Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby ascendingPig » Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:43 am UTC

Moore doesn't seem to be translatable to film at all. I mean, just look at:
(a) League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
(b) V For Vendetta
(c) From Hell
(d) Constantine

Just this track record should be enough to crush anyone's enthusiasm about a "Watchmen" movie.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Jesse » Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:38 am UTC

Yes, four different directors have made four films that weren't particularly good translations of Moore funnybooks to the big screen. However, different director (One who's proven to know how to take a funnybook to the big screen) means it's all a brand new chance, unaffected by previous results.

Also, Constantine doesn't count. Moore may have had the character appear, but it was other people who made him interesting.

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Jack Saladin » Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:45 am UTC

The doomsday clock in the last frame is not quite pointing at 12. Has it been halted, or even slowed? It depends on your perspective.

It's pointing exactly at 12, the hands are perfectly aligned. That would only happen when it's exactly on 12 o'clock.

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:03 pm UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:
The doomsday clock in the last frame is not quite pointing at 12. Has it been halted, or even slowed? It depends on your perspective.

It's pointing exactly at 12, the hands are perfectly aligned. That would only happen when it's exactly on 12 o'clock.

I can upload the page if you like.


Edit: I see what you mean now.

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:09 pm UTC

Jesse wrote: However, different director (One who's proven to know how to take a funnybook to the big screen) means it's all a brand new chance, unaffected by previous results.

He took a shallow, glitzy, action-filled comic series to the big screen arguably successfully, and the biggest complaints about it were the parts he added in to pad out the story. Not to say I didn't enjoy 300, because I did, but adapting Watchmen is a competely different game.

I do agree that the previous results aren't necessarily indicative, but I don't think having 300 on his resume helps his case, either.

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Ati » Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:47 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:
Jesse wrote: However, different director (One who's proven to know how to take a funnybook to the big screen) means it's all a brand new chance, unaffected by previous results.

He took a shallow, glitzy, action-filled comic series to the big screen arguably successfully, and the biggest complaints about it were the parts he added in to pad out the story. Not to say I didn't enjoy 300, because I did, but adapting Watchmen is a competely different game.

I do agree that the previous results aren't necessarily indicative, but I don't think having 300 on his resume helps his case, either.




True. On the other hand, the trailer is fairly well put together, they're keeping the original time period and not doing anything overtly dumb, and according to the interviews, he seems to be a fan of the comic, and at least get what it's about in it's broad strokes (in one interview, he mentioned having trouble explaining to the studios that Watchmen was 'less fantastic 4, and more Dr. Strangelove'). I take these as good signs.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Jessica » Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:13 pm UTC

There's no point being cynical about the Watchmen movie now. I mean, it's not like you won't see it when it comes out. If it's bad, well that sucks. But you'll see it.

Just let it be what it is.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Jack Saladin » Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:13 pm UTC

Comic book fanatics not bitching about something? Madness!

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Joeldi » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:28 am UTC

I've just finished it, and it was as good as the world told me it would be, but I was disappointed, because I expected something slightly different, and what I expected is also something I crave.

Basically, there was less action, and far less powers than I expected (Well, actually, the quantity of powers were there, but they were all in one massively over-powered character.) In other words, I'm still after a comic book about twisted-by-reality super-humans who fight crime, not one about nuts in costumes and a human god.

I also tend to want to avoid all the major established franchises because of so much accumulated lameness over the ages.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Jesse » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:58 am UTC

Maybe try Warren Ellis' The Authority?

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Belial » Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:04 am UTC

Yes, that.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:31 pm UTC

Or the original Squadron Supreme, which Authority borrowed heavily from.

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Belial » Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:31 pm UTC

Didn't you accuse "Rising Stars" of being a ripoff of Squadron Supreme as well?

Because...uhh...that series has to be pretty damn comprehensive if both of those series can manage to be pulled from it.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:36 pm UTC

No, I accused Supreme Power, a remake of Squadron Supreme of borrowing heavily from Squadron Supreme, which really cannot be refuted, since it's exactly what it is. Well, more accurately, I said JMS remade SS, which he did.

But here's the basic plot of SS: a superhero team (which is basically the Justice League) decides to take the world into its own hands and mold it how they see fit. Some people disagree with this and fight back. I'm not saying Authority is bad, just that it's far from the first to use the idea considering SS came out in the 80s.

