Saturday, March 07, 2009

Who watched the Watchmen?

I did, and now I have a slight headache and "The Times They Are A-Changin'" going round and round in my brain.

So did I enjoy Yakkety Zack's filmeriffic version of that book by Dave Gibbons and [name removed at request of lawyers]? Yes, yes I did.

I felt it was a little over-faithful to the book, which was understandable, but still you kind of wished for it to stretch its wings a bit more. The credit sequence (40 or so years of backstory crammed together to the tune of the aforementioned Dylan song) was actually my favourite part of the movie. The David Bowie and Andy Warhol cameos were inspired.

It looked astonishing. The slow-mo in the fights was largely unecessary, but other than that the cinematography was sumptuous. Interesting to note that Gibbons actually comes across better from the enterprise than Moore - any attempts to mirror Gibbons' tracking shots or camera angles, as it were, always looked great, whereas some of Moore's directly transposed dialogue came across as a little portentous. Anyway, full marks to the costume and set design people. Although I can't decide if the ridiculous Richard Nixon makeup was a deliberate caricature or some makeup person getting over-enthusiastic.

Acting was good, going for little-known cast members (as well as quite startling lookalikes, I was surprised how closely nearly everyone matched their drawn versions) paid off in terms of immersion without going, "Ooh, it's George Clooney!" Top marks for Billy Crudup, who made excellent results of possibly one of the hardest-to-portray characters ever written. "Right, Billy, your motivation is that you percieve time in a non-linear fashion. Action!"

Other points: great soundtrack, Malin Akerman is so beautiful it's seriously not even funny, blimey it was violent.

Overall, enjoyable but not great. It reminded me slightly of how you watch a Harry Potter film and think that it's not bad in pouring a book straight on to screen, but you want it to stand as a movie in its own right and it never quite manages it.

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