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October 27, 2008 11:13 AM   Subscribe

Original character designs for Watchmen, including a (dropped) full body suit for Rorschach, by Dave Gibbons. (Also it looks like the movie version will have a different ending, so fears of a non-sucky Alan Moore film can be put to rest.)
posted by Artw (163 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't know, I was already feeling pretty confident about that one.
posted by penduluum at 11:16 AM on October 27, 2008


I think you take this vigilante stuff too seriously.
posted by Plutor at 11:19 AM on October 27, 2008


Spoiler alert, etc.

The story I'm hearing is that it is in general the same ending, an orchestrated major tragedy designed to unite humanity, but they just don't use the giant space squid. Which is fine with me. I'm not sure the squid would play that well on screen.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:20 AM on October 27, 2008


Oh well at least fucking Kevin Smith thinks it works well as an ending. His vision has never yet steered us wrong.
posted by penduluum at 11:21 AM on October 27, 2008 [8 favorites]


Flasher!Rorschach? DO NOT WANT!
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:23 AM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


*SPOILERS*

...

The odd thing about the new-style ending is that, from what I can tell, it's basically going to be same ending that The Dark Night had, except with a different character that has to take the rap for something for the good of the world/city.

I’m sure there’s a lot of pressure on people making comics movies out there to “Batman things up”, but that just seems odd.

Also it’s that same over-clever linking-everything-up nonsense that Hollywood always likes to pull.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on October 27, 2008


I agree, the giant space squid would not work in a major feature film where you're trying to appeal to more than comic book geeks. Don't get me wrong; it worked perfectly in the graphic novel for what the book was trying to do, but I don't think it would work on the big screen.
posted by Justinian at 11:25 AM on October 27, 2008


I heard the movie ends with Rorschach busting some kung fu moves on Ozymandias while Dr. Manhattan spins the Earth back to five minutes before midnight and then the Comedian is revealed to be still alive and he throws a conspicuously labeled switch that takes out the power at the North Pole and Nite Owl and Silk Spectre high-five each other.

And it'll still be better than League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
posted by turaho at 11:27 AM on October 27, 2008 [14 favorites]


Oops, I meant to add: SPOILER ALERT
posted by turaho at 11:27 AM on October 27, 2008


Flasher!Rorschach? DO NOT WANT!

He should get a GoatSe bodysuit... that would be quite a power.
posted by Artw at 11:31 AM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


penduluum: "Oh well at least fucking Kevin Smith thinks it works well as an ending. His vision has never yet steered us wrong."

If there's one thing we can count on Kevin Smith for, it's comic book purity. In this case, with no other data, I will give him the benefit of the doubt.
posted by Plutor at 11:31 AM on October 27, 2008


I want this movie to not be horrible.
posted by chunking express at 11:31 AM on October 27, 2008 [6 favorites]


I heard the movie ends with Rorschach busting some kung fu moves on Ozymandias while Dr. Manhattan spins the Earth back to five minutes before midnight and then the Comedian is revealed to be still alive and he throws a conspicuously labeled switch that takes out the power at the North Pole and Nite Owl and Silk Spectre high-five each other.

And then she takes her top off, right?
posted by middleclasstool at 11:31 AM on October 27, 2008


The book these pieces are taken from (Gibbons's new Watching the Watchmen ) is really neat, even if it's kind of a niche item. I generally think the comics industry is going absolutely the wrong way by pursuing the money of a graying generation of comics fans (that is, at the expense of new readers), but I have to admit, I'm happy to live in a world where a forty-dollar book of Watchmen thumbnails is a viable prospect.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:34 AM on October 27, 2008


And then she takes her top off, right?

Are you mad, sir? Everyone knows comic books are for children!
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:35 AM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


"And then she takes her top off, right?"

No, no, no, they save that for the special edition "unedited" DVD.
posted by oddman at 11:35 AM on October 27, 2008


If there's one thing we can count on Kevin Smith for, it's comic book purity.

Sooooo...I take it you've never read any of his comics, right?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:35 AM on October 27, 2008


Isn't the director of the film's dad a MeFite or something? It's the 300 guy, right? Or maybe it was the producer of 300's dad. I forget.
posted by Manhasset at 11:35 AM on October 27, 2008


And then she takes her top off

Hmm... I wonder if those "improved endings" that Lee & Herring did for various movies have made it onto youtube yet...
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on October 27, 2008


I want this movie to not be horrible.

Dude, 300.