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Belial » Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:44 pm UTC

Ahh, that's right. Faulty memory.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Jack Saladin » Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:36 am UTC

Joeldi wrote:In other words, I'm still after a comic book about twisted-by-reality super-humans who fight crime, not one about nuts in costumes and a human god.

I also tend to want to avoid all the major established franchises because of so much accumulated lameness over the ages.

Same, and I just started reading The Authority and it is goddamned awesome. Geddit.

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Jessica » Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:09 pm UTC

I need to get the authority.
but I have so much I'm reading already...


I'll read the authority next time I crash at my friend's house, if they haven't lent it out.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Oort » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:08 am UTC

Just finished Watchmen. I'll have to reread this a few times.

I loved Jon's view. "Who makes the world?", "it never ends", "miracle of thermodynamics." Now I'll have to read V for Vendetta.

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Joeldi » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:52 am UTC

Right, with all these recommendations, I guess I'm sold. Now to begin the arduous task of finding the bloody things. It's really hard to get the hands on many a book where I live.
I already have a hate thread. Necromancy > redundancy here, so post there.

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Nyarlathotep » Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:36 pm UTC

So I finished it today instead of reading stuff for my class on Edith Wharton. I think it was time well spent.

Here are some thoughts:

-I didn't like Rorschach. (waits to be lynched by the fora) I understand what he is as a character, and he is well-written and serves his purpose, so I give him that. I still did not like him and thought he was a blind idiot seeing the world in black and white. Sorry. Rorsh, the world isn't even grey; it's full of colors.
He does serve his purpose as a deconstruction of the sort of hero who goes beating people up for information (I kept thinking of Batman), and I think you're not -supposed- to like him, but it scares me that so many people seem to idolize the man. So he never gave up, never compromised. So what? That doesn't make him a good person at all, and indeed, I think that sort of extremism can be dangerous.

-I almost, ALMOST liked Ozymandias. I even liked him when he started detailing his plan (which I had been spoiled for, yes), becuase I like manipulative bastard types (in case you guys haven't noticed.
Then he actually executed his plan.
And the first thing I said was, "That's stupid, it won't work!"
The plan actually succeeded at ruining my suspension of disbelief. I can accept Dr. Manhattan and his... Dr. Manhattanness, I can accept Adrian being such a super genius that he plans things that far out ahead.
I don't believe for one moment that dropping a genetic mutant on Manhattan would cause an end to fighting.
My immediate thought was that there was only one of those things. Given the lack of repeat incidents and of evidence of more of them, in a few years people would begin to realize that it was an isolated incident - in other words, a natural disaster, not a planned attack, not a threat. As unpredictable, uncontrollable as a hurricane.
Wars do not stop for hurricanes. They do not stop for earthquakes. They might pause for this due to the unexpected nature (yes, even taking into account the subliminal messages projected by the beastie's oversized brain), but they will not stop as Adrian seems to think. Perhaps he has some grand follow-up plan, but it seems simply naiive.
Furthermore, if Adrian Veit has the technology to genetically engineer such a thing in the 1980's, it suggests that the technology while not widely available exists. And if I were a biologist, the first thing I'd want to do is run genetic tests on it, especially if the thing has the potential to be a threat to the world at large.
Which would, of course, reveal its terrestrial origin and its brain's similarity to a human's. And then if any of the physicists started to try to trace its origin... well.
There are ways. Truth tells, I'm afraid. The idea of founding world peace on a lie, and not just a lie but a lie based in fear...
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Without continual "alien" attacks, people won't be afraid anymore, and they'd go right back to their idiot war-mongering ways.

So, yes.

Still. "I did it thirty-five minutes ago." That's just badass.

