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WATCHMEN Tops Box Office (Article) - 3/9/2009 3:45:51 AM

Can't blame the economy.  Movie attendance is up 19% over what it was this time last year.

SPOILERS - big time - be warned - don't say I didn't warn you

I was a little disappointed with all the gore.  In the comic, Roscharc chained the child murderer and left him in a burning building, in the movie he chopped the guy up with a meat cleaver.  I found the meat cleaver method more unpleasant to watch, and frankly, less psychotic on Rocharc's part.  There were other instances where gore was shown which was implied or happened off pannel while we watched someone else's reaction shot in the comic.  I felt the extra violence was exploitave and sensational and detracted from my enjoyment of the movie.

Another thing I disliked about the film was the portrayal of Adrian Veidt.  Maybe it was the actor or perhaps it was the direction but none of the warmth and charm that Ozymandis had in the comic came out on screen.  The first time I read the book I was shocked that such a caring person as Veidt should be the murderer.  The movie version presented a chilly SOB that seemed very capable of mass murder.  And since Bubastis had not been portrayed as Veidt's constant companion and pet in the film, the part where he disintigrated her to get Dr. Manhattan had absolutely no impact.  In fact, since we had no contact with her before the climactic scene in Veidt's antactic retreat I wonder that they included her at all since, frankly, the CGI giant mutant lynx looked kind of silly, especially since, for no apparent reason, they decided to make her blue.

And they cut out the "plain folks" in the movie.  The guy who owned the news stand, the boy who read the comic, the butch lesbian cab driver and her artsy lover and the locksmith who kept replacing Nite Owl's locks after Rocharc broke them were important characters.  We met the psychologist who worked in the prison only briefly and learned nothing about his life or even met his wife.  And the two cops who investigated Blake's murder weren't seen for the rest of the film.  In the book we knew these people as well as we knew Dan and Laurie and Roscharc.  We cared about them.  And they were important because their lives were the price that Veidt payed for world peace.  To say "I killed millions but I saved billions" sounds, perhaps, reasonable.  To know and care about a few of the people who lost their lives makes such a cold transaction horrible in a way that was not presented in the film.

I don't know how I feel about the absence of the squid.  On the one hand, perhaps it would have looked silly on film.  On the other hand, I like the Lovecraftian imagery of the squid in the book and since Veidt didn't genetically engineer an "alien" it destroyed the subplot of the missing artists, how they created the "alien" and how Veidt murdered them.  More lives sacrificed for the cause by Veidt.

I make it sound like I disliked the film but I didn't.  It was much more faithful to the source material than I could have dreamed possible.  The action was fantastic and the portrayal of the characters (aside from Veidt) was spot on.  It looked terrific and I got a real kick out of the scenes of Dr Manhattan's flying clock construction on Mars.  But somehow, the heart of the film was gone.  It was like a present with nothing inside, just an empty box with pretty wrapping paper.

I'd give it an A- or B on spectacle and appearance and I would reccommend it to friends, assuming they have strong stomachs.  I'm really looking forward to the DVD release with the pirate comic footage added because perhaps that will bring back the message of the film that I thought was missing (that Veidt had "sold his soul" for peace, had become a monster through the horror of his actions).

And you know, they showed a lot less of Dr Manhattan's penis than I would have expected.  Considering that he walked around stark naked for most of the film there was a lot less full frontal nudity than I expected.  They added the gore and subtacted the male nudity.  Hmmmm.  You know that if Dr Manhattan had been a female character there would have been naked blue breasts in every frame.

5 Awesome Movies Ruined By Last Minute Changes (Article) - 3/7/2009 11:31:52 AM

About Blade Runner.  I like the original theatrical version.  I like the voice over by Harrison Ford and the film noir atmosphere it evoked.  That atmosphere was enhansed by his monotone reading, indicating how tired and strung out and jaded he was by his prior life as a professional killer and how unwillingly he was doing this new blade runner assignment.

And the "happy" ending never seemed so happy to me.  Far from living happily ever after, Dekkard and Rachael were fleeing north into a trackless forest  wilderness (not the best environment for lifelong city dwellers) where they would spend the rest of their lives (however long those would be) on the run, constantly looking over their shoulders for the legion of blade runners sure to be dispatched to hunt them down.  It was hope, but it looked like a long hard road.

