Quick Watchmen Review

It was fine. It would have been even better, and possibly excellent, if someone had lopped 20 minutes from it. It wouldn’t have been difficult, since Zack Snyder let quite a few scenes drag a beat (or two, or four) longer than they needed to, possibly from a misplaced sense of textual obligation. Zack, dude, Alan Moore will hate you no matter what you do, and you’d’ve placated the fanboys with your DVD Director’s Cut. It wouldn’t have killed you to pick up the pace a snap or two for everyone who won’t angrily confront you at ComicCon. That said, it had its moments, mostly involving Rorschach, and Snyder and his screenwriters really did cram most of the graphic novel in there. It’s hard to complain.

95 Comments on “Quick Watchmen Review”

  1. Feel free to comment on the movie, but watch the spoilers. Yes, I know, ironic for me to say that. But the movie switches up a few things from the graphic novel. Don’t ruin them for the others.

  2. Like the zhfvpny frdhrapr ng gur raq frg gb “Thlf & Qbyyf” jvgu Ebefnpu va gur ebyr bs Anguna Qrgebvg?

    Don’t worry. That secret’s safe with me.

    I didn’t have a problem with the pacing; I thought the acting was very strong except for Ozymandias and the guy playing Richard Nixon (Frank Langella is a tough act to follow.) I would have recast both those roles. I’m really intrigued to see the Pirate Ship short, which is apparently getting its own DVD.

  3. Yeah, on the whole I was pretty impressed, especially given how low my expectations were. A solid “B”, and probably the best that was ever likely to happen under the circumstances.

    I’m not sure if we can blame the problems with Adrian on the actor specifically. Sure, he did a crappy job and might just not have been a terribly good actor, but you don’t do that kind of crappy job without the director’s complicity: if Snyder didn’t want Ozy coming across as sneering eurotrash rather than the Bono/Brad Pitt/Machiavelli mixture we remember from the comics, then Snyder had plenty of time in which to register an objection…

    (Malin Akerman and Patrick Wilson, in contrast, had the delivery generally right but kept whiffing key lines. But I’m inclined to be sympathetic to them since Snyder insisted on making them participants in the worst sex scene committed to film since, well, 300.)

  4. As someone who hasn’t read the novel and went to see it because 1) the boyfriend was dying to go and 2) the trailer looked pretty – I was disappointed and maybe I should have been given my background. I thought it dragged quite a bit. I was expecting the story to grab my interest and suck me in but that never happened; instead I found myself noticing things like the fact that Laurie (Malin Akerman) had a small mole along her jawline and her Silk Spectre outfit made her neck do a magical vanishing act. Whenever her aging mother was on screen I couldn’t help but think of Melanie Griffith.

  5. It was OK. Since I’ve only ever read about the first half of the graphic novel I didn’t miss the removal of [SPOILER]. But yeah, the pacing of it seemed a little odd – choppy in some places, drawn-out in others. I didn’t really notice the quality of the acting, but then I don’t usually unless it’s very good or very bad. It was pretty at least, but not as good a film as I would have liked, overall. Still waiting for Coraline to hit theatres here.

  6. I’ve never read the comic-book versions; my opinion agrees with Scalzi, in that it dragged a bit in places and I had a sense it was out of not having the courage to cut as much as was needed for a snappy story at movie length. Especially earlier on; later not so much.

    Malin Akerman (sp?) was a bit wooden; I’ve never seen her before to my recollection, so I can’t tell if it’s her acting in general or something between actress, role and direction in this specific instance.

    And yes, the sex scene was atrocious and WAY over drawn out. Though it brought laughs.

  7. My wife and I saw it Saturday night, and while I enjoyed it at the time, my opinion has soured somewhat since then.

    Certain movies make me want to see them again right after leaving the theater, Dark Knight for instance. With Watchmen, however, I kept thinking of things I didn’t like or that I wish had been different enough that I would have liked them.

    Going with John, I too thought it was just a bit too long; nothing obvious that needed lost, just scenes that took just too long for their own good.

  8. I can’t wait for the super-long director’s cut, with Black Freighter scenes integrated! :P

  9. I thought it was paced very well, it never seemed to drag, and it certainly didn’t feel like 2 and a half hours. My wife has never read the book and loved it. As fara s the sex scene goes, it’s kind of supposed to be clumsy the first time – the second time it’s rushed. Contrary to what we see in films, and what we think of our own performances, sex is not pretty and it’s funny that it takes a film about comic book heroes to show that.

  10. Conclusion: not the definitive film, wait for the the dvd, thought why bother with the the cinema ? I mean cinema visitors have the attention spam of goldfish.

    I’m a fan of the graphic novel, and no way will i see this film.

  11. Truth be told, I think this film honours its source material better than anything else I’ve seen EVAR. Shakespeare should be lucky to get so few cuts.

    I agree with John’s tone “it’s hard to complain” which reflects a curious lack of the passion that the film could have injected into what is really not an energetic graphic novel. In a story where a remote godlike creature is one of the most sympathetic characters (second to Rorschach), well…

    Although there is a lot of money lavishly up there on the screen (especially with those beautiful opening credits), I found some production elements rather ham-handed, notably 1) some of the song choices; 2) make-up: Sally Jupiter’s old lady hairline looked very artificial, and 3) Billy Crudup’s mouth seemed rather wobbly in Doc Manhattan’s skull, quite surprising in a post-Gollum world.

    I’m glad I saw it, but I have no interest in seeing it again.

  12. OK, John, I’m going to respect the spoiler ban and say the ending was fraking stupid, and not in a fun way. And I didn’t see the film with a pack of unappeasable fanboys, but an audience where about a dozen people walked out during the frankly gratuitous (attempted) rape scene, laughed hysterically every time Doctor Manhattan’s lovingly rendered penis hovered into view (and if that’s a 1:1 scale model of Billy Crudup’s — call me!) and frankly Zach Snyder’s taste for fetishistic slo-mo violence is plain creepy.

    The only reason ‘Watchmen’ isn’t getting an epic F from me is because you’ve got to admit none of the budget went up anyone’s nose, and the cast is a LOT better than it had to be.

    and Snyder and his screenwriters really did cram most of the graphic novel in there. It’s hard to complain.

    No, I won’t complain. I’ll just tie Snyder and David Hayter down, prop their eyes open Clockwork Orange-style and make them watch ‘LA Confidential’ a couple of hundred times until they learn a good adaptation of a complex source isn’t about neurotic fidelity to the props while missing the point.

  13. I really like it. Saw it last night and was impressed on how closely Snyder stayed true to the spirit if not the latter of the book.

