Monday, March 16, 2009

Who Watches the Watchmen? You Should!

Me remembers being admonished some time ago fer being infantile & still indulging in comics at me age. The person doing the admonishing is obviously oblivious to the works of the great Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell etc) & like many others look down on this art form as something unworthy of their intellectual prowess (ie intellectual snobbery).

All me can say to such people, "Yer fooking loss". In case you hadn't cottoned on, the film adaptation of Watchmen is showing now. Me urges you to take some time to watch this epic three-hour tale of superheroes gone bad as it is truly a remarkable piece of celluloid.

You may come across a number of negative reviews of the film but make no mistake, this is a splendid film as director Zack Synder (of 300 fame) has remained faithful to the source material. Speaking of which, Watchmen is largely considered by many fans & critics as the dawn of a new age in comicdom. The 'graphic novel' had arrived & this was where the serious, dark, nihilistic shit happens (fer other classic examples see Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth & Frank Miller's Sin City).

Now, me'll be the first to admit that me is no geeky ultra-obsessive when it comes to comics. They were too expensive to follow as a kid & graphic novels still burn a fooking large hole in the wallet today. But me has the good fortune of being married to a wifey who fastidiously saves her pennies to buy the cream of the crop. Thanks to her good taste, me has had the privilege to read the above mentioned titles in the Moore cannon & many others to boot.

The story is set in the cold war era in the mid-80s & in this alternate reality, superheroes are amongst us & non-govt sanctioned vigilantes have been outlawed. Nixon is still president & the Yanks have triumphed in Vietnam thanks to the Watchmen's help. The film is suitably dark & sinister with extra lashings of graphic violence & sex scenes to remove it from yer typical mass-market superhero movie (such as The Fantastic Four & Spiderman).

Movie starts with the murder of The Comedian & sets in motion the chain of events that sees a plot to bring nuclear annihilation even closer to the doorsteps of mankind. Although the film clocks in at a massive 160-plus minutes, it still is unable to pack in every detail of the book. Still it gives plenty of perspective & background on the character's past as well as staying faithful to the book's original flashback narrative.

Without giving too much away, Watchmen is a brave attempt by Hollywood to give life to one of the genre's most illuminating works. It explores the dark psyche of the masked vigilante (Rorscach's unyielding quest fer justice), the consequences of power without control (the God-like powers of Dr Manhattan set against nuclear destruction) as well as some seminal moments in human history (identity of JFK's assassin is revealed).

A recurring theme in the book/movie is the tag line 'Who watches the Watchmen?' as people demonstrate against the unfettered powers afforded these hooded crime fighters. Well, all me can say is you should. This movie is destined to be a cult-classic. Even Moore who has distanced himself from all movie adaptations of his works concedes that this script probably bears closets resemblance to his original story.

Whether yer a comic fan or not, whether you go to the cinema or get it from yer friendly local DVD emporium, please do watch this film. Visually spectacular, thought-provoking & downright entertaining. What more can you ask fer?

ps: Look forward to reading yer comments on the film.

pps: You can get the graphic novel at Kino Kuniya, Borders & all good comic stores.


Achilles said...

AD: was indeed a splendid movie. Action was top notch and it wasn't your typical superhero movie where superheroes are all good and don't harm ants.

my fav character is Rorscach... macha was just hillarious and the grumpy and disgruntled hero.

never read the book, but it had a few loopholes which were not properly addressed in the movie. perhaps you can help to enlighten me.

Why did the comedian assasinate Kennedy?

Besides Dr. Manhattan they didn't give much detail on the other's and their powers. I heard they actually don't have powers although most of them seem to have freakish strength and agility.

PS: BTW, check out latest posting on me blog and please leave your comments.

anfield devotee said...

achilles: Where & how some of them got their powers is not quite the point. Rather is what they do with it is the central theme to the book, alongside the doomsday scenario which Moore felt was imminent during the crazy arms race of the 80s.

To reveal the Comedian as JFK's assassin means it was a govt cospiracy as the book suggests that the hero had become a govt agent who did all the dirty shit ie 'Black Ops'.

Anba said...

this posting seem so surreal coz i actually wanted to mention this movie in your postin and now you seem to bring this up...
The film was superb me was totally absorbed in it frm the start to the beginning..the verdict
like i told me brother Rajan on Saturday..
thambi go watch this movie..
in me opinion i enjoyed it more than Buttman i mean Batman...
Plus check out the Music b..Bob dylan fer intro and Hendrix for outro...
Too bad they didnt put Metallica Fight fire with fire thing, surely sums up the spirit of that times...
p/s thelast movie that really got me tranfixed to the big screen was Rambo 4...hehehehe
crass taste!!!!

