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Massawyrm's promised (and belated) spoiler heavy dissection of WATCHMEN!!

Hola all. Massawyrm here. (Hey gang, for those who have been patiently (and impatiently) waiting for this, I apologize for its lateness. It’s been a rough few days. Seriously, fuck this week.) Fanboy. Film junkie. Dork. Comic book nerd. Use whatever word you want. We all have a name for what it is we do – but around here we’ve become fond of the term geek. And geek culture is in a weird place right now, divided by a film and our feelings on it. And part of me is elated by this – after all, that is exactly what we geeks do. As much as we might try to pretend otherwise, we are nothing but a group of hyper-consumers who love to over-intellectualize our media and define ourselves with our fandom. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s the natural progression of things. My father grew up fascinated by Trains and WWII movies and carried those passions on through his life. His father grew up in love with Cowboys and Gangsters and carried them on through his life. And for each of us Hollywood was there to sell us products that played upon that love. I love super heroes and space monsters and broadswords and blasters. And odds are so do you. The problem comes when people begin expecting something out of geek culture. I’ve talked to people who are disappointed in those of us unhappy with the film. After all, since it was made FOR US we should support it, right? We should appreciate it, right? We have. We are. And we will continue to. By doing what we geeks do best: over-intellectualizing our media. We talk about it. Debate it. And if there’s one thing a geek loves more than a good debate about comic books and science fiction films…it is a good ARGUMENT about comic books and science fiction films. And that’s what’s been going on for almost two weeks now after the first embargo busting reviews leaked online followed by the flood once the embargo was lifted. And now that the film is in theaters the genie is out of the bottle altogether. This weekend I saw the film for a second time, slipping in just before the theater went dark. I went alone. I didn’t want to see this again with friends or co-workers, I didn’t want someone leaning over to crack jokes or to recognize a buddy’s giggle every time blue dong flopped out. When I saw WATCHMEN the first time, I was watching Zack Snyder’s ADAPTATION of the greatest comic book story ever written. This time I went to watch Zack Snyder’s FILM. And I found it a decidedly different experience. First of all, before I get into specifics I want to clarify something. I think Zack Snyder is a visual genius. Say what you will about his ability to adapt a work, his comprehension of the message in his films or his obsessions with physical perfection and his glorification of ultra-violence. All of these things bear discussing and no doubt disagreement. But his visuals are gorgeous. He paints with film like no one else. He conjures images that no one else seems capable of mustering. Snyder possesses a singular ability to not only look at something and imitate it, but to make it so surreal that it transports you to that world. There is so much visual information lurking in many shots that sometimes you don’t see the jokes or the layers until a few viewings in. While I might take issue with what he does with story, I cannot find fault with the painstaking attention he gives to every single shot in his films. He is obsessed and it works for him. And I respect that immensely. And much of what I love about WATCHMEN is contained in those shots. He certainly put me in the world of the WATCHMEN, walked me up and introduced me to Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan, and then flew me around in Archie. He gets so much of WATCHMEN right that I certainly understand those critical of the disappointed who talk about this being as close to a true adaptation as we’ve ever seen. I can follow along in my graphic novel and see shot for shot where he took it from the comic – and I can even see how he improved upon it. Where he took the comic and filled in the blanks visually, making even the most mundane frames interesting. But the other thing I love about Snyder’s WATCHMEN is its shorthand. Together with David Hayter and Alex Tse, Snyder abbreviated many of the dialog heavy scenes into perfectly executed smaller bites – he took drawn out, complicated threads and simplified them to the point that they were felt without being overly explained, while only rarely OVER simplifying them. In place of Rorschach’s eloquent nihilistic explanation of how the child killing affected him they give us the brilliant line “If God saw what any of us did that night, he didn’t mind.” And it hits notes better than the speech did. The film is peppered with moments like that – perfectly adapted scenes that take what the book was saying and condensed it. There’s also not a single thing that I MISSED from the book that was omitted rather than changed. Everything that was cut didn’t belong in the feature. Not the Black Freighter, not the newsstand, not the cops, not the Psychiatrist’s wife. MAYBE Jon going back to Gila Flats, but I didn’t miss that while I was watching it either. Only after. Over all, upon my second viewing, I enjoyed the film. I love whole chunks of it, while simply enjoying others for what they are. I think Snyder made a very interesting film that will introduce an entire generation to a really great book and will come to be debated and ultimately accepted as one of the great works of this decade. It is a great, visceral ride. But intellectually I have problems with it. The biggest of which that I have yet to reconcile deals with the ending. As my previous review stated, every major issue I have comes from the changes there. And frankly, I think the problem is that Snyder got too close to the comic, that he spent too much time playing to us in the early days of preproduction by carrying around a Copy of WATCHMEN and telling us all that he was using it as a Bible for the making of the film. Had he not done that, had he said “Look, I’m making my version of the film. I love the book, but come on. It takes 5 and a half hours just to listen to all of the dialog read at proper speed. But I promise you I will capture the spirit of WATCHMEN.” Would the geek press have flayed him alive? Almost certainly. But we would have walked into this looking at it as HIS film rather than OURS. And when the film looked like it was our WATCHMEN, it really threw many of us for a loop when it suddenly takes a wild turn. The film, for the most part, IS WATCHMEN. Until the end. As the saying goes : so close, and yet so far. Snyder didn’t just make a Rated R version of WATCHMEN. He made a VERY Rated R version of Watchmen. Almost every set piece sticks out as if to say “You thought the comic was adult? Wait till you see what I do with it.” When Rorschach kills his first criminal he doesn’t just burn him alive by chaining him up, setting his house on fire and watching from outside – he hacks him to death with a meat cleaver. When the assassin ambushes Veidt, he doesn’t just shoot the secretary by accident - he also blows Lee Iacoca’s brains out. Daniel doesn’t just strip Laurie in Archie the Owlship and presses the flamethrower button for the sake of comic metaphor – they fuck in front of us with plenty of slow motion thrusting. Then they hit the flamethrower. When Rorschach ties the hands of Big Figure’s goon, they don’t slit his throat – they lop his arms off with a power saw. When Dan and Laurie beat up thugs (whether in alleys or in Prison) they don’t just clobber them and bloody their noses – they burst bone through flesh. Dr. Manhattan doesn’t just poof people out of existence – he pulps them into explosive goo that showers body parts away so violently that they stick to the ceiling. In fact, there is hardly a single element of this book which Snyder doesn’t amplify. He gets up into your face and makes it more extreme, more adult, as if to constantly say “This is an ADULT comic book movie. For mature watchers.” These elements become hyper violent, hyper sexual. The types of things that insures that this is a film meant to be watched and understood by adults and only adults. Until the ending. Then it becomes decidedly Hollywood. Much less complicated. And much, MUCH less adult. The first real problem with the ending comes from making Manhattan the OMINOUS FOE. This just opens a whole can of intellectual worms that will fester and pester and annoy you as you try to wrap your mind around them. Let me get this straight. OUR nuclear deterrent, OUR hero, the very model of American power in the world, goes nuts, kills 15 Million people…and that’s going to bring the world together? Our toy blows up several major cities and the rest of the world won’t hold us accountable? Really? And when he ups and leaves, we assume that everyone will believe he will live forever and remain a constant threat? This leads you down a road of possible futures that seem too farfetched even for a deranged super genius like Veidt to envision. The reason the original extra dimension invasion concept worked so well was the fact that it was entirely unverifiable by science, posed an unending threat and didn’t implicate anyone. In fact, by happening to us (much as we would see a decade and a half later in the real world) a tragedy of this magnitude would earn us the sympathy of the rest of the world, smoothing the peace process. By happening to the other superpower and several other major countries, it runs the risk of the blame game. Next we run into the problem of the big hollow hole that was once New York. After seeing every hit result in a broken bone, every violent scene turned into a ballet of carnage, every small death turned ultraviolent – we are treated to 8 pages of heart wrenching, stomach turning, blood curdling aftermath turned into a flash of light and a smoking crater. When Manhattan and Laurie show up in New York just after the attack, they are literally wading through bodies. These people didn’t dies quickly in an instant. They died horribly. Painfully. With the images of madness telepathically burned into their brains. It is a cornucopia of death and destruction so grotesque that it truly forces us to confront whether or not it was worth it. On September 11th roughly 3000 people died. This event is 1000 9/11’s. And the book asks you very bluntly: Can you live with that? To save the world from itself? The books premise, from Rorschach’s violent antics to Dr. Manhattan’s intervention in human politics to Veidt’s murder of 3,000,000 people, forces you to consider whether or not the ends truly justify the means. And by not forcing the audience to confront those images, by not showing them a devastated New York, by glossing over it with a bright flash and a big hole, you never force the audience to really weigh the price against the product. They simply get a math problem worthy of Dr. Manhattan himself. 15 Million Lives to save 6 Billion now and untold billions later. Would you kill one out of every 400 people to achieve world peace? One person in 400 who (as Laurie says at the end of the book) “…can’t disagree or eat Indian food, or love each other…” anymore? Then there’s the problem with how it all goes down and who says what to whom. This gets jumbled around in a way that neuters some of the greatness of the ending. Because one of the best parts about the end of WATCHMEN is seeing who it is that has just (possibly) saved the world. A violent radical right wing conservative, an egg-headed liberal megalomaniac idealist, a thoroughly detached scientist, a middle aged burnout who longs for nothing more than reliving his glory days of winning the big game and fucking the cheerleader and a messed up broken girl with daddy issues who just wants to be loved. Ladies and Gentlemen, your WATCHMEN starting lineup. And nothing punctuates these points so profoundly than the reaction of these characters to one of the greatest endgames in comic book history. But not here. Here the end results are much the same, but the meanings are lost. Rorschach, the books one true hero (depending on the way you look at it) still gets his hero’s death in the snow. But it’s no longer alone. In the book Only Manhattan knows he’s really dead. Everyone else really doesn’t care. But here we get the Hollywood “NNNNOOOOOOOO!” from Daniel who needs to protest to punctuate an already incredible death scene (seriously, almost everything with Haley is BETTER than in the book). Why wasn’t Dan there in the book? Because he was off fucking Laurie. She’s so put off by what she’s seen, so messed up by what she is party to, that she has to feel human. She NEEDS to feel loved. So they sneak off to a pool and screw. Dan, rather than being party to witnessing his friend’s death, is instead off getting his happy ending: he’s won the big game and now he gets to fuck the cheerleader. And once Dr. Manhattan is back from wiping Rorschach off of him, he goes to talk to Laurie, who is instead in the arms of another man – so he visits Veidt and gives him the speech that Snyder has him give to Laurie instead. In the book it is an ominous, cold, disconnected approval of what Veidt has done. He’s done the math. But he’s also seen the future. And he’s pretty much sick of our shit, so he leaves. Here, with Crudup’s gentle delivery, it becomes a tacit approval of Laurie’s relationship with Dan, a necessity to maintain the illusion of his menace and he smiles and leaves to go play god somewhere. After regaining some semblance of humanity. And Veidt is simply robbed of Manhattan’s final fuck you – the veiled hint that leaves him entirely unsure of himself for the first time in the entirety of the story. So while Rorschach still dies in the snow, Manhattan still leaves, Veidt still changes the world and Dan and Laurie still run off to live happily ever after, it is all somehow different. Hollow. Less vague, less (as Manhattan puts it) complicated. And MUCH LESS adult. It is, simply, less. When all is said and done, Snyder has created a much more easily digestible, mainstream ending that gets the pieces right but puts them in all the wrong places. On its own, watched as its own film, it is a fine ending. It gives a satisfying end for most everyone. Rorschach has someone who cares. Laurie has someone who needs her. Dan has someone who gets him. Veidt has created a new empire. And Manhattan rides off happily into the sunset with a newfound sense of humanity. That’s a fine ending to a film. But not to an adaptation. Not of WATCHMEN. Hence my displeasure upon my first viewing of it. Personally, I can’t wait to see Snyder’s directors cut to see how the film is modified – if anything changes or if it is simply MORE. I’m fine with both. No doubt we’ll all have this conversation again, hopefully sooner rather than later. But until then I remain mixed. Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. Massawyrm
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Readers Talkback
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  • March 11, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST


    by wozzletof


  • March 11, 2009, 9:42 a.m. CST

    "Everything that was cut didn’t belong in the feature"

    by chrth

    That's going to open a can of worms. But are you honestly telling me the movie wouldn't've been better with the "I see the world didn't end yesterday"/"Are you sure?" exchange?

  • March 11, 2009, 9:43 a.m. CST

    A visual genius?

    by zoothorn21

    "I think Zack Snyder is a visual genius... He paints with film like no one else" - really? Really?? How can you think that in the context of Kubrick, Lynch, Carol Reed, Cocteau, Eisenstein, Kurosawa, Michael Powell, Hitchcock, Antonioni, Visconti, Bertollucci? These directors are visual masters. A couple of them are probably visual geniuses. Regardless of my ultimate opinion of the film (I thought it was ok, some good, some bad) simply adapting panels already drawn by someone else just cannot constitute visual genius, and the combination of mastery of technical specs and imaginative innovation that makes that such a rare quality.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:43 a.m. CST


    by Chadley BeBay

    I am sick of people saying "Its been a rough few days," or "Its been a tough week." Boo-hoo, everyone's week is always rough.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Disappointing film

    by Judge_Dredd

    Very disappointing.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Visual genius

    by jefflebowski

    Just the opening sequence was enough for me. The times they are a-changing. Awesome! I would love to see a Snyder Transformers movie.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    They should have cast

    by CobraKai

    Ralph Macchio as Nite Owl. He could have made sweet love to Elisabeth Shue in that ship. Consumated that love from the monumental match at the All Valley Karate Championships.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Is the opening sequence online?

    by chrth

  • March 11, 2009, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Good read. But disagree.

    by knowthyself

    I thought Moore was just being downright insulting having Dan and Laurie fuck while Rorschach dies alone and the world mourns the death of millions. Seriously..fuck moore for including such a scenario. Theirs pessimism...cynicism...but that was just insulting and the sort of negative black hole Moore lives in now where he snubs his nose at everyone as we all sort of wonder just how wacky he's gotten over the years. Dan seeing his death was the right choice. A choice Moore should have made but didn't. I'm with Snyder on this one. Dan was his best friend. He needed to see his death.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:52 a.m. CST

    The only disappointing part for me...

    by Marxeffect

    Was the way that the Veidt/Ozymandias character was scripted. I don't think it was Goode's fault, I just think that he was written very differently from the book. He lost his human touch and the small character details that gave the book a little more weight

  • March 11, 2009, 9:54 a.m. CST

    CobraKai: They SHOULD have cast this with washed-up Brat Packers

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    That would have been brilliant. James Spader is Ozymandias! Jon Cryer is Rorschach! Andrew McCarthy is Nite Owl! Jennifer Jason Leigh is Silk Spectre etc.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:54 a.m. CST

    as i get distance, the movie ending gets better

    by dashielm

    while i don't disagree with the human melodrama, i actually think snyder's version of the catastrophe is equal to the book's resolution. in "film world" it makes a lot more sense. i actually think you do need a verifiable threat (doc manhattan) as it's legitimately real. the squid could be proven a hoax either through some sort of discovery or future examination.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:55 a.m. CST

    So a giant psychic squid would be the MORE ADULT ending?

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    Jesus fucking christ massa, the squid is STUPID! EVRYONE, including YOU would have laughed it off the screen! Snyder gives us the perfect ending that successfully concludes Dr. M's character arc. It is FAR MORE plausible. Let it go already! The story isn't far-reaching enough you have to introduce giant, cloned cephalopods to the mix? COME ON MAN!

  • March 11, 2009, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Its the Kenny Fuckin Powers News Hour

    by Kenny_Fuckin_Powers

    and newsflash, buddy... While you were busy writing this, America decided, that like Al Gore, Kurt Warner, and Viva Laughlin, that this shit was a loser. Except for dudes who identify with Rorschach cause they are butt ugly, and their mothers are probably whores, which I have some knowledge of. America decided, you see, that it was too lazy to watch a movie of a comic book that most Americans were too lazy to read. Watchmen, you're fucking out. I'm fucking in.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Hit the nail on the head.

    by eric haislar

    Great film but the ending is not there. Hope the directors cut fixes alot of this.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:56 a.m. CST

    The clean wipe of new yorks ass.

    by knowthyself

    Yeah the lack of dead bodies didn't really hit home the immense scope of what just happened. It lets the audience off too easy. But the fact that I teared when Rorschach died does make the ending more personal since you've been with him for the whole film. Unlike the death of people you don't know in NYC.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:56 a.m. CST

    i get it now

    by readyoufool

    at first i thought massa was just being a little bitch about it. i actually told a friend last night that i thought the movie ending was better than the book's ending that had been described for me (not yet read it). I'm pretty sure i'm wrong on that. I still think the movie works well although i continue to hate the "hallelujah" song. But i see that it could have been so much better.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:57 a.m. CST


    by Chadley BeBay

    "The reason the original extra dimension invasion concept worked so well was the fact that it was entirely unverifiable by science, posed an unending threat and didn’t implicate anyone. In fact, by happening to us (much as we would see a decade and a half later in the real world) a tragedy of this magnitude would earn us the sympathy of the rest of the world, smoothing the peace process. By happening to the other superpower and several other major countries, it runs the risk of the blame game." I have been on these boards since day 1, blasting the changed ending. Its so nice to hear someone of your stature, upon actually seeing the film, echo my exact feelings about the ending, when everyone on these talkbacks would hurl shit at me when I would try and make the same argument. Real Watchmen fans know where its at man.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Also I hate the squid in the book too

    by eric haislar

    but the bodies in the street make you feel the impact. The impact was missing.

  • March 11, 2009, 10 a.m. CST

    dan and laurie


    they didn't just MAIM the topknots, they basically killed some. and had no remorse, in fact got off on it. even rorschach didn't get off on it. i thought that betrayed their characters a bit.

  • March 11, 2009, 10 a.m. CST

    Great dissection

    by Gd00

    Really enjoyed it. That's whats this site's about.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST yeah, I thought that was odd too

    by chrth

    The comic iirc didn't show any death of the topknots, just getting their asses kicked. To step up the ultraviolence in the movie rang a little false to me.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST

    And I'm sorry but...

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    Dan and Laurie going off to screw right after 3 million people dying was NOT a great idea! They're not even in a small room but a msssive chamber where anyone, INCLUDING JOHN, could walk in on them! DUMB! Snyder IMPROVES this massive screw up! the best thign to do massa, would be to just pretend that scene doesn't happen in the book, but to actually say it's BETTER is ridiculous!

  • March 11, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST



    the movie did not explain that the free energy machines were being positioned all over the world,. maybe it was a news blurb in the distance and i missed it. i only know it happened because of all the write ups about no squid before hand...but most of the audience was clueless as to what was happening.<P>and also, how would some countries (russia especially) gladly accept some strange new atomic powered device to be installed in their major cities created with the help of the ameican atomic superman? it doesn't make sense.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST

    I disagree about the Dr. Manhattan ending

    by jimmy_009

    I think it's better in the movie. Dr. Manhattan is already considered a god-like-. He is feared, respected, and loved as a god. When he does this not only to the world but to America as well, people realize they can't know his motivation. He's to be feared, even if he's a billion miles away. To me it speaks to people's motivations in the real world, never seeing God but knowing he's out there watching, so you better be good. Eventually though people will stop believing that he exists at all because they never see him. That says a hell of a lot more in my mind than a squid creature from Dimension X, the very notion of which is totally ridiculous, even in the comic book world. PLUS the world is much more likely to believe the story in Rorschach's journal about the alien because it was well known that Veidt that he was dabbling in creating biomutations and such anyway, all of the scientists that could pull it off died mysteriously etc. THE ORIGINAL ENDING IS STUPID. The reason Dr. M ending works is that people KNOW he exists, they have NO reason to doubt he himself did it after his big blowup on camera. As for the world banding together, it happened to EVERYONE, including America. Why wouldn't they include America in this world hug? New York just got wiped off the map.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:04 a.m. CST

    That's fair...

    by DoctorWho?

    I haven't read the book in a decade and even then only once. It was never burned into my concioussness like so many others so this ending is 'serviceable' to most movie goers. But something did feel 'off'. The "nnnooooo" moment for example. <p> Frankly, I say put that SQUID up there on the big screen...if it becomes a WTF for most people at least they'll never forget it. <p> At the end of the day I'm still fine with it. There will ALWAYS some level of disatisfaction with an adaptation. I still sigh the way the ROTK was handled in many of my fave parts...but hey look at what an epic we got.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Great reasoning Massa...

    by Darth Macchio

    Too bad half the tb'ers will ignore any character logic, symbolism, metaphors, etc,etc, from the GN's ending and just say something simplistic like "See! No squid is, like, so much better! The squid is dumb and people would laugh when they saw it! Removing the squid was the best thing ever! Manhattan should have been the reason humanity unites! Makes MUCH more sense!! Octopusses are just dumb and stupid!"<p>Ok, so I exaggerated a bit but the point remains...they see only the giant squid and nothing beyond it...if they allowed themselves to think about it, they'd probably see the inconsistencies Massa brought up...but there's far too much zeal already. Should be an interesting TB regardless...ensue!

  • March 11, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST


    by Chadley BeBay

    The "Squid" as you haters refer to it as let out a psychic 'death rattle' which was felt by all, and cemented the alien nature of this threat, which was VITAL to the public at large accepting the need to unite. It was an ending like no other, and for people to say it wouldn't work: FUCK YOU, you are idiots. The Cloverfield monster wasn't 'stupid' and it didn't make anyone laugh in the theaters. Everything in the book, every thread of plot, ties into the original ending and cannot be divorced from it. Its is also the singularly most psychedelic ending to the most singularly psychedelic comic fable ever imagined. Shame on you feeble minded nincumpoops for your sever lack of vision. That is all

  • March 11, 2009, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Good review

    by Jack_Griffin

    Massawyrm, this almost exactly mirrors how I felt last Friday. The ending bugged me, but aside from the obvious "It's the U.S.'s fault!" blame that should follow the movie's ending, I couldn't find the words for the rest of that disappointment until now. Overall, it's a powerful, bold film. In some ways, despite its many flaws, it's closer in spirit to Pakula's "The Parallax View" or "All the President's Men" than it is to an action movie.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:08 a.m. CST

    DoctorWho?: Do not get me started on ROTK changes

    by chrth

  • March 11, 2009, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Oh and seriously

    by Chadley BeBay

    People who like books and hate their endings are fucking mush-headed assholes. Come on, you can't trust an author after loving every page before it. I am SOOOOO glad I don't have the narrow perspective you all have. FUCK OFF if you don't understand the original ending, because thats the ONLY reason for you displeasure. You dont fucking get it.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Its the "day the earth stood still" come to fruition.

    by knowthyself

    How is that not a stroke of brilliance?

  • March 11, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    I avoided the book before the film for precisely these reasons.

    by MMacKK

    I know its blasphemy. But I thought, fuck it, I will not have the baggage of knowing this piece inside out I'll enjoy the film by not knowing. And I did, I fucking loved it. I will now and go read the book I bought about a year ago, and get a different insight into this tale. Again, blasphemy. But as most people will tell you, watching a film adaptation of a well loved property will undoubtedly pale in comparison. I think this way, I will be able to enoy the experience of both.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Re: Ending

    by oaser

    I agree, Massa. But I think, as a friend of mine put it, the squid ending would have "fucked with the non-geek world and alienated them completely." The ending is, and I hate to say it this way, dumbed down a bit. And it is questionable that no one attacks the U.S.'s "Walking Atom Bomb." But the reaction of people not associated with Moore and Gibbons's, I think, is what forced a change in the ending. And I agree that we didn't see a 2hr and 40 min. Watchmen; we saw 2hrs. and 40mins of a Watchmen movie -- there is still much more to come.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Why do people need to see dead bodies?

    by CherryValance

    <p>I don't understand that. And this complaint about how the world wouldn't accept that the attack wasn't engineered by the US doesn't wash with me either. I only read the book once a few years back so I'm not as attached to it as everyone else but I think these are serious nitpicks.</p> <p>Let's suppose for a second that something like that happened in the 1980s. My thinking is that there were these people called spies. When Manhattan had his little freak out on TV and left, the Soviets would have gotten word that it was real. If the US govt was actually worried about what he was gonna do, they would have known that. So I think it would be pretty easy for them to verify whether it was an American attack through their own sources. </p> <p>Also 9/11 kinda made it ridiculous to have images of NYC being destroyed in every action/disaster movie. I think if there were dead bodies everywhere, it would have been like "oh that again". It's played out. Since the ending was different and it wasn't the same kind of attack people wouldn't have been going crazy. They just would have been dead.</p> <p>I dunno. I think either you accept that it's a film and not the book, or you don't. </p>

  • March 11, 2009, 10:11 a.m. CST

    COME ON!!

    by askholia

    Ok, first off, you are reading way to much into that I think you are missing a crucial point. The point wasnt like the book in that "lets save the world through atrocity". It was more nihlistic such as "It doesnt matter what the fuck we do, we will still continue to slaughter each other, regardless of ideology." I think it was more of a mature ending than Moore's stupid Dan fucks Laurie while his friend dies ending. Sorry, but Watchman was a great graphic novel, but it has some cheesiness to it.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:14 a.m. CST


    by Chadley BeBay


  • March 11, 2009, 10:15 a.m. CST

    good review. thanks!

    by smudgewhat

    i pretty much agree with everything you said. visually i love this film and there are many many things right with it. but somehow the ending does come up a bit short for the reasons you sighted. especially leaving out Veidt's moment of doubt. but i still dug it and admire snyder for taking it on.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:16 a.m. CST

    an observation...

    by bennie garcia

    its ironic that alot of fanboys take pride in exclaiming “This is an ADULT comic book movie. For mature watchers.”, yet the obsession and fascination over the graphic violent and sexual images seems positively adolescent...

  • March 11, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Yes he's American made...

    by knowthyself

    But when he blows everyone up. That really becomes a non-issue.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Why should humanity be afraid of a squid...

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    That BLOWS ITSELF UP? To everyone, it will apear that the squid's teleporter doesn't work. It dies the second it apears! So what's the alien squid races end game? To kamikazi earth for the sake of....killing strangers? This makes MORE sense that Dr. M being fed up with people and killing them before leaving? All this ridiculous talk of how much more "adult" and "sensible" that horseshit ending would be is making me nauseous.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Oh, and a question...

    by oaser

    Was Manhattan's line, (and I'm paraphrasing) "You left me, and I left Earth" in the comics?

  • March 11, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Chadley BeBay

    by jimmy_009

    I hated the squid ending, and not just because "Squids are Stupid". First off it's way to easy for people to put the pieces together, especially based off Rorschach journal. Veidt worked in bioengineering, there were psychic "sensitives" or whatever (as I recall it was BARELY touched upon in the book, just enough so that the author could shoehorn it in when needed) so people were already aware of psychic abilities. AND half the world's scientists that could pull it off died in a mysterious explosion doing a mystery project they weren't allowed to talk about. Gee. Inspector Clouseau could figure that one out. NOT a good ending, no matter how purists cling to it because it's the original. It was my problem with the book then and now after seeing the movie version, which handles it in a much more believable way, and in a way that can't be easily dissected by the people that are effected by it. Add to that what it says about God and people's belief in God and how it motivates them to behave or not behave and you have the ending that Moore SHOULD have written.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:18 a.m. CST


    by Lampers

    Good review, encapsulates my mixed thoughts very well. It's not just the squid (I miss that guy) it's the way he's diluted the finest moments of the comic and dumbed them down. I look foreard to the Director's cut but it seems the changed are too ingrained into this vision of the story for there to be any scope to improve it. I hope I'm wrong.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Squid ending would be a whole other movie

    by MegaBaltar5000

    The squid ending would have been a entire movie in and of its self GUYS. WTF, seriously? You think Zak had the budget to make Cloverfield III in addition to Watchmen? Mass your a stupid fuck.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:20 a.m. CST

    no one has mentioned


    that veidt's plan kind of mirrors what some people believe- that the U.S. actually staged 9/11 for possibly what they thought was the greater good (even though it started wars) or to get some agendas through that we would never have accepted otherwise. I know that was part of Alan Moore's point too, because he did not like superheroes, authority or fascism and was showing that often catastrophies are staged to steer humanity. i won't state my opinion on 9/11, but i'm fairly certain snyder was updating the movie and making statements about 9/11 too.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:20 a.m. CST

    The film is fucking brilliant. Loved every second!

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    All in all, a good review. Though I will never understand the supposed "problems" of the new ending.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:20 a.m. CST


    by HoboCode

    Visually intoxicating but hollow as a rotted tree stump. He hasn't reached Bay-like cynicism for the world yet but that will come in time.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST


    by oaser

    Whoa, whoa, whoa! Let's not say things we can't take back, now.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST

    I got chills every time....

    by knowthyself

    Snyder worked in the ending to each chapter. Truly wonderful to watch.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST

    lasting global partnership


    also, call me jaded but all the tv screens announcing world peace and partnership in the wake of the disasters just didn't stick because for me, after living through 9/11 and seeing the same global and patriotic hype on tv- only to have us all forget the horror a few months later and go back to our 9 to 5 lives and american idol....the ending of watchmen just didn't seem world changing anymore.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Some geeks have to over analyze every fucking detail...

    by Leafar the Lost

    The Watchman is a great movie that every geek in the world should see. It is a very faithful adaptation of the comic book. I loved the sex and violence and nudity. The only problem are geeks who over analyze the shit out of everything. I was very happy that the movie included almost everything from the comic book. I didn't think it could be done. Maybe WB should have broken it up into a 3 movie triology, so every fucking detail of the comic book could have been included, even the story about that pirate who had to tie together dead bodies to get off an island.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Snyder is not Michael Bay.

    by knowthyself

    He sacrificed a special effect for characters. Bay would never do that.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:24 a.m. CST

    To make everything clear:

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Fuck. The. Squid.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:25 a.m. CST

    The level of gore in this film is really unacceptable

    by Vindibudd

    I saw it, and I read the book, and quite frankly, the level of gore in this movie is wildly outside of parameters put forth in the book. So much so that I can't really recommend the movie to anyone other than a hardcore fan of the book that just HAS to see Watchmen on screen. The gore did not add anything to the film or the story in my opinion and to the contrary, took away from the aspects that made it great. Keep in mind that own the Kill Bill movies and 300. It's not like violence upsets me, but I was not going to watch Saw, I was going to watch Watchmen. I will not pay to see this again and I most definitely will never purchase it on blu-ray or dvd. I'll just read the book again if I want a Watchmen fix.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:27 a.m. CST

    The directors cut will be 3 1/2 hours.