    I didn’t mind the pacing either, I thought it really did a good sense to convey the pacing of the novel and look forward to the directors cut.

    I gotta say, Zack Snyder is really the man when it comes to translating comic panels to the screen. I remember a lot of those scenes in the book and the way he moved them to film was just great.

    My biggest beef, the first time we see the fortress in Antarctica, it looked so much like a model that I was waiting to see lego people around it. I have no idea why that happened since in general the special effects were top notch, but man it really threw me. My wifie didn’t notice so maybe it was just me.

  14. The film could be greatly improved with some editing. Most of the theater was cracking up during that sex scene. I was embarrassed for the actors. Two, there were some scenes that I bet were pretty interesting in the novel, but not necessary in the movie. (I’m not sure, I haven’t read it.) For example, we didn’t really need to see Rorschach’s ‘turning point’. (You know, the scene with the dogs.) I already figured out by the way everyone treated him, he was an uncompromising nasty dude. BTW, did the novel explain where he got such a cool mask?

    Maybe it was true to the book, but I thought Dr. Manhattan could use some pants.

  15. I gotta say, Zack Snyder is really the man when it comes to translating comic panels to the screen.

    OK… so, I paid my money and sat down for two and three-quarter hours to watch the world’s most expensive storyboard? Seems a bit redundant when the source material has been continuously in print for over twenty years (and selling like gangbusters for every one of them); and would anyone really praise a film for being, in effect, a literal transcription of a favourite novel? I can’t think of many cases where that would be anything less than the highway to an utterly unwatchable film.

  16. and would anyone really praise a film for being, in effect, a literal transcription of a favourite novel?

    I think that this was what a lot of the debate was really about. People who know the graphic novel wanted as literal translation as possible (in my opinion).

    We are judging the movie based against the source material, and in that regard I would say it was a success.

  17. Talk about damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Either Snyder was too literal or not literal enough, apparently, for many fans. Which is not surprising, but I’m amazed exactly how extreme viewpoints appear to be. Of course, there were a lot of mixed emotions about the source material, as well.

    The movie strikes me as being like Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies…very polarizing to the fans, filled with a few controversial choices and generally pretty successful as a movie. At the end of the day, I think the movie was as good as we’re likely to see, and like the Jackson LotR films, it’s not likely that anyone is going to do it better any time soon, if ever. I didn’t think the movie dragged, and the crowd I saw it with at the IMAX on Friday at 9AM seemed to like it just fine. My wife, who just read it for the first time two weeks ago, enjoyed it a lot.

    Laura@15: I highly recommend you read the graphic novel. It contains a LOT of detail that was scrubbed for the sake of speed. And I’m not just talking about the Black Freighter material (which frankly I found tedious 20 years ago and still do), but for the deeper details from some of the other characters, more plot depth and for a lot of the characters who are only briefly in the movie. As to Rorshach’s mask…while working in the garment district at a dead-end job, he came across some experimental fabric. It’s represented in the comic as a wonder-material owed in part to the technical work of Ozymandias and Dr. Manhattan, with a liquid suspended between two layers of laytex.

    Some parts of the movie are, IMHO, better than the original comic. There, I’ve said it. Having Rorshach deliver one of the most famous lines in the comic in person, rather than from someone else recalling it afterwards, works better. There were a few examples of this where I think the film version actually worked as well or a little better than the comic. It also has to be said that some of the dialogue can be a little clunky. Moore is a brilliant writer, but sometimes his characters don’t always get a unique voice. Also, some of the material can be a little…self-indulgent.

    There were some places where I think Snyder didn’t have to move dialogue or scenes around, but perhaps did so for flow (such as Ozy’s talk consisting partly of material from near the end). As to the ending? Well, I remember there being something of a firestorm over the original, and I look at the change there are being different, not necessarily better or worse. YMMV.

  18. Sometimes I let my son watch rated R movies, if I think it’s “on the edge.” I don’t worry about him hearing swear words. He hears them all at home anyway. LOL. But he doesn’t do well with *really* scary stuff or sex. Did you take Athena? Would you?

  19. Laura @ 15: yes, it does explain about the mask, and it’s an interesting/disturbing story suitable for Rorschach. If you haven’t read the book it’s well worth your time.

    I thought the film grappled with the source material about as well as a film probably can, although I think that the elimination of Lori’s substance abuse issues and history/backstory probably hurt Akerman’s performance. I agree, she doesn’t do much, but they stripped a lot of the character cues that might have given her depth and basically made her “the girl” so there wasn’t much for her to do that I could see.

    Healey gave such a great performance as Rorschach that I think he’s overshadowing Wilson’s Night Owl/Drieberg, which I thought was understated and on point as the nice-guy, aging ex-hero who plods through life because “heroing” is the only thing that ever gave him purpose.

    So, perfect film? Nope, but few of them are, so I’m ok with that. Am I glad I saw it: yup. Would my world have been a poorer place without it: still up in the air, but probably not.

  20. I saw Watchmen Sunday w/my best friend. She had read (& owns) Watchmen, I hadn’t. We both loved it. We also both agreed altho it could have been edited to be 20 minutes shorter, it didn’t *feel* like 2 hours 43 minutes. You know the movies I’m talking about – don’t hold your interest, and are butt-numbing, to boot.

    She commented the director put in the most important stuff (to her), and left out some important plot points from the comic, but she felt ultimately he did a good job. We are both looking forward to the ultimate director’s cut on DVD.

    We also both really liked the music choices, as well. They really set the mood for the times they depicted, and the change from one era to another. YMMV

    I would like to see the movie again, and would go with friends. Now to find the book to read – hope my local comic store has the collected Watchmen… : )

  21. Catherine Shaffer:

    It’s not a movie I’d take Athena to, but also, it’s not a movie she would be interested in. She’s seen enough “R” rated films that they hold no mystery to her, but most “R” rated films feature stuff that either goes over her head or which she doesn’t care about at this point. So it’s no big treat for her to see them.

  22. After the movie was over, one of my friends, who had no knowledge of the book, asked, “So, how did the rest of them get their super powers?” It was at that point that I realized the movie had missed the spirit of the book completely. Moore and Gibbons turned super heroes into human beings. Snyder turned them back into super heroes again.

    All this is not to say that the movie is awful. I just think it fundamentally missed the point of the book.

  23. I wouldn’t let my 8 year old anywhere near this movie. It isn’t just the arterial spray and the nipples. It’s the moral ambiguity. You need to gain maturity before you can pack a story like this into your head.

