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First off I'm in the "has read book, dreaded the movie" category but after finally watching the "watchmen" I can honestly say it was not terrible. I wont get into nitpicking about things that were left out or changes from the original material but will simply leave it by saying it was a faithful adaptation of the source.
That being said, Id like to put out there a few thoughts on the whole lead up to this film and the resistance in it being made. Those familiar with the history behind the potential of having this material made into a feature film know all to well the story of the original director who was tagged to make it's story. In a nutshell Terry Gilliam claimed that it was "unfilmable" except for maybe as a 10 part miniseries or something to that effect. In this I both agree and disagree. I believe it was Gilliam's feeling that something so rich and beautiful as the original graphic novel shouldn't be the victim of any sort of dumbing down or compromise. And that he was possibly afraid of the filmed material being tossed onto the bargain bin of film history. However I believe that the source could have been filmed given the right hands to craft it. Was Snyder the right man for the job? I don't know.. Nor do I think its a relevant point. Any director would have tried to place his/her spin on it.. as that is what directors do and get paid for. It was inevitable that the thing would have been shot as motion picture, Im pleased and satisfied that it was handled appropriately.
The feeling of having the piece lose its vibrancy and pertinence is a sentiment that I believe all of the original fans share. It was never about not filming "the watchmen" but more about having it not relegated to share the same shelf space in the sci-fi section as battlefield earth. The result, made by Snyder and co. unfortunately will not be a part of film history but hopefully in my opinion simply a stepping stone into discovering the wonderful piece of art that is the graphic novel.
It is faithful and yet lacking.. this missing element i hope will lead new people to the original source.
The Dark Knight (2008)
OK I waited a really long time to actually see this movie.. mostly because of the hype.. I wanted to see if after all the long drawn out hype of Heath Ledger's death... its #1 spot on the IMDb boards.. and all the back and forth conversations on whether it or not it was the greatest film of all time... it could actually live up to that standing.
The simple answer is no.
1. Writing 6/10
There are a lot of points in this film where the dialogue feels really rushed and just awkward. I don't understand why batman begins (which in my opinion far exceeds this film) could do everything right with the screenplay and this one fail so badly. The standard plot devices are there good/evil good as evil.. downfall of the hero.. redemption .. blah blah blah... its all been done before.. and I might add done much better. One quick film which comes to mind.. "There will be blood" used a very similar thesis of the antihero but did in a much more intelligent and beautiful way.
2. Visuals 7/10
Yes there are a lot of very impressive effects in this movie.. the tractor flipping being one.. and the whole opening sequence.. but again where have we not seen any of this before in a michael bay project or hell even the die hard movies? There is no signature to the cinematography and nothing which sets it apart from any other big budget Hollywood movie. Id say the most stand out moment of the entire thing was seeing harvey dent's face after the accident.
3. Characters 2/10
OK if hear a Batman talk like that again I swear im going to walk out of the theatre, What a horrible horrible disaster . Christian Bale sounded like he had one of his batarangs stuck in his throat. I don't know who decided on this plot device but it was a mistake. I don't remember any of this in Batman Begins and imo it really brought the project as a whole down. Heath Ledger was OK. Whenever an actor passes away prior to the release of his film of course there will be a strong tendency to have a biased opinion to how great he was. It really felt like he was overdoing it. If he took his acting down a notch I think his vision of the joker would have been much more believable. And possibly shooed him in for an Oscar nod. About the only really believable character in the film was Gary Oldman's "Jim Gordon" But than again anything he does his great.
4. Overall 5/10
A good action movie... But seriously overrated. 007 in a Bat Costume.
#4 currently on the IMDb top100? Someone's getting paid.
best of the early depalma
...and so I started depalma's "Obsession" and noticed the screenplay by Paul Schrader and did a double take and saw the score by Bernard Hermann and thought to myself "Taxi Driver"?? This is the fifth film i've seen in a cycle started with "Wedding Party" of early depalma works. It is I believe with this film that depalma finally seems to settle into a consistent film making style... I mean it's really difficult to figure out a directors vision when he jumps between making significant socio-political films like "Hi Mom" to cheezy schlock like "Phantom of the Paradise". Anyways, whether it be Hermann's bi-polar score (see. Taxi Driver) or Paul Hirch's magnificent editing, depalma finally makes a film worthy of a second viewing. If "Sisters" and "Phantom of the Paradise" showed depalma's clever camera play with split screen editing, "Obsession" shows depalma's delicate use of filtering to enhance a feeling of dreaminess and actually stay with a single theme till the end. Finally it's interesting to note the final sequence of the film and it's similarity to what in my opinion is his greatest triumph "Carlito's Way". Check this one out...