X-Files - Mystery - mata090680

'Watchman'....Or Don't

I just got back a short time ago from seeing a special screening of Watchman. Thanks to raislak I didn't have to pay to see it. Yeah, that comment should be something of a giveaway as to how I felt. I haven't read the comic/graphic novel on which the film was based, but having spoken to people after the film who had, they seemed less happy with the film than I did. Too say it's not quite as bad as I feared it might be given some recent buzz I read isn't saying much. The only two characters I liked were The Comedian and Rorschach, an asshole and a sociopath, respectively. Credit for that should be given to the character's portrayers, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Jackie Earle Haley. Apparently, if you have three names you're good. Everyone with two names, not so much. Billy Cudrup, who I've never been particularly impressed with, was horribly miscast in the pivotal role of Dr. Manhattan. Matthew Goode also fell flat as Ozymandias, but having seen him give some good performances in other films, perhaps the director, Zack Snyder, should share blame.

Other faults of the film included it running about a half an hour too long and, yet, at least one subplot seemed forgotten. It has some of the worst aging makeup I've seen in a big budget film in recent years (the digital medium is not forgiving to latex). The song selection was terrible and obtrusive, including the inexplicable use of '99 Luftballons' and 'Hallelujah' utilized in such a way that I'm trying to determine if it was just laughably bad or offensive. And considering I haven't read the source material, I probably shouldn't have figured out how the movie would end in the first ten minutes.

Oh, and if you have a weak stomach, be prepared. Gore doesn't usually bother me, but I had to avert my eyes a couple of times. You know what, just skip the film. ;)


And I had some random links that I wanted to share:

'The Sarah Connor Chronicles' and 'Dollhouse' are getting a DVR boost. The series are showing 36% and 30% ratings gains in live +7 day viewing. Now the question is, does this matter to FOX?

Speaking of FOX, Nikki Finke is reporting actor activists are picketing FOX tomorrow. Why FOX? Peter Chernin, CEO of Fox, has stated that there will be no reruns on Fox network and all programs will go directly to streaming on the Internet, eliminating our residuals and contributions to health coverage and pensions, This made me think if the lack of repeats we are seeing on the networks. On the other hand, many shows get replayed, sometimes less than a week later, on the networks sister stations. House, for instance, gets repeated on USA. So, I'm not sure how much cheating is going on by the networks, but I'm not more suspicious.

Bryan Fuller wants to relaunch 'Star Trek' on TV. Better him than J.J.!
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Speaking of FOX, Nikki Finke is reporting actor activists are picketing FOX tomorrow. Why FOX? Peter Chernin, CEO of Fox, has stated that there will be no reruns on Fox network and all programs will go directly to streaming on the Internet, eliminating our residuals and contributions to health coverage and pensions,

Gosh, I wonder why the writers fought so hard for Internet residuals during their strike? Oh wait...

I'm scrolling past your Watchmen review, since I would be more curious to read the novel than see the movie first. I'm weird that way--if a movie is based on a text source, I have to read it first.
I would recommend the novel, but it is a graphic novel (comic book) in the same vein as 300.
I have heard good things about it; my friend laurashapiro has recommended it with some caveats--that it was really revolutionary and interesting for its time, but that its paradigms have since been absorbed by a lot of other comic books since then. But I figure that since I have such a weak knowledge of current comic book conventions, I might actually appreciate its subversive aspects.
I think comic fans have such low standards and that they're so desperate to prove the worth of their medium that they'll fall for pseudo-deep shit (that usually just borrows "heavy" sounding shit from other mediums) and recommend it to others: even Neil Gaiman is a shit writer when you get down to it. I see the same thing with hardcore gamers where they'll elevate some game with a kernal of a good story (that never becomes more than a kernal), like Silent Hill 2 (people's self loathing translates into actual manifestations of hell), and use it in their apologetics for the entire medium. Well, fuck them, the Silent Hill movie was actually better than any of the games and that says -- well -- not much.
Other than the use of character's superhero (so to speak) names and a very general description of them, I didn't mention anything spoilery, hence no cut tag. If you have a desire to read the comic, great, but don't read it to see the movie. I'm 99% certain you'd hate the film.

ETA: I just put the bulk of my review under a cut. Even though there aren't any spoilers, I can imagine someone complaining since the film doesn't open until Friday.

Edited at 2009-03-04 05:10 am (UTC)
Eek! I didn't mean to call you out for spoiling, since you are always super-careful about that. And I TRUST that you'd know what I'd hate, so yeah, definitely avoiding the movie now. But I've had a conversation with friends lately about the graphic novel and its place in graphic novel history, so I'm interested in reading it uninformed. I didn't mean to imply by my comment that I thought you'd somehow ruined it for me...
No, no, I know you weren't calling me out for spoiling because, well, you'd just call me out on that! ;) It's just your comment got me to thinking that someone could consider even my general opinions which don't address any specific plot points or scenes potentially spoilery. Or maybe BSG fandom has made me paranoid.

After you've read it, I would LOVE to share some of the WTF musical selections and where they were inserted. The music supervisor must have been on crack and then passed it out to the producers before they watched the final cut.
After you've read it, I would LOVE to share some of the WTF musical selections and where they were inserted. The music supervisor must have been on crack and then passed it out to the producers before they watched the final cut.

