Sunday, March 8, 2009

3-8-09: Watchmen

First off: 500 posts!

Now to business: Watchmen. Last night, myself and a group of friends went to a showing of the newest addition to the comic book / graphic novel movie parade that's been going on pretty steadily since X-Men arrived. Watchmen has been heralded as the best graphic novel of them all, and this film had a lot of hype surrounding it, especially among fans of the novel.

Let me preface my brief review of the film by saying that I have never read the Watchmen comic, and am only somewhat familiar with the characters. Many people who've read the comic seem to dislike the film. But then again, other critics have said that it's pretty good, so long as you haven't read the comic. So, I went in expecting something pretty good.

And that's what I got: a very interesting, somewhat overwhelming look, at the Watchmen story. I found the film to be quite stunning in its presentation; the visual effects were outstanding, and it didn't feel like it was overdone.

The acting was pretty good, as well. Again, I'm not too familiar with the characters, but they seemed to take their time developing them, so what I was exposed to seemed to be quite convincing.

My only real beef with the film was that I think it was caught between a rock and a hard place in that it couldn't decide which audience to serve: the fans of the graphic novel or the general public (who chose to see the film because it was heralded as a great comic). I thought it did an OK job at explaining the characters, but a lot of the story seemed to go over the head of most people who saw the film without knowing the back story. But... fans of the comic panned the film. So I have to ask myself: to whom was it directed?

But nevertheless, it's a great story. The ending seemed quite cliche, but had some real novelty to it. I wouldn't say it's my favorite comic book / graphic novel film, but I was quite entertained, and mesmerized, by the characters and the story. It operated in a surreal, but strangely real, domain, with some characters you can easily relate to, and others you can barely understand (Dr. Manhattan). I'd say this was a very good film. I, for one, was not disappointed.

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