Friday, March 6, 2009

Watchmen

Genre - Action/Comic Book Adaptation/Drama
Year Released - 2009
Running Time - 163 minutes
Rated R for Strong Graphic Violence, Sexuality, Nudity, and Language
Directed by Zack Snyder (who also directed the 2004 re-make of Dawn of the Dead as well as 300)
Written by David Hayter (who also wrote the screenplays for X-Men 1 & 2 as well as The Scorpion King) and Alex Tse
*Based on the 12-part comic series written by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

Cast Includes:
Jackie Earle Haley as Walter Kovacs/Rorschach (he was one of the kids in the original The Bad News Bears - he was also most recently in the not very good Semi-Pro)
Patrick Wilson as Dan Dreiberg/Nite Owl II (Hard Candy, Running with Scissors, and Lakeview Terrace)
Malin Ackerman as Laurie Juspeczyk/Silk Spectre II (Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle)
Billy Crudup as Jonathan Osterman/Doctor Manhattan (Without Limits, Almost Famous, Big Fish)
Matthew Goode as Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias (Imagine Me & You and The Lookout)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Edward Blake/The Comedian (Sam & Dean's father in the television show Supernatural - he was also in Dead & Breakfast and P.S. I Love You)
Carla Gugino as Sally Jupiter/Silk Spectre (the mother from the Spy Kids films as well as The One, Sin City, and the upcoming Race to Witch Mountain)
Stephen McHattie as Hollis Mason/Nite Owl (A History of Violence and 300)
Matt Frewer as Edgar Jacobi/Moloch the Mystic (Max Headroom, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Dumb & Dumber, and also the '04 re-make of Dawn of the Dead)
Danny Woodburn as "Big Figure" (Mickey from Seinfeld)


Rating: 5+ Skulls


Plot Summary:
Based on the popular graphic novel, Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of everyday society, and the Doomsday Clock - which charts the USA's tension with the Soviet Union - moves closer to midnight.

When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the outlawed vigilante Rorschach sets out to investigate, and is reunited with his surviving former colleagues - all of them former superheroes themselves. Together, they unveil a conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future.


Review:
This is going to be a brief review, as I watched Watchmen this afternoon, then came home and took the family to a Fireflight concert - I just got back and have to finish this review before Battlestar Galactica comes on :-)
The short & sweet of it ~ I believe that Watchmen is the greatest comic book to film adaptation ever made! I also believe that Zack Snyder is one of the most radical movie directors on the planet!


The story aside, Watchmen is absolutely an amazing film to watch - visually stunning, with jaw-dropping effects - I was immediately sucked into the film's reality - time flew by - I had no idea that 2 hours and 43 minutes could end so quickly [I could have sat in the theatre all day listening to the tales of the Watchmen]


The movie starts with a bright yellow screen displaying the studio logos. We then witness the murder of The Comedian [formerly of the Watchmen] after which is probably one of the coolest credit sequences set to film.


Back in the late 80's, right about the time that I was getting into comic-book collecting, a 12-part series of comics came out called Watchmen. I wish that I could tell you that I had those original 12 issues, but I was not yet into the 'darker themed' comics [I was pretty much collecting the standard Marvel & DC comics] However, after all 12 issues were released in one graphic novel - well, that's a whole new ball game. I remember being mesmerized by the graphic novel and I can now tell you that I have just been as mesmerized by the film! Granted not everything was able to be in the film, and the ending is different than the comics, however Snyder did a mighty fine job!
[pay attention, and you will here some of the other characters mentioned from the comics, such as Mothman, Dollar Bill, Captain Metropolis, etc]

Before I forget, I want to mention that my 15-old-son is not happy with me right now. You see, he very much wants to see Watchmen, however I remember the comic being very "adult-themed" and with the film being rated R, I explained that I wanted to see it first, before I agreed to let him. Needless to say, the answer to if he could see it was a big, fat no! [not for teens, in my opinion - very heavy adult subject matter, including an attempted rape and violence against women - on top of that, there is also the language factor, as well as sex & nudity - including male, folks - Doctor Manhattan is pretty much full-frontal nude over half of his running time!]

