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Watchmen on HBO


JohnC
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15 minutes ago, Andy_Why said:

What was The Leftovers actually like though? Did anyone watch it? I hear it's good but was it HBO good? Does it stack up against the other HBO greats? 

It was fantastic from start to finish. 

 

Wouldn't surprise me if it ends up garnering the same sort of cult following as Twin Peaks, in a few years. 

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14 minutes ago, K said:

I'm probably alone in holding this view, but I'd say the Zak Snyder adaptation is probably about as close as you could get to a decent adaptation of Watchmen. There are some awful bits that you could edit out fairly easily - the 'Hallelujah' sex scene, some of the gruesome violence, the taste-deaf scene where the Comedian rapes Silk Spectre - but the rest is pretty good, I'd say. The fact that Zak Snyder is a technically amazing director with no idea how to corral actors or how to manage the tone of a work actually works in the film's favour for the most part, as it means that he just slavishly copies the comict. The only bad bits are the scenes where his own personality accidentally breaks through and contaminates the film, and they're in a strict minority.

 

The cast are great, some of the streamlining works really well, and most of the best bits of the book are intact - "I already did it thirty five minutes ago", "I'm disappointed, Veidt", "You're locked in here with me", etc. I'm not sure what benefit you'd get from making it again as a TV series; in fact, there's the risk that they'd be tempted to adapt the largely awful Before Watchmen for the screen as well, and nobody wants that.

 

I somewhat agree, but I think what the film did, by being so close to the book, was demonstrate that the book isn't actually all that good, imo.

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6 hours ago, Rowan Morrison said:

My opinion of Watchmen isn't quite what it used to be, but the only way I'd approve of this is if the show followed the Glee or Cop Rock model.

 

I said Doctor, I have something here

That's sure to make you laugh -

Dog! (Dog!)

Dog! (Dog!)

With head split in half

 

So if you look into your hearts

I'm sure you will agree

That I'm not locked in here with you -

You're locked in here with me

 

-----

 

Ozymandias:

You think, perhaps, that I'm a fool?

I answer "no, no, no"

I saw you on my TV wall

Out riding in the snow

And then I went and did it all

Thirty-five minutes ago

 

Rorschach:

Thirty-five minutes ago?

Thirty-five minutes ago?

That Ozymandias!
I told you he'd see us!

Oh why is your owl ship so slow?


And so on and so forth. I await the call.

 

Dr Seuss x Watchmen. Who grinches the grinch (man)?

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The film is just a sequence of slavishly recreated Watchmen imagery with no real attempt made to actually turn it into a watchable film that stands on its own merits. A classic example is the 'hug' between the news vendor and comic reading boy as NYC explodes; in the comic their scenes had been running concurrently with the rest of the plot, so when they hug in their final moments it's all the more emotionally affecting. As it happens in the film, it's just two unknown extras hugging shorn of context. 

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6 minutes ago, SM47 said:

The film is just a sequence of slavishly recreated Watchmen imagery with no real attempt made to actually turn it into a watchable film that stands on its own merits. A classic example is the 'hug' between the news vendor and comic reading boy as NYC explodes; in the comic their scenes had been running concurrently with the rest of the plot, so when they hug in their final moments it's all the more emotionally affecting. As it happens in the film, it's just two unknown extras hugging shorn of context. 

 

Watch the ULTIMATE CUT.

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I shouldn't need to watch a four hour cut of a film, that's just one example of them not bothering to do a proper job adapting the source material into a satisfying experience. A long form television format though? 

 

*TRANSFORMS INTO GLYCON AND SLITHERS INTO THE AIR HISSING 'YESSSSS'* 

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A satisfying 2 hour adaption not having been done I agree with, but just pointing out that the particular scenes you wanted does exist, and they're in the aforementioned 4 hour version.

 

I was satisfied by the movie overall, but mainly because it was so faithful it hurts.

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I can imagine stuff would get stretched out for a TV show. You'd get backstory (that was probably explained in a handful of words in the novel), you'd get 3 episodes spent just with the original team, you'd get a Vietnam war episode. I agree with K, Snyder's movie had its flaws but it's about the best adaptation you could have hoped to expect. 

