Random Nonsense

Watchmen
Tiberius at 8:10AM, April 29, 2011
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prologue
When I heard watchmen was being made into a movie, I had no idea what watchmen was. To remedy this, I went out and found the comic, and read it, a total of three times before the movie came out. I love the comic, it's the first graphic novel I bought.
Then the movie came out. I went to see it. I walked out disheartened.

The Rant
You only had 2 hours, I get that. But why did you change things so needlessly.
I'll start at the end. Where's my squid? Why was Ozymandias plan changed so drastically. In the comic his plan is to kill one city, and blame it on aliens. In the movie he kills at least 2 (new york, AND Moscow, maybe more, I can't remember), then blames it on Dr. Manhattan.
The comic's plan makes sense. Make the world think there is a threat from beyond the stars, that will require them to join together to stop it, because Dr. Manhattan has left the planet and isn't there to save them. It only requires the death of one city.
The movie's plan makes no sense. Make the world think Dr. Manhattan has gone rogue. Now the world thinks it has to fight the invincible, god like being. most people aren't going to go out and band together to stop the doc. They're going to either wonder why doc hasn't just killed everyone already, or just spend the last days with their family. Your making the world think a living god wants them dead. that's how most people see the doc, as a god. That's just going to make things worse, both sides will blame the other for the doc's sudden ire, and that will cause an increased chance of nuclear war. and to pull off this plan, Ozymandias, the smartest man in the world, killed a MINIMUM of 2 cities. Though, by some miracle, the plan does work. the Russians don't blame America for creating the living god, and the Americans aren't blaming Russia for somehow manipulating him into going rogue.
Why Ozy? Why? why destroy not one but many of the world's main cities. that won't band the world together, that's just going to cause chaos.
Also- In the comic he kills new york psychically. leaving most buildings and infrastructure intact. The movie blows the city up. destroying most buildings near ground zero, which is huge. This was done to many cities. Congrats, world commerce is not just disrupted, it has been dismantled. This has the possibility of leading to a bit of a dark age.

enough of that

In the comic the heroes (except Rorschach), quietly except the situation, and remain silent. this was an important part of the comic.
In the movie, Nite Owl gets pissed after watching Rorschach die, and gives a big speech about how Ozy is wrong, and how this was horrible, but then realizes he has to remain silent.
The comic leaves whether what Ozy did was right or wrong unanswered, up to the reader to decide. The movie just tells you it was wrong. Cause moral ambiguity in heroes was not an important central theme in the story at

onto other things

Many scenes were cut for length. that's acceptable. you only have so much time to use. The question is, if you needed to save time, THEN WHY DID YOU EXTEND THE SEX SCENE???
In the comic the scene where the silk Spectre and the Nite owl have sex in archie, is about 2 panels, and it just shows them undress, and kiss, then it cuts to an exterior shot of archie, and has the flamethrower go off symbolically in the fog.
In the movie the scene is extended to at least 2 minutes, probably more.
to understand why this offends me so, here is just one thing that got completely cut. Rorschach and his psychiatrist. The scenes with the psychiatrist gives a lot of Rorschach's back story, and insight into his character, and you even get to know the psychiatrist. In the movie some bits about Rorschach's past are put in here and there, but the psychiatrist is downgraded to a wimpy guy in the corner that tells Rorschach where his stuff is.
The black freighter was also cut from the movie, but did get it's own.
So much great stuff was cut, but the minor sex scene gets an extension
What could have been kept, or given more time, if the sex scene had been shorter?

I'm done for now. I might get out the movie, and watch it again to see if I missed anything.
The post apocalyptic genre- one of the most optimistic of all genres.
Why?
Because we somehow survived the end of everything, and have built a pretty nice town to boot, sometimes with pig powered electricity!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 1:21PM, April 29, 2011
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I liked the music in the movie. The song choices were great.

I also liked the story, etc… but I have not read the comic.

I think the reason for not having the Squid was the WTF factor. I mean, here you are watching a movie with superheroes etc, and all of the sudden there's a giant squid attacking New York. Bam. Giant. Squid. Attacking. New York. What? In the comic book it can be explained.

