Watchmen (2009) Poster

(2009)

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10/10
My favorite movie ever?
budmassey8 March 2009
For over 25 years now, I have cited Blade Runner as my favorite movie of all time. After seeing Watchmen, I may have to reconsider.

First, I'm glad I went to see the movie alone. I've heard so many comments focused on a blue dick, or the length of the movie, or some other such nonsense, that I'm sure watching it with someone would have been a constant barrage of commentary and complaint. And no, that's not Javier Bardem.

Yes, the movie is long; nearly three hours. But, unlike the dreadfully insipid Titanic, at the end of this movie I wasn't asking for those three hours of my life back. And, as with all such movies, you must be able to look beyond the literal.

Watchmen is iconic and iconoclastic, deconstructionist and revisionist, laden with allegory and allusion. Consider, for example, the character Ozymandias. I'm wondering how many people who viewed the film ever even heard of Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem by the same name. The character even quotes the poem on a plinth in his Antarctic lair. The allusion is amazing. Here's the full quote;

And on the pedestal these words appear -- "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.'

Clearly one must see the allusion to the work, in this case, of a superhero who hopes to leave mankind a lasting legacy, but realizes in the back of his mind that everything is eventually lost in time. Ozymandias was the first poem I ever examined from an expositional point of view, and I was blown away. The use of it in this movie is equally impactful.

Then there is Dr. Manhattan, named, of course, for the Manhattan Project, which yielded the atomic bomb. His character is an allegory for God, and his relationship with man mirrors the apparent detachment with which God sees suffering in the world He created. The deity reference is reinforced often, and one thinks of Oppenheimer's citation of the Bhagavad-Gita, in which Vishnu takes on a godly form and says, "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

In an expository scene in the second act, Dr. Manhattan has a sort of recollection of his life. His account is dizzyingly elliptical, since he does not see time as linear the way others do. This scene has the lyrical feel of my favorite piece of fiction, Alan Lightman's almost unbearably beautiful Einstein's Dreams, and the reference to Einstein cannot be ignored.

But the real beauty of Watchmen is the moral diversity of its superheroes. Each is flawed in different ways, allowing us to inhabit different ethical perspectives, intellectually at least, and witness their consequences. Everything from Rorshach's refusal to compromise, which makes him a doomed fugitive, to the ultimate compromise envisioned by Ozymandias, who can dispassionately evaluate scenarios where millions of lives are sacrificed, calls into question our most cherished beliefs. Where does it leave you? Well, that's for you to decide.

From a purely entertainment perspective, Watchmen is stunning. The visuals are state of the art, and do not suffer from the sort of mental rejection I have for some movies that present too many special effects to swallow at once as reality. And Watchmen doesn't suffer from Hollywood's apparent fascination with camp in comic book movies. Camp works to some degree in Spiderman, since he's a somewhat humorous character to begin with. But the excess of camp rendered the Fantastic Four sequel unwatchable. Watchman proves that superheroes can use more subtle forms of humor, such as irony, without devolving into camp for cheap laughs.

And the music, oh, the music. If you didn't grow up in the 60's and 70's, you will surely miss some of the impact, but don't worry. Even a second hand recollection of such iconic tunes will suffice. I am reminded of the painfully awful Across the Universe, which couldn't even pull together a decent movie built around the greatest catalog in modern music. Watchmen does it in spades.

I LOL'd, I cried. The people in the theatre applauded at the end. I vowed to wait 24 hours before writing a review to see if my euphoria passed. It hasn't.
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10/10
Get in line now......
Screen-Space25 February 2009
Screened FRebruary 23 for Australian Media.

There's no reason for me to expect I was going to like Watchmen. I knew the cast was interesting - Patrick Wilson has made smart film choices that don't rely on or intentionally subvert his good looks (Hard Candy, Little Children); Jackie Earle Haley was icky in Little Children (and I'm old enough to remember him from Breaking Away); Malin Akerman is cute but 28 Dresses and The Heartbreak Kid do not a superhero make; Jeffery Dean Morgan, Matthew Goode - ??? And director Zack Snyder did cool things with zombies in Dawn Of The Dead and made a wild and wacky movie in 300, which totally indicated his third film was probably going to be worth a look, but...you know, whatever...

So they all signed up for Watchmen - based on a comic bo...sorry, graphic novel...that I'd never read and that was coming to theatres less than a year after Ironman and The Dark Knight had redefined how good superhero movies could (and should, from here on in) aspire to be.

That Watchmen has turned out to be the most complex, exhilarating and deeply-moving fantasy film since Terry Gilliam's Brazil surprises nobody on Earth more than me - and, man, did it surprise.

In equal measure, it is a) an inspired vision of an alternate world that echoes but redefines our own existence; b) a subversive yet bracingly humanistic exploration of the role of the superhero in modern literature, c) a supremely adult take on the fetishistic pull of the heightened existence that life as a saviour of society creates, and d) a wildly exciting adventure story that turns normal people into exaggerated victims of their own creation and then back into mere humans.

An exploration of the plot would reveal more vast themes, but at this early stage of its release I don't want to risk lessening the experience for anyone.

I can reveal this - Billy Crudup as Dr Manhattan and Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach create characters every bit as captivating (and deserving of Oscar recognition) as Heath Ledger's Joker; Malin Akerman makes an entrance to the world of superhero timelessness that will be the fantasy of every teenage boy, aged 15 to 50; and from the flawless art direction, set design and special effects to a mesmerising soundtrack, Watchmen is a film that revels in the perfection of minor details.

Be warned - those expecting Spiderman-like teen-angst or Fantastic Four-like silliness will be stunned, perhaps not quite sure of what they have found. Watchmen is an extraordinarily mature, risky project for Hollywood to role the dice on, especially given similarly-complex explorations of social collapse and vigilantism (V For Vendetta, most specifically) have failed to do blockbuster numbers.

But Watchmen is something special and deserving of analysis and discussion. As bold an attempt at commercial film-making as I can remember, Watchmen is an undeniably unique movie experience - rich, perverse, violent and resonant.
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8/10
Stays True to the "Big Joke," But This May Confuse Some.
thebryandavis3 March 2009
Before anyone sees this film, Zach Snyder should be given a pat on the back. He did what a dozen directors struggled to do for twenty years: he made a Watchmen movie. It seems unthinkable that anyone could properly put the greatest graphic novel of all time on the screen. But Snyder has done pretty much that.

While it is not Alan Moore's Watchmen, it is the closest thing that anyone else could have put on the screen. Snyder approached the material with enough reverence that fans of the comic will appreciate the film. As Snyder has openly declared, the final act does include significant changes, but the alterations that take place fit better on the big screen than the original ending would have. It works because it cuts down on a lot of the necessary back story which Snyder could not include.

Even though many pages of the book were not included, Snyder did take the time to try and preserve other information by including short "historical" sequences in the fantastic opening title sequence. By this point, viewers will also have had a chance to appreciate the stellar, and time appropriate, soundtrack. Unlike the hard rock recordings the Snyder chose for the background of 300, Watchmen's background fits the tone and mood of most of the scenes. The only questionable choice was the selection of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," not because of the recording, but rather its awkward placement. Some may also question Snyder's inclusion of gore not present in the book. While the comic does include it's share of violence, Snyder did overtly change several scenes to be more violent. These changes, while flashy on film, may disturb squeamish moviegoers. However, changes aside, Snyder has captured the essence of the book and packaged it in a beautiful 2 hour and 40 minute delight. Overall, it is a satisfying film experience for someone familiar with the source material.