This thing is going to be a complete catastrophe of near Boll-levels. Get your popcorn ready.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:42 AM on October 27, 2008


I thought the giant space squid was quite dumb and out-of-place in the comic. The Stay-Puft marshmallow man would have made more sense. But then again I also didn't "get" the whole pirate sub-comic, so what the hell do I know.
posted by Ziggy Zaga at 11:43 AM on October 27, 2008


This kind of reminds me of all the chat leading up to the release of the last Indy movie. "Well, it might not suck, if...", etc. And we all know how that turned out. Here's hoping this one's better.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:47 AM on October 27, 2008


Dude, 300. This thing is going to be a complete catastrophe of near Boll-levels. Get your popcorn ready.

In Snyder's defense it's worth mentioning that 300 was, to a fault, a very faithful adaptation of Miller's comic. Garbage in, garbage out.

*Lights HuronBob signal*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:48 AM on October 27, 2008 [9 favorites]


I read Watchmen exactly like I watch Episode II: whenever there's pirates (Watchmen) or a love story (Episode II) I skip ahead.

I love them both that way.
posted by Critical_Beatdown at 11:48 AM on October 27, 2008


300 was beyond awesome. It's like the greatest gay porno ever made, although, because of homophobia and American squeamishness regarding male nudity, they wisely replaced the graphic sex scenes with endless images of swords and spears impaling bodies, which we were meant to read symbolically, and erotically.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:48 AM on October 27, 2008 [11 favorites]


Did Kevin Smith like Indy 4?
posted by Artw at 11:48 AM on October 27, 2008


And then she takes her top off

Only if Patrick Stewart writes it.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:49 AM on October 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


300 the movie seemed to be a good version of 300 the comic. What were you expecting exactly?

That's not to say this won't be a disaster.
posted by chunking express at 11:50 AM on October 27, 2008


The only movie-going experience I have ever had that compared to the experience of reading the series as it came out was Pulp Fiction, and there is little probability that this film could possibly have that kind of brain-stunning impact.

Furthermore, a key aspect of the original series' impact is the darkening tone of each issue. If the film were to have sought a similar story arc, the plot graph would resemble the recent results for Wall Street. I strongly suspect that is the reasoning behind the excision of The Black Frigate from the film.

I dearly hope for a film of such wretched, unforgiving bleakness, but I firmly do not expect it.
posted by mwhybark at 11:53 AM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


which we were meant to read symbolically, and erotically.

I think you give Frank Miller way too much credit there, personally.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:55 AM on October 27, 2008


I really hope this movie is terrible enough to laugh at unreservedly, because if it has moments that work, it's just going to render the entire experience that much more depressing.
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:01 PM on October 27, 2008


I think you give Frank Miller way too much credit there, personally.

Sometimes the best things are made by accident.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:01 PM on October 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


The thing that was weird about 300 to me was how they’d put in so much effort into reproducing some things exactly on the screen as they were on the page, but by comparison the film was utterly dead and lifeless – to busy showing you how clever and authentic it was to capture the spirit of the original. That sunk it worse than the deadweight political intrigue story they tacked on.

(Sin City, on the other hand, I loved, so there’s nothing inherently wrong with copying panels, but you have to underdstand pacing and getting people to do good performances and all that other stuff as well. )
posted by Artw at 12:02 PM on October 27, 2008


In Snyder's defense it's worth mentioning that 300 was, to a fault, a very faithful adaptation of Miller's comic.

Bullshit. All the queen stuff was completely tacked on, plus Leonidas wasn't foaming at the mouth all the time in the book.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:04 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't want this movie to suck.

So I'm going to will it to be good.

*concentrates*
posted by quin at 12:08 PM on October 27, 2008


This is the obligatory statement that Watchmen would have been better served as a 12-part HBO series than as a 2-hour theatrical film.

Thank you for your time.
posted by joelhunt at 12:08 PM on October 27, 2008 [8 favorites]


Well, the giant squid always did strike me as an odd choice for a deus ex mechina. I understand the whole "fake alien invasion to stop atomic Armageddon" bit, but giant space squids just seemed a bit odd. Also, I'm not at all sure it really makes much sense, I mean, Nixon is in Cheyenne Mountain, the US is on a hair trigger alert waiting for Soviet nukes to start popping up in Dr. Manhattan's absence, and suddenly NYC goes dark, reports of mass deaths, etc and we're expected to believe that Nixon doesn't launch?

Don't get me wrong, I love the Watchmen, but the ending has always felt a mite tacked on.

