Saturday, March 07, 2009


I was able to catch Watchmen yesterday and unfortunately it didn't live up to he hype. Normally I'd pass on commenting on it altogether here but I felt like I should since I listed it as the film I wanted to see the most this year. The film was all over the board and while it had some very interesting aspects it came up empty in the end. I found the Doctor Manhattan and Rorschach characters the most interesting parts of the film. Doctor Manhattan had a nice character arc and Rorschach seemed like the only character worth caring about. I've ranted a friends ear off already about the film (sorry Matt) so rather than continue to repeat myself I'll share a few quotes from the press that I think echo my feelings pretty well...
“The reverence is inert, the violence noxious, the mythology murky, the tone grandiose, the texture glutinous. It’s an alternate version of The Incredibles minus the delight.” - Joe Morgenstern The Wall Street Journal
“The problem with Watchmen is, in the end, that it is a bit of a big stiff bore for two acts with an improved, but mostly uninspired third act. Look at Watchmen from the back to the front. Do you care about what has happened to any of these characters, except Rorschach, by the time you leave the theater?” - David Poland Movie City News
And finally a little longer quote that I think sums it up pretty well...
“Watchmen” features this year’s hands-down winner of the bad movie sex award: a moment of bliss that takes place on board Nite Owl’s nifty little airship, accompanied by Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” (By the way, can we please have a moratorium on the use of this song in movies? Yes, I too have heard there was a secret chord that David played, and blah blah blah, but I don’t want to hear it again. Do you?)

The sex may be laughable, but the violence is another matter. The infliction of pain is rendered in intimate and precise aural and visual detail, from the noise of cracking bones and the gushers of blood and saliva to the splattery deconstruction of entire bodies. But brutality is not merely part of Mr. Snyder’s repertory of effects; it is more like a cause, a principle, an ideology. And his commitment to violence brings into relief the shallow nihilism that has always lurked beneath the intellectual pretensions of “Watchmen.” The only action that makes sense in this world — the only sure basis for ethics or politics, the only expression of love or loyalty or conviction — is killing. And the dramatic conflict revealed, at long last, in the film’s climactic arguments is between a wholesale, idealistic approach to mass death and one that is more cynical and individualistic.

This idea is sickening but also, finally, unpersuasive, because it is rooted in a view of human behavior that is fundamentally immature, self-pitying and sentimental. Perhaps there is some pleasure to be found in regressing into this belligerent, adolescent state of mind. But maybe it’s better to grow up. - A.O. Scott The New York Times

I think I'll go watch The Dark Knight to cleanse my pallet.

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