Who watched the Watchmen?

It’s out. Now you can discuss it.

I haven’t seen it yet, but I found something you guys might be interested in seeing: “What if they made a WATCHMEN cartoon?” It’s a Flash animation parodying how superhero movies usually spawn a cartoon tie-in… that almost always is dumbed down for the audience (Iron man is the current victim, his oncoming animated series features him AS A TEENAGER!) Anyway, here’s the link:

You really need to know the Watchmen’s story to get all the (highly ironical) whitewashing.

Haha, that’s pretty awesome, Wil. Had to laugh at how silly a Watchmen cartoon looks like.

I haven’t seen it yet, and the only person I’ve talked to said he liked it (of course, he hasn’t read it). Reviews tend to be hit-or-miss. Regardless, I might go see it sometime.

I’ve read the comic and have seen the movie twice (a free screening Tuesday and took some friends today). I must say that it follows the comic panel for panel most of the way through, mostly just altering details in order to not spend an extra hour setting up the original ending, which is similar in idea but not execution to the movie ending. The violence is a little over the top (especially since most of it is from characters that are supposed to be washed up has-beens) and the sex scenes are more comedy than anything, but overall it’s a pretty good movie. There’s a lot of little things hinted at, most notably in the information flood that is the opening credits, that you can’t really know about without having read the comic but there’s nothing major you can’t get just from the movie. They couldn’t have cast Rorschach and the Comedian any better, both roles are played absolutely marvelously. Adrian/Ozymandias should have been more muscular, but they pulled off his condescending intellect fairly well.

Alan Moore, the author of the comic, hates it. But then again, he hates everything these days. Especially adaptations of his comics.

I really enjoyed the film. I’ve read the graphic novel and this is one of the few times that a movie actually does a good book justice.
I recommend reading the novel first because there are several plot points that are easily missed - such as the whole history of most of the original Watchmen - because they are presented in montage or alluded to. The ending is just a tad different but if they’d stuck to the original there would have needed to be about another 20 or so minutes of plot in an already long movie.
The soundtrack is amazing. I was in a premier showing and there were several cheers at certain songs that by themselves were amazing and were near perfect for the scenes.
The actors looked amazing, especially Rorschach, both in their performance and how well the looked like the comic renditions. I agree that Adrian’s actor could have been a bit beefier, but all in all it worked very well.
Rated R for a reason and totally worth it.

I saw it last night and found it as underwhelming as the comic book. Like deathstryke mentioned a lot of scenes are exact duplicates of panels from the comic book. This adds to it the similar execution which is what really bored me. The movie struck me as lacking some crescendo which made it a dull experience.

I totally agree. Rorschach looked just like he did in the comic book (both with and without the mask) and acted very much how I imagined him. One point that comes early in the book is where Rorschach and the Nite Owl are parting ways in the Owl Den (or whatever) and Rorschach responds to something with “You Quit.”; the comic book struck me as Rorschach having a sort of hoarse but slithery sort of voice, and when the scene arose in the movie the actor yells the line down the tunnel, as you would have to I suppose, which adds some intrinsic emotion. It just wasn’t how I imagined the line being delievered in reality, but I found it no less fitting for the character. The actor playing the Comedian was perhaps the most dead on transistion from the book to the screen. Every line he delivered dripped of the cynicism that the Comedian exerts at all times in the pages; the scene where he sets the map on fire is a fine example for its execution and delivery. Veidt was my least favorite character from the novel because his screen time as villian is limited due to the nature of the story. When he finally emerges as the bad guy I am left unconvinced - both by his sincerity as the hero he believes himself to be and as the villian he would have to be to do what he does. I never really picked up much of his condescending nature from the comic book but it comes through in the movie, as does his physical prowess which seemed much more pronounced than it did in the comic book. I think the actor did a good job despite the role, I guess is what I’m saying.

