Why don't people like the Watchmen?

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Spiral_Stars

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#1  Edited By Spiral_Stars

There's some terrible schism between people who really liked The Watchmen movie, and people who hated it. I don't understand it. Other than it being really long, and the ending kind of being fumbled, I really liked the film. The opening credits alone were almost worth watching the movie. 
 
The film is ridiculously faithful to the graphic novel, with the only real deviation being the ending, which was clearly written to make more sense than the "Psychic Octopus" ending (although the big "NOOOOOO!" was really dumb). 
 
It's really a cool take on an alternate universe America.

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Afroman269

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#2  Edited By Afroman269

I didn't have any real problems with it at all. I liked it for the the fact that it stuck so close to the source material.

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cstrang

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#3  Edited By cstrang

I rather enjoyed the film.  It was a bit long, but it was pretty good.

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gamer_152

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#4  Edited By gamer_152  Moderator

I've never even glanced at the graphic novel but I really liked the Watchmen movie.

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ZeForgotten

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#5  Edited By ZeForgotten

I'll just take a wild guess as to why they didn't like the movie. 
 
 
Because it wasn't their kind of movie? 

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Skytylz

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#6  Edited By Skytylz

I liked it alot!  Never read the comics.... i mean graphic novels :)

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emkeighcameron

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#7  Edited By emkeighcameron

BECAUSE THERE WASN'T ENOUGH BEAN EATING

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beforet

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#8  Edited By beforet

I liked the movie, and from what I have read of the comic book it's pretty faithful
 
I'm just saddened by the fact that we didn't get to watch the script written by Solid Snake.

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Rayfield

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#9  Edited By Rayfield

The comic tells a story that is best told in comic form. 
  
The movie tells a story with the pacing and characters of a comic and makes changes to the comic story while staying true to the pacing and characters of the comic which makes it strange as a movie. 
 
Also, the movie is dumb.
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EvilTwin

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#10  Edited By EvilTwin

It's been awhile since I read the comic and I only watched the movie once, so I don't remember too well what all I didn't like about it.  Despite what you say, I remember thinking they took too many liberties, or maybe it was just that they missed the point about some of the things they did or did not include.  Not to say I hated it, it was just hard to divorce the comic and the movie, and obviously I ended up letting the comic ruin the movie for me.  Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach was better than I ever could have hoped for, though.

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roofy

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#11  Edited By roofy

it was mediocre in my eyes.
 
it missed the great inset comics that gave you more insight into the situation.
then again they couldnt have added that.
 
moore was right, it is unfilmable

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Lind_L_Taylor

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#12  Edited By Lind_L_Taylor

Besides the last poster, who has stated they hated the movie?  I saw it in an IMAX theater when it came out & thought it was great.  I think the Watchmen movie is going to be one of those sleeper movies like Bladerunner.  People didn't think much of Bladerunner when it came out, I saw it at the theaters upon its release & remember the non-plussed, ho-hum of the reactions from everyone that saw it...but over time, it steadily built up.  Watchmen might do the same over time.

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Seppli

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#13  Edited By Seppli

It's my favorite movie of 2009.
Those with an affinity for Watchmen wanted it to fail.
Many had wrong expectations.
I went in, took it all in. 
Bought the comic and the motion comic after the having seen the movie and engrossed myself in the Watchmen universe for a week or so.
A good week I might add.
 
Wierd how we don't live in nuclear paranoia anymore, even though a nuclear attack is more probable than ever. Guess folks just got tired of that particular brand of fear.

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T0mF5

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#14  Edited By T0mF5

The comic was better.
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ryanwho

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#15  Edited By ryanwho

Didn't care for the "Snider moments" but it was alright for what it was. Then I never build Watchmen up in my head into some kind of gospel. Its hard to understand what it did for comics without reading a bunch of shitty comics for comparison.

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MikkaQ

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#16  Edited By MikkaQ

It was good for a comic-book film. Mindblowing actually, if you keep it within the confines of a comic-book film. 
 
But against other great films... it doesn't quite stack up. Fun as hell to watch though, and the great soundtrack's got something for everyone. 
 
 
Certainly better than 300, from the same director, no less.

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rjayb89

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#17  Edited By rjayb89

Not enough giant alien squids exploding and not enough bean eating.

