Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
TheEgoist

Watchmen: Movie

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Ari Armstrong reviewed this movie, and I have to say that upon reflection, I have to agree. Whatever degree of well done technical execution exists cant' make up for its flaws.

http://www.freecolorado.com/2009/03/dont-watch-watchmen.html

Interesting review. The more I think about this movie, the less I find myself liking it. And initially I walked out of the movie having REALLY enjoyed it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Wow... you're criticisms align with this complete moron's.

Some things didn't make the medium jump, which is understandable. Alan Moore also said he made this a comic because he wanted to do specific things with a comic, and make comments on the genre. That's something that seems to go over a lot of the critics head. Watchmen is deconstruction of the super-hero genre. It basically comments about what would happen if superheroes actually lived in a real world, with real problems. Some might be psychotic, or have psychological problems, or society would think there a joke, or the government would use them for their own purposes.

At the time of writing, comic books always presented things in this really simple view without tackling a lot of deeper issues. Alan Moore wanted to write something that would challenge and change that; to show the marvelous amounts of art, and value that the genre/medium is capable of. So when you take it out of a graphic novel format, you'll lose some of that context and value.

Regardless, the story and concept are still interesting and engaging enough to make a movie out of.

My major problem with the movie was the emphasis on the action, which I think they put in there to make it more appealing. There isn't a lot of action in the actual comic, at least compared to most comics. I think they made Night Owl and Silk Specter a lot better then they were int he comics, although I kind of like chubby Night Owl just because it shows that he is really retired. But his problems with Veidt at the end was a nice touch. I don't think Manhattan was done quite right either, but it was close enough. And they put Nixon in there way more then he was in comic.

The movie and the responses to it make me think about a lot of things. One of them being... is this how an Atlas Shrugged movie would turn out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Exactly. With all fiction, there are questions on how the different, fictional variables would affect the world we live in, which is what Watchmen shows.

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.

Moore is distrustful of government in all forms. Superheroes are modern myths. I think scenes like this one, which play off another myth, just connect the two myths. Kind of like all these different alien movies throw Roswell and Area 51 in there, to connect their own myths to the already established ones.

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.

It's not liberal propaganda. It's to show the world as dark and corrupt, which is why it needs it's heroes. But those heroes live and come from that same world, their just human with human strengths and human flaws. Besides Dr. Manhattan, who isn't human but still has human flaws.

I think it's why Moore choose Nixon, instead of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Ford or Reagen as the inept leader of the country.

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.

Well that's good. It's still an incredible work of art. I think the movie highlights that.

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.

You're making a lot of unfair assumptions. Firstly, Moore hates everyone politically, liberals and conservatives alike. All the liberals I know who read it understand if perfectly fine. The conservatives too, the ones that actually bothered to read that is.

As far as the conservatives...I don't think they read.

Fixed that for you. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The movie and the responses to it make me think about a lot of things. One of them being... is this how an Atlas Shrugged movie would turn out?

Why?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why?

Well, you're cramping something long, without a lot of depth, that covers a lot of issues... into a 3 hour visual format. Watchmen is shorter and already had the visual area done with because it was a comic. Atlas Shrugged is longer, you'd have to cram it even more and start from the ground up on the visuals.

And Watchmen is generating a lot of negative buzz because the concepts go over peoples heads... it would be even more so with Atlas Shrugged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's to show the world as dark and corrupt, which is why it needs it's heroes.

And I think this is where I'm stuck in my decision as to whether I liked the movie or not.

Whereas in many superhero storylines (not withstanding their own problems) there is an overarching concept that man, despite his flaws, is a race worth helping out. The superheroes on those storylines often have to protect man from forces greater than themselves.

In the Watchmen storyline, man must be saved from himself. Man is not good enough to find a way through his own problems. Man will essentially self-destruct unless intervened by a greater power.

That and what seemed to me a sideline idea that bad people and actions aren't all bad because sometimes something good can come from a bad thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Since society's own law enforcement became inadequate.

The only rational thing to do in a state of anarchy is either to flee the country or to build up a new government and law enforcement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hated it. I essentially agree with Air Armstrong's review.

It is one long chain of horrible events one after the other. The movie takes place in a world where human beings are thoroughly corrupt and unfit to live (appropriately enough then, it evokes a lot of material from the 70'). The level of malevolence is comparable to movies like "Natural Born Killers".

The ending message is that mankind is too weak and irrational to make their own decisions. Of all the characters, the one who is (supposedly) too principled to live the lie for the sake of others has to be destroyed. That alone says a lot. It implies to me that principles and truth have no place in their world (he is not a respectable character however that is how the movie intends to portrays him). Finally, the "solution" is to create manufactured disaster killing millions. It ends with the world having an omniscient threat not unlike the fear of God to hold civilization together.

