Eyes on “Watchmen”


3 of 5 stars
What’s this?

No two ways about it, I’m pretty excited about “Watchmen.” The original comic book mini-series has held a pretty special place in my heart since I first bought it, issue by issue, upon its initial publication two decades ago. It was the best, most complex and most satisfying graphic storytelling that I’ve ever read, and also the comic book that ruined all other comic books for me, so high did it set the bar for super-hero fiction. If there’s been anything quite as good since, I haven’t come across it.

Less pontificatingly, I have one reservation about this movie — and in fact all masked super-hero movies: with all of the technology and effects wizardry at the disposal of the film industry, is there really no better solution for making these characters’ masks look convincing than that gaudy black make-up spread around the eyes that they always use? Please, someone put some ingenuity into that.

The Comedian
  1. I just don’t think they can pull it off. Watchmen is one of my favorite books of all time and I really can’t see how they can do it justice on screen. I’m pretty much have the same view as Alan Moore does about it: “I shan’t be going to see it. My book is a comic book. Not a movie, not a novel. A comic book. It’s been made in a certain way, and designed to be read a certain way: in an armchair, nice and cozy next to a fire, with a steaming cup of coffee.”

  2. In the specific context of Watchmen, the awful makeup is somewhat defensible because — like the art of the comic — the visual direction is meant to invoke contemporary superhero stories. Certainly that argument only gets you so far. I personally have other reasons to lower my expectations for this movie.

  3. I agree with your sentiment, however in this instance I think it’s appropriate. The Watchmen aren’t super heroes or rich like Batman (Except for Nite Owl or Ozymandias but you get my point). So I believe they would have used whatever means necessary, like mascara or whatever.

    I’ve only just read Watchmen in my usual late-to-the-best-in-field-work way, and found it to be really gripping. I’m not into comics or graphic novels but wanted to catch up for the film. However having read it I don’t think they’ll be able to do it justice.

  4. I too have only just read Watchmen as a result of heavy adverting in my local bookstore. Advertising I suspect only there because of the film.

    I absolutely loved it! Even if the film cannot do the originals justice, it can hopefully open it up to a whole new audience. I personally have no excuse being 28 – I should have read it the first time around, but I hope the graphic novel can be discovered and loved by many more people.

  5. “If there’s been anything quite as good since, I haven’t come across it.”

    As much as I, too, love Watchmen, I have to ask: Does Sandman count?

  6. I’ve just reread it for the first time in 18 years and it was just as good as the first time. I have to agree that I’ve never found another comic book as compelling.

    I’m kind of looking forward to the movie but hope it doesn’t get too much Hollywood sanitization. When you’re reading the really dark parts of the book with Rorschach you can’t help thinking they won’t make it into the movie.

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