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Should you watch the Watchmen?

There is a part of me that doesn’t want to do this.  Whenever I spend the time to read through all the reviews on sites like Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, I end up knowing what I’ll get out of a movie before I see it.  It’s a little like trying to figure what you’ll get for your birthday by going through your friend’s/family’s receipts.   If you are willing to do it, you’ll end up with lots of guesses, but probably be disappointed when you finally open the box.  Besides, I already know that I’m going to see this movie (Saturday 2:30pm).

watchmen_onesheet_finalRight now, two out three people like it (66%), which are okay odds for mystery desert and not so much for Russian roulette.  The one’s on the pro-side use words like “art,” “perfect,” and “Madoff-Lohan-Limbaugh adventure;” while those who felt ripped off said things like “nonsense,” “forgettable,” and “gassy.”  It all sounds pretty divisive, which makes for a fertile battleground of discussion.  Let’s start with the happy crowd.

“Zack Snyder’s Watchmen is a profound work of art, a beautiful, deliriously weird, meditative spin on a genre that is as American as jazz.” Drew McWeeny Hitfix


Watchmen=jazz.  Got it.

“Watchmen is like having too much of your favorite thing. I love ice cream, but I can’t eat an entire gallon in one sitting.” Willie Waffle WaffleMovies.com

Watchmen=extra rich ice cream.  Got it.  What did I expect from a man named after a breakfast food?

“Watchmen bites off more than a single film can chew, and chokes on its gluttony.” Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune


Enough with the food analogies.  How about someone who used those positive words?

“Redefines the word epic. I don’t know what the new definition is, but it’s definitely different… It’s 300 times 10!” Fred Topel Can Magazine

Wow, it’s 3000.  So, epic is just bigger?  Does that mean 2001 would have been better off if it were 20,001?

“Director Zack Snyder’s cerebral, scintillating follow-up to “300” seems, to even a weary filmgoer’s eye, as fresh and magnificent in sound and vision as “2001” must have seemed in 1968, yet in its eagerness to argue with itself, it resembles “A Clockwork Orange.”” Kyle Smith New York Post

An eagerness to argue with itself?  I can relate to that.  Let’s balance our ice cream with some poo-smelling comparisons.

What me worry about quality?

What me worry about quality?

“The appeal of the film version, such as it is, relates almost entirely to eye-for-an-eye, severed-limb-for-a-limb vengeance, two hours and 41 minutes of it, with just enough solemnity to make anyone who thought “The Dark Knight” was a little gassy think twice about which superhero myth THEY’RE calling gassy.” Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune

I’d call the Blob ‘gassy’ or the Kingpin – and that horrible version of Galactus from Fantastic Four 2.  But I don’t care if the movie is a little long, the book is long and this is the adaptation.

“For the Watchmen fan, this may be as close to the Holy Grail as a motion picture could come. For everyone else, a sense of frustration and disappointment is not unwarranted. Watchmen is many things but it is not the Next Great Comic Book Movie or the film that will advance graphic novel adaptations to the next level.” James Berardinelli ReelViews

Who knew the Holy Grail would be disappointing?  It’s sounding like your enjoyment hinges on expectations and pre-conceived notions.

There's always the kid-friendly version.  Perhaps Alan Moore would like this one...

Perhaps Alan Moore would like this version.

“You don’t need 12-sided dice and a fictitious Canadian girlfriend to “get it,” but it certainly helps.” Mike Ward Richmond.com

Watchmen=good for geeks, a little crazy for everyone else.  Got it.

I fear Charlie Brown with Dr. Manhatten's powers

I fear Charlie Brown with Dr. Manhatten's powers almost as much as I fear Snoopy as Rorschach.

“This is the perfect post-Abu-Ghraib, country-in-recession Madoff-Lohan-Limbaugh adventure. Our country is still Bush-ed, and a Superman would be laughed off the world stage.” Brandon Judell CultureCatch


Because when I think of grim meditative explorations of culture spinning out of control, I think of Legos

Because when I think of grim meditative explorations of culture spinning out of control, I think of Legos

“Elegance isn’t Zack Snyder’s bag; a certain sort of impact is. Watchmen establishes him as Hollywood’s reigning master of psychic suffocation.” Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

Watchmen will suffocate your brain.  Did I get that right?  No matter how you slice it, Watchmen is a mixed bag.  How can it not be when it’s a cerebral comic book adapted by a visual virtuoso and hyped with all 8 cylinders of the Hollywood hype engine?  The forces at work may not contradict, but they don’t always cooperate either. Whether you go to the movie expecting to be entertained, challenged, or impressed, remember that: “Happiness equals reality minus expectations” Tom Magliozzi.



3 Responses

  1. I fear Snoopy more.

  2. As far as I can tell, I am one of the people who is supposed to love it.

  3. I can’t wait for the made-for-TV version to come out. I really can’t. I wish I could recommend it to people, but I can’t in good conscience do so.

    The amount of (in my opinion) excessive nudity and sex is more than in 300 and the Matrix:Reloaded combined, and my grounds for being unable to recommend the viewing of the movie is based solely on this.

    Violence I don’t a problem with. There is a goodly amount of well-choreographic fight scenes, with some moments of elucidated violence.

    I really loved the story, I loved the enormous amount of time dedicated to the background of the characters, I loved the humanizing of the heroes. The concept kinda reminds me of Mystery Men.

    It makes me sad.

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