Achilles said...

AD: I still think you need to get the DVD as too much stuff was chopped off from the cinema version.

ANba: Your brother's name is also Rajan?

Anba said...

Achilles: yup bro confirmed Rajan

Anba said...

Achilles: chopped off or blurred off..heheheh

anfield devotee said...

Anba: Agreed. Soundtrack was excellent. Simon & Garfunkel's Sound of Silence was even more powerful with the cemetary scene.

Achilles: Yes, most def. In the comic, the story is interspersed with another tale from a comic which the Watchmen are actually reading - a pirate tale. The DVD will contain a animated feature of that pirate tale. So me will definitely be watching out fer that.

mozHASturnedINTOaMartian said...


Ke-hadapan, gostan dan gostret wahai laki-laki dan pompuan lembik (gentlemen & er..gentlewomen daaa).

hang on. lemme try this again.

ke-hadapan tuanpuan, puantuan, rakan yg tualan, sahabat yg handai serta member segale lelehan
guiness yg mamai dituang;
biar guiness yg tak kurang stoutnye maupun
guiness yg lemak maltanyaa...
segala najis buangan yg sewaktu dgn


*sighghh*...i know..i the words of one of me fave understated feedbackwashed heroes all time..."J" - WHEREEEE YAAAAA BEEN?????

dun ask. will drop the whining at that. now, to case in point.

no, haven't seen the movie yet. but i intend to get my heavin' butt round to it. soon. just to mellow out the drone yu'know. if not this any movie preferably something with less clothes on than more off. er...but this, yes, heard from me younger bro. was raving about it to a certain extent, wishing that some scenes could have carried that extra tinge all the way... but all the same he was pretty happy about it, seeing his affinity with comics in his readin-for-hours-seeing-twirling-the-pages-with-his fingertips heydays.

never quite caught the bug: most of them left me depressed due to my severe disability in art. couldn't draw a caricature to grace my shavy face. P8 in SRP/LCE. no kidding.

although i was pretty good at painting landscapes though. walls, fences to mention a few. and oooh yeah, the odd "kampung view" scenes...yu know with the usual..ubiquitious green hills, 2 of them to be exact, a rising greenspot orangey sun bosomed between..and oh yeah..two or three "M" shaped dashed final touches in the skyline for the flair of it all...(read: for the birds la dei).

did i tell yu i got P8 for seni lukis in form 3? heck, i've never seen a art teacher so concerned over me to take up the science stream post-srp.."son..don't yu even consider doing art in upper secondary"...

screw him. i was pretty good with
cubical point stuff. yu know the stuff
yu can do with rulers and all.

erk. than having said. i did develop a short fetish with the sandman for a wee while. found it really fresh and a turn different.

okay. i'm almost climaxing my spent emotions again on yer blog againg chief. will shut in a while..before i openly
admit my gut felt love
of one
SIMON and garfunkel.

sound of silence has got to be one of the songs of all
time dude.

yers appreciatively,
garfenkulian brute.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

there you go, thats mozz at his finest...kihkihh...but maybe he's telling the truth, since he's good at numbers he cant have the best of both worlds, could he? never quit your day job brother.

anfield devotee said...

Moz: Classic mozzer indeed. With regards to yer ability to do landscapes . . . well, you do know that a certain Adolf Hitler flunked out of art school though he was quite good at . . . FOOKING LANDSCAPES!!!

Kerp: Make sure you watch this film. Great stuff with equally cool soundtrack.

senorita.. said...

eh my co. actually organised an outing for us all to watch this movie. n all of us felt that it's no good.

i feel that the ending is stupid lor.... but then again, my manager was saying it wud b nice if we understood american history, n also different era.. for us to enjoy it. lol

anfield devotee said...

senorita: Ending stupid? No good?

Hmmm . . . you have the right to yer opinion. Fair enuff.

Movie has divided opinion but me thinks it was quite a good adaptation of the book (which you should read).

Alan Moore is a visionary!

The Hedonese said...

Accrdg to the comic la... except for Dr Manhattan, the other 'superheroes' are ordinary human beings who probably can fight better or smarter than average :D (like batman ar)

i just watched the companion movies which feature a documentary based on the first nightowl's tell-all book and Tales of the Black Freighter (a parallel narrative abt pirates that runs alongside the main story in the graphic novel)... it's real cool, do check it out for all tru fans