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Geno

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#18  Edited By Geno

I liked it. The parts with Rorschach and Veidt were pretty good. 

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ryanwho

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#19  Edited By ryanwho

Bottom line is the story isn't succinct enough to make a tight movie and there aren't the sort of peeks and valleys in the story you need for it to work as, say, a miniseries. Watchmen came out at a time where every book had its own arc, and it chose not to do that. It had a single long arc and several character centric tangents. At best, the only thing Watchmen could be converted to is a book.

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SeriouslyNow

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#20  Edited By SeriouslyNow
@Spiral_Stars said:

" There's some terrible schism between people who really liked The Watchmen movie, and people who hated it. I don't understand it. Other than it being really long, and the ending kind of being fumbled, I really liked the film. The opening credits alone were almost worth watching the movie.   The film is ridiculously faithful to the graphic novel, with the only real deviation being the ending, which was clearly written to make more sense than the "Psychic Octopus" ending (although the big "NOOOOOO!" was really dumb).   It's really a cool take on an alternate universe America. "

Umm have you actually read Watchmen or do you suffer from poor memory retention?
 
Watchmen the movie is not even in the ballpark of "faithful", let alone ridiculously so.  While it does utilise around 40% of the Gibbons' panel design and around 30% of the original dialogue it has these glaring and unforgiveable changes, which kill the resonance of the story:-
 
  • NO BLACK FREIGHTER IN THE MOVIE, except for some piddling reference as the black reads it.  You get to see its cover.  Therefore no writers commentary on the nature of morality and how questionable it is to choose survival over sanity.  That it exists in the ultimate cut is of little consolation considering that almost no movie goers will ever know its relevance or context to overarching plot.
  • The Watchmen are NEVER called "The Watchmen" in the comic (people who've never read it often refer to it as a "graphic novel" not understanding that it didn't become such until sold in singular publication) - "Who Watches The Watchmen?" is graffiti on walls in the novel and it's a quote from the Roman poet Juvenal, who asked people to think carefully about Julius Caesar's ascendency to power and his elimination of the senate - Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Completely changed ending.  I don't agree that it made more sense in the movie.  The whole deal of the Alien Kraken was that it was meant to just how ridiculous the world had become since Adrian Veidt had risen to power on the coat tails of the work the team had done and that he was willing to risk the lives of innocent people in the vain hope that his genius would prevail over all. Turning Doc Manhattan into the enemy of the people instead is insulting not only to the blue dude but also more importantly the nature of story. Which is not about evil fucks being evil for the sake of power, it's that there is no way to save people from themselves and all of the theatrics in the world amount to nothing.  The realisation that Doc has in the comic is not the same as in the movie, it's far more deep and leaves you feeling a lot more unsettled as does Night Owl's return to civilisation, showing just how weak and how unlike he is from the moral Knight he desperately wants to be.  The only decent portayal at the end is that of Rorschach in the movie and that comes down to the actor, not the director, who in this case made the best he could of a shit scirpt - he's obviously someone who cared enough abt the original work to make it work.  Even Ozy's homosexuality and ego are both incredibly overblown as to make him a ridiculous pantomime (again) compared to what he is in the comic.  (yes I know you already mentioned that you knew it was changed).
  • No psychatrist interviews.  Just....don't get me started.  The words "lack of insight" come to mind.
 
I could go on but what's the point?  You are obviously much more knowledgeable of this epic work than I.  Yeah I can't wait to see Othello made into a teen movie where Iago doesn't even exist.  O yeah.. 
 
Snyder is a fuckstick who trades on his marginal success with the first X Men movie and consequent failures thereafter.
 
@ryanwho said:
" Bottom line is the story isn't succinct enough to make a tight movie and there aren't the sort of peeks and valleys in the story you need for it to work as, say, a miniseries. Watchmen came out at a time where every book had its own arc, and it chose not to do that. It had a single long arc and several character centric tangents. At best, the only thing Watchmen could be converted to is a book. "

Bullshit.  Never seen Battlestar Galactica?  What about LOST?  Both of those tell really simple stories in a long arc with many players through many levels of feedback loops.  They seem to have been able to hold a strong following for a number of years and have produced high numbers of DVD sales and other merch.  God, I'm sick of hearing literary ingrates speaking loftily of Snyder's butchering of Watchmen without any real understanding of the work, its value or how it was originally intended.  It was a serial and always intended as such.  Yknow, a comic?
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ArchScabby

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#21  Edited By ArchScabby

I haven't heard anything bad about the movie, except for maybe from crazy Watchmen fanboys. (for an example look right there ↑↑↑)  In fact, seeing it has made me go get and start reading the first graphic novel I've ever read.  I got them movie for christmas too so yeah I like it.  I think most people would agree too.