And Dr. Manhattan is just a fucking terrible character. He serves, like, no purpose in the comic book and the actor playing him in the movie sucked. If they hadn’t done what they did to the ending then I hope they would have found a way to scrap him. His story is just too long for a character that spends his time on Mars.

Anyway, this is supposed to be about the movie. So, if you like the novel you should like the movie.

Too much blue penis.

I was very happy to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing someone other than Dead Denny from Grey’s Anatomy - he and Jackie Earl Haley were spot-on as the Comedian and Rorschach respectively. I also loved Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl… or moreso as Dan Dreiberg. I was drawn to his humanity and his weakness.

I was entertained by the novel, so by extension I found the movie entertaining. I feel like I missed the boat on what makes it so special since I read it about 20 years too late. The part at the end where Rorschach demands that Dr. Manhattan kill him had much more feeling for me in movie form.

Didn’t get to see it yet, but it sounds fairly interesting, I’ve always liked ‘alternative history’ scenarios.

Supposedly one of the heros tries to rape someone. Now that’s something you don’t usually see in a superhero movie.

It also sounds like one big conspiracy movie.

I didn’t like the movie at all. I found it boring as fuck. I agree with a lot of what Sorc’s said. A lot of the movie reminded me of the Heroes TV series and when I watched Heroes, I wanted to kill every single fucking character. They were hollow, shallow, unlikeable husks of people. There was so much they needed to deliver in the Watchmen that it made me think it might suffer from the same problem as the Deathnote movie: too much to cram in too little time. I haven’t read the book though so I may be wrong. What happened in Death Note is that the movie lacked the nuance and pacing and build up that made the source material so good.

The friends I spoke with replied that Watchmen was good because it was responsible for shifting the way comic books were done. While I don’t deny this achievement, it doesn’t mean the source material was any good. I think that since then, people have perfected the ideas they have presented in the movie, like with Batman in the Dark Knight. I hated most characters except Rorschach and the Comedian when I got a better understanding of what he was supposed to represent. Dr. Manhattan was not an interesting character and his little change of mind towards the end with his talk with Jupiter is NOT credible. This is a prime example of bad delivery because I had seen the father thing coming hours before they actually said it and I do NOT believe, esp the way its presented, that it can have such a mind altering effect on the way he perceives everything. I’m also amazed that that’s when Dr. Manhattan figured it out too because it wasn’t hard to do the fucking math. Nite Owl was left undeveloped. Nite Owl made no sense whatsoever. The only thing with him is that he finds out he has a pair of testicles when she takes off his pants to show him. Which is weird considering how he’s supposed to be a superhero. While I’ll concede that it makes for some interesting potential character development, this again and the way it was “resolved” is not credible.

The whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth.

Supposedly most of these are addressed in the director’s cut, though I really don’t agree with how they cut rather important events in order to make the fight scenes take far longer than they ever should have (most of the ones involving anyone other than Rorschach or the Comedian are less than 1/4 of a page in the comic, as opposed to the 5 minutes or more they each ate out of the movie). Nite Owl and Silk Spectre are supposed to be washed up has-beens: Dan hasn’t done anything besides mope around his basement pretending he’s better off for the past 8 years and Laurie’s pretty much had no life beyond boning Dr Manhattan. They really shouldn’t have been the focus of long battles with dozens of opponents.

I really must say that it feels like they spat out the comic word for word yet missed the whole point. There are no superheroes, save for one apathetic god-like being. Everyone else is just someone who decided one day to start emulating Batman and the like, or their parents’ generation in the case of most of the ones still active. Maybe it would have been better as a miniseries, at least then they wouldn’t have had to cut out every other scene setting up anyone besides Rorschach and the Comedian. There’s just way too much material relegated to brief hints in the background that only diehard fans of the comic would catch.

I read the graphic novel in January (one of my classes is a study on popular culture, and I actually had to; best class ever) so I guess I became a fan in a very short amount of time.

