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TheEgoist

Watchmen: Movie

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Rorschach was perfect. So were Dan and Blake. The casting was one of the first things you notice, and how great it all was. Some movies are just not cast well and have so much potential otherwise.

The alterations were perfectly appropriate to make an enjoyable movie and not a frame by frame recreation of the comic.

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I think they genetically engineered the gentleman that played Rorschach to play Rorschach. He was perfect.

The entire performance was completely unoriginal. It was Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry in a mask.

Edit:

Things that irritated me about Watchmen:

Random glass crystal on Mars

Rorschach a Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry rip-off

Comedian a Robert Downey Jr. rip off

John just looked like a combination of the Silver Surfer painted blue with the powers of Jessica Alba from the Fantastic Four.

John's bouncing flaccid penis

Rorschach torching the cops after being framed.

Rorschach murdering the killer of the missing girl.

Rorschach torturing.

Rorschach throwing hot frying oil on a man's face, killing him.

Rorschach biting the kid's ear off as a kid.

Zack Snyder's cutting to a flashback every five minutes, trying to be Quentin Tarantino but failing miserably.

Characters talking past each other in dialogue (specifically the John/Laurie scene on Mars)

The stupid notion of "understanding without condoning or condemning"

Nixon being elected for five terms

The needless recreation of the Kennedy Assassination tragedy

-

I'm sorry, but it was a waste of three hours of my life.

Edited by Sir Andrew

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I didn't really understand the Kennedy assassination scene either. The hippies being shot too. What point was being made?

The Comedian was shown as the extra gunman, thats why it was there. Hippies went by too fast for me to figure out, I must have been fumbling with my popcorn.

Overall this was a faithful adaptation of the source. Criticisms of this movie are so far criticisms of the original work.

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The Comedian was shown as the extra gunman, thats why it was there. Hippies went by too fast for me to figure out, I must have been fumbling with my popcorn.

Yes, but we didn't need to see pieces of JFK's skull on the car and Jackie Onassis getting up in shock. The camera easily could have fumbled with the sound of the shot and then gone back down to Jackie being pushed back.

And there was nothing to point out with the hippies.

Overall this was a faithful adaptation of the source. Criticisms of this movie are so far criticisms of the original work.
Is the source equally as disgusting? I'm sorry, but I'm judging this film on its own (as films should), and it's probably the worst film I've seen. Edited by Sir Andrew

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I have read the graphic novel and didn't like it so I guess its my own fault that I went and wasted three hours of my life last night. I think I might have enjoyed `He`s just not in to you` more.

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The entire performance was completely unoriginal. It was Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry in a mask.

Edit:

Things that irritated me about Watchmen:

Random glass crystal on Mars

There is a meaning to it. Remember Manhattan talking about his father being a watchmaker? He was talking about it while creating it.

Rorschach a Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry rip-off

Hardly. Rorschach is a much more compelling character on several levls.

Comedian a Robert Downey Jr. rip off

Lolwut?

John just looked like a combination of the Silver Surfer painted blue with the powers of Jessica Alba from the Fantastic Four.

It's an exact rendering from the comic. It wasn't a ripoff of any comic book figure as far as I know. Rorschach was, if you know anything about comics.

John's bouncing flaccid penis

Sorry the male figure bothers you so much :dough:

Rorschach torching the cops after being framed.

He was set up. He was trying to escape. Of course he failed in the end anyway.

Rorschach murdering the killer of the missing girl.

Justice.

Rorschach torturing.

Rorschach throwing hot frying oil on a man's face, killing him.

Rorschach biting the kid's ear off as a kid.

All add to the character and his psychological problems. Except the torturing. And the boiling water was an act of self defense and setting up a rep.

Zack Snyder's cutting to a flashback every five minutes, trying to be Quentin Tarantino but failing miserably.

Quentin Tarantino? The flashbacks were absolutely necessary and a part of the comic.

Characters talking past each other in dialogue (specifically the John/Laurie scene on Mars)

I don't know what you mean.