And if you are going to blow up one city, you have to blow up a US city AND a USSR city at least. Preferably a bunch of other ones too. Just to get the message across that Dr. M is pissed off at everyone. Then all Ozy has to do is say that he has a way to keep Dr. M away, but it requires the participation of the whole world aaaaaaaand… Like dominoes.

I got the impression from the movie that what Ozy did was right (er, to a degree). Then again, I kinda liked Ozy.

Why extend the sex scene? Sex sells. And they had to use Lenard Cohen somewhere.

And yet, despite your anger at the movie, you might just go and watch it again to complain about it! Marketing wins! It Wins! NOOOOOOOOO!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Tiberius at 2:11PM, April 29, 2011
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rantings cathartic

The music was probably my favorite part of the film. Who ever chose the music deserves large amounts of adoration, and praise, especially the music at the funeral.

It's not so much a squid attacking new york as, a squid like brain thing suddenly appearing and causing peoples minds to explode, as it itself dies.

The problem is that he killed so many cities, that the cost outweighs any benefit. and in my opinion it's a miracle there was a benefit.

your exposed to get a feeling that Ozy's right. that is one of the main points of the story. It doesn't say who's right, and who is wrong, the problem is that the movie has a long angry speech by Nite owl about how Ozy is wrong. It loses all subtlety.

unfortunately I think this is a case where the movie is good, maybe even great, unless you've read the original, and then it pales in comparison.
Too each their own of course.
The post apocalyptic genre- one of the most optimistic of all genres.
Why?
Because we somehow survived the end of everything, and have built a pretty nice town to boot, sometimes with pig powered electricity!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 4:31PM, April 29, 2011
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Watchmen is one of the all time great novels of the English language.
Not I didn't say comic, or graphic novel.
All time greatest novels.

But it's greatness comes in a large part from its brilliant use of the comic format, with panel layout pacing and structure.

I have not seen the movie but I already know that it can never be as good as the comic because the story was made to be told as a comic. It simply can't be recreated as a movie and not lose something.
It sounds dumbed down from what tiberius is saying…which is what I have come to expect from Hollywood.
I noticed from the trailer they call the super hero team “the watchmen” rather than “the minute men” or “the crime busters” (the teams in the original) showing right there that they think the audience are morons who need the meaning of everything spelled out to them.

CONTROVERSY TIME-

A friend of mine pointed out a flaw in the comic that, the more I think about it, the more true it seems.
The comic is really sexist.

When Comedian tried to rape the first silk specter she just got punched, fell down and begged for mercy.
But Silk Specter was not a normal woman.
She is a super hero.
While she had no super powers, she was a woman who went out and beat up hardened criminals WITH HER FISTS AND FEET!
If I (an able bodied male) went out and tried to do that, I would expect to get beaten to unconcious very rapidly, but this woman does so on a regular basis, very successfully FOR YEARS!
This woman must be a fucking kung fu murder machine!
Why was she suddenly completely unable to defend herself?
Back then the comedian was not as massive, or as completely bad ass as he would become later, and even then I would expect her to put up some kind of fight!
Instead the implication seems to be that if a man tries to force himself on her, thats it, time to lay down and take it. What would even be the point of trying to resist?

In the present, modern Silk Specter is the lamest of the main characters (think about it, its true. If you had to pick which out of nightowl, manhattan, ozzy, rorscharch, the comedian or her you found least interesting 100% of you who aren't liars will say her.) this is largely because she only exists in terms of how she motivates and affects the men, rather then what she stands for herself.
She helps Dr Manhattan realise how special humans are, she helps nightowl get his super hero groove back, she is the secret daughter of the comedian.
She is a motivator for other (male) characters.
She fails to function as a character in her own right.

As always, I can admire great works, and still recognise their many faults.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Tiberius at 9:30PM, April 29, 2011
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I don't fully agree. While I would agree she is the least interesting main character, I disagree that she doesn't stand on her own. Her motivation is to get out from under her mother's shadow. she doesn't want to be her mother, but she still cares deeply for her, which is why she hates the comedian so much.
So when she finds out she's the comedians daughter, it's quite the shock. She might not be the most well fleshed out, but she still can stand.

if i had to rank the main character from most fleshed out and interesting from greatest to least-
1+2) Rorschach, and Doctor Manhattan. in many ways you could say those two are opposites of each other. one has too little interest in humanity, and the other is too critical of them. one sees almost nothing but the big picture, the other almost nothing but the small picture.
3)Ozymandias. the love child of the Dr. Manhattan, and Rorschach. Sees the big picture, cares for humanity, and has elevated abilities, but not quite super powers. is this mix of aspects a good thing? I'm not telling you! figure it out yourself.
4)The Comedian. not seen much on account of being dead, but his cynicism with a smile has a weird sense to it.
5)Nite Owl. he likes birds, and invents stuff. That sums up most of it.
6)Silk Spectre. got daddy and mommy issues.

note: this isn't a list of favorites.

