Friday 6 March 2009

watchmen review by A.O.Scott in the NY Times:

"Speaking of acts of congress, “Watchmen” features this year’s hands-down winner of the bad movie sex award, superhero division: a moment of bliss that takes place on board Nite Owl’s nifty little airship, accompanied by Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” (By the way, can we please have a moratorium on the use of this song in movies? Yes, I too have heard there was a secret chord that David played, and blah blah blah, but I don’t want to hear it again. Do you?)"

"The only action that makes sense in this world — the only sure basis for ethics or politics, the only expression of love or loyalty or conviction — is killing. And the dramatic conflict revealed, at long last, in the film’s climactic arguments is between a wholesale, idealistic approach to mass death and one that is more cynical and individualistic.
This idea is sickening but also, finally, unpersuasive, because it is rooted in a view of human behavior that is fundamentally immature, self-pitying and sentimental. Perhaps there is some pleasure to be found in regressing into this belligerent, adolescent state of mind. But maybe it’s better to grow up."



Blogger Ed said...

Well I disagree.

Moore's work (I'm aware his name is missing from movie credits) approaches the question of what are we prepared to do to change the world? Distopia vs Utopia. Is it dress up in costumes and beat up people? (A question that connects with uniform wearing military and police.) Become as violent as the people we seek to stop? (Like the war in Iraq...) Is it kill millions to save thousands?

It is posing these questions that gives the work ethical 'traction'.

Moore's world in Watchmen is different to the world we live in but it is also the same. This review seems to miss that and avoid the mass violence of the past hundred years.

6 March 2009 at 18:19:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Matthew Adams said...

It was a pretty terrible sex scene, but at least the song was something to listen to while trying not to watch the pathetic fumbling of the actors.

6 March 2009 at 18:22:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Scott Dixon said...

Hi Mr. Campbell. Love your site and your work and thought I might chime in on this post: I agree that the song was a bad choice but the filmmakers were faithful to the comic. That sex scene is as clumsy and as badly staged in the source material as it is in the film. (Although I'm with the reviewer on the overuse of the Cohen song.) As to the film's ending and its killing motif (for lack of a better word), I believe this is where the film lets itself down. The violence just doesn't translate from the page and panel into a digestible form on the big screen. That said, love the comic, really enjoyed the film.

And keep up the good work.

6 March 2009 at 19:03:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a serious lack of giant tentacles in the movie.

Glad you're back at your blog, Eddie :)

6 March 2009 at 20:23:00 GMT-5  
Blogger SRBissette said...

Sweet to see you back here, Eddie.

Saw WATCHMEN last night. As with FROM HELL, THE SPIRIT and others, I will remain mum in public forums on these matters -- I know where too many of the bodies are.

Besides, I'm having too much fun drawing again.

7 March 2009 at 09:16:00 GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

I loved the intelligent story when I read the book, but strengely enough I don't think that the movie wouuld fall into thecategory of films I would enjoy. I'd rather watch "Les Triplettes de Belleville".

8 March 2009 at 11:03:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a truly dire and inappropriately porny sex scene. At least it keeps the gag at the end from the comic though, so you don't have to take it seriously.

8 March 2009 at 18:25:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Jordan said...

hi Eddie!

It's fascinating how even a direct, literally faithful, scene for scene, word for word comics-to-movie adaptation has a totally different effect than the original.

I saw WATCHMEN Friday night. It couldn't have been more respectful of the source material. Yet scenes that felt serious and realistic in the comic book, when translated to film felt exaggerated, cartoony, even campy.

You couldn't ask for a better illustration of the different natures of the two art forms.

8 March 2009 at 20:26:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Pete Mullins said...

Couldn't agree more with A.O.scott.

'Mature content' used to mean themes and concepts that required a certain level of sophisticated thought.

Now it means body count and/or
gratuitous boobs and bums.

Good to have you back Eddie.

9 March 2009 at 01:24:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jordan: the problem is that Snyder is approaching the adaptation from a fanboy perspective. He is obsessively faithful to the events and plot, but has displayed no sign that he's capable of understanding the meanings or themes behind them.

9 March 2009 at 11:52:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Matthew Adams said...

Snyder actually thought 300 was worth making into a movie, which demonstrates his lack of intelligence. I think Watchmen was a fairly decent movie, but mainly because of it's source material. The only way that Snyder could actually turn watchmen into a watchable movie was to remain obsessively faithful to the book. He might not understand the themes, but the themes still by and large came out in the movie.

9 March 2009 at 18:15:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny that Snyder doesn't "get it" according to so many, yet I can't recall the last film to cause such debate on "mature themes".

If it had been boring as batshit and directed by Sam Mendes, and it was was Kate Winslett with her tits out it would be considered brilliant.

You have to love arthouse pretension that precludes anything that can be entertaining and thought provoking having no merit.

People appluad the "bravery" of making shit on DV cameras that play to know one, yet you get a director with big enough balls to take $200 m of WB and make something that will never please it's author and the audince who will watch it, and has been branded unfilmabale and makes people actually think about what they are watching and challenges them to watch and decipher rather than have something spoon fed to them and all people can do is pick apart what isn't in it or whats wrong.

The sex scene was exactly what is was supposed to be, and if thats all he can talk about in a 3 hour film he surely misses the point.

The film is flawed but achieves success on more levels than most other films would never be brave enough to attempt.

Any one that can get than many Kubrick references in, put Malin Ackerman in that outfit, nail that much of the book on target and sneak in Tears for fears musak to Viedt monologing has made a film worth appreciation.

12 March 2009 at 05:32:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my immediate reaction to Watchmen is to feel haunted by the intense style and storyline -- haunted in a good way that is... overall i loved it

15 March 2009 at 15:12:00 GMT-5  

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