Droid takes one for the team and watches the ‘Watchmen’ Ultimate Cut.

 

Yep. I watched it. All three hours and thirty-five minutes of it. And despite adding nearly an hour of extra footage, including the ‘comic within the comic’ “The Black Freighter”, the problems with Watchmen remain.

Based on the overrated fanboy funnybook by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen is based in an alternate America, between the 1930’s and early 1980’s, where ordinary (and not so ordinary) people dress up as hood ornaments to fight crime. Years after being outlawed, these crime fighters come together again to unravel a mystery surrounding the murder of one of their own.

 

 

Known as Minutemen, there’s Night Owl (Patrick Wilson), a pudgy technogeek with a serious case of erectile dysfunction;  Silk Spectre (Malin Åkerman) who has daddy issues and seems to find sucking on a battery arousing;  Rorschach (Jackie Earl Haley), a deeply disturbed bloodnut and quite literally a dirty son of a whore;  Ozymandias (Matthew Goode), an effeminate billionaire and ‘the smartest man in the world’;  The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who generally speaking, just isn’t a very nice guy;  and Doctor Manhattan (Billy Crudup), a blue skinned nudist with a penchant for hiding his dong just out of frame (or behind a budgie smuggler). These characters come together to crap on about quasi-philosophical garbage and to slow-mo fight their way through a poorly constructed conspiracy mystery.

 

 

There is such a thing as ‘too faithful’, and after “300” and “Watchmen”, director Zack Snyder has proven that he is about as imaginative as Rain Man counting cards. By spewing each frame onto the screen, he has essentially made a moving version of the funnybook. Snyder has revered the source material so much that he has lost sight of the fact that what works on the page, doesn’t always work on screen.

Snyder has made a number of severe miscalculations; the music in particular is annoying and obvious. “Ride of the Valkyries” for a Vietnam scene? “Hallelujah” for a love scene?  That’s just lazy.  And a truly bizarre and baffling use of “99 Luftballoons” which comes completely out of nowhere and lasts about 19 seconds before fading out. It’s like Snyder had it written into his contract that he must include the song in the movie.

Also annoying is the aforementioned over-use of slow-mo, and the constant movement of the camera. It seems as if Snyder was conscious of the restrictions he placed on himself by being so faithful to recreating every frame as it was in the comic that he attempted to breath life into the film by moving the camera in every single shot. In a static scene of dialogue or exposition he is constantly doing a slow push in. It’s annoying.

 

 

The performances as a whole are fine. Jackie Earl Haley is particularly good as Rorschach, but he benefits from having the most interesting character and the best lines.  Ozymandias looks less like ‘the smartest man in the world’ and more like he should be dancing on the Kylie float in the Gay Mardi Gras Parade.  He also has a staggering amount of superhuman ability for an ordinary human being.  The bullet thing is particularly ridiculous.

Snyder hasn’t interpreted the funnybooks for the movies. Sure, he’s made a substantial change to the end, which was the correct decision. The squid in the comic is stupid, but it kind of works. At the very least, it’s easier to accept. If Snyder were to have featured a giant squid attacking New York in the movie it would’ve been laughed off the screen. So he had the foresight to change that, but has mistakenly kept infantile joke shots like the flame spurt.

 

Jarv's favourite moment in film history.

 

The best part of the film is the Doctor Manhattan origin.  It’s the one section that successfully translated from funnybook to screen.  And it’s good to see Crudup without the CG dong and the weird lightbulb eyes.

The most enjoyable part of Watchmen, as in the comic, is “The Black Freighter”. A brutal tale of one mans descent into madness, the animated sequences in this Ultimate Cut are very effective and make for a welcome respite from the film itself.

 

 

The biggest problem with Watchmen, is that I just don’t think that the story’s relates to 2009.  The original comic is a somewhat effective commentary of a particular time and state of the world.  Now that the Cold War’s over, Nixons a distant memory, Vietnam’s old news and Viagra’s been invented, it feels irrelevant.

Watchmen did have potential, but it’s been kicking around for so many years that it’s time has passed and the list of those who DIDN’T direct or star in it, what could’ve been, is more interesting than that finished product.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Judge Droid

In between refining my procrastination skills I talk a lot of shit about movies and such.

25 responses to “Droid takes one for the team and watches the ‘Watchmen’ Ultimate Cut.”

  1. lord bronco says :

    Ooooohhhhhhhhhh-Poor Watchmen…*sighs*.

    Our one uber-nerd buddy Li called it walking out of the theater, “It could have been better”. Daaammmnnn Yoooouuuu-Li!

    Your points are valid, though says I-the fanboy apologist. I was hoping against hope that they would tack back on The Squid Ending for this ultimate edition-But that would have been another 10 million in CGI to do right…

    O.K. The fanboy take: they ruined the movie primarily by completly miscasting Ozymandais. He was supposed to be CAPTAIN AMERICA-type burly dude. not an emo posterboy.

    The modified ending does adroitly handle several credibility issues from a general viewing public perspective, but at the same time it diluted the whole impact of the final act.