Also, now that you mention it, yeah that is weird how the first Spectre couldn't defend herself.
The post apocalyptic genre- one of the most optimistic of all genres.
Why?
Because we somehow survived the end of everything, and have built a pretty nice town to boot, sometimes with pig powered electricity!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 5:10PM, April 30, 2011
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Subtle sexism like that is far more insidious than overt sexism.
It is the kind of thing that gets under your radar till you think about it more carefully.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
wordweaver_four at 3:06AM, May 2, 2011
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I'm gonna say something.

Folks might not like it, but I'm gonna say it anyway.

The Watchmen graphic novel sucked.

It was a long-winded Scooby Do mystery. With a proverbial unmasking of the obvious villain at the end. I mean lets face it, it's the 80s, he's a CEO (or something) of a massive corporate machine, of course he's the bad guy. Uber trope. Ozymandias is frequently referred to as “the smartest man on the planet” but the comic makes no attempt to prove that to the reader other then the fact that he's super rich. Come on, there are plenty of rich morons out there.

In fact, as the reader you were expected to forgive the story on many aspects simply because they told you so. Ozy was super smart. Comedian was funny. The characters were “heros”. If something that looks like it fell outta Call of Cthulhu lands in New York people will think it's an alien and band together, as opposed to a demon signifying the end of days and start looting.

I felt no sympathy for any of the characters with the possible exception of Rorschach, and that guy was a psychopath. He was also the only “hero” who was even remotely heroic. When a situation was placed in front of most of the characters they seemed befuddled as to what they should do prior to doing something asinine. Night Owl was a quivering mass of cowardice who for some reason had no problem banging Dr. Manhattan's girlfriend. The guy should have crapped himself at the thought. That tail ain't worth it.

The only person who seemed to realize that Ozy's big plan was the insane efforts of a would be despot dictator was the raving lunatic. At that point Rorschach does the only heroic act in the entire novel, he dies for what is correct and good. Of course it's empty since nobody will ever recognize his martyrdom.

Ozy's plan is flawed in so many ways it's like it was cooked up by a kindergartner. At it's core is a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature. Even if I accept the premise (which I don't), it can't lead to lasting world peace. People may band together for a short while, but eventually the differences that separated them in the first place would resurface. Especially after no further “aliens” invaded. The only way it would work would be if every couple years Ozy murdered another million or so people to remind everyone of that threat. Tragedy is only effective when it's fresh. Fear is only effective when it's eminent.

His plan makes about as much sense as trying to make a girl prettier by slashing other girls faces.

And for some reason everyone accepts this as a desirable outcome in the end.

I'll rate The Watchmen as: Overly simplified stupidity poorly disguised as progressive “shades of gray” complexity.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 5:58AM, May 2, 2011
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Ah but wordweaver, something you over looked.
The ending gives the implication that Ozy's plan WILL fail.
Or at the very least his conspiracy will be revealed.
The last page has someone reaching for Rorschach's diary which would reveal the truth to them.

One of the strengths of the comic is that the morality and right and wrong of what is happening is not clear.
The story doesn't just come out and tell us if Ozy was right or wrong for what he did.
The other characters accept what Ozy has done because he has already done it and it appears to have achieved what he thought it would. At that point, what can they do? All they can do is unravel the apparent world peace he has brought about.
Even Ozy comes to doubt whether he has done the right thing.
He lies about having murdered his 3 assistants (suggesting that even he cant rationalise such a betrayal) and in the end he begs Doc Manhattan for reassurance, but gets only an unclear answer. The last time we see him he is looking really doubtful about how it all played out.
If even the guy who DID IT is not sure about it, I would say the comic is leaving the morals pretty open ended.