    I thought the majority of the dialog was clunky. It reads fine in speech bubbles, but it just doesn’t sound right. It worked well for the characters that are supposed to be inarticulate, Rorsach and Manhattan, but Laurie was supposed to be relatively normal, and she sounded like she was reading a comic book.

    Maybe they should have made two movies. One for the fanboys, a perfect shot by shot remake of the comic, with the Black Freighter and everything intact. So what if it comes out at 4 hours? Fanboys have access to adult diapers, don’t they? Then make a straight up PG-13 action flick for the rest of the world.

  24. “…would anyone really praise a film for being, in effect, a literal transcription…”

    As I recall, that was the exact marketing campaign for Sin City, and the kernel of what positive reception it got. For a novel, though, not really. Fidelity fetish is what plagued Chris Columbus’s stabs at Harry Potter. It wasn’t until Alfonso Cuarón said, in effect, “You’re kidding, right?” and made Azkaban a movie, that that franchise came to life. Watchmen, despite its medium, falls somewhere in the middle.

    I, too, left the theater initially pleased and then, over the course of a week, second-guessed myself. The song choices were eye-rolling terrible (What? Couldn’t get permission for “It’s a Wonderful World?”), and the pace at best “stately.” Note: I don’t really consider “stately” a good pace for a superhero movie. Especially not a “subversive” superhero movie. The attempt to bring in divers elements from the “world” of the book (e.g., Nixon) was admirable but ultimately detrimental. Thank God he didn’t try to shoehorn in the Black Freighter, too, this time out.

    One telling thing about audience reaction at the screening I attended: it was a local rock station-sponsored advance screening, so everyone there was invested. In line for hours. Pumped up by a DJ. The works. When the lights went down, cheers and applause — we’re ready to rock. At the end, some tepid clapping and not much else.

  25. Neither I had readed the comic book nor had any idea about Watchmen, but I really enjoyed it.
    Maybe this is because I can´t compare it with the written material, but Snyder work seems really artistic, and he shows a really interest and sensibility in making a good job. Not only for fans who had readed it, but also for rookies.

  26. Wizardru @ 19: The LotR movies’ greatest faults were the time they wasted and stupidity they introduced on the additions. In particular, Moria.

    In the book, the fellowship ran and ran. The fastest few orcs went down, but otherwise, it was a straight-out pursuit. That they managed to clear the room took the frantic edge of the scenes off, which was a major miscalculation.

    It all would have been much better played straight. It would have taken less time, been more exciting, and not at all stupid. I know you made this nifty CG troll. A great time to play with that troll is in book 3. I know you have the ability to show thousands of CG creatures. Great. Show them in the distance, on the other side of the fire. You can swoop the camera to show them close up if you want; but having the party be saved by the balrog is just idiotic.

    SO: would you say the additions to Watchmen faced the same sort of problem?

  27. Since I havent read the actual graphic novel, I cant say how well this movie is comparable to the original. Considering the storyline I feel it as a superb flop. None of the characters play a strong role. I had gone to the theaters expecting some good action, but got discouraged. And over that I wasted my $20 towards the tickets!

  28. @Josh – Word.

    While contemplating Nixon’s fake nose, I had an epiphany. The movie was all surface. Zack Snyder is an incredibly visual person. He was more interested in having the actors playing real folks look as much like them as possible, as opposed to hiring actors to portray the essence of the character (e.g. Frank Langella, Anthony Hopkins, Dan Hedaya). The film captured the colors and costumes and sets from the comic book, it did a great job of distilling the plot about costumed vigilantes, but missed a lot of the substance.

  29. John Scalzi got Pretty much my feeling too. Liked the movie, but just a tad long. Not much, but enough that I looked at my watch once too often. Trim some flab and it would have been right on for length and pacing.

    I wanted more character depth to the Silk Spectres. And to Nite Owl too. That might be contradictory to the length statement, but they felt a bit too lightweight to me. The Comedian, Dr Manhattan and Rorschach’s personalities came over loud and clear. But these three, and maybe Ozy, were not much more than 2 notes and done.

    Yes, its tough to say everything in 2 hours 20 (140 x 200 = 28000 words) and not drop something “vital”. Would this have benefited from the Kill Bill or even Lord of the Rings treatment? Maybe. But for what it is, I liked it.

    I do wonder about the families with kids (6, 8, 10 years old) I saw in the theatre though.

  30. Whatever one liked or didn’t like about the movie, I am monstrously fucking tired of all the whining about Dr. Manhattan’s cock. Nobody bats an eye about multiple gratuitous jubbly scenes, and Basic Instinct took care of Hollywood’s last reservation about beaver shots in mainstream movies. So, you know, for those viewers going into ironically queenly drama-fits about OMG PEEN? Shut the fuck up, you heteronormative twits.

    That said. I liked the movie, except that it needed a lot more of Apollonia Vanova.

  31. One might have thought that ‘The Crying Game’ would have immunized them against that kind of whiny reaction! If they survived that shock, the knowledge that men have cocks should be a much easier shock to overcome.

  32. Heather @ 30

    But the movie is primarily a visual, passive medium! In a way that the graphic novel can’t be. In the novel, you have to track the panels, and make sure you read every bit of dialog. I actually felt like the movie helped me understand some of the substance of the novel better. The novel was a great achievement, no doubt, but it’s pacing and side stories were somewhat tedious. I didn’t feel like the movie did everything right, but it packed a pretty good punch.

    That said, the scene with Silk Spectre II and Nite Owl II in Archie was laughable. And the change they made at the end – why?

  33. I thought it was okay. I think it would have been a much better movie if it had just toned down the violence and gore, both of which were amped up considerably from the comic book.

    I also think the problem with the pacing isn’t with what they left in from the book, but what they added that wasn’t in the book, almost all of which was completely irrelevant (especially all the period characters).

    My full review is here.

  34. Todd @34 – probably because n tvnag fdhvq sebz orlbaq gur fgnef vf cynhfvoyr va gur tencuvp abiry, ohg ybbxf fghcvq va PTV. Kind of like the sex scene, which could have been mostly left out of the movie but worked fine in the book.

  35. Luke @ 28: Huh. You’re the first person I’ve ever heard who made a case against the Moria sequences as being where Jackson made a major mistake (well, the bridge confrontation at the end of that scene was debated, but for it’s approach, not content). I would have figured the much more dramatic changes from the second and third films, such as elves at Helm’s Deep, Aragorn off a cliff, side trips to fallen cities and so forth.