However, Critical_Beatdown, the Black Freighter really does tie in with the story. It is both an emphasis on Rorschach's own insanity/drive/lack of choice, and an undermining of the entire scheme of Ozymandias. The tale of the Black Freighter is basically a giant neon sign saying "It won't work Ozy!".
posted by sotonohito at 12:10 PM on October 27, 2008


Yeah, I don't understand the hatin' on The Black Freighter. That's an important part of the story, and well done, I thought.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:15 PM on October 27, 2008


Fuck the bit about owls though.
posted by Artw at 12:17 PM on October 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


I thought the original ending of the watchmen was sort of stupid. It would be awesome if instead of Ozymandias there was Osama and he planed the fuck out of New York and then America and USSR high fived and were all about fucking up Afghanistan and um Dr. Manhattan knocked up Silk Spectre with the second coming of Christ and CONTROVERSY
posted by I Foody at 12:22 PM on October 27, 2008


I'll tell you what I didn't like about the Black Freighter. That sort of pirate comic kicked around back in the 50s, when EC was treading water post comics code, before it morphed into Mad Magazine. Even given that The Watchmen is set in an alternate history, I doubt that particular genre was about to revived, any more than, say, pschoanalysis themed comics.

And Alan Moore was doing comics in the Eighties! He couldn't have his parallel comic story done in a genre like Johnny Nemo?
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:23 PM on October 27, 2008


Even given that The Watchmen is set in an alternate history, I doubt that particular genre was about to revived, any more than, say, pschoanalysis themed comics.

Well, bear in mind that it's not just an alternate history, it's an alternate history in which superheroes actually exist. Therefore, superhero stories are no longer escapist fantasy. The market's tastes would change. So sure, maybe it would have been westerns or traditional detective stories or Joanie Loves Chachi or something, but it could have been pirates, and pirates are well suited for the sort of tale Moore had to tell.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:32 PM on October 27, 2008


Even given that The Watchmen is set in an alternate history, I doubt that particular genre was about to revived

Maybe this is sort of a shallow take on it, but I always found it kind of satisfying that the comics in the alternate world of Watchmen were about pirates, since you know, they had real world superheroes and so no need for superhero comics. Pirates seem the natural replacement.
posted by ericost at 12:34 PM on October 27, 2008


Or, what middleclasstool said.
posted by ericost at 12:34 PM on October 27, 2008


You Moore apologists are all alike.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:35 PM on October 27, 2008


Ah, Johnny Nemo. Too, too few stories.
posted by mwhybark at 12:36 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


For exhaustive coverage of the movie: http://www.watchmencomicmovie.com/

The updated trailer
shown at some awards show last week has some new scenes that look pretty true to the book.
posted by Locative at 12:39 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, AZ, I'm sure your real beef with The Black Freighter (did I say Frigate? Very well then, I contain multitudes) is the disappointment you felt when you realized the corpse-raft would not rise in the night to feast.
posted by mwhybark at 12:40 PM on October 27, 2008


***SPOLIERS AHOY***

From what I understand they've tweaked it to be similar (in some sense) to what Heroes stole from Watchmen to begin with.

I'm firmly in the squid camp on this one for a variety of reasons. First off, it's the ending that Alan Moore wrote. We don't want another V For Vendetta debacle do we?

Secondly, Cloverfield demonstrated that you can take a goofy idea like monsters and make it seem credible.

It's also worth pointing out that our tentacled pal is not from outer space, he's from another dimension - hence the very minor plot about scientists investigating this brave new frontier (which was in fact another Viedt set-up).

I wasn't too impressed with Dave Gibbons' final squid design personally, so if they can improve on that in some fashion then it's a done deal.

Also - several versions of the ending have apparently been filmed - the Portland screening was only one of them.

Finally, if people keep referring to Watchmen as "The Watchmen" then I'm going to start adding that random "The" to every other film, book and TV series to annoy you ("No, it's The Heroes - they're a superteam called The Heroes! They all live in the same house together and everything").
posted by panboi at 12:40 PM on October 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Oh, fuck, that would have been awesome. Now I hate what Moore wrote.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:41 PM on October 27, 2008


That was for mwhybark
posted by middleclasstool at 12:42 PM on October 27, 2008


See here, as well. I guess it's Watchmen day.
posted by mwhybark at 12:42 PM on October 27, 2008


Also, AZ, I'm sure your real beef with The Black Freighter (did I say Frigate? Very well then, I contain multitudes) is the disappointment you felt when you realized the corpse-raft would not rise in the night to feast.

Duh.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:43 PM on October 27, 2008


The first time you read Watchmen, it is acceptable to skip the pirate parts, as well as the additional material at the end of each chapter. That way, when you read the read the complete work a second time, you are rewarded for reading these parts with a deeper appreciation for the entire story.

Similarly, the first time you read The Lord of the Rings, it is acceptable to skip the songs and poetry, as well as the additional material at the end of the third book.

Unfortunately, that's where the analogy breaks down.
posted by yhbc at 12:44 PM on October 27, 2008 [6 favorites]


I wasn't too impressed with Dave Gibbons' final squid design personally, so if they can improve on that in some fashion then it's a done deal.

