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Author Topic: Last movie watched...  (Read 788489 times)

Robert Frazer

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #930 on: 07 August, 2011, 02:09:37 am »
An actual adaptation, rather than a frame by frame recreation, might have been its own enjoyable thing (in fact I thought many of the more elaborate changes to the plot worked reasonably well, whereas some of the visual recreations, particularly the ones involving the smiley, were actually utterly laughable).  Something so close, yet so utterly missing the point, indeed almost all the points, was a soulless disaster.

I suppose the reaction to Watchmen proves the observation of Yahtzee from the Zero Punctuation series - "fans are clingy complaining dips**ts who will never ever be happy for any concession you make." (and, God help me, I should know, I've been a fannish geek since I first read Sonic the Comic) After years of simmering outrage from the comic's self-appointed protectors, they were given the painstakingly, agonisingly faithful film version that they had clamoured for... and then had to contend with the discomfiting realisation that the translation, actually, was rather underwhelming.

Still, I think that it's important not to be too downbeat about Watchmen - despite the mixed critical response (and I have a certain suspicion that a clique of tastemakers were plagiarising each other's opinions there), it was a reliable success. It made 150% of its budget at the box office, and when you add on DVD and merchandising sales it will still have turned a healthy profit for the studio.

TordelBack

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #931 on: 07 August, 2011, 02:23:25 am »
After years of simmering outrage from the comic's self-appointed protectors, they were given the painstakingly, agonisingly faithful film version that they had clamoured for... and then had to contend with the discomfiting realisation that the translation, actually, was rather underwhelming.

Well put (although I personally never wanted to see a film version of Watchmen, and now wish I never had) but the problem with an 'agonisingly faithful' version (which this isn't, in many more important ways than it is) is that almost everything that's good and special about Watchmen is that it's a comic.  Maybe a film that tried to do the kinds of things Watchmen did with comics but with film (and I have no idea what that even means), rather than trying to film the things the comic does, would have been a lot more interesting.
« Last Edit: 07 August, 2011, 02:25:45 am by TordelBack »


JamesC

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #933 on: 07 August, 2011, 09:33:23 am »
I really enjoyed Watchmen. I've read the comic loads of times so I know the story pretty much inside out and I think the film did a pretty good job.
I was never looking for anything deeper than the basic plot of trying to foil a baddy who turns out to be a strange sort of goody.
Watchmen is, in part, a comic about how comics work but the film isn't a film about how films work. I wasn't looking for that though.

Last night I watched 'Drive Angry' with Nicholas Cage. It was a right load of old bollocks but quite a good laugh - it was very much like Ghost Rider in fact. I was intending to rent 'Driven' but all the copies were on loan at Blockbuster.

JOE SOAP

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #934 on: 07 August, 2011, 11:05:09 am »
It made 150% of its budget at the box office, and when you add on DVD and merchandising sales it will still have turned a healthy profit for the studio.


Which makes it a flop. Successes are films that make about 3-4 times budget. 50% profit doesn't justify the investment if Watchmen even got that. Consider that District 9 cost $30 million, made $210 million and Kick-Ass cost $28 million and made $96 million and these are moderate successes compared to the Dark Knight with a budget of $185 million and earnings over $1 billion.

Even more scary is Avatar: Budget of $240 million and current earnings are approaching $3 billion and it ain't that good.

Watchmen cost $130 million and made $185 million.
« Last Edit: 07 August, 2011, 11:07:10 am by JOE SOAP »

JOE SOAP

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #935 on: 07 August, 2011, 12:08:33 pm »
After years of simmering outrage from the comic's self-appointed protectors, they were given the painstakingly, agonisingly faithful film version that they had clamoured for... and then had to contend with the discomfiting realisation that the translation, actually, was rather underwhelming.


...but Watchmen is not a 'faithful' adaptation, it's a xeroxed copy that looks more contrasty and lacking detail, important detail that let's people know when and where they are in the story and who and what's important, textually and subtextually. Yes, no one should expect a 2-3 hour adaptation to contain everything but Snyder's attitude seemed to be, just copy the iconic comic panels and whatever we leave out of the story doesn't matter as long as we keep the bigger bits everyone remembers most.