But this might be a different experience for anyone who does not know the book. There is a lot to digest, and the overwhelming visuals may distract some moviegoers from the bigger picture. The interaction of these unique characters remains an integral point to understanding this film, and when the book was pared down for the movie, the relationships of the masked adventures became a bit more forced. The best part of the comic was the glimpse of what is "beneath the hood," and we have less of that in Snyder's adaptation. Additionally, the ending, while simplified, is still a bit convoluted.

Fans and those previously unfamiliar with Watchmen should go in with an open mind. Snyder has performed what Doctor Manhattan might deem a miracle, so it may take more than one viewing to truly appreciate this unique adaptation.
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10/10
Watchmen is a fascinating graphic novel adaptation that deserves to be seen by anybody that likes their movies complex, dark, and absorbing.
stewiefan20114 March 2009
Watchmen is the long-awaited graphic novel adaptation that has for a long time been deemed un-filmable. There have been many different points over the years where this movie was supposed to be made, which always ended up not happening. But now Watchmen is finally here in all its glory, and it's probably the best adaptation possible of this complex graphic novel. The story takes place in an alternative 1985, with Nixon beginning his third term as president, and the streets of New York are gritty, dark, and violent. Within New York lives a group of costumed heroes that used to be loved by society, but are now hated by practically everybody. One night a depressed retired hero named The Comedian is murdered by a masked person that breaks into his apartment. Another hero named Rorschach, who wears a mask with shifting ink blots, believes that someone is picking off costumed heroes to begin their own agenda of destruction. Rorschach begins investigating and hunting down the person that is responsible for The Comedian's death. Meanwhile we meet another hero who glows blue, and has almost literally become a God. His name is Dr. Manhattan, and although he has the power to save the world he won't do it because he has lost many of his human emotions. The other main costumed heroes are Night Owl and Silk Spectre, who begin to fall in love amid the chaos of their secret lives. Any other attempt to describe the complex plot of this movie would be nearly impossible.

Watchmen was an extremely complex graphic novel filled with a lot of flawed costumed characters, strong plot, powerful sense of style, and also contained a world that seems a little too close to our own. The movie carries every one of these elements in the best way it possibly could. It stays true to the novel, and only changes a few details. The memorable characters are very well portrayed and acted as well. Dr. Manhattan (the giant blue guy) is played very well by Billy Crudup, who manages to keep the character interesting despite his emotionless attitude. Malin Akerman (Silk Spectre II), Patrick Wilson (Night Owl II), and Matthew Goode (Adrian Veidt) are also very good in their roles. However the two actors that truly help add depth and a real sense of anger to the film are Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian, and Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach. Rorschach was probably my favorite character because technically he's not really a hero at all. He's a psychopath with harmful and destructive behavior, even though in a way he's trying to do what he believes is right for the world. He is a fascinating character with his shape-shifting mask full of ink blots that mirror his personality.

The movie takes place in 1985 and mimics what was happening back then. Watchmen's story revolves around the threat of nuclear war and global destruction, and the characters mostly try to do the right thing for the world but have trouble seeing the point in doing so. This is a great film that stays true to the original graphic novel while transitioning its style, characters, chain of events, and storyline from page-to-screen the best it possibly could. However if you're not familiar with the source material you may find yourself confused by this movie. It's not like The Dark Knight where everybody that goes to see it knows who Batman and the Joker are. These characters are not as famous as those types of household name characters, and may be hard for someone's whose never read the novel to understand. Personally I only read a few chapters before I saw the movie, and I thought the movie was incredible. I always give a movie props for not taking the easy way out by spoon-feeding everything to the audience. The book, as well as the movie, was daring by taking of the risk of being complex and making you think for a change. Watchmen is a great movie, and despite its long running time of 163 minutes, I never found it boring at all. Watchmen is a fascinating graphic novel adaptation that deserves to be seen by anybody that likes their movies complex, dark, and absorbing.
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10/10
Best movie I've seen in a long time
Casey Smith10 March 2009
Firstly, I have not read the graphic novel. This was deliberate, since I knew there was going to be a movie, and reading any book tends to ruin the movie. I'm sure there are a whole bunch of things in the graphic novel that they left out or changed, and it's hard for those who have read it to imagine how people could understand the subtleties of the story without it. But trust me, the morally complex, multi-layered characters and plot were very well delivered by the movie alone. There was nothing that seemed like it didn't make sense or wasn't quite explained. The movie was just about perfect.

I'm surprised to hear a lot of reviews saying that this is just an action movie for teenage boys; I thought quite the opposite. There was much less action than I expected, the movie centered mostly on emotions and ideas conveyed through dialog, narration and character flashbacks. The action scenes were all fairly short, though when there was action it was delightfully innovative. There were a lot of nasty and unexpected twists like limbs snapping, guts sticking to the ceiling, bones audibly crunching... Every time something violent happened, they made it interesting and shocking rather than recreating the generic ho-hum violence of every other movie. (And there was no obligatory 30-minute-long final action scene culminating in the conclusion of the plot... oh joy! Those get so boring.) Plus, many of the scenes were rather bold for a mainstream film, and showed certain things that are normally hidden off-screen or completely avoided. The only example I feel I can give without spoiling anything is the full frontal male nudity, something that is rather conspicuously hidden in almost every Hollywood movie. This movie isn't concerned about hiding little things like that, just as it isn't concerned about hiding certain subjects that most movies wouldn't show.

This movie definitely isn't for everyone. People expecting another Dark Knight will be disappointed (or, as in my case, thrilled), as this movie is completely unique. People who want an action movie and don't want all that talking and thinking will be disappointed. But to those looking for a long, complicated, deeply moving epic that will really make them think about the very concepts of right, wrong, and heroism (and who haven't read the book, which based on other reviews seems to ruin it): Do NOT miss this movie!
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7/10
We All Watch the Watchmen
ftyl26 February 2009
Let's get this out of the way - Watchmen the movie is not as good as the graphic novel.

Zack Snyder's Watchmen is not your average graphic novel adaptation. Unlike with 300, which was short and sharp and shallow and easy to adapt, the original Watchmen is incredibly dense and, as written, unfilmable. So Snyder did something very smart - he didn't even try. What he did instead was to take the world of Watchmen and rebuild it in a way which made a virtue of this new medium (film) rather than try to cram the graphic novel into a cinematic form.

Nowhere is this approach more obvious than in the film's title sequence. A wonderfully composed collage of images depicts scenes from the universe of Watchmen in a way which is only possible in the movies. In this way, we are subconsciously introduced to a world where costumed heroes are a part of everyday culture and brought, in a stylish and fluid way, from the original days of the Minutemen to those of the Watchmen. This introduction is cinematically perfect and is indicative of the heights which the Watchmen movie is perfectly capable of achieving but not quite capable of sustaining.

Watchen is a brave film for a major studio to make and without a doubt it would not exist in its present form without the success of 300. It is incredibly dark (both in tone as well as shooting style) with events that would be anathema to any other superhero story. The less you know about the story, the better so there will be no spoilers here but suffice to say Watchmen's version of a happy ending is a far cry from the Hollywood norm.

