Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Apparently I do. Who watches this blog though? I mean, really, I can't even come up with a creative blog post title. I observed (it feels weird to say "watched" in this case) the film Watchmen on Monday with my father. I have not read the graphic novel it is based off of but I did watch a few chapters of the animated graphic novel prior to watching the film. I do not think the knowledge I had helped or hindered my appreciation of the film.

So just what did I think of the film? Going into it I was skeptical, thinking it could very well be another comic-book inspired flop. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. I have two big comments for this film. One, the pacing was near-perfect. There was an excellently choreographed balance between fast and slow scenes. There were no ridiculously long chase scenes and no fifteen-minute conversations (Tarentino I'm looking at you). When the movie needed an action sequence, lo, there was an action sequence. When a flashback or a discussion of morality was needed, that's what popped onto the screen. The styling of the film, dark and gritty, was unique and showed it's grapic origins. The dialogue is excellent and has a lot of depth owing to it's origin in the novel. In the novel the dialogue had to carry a lot of weight to keep the reader from just looking at the pictures and the translation from text to speech is carried out spectacularly. Which brings me to my second comment. This film felt like a modern day Shakespearean play. Sort of. The way the characters spoke was fluid and intelligent. Each word was painstakingly planned. I just got the impression of a masterpiece.

However, like a Shakespearean play, while I recognize the artistic value and copious talent that went into it, I don't particularly like the film in terms of casual enjoyment. Watchmen has a bit too much meat on it to pop in the DVD player anytime. It requires some concentration and thoughtfulness.
From what I could tell the film also stayed as faithful to the original graphic novel as possible which should keep fans happy.

Watchmen isn't without fault. In a few places it was a bit confusing and my dad did complain about it's length. The acting was a leeeetle bit cheesy at times and I think there must have been one or two important scenes from the graphic novel missing in the film because there were spots where I felt a gap in the story, one that could be ignored but would be nice to have filled.

I hope all that made sense because I'm really tired and wasn't sure if I would make it to the end of this review.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the unveiling of my new favorite web site. You'll want to use it, trust me.

EDIT: I give Watchmen a seven out of ten.