl ship and the flamethrower went off I honestly almost walked out. When Jon was kissing her goodbye at the end and slowly dissapearing I swore to god I would burn hollywood to the ground. This nit picky; but why did they make Jons penis so much larger in the movie? I feel that that is highly symbolic of everything that was wrong with this adaptation.
The Ugly Puckling
Mar 12th, 2009, 05:03 PM
Why would that scene upset you? That happened in the book. Is it sarcasm? Why did you measure his penis? Did it bark at you? I think you've created more questions then answers, and quite possibly, brought salvation to humanity by dumbfounding us with digital penis measuring.

That kid from Twilight that liked Alexander the Great would be proud. I think he tried like that something once, but I saw this one dude, like narrating from his diary or something and left the theater.
Mar 12th, 2009, 05:30 PM
I don't remember either the flamethrower going off or a romantic kiss at the end happening in the comic. I will have to double check now. I just felt those where not necessary and sort of needlessly thrown in for "laffs" and "awws". About the penis, it was gigantic (thanks IMAX) and blue it didn't really need to bark to get attention. Not my attention anyway. Could be that I have issues outside the scope of your help.

I have no idea what you are talking about with a Twilight kid or Roman history. Sounds interesting though.
Funky Dynamite
Mar 12th, 2009, 06:00 PM
Originally Posted by Alcibiades View Post
The stated reason is that he believes he'll be needed to help guide humanity to a lasting peace and prosperity. If he became the villain, even if he united the world against him he wouldn't be able to do the necessary reconstruction work afterwords.
I don't think he ever mentioned being a part of the reconstruction. He just wanted to end war.

That's why he needs a false threat too. It needs to be something people are afraid of but can't really fight against, if he was the villain people really could send armies against him. And since if he died the threat would be over and everyone would start squabbling again, he'd have to battle back against the armies and then his plan for peace is shot. If he died, without his genius to help the world would immediately go back to war with one another.
But the world would be united against him. They would work together to bring him down, and he could stretch the threat out for much longer than just a one-shot bomb/squid, thus keeping the world together longer. And if they did eventually get him (big "if"; the guy is the smartest man in the world), then the nations of the world would see how well they worked together and stay that way.

And you might be thinking, "that didn't work in any of the world wars, why would it work then?" It wouldn't, but he wouldn't pick up on that because of the hubris part of his character.

But the second, and heavily implied reason is that he wants the world to view him as a great man and not a villain. That's why he projects an image of perfection to everyone. In one sense it's good for his cover, but he clearly is obsessed with going down in history as a famous man for the 'right' reasons. He wants to destroy the current world order and rebuild it, but he wants to be remembered for the rebuilding, not the destruction.
I guess. The bottom line seems to be that he wanted his own version of world peace at any cost. What a dick.
Mar 12th, 2009, 10:48 PM
Dear Dr. Boogie, I just watched the movie and there was no mention of rorshach being a pastry chef and he didn't live with Dan. In fact none of the other super heroes knew his Identity, Maybe your review was supposed to be a joke, but I don't get it. Half of the shit you said were changes are just lies you made up, unless in fact you saw some other movie instead of watchmen. In saying this I still didn't enjoy the movie very much, but my roommate who has read the graphic novel enjoyed it a lot.
Funky Dynamite
Mar 12th, 2009, 11:34 PM
Sir, I don't like what you're implying. I-Mockery prides itself on being a beacon of integrity among all the Hollywood phonies out there. What I saw was the director's cut version of the Watchmen film. There was a focus group after the screening, but I excused myself after it became apparent that it would be boring.

I was actually contacted by Mr. Snyder's representative by phone on friday morning. He assured me that while some changes would be made based on the focus group's feedback, the majority of the film would remain untouched for its nationalwide theatrical release.

And for your information, I did not make up half the changes I mentioned in my review.
Funky Dynamite
Mar 12th, 2009, 11:56 PM
Originally Posted by wobzire View Post
I don't remember either the flamethrower going off or a romantic kiss at the end happening in the comic. I will have to double check now. I just felt those where not necessary and sort of needlessly thrown in for "laffs" and "awws". About the penis, it was gigantic (thanks IMAX) and blue it didn't really need to bark to get attention. Not my attention anyway. Could be that I have issues outside the scope of your help.
The flamethrower bit happened, but not the romantic kiss. In the comic, he just sort of smiles at the fact that Nite Owl had sex with his old girlfriend right in the evil genius' lair.

Ugh, I wish I hadn't gone back to look. I had almost forgotten that the ending was my least favorite part of the entire comic. If they had kept the original ending as-is, you can bet that the number of people who walked out would've been double what it was from just old people and irresponsible parents.
Forgets Passwords Easily
Mar 12th, 2009, 11:58 PM
Wobzire: yeah, they set off the flamethrower in the comic.

