Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,

Watching the Watchmen

Lots of things to catch up on, but here's my Watchmen review.

musikub brought the director's cut over on Blu-ray this evening. My overall reaction is that I think it was done well, and quite good, but I didn't really like it all that much. (And in itself, I find it interesting that I can have that reaction.)

I didn't like it because there were a bunch of things in it that were... wrong. Subjectively, I mean. It's not that they were done badly, or anything, or even that I didn't think the movie was worth watching (it was). It's just that a number of things didn't line up with my reading of the comic, and so for me, those artistic choices didn't really work.

Some of it was look-and-feel kinds of things: Night Owl should be a lot more out of shape and soft. Rorschach looks right, but should have a high, reedy kind of voice, not that growly Batman thing. Dr. Manhattan's voice should be echoey and weird. Rorschach's mask should be a plasticky material, not something that shows fibers. (On the other hand, the Comedian and Archie the Owlship were basically perfect.)

Some of it was changes. A lot of the changes worked: I liked how they worked all the necessary background material in through flashbacks, and I like Veidt's purple suit, and they mostly omitted the bits that made sense to omit. But they changed the climactic plot point, and while the new version makes sense, I just liked the original a lot more.

A lot of it comes down to tone, and in particular the direction and delivery of the dialogue. I read all of Rorschach's dialogue as being delivered in a quiet monotone. He's not angry; he's numb. Dr. Manhattan is detached and aloof. Dreiberg is lost. Sally is uncertain. Veidt is supremely self-confident. Basically, the entire film had a different tone than the comic (in my head, anyway), and I just... prefer the original, I suppose.

(Miscellaneous other reactions: Liked the adaptation of individual panels to film. Disliked the increased levels of and focus on violence. Loved the use of Phillip Glass. Was generally unmoved by the other music that showed up. Hated the sound mix (waaaay too much thump-crash combat foley). Pleased they fixed the computer password idiocy.)

So who watches the Watchmen? Me, but probably only once.

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