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    It sounds like some of you aren't aware of this. There will be two extended cuts. One with and one without The Black Freighter inserted. And if any of you even THINK of buying the DVD in place of the Blu-ray you need to throw away your geek card. DVD is for panzy little fuckwits.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Nicely articulated.

    by mode_7

    Also, the squid would have just looked plain awesome on screen. I still call studio interference on this one.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Thank you Massawyrm

    by Darth_Tarantino

    After seeing the film last night, I was struggling to find the correct words to express my opinion. Your review just pretty much nailed how I felt about the movie after seeing it the first time. I first read Watchmen 11 years ago at the age of 14 and it's been very special to me ever since. In light of that, I'm suprised at just how much I did enjoy Snyder's work here. Will be very interested to see the director's cut. Thanks again Massa *light's up*

  • March 11, 2009, 10:29 a.m. CST

    DVD is great, fuck Blu-ray. Seriously.

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    All this HD stuff is overrated.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:29 a.m. CST


    by HoboCode

    Sure. But what good is characaterization if it's devoid of any substance or intelligence?

  • March 11, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Saw this last night for the first time

    by spud mcspud

    Great movie, except for that squidless ending? Why? Because I cannot for the life of me figure out why The Comedian would freak out and burst into tears about the Manhattan frame job at Moloch's place. Why would it upset him so much? In the Vietnam pregnant woman scene, we get to see how much the Comedian dislikes Jon, his disdain for him. And the line Ozy gets about "every facial twitch Jon gave, might as well have been tears to me" was a fucking awful line, badly written, badly delivered. Ozy had nowhere near the physique required to throw the Comedian out the window, to throw Nite Owl across the room, etc. Laurie delivering the "Nothing ever ends" line robbed it of all its power. And there's no way the world wouldn't blame the US for Manhattan;s freakout - so what if he hit NY as well? The rest of the world would just say "Serves you right for creating that freak". It's a weak-ass ending with none of the gravitas or thematic resonance the GN has. It doesn't fucking fit.<P> And yet...<P> That movie was 95% awesome. I'll take 95% awesome in ANY other movie. But the 5% suckage in this was the ending - which was one of the best endings ever written in the GN, but which just plain did not make sense in the movie.<P> LOVED "First we take Manhattan" over the end credits. In fact, the soundtrack was 100% great. Yes, even "Hallelujah" - in the one scene that did make me kaugh out loud - as I think we're MEANT to.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Nice Part 2, Massa.

    by Kevin Holsinger

  • March 11, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Movie Ending is Better

    by enderandrew

    It really is.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Loved the movie...

    by erik_a

    But I do disagree with the ending. In the GN, it bugged me that after all this carnage, Dan & Laurie are off having sex. I don't relate to that. It seemed so out of place. I understand wanting to feel human, but that seems like the last thing that would be on anyone's mind. Maybe it's a guy thing, I don't know.... It would be out of place in the movie anyway. There already was a pretty graphic & long sex scene so we really didn't need another one. (I wouldn't have wanted to sit through another chorus of Hallelujah anyway, lol) As for the squid, I don't really care either way. It worked in the GN, somewhat, but I don't see it working in the movie at all, so the ending that they came up with was fine by me.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST

    you didn't mention all the bad acting...

    by Rupee88

    I know you were focusing on the plot more, but still...anyway, I agree that they changed many of the wrong things...not a poor adaptation but not a good one either...a "meh" one..

  • March 11, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST

    rorschach with the cleaver


    was cheap. it destroyed the character that was being set up so well. even though the comic totally ripped off mad max with the hacksaw/handcuff/explosion ultimatum, it was enough to establish rorschach's new turn of justice. that he found killing acceptable without directly murdering....which was beyond what the other heros (beside comedian and manhattan who killed in the name of war) would do. and i guess since they screwed up and had dan and laurie kill topknots, they had to make rorschach a full on psycho. but it felt cheap and tacked on. why even handcuff the guy to the stove? seems like they were going to go with the hacksaw justice but changed last minute.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:30 a.m. CST

    "People who like books and hate their endings "

    by chrth

    Now wait a second. As someone who has read a lot of Stephen King, believe me when I tell you it is very easy for an author to write themselves into a corner and produce an ending that's nowhere close to as good as the rest of the book.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST

    One last time.

    by mode_7

    If you didn't like the squid it's because you're mentally deficient and failed to understand it. So stop fucking embarrassing yourselves and just leave it alone.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Your problem with the ending...

    by V'Shael

    is stated very clearly. You managed to put into words, pretty much everything I felt was wrong with the ending. <p> However, you don't really address the hyper-powered unrealistic combat, which I also felt took the viewer out of the world where super-powers aren't supposed to exist (with Doc being the exception.)

  • March 11, 2009, 10:32 a.m. CST

    sex and violence

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    I agree this stuff was overboard. It's a disturbing enough film without Rorschach chopping away into a guy's skull. I think that first hack probably got the job done. I also thought it was weird Dan and Laurie got off on killing people. Unlike the rest of the cast, these two are supposed to be pure. I frankly would have been fine with cutting the gore and even the sex scene to get a PG-13 and make the film more money and not turn so many people off. I of course would want it all back in for the extended cut.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Why I fucking hate HD

    by spud mcspud

    Because I can't get GUTIAR HERO III to work on the PS3 with an HD TV, no matter how many fucking times I calibrate it. And I don't care how great the resolution is on whatever fucking pixelated CGIfest I end up watching on it - if I can't rock out with my cock out, there's no point in that shit. So I'm sticking with my non-HD TV and am happy stay there. Fuck HD and Blu-Ray.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:34 a.m. CST

    "This is an ADULT comic book movie"!?! I disagree ...

    by The Wolf at the Door

    "Adult" maybe insofar as it's rated "R" ... "Adult" in the sense of, oh that's an "Adult" store because it has dildos and ultra-violent slasher films and midnight Cinemax programs. That kind of "Adult" maybe, but not the kind of "adult comic book movie" I like to see. <p> TDK showed no blood, did you notice that? When Batman drops that mobster off the balcony, his bone doesn't go protruding through his leg ... and a semi-truck doesn't come rolling by to smash his skull and explode his brains over the sidewalk. And there's no steamy, hip-grinding, love-making scene between Bruce and Rachel -- set to the sweet, sweet sounds of Leonard Cohen afterwards. Rather, when the mobster falls ... it hurts like a bitch. It breaks his leg. He walks with a limp after that. THAT is adult to me, because THAT is what happens to adults when they fall. They get hurt, and they feel pain, and they're crippled. <p> When we were leaving the theater after Watchmen, my girlfriend complained that she didn't understand how everyone else besides Dr. Manhattan got their super powers. Got that? How they got their SUPER powers, because normal people don't do what these people did. They don't double-jump into the air, twist heads off necks, and send shattered bones through the skin. Certainly not after years of retirement. <p> And instead of that perfect, awkward cigarette that Nite Owl and Silk Spectre have after the alleyway altercation in the book, they get that "Adult" rush of a major beat down that only super-powered mutants can enjoy and then go to make soft-core porn. <p> There was nothing ADULT about that to me, only "Adult" in the quasi-technical sense that a 13-year old can't see it without parent's permission. <p> That about sums up my dissatisfaction with the film, and why I feel that as true as it was to the "word", it all but betrayed the "spirit" of the comic.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Ummmm, Comedian wasn't upset about John...

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    So when you read the book your impression was that Comedian was upset at the poor squid dying? Uh, no. He was upset about all the PEOPLE DYING! Jesus, I gotta hold your fucking hand?

  • March 11, 2009, 10:37 a.m. CST


    by spud mcspud

    I'd agree with you saying that Dan and Laurie are meant to be pure in the movie and GN, if it weren't for the scene in the GN where Rorscach is interrogating a guy at a bar by crushing his hand while he has a glass in it. In the GN, Nite Owl is almost crushing a guy's windpipe in the background to get info, whilst screaming at him about how he could level this place, how much firepower he has in Archie, etc etc. In the end, Rorscach has to calm him down and drag him out of the bar.<P> I think the GN hints fairly heavily that one of the reasons Dan and Laurie both quit crime-fighting - as well as the Keane act etc - is because they were both beginning to enjoy hurting the bad guys a little too much, and that they could see themselves turning into Rorscach if they kept it up. Rorscach having to calm Nite Owl down in this scene (which isn't in the movie - so BETTER BE IN THE FUCKINFG DIRECTOR'S CUT!) underscores how close to psycho Nite Owl gets when he's in the zone torturing criminals.<P> Read the GN again. There's a lot more nuance in it than in the movie - which is why the movie falls short of the GN's greatness...

  • March 11, 2009, 10:37 a.m. CST


    by WeAreNotAmused

  • March 11, 2009, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Sorry, Massa...

    by Duck of Death

    But I think it's you who's too close to the comic to think straight. The movie ending is superior for precisely the reason you think the squid ending is. You say that an extra-dimensional threat would be "scientifically unverifiable." Exactly! Think about the world we live in today. Do you honestly think that if some gigantic psionic squid suddenly materialized in the middle of NYC and killed a bunch of people, the entire world would drop everything and band together against the threat of invasion? When it couldn't even be remotely proven that the threat was what it appeared? Shit, we can't even get one nation -- our own -- thinking straight about global climate change, and there is literally overwhelming scientific proof of that occurring. The only thing that would have a remote chance of convincing people would be a REAL, KNOWN, COMPREHENSIBLE threat, one that the entire world was ALREADY AFRAID OF. You make too big a deal out of the fact that Dr. Manhattan is American. What he is, by the end of the movie, is Osama bin Laden x 1,000,000. After 9/11, the world was united in condemnation...of al Qaida, not Saudi Arabia. The way the film ends sets up Dr. Manhattan as essentially the ultimate terrorist -- an individual holding the entire world in the grip of fear. That ending makes sense in context of the story, and it's a whole hell of a lot more relevant to the world today than some alien squid monster. That idea was a lot more compelling back in the Cold War era, when you had a lot of stories along those lines, but it's just not as resonant today. I wouldn't have minded that ending, but I think Zack Snyder's resolution is just fine, and in some ways makes a lot more narrative sense.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:40 a.m. CST

    spud mcspud: Yeah, but that was after Hollis died

    by chrth

    And Dan found out. That was a specific and unique circumstance which fueled his overreaction. I didn't get any other hints in the CB that he was capable of that in 'normal' situations.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:41 a.m. CST

    lol @ fuck hd

    by knowthyself


  • March 11, 2009, 10:41 a.m. CST

    My simple statement

    by BackStJoe

    Thank you Zack Snyder both for Watchmen the movie and for fixing what was always a weak ending in the book. I look forward to seeing the directors cut.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:42 a.m. CST

    I dont mind the ending because ...

    by Animation

    the book wasnt any more convincing to me. I never bought that the alien menace ruse would work any better. Human minds do work that way in small or homogeneous groups, but not on that scale. Also, you allude to 9/11 giving us sympathy, but that is different than unity. If anything, we are more polarized than ever in the nation and in the world, since 9/11. Unification through Fear doesnt seem to work on a large scale. So, to me, the book and the movie had equally weak endings. Well, except the movie ending was more streamlined. So, therefore, I still liked the movie as much or more than the graphic novel, because the endings are too nonsensical to really swallow. Therefore, I just suspend my disbelief and enjoy. Therefore, I rated the film highly.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST

    I HAVE Guitar Hero 3 for my PS3. Works fantastic, looks and soun

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    If you're getting a delay in gaming, that's a problem with your TV, not with HD. i believe it's plasma screens that have tha problem for the most part. Seriously, you guys are pissing into the wind dissing HD. It's just like "LD rawks! DVD SUXORS!" a decade before you. Look how that turned out. And if you're claiming to love this movie, or any movie, prefering to watch a seriously down-rezzed version is just insane. Time to upgrade folks. Get that HDTV (they're practically the only ones you can buy now anyway), get that BD player (the PS3 is still the best)and get ready to be blown away. The Dark Knight on Blu-ray is pretty much God on Earth.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST

    substance or intelligence?

    by knowthyself

    Its all there in Moore's dialogue. Plus I think the song choices and truncating of certain scenes shows that Snyder has plenty going on in his brains. How come nobody has mentioned the inspired use of "Unforgettable" as comedian gets trashed. It means quite a bit. Shows substance and intelligence. What movie were you watching?

  • March 11, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST

    I agree with this

    by Dr. Chim Richalds

    The ending simply had no weight to it. Veidt's plan becomes much more acceptable if you reduce the argument to one of numbers and do not have to see the actual reality of his plan. Wiping out 15 million people was done far too cleanly; the book actually forces the reader to look at and reflect upon the carnage in deciding whether or not Veidt was right (also, I'm just working off memory here, but I thought that the nuclear threat in the GN was portrayed as a little more hypothetical than it was in the movie). I suppose that might have been a post-9/11 studio concession, but it does rob the story of much of its effectiveness.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Rorschach's blood splat

    by knowthyself

    Was an ink blot. Come on. Those kinds of easter eggs are awesome.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:47 a.m. CST

    REVENGE_OF_FETT *sigh*

    by spud mcspud

    You really don't get it, do you?<P> In the GN, the comedian is upset because he can see that the epic scale of what Ozy has planned - the whole idea that if you tell a lie big enough, the whole world will believe you - the scale of the plan - getting artists and psychics etc to build a fake squid and load a real cloned brain with grotesque psychic nightmarish stuff - then transporting it to create a fake alien invasion (doesn't matter if it's a fucking squid or not) that would unite the entire world against the supposed invasion - this plan was so audacious, so daring, so meticulous, that when the Comedian realised it, and knew that Adrian (the only guy smart enough, rich enough and connected enough to carry it off) was behind it, he realised he couldn't stop this plan - no matter what he did. He ALSO realised that the "joke" he lived his life over - that human nature could not be changed, that mankind's basest desires would always win out over peace and justice - THAT view of life that he believed was the only way it could be, was shattered by the realisation that Adrian's plan WOULD WORK. THAT is what scared and freaked out the Comedian - that Adrian's plan WOULD work, and that it would prove that he - the Comedian - had been wrong all his life, that the darker human nature COULD be beaten, and that a lasting peace COULD be created, at the cost of millions of lives. He let himself be killed because he had been ideologically and intellectually defeated by Adrian's epic plan.<P> Which is why the Manhattan frame job is so fucking stupid. Too small scale, too many dumb plot holes (why would the USSR allow an Ammerican atomic pwer plant be installed in fucking Moscow again? In a time of threatened nuclear war?!?) and it dodin't fucking make sense. That was the kind of plan the Comedian WOULD have come up with, not a plan he'd cry over and die over.<P> You really should read the GN again... and this time, read ALL the words. Every one.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:48 a.m. CST

    The manhattan bombs were teleported to the cities.

    by knowthyself

    Not installed. Was anyone paying attention at the end or was it just me?

  • March 11, 2009, 10:49 a.m. CST


    by spud mcspud

    Agreed on TDK on Blu-Ray though. That shit is INCREDIBLE!

  • March 11, 2009, 10:51 a.m. CST

    The ending

    by NoahTall

    I preferred the ending to the movie heavily over that of the book. Why? Because the squid was so fucking stupid. In the book one city was destroyed, just one. And that suddenly made the world fear alien invasion? That's not what would happen. If we were to hear that some giant armadillo had suddenly popped into existence in Moscow and destroyed the city in it's death throws nobody would believe it. There could be news reels, photographs, a museum tour carting the dead armadillo's body around the countries and still the majority of the populations of the world would be saying it was faked, because the threat is too unrealistic.<p> <p>Those who did believe wouldn't really care. In the world of the comic even more so than in the world we live in the U.S. is the ultimate power who can lord it over everybody else. Why? Because nobody can face down Manhattan. The leadership of every hostile country would be taking a look at that squid in NY as being a blessing from god (or from karma or whatever).<p> <p>On top of that nobody knows why the squid showed up. An invasion? Possibly but it's a piss poor excuse for an invasion if it is one. It's like committing murder by jumping off a building and landing on top of your target. In fact the squid would have probably caused a war. Scientists investigate it. Checking it's DNA they find out that it's native. Oh sure somebody has done some genetic splicing but the brain itself was a cloned human brain. In that case it had to be done by somebody on Earth. Considering the political tensions at place in the book then the obvious answer is that the Soviet Union did it in an attempt to hurt us and to get us to back off from them until they can fully ready their forces for invasion. Answer? Hit those commie bastards with everything we have before they have a chance to unveil their real plan. A plan which could include teleporting biological weapons or possibly nukes into the heart of every American city. The squid wouldn't have been a deterrent to war but rather a cause of war.<p> <p>Manhattan blowing up cities across the globe would be more of a war breaker. The soviets would be able to say "See! We told you having that psychotic scientific abomination around was dangerous. Now he's going to kill us all." Veidt was able to make it seem like Manhattan had destroyed those cities in retaliation for the governments coming to the brink of nuclear war. It would be easy enough for him to fake further such attacks or even communications from Manhattan at any time in the future if tensions between the governments grew again. Manhattan was a solid threat that the world knew of and believed in. No some 'Weekly World News' threat from an unnamed dimension. Veidt said he wasn't a Republic serial villain. But that's exactly what he was in the book. He created a very obvious and unbelievable deception that would be easily uncovered within a few days.<p><p>I've always hated the ending of the book in that it seemed to be written by a completely different person. The main story had all sorts of subtle subtext, hidden clues and meanings, inside jokes and culture references. The last few pages though seemed like it was written by somebody who wrote typical superhero/horror stories and then Moore went through and changed the dialogue around to make it seem a little less stupid.<p> <p> But only a little.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Another thing...

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    I still don't get why the world would automatically conclude that we were on the verge of being ivading by giant, killer calamari because 1 apeared out of nowhere and instantly died. How does that make any sense?

  • March 11, 2009, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Here's why I thought it was an improvement...

    by WeAreNotAmused

    Questioning the existence of God is one of the major themes of the film. The last anyone on earth sees of Manhattan is his freak-out on TV. The likelihood of war escalates after his disappearance. Through his perceived actions - blowing up cities around the world - he becomes this tangible god in a godless world. This unites the world... much like followers of (insert religion here) believe would happen if their religion became the only one in existence. Agree with the poster above that it makes the Comedian less likely to go blubbery, but I suppose it's the scope that does it. Anyway, that's my reasoning. Thought the film was great.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Bluray is all I buy nowadays.

    by knowthyself

    I just can't settle for less. I was watching 2001 in HD last night. Looks like it was made in 2009.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST


    by spud mcspud

    That makes the ending even weaker! If the only power in the world that has teleportation is America, because Manhattan is American... then the fact that these things just appear out of thin air would give the impression that Manhattan did this under an American order! And just when they then realise that the US was hit too, they'd probably think "Good! AServes those bastards right!" rather than unite against the greater threat. Especially since it's obvious they CANNOT defend against the kind of power Jon has - but the squid is an unknowable quantity, and MIGHT be something that could be killed if it had to be...

  • March 11, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST


    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    That's what I thought and was trying to figure out where people were getting this idea that they were installed. I was thinking maybe I missed something, but good, I'm glad it's verified that was NOT the case. It just doesn't make sense that if power plants blew up they would automatically assume Dr. m did it. Wouldn't it be obvious that....power plants blew up if they had just had them installed? From the film it looked as though Dr. M had JUST FINISHED the technology so it wouldn't even make sense that Adrian could have mass produced, shipped and installed them all.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST

    What would HPL have called it?

    by Lampers

    For those criticizing "geeks who overanalyse everything", I think you may have stumbled onto the wrong site. That is the ESSENCE of AICN and if you can't embrace that why even wade into these waters? Anyway, this might be controversial but anyone fancy joining me and not calling it "the squid" anymore? It's not a squid, first off, and calling it that gives ammunition to all those that think we're wrong for disliking the change of ending. Alan Moore wrote unarguably the greatest graphic novel (well, originally 12 comics but let's not nitpick) of all time and I think it's arrogant to assume you can be faithful to it for 90% of the time but you're got a better ending. This is what comic fans have always hated about "adaptations" of our favourites, why even "adapt" the work in the first place if you're just going to rip out it's guts and stamp your own ideas all over it. Fine, create your own character if you're going to do that, leave the other character(s) the hell alone. That's not what's happened here, I know, Watchmen (get it right people, it's NOT Watchman or The Watch Men!) is VERY faithful, MOSTLY. But the ending (transdimensional-cephalopodic-Lovecraftian-psychic-nightmare-bomb included!) is the BEST part for me. I love every panel of that penultimate issue (could have stopped there, I didn't need the issue 12 coda) and I do NOT love any of the final scenes of the movie (fight scene and Rorschach moments being the exceptions). The whole cephalopod thing was necessary for the US and USSR and all world governments to stop what they were doing and think, "SH*T! What the frak is that and how do we defend ourselves against it?" By teaming up against a greater threat that is BEYOND THEIR COMPREHENSION. Manhattan is, at the end of the day, a MAN. Or rather Man Plus. But still Man. He's powerful, but they have no idea HOW powerful. They've never tried to annihilate or contain him so who's to say they can't? The crazy-Cthulhu-hate-God though, they can be pretty sure if his many tentacled brothers/sisters/spawn come looking for him/her/it, it will be a bad day for all of us. That's my thoughts. Don't hate me.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Your over thinking it.

    by knowthyself

    If god attacks everyone then we are all fucked. The Russians realize this and so does America. Its really that simple. If they think that Manhattan has pulled a "the day the earth stood still" then yes Humanity as a whole needs to shape up. By the way this ending is a great reference to the film because Moore had it playing in the theater that you see blown to bits at the end of the GN. Snyder didn't include anything that wasn't already set up in the book already. Thats why using Manhattan is a smart move. He doesnt out think Moore. He simply uses his tools to change it.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Damn right, TDK didn't had this violence...

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    ...and that's *exactly* one of those points that really sucked, yes SUCKED, in that movie.<p>It wasn't as dark as it should've been.<p>Fuck PG-13. To hell.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:58 a.m. CST

    The Movie and The Book...the Sad Tale of the Watchmen

    by micturatingbenjamin

    I'm sitting here, after watching the flick a second time. Things I loved about the film are the 'Sam Raimi' fight moments in the first opening fight. The hard hit/slowdown. The dissonance between 'Unforgettable' and the fury and violence in that brawl.<p> To the guy above that said TDK was more 'adult', I'll say that you're either not an adult, or you're a fuckin' prude. Yeah, the real adult world has people saying 'fuck', has blood, and fucking tears, and dildos, and shitbags who try to kill people for their jollies. In real life, the fucked up shit happens right in front of you, not panning tastefully away. This movie's violence is a sendup of the other superheroes' flicks versions of violence...It challenges and asks you to say 'What the fuck am I looking at?!' The Dark Knight, to its credit was PG-13.<p>Which brings me to the point: This movie is to other Superhero movies what the book is to other comic hero books. Therein lies the frustrating part; to be the deconstruction of superhero film, it has to share the superhero flick's metaphors and visual 'phrasing', and most of all, the ending. Not to mention that it still has to be a movie! Given the source material, it also needs to make back the money it's going to cost to even film it. But the ending is key. Which, in this case, doesn't happen at the denouement, but when Rorschach's Journal is found, and you see that the loop begins. Where you become the fat dope reading Rorshach's Journal beginning with 'Tire tread on burst stomach'. The perfect symmetry of the novel is a conceit of the written word. It doesn't do in superhero flicks that need to have people watching them....<p>I don't hate the ending, I understand that certain things needed to be lessened, after showing people all that violence, showing them an abbatoir version of NYC would be over the top. Maybe the ratings board fucked with it?<p>But I agree with this second review

  • March 11, 2009, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Bingo Knowthyself

    by WeAreNotAmused

    Agree 100%

  • March 11, 2009, 10:59 a.m. CST

    My impression was that...

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    Nobody would have any clue what happened. Nobody knew teleportation was possible. The explosions were som completely devastating that the only clue was the residual energy match to Dr. M. so the only logical conclusion is that Dr. M exploded these cities just as he had exploded the Vietnamese and I'm sure several other things over the years.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Return of the King

    by Phimseto

    ROTK is the one Ring film that I watch the theatrical release of instead of the extended edition. The two things that ruin it for me are the attack on the corsairs, which makes the ghost's arrival at Minas Tirith redundant, and the added scenes with the Rohirrim. The one thing the theatrical release nailed perfectly was the timing between when the riders left for Gondor and when they arrived. Even though you knew it was coming, it still surprised/had impact when they finally arrived. The interlude scenes break up that timing.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:09 a.m. CST


    by Savage Lucy

    Hollow is the perfect word to describe the ending.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:09 a.m. CST


    by micturatingbenjamin

    You know, the flick does build the awe-struck populace thing of Dr. Manhattan from the scene with Janie Slater (So damned powerful..her swiping off her wig...that's fucking good filmmaking right there.)--It shows that he's unstable. And with him away, the Russians begin their brinksmanship over Afghanistan. We respond by saying 'Yeah, we'll fucking bomb them'.<p>Ozy's plan is to present this scenario: Like the omnipotent parent, Manhattan steps in and spanks us as a 'warning', by destroying sections of major cities all over the world...basically saying 'This is what mutually assured destruction looks like. Do you want more? Because we all know I can give you more.' Also, the fact that he hits all those cities at once answers the question, 'Can Manhattan be everywhere at once?'...the answer is yes. And the scene with Wally Weaver basically stating (as the section of the book does) that Manhattan is God only strengthens this.<p>My opinion is, and I've said it elsewhere, that we go in as fans of the novel, and it's such a powerful tale that it is imbedded over anything we would attempt to take in with the same name, characters, etc. It's a mimetic double-vision that we have to shed before we can see this as a flick, rather than just as the adaptation of the book.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:10 a.m. CST

    either a movie works as a whole or it doesn't

    by FleshMachine

    sounds like this does not.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST


    by micturatingbenjamin

    It does work as a film on its own. I can only take the reactions of friends who loved it, who never read the book, and accompanied me to the film.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    spud mcspud

    by Koyaanisqatsi

    Maybe you should have written the comic book since you seem to be the only person in the whole world who "understands" all of it. God forbid anybody else has a different interpretation. It's art, man. It's infinite, not something definite where you can come along and say "this is what it's about" and that makes it so. The only person who has any kind of rightful claim to be able to do that is Moore and he's a wacky old nutjob who hasn't written anything truly great since Watchmen. And as soon as he wrote it it didn't belong to him anymore. So take a chill pill and get off your high horse, alright?

  • March 11, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    R rating: if it wasn't shown in the book..why show it in the fil

    by FleshMachine

    seems unnecessary.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:15 a.m. CST

    "only one who's nailed the problems with the ending"

    by chrth

    Not to suggest plagiarism on Massa's part, but Alexandra DuPont brought up a lot of the same stuff in her review. Just saying.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Don't forget...

    by Darth Macchio your conjectured imaginings of whether Doc M or the Squid makes the better impetus for humanity's union that humanity is filled with people much smarter and less intelligent than yourself. These people would have to be lead to agree in the threat across countries, cultures, and things that so separate us now that we may as well come from different planets entirely.<p>These people would all have to be unable to come to most any other conclusion other than the one Veidt wanted. To accomplish this he'd have to do something unprecedented in human history. Doc M is the epitomy of unprecendented history but I still argue that whether or not it's a threat to the world or an American threat to the world is debatable within the story. Some of you brought up the initial rounds of blame over 9/11: Bush/Cheney, the Israelis, Bin Laden, etc. Evidence doesn't matter. What matters is perception. Perception is always debateable and unless "you were there", you'd never be able to convince people of anything. We can show people pictures of glaciers that span decades and you can visibly see the receding but yet people insist Global Warming is a hoax. <p>You cannot discount the doubters and neither did Veidt which is why I do not believe Doc M would be believeable, at least in the long run. I think both are good reasons but one is unequivocal (to me) and the other specifically lends itself to debate. For Veidt's plan to work, there can be no debate. 3 million people dying simultaneously while the rest of the planet's population "feels" the psychic death throws of the NY'ers as well as our good friend The Squid, would be unequivocal. I think, anyway.<p>Don't forget that during Wells infamous broadcast of "The War of the Worlds" on Halloween night decades ago...there were people standing on the sides of bridges ready to commit suicide rather than face the alien threat. But yet a nuclear accident giving god-like powers to an American scientist who then becomes vengeful and a world threat would unite the world's diverse, and in many cases unite thousand year mortal enemies, as unequivocally as the squid? You really think that?