As for the whole, Dekkard is a replicant thing, besides making no sense for a variety of reasons, it would gut the whold message of the movie for me.  As I see it, the movie was about how Dekkard, a human, was so tired and jaded by the hard, violent life he had lived as a blade runner that he was emptionally shut down, less alive than the androids he hunted.  His interaction with the replicants Roy Batty, Priss, Leon, Zohra and especially Rachel (with whom he fell in love), rejuvinated his emotions.  He regained his humanity from the androids!  Of course, if he had been a replicant all along then he had no "humanity" to regain and message I percieved in the movie was meaningless.

CLOVERFIELD 2 Development Confirmed (Article) - 3/3/2009 11:46:39 AM

I think everybody is being a little hard on the characters.  Yeah, they were a bunch of self involved, shallow, yuppie 20 somethings but hey, we've all been there at some point.

I'm not really interested in learning more about them.  But the monster and  where it came from interest me.  A sequel to Clover field would have to be really different from it's parent movie or it will look really derivitave.

Steady Wasteland Before Kings (Article) - 3/3/2009 11:38:55 AM

Well, shows like CSI are about the science of forensics and they are fiction so they are ipso facto science fiction.  But the emphasis isn't really on the science or science fictional aspects, it's on the mystery which the science is used to solve. 

If you include CSI you should also include NCIS and Bones and any other forensics procedural show as well.  Also, in Numb3rs, they use the science of mathematics to solve crimes.  In The Mentalist they use the science of psychology to solve crimes.  In House they use the science of medecine to solve mysteries.  I guess, in the broadest sense, all of these shows are scifi.  Sort of.

Of course, you also include Ghost Hunters which is more a reality show.  Unless you don't believe in ghosts (like me) and then it's just foolishness.

What I really want you to include is Stargate Atlantis.  No wait, you can't because it's over.  But I'm sure we can all agree that a show about an expedition to another galaxy is much more scifi than any of the shows mentioned above.

ABC Cancels MARS (Article) - 3/3/2009 11:22:55 AM

This is a real shame.  I thought this was the best new show of the season, scifi or no scifi.  The scripts and writing and acting were so good.

Everybody says the British original was better but never having seen it I have no basis for comparison.  I suspect people were just used to the British version.  Perhaps someone who saw the American version first would think it was the best.

And I noticed plenty of social commentary where Sam compared the morals of 2008 against 1973 and made value judgements based on them.

Battlestar Galactica: Someone to Watch Over Me (Article) - 3/3/2009 4:37:16 AM

Hmm, they called the destroyed planet Earth but do we know that it was, in fact OUR Earth?  Perhaps the planet that they will presumabably colonize in 4 episodes is actually our Earth.

I mean, if the destroyed planet was Earth and BSG is in our future it would mean that we are all Cylons.

CAPRICA Hitting DVD (Article) - 3/3/2009 4:11:37 AM

I'm with shadow1701.  BSG has so not been crying out for a prequel.  Especially one about a family of lawyers.  I come from a family of lawyers and trust me, it's not that exciting.

I won't buy the DVD.  I won't pirate the movie either.  When it's broadcast for free on the Scifi Channel I might watch it.  Or I might not, depends on what else is on.

Sucky Sequels (Article) - 2/28/2009 12:04:52 PM

Hmmmm, Mortal Combat 2.

 

Mania Review: WATCHMEN (Article) - 2/27/2009 4:10:08 AM

And TDK was a very good movie but it wasn't the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Ledger deserved his Oscar but Bale brought the movie down somewhat.

Mania Review: WATCHMEN (Article) - 2/27/2009 4:07:36 AM

I'm sorry that Tales Of the Black Freighter will not be included in the movie.  It was so rich with thematic resonance for the actions and motivations of one of the major characters (won't go into details in case someone here actually hasn't read the book).  It may have slowed down the action a little but it added so much in subtext! 

That being said, I can see how they might not have been able to include it in the movie.  A literary trick that worked well on the page might not do so well on film.  And the newspaper vendor and the comic book reading kid really were important characters.  I'd go into details on why but in the interest of forgoing spoilers I won't.  Unless people here want me to.

When the DVD edition with the Black Freghter footage is released I'll be right out ther to buy it so I can see it integrated into the movie where it should be.

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karas1
Date Joined: October 3, 2006