World of Meh!

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Watchmen… the epically long review

Posted by lindsey On March - 12 - 2009

I’ve been putting this review off for almost a week now so I suppose I should probably get on it.

Many of you know that Chris and I saw Watchmen last week at the local Midnight Premiere and we were blown away. Chris has already put up a review and although it was brief, he mentioned some things I will be going more in depth about.

There will be spoilers in this post so if you haven’t seen the movie then don’t read it…but the graphic novel has been out for over 20 years so if what I say comes as a spoiler to you then I am not to blame :)

When the lights finally went down everybody inside the theatre got pumped. We were treated to a new Wolverine trailer, in which my fears about Gambits character were reinforced, a Star Trek trailer, a trailer for a new Seth Rogen movie, and something else that I can’t remember.

Then the good stuff began. I should warn you that there are going to be a massive amount of photographs in the rest of this blog, but I hope you enjoy them. Also, if they magically are gone after a few days then you know that we got some email from Warner Bros. threatening us to take them down lol.

The opening credits were awesome. It gave us backstory on the prior super heroes in their world, The Minutemen. Here we saw the struggles in America before the 80’s along with what the Minutemen were doing. They let us get familiar with the characters without having to devote an entire half hour to them and without any dialogue.

After the credits were done, the first thing that was shown was The Comedian (played by Jefferey Dean Morgan). I couldn’t have imagined a better casting choice to portray him. From the beginning of the movie and throughout it he was consistent. What we saw was the attack on the Comedian in his home that resulted in his death. From his death a downward spiral began and the rest of the movie plays off of it. I will say that I was surprised, in a good way, over the fight scene. Chris didn’t like how they were able to punch through walls etc. since Dr. Manhattan is supposed to be the only person in their universe with any powers but I didn’t mind it. For me it added to the moment and showed just how determined the attacker was to be rid of Comedian. The special effects were great during the fight scene as well.

During that fight, one of my favorite scenes/images happened:

The way they showed the glass was amazing. It looked so realistic and you believed that this man had been tossed out of his apartment window. When he was falling in the air and down to the pavement many stories below, you never got the impression that it was green screened. I loved the effects that were used throughout the entire movie. They were never over done and that’s what made them so great. They were there to add reality and depth to the story but they never overshadowed anything.

Another thing I really loved is how they gave us more back story on all of the main characters. During the funeral for the Comedian we were given flashbacks from those who attended. It was great because it was real. At a funeral those who are there typically think of the memories they had with the deceased. I’m really glad they did it that way and it was true to the comic book.

Nite Owl remembered a time where they went to break up a riot. Instead of it being peaceful, Comedian started shooting and beating up on people.

They also showed flashbacks from Dr. Manhattans memories and another that I can’t remember right now. Around this time was when they introduced Rorschach, a fan favorite and I can easily see why. With Rorschach they did another amazing casting job. In fact, they did a great casting job for the entire film but I will admit that I was very nervous about Matthew Goode being Ozymandias. He pulled it off and I was thrilled about that.

Rorschach first entered the movie roaming the streets. He comes across the Comedians button on the pavement and uses a grappling hook to get him inside the apartment. I liked Rorchach because he wasn’t a fool. He saw the world for what it was and knew about the corruption. He definitely wasn’t a guy that could easily be duped. He had his principles and stuck to them, no matter what.

As soon as he set one foot inside the apartment he knew something went wrong. He knew somebody wanted the Comedian gone, but he didn’t know who. At first he thought it was somebody offing people with “masks” (super heroes) so he immediately went to Dr. Manhattan. If I was in his position I probably would have went to Dr. Manhattan as well.

One thing I will say that I really enjoyed about Rorschach was his mask. I loved how the “ink” on it constantly kept moving and creating new images. That was really well done.

When Rorschach got to Dr. Manhattans dwelling he found him tinkering away on a device that was meant for Ozymandias. The two of them were partnering up on a project that was supposed to help with the worlds energy crisis…. or at least that’s what Dr. Manhattan was lead to believe.