Snyders brings his unique approach to action to bear on Watchmen, expanding on the action scenes in the comic without making it feel too redundant. His efforts are ably supported by the incredibly game cast, excellent cinematography and near perfect visual effects - this film is incredible to look at but also manages to create an entire world in a way which most superhero stories never do. The attention to detail in even the smallest scenes is commendable and the dense flashback structure means the same attention is paid to the presentation of full and complex characters.

Snyder has made a film which is gorgeous to look at, agreeably violent, well written, wonderfully designed and features some of the best small scale action sequences ever committed to celluloid. But, naturally, not everything is perfect. Most of the performances are excellent, with a cast of relative unknowns who manage to distinguish themselves despite constantly competing with overbearing effects and design. Patrick Wilson, in particular, does great work with a difficult role as Nite Owl, while Jackie Earle Hayley is blistering as Rorschach. Unfortunately in a film which could have done with a strong female presence, neither Carla Gugino nor Malin Ackerman make much of an impression, despite having quite a lot of screen time. Synder's musical cues are another bone of contention - often pushing the tone of the film into the realm of parody. And the ending... well let's just say it cheapens the experience in search of the lowest common denominator and the whole package suffers. On a related note, neither of the stories major revelations are handled that well. These moments were genuinely shocking in the graphic novel but are almost glossed over in the film.

Don't get the wrong impression, Watchmen is a good film, sometimes a great film. Snyder has managed to make a movie which is a terrifically well balanced compromise between accessibility and fidelity. That anyone can sit down in the cinema and experience a distillation of the Watchmen universe in just 163 minutes is a marvel. It does not deliver the depth of feeling and connection of the novel but that is more a matter of the differences in the media than a failure on the part of the film.

On its own merits, Zack Synder's Watchmen is a dark and twisted tale peopled with complex characters whose motivations are not obvious even to themselves. It is a solid film, sometimes rising into the extraordinary, and deserves to be successful. This is not Alan Moore's Watchmen but it is a competent extension of the universe into another medium and a worthy cinema-going experience.
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9/10
I'll be watching the Watchmen. Over and over again.
jeehde225 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
After months of anticipation, today I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the premiere of Watchmen over here. Together with a friend, who hasn't read the book, we went to Amsterdam this afternoon. Expectations were ridiculously high and I was kinda afraid to leave disappointed, since I wasn't sure how to possibly film the book that people refer to as not filmable.

Zack Snyder appears to have been the right choice to take the job. 300 proved that he has an eye for visuals and knows how to adept a book as faithful to its source as possible, but faithfulness and nice pictures don't necessarily make for a good movie. In order to achieve this he was forced to cut several sub-plots and trim sequences now and then. He made some very smart moves here though, by making up with detail. Every single frame will please fans with in-jokes, or hints at related characters or plots that the unfamiliar moviegoer won't miss. This gives Watchmen the very much needed depth and heart that fans so very much craved for.

The overall story is an exact replica from the book, with every single flashback in place and only 1 noticeable change towards the ending. Much discussed by fans, but I'm sure that only the very worst nitpickers or haters might think badly of this. It works perfectly well, so rest assured, it won't disappoint. The movie begins, like the novel, with the Comedian being killed in a long, tense and action-packed scene that sets the proper mood and makes one long for more, which we get plenty of the next 160 minutes. After this scene comes the brilliant intro montage (with 'The Times They Are A-Changin' in the background), which introduces the Minutemen and helps newcomers to pick up on the story.

Everything that comes after this is in one word overwhelming. Every character is well cast, takes complete hold of your attention and gets the time for a proper and detailed introduction. After watching it, it's hard to tell which hero I liked best. Patrick Wilson is perfect as Dan Dreiberg, Rorschach a joy to watch and you're watching Dr. Manhatting in awe, which makes sense for his character. Also, I'm sure everyone will secretly fall in love with Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman). The suits have been beautifully changed wherever necessary and also have the right effect. The Minutemen look kinda stupid, which is perfect for the superhero parody element of the book. But not only the heroes impress, the fans will have a splendid time recognizing all the smaller characters, such as the news-vendor and the reading kid, or the shrink with his pills.

Although Snyder adapted the book from scene to scene, there are not only passages he had to make shorter, but also those he slightly enhanced. Fights are longer; action sequences leave a bigger impression. He wonderfully uses slow motion effects and fortunately kept the editing at a modest tempo, never resulting in unwatchable quick fights. I heard that the UK rated this 18+, which makes sense given the amount of violence it has. Be it boiling fat thrown over a man or bones broken in the most horrible ways, there's plenty of gore. But the movie also doesn't fall short in nudity. Apart from a short scene involving Malin Akerman, it's Billy Crudup who gets to run around naked showing his digital penis the whole time as Dr. Manhattan. It doesn't distract however, but gives Watchmen something truly adult, very different from the far more gentle 'Knight'.

The special effects are really good, Dr. Manhattan looks awesome, Mars looks like you expect Mars to look and Rorschach's mask remains fun to see from start to finish. Most of the visuals and environments are very colorful and almost drown in atmosphere, a very welcome change from the realism that 'Knight' had. This is simply more fun to watch and impresses a whole lot more. The soundtrack is fun, picking various songs from that period. I'm sure most wouldn't work as well in other movies, but they seem perfectly in place here.

Watchmen is without any doubt the film I was so very much hoping for. A perfect adaptation of the novel is impossible, but this is the closest Snyder could've possibly gotten. His eye for detail will please fans, the visuals are wonderful, the characters intrigue and fortunately he hasn't made any wrong choices concerning the story. The 160 minutes flew by and I can't wait to see this for a second time next week. An astonishing movie that impresses in every way possible. I had a wonderful time.

