Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Now before I go into some of my thoughts on Watchmen, I wanna draw your attention to this article from Io9. It's basically about how all the bloggers love Watchmen and all the mainstream press hate it. I'd like to think my semi-review somewhat addresses this fact.
See, I acknowledge out right that I can totally see why people will hate this film, I just...choose not to hate it myself. And that's the big difference between the bloggers and the mainstream press. We WANT to love this movie. We stay in it and accept anything strange or cheesy as simply part of the universe. This doesn't make us stupid or incapable of judging something properly. It means, you know what, yeah this movie has its issues, but for me, that's not what the experience about watching Watchmen is about. It's not about ripping it apart and criticizing every little thing and looking for missteps anywhere I can find them. It's about seeing one of the greatest graphic novels in the history of time on film, adapted faithfully, with LOVE, using the right actors & capturing the right tone.
Zack Snyder didn't sell out Watchmen like I suspect DJ Caruso will do with Y: The Last Man or like I suspect most filmmakers of doing with my favorite comics. Snyder CLEARLY loves this material. The film is dripping with affection for the source material. And I think that's a big reason why the fans are reacting the way they are. What reason do we have to hate on it? Who would have done it more justice? Before Snyder had his way with the script, the movie was gonna be under two hours long, ending with Nite Owl crashing his ship into Ozymandias, killing him, and saying some snarky catch phrase. I for one am THRILLED that's not the version we got. So if you wanna be cynical and rip on Watchmen as much as you can - go ahead. It's not gonna change how I feel about the movie or how any other real fan feels about the movie. Cause it's not about love or hate. It's just about having the experience. The unsoiled, faithful experience. At least that's how I feel on the matter.
More after the jump!
So yes, despite all its obvious issues, I loved it. Duh. It's a geek's heaven. Do I see why the mainstream press is hating on it? Sure. Can I see some of my friends deciding to hate it? Of course. Especially ones named david. :)
But here's the thing. You can be in it, or you can be on top of it. And it's just more fun to be in it, experiencing it, letting yourself enjoy the damn thing. I enjoyed every minute of the 2:40 running time, ESPECIALLY the ending (and the opening credits, which I've seen 4 times now, but that's a given). I thought the changes Snyder made worked perfectly. And thank GOD - or Dr. Manhattan ;) - the film was set in 1985 and not modern day, like so many other versions almost were. The changes the translation actually needed were there and were seamless. Once change I wouldn't have made? Give Laurie her cigarettes back!
Getting into a few specifics, seeing actors step into these characters made me realize a lot of things I didn't necessarily get from the graphic novel (But I find it easier to discuss these things in a dialogue. So if you wanna discuss character & philosophy, type away in the comments section and we'll have at it!) Plus, getting to see the humanity in Dr. Manhattan and The Comedian definitely feels like some sort of wish getting fulfilled. And I absolutely LOVED Laurie & Dan's love story and how the actors/characters came alive in their scenes together. I've heard their love scene called the cheesiest in the history of film, but...considering the tone of their first attempt at being intimate, I thought the juxtaposition was perfect. I'm definitely curious to see how that scene is received by fans and non-fans alike, but I LOVE it. The music, the lighting, the dialogue, the NAKED. It made me laugh and cheer and then find myself insanely attracted to Dan Dreiberg all in the span of about 4 seconds.
And I don't care if you hate the movie or not, you can't deny that Patrick Wilson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and ESPECIALLY Jackie Earle Haley embody those characters fully and get them exactly right. Oh man, I effing love Rorschach. And I came away from this film even more head over heels for Dan than I was after reading the graphic novel. Obviously I purchased a Nite Owl figure the next day at the convention.
EruditeChick has some interesting thoughts on the rape scene that I'm sure she'll be happy to discuss as well. The movie takes it in a different direction, focusing more on the fetishism and less on the stark brutality, which sheds a slightly different light on Sally's relationship with Eddie Blake. One that I quite enjoy.
Overall, I loved the film and can't wait to see it again. If you don't like it, I'm eager to hear why and discuss with you (very eager, let's go!), but I strongly encourage you to go into the movie with an open mind and make the decision to stay with it. Then you'll hopefully have the experience I had.