One other thing. . . I am going to buy my wife Silk Spectre's costume! ;-)


I am quickly running out of time. . . here are some more of the movie's posters for you to enjoy:


Three more things - Number One - the Soundtrack to this film is a must listen to! [I will be going out to buy it tomorrow] Number Two - if the film does well over the next couple of weeks, there are plans for a Director's Cut to be released [theatrically] in July - The Director's Cut will have a Running Time of 3 hours 10 minutes. [I'll be there!] Number Three - As much as you will be tempted to, do not buy the 1st DVD that is going to be released - there is going to be an "Ultimate Edition" released in the Fall, which will include the comic's story-within-a-story, The Black Freighter, spliced into the film - this DVD will have a Running Time of 3 hours 30 minutes! [I so cannot wait!]

Well, Galactica is about to come on. . . let me leave you with my favorite line of the film, said by Rorschach after he is caught and sent to prison - told to the other inmates, "What you all don't seem to understand is that I am not locked in here with you - you are locked in here with me!"

Oh Yeah!

Go see the film!

Jason

18 comments:

iMike said...

I'm so fucking jealous right now! I have my Rorschach shirt on and I'm just waiting to see this tonight at the IMAX theater! Your review kicks ass, I knew people were bullshitting when they're saying how awful the movie is.

I was patiently awaiting your review. SS had a good review and so did Devin Feraci from CHUD. It has me so freaking hype!!!

Best comic book movie ever? BOLD statement yet somehow I feel I'll be agreeing with you after tonight.

T. L. Bugg said...

I saw it last night and it was an incredible achievement , I totally agree with your 5+ rating. All the acting was strong, but Jackie Lee Hurley was a revelation. He was good a couple of years back in a drama called Little Children, but here he really got his groove on and laid down the dang thing. Pretty amazing.

This is one od the rare film that manages to actually capture style and substance, much like last years The Dark Knight which is still imo the best Comic movie but it was dang close. THe only reason I say that is that I took my non comic loving parents to Dark Knight and they loved it. I can't see this one going beyond the fanboy crowd and getting a mass appeal, but I've been wrong before

Also we share our favorite line.

Bearded Weirdo Reviews said...

Hey. Great review. I saw this Thursday for free (one of the perks of having not one but two friends who work at the local multiplex), and I was blown away. I've been waiting for this film ever since the first teaser trailer was released last year. Really, I've been waiting for this movie all my life, even before I knew I was waiting for it. It's been in the works since the friggin' 80's. I first read the graphic novel back in 7th or 8th grade and I loved it, and I found out about how they'd been trying to make a Watchmen film for years upon years upon years, and I finally figured "well, that's never gonna happen."
So, yeah, I've been anticipating this sucker for a helluva long time. I plan to go see it a couple dozen more times before it's out of theaters. Did you hear about that thing where the studio said that, if the film does well at the box office, then they'll release the unedited Director's Cut to theaters in the summer? The Watchmen Director's Cut... on the big screen! Awesome! I hope that actually pans out.
Anyway, as I was saying, I saw it on Thursday, and then I logged onto blogspot last night to see if you'd posted a review of it, 'cause I had a feeling you were eventually gonna. I guess I checked BEFORE you posted your review, which sucks, 'cause I really wanted to hear what you thought of it. Well, now I did. Great review. Sucks that you couldn't go into more detail 'cause of Galactica (you nerd), but overall great review. I'm glad you liked it. I didn't know you'd read the comic. Awesome. The more people who've read it, the better. Now I don't have to tear you a new a-hole. Lol.
I'm working on a review for the film right now, as we speak. 'Course, we both know that my reviews tend to be on the long side, so it takes me considerable more time to write up my reviews than your average bear. But I expect to have it posted up sometime Monday.
To be brief though, I gotta say, I thought it turned out great. Not perfect. But, mostly, great.
And, yeah, the "you're in here with me" bit was one of my favorites from the original graphic novel as well.
Anyway, talk to you later. And let me know what you think of MY take of Watchmen once I get it up.
Stay sick!

FXguy said...

Nice review, Jay.

As you know, I still have the 12-issue comics in plastic, but I cannot imagine how it will translate to someone who hasn't read it. I guess that is the reason for the bad reviews I am seeing.

Jackie Earle Haley sure has come a long way since the cigarette-smoking, motorcycle-riding brad boy from The Bad News Bears, and Little Children proves that he is a serious actor making a huge comeback. In fact, he was cast as Freddy Krueger in the upcoming Nightmare on Elm Street remake. I can't wait to see him as Rorschach.

Now, when are they going to make a movie of my favorite comic series of all-time, The Boys, starring Simon Pegg?

A.P. Simon said...