Another example is the Comedian, who is INCREDIBLY evil a lot of the time, but is then revealed to have had a far more complex relationship with the original Silk Specter.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go and get the lynch mob to string you up for questioning Watchmen in anyway.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 2:14PM, May 2, 2011
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The ending gives the impression that Ozzy's plan MIGHT fail… if the people who got their hands on the journal decide to publish. They do get to see what Ozzy's company was busy doing and how things were going great for the world. So it is up to them, will they choose truth or the greater good? Kinda like giving it to the reader/watcher to judge. Not bad, eh?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Genejoke at 4:45PM, May 2, 2011
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I like the watchmen movie. It isn't perfect but losing the squid was a good move. But why have slo-mo fights when they had to cut so much out?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Tiberius at 7:45PM, May 2, 2011
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He's not called the comedian cause he's “Ha Ha” funny. To him LIFE is the joke, and it's a very dark joke. they explain this. Your not exposed to laugh at him, or think he's funny, your exposed to avoid meeting his eyes, because in a way, you know he might be right.

Ozymandias is shown to be smart, because he built an empire from nothing, has invented a large number of things that have changed the world, and he put all this world wide data together to predict the coming apocalypse.

there's a great more detail to the plan then just drop a squid on new york, that goes towards convincing the world it's an alien threat from space, or another dimension. Ozy also was not aspiring to be a dictator.

I know it sounds cliched, but I think Wordweaver, you just didn't get it.
The post apocalyptic genre- one of the most optimistic of all genres.
Why?
Because we somehow survived the end of everything, and have built a pretty nice town to boot, sometimes with pig powered electricity!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
wordweaver_four at 4:44PM, May 17, 2011
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Tiberius
I know it sounds cliched, but I think Wordweaver, you just didn't get it.

Oh I “get it”.

The story tells us that he was called the Comedian because he was funny at one time. The name simply became ironic when life turned him into a dark and brooding character. Still, he never says or does anything humorous in the flashbacks.

Ozy doesn't build an empire from nothing, he exploits his fame as a superhero and markets it. And it's not hard to put predict the coming apocalypse WHEN YOU START IT! Yes, yes, I know, nuclear war and blah, blah, blah. Half the world was terrified of a nuclear confrontation between the U.S. and Russia in the 80's, that fear doesn't make him unique. He's not doing anything brilliant, it's the same strategy that the Nazi's did, create an enemy to unify everyone against. The only difference is that he actually created the enemy. Whether or not he was aspiring to become a dictator is irrelevant. He is controlling the outcome from behind the scenes, making a world that he alone finds ideal, using lies and murder on a massive scale to meet those ends, he's a dictator and a tyrant.

And the whole fate of the world ends up resting on whether or not a moron in a newsroom pulls Rorschach's journal from the discard pile, not on the actions of the so called “heros” who have chosen to jam their thumbs firmly up their ass. Even if he pulls it, the New Frontiersman is considered a kook rag anyway. Ozy has control over the media at this point, so it wouldn't come to anything.

This is what really got my goat about Watchmen. The whole book dragged on and on and is billed as a superhero graphic novel, but nothing heroic ever happens. The reason for this is that none of the characters ever display any traits you would normally expect to find in a superhero, or even a normal hero. They don't know right from wrong, they're not idealistic and most of all (with the exception of Rorschach) they're not willing to sacrifice. Sure, they're all willing to sacrifice the truth for what Ozy called world peace, but that's not heroic. It's cowardice, and it's evil.

And if that was the whole point of the story, then I got it just fine.

Just because someone explains to me that it was a rosebush I just stepped in doesn't change the fact that it was actually dog poop. And don't sell me a comic book about heros that is full of villains.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 11:02AM, May 18, 2011
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Wordweaver, I think you are coming to this comic from the wrong direction.
The comic is less of a Super Hero story as it is a deconstruction of the Super Hero genre.

The characters are not supposed to be heroes, or admirable.
The idea of the comic is super heroes in the real world and looking what it would be like if people really put on costumes to beat up criminals and what sort of people would do that.
The comic then paints them as a disturbed and strange bunch (which kind of follows since they..ya know…dress up and go fight criminals!)