Uh, other stuff. I was kind of annoyed by the panel layout, but that's probably becuase I'm used to modern comics with unconventional panel layouts and hueg spreads. I imagine that wasn't invented yet; and even if it was, Watchmen was meant to be a deconstruction, so it makes sense to me to have it harken back to older comics. Art style was decent, but nothing spectacular. Really didn't like the pirate thing as a narrative device - the story told there was way, way too predictable and it ended up being nothing but distracting, rather than enlightening. I did like all the little set-dressings though, the way Dr. Manhattan's existence changed technology, the existence of real masked vigilantes making superhero comics unpopular.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Jack Saladin » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:52 pm UTC

-I didn't like Rorschach. (waits to be lynched by the fora) I understand what he is as a character, and he is well-written and serves his purpose, so I give him that. I still did not like him and thought he was a blind idiot seeing the world in black and white. Sorry. Rorsh, the world isn't even grey; it's full of colors.
He does serve his purpose as a deconstruction of the sort of hero who goes beating people up for information (I kept thinking of Batman), and I think you're not -supposed- to like him, but it scares me that so many people seem to idolize the man. So he never gave up, never compromised. So what? That doesn't make him a good person at all, and indeed, I think that sort of extremism can be dangerous.

Agreed. The people who think that Rorschach is legitimately awesome and a great guy kinda scare me.

Also agreed on how stupid the squid thing was. I actually hope they change that for the film. And agreed again on the pirate stuff - I was almost tempted to skip it, it was so boring and I just wanted to get back to the story.

Huh, Watchmen actually seems pretty crappy now that I think about it.

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:58 pm UTC

Rorchach is a bad guy. The only way I can see someone "admiring" him, is that has has a code and sticks to it. If you're into that sort of lawfulness, then I can see how that aspect might be appealing. The man as a whole isn't really anything resembling good.

And I think Veidt's plan might work...a little. At the very least, it removes the crisis element of the problem. Let's say it takes six months for the entire affair to blow over--at that point, the world order's probably shifted enough in the meantime to not be on the edge of nuclear war as it was when he did his thing. So I think he bought time, although how much else he accomplished is hard to say.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Nyarlathotep » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:02 pm UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:Agreed. The people who think that Rorschach is legitimately awesome and a great guy kinda scare me.

Also agreed on how stupid the squid thing was. I actually hope they change that for the film. And agreed again on the pirate stuff - I was almost tempted to skip it, it was so boring and I just wanted to get back to the story.

Huh, Watchmen actually seems pretty crappy now that I think about it.


It was still well-written, I thought, and I enjoyed it as a deconstruction of typical superhero tropes - sort of an example of why superheroes don't work, and a meditation on the kind of wackjob you'd have to be to take up that kind of work. Enjoyable to read, if nothing else. And even if Veidt's plan was flawed, that one line is <i>still</i> insanely badass.

Sir_Elderberry - Yes, but there are ways of buying time that do not involve giant mutant squid-things and murdering half of NYC. Just as there was probably a way to slow down Dr. Manhattan that didn't involve killing his beloved pet.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:39 pm UTC

Ways, yes. But Veidt has a taste for grandeur.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:57 pm UTC

I was under the impression that you weren't supposed to like Rorschach.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby mosc » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:02 pm UTC

My take on the ending was mostly a big "of course". I mean, not to break the third wall completely but the intent was clearly to do something different and the ending was the main piece of that. They needed the villain to succeed. They needed the hero to die. It wouldn't surprise me if the whole thing was written from the ending back.

I didn't find the ending so surprising or shocking. I mean, almost the entire book is foreshadowing. I think though that most readers approached it like a comic book and not a novel though so they found a much more thought out narrative than they were used to. The... low standards... of most of the readers is the route cause of watchman's acclaim I believe.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the work. It's so thick with symbolism and foreshadowing it's positively over the top. The pages are dripping with intent, direction, and thought out dialog. The graphics are used more like commentary on the script or something than "illustrations". I mean, reading watchmen is like watching a movie for the first time with the director's commentary on yet magically being able to follow the movie itself perfectly. It's really a showpiece for the power of the medium.

Still, I found the ending kind of deterministic of their formula. Not that it bothered me. Maybe I was just thinking that way because that's how John would understand it? Heh, interesting thought.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:50 pm UTC

Well, part of why Watchmen is so well acclaimed is when it came out in the mainstream comic forum, nothing really like that had been done before. Kinda like why people still talk about Citizen Kane - not because it's supremely fantastic in and of itself, but because it's the first of it's kind to which the average person was exposed.