There was no effort to tell the story cinematically which does not just mean nicely composed moving pictures with music, but should include structure, pace, character, beats...all the things Snyder seems to ignore -adding bits of Apocalypse Now doesn't make it cinematic either. What's worse is that they added superfluous scenes with Nixon et al which are caricatures?

The best test of Watchmen the film is to show it to someone who has never read the comic, if they can follow it and understand it, it's a success, if they can't, it's not and that seems to be the general case with it. No one knows what the fuck is going on and an audience shouldn't be expected to be primed with a 400 page comic before they watch a film. Snyder didn't care enough or understand enough about the story to communicate it properly. As an example, the jumps in time are not clear enough -playing KC and the Sunshine band under a scene is not enough to say 'we're now in the 70's'- nor is there any real attempt to make the differences in period feel different, the whole film feels like a pastiche of other movie sets new and old that forgets the characters and to tell the story of Watchmen.

Watchmen the film -unlike Watchmen the comic which is about comics and comic heroes- shouldn't be referential to other films like Apocalypse Now, Dr. Strangleove, Raging Bull, Man Who Fell to Earth etc. because the story of Watchmen is not about other films.

The translation to film doesn't translate as 'well if Watchmen is about 'comics' then Watchmen the film should be about 'films' and we should really point up how we reference them...which is wholely unfortunate cos there is some really good stuff in the film that works but the story is forgotten.


Snyder makes pastiche films, that have no interest in the audience or compelling them, he didn't understand how Watchmen could be a film and what that meant. A pity Greengrass didn't follow through with it after it collapsed at Universal, his direction was on the right course. We don't need direct translations of comics, that's pointless, we have the comic, now expand it a little, make it breathe in different ways that films do better than comics and tell us the same story from a different vantage point and that shouldn't mean sacrilege.

Fans would be far richer with 2 versions of Watchmen rather than 1 and it's poorer imitation.

Never give the fans what they think or you think they want...they'll hate you for it.
« Last Edit: 07 August, 2011, 12:13:42 pm by JOE SOAP »

JamesC

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #936 on: 07 August, 2011, 12:28:35 pm »
Just watched Saturn 3.

I'd seen this years ago when I was a kid but couldn't remember much about it other than it had a killer robot and you saw Farrah Fawcett's boobs.

It's one of those films where everyone looks a bit uncomfortable and it has the crappest robot since that one in Logan's Run.
The special effects and designs are really terrible. It's hard to believe this was made three years after Star Wars. Forbidden Planet had better effects and a more believable robot about 25 years earlier.
The screenplay is a bit of a mess and it's badly directed but I got the feeling that this is one of those rare polishable turds. I really think this film could be remade into a pretty good thriller. It mainly depends on the robot being believable and scary which is much easier to do these days.

SmallBlueThing

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #937 on: 07 August, 2011, 12:47:47 pm »
Well, i really like watchmen. Im not a particular fan of the comic- bought it when it came out, bought it again in trade, but each and every attempt to plough through it leaves me bored and unfulfilled. And the ending is shit.

The film though, is beautifully realised, makes just enough sense to keep you watching (except the sudden glut of what can only be super powers- even rorscharch is the amazing leapy man) and is faithful ENOUGH to the good bits of the comic (Dr Manhattan on mars, etc) that it doesnt feel like Snyder's taking the piss. The cast is good, it feels like an intelligent event movie (even if it's not really) and i'd definitely put it in the higher bracket of comics adaptations.

And the ending's better than the comic, too.

As for people not knowing the comic being unable to follow it- nonsense, my wife really enjoyed watchmen. If asked, she'd probably say it was her second favourite film based on a comic ("but dont ask me to read it!"). Her first being V For Vendetta, which is as it should be.

SBT

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TordelBack

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #938 on: 07 August, 2011, 12:52:52 pm »
...the whole film feels like a pastiche of other movie sets new and old that forgets the characters and to tell the story of Watchmen.

