movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] [Wikipedia link – helpful plot summary]

PEOPLE: From the director of the overdone and disappointing movie 300….

Mmmm, Malin Akerman (The Brothers Solomon, Harold & Kumar 1) as The Silk Specter. Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian (Rick from the movie Live!, and the late Judah Botwin, during his few appearances in Weeds). Oh, and the hot lesbian who did the V-J day kiss was Apollonia Vanova. She was in an ep of The L Word, too. :) Also: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom:20 Minutes Into The Future, Gargoyles, Weirdsville, National Lampoon’s Senior Trip).

QUIRKS: Based on comic books that I have never read… Or heard of, until the movie hype started. LOOOONG. Over 3 hours.

VISUALS: Excellent visuals. Great action. Great special effects.

SOUNDTRACK: They managed to license songs (some as covers) that were referenced in the original graphic novel, which is a good call. And 99 Luftballoons!

WILHELM SCREAM: We noticed it this time :)

BAD STUFF: I can see why Terry Gilliam, my favorite director ever, refused to direct this, calling it “unfilmable”. He said he would have been willing to do this as a *5* hour mini-series. They should have compromised and filmed 2 or 3 movies…but instead they got the 300 director (Zack Snyder)… Pretty much constituting an incredible loss of talent. Especially considering better directors had previously been attached to the project, like Requiem For A Dream and Pi director Darren Aronofsky (who wanted to muck with it too much), and Bourne Ultimatum / Bourne Trilogy director Paul Greengrass.

But Gilliam was right. This barely, barely worked as a film. There was just too much material to cram in. It was probably perfectly acceptable to those who had read the comic, but in this case, I was not one of them.

I *like* and *prefer* long, 2+ hour movies, even 3 hour movies. But this was rushed, even when it was over 3 hours long! There was no time for anything to sink in. Character development was rushed — there were TONS of characters, and not enough time to characterize them.

And just to make things harder, the movie flashed forward and back in ways that made it so confusing that I didn’t always know if it was “now” or not. I enjoy non-linear movies greatly — but with so many characters, so many sub-plots, so much material to cover, it did not help the storytelling in this particular instance; I feel it hampered it.

Watching the movie, I was simply confused as to who the main character was, who the main bad guy was, was there even a bad guy, do these plots relate, and what are we trying to avoid, besides nuclear war? I didn’t really even know that the movie was ending when it did, because it was never clear to me what the main obstacle we were trying to surmount was.

I think this would probably be much better the 2nd time around — but what are the odds of me sitting through a 3-hour movie a 2nd time, when I didn’t LOVE it the first time?

Also, it seemed like Rorschach’s voice was way overdone… Reminded me of Jack Bauer on 24, but even more “purposefully and unrealistically grunty”. He was a kick-ass character, though.

CONCLUSION: I’m being very critical here, but this was kind of a disappointment. Maybe when the Ultimate Edition comes out, we’ll give it another try and end up upgrading our rating. But for now, we were both a bit confused and disappointed. It’s not that we didn’t like it — it’s that with all the hype, we were expecting a 5/5 star movie. And this was not that.

RATINGS: IMDB: 7/10. Netflix: 3/5. Probably really 3.5/5.

RECOMMENDATION: Fans of the original graphic novel have probably already watched it. People who hate superhero movies and have mainstream tastes should steer clear of this; it’s long and confusing. Not in either of those groups? You should check it out. It is most certainly EPIC.

MOVIE QUOTE: “Who watches the Watchmen?”

COINCIDENCES: (Watchmen, Squidbillies #47:Atone Deaf) In the same night as watching Watchmen, Squidbillies said “who watches the watchmen?”, which is pretty much what they said in the Watchmen movie.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Despite being, for me, one of the most hyped up movies of the year… Not a single person has rated it on Netflix as of the writing of this review (7/27/2009).

Mood: meh
Music: KMFDM – Split