And that's when I've had the time... In general, though, I've found that the bigger the budget (and this film has a BIG budget), the more the musical choices are driven by marketing deals. Which means that they usually suck, and is one of the reasons I no longer see many movies in the theater. :(
I can't even fathom what marketing deals could drive the musical choices. Ok, I don't think this is any big spoiler, but why would '99 Luftballons' start playing as two people meet for dinner? It makes NO SENSE.
BTW, Although I suspect I know the answer, I did forget to mention if you are interested in reading it, you can borrow my copy
I've read the book and the film has no hope of living up to it. That said, I've heard so many mixed things about it, I need to see it for myself to make up my mind. I will not be going in with an open mind because the film can't be the comic. But hopefully it will be an entertaining film.

And as overrated as I find Bryan Fuller, anyone would be better at relaunching Trek than JJ Abrams. But I guess that (star)ship has sailed (flown).
I don't want to get into spoiler territory, but my friend informed me of some differences between the film and the source material which I'm sure isn't a shock to you. I'll be interested to read your take. I will say the people leaving the theatre seemed rather subdued.

Oh, and there is a moment in the film that will make you think of BSG. ;)
You know what, just skip the film. ;)

I'm leaning towards that more and more.


'The Sarah Connor Chronicles' and 'Dollhouse' are getting a DVR boost.


Regarding Dhouse, these were just the numbers for the premiere, the ep that got the most viewers in general. I'd be curious what the DVR numbers are now. I'm thinking they've dropped off as well, like the regular ratings.
Hmm. I'm disappointed about Watchman; I'd hoped that it would be a solid film even though I hadn't read any of the comics, but it sounds like a gory but lacklustre effort. I'll have to hold out for the new Wolverine film for my superhero fix this year, it seems. Was the 'Hallelujah' segment the classical music movement, or the Rammstein track used in the first Resident Evil movie, or something else?

Peter Chernin, CEO of Fox, has stated that there will be no reruns on Fox network and all programs will go directly to streaming on the Internet, eliminating our residuals and contributions to health coverage and pensions
Wasn't this one of the things that the WGA pointed out was likely to happen, and why they went on strike? Or did I miss something (which is entirely possible).

I'm curious what the DVR boost is for L&O:UK... although I suspect the ratings mechanism in this country isn't geared up to produce that information yet.
The Haleluhah was the original tune written & sung by Leonard Cohen (its cover by John Cale is very popular and was in Shrek among other films and TV shows)

Not at all placed where I would have used it
Wolverine at least has a compelling lead whereas a this film had several people jockeying for that position and none of them cut it.

I don't want to get into spoilers here, but if you are interested in more details as to the awful, terrible, very bad use of a song I love, 'Hallelujah', I can PM you. ;)

The WGA largely went on strike because of new media and profits from it. They didn't get what they asked for, but they do not get a cut of the advertising revenue after an episode has been online so many days. Of course, the argument has been made since most people watch stuff online days after it airs on the networks (I'm guilty of this), so it's the studios, alone, enjoying most of the profits.

I haven't been following SGA negotiations as closely, but it seems that all the infighting has weakened their position and the AMPTP has offered SAG a worse deal than the WGA got. The entertainment industry still hasn't recovered from the last strike and I'm seeing both sides doing some incredibly stupid things and throwing the industry into a depression rather than a recession if another strike occurs.
I have to admit I'm looking forward to it, but I rarely expect brilliance from superhero movies. And I rarely get out to them anymore. I'm halfway through the novel right now, and I'm really wondering how the heck they've made this into a movie. But I'll hopefully get to go see it anyway.

Besides, if I don't (or don't finish the book), the guys at MRFH will NEVER shut up.

I did have to laugh at some of the plot elements, though, because I've definitely seen them since. And when I found out that All Along the Watchtower was in it (on the copyright page), I had to put the book down due to giggles. :)
And when I found out that All Along the Watchtower was in it (on the copyright page), I had to put the book down due to giggles. :)

I may have said, "Oh, God" and started laughing in the theatre. ;) AND there were two guest actors from BSG in the film. One is easily recognizable, the other is harder to spot.
Who's the other? I know Alessandro Juliani is in there, but I wasn't sure about the other, and I'm too lazy to toodle on over to IMDb at this moment (plus the kids are pretty literally tearing apart the kitchen. I'm serious- there's tupperware ALL OVER. But they're not screaming.) Which one's the one that's easily recognizable? Makes it easier to focus if I know what I'm looking for :)
Alessandro is in the film? I didn't see him. I wonder if he was edited out? Fulvio Cecere, who played Lt. Thorne, is easily recognizable. Robert Wisden, who played Wallace Gray, is harder to spot since he's under a lot of crappy latex.
Cool! I'm not sure I'd recognize those two as easily, as Thorne is definitely someone I did my best to block out and Gray never made a big impression on me, but that's neat.

Yeah, apparently he shot some stuff for the film, but he's like a "Rockwell Technician #2" or something like that. When I looked through the portraits book, he wasn't in there, but other extras/one-line characters (or, at, least I assume they are, even though I'm not that far through the book) were in there. He mentioned it in a recent interview and even expressed his doubt that it would make it to the actual screen, but hey. It's still cool. (Because you can't tell me that a guy who played with TOS BSG action figures when he was a kid never read Watchmen. It just doesn't work that way.)
Oh, bleah. I'm sorry to hear Watchmen sucked. I've had a bad feeling about it from the beginning because of the director, but I made plans to see it Friday anyway, and now I'm kind of dreading being trapped in front of a bad movie for nearly three hours.
Ok here's my final verdict on the film:
I want Watchmen to be great, it looks like the Watchmen, but it has the feel of a Watchmen play with statues in the stead of actors.