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Monday, March 9, 2009

Watchmen - review

Who watches the Watchmen? Well, I do… or did, rather – twice actually! And, I went with friends both times. Amazing, right? I thought that Watchmen was a fantastic movie. Of course, I've read the graphic novel, and even if I hadn't, I'm a sci-fi/comic book fan. I'd like it either way. You almost wish there were some way to warn people before they go in. "This is NOT an X-men movie!" I mean, I'm pretty sure this is unlike anything you will see before or after.  Before I get into spoilerific territory, let's talk about who these people are because some of them, I don't even recognize.

The most recognizable face for me was Jeffrey Dean Morgan playing the part of 'The Comedian.' I know him as 'John Winchester' from Supernatural, and some of you may recognize him from Grey's Anatomy. My favorite character in the book and the movie was 'Rorschach' played by Jackie Earle Haley. He's just recently making a comeback. Patrick Wilson played the part of 'Nite Owl II' and was recently in Lakeview Terrace. Malin Akerman played the part of 'Silk Spectre II' but this isn't the first time you've seen her your jaw hit the floor. She also played the hot wife of 'Freakshow' in Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, and she was the woman that Ben Stiller's character finally ended up marrying in The Heartbreak Kid. (Here's a link to The Heartbreak Kid trailer to refresh your memory.)

Billy Crudup played 'Dr. Manhattan.' In addition to previously being in Mission: Impossible III, I hear that he also does the voiceover for the MasterCard commercials. IMAX tickets to Watchmen, $13. Soda and candy, $9. Getting to see more blue penis than you ever wanted to? Priceless!

Last but not least of the main Watchmen group, Matthew Goode, playing 'Ozymandias,' has not been in a single movie that I've seen previously. The following are honorable mentions:

  • Laura Mennell played 'Janey Slater' – She's going to be on this Thursday's episode of Smallville.
  • Chris Gauthier was the guy at the New Frontiersman in the green t-shirt with the big smiley face. He's been on both Smallville and Supernatural, as previously noted.

And now, for the spoilers after the image.

[click to enlarge]

I thought that the way the movie was put together was great. I definitely understand that there is no way they could keep everything from the book and maintain the attention of the average movie-goer. I enjoyed the montage during the opening credits that showed the history of the Minutemen, and how Rorschach's journal entries provided the necessary exposition for those that may not have understood everything they saw.

I can definitely see how someone that hadn't read the graphic novel might have been lost sometimes. The most obvious place, to me, was regarding Bubastis. I mean, the creature shows up towards the end of the movie when Ozy is just showing us his crazy side. He mentions her name once, while his back is to the audience, and then he apologizes for killing "her." It's very possible that if I hadn't read the graphic novel, I might not even had paid attention to the damn cat. But since I did, I knew why she was there. Or at least, the original intention if the genetic experimentation that led to the squid ending had been kept.

Purists will probably try to hunt me down to stab me for the statement I'm about to make, but I really think the choice for changing the ending was a good one. I thought it worked well. Additionally, since the movie was so damn faithful to the book, at least there was something surprising for me.

I'm really looking forward to watching this on DVD so that I will have the opportunity to pause.  On my second viewing, I think I noticed the "Hiroshima couple" on the wall in the alley where Laurie and Dan are kicking ass, but it was very very brief. I also noticed, the second time around, the Black Freighter poster at the newsstand.

I could probably go on and on about how much I liked the portrayal of Rorschach, and how I liked the flashbacks of the Comedian during his funeral, etc. etc. I just loved how the movie stayed true to the book amidst the changes. I can't wait till March 24th to pick up the Black Freighter DVD. Rest assured, I'll have a preview for it in a future post.