  • March 11, 2009, 11:17 a.m. CST


    by HoboCode

    Yuo said it yourself. the substancewas in the WRITING (e.g. the comic). Snyder brought nothing new to the material like any decent filmmaker would. Unless you count the new ending that's logic is dubious at best.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:20 a.m. CST


    by FleshMachine

    i hope so..i will find out soon enough. i like the book but dont much care how he's changed it around for film...i just want to see a really good film. (which i did not feel 300 was)

  • March 11, 2009, 11:21 a.m. CST

    no, i didn't catch the devices were teleported


    ...all at the same time at the last minute. i saw manhattan teleport one to veidts scientists...and before that, all i had been reading and hearing for months was that veidt blows up the cities using the guise of free energy blame the spouiler reports combined with poor editing. but maybe they couldn't tell what was going on either.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Squid or no squid..

    by Youngdog

    ..dont mess with Adrian Veidt. He will FUCK.YOU.UP. Ozzy's smackdown on The Comedian was amazing to watch on the big screen. In the book he mentions analysing Blake's style - they should have kept that in. In fact more Ozzy in general would have given the reveal more drama

  • March 11, 2009, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Here's the thing

    by Koyaanisqatsi

  • March 11, 2009, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Can anyone answer these questions?

    by Montag666

    I count myself among the rabid Watchmen fundamentalists that never wanted this film to get made in the first place, but I have to say that I enjoyed myself alot more than I expected. That is until the ending. Which in my opinion makes no sense and makes it obvious that Snyder is one of those who just didn't get the ending. Here are my questions: Did they explain the existence of Bubastis? And did they explain how the Comedian found out about Veidt's plot?

  • March 11, 2009, 11:28 a.m. CST

    I have no doubt...

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    People would believe the squid EXISTED. The proble is whether or not people would believe the squid heralded a GIANT SQUID INVASION. There wouldn't have been even the SLIGHTEST proof of that. From an army of alien squid's point of view...what exactly is the TACTICAL ADVANTAGE of sending one of your own in by itself and having them instantly die? See what I mean? It makes no sense whatsoever.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:29 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    "I think Zack Snyder is a visual genius... He paints with film like no one else" - really? Really?? How can you think that in the context of Kubrick, Lynch, Carol Reed, Cocteau, Eisenstein, Kurosawa, Michael Powell, Hitchcock, Antonioni, Visconti, Bertollucci?<br> <br> I'm pretty sure he wasn't saying he was greater than any of those people. It might have been said already, but I think you may have missed his point. That he paints with film LIKE no-one else. And it's true. It maybe isn't everyone's palette of choice, but it's undeniably not LIKE everyone else's.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Opening sequance

    by Glaive101

    Where did the video of the opening sequance go? I can't even find a referene to it being taken down

  • March 11, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Squid had a psychic element...

    by MCVamp

    The finishing twist of the squid (mentioned above as well) was using the cloned and mutated brain of a true psychic to send out images of a horrific alien invasion throughout the world at the moment of impact. The squid itself and the death of millions is NOT the only source of humanity's fear and dread. The fear and dread appeared in people's heads the instant Adrian hit the switch. The squid monster, and the ensuing massacre, was the second element that only worked along with the first. You have millions die by giant squid, the world goes "what the fuck?" but little changes. But if you force-feed subliminal images of the horrific world wide alien holocaust into people's heads at the same time, you create world-wide panic and fear. The squid WOULD HAVE WORKED onscreen. Period. WB and/or Snyder just didn't have the balls to do it. The movie ending makes the Comedian right in my mind. People are just too stubborn and grudging when it comes to shit like this. Half the world would still say "Fuck America. Their creation, their fault." Even if NY, LA, and Chicago were smoking craters. Shit, the religious fanatics would welcome it, hail Manhattan as the next prophet, and attack anyone they thought he'd missed. But making the attack come from an alien takes a lot of Earthly religion out of the equation and brings the fear of the truly "oh shit" unknown. Massa is right, if this had been another movie's ending it might have worked brilliantly, but not for WATCHMEN.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Massa - You get it. New ending just doesnt work

    by wcme

    As I have and many others have said hand over fist. In no way does a crater and some dust and broken sky scrapers = 6 pages of twisted, deranged humans that died in the throes of the psychic blast of lust, horror, anger and fear. Wadding through endless dead bodies (akin to the bodies in the Black Freighter) and having just missed stopping the event is horrific beyond measure. And seeing the mutilated giant grotesque squid that has teleported Into objects like buildings, lamp posts, and soon dripping with goo and puss and guts is a lovecraftian nightmare beyond measure. Anyone who would have laughed that off the screen is a fucking moron and needs to read tales of "The Old Ones" or "Cthulhu" before thinking you only need "The Joker" to be dramatic to audiences. Christ, did they laugh the creature off the tv screens of The Outer Limits in the Architects of fear? and that was in 1961! You think we as humans have DEVOLVED and are so MTV'd and obsessed with Chris Brown and Paris Hiltons Cootch in limos that we cant have intelligent sci-fi?! Thats some crazy shit. Indeed, all the elements exists, but with no feeling. Again, imagine Leeland Palmer with a simple split personality as the end of who killed Laura Palmer. TECHNICALLY he never knew it, is remorseful when he finds out, and both he and Laura are dead in the end - but what you leave out is beyond my ability to imagine being left behind. When LAURIE of all people says "Nothing ever ends" --- while watching THE OUTER LIMITS on tv (Talk about spit in your face irony!) I was hollow with what could have been.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST


    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    When it became apparent that NO OTHER SQUID WERE COMING...wouldn't that cause everyone to start fighting amongst themselves again? With Dr. M, they KNOW he's out there because he's indestructable, and they KNOW he will most likely return. This is much more impotace for them to keep working together than one dead squid.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST

    I'm still thinking of alternative to "the Squid"...

    by Lampers

    Crazy-Cthuluvian-Cephalopodous-Clone-Creature... ...that's a lot of "C"s. Maybe we can call him Seymour?! Can I keep him? I'll treat him ever so good!

  • March 11, 2009, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Snyder is no Michael Bay

    by Montag666

    They are nowhere near the same league, ballpark or game for that matter. Snyder is without a doubt superior to Bay because Snyder actually respects his audience (say what you want about his choices, but he's no dummy), and is concerned with bot cool visuals and more importantly, telling a goddamn story which Michael Bay is incapable of doing.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:34 a.m. CST

    porn version?


    do you think it will be called the SNATCHMEN or the CROTCHMEN? undoubtedly there will be blue paint rubbing off on people.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Regarding Snyder's "visual genius"

    by MCVamp

    Snyder's a good visual filmmaker, but he's really just refining what others did before him. He didn't BUILD the fucking thing, so to speak. I don't seem to remember Snyder directing Sin City.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Bush League

    by Nickytea

    Open your eyes a little wider and try again.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:40 a.m. CST

    You said it MCVamp

    by Montag666

    That is brilliant shit. Sure enough, the religious would have taken advantage of the situation and they would have finished the job.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Re: Arguing mentioned as something geeks love to do

    by Arteska

    I personally think this is a relatively new thing to so-called geek culture. There used to be a lot more comraderie or at least some sense of genuine joyfulness in all this. Now there is overt hostility or irreverent snark as a defacto stance until placated - oftentimes with a very vocal minority setting the agenda more often than not. The constant mad dog state that the internet has reduced fandom to is depressing most of the time. Not advocating for people to just taking what's shoveled at them without protest but that's not what I'm getting at anyhow.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:41 a.m. CST

    elements of the ending that lost meaning


    - the black kid and newstand guy hugging. true to book, but had no impact in ending because characters were never even established much. <P>-newpaper ending: it's not a big cliffhanger if no one knows who these people are or what they do, or what the frontiersman was. it's a morsel for comic fans, but serves little purpose in the film, and is certainly a weak ending. -making veidt more of a cocky villain than a truely remorseful figure...throwing everyone around like he had superpowers. unless they said his suit enhanced his strength, it was overboard.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Good visuals don't just happen by mistake.

    by knowthyself

    Snyder indeed has earned his title of "the visionary behind 300." Go make a film and see how hard it is to visualize something you only see in your head and convey it to an audience in an appealing manner that lives up to your expectations.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Massawyrm's right

    by jdeuce222001

    I've been mulling over watchmen for several days. I dug the film overall. My biggest complaint is the change in the end. Why make that movie so detail specific/perfect to change the ending? Plus it just doesn't sit well. Manhattan was part of the strategic US defense, how would the US not be blamed for him blowing up several different locations around the world? That’s a big plot hole to me. If we were that close to nuclear war how would Russia not take that as an attack and launch? The other thing I missed were the side characters they cut out for running time. I know why they did it but that under cut the ending cause no one we really know dies in the big bang (in the film). Plus the newsstand guy was (to me) a key plot device in conveying the tension/fear about nuclear war. Without that the threat of nuclear war didn't seem as urgent/tense/important in the movie. I've been rereading the book since before I saw the movie. I'm pretty much done now. In the comic there are like 6 "splash" pages giving a 360 degree view of the aftermath of the squid. Those pages were epic to me back when I first read it. I wanted/expected to see something like that in the movie. Those pages were the WTF/Holy Sh*t payoff of the book. That was what made you feel how F*cked up a plan it was. In the movie we just get a big crater. The big bang wasn't as effective.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:43 a.m. CST

    McVamp, you're wrong

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    Let me quote directly from the GN since I have it right here. Issue 12, page 10: "DESCRIPTION OF AN ALIEN WORLD" Not aliens invading earth, just aliens on their homeworld. So no proof whatsoever that there is an iminant alien attack.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:43 a.m. CST


    by Mullah Omar

    Soon we'll have an article covering WATCHMEN for every post in the Baleback thread.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Montag666 - Bubastis

    by smorgasbord

    I don't recall Bubastis being explained, and as there was no mention (that I recall) of genetics - due to no squid building, I didn't see what the point was of keeping bubastis in, apart from pleasing the fans. I wondered if people who hadn't read it thought "what the fuck is that meant to be?"

  • March 11, 2009, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Has anyone mentioned the opening title sequence,

    by skimn

    though brilliantly executed, is lit and patterned after the work of Usher Fellig, aka Weegee? The famed photographer of night life in New York of the '40s?<p>I would call Snyder a visual genius if he created a look all his own. He is very talented at recreating the look of a photo (aforementioned Weegee, V-day kiss)or a comic panel. Given the digital and technical tools and tricks available today, I would not call that genius...

  • March 11, 2009, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Snyder could even have shown the psychic images...

    by MCVamp

    If Rorschach and/or Dan, 35 minutes from Karnak, suddenly experienced a sick feeling of dread...maybe a mind's eye of Rorschach seeing the actual message in single-frame flashes of horrible imagery. Alien invasions, babies chewing out of the womb, etc...not hard to imagine and only requiring, oh, I dunno, 30 seconds of screen time.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:45 a.m. CST

    best new addition: Veidt letting Dan pummel him.

    by knowthyself

    He deserves the guilt and pain for killing Rorschach and so many others. He did what had to be done but he feels all the loss. He's not a villian. He's not crazy. He truly does care.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Will Seymour return for the DVD?

    by Lampers

    There's so many people bellowing for some squid action on this site (and I'm not talking Japanese tentacle porn!) that it's a no brainer Seymour has to be on the DVD, even if only has an extra. Make it so Snyder, a lot of fan-goons (me included) will thank you for it! Oh, and does anyone know if they at least tried to conceptualise it? Storyboards? Concept paintings? A MAQUETTE???!!! Man, DC Direct need to get on that, put me down for one...and the variant!

  • March 11, 2009, 11:48 a.m. CST

    More hooded justice in the extended cut.

    by knowthyself

    His voice was hilarious.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:50 a.m. CST


    by MCVamp

    So you're saying images of more aliens on another planet after one just exploded itself in a major city isn't a big enough threat? It's certainly bigger than an American superweapon going rogue. Im sorry, if I'm a Pakistani, Korean, or even a friggin' Canadian, I'm going to be pissed at America...particularly since like the other 5 billion people in the world who weren't in the loop, I would have no idea what was going on other than a bunch of cities blew up, the TV says the American Dr. Manhattan is responsible, and that liar Nixon is trying to spin sympathy for his imperialist militaristic nation. Nope, nope, nope. Earthly threats, no matter how huge, are still Earthly threats. Make it come from Mars and you've got something no one is prepared for.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Manhattan is not an earthly threat.

    by knowthyself

    He is god. When god asks you to stop fighting. You stop.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST

    ask someone who did not read the GN

    by vultureman

    Veidt comes off at best as austistic to a non reader. In the GN there is genuine remorse and doubt, in the movie maybe a little remorse. So many asked why didn't Dr. M vaporize Viedt? Also noted that the movie made super heroes out of heroes with the combat scenes, thus altering the Moore's meaning.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:57 a.m. CST

    "He is god. When god asks you to stop fighting. You stop."

    by Lampers

    That's the problem though isn't it? Unlike God, everyone KNOWS (rather than believes) Doc Manhattan exists. So why isn't he on TV saying "I hope you've learned your lesson, now put down your destructive toys and let's have a group hug"? Instead he pisses off never to be seen again. Why even blow us all up if he's not planning to hang around anyway? Alan Moore thought long and hard about every panel of Wacthmen. Snyder/Hayter's new ending seems to have been jotted on the back of a napkin between merchandising meetings.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:59 a.m. CST

    But Manhattan never addressed anyone...

    by MCVamp

    No one would really know Manhattan's intentions. They were left open to interpretation. And there's no way at least 5% of the world's religious fanatics--which is a big enough number to overwhelm the Chinese Army--don't interpret it as "That's Armageddon" and decide to "educate" the non-believers. Manhattan never addresses anyone, and there's no proof outside of maybe the word of Adrian Veidt, that Manhattan has even left Earth at all. He might still be in a bunker somewhere in Washington taking orders from Nixon, leaving America with "acceptable losses" in order to...look, the Watchmen-movie world trusted Nixon-America less than real world trusted Bush-America in 2008 by a damn sight. I'm not saying the squid idea is perfect, it just has fewer holes in it's world peace than a bunch of exploding cities. Many would think Manahattan a God, but I'm sure just as many would still think of him as the American walking nuke.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:59 a.m. CST


    by wcme

    Not here to argue directly to you as I can see we both firmly believe what we are saying, but Even if the Squid teleported here and exploded, how are we to know if that creature doesn't count AS a weapon by this inter dimensional race? Maybe they look like 1 million foot tall slugs and grow these squids as bio weapons and teleport them like bombs? Maybe thi sis the first attempt to get to our world and it fails, but the very fact that they exist and are trying to come across is enough to band together and study who, where, how to draw up defensive measure to prevent the eventual breakthrough!!! Come on!! SCI-FI cant be this heard to imagine!! The "proof" would come from Veidt who's company studies inter dimensional sciences in the damn comic book! If he says that the world is being invaded and he manufactures the proof from his "studies" or he assist in framing Manhattan with his energy signature, the proof comes from those in charge. This isnt that hard!

  • March 11, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST

    One thing the movie made me realise...

    by Lampers

  • March 11, 2009, 12:06 p.m. CST

    One thing the movie made me realise...

    by Lampers

    ...that I never appreciated in the comic, why would the smartest man in the world have the password to access to the details of his secret world changing plan...on a book, IN BOLD, ON HIS DESK, NEXT TO HIS COMPUTER???!!! Did it happen like that in the comic? That's one crater sized plot-hole!

  • March 11, 2009, 12:09 p.m. CST


    by Youngdog

    There was a throwaway line about Veidt funding genetic engineering. I think Blake told Morloch he was keeping tabs on them for the government. I loved the film but too many people who haven't read the book are walking out scratching their heads. I'm not saying Watchmen = 2001 but as a fan of the GN I think it delivered and was faithful to the spirit of the book. But at least we live in a world where those film get made, A mickey B watchmen?(shudder)

  • March 11, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Adult Comic Book Movie?

    by Flea Circus

    Sorry but gore, violence and sex don't make something more "adult", by that measure Hostel, Saw, My Bloody Valentine, etc. are "adult movies". They're not. They're movie that aren't for children but that's not the same thing.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:10 p.m. CST

    micturatingbenjamin, I think you missed my point

    by The Wolf at the Door

    I'll quote you first: <p> "To the guy above that said TDK was more 'adult', I'll say that you're either not an adult, or you're a fuckin' prude. Yeah, the real adult world has people saying 'fuck', has blood, and fucking tears, and dildos, and shitbags who try to kill people for their jollies. In real life, the fucked up shit happens right in front of you, not panning tastefully away. This movie's violence is a sendup of the other superheroes' flicks versions of violence...It challenges and asks you to say 'What the fuck am I looking at?!' The Dark Knight, to its credit was PG-13." <p> ENDQUOTE <p> I'm using a different meaning of "adu't," and also challenging the film on what constitutes "adult" action. I don't think I'm being prude when I say that your average non-super-powered, non-body-builder guy and girl can't take a man's arm and twist it until the bone protrudes. That's not a matter of prudishness, and it's not the "real world" that I live in at least. Rather, the heightened violence is entirely in line with mdoern day "comic" films (Matrix included, which I think is the most obvious touchstone in terms of the action style ... and if Watchmen is a "sendup" as you say, then the critique was far too subtle for me to pick up). <p> What TDK has over Watchmen is that you don't NEED to see the Joker tear up people with his knife, rather it shows you all you need to know and leaves you to imagine the grissly horror. That to me is "adult" in that it assumes the audience didn't come for torture-porn, but can use their imagination. (And with all due respect to Snyder, what the hell else was that buzz-saw through the arm scene outside Rorschach's cell if not torture-porn? It wasn't in the book, that's for sure!) <p> Again, I'm not saying that in real life, people don't saw off each other's limbs with electric tools. I'm sure it happens, I'm not a polly-anna. I also put a film like TDK above Watchmen because it doesn't turn up the violence to 11 just for the sake of having bloody limbs and protruding bones, especially when it's NOT in the book he was oh-so faithful too, and when it does NOT make any sense that (again) retired deadbeats who hadn't seen action in a decade could twist the heads off a gang of teenage punks after a hearty dinner. <p> That's "adult" the way (again) 13-year-olds watch Cinemax at night and think they just REALLY saw two people have "real" sex (i.e. it's full of wonky guitar music, a hundred lit candles, and slow-motion moans between impeccibly gorgeous bodies.)

  • March 11, 2009, 12:11 p.m. CST

    This red world means more to me than your blue one.

    by knowthyself

    Love those Doc lines. Carry on with the squid talk.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Great review Massa

    by exie

    I think what left me feeling flat was the lack of connection to the characters the new ending achieved. I didn't really care about what happened to any of them, short of the nerd in me who wanted to see Dan keep getting to fuck Laurie. I would have loved to see Manhattan jealous and make the choice to leave because of a broken heart. That combined with the other elements of the ending they switcherooed took the pathos out of the film in my opinion.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Should Have Been PG-13

    by HermesTrismestigus

    Ugggh. I think Snyder shot a good movie but didn't put together one. It should have been 3 90 minute pieces with added action, some humor and a better set up bit by bit of what that world is like. It felt like I was watching the kiddy version of league of extraordinary gentleman and inbetween passing in and out of conscienceness I hallucinated over the top violence and a goofy ass sex scene that reminded me of a pretentious student film project. But there is a good movie in there somewhere, maybe a fanedit will rectify the situation.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Snyder And Hayter Had The Superior Ending

    by Media Messiah

    Watchmen has always been flawed because of its large slow moving text, as well as the original ending; the Squid was messy, let's admit it...but Snyder and Hayter cut much of the fat, and moved the film along nicely, and the addition of the new faux threat to the world, that being Manhattan, in place of the Squid, added emotional weight to the story, and is most logical.<BR><BR>It is just too bad we didn't see a book end flashback scene that depicted Viedt in league with The Comedian in the Kennedy assassination...showing Viedt as the one behind Lee Harvey Oswald being chosen as the patsy to the Kennedy assassination...and being the man behind the assassination itself, somehow tying into his ultimate plan to create the machine that would eventually duplicate Mahattan's powers. Perhaps Kennedy moved to stop him after learning of the plan, and Viedt and the Comedian interdicted him via the assassination plan? That would have been nice to see, in order to give us further background on the Comedian. Also, it would have been nice to see a more expansive book end, where Laurie learns that her father is the Comedian. It would have been appropriate to show that the Comedian didn't later get together with her mother to conceive her, as mentioned in the fil;m, but rather, completed his rape of the mother...and was never prevented from finishing that very act by the super hero that came to Laurie's mom's aid. That part of the story, as first shown to the audience, should have been used simpley as a red herring for viewwrs...and a ruse for Laurie until Manhattan revealed the truth to Laurie. It would have served to give the issue more impact. Further, if it was shown that the Comedian was having a sexual relationship with Laurie...something that her mother suspected, and the reason why her mother informed her of his attack upon her, without disclosing the full would have given greater urgency in her quest to sabotage the relationship between the two...and finally end it. Snyder should have teased us as to whether the Comedian himself knew that Laurie was his daughter, all along. That would have been chilling, and given us insight into his form of evil...and his mistreatment of women in his life, as he admitted, in the film. <BR><BR>Unlike Batman Begins that had a bysantine plot coming down to its conclusion, and the overrated hack job that is The Dark Knight...a film that only had illusions of a plot, and illusions of real characters and their interpersonal relationships...The Watchmen really had fully rounded characters. The new Batman films are about explosions, and faux drama, and attempts at that drama...but they fail to make the leap to true intellectual and emotional daring by offering us a Batman story that is truly about something of substance beyond the hero's ethics. Watchmen has that sustance, which is missing in the Batman films, and many years from now, it will be remember as a film that is far superior than The Dark Knight in every conceivable way... and manner. This from someone who hates the original source material, for being too wordy, overlong, and self important thanks to the first two faults which I have detailed here.<BR><BR>Lastly, I would like to see a Minute Men movie...and find-out who killed the lesbian super hero...and why...and could it tie some of the heroes into the Nazi agenda of World War II, and any post war conflicts? It would be nice to see, and even a Roscharch movie spin off...showing his days before his demise, and his battles with Big Figure on the streets, before they were both jailed.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST


    by Lampers

  • March 11, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Hayter is right about watching it twice.

    by knowthyself

    It gets better with every viewing. I'm hoping one of my friends wants to see it so I have an excuse to see it a third time.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Arteska: it's not a new thing

    by chrth

    As someone who lived through Kirk vs Picard, Han vs Luke, heck I even remember BSG vs Buck Rogers, I can assure you that arguing is not a new thing. Hell, they're still arguing PC vs Mac when PC wiped the floor with Mac decades ago.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST


    by Lampers

    I wish I hadn't found this site: I may now be going blind :(

  • March 11, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST


    by Arteska

    People saying that the sex and violence were over-emphasized are guilty of a certain amount of dishonesty in my opinion. Translating something implied or depicted in a single frozen panel is quite different from communicating all the same information or idea of scene in a film. As good as Gibbons illustrations are they are still, compared to filmed real people, stylized. There is nothing overt in the film I didn't see on the page but it's plain that people don't see comic art the same way they see a movie. I think, if Snyder had depicted the ending as it is in the book, the filmed translation of a city covered in blood and littered with twisted corpses would have trumped anything that Snyder is accused of overblowing already. I also don't understand why people can't infer the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people succinctly when a city is shown being destroyed - a direct counter argument to that notion that Snyder overdid it on the mayhem in other places. These are really bads nits to pick considering what is on the screen. The complaints are all in the forest/trees area to me.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:21 p.m. CST

    I've got 50 bucks that says...

    by balls of steel

    Greedy greedy Hollywood tries to make a sequel. Watchmen 2: Who watches the Watchmen watching the watchers who watch the watchmen. Watching. *YAWN* I love the comic and to be honest was seriously underwhelmed by the movie. I watched them fuck up From Hell, The League.. and to some extent V for Vendetta (where they managed to leave out Facism which is what the whole comic was about)so to be honest I wasn't surprised. Don't know why they bothered in the first place if they didn't have the balls to follow through with the story. I just don't think they got the point of Watchmen. The squid is a ridiculous comic book horror cliche ending but Moore was experimenting with 'what would happen if that really happened. Would the world believe it? Could you save the world with a comic style lie?' Squid ruled!

  • March 11, 2009, 12:24 p.m. CST

    The comic and film are two different experiences.

    by knowthyself

    And they go well together. One fleshes the other out. While the film brings to life moments you loved in the comic. Two endings so no matter if your reading the book or watching the film you are getting a different experience. Considering people had the audacity to say that watchmen was a perfect adaptation..and thats what was wrong with it...then why would you want a squid? After all zack would just be copy the book panel to panel which some people hate for some strange stupid reason.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST

    "The squid was a trans-dimensional bomb"

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    If you have to go way out there to justify it, nobody's going to get it and it will not be an effective ending. This is a movie at least most people need to "get" in order to be successful. This smacks of all those The Matrix Reloaded defenses. If your argument consists of "If, maybe, gee whiz, it could possibly", etc., then your argument doesn't hold water. both endings are self-explanatory. The one in the film is better.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST

    I don't think the arguing is new per se

    by Arteska

    But the 'bristling to argue' and 'prepared to have sensibilities offended' buttons in the ON position all the time seems to be to me.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Save the Squid!

    by Lampers

    Another two "C" words (no, not that one) to lend (very little) weight to my campaign to have "the Squid" renamed Seymour...Cyclopean (in both senses of the word) and Calamari! Don't know how I missed that one. Save the Squid, save the Watchmen! ... or does anyone prefer Billy the Squid? Heh, gotta nice (deep-fried Calamari) ring to it that one!

  • March 11, 2009, 12:27 p.m. CST

    i thought the ending was great but

    by supercowbell4therequestformorecowbell

    yea i wouldve prefered a shot of all the dead bodies. all the violence building up throughout the movie shouldve led to the most violent, disgusting, and actually heartbreaking shot in the movie.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:28 p.m. CST

    For Those Who Don't Understand The B.O. Numbers!!!

    by Media Messiah

    Considering the fact that The Watchmen had a 55 million dollar take, that is beyond great, for an opening weekend!!! The original X-Men opened-up in the summer for a 50 to 55 million dollar opening and Titanic opened-up on Christmas Day, for only 25 million, in its opening weekend, but road the holidays to become a hit.<BR><BR>As for The Watchmen, if this film were 90 to 120 minutes long...and rated PG or would have had a chance of opening-up at 70 to 100 plus...million dollars. With less showings, because of its length, and the fact that the film opened-up on a non-holiday weekend--with no stars in the film...55 million dollars, in 3 days, is a triumphant success! Don't be fooled by certain entertainment industry online magazines trying to stir-up false many of their reporters are not real journalists, and don't understand the numbers...nor are they weighing holiday versus non holiday openings...summer openings, and many of the other factors, that I have detailed, into their arguments, including running times of films--long or short, ratings of said films, the demos which the releasing studio is hoping to attract--families versus adults, or teens, and lastly...the issue of star power, or lack there of, in said film.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:29 p.m. CST


    by Cap'n Jack

    regarding your post way above...Massa's point isn't that the squid would have made a more adult ending, but that Snyder should have kept the piles and piles of bloody bodies. By making all the people evaporate and having us see only the devastation done to buildings, Snyder has robbed this scene of it's real horror. Think about 9-11, what do remember being affected by more, the towers falling, or seeing the desperate people jumping to their death.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:30 p.m. CST

    "No Stars"?

    by Lampers

    Get out, it's got Max Headroom in it!

  • March 11, 2009, 12:30 p.m. CST

    The GN didn't even show the attack!