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Yummylee

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#22  Edited By Yummylee

I loved The Watchmen, that over Dark Knight for my superhero movie of 2009 anyday.
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mordukai

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#23  Edited By mordukai
@SeriouslyNow:  
I could list the many ways I agree with you but I think you are looking at it from the comic book fan side of things. I have read the comic book and enjoyed it very much and Alan Moore is a freaking genius but I also enjoyed the movie...to a certain degree. I also really liked the guy who played The Comedian...man what a bastard. 
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demontium

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#24  Edited By demontium
@Spiral_Stars: I loved both the comic and the movie.
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SeriouslyNow

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#25  Edited By SeriouslyNow
@Mordukai said:
" @SeriouslyNow:  I could list the many ways I agree with you but I think you are looking at it from the comic book fan side of things. I have read the comic book and enjoyed it very much and Alan Moore is a freaking genius but I also enjoyed the movie...to a certain degree. I also really liked the guy who played The Comedian...man what a bastard.  "
I loved his portrayal.  I have few issues with the casting.  It's the editing and poor direction which bothered me. 
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Mmmslash

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#26  Edited By Mmmslash
@SeriouslyNow: Really? REALLY? How the hell would they convert the Black Freighter into the movie, and it still be interesting? 
 
It's a movie, things need to be condensed, and for you to get upset over ANYTHING being excised, you choose the comic book from within the comic book? Yes, I understand that it was important to the story, in the context that it had, but things need to be cut, and anyone sensible would rip that out, too.
 
This movie was immensely more faithful to the source material than almost any other movie adaptation. You should be glad that your beloved series wasn't bent over a barrel like everyone else's fond memories of yesteryear.
 
This was a failure? This was a destruction of something near and dear? Try being a Transformers fan, you fanboys might as well have gotten solid gold, compared to us.
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Ramyun

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#27  Edited By Ramyun

From what I could grasp there were two types of people that didn't like the Watchmen; the ones that expected a different type of movie and the deeply adamant fans of the original comic. While I can't speak for the fans of the comic, the others expected a superhero action film, which at its core, the Watchmen isn't that kind of film. Rather, it's a more cerebral experience I guess, where we delve into the psyche of a modern day superhero and the darkness that lies within.

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jeffgoldblum

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#28  Edited By jeffgoldblum

I loved it. Especially all of the alternate history stuff. I loved the movie so much I just bought the Graphic Novel 
My friends who saw the movie with me thought it was just mediocre, but I don't know anyone who hated it.

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guiseppe

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#29  Edited By guiseppe

I think it was the worst movie I saw 2009. They tried to pull together like.. 15 different stories in the same movie and at the end of it all, I really don't know what happened. Also, it was really slow paced, which I usually don't mind, but this was a slow pace of nothing interesting happening at all. Incredibly boring movie. The only part I liked was the giant blue penis, because that at least made me laugh.

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Mmmslash

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#30  Edited By Mmmslash
@guiseppe: His blue doink wasn't even that big!
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Spiral_Stars

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#31  Edited By Spiral_Stars
@SeriouslyNow: Zack Snyder had nothing to do with the first X-Men movie. That was Bryan Singer.
 
Also, I mentioned that the ending was entirely different. 
 
How in the world could they possibly put the Black Freighter in the movie?
 
How much more would the psychiatrist interviews add to the movie? That would have added another half an hour to the movie for something that I thought they added enough for the viewer to understand Rorshach's past.
 
And wow, you really really got worked up about this. It sounds like I've personally insulted you.
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Rayfield

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#32  Edited By Rayfield
@Mmmslash said:
" Try being a Transformers fan, you fanboys might as well have gotten solid gold, compared to us. "


Can't argue with that.
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zombie2011

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#33  Edited By zombie2011  Online

I thought it was boring as fuck.