    Personally, I think some of the criticisms of the movie are misplaced, as they are legitimate criticisms of the source material. Certainly, the idea of comparing Nixon’s portrayal in Watchmen to Frost/Nixon is kind of silly. Nixon is presented as pretty much a caricature in the Watchmen, not the wholly realized being that Langella portrays.

    And there are a lot of things that work in comics that would NEVER work in film. As a 12-part serial, the comic has a theme in each issue, something the film can’t do. It can afford obscure references and recurring visual themes (such as Nostalgia, Nova Express and New Frontiersman) that require slow, patient reading. The film is a good adaption of the material, but it’s no replacement for it, not by a long shot.

  36. Y’know, I enjoyed it and this is coming from a very hardcore Alan Moore fan. The things that were cut made sense and Snyder really did a good job of hitting many, not all, of the right story points and emotion.

    A few quick hits: (Warning Mild to Middling Spoilers)

    – I did not particularly like the use of most of the songs in the film except for Bob Dylan’s The Times Are A-Changing in the beginning montage. I think an orchestral score would have been more emotional and impactful, especially at the certain scene with Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence.

    – The actor who played Rorschach nailed it and the one scene where he gets his mask back (which was changed from the graphic novel) was awesome.

    – Some of the violence didn’t need to be that over the top. In particular the Silk Spectre and Nite Owl alley fight didn’t need to be that bloody or gory as it did.

    – I was surprised at how effective Crudup was playing Dr. Manhattan. He didn’t sound at all like I had in my head reading the novel but his voice and mannerisms were very good even if different.

    – Snyder definitely needed to cut some dialogue and rework it as some of it was taken verbatim from the graphic novel and doesn’t pace well in a real acted out scene. But here, it’s true, he’s damned if he did or damned if he didn’t by the nitpickers in the world.

    One last note, it’s really crazy how Watchmen will be the #1 movie this past weekend but the “buzz” is that the opening is “soft”. Considering the source material is relatively obscure compared to Batman, the hard R rating and very adult and complex material, it made alot of money and will continue to make alot of money. Due to the added material coming on the DVD, I know everyone of my friends and myself will eat it up. I hate that because it is the undisputed #1 movie, the only criticism that can be mounted against it is that it should’ve made more! Sad, as I feel that movie makers should be encouraged to tackle such difficult materials. If the “meme” is that Watchmen didn’t meet so called expectations then Hollywood will shy away from even more difficult but rewarding materials such as WE3, Sleeper, Starman and Promethea. That’s wrong. Considering the sense of the unknown going into release, are they really going to try to compare opening box office of Watchmen to Dark Knight?

  37. I was very happy with the movie. Even though like many people know they did change a lot of the story elements. however i think of the movie as a supplement to the comic more than a redux of it. I enjoyed the movie and i even plan on going back to the theater to see it again (this time without my wife) and it will definatly get a DVD purchase (heck perhaps i will have a blue ray by then and i will pick it on on that.)

  38. I never thought I’d say this about an adaptation of Alan Moore graphic novel, but I thought both the sex and violence were gratuitous.

    I mean, come on. The Watchmen as a graphic novel was BLOODY. It was violent. And it was hard to look at. Why did the movie people feel the need to ramp up the violence on so many occasions? I’m thinking particularly of the scene with the child-murderer, where they decided to have Rorschach do (something non-spoiler-y) instead of what the novel had him do, which was in my opinion WAY more terrifying. But in the movie, you got a nice bloody scene instead of just the mental horror of imagining how terrible this guy’s punishment was. This happened again and again, just so you could see lots of blood and guts and horror-flick-esque close-ups of terrible wounds.

    Ditto with the sex scenes. Alan Moore gives plenty of sex scenes. They don’t need to last so long that you become all uncomfortable watching them.

  39. I saw it yesterday, and did not read/know the source material, besides ‘the dark side of superheroes.’ In general, I enjoyed it, but never felt truly into it. Rorschach was great, and I also liked Nite Owl’s ambiguous superhero character. I would have liked to see more from Silk Spectre II- her role was pretty thin.

    And I’ve got to say, it was nice to see the full frontal male nudity rather than the usual copout- okay to show nude women, but we can’t show men. (Yes, naked men are funny-looking, but get over it!)

  40. There are a couple things I took away from the movie:

    @38 – What tt said about Crudup’s Manhattan. I hadn’t thought of him in that light, and that was one of the things the movie really opened up for me. In my mind, Manhattan was always something of a robot.

    The idea that Rorschach, Silk Specter, and Nite Owl were actually superheroes, with enough training and skill to, say, break a man’s arm with one hand tied behind their back or vertical jumps ten feet in the air. When I read the book, these characters were always just normal people wearing costumes, pretending to be superheroes.

    It never occurred to me (for example) that Rorschach was walking in subzero temperatures with nothing but a trench coat and a fedora between him and frosty doom. This wasn’t a mistake; Rorschach is a super. He’s able to do that. It just never occurred to me until I saw it.

    To people who say that the movie was too faithful: I agree. To people who say it was pointless to watch it, though, I respectfully disagree. What you get from a movie is the motion of the drama, as well as the sound and the voice.

    I think with a couple recastings, this would have been a perfect accompaniment to the novel. As it is, I am quite happy with what came out, even if it could have been better, because Lord — it could have been much, much worse.

  41. Over all, I enjoyed the movie. The book is, as usual, better.

    My wife went to the bathroom during the “sex” scene. When she got back and asked what she had missed, I told her truthfully… “Porn”. I could have done without that extended scene. I think most of the audience was simply embarrassed and were looking away from the screen at that point.

    I’m looking forward to the extended version, but will probably rent it through Comcast so I can watch it in HD. I’m not interested in buying it. If I want the experience again after watching the extended version, I’ll re read the book I own.

  42. As a fan of the comic, it was thrilling. As a fan of movies, I found it tedious and poorly executed. True to the source material to a fault. Alan Moore used all the tools at his disposal, where Snyder unnecessarily limits himself in pursuit of some impossible-to-achieve comic aesthetic. Makes no attempt to actually “adapt” to new medium.

    Hrm. Possible fanboy. Must investigate.

  43. @24: Yes, I agree. My husband and I said the same thing walking out – when did these characters become superheroes? In the book, it is clear that Dr. Manhattan has nothing in common with the others, a line that kind of made it into the movie but didn’t have the same impact. To me, the book is about normal people who, for whatever reason, put on masks to fight. In the movie, they are no longer normal — too strong, too fast. To avoid a spoiler, I’ll just say, since when can Ozy do *that*?

    Otherwise, I liked the movie fine. My favorite thing about the book, though, is the structure (the use of comic book to comment on the main story, etc) and that’s the one thing that didn’t translate onto the screen, not surprisingly.