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    At least the movie didn't just cut to the aftermath. As for the corpses, I think it's possible we'll see some in the extended cut, but I'm sure he would have taken heat for being insensative to 9/11 victims if he'd done that. I didn't miss the corpses at all. The point was made, move on.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:31 p.m. CST

    I repeat (since no one has addressed it):

    by jimmy_009

    In the book half the world's scientists that could pull it off died in a mysterious explosion doing a mystery project they weren't allowed to talk about. It's well known around the globe that Veidt is into bioengineering. Veidt left so many trails right to his door step it's ridiculous. And someone actually said Moore thought about every single frame of that book? Glaring plotholes. Movie ending has more meaning and can't get exposed as easily as the squid debacle.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:32 p.m. CST

    if watchmen was 90 mins, i wouldnt have seen it

    by supercowbell4therequestformorecowbell

    and i know i wouldnt be the only one.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Very well written, sir

    by DennisMM

    Congratulations on the best geek review of this film I have read.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Can we BOTH endings?

    by knowthyself

    Come on. The rest of the movie is so damn good.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:33 p.m. CST

    $55M isn't that great

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    Because the film cost $150M and msot of teh time 50% of a film's total take is opening weekend. Keep in mind studios only get to KEEP about 55% of the total take and Warner already has to split that with legendary and Fox.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    yes bubastis was a throw away


    ..without the squid or some more backstory on genetics, Bubastis was anomalous decor to please fans and confuse everyone else.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Snyder only ever wanted to please the fans.

    by knowthyself

    Cut the guy some slack. Bubastis was great. Fuck anyone who was confused by it.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:40 p.m. CST


    by asdfasdf

    COMPLETELY WRONG. Rorschach is in no way a radical right wing conservative, Are you fucking kidding me!? The conservatives live by the idea that the END justifies the MEANS, thats why they are all fucking every one over for personal gain. What does Rorschach due for personal gain? Rorschach is the idealist, just as Veidt is. He sticks to his ideals until the very end, and that is the opposite of what any conservative is doing. Hate to turn this into a political debate but that just pissed me the fuck off. Not that liberals are saints either, for the record. Politics in America is fucked up.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Bubastis was a throwaway in the book too

    by jimmy_009

    I hated that an otherwise real world feel was killed by psychics, a giant squid, and a mutant lynx. None of it added anything to what was a fantastic world and story. It just stretched the reality that was created for the story too damn far. I wish Snyder had left that fucking Lynx out, only because it was retarded to begin with.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:42 p.m. CST


    by asdfasdf

    I do agree with a lot of what you have said, but I still loved the movie and the ending can work. Its the little changes that are questionable. The interview scene and newspapers showed that Manhatten was disconnected with America anymore, so other countries could go along with that.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:42 p.m. CST

    I said I'd do this so here it is.

    by gotilk

    I never read the source material. Everyone I know DID. I enjoyed the hell out of Watchmen. Having read this article, I can see where the criticism comes from, even without reading the graphic novel. I was left with the feeling that Veidt's choice was horrible... but right. After a while, this didn't sit well with me and I found myself questioning it after having the film rolling around my cranium for a few days. There's the concept that we are now only far too familiar with. The concept that all it takes to nearly destroy a nation, or at the very least it's morale and financial/political stability is a few nutcases with nothing to lose. We've left ourselves vulnerable in our comfort. That's not to say I'm some sort of freak who thinks we should sink all our money into defense, wall ourselves off and shut our blinds. No. It's just that the BIG BAD days seem to be over. To think "the world's smartest man" even in the 80s wouldn't have seen the coming technological and extremist (and vulnerable) years is almost laughable. Having lived through those years and woke up from the nightmares of suitcase nukes being set off in my city by religious nuts, I find it hard to believe a super genius would even consider that this kind of act (truly) would "save the world from itself". Not even remotely. <br> <br> In the novel's and Snyder's defense, I have to say I could not think of a better way to tell the story being told, or to end it on a more thought provoking note. But no matter how much you'd love it to be true, criticism is not solely the foray of peers. In other words, those who believe the only people in the world with valid criticisms are people "who could do better themselves" are so full of shit they'd set off bidets by walking past public restrooms.<br><br> This film is undeniably a great work. Coming from someone with no experience with the source material, my opinion is not tainted by prior exposure to the work in any other media. NOW... now, however, I will after years of avoidance finally tackle the graphic novel with delight. I love comics. My first "holycrap" moment with a comic was the demon in a bottle run of Iron Man forward, then Avengers, then back to the past (Guardians of the Galaxy, PLOP, Plastic Man.. various horror comics, war comics, etc). But my favorites ended up being the Avengers before my attention turned to the opposite sex, music, maybe a little weed for a year or so and so on. I have only very recently picked up reading comics again. I've always been drawn to stories involving heroes working together, heroes facing their own demons, superheroes living in OUR world. <br>(thanks for screwing up the potential there, HEROES.. jeeze.. someone hand those writers about 5 years of Avengers and a few Iron Man comics and set them on the right track.. mix it up with some more of that Unbreakable vibe again and they're good to go)<br> So Watchmen for me was like a dream come true. Alternate reality, heroes living in the real world, grounded in a gritty realism. Those first few minutes of montage alone would have been enough, but then I'm introduced to Rorschach. They could have told only his story and I would have left the theater satisfied. As obviously screwed up as he is, he is the embodiment of the person we'd like to be in those first few minutes after we know we've been wronged and we fantasize about settling the score. He just stays there in the feeling and never leaves. And then he acts. And then we get to watch it play out in front of us and it's like pure adrenaline fueled catharsis. And the performance is one of the best I've seen in any context, anywhere. I could go on and on wasting bandwidth (wait, I guess that IS what talkback is for though) talking about how much I li... no loved this film. Will my opinion of it change once I've READ Watchmen. Maybe. But I honestly like film more than I like the experience of reading a comic. And I like reading a book more than I like reading comics. So there's something to that as well. I'm sure there are a LOT of people who prefer comics in general over films. To say that their criticism is off-base makes no sense. To say my opinion is more valuable than some other's on such a controversial, thought-provoking work is also goofy as hell. But I can promise one thing. In 10 years, we'll still be arguing about it.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Rorshach makes snow angels? Really?

    by halowiscious

    While he's dying? Hilarious

  • March 11, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST

    ejaculating flame jet....

    by Obscura

    was in the comic, exactly as the movie portrays it. and honestly, i prefer the movie end, for the film anyway. since watchmen is primarily a comment on its own medium, a giant squid would be very out of place in todays comic book movie genre. the only film it would relate to would be Hellboy. and "3 million people have died, lets fuck!" never sat well with me.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Dr. Manhatten before he is vaporized a second time

    by onaps6453

    The line where he talks about turning the walls to glass gave me chills. Like "Superman : The Motion Picture" chills. It was a very superman vs. lex moment delivered perfectly...

  • March 11, 2009, 12:55 p.m. CST

    by adiehardfanwithalethalweapon

    I watched it Monday night in a huuuge multiplex. There were twelve people there total. That should tell you something about how "good" this flick is.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Quick question about Watchmen GN:

    by STLost

    I started rereading the comic a few nights ago and noticed something I didn't spot before. When Rorschach talks, the dialog balloon is squiggly lines to indicate he's not talking in a normal voice, like we hear in the movie. But then I noticed during a flashback to the "crimebusters" getting together, his dialog balloon is normal like everyone else. So when he was first starting out, he used his normal voice?

  • March 11, 2009, 12:57 p.m. CST

    GN attack

    by wcme

    Firstly you aren't meant to see the attack, it ended as a cliffhanger in book 11. Its the aftermath of the imagery that it leaves behind that was important enough to take 5 or 6 pages to show. Would it have been enough to show 6 pages of dust and craters we have seen since PLANET OF THE APES? a few crumbling buildings? Grrrrrrrr! As for "taken heat for being insensitive to 9/11 victims if he'd done that." I sure hope someday we can actually show stuff and not be so gunshy. I mean, there were horrible attacks at pearl harbor - can we never show gun battles with sinking boats? Terrible Shuttle disaster explodes in the sky - can we never have planes explode? I think we can accept and move on, as you say. "I didn't miss the corpses at all. The point was made, move on." = what was wrong with elements of the story to begin with. Characters origins are truncated, elements switched around and simplified to simply get through it. Doctor Manhattans origin, as an example, is changed to the point that all the sadness and feeling you got from a 3rd generation watchmaker who wanted to follow the family business but is prevented by his father who pushes him into Atomic research because of the coming war. In the comics he flirts with a girl at the research base, never gets in bed with her, tries to fix her watch as a wooing ritual, and goes back to get his coat where he left her watch and gets trapped in the machine that turns him into a god. In the film, the have sex, he goes back to get HIS watch he just left in the test room and gets trapped. Its the little things that they change for no reason that tend to strip feeling and angst from our characters. So forgive me for asking they linger on the details that made it a classic for years. This whole "move on" stuff is so irritating!! Its like everyone is such in a rush to get home to change the cat litter or mow the lawn.

  • March 11, 2009, 12:58 p.m. CST

    the squid would have worked

    by 667

    The buildup to the ending was pretty much perfect. Very disappointed in retrospect (and I never read the comic until last week so I'm not some crazy fanboy). ZS created the world of the Watchmen which is an internally consistent alternate 1985. In that world the squid would have worked better than a bunch of stupid fake-out nukes. I mean, the bullet catch is in but the squid just wouldn't have worked? Come. On.

  • March 11, 2009, 1 p.m. CST

    adiehardfanwithalethalweapon = moron

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    The same old annoying "argument" that quantity (box office, admissions) points to quality. <p>Stupid monkey.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:02 p.m. CST


    by Obscura

    the $55,214,334 opening weekend tells me your HUGE multiplex is located in the middle of nowhere. and since you watched the film, have a damn opinion rather than counting audience members.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:02 p.m. CST

    re: the squid would have worked

    by 667

    I mean, the whole buildup to when Night Owl and Roarschach fly to Antarctica, everything is so pointless and inevitable, the doomed quest. The squid is weird and surreal and that is what this movie deserved. I always liked Ang Lee's HULK because the ending is so fucking bizarre, straight out of the 70s, weird like Anime weird. Watchmen would have worked better this way too.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    the bodies weren't important

    by 667

    In the GN it's not even that gross. I didn't think it was gross, anyway. I think it may be more to do with the fact that the people it shows dying aren't people we've met in the movie whereas in the comic they're important side-characters providing counterpoint to the story and the whole Black Freighter arc. Seeing them blow up / vaporize was plenty graphic enough-- if you feel something's missing I don't think it's really the bodies.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST


    by smorgasbord

    good point, you see the bernies get vapourised in the film, but unless you're read it, they don't mean a thing.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    You saw a snow angel? I saw a kitten fucking a puppy in the ass. Those inkblots, they always get me. Funny-larious.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST

    STLost: That's how I always took it

    by chrth

  • March 11, 2009, 1:12 p.m. CST


    by onaps6453

    Where does Laurie get the gun to shoot Ozy? I can't remember...

  • March 11, 2009, 1:19 p.m. CST

    onaps6453: I think she got it from a security guard

    by chrth

    at the facility before she left

  • March 11, 2009, 1:21 p.m. CST


    by Evangelion217

    <<<<It is, simply, less. When all is said and done, Snyder has created a much more easily digestible, mainstream ending that gets the pieces right but puts them in all the wrong places.>>>>> So then why does it still divide audiences, and it's fans?? Because it's a daring, and unconventional ending. Yes, it's a bit more dumb down then the GN, but it still carries the intelligence that was apparent throughout the GN. It's not hollywood, it's emotional.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:21 p.m. CST

    A change to the ending I haven't seen addressed...

    by chiwrtr72

    At the end of the film, we hear Rorschach's voice giving the opening date of the journal. To me, that indicates that the slightly moronic journalist reads it. In the book, it's a left unclear whether this happened. For some reason, that change has stuck with me and I don't like it.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:21 p.m. CST

    I feel kind of bad for people...

    by Arteska

    that never got to see movies before the internet or daily box scores on box office receipts. Not a good example but I remember E.T. playing for an entire year at a theatre near us for instance - - and I really doubt it was because repeat business was so good or because it met some predetermined expectations of profitability debated back and forth by people outside of the business. Now we have folks making judgements on modern day movie's quality or value based on the size of audiences on a friggin Monday night 4 days after a movie opens. So many of the movies people hold dear or admire performed pathetically at the box office by today's standards. Wretched.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Oh, and the main problem with this film is that it's too short.

    by Evangelion217

    You can tell that there were bunch of scenes missing from this film, which is why it had some narrative problems. I think the extended cuts will be alot better, and far more coherent. The film is already close to greatness, so let's see where it goes with the director's cut, and that Ultimate extended cut. :)

  • March 11, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST


    by Evangelion217

    Snyder is a visual genius. Just because he faithfully adapts panels from a comic-book, doesn't mean he's not. He actually does what every other visual filmmaker has done, he just uses the graphic novels as a storyboard. He creates a visceral experience like no other filmmaker alive right now. And when he creates a great action sequence, you can actually SEE the action sequence. Look at the details of each scene, the clock, the set design, and the costumes. You can see that Snyder gives a huge amount of attention to detail, and the visual imagery is absolutely captivating and visceral. If Snyder keeps this up, then he might end up becoming the Ridley Scott of this generation. And his attention to detail, is really on par with what Orson Welles did with "Citizen Kane", and what Kubrick did with "2001", and "A Clockwork Orange."

  • March 11, 2009, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Not "adult" enough? Really?

    by maverick2484

    There an appropriate level of tragic irony in the new ending. Dr. Manhattan, earth's one true superhero, ultimately did save the word - but only by appearing to the world as a supervillain. Just as Dr. Manhattan regains an appreciation for humanity, he is forced to exile himself from humanity. How is that not "adult" enough? There are enough non-Watchmen fans who are complaining that the movie is inaccessible as it is, the "squid" would have made the film even weirder and less palatable for mainstream audiences. Yes, commercial considerations have to be a factor here. And lets face it, the GN was written 16 years before 9/11. In a post 9/11 world, you can't show bodies upon bodies strewn along the streets of New York in a commercial film. Those images are just too loaded now, showing a giant crater in New York is as close as you can get without seriously pinching a collective nerve. The new ending also makes sense from a political standpoint. Ozy mentions several American cities other than New York that get attacked. Why would the world gang up on America when America suffered more casualties than any other individual country? The idea is the Dr. Manhattan betrayed America, and now America joins the rest of the world in feeling cornered by his presence. Again, that seems a fair bit more adult to me than an alien squid from another dimension. The rest of the world would want the military strength of America on its side to combat an external threat. As a unifying, otherworldly threat, Dr. Manhattan absolutely does the job. With respect to Ozy's sense of doubt, in the new ending we get Dreiberg telling Ozy that he has perverted a vision of world peace, followed by a final shot of Ozy standing alone in his wrecked fortress, and we DON'T get Ozy triumphantly raising his arms and shouting, "I did it!" as he does in the GN. So I think the new ending still leaves some of that ambiguity in tact. Considering the constraints that Snyder was working within due to the need to cater to mainstream sensibilities, I think that the new ending is a success. It works logically, it fits in with the rest of the movie, and it maintains the themes of the GN while still allowing newcomers to "get it". Just one more reason to love this movie.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:39 p.m. CST

    a fair review, but Ive two major disagreements....

    by RockLobster800

    first off, I dug the film...its a patchy adaptation but as a standalone film its fine-Im sure it will over plenty of new fans. But I have to disagree with at least two of Massa's comments-the new additional violence didnt make the film more adult-for me it made it more juvenile. And thats cos the violence wasnt realisic, but a hyper stylised "cool" version of violence that was designed to win over late teen audiences (just like having my chemical romance at the end...shudder). I can understand some choices like them changing Rorshach killing the guy with the meat cleaver because the audience might have thought they original killing was ripped off from Saw (whereas a it was actually riped off from Mad Max) and even sawing off the guys arms makes more sense as it means they can get round him to the lock that way. However, the street fight was a glaring mistake-shots put in just for shlock value and for gore hounds to shout "cool!". It didnt indicate that the characters were out of shape, and a bit rubbish at fighting after so long-they are super humanly capable of taking on these guys, which just plain isnt the point.PLUS, a lot of those thugs would wind up dead (the one who got shot, an the one who got his arm snapped would need swift medical attention to survive it) which makes these heroes seem merciless and vicious...but Dan and Laurie arent like that, as they just want to disarm the thugs are leave them unconcious. Rorshach would do this to them-viciously maul them until theyre pretty much dead or not just outright kill them on the spot. By dan and laurie doing this it makes the films sense of human failings drift and undermines Rorshach's derenaged violent nature. The other major thing is that Snyder's visuals arent perfect-he left out a MAJOR piece of mis-en-scene that I felt was one of the most important parts to the books own visuals.That being the recurring silhouette of a man and woman kissing seen in the background several times in several chapters. and by leaving this out Snyder once again screws Rorshach...that image says so much about him, to me at least, its remarkable. The image is his first memory (his mother and her John's shadows in the middle of something) and follows him right up until death-you might recall when Dan and Laurie are doing it, we see their shadows again, and the shot moves to Rorshachs mask with the same image on it just before he is killed. The shadow also follows him around new york in the form of street grafitti. Why is it important to him? Elsewhere in the book his therapist comments on the shadows saying that they remind him of the shadows burnt on the walls during hiroshima. At the books beginning Rorshach himself says he admires men like President Truman and we later see in his childrens file that he felt it was right to drop the bomb on hiroshima in order to end war. And doesnt Veidt dropping the bomb/squid on New York echo Hiroshima, the thing Rorshach admired so much? The two figures in the shadow the represent a duality in his character, and his "never compromise" ideals meet a grey area-he instinctively feels that Veidt is right as his actions are like Truman's, but he also cant allow himself to compromise his attack on what he also sees as an injustice on the world...and he cant cope with it. Rorshachs world is all black and white, and so when faced with a duality like this, the only heroes death he can find is to let Manhattan kill him.The fact that image follows him adds alot to the storys musings on time and fate as well... Now to me, that shadow mise-en-scene could have VERY easily made it into film, but it didnt...and why it didnt, I dont know. So thats why I cant see Zach as a visual genius, as he neglected to put it in...whether deliberately or due to him not spotting it, Ill also never know. That said, that was my only major problem with the film-theres much to love. The cast are almost all uniformly brilliant, I liked the music (Watchtower could have been subtler but I actually loved 99 Red Balloons)and it did do a good job of streamlining the story....I didnt even mind the chaged ending, as it added a new religous aspect of the world fearing a new God. So thats my only quibble...end of rant!

  • March 11, 2009, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Jimmy 009

    by Evangelion217

    Thank you for being intelligent. The people who act like the new ending is not pausible, are morons. But the ending in the graphic novel is incredible, because it is deliberately stupid. Moore was making commentary on the stupidity of the plans that are created by supervillains. He made it ridiculous, insane, and unconventional. For two reasons. 1) Veidt isn't a supervillain, he's a superhero. And 2) He succeeded. That was the difference, that is what made it so powerful, and that is exactly what made it ground-breaking during it's time. Either way, I think both endings are fantastic. Sadly, the only thing that was missing in the film, was Veidt's "I DID IT" line. That was a priceless moment, that should of been adapted to the big screen.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:43 p.m. CST


    by Evangelion217

    I think the violence, and the sex did give the film a more adult feel to it. Why?? Because the violence isn't cool, and entertaining like "300." It's stylized, but it is also pretty disgusting, and vulgar. Especially with Laurie, and Dan getting turned on by killing and beating up a bunch of thugs. And while the sex scene is fun, entertaining, erotic, and hot. It also has a disturbing feel to it, because these two superheroes are turned on by hurting people, killing people, and saving people. And after they are done having sex, they decided to break out Rorshach,'s more fun. So it doesn't sound as selfless as it did in the GN. And in his own way, Snyder understands these type of characters as much as Moore did, and fits them in the real world.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:50 p.m. CST

    ending in the book goes over lots of heads

    by awepittance

    this is probably why he was trying to distill it to something more low common denominator. I mean jesus christ look at all the people in this aicn talkback who have read the book and who are saying 'squid is stupid'. They clearly did not understand the ending in full, only the part with a giant squid landing in NY.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:51 p.m. CST

    violence + sex does not = adult

    by oisin5199

    violence and sex in films are most often just juvenile. Adult means more than just what censors allow. It means maturity, complexity. I actually completely agree with Mass' interpretation of the ending. I loved the movie and didn't mind the missing squid (though I still love the concept in the comic context), but the immediate aftermath was just one wrong decision after another. I get what they were trying to do, but it didn't work. I totally agree that the way Moore wrote Dan, Laurie and Jon after Rorschach died was far superior than the film and would have given us a lot more to think about - and the film's version just left me hollow, as Mass said. Which sucked, because I enjoyed the hell out of it up until that point.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:53 p.m. CST

    The Watchmen Violence Was Good

    by thelordofhell

    People get hurt and killed in full gore in this......and it's about time. Just remember this film when you see Wolverine, WITH BIG FUCKING ADAMANTIUM CLAWS, slash people without a drop of blood this summer.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:55 p.m. CST

    CGI shiny blood bubbles wtf

    by awepittance

    does anyone else here miss the days of practical gore effects ALA Day of the Dead ? Maybe its just me but most of the gore with the exception of like 2 scenes in Watchmen looked extremely CGI laden, fake as hell, and as if it wasnt happening on screen but done entirely in post production. Are the kids these days desensitized to cgi blood splatters and think they are real? They look awfully fake to me.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST


    by supertoyslast

    I think that the different endings in the book and the film both worked on their own terms. But I would say that if both are examined closely then neither are absolutely watertight. I don't think that the book's ending should be held as absolutely sacrosanct as it was perfect - because it wasn't. The film's ending delivered the major parts which I remember as being great from the book ("35 minutes ago", Rorshach's death, catching the bullet etc). Apart from the squid, the ending has been changed from the book about as much - or less - than the rest of the story. My only criticism is that Ozymandias already having carried out his plan didn't hit quite as hard as in the book.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Agree with you mostly, Massa.

    by Lashlarue

    I think the first time you watch it, you can't judge it properly because the Graphic Novel is what you're thinking about. What got changed? What's left out? How would I have done it? <p> Watch it a second time, and you can see the movie for what is. A very good film.

  • March 11, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST

    So Snyder is in the same league as

    by skimn

    Welles, Kubrick and to a lesser degree Ridley Scott...WOW. I could see David Fincher fitting that description closer than Snyder..and even he doesn't come close. Again. WOW.

  • March 11, 2009, 2 p.m. CST


    by the_belligerent

    I have been following James Cameron's Avatar since the project was announced and I just thought you guys would like an update on when we might be seeing the first trailer. A few days ago this article was posted on marketsaw (the 3D blog site): In short it says that Jim has rejected no less than 8 potential trailers and is currently hard at work cutting his own. It also suggests that there may be footage shown at ShoWest in a few weeks time. Then yesterday this was reported at the La Times which has an official source from Fox confirming that no trailer has been shown yet to Cameron which would suggest that we won't be getting footage for quite a while. So nothing will be shown with MvA which is where I thought we'd get a first look at this "potential" masterpiece. That article can be found here- .html I don't know about you guys but the anticipation for this film keeps building and building for me. However I'm starting to get a little apprehensive that the film won't be ready for its December 18th release. Fingers crossed!

  • March 11, 2009, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Excellent analysis!

    by Darth Thoth

    Bravo Massawyrm! Excellent and challenging review. I had a tough time during my first viewing of Watchmen too. I couldn't help but compare it to the book. My second viewing was a lot better because I was able to take it in as a stand alone movie. I enjoyed it a lot more. You make some strong points and provide a lot to think about. Very enjoyable read.

  • March 11, 2009, 2:04 p.m. CST

    The dumb

    by ironsnake

  • March 11, 2009, 2:04 p.m. CST

    I agree with Massa

    by ballyhoo

    I just didn't react as negatively. I walked out of that theater still floored by an awesome movie, because I was able to set aside what it could have been.

  • March 11, 2009, 2:10 p.m. CST

    idiot people

    by ironsnake

    the problem is this. everyone who never read the book went to the theatre expecting spiderman or the dark knight. no one expected o see a story of this magnitude. The reason? people do not like change. They all just want more of the same. It s pathetic. and for those that have read the book and hated the ending of the film. go fuck yourselves. It was an ending that made perfect sense. we didnt need to see Dan and Laurie getting it on again. We didnt need a giant squid. we needed someone to sacrifice his reputation for the greater good. we needed someone to be there when hs friend died. and come on who the hell wpould want to fuck after a devastation like that? millions of people dead and I'm going to fuck silk spectre while my friend dies? there was a more real closeness here. so for those that never read the book and hated it and those that have read it and hated it.fuck you all.

  • March 11, 2009, 2:10 p.m. CST

    probably one of the most creative 150million dollar movies ever

    by awepittance

    this alone is impressive despite all its flaws

  • March 11, 2009, 2:15 p.m. CST

    I agree wholeheartedly with you, Massa!

    by Zardoz

    Watchmen was a very good but flawed version of the book. The ending was just wrong. Everything else was pretty damn great. Too bad we couldn't have it all...

  • March 11, 2009, 2:17 p.m. CST


    by oisin5199

    go back and look at the book. Rorschach is without a doubt right-wing. It's not just about a political party. It's his ideology. He worships Harry Truman, he rails against liberals, he sends his journal to the conservative newspaper. Yet despite all this, he may be the most heroic in the book, never giving up his principles or compromising. <p>and I agree that the uber-violent fight scenes, the lack of cigarettes (what kind of society do we have that excessive, bloody violence is ok, but cigarettes are eeevil), and other line cuts diminish Laurie and Dan. It just wasn't necessary - we didn't need the 'cool' factor - in fact, that goes against the intention of the story.

  • March 11, 2009, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Everything worked except

    by Biffs_Pleasure_Paradise

    The scene with Dan and Laurie fighting the knottops. Hey, I like violence, but this was just unnecessary and took you out of Dr. Manhattan's great monologue. Also, I would have liked to have seen more of the regular citizen stories from the GN. Other than that, I thought they nailed it. The new ending is fine by me. I like the fear of God angle it gives it.

  • March 11, 2009, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Someone explain to me

    by drewlicious

    Maybe I'm not thinking it through but would someone explain to me in the book why cut the guys throat in prison and leave him hanging in the door. I can understand getting him out of the way but why is still hanging in the bars? Did they not want him squirming while they use the blowtorch or what? The movie simplified it by just sawing off his arms.

  • March 11, 2009, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Massawyrm's review - on the money

    by sevadro

    Anyone who disagrees with this review deserves to be hit over the head. You are retards and clearly not mature enough to handle the complex themes contained in the graphic novel. Now go watch the Jonas Brothers movie for the 5th time and shut the fuck up. PS: Forgot to mention that the music absolutely sucked.

  • March 11, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Alright, Massawyrm. On Doctor Manhattan...

    by PTSDPete

    Didn't take me that long to wrap my mind around this, but look at it this way : When Bush 2 decided to flip the finger on the international community and INVADED A UN MEMBER STATE ANYWAY, did Russia and China went up in arms ? Did the Arab nations launch a flurry of missiles straight to your heartland ? Did U.N. for that matter even bulge. NO. Because at the time, they were shit-scared of President George W. Bush. While I wasn't as personally scared myself, his actions DID send a bit of chills up my spine. It seemed at the time as though America was gonna push with it's blatantly Imperialist designs, and there's shit anybody else in the world would do about it. This premise is even amplified by the Christian fervour behind it, and the idea that it may all be right in the eyes of God.</p>Now, imagine that religious terror, and imperialist impunity AMPLIFIED 10 or 100 X, with a God that not only actually exists, but is American, but also a madman sitting at the White House whose been ruling for a long time, and looks like he would be ruling for the rest of eternity. Do take note that this story takes place in a world where Nixon - of all people, NIXON - rules for 5 consecutive terms, more blatantly shoots down peace protesters ( as the opening credits has implied ), uses all humanity's fears and trepidations against it, and has virtually wiped out all opposition. And also, Vietnam is colonized and actually made a 52nd state of the United States. Come on, Dr. Manhattan leaves, and all the Russians can manage is invade Afghanistan ( which, as I've now realized, is in fact a masterstroke of, like you said, short hand ). A potentially irate, and erratic Dr. Manhattan wiping several cities in the world may only lead the planet to look a bit angrily in the direction of America, sure, but that will only seem like final straw to break what's left of their will. The only possible reaction that could engender amongst all of them is SURRENDER. Critical collaboration. ( I live in a country under dictatorship, and I'm tellin' ya, people don't tend to resist as easily as you might think...)</p></p> Which is the central conceit of the novel that this comic highlighted more than you'd expect it to : powerful men raising the Sword of Damocles above everybody's heads.</p></p> Which is why, I think, this film actually speaks a hell of a lot about our era than anyone's gonna give it credit for, whether Zach Snyder or Alex Tse is aware of this, or not. In that sense, it's really not alternate 1985 perse. It's the carcass of it's post-Veidt assault era dovetailing into ours. Say, for example, why hasn't Bush been hauled off into the Hague, yet ? </p>

  • March 11, 2009, 2:42 p.m. CST

    One question...

    by Spark_A_Dark

    ...where did Laurie get the gun at the end of the movie? In the comic she picks it up off of a dead cop. Did I miss something in the film?

  • March 11, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Over the top violence?

    by Tin Snoman

    I remember during the prison riot scene when Big Figure had his goon cut the other goon's arms off, thinking that was a bit over the top and did they really have to do that? I didn't remember THAT in the book. Then I went home and looked at the book and all they did in the book was slit the guy's throat. Thing is, I'm looking at the book and it made no sense. The guy's arms are stuck in the bars, he's IN THE WAY, so they just slit his throat and LEAVE HIM THERE? It doesn't solve the problem at hand AT ALL. Snyder's rather graphic approach solved that problem effectively. However, I wasn't big into all the slow/fast fighting and felt the fight choreography was a bit too...choreographed, I guess, but I also feel like I need to see it again to really form a definite opinion. Preferably in IMAX...

  • March 11, 2009, 2:53 p.m. CST

    That being said

    by PTSDPete

    The problem is not really the content of the ending perse ( I'm all for it, though perhaps a bit lazily handled ), so much as it's execution. It's quite perfectly fine for us who read the graphic novel and understood it's intentions, but sometimes you had to make this felt to the uninitiated. It got far too restrained when it needed to be most visceral. The doom, I figure, wasn't impressed upon everyone else effectively. And that extended Ozymandiaz diatribe/fight scene should have been edited a minute or several. But it wasn't a complete bust. There are elements of it that is very gut-wrenching and will stick to you. I liked how Dan roughed Ozy up with only a few punches, yet couldn't get himself to KILL or even expose him. That he really is impotent in the end. And that final salvo of Ozy turning away, cape in tow, to that sprawling operatic sound, that clues you in on that these are not so much as big moments, but titanic people. And the finish focusing humanity's defeat, and fleeting potential to rise up again, on Rorsharch. Though I do agree that they should have punctuated it with a visual cues or two, so they could have impressed it on the uninitiated that THIS is what it's suppose to be about.</p> But I do agree a bit , that there's this sinking feeling that something was definitely lacking.( One which makes the film seem worse than it actually is. )</p>

  • March 11, 2009, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Movie was more crap then snap

    by wowsucks

    ZZZzzzz I won't even get into the details but it was over rated, and failed. They could of taken a good 20-30 mins out. I actually thought the action was blah personally. And honestly guys, at the end when Mr. M punching the hole in the buildings roof am I the only one who thought all he had to do was swing back and forth and take it out with his penis... At least that would have been funny.

