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polishpimping (profile) wrote,
on 3-7-2009 at 11:50pm
Subject: Watchmen - The Movie
Having both just recently finished reading the book, both Elizabeth and Myself have been looking forward to seeing the Watchmen movie. I found the movie to be an incredibly enjoyable experience, but as is often the case, the movie fell short of the novel. Of course in this instance that had to be expected. Watchmen was the only graphic novel to appear on Time's 2005 list of "the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present” and there are many devices which can be used in it's authored medium that cannot be readily transferred to film. In general the casting was amazing the the musical score added a lot to the comics story.

All things being equal, I found 10 items which I thought the movie did poor justice to the novel.

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03-07-09 11:54pm

10) The one cast member which I felt fell short of his character was Matthew Goode as Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias. The character in the comic was larger than life with flowing gold locks of hair. I felt that using an actor of Matthew's size went against the image of a Aryan superman in the comics. Of course Matthew was a better fit then Jude Law or Tom Cruise (both of which were mentioned as under consideration on Watchmen's wikipedia page).

9) The prison break scene differed from the comic book in two ways which I feel detracted from the movie. First, the bad guys used a hand tool (rather then a welder) to break into Walter Kovac's (Rorschach) cell. This change may seem minor, but in the comic book Rorschach had a premeditated response to it (flooding the floor) which made him appear even cooler under pressure then in the movie. Also in the movie the first thing Rorschach did after being freed is retrieve his mask. This went against the deadly cat and mouse game he played in the book.

8) I feel that in the comic book, Dr. Manhattan was much more indifferent to the fate of mankind then in the movie. The character is supposed to becoming increasingly detached, not working with Veidt in a last ditch effort to size the world with nuclear fission. come on.

7) The movie took a turn into environmentalism that the source material did not. In the book, Dr. Manhattan was able to usher in a world of unlimited resources and electricity. Part of the theme of the book was that even in such a world, war was still a reality. The movie however painted a picture of the fear of lack of resources fueling the war and at times it was all the fault of big oil. I am able to forgive this slightly given the alterations to the ending of the movie. However at times the vilification of the power companies was over the top.

6) The most frustrating part of the movie was it's changes for smoking. In the book, many of the characters smoked. This change was effected in several places. Young Walter Kovacs did not bite a peer's cheek, he drove a burning cigarette into his eye. This change is relatively minor change however consider one particular scene with Silk Spectre II (Laurie Juspeczyk). In the book she was exploring the flying ship, looking for a lighter for her cigarette. In the movie she was just willy nilly pushing buttons.

5) One of the best lines from the book was omitted from the movie. Shortly after having poor performance in bed, Daniel Dreiberg (Nite Owl II) lamented his feeling of powerlessness in his life. “It's this war, the feeling that it's unavoidable. It makes me feel so powerless... so impotent.” The double entendre underscored his character's psychology and vulnerability. It was omitted from the film.

4) One of the greatest things about this story is that it provides a great backdrop for predestination vs free will. There are some great passages from Dr. Manhattan saying that he could not stop JFK's assassination, Dr Manhattan wonders if what he was building had already been built in the future. He was struggling with the feelings that he was a puppet. He could see his strings but that did not equate to free will.

3) I realize that it's easy, but there comes a point when beating up on Nixon is gratuitous. Yes, he sacrificed his beliefs for political expediency in the real world. Yes, in the original book he was a critical character, but he wasn't such a villain in the book. But to continue to propagate that Nixon killed JFK, then eliminated super heroes then would be cavalier about destroying 75% of the civilized world... Isn't this the guy that ended the Vietnam War? Isn't this the guy who gave us the EPA and OSHA? He should be the Left's favorite President, if not for a break in he had nothing to do with. Let it go.

2) One of the scenes that I'm amazed was cut was the death of Nite Owl 1. This portion of the story underscored the dangers of group think and mob mentality. There were many messages against mob mentality in the book that didn't make it to film. I'm sad that this was one of them.

1) THE STORY LEFT OUT THE KEENE ACT!?!? OK, the touched on it twice, but in general they simply blamed Nixon. In the book the reason the super heroes were outlawed was because the cops went on strike because the superheroes were being too effective! The end result was more crime, more violence and a lower standard of living. It was an indictment of Labor forces in that sometimes they can kill their golden goose. Of course, they probably didn't have time for that after they added in all the “oil companies causing Armageddon” stuff.

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