I won't hold back here by giving this 9.5/10. By the way, my friend who didn't know the book loved it as much as I did.
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7/10
The greatest superhero story ever told.
I B18 August 2010
Watchmen turned out to be an engrossing film, one definitely worth seeing. I have to say, I wasn't enthusiastic about watching it at first. It's based on the great graphic novel by Alan Moore. It's widely considered to be the best graphic novel ever. Films adapted form great literary works usually don't turn out well. The film also didn't have a big budget. More money was thrown at making Iron Man (2008) and The Dark Knight (2008), for example. This doesn't matter though because Watchmen surpasses all comic book films in terms of professionalism. Zack Snyder is a good action director. Just watch 300 (2007) for proof. With Watchmen he demonstrated that he is just a good director overall. He works well with actors. The acting in the film is almost universally excellent. Everyone gets to shine. Even Malin Akerman had her moments. Not one character feels like a throwaway. All this is further complimented by the good choices in costumes. No one can deny that the heroes in Watchmen look cool. The CGI is excellent too. Be it Doctor Manhattan or Nite Owl's airship, everything looks just right. Snyder staged some truly impressive dramatic scenes. The use of music is inspired. The score by Tyler Bates is obviously fitting, but the choices in songs may surprise some people. I, however, think that the songs are just right. It was good to hear Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are a-Changing" at the beginning and Leonard Cohen's "First We Take Manhattan" at the end. What made me like the film even more is its cinematography by Larry Fong. The look of each decade was captured perfectly. The 1980s are somewhat dark in the film's alternate reality though. Nuclear war seems close, and society is sick. To all this is added the sweet look that's also present in the graphic novel. There are many images in Watchmen that are memorable, even unforgettable. There are so many interesting details that I couldn't wait to watch the film more than once to pick up what I missed on first viewing. Thankfully, Snyder didn't change the politics and observations of the graphic novel for the film. Some parts are missing but the endeavour is still a thought-provoking two-and-a-half hours. Plus, it has a clear narrative. This is a comic book film for mature audiences. It stands above other comic book films because it's smart and because it tackles some of the most important issues, even mankind's existence. Watchmen was expertly made, there is a lot to like about it. I respect it and I like it more than any other superhero motion picture. It gets a high recommendation from me.
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10/10
Yikes, possibly of the greatest films ever made,
A_Different_Drummer12 September 2013
I have a serious problem with this film. I have seen it a half-dozen times, taken it apart, put it back together, tried to find something wrong with it and I cannot. I am coming to the reluctant conclusion it may be one of the greatest films ever made, likely a top-10, right up there with Citizen Kane, Alien, Godfather, you know the drill. The story is dazzling, action-packed, politically aware, and brilliant. As good or better than Sin City. The actors, many of whom (sigh) I am not familiar with are brilliant. Jackie Earle Haley practically picks the film up bodily and carries it. The direction is not merely good it is perfect. Even the sound track seems to move the story along. (And I am no fan of Zack Synder outside of this film. MAN OF STEEL was a sellout to the "action" crowd, creating chaos out of order. Ditto Sucker Punch). But art is like that. Sometimes it surprises you. Many critics have said that Social Network is the new Citizen Kane. But they confabulate. This film could actually be.
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10/10
It is not too late. Never has been, never will be too late.
grzgru4 December 2009
A short warning first. You may like action-packed toy/game inspired or superhero movies, like Transformers or X-Man, where the action has priority over message - or there is no message at all. Do not be alarmed if it is true, there is nothing wrong with you. It simply indicates most probably you will not enjoy Watchmen. Stop reading and look somewhere else. Otherwise, please continue.

I begun to learn English reading comics, Superman, Spiderman, Batman, X-Men and FF later. But that was more than 40 years ago, when I was young. Therefore, I had never heard about Watchman phenomenon, until I bought a DVD with the theatrical version. Then it begun. I saw the complete movie several times day after day. I became obsessed by its characters and themes. I put away my work for a few days, doing research on the Internet. I found out the movie is controversial for many. Not for me. It is a true masterpiece of a rare kind, something much more than a sum of all its ingredients. All parts fit together, while every part makes others stronger.

The story is fascinating, the characters are psychologically rich, complex and morally ambiguous. If you look deeper, you find lots of disturbing and sometimes unanswered questions about politics, people and societies. Some of those questions flow from the movie's motto. Who watched President Bush when he launched the Iraqi war, to finish the job his father did not ? Who watched Israeli Cabinet, when it launched the Gaza Offensive to improve its poll ratings ahead of elections ? Who watches Iranian Ayatollahs and their dreams to create a new Persian Empire, no matter what ?

Equally intriguing are questions about the human nature. Are dictators, who sacrifice millions so easily, driven by their lust for power or by a dream of ideal societies envisioned for their nations ? Do they truly believe in their utopias ? What is really behind brutality and trigger-happiness of some of the law enforcement officials ? Do they loose control or enjoy their work too much ? Why some people prefer death to avoid betrayal of their values ? Am I ready to do that ? These are some of the questions I ask myself, but there are much more from different perspectives. This movie makes you think hard about the world around.

Acting is from satisfactory to very good. The best actor is Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach. Should get Oscar Nomination. However, I found Jeffrey Dean Morgan, The Comedian, as the most charismatic. He steals every scene he is in. As for the music, the original motion picture score is good, but it is the incidental music I applaud. The opening sequence, the funeral and Dr. Manhattan's Mars monologue are the most powerful scenes in the movie and the music is responsible for such impact. Bob Dylan is a songwriting genius and The Times They Are A-Changin' is a perfect background. The Sound of Silence illustrates introductory funeral images in an unforgettable way. As for Dr. Manhattan's Mars monologue, music written by Philip Glass is a brilliant choice - particularly as the laboratory where he gains his superpowers is run by Professor Glass. And then comes All Along The Watchtower, one of my all-time favorites. I will recall the related movie scene every time I hear it till I die.

Some question the 99 Luftballons as the right choice, but not me. The decision to use it converted the accompanied scene into a small jewel. I raised the eyebrow only once, when I heard Hallelujah. After the second Watchman watch it dropped down however.

Needless to say, I ordered the novel immediately after my first Watchmen watch. I just completed my first reading and it is certainly not the last one. I had never read a graphic novel before and I am happy it was the first one. Now, it is the interaction between Watchmen The Novel and The Movie which makes my amazement and impression so deep and lasting. Watchmen The Novel fills some of the gaps and provides more context for many scenes. Watchmen The Movie enriches the pictures and texts. For me, both are perfectly complementary.

It seems most of the critics sided with Alan Moore, who stated Watchmen The Novel cannot be translated into a movie. That is the writer's right. But if a movie critic does not judge the movie as such, but how well - or not well - the book was adopted, then he or she should take care of the books. Movies should be judged on their own and Watchmen is a true masterpiece as a standalone work. But even if the book is taken into account, the adaptation is at least very good in my view. The changes, omissions and additions make sense because of the time frame and other factors, Zack Snyder's style included. I understand some of the fans of the book were disappointed by simplifications and the end in particular. Let us be serious, shall we ? Watchmen story takes place on an alternate Earth, right ? Think of The Movie and The Novel as parallel worlds that overlap mostly and differ in some respects. Such worlds can happily coexist together, as an extension of the original Watchman concept. If we accept imaginary worlds, why there should be only one ?

The movie has some tiny flaws, but they disappear without a trace when you look at the whole. Watchman The Movie would not be so great without Watchman The Novel. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons created a masterpiece in a graphical form. Zack Snyder turned it into a movie masterpiece. If you are still with me, see Watchmen The Movie and you should enjoy it as I did, do and will. It is not too late. Never has been, never will be too late for that.
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9/10
Outstanding! Warning: Spoilers
An ex-superhero is thrown through a plate glass window, many stories above the city. Was his murder somehow connected to the feared imminent nuclear holocaust between the United States and Russia? Someone seems to want the former do-gooders out of the way in this thrilling, one-of-a-kind, jaded look at superheroes that turns conventional comic-book wisdom on its head.

It's an alternate 1985. Richard Nixon has been elected to a fifth presidential term. But the USSR is encroaching on Afghanistan, and the US isn't taking too kindly to it. Enter the smartest man in the world, Adrian Veidt (Matthew Goode), formerly known as superhero Ozymandias, who is working with the ethereal Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), a physicist who has achieved immortality and near-omniscience owing to a long-ago lab mishap. With Dr. Manhattan's help, Adrian hopes to dissolve the tension between the two superpowers.