  • March 11, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST

    It's still slow as hell and boring and too long

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • March 11, 2009, 3:08 p.m. CST

    The Halleujah song should have played during the

    by Joker Gordon Levitt

    last act. When we are being shown the 6 pages of dead bodies and devastation from the alien disaster

  • March 11, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Massa's new pic

    by shaft478

    Am I only the person who thinks his pic looks like he's smoking from an oil burner? Also known as a meth pipe? Gotta change it

  • March 11, 2009, 3:17 p.m. CST

    If you're opinion isn't exactly like mine:

    by Darth Macchio

    then something is obviously wrong with you; after all, I'm not the one who sucks.

  • March 11, 2009, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Just wanted to say

    by Drunkfoxer

    that you people screaming about the squid must be incredibly annoying and boring to be around. The ending is for all purposes identical.

  • March 11, 2009, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Manhattan becoming the enemy is perfect.

    by alienindisguise

    Anyone with that kind of power would eventually become a threat to everybody anyone so that's a natural progression and I didn't mind it. Beats the hell out of the stupid twilight zone like ending in the book. As far as Snyder being a visual'd have to be a brain dead chimp to NOT be able to adapt a comic to screen. Just film the panels and there ya go.

  • March 11, 2009, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Thanks for that the_belligerent


    did you read about the 12 min POV chase scene?

  • March 11, 2009, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Manhattan as God Metaphor.

    by micturatingbenjamin

    Octo-guy in the other thread would cite sources, quip literal about folks who have far more time in libraries and halls of learning than I; but if you want a picture of what I think they're going for with this ending, here goes:<p>Manhattan is God. So, like God, he takes out Sodom and Gomorrah (NY and LA), then, he takes out Moscow and Beijing...He punishes all those who would attempt to supplant him. It's almost every God-myth out there...when man seeks to usurp by craft what God makes by Divine Right, God Destroys.<p>And there's that dialogue at the end 'So, peace.' 'As long as they think Jon's still watching, anyway.' Which if that's not a great metaphor for God, I don't know what is!<p>Man, the more I go over this flick, the better I like it. Kind of like Southland Tales. I hated that fucking movie when I saw it. Because it was something that wouldn't fit in any of the Goddamned boxes I have (and I have MANY) for genres of flick. Now, after seeing it more than three times with others who have never heard of Donnie Darko, much less Southland Tales, I get it. It's a good movie. A mess, but a damned good movie.

  • March 11, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Fuck off and Die Motoko Kusanagi

    by Judge_Dredd

    You spastic twat

  • March 11, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    I saw this with a friend...

    by Adelai Niska

    and explained to him about the book's ending being a giant psycic squid that explodes NYC... and he broke out laughing. THAT would have happened in movie theatres if they kept it.

  • March 11, 2009, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Agree and Disagree

    by Mooly

    1) I think the Manhattan ending works fine. It looked like each country, ally and enemy alike got hit which is why they would all join together. It wasn't just New York and then a bunch of enemies. However, I disagree STRONGLY with people who keep saying the squid is stupid and would have been laughed at. I think that is BS and condescending attitude. The squid works just as well but would have required more explanation (ie. the disappearing artists) than the movie had time for. And who started this BS about it being a "squid" anyway. It looks nothing like a fucking squid and yet people keep referring to it as a squid. 2)I agree that the devastation lacked the impact of the comic due to not showing the bodies littering the streets. As you mention, Snyder had no problem showing tons of violence and yet when violence is called for, he cuts it out? Makes no sense. The crater felt sanitized and empty and therefore lacking the proper emotion. 3) Dan seeing the death of Rorshack? Didn't mind it. Seems wierder to me that in the comic, Rorshack walks out and nobody cares. Dan isn't getting laid yet I'm pretty sure. I mean, where is Rorshack going? How is he going to get there? He is in the arctic thanks to Dan's Owlship. Is he going to steal it and go home or just walk? It makes no sense in the comic. The comic was done that way so Rorshack could get the "lone wolf" ending. And while it is certainly more dramatic and sad in the comic, for that reason, it still seems odd to me that nobody cares or even thinks about it. 4)Guy getting his arms cut off? In the comic, he just gets his throat cut. But they kill him because he is blocking the door and their entrance. I fail to see how cutting his throat solved the problem of getting him out of the way and stopping the door from being blocked. I mean, if he wasn't blocking the door from opening...why did they have to kill him. And if he IS stopping the door from opening (sliding doors in prisons) then how does cutting his throat suddenly clear the door? Never thought of it until now, but it makes more sense to cut his arms off. 5)I totally agree that Manhatan should have kept the "nothing ends" line. There was zero reason to change this and in doing so, they lost something I felt. Manhatan sees the future and therefore is the voice of reason on this issue. It carries more weight. As you point out, the only reason they changed it was to "hollywoodize" the ending to make sure everyone has a happy ending. That is why they didn't just move the line to Silk Spectre, but they moved it right to the epilogue.

  • March 11, 2009, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Oh man, Other FANTASTIC stuff in this movie...And Bubastis revea

    by micturatingbenjamin

    The scene with Rorschach and the killer. Where the man pulls a Peter Lorre in 'M'. Admitting he is sick, he has a problem...but unlike Hans Beckert...the cops ain't coming to stop the psycho from just putting him down. Which is probably what would have happened in the Lang flick if there were guys like Hooded Justice running around in the world at the time of the film's creation.<p>I do think things that need to be in there are missing...Things like the cops hunt for Daniel Dreiberg mean that he's taking control, rather than falling into old habits.<p>Finally, there's the line Ozymandias says about 'gene manipulation'...and at dinner, someone is 'glad they ordered the four legged chicken' as more guests arrive at their table. Also, Ozy's gay. I think a gay guy would have a big purple cat in his house. Sigfried and Roy had a two big white ones.

  • March 11, 2009, 3:53 p.m. CST

    They butchered Rorschach!

    by jsarnold513

    Great review, Massa--your thoughts on the ending are dead right. Besides what you said, the Squid worked better, because, as Rorschach says to Moloch earlier "Sounds unbelievable. Probably true." However, I disagree on Rorschach. Glancing over of Rorschach's origin ruined a lot of what made him the most sympathetic character in the comic. In the film, it's NEVER ONCE EXPLAINED WHY RORSCHACH BECAME A VIGILANTE IN THE FIRST PLACE OR THAT HE DIDN'T START OUT TOTALLY INSANE. Kitty Genovese, that he started out as a lonely manual laborer after being taken from his mother, that he hated women, and that he was wearing a mask long before that child's murder pushed him over the edge... all of that was very important. Here, we see him bite a bully's ear off as a kid and then it's straight to "So you want to know about Rorschach? I'll tell you about Rorschach..." Imagine if Batman Begins had just told us offhandedly that Bruce Wayne hated criminals and was afraid of bats so he chose to become Batman. Yeah, it works well enough as a plot device I suppose, but you don't get the same sympathy, or even understanding for where the character is coming from. That was the movie's biggest failing for me, despite an incredible performance by Haley. Seriously, we get 5 min of soft porn on the Owlship but we couldn't get 1-2 min to explain who Rorschach was? That was a TERRIBLE choice.

  • March 11, 2009, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Best sequence of the film...

    by Mrhazard

    I nominate the "Dr. Manhattan Origin" sequence... Everything from "JUST LEAVE ME ALONE" to "Too late" is perfectly done IMO...

  • March 11, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST

    I've yet to see

    by Cpt. Arnoldo

    anybody complain about the lack of Hollis Mason' death scene. Granted, he wasn't in the movie much, but that's another problem in itself.

  • March 11, 2009, 3:57 p.m. CST

    There is a SQUID in the movie...

    by micturatingbenjamin

    The energy device is called S.Q.U.I.D. No fuckin' lie, man.<p>The Sub Quantum Unified Intrinsic (Field) Device<p> Right after Doc gangbangs Spectre, he sends the device. In the background is a big yellow sign. Fuck. Next time take your Ritalin before you go see a movie. :)

  • March 11, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Would they have laughed?

    by The Wolf at the Door

    I go back and forth. <p> If it was done un-sentimentally, by which I mean NOT in the Matrix-y style of action that Snyder filmed the rest of the movie ... if it was shot more in line with Cloverfield, with a lot of eye-level shots. Maybe even closer to War of the Worlds (which I think I'm one of the few people in the world to love) -- because walking tripods with fog horns and tentacles can SOUND goofy as shit, but BE terrifying if treated right. <p> And besides the fact that the audience would buy the horror of it all if the performances were correct. Frankly, I think it would have been in better keeping of the comic's deconstruction of the genre, that goofballs running around in their underwear only really had their wits, normal human strength (not Neo-level acrobatics and martial arts skills), and their mental illnesses on their side. In the fact of a monstrosity half the size of Manhattan, they'd all crap their collective pants. <p> Do it right, with the carnage and 9/11-style imagery, people only half-understanding what they're seeing and no one coming to terms with it, then it might have worked. <p> Dr. Manhattan as Old Testament God is one thing ... except that an Old Testament God has a messenger, a message, stone tablets, SOMETHING. A huge, squid-like, city-size beast landing in the middle of New York doesn't need a messenger. It's a big WTF!?!?! <p> Don't you have to imagine a bunch of people thinking in the movie afterwards the Dr. Manhattan just went insane or something? He was the guy who "won" the Vietnam War. Why would anyone think he suddenly turned galactic avenger here to show us the follies of war, or whatever?

  • March 11, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    I actually was kinda mad the SQUID didnt make it...

    by Mrhazard

    Not that it wouldve made the ending or the movie any better... Actually I dont even like it in the comic BUT since this movie is so close to the comic I kinda expected to see it it the first time I watched the movie (and was a little disappointed when it didnt happen)... I thought it wouldve been a cool visual to see... Something thats so 50s in a 2009 movie wouldve been interesting... Probably wouldve been all CGI but Snyder does a good job with that... Probably wouldnt have worked but I wanted to see it nonetheless...

  • March 11, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Also, the Ultra-Violence missed the point

    by jsarnold513

    The ultra-violence with Owlman and SS2 breaking bones with every punch and taking on an army without breaking a sweat negated one of the key themes of the comic: that aside from Dr. Manhattan and maybe Ozymandias, these were ordinary people who could exist in reality. Many viewers who were unfamiliar with the comic didn't get this when they saw 'em fighting like Neo in the Matrix. If everyone really had superpowers, then Dr. Manhattan isn't that special and the message of the comic is lost. Even watching Ozymandias jump around like Spiderman at the end was absurd--I felt like I was watching one of those horrible campy superhero movies from the 80s. I was very, very disappointed in this movie. Snyder made the film look good, but he totally missed the point of what the book was trying to say, without adding anything of his own.

  • March 11, 2009, 3:59 p.m. CST


    by micturatingbenjamin

    A common misconception is the guy gets knifed and that's it. No, they burn through him to get to the lock because he's blocking it.

  • March 11, 2009, 4 p.m. CST

    Cpt. was cut from the theatrical version

    by bacci40

    will be in the dvd<p> it partially shows it in the international trailer

  • March 11, 2009, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Rorschach's journal

    by xbagboy

    Won't Rorschach's journal once published put world peace in danger again? Anyway I liked the squid ending better in the book but it was a surprise to also have an alternate ending in the movie! I can always just read the graphic novel again if I want he squid ending.

  • March 11, 2009, 4:05 p.m. CST

    why does no one complain about CGI bubble shiny blood

    by awepittance

    do the fanboys just eat that up? I guess im one of the only ones who likes real physical liquid blood in movies anymore....

  • March 11, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    I agree strongly with Massawyrms take on the ending

    by SexyBeast

    He summed it up nicely for me. Mainly the part about changing the squid to manhatten. it makes more sense and it makes Veidts doubt at the end so much better.

  • March 11, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Massa was right about the ending

    by jsarnold513

    That just perfectly sums it up, and to me, it proves that Snyder either didn't get what the book was trying to say and do there or he wanted to say something else. The problem is, whatever it was Snyder wanted to say is muddled. I guess it ends "happier," but the meaning is lost. Right on, Massa!

  • March 11, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST


    by brokentusk

    I completely agree. <p> It doesn't seem like many others have read your post, which is a great pity because you stated your case very well. <p> I only have two complaints with the film, and both are minor: <p> 1. The odd music choice in parts. <p> 2. Ozymandias needed more screen time. All the other characters get the perfect amount of attention, you learn so much about them by the time the end comes… except for Adrien, who feels a tad unfamiliar when the big reveal takes place. <p> Hopefully both these minor complaints can be rectified in the extended version.

  • March 11, 2009, 4:11 p.m. CST is the thing

    by bacci40

    you are right<p> the hyper violence does negate what the comic was trying to show<p> however, despite what the fucking critics are trying to say, this was not a frame by frame clone of the comic<p> snyder is indeed doing a riff on movies based on comics, as well as movies inspired by the geek culture (ie, the matrix)<P> so what does snyder do? he says, shit guys, if these people are throwing punches and using knives, there is gonna be blood...there are gonna be broken bones...someone is gonna fucking die...its not all sterile<p> and yes, it looks totally absurd<p> its why im still pissed at both the ending and the postscript<p> the ending should be absurd...over the motherfucking top...bodies and blood everywhere, as forshadowed by rorshachs opening journal comments<p> and the postscript should not be dan retooling archie, so he can again take up the mantle of nite owl<p> he has the love of his life....archie should be in mothballs and he should be banging the shit out of laurie<p> fanboy grows up...funny joke...roll on snare drum....curtain closes

  • March 11, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Also, the soundtrack was WRONG

    by jsarnold513

    Great songs... unfortunately half of 'em didn't fit the mood. All Along the Watchtower, for example--the lyrics fit, but the feel of the Hendrix version was just wrong for what was going on. However, I loved the creepy circus music humming in the background during Dr. Manhattan's origin.

  • March 11, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST


    by Mattyboy122

    This will hardly be looked on as one of the great works of the decade, for one. What's more, Snyder is very good at depicting violence (even when it clashes completely with what the source material is about), but his sex scenes are all soft-core caliber, nothing inventive about them, just slow-motion of people fucking. I think Snyder's bloodlust, however, gets him into trouble because every character in Watchmen (Dr. Manhattan aside) is without super powers. And yet here they are kicking ass like they're Neo and Morpheus. The violence should have been harder in the sense that there was more weight to it, rather than being exaggerated pretty pictures.

  • March 11, 2009, 4:14 p.m. CST


    by Anthrax

    Um... Osterman and Janey Slater do indeed have sex before his accident. Sorry, but that intricate little detail you're talking about isn't even correct. <p> I'm becoming increasingly fed up with the majority of complaints about this film. "Fuck Snyder for making the fight scenes so violent"/"Where's my squid and piles of dead bodies?" "The little things were lost in this film."/"What sense does Bubastis make?" <P> At the end of the day, it's pretty safe to say that even the most loyal Watchmen fans didn't really know what the Hell they wanted out of this movie. <p> Unfortunately, that leads to a lose-lose situation for Snyder, who clearly tried really hard to give fans what he thought they would want. It also leads to countless pointless discussions about both the film and the comic. Which is a shame, too, because it's a fascinating piece of work. I'm sure if Alan Moore could hear some fans talk about the squid today, he'd just say, "Christ, if I had known that part of my story would be taken out of proportion so greatly, I would've just dropped a giant cupcake on New York. Can't read too much into a cupcake, now can they?" <p> What it really comes down to is this: Either you're willing to accept the film as an adaptation of a revered (But still flawed) comic, or you're not, and nothing about said adaptation will never be good enough in comparison to your glossed over memory. <P> I'm beginning to believe that Snyder's worst fears are true: That most, "Fans" of the comic are simply giving lip service to the material and it's ideas, as opposed to truly understanding it and either liking it or not. <p> I'm going to go read, "Dark Knight Returns" now. At least that doesn't have legions of pretentious fans simultaneously fawning over it (Even if they're not exactly sure why they should) while shitting on anything that comes out with the name Batman attached to it.

  • March 11, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    sorry mcspud

    by smatt584

    You understand most of why Comedian freaked out, but you seem mistaken about it. You say the comedian couldn't stop veidnt if he tried? That's why he died, because he was powerless to stop it all? Bullshit. He was a fucking government operative, he found out a plot to kill millions of Americans long before it would come to fruition and he was powerless to prevent it? All he had to do is notify the govt of veidnts secret island and even half of what he intends to do and that shit would have been over with. There wouldn't even need to be mention of a fucking squid to get an investigation. If comedian could discover the plot then he could make others aware of it. Comedian lost his shit for a lot of the reasons you stated, but not because he couldn't stop it. In fact, he chose not to even try. That Is a big reason he flipped out, he knew it would work so he did nothing. Comedian knew human nature as you put it and he knew how close they all were to the brink of destruction. What sent him on an emotional drinking binge was the fact that there was this huge (and crazy) plot to save humanity that would kill millions. And he chose to do nothing. And it was too much for him to handle. It's just like he said; that he'd done horrible things, but not like that. Not that big. Even though he was a cold blooded bastard, he wasn't heartless and the knowledge of those millions of American lives being wiped out and knowing that if he did anything to stop it then they might face nuclear war, was too much for him. If "he couldn't stop it even if he tried, then veindt wouldn't have had to kill him, would he? Ignoring this might make you right about the movie ending, but you're wrong. This would make either event drive the comedian to hysterics. In the face of mass murder on such a scale who gives a shit about theatrics? And who ever said the comedian let himself be killed? The shots they have in the comic have the comedian battered and bleeding, but maybe you were too busy reading every. single. word. That you didn't notice that it was a comic book you were reading and there were visual clues with the words. Why would Viendt have to beat him up if he let himself be killed? He threw him out a fucking window, it's not like he had to make him looked roughed up. And If he didn't expect him to fight it then why risk going himself instead of hiring someone like he did with his "assassination attempt"? He couldn't risk comedian going to the authorities so he murdered him. Maybe if you spent less time acting like a pompous ass and more time thinking about what you type, you wouldn't come off so badly in these little chats.

  • March 11, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Hayter likened seeing this film

    by Mattyboy122

    To enduring an attempted rape. And likens fanboys who saw it, were upset with the changes, and won't see it again, to Sally for coming back to the Comedian. Isn't that endearing?

  • March 11, 2009, 4:20 p.m. CST

    And another thing...

    by jsarnold513

    Throughout the whole movie, there are spots where the pacing bugged me. It's like Snyder was trying too hard to cram in stuff note for note from the book, that scenes which needed time to "breathe," like the reveal of Rorschach's origin and Dr. Manhattan's original resurrection, were just "off." They ring hollow. Instead, we got a 5 minute graphic sex scene. Trimming that down to allow for a pause here and there would've made it a much better dramatic experience. Though it was nice to see SS naked ;)

  • March 11, 2009, 4:23 p.m. CST


    by bacci40

    all along the watchtower fits fine<p> and that "creepy circus music" is from of the most brilliant experimental films ever made<P> and the fact that snyder used it points to exactly what he was doing...a 100 million dollar experiment

  • March 11, 2009, 4:27 p.m. CST

    jsarnold513..,.3 minutes

    by bacci40

    i timed it<p> and graphic??? guess you dont have cinemax<P> but i wonder if ackerman allowed hubby to watch the film, cuz after that and the doc scene, i would question if she wasnt acting at home too<p> damn, she moans great

  • March 11, 2009, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Adult does not equal splatter gore

    by christian66

    It's more like a fanboy's idea of "Oh cool, sawed off arms! I'm an adult!" What it shows is Snyder's fear of dealing with adult themes in favor of the geek need for extreme violence. I'm talking to you massa!

  • March 11, 2009, 4:38 p.m. CST

    This film isbetter than it has any right to be...

    by Specktron

    ...and had it been adapted from a novel, rather than a graphic novel, this talkback would be a lot shorter and a lot more approving. Snyder just proved himself, but he'll get nothing as good as this to play with again.

  • March 11, 2009, 4:38 p.m. CST

    This film is better than it has any right to be...

    by Specktron

    ...and had it been adapted from a novel, rather than a graphic novel, this talkback would be a lot shorter and a lot more approving. Snyder just proved himself, but he'll get nothing as good as this to play with again.

  • March 11, 2009, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Deleted Scene: Nite Owl Beserk

    by christian66

    "In the GN, Nite Owl is almost crushing a guy's windpipe in the background to get info, whilst screaming at him about how he could level this place, how much firepower he has in Archie, etc etc. In the end, Rorscach has to calm him down and drag him out of the bar." They filmed this right out of the GN. But it's not in the movie. You can see the filming of the scene on youtube. Pity. Wilson looked truly out of control. I'm sure it's in the xtended cut.

  • March 11, 2009, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower" Does NOT Fit

    by jsarnold513

    As I said, the lyrics and even the message of the song fit perfectly, so I can see why Snyder chose it. However, the mood of that version just doesn't fit that scene. There is forboding and dread there, but the energy of the music is too upbeat, too optimistic. Plus it has so many other associations with it--Vietnam, the counterculture, classic rock radio, etc. Yes, I see how they also fit with this film intellectually, but the FEEL was just off. Maybe it's just me, but just felt awkward to be hearing that song at that time in the film.

  • March 11, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST

    bacci40... you actually timed the sex scene?

    by jsarnold513

    wow... still, it didn't need to be there at the expense of other moments which had more importance to the overall story arch, though. And it was very "soft porn," like something straight out of a Cinemax movie. I'm not going to complain about seeing Ackerman naked for any length of time, but c'mon, the choice to cut out other scenes to get in 3 minutes of humping on the owl ship was a mistake that didn't further the story much, if at all. Everyone in the theatre was laughing as it went on and on...

  • March 11, 2009, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Massawyrm, Moral Ambiguity does not equal "Adult".

    by NoDiggity

    It usually means moral cowardice, because taking a moral stand may have consequences for yourself. The movie actually bothered to take a bit of a stand AGAINST Ozymandias. That's more ballsy than the wimpy "Oh well, we can't do nothin" attitude of everyone (except Rorschach) in the book.

  • March 11, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Criticism aside

    by jsarnold513

    Since I've made like a dozen posts in the last hour, and said I was disappointed, I did want to say that the film gets a lot right. The Comedian, for example, was much more sympathetic and interesting to me in the film than he ever was in the comic, as was Sally Jupiter. I also loved the satire on comic fans and the convention crowd. But it was just wrong in so many places. Sort of like Superman Returns or Ang Lee's Hulk, it was an occasionally brilliant but very uneven piece of work with a couple of unfortunate story choices.

  • March 11, 2009, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Good one, Massy. Good points

    by Alifemde

    Another good review with a lot more points that don't work so well for the movie, but from a reviewer who still liked what he saw: <p></p>

  • March 11, 2009, 5:15 p.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    No, "moral ambiguity" is not adult. Offering the audience a moral quandary that challenges their sensibilities and asks them to think for themselves rather than having an answer spoonfed to them however, IS adult. Do not mistake the two. Moore has said since the 80's that he writes his books in the hopes of making people think. It's not that he doesn't have an answer to this question - it is that you were supposed to find your own.

  • March 11, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    I'm still not convinced I need to see this movie

    by kirttrik

    I'm conflict. If No Squid, then I'm just not sure if there needs to be a kirttrik in the theater.

  • March 11, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Massy, as long as you're around,

    by The Wolf at the Door

    Any comments on the criticism of the so-called "adult" action sequences? We don't need to play apples v. oranges here (say TDK-style violence v. Watchmen/Matrix-style violence), but do you have any thoughts on those of us here who found the action to be actually juvenile (stylistic point) and undermining the tone of Watchmen, where only Dr. Manhattan has any "super powers" and everyone else is just throwing on their underwear and beating people up without legal sanction (substantive point)?

  • March 11, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST

    moral ambiguity is the stuff of indie films.

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    Nite Owl railing against Ozzy is there for the same reason the Death Note movies didn't kill off Light's dad- to have that voice of condemnation at the end.

  • March 11, 2009, 5:23 p.m. CST


    by bacci40

    cuz i heard so much about the extended sex scene, i wanted to see how extended it was<p> and it wasnt even that foreplay<p> shit, if i had the opportunity ot bang ms ackerman, my head would be between those legs for a good 20 minutes<p> but i do agree with one thing...leaving the scene in does not make this an adult film...just makes it tittilating

  • March 11, 2009, 5:31 p.m. CST


    by micturatingbenjamin

    LOL. Yeah. He's also the voice of Solid Snake. Which means, what he says sounds like Batman. So, attempted rape by the guy who co-wrote X-Men 2 sweet nothing-in' you with his raspy voice. Nice.

  • March 11, 2009, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Something that could have been cut

    by Immortal_Fish

    Vietnam scene where Blake earns his face scar. Granted, it painted him as a hellish bastard, but the casual viewer should have already picked that up during the JFK part of the opening sequence.<P>Ultimately, the scene didn't matter because after that point in the timeline, Blake never wore the gimp mask. That was a few minutes that could have instead focused on the tragic end of Hollis Mason, or given the elder Bernie a chance to snap his signature line at Kovacs.

  • March 11, 2009, 5:47 p.m. CST

    good FX "squid" = better ending

    by aroddy321

    I agree with Massa on most points in his great review. I also thought that the old age makeup was terrible, and that Z.Snyder needlessly lenghtened action and sex scenes for the sake of his "300" audience, and by doing so sacrificed a lot of needed character development scenes. Also, a well done scene showing a top-notch fx creature in its death throes, complete with screetching sfx and its giant tentacles embedded in and out of crumpled city buildings and panning camera across piles and piles of burst bleeding bodies would make a much more unforgettable destruction scene. If it's done well,it would work!!

  • March 11, 2009, 5:51 p.m. CST


    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    All I could think of was fricken' Shrek! That kind of irritated me.

  • March 11, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST

    as the doomsday clock reaches 5 to midnite

    by martinlutherkrangjr

    dr manhattan incinerates millions of nerds computers across the globe as a warning to all that this constant escalation in bickering over watchmen must never be allowed to happen again.

  • March 11, 2009, 6:02 p.m. CST

    All Along the Watchtower

    by Mattyboy122

    One reason why I don't think the use of the song works is that, by and large, it's accompanied onscreen by big, fake cgi landscapes. If you played that song with Rorschach and Nite Owl trudging through the snow, handheld camera, look of determination on their faces (well, you couldn't really see Rorschach's, but you'd be able to tell), the song would fit, I think. But when it's accompanied by some video game cutscenes, the whole thing is just plastic and false.

  • March 11, 2009, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Seen it thrice, and I'm fine with all of it

    by cerb

    And yeah, I read the book when it first came out, all those many years ago, and I've kept my eye on the millions of times it almost made it to the screen but didn't. I dunno why I'd wanted to see it made into a movie, but I guess primarily because the book itself, the way it's drawn, the way it unreels itself from page to page, just made me think it'd be a great thing to see play out on the screen. So I'm not at all in the camp of folks that think it was unfilmable. Nothing is ultimately unfilmable, tho a lot of what will lack in a page to screen adaptation are many, like understanding the full psychology of characters, or the infinite breadth of places the printed word can take us, etc., etc. But if you got the jones to bring something like this to the screen that's never been brought before, then do it. However, once brought, it's then the province of public opinion to say whether it ultimately succeeded, or ultimately failed, or, as a Rorschachian black and white viewpoint only takes into account maybe one percent of all possible opinions, whether it, in de final analysis, meant something to you or not. Awards are meaningless (as Oscar has proved ever since its inception), another person's thoughts aren't necessarily your own, nor should they be, and as Msr. Massa said, this movie is going to ultimately be talked about, dissected, argued about, put on a pedestal, knocked off its pedestal, dirtily fucked in a back alley or given the keys of the kingdom, and I for one am happy that everyone's take on it's gonna be different. My first time, I was a bit taken aback by the amount of violence portrayed on screen. I wasn't happy with Dan and Laurie killing topknots, the blow to the child rapist/butcher's head made me scratch mine, and I kinda cringed when Fat-boy Laurence got his arms lopped off. In fact, my critical mind, at least the first time, was in full gear and I really didn't know what I thought of the whole shebang once the credits rolled and that shitty song at the end started playing. I guess I was in a kind of daze, since I so very wanted to see the book made into a movie, and there it was, with a bodacious bosom, several warts on its face, a winsome smile and pungent BO. So I just walked back in and saw it again, immediately, at an Alamo Drafthouse screening with friends. And when I came out... well, I still didn't know exactly what I thought about it, but my respect for it as an artistic endeavor was high. I mean, all the beats that I felt were important in the book were there. Was the acting lackluster? Did the ending work? Did it make sense overall? I for shit couldn't tell you, because I knew this book backwards and forwards, as it hit me when it came out like Star Wars hit me when I was little. So just DOING the darn thing was an achievement to me, and yeah, I was emotionally affected by several of the things it got right for me: all of Jon's origin and it's Phillip Glass accompaniment , Rorschach spitting out "No"'s like a cornered cat when he realizes he's been set up, Moloch's line about having the cancer that doesn't get better, the two Bernies hugging as they get blown to smithereens, Rorschach's Darth Vader-like indecision before planting the aforesaid cleaver in the bad guys skull, Haley's face as he pleads for Jon to kill him, Dan's impotent but heartfelt smacking of Veidt, the messy, unartful sex scene with Dan and Laurie before they put their costumes on, holy shit, I could just go on and on about how this movie affected me. And then I saw it a third time, taking my father to see it, and I suddenly didn't care that Malin Ackerman doesn't bring her A game, or if she even has it or Mathew Goode's very different personification of Veidt, the violence I'd had problems with before, even that shitty song at the end. I finally, through some strange transmogrification looked on those things with a certain amount of affection. They weren't the bits I wanted in my movie, but since they were there, and they weren't going away, I was just gonna learn to stop worrying and love the damn thing, warts and all. And by love, I don't mean some knee-jerk fan boy defensiveness, or some hoity toity I-like-what-I-like-so-fuck-you sense of entitlement. I just love it for being a movie that attempts to scale heights in a philosophical, artistic, and populist way, and how striving for something is just as good as getting it, maybe even better. I'm something of a Shakespearean scholar, and the thing a lot of folks don't know is Shakespeare didn't always get it right. Some of his plays suck, some of them are 'aight', and some of them are great. I'm in no way comparing Snyder or Moore to Shakespeare, but I am saying that even as shitty as Titus Andronicus is, in my humble opinion, it still makes ya think, and it makes ya feel, and Watchmen the book and Watchmen the movie, like any piece of art, accomplished that... for ME. What it did for YOU, well, that's what this talkbacks for, right? And your opinion of it is as valid as mine and I'm not going to be so stuck up my own ass to even want to win you to my way of thinking. I just really liked it for what it was, not what it could have been, and there's an end.