The comedian is not meant to be funny.
His name is not based on the fact he has a good sense of humour.
He see's the world as being one big cosmic joke where everything is hopeless and bleak so the only solution is to laugh at it.
The worlds a joke so the only solution is to be the comedian (meaning he is the one who gets the joke.)

You do raise the interesting point though- since ozy's plan had already succeed, is it immoral to then accept it? The people were already dead and world war 3 had been averted, so revealing the truth would just put the world back on course for ww3. But of course, to go along with it is to become complicit in the crime and effectively to endorse it.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
wordweaver_four at 2:01AM, May 19, 2011
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I guess I'd be fine with the premise of the story if it actually entertained me, but I found the entire novel to be a slog through painfully uninteresting pages. I mean, the layout was nice and the art was fine, but I just didn't enjoy reading it. I'm flipping through this long-ass comic that everyone says is “phenomenal” waiting for it to be so. About three quarters of the way through I'm thinking to myself “well then, the ending must be fuckin awesome”, and it wasn't. It just seemed so cliche 80s that everything felt like it had done before in a sit com.

And the “superhero's won Vietnam” thing seemed like a kick in the nuts to the veterans to me. Of course, kicking vets in the nuts was all the rage in the 80s.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 3:14AM, May 19, 2011
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It wasn't super heroes won it, it was just Doctor Manhattan.
The comedian was there, but he alone did not turn the tide of thing, it was manhattan and his god like powers.
The point there was that having an all powerful superman (manhattan being a stand in equivilant for superman), would affect the whole balance of the world.
A being like that would not be allowed to just roam around as he pleased fighting random street crimes.
Governments would want to make use of him to their advantage.
And logically, if you had a being as powerful as that on your team, you would always win conventional wars, thus meanign your enemies have to look more and more to nuclear weapons to readdress the balance.
I dont think that kind of “alternate history” is an insult to anyone. It is just playing out the logical consequences of how the world would be if the rules were different.

In the real world, if there were super heroes, they would almost certainly be used by governments to fight wars. Perhaps the wars would be righteous, but thats beside the point.
Hell, many would probably volunteer to help. Do you think Captain America would need persuading to sign up to go fight the Taliban?

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
RED_NED at 6:44AM, May 19, 2011
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Watchmen is an awesome comic (I wouldn't go so far as to say one of the greatest novels of all time though…)

I kind of liked that it was depressing - when they go to foil Ozymandias' plans he's already done it, and the characters are all flawed (just ‘people dressed up in costumes’ as Dr. Manhatten put it).

The main things that just bugged me about the book (and you guys will say its all artsy fartsy and tell my whey you shouldn't be able to read those pages because they should be stuck together after you've wanked all over them, they are that great) are:

I wasn't overly keen on the ‘Under the hood’ sections and other bits like that; all the written pages (about 4-5 pages of text at the end of each chapter). Aside from the fact that I can barely read, being similar to a Michael Bay transformer, it just kind of took me out of the comic. The same as when I go to a movie I want to see a full motion picture, not walls of text on the screen. It just seemed to take me out of the universe by shifting from a comic to a book. Couldn't the information on those pages be done in the same comic style as the rest of the comic?

The black ship section. Yes, I understand why its in the book, but is it really needed? I get what Watchmen is trying to tell, its really cool. I dont care about it, even if it is to show that people like pirates in that world with superheroes in. The same as in Star Wars it would have been shit if Han Solo was reading Lord of the rings and it went to snippets where that story mirrored his own.

The squid. Yep it always boils down to this big flabby mess. The plan is cool, the setup is fun, the obliteration of the city is harrowing. The squid looks like shit.
I'm one of those assholes who liked the films ending. Tying it into Dr Manhatten was in the spirit of the book - had the same outcome and was much easier for a filmgoer to relate to - we had spent the whole story being told that dr manhatten was really powerful so when ozymandias puts the plan into action you can believe it.
Also, imagine this ugly, cartoony, B-Movie mess being made in CGI:
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 8:08AM, May 19, 2011
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I must admit…the thought of the squid done is CGI is pretty horrifying!
As usual, you make a persuasive arguement there.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 9:52PM, June 14, 2011
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Some other guy's take on the Watchmen movie:

http://spudcomics.com/2009/03/10/every-watchmen-review/
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM

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