  44. As many before me have said, I really enjoyed it.

    I’ve had discussions with friends who saw it separately from me, and we mostly all agree – Alan Moore’s Watchmen was unfilmable. Zack Snyder’s, obviously, was. Some things just don’t translate which was Moore’s point all along. The changes Snyder and Co. made were for the benefit of a theatrical release.

    My wife had never read the comic, but she enjoyed it with little to no input from me regarding missing backstory. We’re both looking forward to the Director’s Cut to see if some of the odds-and-ends that I knew were missing show up there.

  45. @45: I actually think, of all of them, ozy is the worst example since in the original book he did something significantly more supernatural than anything he did in the movie. The whole catching the bullet thing is far more dramatic when it’s clear that ozy isn’t just deflecting it with his armor. I don’t think many people just seeing the movie for the first time without having read the book even got that that was what he was doing.

  46. I wrote this and then afterwards thought this might be spoilery, so warning if you don’t want to know who has sex. :)

    Why exactly are the sex scenes uncomfortable for so many people? (rhetorical) The first sex scene with Nite Owl and Silk Spectre II was the first time they were intimate, it’s supposed to be sloppy. The second scene in Archie was their second time. It’s a weird start to the relationship. He thinks she still wants Dr. Manhatten and she appears to be confused. Their emotions are wrapped into these scenes and not only are THOSE confusing enough, but the intimacy is surely going to be confusing as well. I think that they did a spot on job of portraying what it really is like: Awkward! Yes, I have read that in the movie they are more portrayed as “superheros” rather than “humans”, but at least IMHO they acted like humans in those scenes. I thought that the scenes were perfectly done.

    And as far as Dr. Manhatten’s penis, seriously people, the movie is rated R for a reason. It’s meant for mature audiences. If you can’t handle a penis, you can’t handle the outright murders in this film either.

    As far as Rorschach’s scene with the dogs, the whole time before that scene I wanted to know, ‘what happened to this creepy guy? why is he so f-ed up?’. Well, that answered it! I think to take it out would just make it seem like he was a creepy jerk for no good reason.

    Lastly, I have not read the graphic novel but my boyfriend has. I love to read, I just don’t think I have the patience for a graphic novel, but we will see. We both enjoyed the movie. I thought that the plot was dense and it was something I couldn’t have predicted. I DID however have to ask my boyfriend to clarify a few things for me, however, sometimes long, dense movies do that to you. You just have to watch it again and be like “OH! Now I see!” Still, his light shedding helped me gain more depth to the characters that I wouldn’t have gained otherwise.

  47. I enjoyed it.

    I wish though that it was a bit shorter for this version.

    The porn scene and some of the gory scenes could have been cut back and I think would of been better.

    The only part I felt was lacking from the comic was probably the New Frontiersman arc. All others pieces missing did not seem to lessen the movie.

    But I liked it as a movie about the comic. And not an “Adaptation” Too many “adaptations” go off another track compared to the source.

    this was promoted as a movie of the comic and it delivered.

  48. Pam Adams @ 41:

    And I’ve got to say, it was nice to see the full frontal male nudity rather than the usual copout- okay to show nude women, but we can’t show men. (Yes, naked men are funny-looking, but get over it!)

    Yes! This has always been a pet peeve of mine; why is it okay (even required) to throw in gratuitous female nudity in the interests of hiking up the ratings, but people practically wet themselves if the shoe is on the other foot? And then argue that women aren’t being treated as sex objects! I call BS.

  49. Is anyone surprised that a deliberately ambiguous graphic novel faithfully translated to film was ambiguously received?

    1. The Graphic Novel Watchmen is inseparable from the decade in which it was written. The world moved on, history did not end, and the audience for the movie was a post 80’s audience.

    2. Visually, the movie was stunning. I haven’t seen a film that worked that well on a visual basis since Untouchables. The depth of detail and artistry were so consistent that a lot of folks seem to have missed it entirely.

    3. The musical choices were all about setting certain themes and centring the work in its time; an even darker 1980’s that didn’t (quite) happen. To say they were effective in this would be a gross understatement.

    4. The acting. When I left the theater I thought that only Haley had distinguished himself. I have since re-considered. I didn’t have to work to suspend disbelief. This cast made themselves transparent vessels for the characters of the graphic novel. Isn’t that what actors are supposed to do?

    5. Endurance. I saw the movie Friday night. I find that I am still thinking about the imagery and themes three days on. I’ll probably go see it again, and will definitely buy the directors version (with the Black Freighter sub-plot added back in) when it becomes available.


  50. People freaking out over the Smurf Sausage are, IMO, annoying. Naked people should not be any more traumatizing than a visit to the museum, where you will see plenty of that sort of thing. There are a lot of things in Watchmen that are much more justifiably disturbing. Murder. Mutilation. Rape. Richard Nixon.

    In any case, I like the movie, but didn’t love it. Agree that the pacing was poor. Agree that SS and NO were underdeveloped as characters.

    My biggest beef was how gurl punatrq gur guerng bs Nezntrqqba gb gur pregnvagl bs vg. Vg erzbirf fbzr bs gur cnvashy nzovthvgl sebz gur raqvat.

  51. Yes! This has always been a pet peeve of mine; why is it okay (even required) to throw in gratuitous female nudity in the interests of hiking up the ratings, but people practically wet themselves if the shoe is on the other foot?

    You might want to take that up with the MPAA — though much smarter people than I have tried to find some rhyme or reason (as opposed to lobbying seldom seen this side of Capitol Hill) in that organisation. But I’m not the only person who’s noted that the industry’s own ratings body bears out the truth of Jack Nicolson’s old saw, “Kiss a tit, get an X. Cut it off with a sword, it’s PG-13.”

    But riddle me this, gentle readers, do you think we’d have gotten a hint of “Smurf sausage” if it was Billy Crudup’s real screw stick dipped in die?

    People freaking out over the Smurf Sausage are, IMO, annoying.

    Martini: Hey, I was just laughing at the most expressive performance in the film being given by a CGI cock. I’d draw the metaphor there, but it’s rather obvious…

  52. The MPAA’s attitude about male nudity vs. female nudity, to quote Jack Valenti, is that ‘we live in a heterosexual society’. Meaning who cares if women look at naked women, you know, they’re girls so it doesn’t count, but sweet Chukulteh on a bicycle don’t let anyone get a gander at a dong. They might catch the gay, y’know.

    I doubt that it was really Billy Crudup’s own glowing blue skin, luminous eyeballs or burned-into-the-forehead hydrogen symbol, either, so I don’t get the need to riddle about how much of Dr. Manhattan’s cock was based in life.