If you have some self respect you could do well to skip this movie. And if you're just interested in a Superhero flick stick to the Incredibles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone here praising humanity and saying that Watchmen paints too negative a picture would do well to leave their wallet sitting down in any major city's subway for more than, oh, 2 or 3 minutes. Or hell, don't buy a gun and keep your doors open.

Surely Atlas Shrugged shows the ugliness of the majority of human beings either in their destructiveness or their apathy. It also shows competent men ready to fight evil, and I think Watchmen has that balance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you have some self respect you could do well to skip this movie. And if you're just interested in a Superhero flick stick to the Incredibles.

I have self-respect, but many times I like to evaluate things with my own mind. :) In fact, that is one of the reasons why I have self-respect. I've seen other reviews from people I respected and then came to a different evaluation of the value or content of the movie/book/etc. If one is inclined to operate on the opinion of another, that is fine. But judging something for yourself does not indicate a lack of self-respect.

That said, I agree that the Incredibles is a far more heroic story with actual heroic characters.

Edited by RationalBiker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Everyone here praising humanity and saying that Watchmen paints too negative a picture would do well to leave their wallet sitting down in any major city's subway for more than, oh, 2 or 3 minutes. Or hell, don't buy a gun and keep your doors open.

My sister lives in a more rural area where she leaves her doors unlocked all the time; at night when she sleeps, when she goes to work, etc. etc. She does not own a gun. She has plenty of neighbors within sight of her house who know her routines. The virtues of humanity cannot necessarily be determined by those who frequent subways.

It also shows competent men ready to fight evil, and I think Watchmen has that balance.

I disagree.

It shows that men really need something greater than themselves to save themselves (a 'superhero' or a god-like being). It shows that men, in the long term, cannot deal with the truth. The "godlike" Dr. Manhattan was necessary to avert the impending self-destruction by nuclear holocaust. When Dr. Manhattan was removed from the picture, then the small scale genocide of otherwise 'innocent' people was necessary to stop the total destruction of man because man was incapable of foreseeing the horror ahead of them. The 'superheroes' of this movie did not go around defending rights or fighting crime (sure, there were a couple scenes of that, but once the 'master plan' was carried out all but Rorshach fell into step), they made grandiose decisions as to who should live or die in the interests of the many without respect to the concept of justice. These superheroes were NOT just or heroic. Would you still see them as heroic evil fighters if you were their next sacrificial lamb?

Atlas Shrugged shows the evil that men are capable of but it also shows that other MEN (not gods or superheroes) are capable of working through these problems themselves without being responsible for the wholesale destruction of otherwise innocent people who merely operate on bad philosophy. I contend that most people are not outright criminals, they just operate on a bad philosophy that they actual believe to be benevolent. In Atlas Shrugged, innocent people still had a hand in their fate, it was not decided for them by the heroes. I liken this to the end of Batman Begins when Batman tells the villain, "I'm not going to kill you, but I don't have to save you." In Watchmen it would be; "If you need to die to for the greater good, we'll feel bad, but tough cookies - I'm more powerful than you."

Edited by RationalBiker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing that bugged me about Watchmen wasn't that the message was horrible (it was) or the characters awful (they were), but that it was *dumb*. Smartest man in the world? Please. An actually intelligent person, even one with such awful philosophical premises, would realize that the plot was self-defeating. Even if no one figures it out, the threat of an *invincible* and *eternal* enemy isn't going to last past a few weeks or months, then it'll be back to bickering and the threat of nuclear war all over again.

When writers try to portray people who are more intelligent than they are, the result is always laughable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some contradictory views on humanity-as-a-whole on this board.

I'm surprised at how many people keep saying that these superheroes don't act like superheroes.

Thats. The. Point.

Ozymandias thought he was saving the world. They actually took out the most important part of the ending, in the comic he asks Manhattan if his plans were worth it, or if it succeeds and Manhattan says "Nothing ever ends" and just leaves him to suffer in self-doubt. I need to dig up the comic and reread but I remember Mahattan being more like "Yeah, you have a point" instead "Yeah you're right" The fact that he sort of leaves Ozymandias to his own fate instead of giving him reassurance is, in my opinion, supposed to be punishment.

In the movie they took it a little further by having Night Owl beat him up, rightly so. So, I don't think they "fell in line", they keep quiet, but they aren't too happy about it and probably would come out with the truth eventually when all the dust settled. That's what seemed implied to me.

Again, the groundbreaking point of Watchmen was to make superheroes more like real people, with real problems or to give a picture of what that might look like, as opposed to things like the Incredibles, where superheroes are what you'd expect them to be.

Edited by Mammon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have self-respect, but many times I like to evaluate things with my own mind. :dough: In fact, that is one of the reasons why I have self-respect.

