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Watchmen - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
I saw Watchmen last night with Joey, Rosa, Mark, JB, Aaron and Emily. I'm not familiar with the source material. Knowing how disappointing adaptions can be, I deliberately avoided reading Watchmen or learning anything about it in the lead-up to the film's release, figuring I'd go in blank and see how I felt.

Funnily enough, I'm not sure HOW I feel about it. I definitely didn't come out with that post-Dark-Knight or post-Iron-Man feeling of "AWESOME FUN!" At the same time, I didn't come out with that post-Spider-Man-3 feeling of disgust and loathing either. Because I had no emotional connection to the material, there was no disappointment or surprise.

THE GOOD: I thought it was complex and well-structured, and intelligent enough to keep me interested all the way through. I approved of the fact that there was more penis than boob in the film, and that it was handled in a very collected, mature and non-giggly way by the filmmakers. I've long advocated more penis content in films, because really, it's sort of unfair that boobage is splashed all over our screens but the penis is somehow sacred. People are friggin' weird about sex. Embrace the penis!

Dead-Guy-From-Grey's-Anatomy / Sam-And-Dean's-Dad-in-Supernatural was as awesome and fun to watch as always, and despite the fact that he played an utter prick, he was the most entertaining character in the film.

Next time my coworkers are having a fruit-fight (as you do) I'm going to tell them they're "screaming like an abattoir full of retarded children." Heh heh heh.

I liked the alternate-reality angle showing different outcomes to various important events in 20th century history.

THE BAD: It was wanky. Not quite Matrix-level wanky, but close. It tried very hard to be philosophical, but some of the points the film tried to make were confused, and others were made with all the subtlety of a shovel to the face. The violence was a over-the-top, almost cartoony at times, which contrasted badly with the parts of the film that aimed to be gritty and serious. Rorscharch's dialogue was Sin-City-level corny, and we all know how I feel about that. I think the film was trying to make a point about that character playing a role, except at the end of the film they built him up as the most principled of the characters, so... meh. I think the source material must have gone into more depth, and what we're suffering from in the film is an attempt to cram too much information into too little time.

I thought the musical choices were awesome up until about halfway through, when they began to get a bit too noticeable and threw me out of the story rather than setting the scene. The painful use of 'Hallelujah' was the final straw. Which leads me to...

...superhero porn. I don't mind sex in my movies, especially if it's appropriate to the story, but that one scene was discomforting. Why do TMI sex scenes never work in films of this nature? You'd think the filmmakers would have learned after The Matrix Reloaded and 300...

All the female characters were really, really two-dimensional.

THE VERDICT: Despite all this, it was actually pretty entertaining and managed to keep me interested for two and a half hours*. I do not regret the cost of the movie ticket. Providing you go in knowing that what you're going to get is a pulpy superhero film with a few smarts and a few flaws, you're not going to be disappointed.

I guess they can't all be "Dark Knight", eh?

(NB: Joe really liked it, and we had a very Margaret-and-David style discussion on the way to the car afterwards.)
10 have fought ~ fight the power!
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tania From: tania Date: March 6th, 2009 12:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I would have had to Google his name, too much effort. Plus I really get kicks out of the fact that every role he plays ends in DEATH. :D
tania From: tania Date: March 6th, 2009 12:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh! And if you don't like crowded theatres... well, I know it's out of your way, but the El Dorado at Indooro is always near-empty. They're just about as cheap as Southbank, and seriously... so empty it's weird! We rocked up two minutes before Watchmen was due to start last night, got tickets, and were the only people sitting in our row!
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tania From: tania Date: March 6th, 2009 12:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it's weird - I think they're slowly being strangled out of business by the Multiplex up the road. That cinema charges twice as much, but it's newer, nicer seats and you don't have to walk 300 meters down the road to get to it... so people keep using it instead of the El Dorado. :\
master_haakon From: master_haakon Date: March 6th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Where as for me I prefer El Dorado. Coming from the train station I'd look at the hill and think "Bugger that".
tania From: tania Date: March 6th, 2009 03:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it's good for us public transport types. I think the Multiplex appeals to a different audience - those with cars and cash who park in the Indooro Shopping Centre parking lot.

Unfortunately that's the sort of demographic most cinemas WANT, and El Dorado is missing out on it. :\ Uni students are not going to keep them going forever. This makes me sad.
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tania From: tania Date: March 6th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Invariably yes! In SPN he got taken out by a demon; in Grey's Anatomy he died of a sudden heart attack and now (apparently, I stopped watching) is haunting his ex-girlfriend but may just be a hallucination caused by Cancer Of Teh Brain, and in this movie he gets... well, anyway, you'll see. ;)
tengukun From: tengukun Date: March 6th, 2009 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Beat me to it... And he plays the main character's dead husband in Weeds. That's three different series that he's dead in. :D But J.D. Morgan is so friggin' cool that he transcends death.

Course, I may be biased as he's my Hollywood crush.
tania From: tania Date: March 6th, 2009 03:21 am (UTC) (Link)
OMG! Me too! Even when he's playing a total douchebag! (Which he usually isn't). I don't generally get way-older-guy crushes, but this guy? Mrow. :D

Obviously I really enjoy watching Supernatural. Mmmmm, eye candy for girls. <3
stokerbramwell From: stokerbramwell Date: March 6th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
because really, it's sort of unfair that boobage is splashed all over our screens but the penis is somehow sacred.

Actually, I don't think it's because people find the penis sacred, but profane. Penises are just...instant offensiveness. e_e It's pretty screwed up.

Embrace the penis!

On a daily basis! OHOHO!
From: ninjawookie Date: March 6th, 2009 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I liked the sex scene! The use of music was wonderfully sleazy, since Nightowl II can't get it up unless he's in costume, I was afraid they'd cut away.

Even after reading the book, there was an emotional detachment for me too, but maybe an extended version of it where the conversation on Mars actually goes for longer would fix it. But then, the part where bomb goes off should have felt stronger, but nothing.

Like I've been saying since I saw it, the opening sequence with Bob Dylan was the strongest part of the movie.
10 have fought ~ fight the power!