The stupid notion of "understanding without condoning or condemning"

It isn't the movie that is giving you the moral in the end. You're supposed to decide for yourself. Was Rorschach right in his opposition? Were the others right in their silence? How about the perpetrator?

Nixon being elected for five terms

What is bad about this?

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`It isn't the movie that is giving you the moral in the end. You're supposed to decide for yourself. Was Rorschach right in his opposition? Were the others right in their silence? How about the perpetrator?`

To make the decision about who is right you have to agree to at least one false premise and one that stands out for me is that Ozymandias actually thinks that a common enemy will unite humanity into utopia. I find that to be a bit absurd. Also isn`t it a little questionable to unite with a Soviet Empire which apparently is responsible for 40 million deaths under its reign and treats people like slaves. It seemed to me that one is supposed to choose between Ozy or Rorschach based on whether you think utopia is worth the cost of it being based on a lie not whether the utopia will actually work.

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Sir Andrew, Have you read the graphic novel? Your dislikes of the movie are all things in the graphic novel...I'm assuming by what you disliked about the movie that you just don't like the actual story. Everything you described is directly from the book.

Edit: Sorry I missed the other post when you said you didn't like the graphic novel.

Edited by universehead

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Here is a review of the movie I wrote on my Blog. I think it is pretty spoiler-free for the most part, but read at your own risk:

A bunch of my friends got together and we went out to the local Movie Tavern to watch the Watchmen last night. I'm probably going to echo a lot of professional critics when I say that if you are a fan of the graphic novel, you will love the movie despite its flaws, but if you have never read the comic, it will probably confuse and frustrate you with the amount of jumping around that happens.

The film is an almost flawlessly faithful rendering of the comic, and this is probably also why the movie clocks in around three hours--and you will feel all three hours. It was because of the visual sequences of its frames and the fact that half of the story is told through panels that the Watchmen was once considered un-filmable. The graphic novel is rife with symbolism pertaining to the plot, often as foreshadowing. Take for example the classic symbol of the Smiley Face with "bean juice" on it. The spatter resembles a clockhand, pointing Five Minutes to Midnight; an allusion to the Doomsday Clock and the looming threat of nuclear extinction which provides the backdrop of the plot for both comic and film. And there are several of these, probably many I haven't even spotted yet. I think this visual style was one of the biggest reasons The Watchmen is considered one of the greatest graphic novels of all time.

Going along with the visual adaptations are the costumes and special effects in the film. It is a beautiful movie and they did a great job updating the look of the comic to a more modern appeal. Some people complained about the look of Dr. Manhattan, and there are a couple of scenes where his balloon-like musculature does look very obviously fake, but it's hard to really judge when you are trying to render a glowing blue Man-God.

Casting was incredible. The man playing Rorschach looks dead-on the character in the comic, and almost the entire ensemble matches their print counterparts. Unfortunately some of the supporting actors were painfully bad, and you are glad to see their characters offed later, not only because they are scum, but just to be done with the actor portraying them. Even more unfortunately, this can not be said for the actress portraying the original Silk Spectre in her retirement days. Ugh. In the end though, it does not depreciate the overall quality of the film. The entire starring cast does a great job, including Rorschach, who I see as the main hero of the story.

Now to address the main complaint about the movie, often by those who haven't read the graphic novel: The plot is all over the place. Let me say, I understand. Without condemning or condoning (hah!). Really, the film is such a faithful adaptation that it follows the comic's narrative jumps from 80's to 40's, from one character's flashback to the next, all in almost the exact manner it is presented in the comic. The only problem is there are no boxes in the top left or top right corner of the screen to let you know when or where the scene you are watching is taking place. Sometimes, this is easy to gather through context, other times, it is hard to place when exactly the scene in question is taking place in the overall plot. The Comedian is dead, but now here he is shooting people and waxing nihilistic about armageddon. What? For someone who has never read the comic, I can see how this could get really confusing. I understand it, but it doesn't bother me. I knew the plot before I came in, and it only made me appreciate it more, seeing it so skillfully adapted. For what it's worth, two of my friends in the group had never read the comic, and still managed to pick up on what was going on enough to enjoy the experience.