  53. Mythago@54: I doubt that it was really Billy Crudup’s own glowing blue skin, luminous eyeballs or burned-into-the-forehead hydrogen symbol, either, so I don’t get the need to riddle about how much of Dr. Manhattan’s cock was based in life.

    Pointing out the hypocrisy, Myth. Porn star schlong is A-OK as long as its CGI, or is it that it’s OK when it’s part of a huge tentpole (you in the back stop sniggering — you don’t want me coming down there) from a major studio?

  54. Glen is the same way. It seems like, from the previews, a movie he would dig. At the same time, he’s very practical about things and understands that certain types of violence will give him nightmares. I think this is one I’ll have to watch myself before I take him.

    When I was a kid, I was always on fire to see the scariest R-rated movies. Halloween was the big one. Also Friday the 13th. Now I hate the entire genre, but at that time, the “cool” kids had parents who let them see those films, and mine wouldn’t.

  55. I liked it. But it was too gory. Thought the actors were mostly fine, in that they didn’t distract from the characters. Thought it was too violent. Oh — didn’t think Ozymandias was well cast. Did I mention the violence? Oh, and I’m not sure where people are freaked out about naked Dr. Manhattan or OMG Penis! More that it was a little distracting. My companion pointed out that it was actually a nice way to show just how disconnected Manhattan was, in that he had totally given up wearing his little cup at some point. But yeah … it was dangly, and I’d have found any female nudity to be equally distracting, but not shocking.

  56. On the way back home from the movie my son and I had a great laugh about the penis. We knew it was going to be there. And the 1st time you meet Dr Manhattan he is 30ft tall working on some machine.

    We were just waiting for him to turn around and have super-wang flatten Rorschach.

    But alas that didn’t happen.

    I think Snyder was teasing people because many knew it was going to happen so the 1st few scenes were almost showing. Then finally it happened and they it was Wang-R-Us for the rest of the movie. And a few were not necessary but hell, have the same problem with movies having token female nudity that accomplishes nothing. So turnaround is fair play.

  57. ADM@57 said “My companion pointed out that it was actually a nice way to show just how disconnected Manhattan was, in that he had totally given up wearing his little cup at some point.”

    Well, considering that was the entire point of that, I guess you could say the fact that he was wearing no pants was pretty integral to the story and not there for any sort of shock effect. Sounds like a successfully conveyed message to me.

  58. Hey, you’ve got to admit that Snyder did a pretty great job with what he did. Great look; great fight scenes; and that intro was especially wonderful, according to me. The film as a whole sure wasn’t the disappointment that Superman Returns was. Holy crap, that made me sad.

  59. and I’d have found any female nudity to be equally distracting

    You mean like Silk Spectre II’s tits?

    Yeah, I think the point was that a lot of Dr. Manhattan’s persona (even the name) was imposed on him by his military handlers, and that would include the Kirby-esque shorts. When he stopped noticing or caring about such things he stopped bothering with the cover-up.

  60. I went to see it with a friend. I read the original when it was coming out. The movie was a really good see-once, and I’ll probably buy the extended DVD.

    My friend never saw the original, and she was blown away.

  61. After reading the books when they came out, again before the movie, and once glancingly afterward – I thought the movie was better in a lot of ways, and I would prefer to read the graphic novel created from screen shots of the movie going forward. The orgional 12 comics was easily 6 comics of pure Tom Bombadil style filler.

  62. It was clever, and nihilistic.
    It had no morals, no vision, nothing to say, and not much to entertain.
    But sure, it looked great.

  63. 1) Dave Gibbons deliberately went with a “grower not a shower” aesthetic for Doc’s penis, and that the movie went the other way made it a bit excessively distracting, if only because of the reaction of other members of the audience.

    2) Ozy, as a casting choice, could have been redeemed by having him wear a muscle suit under business clothes. Since they didn’t, that was a problem. He just didn’t look like Ozy outside his costume.


    To avoid a spoiler, I’ll just say, since when can Ozy do *that*?

    I didn’t see him do anything more superhuman in the movie than what he did in the comic book. See volume V, p. 14, or Vol. XII, page 15. He was always low-grade supernatural; nothing flashy power-wise, not invincible, but certainly beyond even exceptional human.

    Similarly, the alley fight had the same odds in the novel as in the movie, and the same uninjured result. They aren’t ordinary, they’re exceptional. Human scale, but implausibly good.

  64. Watching that movie made me very happy. Some of the scenes were shot for shot, and word for word of the Graphic Novel (though when I originally bought it , it was 12 issued of a standard comic, the Graphic Novel Came later). The attention to detail, including the History of Costumed Heroes told int he Credit Roll, and the period Correct Flashbacks… Wow. But what made me the most happy was the fights int he Prison. Rorschach made me happy. Watching Night Owl and Silk Spectre Kiccking ass in the cell block made me happy. I thourougly enjoyed it. They got it right, or as right as a movie could. I won’t say it’s the best movie I’ve ever seen, or my favorite, but it’s up there for me, as what I want to see in entertainment.

  65. Watching that movie made me very happy. Some of the scenes were shot for shot, and word for word of the Graphic Novel (though when I originally bought it , it was 12 issued of a standard comic, the Graphic Novel Came later). The attention to detail, including the History of Costumed Heroes told int he Credit Roll, and the period Correct Flashbacks… Wow. But what made me the most happy was the fights int he Prison. Rorschach made me happy. Watching Night Owl II and Silk Spectre II Kiccking ass in the cell block made me happy. I thourougly enjoyed it. They got it right, or as right as a movie could. I won’t say it’s the best movie I’ve ever seen, or my favorite, but it’s up there for me, as what I want to see in entertainment.


  66. I thought the movie rocked! I liked all of the characters and I have never read the novel and I am a girl! so overall, i loved the movie and I want to see it again. I am going to read the graphic novel after i watch the movie again. I went in with no expectations and left thinking wow, and I thought there was a lot of subtle humor and I thought that it was beautiful. I really loved how it opened.

  67. I can’t believe Zack Snyder made Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan a couple!

    With the spoilers out of the way, “Fine” is my verdict too. Also “Okay” and “Not so bad.” Who’d win in a fight, Rorschach or Moocher?

  68. I haven’t read the comic but I thought the Watchmen was a great film. Better than Ironman and the 2 most recent Batmans.

  69. You know the only change i really didn’t like was that the silk specter is never playing with her pipe. In the novel its a major visual/emotional tic.

