Sunday, February 24, 2013

Who Watches the Watchmen? (Plus Killzone 2 impressions) Mar 08, 2009 6:08AM PST

Rather than give a straightforward review, I thought I'd just list off the type of people who are going to see Watchmen and you can base what you're likely to think of the movie given what group you fall into People who didn't bother with the comics but thought based on previews they were getting 300 with a different skin (majority of my college campus)~ Not going to like it at all. 300 was a good movie for what it was don't get me wrong, but there is WAY too much plot and thinking involved for you here. You'll probably like the slowdon violence but while incredibly graphic it's even still not cheesy and dumb enough for you. Now turn that Nickelback record on, and go to sleep little one. People who haven't read the comics but have done enough research to expect some dialogue~ Toss up. Honestly, while the movie is good for what it is, it drags in a few places because there is SO much dialogue to get through despite what was cut out. It truly is better digested in serial form, broken up into chapters so it doesn't shove its impossibly intricate story down your throat all at once. However, you may be surprised how much you like it, as is the case with Roger Ebert (who based on his review, I don't think read the comics). You may get confused at certain points though, cause I'm pretty sure where I could fill in certain gaps, you might ask why the fuck homies be going to Antarctica. The movie did seem like it was geared more towards fans. People who have read the comics and liked them~ It probably all depends on what you're ok with with Snyder changing or omitting; as far as what's left in goes, it's faithful to a fault in most cases, some frames giving off the exact samer feel as the comic book. However, certain changes such as the ending, a scene involving Rorschach and dogs (which I think was changed so that nobody would think they were copying Saw), and details involving minor characters like a psychiatrist (actually in my opinion a major character and I was dissapointed at his lack of story in the movie) and no mention of a newspaperman or lesbians was a bit offputting. Also, 300 style slow down might not be the best representation of certain action scenes. Still, you mostly see the necessity in said changes and omissions, and the result is entertaining if probably a bit too heady for the mainstream (most people I hear calling the plot "dumb" I have a sneaking suspicion understood little of what was happening; overdone and unbelievable, fine, but dumb?) and a bit too John Woo for the die hards. People who didn't like the comics~ Oddly enough, might enjoy the film more, given they'll know the story but it's been changed enough to provide a new experience. As with people who liked the comics, it essentially depends on how you fancy those changes and omissions. For instance, maybe you'd prefer something a bit less ridiculous than a gigantic alien squid.Then again, given how it's generally the same story minus a couple key details, y'know.... seeing things twice doesn't make them better. Alan Moore~ Might actually like the stroke of his ego this will give him when he realizes he was absolutely right; not so much that the movie serves no purpose whatsoever but in terms of only the comic book being able to be as amazing as the comic book, he was absolutely right. Book to movie translations, especially with good movies will almost always be worse than their source material, this is no exception. That said, after the brilliant use of music in the film, I'll be listening to Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are a Changing" on loop for a while. I'd give it an 8 out of 10. I love the aestetic of most of the film, the main story is more or less told quite faithfully and I enjoyed what there was of action sequences. However, the slow-down violence (yes I sound like a broken record here) and CGI blood aren't my thing (Watchmen should be gritty, real and raw at all times and blood is never that perfectly red), I was dissapointed that none of the minor characters got a fair shake really (especially the psychiatrist and newspaper salesman), and it isn't able to feel as condensed as The Dark Knight was, dragging more noticeably based on its slow anticipation of the doomsday clock. I actually felt Silk Spectre II was acted well (and looks fantastic in high heels... and naked) and the rest of the cast gave great performances. Oddly enough, Silk Spectre I was the only one I didn't believe, her dialogue seemed quite a bit unnatural. Walter Kovacs was perfectly cast, as were the Comedian and Nite Owl. The CGI was amazing, especially in the scenes with Dr. Manhattan on Mars, and Manhattan himself looks surprisingly believable. Talking Points While I generally trust rottentomatos, some of the negative reviews of this come off as highly ignorant. I'm fine with the reviews that imply that despite all the perfect producing, marketing, writing and directing it still couldn't match the comic book or one's that are dissapointed in the omission of some integral bits, but when you ask "where's the humor gone?" and say "the heroes here aren't very heroic", you just look like a complete fucking tool. It's fine not to read the comic book, but to know that little about what you're going into is a bit unprofessional I think. No shit they're humorless and not heroic.... that was the point, Sherlock. One reviewer even got upset because Moore wasn't credited, I mean god help us all if people are this unwilling to research things. Dr. Manhattan's dick should really not be a big deal for anyone over the age of 15, it's done tastefully (it reminded me of the Bodies exhibit I attended in high school) and for anyone who's seen a Biology textbook really isn't even worth noting. Rorschach's voice sounds a bit Bale as Batman like, but nowhere near as bad and makes sense given Moore's opinion on Batman and Rorschach. CGI flops: Ozymandias' cat thing is obvious CGI, and his hideout looks like a model (which I bet it is... didn't even look big though). Someone said it would have been better had HBO picked up the rights and turned it into a miniseries; I tend to agree, what say you? Killzone 2 I have never been this excited for a game in forever. Honestly, some of the explosions don't look real to me, but beyond that detail it looks amazing and most importantly is extremely fun, in many respects because it fixes the first person shooter for me in so many ways, most of them involving realism: 1. If there's a hole in the structure you're shooting behind, you can shoot through the hole. Dear god, FINALLY! It sounds so primitive and is, but I am so tired of there being set objects which despite not having matter in all areas of them, reject your lead. 2. Ladder climbing isn't stupid: Ok, this doesn't affect gameplay much, but it does take me out of the experience when you float up stairs with gun in hand in most shooters. Here, you actually have to climb up with your hands. 3. One weapon at a time: This is purely for realism's sake and might actually piss a few people off but you're not fucking Rambo in this game. You're a normal human being, and Duke Nukem antics are pushed to the wayside for gritty realism. I feel it gives me much more appreciation of the armory I've got. 4. Speaking of armory: A nail gun that shoots into people skulls so that they themselves are nailed to a wall and then explodes to cause certain limbs some flying time = most badass concept for a gun I have ever seen. My friend told me they stole it from FEAR, but I don't care, it's great. 5. It's fun to WATCH: Even the gameplay is like watching a well made CGI movie, and giving strategies to people playing is actually fun, as opposed to the usual "yeah why the hell not? try that" advice I tend to give out of apathy I get really involved even when not playing. The levels are incredibly active as well, so there's usually something good to look at. Another game that looks quite good is Mad World, which reminds me of Viewtiful Joe in several ways given the art style whether or not it's black and white, but who's maiming seems to have tons of variety based on an ign video watched earlier today. The environment seems to have many uses. If it seems like my writing is juvenile, repetitive and a bit dumb, this is me awake at 8am and I apologize. Happy Chanukah, everyone

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