Friday, March 20, 2009


Because YOU demanded it, because YOU wanted it, because... eh... THEY were willing to put it up, here's my full video review of the movie everyone will be lying about having seen in theatres and knowing was a classic "the whole time" about a year from now, once again courtesy of the fine folks over at The Escapist:

Once again, PLEASE visit The Escapist's actual site after watching the video. These guys are fighting the good fight, bringing REAL intellectual debate to the geek universe, and they deserve your support:


Greenshoes said...

Thank you Movie Bob! Your reviews, Game Overthinker vids and etc are all great. Thank you for making my life just a bit better.

Du er faen meg jævlig god skal jeg faen meg si deg!!!

Anonymous said...

I KNEW there was one video review in the works for Watchmen :)

Couldn't agree more with you, honestly.

Finally a movie that has balls, brains and brawls.

A movie where the story develops slowly, building tension, and not where the characters start fucking explaining it to the audience to make sure they get everything right (and Dark Knight, though awesome, was guilty has HELL of this: see Alfred, the Exposition Butler)

A movie without stock characters, with real depth of personality, that has the guts to force a major downer ending on the audience, one that leaves no hope for salvation (for movies who didn't have the balls, look no further than I'm Legend, or to a lesser extent, TDK itself in the boat scene where they had to prove that humanity was good or the audience would have come out disturbed).

A movie that understands that an adaptation is exactly that: an act with which you TRANSFORM something into something else, not follow the original material page for page. And a movie that is damn good at adaptation too.

And finally, a movie that is GREAT. A movie where I don't have to leave the theater disappointed or outright disgusted.

Go see it now, if you haven't already. And in that case, GO SEE IT AGAIN! :)

Sorry for the wall of text, but I wanted to add my 2 cents.

Great work as usual Bob!


yukimurasanada said...

Couldn't agree with you more bob. Seen it twice now, will own the dvd when it hits, no matter the cost.

Love your review, and good effort on the Voice at the start, but as you said, that voice is a tough thing to pull off.

tyra menendez said...

should probably wait for the ultimate edition dvd that snyder has promised, with the black freighter put back in.
honestly, the black freighter stuff becomes akin to the map sequences in lord of the rings - parring down the enormity of the plot and goings on, into irony and parallel laced moments with comic relief with the elder bernie, the news vendor.
also, i wonder how well "outsiders" follow all the characters and plot details without the supplemental details offered in the spaces between chapters. information like the silhouette and her lesbian lover being murdered in their bed, after being forced out of the minutemen. captain metropolis' racism, dollar bill being hired by a bank and gunned down by robbers, because his cape became lodged in the revolving door, the mystery of the origin of hooded justice and his praising of hitler and the third reich, explorations into the origins and world changing effects of dr. manhattan, or the explanation of burbastis, veidt's giant cat, were all explored in the text-only "supplemental" materials held where a letters column normally would be. i can understand dropping some of the subplots, which are hard to maintain in a movie, regardless of its depth.
i know all these things, because i've read the book so many times, but do people who haven't just go "wtf"? how much do they get lost?
i'm not arguing that it's great, for a fan of the book. but do "outsiders" follow it? especially since the books is one of those you have to read twice, at least, to really get it.

basically, i miss some of the details that made the book such a masterpiece.

Bob said...


What's surprised me is, the stuff that I WOULD expect to confuse people doesn't seem to be what's doing it. I'd have thought for sure the lack of explanation for why Rorschach's mask does what it does or where Ozymandias got a giant purple kitty would irk people, but the majority seems to accept them as: "eh, their superheroes, stuff happens."

tyra menendez said...

how about the golden age archetypes that are the minutemen? that's one of those things you *have* to be familiar with comics, to get.
it was surely a movie made for fans, unfortunately, a lot of those fans waited, to hear back from someone else.
however, i do have to agree that parts of it were not film-able: too many narrative tricks that work on a page, but would require unnatural pauses, in dialogue.
yes, snyder did a bang-up job, but i am slightly left to wonder how much of that was because he just had such good source material. and was it too soon? superhero movies are just starting to be taken seriously, but will get a repeat of the '90's comics? and endless line of derivatives and disappointment, because nothing can top it?
i mean, seriously, in nearly 25 years, no superhero comic has been able to come close to the sheer shock, awe, complexity, and craft that watchmen did. much like how lord of the rings did to the fantasy genre: everything after those movies was just a let down, so it petered out.
but then, i'm a cynic; so maybe it's just me waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Mark said...

I love the novel. I've read it 3 times (and i'm not a comic fan in general, having only read a few graphic novels (all by Miller or Moore) and literally zero comic books. And I liked the movie. Not nearly as much as you, but I liked it.

One of the big problems I had with it - and I'd like your thoughts on it - is some of the extreme violence and action-movie-ness of it. And, no, I'm not making a blanket statement here, but the specific *use* of violence.
Rorschach's scene in prison *should* be violent. fine - it shows us how crazy he is. But the scene with Dan and Laurie and the Muggers? She stabbed one of them in the *neck*. She *killed* one of them (presumably). He broke one's arm, violently.
The novel spends half of its characterization showing us how different those two are from, say, Ror. or the comedian. They *don't* kill people. Ror and the com. do. But at the same time, we learn that, in a sense, Dan and Laurie really have no business being superheroes in the first place, doing it for "wrong reasons."
In addition, this scene in particular (and the prison break) were *so* "action-movie"-ish. Isn't the book a "deconstruction" of superhero cliches? So why should the movie be in-line with them? Furthermore, these "action-hero" scenes hurt the contrast with the Ozy scenes - in the novel you have this real "holy crap" moment when you realize how much more amazing than them he is. I know they were fighting amateurs, but still, i feel that by the end we are a little desensitized to "awesomeness".
Even some of Ror's extreme violence I think hurts his characterization. When he kills the child-murderer with the butcher knife - after a JRPG-worthy lecture - it seems so much less dark than when he essentially wordlessly covers the man in gasoline and sets fire to the place. At that point he changed, became cold and black and white - the movie misses the beat I think.

Obviously i'm being really picky, but what is this story without its amazing characterizations? I was "on board" with most of the for-film plot changes (e.g. the ending), but some of these things make me a little disappointed.

Vincent said...


That's the beauty of Watchmen. It's not like in the X-Men where you have the goody-good characters who never kill (like Cyclops) and the darker characters (like Wolverine) who are prepared to do gruesome things.

In Watchmen, the characters are so complex and rich. Silk Spectre and Nite Owl comes across as gentle and friendly, but they possess another side to their personalities. They get off on dressing up in superhero outfits and taking on criminals. They get off on exacting violent, brutal justice on those who deserve it (like the Knot-top gangsters) in the same way that many apparently 'normal' people are into S&M. Even though they express reservations about coming out of retirement, once they're all dressed up and in the thick of the action, you can see that they're in their element.

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