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ArchScabby

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#34  Edited By ArchScabby
@guiseppe said:
" I think it was the worst movie I saw 2009. They tried to pull together like.. 15 different stories in the same movie and at the end of it all, I really don't know what happened. Also, it was really slow paced, which I usually don't mind, but this was a slow pace of nothing interesting happening at all. Incredibly boring movie. The only part I liked was the giant blue penis, because that at least made me laugh. "
You thought it was slow paced?  Thats weird because pacing is one of the biggest problems I have with movies.  If a movie has the smallest pacing problem it drives me crazy, and I didn't mind Watchmen's pacing at all.  I was entertained the whole time.  I watched the director's cut and that 3 hours flew by really fast.
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Red12b

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#35  Edited By Red12b
@Mmmslash said:
" @SeriouslyNow: Really? REALLY? How the hell would they convert the Black Freighter into the movie, and it still be interesting?   It's a movie, things need to be condensed, and for you to get upset over ANYTHING being excised, you choose the comic book from within the comic book? Yes, I understand that it was important to the story, in the context that it had, but things need to be cut, and anyone sensible would rip that out, too.  This movie was immensely more faithful to the source material than almost any other movie adaptation. You should be glad that your beloved series wasn't bent over a barrel like everyone else's fond memories of yesteryear.  This was a failure? This was a destruction of something near and dear? Try being a Transformers fan, you fanboys might as well have gotten solid gold, compared to us. "
Ala Drangonball, *shudder* 
a part of my soul was ripped from me when I sat through that, I have no words anymore.
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SeriouslyNow

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#36  Edited By SeriouslyNow
@Mmmslash said:
" @SeriouslyNow: Really? REALLY? How the hell would they convert the Black Freighter into the movie, and it still be interesting?   It's a movie, things need to be condensed, and for you to get upset over ANYTHING being excised, you choose the comic book from within the comic book? Yes, I understand that it was important to the story, in the context that it had, but things need to be cut, and anyone sensible would rip that out, too.  This movie was immensely more faithful to the source material than almost any other movie adaptation. You should be glad that your beloved series wasn't bent over a barrel like everyone else's fond memories of yesteryear.  This was a failure? This was a destruction of something near and dear? Try being a Transformers fan, you fanboys might as well have gotten solid gold, compared to us. "
Umm Ok.  So let's take LOST for an example of this.  Lots of the Cuse / Lindelhof commentary on the story arc and character development was through flashbacks and flashforwards which were given to people piecemeal style.  In a episodically structured miniseries or TV show, which flows like the COMIC BOOK written this would be exactly how it would work.  The story of the doctor and his relentless pursuer "The Black Freighter" would be just played as is in the portions that it had.  We were able to follow the character's stories in LOST in the same fashion and while it did leave some people confused - the episodes that continued these mini arcs were introduced with snippets of the previous ones from the same arcs -  "Previously on LOST'.  This would work in the same fashion.
 
To use words like "immensely more faithful than" X is a baseless example and I'm sure that if I could be bothered (which I can't) I can find many examples which were a lot more faithful but A Scanner Darkly is one that comes to mind and that changed the context and character names quite often, yet still retained the important themes without pretending to be faithful.
 
Oh and I am Transformers fan I have my two TAKARA / TOMY Japanese reissue Starscream and Soundwave boxed toys right over my TV.  I also know the connection between Transformers and Micronauts which few people even remember (and who were also the subject of multiple Marvel series through the 70s and 80s).  I found the Michael Bayhem first movie to be reasonably acceptable as fluff action junkfood, but the changes to the actual transformers themselves to be ridiculous, bordering on offensive.  Optimus Prime, Starscream and Bumble Bee particularly bothered me.  Let alone that walking ladyboy Thank God for the Beef (I shudder to say his name).  Don't talk to me about solid gold, I've gotten chump changed both ways.
 