Great, thorough review, mate! (despite having to watch BSG, which, ironically, I went to do after I read your review - and boy, do I wish for this to start getting to the revelations and get past this filler-ish stuff) So I went to the midnight for WATCHMEN, and since the first time I see a flick is more for the technical side of interest, I can't really comment on whether it was all that great or not, because I'm sorta 50/50 with it at the moment. Like iMike said, though, 'best comic book movie ever' IS a bold statement, but I wouldn't disagree that it's definitely the most faithful.

Again, mate, outstanding review.

thebonebreaker said...

Mike,

I am the one that is jealous, as I have no IMAX theatre near me ~ I would love to see this film on IMAX!

I am actually thankful for the negative reviews that came out beforehand, as my expectations were slightly lowered - though I had no need to worry, as the film exceeded what I had even hoped for!

I am "blog reading" today and will be looking forward to checking out your thoughts [as well as others'] on the film!

J

thebonebreaker said...

LB,

Haley was a revelation indeed!

As for the film being for the fans - I can agree with you on that, as my brother [who was never into comics] saw the film and hated it! [how can you hate it?!?]

I think that all of the negative reviews are from folks who are not familiar with the comics...

Still, even if I was not a fan of the comics, I bet that I would have still loved this film! :-)

Thanks for the comment LB and glad you liked that Rorschach line as well!

J

thebonebreaker said...

William,

I wanted to get away this weekend to see the film again myself, but was unable to - I definitely plan on watching it several more times as well.

I am so hoping for the Director's Cut in July!!!

Hopefully your review is up, as I am heading to your place next! :-)

J

thebonebreaker said...

Bill,

I did not know that you had the original comics [Ooooooooo] nor had I heard of Haley's casting as Krueger. . .
[as much as I am against that re-make, I can actually agree with Haley's casting, especially after the performance that he gave in Watchmen!]

The Boys?!? [I am not familiar with that comic] :-(

J

thebonebreaker said...

Andrew,

Thanks for the comment [and glad to hear that you are a BSG fan as well]

50/50 huh? I was tempted to go to the midnight showing, the night before, but I wanted to be fully awake and aware!

Your 'most faithful' is probably the better way to put it, though I will still stick with it being the best! ;-)

J

FXguy said...

Jason,

The Boys is definitely the most adult yet entertaining comic out there. Check out the Wiki article at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boys_(comic_book)

The artist obviously drew Hughie to resemble like Simon Pegg on purpose. It's about a group of people who work for the government to keep tabs on "Capes" (super heroes), who aren't exactly as heroic as they make themselves out to be. If you can find the reprints, check them out. Every issue is sure to offend someone.

As far as Haley being cast, that is the rumor (not yet confirmed), but that's what the buzz is about.

I had an awful weekend (lost my wedding ring in the snow somewhere, the wife has the flu very badly, and to top it off, I watched the PG-13 Prom Night remake). Ugh.

sistermoon65 said...

I can't wait to see this. I'm pretty certain Watchmen is in my collection that resides with Towaway (I really hope to get them back someday...)
I'm stoked about the movie. Unfortunately, I won't be able to see it for a while. I got wicked sick this weekend and next is booked. So I'm hoping it does well enough to last a third weekend...

Great review BTW...even for a quickie!

the jaded viewer said...

Watchmen was a great film. It's almost a shot by shot panel remake of the graphic novel.

As long as people understand that Watchmen (and by Watchmen I mean Alan Moore) is a satire of the golden and silver age of comics, then they'll enjoy.

If your average joe moviegoer, you're gonna hate it.

Also, when I saw this on the theater, some mom brought their frakin 13 yr old tweens to the movie!!! (Glad you checked it out first before having your son see it).

I would have loved to seen mommy's expression when she saw Dr. Manhattan's schlong, a Vietnamese girl getting shot in the head and almost SS rape.

That sure is family fun time!

thebonebreaker said...

Bill,

I will be sure to check out The Boys when next I am at a comic shop. . .

Sorry to hear about your rough weekend - I lost my keys in the snow [sledding] just last weekend, luckily I found them the next day! [though I am sure your ring is going to be a lot harder to find]
Good luck my friend! [hope your wife is feeling better!]

P.S. I knew better than to watch the Prom Night Re-Make ;-)

J

thebonebreaker said...

Lisa,

Do not worry - it will be around for a 3rd week - I am confident!

Hope you're feeeling better, and let me know your thoughts after you've seen the movie!

J

thebonebreaker said...

JV,

Family fun time ideed ~ geez! ;-)

J

Ryne said...

Nice review, and glad to see it lived up to your expectations after reading the graphic novel.

thebonebreaker said...

Ryne,

It did indeed! :-)

J