  • March 11, 2009, 6:07 p.m. CST

    The Vietnam/Pregnant Shooting Scene Was Important

    by jsarnold513

    That scene's not about the scar, it's about showing just how distant and passive Dr. Manhattan is with his power. When Blake calls Manhattan out on how could've easily stopped him, but instead stood there idly watching and then acted shocked, that's a pretty important scene as far as understanding the dynamics in the story and how Manhattan might've even been able to defuse the impending nuclear holocaust if he just thought to use his powers the right way. That's one that shouldn't have been cut. Honestly, Snyder was in a tough spot here. It would've been hard for anyone to tell the entire story of the GN in under 3 hrs without sacrificing many of the little details/passages that make it so powerful. Still real cuts could've came at the expense of the sex scene and the overlong fight sequences. Rorschach's abridged origin was a horribly wasted opportunity. That's one of the most powerful parts of the book, but Snyder skims it too fast and loses the underlying emotional resonance that made Rorschach such a sympathetic character.

  • March 11, 2009, 6:10 p.m. CST


    by Phategod2

    Snyders worst scene is 10 times better then any of the crap Micheal Bay has shot out his nose.

  • March 11, 2009, 6:14 p.m. CST

    Alan Moore is a pompous ass.

    by Grievey

    But his fans are probably worse. Jesus. <BR><BR> We should hold a contest and see whose fans are more hardheaded and anal; Alan Moore's, or the Grateful Dead's.<BR><BR> Loved the movie, accepted the ending for what it was, thought fanboys would have accepted it better had there been bodies strewn gorily around Laurie and Dan, not needing the squid at all, actually felt Rorschach's death + Nite Owl = closure. I'm guessing we weren't "supposed" to have closure, but I liked having it in the movie. Good to have two different versions.<BR><BR> Blargh.

  • March 11, 2009, 6:16 p.m. CST


    by Immortal_Fish

    Good point and one that I'd obviously hadn't considered. I've only seen the film once yet reread the book about every 3 years or so. It's difficult to juggle the minutiae between the two. Perhaps my experience with the source material clouded my judgment as to whether or not Jon had already evinced his detachment from humanity, apart from the scene on the military base with Laurie and overall nakedness throughout the film. To me, it had already been established.

  • March 11, 2009, 6:26 p.m. CST

    bad: a) makeup. b) sex scene c) music.

    by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet

    everything else was alright.<p>i agree that we should have seen bodies in the streets and gotten to know a few of the collateral damage characters, but i get why they were cut for time.<p>but jebus the makeup on Sally and Nixon took me right out of the movie. i had to close my eyes when they were on screen.<p>and the sex scene was just dumb, with an awful choice of music.

  • March 11, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST

    1, 2, 3---

    by Sal_Bando

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ it wasn't THAT good or interesting or whatever folks, it's just a fucking movie-c'mon let it go. Iron Man was leagues better than this. Big Robots(Hitting Each Other) I was better than this. The Mummy was better than this. Hell I'll say it--bitch about him allllll you wanna, but Revenge of the Sith is better than this too. Alrighty? <p> ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  • March 11, 2009, 6:36 p.m. CST

    but do you know WHY snyder put watchtower there?

    by knowthyself

    Because its the beginning of the chapter. "Two riders were approaching." Its lyrics are from the song. Its the chapter title. Snyder plays it jsut like the book. I thought it worked great.

  • March 11, 2009, 6:47 p.m. CST

    solid snake himself says the film raped you all

    by Kenny_Fuckin_Powers<p> Fuckin whiny crybaby, if Kenny Fuckin Powers made a movie people hated, he wouldn't say he crept up on you and raped you. No, that's something that only David Hayter can do.

  • March 11, 2009, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Ending bits

    by Steve T

    I did wish that Dana nd Laurie had gone off together, I think it gives a wonderful third way from Jon's acceptance and Rorsharch's condemnation: an absolute lack of clue what the fuck to and an acceptance of fear. I'd disagree that they screw though, they make love (whether they are in love is a different think). I thought the sex in the owl ship was perfectly toned, hot and sweaty. The end sex would ahve been slow and gentle. Just trying to feel that someone cares. The only other thing I didn't really dig in the film was the end scene with Laurie's mother,was just too sweet.

  • March 11, 2009, 6:48 p.m. CST

    What? Cthullu Monster or sex scene?

    by jonsnow

    Let me get this straight I don't know anything about watchman I never have read the novel. But if the director had the option of rendering a large squid like cgi Cthulu after doctor Manhattan comes back from Mars after finding a crystal city and decided to show a slow motion sex scene instead.....Whaaatt? That was the biggest waste of film in the history of sci-fi cinema, period. I am not seeing this film because of this new ending, the director could have had a major classic on his hand.

  • March 11, 2009, 7:03 p.m. CST

    The blue dong

    by donkey_lasher

    Sorry for another post on it, but apart from the first look (in which I snorted, only because I had read the comments on here) I never noticed it again. Massamyrm. I liked your review, and I am still undecided. I have asked a number of friends to go and see this (who have not read the GN) and am anticipating their reaction. Time will tell on this. We cannot judge it's success just yet.

  • March 11, 2009, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Audience obsessed with Blue Dong

    by jsarnold513

    I think the audience I saw it with on Sun. had an average IQ of 80, but they just kept chortling and making remarks every time Dr. M was onscreen. It got to be a running gag that the redneck guy behind me would mumble "put some pants on!" The dozen white ghetto thug wannabes down front even got up and walked out during the ending, screaming insults at the screen and flipping it off. Never seen that happen in a theatre before.

  • March 11, 2009, 7:13 p.m. CST

    in a way, the lack of squid-as-animal

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    moved away from the comic book deconstruction which I guess makes sense for a live action movie and reminded me of both 9/11 conspiracy bunk (Bin Laden as omnipresent threat) and the Nicolae Carpathia guy from Left Behind.

  • March 11, 2009, 7:24 p.m. CST

    The best use of a song in the movie maybe missed by some people

    by DDMAN26

    During the Iacocca scene when they walk out into the atrium or whatever it is you can hear Everybody Wants To Rule The World on the Muzak.

  • March 11, 2009, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Rorshach's death was better in the movie

    by MattmanReturns

    And Dan witnessing it worked much better for me than the way-too-brief scene in the book. His scream of protest was bone-chilling. Alan Moore seemed to forget that the two of them were friends. Having Dan there added to the tragedy of it. The whole scene was really well acted too.

  • March 11, 2009, 7:47 p.m. CST

    Rorshachs death

    by donkey_lasher

    Was actually for me one of the biggest emotional points in the film. I really felt for that psycho fucker, and I love the way that it was done. You really felt that he believed he was doing the right thing and fully accepted what was going to happen. Awesome moment.

  • March 11, 2009, 7:48 p.m. CST


    by djkris

    you're probably not gonna read this, but for the record, know that someone is annoyed with the fake-CGI-blood thing as well. I remember watching it appear in "Troy", it took me immediately out of the movie.

  • March 11, 2009, 7:53 p.m. CST

    It makes me think...

    by donkey_lasher

    could ANY director do better than Snyder? I think he went to the limit of his talent on this and Gilliam knew that he could not have done better, which..due to the mixed feelings of this filem...goes some way to support his agreement that it was unfilmable.

  • March 11, 2009, 8:06 p.m. CST


    by RONYYRON3000

    Fuck that 1950's alien invasion era ending, that would've dated this film by 60 years!... it was already outdated by all the mid-80s Nixon vs Russia Cold Era crap - but hey, that's what's in the book. GEEKS, DORKS, DWEEBS, NERDS etc will unite, divide, agree, disagree on this one, but for mine, the movie was more than fine, maybe 45 too long and not enuff action, but having said that, Snyder used the novel as blueprint as he did with "300" and Miller/Rodriguez did with "SIN CITY"... I'm fine with it all. The extended DVD version will be interesting, but not entirely necesasary (IMHO)...

  • March 11, 2009, 8:07 p.m. CST


    by Lampers

    ...I agree, I tried to start a discussion (a slightly satirical one, I confess) about us all NOT calling it "the Squid" anymore, but no-one bit :( 2 things I haven't said about it yet, all of the songs used were f*cking terrible (except the Phillip Glass stuff, that worked really well). Ride of the Valkyrie in an extremely serious Vietname scene? Dick! And not just the Tricky sort. And this is a bit nit-picky, but didn't anyone else notice that the two Nite-Owls were drinking modern (i.e. circa 2009) Budweisers? I know it's a small detail, but for a film that WALLOWS in detail I thought that that was a poor oversight.

  • March 11, 2009, 8:34 p.m. CST

    Shut the fuck up about the ending!

    by Chris Nolan's Pot Dealer

    I read the graphic novel years before the movie. I think its one of the best comics ever written. It pulled me into this real world where heroes exist. It even convinced me that Dr. Manhattan although god like can fit into this world due to his accident that created him. But when I reached the end of the graphic novel and the fucking squid showed up I was quickly reminded that I'm reading a comic. I just cant believe it even if it sent messages of an alien life form to its victims. If you didn't figure out that they were going to use Dr Manhattan before you've seen the movie then your a fucking retard. I guessed the ending as soon as they announced no squid because it makes perfect sense especially if they want to base it in a real world. He is explained and already feared. And his accident turned him the way he is so he would exist reguardless of his alliance with america. So why blame them if he attacked everyone including USA? And are you telling me that the world's smartest man's plan was to use a staged alien attack by a science created squid plus go through the trouble of implanting an alien world in our heads if a walking fucking weapon of destrucion already exist? I'm just a regular joe and I can tell you which plan is better. The comic dropped the ball on that.

  • March 11, 2009, 8:40 p.m. CST


    by maverick2484

    Thanks a lot, I'm glad you agree. There are a lot of opinions competing for attention here. It sounds like our opinion of the movie in general is similar. Leonard Cohen during the sex scene is the only bona fide "bad call" that I think Snyder made. And I have hope for some more Ozymandias in the director's cut, but even still, in the GN he doesn't become much of a fully formed character until the last 2 books or so. The way that he's presented here, I can imagine someone new to the material being very confused - why do they call him the world's smartest man? Is he actually the world's smartest man? He can catch a bullet - does that mean he has super powers? A little more depth could have resolved those questions, but they also would've pushed the movie over the 3 hour mark. As it is, I think Snyder made the best adaptation that a fair-minded Watchmen fan could realistically hope for.

  • March 11, 2009, 8:46 p.m. CST

    MattmanReturns....moore knew exactly what he

    by bacci40

    was doing<p> while they may have been friends, the rorshach who existed after killing the pedo had to die....ALONE....BECAUSE...THERE IS NO COMPROMISE...EVEN IN THE FACE OF ARMAGEDDON....and dan pussed out

  • March 11, 2009, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Squid ending would have still implicated Manhattan

    by Chuck_Chuckwalla

    If we're going to be intellectually honest, then hear me out: I know this isn't written in the graphic novel but one of it's biggest flaws (in my opinion) is that human nature dictates that people would suspect that Dr. Manhattan created the squid, ultimately accepting it as such over time. Veidt went to all the trouble of pushing him into exile on Mars but that doesn't mean he's gone for good and won't reappear sometime later. With his limitless power, people would automatically point fingers to Dr. M. and assume that he created the creature (he even states that he's going to create life elsewhere). And even if there was questions about whether if he could or couldn't create life, the argument wouldn't stop there. There would be no doubt that he could have BROUGHT life here from another planet or dimension to terrorize humanity. And wouldn't they think that it was a strange coincidence that the first super-human of his kind should decide to leave Earth in disgust and shortly thereafter the most unprecedented event in all of human history would result — an ALIEN INVASION! So, there you have it, Manhattan is a patsy no matter what. This question would have been brought up by movie-goers had the squid ending played out exactly the same way it does in the book. I understand the reasons for including it — it's a convention in comics to have alien invasions — it just doesn't make sense logically. Especially when your story has a character as powerful as Dr. Manhattan with his motives already set in place. So, I will give Snyder props for his ending, because to me it works much better.

  • March 11, 2009, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Like 1000 9/11's?

    by Odkin

    "You mean.." "Yes... 911,000!"

  • March 11, 2009, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Actually, the Squid ending DOESN'T HOLD UP.

    by Warcraft

    The irony is, it's the ***Squid*** ending that doesn't hold up under any sort of scrutiny. I mean, really, judging from what we know of humans, do you honestly think they would unite under threat from an alien force? First off, this "alien" landed in the usa. The FIRST thing america would do is study the site of the devastation. Why? To try and HARNESS the destructive power of that creature into a weapon. I bet you anything that instead of the human race uniting, there would be a MAD dash to A: reproduce the power/technology, which I stated above, or B: Gain favor with said creature or race, to try and manipulate/use it against other countries. Also, let's assume Rorschach's journal DIDN't exist. How long would it be until the humans returned to their old ways? I mean, there was only ONE attack, at ONE place. After that, then what? There would be no more attacks. Is Adrian going to keep dropping Squid bombs to ensure peace? That seems mighty retarded if you ask me, so here's why the MOVIE ending makes sense. From the very beginning of the movie, AND books, they estrablish early on that the world ALREADY fears Dr. Man. They fear and revere him as a walking god, this is fact per both mediums, book and movie. The reason why Adrian's movie plan is BRILLIANT, is because he plays on the world's already estrablished fear: That Jon has finally lost his mind and gone berserk from having to constantly keep peace amongst a war prone race. He even states at the end that he can change many things, but he can't change human nature. So, now that the world believes Jon is crazy, they are SCARED into peace, for fear of Jon's wrath. IT IS COMPLETELY ***IRRELEVANT*** IF THE WORLD BLAMES AMERICA, no one is pressing a single god damned giant red button of destruction out of fear. The reason why the peace would last (again, assuming the journal didn't exist), is because Jon is a much more TANGIBLE threat. They know what he's capable of, and are LESS prone to resume their old ways. The problem with fanboys is, they refuse to see logic, they assume that if it's different from their precious book, it must automatically suck. End. Of. Story.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Massa is correct though we feared this BEFORE we saw it

    by G100

    Some of us always thought that Big Blue Bangs without the World Changing SHOCK and HORROR of Squiddy simply wouldn't be an effective enough payoff for the entire plot that Rorschach and the whole Movie is set up to uncover.<p> <p>Seeing it, though it has a Grandeur, it simply doesn't have the power of the Originals ending or it's intent.<p> <p>Manhattan was always pasive and depite the bangs being Blue with his signature he is simply not personally implicated enough in the "War" that the world then declares on him. The other Cities are also given a VERY cursory treatment.<p> <p>Robbing Manhattan of what is effectively his "revenge" on Ozy by casting him into an abyss of doubt wiht "nothing ever ends" is also a baffling mistake by Snyder and having Driberg added nothing to Rorschach's death scene and took away the private confrontation and nature of his death.<p> <p>So yes the ending is flawed, perhaps seriously flawed, but in the context of a Hollywood Movie Snyder gets away with it.<p> <p>IF you haven't read the Original you will no doubt enjoy it FAR more.<p> <p>But be in no doubt despite a flawed ending and some other VERY odd choices this is a good Movie. It's a mixed bag at times but Rorschach is mesmerising with Haley knocking it out the park and Manhattan is very effective and Driberg is mostly all win. The Comedian does indeed get to be more "rounded" a charcter which was great to see and even Viedt wasn't as bad as some feared when rumours of a "Nazi" accent and backstory were rife.<p> <p>If you like the original there is no excuse for not seeing this as there is PLENTY to admire.<p> <p>If you know nothing about it you will be shown a World you simply haven't seen before.<p> <p>And the Animated Comic is well worth getting hold of too.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Warcraft...harness what power?

    by bacci40

    the fucker is dead....its fucking calamari...the squid is pining away in the fjords....WAKE UP SQUIDDY!!!!!!!!!

  • March 11, 2009, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Bacci40, I said they would TRY.

    by Warcraft

    Also, you don't think there would be any residual/left over energy from a nuke sized physic death bomb? Are you serious?

  • March 11, 2009, 9:29 p.m. CST

    The Manhattan Paradox

    by jsarnold513

    The paradox over "Well, everyone would just assume Dr. Manhattan made the squid" isn't nearly valid. When I read the original GN, I thought the squid was a stupid deux ex machina, but as time went on and I thought about it I realized how the sheer absurdity of it made it all the more powerful in the logic of the story. "Sounds unbelievable. Probably true." I mean... how could you doubt something as insane as a giant freakin psychic squid appearing in the middle of Manhattan and destorying the city while killing and terrifying the entire world was anything but a frightening assertion on reality. The rub to any variation on Ozy's goal is that it's impossible to scare the world into eternal peace because you can never say conclusively how every single person in the world would have reacted or go on to do. Personally, I'm with Massa that I think the USA would've been blamed for this disaster by the rest of the world, since Manhattan was a symbol of American power, but the reaction is a big X factor, as Moore had Manhattan tell Ozymandias at the end of the GN (which was glaringly absent in the film.) That's also a testament to how insane and arrogant Ozymandias is. Now, as for Manhattan... with his powers, you get the old Superman paradox on steroids. Manhattan can apparently create life, or at least he jokes that he can and we believe it. Does that mean he could have ressurected the dead if he'd wanted to? Wouldn't that have been a better, more frightening, testament to his powers for the world to respect than just watching him "kill" a bunch of people? Since he can see the future and past at once, can he travel through time to change the past if he chooses? Could he have posed a solution on his own that would've brought everyone to world peace without war, like generating free food or resources for the entire world to end all need for competition and fear? That stuff is unanswered in both. All we know is, like the killing of the Vietnamese girl, Manhattan stands around and does nothing, then doesn't even have much of an opinion after the fact.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah, another thing, once they examined the Squid...

    by Warcraft

    Wouldn't they be able to determine it was just as you say, a dead fucking calamari? You don't think they'd be able to determine it was fake? How stupid does moore think americans are?

  • March 11, 2009, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Whether or not the world ultimately blamed the U.S. ...

    by 3D-Man

    they wouldn't attack because they are still IN FEAR of Dr. Manhattan. Makes sense to me.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Yes, the Squid dies but ...

    by Shan

    ... maybe people are made to think that it's the first scout for an invasion force or something like that. Just theorising ...

  • March 11, 2009, 9:39 p.m. CST

    I also like how multiple targets are attacked...

    by Warcraft

    to drive the point home. It was a universal "sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up" to the entire world, not just america. In hindsight, it REALLY bugs me that ONLY america was attacked in the books...

  • March 11, 2009, 9:42 p.m. CST

    But that's my point shane, is everyone supposed...

    by Warcraft

    to sit around with their butt holes puckered, waiting for an attack that will never come? It just seems to me that Adrian's book plan didn't seem all that well thought out, and I'm glad as hell the stupid sub story about dissapearing artists and scientists, and writers is wiped from the movie.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:47 p.m. CST

    The squid was alive

    by jsarnold513

    The squid was genetically engineered by Ozymandias and his scientists, artists, and writers. Presumably, if he's smart enough to freakin conceive this plan, carry it out secretly, grow the thing in a lab and implant it with nightmares, then teleport the damn thing into Manhattan, then shouldn't he be smart enough to create something that'll at least come back as "inconclusive" when scientists examine it? I love the sheer insanity of the squid's symbolism. It's so screwed up that nobody would want to believe it was real, but they'd have to. In the real world, if that were to happen and turn the world and our understanding of reality and our place in the universe on its head, would anyone seriously suspect some person had been responsible? A Dr. Manhattan, perhaps, if such a thing were to exist, but certainly no mortal man.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:49 p.m. CST

    very heartfelt and very wrongheaded

    by omarthesnake

    the ending of the movie works far, far better than it would have it were more 'faithfully' adapted. the ONLY change i would have made was to include the final Manhattan/Ozy conversation.

  • March 11, 2009, 9:58 p.m. CST

    I agree

    by KevinMuller

    The movie was a faithful adaptation to the graphic novel, but it had no artistic merit to it. I will give credit to the look of the film, but you don't really see Synder's creativity, he is just copying the novel. I LOVED the beginning of the film, amazing opening. Matthew Goode was terribly miscast as Veidt, I never once believed him to be the intelligent character from the book.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:04 p.m. CST

    GN ending

    by Chris Nolan's Pot Dealer

    You know whats funny? All of you die hard geeks always use the excuse of "Its a great ending if you havent read the graphic novel." Well I have and I'm a big fan of it. But the squid completely was a laugh out loud idea. I'm a nerd who has the balls to admit it and it makes me wonder what if the tables were turned and Alan Moore would have written the ending like the movie with the manhattan logical ending instead, would the squid hold up as a hollywood decision for the movie? Would watchmen geeks accept a outlandish idea from hollywood?

  • March 11, 2009, 10:05 p.m. CST

    On the ending...

    by UltimaRex

    Manhattan says he'll make some life, kisses Laurie and leaves. When we next see her in the green dress, has she gained a little weight?

  • March 11, 2009, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Goode was awful

    by jsarnold513

    Too wimpy, not at all intimidating OR charismatic, and Goode never projects the smarmy ego that Veidt was seething with in the novel. The lack of a triumphant "I DID IT!!!!" while watching the carnage on the monitors was bad, too. I just didn't like how Ozymandias got changed at the end. As much as I hate him, this is one role that would've actually been a good fit for Tom Cruise and his brand of smarmy arrogance/charisma. Goode played Veidt like a spoiled Harvard fratboy who thought he was the smartest man in the world because he aced his SATs.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:09 p.m. CST

    think about Fail Safe

    by mojoman69

    The way Hank Fonda prevented a nuclear holocaust, was to drop an A bomb on MAnhattan. To keep the status quo. Even though Dr. Manhattan was OUR hero, he supposedly nuked us too, so it took the onus off the US and made Manhattan the fall guy. The US being nuked would cause an empathy with all the other places that got hit. I repect your take on things Massa, but I fault its logic.

  • March 11, 2009, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Sub Quantum Unified Intrinsic (Field) Device

    by cripeman

    C'mon you gotta give Snyder credit for acknowledging the squid no squid debate. <br> Nice Breakdown Massa ... you get a little smiley face (with a trickle of blood on it) for this submission.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:11 p.m. CST

    The writers (Hayter and Tse's) perspective on changes.

    by #1 Zero

    The latest issue of "Creative Screenwriting" Magazine, (on stands now) has a little back story as to why there was no squid. They decided that to bring in an interdimensional being at the end added a second element of "magic" to the story that the audience would have to take a huge leap to believe on top of the already established "magic" element of the super hero world. So what they decided to do was take an element of "magic" (their term) which was Dr. Manhattan already established and use him as the device that would cause global chaos. At first this wasn't really gelling and then when Paul Greengrass had been attached to direct he came up with the idea that Ozymandius and Dr. Manhattan would be working together to create the alternative energy source which would explain how Ozymandius replecated Dr. Manhattan's "power footprint" (I guess you could call it) when the cities blow up at the end. Also there was a scene conceived in the scripts which is not in the film but may make the dvd if they filmed it, where Ozymandius creates a special effects like projection of Dr. Manhattan in the cities that blow up where he basically tells earth "you're destroying yourselves, you have to shape up or here are the consequences" and then the cities blow up. Anyway, that scene makes the frame of Manhattan by Ozymandius complete and makes Manhattan more culpable to the people of earth since they actually "saw" him threaten the world. I think the finished version of the film accomplishes basically the same things with just a few lines. When Manhattan and Laurie arrive at descimated New York, Manhattan just says it was basically made to look like he did it. Then Dan says to Laurie at the end that as long as it appears Manhattan is watching there will be a kind of peace. Now as to who said what to who and why I haven't read the book in a while so I'll have to read if Dr. Manhattan saying things to Ozy instead of the Spectre II is more effective or not. Also I think the ending of the movie is more condensed in terms of the actual time it takes for all the loose ends to be tied up and maybe just having Spectre and Night Owl screw again after the cities blew up wouldn't seem logical although possibly more artistically fufilling. It may have defined their characters in the book but for movie logic it might have made more sense for the audience not to see them react that way. Maybe another "leap" they didn't want the audience to take.

  • March 11, 2009, 11:15 p.m. CST

    "I DID IT!"

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    Are you guys SERIOUSLY advocating that Veidt should have struck a ta-da pose and squeeled "I DID IT!"? Are you fucking SERIOUS? Talk about a Darth Vader NOOO! moment that would have been! The whole theater would have laughed their fucking asses off and been right to do so!

  • March 11, 2009, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Rorschach is the the only hero? WRONG!

    by GimpInMyPants

    In the entire comics series Nite Owl and Silk Spector are the only two who do anything unambiguosly heroic when they save people from the burning building.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:08 a.m. CST

    GimpInMyPants: Ozymandius Is The Only Hero...

    by Media Messiah

    ...and God (Manhattan) agrees with him.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:34 a.m. CST

    The only problem/issue I had was...

    by DS9Sisko

    the lack of carnage after the destruction of New York. This is not for the sake of seeing blood and guts, but because — as Massawyrm points out — the loss is profound in the original story. However, to have added the inaccurately labeled "squid" would have added at least another 20 or more minutes to the movie by including the scientists, psychics and artists that Veidt had sequestered and later murdered on the island...all of which would have had to have been explained at some point in the film. Also, Massawyrm points out how the structuring of the final scenes in Veidt's lair feel different than in the novel, neglecting to point out — as he does earlier in regard to Rorshach's speechifying — that everything from Veidt's backstory and justification for mass murder to the Dan/Laurie poolside fucking to Manhattan's cold assessment of Veidt's actions goes on for PAGES and PAGES of near nonstop exposition. How much longer would those sequences have added to the movie? 20 minutes? 30? And let's not forget Warner Bros. mandated cuts (which often gets lost among many geek debates about this movie). Thought the ending worked given the time constraints/running time of the the theatrical release. I've said it before: the Director's Cut will tell the real tale about whether or not Snyder really got Watchmen right.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:37 a.m. CST

    You almost nailed it for me

    by boardbrtn

    And by almost, I mean the ending is the films biggest flaw. That flaw in the ending though? It's actually that the movie continues after Dan and Laurie walk out of that building that Ozy is in. To me, the changes worked wonderfully at the end to allow us to believe what happens. The squid, whatever, its cool in the book, would've looked retarded had it been put on screen, we know that. I don't necessarily think that the big blue bangs had nearly the shock of the squid, but I understand. NOW, I believe this is in the top 3 comic book films (Dark Knight and Spider Man 2). It sucked me in in a way that I rarely feel and it contains one of my all time favorite scenes (the one where Manhattan tells his story, the part where all sound stops and its only his voice :D<--me). On a whole, the film is an A- from me. Not PERFECT, yet perfect in its own right. Fuck all the people who think that there were too many changes, they're wrong.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Why do so many people get "the squid" totally wrong?

    by DS9Sisko

    The "squid" didn't even EXIST. It was a combination of some bullshit that Veidt had thrown together after having his artists and psychics come up with what they thought would cause psychic trauma. A bit genetic engineering here, a brain implant there, add some brain melting amplification, and teleport into midtown Manhattan to give the APPEARANCE of an alien invasion. In short, the "squid" was, in short order, the most hideous practical joke ever pulled in human history. That people debate "the squid" as a real entity within the context of Watchmen is just baffling and borderline ludicrous. ONE OTHER POINT: in response to the endless debate about the feasibility of "the squid" working as a means to unite humanity, the reason why "the squid" does work within the context of the story is that Moore very much hints that it DOESN'T/WON'T work in the end via "the crank file" at the New Frontiersman. What we can reasonably assume is that Veidt achieves world peace only up until the point where Seymour reaches for Rorshach's journal; after that, everything is up in the air and all bets are off. We have no idea if ROshach's story will even run. Or be taken seriously. Or if the truth is revealed, will global sentiment "turn a blind eye" given the peace that has broken out all over. This is how Moore brilliantly addressed the issue of Veidt's "victory": by leaving the question of its SUSTAINABILITY up in the air. So yes, "the squid" would have/does work.

  • March 12, 2009, 1:04 a.m. CST

    DS9Sisko...great points

    by bacci40

    allow me to add one more...the ultimate joke<p> that the plans of the "worlds smartest man", could be brought down by a semi retarded errand boy<p> because the movie doesnt, or cant, show us scenes from the new frontiersman prior to the post script, the audience doesnt understand who seymore is<p> how can you show the punchline without setting up the joke?