The distance from giant rubbery squid to Cthulhu is both minor and great.
posted by cortex at 12:46 PM on October 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


I just wish a screener of this would get leaked to bittorrent where I can find it. I want to see this before it gets cut down, because there's no way this goes to the big screen at a 3-hour length.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:47 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Similarly, the first time you read The Lord of the Rings, it is acceptable to skip the songs and poetry, as well as the additional material at the end of the third book.

I read the whole damn thing out loud to my wife a few years ago. Whenever the narrative drove me into a pome, I would pretend it was a Celtic Frost song and declaim it in a high-pitched hairmetal wail, occasionally pausing for air guitar solos or drum fills.

I hadn't even thought about inflicting a read-aloud version of Watchmen on her!
posted by mwhybark at 12:53 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Blotchmen thread is two up.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:58 PM on October 27, 2008


And I liked 300.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:59 PM on October 27, 2008


Tales of the Black Freighter: The Reconstruction.
posted by mwhybark at 1:04 PM on October 27, 2008 [7 favorites]


I don't care if nukes replace the squid, as long as Ozymandias still speaks The Line.

(And I hope they don't ruin it in a trailer first. But, you know... Hollywood.)
posted by rokusan at 1:06 PM on October 27, 2008


The squid wasn't from space or another dimension -- that's what Ozmandyias wanted people to believe. It was "built" on earth.

At the risk of being redundant, Moore was riffing off that classic Outer Limits episode, The Architects of Fear -- it's right there in Watchmen #12. It's no secret. For what it's worth, I never thought it was the best ending he could have come up with. I'm happy to have something more up-to-date.

I think the film might be good. I hope so.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 1:06 PM on October 27, 2008


Dr. Manhattan's Blue Man Bits Now In HD
posted by homunculus at 1:13 PM on October 27, 2008


William Goldman said something once about how an adaptation cannot ever be literally faithful to the source material, but if it wants to succeed, it must be true to the intention of the source material. As well, the aim here is to entertain millions of people who have never heard of Watchmen before and will not agonize that, for example, what was a flashback in the book is a prologue here.

Those two things in contrast, coupled with the knowledge that everyone in the audience has seen just what would happen if an unprecedented attack happened in New York, mean that yes: the ending will get changed. Audiences might find Moore's idea that this would be a one-way ticket to global harmony just a touch hard to swallow now.

As I have said before, everything that has come out before leads me to feel there is Scope for Cautious Optimism here. Zack Snyder has done two other flicks and (in my view) while neither one was exactly a masterpiece for the ages, neither were they embarrassments. The casting looks good, the design work looks spot on and distant early warning signs, both from friends who worked on it and leaks like Kevin Smith, seem okay.

I know it is an internet user's delight to piss on upcoming media releases that look promising. I accept this with aplomb, and take no further action beyond reading all the negative comments above to myself in the Comic Book Guy voice.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:20 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


what's up with the squid-hate?
wasn't that a reference to some lousy dean koontz novel from the early 80s about some rich cat who fakes an alien invasion to unite earthlings and these squid-like beings (from another world!) in battle against the foreign invader? i thought it was some cheap homage thing.

or was it a reference to the octopus conspiracy of danny casolaro. weren't reagan and thatcher accused of just the sort of nonsense that ozy was trying to pull with their constant posturing about the reds? moore's an eighties brat and it definitely shows (and that is not a criticism. the guy is a hero himself. and a warlock!).

[also, in the spirit of the derail: 300 is shit. frank miller is a reptile. it was homophobic and racist and misogynistic. and it was just like its dad. i hate that clayfoot, franken-miller. and i think the dark knight is a great cop series. but i fucking hate cops, too. what a fucking mouthpiece that pile of clap is.
can't he please be on mefi so i can call him out? aargh, but i'm itching to give him a little...]
posted by artof.mulata at 1:22 PM on October 27, 2008


I strongly suspect that is the reasoning behind the excision of The Black Frigate from the film.

The Black Freighter will not be in the theatrical release, but is supposed to be on the DVD.
posted by grabbingsand at 1:23 PM on October 27, 2008


A telepathic squid.

And who says it works?

And no, 9/11 was no telepathic squid. (It did, however, breifly bring the world together, before Bush pissed that away)
posted by Artw at 1:24 PM on October 27, 2008


The Black Freighter will not be in the theatrical release, but is supposed to be on the DVD.

Does not count.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on October 27, 2008


I'm OK with the swap out of the Squid, but I'm not sure yet how I feel about it being swapped for a big frame job on Manhattan. The Squid made the scam about pulling everyone together with a fake but worldwide xenophobia. Blaming an event like this on a known quantity like Manhattan would seem to screw that up since the Russians would just blame it on us, since he plays for our side.