Related to the narrative is dialogue. In the comic, most of the story is driven by Rorschach as he investigates the murder of the Comedian. Almost all of this is spoken as an internal monologue in the form of his working journal. If you are in a noisy theater like we were, are easily distracted by your friends or just don't pay that much attention, you are definitely going to have no idea what is going on later in the film. For those who haven't read the comic, it may take more than one viewing to completely grasp every nuance of the plot.

Now to get a bit deeper into the message and aesthetic of the film. I hear a lot of mixed reviews on this from people, primarily Objectivists, regarding the message and inherent philosophy in the film. Well, the film is a retelling of the comic, and the comic was written by Alan Moore, a man who has identified himself as essentially an anarchist in political philosophy and in general, comes across as rather nihilistic in his art. The Watchmen is definitely no exception to this rule. The Watchmen became a sort of buzz among some Objectivists because Rorshach's character is an adaptation of the original Charlton Comics character The Question, who was a creation of Steve Ditko and later became the property of DC Comics. The Question was an explicitly Objectivist superhero in his original form, and Moore, who was a fan of Ditko's work, wanted to portray the original character's moral absolutism and unwillingness to compromise. As Moore put it, he wanted to see what a Batman-like character commited to unwavering, brutal justice would be like in the real world. Moore's conclusion was that the character would be a nutcase.

This is no surprise to me, coming from a man who has an extremely bleak view of the world, and while I disagree with him on that premise, I can still enjoy Mr. Moore's work. Moreover, I think it is interesting that whether he intended it or not, Rorschach, despite his dwindling sanity, is the real hero of the story. He also happens to be my favorite character--despite his paranoia, nationalism and homophobia--because he is so dedicated to justice and heroism, and because he doesn't compromise. The very essence of Rorschach is summed up in his line in the trailer:

"[...] And all the whores and politicians will look up and shout 'Save us!'... and I'll look down and whisper 'No.'"

For all his faults, Rorschach remains a hero in the end--although I won't spoil that for you. Every other character compromises, often "for the greater good." Veidt sacrifices everything in his life, from his principles (pacifism, humanitarianism) to his pet, to try and save the world from itself. The Comedian is a sociopathic nihilist from the beginning. Dr. Manhattan, I think, disgusts me the most, because he is the very essence of the Intrinsicist and the Determinist in one package--able to see the consequences of every action around him, he ignores the fact that his own will can change events and instead becomes something akin to an automaton pretending to be a man that has all the powers of a God. He tries to divorce himself from his emotions and becomes a fractured man, drifting in the waft of what he sees as Fate, but is really just the effects of others' actions around him and his own refusal to stop them.

The Watchmen is a very bleak story, but really, so is Atlas Shrugged. Sure, the characters and the narrative are much more naturalistic, but I disagree with many that the end of the film is bittersweet and anti-climactic. As I see it, Rorschach and justice prevail.

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Man, Rorschach's death gets me so angry when I see it both in the comic and the movie. It's the death of what seems to be the only hero, the only man with principles however flawed he may be as a person. It isn't being sad that Rorschach dies, but it portrays a historical pattern of the individual who stands up against others being crushed. And for once, right before his death, Rorschach shows his emotions. It's a breakthrough for the character who has seen connection with emotion as something to avoid. With tears in his eyes for the first time in his life, he is disintegrated. Moore did a great job of at least evoking emotion from me. I threw the book down when I read it for the first time.

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Just saw the movie, I agree with TheEgoist about Rorschach.

Although I was annoyed about how he considered lying to his enemies to be a compromise.

I guess that may have been one of the reasons Moore didn't actually make him an O-ist. >:dough:

I disliked part of the portrayal of the end but love the very last part of it, it made me feel like justice would prevail.

It struck me so much I was moved to make two watchmen smilies.

smilez.gif

watchmensmiley.gif

Edit: Accidentally used the Dutch word for movie.

Edited by FrolicsomeQuipster

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I didn't really understand the Kennedy assassination scene either. The hippies being shot too. What point was being made?