But that's not the only conflict, not by a long shot. Since the characters here are unfamiliar to most audiences, there's plenty of backstory, seamlessly edited into the main story as important details that inform the characters. (For one thing, we get to see the rather graphic - more on that later - origin of Dr. Manhattan.) The superheroes have conflict within their own group, which has gone its separate ways - with different goals and outlooks. Not only that, but the world at large isn't entirely on the side of masked avengers, labeling them as vigilantes. By the present, most of them have ditched their costumes for traditional lives; some tinker with their gadgets in their basements, in hiding, and some merely blend into society.

Here's who's left in 1985, in addition to Ozymandias (who's revealed his true identity to the world) and Dr. Manhattan: Nite Owl II (Patrick Wilson), Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman), and The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Others have gone insane or been murdered themselves in years past; all suffer as everyday humans now.

So how does Watchmen skewer comic-book tropes? Well, they're not always good, you see. Some are, but some maliciously kill, albeit for the greater good. Some take delight in the suffering of man if that man is, say, a child killer. That sort of thing. The truth is, no one here is perfect, not even the superheroes. Another difference is the high level of violence in the movie. This isn't a comic-book movie where the bad guys fall down when they get slapped, no sir. No, the heroes beat the stuffing out of them, with blood, entrails, and the like splattering all over the place. Limbs are dislodged, brains are exposed. It's wildly violent, much like director Zack Snyder's last film, 300, but without the detached, this-can't-be-real tone. This isn't a movie in which the bad guys are brought in for questioning or sent to prison to think about what they've done. This is a movie in which the bad guys are annihilated, period.

In case you're still contemplating taking the kiddies to see this superhero fare, here's another caveat: there's nudity. No, it's not Malin Akerman (although you do get a glimpse), it's the blue-hued Dr. Manhattan himself. Sometimes he's in a thong, but often he's just letting it all dangle there. Funny thing is, it's not really all that shocking. If it'd been one of the humans, perhaps, but Dr. Manhattan is more humanoid than human at this point.

At 160 minutes, the action really doesn't let up. But that's nothing - most movies are fast paced now. This one has a plot that can keep up with the action. In fact, the intricacies of the plot are delicious to unwrap; this was not a movie - superhero or not - where you can predict the end without just taking a wild stab.

I can't understate how tremendous an achievement this movie is. If we're all lucky, this will open the door for more adult comic-book films. The good guys don't always have to be about justice and truth and all that junk, and the bad guys can sometimes get what's really coming to them. I do want to point out that among the outstanding cast, Jackie Earle Haley as the haunted, masked Rorschach is tremendous. Wilson, who appeared with Haley in Little Children a few years back, is also dweebishly strong as the aging Nite Owl II.
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8/10
Sneaking a "Watch"
damorton19 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
"No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise."-Rorschach While Rorschach's (Jackie Earle Haley) proclamation may be possible to uphold as a superhero, the refusal to compromise on behalf of the filmmaker in the process of literary adaptation is impossible. As film theorist André Bazin wrote, "Faithfulness to form, literary or otherwise, is illusory: what matters is the equivalence in meaning of the forms." In other words, Bazin is arguing that each medium has its own modes of representation, thus the struggle for formal fidelity is a lost cause and that the main objective is that the adaptation should capture the original work's essence. Bazin continues, stating, "All it takes is for the filmmakers to have enough visual imagination to create the cinematic equivalent of the style of the original." Zach Snyder's ("300") attempt to adapt Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's "Watchmen" (1986-1987) is compromised but that is the only possible way an adaptation can work as a film. He captures the Bazinian essence of Moore and Gibbon's work, a deconstruction of the superhero mythos, with an aesthetic that also captures much of the style of the original graphic novel (to the degree it is possible in film). Will die-hard fans be disappointed? No doubt, but quite unjustly. Even with Snyder's compromised ending, which ultimately can be interpreted as being more devastating than the climax concocted by Moore and Gibbons (although the film lacks a sequence on par with the opening pages of the comic's twelfth volume), Snyder's ambitious attempt is the best that could be done in a feature film.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, "Watchmen" takes place on an alternate timeline beginning in late 1985. The United States won the war in Vietnam, Richard Nixon has been elected to third presidential term, and the only man standing between nuclear war between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. is "Dr. Manhattan" (Billy Crudup), a human nuclear bomb who stands on the American side as a nuclear deterrent. The film, like the comic, begins with the murder of Eddie Blake (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a retired superhero formally known as "The Comedian." While clues point to robbery, the sociopathic Rorschach believes that the death of "The Comedian" could be the beginning of plot to eliminate former costumed heroes. Hoping to foil such a conspiracy, Rorschach warns his former partners in crime fighting: Manhattan and his lover, the beautiful Silk Specter (Malin Ackerman), the Batman-esquire Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson), and the smartest man in the world, Ozymandias (Matthew Goode). Collectively dubbed the Watchmen, the group initially disregards Rorschach's theory. That is until Dr. Manhattan is forced off Earth, making the possibility of nuclear war a near certainty.

This complex story, as readers familiar with the book will attest, is existential that the typical comic book and the film is much the same. Much like last summer's "The Dark Knight," "Watchmen" is not concerned with action scenes and obligatory fights. As the film's antagonist notes in the film's climax, "I'm not a comic book villain," and, like the film, he is not treated as being the product of a fantastic world far outside our own. While Snyder does bring an unrealistic edge to the action sequences (particularly his manipulation of time via cuts and slow motion), these techniques, much like those of Sam Peckinpah, become a means of deconstructing motion...just like a comic book. Instead, "Watchmen" as both a graphic novel and a film favors the approach of making comic book and superhero fans think about the motives and actions in what becomes a study of ethics. In this study, it is only the murderous and sociopathic Rorschach who is able of following any sort of moral code...even if it is demented in its adherence to rejecting compromise.

For the most part, Snyder's direction is precise. His graphical style captures Gibbon's graphics and layout perfect...right down to the book's fearful symmetry. The framing and camera movements mirror those of the book, a treat for avid fans of the book and Gibbon's art. Moreover, Snyder's work with the actors is quite accomplished. Jackie Earle Haley continues his streak of embodying sociopaths perfectly. Patrick Wilson captures the sadness and longing for a greater goal in life, something all retired heroes must face.

The film is not without its flaws. For the most part, the film and Snyder do a fantastic job of drawing out the background of the individual characters and the past of masked heroes in general very well (particularly during the film's opening ten minutes and the beautifully executed credit sequence). However, the one character who seems to receive the short end of the narrative-stick is Nite Owl. Snyder establishes his background, but not to the degree that the others benefit from. In addition, Malin Ackerman's performance, while being far from bad, seemed to be the weakest out of the leads. However, her character is the most clichéd in the book, so perhaps Ackerman just did not have that much to work with.

The most glaring flaw in the film, however, is in Snyder's choice of end credit music. The film, like the book, ends on a relatively quiet scene but it is entirely displaced by a terrible cover of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row" by My Chemical Romance. While Dylan's version would have been fine and in keeping with the period music used (listen for a Musak cover of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" in Ozymandia's office) throughout the rest of the film, the cover is loud and obnoxious and seems like it was fitted for an entirely different film than the one just watched.