    The slow-mo fighting and the actual powering up of the characters was also a departure from canon. Essentially, Snyder buffed them up with some kind of theoretical super soldier Serum in order to create a few action sequences.

    And honestly, the big blue pee pee ended up being too much for America to handle. In retrospect, he should have done one side shot using Dr. Manhattan’s nudity as an emblem of his utter un-worldliness and complete disconnect from the day to day sensibilities of common man.

    Then he probably should have packed away the big blue you-know-what for the duration of the picture.

    This, like most of Alan Moore’s work, simply does not belong in a shortened 2, 3 hour movie format.

    Well, except for the one which actually would work-Miracleman.

    I would give my left Nut to direct *that* What if Superman was real story with a budget and a hard R rating…

    Good review, i could blather on about Alan moore for aeons, so i’ll spare everybody any further ramblings.

    Poor Watchmen.

    • Droid says :

      Ozymandais looks about 17. When I read the funnybook I was thinking about someone like Dennis Quaid, who, circa ‘The Right Stuff’ would be awesome as Captain America.

      The fighting in it was ridiculously out of place. They’re mostly supposed to be ordinary people who fight crime. Sure, maybe they are particularly skilled at fighting or whatever, but these people all of a sudden turn into Neo and start ducking fists they have no way of seeing and punching guys across the room.

      • Jarv says :

        Ozymandias also could be straight out of Batman and Robin. I know that was intentional, but I bet 1 million internets that that piece of uber-wanky deconstruction meta-nonsense whips right over the audience’s head.

  2. M. Blitz says :

    Best part of the movie? The opening credits. By far.

  3. xiphos0311 says :

    3+ hours go fuck yourself Snyder/studio.

  4. Tom_Bando says :

    *NEEDS GIANT, ROBOT LIONS*

  5. Jarv says :

    I would rather suck the big blue dong than watch this.

    Fuck me, man, why would you subject yourself to this? When I do my worst of the year the cinema cut is getting a spot- I don’t know how on earth you could sit through another hour of this.

    Dull as dogshit, as imaginative as a paint by numbers picture and as much fun as root canal work.

    Fuck this.

    In it’s defence I know people (most of the population are like this) that neither know nor care about the funnybook. They seem to quite enjoy it. I read it, was severely underwhelmed and then bored as fuck by watching it vomited on to the screen.

    • Droid says :

      “I would rather suck the big blue dong than watch this.”

      I think it would be easier if you were to list the things you WOULDN’T rather suck a blue dong than do.

      hehe

      “why would you subject yourself to this?”

      I was in a dark place yesterday and felt like kicking myself when I was down. Plus, I watched it so you guys wouldn’t have too!

      I also read it just before I saw it at the cinema. Big mistake. I might not have hated it quite as much.

      • Jarv says :

        Don’t project your fantasies on to me, you degenerate cottaging Aussie.

      • Droid says :

        I’m not the one that has been quoted as saying he’d rather suck a blue dong. Since stating that, every Rymans in North London has sold out of blue ink.

  6. Droid says :

    Very true. My answer was the fuck off one.

  7. Jarv says :

    Rather suck a blue dong than sit through over 3 1/2 hours of Turdmen?

    Yup.

    I stand by it. However, ain’t nobody going to make me follow through with that.

  8. Tom_Bando says :

    I thought the Richard Nixon get-up was straight outta those Spitting image puppets myself-

  9. Jarv says :

    I did too.

    Which is pretty unforgivable when it cost 150million

  10. Droid says :

    Jarv, did you see that I dedicated a screenshot to you? Gee whiz, you’re a lucky guy!

  11. Jarv says :

    I saw it. Thank you very much.

    It probably is my most hated moment of the last 10 years.

  12. Droid says :

    hehe I knew you’d like it.

    It pretty much sums up all that is wrong with the movie. It’s a complete miscalculation.

  13. Jarv says :

    It’s definitely top 5. And perfectly sums up the flaws of the film.

    There were howls of derision in the cinema when I saw it. Either show the sex, or the flame spurt. Let’s face it, the spurt is only in it because it was the exact panel in the comic- and did make sense in the comic.

    Don’t do both.

  14. ThereWolf says :

    Damn shame this. I don’t know anything about the comic but Watchmen is on my so far very short Blu-ray’s To Buy list (would help if the player arrives from S&V in the near future!). The trailer looked intriguing.

    I was keen to see it. Not all that keen now.

    Top review, Droid.

  15. just pillow talk says :

    I have never had any, and I mean any, interest to see this fucker.

    Extended version? Um, no fucking thanks.

    Rather watch that Mammoth flick.

  16. Tom_Bando says :

    I liked the premise of this, and some of the characters to a degree(Horschack esp) but the more it went along, the Less I liked—and I do agree w/ Noted_Sage Jarv’s take on it, for the most part. Am not sure what the big draw or deal was-yes I remember full well the hype about the series in ’85-86 when it was out-so?-it’s not exactly a stirring piece of cinematic grandeur here.

    And Harold’s little spooga-matic about this was, well, just flat out plain SAD. At least w/ Big Robots(Hitting Each Other etc) I know fully well what I’m getting into. Sad as it is.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: