Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Superhuman Crew

Well. Okay. So.

To begin at what will have to pass for a beginning, I first read Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' ground-breaking comic book Watchmen somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty years ago. Since then, I have not once re-read it from beginning to end, though I have flipped through it countless times, and read sections -- in fact, just in the last couple of nights, I re-read the first three issues. Parts of the comic -- the big stuff -- have never left me in those twenty years, but I wanted to refresh my memory regarding some of the details, the texture and the smaller moments, before seeing Zack Snyder's new film adaptation, which I have now done. And I am perplexed.

The first thing I should mention is that the comic book is adaptable. It is not some sacred text that, apparently unlike the works of Dostoyevsky or Kafka or Dickens or James Joyce, all of whom have had their fiction adapted to film without complaint, is somehow so much more of its particular medium that to try and transplant the themes and narrative and visuals to another artform would cause the whole fragile construct to break down into incoherence and meaninglessness. Some people, like Alan Moore and a certain contingent of the original comic's fans, have claimed that something very like that would happen to a film adaptation of Watchmen (though I admit they don't say it in so many words), but to them I would just say "Oh please. Shut the hell up. What are we talking about here? No one's trying to take the collected poems of Dylan Thomas and adapt them as a piece of carpentry. So like I said before, shut up."

Which brings me to the Watchmen film adaptation that we actually do now have, after twenty-some years of one false start after another. And who finally took the reins of this particular horse and rode him to the finish line? Zack Snyder, the man behind another comic book adaptation -- the dopey-but-fun 300 -- and the surprisingly effective remake of Dawn of the Dead. Snyder was no one's first choice -- hell, he probably wasn't even Snyder's first choice -- but you have to hand it to him: he's the guy who got it done. And what he got done is what I would have to call a bit of a big fat mess, which happens to be extremely faithful to the source material while still making me think, as I watched it, things like "Huh? What? Why did that just happen like that? Who cast this movie? What, was Heather Graham not available?"

There are two sections of this film that I think work pretty damn well, almost without reservation, and one of those sections is the opening credits, which sets up the back-story with as much grace, efficiency, style and wit as you could reasonably ask for. The main action of the film takes place in an alternate America, in an alternate 1985, but the history of the characters, and of this paranoid alternate world, stretches back to at least the 1940s, and Snyder lays that all out in a wonderful series of not-quite-still photos depicting costumed heroes facing triumph and tragedy against a historical backdrop familiar to, but of course completely different from, the one we know to have actually occurred. These moments are, as I say, not quite still, and each tableau looks like it was set up for a particularly strange and successful wax museum, albeit one in which the statues have learned to move really slowly. Playing over all this is Bob Dylan's The Times They are A-Changin', a choice I've heard some people complain about due to the song supposedly being too obvious. And maybe it is, but I actually thought it worked quite well, at least in part because it's been a really long time since I listened to it (this is the first of three Dylan tunes used in the film, by the way, though it's the only one actually performed by Dylan. The second one is the really over-familiar, but still great, Hendrix cover of All Along the Watchtower, a choice which also works, due to the kind of nutty imagery it accompanies, and the utterly bonkers majority of the film that has preceded it; and the third one is a cover by My Chemical Romance of Desolation Row, to which I say -- and maybe this is just me being a purist -- "No. No no no no no. Goddamn it, no! NO NO NO! You jack-asses! NO!!")

After that very promising bit of stage-setting, what do we get? Well, we get, as retired costumed hero Laurie Jupiter, aka Silk Spectre II, Malin Akerman. And I don't mean to single her out, because we also get Patrick Wilson. And it's not even just them, because we also get Carla Gugino. And while my reaction to Akerman's line deliveries was something along the lines of squinting up my face and muttering "....the fuck??", I'm actually not convinced that the fault lies only, or even primarily, with her. For one thing, I've only seen Akerman in one other film in which she was asked to do anything particular, and that was the recent remake of The Heartbreak Kid. And she was fine. I'm not going to try and oversell my point, but she was fine, and yet here she's an absolute, no-fooling, almost literal catastrophe. And I mean, in every scene she's that bad. Even the small, nothing stuff completely tanks. What happened? How could Snyder or the studio allow this actress, who is not any kind of box office draw, to so badly hamstring this hugely expensive and breathlessly-awaited film? I submit that Akerman gives the performance she gives because Snyder directed her to do so. Because Gugino (as Akerman's mother, and the first, World War II-era Silk Spectre), a very fine actress, isn't any damn good either. Wilson (as Dan Dreiberg, who once fought crime alongside Laurie as the Nite Owl) fares better than either of these women, and I can't quite explain that, but he does have his shocking moments. Akerman has a lunch scene with Wilson, and an antagonistic visit with Gugino, in the first half of the film that seemed alternately like badly staged amateur theater and amped-up soap opera. Why would Snyder do this? When he reads the comic book, is that how the words sound in his head? If not, why tweak them like that for his film?

Faring better -- much better -- is Jackie Earle Haley as Rorshach, a mentally unbalanced, Travis Bickle-esque costumed detective who is the only crimefighter who has ignored the government sanction against his kind, which was passed about seven years prior to the film's main action. Rorshach, when we first see him, is investigating the murder of yet another ex-crimefighter known as The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who we quickly learn was a black-hearted, misanthropic sociopath who killed and raped as it suited him, because, he justified, such was human nature. Rorshach thinks this murder indicates that somebody is targeting former costumed heroes, and so he goes to Dreiberg and Jupiter for help. And to Dr. Manhattan (an interesting Billy Crudup), formerly Jon Osterman, a physicist who decades earlier had been transformed, through a nuclear lab accident, into a kind of walking blue computer, for whom the laws of space, time and physics mean nothing. Dr. Manhattan was used by President Nixon (now serving his third term) to end the Vietnam War in favor of the US (it took him a week), and now Manhattan is working to help yet another former hero, billionaire super-genius Ozymandias (Matthew Goode), to put an end to mankind's reliance on fossil fuels. None of these people seem especially willing to help Rorshach in his investigation, and the US is on the brink of nuclear war with Russia (which everyone is hoping Manhattan will be able to prevent).

So. The comic book, by the way, is very dense. In case you've never had that pointed out. It's extremely complicated, with its side stories and incredible detail and shadings (also textures). I'm being a little flippant, but that doesn't make it untrue. The comic does have a lot going on, much of it vital to the comic's longevity and reputation as a respected work of art. But it's the things that are inessential to the plot that are often shed when a story is adapted from one medium to another, and in the case of Watchmen this ostensibly necessary step has highlighted a very glaring flaw in the story, which is that the mystery that serves as the narrative's engine -- who killed The Comedian? -- is frickin' lame! Specifically, the solution to that mystery. Steps toward figuring out who aren't even really taken until the film's final third, after Rorshach has convinced Dan and Laurie to help him (up until that point, Rorshach had dug up some enigmatic clues regarding why), and when those steps are taken, what do they involve? Roughing up a two-bit criminal in a bar, and hacking into someone's computer and opening a file. I mean, fucking Scooby and Shaggy could have done that! Among the many things I realized about the comic while watching this film is that the way in which the story is told (which is what Moore has always claimed was the really important thing) provides a great deal of cushion to a very thin main plotline, so that narratively-speaking it's really the interstitial, supposedly (but actually not) throwaway stuff, and the Big Payoff, that matter. The texture and details don't just provide a cushion -- they also act as camouflage and dividers to a quite lame mystery. Remove all that, or even most of it, and that lame mystery's gonna bite you.

Since I'm talking about the comic, here's another thing: remember when I said that some people are claiming that Watchmen is "unadaptable?" I told those people to shut up earlier, and I stand by that, but one of the aspects of comic book storytelling that many of them bring up to make their case is the question of "what goes on between the panels". In other words, you read, and examine, one comic panel, and as your eyes move to the next one your brain sort of spontaneously fills in what the characters were doing between those two panels. Well, yes, that's part of what makes a comic book a comic book -- doesn't mean a film can't tell the same story in its own way. But sometimes Snyder doesn't seem to think anything goes on between the panels. Already, the film has been criticized by some as being too "slavish" to the original comic, and while Snyder isn't always the comic's lapdog (he does tweak that famous ending, after all, and to be honest it works just fine), but sometimes he is to the point of having tunnel vision. One scene, a flashback, involves The Comedian being confronted by a woman he has badly wronged. It's a famous scene from the comic, and I happened to have re-read the scene the night before. And whatever is said and done in the comic is said and done by the actors on the screen, without a single addition of any kind of business -- nothing from between the panels, in other words -- to keep things from being hopelessly stiff. In the comic, this is a scene of high drama, it's a big character moment, and it's pretty shocking. In the film, it seems as though everyone was so conscious that this was one of the Big Moments that they all wanted to keep their inferior and unworthy paws off it, a move that results in the scene having the unique quality of feeling both motionless and rushed. If you can imagine a dead fish moving really fast, then you're starting to get the idea.

