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Saturday, March 7, 2009
The Watchmen Film... Our Take Part 1
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Comic Book Movies



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The Watchmen Film

'Our Take' Part 1 

 Opening Day, March 6th 2009

From A Comics Fan POV!

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Last night as I sat there at the end of the film, credits rolling, One Word came to mind for me... 'Riveting'!  

So you may think, 'So What? He's a comics fan. He's a Fanboy. Sure, of course he would like this movie'.

Well, it may be heretical for me to write this, but I am not a Big Fan of the Watchmen Comics series, nor a Big Fan of the compilation into a 'Graphic Novel'!

The Watchmen Graphic Novel may be considered to be "One Of Time Magazine's 100 Best Novels', and that's "Novels" not "Graphic Novels" per Time Magazine. However it is Not on my list of 100 comics related publications, either in comics format, trade paperback compilation, or graphic novel that I would take if banished to a desert island if I was limited to just 100 comics related publications. Seriously!

I bought a copy of the 'Graphic Novel' recently for Tina to read, as she had never read the comics series, or this compilation book.  (Her thoughts will be in Part 2 of this blog post series.)  

Tina was the one who stood in the long line for Hall H at last year's San Diego Comic Con International, (SDCC), not I, and she was intrigued by what the special program with its' guests previewed for the crowd that attended.  It's been she that wanted to know more about the film and was really looking forward to the Film's release date, not I.

To me, reading the 'Graphic Novel' that the story is now printed in, left me going OK... more grim n' gritty. And the ending chapter left me wanting.  Not wanting more, but unsatisified as to how much time I had spent reading all twelve chapters to have that ending.  I was however impressed by all of the 'hype' and 'buzz' that this Film has been building to.

Please note:  I do not consider anything I will say further to be a 'spoiler' as it is in the Graphic Novel, (GN), so there is NO 'Spoiler Warning' here. 

A film-goer who goes to this movie may find this film to be lacking... and IMHO, the lacking would be the lack of the film goer to read the 'Graphic Novel' first, and be aware of the different chapters in the storyline.  The film is already in an illustrated format, and there's no excuse for not reading it Before going to see the film.  The film's director is not going to wait for you to catch up to speed, as he takes the film literally from the pages of the GN!

Yes, earlier I said that the Film was 'Riveting' to me last night with the credits still rolling... I still think that this morning.  In my mind the Film rated 9.4 on a numerical 10.0 grading scale.  In other words 'Near Mint' (NM) which is what is used in grading a near perfect comic book.

Before you go 'What?!', I've got to explain something. This is NO Film to take children to.  It's rated 'R' for a reason folks.  Actually rated 'R' for several reasons, including nudity, extreme violence, and more.

We saw several families take their kids to this. It is NOT a 'superhero' movie.  Is it an 'anti-superhero' movie?  Probably.  Does it have the nudity, sexual situations, extreme violence, and more as explained in the Film's Rating of 'R' ?  Definitely!

I am Not a Big Fan of taking what has been a general audience comic book series and transforming it to a 'R' rated film.  However, this Watchmen series was definitely a 'R' rated comics series from the beginning, and was not downplayed to make it a PG-13 film.

Those that are reading other reviews where the film goers are blogging that they were 'shocked' or 'left cold' by all of the sex, violence, and general mayhem without the 'action' of the usual 'comic book movie', should be aware that those viewers blogging probably didn't do their homework by first reading the comic series or graphic novel before attending Opening Day.

Long time readers of our Blog will know that both Tina and I are Not fans of gore, gratitous sex, extreme violence in either our reading or film viewing.

So why the 9.4 'Near Mint' rating for me for this film?  The film transformed what for me was an OK, but not going to re-read it again graphic novel into a Riveting film that I would buy to view it again when it comes out on DVD. That says something right there IMHO.

The film is directed so well, the characters come across vividly, the actors were cast right on, the scenes are mind boggling, and the ending made sense this time. That is why this film ranks so highly to me!  I hardly noticed the two hour & forty five minutes running time of the film. That's because I was 'into' the movie and had a 'preview' by reading the GN.

Again, let me re-state the negatives to viewing this film if you have Not read the graphic novel or comics series, and felt either pressured or fell for the hype to see it, or want to see it.  

It is not for young children; it has full frontal nudity both male and female. It has almost explicit sexual scenes including a (near?) rape scene. It has what could be considered extreme violence. It does NOT have 'action' running throughout the film.  If you are thinking it is another 'comic book movie' like Spider-Man film because of the trailers that have been released, you are thinking wrong...

In conclusion, if you have read the Watchmen comic series or graphic novel and enjoyed it, then this Film should be something that you would enjoy as it is literally taken from the pages of the story.  If you read it in either format and found it just OK like I did, then you may marvel at the transformation to the Big Screen like I did, or you may not.

If you have not read Watchmen in either format, then you should read it before going to give you a better feeling during the movie, instead of trying to catch up with the storyline as it jumps from the 'present' time of the story in 1985 back to the 1940's and back again.  Earth's history has also been changed, and remember the story was written in 1985-86, and the film was Not updated to 2009. President Nixon is still president, (for a fifth term!), and there were other history changes...

For those of you that are interested in a "Woman's Point Of View from a non comic books geek", be sure to come back and read my wife Tina's post which will be Part 2 of 'Our Take' on Watchmen.  That should be published either later today, (Saturday) or Sunday morning!   

BTW, we have blogged about 'Watchmen' a few times before. For the previous mentions in our posts, just click here!

For both Tina's and my POV "Our Take" on the Dark Knight Film, click here to read!

For both Tina's and my POV "Our Take" on the Iron Man Film, click here to read!

For those of you that are new to our blog today, we have an ongoing online 'Comic Con and Pop Culture Convention' ourselves here at "Make It So Marketing Inc.", what with our daily blog posts,  and new listings of items for sale in our online eBay Featured Store! 

Thanks again to all of YOU reading our current and archived blog posts!

~ Michael

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Michael first set up as a dealer at the 1972 San Diego's West Coast Comic Con. To the left is a photo of Michael, Howard & Tina at the Skirball February 2009. Click that photo to see 'Our Current World Of Pop Culture'!
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Posted by makeitsomarketing at 6:36 AM PST
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