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Watchmen

The 2009 movie directed by Zack Snyder and based upon the book by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

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You've Never "Watched" Heroes Like This Before

  • Aug 2, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
I was not impressed by director Zack Snyder's efforts in "300." While it was a visual feast with impressive special effects, I felt that Snyder used those visuals as a crutch to support a rather dull plot. The actual historical account of the battle at Thermopylae was, to me, a much better story than Snyder's film or Frank Miller's graphic novel.

With that said, I wasn't expecting much from Snyder's "Watchmen." Based on the comic series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, I thought that it would be just another special effects-laden, plotless film. I was quite surprised.

What Snyder has done is take a very good story and give it an excellent treatment on film. From recreating panels with near perfection from the comics and retaining the bulk of the story, Snyder has outdone himself.

The plot of the film revolves around the murder of one superhero, the Comedian, and the attempts of another, Rorshach, to discover the culprit. Rorshach tries to drag other former heroes out of retirement with mixed results at first. Eventually he gets Nite Owl II to help him in his quest. Another pair of heroes, Silk Spectre II and Dr. Manhattan, also become involved, but they primarily struggle with themselves. Silk Spectre is trying to find a reason to stay with Dr. Manhattan despite his becoming increasingly detached from her. Dr. Manhattan has become bored with humanity and also accused of giving cancer to some of his colleagues and spends much of the film in solitude on Mars. Another former hero, the very public Ozymandias, would rather keep his distance on all matters.

As expected, Snyder does provide excellent special effects. In fact, they are some of the best I've seen in the last couple of years. Even the perpetually blue-glowing Dr. Manhattan looks rather convincing on the screen.

Jackie Earle Haley rises above the rest of the cast as Rorshach, the primary catalyst in the film. He keeps the tale interesting throughout. He's a tortured soul intent on finding the murderer of his former ally. Patrick Wilson does an excellent job as the depressed Nite Owl II, who's all but thrown in the towel on being a superhero. He's somewhat like Batman had Bruce Wayne quit hitting the gym and became a homebody. Billy Crudup does a good job as Dr. Manhattan, giving a cold and nearly emotionless performance. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays the rather unlikeable Comedian, who appears primarily in flashbacks. He's a disgusting jerk and quite possibly the ultimate anti-hero. Carla Gugino portrays the original Silk Spectre, and shines as a drunken, washed-up former hero.

The only real disappointments in the acting department were Matthew Goode and Malin Akerman. Goode just wasn't believable as the super-intelligent old soul called Ozymandias. His performance was very flat. Still, he wasn't as bad as Malin Akerman, who delivers a wooden and emotionless performance as Silk Spectre II. Akerman comes across as a likeable person in real life, but I felt that she wasn't the right person for this particular role.

Despite the subpar efforts of Goode and Akerman, I felt that "Watchmen" was a very good film. Loyal to the source material, full of tormented characters, and giving the viewer a very unique spin on the mythos of superheroes, I highly recommend "Watchmen." It's a definite purchase for fans of the comic serial and anyone who enjoys an excellent mystery or solid action.

