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Watchmen


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It isn't that the film is different, it's that it simply isn't very good.

Well I disagree, as have quite a few people in the thread. It just strikes me that most of the comments here as to why people didn't like the film revolve around the differences between the film and the book - seeing the film in isolation, aside from the fact that it was a bit lacking in backstory towards the beginning, I didn't find the same problems e.g. with it being lacking complexity etc. For instance, not having the background of the characters that other people have from the book, I thought the fight in the alleyway was fine and fitted in - because I didn't have the preconception that the two of them had to be "pacifist" or whatever the book places them as. The people who didn't like that scene seem to be the ones that thought it should have been done differently on the basis of what the book said, rather than looking at it in isolation.

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Well yes, but that's my point - of those friends, how many wouldn't have liked it because they didn't like the genre, regardless of whether this particular film was any good? I suppose what I'm getting at is whether the people who would normally like this genre of film but didn't like this particular one are generally people who'd already read the book.

I would imagine that's the likely to be the case generally, yes. But your terms are a little leading. If people don't like this film, they don't like this film. One person's reasons will be different from another's. Your question seems to imply that people will dislike a 'good' film simply because it's in a genre they don't like. They won't: if they think it's a good film they'll like it. If they don't like the film, it might well cement an existing dislike of the genre. They might, on the other hand, like this one and not others in the same genre.

Just because someone not keen on the genre also doesn't like this film, that doesn't mean they are disliking it "because they didn't like the genre, regardless of whether this particular film was any good".

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Well I disagree, as have quite a few people in the thread. It just strikes me that most of the comments here as to why people didn't like the film revolve around the differences between the film and the book - seeing the film in isolation, aside from the fact that it was a bit lacking in backstory towards the beginning, I didn't find the same problems e.g. with it being lacking complexity etc. For instance, not having the background of the characters that other people have from the book, I thought the fight in the alleyway was fine and fitted in - because I didn't have the preconception that the two of them had to be "pacifist" or whatever the book places them as. The people who didn't like that scene seem to be the ones that thought it should have been done differently on the basis of what the book said, rather than looking at it in isolation.

They're certainly not portrayed as pacifists in the comic. In fact, they clearly enjoy the violence. The movie's a lot more violent than the comic in general though. The alley scene was pretty much bloodless, as I recall, as are all of Manhatten's killings. I thought the gore worked well in the film though, adding impact rather than feeling gratuitous.

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They're not killers in the book. Why should the film have to be identical to the book?

When the adaptation is so slavish to the source (to the detriment of the film iteself in some cases) it does seem to be odd to make such a deliberate change in that particular scene. I'd like to imagine that there was some deep thought out reason but I suspect it's more to do with the fact that Zack Snyder thinks gory ultraviolence is like so cool!

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Oh, one way in which the film has sullied the book - they pronounce all the names differently! I thought is was Adrian 'Veet' not 'Vight'. And Raw-shack? The book has it as Raw Shark. Also, I'm sure Derek Jacobi would take exception to how they pronounced Moloch's real name.

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When the adaptation is so slavish to the source (to the detriment of the film iteself in some cases) it does seem to be odd to make such a deliberate change in that particular scene. I'd like to imagine that there was some deep thought out reason but I suspect it's more to do with the fact that Zack Snyder thinks gory ultraviolence is like so cool!

Hear hear! :(

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They're not killers in the book. Why should the film have to be identical to the book?

It doesn't have to be identical to the book, but when a change occurs to the film's detriment, as I (and others) think this one does, it's a mistake.

The violence of the alley fight scene blurs the distinction between Dan, Laurie, and Rorschach. One of the questions that both the film and the book asks is at what point do heroics and vigilantism cease to be justifiable? Is Adrian's plan justified because it's for the greater good? Is Rorschach justified in slamming a meat cleaver into the head of a child-murderer who probably couldn't be prosecuted due to a lack of evidence? And so on. These ideas are better exposed when you have a contrast between the actions of characters who do cross moral boundaries, and characters who don't. As it is, the brutality of Rorschach's actions are slightly obscured because they become part of the overall tone of the movie, rather than an isolated aspect of his character.