Snyder has made an adaptation that is as faithful and accessible as possible, a compromise that is ultimately successful. Snyder, to borrow from Bazin's model, not only captures the essence of Moore and Gibbon's novel but also demonstrates a "visual imagination" that creates the impression of Gibbon's layout and graphical style.
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9/10
Compelling, exciting and original
chancellorvalorum27 February 2009
It is 1985, Richard Nixon is serving his fifth term as US president and the world stands on the brink of destruction as the world's two superpowers vie for nuclear supremacy. The only thing stopping the USSR from launching a doomsday attack is America's Dr Manhattan – a being with enough power to destroy planets and much else besides.

Wow! I was lucky enough to watch this at a preview screening in London last night and came to the film with little knowledge about what to expect. Having seen the posters around the place and perhaps catching one or two of the trailers I was expecting something akin to another "X-Men" movie (which frankly I've never found particularly interesting). However, it was a very pleasant surprise to find that Zack Snyder has served up something entirely fresh and quite dazzling. Watchmen takes the well-worn superhero format and turns it on its head. As you would expect from a movie of this genre you get a tale of attempted world domination by evil baddies, good guys wearing latex costumes, fistfuls of action and spectacular special effects. What you would not expect is to have this interwoven with eye-watering violence (a scene where one particularly nasty bad guy gets a meat cleaver brought down on his forehead being one example), full frontal male nudity (albeit computer generated) and rampant satire. The US political system, military posturing and blind patriotism are all given a bit of a roasting by David Hayter and Alex Tse's script. Add to this a host of compelling performances, notably Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach and Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl, and you have an exceptional cinematic experience.

Watchmen is no ordinary superhero movie and likely to manage the difficult feat of satisfying both the fan-boys and the uninitiated punters (like myself). Its success means it must be highly likely that there will be a sequel – if not several. Catch this early if you can and be one of the first to witness that rarefied thing in cinema – something beautiful, exciting and original.
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very good, even if you've read the book.
gcj42019871 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I recently saw a free (oh yes) early showing of Watchmen and have to say that it was very good. There have been few movies that I have been this excited for. Some disappointed horribly (Spiderman 3), and some far exceeded my expectations (Dark Knight). This movie falls somewhere in between, leaning closer to exceeded what I thought was going to be a hard book to turn into a movie.

The first half of the film is extremely accurate to the book and very well done. While there are some differences from the book (for example, Dan Dreiberg goes to warn Viedt about the "masked killer", not Rorschach) but almost all of them are excusable and didn't effect the flow of the movie or my ability to enjoy it. Even as far as dialog goes, the movie stays true to the book. Towards the middle, some of the differences begin to effect the film. The best example I can think of is how Dr. Manhattan acts during his live interview (I'll restrain from giving away any scenes). Not only did the course of events change from the book (which I can understand, given there must be some sort of time limit for a film), but some of what he says was pretty much copy and pasted from other scenes in the book. Nevertheless, I was able to oversee these differences and enjoy the film.

The ending of the movie was the biggest change from the book that I noticed. I think they did this for 2 reasons. 1, I had heard that they were going to include an aspect of energy and where we get it into the film, making it more topical. Secondly, I think the ending of the book would have been too out there for most viewers and would have required a lot more explaining (which the book gives) then would have been feasible for the length of the film (it was about 2 and a half hours long).

I think if you have read the book, you will enjoy the movie. You'll probably spend a lot of time making sure the movie stays true to the book (like I did), but then you'll stop and just enjoy it for being a good movie. I think if you haven't read the book, you might enjoy the movie even more. As most readers know, it is unlike any comic book and actually answers the question, what would the world be like with superheroes? We see even the ones we like have dark sides and the ones we don't have the best intentions.

On a closing note, there are some things I would have changed, had I been to art school and had a gazillion dollar budget for a movie of this magnitude. For one, I think making Dr. Manhattan appear nude, while keeping true to the book, takes away from the movie. I heard a lot of snickers whenever you could see his penis, and I even think they may have showed it more than they do in the book (if you've read the book, take note of the scene were Rorschach comes to visit him and Laurie). I think while it was done with good intentions, covering him up would have been acceptable and not have changed anything about the movie. Also, while I really enjoyed 300 and all the fight scenes in it, the style of slowing down a punch or kick and then speeding it up to real time, I felt, didn't work for this movie and sort of made it seem corny. 300 the book is written like a comic book. Watchmen isn't. The fight scenes, as gritty as they were, still felt like I as watching 300 again. Besides these small points, I thought the movie was awesome and I recommend it to reader and non- reader of Watchmen alike.
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8/10
Dark Heroes in a Violent and Bleak Alternate World
Claudio Carvalho24 January 2010
In 1985, in an alternate world where Richard Nixon has been successively reelected with no Watergate, the nuclear war seems to be eminent due to the increasing tension between the United States of America and the Soviet Union. Eight years ago, the Keene Law signed by Nixon forced the early retirement of the second generation of masked vigilante superheroes known as Watchmen, but the interference of the powerful physicist Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup) leading the victory of USA in Vietnam holds the ultimate nuclear attack of Soviet Union. When the former Watchmen The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is brutally murdered, his colleague Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) decides to investigate and discovers a Machiavellian conspiracy to bring worldwide peace.

"Watchmen" is an original movie about dark heroes in a violent and bleak alternate world in a Cold War environment. The plot is too complex and deserved at least a mini-series; consequently the beginning is very confused due to the numbers of simultaneous subplots together with the presentation of the characters and environment. A couple of months ago I watched the first ten minutes and I found it so messy that I decided to watch another DVD. Today a friend of mine has told me that "Watchmen" is a great movie and I have decided to give a second chance to this film, and I found really an excellent bleak and Machiavellian story, supported by magnificent landscapes and CGI. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Watchmen – O Filme" ("Watchmen – The Movie")
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1/10
When is the good part coming?
rufi-420 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I have never read any comic or graphic novel, yet I have been able to enjoy quite a few movies that were derived from them. This was certainly not the case for Watchmen. Half way through I was left wondering when the good stuff would finally start coming.

Maybe you might have some pre-existing attachment to the characters if you have read the books, but if the movie is all you have, the characters are one-dimensional, dull and unattractive. The Comedian is the only one I loved straight away but he dies within 5 minutes. Rorschach is the next best thing but doesn't get enough focus to really capture my heart. The way he is discarded at the end, made me wonder if really he was of any importance. The strength of his character is too strongly diluted by the bad scenes of the Silk Spectre II and Nite Owl II that continuously interrupt the flow. Silk Spectre II was horrible. She seems to have no emotions whatsoever. All she does is have sex with the guys without too much of a pause between them. The fact that the Comedian is her father might have been expected to give her more depth but hardly seems to faze her. Instead the 5 seconds of poorly acted sobbing followed by immediate reconciliation makes it seem like it's no big deal whatsoever. Nite Owl II is a geek devoid of passion and lacking a backbone. He's the kind of classmate who's name you wouldn't remember after 1 year. Dr. Manhattan serves no purpose other than being the eventual deus ex machina that solves everything, making the efforts of all the other heroes look totally stupid and pedestrian. He's disconnected from the world and is typically not the kind of character a viewer would connect with. The bad guy, Ozzy, gets hardly any background or an explanation why he's both smarter than everyone and able to beat up on the Comedian, Nite Owl II, Rorschach and the Silk Spectre II. Or why he can catch speeding bullets... The movie spends a whole lot of time on flashbacks that take out the whole momentum of the plot. Yet, despite all those flashbacks, it does not manage to make me feel connected to any of the characters. This is the main weakness to me.

