In which Mike goes on about Watchmen…again. Plus, bonus features.

§ August 24th, 2009 § Filed under watchmen § 1 Comment

Watching the Watchmen film via Netflixxed DVD…turns out Netflix doesn’t have the half-hour longer “director’s cut” edition, so if I want to watch it, looks like I’ll have to buy it. Or wait for the Ultimate Edition that will have the all the stuff from the director’s cut, plus the Tales from the Black Freighter cartoon interwoven into the film, instead of having it in the standalone “what the hell does this have to do with Watchmen?” edition.

Anyway, here’s my original review, and if you folks follow my Twitter feed, you’ve seen a few of my reactions to the rewatching.

On the plus side: the whole sequence with Dr. Manhattan’s origin translates well, and I quite like the musical score for this portion of the film. And I still enjoy the portrayal of Rorschach.

On the…well, maybe not so much “negative” as it is “curious” – Manhattan dropping the “I can’t see the future because there’s probably going to be a nuclear war” problem into the narrative at the beginning of the film doesn’t feel right to me. I realize that they’re trying to emphasize the imminent danger of war looming over the world, but I’m pretty sure they’d established this fairly well even without moving this line forward in the story.

Also, giving Dr. Manhattan “psychic vision touch” to help trigger Laurie’s flashbacks seems a bit unnecessary. And that they never really justified why exactly Manhattan was toolin’ around in the altogether. Yeah, okay, we know that he wears progressively less clothing the more inhuman he becomes, but does that come across to anyone not familiar with the book? It doesn’t seem like there’s enough in-film material to establish that.

At one point on my Twitter, I say “The Watchmen movie is like watching a comic book version of the original story,” which seemed to strike a nerve with a few folks. Well, okay, with two people. But I think I was struck about how unsubtle and, frankly, dumbed-down this version of Watchmen is. That might just be an artifact of the director’s translation of the comic to film, where most things that seemed thoughtful and witty on the page just became sort of garish and foolish once you have real people in costumes acting it out on screen. And the decision to ramp up the sex and violence to make it seem more “mature,” I guess, just comes across like the “comics aren’t just for kids anymore” mantra of desperation that it is.

To reemphasize, I don’t hate the film. Again, to quote my Twitter, “I do like the WATCHMEN movie as an interesting but failed experiment in adaptation,” and I stand by that. I liked it more than I didn’t like it, and as I said in my previous review, it’s a fitting companion, but certainly no replacement, for the original story.

I’m only halfway through the rewatching, so my opinion may yet change…the film’s real problems seem to set in during the second half of the film, as I recall, so I may have a few more annoyances to pass along here. Consider yourself warned.

So remember that time when extradimensional demonic entity Trigon seduced the woman who would eventually become Raven’s mom by taking the form of Danny Elfman?

Not Blog X, which I’ve mentioned several times before for its ongoing and compelling examinations of ’90s X-Men comics, has since moved on to another kind of mutant: that being the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

And not just any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…the Archie Comics Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I’ve written briefly before about the peculiarity of the Archie TMNT series, so I’m looking forward to Not Blog X’s new direction.

Running faster than the speed of light flattens Superman’s head:

One of my favorite webcomics is With Gusto, who has fun with old advertising images and clip art:

Go check it out…tell him I said “hey.”

images from Tales of the New Teen Titans #2 (July 1982) by Marv Wolfman, George Perez & Pablo Marcos, and Flash: Rebirth #3 (Aug 2009) by Geoff Johns & Ethan Van Sciver

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