 At least The Dark Knight was good and I love it dearly for being all that it is.
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Mmmslash

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#37  Edited By Mmmslash
@Red12b: I sympathize with you, I really do. Transformer Balls is one thing, but that Dragonball movie is a whole other level of pain.
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guiseppe

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#38  Edited By guiseppe
@ArchScabby said:
" @guiseppe said:
" I think it was the worst movie I saw 2009. They tried to pull together like.. 15 different stories in the same movie and at the end of it all, I really don't know what happened. Also, it was really slow paced, which I usually don't mind, but this was a slow pace of nothing interesting happening at all. Incredibly boring movie. The only part I liked was the giant blue penis, because that at least made me laugh. "
You thought it was slow paced?  Thats weird because pacing is one of the biggest problems I have with movies.  If a movie has the smallest pacing problem it drives me crazy, and I didn't mind Watchmen's pacing at all.  I was entertained the whole time.  I watched the director's cut and that 3 hours flew by really fast. "
Well, maybe it's something different when you're actually interested in what's happening :).
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SeriouslyNow

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#39  Edited By SeriouslyNow
@zombie2011 said:
" I thought it was boring as fuck. "
Agreed.
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Apathylad

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#40  Edited By Apathylad
@Spiral_Stars: 
The "NOOO!" scene didn't bother me.
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Red12b

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#41  Edited By Red12b
@Mmmslash said:
" @Red12b: I sympathize with you, I really do. Transformer Balls is one thing, but that Dragonball movie is a whole other level of pain. "
Hold me.
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Spiritof

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#42  Edited By Spiritof

The film's altered ending blows absolute chunks, as did the gratuitous (to the point of hilarity) sex scene, the "I'm the director of 300" fight scenes, and the even more gratuitous violence. The book was violent, but not as gory as the film.
 
The ending just absolutely loses the point of the book in every way. Ozy's master plan was to introduce an even more powerful, alien, third party into the mix. Something to fool the world into realizing that it's not just me versus you now, and that there are other, even more powerful, threats out there. Threats to the ENTIRE planet. To replace that threat with Dr. Manhattan doesn't work. In the story he's an "American" hero, and arguably the one hero that is keeping Russia from invading. When he "explodes", in the Watchmen world, I would put all my eggs in the basket that Russia would be popping champagne corks before firing up their fighter jets. The fact that the book's threat is something completely alien and bizarre causes the entire world to put on the brakes and do a global inventory. That just simply wouldn't happen with the situation in the film. The United States would look like they got what they deserved for having a bully like Dr. Manhattan in the first place, weakened, and ripe for an invasion.
 
The ending of the film was suppose be give a feeling of wanting to go take a shower, instead it felt more like a weak kick to the shin.

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ArchScabby

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#43  Edited By ArchScabby
@Red12b said:
" @Mmmslash said:
" @Red12b: I sympathize with you, I really do. Transformer Balls is one thing, but that Dragonball movie is a whole other level of pain. "
Hold me. "
Stop it guys.  I'm gonna have to sleep with the lights on.
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SeriouslyNow

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#44  Edited By SeriouslyNow
@Apathylad said:
" @Spiral_Stars: 
The "NOOO!" scene didn't bother me.
"

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Brendan

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#45  Edited By Brendan
@SeriouslyNow:
May I give another point of view to this?  As a largely commerical movie designed to be successful, it did it's job well in selling itself to someone like me, who had no knowledge of the whatchmen previously.  And although I know that after me saying this, the picture you'll paint of me will be of some blazing idiot who's never read or thought in his life, I will skip the desperate attempt to convince you that I actually read quite alot and do think with my brain once in awhile and tell you this:  The points you bring up do not make the movie without merit or without moral to most people, but mostly seem to effect fans by warping the messages and merits they derived from the source material. 
 
I remember when the LOTR movie adaptations changed a bunch of key scenes in the third movie, and at first I was angry because they were needless and hamfisted compared to the way JRR Tolkien presented them in his books.  The moreI thought about it, however, the more I realized that the effort in making certain elements quicker and more clear were to make a more streamlines movie version of LOTR, not LOTR: The books: The movie.  Alot of subtle plot designs that are taken for granted by people who know the source material don't translate as well onto condensed screen versions, and seem ridiculous to fans, but make a movie version of that much better for those who don't have that connection.
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deactivated-57b1d7d14d4a5

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The Watchmen was fucking awesome. Really great and surprisingly intelligent super hero film. Dunno anything about the source material.

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Lamashtu

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#47  Edited By Lamashtu

As far as satires of superheroes go, I found Pat Mills' and Kevin O'Neil's "Marshal Law" and Garth Ennis' and Darick Robertson's "The Boys" more to my liking (both I highly recommend). That said, I decided against watching the movie out of respect to Alan Moore. I'd have thought if Zack Snyder had any respect for the man, he would have decided not to have made that movie (repscting the wishes of Moore, but, both Zack Snyder's movie and Frank Miller's comic "300" were easily one of the most atrocious things to ever happen in the business of entertainment in my book).