 

And the whole setting up of that world, handled brilliantly during the title sequence, would probably be spread across a number of episode too. 

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I think the opening of Watchmen might be the piece of film that makes me angriest in the whole wide world*, with its 'whores' tableau, ham-fisted and inexplicable Last Supper crib, and gun-with-flower-going-off scene that we all enjoyed 11 years earlier in The Simpsons. If you ask me Snyder should be forced at gun point to eat the negatives, but I suppose it's too late now.

 

* And I saw Bad Boy Bubby at the cinema**.

 

** Sorry, I can't remember which film I used last time I hypocritically recycled this joke.

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2 hours ago, Mr Cochese said:

They could pad it out quite a bit with Tales Of The Black Freighter nonsense. Or just not bother at all.

 

Didn't they do that as an animated short companion piece with Gerard butler? I never saw it but seem to recall it existing. 

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Didn't they call it a motion comic or something like that? It was like comic panels with limited animation in the frames. It was originally supposed to be in the movie, but was spun out when the movie ended up being so long. 

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The Black Frieghter is edited into the movie in the 4 hour ultimate edition cut I've got on bluray. But you get the sense it's in there because it was in the comic, and not because Snyder has any understanding of the correlations between the two. 

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19 hours ago, K said:

I'm probably alone in holding this view, but I'd say the Zak Snyder adaptation is probably about as close as you could get to a decent adaptation of Watchmen. There are some awful bits that you could edit out fairly easily - the 'Hallelujah' sex scene, some of the gruesome violence, the taste-deaf scene where the Comedian rapes Silk Spectre - but the rest is pretty good, I'd say. The fact that Zak Snyder is a technically amazing director with no idea how to corral actors or how to manage the tone of a work actually works in the film's favour for the most part, as it means that he just slavishly copies the comict. The only bad bits are the scenes where his own personality accidentally breaks through and contaminates the film, and they're in a strict minority.

 

The cast are great, some of the streamlining works really well, and most of the best bits of the book are intact - "I already did it thirty five minutes ago", "I'm disappointed, Veidt", "You're locked in here with me", etc. I'm not sure what benefit you'd get from making it again as a TV series; in fact, there's the risk that they'd be tempted to adapt the largely awful Before Watchmen for the screen as well, and nobody wants that.

I agree with 100%. The film , not withstanding the change in the type of apocalyptic event, is as good as you are going to get for a story that was designed for a comic book. The only thing a series could add is filming of the diaries and excerpts from "under the hood" etc

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The Watchmen film is one of those rare things that has tainted my view of the original. I actually liked it enough to see it twice at the cinema as I was in a mad Watchmen phase at the time, having read it for the first time not that long before and loved it. Since then I've found that my memories of the comic have been sullied by the inferior film and I've gone off the whole thing somewhat.

 

That's never happened with other things. The existence of Prometheus has no impact on my enjoyment of Alien. The Robocop remake (nor any of the sequels) hasn't ruined the original for me. Perhaps it's because the Watchmen film is so similar to the comic, it has kind of 'rubbed over' those memories in my brain, like when my mum rubbed over a VHS family video with Home & Away. I guess that often happens with film adaptations - the actors and visuals from the film tend to overwrite imagery conjured up by the book.

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1 hour ago, PeteBrant said:

I agree with 100%. The film , not withstanding the change in the type of apocalyptic event, is as good as you are going to get for a story that was designed for a comic book. The only thing a series could add is filming of the diaries and excerpts from "under the hood" etc

 

If nothing else, you're never going to get as good a Rorschach as Jacke Earl Hailey. He's exactly as I imagined him. 

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The casting is the best bit about the film for certain. Jackie Earl Hailey, Patrick Wilson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Billy Crudup and Carla Gugino were all perfectly cast and put in great performances. Malin Ackerman and - more crucially - Matthew Goode less so, but on the whole the casting director earned their fee big time.

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11 minutes ago, K said:

 

If nothing else, you're never going to get as good a Rorschach as Jacke Earl Hailey. He's exactly as I imagined him. 