I will say that I think the movie would be very hard to enjoy if you don’t know the source material. I did enjoy the movie, but they really didn’t try to explain things as well as the comic did, and we were left with nothing more than little nods and winks to things that happened in the comic. Like the guys on the street corner, we see them all of twice maybe in the movie. That’s one of the biggest problems with the ending all the characters that die are kind of nobodies, except for maybe the psychiatrist. In the comic a lot of time is spent on little asides regarding the newspaper seller, a lesbian couple, the comic-reading guy, and especially the psychiatrist. All these people die in the explosion, and in the comic it leaves a bigger impact. But in the movie, it’s just ‘ok, they died? So what.’

Rorschach and The Comedian were brilliant. Though I kind of thought The Comedian’s significant scene with the original Silk Specter was odd in the comic it’s a little ambiguous. She mentions loudly that she’s going to change, and The Comedian uses that as an excuse to barge in on her. Not to mention Hooded Justice says ‘for gods sake, put some cloths on’ as if blaming her as well after he saves her. I’m not justifying The Comedian’s actions, but it’s as if the director of the movie wanted to sanitize that scene as much as possible to show The Comedian as being a complete bastard and Silk Specter as being completely innocent. I dunno, maybe I’m walking on thin ice here, I don’t wanna start a flame war, but it was a change I found interesting.

I really disliked Laurie, though. Both Silk Specters, really, were underwhelming. Veidt was tolerable, but he could’ve used a but more punch. Bubastis looked really neat, but due to the way they changed the ending her existence made no sense. After all, she was brought about as a result of the same genetic research that developed the squid. But in the movie, it’s just… ok, Veidt has a mutant cat for some reason?

I suppose the biggest flaw of the movie is that the source material was constructed to work as a comic. There are things that simply didn’t translate into the big screen, very subtle things. Color usage, panel layouts, pacing, all the things people like to debate and analyze about the original comic just didn’t exist in the movie.

If you saw the movie and never read the book, I’d pick it up and read it. Even if you think you won’t like it because of how the movie was, it would still be worthwhile to take a look. There’s just more substance in the book than in the movie.

I think the movie was as good a rendition of the Watchmen as we could ever have expected, but it still probably would’ve been better if it were left alone.

Spoony has an important point: Watchmen was not originally a ‘graphic novel’- it was 12 part comic book series, that was THEN collected in book form (the original comics even featured a “doomsday clock” on the covers, that each issue moved closer to midnight.) But it sounds more artsy to just mention the book, no? (That it actually reads well as a novel is a credit to the authors (Moore and Gibbons) however.)

Personally, I have a problem with the story that I find hard to overcome: originally, it was supposed to star several existing characters that DC bought from another company (Charlton Comics) but were changed at the last minute by DC’s request- and I KNEW those characters. Many people think of Rorschach, Dr. Manhattan etc. as being original creations but I not only know otherwise but can easily tell how little they were changed from their sources (except by making them “darker” of course). That’s why I couldn’t stand Watchmen when it first came out, because I felt it was a bastardization of heroes I knew. Years later I did read the “book” and found it better written than I expected, but I still don’t like it. It is a (small) vindication that the original Charlton heroes have retained a measure of prominence in DC (several even having their own series) in the following years while The Watchmen didn’t. (Though that was actually because of ownership issues with Moore, I’m sure they would have exploited them to the hilt if they could have.)

I’d also argue that Watchmen fails as a deconstruction of heroes because the characters are NOT heroic. I’m not saying it doesn’t work on its own way - it does- but when you remove such a major element from its genre, you are no longer dealing with it. For example, a horror movie where nobody dies (or is otherwise damned) just isn’t really horror, no matter how many monsters it has. At that point it ceases to be a horror movie and becomes something else, a satire most likely. Same deal with Watchmen. It doesn’t really explore the reasons for being a hero; it just shows us a bunch of failed “heroes” as if that was proof enough that superhero morality in general is wrong. I’ve seen far better stories dealing with the issue elsewhere. Then again, Watchmen also suffers from the “Wolverine Effect” where popularity has caused people to read more into it than it was originally intended. (Moore himself has said that he was sorry later about the effect that Watchmen had on superhero comics in general, and even went on to write pastiches of Silver Age comics in their original style complete with idealism, for other companies.)