During the conversation between Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan we are finally introduced to Lori, A.K.A. Silk Spectre II who was played by Malin Akerman. Lori is the daughter of the original Silk Spectre, played by Carla Gugino, and a man whose identity wasn’t revealed until the later part of the movie.

Dr. Manhattan and Lori started off being in a relationship but as the movie progressed their relationship crumbled and it was nobodies fault. Ever since the incident, Jon (Dr. Manhattan) lacked that connection humans have with each other. Some could see it as a flaw but his eyes were opened to things that we couldn’t possibly imagine. Due to his “side effect” Dr. Manhattans relationship with Lori was affected but she continuously found comfort in the arms of Nite Owl.

Rorschach and his claims that the “masks” were threatened were dismissed by Dr. Manhattan so Rorschach was determined to figure it out on his own. Throughout different parts in the movie you get a monologue of his journal entries which were really well done. The moments in the movie where his entries can be heard fit with what is on the screen. You never get a sense of being lost or confused. Even if you never read the graphic novel you can easily follow along…. unless you lack a brain but then that is a completely different issue altogether.

The way they characters developed was nicely as well. For me, it never dragged nor did they progress too quickly. I never got the feeling like things were being rushed like in other movies. For example, a lot of die hard Star Wars fans whined and complained (rightfully so) about how quickly Anakin fell to the dark side and became Darth Vader. I’m not heavily into Star Wars and it even bothered me. With Watchmen you had none of that. Everything flowed nicely and went the same way it did in the comics which was refreshing.

The attention to detail throughout the movie was impeccable. Actual scenes from the comic were created, they used music from that era, and you truly were sucked in to that moment in time. Some people complained that the music used in the Watchmen trailers were never in the movie and as much as I would have liked to have heard “Take A Bow” by Muse (which has been stuck in my head ever since the movie came out BTW) or “The End is The Beginning is The End” by Smashing Pumpkins, it wouldn’t have fit. I’m glad that they kept with the tunes of the times even though some of them sort of sucked, like the song used when Lori and Nite Owl bump uglies.

Since Watchmen came out many people have thrown a bitch fit over Dr. Manhattan showing his big blue dong and I don’t understand why. For starters, it’s not a real penis. Also, Dr. Manhattan doesn’t have the same thought process as we do. He wouldn’t have felt shame or embarrassment. If anything, he would have felt comfortable and confident being completely starkers. I know that I could walk around the apartment all day long sans clothing but I don’t due to the fact that I leave our blinds open and I don’t think I need to be showing my “cash and prizes” to the neighbors.

I was surprised that more people didn’t get outraged over the Comedian shooting and killing the woman who was pregnant with his child, or the part involving the 6 year old girl. I will admit there were a couple of times I had to look away but it didn’t anger me nor do I judge the makers of the film for it.

I have a daughter and she is about to be 6 so the part of the movie with the little girl bothered me as a parent. I looked away when they showed her underwear in the black stove, when the two dogs were fighting over her poor leg, and when they showed the counter top covered in blood from them hacking her to bits. Do I think that it should have been taken out of the movie? No. Will it prevent me from watching Watchmen again? No. It was important to the story so I understand why it was included but I have the choice if I want to keep my eyes open during that part or not just like anybody else.

I was glad when Rorschach kicked the murderers ass. He deserved it and it would have been a very painful death - a meat cleaver to the head about a billion times.

Another thing I was surprised about was how people complained that the sex scene between Nite Owl and Lori was “gratuitous.” Get the hell out of here. You saw her bare breasts for about 20-30 seconds, you saw his man ass two different times in the movie for like 20 seconds total, and I’ve seen worse in other movies where not one word is said.

