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Saw "Watchmen" today! - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

Mar. 6th, 2009

11:02 pm - Saw "Watchmen" today!

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This movie has received some negative criticism from people who don't think it's an adequate adaptation of the book; some of them think there can be no adequate adaptation of the book, and that it is indeed "unfilmable". Well, I disagree; I like the movie! I think it does a wonderful job of telling the story and capturing the look and flavor of the book.


The casting is perfect. Ozymandias (Matthew Goode) looks younger than in the book, but it works. Jackie Earle Haley as Walter Kovacs/Rorschach looks and sounds like a scruffy, violent redheaded Clint Eastwood, and he comes up with a perfectly plausible way to go "hurm". (It's just a grunt, basically.) The guy playing Richard Nixon looks a bit cartoony with his latex nose and jowls, but then Nixon was always pretty cartoony looking anyway.

This movie also allows you to witness Lee Iacocca getting gunned down, and the odd sight of Nixon as the good guy!

Stuff they changed:
Dan, not Rorschach, goes to tell Adrian Veidt about the Comedian's death.

When Rorschach describes what he did to the guy who kidnapped and murdered the little girl, instead of setting him (and the building) on fire, he chops into his head with a meat cleaver several times.

Ozymandias's plan involves not a gigantic space squid, but a massive energy blast made to look like the work of Dr. Manhattan. The effect is the same: half of New York is wiped out, yet Dr. Manhattan doesn't seem too upset about it (even though, in the movie, he's been framed for it!)

ETA: Ha! Just noticed an interesting minor change. On the last page, Seymour at the New Frontiersman says, "Robert Redford says he'll be running for President in '88." In the movie, "Robert Redford" was changed to "Ronald Reagan".


About halfway through, I had to go to the bathroom, so I went out into the lobby, went to the bathroom, and then went into a theater that had started showing "Watchmen" an hour later than the one I was in, so I got to see about an hour of it over again. At first I was a bit disappointed because the first audience had been full of fans who were clearly enjoying it, raising a fun geeky vibe, but the second audience was absolutely silent. Also the second screen was a tad splotchy.

But then a scene that had been clumsily cut out in the first theater, perhaps because the film had been damaged, was present in the second theater. At that point I was glad I'd gone to the bathroom! (The scene was the one where Laurie and Dr. Manhattan are making love, and she suddenly realizes there are two Dr. Manhattans in bed with her. The film cut awkwardly from the end of the previous scene to the moment where she's walking out of the bedroom.)

Trailers I saw:
"Knowing", starring Nicolas Cage as a guy who finds an old sheet of paper with a series of numbers that, when decoded, apparently predicts the end of the world.
"Angels & Demons", the sequel to "The Da Vinci Code" in which Tom Hanks goes up against the Illuminati. Caught a few glimpses of ambigrams by John Langdon.
"Up", Pixar's next movie, with more scenes than the teaser. Still don't know where the boy scout was when the house takes off; he's not visible on the porch at that point.
"Observe and Report", starring Seth Rogen as a mall cop, and who I first thought was Britney Spears but is apparently actually Anna Faris.

Comments:

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From:thecanuckguy
Date:March 7th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
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"Observe and Report", starring Seth Rogen as a mall cop

What is Hollywood's fascination with mall cops lately? *Two* movies released in the first 100 days of the year (apparently O&P's release date is April 10, the 100th day of the year) about mall cops, and, by the cast list of both, apparently geared at the 18-25 male set. (While I feel somewhat discouraged that I am no longer, by any stretch, in that demographic, it is somewhat tempered by the fact that I never was in that demographic (sure, age-wise I once was, but taste-wise, never.))
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From:melskunk
Date:March 7th, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)
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The headchop:
I can see that change as the original would have been too much like Saw (gave him a hacksaw, suggested cutting the cuffs would take too long)
Jackie Earle was so daaamned perfect though.
Disappointed with a lot of small changes. I missed the Adrian/Jon exchange and really wished they'd kept it
I wish they'd shown the murder of the original Nite Owl
and finally I wished they'd showed Bubastis more than twice. Takes the meaning out of her death.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:March 7th, 2009 06:00 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I wanted to see more Bubastis! Speaking of which, here's a thingy drawn by someone on circuit_four's friends list:
http://kinkyturtle.masemware.com/misc/bubastis1.jpg

Hmm, I wish they'd also put in the scene where Adrian asks Dr. Manhattan, "I did the right thing, didn't I?"

Perhaps some of these scenes will appear in the director's cut.
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From:tracerj
Date:March 7th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
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the original would have been too much like Saw (gave him a hacksaw, suggested cutting the cuffs would take too long)

Wasn't that in Mad Max?
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From:xakko
Date:March 8th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
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it was indeed in Mad Max, and possibly in other things.

i was fairly pleased with the casting, except for Adrian. Matthew Goode actually looked kinda skeezy to me, certainly not the "perfect man"
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From:timmowarner
Date:March 8th, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)
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Hollis Mason's death, and Dan's reaction to learning about it will be in the director's cut which will be 3:10 minutes.

It was Hollis Mason that Zack Snyder least wanted to lose, but that could most easily be cut to get the film down to the time it is now.
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From:orv
Date:March 7th, 2009 03:53 am (UTC)
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I think anyone who does a movie based on a graphic novel has to have a thick skin, because even if they do a good job a good chunk of the novel's fans will object to it. Partly because you'll always leave out someone's favorite scene, and partly because people think dissing the movie versions of things makes them seem cool and worldly.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:March 7th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I just saw a video on YouTube in which Hitler is enraged at the lack of the squid. :}
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From:gedrean
Date:March 8th, 2009 06:54 pm (UTC)
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That video meme is way overdone. The hitler's D&D chara was the first I saw and the only semi-original one I ever liked.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:March 8th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
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First one I saw was the one where his car is stolen.
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From:nefaria
Date:March 8th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
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My local newspaper critic (who's supposedly been a lifelong fan of comic books) complained that the movie should have been more up-to-date and it should have criticized the recent stock market/401(k) collapse instead of nuclear war, an updated work instead of a faithful adaptation. I think important portions of his brain are missing.

Babs and I both enjoyed it immensely, and the cohorts we hooked up with in Orlando seemed to like it as well.

My only real complaint was Pendulum Penis Syndrome. o_O

Edited at 2009-03-09 01:05 am (UTC)
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:March 8th, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
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And have Ozymandias fix the economy by destroying half of Manhattan? Wasn't that done before in "Fight Club"? :}

And why does everyone keep using words like "pendulum" and "swinging" to describe Dr. Manhattan's man-hattan? It hardly even moved!
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From:gedrean
Date:March 10th, 2009 03:24 am (UTC)
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It was huger than in the comics. The comics they tried to make it "tastefully underdone" like you wouldn't notice it unless you were looking. This was a 3 hour adult film with some violence thrown in a la porno plot.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:March 10th, 2009 04:27 am (UTC)
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You say that like it's a bad thing. :}
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From:gedrean
Date:March 10th, 2009 11:57 am (UTC)
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Yeah well about halfway through the movie I lean over to my friend and go "So when's Dr Tripod gonna start with the bow chika wow wow?"
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