And speaking of fast! Last night, you see, I decided to hearken back to Zack Snyder's golden days, so I watched his remake of Dawn of the Dead. And the sucker holds up quite nicely, I have to say, although you know that thing that people think Snyder has for slow motion, starting, we all thought, with 300? Well, the honeyed-glow of memory is a devious fiend, or whatever, because Snyder has always nurtured that particular fetish. In Dawn of the Dead, anytime anyone racks an empty shotgun shell out of the chamber, the camera shows us that thing fall like it was sinking to the bottom of a fucking pond. And the slow-mo as presented in the trailers for Watchmen did fill me with a bit of dread -- "This is not right!" I cried, joined by a chorus of others -- but I was willing to take a wait-and-see attitude. My cautious optimism was further boosted by an on-line review (or maybe it was just a comment on someone's blog) in which the writer claimed that the slow motion everyone was worrying about was in no way a big deal, and in fact we'd probably seen everything there was to see of it in the aforementioned trailers. Having now seen the film, I'm obliged to point out that this is not quite true, but that Snyder switches to slow-motion only when anything is happening on screen. Outside of that, he backs away. Except that sometimes he does also speed things up so that fast things are faster, but otherwise, see above.


So Watchmen is a complete wash? Is that what I'm telling you? No. No, in fact, remember when I said there were two parts of the film that I thought were more-or-less complete triumphs, the opening credits and something else? That something else is the ingeniously constructed origin of Dr. Manhattan sequence. The fact that the construction is pretty much all the work of Moore and Gibbons doesn't mean Snyder shouldn't get credit for pulling it off. I don't know that I can really say that Billy Crudup gives a "great" performance as Dr. Manhattan -- he's set at one pitch throughout -- but Crudup plays the character in the only way I can imagine it working, and it's extremely effective. Sounding at times like 2001's HAL, his origin sequence sees him scrambling the chronology of his past as a regular man, and the tragedy of his transformation, one aspect of which is the complete absence of any kind of emotion, at least any kind we mere humans can recognize. How is Crudup able to make us feel the sadness of this creature even in his completely flat narration? I think it has to do with the sequence's overall beautiful and otherworldly strangeness. As I watched this part of the film, I thought: "Here, right here, you've nailed it! Keep going like this, and I'll forget everything else I just saw."

Alas, Snyder doesn't do that. And so I watched the rest of this bizarre, galumphing, nutjob of a film play-out in such a way that even the good scenes never felt quite right. It's here that I'll admit to a kind of lop-sided admiration for Snyder and his Hail Mary of a film, because if nothing else, this crazy bunch of son of a bitches stayed firm and frickin' went for it. And there's no denying the fact that I am one of those people who can sit in a theater, watching a film version of Watchmen, and think with gleeful disbelief, even as I take note of all the many ways I think it's coming up short, "I am watching a film version of Watchmen." And so I did today. And when this movie, in some doorstop of an expanded boxset, comes out on DVD some months down the line, I freely admit right now that I will buy it. But that fact says a whole lot more about me and my apparent lack of respect for this thing which you call "money" than it does about the film itself. Because like I said before: alas.

34 comments:

Fox said...

Bill-

This is the first review I've read of Watchmen (I keep wanting to say THE Watchmen... I bet that hiccup makes some fans mad). OK, so I've skimmed a few others, but yours is the first I've read in full!

Though I will be coming at this film as someone who hasn't read the book, and pretty much knows less than 1% of what Watchmen is all about (I just learned most of what I know from your review), I appreciate your angle as someone who greatly respects the book and doesn't act offended that somebody dared to film it.

I'm guessing that many of the negative reviews (outside of the newspaper row of critics) are gonna pick apart moments of Snyder's film that don't equal the majesty that they had envisioned in their own minds. To them, whether I like the film myself or not, I also throw in a "shut up!". Maybe this is a downgraded comparison, but I see fangirls on Twilight sites absolutely eviserating Catherine Hardwick (and practically threatening Chris Weisz before he's even finished New Moon) because she didn't recreate the inner details of the book in the way THEY wanted her too. Well then, little girls, go make a film adaptation of it yourself, ok? I'm all for fans of a book/novel/comic criticizing THE MOVIE adaptation of it, but criticize it as a film, not as something that didn't live up to your daydream fantasies.