Yeah he was great. To be fair it was pretty sharp casting all round.

 

True story, My son at the time of release was 15. He was desperate to see it after I had given him the comic some time previously. So I bought two tickets for Watchmen and two tickets for whatever PG rated film was on at the time. And used the PG tickets to get into the initial checking ticket bit . No one was on the door of the actual screen rooms,  so we went in and watched it and I had the tickets to back it up just in case. All worked perfectly. 

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36 minutes ago, Pob said:

The Watchmen film is one of those rare things that has tainted my view of the original. I actually liked it enough to see it twice at the cinema as I was in a mad Watchmen phase at the time, having read it for the first time not that long before and loved it. Since then I've found that my memories of the comic have been sullied by the inferior film and I've gone off the whole thing somewhat.

 

That's never happened with other things. The existence of Prometheus has no impact on my enjoyment of Alien. The Robocop remake (nor any of the sequels) hasn't ruined the original for me. Perhaps it's because the Watchmen film is so similar to the comic, it has kind of 'rubbed over' those memories in my brain, like when my mum rubbed over a VHS family video with Home & Away. I guess that often happens with film adaptations - the actors and visuals from the film tend to overwrite imagery conjured up by the book.

 

I think Watchmen certainly has it flaws, but in the comic they're generally covered up by the craftsmanship. The film comes along and, being slavishly faithful to the material, it brings across the flaws - but Snyder doesn't have the necessary craftsmanship to compensate. And added to that, as has been said many times, Watchmen is 100% a comic book - it's not a failed attempt at a novel or a screenplay that's had pictures added, it's a very deliberate study of its medium and genre. There's a lot of stuff that just won't translate well - so ideally, you wouldn't try; you'd apply the spirit of Watchmen, rather than cut and paste the plot and visuals. You'd ask "how do I convey the nature of Dr. Manhattan in film"? And unless you're Nic Roeg, you're probably going to struggle. But as that suggests, it's not impossible - I think it's fair to say Watchmen has a significant Roeg influence, but Moore approached that analytically and artistically, he took apart Roeg's technique and aesthetic and rebuilt it to serve his story, his themes and the medium. He didn't just shuffle a few panels around and declare himself done.

 

I don't want to be too hard on Snyder, although at the same time I kinda do. He wasn't making an experimental, art-house film, he was making a big-budget blockbuster. He should have had the good sense or humility not to touch it with a bargepole but, once he did, he was on an artistic hiding to nothing, and I suppose he did the best he could under the circumstances - he made a very effective and painstaking copy, and went crazy with the slo-mo.

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14 hours ago, Rowan Morrison said:

I think the opening of Watchmen might be the piece of film that makes me angriest in the whole wide world*, with its 'whores' tableau, ham-fisted and inexplicable Last Supper crib, and gun-with-flower-going-off scene that we all enjoyed 11 years earlier in The Simpsons. If you ask me Snyder should be forced at gun point to eat the negatives, but I suppose it's too late now.

 

* And I saw Bad Boy Bubby at the cinema**.

 

** Sorry, I can't remember which film I used last time I hypocritically recycled this joke.

 

I rewatched those opening titles earlier today (via the Wonder Woman thread's Art of the Title link), and I still think it's probably the best bit of the film. It's one of the few parts which isn't just taking the images of the comic and putting them on film, but does something that the comic could not have done. It takes advantage of the strengths of its medium just as Moore and Gibbons set out to do with theirs, which arguably makes that sequence a more faithful translation of the comic's spirit than any of the directly copied panel compositions elsewhere in the film.

 

I agree about the Last Supper shot though. Even for a sequence which has a lot of on the nose moments (the murdered lesbians set to the lyric "Don't criticise what you can't understand"), that one sticks out. That painting gets pastiched and parodied really often (I blame The Da Vinci Code!), and it normally comes across as a way to get a smirk of recognition from the audience rather than because it adds something: "oh, so that character there must be a bit like Judas" is usually about as far as it goes. Also, the other shots in the sequence that are based on famous pictures give a sense of how the superheroes affected history at the time those photos were taken, which means a recreation of a painting from hundreds of years earlier doesn't quite fit.

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