The songs were nice individually but many times seemed wrong for the scene. It's one of the first times the soundtrack really bothered me in a movie, which says a lot. The CGI was too obvious and in some cases obnoxious and overdone, giving no serious added value. Of course they were breathtaking at times but they were awful at other times. I was looking for a dark movie with corrupted morals and realistic heroes who are not perfect. Only Rorschach brings this to the movie. Slow motion fight scenes, open-bone fractures and blood splattering around just made me sigh. There was no x-factor in any of this. No Sin City effect, no 300 adrenaline pace, no Dark Knight madness, nothing. Part of the reason why so many of the fight scenes couldn't interest me is because they occur in subplots or suddenly pop up in the main plot unexpected.

As a movie, it failed for me. This says nothing about the graphic novel, which I might one day buy to find out what the characters are really about. They sacrificed momentum and continuity in the main plot to narrate partial backgrounds on too many characters. Often times it's hard to connect your audience to 1 or 2 characters. If you're trying to make them care about 5 or 6 of them, you're bound to fail, especially with mediocre or boring acting. This is why it was probably a hard task to make a movie from this graphic novel.
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1/10
Don't reward slavish graphic novel adaptations!
mviise8 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I am a movie and novel buff who has not read the book version of Watchmen. The book may be very good (friends tell me it is) but I can verify that the movie is awful. This is the problem: you fans of the book come to the movie already caring about the characters, while movie-goers depend upon the movie alone to give them a reason to care about the characters and the world they live in. (Which brings me to another problem: no one cares about saving the seamy rightwing version of the infinitely corrupt world of the 1980s. If that negative fascist fantasy dies in an explosion, good riddance. Isn't that the fulfilment of the rightist fantasy?) The movie fails mostly on this count, though there are other weaknesses. (I'm talking to you, slo-mo spacecraft sex scene.) I found myself caring only about Rohrschach (well-acted by Haley). The big blue guy did not seem to have any real dilemmas and absolutely no emotional depth, the diabolical plan of the hero-villain was obscure until it was revealed and too late to care, and nothing lost seemed worth shedding a tear for. As for the rest of the world and the characters, I just could not wait for the impending nuclear holocaust because then I would be able to go home. And I'm actually a very peaceable person who in real life doesn't wish instant vaporization on anyone. Several people left early, which I have never seen in a movie theater before. (I guess I've never been to a movie that spent this many hours being bad.) In sum, worth the money only if you love all things Watchmen and, perhaps, if you really liked Forest Gump and Moonraker. (Having said this, I could have watched a whole movie about the giant blue guy winning the Vietnam War. That scene was pretty cool.)
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1/10
Ungodly long - too many errors - and just plain Bad
djl118724 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
My initial thought after leaving the movie theatre for WATCHMEN was that I had just paid ten dollars to see a movie which should have gone straight to DVD. First, it is a horribly written script - dialogue should do two things in film: reveal character, or advance the plot. Too many times did they have unnecessary scenes (the fire rescue followed by sex scene?) and dialogue which had nothing to do with the two points mentioned. The soundtrack of the movie was mostly songs from the 60's and 70's even though the movie "takes place" in the the 80's. They should have gone with a Hans Zimmer style of orchestra not the cheesy jimmy Hendrix all along the watch tower - it just doesn't fit in with the movie (none of the songs do), this isn't Forrest Gump it's a "crime comic book drama" if you can even call it that. Again with the dialogue, too many times are they telling you instead of showing you (visually or through dialogue) what they are doing or what is happening - the director doesn't give the audience enough credit. Take a look at the errors section for this movie, the list is endless more than most any other movie out there (I won't even go into all of those errors and how bad they make this film). Terrible acting overall too. Roarshach looked like a Danny Bonduce knock-off, and that mask he had was a ripoff from Batman begins (when he puts it on and is like "tell me what you see" to the doctor so dumb - trying to be like the scarecrow). And Billy Crudip the best actor in the movie we don't even know he's in it - because he's a blue guy with no emotion. Zack Snyder couldn't figure out if he wanted to make this like a comic book movie or a real drama action - and that really hur the movie. There are too many stupid little fight scenes that have no point in the end all product of the movie. In the end, you need more than a bunch of explosions and blood spilling to make a good film. Definitely one of the worst films I have ever seen.

P.s. The rape scene between the comdeian and that lady - so unrealistic, it's like they have a choreographed rape scene..I mean c'mon - so cheezy. Also very cliché' to have the comedian be the Father to the girl -saw that coming form a mile away.
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8/10
A Great Action Epic, But Nothing More
magicwings1 March 2009
With 300, Zack Snyder had the problem of having not enough meat on the bone - Frank Miller's violent graphic novel was short and in-your-face, with director Snyder compensating by spending pretty much all of it's two hour runtime in super-slow motion. Here the problem is reversed: Alan Moore's unfilmable, complicated and very, very deep graphic novel seemed simply too dense for any director to take by the horns and be successful. Hell, even Moore himself deemed it so - so much that he disowned the film entirely.

Here, Snyder has two audiences: those familiar, and those who aren't. If you're the latter, Watchmen is a masterwork of literature, telling the story of a group of masked avengers who, since outlawed, live empty and lonely lives. When one is killed in his apartment, Rorschach, who dons the famous ever-moving mask, takes it upon himself to get to the root of the real reason for the death, but stumbles onto something much larger than he could ever have expected.

It really is a character piece. Each one, filled off-screen with complicated, articulate back-stories is brought to life on screen by some of the most heartfelt acting I've seen in a long time (save perhaps Malin Ackerman as the latex-wearing Silk Spectre II), particularly from Billy Crudup who plays the blue, often naked (and well-hung) demi-god who is the only superhero with real superpowers.

Although the star of the show is Rorschach himself. Despite being behind a mask for the large majority of the film, Jackie Earle Haley is beyond perfect for the role. His husky voice commands the voiceovers from Rorschach's journal (recited in many cases word-for-word from the novel), and plays the psychopathic, paranoid and immensely complex role with such a force that you simply can't tear your eyes away from him.

Snyder made himself known with 300 - the ultra-violent story of the Spartans who went to war (and lost… miserably). However, Watchmen makes 300 seem like Mary Poppins - this has got to be one of the most violent films I have ever seen. All the book's action sequences are there, just… bigger. More badass. Gory as hell. And, for some reason Snyder decided to place a porny, cringy 3 minute sex scene set to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" slap bang in the middle of the film. Sure, it was in the book, but it was shorter, and the soundtrack was most certainly not this poncy.

However, this… discrepancy… is the only gripe (and this is a very minor gripe) that I have with the film. It's hard to watch in places - a rape scene here, a pregnant woman killed there - and even pulls the heartstrings in others (Doctor Manhattan's backstory most definitely (almost) brought me to tears). The book is majorly complex, deep and meaningful, and in it's transition to screen, a lot of that is lost in translation. But what we get is a fantastically artistic, fast-paced action epic. Snyder was aiming for two audiences who are polar opposites, and comes free with an adaptation of which even writer Alan Moore should be proud.
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1/10
Puerile, sophomoric drivel
Spleng15 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
In what has to be the final spasm of the superhero genre, "Watchmen" displays the narrative bankruptcy and dramatic inadequacy of an Uwe Boll movie.

