Tiny Beam of Light

Shining a tiny beam of light on some great films you might not know existed (and the odd blockbuster too).

Watchmen (2009) dir: Zack Snyder

This is (obviously) not a small movie, but I’m making an exception. It’s my blog.

First off lets put some credentials up. It was ‘2000AD’ that got me properly into comic books.  I first read ‘Watchmen’ in 1987. My favourite Alan Moore characters are ‘D.R. and Quinch’ (created with Alan Davis) and ‘John Constantine’.

My favourite comic book of all time is ‘Preacher’ (I’ve been following the development of this from a film to be directed by Rachel Talalay with Johnny Depp and Robert Carlisle 10 years ago to now, maybe a tv mini-series written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson (director of DareDevil through to Ghostrider).

I thought ‘Y: The Last Man’ was great (now maybe a movie with Shia LaBeouf) and I’m currently reading ‘DMZ’. I know everyone loves it but I was a bit disappointed by Garth Ennis’ ‘Dan Dare’. There’s more but this blogs about film not comic books.

Right then. So the movie world continues to adapt comic books to movies – hoping to mine that creative seam of gold.

This is surprisingly faithful to the comic book and loads of scenes actually match Dave Gibbons’ panels. The characters are spot on and Jackie Earle Haley is Rorschach – right off the page. In fact they’re all good, though Adrian Veidt could have done with some more screen time.  And there aren’t that many compromises either – like the comic book it’s dark, dirty and violent.  So Paramount, I think, has been pretty brave in doing this movie – you can’t take the kids to see it – which is kind of bizarre as I first read ‘Watchmen’ as a kid.

I was actually pretty amazed at how much of the original story Zack Snyder and his team managed to pack in with all the intricacies and character details. And it really works as a film –  though the ending seemed a bit rushed and there were a couple of plot points from the book that I personally think don’t quite work on the big screen (the Comedian confessing to Moloch for example). Then again the movie is already just shy of 3 hours and I could have happily sat through another hour.

The fight scenes have a nasty (in a cool filmic way) crunch to them and though I’m generally not a fan of slow-mo it actually works within the style of the film.  There’s the odd dodgy fx near the end in a film that has some fantastic visual moments but I’m not complaining.  I’m delighted. ‘Watchmen’ could have been god awful.  The best Alan Moore film adaptation so far.  All in all I’m a very satisfied customer. And the soundtrack was pretty good as well.

There’s no ‘Tales of the Black Freighter’ – apparently that will be on the DVD with a longer version of the film.

I’m going to see it again in a couple of weeks.

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Filed under: action, comic book, fantasy, film, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. Nigel Tomm says:

    ‘Preacher’ is my favorite too.

  2. Pete N says:

    I think Watchmen is gonna be fine. The graphic novel is intensive. I’ll probably end up seeing it more than once to get things straight. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Carla Gugino is hot.

  3. Mike says:

    I really like D.R and Quinch but Slaine was always so much better. I had a dream once that they made a movie of rogue trooper but I woke up and was grateful to find it had been a nightmare as the version I imagined was woeful

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