People have sex. In order to have sex, naughty bits need to be exposed. Did I see Nite Owls jingly janglies on the big screen? Nooo. Was there Silk Spectre vagina flashed about? Nope. So you saw his bare ass giving a few thrusts… big deal!!

The movie was rated “R” for a reason and it states why it is rated that way. If people neglect to notice that detail then it is their fault and not that of Zack Snyder and Co.

Some other violent highlights in the movie happened when Rorschach is in jail. Towards the middle of the movie Rorschach gets information that will help lead him to Comedians killer but he needs to ask some questions. He visits Moloch for a second time (first was asking why he attended Comedians funeral) and while he is spewing out questions, he notices that somebody has killed Moloch. At this time the police arrive and it dawns on Rorschach that he was set-up. Rorschach puts up a fight but is eventually captured.

While in jail he gets threats from the fellow inmates that they are going to finally get him since a vast majority of them were put in jail by Rorschach. During a meal time one of the inmates starts mouthing off to him and Rorschach grabs the fryer pan, with all of the hot oil, and pours it on the guy. So freaking amazing and yet painful to watch.

Another part was when they were trying to break into his cell. A guy stuck his arms in through the grates but Rorschach grabbed them, broke them, and bound them together with a cloth. In order to cut open the lock, the mans arms had to be cut off. Totally brutal but very realistic.

One of the CGI highlights was Dr. Manhattan. Every scene he was in was flawless. I never thought he was over done, I never thought he was fake, and he looked so real that he could have been sitting right next to me. Whoever was responsible for working on him is truly amazing. They did a fantastic job.

The very end of the movie has everybody at Karnak, Ozymandias’ hideout. Nite Owl and Rorschach arrive together (after Rorschach figures out that Ozymandias is the one behind it all), Lori and Dr. Manhattan arrive together after their brief stint on Mars (where Lori convinces Jon to come back to Earth and help them with Ozymandias, she also finds out that her father was the Comedian even though years before her conception he tried to rape her mother), and all of them start to let Ozymandias have it.

Unfortunately they arrive too late and he already set off an explosion in New York that killed thousands. Using the device from Dr. Manhattan, Ozymandias sets it up using the same energy frequencies so that it looks like Dr. M was the one who caused it. As a result, tensions between the United States and U.S.S.R cease and there is a peace between the two nations.

Ozymandias explains that in order to save millions sometimes you have to sacrifice thousands. Rorschach wasn’t having it and he was going to tell everybody exactly what happened. Dr. Manhattan realized that he couldn’t let Rorschach go through with that so he killed him and said goodbye to Lori.

The ending was different in the movie but it worked. It didn’t feel out of place and the way that everything had been set up by Ozymandias, you could easily see how Dr. Manhattan would take the blame. It worked out perfectly and I wasn’t disappointed. Come to think of it, the squid monster would have been awkward and there wouldn’t have been enough time to properly explain what it was, how it got there, it’s purpose… blah blah blah. The way it was done was just fine.

All in all, I really loved this movie. I can honestly say that this is the best comic movie ever, at least in my opinion. I know some people might ask me..”What about Iron Man? What about Dark Knight?” To answer that: The Dark Knight was great, don’t get me wrong, but if you took away Heath Ledgers performance you would have been left with an average movie. With Iron Man it was great but it was more of an action movie.

Watchmen made you think. It made you analyze the way that you life and the way our world is. It is an intelligent movie with depth and meaning. Sure there is violence, sure there is action, but that isn’t what this movie is about. It has a deeper purpose.

For the people with children reading this I wouldn’t suggest you take the little ones to it. There is a lot of realistic violence and like I said earlier, it is rated “R” for a reason. If the kids are adamant about attending, maybe go and see the movie yourself first and then make an educated decision whether the movie is appropriate for them and whether they are mature enough to handle the material that is presented in the film.

I highly recommend this movie for those who have read the graphic novel and for those who haven’t, so if you have yet to see the movie then stop reading this and go now!

- She Who Has The Last Word

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