Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stealing From My Livejournal Part XXIX

As I use my livejournal for little else except for movie rants and decided to switch over here, I thought I'd recruit some older posts so as to show a history. I'll bother with new ones as they come to me.

(**note: my opinions about Watchmen have shifted since this post. I liked it less the more I thought about it. Now I'd label it "okay, I sort of liked it, but not really that much.")

From March 8, 2009:

"Finally got to see it and just got back from the theatre.

The verdict?

I liked it. I really did like it. It is nowhere near as good or as resonating or as astounding as the graphic novel (not to build up the novel too much, despite my love for it), but it is certainly enjoyable. It's incredibly difficult, imo, to compress Watchmen into an under three hour film, but I think they managed pretty well. And, to be frank, it's kind of nice that I don't want to watch all the little things. They add so much into the graphic novels, all the smaller supporting characters, but when you're watching a movie, they're just distracting, so it is kind of nice that they were reduced... although I am a bit disappointed by the shortening of Rorschach's history. I thought the casting was all really good (Nixon's nose was really distracting though), the script was incredibly faithful to the novel, and I liked that the costumes were updated (I'm sorry, Ozymandias' costume, for one, would have been SO campy on screen... as would had everyone else's really). The music was generally cool but some of it was a bit weird. "Hallelujah" playing when Laurie and Dan get it on in Archie was really bizarre to me. But, overall, I thought it was good.

Of course, this is coming from the perspective of someone who has read the novel. I totally understand if people who have not read the novel, or who go in expecting it to be on par with the novel, don't like it, or even hate it. I saw it with two other people who had read the novel and two who haven't. Rachel, who hasn't read the graphic novel, hated it, for instance. There were a lot of little things that weren't really explained (Bubastis, for one) and just too much that couldn't be put on screen in a single movie that made it hard for non-fan viewers to really relate to it.

In the end, I think that, for fans who want a nice little complement to the graphic novel, who would like to see a film version that, while not as good, is still good enough to watch, Watchmen is the perfect creation. However, if you wanted to make a film that made the story more accessible to people who haven't read it, this isn't the best example (although it does a better job than, say, some of the Harry Potter films for explaining most things). If anything, I hope this prompts all fans who see it with their non-fan friends to say, like Jen insisted to Rachel, "well, read the graphic novel. It's better explained and just better overall."

I enjoyed it. I might not bother seeing it again in theatres, but I'll probably buy it when it comes out on DVD. I think it would be nice to watch when I'm just not feeling up to committing to rereading the graphic novel (it's like why I own the Harry Potter films... only, I like Watchmen the film better than the Harry Potter movies)."

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