Anyway. I like your review, and for some reason, it seems to me that you will end up going to see it again... perhaps? I know you said you will buy the DVD, but do you see yourself giving it a second shot?

Oh, and you've made me VERY curious about the "Big Moment" scene with The Comedian, even if it didn't match the intensity you were expecting. I'm so curious what that scene is about.

OH! And, haha... nice line about a Dylan Thomas inspired line of carpentry! haha!!

WORD VER. : "wagged"

jryan said...

That was one fine write-up there.

I wonder if I can get a discount if I just watch the two scenes?

(huh.. the word verification to post this is "diseases"...)

bill r. said...

Thanks, Fox - I'd be very curious to know what non-fans of the comic make of this movie. My wife, and the two friends we saw it with, seemed pretty lukewarm about it. I don't think any of them were confused, but I also get the sense that it really helps if you're fan, to just get yourself amped up for the film.

Anyway, I was, as you've gathered, pretty disappointed, but I don't feel shattered, either. It's a crazy movie that I want to see again, and that's something, anyway. Although, I'm going to wait for the DVD. I don't need this twice in the theater.

I look forward to knowing what you and Ed think of this. And Rick, too! Rick said he liked it! I hope he does a write-up.

Thanks, jryan! It can't hurt to ask. You can go to the counter and say, "I would like one ticket for two scenes from Watchmen, please Here's my fifty cents!" And then just see what happens. I think...you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Ed Howard said...

A very good review, Bill, even though I disagree. Actually, I didn't dwell on the horribleness of Akerman, but man she really was bad. I thought everyone else was fine, Haley was great, Crudup and Morgan did exactly what they had to do for those parts.

As I said in my review, I think most of what was good in the film came directly from the comics, and Snyder made some strange or tone-deaf choices in diverging from Moore's source material. But so much of the comic was there on screen, smartly adapted, that it was hard for me not to enjoy it. I don't know how people who haven't read the comic will react en masse: my fiancee hasn't read the comic, and she thought it was OK, but we also saw a number of people walking out midway, who I'm assuming were confused or annoyed non-comic fans. But I think it will undeniably work best for those well-versed in the source material.

Ed Howard said...

Oh yea, and I also liked how the way Snyder structured things really preserved the episodic nature of the comics. It really emphasized how much Moore structured the comic issue-by-issue, switching perspectives for each new episode. You're right that the central mystery is not actually so interesting: what the book is really about is presenting an overall view of what this alternate universe is like, the histories of these characters that brought them to this point. I thought Snyder's flashback structure preserved these ideas well, and I agree with you that the best sequences are the ones where this theme takes the forefront: the Doc Manhattan on Mars segment and those wonderful opening credits packed with equal measures of in-jokes and exposition.

bill r. said...

Ed, yeah, it was very faithful to the comic. But everything was either amped up, or given no style of its own. Like the scene after Laurie has left Dr. Manhattan and goes to Dan's place, Snyder shoots the two of them in his foyer delivering some of Moore's most florid dialogue, and it just played ridiculously to me. Almost as bad as the sex scene, which you pointed out in your review as being a bit...er, much.

Morgan was good -- I should have mentioned him -- but what did you think of Goode? I've heard complaints about his performance, and I myself am a bit ambivelant. I don't know what I think of his work. He sure didn't look like the guy from The Lookout, I can tell you that much.

Krauthammer said...

"No one's trying to take the collected poems of Dylan Thomas and adapt them as a piece of carpentry"

I would unironically love to see this attempted.

bill r. said...

I'll get on that, Krauthammer. I'm thinking, perhaps...a desk??

Jonathan Lapper said...

I had always planned to see this on DVD anyway, big surprise there I'm sure. I read Watchmen back when it came out (first edition baby!) and no it wasn't mine, it was my college roommate's so I have nothing to sell now unfortunately, except the children I guess.

Anyway, I liked it but have forgotten most of it now so when I see this I won't have any preconceptions going in. If I see it. I'm still not sure. I still haven't seen V for Vendetta because I liked that one too when I read it and didn't care to see an adaptation of it.

bill r. said...

My gut tells me you wouldn't much care for it, Jonathan, if for no other reason than because Snyder really pours on the CGI to a ridiculous degree. And when he doesn't have computer images to fool around with, he seems kind of at sea. Except when he's working with Haley. He can coast on Haley for long stretches.