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More Watchmen (2009 film) reviews
review by . November 17, 2010
All I know about WATCHMEN I learned from the movies. I'd never read the graphic novel…I'd never heard of it, in fact, until buzz about the movie started. So I cannot comment on the faithfulness to the source, or whether it captures the spirit of the original work.      So for this novice, WATCHMEN was a big, often entertaining, sometimes tedious mish-mash of straight-forward action film, a tongue-in-cheek spin on the superhero genre and a sometimes interesting …
review by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Careful what you ask for, you just might get it.  I always wanted to see the Watchmen made into a movie.  At the same time I knew it would be a train wreck.  It had to be.  How can you get everything from the graphic novel into one movie?  You can't.  it's just that simple.  Still they tried.  Problem is I don't give credit for effort.  Only for success.      The biggest problem for me is how they changed the ending.  …
Quick Tip by . November 26, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I'm a firm believer in that you shouldn't review something if you don't know the full story (or at least the background), like a person who doesn't play video games reviewing a video game movie or criticizing a Sci-fi film because you don't understand something or a better example me reviewing the Watchmen Movie.      See i never read the graphic novel so I went into the theater (opening day might I add) expecting a classic Superhero movie, (Spiderman, …
review by . March 06, 2009
Logo- Smiley Face Button with Blood
WARNING: This review may contain spoilers!   For the past decade Hollywood has been scrambling over the rights to adapt comic book characters to the big screen. This year one of the most celebrated graphic novels is being brought to theatres in a cinematic adaptation that may very well be the most highly anticipated film of 2009. But can director Zack Snyder's film adaptation of Alan Moore's masterpiece Watchmen satisfy legions of rabid comic book fans and still succeed commercially …
review by . September 25, 2010
If there's one thing that I lament about the film-going experience as I get older, it's that I move further and further away from the boy who used to watch movies with unquestioning wide-eyed amazement.  When I turned thirteen I started looking at film with a slightly more critical and as the years packed on with an increasingly cynical eye.   It's a very rare experience for me to walk into a film without the baggage of 20 odd years of cinema watching experience, comparing …
review by . June 11, 2009
I'll Watch something else, thank you.
I never read the old Watchmen book.  Called by many the greatest graphic novel ever and read by millions,  I was going to consider reading it after I saw the film maybe catching what they changed and get more insight but now, I think I'll pass. The film is about an alternate 1985 where Nixon has remained in office and the world is constantly facing a doomsday clock where Russia could launch it's weapons in a moments notice.  A once proud group of masked crime fighters have …
review by . March 07, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
movie poster
Comic book adaptations are all the rage these days and they are a dime-a-dozen. To prepare for the film and to write this review, I re-read the graphic novel so I can give a more detailed viewpoint. "Watchmen" is adapted from the award-winning 12-issue mini-series in the 80's which in turn became a popular graphic novel. The graphic novel was written by Alan Moore (From Hell, V for Vendetta) and illustrated by Dave Gibbons (Green Lantern) and adapted to the big screen by Zack Snyder (300). …
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
It's really a mixed bag. A lot of what worked for the graphic novel doesn't translate well to the big screen. But it comes alive enough to keep you entertained, even if it doesn't fully satisfy. A few cheesy liners and a few moments where the movie takes itself a little too seriously is nothing to deter anyone from going to see it. And for what it's worth it's a decent movie. The problem isn't so much the movie, but more that what they had to work with was very complicated. I would say they did …
Quick Tip by . July 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Zach Snyder does his best to adapt the "unfilmable" graphic novel magnum opus from Alan Moore, and comes up short from either fans who wanted more, or didn't think it stuck close enough to the source, not to mention the general public who the story went over they're heads due to almost requiring the audience to come in knowing whats going on. Uneven performances and loss of narrative hurt what could have been a pretty good adaption.
review by . November 07, 2009
The movie was a little bit dark (the superheroes in this parallel universe literally kill their enemies) but I found it entertaining throughout. The movie starts with the murder of The Comedian, a sometimes hero, most times a nasty bully acting as a hero. He was part of a group of masked adventurers called the Watchmen. Most of the Watchmen were retired but they get together at the funeral and each has their memories of the group that go back to the 1940's.       There is also …
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Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #30
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Production Overview

There have been numerous attempts to adapt the superlative graphic novel Watchmen, which was written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons, into a feature film. The first serious proposal to do so came in the late 1980s and for a long time director Terry Gilliam (director of Brazil and 12 Monkeys) showed interest in making the film. However, after numerous attempts to create a script, Gilliam was quoted as saying that the graphic novel was too complex and too amorphous for even him to adapt. Later acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain) was reported as a possible director, but this never came into fruition. Initially set to direct the film  was Paul Greengrass (director of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum). However he was sacked during budget disputes at Paramount Studios, who were at the time meant to release the film. Since then Zack Snyder (director of the remake of Dawn of the Dead and of the film adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel 300) has been assigned the role of director and the film has been moved from Paramount to Warner Bros. Studios.



The film was released on March 6 of 2009.
On July 21 of 2009 the film was released in both theatrical and director's cut editions on DVD.
On November 10 of 2009 the film was released in an Ultimate Edition containing Tales of the Black Freighter animated sequences and linking scenes.


Cast / Crew and ...
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Details

Director: Zack Snyder
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date: March 6, 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: David Hayter, Alex Tse
DVD Release Date: July 21, 2009
Runtime: 162 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Legendary Pictures
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