Thursday, March 05, 2009

Having Now Seen WATCHMEN Twice, Roger Ebert Blogs

Roger Ebert's Journal: Roger Ebert: February 2009 Archives: "Inside many superhero stories is a Greek tragedy in hiding. There is the godlike hero, and he is flawed. In early days his weaknesses were simplistic, like Superman's vulnerability to Kryptonite. Then Spider-Man was created as an insecure teenager, and comic books began to peer deeper. Now comes the 'Watchmen,' with their origins as 1940s goofballs, their development into modern costumed vigilantes, and the laws against them as public nuisances. They are human. Although they have extraordinary physical powers, they aren't superheroes in the usual sense. Then everything changes for Jon Osterman, remade after a nuclear accident as Dr. Manhattan. He isn't as human as Batman, but that can be excused because he isn't human at all."


Anonymous said...

Typical critic-speak. I guess when a person watches movies for a living he can't just enjoy one. I'm eager to see this one, as much for what it is as what I suspect it isn't: I can't imagine how they can put the thick, meaty graphic novel into a 2 hr, 40 min. film.

Ebert's review does make me hope the film reflects the human - or humanity - side and isn't just a slam-bang special effects bonanza.

Todd Mason said...

Pearce Duncan, a listmate on Indiana University's Horror list, posted a much more succint and to the point (and better-written) review yesterday, wherein he suggests that the film doesn't flinch from the brutality that the graphic novel can suggest more subtly, and that the pirate-comics sequences have been filmed and are scheduled to be released as a separate short film (I gather they are only hinted at in the theatrical release of the primary film and will be included in the home video release), but that otherwise it's a very faithful adaptation indeed.

Anonymous said...

That's crazy. First of all, Ebert knows nothing, evidently, about Moore's & Gibbons's work. You can't take _The Black Freighter_ out of _Watchmen_ and do the story justice. Each comments one upon the other. And I don't want to get on my soapbox about this film. There's not enough room here to hold my verbal bile. In a way that the cartoons for _The Lord of the Rings_ triology was better than the films, so will the _Watchmen_ motion comics be better than Snyder's missionary work. He's vanilla-downed a masterpiece. I'd talk about so much more: the actor playing Veidt looking 300% more queer than Rorschach ever suspects him of being; chaning the ending (a valid cause for pure hatred as it changes so, so much the whole premise of the film); the complete impossibility of tranposing the "Fearful Symmetry" chapter into the film medium, and . . . and . . . well, I said I wouldn't.

- Lawrence
I'm glad to hear reports that people are confused by the film. Maybe Snyder kept some intelligence in the whole thing, after all.