Funny trivia: In The Question’s own comic series, they had the character read the “Watchmen” comic and deciding to try being more like Rorschach. He ends up having the crap beaten out of him, and swears never to do it again.

I saw it and thought it was excellent. I made sure I didn’t read the book first so as to optimize the movie experience, and I’d say it worked. I enjoyed the characters as well as the universe they were placed in. A lot of the complaints you guys are having about it (mainly they aren’t really heroes, just people wearing suits pretending) are some of the main reasons why I liked it so much. These were real people, aside from Mr. Blue, who did what their parents did who in turn were just trying to be different.

I am sick of heroes being glamorous and likable. The characters in Watchmen acted like real people, so of course they aren’t going to be very likable. The exception being the characters who stayed true to their roots, mainly being Rorschach. He remained a hero throughout the entire story (even to the costume) and thus will probably have the best reception as a fan favourite. Which to me is the entire point of the story. I really need to read the comics now, so I can bitch about what they cut out the next time I see the movie.

I think I’m going to end this with the appeal of this movie to me is similar to ridiculous cyborg wizards placed in real life situations. Think about it.

For me it wasn’t so much they were real people its that I just didn’t like them as people. Except Rorschach.


As far as the film on a stand alone Rorschach is definately my favorite. He was developed the most as a character and just looked awesome.

For the book, the Comedian was my favorite for the same reason, as well as during Dr. Manhattan’s flashback to Vietnam he observes that the Comdedian is one of the few people that truly understood the world, and just didn’t care.

If you liked the film without reading the book - awesome, reading the book will have you liking both even more. If you didn’t like the film and haven’t read the book, it’s probably because several parts were edited, shortened, erased, etc. in the interest of keeping the movie at a semi-decent running time - read the book, you’ll feel better. If you don’t feel better, read it again, you probably missed something.

I enjoyed it, but I only think that I enjoyed it because I read the novel. If I didn’t, I’d probably be confused. It’s a damned shame you didn’t get to hear about the old capes much, but I suppose that’s to be expected (couldn’t fit it in).

EDIT: I couldn’t resist- take a look at this review for the Watchmen game. It sounds like it stinks, but the review isdone from Rorschach’s POV, so it’s worth a read.


DOUBLE EDIT: Here’s a link that shows some of the major differences between the film and the movie, for those that have read/seen one and are wondering if it’s worth taking a look at the other:

I disagree that everyone will love Watchmen. I read the book first a month or two ago, and while I liked some of the things it did, there were a lot of flaws there.

I read the comic years ago and was blown away by how the heroes were portrayed. They weren’t people with perfect morals and put on a pedastel by an adoring public, they were flawed and cared more about themselves more often than the public. That is to say, more human.

My love for the graphic novel set me up for the movie, which I found to be not up to my expectations in some parts. Ozymandias was made more arrogant and less callous when in the graphic novel he was suprised when his endgame came to be what he projected. I always justified it by thinking that as the worlds smartest man he would have considered the possibility that he could have been thwarted. The entire genetic modification plotline was cut so we don’t see him in a greenhouse with a bunch of resurrected plants and supposedly cloned slaves which he destroys on a whim.

I don’t know why the mutant cat was put in when genetic engineering was only mentioned in passing. I do like that they used Dr.Manhatten’s power as the catalyst to world peace. Makes much more sense than a genetic monstrosity.

Opposite to some of you the voice of Rorschach in my mind was spoken in monotone. As if he had no emotions at all whereas Dr.Manhattan had a deep voice.