Tetsu Deinonychus:You said it perfectly when you said Ozymandias' presentation telegraphed his plans furhter on in the movie. maybe it's because I've read the comic, but every vibe I was getting from Ozymandias pointed in the direction of evil. Especially when he dodged the assasin's bullets by running through all the businessmen he was THREATENING verbally, and Oh look! they're all dead! isn't that terrible for Ozy?
Forgets Passwords Easily
Mar 12th, 2009, 11:59 PM
Oh and I was disappointed Dan Dreiberg as the little spoon was cut out.
Mar 13th, 2009, 12:38 AM
Dear Dr. Boogie.
I apologize for making insinuations. I have read many of your articles and always enjoyed them. I was just very confused as I went through your review and started to ponder. I know that I may have been exaggerating when I said half of the changes, but you have to understand my confusion in having just watched the film, and so much of what you said was not there. Also I don't remember there being much music from Beetlejuice, it was mostly older rock music and such. (all along the watchtower by Jimi Hendrix is the only one that stands out in my mind right now) Anyways kind sir, I am glad we cleared this up and I'm sorry if you felt I was implying that you are a liar. (Which at the time I probably was but I didn't know you had seen a directors cut.)
Ba dum dum dum dum
Mar 13th, 2009, 02:17 AM
Dr. Boogie: I really wish I hadn't loaned my copy of the book to a friend after seeing the movie so I could check but... if memory serves he talks about helping guide the world towards peace right after the 'I DID IT!' panel. But basically, either way, I always viewed him as a big full of himself jerk who figured if he was the only one who could stop everyone fighting he was the only one who could make the world a better place after.
Mar 13th, 2009, 02:51 AM
I think what we can take from all this is that there will never be a comic movie that is completely 100% accurate. That isn't always a bad thing. Personally, I liked the changes that were made to Spiderman 2. Spiderman 3, not so much. As for Watchmen, I never read the whole book, so I'm hoping I'll still enjoy the movie.

Oh, and to Dr. Boogie, I thought your review was quite funny. Rorshach as a pastry chef. Hilarious.
Funky Dynamite
Mar 13th, 2009, 04:28 AM
Originally Posted by Alcibiades View Post
Dr. Boogie: I really wish I hadn't loaned my copy of the book to a friend after seeing the movie so I could check but... if memory serves he talks about helping guide the world towards peace right after the 'I DID IT!' panel. But basically, either way, I always viewed him as a big full of himself jerk who figured if he was the only one who could stop everyone fighting he was the only one who could make the world a better place after.
I checked again, and he does mention in passing that he would work on establishing a utopia.

But yeah, at the end of the day, he was an a-hole who loved to hear himself talk. Thank god they toned that down some for the film.
Suicidal Chipmunk
Mar 13th, 2009, 10:04 PM
Might seem random, but... why is everybody hating on My Chemical Romance? I like My Chemical Romance...everybody here seems to hate my music.
Mar 13th, 2009, 10:08 PM
i'm sorry that you like terrible emos dude
Forum Virgin
Mar 14th, 2009, 04:35 AM
I've been watching this post for the past while and have been listening to a lot of opinions an bitching. But I thought it would be interesting to hear from the "horses mouth" as it were... http://creativescreenwritingmagazine...atchmen-q.html

Interesting to hear the long path that it took to get to what we got... and to think of how much worse it could have been....
The Ugly Puckling
Mar 14th, 2009, 11:09 AM
I dunno, I think an updated version set in 2003 where Jude Law AKA Rorshach runs rampaging through a paleo-futuristic version of San Fransisco, looking for Nite Owl's son, that witnessed the murder of one of the top dino-mob bosses of Now Jersey so he can kill him would have been far better then seeing that guy that people know his name but I don't know what he's from play Doctor Manhattan.
Forum Virgin
Mar 14th, 2009, 06:21 PM
I personally thought that the adaptation was the best that could be done with the given amount of time. also, i can't believe i am about to say this, but i definitely don't think they could have casted any better, other than Viedt of course, i didn't like how pansy-ass he was, and how big his damn nose was.

It did upset me pretty bad how while they showed the opening credits, they were showing pictures that were i guess supposed to some how explain to us what had happened throughout the time of the original hero force( i cant remember their name atm). this pissed me off because they never really clarified in the movie that they weren't allowed to fight crime anymore, and that a bill was passed enforcing so.

also, i actually think that their altered ending was in good taste. it wasnt so different that it made it an entirely different story, but it made it a little bit more realistic.
Forum Virgin
Mar 25th, 2009, 02:48 PM
***There are Spoilers here***


As for casting: The comidian was awesome. Rorschach: awesome. Night owl was overplayed IMHO but well cast. I recon bits like the 'NOOOO!' and him meeting Ozy instead of Rorschach were put in to push him towards main characterdom, although like someone else mentioned the murder of Hollis should have been in there for the sake of character development. Adrian and Laurie could have been better cast, Ozy in particular. I didnt think he was played meloncholic or charismatic enough. Plus the guy looked like a skinny little wuss.

3.5 pickles I feel is accurate.

And yes, I know sexing isn't a real word.
Funky Dynamite
Mar 25th, 2009, 04:11 PM
Forum Virgin
Mar 25th, 2009, 05:28 PM
As much as your right about the sex scene being weird i still recon it served a purpose that could have been but wasn't delt with in the film. Thinking about it actually, It reminds me of when in steven king's IT they all have sex to help get over the horrors they'v indured. Now THAT was weird.

As for the coming from night owl over manhattan part, I dont recall that part in the movie but I cant imagine it having the same effect coming from some former colleague rather than a guy who can see the past and future simultaniously.

I suppose its unrealistic to expect everything and frankly I think they did a damn good job. I'm looking forward to the director's cut tho.
Funky Dynamite
Mar 25th, 2009, 10:03 PM
Apr 29th, 2009, 05:48 AM
I read the comic then went and saw the movie. As a semi-brainless gory beat em up injected into the Watchmen's original story casing it was a fine way to waste 3 hours. Pure eye candy with enough balls to show the blood and boobs when needed. As an adaptation of a damn fine comic, total failure, sorry. My only gripes are with Zack Snyder, the guy isn't anywhear near as hip as he wants to be. The soundtrack was lifted straight from Forest Gump and the Devo reference was completely axed. Tarantino and Scorsese seem to be the only people in Hollywood with actual taste in music.
Forum Virgin
Aug 25th, 2009, 10:51 PM
I enjoyed.... That is all have to say, also in the Director's Cut they added back the Hollis death and other auxiliary info.