Rick Olson said...

I'm going to write something about it, Bill, but I thought this was a fabulous review, and now I'm intimidated. No really!

I haven't read the graphic novel, but I've always wondered at why some folks say it's unadaptable ... it's a GRAPHIC NOVEL, as in a novel told partially in pictures. It seems to me that that is inherently more cinematic than an old fashioned straight-up verbal account.

And I thought you were right on about the casting, or at least Zack Snyder's directing of an otherwise fine cast. As we were walking out of the theater, my 22-year-old son, who had been waiting for the flick since forever, said he wished they'd gotten a director who knew how to direct interacting characters.

Again, a great piece, Bill.

bill r. said...

Thank you very much, Rick. I'm really looking forward to your take on it.

As for the adaptability of the comic: Yeah, I don't get it, either. I mean, there are things about the comic that you can't do in the film. Comics are very much their own medium, like any other artfrom. BUT, it's no harder than adapting a novel, so far as I can see, and in some ways easier, because, as you point out, the work of certain aspects of the visuals has already been done for you, unless the director wants to change everything, which Snyder clearly didn't.

The acting baffles me. The thing is, watching Dawn of the Dead, a lot of the acting in that movie is pretty dang good! Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber...they all do really good work in that film. So I'm thinking Akerman's performance, and Gugino's, and etc., was on purpose, it's what Snyder wanted. I just can't for the life of me figure out why.

PIPER said...

Bill,

I like your take on this. And honestly, I can't criticize your criticism because I think it's all valid. I too was especially taken with the opening and Dylan's song. It has stuck with me probably the most. And maybe I'm just too caught up with what the book is saying and the parallels with current society that I gave the whole thing a pass. Or maybe I'm just too caught up in the plastic fantasy that is The Silk Spectre II. Or maybe you're just flat out wrong and I'm right. Nah.

I think that the idea that Watchmen is unadaptable is kind of bullshit. As far as comic books go, it's a good one and a complex one, but like you say: it ain't no Kafka. And if Alan Moore had his way, none of his work would be adapted. He hates all adaptations. Although I would love to see someone good remake The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. That deserves a good shot.

When I read your review and think back to the film, I agree that it seems that Synder was maybe not prepared for the weight of this book. That with all his gloss and ramping, he's compensating for a lack of storytelling ability. And by the way, I for the life of me can't remember ramping in Dawn Of The Dead. And I just watched the damn thing not too long ago. I commented in comments section that I do think that in his short career it seems that Dawn Of The Dead is still Synder's best film.

This film may fade for me. I intend to buy it on DVD, but that desire may pass. Or it may grow on me. I'm not sure.

And Fox, I've read the damn book and seen the movie and I still had to correct myself from writing THE Watchmen. So don't beat yourself up too much.

Rick Olson said...

Oh, go ahead, Fox: beat yourself up.

I was really disappointed by Gugino, in particular.

bill r. said...

That with all his gloss and ramping, he's compensating for a lack of storytelling ability. And by the way, I for the life of me can't remember ramping in Dawn Of The Dead. And I just watched the damn thing not too long ago.

Piper - By ramping, I assume you mean the uptick in violence and gore that you mentioned in your own review? if so, I agree, the movie doesn't benefit from that at all. I read a comment over at "Scanners" that claimed this aspect of Watchmen was meant to satirize the violence in other comic book films, and action films in general. I wonder if that was the angle they took when they saw 300. And no, there isn't any ramping up in Dawn of the Dead, but then again, that is a zombie movie, so in that context, how much is too much? With the level of extreme gore that has been achieved in that genre for the last 40 years, it would be pretty hard to go much further at this point.

Jonathan Lapper said...

He can coast on Haley for long stretches.

Jackie Earle Haley can get me through a whole day, that little fucker.

Ed Howard said...

Bill, ramping is the name for the sped-up/slow-mo effect that Snyder loves to apply to his fight scenes. It didn't bother me so much during the opening murder of the Comedian, but the big prison fight was really gratuitous and over-the-top. Of course, nothing here was as bad as 300, which was all slow-mo, all the time.

PIPER said...

What Ed said.

bill r. said...

Ed - Oh. Well, my criticism of the violence (which Piper did bring up in his review) still stands.

