Daniel's Critical Corner

March 7, 2009

Daniel’s Critical Corner: “Watchmen”

Filed under: Film — Daniel @ 9:00 am
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drmanhattan1[1] by you.
Blue Man Group Promoting Hydroxycut

~ Hello Everyone ~
Welcome To Daniel’s Critical Corner !
In Need Of Some Comic Relief Today:  Watchmen

Hey !  What’s that up above ?  In the sky ?  I think…  It’s a bird !
No… It’s a plane !  Wait, it’s…  it’s…  A naked blue guy !!!  Could 
someone call Superman and tell him he left the house without his
tights ?  Better get back to the phone booth, pronto

Oh !!!  That’s not Superman.  This dude is balled bald and VERY
well endowed.  Don’t get jealous boys, I’m sure that it’s all CGI. 
Either that or it’s Milton Berle’s grandson…  At any rate, the guy
in the sky is none other than “Dr. Manhattan”.  And he’s here to
save us…  I think.

Dr. Manhattan is one of the unconventional superheroes in the
highly anticipated new flick “Watchmen”.  A movie that features
tons of DICK !!!  That’s right… President Richard Nixon himself is
one of the star players.  Our story takes place many years ago,
in an upside down (and inside out) vision of the mid 1980’s.

This is a world that looks like something out of “Blade Runner”,
and in it superheroes are just a natural part of everyday life…
There is the very buff and very blue Dr. Manhattan of course,
as well as hottie “Silk Spectre II” !  And the rather studly bird
guy, “Nite Owl II” (played here by Patrick Wilson).  It just so  
happens that “Nite Owl I”  was a victim of evil poachers, and 
his head is over a mantel at some woman’s cabin in Alaska.

Also, we are introduced to the very strange “Rorschach”, who
seems to be the most introspective of the bunch.  He wears a
mask of material on his face with ink blots all over it…  I kept
wanting to pluck it off of his head and throw it into a washing
machine.  Rounding out our rather odd crew is the gruff, cigar
smoking “Comedian” and the highly intelligent pretty boy they 
call “Ozzy Madness” (or something like that).

 

wm4_435x326-1-1[1] by you.

‘Nite Owl

 

 

  richard-thomas-then by you.

‘Nite John-Boy

  

When the twelve-issue comic series for “Watchmen” was first
created, the general idea was to “deconstruct” the superhero
  persona…  In other words, the writers wanted to make these  
masked avengers more human, and therefore more vulnerable. 
Well, they went too far if you ask me.  These superheroes are 
 just a bunch of weirdos in disguise.  Still, they are played with 
such sincerity that it is fun to watch them in action.

No doubt, the biggest extreme in this group is The Comedian. 
He really shouldn’t have been part of any superhero elite.  This
guy is a nut, who just shoots anyone he pleases !  (They even
show him shooting JFK).  If Peter Parker’s “Uncle Ben” came up 
to him saying “With great power comes great responsibility”, he
would just blow the old fart’s head clean off.  So, the logic of   
this wacko being allowed to stay in a justice-seeking vigilante
team really never makes one lick of sense.

But then again, a man dressed up as an owl having intelligent
conversations with some naked blue dude makes no sense at 
all either !  I’d probably start giggling…  It wouldn’t matter if I
was Nite Owl II or Dr. Manhattan, in that scenario I would be 
thinking to myself  “You’re kidding me, right?”  Ha Ha !  At one
point, Dr. Manhattan actually does nude yoga while floating 
in midair…  What a crack up

Anyway, for obvious reasons, President Nixon outlaws so-called 
“superheros”.  Then, one of them is found murdered.  Rorschach
 decides to lead his team on a final mission, to find out who has   
killed their buddy and get revenge.  But, while all of this stuff is  
transpiring, the world is on the brink of a full scale nuclear war. 
The Soviet Union is ready to wipe America off of the map  !

So, numerous hijinks ensue.  Rorschach is caught doing superhero
stuff, and then temporarily incarcerated with a real angry midget. 
Midgets always earn a film an extra point here at “Critical Corner”,
whether they are angry or not.

Silk Spectre II finds herself in a pickle as well, because she can no
longer relate to her well hung meaning boyfriend, Dr. Manhattan… 
She starts to realize that the Batmanish Nite Owl II is more up her
alley.  Gratuitous sex scenes soon follow.

 

large_SilkSpectre[1] by you.
Uma Thurman, Eat Your Heart Out !