  • March 12, 2009, 1:04 a.m. CST

    Uri Geller and the Squid

    by blakindigo

    Psychic phenomena hasn't been accepted by science as 'provable'. How could a real psychic's cloned brain be explained onscreen? How would psychic phenomena be explained? I think there's too many side issues to explain, set up and dramatize to make the squid work in the film. Also, Dr. Manhattan isn't human anymore, it doesn't matter if he once was human, he doesn't relate to humanity. He's seen as 'alien' and certainly has no fealty to the US after the Keane Act. His breakdown on television would be worldwide news and make tensions even more strained, as he seems unstable and more frightening. I don't think the squid would be seen that way. I do agree that we probably needed to see either bodies or the Hiroshima shadows to help emphasize the shocking, brutal devastation -- the cost of Adrien's hubris. But, I don't think the squid would work in this format. As someone mentioned above, look at how the world hates Al-Qaeda.

  • March 12, 2009, 1:11 a.m. CST


    by bacci40

    ozy is a fan boy...just like you and me<p> the I DID IT, proved that point<p> first time a fan boy is the hero/villian<p> and moore was pointing out that all costumed heroes, are pretty much fan boys themselves

  • March 12, 2009, 1:11 a.m. CST


    by bacci40

    ozy is a fan boy...just like you and me<p> the I DID IT, proved that point<p> first time a fan boy is the hero/villian<p> and moore was pointing out that all costumed heroes, are pretty much fan boys themselves

  • March 12, 2009, 1:12 a.m. CST


    by blakindigo

    If you watch the 3 min Comic-Con footage, you'll see Hollis Mason startled as he's opening his front door. There are a few shots in various trailers that aren't in this theatrical cut. This definitely isn't the director's cut. I think the assembly was 3 hours 20 mis. Snyder's cut is 10 mins shorter than that.

  • March 12, 2009, 1:34 a.m. CST

    it is ludicrous to call this one of the best films of the decade

    by Jack D. Ripper

    This is going in the Geek Canon with SIN CITY and 300 of movies that are okay, but are by no means classics or significant works of art or entertainment. It was fine. It's a movie that you'll half-watch when it comes on TNT and you're folding laundry on a Saturday afternoon in 2013. But I agree with the guy at the beginning, that to call Zack Snyder, the director of a remake and 2 comic book movies, a 'visual genius' is just silly, especially when compared to Kubrick and Scorsese and Lean and Fellini and those guys. Tough competition? Yes, but that's who you go against to get into the pantheon.

  • March 12, 2009, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Jack D. Ripper

    by bacci40

    is snyder better than bay and the ratt?

  • March 12, 2009, 1:50 a.m. CST

    Respectfully Disagree

    by persona1138

    Massawyrm, I totally understand your points, and I think you've pretty much summed up the complaints of most of the "Watchmen" purists. However, I've got to disagree with you on this one... (Not that anyone will read my post, since most forums are just a place for us fanboys to mouth off at one another.) First off, I never liked the squid. Yes, I know... It's sacrilege. That said, I always loved the basic IDEA of the ending... That Ozymandias would sacrifice millions to save the world, and that the Watchmen must stand by and do nothing. It's a great, anticlimactic, surprising conclusion to one of the best graphic novels in history. However, to me, the squid always came off as an overly-complicated deus ex machina. It's a totally convenient plot device that comes out of nowhere... It's not integrated well into the overall narrative. Honestly, NO ONE could see it coming. (And yes, I know that some will argue that that's what makes the squid so cool... But to me, after every time I re-read the graphic novel, I always come to the squid and say, "WTF?!?") Regardless, it slows down the conclusion of the graphic novel with an incredible amount of exposition, and frankly... I don't think that all of the Earth's nations would suddenly come together to stand against an unknown extraterrestrial enemy, and shake their fists at the sky in anger. It's an enemy that no one knows or understands... It's an enemy without a face. Let's face it... Throughout human history, people need someone, something to blame. After 9/11, the Bush administration pinned our "War on Terror" on Iraq. (Sorry to suddenly make a political point.) Our enemy was given a face, a motivation, and a reason to fight. (Of course, it also helps that the REAL asshole behind 9/11, Osama bin Laden, also has a face.) Regardless, my point is... The initial reaction after 9/11 was one of horror, of loss... The hate and desire for retribution only DEEPLY solidified AFTER we saw our enemies' faces. (Yes, I'm simplifying, and please forgive me... I'm just trying to make a recent, relatable point to our current situation. Also, I'm sure that it was NO mistake that the Twin Towers were clearly visible from Adrian Veidt's office in the movie.) Which brings me to my second point... I think that making Dr. Manhattan the "fall guy" was a stroke of genius. First of all, everyone on Earth knows and fears him (even the Americans)... He's a walking, talking H-bomb that is losing touch with humanity. He abandons the U.S. for Mars... He goes ballistic on national television... Heck, he even (in the public's eyes) gives people cancer. He's a danger to everyone and everything around him. To the U.S. government, he's simply a political tool to intimidate the Russians - and the rest of the world. But once he abandoned this world, and betrayed his country... He not only became a traitor, but a threat as well. I think it's much easier for the public to believe that Dr. Manhattan would destroy the world, than some unknown, totally random aliens. They at least can explain Dr. Manhattan's motivations (the public likes it when your enemy has a motivation... but the SCARIEST enemies, as far as I'm concerned, don't need one), and more importantly, Dr. Manhattan has a face. They have someone to pin it on, someone to blame... And thus, a reason to stand together and fight. I also think Snyder's decision deepens Dr. Manhattan's character. He's no longer leaving Earth simply because he's tired of how complicated our lives are, and because he wants to create some life of his own. The turning point for his character - in both the graphic novel and the film - comes on Mars when he decides that life IS a miracle and that it's worth saving. So, when Adrian's plan is revealed to him, he makes an ACTIVE decision to leave Earth because now HE is the enemy. He's not just leaving because he's bored... He's making a conscious choice to save life by abandoning it. There's no place for him on Earth anymore... Snyder didn't alter Dr. Manhattan's character, he simply underlined the fact that, for Dr. Manhattan, life is a miracle and it's worth saving. In the graphic novel, however, his reasons for leaving the planet are much more muddled. But in the movie, he must leave to keep Adrian's "new utopia" alive because HE is Earth's enemy. Also, you make the point that, for as "adult" as the movie is, it Hollywood-izes the ending by not showing the mountains of dead bodies in the streets. Yes, the images in the graphic novel are horrific and impactful... But seeing that in live action becomes disgusting, and I think that seeing the faces and the bodies of the people that Adrian killed would actually prevent us from seeing "his side" of it at all. It's horrific enough to think of how many people have died for Adrian's cause... Part of what I love about the ending (of both the novel and the film) is, as you said, the question posed to the audience of whether or not "the ends justify the means." The problem is, if I'm looking at REAL blood and REAL bodies (not just hand-drawn graphic novel images), it becomes a lot harder for me to side with Adrian. The question would be lost... The ending wouldn't be as ambiguous as it is, and we'd all side COMPLETELY with Rorschach. Also, we don't need to see the dead bodies to feel horrified... As I stated earlier, the movie is already playing off the images seared into our brains from 9/11. (I'm not arguing, however, that the movie was being manipulative with 9/11 imagery... I'm simply stating that people were going to "see" 9/11 imagery, with New York in shambles, whether Snyder intended them to or not. So, from my perspective, I think it was a wiser choice to downplay the gore of the destroyed cities.) Lastly, I have one other complaint with the ending of the graphic novel... And another plus-side to the movie's adaptation. I never liked that at the end of the graphic novel Nite Owl and Silk Spectre are off by the pool having sex, while Rorschach is getting blown to smithereens in the snow, and Ozymandias is sitting in some other room with a globe. For a graphic novel that seems to be rooted in real human emotions, I just didn't think that suddenly, with all the hell that's breaking loose around the world, that Nite Owl would run off and suddenly have sex while his long-time partner was being sacrificed. I appreciate your argument that he needs to have the cheerleader... But I don't think that Nite Owl ever thought he won. The Watchmen lost... But they HAD to lose to save humanity. Yes, in the graphic novel, maybe he really didn't CARE about Rorschach... But then, why spring him from prison in the first place? Why risk his life for this guy, and then carelessly abandon him? I'm just saying that Nite Owl and Silk Spectre's motivations felt out of place and out of character. And yes, while it's "Hollywood" to have him scream "NOOOOOO" as Rorschach is being killed... I think it DOES add a lot of impact to the scene, and it's also more in-keeping with his character and the moment. Whereas in the graphic novel... Everyone is off in different rooms either getting killed, having sex, plotting in another lair, or teleporting off to another galaxy. It's an odd ending, and NONE of those scenes really resonate emotionally. Rorschach's death feels like an afterthought because I'm watching two people have sex by the pool. Yes, you argued that, at that moment, Silk Spectre NEEDS to feel human, to have a real connection... But seriously, honey, there's a lot more to deal with right now. I think she could've waited more than 5 freaking minutes. Regardless, thanks for your in-depth review... It's given us a lot to think about. And again, I apologize for spewing politics and current, real-life tragedy... But one of the great achievements of both the graphic novel and the film is that, while it's an alternate history period piece, they both manage to speak about our present and our lives. Take care, and thanks again.

  • March 12, 2009, 3:27 a.m. CST

    Great review

    by TheDark0Knight

    the best review of the film that Ive read, I agree with everything you said 100%.

  • March 12, 2009, 4:28 a.m. CST

    Well, I disagree, Massa.

    by MonkeyLord

    I think you're review is thoughtfully written and well thought out, but I can't help but feel you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Not that I haven't done the same with many a movie in the past, so I can't entirely blame you for that. Personally, I've come to the realization that there just doesn't seem to be a litmus test for who will and will not like The Watchmen. I went into the theater with a lot of trepidation, but I came out the other side absolutely loving it. It wasn't perfect, and I did have some issues with some things, but in the end, I couldn't help but adore it. I also liked the ending quite a bit. In fact, after some discussion afterwards, as a group we decided that the Comic's ending would have never worked on screen. It would have been too much to absorb and accept after the previous 2 hours and 45 minutes. So, I'm glad Snyder axed the squid. It was, in my opinion, the right call. He did make some bad ones, though... The Archie Sex scene, the Nixon and Sally Jupiter's makeup debacle, etc. But these things did not come even close to spoiling the movie for me. We plan to go see it again in the theaters as soon as possible (something we did not do for TDK).

  • March 12, 2009, 4:42 a.m. CST

    Overrated fucking shit

    by Lost Jarv

    that was not good. <P>You can all intellectualise it as much as you like, but at the end of the day it was a crap film.

  • March 12, 2009, 5:58 a.m. CST

    persona1138...very long post

    by bacci40

    just to prove that you skipped over significant parts of the book<p> the squid is forshadowed from scenes on the island and in the black freighter<p> so you are wrong, it doesnt come out of nowhere<p> especially, with bubastis coming from veidt's genetic experiments

  • March 12, 2009, 6:27 a.m. CST

    Massa, that film has way bigger problems than the ending

    by zapano

    Visual genius? Did Snyder actually come up with the visuals. No, they were all there in the comic. He certainly had the craft at bringing it to the screen (respect), but don't call him a visual genius. And this nonsense, possibly started by Ebert, about being this generation's Blade Runner, leaves me incredulous. Blade Runner's influence is immense and was truly original. Watchmen? Snyder did not create this visual world, it was all in the comic. And this reference to hyper-violence and hyper-sex, I severely doubt whether there's actual meaning behind all that, apart from "wow that's really cool looking shit". You know, I probably have more respect for Bay than Snyder, at least Bay doesn't have any clueless pretentions. A lot of people's defence of this film really doesn't add up logically, and seems born from their loyalty to the comic and that it got so many things right (clearly not enough like story, character and dramatic tension). As a film, it's just doesn't work.

  • March 12, 2009, 6:29 a.m. CST

    "Blade Runner's influence is immense and was truly original."

    by Massawyrm 1

    Except for the part about it being an adaptation - right? ;)

  • March 12, 2009, 6:54 a.m. CST

    Blade Runner

    by SutterCane

    Yes, Blade Runner was an adaptation, like Watchmen, but BR's influence was "immense and original" as it was on Scott and his designers to come up with the look of that film, a look that was unprecedented and which quickly became THE standard for anyone attempting to imagine what the future would look like.

  • March 12, 2009, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Ridley created from the book, Snyder reproduced

    by zapano

    from the comic ;) but credit where its due, Snyder did add those slow motion bits, they blew away renny harlin's work from Cliffhanger

  • March 12, 2009, 7 a.m. CST

    come on,

    by smorgasbord

    It could have been a damn sight worse.

  • March 12, 2009, 7:28 a.m. CST


    by neverhed watch?v=cH2jsabYulI

  • March 12, 2009, 7:51 a.m. CST

    PERFECT review, Massa. PERFECT.

    by ricarleite

    Well said. The movie is good, but the new endings SUCKS, and you explained why. No need to keep talking about Watchmen. Case closed.

  • March 12, 2009, 8 a.m. CST


    by ricarleite

    It was scored in an ironic way, and it blended good with a "Manhattan now feels good about humanity" and the heroes going to meet their fate.

  • March 12, 2009, 8:16 a.m. CST

    So what if people would've laughed at squid?

    by Montag666

    The whole idea of the squid was supposed to fuck with your head anyway. The real horror comes when Veidt explains everything. And seriously, stop dissing Alan Moore. Call him whatever you want, but you know that you wouldn't have great source material to ruin and shit on if it wasn't for him. Fuck you all right back.

  • March 12, 2009, 8:19 a.m. CST

    New Rule

    by Montag666

    Zack has 3 more movies to make before he gets compared to Kubrick or Ridley Scott again. You people are suffering from brain damage. Have you guys actually watched a Kubrick movie before?

  • March 12, 2009, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Movies are timeless, Critics are not

    by scififan9009

    I saw Blade Runner in the theater. Critics panned it. Hated it. Yet today it is considered a classic. That is what people remember today. People will not remember this critic's angst over the ending of Watchmen. Twenty years from now what they will remember is that it is considered a classic, and that "some critics" hated the ending. End of line.

  • March 12, 2009, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Tedious, endless, dishonest

    by Mgmax

    By the end of Watchmen I desperately wished for a two-hour Watchmen with the courage to throw most of the comic book away and just tell a simple story about actual characters. But instead we got a painstaking recreation of each frame of the comic, with no dramatic or actorly life brought to it-- only Billy Crudup managed a few moments of quizzical vulnerability in the voice of his blue superman. Worse yet-- well, nobody goes to Alan Moore for political logic, V For Vendetta was a warning against fascism which implicitly attacked one of the great anti-fascists, Margaret Thatcher; and Watchmen suggests that what the Cold War needed was a small nuking and a big lie. Fortunately for those of us in the real world, what the Cold War needed was a real superhero, a president capable of staring down the Soviets till they crumbled without a bomb launched. But then the world of Watchmen is a lie in which the US is the real evil, a lie possible only if your pop culture name-checking omits the Soviet H-Bomb (where was the big blue Comrade Moscow?), Hungary in '56, Prague in '67 and so much more. In the end, Watchmen fails as drama, as political commentary, and as action entertainment. But it sure succeeds at self-importance.

  • March 12, 2009, 9:45 a.m. CST

    "Squid" Ignorance

    by Mooly

    It is funny that so many supposed fans who claim to read the comic know so little about what actually happens at the end of the comic. The alien is an actual living creature. So whether it has actual squid DNA or not is irrelevant. It is a living monster that is designed to die violently after being teleported to New York. It is also designed to send out a massive psychic shockwave upon its death that will not only kill millions, but those outside the blast range will have their minds filled with images of a pending alien threat and possible invasion. The comic even clearly states that psychics around the whole world will also be affected with horrible nightmare images for years. So no, people don't just assume this is Manhattan's creation...the psychic deathcry of the alien will implant a backstory in their minds already. Why would anyone question that. And that is also why the world will unite despite deaths only being in New York...people all over the world will also have the alien story imprinted in their minds. The alien is about absolute fear of the unknown. As for the people talking about Night Owl and Silk Spectre breaking bones, would assume that since they were both very successful crime fighters (ie. alive) for a number of years, surely they must have some fighting skills that have kept them alive all this time. There ARE regular people in this world who are very good at martial arts, hand to hand combat, and know how to break an arm or leg. These are secrets that only people with super powers can pull off. Even in Batman, Bruce Wayne is able to take on 50 guys at once and snap a few bones...nobody whines about him not being normal and wondering if he has super powers. Although being able to throw the bad guys into a wall that shatters WAS pushing it.

  • March 12, 2009, 10:04 a.m. CST


    by richievanderlow

    Hadn't thought of it quite like that, Mass.. thanks for that. I didn't like the use of the songs (except for Dylan in the opening credits) and in the rest of the moive, Watchtower, Ride of the Valkyries, 99 Red Balloons were all so poorly used that they were distracting. I loved Rorshach.. he looked like a grown up, hardened Sherman from American Pie.

  • March 12, 2009, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Mooly, this is what I see as the difference

    by The Wolf at the Door

    TDK sets up a man devoting his entire life to perfecting a style of martial arts that allows him to take on many people at once and disable them without killing them. Whether or not it's plausible in reality is moot, it's an integral part of the story, which you'll either buy or you won't. <p> Watchmen, on the other hand, first very consciously strives to be a near-exact adapatation, yet tinkers with the action style of the comic book, which is not a gorefest with protruding bones, snapping necks and whatnot. To the contrary, Rorschach is set apart from the rest because he IS that brutal and murderous while the other masks presumably are not. Moreover, secondly, the characters of Nite Owl and Silk Spectre are set up in the story, comic and film alike, as past-their-prime and basically retired, sitting on their duffs. Even just one scene to suggest that they were still training or whatever to stay prime would have been helpful. <p> But since you already start off with two characters smashing through walls and marble counter-tops without so much as a bruise, plus all the slo-mo, I figured it was pretty clear they were in the Matrix. That's fine, it's a story-telling device, I just didn't buy it. It took me out of the film, which I had expected to be true to that element of the comic book. <p> I don't expect it would bother everyone else in the same way, or that there's ONE right way to do it.

  • March 12, 2009, 10:29 a.m. CST

    People laughing at the squid...

    by Darth Macchio

    When I saw War of the Worlds in the theater and the scene where they're in the countryside after fleeing the city and Dakota Fanning's character has to use the bathroom. Cruise tells her to stay in site, etc etc. As she's looking for a spot, she begins to see dead bodies floating down the river. It's very traumatic to her but guess what the asshats in front of us were doing?<p>That's right folks, they were gigling and laughing at dead bodies floating down a river.<p>First, yes I know it's a movie but the context of the scene is not god damn funny and it's not like it's supposed to be serious but just ends up funny. How are dead bodies floating down a river ever funny? But it is to these people, eh? That's because they're fucking morons. Second, since when the hell do we cater to what people *might* think when it comes to movies? You guys sound like those powdery bigwhigs at the mega-media cults that shove tripe like the Jonah Bros down our throats. Justifying anything and everything for the sake of mass consumption is the purview of dumbasses.<p>For people to justify removing the squid by catering to fucking morons is not worthy of geek discussion. These aren't the majority of people who just don't read comics; these are the 10 percenters on the left end of the bell curve people...mentally lazy and cynical jackasses but yet we should cater our geek world to them? Fuck them! They're assholes! These people can't count past 20 without being totally naked and we should listen to what they say or how they *might* react? Bullocks!

  • March 12, 2009, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Some thoughts on evaluating adaptations

    by UweBollocks

    While I agree with what he's saying, and the need to discuss it, I think that ultimately the issue only exists if you believe the movie was going to be the book. As Massa says, part of the problem is that the Snyder and the entire production team made such a big deal about doing everything in their power to be faithful to the text. And they made an unprecedented effort to do so - the film looks and feels like the book, it's almost 3 hours longs in its cinematic release (though a directors cut is being edited with an additional 30 minutes +), in some aspects it even surpasses the books achievements, and the superfluous aspects (from a film perspective) of Hollis Mason's "Under the Hood" and "The Curse of the Black Freighter" have even been made and released on DVD (with a future version of the film with Curse of the Black Freighter incorporated into it like the book). But, as I've said before and will say again, in my opinion if you come into a movie expecting the book on screen you are setting yourself up for inevitable disappointment. No matter how much the film-makers may gush about their dedication to the attempt, to take it completely to heart is to misinterpret their intentions, which are only ever to emphasize the integrity and authenticity of effort, not to forego their own creative input and vision for the adaptation. It is impossible to translate one medium into another; just as in language there is something lost in translation, so it is with media which are ultimately just languages of a different nature. Furthermore, the maker of the film is never the original author of the book, so there is at least one degree of interpretation between the source material and the film. Take into account the realities of film-making and the hundreds of people who each input something into the process and the final product is no single person's vision but an amalgamation of many. And in some ways this parallels the process of comic books, which are uniquely dependent on collaboration between a writer, artist, colourist, penman and probably others that I'm unaware of (and always editors of course). But the collaboration inherent to film is of another order of magnitude. We cannot help but want the book on screen. Nobody wanted to relive the experience of a book more than me in the days leading up to Fellowship of the Ring. But ultimately this is like wishing for a world without suffering. We may one day create a utopic global community where everybody is provided for and violence beyond our comprehension, but suffering is an indelible characteristic of the human experience with it's source within us, not without. So too with our ill-considered optimism for book-to-film translation. Had the squid ending been used, some other aspect of the film would have suffered, and complaints would have arisen. I am sad that the horror of the books ending was not as visceral in the film, but I can only conclude that any weakness in the impact of the film's ending has its source in our subconscious desire for the book's ending. As it stands, I believe the film ending works. It is succinct, which is a critical necessity if you consider that every minute spent is a minute lost... Which is to say that were the ending of the film longer (as el squiddy would have required), the rest of the film would have been shorter. Perhaps they could have pushed it to three hours, but then again perhaps it's nothing short of a modern-day miracle that a studio was willing to risk >>$100 million on what is nothing less than a full blown art house movie. This is not a mainstream movie, no matter how much money it makes or how many people actually see it. Just as Fellowship of the Ring was not. The precedent set allowed for future such films to become a reality because they proved audiences were actually pretty smart and interested, but we're still at the point where only the most respected and worshipped literary properties in the planet can warrant such risk. Lord of the Rings and Watchmen hold analogous positions of authority in their respective mediums and genres, with an established fan base of millions predating the movies' production. An original work of their nature would never see the light of day at the scale of production cost demanded by such projects, though with their success the future is increasingly bright for just such an outcome. In any event, the practicalities of film are real, and they play a real part in the making of films. Unlike literature, expensive films are founded on the premise of profit, and they must, MUST, appeal to a wide audience in order to make back such an exorbitant investment. This includes those familiar with the work and those not. We all remember the what-the-fuck moment that the ending brings in Watchmen, and the feeling of utter despair raised by the questions the ending forces us to consider. It would be foolish to deny that the ending of the movie could have been more powerful, if powerful correlates with shocking. And any measure of "shocking" is dependent on antecedent experiences of "shock". So while we, the readers of Watchmen, may be less shocked by the film's ending and so less powerfully affected by it, those who have not read the book are not so dulled to its potency. Taking it just a little further, the ending of the book translated onto screen would have indeed been shocking to us, ALL of us, but quite probably overwhelming to those unprepared by the book. The movie is a dark. The questions it provokes, like those of the book, are immense, and ultimately depressing. Such questions cannot be anything but, because they force us to face the reality of what human existence necessarily entails - suffering. To have assaulted an unprepared audience with the visual nightmare of the books ending would quite likely have undermined the film's impact. Even those of us who have read the book would, I believe, have floundered. It is one thing to face such scenes on paper. It is quite another to imagine them in reality, as the film would have presented them. To my mind I can think of no other scene, in book or film, that depicts such horror on such a scale. The book works because we see it through a window; literally through the pane of a comic. The images themselves are stylized as almost all illustrations are, and they are silent, and they are static. Their potency is a testament in part to the artist's rendition, but primarily to the power of the story. The shock of the reveal, the shock of the images, the shock of the very idea. But always viewed through the filter of fiction's window, which provides not only an important emotional buffer, but I think a necessary one. Consider that scene presented as film, which though stylized still carries us into a world of realism. Add movement. And sound. And drag it out for minutes. Think about exposing an audience, any audience, to such an assault of their senses and their mind. Personally, I don't think many of us are ready for it. And I certainly don't think enough of us are to make the film profitable. I have seen some fucked up shit on film in my life, but I think that scene at the end of that movie would have taken the cake. And while it sounds exciting, and almost a wasted opportunity from the perspective of pushing the boundaries of art and experience, I think that the boundary would have been over-stretched by it, possibly breaking the movie itself, and certainly damaging the prospects of similar adult material to see the light of day in the future. It must have been by far the most difficult decision for the film-makers to come to. The degree of commitment they have shown to this text is astonishing, and clearly supports the ongoing movement towards unprecedented integrity to adaptations. It began in earnest with Peter Jackson's approach to LotR, and it is now obviously being advanced in other good hands. But no matter how immaculate the integrity and commitment, the underlying and unavoidable discord between book and film will never be overcome. As lovers of film and books we have a responsibility to recognize this, and to carry this recognition with us into the theatre. By all means seek out the commonalities. The enormous efforts to translate book to screen must be appreciated, and all add to the strength of the bond between the two. And that strength in turn permits us to feel the connection between the works and to use our memories from the read to add insights and enrich the viewing. But these bonds are unidirectional; the book came first and then the movie. While the film can reach out to the book, the book cannot in turn reach out the film. It is a bond between two, not between one, but there can be no negative feedback loop from book to film. To lower one's judgement of a film based on the book is fundamentally flawed. We all still do - we're human and we can't robotically deny our mind's instinct to yearn for that which we loved to be given to us anew and inspire the same. But when it spoils, or perhaps just soils, our experience of an otherwise remarkable work it is worth remembering this truth. We love to love. Why let our own delusions deny us this joy? Watch this film, and any adaptation, as an independent work of art that has the benefit of being able to employ the nostalgia of recognition as an emotional device. Judge it, but judge it fairly - on its own merits, not by comparison. Because a book will never be a film, and vice versa. And while Snyder may have said he was making a film of the book, that should never be interpreted literally because that is nonsensical - he was making a film, his film, based on the book. I'm not saying Watchmen is a perfect film, or that many of the issues raised in the link above are not legitimate points in discussing the film as a film. But impossible as it may be for us to do so, for the sake of our own enjoyment of film adaptations and for the sake of due respect and fairness to the men and women who dedicate their lives to expressing themselves through film, we all need to at least try to let go of our past experiences and our desire to have them perfectly recreated each time we see them in a new guise. Man. This is a big box of soap.

  • March 12, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST

    The ending?

    by ufoclub1977

    I read Watchmen in 1995, so I couldn't quite remember the details... but I enjoyed the end half of Watchmen and felt it was emotionally strong with Manhattan rediscovering his humanity, but then having to abandon it... but I can see how the logic of the alien threat would apply better on paper... but it doesn't register like that while watching the movie... emotionally it worked....

  • March 12, 2009, 10:44 a.m. CST

    You Da Man!

    by Homer Sexual

    Totally awesome review, I wish I were so articulate. <p> This is currently my all-time favorite comic movie, but will also have to re-watch in a few months. I loved Dark Knight so much the first time, but much less so on second viewing (though of course it was still good).

  • March 12, 2009, 10:45 a.m. CST

    On Blade Runner and Watchmen

    by RipVanMarlowe

    Massa has a great point: BLADE RUNNER was an adaptation. And here's the best part - it is almost nothing like the source material. Ridley Scott, Hampton Fancher and David Peoples took Philip K. Dick's work and captured the spirit of DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? by actually adapting it ... they took Dick's ideas and filtered it through film noir. There's tons of plot cut from the book, but they understood that the best way to translate that book to the screen was to depart from it. Plenty has been said about how fans of WATCHMEN, the comic book, are unable to separate the book from the movie. That's a fair enough criticism, but it's one that deserves to be leveled at Snyder, Hayter and Tse as well. For all the Squid (major) changes and little alterations here and there, WATCHMEN is all too faithful to its source material. I would argue that Snyder and Co. set themselves up for failure by not allowing enough distinction between the movie and its source material. Yeah, the movie is different (and I would argue it's pretty superficial as well), but it begs to be compared to the comic books. And really, that's where I think Snyder went wrong. Sure, fanboys would have screamed bloody murder had Snyder favored a looser adaptation, but aren't there plenty of fanboys screaming bloody murder anyway? Had he and the screenwriting team taking some more liberties (you know, actually adapted as oppose to trimmed and condensed), then at least it would be easier to separate the film from the book. Rant over.

  • March 12, 2009, 10:56 a.m. CST

    The whole Alan Moore thing

    by skimn

    Did Alan Moore remove his name from the check he recieved from the adaptors of the various films based on his creations? No? Then fuck you Alan, and shut the fuck up. If he donated the monies to charity or never cashed the checks, then bitch away all you want. If not. Read the above statement.

  • March 12, 2009, 10:59 a.m. CST

    I like it that Dan cares

    by zooch

    The worst disaster in the history of the world just happened before his eyes and he just decides to fuck Laurie? Who would do that? It didn't make sence in the book. Alan Moore has a fetish for with putting random sexual acts in his books. In Snyder's Watchmen Dan actually gives a shit, I think that's an improvement. I believe Dan is a good guy at heart.