  70. Re: the subject of the characters being more superhero-like in the movie. I really enjoyed and admired the use of violence and over the top physical feats in the movie. I don’t remember the exact level of martial ability the characters had in the book but they could all certainly kick some ass.

    I think people are forgetting that these characters are NOT normal people playing dress up. They are violent, obsessive, law breaking vigilantes. Nite Owl is the most level-headed of them and he has the Bat Cave in his basement… after he’s retired.

    Mild spoiler: The alley fight scene actually served to illuminate character. These two people are so out of touch with “normal” that they kept up their training and conditioning to the point that they destroyed a street gang. Remember, this is after they retired.

    Normal? Hell, no. Interesting? Yes.

  71. Saw _Watchmen_ twice this weekend, first time on IMAX.. I def. think they could/should have cut AT LEAST 20 mins of Laurie/Dan easily, Adrian wasn’t THAT bad (I always assumed he was supposed to be Dutch eurotrash), the Dr. Manhattan stuff was excellent, and The Comedian and Rorschach were outstanding.

    The changes made were, I thought, actually pretty effective. The Rorschach change actually seemed more in line with his psychotic personality, and _Saw_ stole the original’s impact anyway. The new ending may be a bit more ‘pat’, but given what was (necessarily) cut, I think the larger meaning of the finale was effectively conveyed.

    Personally, I think leaving Bombadil out of LOTR was worse than anything Zack Snyder did here.

    Can’t wait for the Bluray.

  72. Watchmen is a great film, at the wrong time. All the themes are cliches now, but they were vibratingly relevant in the mid-80’s. High crime, nuclear holocaust, etc.

    even the gay/lesbian story elements seem flat and cliched now.

    I guess it just goes to show you that Frank Miller’s stories hold up a lot better over time then Alan Moore’s…

    Sure would like to see a movie adaptation of Frank Miller’s Ronin, its actually more relevant today than when it was produced.

  73. Still would have loved if that Tom Cruise as Ozymandias rumour was true.

    That would have been great considering his baggage.

  74. Wizardru:
    I mentioned Moria because it was chronologically first, and most jarring. After that, I kind of expected shit like the others.

    As for Nixon – yeah, the comic Nixon is a charicature. I’m not sure that really ought to be a complaint per se; just an observation.

    That said, how do you get Nixon as president and 80’s? Even assuming he served 8 years… unless he was first elected later? Did they overturn the term limit amendment? There are elements of this backstory I’m hazy on.

  75. Having not read the graphic novel, I enjoyed the movie. I read some reviews before seeing the movie to get a better grip on what I was going to see. I want to read the graphic novel now, so all in all the movie was great, and its getting me to read something new which is good as well!

  76. I think Watchmen suffered mostly for being the first “superhero” adaption since Dark Knight and Ironman, both of which were exceptional movies of the kind. Of the reviews I’ve seen, most seem to miss the point. It’s not about the violence, or the sex, or the nudity. Its about a lot of things, and part of it is supposed to be answering these questions – so what kind of people put on a costume to fight bad guys anyway? Well, these kind of people, generally sick, twisted, or mentally imbalanced people. What kind of world would it be if costumed heroes were real instead of just in our imagination? A sick, twisted, imbalanced world, that’s what.

    I didn’t mind any of the changes, I just thought the graphic novel did a better job of getting the important points across, and the movie did a better job of making it seem fun in the process. I got a kick out of Rorschach, but then again he was always my favorite. The scene with the swat team was well done. All the fight scenes were more prolonged than they appeared in the graphic novel, which I don’t mind at all. The Night Owl/ Silk Spectre story line was my least favorite from the graphic novel anyway, so I’m not surprised it irritated me here. I, too, laughed at the sex scene, but more because of the music playing in the background than anything else. The music was generally distracting – I would have been happier with some creative, original instrumentation instead. Something like how the music from Gladiator colored that movie.

    The acting wasn’t great, no, and Ozy was my least favorite there. They made him seem effeminate, that’s not at all how I imagined him. Dr Manhattan’s voice was also not how I imagined it in my mind. I recall his words always in bold face, and here he sounded more childlike.

    To those of you still wondering about how much of Billy Crudup is in Dr Manhattan, the question is fairly (and humorously) answered in his interview on the Daily Show.

  77. “And I’ve got to say, it was nice to see the full frontal male nudity rather than the usual copout- okay to show nude women, but we can’t show men. (Yes, naked men are funny-looking, but get over it!)”

    In fairness, full frontal shots of either men or women are very rare in (non porn) movies. As opposed to boob shots, which seem to be required in R rated flicks. And naked people in general look a little silly. That’s why everybody wears clothes.

  78. It occurs to me that we all missed, or seem to have overlooked something pertinent.

    Dr. Manhattan did indeed have penis, but he had no balls…

    Functional, but sterile.

  79. Saw this tonight with the two young Turk chiefs of the DE Film Company. Brian [whose uncle wrote Wrath of Khan said that after a few scenes, he simply regarded Dr. Manhattan as nonchalantly as piece of Greco-Roman statuary.

    He also observed — as the only one of the trio having not read the book — that he caught early on that the film eschewed the classic three/four act structure for a more rolling progression with roots in the older epics and sagas. This is precisely attune with Laurie’s last line that there is no end: life stumbles onward.

    The sex scenes were fine, as stated upthread, that awkward is the reality [and the position ridiculous, as Johnson comments]. I found them sweet and charming.

    The fight scenes… Snyder made the right decision. The mode in film styles or fight grammar has shifted to the point that exaggeration’s required by the audience expectations after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and this film is intended as a commercial enterprise.

    I enjoyed everyone’s performance except Nixon’s. The Lee Iacocca bit was brilliant as was the Kissinger.

    As for Goode’s acting as Veidt, didn’t anyone notice that he deliberately speaks more as an American when he’s older than in his ’60s scenes?

    Yes, I enjoyed it and I’m the guy who wrote DC after issue #5 with the lede that my favorite episode of the Outer Limits was “Architects of Fear”.


  80. Ok, thanks to instapundit, I found this review. I wanted to contribute.

    First, I love comic books but never read watchmen.

    My wife never read comic books.

    We both loved the movie.

    I did not think that it dragged on too much. I did not find the gore too much most of the time. The time rorschack chopped into that dude’s head was too gratuitous. I did not mind seeing the first chop (could have done without it) but seeing the second was over the top. I would have preferred to see the cleaver come down, cut to silhouette and then cut back to see that the cleaver was indeed in the dudes head.

    Dr. Manhattan was a light suit, we are the weirdos that stay and read the credits. His mouth did look odd.