 

 It isn’t very long before someone tries to kill brainy Ozzy Madness, so
everyone regains their focus and gets back to the daunting task now
at hand:  Find out who wants them all dead and save the world from
total annihilation !!!  A series of flashbacks occur as we put together
pieces of the puzzle.  When our heroes get closer to the answer, the
blood and guts really start to fly !

Things look bleak as the “Doomsday Clock” gets closer to midnight,
and Dr. Manhattan decides to take a vacation on Mars.  Strangely
enough, he is the only character that has any real “superpowers”. 
An accident at some sort of nuclear facility mutated him, similar to 
what happens in “The Incredible Hulk” !  (Except the Hulk managed
to keep his pants on)…

Everybody else is just an average Joe with exceptional fighting
abilities and technical savvy.  Nonetheless, these characters are
really kind of cool in their own way.  Our heroes have dark sides
and deep secrets, but they are still somewhat likable…  I’ve got
to admit, the costumes and special effects are very well done.  

“Watchmen” is not your typical superhero film.  Then again, it
never professes to be.  I am a bit of a traditionalist in respect
to comics, always preferring the stories of “Iron Man” or even
“Green Lantern” over such hardcore issues and violence.  But 
director Zack Snyder (of “300” fame) keeps this fiercely true 
to its source material, and rather unique at the same time.   

We are looking at a “thinking man’s” superhero flick here, which
is rather philosophical at times, but never preachy.  This movie
shows both sides of every story, and then leaves the audience 
to ponder the outcome’s moral implications.

Still, it is a far cry from a masterpiece.  The characters are not
quite developed enough, and the narrative is all over the place.
The gore is effective in some spots, yet unnecessary in others.
And, at almost three hours long, this film noticeably drags…  At
     least it should tide everyone over until “Star Trek” comes out !    

      “Watchmen” remains watchable, despite a few shortcomings.     

 ~

Would I Recommend This ?  Yes

Daniel’s Critical Rating:  “7.5” out of “10”

 

 

26 Comments »

  1. This is a funny review. Nite John Boy!!! I wonder how many people will really get the Milton Berle joke..LOL. This movie doesn’t seem like my cup of tea. I prefer more of a Stark…I mean story 🙂 I’ll probably skip this one, if it’s that long of a movie, I will get uneasy. You nailed it..maybe it’s just a filler for Star Trek..hehehehe.

    Comment by Gayle — March 7, 2009 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks Gayle ! Yes, the Milton Berle joke is rather out there…
    It’s like one of those obscure “Family Guy” references !!! LOL !

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — March 7, 2009 @ 5:30 pm | Reply

  3. yeah, haven’t heard anything too good about this movie and that’s too bad.. to take Jeffrey Dean Morgan from Grays Anatomy to this.. well.. it didn’t bode well.

    Comment by deslily — March 8, 2009 @ 4:12 am | Reply

  4. For the record, Morgan does a fairly respectable job portraying “The Comedian”. This edgy
    character has a rather sinister side to him ! But we never learn why… With the exception
    of the highly philosophical “Dr. Manhattan”, everyone has to be taken at face value. After
    viewing a film like “The Dark Knight”, for example, I think people want to know what makes
    these superheroes tick !

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — March 8, 2009 @ 10:00 pm | Reply

  5. I can agree with you on several fronts. I was pleasantly pleased with this film. I went in with high expectations and was not disappointed. However I think you are correct in your assessment of The Comedian. I don’t get why he was ever considered to be a hero either. I haven’t read the graphic novel, so I guess maybe it goes into his story in the book. Either way, I loved the plotline, I wasn’t offended by the amount of nudity & violence in the film (and that includes the BIG BLUE PENIS that was shown quite often actually…) and the “thinking man’s heroes” is a nice change of pace from some comic adaptations such as The Punisher and “Hulk”. I thought all of the actors did a great job with each role and I didn’t have a problem with the length of the film either. Overall, I thought they did a very good job! And so did you! Nice review Daniel! Once again…

    Comment by Alan — March 9, 2009 @ 7:57 am | Reply

  6. Thank you for the compliment Alan ! This was really a fun review to write. To the best of
    my recollection, the graphic novel doesn’t tell us much more about The Comedian than the
    movie does. I’m going to have to read it again to find out for sure though…

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — March 9, 2009 @ 8:33 am | Reply

  7. Nice review! I actually really liked the movie and never really thought it dragged, in fact I was missing the parts they left out! I do agree the gore in parts was a bit gratuitous but I guess Zack Snyder has a reputation to live up to. He did manage to film what was always thought to be unfilmable. Overall I thought it was a pretty remarkable achievement that I’m sure will probably grow on me even more upon multiple viewings when it hits DVD later this year.