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Rayfield

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#48  Edited By Rayfield
@SpiritOf said:
"The film's altered ending blows absolute chunks, as did the gratuitous (to the point of hilarity) sex scene, the "I'm the director of 300" fight scenes, and the even more gratuitous violence."


These 2 lines pretty much sum up every reason why the movie sucks.
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SeriouslyNow

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#49  Edited By SeriouslyNow
@Lamashtu said:
"

As far as satires of superheroes go, I found Pat Mills' and Kevin O'Neil's "Marshal Law" and Garth Ennis' and Darick Robertson's "The Boys" more to my liking (both I highly recommend). That said, I decided against watching the movie out of respect to Alan Moore. I'd have thought if Zack Snyder had any respect for the man, he would have decided not to have made that movie (repscting the wishes of Moore, but, both Zack Snyder's movie and Frank Miller's comic "300" were easily one of the most atrocious things to ever happen in the business of entertainment in my book).

"
Moore washed his hands of the project. Says it all.
 
@Brendan said:

" @SeriouslyNow:
May I give another point of view to this?  As a largely commerical movie designed to be successful, it did it's job well in selling itself to someone like me, who had no knowledge of the whatchmen previously.  And although I know that after me saying this, the picture you'll paint of me will be of some blazing idiot who's never read or thought in his life, I will skip the desperate attempt to convince you that I actually read quite alot and do think with my brain once in awhile and tell you this:  The points you bring up do not make the movie without merit or without moral to most people, but mostly seem to effect fans by warping the messages and merits they derived from the source material. 
 
I remember when the LOTR movie adaptations changed a bunch of key scenes in the third movie, and at first I was angry because they were needless and hamfisted compared to the way JRR Tolkien presented them in his books.  The moreI thought about it, however, the more I realized that the effort in making certain elements quicker and more clear were to make a more streamlines movie version of LOTR, not LOTR: The books: The movie.  Alot of subtle plot designs that are taken for granted by people who know the source material don't translate as well onto condensed screen versions, and seem ridiculous to fans, but make a movie version of that much better for those who don't have that connection. "


I see your point and I have no problem with it fundamentally.  It's just that so many people these days in so many ways claim something is ok (and purport to be of expert opinion to support said claims) when it clearly isn't.  I took issue with someone trying to tell others (and me) that certain things about the movie are either impossible to include, cover or properly pay homage to when this is patently untrue.  As you can see, though emotionally charged I may be, I can argue these points with validity and clarity.  LOTR movies changed many key scenes and omitted characters and dialogue from the books but at least Jackson had only 50 year old books to work with and he had to get all of the other creative work done himself (save for some sketches of armour and fantastical creatures from the Tolkien familly trust) and yet he STILL managed to pay proper homage to the underlying tenets of the stories.  He properly addressed Frodo's innocence and falterings as he eventually was eaten at the core by his quest, the death it brought and the cancerous power of the One Ring.  He properly addressed the egotism of the Dwarves, the callousness of the army of men when it was missing Strider's compassion for all creatures of the land and so on....Jackson knew what he was attempting to do and treated it with the respect the work deserved.  For all of LOTR movies' falings no one could begrudge him that.  Snyder on the other hand had all of his storyboards and most of his dialogue already complied in the nice form of Moore and Gibbons work and he didn't treat it with the respect it deserved.  He pilfered what he wanted, changed what didn't need changing and roundly ignored what he knew would make his job harder.  That's not Jackson did and the years of predevelopment followed by all the technological, cinematographical and  linguistic techniques he developed (let alone the proper birth of WETA in the process) proved that he was willing to do what was necessary.  Watchmen the Movie proves otherwise for Snyder.  I swear the motion comic is a fantastic representation of the comic in cartoon form and it uses cheap animation techniques and ONE actor for ALL of it's wordy dialogue.  People who say that The Watchmen couldn't be made into a really good TV series have not seen this, obviously. For shame.
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#50  Edited By captain_clayman
@emkeighcameron said:
" BECAUSE THERE WASN'T ENOUGH BEAN EATING "
this 
 
other than that, great movie