Of course, I didn't mean that to be insulting. I could be wrong for all someone reading this knows. I went because I thought the movie was going to be vastly different than it was, but I stayed just to have an informed opinion and to see if the ending would recover somehow.

The thing that bugged me about Watchmen wasn't that the message was horrible (it was) or the characters awful (they were), but that it was *dumb*. Smartest man in the world? Please. An actually intelligent person, even one with such awful philosophical premises, would realize that the plot was self-defeating.

Well I thought the funny thing about that was that he was the one developing "green" energy as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ozymandias thought he was saving the world. They actually took out the most important part of the ending, in the comic he asks Manhattan if his plans were worth it, or if it succeeds and Manhattan says "Nothing ever ends" and just leaves him to suffer in self-doubt. I need to dig up the comic and reread but I remember Mahattan being more like "Yeah, you have a point" instead "Yeah you're right" The fact that he sort of leaves Ozymandias to his own fate instead of giving him reassurance is, in my opinion, supposed to be punishment.

In the movie they took it a little further by having Night Owl beat him up, rightly so. So, I don't think they "fell in line", they keep quiet, but they aren't too happy about it and probably would come out with the truth eventually when all the dust settled. That's what seemed implied to me.

Again, the groundbreaking point of Watchmen was to make superheroes more like real people, with real problems or to give a picture of what that might look like, as opposed to things like the Incredibles, where superheroes are what you'd expect them to be.

Then I guess we can say that the book is groundbreaking, but the movie is not. In fact the movie serves no purpose, and with the things it changed, destroys some of the impact of the original story. The only possible purpose in watching the movie would be to recall the action and voices when you're reading the book... although that's not necessarily a good thing (damn you Elijah Wood!)

Edited by brian0918

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree with that. The movie was filmed well but it failed in re imagining many areas of the story and capturing the intricacies of the story. The casting of the characters was atleast appropriately done too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In the movie they took it a little further by having Night Owl beat him up, rightly so. So, I don't think they "fell in line", they keep quiet, but they aren't too happy about it and probably would come out with the truth eventually when all the dust settled. That's what seemed implied to me.

That, to me, is sufficient to "fall in line". Silence and tacit agreement. The momentary emotional reaction was insignificant to the continued acceptance and acting on the plan to keep man in the dark.

Again, the groundbreaking point of Watchmen was to make superheroes more like real people, with real problems or to give a picture of what that might look like, as opposed to things like the Incredibles, where superheroes are what you'd expect them to be.

Well, that's where the story fails then; they were super, but they were not heroes. The Incredibles are what you expect them to be because they are actually heroic. That's what makes the superheroes.

In the movie they took it a little further by having Night Owl beat him up, rightly so.

Ozymandias took his beating too. I find this interesting because if the "smartest man in the world" KNEW he was doing the right thing, why would he be resigned to taking a beating? Why would he apparently accept that he "deserved" that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Other points;

There are some contradictory views on humanity-as-a-whole on this board.

There are frequently different view about a variety of things on this board. The above should not be surprising.

I'm surprised at how many people keep saying that these superheroes don't act like superheroes.

Some people, including myself, have not read the graphic novel and did not know what the "heroes" or storyline was about. I hope when I go see a movie that it is generally stand alone and that I don't have to go buy all the related literature to get the picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may be echoing a previous post, but here is what I deem to be the biggest problem with this film:

Ozymandius, supposedly the world's most intelligent man and now a successful businessman no less, decides that in order to reach what he deems a moral end, he must kill off millions of innocent people in a Hitler-esque fashion. Rorschach - the only character in the film with some real moral integrity - is opposed to the plan. The villain lives (and succeeds), the hero dies, and everyone lives happilly ever after. The End. Wait...what?

Edited by Grant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I may be echoing a previous post, but here is what I deem to be the biggest problem with this film:

Ozymandius, supposedly the world's most intelligent man and now a successful businessman no less, decides that in order to reach what he deems a moral end, he must kill off millions of innocent people in a Hitler-esque fashion. Rorschach - the only character in the film with some real moral integrity - is opposed to the plan. The villain lives (and succeeds), the hero dies, and everyone lives happilly ever after. The End. Wait...what?

It wasn't happily ever after. In the comic it was a lot clearer, Dr M. tells Ozzy "Nothing ever changes" implying that his trick will not last for any significant length of time. Alan Moore has stated before that the end is not supposed to be a message that the ends justify the means, he wanted the ending to be a question of the reader. I've talked to many people about this, all my friends love it, and they all agree Ozzy was in the wrong and Rorschach in the right. If anything, this movie has helped progress the idea that the ends do not justify the needs.

And to those complaining Ozymandias is considered the smartest man in the world, if I remember right, he is considered that purely because of the marketing he has done with his toy line. There wasn't some huge IQ contest with Ozzy taking it all, he just has some over aggressive marketing people (as he says).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...