The entirety of the beginning montage showing historical scenes was designed to show you how these historical events happened in this alternate universe. Remember that Watchmen takes place in a universe where the United States wins the cold war because of a real genuine superhero with god-like powers.

Note: the Kennedy assassination showed the Comedian after demonstrating that in this universe (it is likely that moore goes with the CIA conspiracy story) the CIA had Kennedy assassinated by the Comedian. Later, in the scene showing the college students being shot by a national guard unit, this is supposed to be a recreation of the events at Kent State university, wherein a national guard unit was called to quell a riot of college students. The students in fact were throwing rocks and being unnecessarily hostile toward the national guard, not walking up and putting flowers in their barrels. The guard unit put on their gas masks and threw tear gas into the crowd, and the crowd began to throw the tear gas back at the guard unit. As the riot escalated one of the national guard gave the order to fire into the crowd. The purpose of this scene in the movie was either: A. a faithful representation of the author's opinion of what this event actually was or B. a device intended to show the reader that this event happened differently in this alternate universe, to also help the reader recognize the degree of fascism rampant in the government in this AU.

The 'point' of this is essentially liberal propaganda. The story seems to say 'look how terrible and nazi-ish the world would be like if the conservatives had had their way all the time.' Which may actually be true, but I don't think it is portrayed quite correctly in the setting of this story.

However, that said, I enjoyed the book and the movie very much. Rorshach is my favorite character in it, and my opinion of him was summed up well by TheEgoist.

I think that the author kind of failed in his mission with this story, I think he intended for the story to be offputting to Objectivists and conservatives, and affirming for liberals and the liberal worldview. He failed on all counts here, the story resonates with many Objectivists, and liberals generally don't understand it, or they also identify more with the Rorshach character than with the villain. As far as the conservatives...I don't think they read comic books.

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Watchmen is about a "noble" end justifying any means, even gigantic lies and mass murder. This is wrong and author Moore knows it so the theme is itself a metacommentary on the immorality of superheroes.

And here is a Rorshach soliloquy from the comic:

Stood in firelight, sweltering. Bloodstain on chest like map of violent new continent. Felt cleansed. Felt dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night. Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children, hell-bound as ourselves, go into oblivion. There is nothing else. Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. Its us. Only us. Streets stank of fire. The void breathed hard on my heart, turning it's illusions to ice, shattering them. Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank world. Was Rorschach. Does that answer your questions, Doctor?

Whatever the original idea was behind the character, Rorshach as presented is not even close to being Objectivist.

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Here is a review of the movie I wrote on my Blog. I think it is pretty spoiler-free for the most part, but read at your own risk:

What is the URL for your blog ?

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I went and saw it with only a rudimentary understanding of the story, and I have to say, I was very entertained.

I knew the basic story and ending, but all of the other nuances in the story were new to me, and very entertaining. Rorschach's death (even though I knew it was coming) - despite whatever intentions it may have had - I saw as a heroic declaration of adherence to reality, as well as a statement of not allowing the ends to justify the means. "Never compromise, even in the face or Armageddon."

And of course, no idea if it was in the original book, but the reporter looking over to Rorschach's journal seems to imply to me that eventually, the truth is going to get out.

As for the story telling style, I've never read more than three comic books (NOTE: not franchises - three individual books), Watchmen not included, and I didn't have any problem telling when each event was supposed to occur.

Does the film paint a bleak view of humanity in general? Yes. But that alone shouldn't disqualify it as art. It is still masterfully executed, and, more importantly (as far as art is concerned), it causes most people to question their own views, as the movie never makes a firm stance on if Ozzy's final decision is right or wrong - you decide.

Of course, if the world of the Watchmen is too dark for you to analyze or enjoy, you can always feel free to

;)

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as the movie never makes a firm stance on if Ozzy's final decision is right or wrong - you decide.

This seems to be my only problem with the movie.

While he makes a point of showing that in the end the truth always surfaces, he doesn't show much virtue in that, as it seems everyone lived happilly ever after without it anyway.

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