'Watchmen": Your thoughts

March 6, 2009
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Some of you got to the midnight screening of "The Watchmen" Thursday evening/Friday morning. Others may be catching it today. What did you think?
  • Thanks for the passes. The movie was fantastic. That didn't keep me from drifting into sleep a bit around 2:30 or so ...

    I've read the graphic novel and was suitably impressed by the writing and the innovations, but only mildly enjoyed it. The movie did a fantastic job of living up to the graphic novel. The effects were superb and the translation from the page to the screen was excellent.

    I'm kinda surprised this was listed as only R. I think NC-17 would be more appropriate, but for pretty graphic sex scenes and pretty gory violence.
  • My advice to moviegoers who have not read the Watchmen comics and have little if any prior knowledge of the Watchmen is to go with an open mind. Watchmen is without a doubt not the typical superhero movie. Therefore, do not expect to find uber-rich super beings with a penchant for placing the needs of the greater good before their own and a tidy happy ending in which the bad guys get what’s coming to them and the superhero is celebrated the world over for doing such great deeds. To say that the Watchmen are composed of a group of flawed, complicated people with messy backgrounds is truly an understatement but a good idea of what to expect while watching the movie. This was both a refreshing departure from the norm as well as difficult to digest at times due to the ever present violence. I’m sure I would have had a greater appreciation of the movie Watchmen after reading the Watchmen comics on which it was based but I was still able to follow the various story lines and shifting timelines.

    One standout performance was Jackie Earle Haley’s Rorschach who was by far Watchmen’s most interesting character. After being sent to a prison largely full of inmates that he sent there, Rorschach delivered what will surely become one of the most memorable quotes from a movie: You don't understand: I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with me!
  • Knowing that books are usually better than movies, it was with a bit of trepidation that I entered the theatre - not because I feared Watchmen measuring up to the accolades of the book, but because I hadn't read it. I was worried that I would miss out on plot or total character development which has happened all to often in other epic film interpretations.

    Happily, all those anxieties disappeared as Watchmen unfolded. From the start I was enthralled by the camera angles and movements. As action increased, tension was built with fast sweeps and high altitude views. The music could go from unnoticeable to in-your-face. Appropriately.

    The story from an alternate, yet historically similar, universe where super heroes have been around for a few generations is handled superbly by director Zack Snyder. The cast of unknowns (at least to me) actually helps draw you into their world without the distraction of a well-known face. My favorite line is by Rorschach (Walter Kovacs), who has been framed and is in prison, after dumping frying oil over a bad guy's head tells the other inmates, I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with me.

    As much as I liked The Dark Knight, Watchmen is an even better example of modern film noir. The angst of the characters is blended well within the action and flashbacks. The sex scenes were pretty erotic by American standards. Just a tad bit more explicit and a higher rating would have resulted as I'm sure this boundary was pushed. But I'm a guy and thouroughly enjoyed Laurie Jupiter / Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman) as she bounced between Dan Dreiberg / Nite Owl II (Patrick Wilson) and Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup).

    The plot is not totally original, but it doesn't really matter. The joke turns out to be on all of us in our twin dimension. The price for world peace comes with mass destruction and deception. And the ride from start to finish is great fun. I highly recommend seeing Watchmen on the big screen.
  • It took me few days to digest this. Okay, I was a bit sleep deprived Wednesday night. Now having had some night of sleep, I am haunted by the imagery of this fine film.

    If you are of certain age over 40, have historical understanding of the Cold War and Richard Nixon, this parallel universe of The Watchmen strikes a chilling chord of what might have been.

    It views humanity with doubt and pessimism and acknowledge the worst in all of us. This is the striking difference from most other superhero movies where it assumes humanity to be good and decent in the end.

    The longer I dwell on this movie, the more poignant it plays in my minds eye.
  • I thought this movie was AWESOME!! I loved how each character had their own 'background' in the story. My favorite character, I would have to say, is Rorschach because even though his actions were questionable he had the best intentions...I'll tell you - I was siding with him in the end. It was hard to tell the good from the bad - Zach Snyder doesn't think simple...he thinks epic everytime.
  • I thought the movie was great. Althought it was entirely too long for a midnight showing, I think I will enjoy it even more the next time around. A little confused with the storyline, but I didn't know anything about Watchmen going into the screening. Thanks, Lou!
  • I wrote some rather lengthy comments on this film over on my blog, which I will not reprint here because they will cause you to have to scroll for approximately sixteen feet. if you have nothing better to do and want to read me expounding on the use of '80s pop and Philip Glass in the score and quoting Yeats, you can read it by clicking the hotlink on my name, I think. My comments in brief:

    Zack Snyder's Watchmen is wildly ambitious, wildly inconsistent, wildly entertaining, and sometimes just plain wild. I'll recommend it to those with a stomach for (shockingly) graphic violence and an appetite for an unconventional, thoughtful, and visually stunning comic book adaptation. I think it stops well short of being the finest comic-to-screen translation; your mileage may vary.
  • I'm late in getting my thoughts up here, but I've been meaning too since I was lucky enough to get into the midnight show for free(thanks to IBJ!). I really loved the film. Much like Dark Knight it surpasses being just a comic book movie and becomes..well...just a good movie. I also appreciate it in the fact it stays true to the original novel, while adding (for me at least) some great changes and a few updates to make it relevant to today.
    I think one of the greatest marks of a good film is one that continues to make you think about it well after its over. I'm still thinking of the watchmen.

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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.