Tired, dull characters in Spenser's Gifts outfits flouncing around in a boring plot that moves along like your Grandma's childhood memories.

The dare here is that the audience will actually be bothered to stay with the quasi-fascist, "individual-hero-as-Messiah," BS long enough to make it to Dr. Manhattan's realization that the birth of his latest squeeze - the result of her mother's attraction to a former rapist "superhero"- is close enough to a miracle for him to give a crap about the human race.

I'm off to Mars.
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10/10
Just plain WOW!
Richard28 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Having read the graphic novel and having a film degree, I understood why many people thought that Watchmen could not be filmed. After seeing a sneak preview this weekend, I now believe anything is filmable in the right hands. While many purists will whine about the changes to the ending, it was an absolutely brilliant way to translate the desired effect from the novel to the big screen. Aside from that, the film does an absolutely incredible job of bringing the novel to life. The acting, fight scenes, directing, and special effects are as good as they come. I would go into more detail but I don't want to spoil anything. Just go watch what may be the best movie of the 21st century so far.

WARNING: Do not bring your kids to this movie! High schoolers may be old enough but anyone younger needs to be left at home. This is definitely a R movie movie intended for adults.
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1/10
Boring, Pointless, Confusing
emmasophia17 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I've never read the graphic novel, nor have I ever heard of the movie prior to the copyright controversy. When the controversy broke, I asked myself "wth is Watchmen?". Then the hype followed shortly after the official release date.

So, I finally went to watch it with some anticipation. I didn't read any reviews prior to seeing it. I've heard some comments about it from the radio and that's about it. It started off "okay". I was a bit confused w/ the random flashbacks...but I had hope. It will get better.

Then it just goes down hill from there. This movie is about a bunch of washed up HUMANS with no powers and their desire to dress up in silly masks, spandex and costumes to go fight crimes. There were all these silly side sub plots that totally confused the storyline! Is the nuclear war gonna happen? I don't know cuz it spent so much time on these subplots!

Without ever reading the graphic novel, I expected these people to have some "powers". They're all quite powerful for not having powers! The sock guy's ink blotch moves...how does he do that?! All in all, it's a bunch of boring people who think that they can save the world.

The movie jumps around way to much, doesn't have a solid plot line, bored the hell out of me! The only time I paid attention was when someone's bone popped out or someone's arms got chopped off. Other than those few scenes, I cared less about the blue penis...or the fact that some nerd guy can't get it on w/o his "pseudo" superhero costume. The gay man who is supposed to be the "smartest" man on earth.

I ultimately walked out about 2 hours in (i think the scene where Blue guy takes Spandex chick to Mars). You can criticize all you want about how I have no place to comment if I didn't finish the film, but honestly, I couldn't BARE to finish it! It was painful! DON'T WATCH THIS MOVIE! I would recommend watching Paul Blart over this anyday!
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1/10
Why?
Dalia El-guindy12 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Why? why? why? if this movie was so difficult to make than why did Snyder decide to take it on. Unlike many of the people in the united states, i have unfortunately never read watchmen, or even heard about it. I checked the rating out on IMDb and decided to see it. while i sat through these painful 2 hours and 40 minutes, i really didn't want to know anything about them or even hear about them again! how this movie ended up with a rating so high beats me!!! i'm sorry to all those people who say the negative comments are coming from people who haven't read the graphic novel, but a movie is a movie, it should stand alone, i'm supposed to understand mostly everything even without having read the book, otherwise the makers of the movie should have made the book a prerequisite to the film!!! there were just too many plots happening all at once, very very very long introduction, that i lost interest in all the characters long before intermission, and gave up on seeing anything that would impress me.

It did hit me at the end of the movie that this movie was made by the same people who made three hundred, and really the brutal and aggressive messages behind both movies disgust me. How many times does he have to ram the necessity of force or sacrifice for one party to gain what they believe is right. I guess my ideology differs greatly to Mr.Snyder, but killing people is never justified in my opinion. Asides form that the point of the movie was presented so shallowly, and it seemed like all the characters had very rash motivations that weren't justified.

the movie events and character choices just didn't make sense to me!! and the soundtrack that everyone says is fantastic, it really isn't due to fantastic directing, just great songs, for the likes of bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, and Leonard Cohen, the songs will always sound great because they are, unfortunately what i don't like is how literal the movie is and how obvious it is in it's symbolism, the music was like a commentator on the action, that was rubbing it in our faces.

overall just not very subtle, entertaining, or enriching, i walked out of this movie as i did in 300, disappointed, agitated, and vowing never to see a Snyder film again. And i believe this one will have been my last.
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1/10
Weakmen
guycorhuo6 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I've been waiting this movie for 15 years, since i read for the first time the comic - i hate this new, and pedantic, denomination, graphic novel-, and i've tried to see it like if i didn't know nothing about the story. I enjoyed very much the two previous Snyder movies. Alan Moore is god in comic world as Jon Osterman is god in Watchmen world. I don't dislike Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel or Leonard Cohen. Even i think that Patrick Wilson, Billy Crudup, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Carla Gugino are competent players - Jackie Earle Haley is so over all of them, like to compare Albert Einstein with a Science High School teacher. Perhaps that's cause i was so disappointed during all the projection, and so void at the end.

1.- There's no narrative pulse. No energy. No life in the "mise en scéne". Perhaps cause the extreme fidelity with the original. 2.- And the point 1 is the reason that makes you feel the movie is too long (and it's so long) 3.- There's the worst songs selection in whole cinema history. Not for the songs themselves -all great songs-, but for the use of them. Specially erroneous the combination of cemetery scene/Sounds of silence, and Dr. Manhattan-Vietnam scene/Wagner Walkirye cliché. 4.- Matthew Goode IS NOT Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, period. 5.- The living muppet playing Nixon/The Elephant Man.

Sure there are reasons to see the movie:

1.-Jackie Earle Haley 2.-Great Special effects (not Bubastis, the cat genetically modified) 3.-Jackie Earle Haley 4.-The marvelous opening credits. 5.-Rorschach...i mean, Jackie Earle Haley. 6.-To have your own experience and opinion.

Perhaps the kingdom of Moore it's comics and not cinema -except V for Vendetta, do you know... From hell, The League of extraordinary gentlemen, Watchmen,...period?

5/10
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2/10
Boring, drab, and too long
fuzzytheanimalsanchez7 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
At first it was hard to believe this film was two hours and forty minutes long. It felt more like an eternity. The whole first two hours were nothing more that flashback after flashback. By the time the film reached it's so called "climax" you really don't care about the characters any longer. For crying out loud, half the actors looked bored just making it. Too many subplots (most of which come out of nowhere, and go no further). The only people I could suggest watching this movie would be the fans of the original graphic novel. Maybe those people will actually have a clue what was going on. As for the directing I'm not going to comment. I don't know what the film was even supposed to be about, so I'm not sure if Zack Snyder succeeded in "pulling off" the original context. As it is he didn't do it for those of us that never read the material. In summary, the characters are two dimensional, the plot is dizzily boring and confusing at the same time, and by the time you get to the end you don't even care if nuclear war happens or not (I was rooting for merely to destroy the miserable excuse for Nixon).

Just my two cents, your opinion might differ.

-Fuzzy
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