'Ride of the Valkyries' playing over Jon disintegrating Viet Cong on a crappy greenscreen soundstage may just be the most misjudged thing I have ever seen committed to film.  Instead of being a flashback to SE Asia in an alternate 1971, it's a flashback to a cinema in 1979, or more properly Hotshots Part Deux in 199X.  And let's not even mention Tears for Fears playing as a wimpy sneery Adrian fails to monologue his backstory to the Bilderburg Group.  And then there's Nixon and Kissenger, who seem to have wandered in from a Pete and Dud sketch, with a similar make-up budget.  There is no bottom to my dislike of this movie, despite so much that it does right.  I'd best draw a line.
« Last Edit: 07 August, 2011, 12:55:13 pm by TordelBack »

JOE SOAP

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #939 on: 07 August, 2011, 01:06:13 pm »
'Ride of the Valkyries' playing over Jon disintegrating Viet Cong on a crappy greenscreen soundstage may just be the most misjudged thing I have ever seen committed to film.


The worst for me is old Nite Owl punching his way through Cavalleria Rusticana and Knot-Tops slo-mo in the long version.

TordelBack

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #940 on: 07 August, 2011, 01:30:31 pm »
The worst for me is old Nite Owl punching his way through Cavalleria Rusticana and Knot-Tops slo-mo in the long version.

At least I was spared that.  I did wonder though, why was anyone surprised that Vedit caught the bullet when it looked like any of them could have done it before breakfast? 

On the subject of Veidt, who was the the victim of the one really terrible piece of core casting (Robert Wisden's Nixon aside) amongst otherwise solid choices, I have no idea why they denied him any kind of backstory (beyond 'I like Alexander, me') and took his ending (heh) away.  I have no real problem with the squid switcheroo, it was just a different answer to the same problem, but the failure to even try to communicate the process or the horror, the essentially global nature of the response, in a medium that surely is well suited to depicting exactly that sort of thing.  Replacing the aftermath with a crater, another terrible Nixon impersonation and some mumbling - and then handing Jon's closing verdict to Laurie so that Adrian never even receives his final judgment... hrrrnnnghhh.   

Lawks, I suddenly know exactly how you-know-who feels all the time.

Eric Plumrose

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #941 on: 07 August, 2011, 03:30:46 pm »
Lawks, I suddenly know exactly how you-know-who feels all the time.

Then for Dog's Sake, don't read this
Not sure if pervert or cheesecake expert.

JOE SOAP

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #942 on: 07 August, 2011, 03:36:48 pm »

On the subject of Veidt, who was the the victim of the one really terrible piece of core casting


Yeah he was shite and was misguided in his performance by Snyder. Surprised they didn't go for such a decent actor like Baker as a candidate for Ozy, his star was rising at the time too:






Buttonman

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #943 on: 07 August, 2011, 03:56:35 pm »

I saw 'Watchmen' at the cinema and although I enjoyed it I wasn't inclined to have a second look. It was just too faithful to the book meaning there were no surprises and I found myself anticipating dialogue before it was said.

With the wife away for the weekend I had a great old movie fest watching double bills of 'Casino Royale' and 'Quantum of Solace' and a salesmen under pressure double feature of 'The Boiler Room' and 'Glen Garry Glen Ross'.

I'd recently read a few of the bond novels on my Kindle so it was interesting to see what was kept - quite a lot really although they change the carpet beater to a knotted rope for the torture scene - did keep the 'The bitch is dead line' which was nice. Hadn't seen 'Quantum' since the cinema and it was better than I remembered - title song for a start. Lots of chases - why doesn't he set off earlier? and some cracking set pieces. The ending with an exploding hotel was a bit of a let down but over all good stuff.

'The Boiler Room' was enjoyable too although I wasn't buying Vin Diesel as a smooth talking broker. Giovanni Ribisi was good in the lead and it's a pity he's not been seen more - 'Flight of the Phoenix' remake was the only other thing I could place him in. End was a bit of a cop out and it's a shame they didn't go with the alternative ending of the bankrupted investor going on a shooting spree.

Glen Garry was as great as always and if you see a better cast and dialogue you'll be a lucky person. When Spacey blows Pacino's deal you almost wince in anticipation of his reaction - turns out to be quite a measure deluge of extreme swearing.

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #944 on: 07 August, 2011, 04:07:17 pm »

Oh, I freakin' LOVE Glen Garry Glenn Ross!

The amazing thing about the movie is that it's not onlya great cast, but they're all on top form. And, given the subject matter, you'd not expect it to be so riveting.

Good stuff... and I'm reminded I need to buy the DVD.
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