Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Watchmen - The Minutemen

The Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbens

The family all went to see the movie Saturday night. Lars, Jake, Luke, Kara and I really enjoyed the show. MacKenzie, Luke’s girlfriend, came too.

I thought the cinematography was absolutely amazing. The angles of the camera made everything seem so rich and the colors were so vivid, that this film seemed full and deep.

This show was based on a graphic novel written in 1986.

One of my favorite lines was: “There is good and there is evil, and evil must be punished. Even in the face of Armageddon I shall not compromise on this.”

Also, I love the line, "Who Watches Over the Watchmen?" and I thought it was interesting that the superheroes were really The Minutemen not The Watchmen. But maybe the watch correlation came into the script with Dr. Manhattan's Dad being a Watchmaker...?

There were so many great lines, I’m going to have to watch it again—maybe when it comes out on DVD (because taking a family of six to see a show nowadays is crazy expensive—just one pop and one bucket of popcorn was over $12.00) to see them all again.

It was a beautifully written story and the movie stayed true to most of the graphic novel, which I find admirable.

The character I connected with the most is Rorschach—especially since he was the writer, with his journal. I also thought he was heroic because he tried to warn his “friends” that someone was trying to kill them. And, he was willing to sacrifice himself and die for what he believed in.

I thought it was a fun/entertaining movie. Of course there were a few things I didn’t like. There was a bit of gore (I had to turn away a couple times) and if you’re a parent thinking of taking your children to this superhero show, think again. You need to be aware of the sexual scenes plus Dr. Manhattan was always nude, which my 20-year old daughter said, “I don’t know why he never wore clothes.” That didn’t bother me because he seemed so comfortable “in his own skin” and he did have a perfect physique. Plus, he did wear a suit once or twice: like for the funeral and the newscast.

However, MacKenzie (who doesn’t come from our gene pool and has her own opinions that don’t seem to be so similar as ours) wasn’t that into the film. But she’s not that into action films or superhero shows. And, maybe she didn’t think it was so good because she didn’t understand why they (Dr. Manhattan and Lori) went to Mars and why they couldn’t just talk on Earth. Also she didn’t understand why no one tried to save Dr. Manhattan when he got stuck in the time-lock vault or what made him turn blue. Maybe it was the magical/mystical elements that took her out of the story so she couldn’t enjoy it like we all did. Somehow the superhuman aspects didn’t seem to bother any of us.

SPOILER ALERT: (Don't read further if you haven't seen the show)

Two things I didn’t like about the film:

1) The movie digressed from the actual novel in that Dr. Manhattan became the scapegoat rather than an alien Squid, which I would have been happier with; and,
2) I hated that Dr. Manhattan killed Rorschach, who was the moral superhero, even though some people might have thought he was totally crazy. He believed in doing the right thing no matter what and even if it caused a bad outcome. I’m a person who doesn’t believe in situational ethics so I really identified with that.

My son put a link on his web comic about The Watchmen from a spoofed comic: check it out here. Of course, remember it's only a spoof.


Jean said...

Hmmm. I'm not sure if I'd like this one or not, Kim. But, then, I'm not into fantasy, superheroes, or alien beings...

Thanks for the review.


Kimbra Kasch said...

I was so excited after seeing the movie. It was like a 10 year wait. And it definitely had beautiful filming - like framed artwork at times. But maybe you're more like MacKenzie ;)

David Batista said...

Sounds like you really enjoyed it, Kim. I know I certainly did.

MacKenzie seems to represent the exact opposite of whom this film was intended for, but it's interesting to hear her opinions, as too often I find myself unable to see movies like this divorced of my fanboy sensibilities. More of the negative reviews for this movie came from those who did not read the GN, or from those who are not really into this sort of fare to begin with.

Still, if she had such questions, I can't help but feel it is the film's fault for losing the nuances in the translation to the big screen. Because all of her questions are certainly answered adequately in the book.

Kimbra Kasch said...

Yeah David: Jake said, "Don't include her comments." But then he REALLY loves The Watchmen. And, I have a thing about loving differing points of view.

Jake said, "If she read the novel she'd understand it all." But, it's true this isn't her sort of thing and she only went 'cause Luke wanted to go and was home for the weekend.

I say, "Different strokes for different folks." And, "If we were all the same, life would be boring."

Rena Jones said...

Great review, Kim!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

havent seen it - ill add it to my lists of movies :)

Kimbra Kasch said...

One of the other things I loved was the flashbacks to the forties/fifties. Such a cool time for makeup, stiletto heels (which I would never wear) and hair styles.

Martha Flynn said...

I mourn the absence of squid, too!

Clementine said...

Hmmm. Sounds like a good one. Shannon and I like movies that are off the beaten path...when we can find a sitter.

Christina Farley said...

Oh I want to see this! I've heard about it and I hope it comes here to Korea.