Friday, March 13, 2009

Watching the WATCHMEN...

Beware! There might be some spoilers ahead!

Yesterday, I finished my latest batch of inking and then headed on over to the local movie theater to see WATCHMEN. Despite some things, I did enjoy this adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ comic book. I very much appreciated how closely the film followed, and captured, the comic book for the big screen (all comic book movie adaptations should do the same).

WATCHMEN looked great! The directing and cinematography were nicely done. The story (for the most part) was solid. Jackie Earle Haley who played Rorschach was dead on. He (Rorschach) was the best part of the film. Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl II was also very good. I even liked Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre II, despite some of the lukewarm reviews that I have heard of her acting.

Although sometimes a bit too graphic, the fight scenes in WATCHMEN were fun to watch. The fighting choreography was excellent. You can actually see and follow the heroes and villains as they pummeled each other… a criticism that I had had with the fight scenes from the last two Batman films.

Still, WATCHMEN, at times, could be a bit too gloomy. We are constantly reminded of how awful humanity is. All of the so-called super-heroes are incredibly flawed characters. Now, this was a fresh new take on super-heroes when the WATCHMEN comic exploded onto the comic book industry back in 1986. The impact of WATCHMEN continues to be felt in modern comics. Although not the creators’ intentions, this comic’s flawed super-heroes started a trend that continues on today. But, for me anyway, the overwhelming negative skepticism of super-heroes is overplayed. Are there any true super-heroes left out there? Anyway, I’m digressing.

The major problem that I have with WATCHMEN (both with the comic and the film) is it’s idea that mankind is so incredibly horrible that millions of innocent people have to be murdered so that the rest of us can all get along. I know it’s just a film. I know it’s just a comic book. But, the idea that people are so expendable, so easily sacrificed, bugs me… especially when the goal is some sort of pie-in-the-sky utopian love-fest. Such a notion is fleeting, at best, and certainly not worth the sacrifice made. The character, Rorschach, is correct. People are awful sinful wretches. We all are. But, there’s a better way to fix our problems than by committing genocide.

It looks like I have more to say about what I didn’t like about WATCHMEN than about what I did like about WATCHMEN. Again, despite my criticisms, I did enjoy WATCHMEN. The story was solid (even though I had some problems with the ending), the characters were interesting (although I had some problems with them being so fallible). A little bit less of the graphic sex (which seemed pornographic with the simulated sex scenes) and vulgarity (so much cussing is bad) and WATCHMEN would have been a much better film. Still very good, though. I do look forward to the DVD.



Blogger Keenan said...

"...[The] idea that mankind is so incredibly horrible that millions of innocent people have to be murdered so that the rest of us can all get along."

The Nazi's thought the same thing. From what I read elswhere, and what you have said, this movie is horrendously violent and dark. How is it positive at all?

March 13, 2009 at 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Joey B said...

The last thing on my mind when Malin Akerman was on screen was her acting ability...

March 13, 2009 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger AlNickerson said...

Well, Joey B, then I am sure you're gonna like her in WATCHMEN. :)

March 13, 2009 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Scanman said...

The two weakest links acting wise were the two non Americans. I thought the movie had too much slow motion and at times didn't move.

March 13, 2009 at 8:09 PM  
Blogger Steve Pro said...

Well I rather quite enjoyed it. I found it a faithful adaption and visually beautiful. As for the doom and gloom? Unfortunately our history is wrought with mans cruelty toward other living creatures, but but but I feel by shining a light on this cruel aspects of humans then causes us to reflect on our struggle and desire to do better and prevent such madness. One last note on your preferred fight scene choreography. This is an on going debate with movie fans, The shaky cam confusion fight vs the stylized show every blow style. I like both but anyone who's been in an actual fight will tell you the "Bourne" and the "Batman" movie's styles are more realistic. So different flavors for different folks. Peace.

March 14, 2009 at 1:53 AM  
Blogger AlNickerson said...

Oh, yeah, the BOURNE films certainly had very realistic (and even practical) fighting styles. The actual boxing (punching) in the films reminded me of what Bruce Lee was trying to get across with Jeet Kune Do.

The problem that I had with the fight scenes in BATMAN BEGINS is that the shots were so incredibly brief that I couldn’t tell what was going on most of the time. I actually liked how WATCHMEN slowed the camera down at some points to highlight the action which also created increased anticipation and drama in the film.

March 14, 2009 at 11:00 AM  

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