As for what ramping actually means, while there wasn't much in Dawn of the Dead, as I said in the original post, it is there whenever Snyder shoots and empty shotgun shell hitting the ground.

And I think I minded all the ramping in Watchmen. None of it worked for me. In a given scene, if I'd gotten it in smaller doses, maybe. As it is, no.

And regarding Haley: for such a dopey little guy, he really sells what is probably the best line (straight from the comic) in the film, which I'm going to go ahead and spoil:

SPOILER!!

"You all think I'm locked up in here with you. The truth is, you're all locked up in here with me!"

I didn't like the movie, but that's good stuff.

Ed Howard said...

My fiancee got all giddy at that line. Haley got some of Moore's choicest dialogue in general, including all those great pulpy monologues from Rorschach's journal.

And I'm agreed with you about Snyder amping up the violence, which was often way too much; he seems to get a bit too much of a kick out of watching bones snap and blood fly.

bill r. said...

My fiancee got all giddy at that line.

It's a great line. What's great about it is, you know, it's pretty much true, and you believe it, even coming from an actor who looks like he stands about five-foot-nothing.

I can't think of one gory addition to the violence that I thought worked. Everything made me think, "Oh, come on. Why? Because you're getting an 'R' anyway, so why not?"

bill r. said...

Quick question for those who've seen the movie (vague spoilers for those who haven't):


In one very important scene, a character's computer is hacked, and we see a series of files on the screen. Most of them we don't care about and are never mentioned, and among those is one labeled "Boys". So my question is twofold: 1) Did anyone else notice that?; and 2) What the hell??

PIPER said...

Here's a more important question.

Why did Bill go from single spacing to 1 1/2 spacing in his last paragraph. Let's leave that one for the fanboys to figure out.

bill r. said...

I didn't do that on purpose. The damn blog does that on its own periodically. It has do with when and in what place I add a picture. I don't get it, and I don't know how to fix it.

Thanks a lot, Piper! Now I'm embarrassed!!

Ed Howard said...

Bill, I did notice that, and if I remember correctly there was something in the opening credits that also made me think Snyder intended that character to be thought of as gay. Although I don't think there was anything in the book to suggest that, so I can only assume it's a holdover from 300's repellent politics, i.e. all villains must be kind of effeminate.

PIPER said...

Dammit Bill,

You were supposed to let that float. Like you did it and it functions on some level that no one can even comprehend. I wrapped that baby up for you and you spoiled it.

bill r. said...

Oh, fuck me! I didn't even see that! Now I'm even more embarrassed!!

Jonathan Lapper said...

The damn blog does that on its own periodically. It has do with when and in what place I add a picture. I don't get it, and I don't know how to fix it.

I know how to fix it. It happens with all blogspot blogs. Start looking for it and you'll see it.

Except at Cinema Styles. You'll never see it happen there.

Mwhaaahahahahahahahaaaaa!!!!!!!

bill r. said...

LAAAAAPPPEEERRRR!!!!

Seriously, how do you fix it?

Word verification: trusions. The opposite of intrusions, I guess.

Ryan Kelly said...

Bill:

Try copy/pasting the fucked up formatting into the HTML editor, then re-publish.

That's the only solution I know, when my formatting gets shot all to hell. Which is always.

Word verification: Tenes. Tenes, anyone?

Ryan Kelly said...

but one of the aspects of comic book storytelling that many of them bring up to make their case is the question of "what goes on between the panels". In other words, you read, and examine, one comic panel, and as your eyes move to the next one your brain sort of spontaneously fills in what the characters were doing between those two panels. Well, yes, that's part of what makes a comic book a comic book -- doesn't mean a film can't tell the same story in its own way. But sometimes Snyder doesn't seem to think anything goes on between the panels.

That's such a piercing observation I wish I'd thought of it first. Snyder seems to think that making the plot of the comic book comprehensible is the only thing that matters in a Watchmen adaptation.

bill r. said...

Thanks, Ryan. I'll go ahead an repeat that I do have a kind of wonky admiration for Snyder and this film, but that doesn't mean I think it's much good. And I'm kind of baffled by those who do, but God knows I've been on the other end of that equation often enough.

Ryan Kelly said...

Oh, I enjoyed it as well, even though in the end I don't think it really amounts to much of anything. Your thoughts on the film echo my own in many ways, though with more asides.

As for being baffled by an opposing opinion, I think that's something we can all relate to. Isn't it hard having taste so refined? ;-)

11 said...

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