Or am I missing what they're going for here? Maybe I shuts ups and waits for 3/'09 nows?
posted by butterstick at 1:37 PM on October 27, 2008


Can someone ..maybe someone who's name rhymes with hobo mop is kneading, tell us how you COULD adapt Watchmen into something worthwhile? Sticking to the story isn't always the best way. Blade Runner more or less completely captured the tone and claustrophobic feel of Do Androids... while wildly changing the plot and characters. Choke just filmed every conversation and scene in the novel and it comes off like a lifeless audiobook. (It's called an adaptation for a reason).

My only ideas: Keep the squid. Keep the steadily dropping tone and increasing tension until something so horrible happens that everyone is struck dumb and forced to re-define their Terror Scale. And make the whole thing look like a 70s-era conspiracy movie. Costumes should look nice but home-made. Flash kept to a bare minimum til the end.

I personally adored the Black Freighter scenes because they mirrored the action so well and because it's a neato device you can only do in comics. It would be hard to make work as well in prose, and almost impossible in film/theater unless you have a play-within-a-play device ala Cabaret or something.
posted by The Whelk at 2:28 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thank jeebus. The faux Squid From Another Dimension ending always seemed like something that would obviously need changing for the movie. I buy it as a comic reader, and I accept that the public of an alternate reality where superheroes exist might buy it ... but I don't believe it would be especially satisfying for movie audiences.

Before the first Spider-Man movie, when all the nerds were having conversations pretty much like this, about how the movie simply couldn't be anything other than terrible because Rami gave Web-head organic web-shooters, he said that as a rule, you only have one "buy," one point upon which you can ask the audience to suspend their disbelief, and no more. You can ask the audience to accept that loosely explained pseudoscience can lead to a boy bitten by a genetically engineered spider gaining spider powers, but also asking them to believe that this same high school kid is a world class genius capable of inventing a super-polymer that would otherwise make him a billionaire by selling the patent to DuPont -- in his own basement, no less -- is a bit much.

Same here with Space-Squid.

Lastly, count me firmly in with the "The parts I hated about 300 were entirely Frank Miller's fault" camp. I had no beef with the Queen; what I did detest was the utterly ahistorical "Only through utter militancy against the scary darkies can we make the world safe for democracy" theme. From what I recall, that macho claptrap was straight from the GN, and it matches Miller's politics now. Stripping that out, it's a vaguely homoerotic and utterly gorgeous action movie. No complaints here.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:29 PM on October 27, 2008


“In Snyder's defense it's worth mentioning that 300 was, to a fault, a very faithful adaptation of Miller's comic.”

Yeah, I’ll never forget all the rape scenes in Miller’s comic.
plus what Artw sed re: ‘lifeless’
I didn’t much care for 300 as a film, but about 5 minutes of it was good enough to make sitting through the rest of it worthwhile.

“Don't get me wrong, I love the Watchmen, but the ending has always felt a mite tacked on.”

The ending was entirely orchestrated. As were all the major events in the book, by one person.
So I agree with the squid folks, panboi in particular. The squid works precisely because of the WTF? factor.

“but if it wants to succeed, it must be true to the intention of the source material.”

I (and Ken Kesey) think the film One Flew Over the CooCoo’s nest is nothing like the book. However I (and, eventually Ken Kesey) think it is true to the book.
So, radically different in terms of storytelling style and narrative and character focus and depth, etc. - But almost identical in feel.
I mean when Billy Pilgrim hits the floor with his fist - man, I feel it. In both mediums.
Tough to get someone who immerses themselves in the material though and is willing to translate the vision without trying to color it their own way or failing in lack of detail.

But f’rinstance: “Audiences might find Moore's idea that this would be a one-way ticket to global harmony just a touch hard to swallow now.”
To be precise - it’s *Moore’s* premise that it would fail. It’s Veidt’s idea to try it. Furthermore it’s an alternative history, so what happened in reality has not happened (thanks, mostly to Dr. Manhattan - for good and ill) there.

That precision of abstract understanding is very often lacking from visually oriented folks such as directors. Not all directors surely. But certainly the overspecialized breed Hollywood has had for the past bunch of years.

Even in the case that you get an on the ball guy - since when has a committee decision resulted in a well cohered product with a sharply defined (non-visual) vision?

You can’t let details slide - even if you don’t show them. I’d say especially if. You lose coherence. You have to know why everyone does everything whether your conscious of it or not. Now I’m no director by any means, but I do know that as a matter of professionalism. You can’t just wing the hidden stuff.
It has to be there even if it’s not shown and it has to be right. Otherwise it’s a movie ‘inspired by’ Watchmen.