    Comment by Russ — March 9, 2009 @ 8:44 pm | Reply

  8. What do you mean by “missing parts” ? This movie was full of “parts” ! LOL !
    Oh !!! You must be alluding to the “Tales of the Black Freighter” stuff… That
    would have been cool to see.

    Despite a long run time, I’m looking forward to viewing “Watchmen” again.
    This is the flick EVERYBODY is talking about (rather they liked it or not) !!!

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — March 9, 2009 @ 9:07 pm | Reply

  9. Heya, glad to see a review on this one. I enjoyed the graphic novel.

    Comment by Aaron — March 11, 2009 @ 5:13 pm | Reply

  10. I enjoyed it as well. Thanks Aaron !!! 🙂 If you liked that, you may also dig:
    “Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth” and “Ghost Rider: Road
    to Damnation” !

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — March 11, 2009 @ 7:40 pm | Reply

  11. So you say “well endowed” in the second paragraph then you say the movie has its “shortcomings”, is there a connection there? I have to know before I go watch it ha ha. Great review keep it up!

    Comment by Vanessa — March 11, 2009 @ 10:56 pm | Reply

  12. Ha Ha Ha ! The long and the short of it is,
    you’ve got to see everything for yourself !

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — March 12, 2009 @ 1:23 am | Reply

  13. Great review you really made me laugh! Thanks for the comment on my blog. Ill definitely be back here to read your next review.

    Comment by Katie — March 12, 2009 @ 4:15 pm | Reply

  14. Thanks Katie ! You have a wonderful blog ! Welcome to
    “Critical Corner”. More awesome reviews on the way !!!

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — March 12, 2009 @ 5:34 pm | Reply

  15. This:
    “We are looking at a “thinking man’s” superhero flick here, which
    is rather philosophical at times, but never preachy. This movie
    shows both sides of every story, and then leaves the audience
    to ponder the outcome’s moral implications.”

    My main complaint about the movie is they put too much emphasis on the doomsday clock, I would have liked it to be symbolic rather than spoon fed. I would have liked a clock shown in the background or someone checking the time at appropriate times that was closer and closer to midnight instead of “Dr. Manhattan, what do you think about the doomsday clock, a symbolic representation for total nuclear war that’s approaching midnight” …

    Comment by whitehamster — March 12, 2009 @ 9:45 pm | Reply

  16. You bring up some interesting points. I felt the clock references were justified.
    (Through its dialog and symbolism, “Watchmen” used every trick in the book to
    convey the ominous threat of nuclear war).

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — March 12, 2009 @ 10:00 pm | Reply

  17. I was entertained by Watchmen but it could have been more than it was.

    Comment by Film-Book dot Com — March 14, 2009 @ 10:17 pm | Reply

  18. If it were any more than it was, my leg would have fallen asleep !

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — March 14, 2009 @ 10:25 pm | Reply

  19. nice review .. i have been too busy to notice new movies 😦 ..
    i need a break from work 🙂

    Comment by arvind — March 15, 2009 @ 12:33 am | Reply

  20. Thanks Arvind !!! I hope you get that break soon !!!

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — March 15, 2009 @ 11:27 am | Reply

  21. Saw Watchmen and frankly it was a bit painful 😦 I was thinking everything else but the movie 🙂

    Comment by Chirag Chamoli — March 16, 2009 @ 1:43 am | Reply

  22. I take it you’re not counting down the days
    until they release the extended cut ! LOL !

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — March 16, 2009 @ 5:15 pm | Reply

  23. I agree that the film is “all over the place” in some places but when the film is good, its really good.

    Comment by Film-Book dot Com — March 22, 2009 @ 3:57 pm | Reply

  24. Very true. (I feel that the good far outweighs the bad) !

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — March 22, 2009 @ 4:37 pm | Reply

  25. Naked CGI, gratuitous sex scenes and people killing each other? I’m so totally there. Hopefully after my move and I get settled in I’ll have time to go see it. Given that I’ve never read the comics do you think it’ll affect my understanding of the story. One of my friends is a diehard fan and he says yes, but I trust you more 😉

    Comment by Lady Jaye — March 23, 2009 @ 7:25 am | Reply

  26. I hope your move goes well !!! No offense to your friend, but reading the comic collection
    will not improve anyone’s understanding of “Watchmen” ! If a flick can’t be understood on
    its own merit, that’s just lousy filmmaking. Not the case here. Check it out, and ENJOY !

    Comment by Daniel's Critical Corner — March 23, 2009 @ 8:00 am | Reply


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