Sunday, March 08, 2009

WatchMen (2009)


I really didn't want to start my 300th post here with another review, but after seeing the movie "Watchmen" today I had to. Seems that there is interest, so let the debate begin. First of all is this one that I recommend. I'd have to say that with an "enthusiastic" YES!

Watchmen is yesterdays "Blade Runner". What do I mean by that? Well I remember seeing Ridley Scott's masterpiece way back when it came out in 1982. Even back then I knew I was seeing something special. I think even when the studio saw it they didn't understand it, and they screwed up the directors vision. Luckily with DVD we can now see Scott's film the way he wanted it. They even re-released the film in some theaters, which was great to see.

Watchmen on the other hand doesn't suffer from what "Blade Runner" did. Here the creators and the studios involved got it. Watchmen was something different. It was revolutionary when it came out in comic book form, which eventually became the graphic novel. I am and have not been a connoisseur of the graphic novel, but I am a lover of comic books. By the time the graphic novel became big I was away from comic books for some time. I still love the medium, and have great respects fir its creators. In fact my interest with "Wachmen" has peeked my interest into the graphic novel. I bought one today in fact. But let's get back to the film.

Is the Watchmen a good film. Yes I have to say. Zack Snyder does a good job here translating the novel into a cinematic journey of epic proportions. I am also very interested in the creators of the graphic novel, and have had interests in their story as well. Both Alan More and Dave Gibbons seem to be interesting storytellers, and I'm fascinated by Moore not wanting his name on the film. But that said I can't say that the film is less of a film without him. In fact I think the filmmakers and the studios stayed pretty close to the graphic novel almost to a fault.

The film seems to be episodic in nature, and maybe this is true because it was a comic book at one time, but on its own "Watchmen" works as a film. Some images are startling and breathtaking to look at, and the story is deeply layered here. It takes the superhero in areas that haven't been explored as much, and one of them is why do they do what they do? The performances were good. Some have complained that the performances weren't as good, but it didn't distract me from the story here.

I think what the studios and the filmmakers have done is create a film that will be watched often in the decades to follow. People will study the detail of this film. The art direction is fantastic. Even it's length did not bother me. Being a first time viewer of the "Watchmen" I knew nothing of them, and after the film ended I wanted to know more about their back story. Zack Snyder dose a great job here. The beginning sequence sets everything up, and it delivers.

Some have complained that it may be too unfamiliar to people, and that people will tune out, but I disagree. It drew me in, and I liked the back story. Even having it set back in 1985 was a very interesting thing for the original creators to do. If your looking for a standard superhero movie this isn't it. This one has some very dark elements, and it works. It's not a movie for the kiddies, but it works for us adults, and I really do think it is a film that can be put into a category of "great storytelling" movies. This movie breaks the mold of the superhero saga, and it deliciously fun to watch.

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