Plenty of crummy films like that. I can’t think of one that was worthwhile that was completely divorced from the source material.

The Godfather, for example, Luca Brasi appears to be a muttering dolt who is killed by his own carelessness. But there are myriad little clues how dangerous he is. Michael’s story about the bandleader aside. Just the fact the Don is reticent to see him. The fact that everyone is concerned if he’s killed. Or if he loses his temper. The fact that he gets special treatment by other families, etc.
You don’t need to know that he took out an entire family on his own or he murdered his own child in a furnace or other things to know he’s the most menacing guy in the film.
Because it’s there even though it’s not on-screen.

I don’t know. It’d be nice to have a Scorsese or Coppala of graphic novels.
I doubt it will ever happen. Most folks still think, yeah, comic books are for kids. And apparently the companies producing them have no clue how to market them, even though marketing seems to be all they do.

And wow I'm glad they dropped the body suit.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:41 PM on October 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm not getting excited about this until I'm in the threare watching it. All the trailers have been very pretty and nothing else.

The whole thing is just too slick for what the book was aiming for. Watch the latest trailer. It all looks so 'cool'. Rorsharch jumps into the window like Spiderman. Silk Spectre lands with grace. Wasn't the whole point of the book that these were real, sad people doing an awkward job?

BAH!


and The Weilk -Watchmen could, and should, have been done as a 12 part tv series - HBO style.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 2:43 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Quick question: Was the graphic novel ever recolored? I have a copy from the '90s that I've been lending to people, and the colors are all flat and garish.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:02 PM on October 27, 2008


So... the kid is coming back to Michigan this weekend... I'll do my best to get a look at whatever draft they have...and then come back and reassure you that it is great! :)

Picture of the kid!

posted by HuronBob at 3:06 PM on October 27, 2008


Well, I'm guarded about this; like I've said every time this subject has come up, but will now say a little more directly, what bothers me the most about Zack Snyder -- a pretty competent director -- making this movie is that is small body of work has skewed kinda neocon, and Watchmen is an overtly political story, and not a right-leaning one. He scrubbed all the political subtext from Dawn of the Dead for his remake, and followed it up with a version of 300 that was somehow more conservative in its politics than the book it was based on, which would I have thought was impossible.

Now I want to stress that I liked his Dawn of the Dead, and while I did not especially like 300, my problems with it were less to do with politics than with its slavish devotion to the visuals of the comic book -- making a film that was essentially a cartoon, and not a fluid one. Miller's politics are crazy-man bullshit, but his work on that book is fucking stellar, and conveyed life and epic scope in a way the actual movie, I think, failed to capture. Also, the movie gave me a migraine. It physically hurt me, so it's hard for me to find anything nice to say about it, you know? I guess what I'm saying is that a better movie that had politics I find abhorrent would have been okay with me. The politics themselves, whatever. But because the politics of Watchmen don't seem to parallel the politics of Zack Snyder, my fear is that the story will be turned into something else. Something lesser, as his Dawn of the Dead -- a technically impressive movie with the best first fifteen minutes of any horror film released this decade -- is less than the original: not because it has a different political agenda, but because it has no political agenda, no deeper agenda than freaking you out at all. It's a movie that isn't about anything. It would be a shame if his take on Watchmen were basically "a superhero movie, but super fucking dark." There's more there than that, and I hope he gets that, and delivers that. My expectations are not high, but I'd like to be surprised.

As for the killer squid...hurm. Here's the thing: I don't know that an alternative ending will be an improvement, but I think the squid would be tough to do in a film, because it's not set up in the body of the comic book. We know something's up with the Mysterious Island where the writers, artists, etc., were exiled to work on "a movie," but we only get that foreshadowing through the text pieces. Where does it unobtrusively fit into the film, especially if you take out "Tales of the Black Freighter"? Shea's disappearance is a subtle plot point that would be very hard to communicate without...well...losing the subtlety. And, of course, the killer squid with no foreshadowing at all would be too much. Some readers think it's too much to swallow even in the original.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:13 PM on October 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Quick question: Was the graphic novel ever recolored? I have a copy from the '90s that I've been lending to people, and the colors are all flat and garish.

It has, and it's gorgeous.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:14 PM on October 27, 2008


Brandon Blatcher - beleive tehre was a recently released absolute version with re-done colouring. I din't really care for the samples I saw, which were full of photoshoppy gradient type stuff. At least tehy didn't put blings and metalic textures on everything I guess.
posted by Artw at 3:19 PM on October 27, 2008


(Dude: For once, Artw is so, so very wrong. It looks soooooo good.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:21 PM on October 27, 2008


The only movie-going experience I have ever had that compared to the experience of reading the series as it came out was Pulp Fiction

Wha? Pulp Fiction is an original script. What are you referring to?
posted by Manhasset at 3:34 PM on October 27, 2008


I did not know there was a recolored version, but it should be noted that the original's colors were distinctively different from other contemporary works at the time of original release. It's a weird, limited palette which is clearly consciously employed. That "Reconstruction" link upthread shows a good example of this - the bright yellows and greens that predominate in the Black Freighter bits are at odds but of a piece with the rest of the palette.