    I did not mind the penis. I was not expecting it (again, I never read it). But I did find my self saying very quickly, in the scene where manhattan in alone on mars and he is levitating with his legs folded “indian style”. I said to my self, “oh please no anus! Please no anus!” Because that, frankly, would have been too much.

    Ok, now i need some help. Can someone point me to a place that tells me, definatively, the stuff that did not make it into the movie?

    Also, I read that the “heroes” do not really have any superpowers, they are just normals. This diappointed me. But, I also heard that they made the movie very much like the original material. So this is what I noticed. First, the comedian, at 67, swung, missed and knocked a block of his wall off, then someone punched thorugh the wall (ok, I could probably punch through drywall but it went clear through the other side). Then OZY picked up the commedian the threw him further than those spaghetti arms could ever throw a baseball. Twice Roarschak makes jumps that are cleary beyond human capabilities. Owlman jumps out of the flying thing and lands on the ground – that would have killed a normal person. In the fight scene with ozy where he catches a bullet (I get the impression that is not in the original material) roarscach and owl dude get thrown into stuff with enough force to kill a normal person. Also, Roarschack is in antartica with only a hat and trenchcoat. Now, if all of the above things are not examples of superpowers then please tell me of example normal people that I can compare these guys to.

  81. garrett,

    1. RE the Graphic Violence: That was Rorschach’s defining moment. He (correctly) concluded that that perpetrator would indeed be found “insane” by the “criminal justice” system, and treated vice punished. Rorschach deemed that punishment was the appropriate outcome, and provided same. He made his choice, and then consistently stuck with it; judging those he encountered on their own merits and faults, thus the antithesis of Ozymandius.

    2. In RE Dr. Manhattan’s package: Do you concur with my notice of the missing testicles and their symbology?

    3. What didn’t make the Movie (all y’all please chime in):

    .1) The Black Freighter Comic within the Graphic Novel (in which the protagonist becomes the evil he sought to overcome).

    .2) Mind Bending Squid from Outer Space. A deus ex machina that might have worked in the 1980’s as Ozymandius’ stalking horse, but not so much in 2009.

    3.) Some of the backstory on the earlier Masked Vigilanties.

    4. Yep. That first fight was not physically possible with human beings (I say this as a second dan blackbelt). Most (but not all) of the rest was more plausible than you might suspect. If you want to see what real fighting looks like, I commend Taken to you, while warning you that unless you have been trained, you will not be able to follow most of what happens. Similarly, one of the survivors of the Hindenberg dropped from 60 feet in the air and walked away (he later was found to have broken one heel).

  82. Catherine @ 20: Without giving too much away, the concerns I’d have with a younger person viewing Watchmen would include:

    – The afore mentioned sex scene, which I would say is a hard “R” (e.g. we see Dan’s naked buttox thrusting betwixt Laurie’s thighs from the side).

    – A murdered girl’s body is fed to dogs. While neither the murder nor the feeding is directly shown, the idea and way it is presented is quite disturbing.

    – Lots of graphic violence, including dismemberment and meat cleavers to the head. The chief way in which Dr. Manhattan dispatches foes is by literally exploding their bodies, including flying viscera and various parts dripping from ceiling and walls, etc.

    – Some people might be concerned about the big blue glowing radioactive penis that shares many of the scenes with Dr. Manhattan. Yes, he’s post-human and generally minor things like clothes are not important enough to capture his attention. My guess is that your son has already seen at least one of those and shold not be shocked to find that other fellows have one as well, but if he is like most kids (and adults for that matter) he’ll get a few chuckles from seeing it.

  83. Joel @ 75: You hit on something I have had bouncing about in my skull, too. For those of us in our 40’s themes such as nuclear war and the Soviet threat need no explanation, btu for much of the younger audience the emotional package that comes with just the idea just isn’t there. For them, the idea of global nuclear annihilation feels to be no more a real threat than alien invasion. I wonderto what degree this disconnect informs many viewers’ opinions.

    As to Moore/Miller, the main difference I see is that Alan’s works are very much in-the-moment comments on the contemporary world. “Watchmen” was so powerful and effective when it was published because it reflected a world and reality that was close to our personal experiences. It is only natural that this would make it less so as a piece of retrospective. Frank, on the other hand, tends to focus not on contemporary situation but rather to more directly address underlying universal themes, often within a conciously retro context. Regardless of when it is supposed to have happened, “Sin City” belongs more the noir world of the ’30s than anything modern. Even his ostensibly future-set works, such as “Dark Knight,” are infused with retro elements. This timelessness makes it easier to project dates material into the present.

  84. RE: Dr. Manhattan’s testicles.

    They are there, it’s just that the penis is so wide and long and luminescent that you can not see them.

  85. garret responded (to my question concerning Dr. Manhatten’s missing testes):

    They are there, it’s just that the penis is so wide and long and luminescent that you can not see them.

    Are you claiming you used X-Ray vision on Dr. Manhattan’s package?


  86. By the way, Rorschach can’t dispatch the child-killer in the same manner as he did in the novel: Moore lifted that from Mad Max.

    This was better, I felt. One better experienced Rorschach’s pain, frustration, and righteous anger.


  87. Oh, and as to the frostbite contention…

    I started kindergarten in Fairbanks, Alaska [at the edge of the Arctic Circle], and lived there until the summer between first and second grades. I used to play outside in -60°F.

    It’s quite possible to walk the distance Rorschach did near the middle of spring [1 Nov 1985] in Antarctica near the continental perimeter [which for most of the continent is the Antarctic Circle] with a trenchcoat, gloves, facemask, and hat.

    Ever hear about the “100 Club”?

    To join is simple. Be at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Step from a 100°F sauna into -100°F winter and race the 100 yards to the flagpole and back.


    Sometimes referred to as the “200 Club” for the differential and total distance.


  88. I saw it in IMAX with a friend, and loved it. My main gripe at the time was that I had forgotten my earplugs, and felt like the theatre was actively *trying* to deafen me.

    This was my first exposure to the story – no books, and didn’t even see all of the trailer. For me, the pacing felt really good. I thought that there were several irons in the fire, and that the director was doing a good job of moving them all along. I didn’t get bored, or particularly see where it was headed.

    The one thing that pissed me off was killing the gay girls. It looked like the writer or director was saying something to the effect of “Hey, we still have the problems you know”. I could see how it made sense to have it in the story contextually. But I just get frustrated that so many times writers seem to feel the need to kill a gay girl or black guy in their stories. Hrrrw. I guess it’s a soapbox thing for me, so I’ll step down, but damn, it’s annoying.

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