Who Watches the Watchmen? Brian’s Guest-Blog Review

Posted by on March 8, 2009 in Comics, Contests, Film, Guest Blogger | 0 comments

My good friend, fellow blogger and logo designer Brian went to see Watchmen on Friday night. He was kind enough to provide a review as a guest blogger below. I saw the film today, and will be posting my thoughts and a response to his review in another post later this week.

Watchmen was often considered
a movie that could never be made. But after Zack Snyder (300) took the
helm and his Watchmen trailers caused fanboys, fangirls and the general
population to unite with shared excitement…there was reason to believe it had
been done.

turning (arguably) the greatest graphic novel into a movie, it raises the bar
to almost unattainable heights and results in an all-too common problem: stay
true to the book, or use it as a platform for inspiration? Snyder is able to
walk a very fine line doing both, and deliver a movie that true fans and newcomers
can appreciate. But here is the twist: it’s Watchmen, a twelve-issue
comic that first appeared for DC Comics in 1986-87, has since been released in
its complete form and placed on TIME’s list of 100 Best Novels. If it were
translated word-for-word from the book to the screen, it would be unwatchable
(pun totally intended). If it strayed too much from the book, it would be
criticized on every blog and article until nothing remained.

almost 3 hours (yes, it’s that long, and sadly feels so), the film is able to
translate the visual style, excitement and pulse of the graphic novel. Although
it may be critiqued for jumping back and forth too much, it is important to
acknowledge that the ground-breaking graphic novel had the same feel. The film
does have peaks and valleys, which may be due to the original platform being
told over twelve issues, but the astonishing imagery makes up for it. With the
close-up shots panning back to show the full frame, it is as if the actual
panels in the comic are coming to life. The film makers are also able to
include several nods throughout the film that the true fans will notice: from
Nostalgia Perfume to the Gunga Diner, from the snow globe atop the TV to Hooded
Justice’s German accent — those that read the book should feel pleased
that the film remembers its roots and fans (hopefully enough to forgive them
for certain exclusions, which I am intentionally leaving out to avoid potential

Watchmen is done well. It may fail to meet the hype we all placed on it,
but it shouldn’t leave you feeling disappointed. It stays true to the novel
(with a few exceptions) and brings to life a great book we all loved. The
characters are well cast (notably Jackie Earl Haley’s Rorschach) and it
contains possibly one of the best opening sequences and opening credits to
date. There may be scenes that come across as unintentionally humorous, but
those are the scenes that are the most similar to the novel. I guess some
things just translate better on the page. Although it may not be a film that
holds up 10 years from now, after 22 years of thinking it could never be made…
I’m happy it was.

We’d love to hear what YOU
thought of the film (good or bad) in the comments below. For those true fans up
for a challenge, there will be a give-away for the best review left in the
style of Rorschach’s journal
. If there are several impressive entries, multiple
prizes will be sent out, with a single grand prize. So leave your entry as a comment, and stay tuned for further details!

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