At the time of original reading, I took the palette to be a way of underlining the differentness of the alternative timeline while at the same time commenting on the inherent limitations in printing technology and cost that led to the characteristic color-field look of classic newsprint-repro comics. The book itself was always very carefully printed, and without checking, I think my original set may have employed acid free paper, unlike the collection i have and refer to more often.

HuronBob, tell the kid we're pulling for him, despite our fears and concerns. It's a challenging gig.
posted by mwhybark at 3:41 PM on October 27, 2008


Wha? Pulp Fiction is an original script. What are you referring to?

For me personally, Pulp Fiction boggled me in the theater, as it did many others in the initial-release viewing audience. No other first-run film I have ever attended was accompanied by a prolonged stunned silence which erupted into everyone in the audience jabbering a mile a minute over one another in excitement, conversations and arguments carrying on out into the night air and into our lives.

Reading Watchmen on initial publication was a parallel experience, down to passing people in the street, noses in the new book, friends peeking over shoulders, followed by shouting and gesticulation and page flipping and rolled-up-comic-book waving.

I certainly hope that the film, as a film, is as provocative and engaging and groundbreaking as Pulp Fiction, but it seems unlikely, in part specifically because it is a derivative work.
posted by mwhybark at 3:50 PM on October 27, 2008


Indeed, why does everything have to be a movie? I don’t think Watchmen was intended to be a film. I suppose they’re making one because people want one (and for the money).
But I had to sit down and think about why I wanted to see it as a movie.
Not the fact that for any fan there’s really no question of seeing the movie, but rather, why I thought I wanted it in any way.
I think because I want other people who haven’t read the book to see it.
I don’t think that this is some urge towards validation really.
I think it’s more a desire to share.
And that’s probably why I care at all.

I’d like someone to have that same sort of experience that I had upon reading it, and maybe the film will prompt them to read the book and the ideas and other things in Watchmen will become more mainstream and culture will become more affected by it and so forth.
...of course, why I should care about that is a whole ‘nother level of thinking.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:37 PM on October 27, 2008


...as long as Ozymandias still speaks The Line.

The one starting "Do it"?
posted by Harkins_ at 4:41 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Indeed, why does everything have to be a movie? I don’t think Watchmen was intended to be a film.

Everyone shutting the fuck up about making Watchmen into a movie will be at least one beneficial effect of it actually happening, even if it's mediocre.
posted by Artw at 4:58 PM on October 27, 2008


Ways to make my boyfriend mad: refer to Doctor Manhattan as "the blue guy" when his copy of Watching the Watchmen is on the coffee table.

(He adds, upon my reading the above:

"or say the movie's going to better than the book" or
"or even, 'we should go see that movie'" or
"you know what makes Alan Moore better? "bullet time"!")
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:01 PM on October 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


You could always start referring to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as LXG.
posted by Artw at 5:25 PM on October 27, 2008


Quick question: Was the graphic novel ever recolored? I have a copy from the '90s that I've been lending to people, and the colors are all flat and garish.

I always thought the flat colors where the point, a re-creation of the 50s-60s comics style. Very Kirby, but I could see why it's offputting
posted by The Whelk at 5:42 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]



Well, I'm guarded about this; like I've said every time this subject has come up, but will now say a little more directly, what bothers me the most about Zack Snyder -- a pretty competent director -- making this movie is that is small body of work has skewed kinda neocon, and Watchmen is an overtly political story, and not a right-leaning one. He scrubbed all the political subtext from Dawn of the Dead for his remake, and followed it up with a version of 300 that was somehow more conservative in its politics than the book it was based on, which would I have thought was impossible.


This is really important. Watchmen is very, very anti-authoritarian. That's the point. It shows how horrible superheroes would be, how they would be tools for the government in power, stopgaps for problems rather than solving them. It's major theme is that the thrill of the vigilante superhero is a fascist thrill, a perverse and seductive relic of the 30s and 40s, and makes Rorschach a gruesome parody of Batman, he can NEVER forgive. He can NEVER forget, and he makes no distinctions. The theme of people locked in their time occurs throughout the book , and how impractical the idea of "capes" really is. Any honest adaption of Watchmen would address this hard, even harder than the book does.

I do not think Synder understands what is he working with.