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The important thing that's been lost from the comic is the structure. The reason that it's such a great comic isn't the characters and it certainly isn't the plot, it's the way that the story is told through a mass of material detailing the history of the characters, fed to the reader in fragments that the reader eventually pieces together for themselves. Snyder pretty much tells the story with a few flashbacks thrown in, which is a wise choice, as the comics structure would be a confusing mess whizzing past you in a three hour cinema visit, but it really loses the genius of the comic.

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The important thing that's been lost from the comic is the structure. The reason that it's such a great comic isn't the characters and it certainly isn't the plot, it's the way that the story is told through a mass of material detailing the history of the characters, fed to the reader in fragments that the reader eventually pieces together for themselves. Snyder pretty much tells the story with a few flashbacks thrown in, which is a wise choice, as the comics structure would be a confusing mess whizzing past you in a three hour cinema visit, but it really loses the genius of the comic.

Hrrm.

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I've been thinking about the Nite Owl II and Silk Spector II fight scene and why it doesn't really bother me.

It replaces the contrast between the 'goodness' of those two characters and the other characters with the idea that what they're doing is inherently violent and that it isn't a comic where what always happens is that the bad guys get beaten up, the police get them and it's all okay, and that harming people is almost inherent to what they do to some degree, and in the real world they don't always have a choice about how they're apprehended and how they fight back. There's still a difference between Rorschach and the two characters because Rorschach practically revels delivering punishment.

It also plays nicely with the end of the film, and could be summarised as comparable with Veidt's conclusion that, essentially, attacking is justified when there's no other choice left.

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I've been thinking about the Nite Owl II and Silk Spector II fight scene and why it doesn't really bother me.

It replaces the contrast between the 'goodness' of those two characters and the other characters with the idea that what they're doing is inherently violent and that it isn't a comic where what always happens is that the bad guys get beaten up, the police get them and it's all okay, and that harming people is almost inherent to what they do to some degree, and in the real world they don't always have a choice about how they're apprehended and have to fight back. There's still a difference between Rorschach and the two characters because Rorschach practically revels delivering punishment.

But he doesn't appear to enjoy the violence he inflicts in the film.

If it was a different director, I'd be more willing to give the alley scene the benefit of the doubt, but I'd say that Snyder is the one who revels in violence.

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I've been thinking about the Nite Owl II and Silk Spector II fight scene and why it doesn't really bother me.

It replaces the contrast between the 'goodness' of those two characters and the other characters with the idea that what they're doing is inherently violent and that it isn't a comic where what always happens is that the bad guys get beaten up, the police get them and it's all okay, and that harming people is almost inherent to what they do to some degree, and in the real world they don't always have a choice about how they're apprehended and how they fight back. There's still a difference between Rorschach and the two characters because Rorschach practically revels delivering punishment.

It could also be compared with Veidt's conclusion: attacking is justified when there's no other choice left.

I actually agree, to a point. I don't think Snyder's mistake was necessarily the violent tone, as it did help to de-glamorise the cinema superhero.

I disagree with you about their being 'no choice', however, at least with the knife in the neck (the human shield I can tolerate). I never truly believed that Dan and Laurie had anything but the upper hand, and so their decision to kill some of their attackers seemed, to me at least, just that: a decision. Maybe I'll feel differently watching it again.

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Perhaps so, I just don't see it as a very big leap and a change with a fairly simple justification. If the book originally had them stabbing people during the fight scene, no-one would have given it a second thought and would have proclaimed the genius of transcending the stereotypical comic-book fight into something much more gritty and real and that it was echoing the end of the story instead of criticising them for being gore whores like Snyder. But that's my personal view.

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In both the book and the film there is a scene after the prison break where Dan & Rorschach go to a bar to interrogate some crims, and in this scene (in both book and film) Dan is seen to be clearly uncomfortable with the nature of Rorschach's interrogation techniques.

In the film this doesn't really make much sense character-wise as 30 minutes ago Dan was snapping limbs and stomping heads in the alleyway.

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