Monday, March 16, 2009

Watchmen (movie review)

I can't help thinking Triplettes de Belleville, Blade Runner and Watchmen all definitely cult movies of varying genres. So it goes with Watchmen: you either worship it or you hate it. Seldom is there a middle ground for the type. Oddly enough I fit in that middle ground, I was bored out of my skull, but curious enough as to where the story was going.

Cinematically and symbolically it was very impressive, except Mars, I still don't get that. Entertainment-wise it's too long by at least an hour. I think some people left the screening because of sheer boredom, way too plodding. I looked at my watch twice, which not generally a good thing and thought about leaving at least twice. But the plodding translates into an amazing story and moral study of an alternate 1985 earth. If you get hooked (reference "cult" here) it ties up everything nicely. The ending does not leave you on your appetite. Now you may not like the ending, but all the loose ends are tied up. The action scenes are very short-lived but then they are very intelligent, including the assault/almost-rape.

I would have liked to see this as a mini-series on DVD instead. Re-add the very material which was glossed over in the opening credits, and then spread it over 4 or 5 discs. If and when you see the movie, you'll understand what I mean.

A few bonuses: I may have caught a glimpse of a Dodge Omni 024 in a back-scene, too funny and I'm impressed they even found one to film! And of course the lovely Carla Gugino in a black silk overbust corset was nice eye candy. Rorschach was positively hypnotic.

I'm not sure where to put the so-called love-scene in the hovercraft though. Miss Akerman is certainly cute enough, but meh.

The caveat: Don't see this on IMAX if you're allergic to blue penises. One of the characters is mostly naked throughout the movie and glows bright blue. It's not offensive per-se on a regular movie screen, but this giant dick on IMAX could be a little, shall we say, overwhelming. That being said, it is rated "R" – that's RESTRICTED to a mature audience, even if you think your kids are "mature", they ain't! See reference to an assault/rape-scene above, and a cold-blooded murder by the same characters is, to put it mildly, deeply disturbing.

Not having read the graphic novel/comic books I can't say how it rubs up, but then it also makes me one of those people who walked in the theatre not knowing what to expect. So from the perspective of one who has not read the novel, if you go at it with an open mind you won't be disappointed, there's plenty of visuals and story material to keep one entertained. If you go in expecting to see an action-packed superhero jaunt you'll be leaving early. It's that simple.

I'm giving it an overall C rating because of the over two and a half hours worth of cult-only direction. Unfortunately this trumps everything else, as is often the case with cult-centric productions.


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