All that being said, it's not like the state of the average comic has improved too much. The writing is slightly less hokey these days (I cringe every time Batman makes a "hrnf" noise or whatever the fuck it is) and the plots only marginally less stupid.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Jessica » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:37 pm UTC

Rorschach is an interesting character, taken to an extreme. It's an example of what a real life "dark" superhero would sort of be like. The guy's practically a psychopath. He feels no emotion. In most places, he'd be a serial killer, but in the world of watchmen, he turns his ways to vigilantism.

He's not good. He's useful. He gets things done. But, he's not good.

Based on the Question.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby mosc » Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:33 pm UTC

He has plenty of lines he won't cross. Never clear what his actual ability was other than odor. Perhaps he was just good in a scrap with a crime-fighting disposition. Anyway, he was kind of the main character. I'm wondering how much the movie will focus on him vs the others like night owl.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:21 pm UTC

...I thought Night Owl and the Silk Specter were the main characters...
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Quixotess » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:25 pm UTC

@mosc: Well, think about his earliest fight, with the two boys making fun of his mother. He didn't fuck around. He went straight for the eye. That's what it is to me, it seems like. He's able to integrate his situation into his fighting--he's extremely innovative this way--and he has no qualms about fighting dirty. People tend to underestimate his ferocity, too, which helps.

@SecondTalon: They were definitely the protagonists, but I think Rorshach got at least as much attention as they did.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Jessica » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:50 pm UTC

Dr Manhatten is the main character, duh. :P

I'm not sure who the actual protagonist is.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby mosc » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:19 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:Dr Manhattan is the main character, duh. :P

I'm not sure who the actual protagonist is.

He was SO not the main focus. He was a plot device, a literary tool, a walking absurdity of determinism, but not a main character.

Rorshach was the driver of the story in the beginning and the end. Everything else was just a diversion. Night Owl and the Silk Specter's main role was to break him out of prison, show that he had friends, and provide an opposite reaction at the end to show contrast and purpose.
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby telkanuru » Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:01 am UTC

Why, exactly, does there have to be one main character?
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Mr. Galt » Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:23 am UTC

Main character is a bad way of saying it. Protagonist(s) is better! (in my head anyway)

And yeah, I thought Rorschach was awesome. Not because of his crazy psychopathic morality is "cool", but because its so god damn tragic. I mean seriously this guy was warped and messed up from the beginning. Seeing him lose touch with reality and substitute his own, then becoming a martyr simply because of his grim determination to hold to that reality.... I don't know how you can get more tragic than that.

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby cephalopod9 » Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:27 am UTC

Y'know, the story is mostly about Veidt, told and revealed obliquely through the other characters. He probably does the least amount of story-telling, but without him there isn't a story.

As a person, I have to say Rorschach is pretty imensely unlikeable, but he is a fascinating character. It's hard to hate on the crazy guys. (when you don't have to actually deal with them, that is.)
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Jack Saladin » Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:47 am UTC

Y'know, the story is mostly about Veidt, told and revealed obliquely through the other characters. He probably does the least amount of story-telling, but without him there isn't a story.

... You could say that of 98% of antagonists.

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:39 pm UTC

Indeed. Barring those from oldschool and Japanese RPGs. Story would take place in those regardless, such as it was. (Story: Go kill the badguy, because we say he's bad!)
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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby 1hitcombo » Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:45 pm UTC

mosc wrote:Rorshach was the driver of the story in the beginning and the end. Everything else was just a diversion. Night Owl and the Silk Specter's main role was to break him out of prison, show that he had friends, and provide an opposite reaction at the end to show contrast and purpose.


I would say their contrast and purpose extends beyond simply the ending. They are both heroes driven into the business for non-idealistic reasons (nite owl as a childhood dream and silk spectre as a job). They provide the human/civilian view in the midst of Rorsharch's and Dr. Manhattan's and Ozy's god complexes and put into perspective the extremist views of all the other characters, showing the contrast between what heroes think are best for the world vs. what your average normal joe would think. I saw the examination of what a hero is and what it means in our world as the key aspect of the story. Without the two, half of the story would be lost

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Re: Watchmen. Let us discuss. SPOILERS!

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:40 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Indeed. Barring those from oldschool and Japanese RPGs. Story would take place in those regardless, such as it was. (Story: Go kill the badguy, because we say he's bad!)

You're just angry that Garland knocked you down.


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