  • March 12, 2009, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Great Review

    by DoctorWhen

    Long time lurker, first time poster: I registered specifically to thank Massawyrm for summing up (pretty much) my feelings about Watchmen. I first read the comics in the late 80s and bought the trade paperback a few months after release sometime in the early 90s. It was simply one of the greatest super-genre works I'd ever read, and it remains so to this day. I loved the film *most* of the way through, too... but it's that ending I can't quite stomach: It's true - the whole alien attack concept is vital to Ozymandias's plan, and a brilliant piece of theatre from Moore. Given the incredible SFX and "look and feel" through the rest of the movie, would it have been SO difficult for Snyder to keep it "canon"? After so many effective moments, a few artists, a small island and a cargo ship couldn't be too hard to fit in, surely? That said, if nothing else, the film has introduced dozens of my friends and colleagues to Watchmen, and my already well-thumbed copy of the TPB is working overtime keeping up with requests to borrow it: Some of them have even subsequently purchased their own copy, which will hopefully give Mr. Moore a warmer glow than if they had gone back to see the movie a couple of times instead. In a perfect world, the Director's Cut would bring back my lovely psychic squid... well, the world ain't perfect. Yet. Adrian? 98% Watchmen. 2% Hollywood. I suppose it's a small price to pay for the film I've been waiting 20 years for... Carry on.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Global warming is the new Squid!!!

    by thebearovingian

    Beware the alarmists. Trust no one. I appreciate that message of the film.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Darth Machio

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    If you think 90% of the audience would prefer this movie to end with a gaint dead squid, then you are SERIOUSLY fucking deluded!

  • March 12, 2009, 12:27 p.m. CST


    by Weapon M

    YES YES I AGREE SOOO MUCH!!!! This is the review I have been talking about.. I mean there is no question that the film was tremendously fucked when he changed the ending. I guess it was over the director and some other people's heads. I truly hope there is a FANBOY or ALAN MOORE ALTERNATE ENDING to the Watchmen on Blueray! THAT is the only and last hope I have to making this an undeniable classic! This is like having the movie on the waterfront and the ending being that the boss paid Brando off and Brando sails to the sunset! Don't screw with a masterpiece!!!! Dont remake Rocky and have him BEAT Apollo Creed!!!! CHANGE THE ENDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • March 12, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    You people are fucking ridiculous.

    by REVENGE_of_FETT

    Snyder called this thing perfectly as Comic Con. He's screwed no matter what he does. You guys spend half the time whining he didn't adpat it enough, and the rest of time whining about the things he DID adapt! Yeah that whole Blade Runner argument is an excellent one for CHANGING THE ENDING. Funny you can't see that.

  • March 12, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Open letter from David Hayter

    by zer0cool2k2

    This was posted on, and <p> An Open Letter From a Watchmen Screenwriter <p> So it has been five months since I saw my first rough cut of WATCHMEN, and eight days since the premiere of the film I've been working on since late in the year 2000. The reviews are out -- Some outstanding, others rankly dismissive, which can be frustrating for the people involved, (though I can only speak for myself,) because I firmly believe that WATCHMEN, the novel, must be read through more than once to even have the faintest grip on it. And I believe the film is the same. I've seen it twice now, and despite having run the movie in my head thousands of times, my two viewings still don’t allow me to view the film with the proper distance or objectivity. Is it Apocalypse Now? Is it Blade Runner? Is it Kubrick, or Starship Troopers? I don’t know yet. All I know is that I had a pretty amazing experience the two times I've seen it. And both viewings produced remarkably different experiences. The point is, I have listened for years, to complaints from true comic book fans, that "not enough movies take the source material seriously." "Too many movies puss out," or "They change great stories, just to be commercial." Well, I f***ing dare you to say any one of those things about this movie. This is a movie made by fans, for fans. Hundreds of people put in years of their lives to make this movie happen, and every one of them was insanely committed to retaining the integrity of this amazing, epic tale. This is a rare success story, bordering on the impossible, and every studio in town is watching to see if it will work. Hell, most of them own a piece of the movie. So look, this is a note to the fanboys and fangirls. The true believers. Dedicated for life. If the film made you think. Or argue with your friends. If it inspired a debate about the nature of man, or vigilante justice, or the horror of Nixon abolishing term limits. If you laughed at Bowie hanging with Adrian at Studio 54, or the Silhouette kissing that nurse. Please go see the movie again next weekend. You have to understand, everyone is watching to see how the film will do in its second week. If you care about movies that have a brain, or balls, (and this film's got both, literally), or true adaptations -- And if you're thinking of seeing it again anyway, please go back this weekend, Friday or Saturday night. Demonstrate the power of the fans, because it'll help let the people who pay for these movies know what we'd like to see. Because if it drops off the radar after the first weekend, they will never allow a film like this to be made again. In the interests of full disclosure, let me also point out that I do not profit one cent from an increase in box office, although an increase in box office can add to the value of the writers' eventual residual profits from dvd and tv sales. But I'm not saying it for money. I'm saying it for people like me. I'm saying it for people who love smart, dark entertainment, on a grand, operatic scale. I'm talking to the Snake fans, the Rorschach fans, the people of the Dark Knight. And hey, if you hated the film, if you think we committed atrocities, or literary mistakes of a massive, cephalopodic nature. If the movie made you a little sick to your stomach, or made you feel bad about your life. If you hated it for whatever reason, that's cool too. I'm not suggesting you risk gastro-intestinal distress just for the sake of risky filmmaking. But if you haven't seen it yet? Well, I'll just say this... It may upset you. And it probably will upset you. And all along, we really meant it to. Because face it. All this time...You there, with the Smiley-face pin. Admit it. All this time, you’ve been waiting for a director who was going to hit you in the face with this story. To just crack you in the jaw, and then bend you over the pool table with this story. With its utterly raw view of the darkest sides of human nature, expressed through its masks of action and beauty and twisted good intentions. Like a fry-basket full of hot grease in the face. Like the Comedian on the Grassy Knoll. I know, I know... You say you don't like it. You say you've got issues. I get it. And yet... You'll be thinking about this film, down the road. It'll nag at you. How it was rough and beautiful. How it went where it wanted to go, and you just hung on. How it was thoughtful and hateful and bleak and hilarious. And for Jackie Earle Haley. Trust me. You'll come back, eventually. Just like Sally. Might as well make it count for something. David Hayter

  • March 12, 2009, 1 p.m. CST

    Oh, please!

    by JacksParasites

    Not another convoluted argument for why the new ending doesn't work. Like the world is really going to hold so much of a grudge against America that they'd let the entire world be destroy solely to show how dissatisfied they are that America couldn't control Manhattan even though his creation had nothing to do with any deliberate plot by the American government but some random accident. That's absurd. The Manhattan ending works so much better than the squid, which requires the sudden gnere shift to a monster movie in the last Act. Instead, the ending goes back to the Manhattan-as-God metaphor and completes The Day The Earth Stood Still allusion made in the book.

  • March 12, 2009, 1:37 p.m. CST

    For real?

    by jakitawagner

    Did you guys think it was going to be an exact replica of the book? It is an ADAPTATION and a damn good one. Alan Moore wishes he wrote the movie ending. The squid is fucking stupid and you all know it. You just think that everything that he writes is amazing because you are told to. Garth Ennis? A much better writer.

  • March 12, 2009, 1:50 p.m. CST


    by richievanderlow

    I think you missed the point. It's not about the ending in a literal sense. It's not about the lack of a squid. It's about how the ending is different and nowhere near as bold or as affecting as the book. The characters, their motivations. The fact that Doc Manhatten is now the cause, and how that doesn't make sense. If he had been, that it wouldn't unite our planet, but divide us as he was working for our country, and the rest of the world just forgives the U.S. and everyone unites. In this 'world' of the watchmen, the ending didn't make sense. It didn't continue in a fashion that felt faithful to the great job Snyder and co. did up to that point. That's the beef.. not the lack of a squid.

  • March 12, 2009, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Garth Ennis is brilliant --

    by blakindigo

    -- but, Alan Moore has a very different style. Ennis' writing feels almost conversational; he's a raconteur telling a cracking good yarn. More is literary and experimental, especially in the 'Watchmen' and 'Miracleman period. He's trying to showcase the uniqueness of sequential art, so he plays with formal storytelling devices like panel arrangements and narrative conventions.

  • March 12, 2009, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Revenge of Fett: that's not exactly what I said...

    by Darth Macchio

    ...I was referring not to people who would think the squid was dumb on an discussion or intellectual level (like in this TB) but the people who would just see it and laugh without thinking.<p>These people aren't geeks nor are they the average contemplative person that sits firmly in that 90% you mention. The '10 percenter' figure is obviously pulled out from ass but I still stand behind my point.<p>If you defend removing the squid because "people will laugh at it" then you are catering to those imbeciles. I'd like to know why you feel the need to cater to that demographic? The same demographic who made Paul Blart #1 in the theaters for a week or 2? Or laugh until they pee at Epic Movie?<p>If you think the squid is irrelevant or just dumb but not fart joke dumb or "'My name is Richard, people call me Dick'; 'Hahah! you said Dick! your name is Dick! Hahaha! Dick! Haha!'" dumb then that is an entirely different story.<p>My personal opinion stems from which is more believable? The original GN ending or Doc M ending in the movie. Look at this TB fer chrisschex! How many people analyzing this or that, scrutinizing every detail. Nobody seems to take into account that if Watchmen was non-fiction, that people in that world would be doing the same fucking thing.<p>But if some wtf entity, huge and obviously not of this Earth (to the witnesses), just appeared in NYC slaughtering over 3 million people instantly (brains exploding, bleeding eyes, ears, etc, etc) and giving every human being on the entire planet a psychic deathscream nightmare and vision of unspeakable horrors, just showed up out of the blue...<p>If you think that is more likely to engender questions and hesitation on peoples of the world, some of which have been killing each other for thousands of years, would suddenly come together in peace over the ever present threat of an fully known omnipotent American God are the ones who are deluded, I think.<p>I'm not saying there's no way it can work, not at all...I'm trying to not be adamant on my opinion here...but people seem to think an American scientist turned into a God is less questionable by the fictional people of the Watchmen universe than a god damn extra-dimensional alien killing millions of people and invading the god damn brains of the rest of the entire human population....yeah, ok, I'm sure people would debate that as opposed to an American God and the new threat he poses after he helped us win in VN, etc. Yup. No questions whatsoever.<p>Maybe it's fear of a giant blue dong that would subdue the populace? I mean if the guy can disintegrate anybody with a thought, what the fuck are we supposed to do? Bargain? Pray? Unite and do what? There'd be NO hope! See, my point is this is how it would occur, people wouldn't just fall in line and unite against a known God, particularly one that used to be an American (try not to think like an American when you consider this). But against an unknown and unprecedented alien entity?<p>You sure I'm the one who's deluded?<p>That said, I feel bad for Snyder as you're right. There's no way he could have made the geek world happy. Give the guy credit for doing a freakin amazingly excellent job and even tho I disagree with the changes he made and why he made them, I'm happy to get at least a "geek's" version of Watchmen on film. There are others who could have done better, would have done better, but not many and most of them are far too A-list to even do a "superhero" movie much less the cult-like followed GN of Watchmen.

  • March 12, 2009, 2:23 p.m. CST

    And the laugh-out-loud quote of the day goes to...

    by Mattyboy122

    MGMAX for this bit of inspired, unintentional comedy: <p>"what the Cold War needed was a real superhero, a president capable of staring down the Soviets till they crumbled without a bomb launched." <p>And if you think Moore is suggesting that Adrian was right to do what he did, well, then I don't think you understand Moore or the comic book.

  • March 12, 2009, 2:25 p.m. CST


    by spud mcspud

    Like Moore would ever write anything as intentionally juvenile and just plain unpleasant as THE BOYS. Ennis is the equivalent of a six year old boy throwing his own shit at his parents just to shock them. Sure, he's capable of greatness (PREACHER, his work on PUNISHER MAX, his HELLBLAZER) but when he's shite, he's REALLY fucking shite.<P> Alan Moore's off days are usually beter than the pinnacle of most writers' work. The man is literally in a league of his own. When you can name a Garth Ennis book that has anywhere near as many wild ideas and insight as, say, THE BALLAD OF HALO JONES or WATCHMEN, let me know. Because so far the only classic Ennis has ever punched out is PREACHER - wow. A massive long hate letter about Christianity.<P> Now let's see him do one about Islam. Yeah, thought not. Taking Christianity apart is like fighting the brothers from Hanson by starting on the drummer - strictly for the fucking weak. Let's see Ennis attack a religion that is causing ACTUAL FUCKING HARM to women all around the world, and whose more militant followers MIGHT ACTUALLY FIGHT BACK.

  • March 12, 2009, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Darth Brooks

    by Ebolarama

    Singer of such great tunes as "I Got Siths in Low Places" and "Imperial Honky Tonk Bar Association"

  • March 12, 2009, 2:31 p.m. CST


    by spud mcspud

    I'd actually love to see a proper, just-like-the-book adaptation of DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? The book is brilliant anyway - way more cerebral than BLADE RUNNER, and the first thing I'd like to see prominently in the movie would be the mood organ, which I always thought was one of the best ideas EVER in written SF. This kind of movie needs a proper actor, one who can emote and be philosophical whilst able to kick ass. I'd say Matthew Fox, but he's kind of overexposed these days. Give Anton Yelchin a few years, maybe he'll have the chops. Either way, DADOES needs some real care and attention if it ever gets made true to its source.<P> Doesn't mar my enjoyment of the movie, though. BLADE RUNNER is just breathtaking film-making.

  • March 12, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Spud Mcspud

    by RipVanMarlowe

    I'd be lying if I haven't thought about what a more literal translation DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? might look like. But I'm just not sure it would work like BLADE RUNNER worked.

  • March 12, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    And about Blade Runner

    by Mattyboy122

    RipVanMarlowe hit the nail on the head. Blade Runner is an adaptation, sure, but that is NOT why it's considered an original and immensely influential film. The liberties that were taken, the ability to fill out the canvas of a futuristic world in a startlingly new way, these are the things that Blade Runner's legacy has been (not to take away from the film's performances, themes, etc., which are all fabulous). <p>The changes to the ending remind me, in a way, of Quantum of Solace. Unlike Watchmen, Quantum of Solace goes out of its way to defy the expectations of a Bond film, up until the stupid ass scene lifted straight from Goldfinger with the chick covered in oil. After all this time avoiding Bond cliches, you throw that bone to the fans and it just rubs the wrong way. With Watchmen, it was the opposite: slavish devotion to the comic book but at the end there's a pretty significant change that sort of jolts readers of the comic.

  • March 12, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Anybody like both endings?

    by TheLastCleric

    The Watchmen GN really is a brilliant bit of comic book history and I have no problem with the squid ending. That said, I’m also pleased with just how accurate and inclusive Snyder was with the film and while I’m sure the director’s cut and Black Freighter/Minutemen supplements will truly flesh out the film, what I saw in the theater was an exceptionally well done adaptation made by somebody who obviously worships the source material. Considering that the film retains the main thematic of not trusting those in power, I really don’t see the problem with the film’s altered ending. It’s a great companion piece to a great novel. Hell, even the game was a blast and the story, which centers on the alternate reality premise of Woodward and Bernstein being assassinated, was pretty cool.

  • March 12, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST


    by richievanderlow

    I didn't dislike the movie ending, I just think it's extremely flawed.. I love the book ending.. I like the movie ending, which is extremely flawed.

  • March 12, 2009, 3:39 p.m. CST

    "I Did It!"

    by jsarnold513

    The screenwriters screwed up Veidt's character and the end royally by not including that line, or the "Nothing ever ends" talk with Dr. Manhattan at the end. People who think it would've been laughable for Veidt to squeal with glee at his "victory" miss the significance of that line: it shows that, even as Veidt is looking at all the carnage on the monitors, and even as he pretends he did this in the best interests of humanity, it was really all just an ego trip for him and he didn't give a damn about anyone else but himself. Only when he's talking to Dr. Manhattan, the one man on earth he doesn't feel infinitely superior to, that he expresses any doubt and Manhattan delivers a total mindfuck to him and his ego by reminding him "Nothing ever ends." Instead, we get Veidt trying to care about the people he's just murdered, and then letting Dan smack him around for a few seconds (which doesn't seem to even hurt him). That was LAME. It was better for Rorschach to go die alone. It makes the moment all the more poignant. People who get angry at Dan and Laurie for having sex while Rorschach is being executed are overlooking one thing: they don't know Rorschach is being killed. Only Manhattan and Rorschach were there. The sex is all about them wanting to feel comforted and close to another human being after what just happened. Slapping a melodramatic "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!" over Rorschach's death cheapens it. Especially since Dan doesn't even seem to give a damn 30 seconds later. I know so many people poured their heart and soul into this movie, and for that I'm greatful as a fan. But they missed the boat on a few things, and the reshuffling of all the character arcs and details at the ending was the big one.

  • March 12, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Typical fanboy nitpickery

    by Wee Willie

    I never read the book. I loved the movie. I am gouing to buy the book and read it and probably enjoy it MORE because the film acted as a primer for the material. To say that the ending said all the right things but in all the wrong places reveals that Massa doesn't know jack shit about adapting stuff for the screen.

  • March 12, 2009, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Agree - Ok, MAYBE not a squid

    by Picasso5

    ...But a better metaphor than Manhattan/Nuking of the major cities. Great observations Mass!

  • March 12, 2009, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Max Headroom as Moloch...

    by richievanderlow

    Haven't seen it mentioned, but did anybody else catch Matt Frewer... 80's icon Max Headroom himself, as Moloch... not only good casting for the role.. but a nice nod to the '80's era there as well.

  • March 12, 2009, 5:38 p.m. CST

    I just saw it again, did anybody else notice...

    by brokentusk

    ... after Ozy reveals that his plan was set in motion half an hour before Owl and Rory arrive in Antartica, it cuts to a bank of monitors showing the nuclear blast commencing. Underneath the monitors, written on a screen in large letters are the words: <p> "S.Q.U.I.D. initiating". <p> I thought more people would have seen that, I laughed out loud.

  • March 12, 2009, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Just found this on IMDB:

    by brokentusk

    The energy devices are called "Sub-Quantum Unifying Intrinsic Devices", which gives the acronym "SQUID". Therefore, New York is still "destroyed by a squid" in the finale. <p> There we go.

  • March 12, 2009, 6:21 p.m. CST

    The one thing that strikes me....

    by MonkeyLord

    is the fact that you can never tell you will like the film, and who won't. In my group, all the Watchmen fanbois loved it (including me). The uninitiated were half and half. Among my work buddies, half the fanbois hated it, the others were disappointed or indifferent. The noobies, on the other hand, loved it. :/ So far, unlike, say, a Coen Bros, Michael Bay, or Jerry Bruckheimer film, there just doesn't seem to be a litmus test for who's going to give The Watchmen a thumbs up, or a thumbs down. None that I can see, anyway. People I expected to hate it loved it, and have already seen it twice. Some I expected to love it were deeply disappointed. I guess it just depends on what our personal hangups are, and whether we let them wreck the experience for us.

  • March 12, 2009, 6:37 p.m. CST

    by jakitawagner

    @richievanderlow IMO the ending works better because Manhattan was basically being kept by the US military so they could keep tabs on him and he was off the rails anyway. I think it works because it neutralizes Manhattan and it showcases the utter douchebaggery of Veidt. And the point of retaliation by the Soviets is moot anyway, the world is fucked, what choice do they have but to unite? Squid, alternate universe pudding drowning the earth? It's all the same. @spud Dude, are you Alan Moore? I'm not saying his work isn't good, obviously I am a fan of Watchmen and I think From Hell and V For Vendetta are pretty damn good too. Too bad The Boys upsets your nancy boy sensibilities because I think it is a brilliant (albeit quite often unsavory) take on the superhero genre. And 303 and Chronicles of Wormwood are pretty badass too. There are a lot of great RELEVANT writers working today. If you weren't too busy sucking Alan Moore's cock you might have time to find that out for yourself.

  • March 12, 2009, 7:57 p.m. CST

    ONCE AGAIN: "The Squid" Does Not Just Come Out of Nowhere

    by DS9Sisko

    After reading many comments over again, there still persists this weird view among SOME fans that "the squid" just magically appears at the end of the original story. This begs the question: are the people who say this folk who actually READ Watchmen at all? Throughout the narrative and even in the supplemental materials we hear and see references to missing scientists, the reknown psychic, and artists who are later shown on an island. The psychic is actually DRAWING her interpretation of "the squid" that will be used by Veidt. Then, with their work completed, Veidt blows up and sinks the transport boat with everyone from the island aboard. What part of that escapes people who claim to have read the maxi-series/graphic novel multiple times yet claim that "the squid" just appears out of nowhere at the end? It was all a apart of Veidt's carefully laid plan to create this fake ass monster/alien THAT PLAYED OUT SEVERAL ISSUES, not something that Moore pulled out of his ass for shock value. I'm just really curious: how in the hell did these folks miss that "the squid" was Veidt's creation, whose creation had been threaded throughout the narrative?

  • March 12, 2009, 8:51 p.m. CST


    by pdennett316

    That's the problem with keeping the original ending in the movie in a nutshell. People have complained there's too much exposition style dialogue in the flick already, wouldn't there have to be a lot more in order for the squid ending to work? <p> Like it or not, the original ending was never going to fly due to the sheer length the movie would have to be to accomodate it. Either that or other stuff would have been lost, which is the more preferable option? <p> Adaptations are never the same as the originals, and why should they be? The originals already exist, why recreate them verbatim? I think Snyder did the best ANYONE could do with this besides doing a 12 part mini-series, and that would be pointless too as you could just READ THE FUCKING ORIGINAL COMIC!!

  • March 13, 2009, 1 a.m. CST


    by DS9Sisko

    I READ THE FUCKING ORIGINAL COMIC WHEN IT FIRST CAME OUT IN 1986. I agree with you; see my previous TWO posts a few clicks up. You OBVIOUSLY misinterpreted what I wrote. What I was asking why are there people who are claiming that "the squid" came out of nowhere in the graphic novel/comic when it was clearly and explicitly set up for several issues. I thought Snyder did an admirable job. Why don't you read MY fucking original posts and the one you responded to more closely before jumping down my throat and to conclusions.

  • March 13, 2009, 2:59 a.m. CST

    Endings Versus Meanings

    by yiannis

    Dammit! I keep trying to stop commenting on Watchmen, but it is simply too rich a topic to leave alone.<br><br>I have read Watchmen at least a dozen times since I first picked it up a little over 3 years ago, to date I have seen the movie twice and have been thinking about the story for the majority of the past year. What I have found, something almost totally unique in all my years of literary or cinematic experiences, is that my understanding has grown, shifted, mutated if you like, during that time. Not in the usual way of things mind you, where the initial understanding is either incorrect or does not have all the details. Both of those things have happened to an extent, but at the same time my understanding has become deeper, more profound, looking beyond the simple events and images to a deeper meaning behind them.<br><br>Perhaps this is because so little in fiction these days actually has a "meaning" in the literal sense of the word. They might be "meaningful", say "meaningful" things, but rarely is there an actual "meaning" behind them. Watchmen is different. It has a very specific meaning behind it and the more I have understood that meaning the more my respect for the work and Alan Moore has increased.<br><br>To me, the meaning of Watchmen is that humanity as a species is essentially destined to destroy itself. We are told this again and again, most notably by the Comedian, who is arguably the one character Moore wants us to understand the most, as he is the one who sees this most clearly. However, we also get smaller glimpses of this, particularly in Rorsharch's backstory and, most importantly as far as the ending goes, the attitudes of the people at the New Frontiersman.<br><br>As a character, Veidt also understands this and tries to do something about it. In this sense, Veidt personifies the part of each of us that desires to change the world for the better. He recognises, as would we all, that to truly change the world would take sacrifice and he is willing to make that sacrifice in order to achieve "peace". The story ends with him triumphant, sacrifice made and peace achieved, right?<br><br>Wrong! Peace is not achieved, because Veidt's plan is DOOMED to fail. Doomed because it is man's nature to desire war, not peace. Moore gives us a single, tantalising glimpse of this reality, with the journal at the end, but really we are left to piece this together from the clues and pointers he has left throughout the story. Mankind will destroy itself no matter what. Peace is simply an impossible dream, or maybe even a dream of a dream. Our true dream is violence and war and we live that dream every day our entire lives.<br><br>This is why I find all the talk about the changed ending rather pointless. Would fear of Jon unite the world? Would the world blame the US instead? Would the squid work better? IT.... IS.... POINTLESS!!!!! It doesn't matter what Veidt's plan is, because it will never work. We only ever see that brief moment when Veidt thinks it has worked, but the truth is that, sooner or later, war, death, hatred, bigotry and violence will return, because THAT IS WHAT WE REALLY ARE. Warlike, murderous, hate-filled, bigoted, violent animals. Welcome to the human race.<br><br>Of course, we're not ALL like that, are we? That's why Moore set his story in a world of costumed heroes. Some of us genuinely want to do "the right thing". Some of us genuinely want to make the world a better place. Some of us are in it just for the thrill and the chance to fuck the cheerleader. The point is, though, that ONLY a "superhero" would think they could honestly save the world and bring about world peace. These people are isolated, insulated almost, thinking that their tiny contributions in a world of billions actually make a difference. They don't. Whatever way you slice it, we as a race are fucked.<br><br>If you accuse me of being pessimistic or cynical with this line of thinking, then I in turn will accuse you of being hopelessly naive to thousands of years of provable history. I would also point out that the pessimism and cynicism is not mine but Moore's. This is the way HE sees the world. He may have made his message subtle, implicit rather than explicit, so anyone who is naive or unwilling to face the truth CAN find optimism in his story if they want to, but the true meaning is there, hidden in plain sight behind the pretty costumes and jokey references to other comic books.<br><br>Understanding of this deeper meaning is what makes the film such a rich experience for me, because the meaning is inherent in every fibre of the story, so much so that no director or screenwriter can remove it even if they wanted to (which Snyder and co did not). Every time we see a murder or rape or act of violence, every time the Comedian speaks, every observation Rorsharch notes in his journal, the meaning is there. Snyder does not shy away (as Hollywood attempted to do with previous adaptations - see Sam Hamm script) from showing all the fucked up, atrocious things that Moore has his cast of human beings do to each other throughout the story. In some ways, Snyder proves a perfect fit for this, perhaps unwittingly, through his OWN love of carnage and gore, ramping up these events to show them in all their horrible glory. However, he also reveals these truths through dialogue, not just images. Moore's words still ring out, filtered, altered sometimes but always with the meaning and message intact. During the ending, Snyder even manages the double trick of making the point simultaneously MORE and LESS explicit, by having Dan giving his line about Veidt's peace "mutating" humanity, while simultaneously taking away that moment of doubt between Jon and Veidt, making Veidt's "victory" seem more definitive.<br><br>Ultimately, how you feel about this film - especially as fans of the comic - depends a lot on who you are as a person. If all you care about is what's on the surface, then you might love the film for its visuals, or hate it because it should always be the comic. If you are one of Massawyrm's "over-intellectual" geeks, you might love the film because it had so much of the detail intact, or hate it because it didn't have ALL the detail. For me, Watchmen is a story that speaks to the SOUL and my soul received the same message from both mediums. By my nature I am a lover of film as an art form over and above comics any day, so my surface appreciation veers more to the film than the comic, but the story itself is and always will be Moore's.

  • March 13, 2009, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Snyder is a serious talent.

    by TheLastCleric

    He's a new talent to be sure but so far his work has impressed me and his ability to manage and maintain the integrity of such a dense IP really is amazing. All this talk of him not measuring up to Kubrick and others is pointless; he's hopefully got a long career ahead of him and I think he could deliver some truly great visual experiences. Give the guy some time to create his own legacy.

  • March 14, 2009, 8:06 a.m. CST

    my thoughts are this

    by The Amazing G

    there's nothing really wrong with the Squid ending and there's nothing really wrong with the movie ending either, both work and I just wanna say, Jackie Earle Haley was 100% awesome

  • March 15, 2009, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Dr. Manhattan's

    by moviemo

    ridiculously scultped body was the only thing striking about Watchmen. And Silk Spectre II was the tits, but sorry babe, a God-like looking blue dude with swipe is fucking awesome to behold, even for a straight man.

  • March 15, 2009, 2:34 a.m. CST


    by moviemo

    Rorscach was pretty badass too. And so was Dr. Manhattan's Mars scene. That is all.

  • March 15, 2009, 11:01 p.m. CST

    Ummmm...that's it?

    by WizardandGlass

    When Massawyrm said he was gonna wait until a few days after the release and break down his problems with the movie, I made it a point to keep checking back for it. I enjoyed Watchmen and was curious to hear what he thought was wrong with the ending (I liked it). I really like when one of AICN's head writers says "fuck the spoiler warnings" and explains his reasons for loving/hating a movie in full detail. But THIS is it? Dan shouldn't have been there when Rorshach died? The dialogue was moved around slightly? You made it seem like you had a genuine problem with the ending...this just sounds like nit-picking to me. I could understand if you were one of these people who wanted the Squid, but you didn't. Look, I just think the overanalyzing on this movie is getting out of hand. When you look at the source material, and all the years that everyone said Watchmen was the end I think Synder did the best job ANYONE could have done. He was never gonna make a film that EVERYONE was going to like. In the end this movie will make about $120 million domestically...which when you consider the genre, the running time, and the graphic nature, that's PRETTY DAMNED GOOD. God, it's sad that the movie's come and gone now, and I'm already sick of talking about it. Oh well, I think it will be more appreciated after the DVD release.

  • March 16, 2009, 1:37 a.m. CST

    movie was both

    by maitlanr

    really horrible and really okay... the opening credits were about the coolest thing about the movie and ZS didn't even shoot them? ha! ps. Akerman pretty much tugged the movie into a shit hole whenever she was on screen.

  • March 24, 2009, 5:51 a.m. CST

    "This is way the Watchmen ends.

    by JackRabbitSlim

    "Not with a bang, but with a whimper."