And any honest adaptation of Watchmen would end with a political ad for Nixon. 4 more years..onto the other 12. It's an American flag on the moon tonight, shining red and blue and white, and American flag, waving on the moon toooonight..
posted by The Whelk at 5:57 PM on October 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


I always thought the flat colors where the point, a re-creation of the 50s-60s comics style. Very Kirby, but I could see why it's offputting

All I can say is: Go to a Borders or a B&N or what have you and look at both versions. The new coloring uses modern processes, but it doesn't look like a flashy '00s comic book. As it's the same colorist, my guess is its current form is what he would have liked to do back then, had he had the resources.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:58 PM on October 27, 2008


I know a lot of people who otherwise love great graphic novels where put-off by Watchmen's coloring, so I wil check it out. But then, I always liked how garish and cheap it looked because I thought it was an homage. Oh well. Pipes can be Pipes.
posted by The Whelk at 6:01 PM on October 27, 2008


I just used the word "point" like 4 times. Argh.
posted by The Whelk at 6:02 PM on October 27, 2008


Space Squid ending was always dumb and cliche. It was smart to cut it.
posted by tkchrist at 6:05 PM on October 27, 2008


Other ideas: make the murder mystery/coverup more of a central point. Push the idea of terrible things beings done by powerful people and have the ending come out of nowhere, a bomb blast on a sunny day.
posted by The Whelk at 6:06 PM on October 27, 2008


I'm actually glad that the Black Freighter segment isn't in the film. That's something that simply would not work in a film, but adds a layer in a comic book (in the same way - conversely - that the anime sequences in Kill Bill looked absolutely and completely out of place and out of style).

Everything I've seen so far from the Watchmen trailers and images looks good. The changes look good without being out of step from the comic's theme. But then I said the same thing about V For Vendetta (the worst of which is we will now have to wait many years before the definitive version of Vendetta comes out).

I'd buy an alternative ending if it was clever enough, but blowing up things seems a tad simplistic.
posted by panboi at 6:08 PM on October 27, 2008


I am so ...disinterested in this movie because it seems like..... it's ignores the tone and tempo and style of Watchmen not because it changes the ending or characters. But because it doesn't understand or realize what it's about. AWatchmen moving-picture event wouldn't add anything to the story. Something new which incorporates the themes and the sense of increasing dread and rotten-to-the-core society and dowdy, homespun heroics would be nice.
posted by The Whelk at 6:44 PM on October 27, 2008


The first time I heard "exciting movie rumors" about Watchmen, Terry Gilliam was attached to the project. While I've never, Ever thought the book could be adapted successfully into a movie, I was really interested to see what he'd try. Gilliam ultimately dumped the project because he felt it was unfilmable- and this was the motherfucker who took on a Thompson book.

As much as the trailer excited my fanboy/lizard brain, Watchmen is a slow build and it needs room to do so- more room, I think, than three hours can provide. I know they've hacked out the Freighter subplot and I'm sure that is one of many time saving measures that the director and his team were forced to concede. Different ending? Sure, why not? After you've already decided that the original material is something that must be massaged and strained to fit into the Movie form factor, it seems a little disingenuous to fret about how contorted the movie version turned out. I hope that the Watchmen movie isn't bad but even if it is, the book will always be there to be the "real" story.

Unless we're talking about The Spirit movie. Frank Miller kinda kicked the original material in the balls.
posted by cheap paper at 7:04 PM on October 27, 2008


Which why I hope it's just unwatchable. Something that gets in right in parts would just be unbearable.
posted by The Whelk at 7:15 PM on October 27, 2008


Has anyone watched the motion comic stuff? Is it worth the cost of download?
posted by middleclasstool at 7:23 PM on October 27, 2008


short answer no
posted by The Whelk at 8:12 PM on October 27, 2008


Which why I hope it's just unwatchable. Something that gets in right in parts would just be unbearable.

This is actually what I found so painful about V for Vendetta.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:19 PM on October 27, 2008


It's important to realize that the general public has seen one trailer plus the stuff that was shown on SpikeTV (which was really a slightly modified version of the first trailer that added maybe 30 seconds of new footage) so far....not nearly enough to judge the movie quite yet.
posted by Diskeater at 8:53 PM on October 27, 2008


the only good thing about a Watchmen movie is that now I see cute girls reading the book in the subway and byways and cafes.
posted by The Whelk at 9:58 PM on October 27, 2008


I mentioned this long after the last Watchmen thread had died, but I saw a Watchmen trailer in IMAX -- and subsequently realized that I have lost any and all ability to deal objectively with this material. I wanted this movie, right there on the sticky, stadium-seating sloped floor. I wanted it bad.

Also: yeah, goodbye squid. We are better off without you.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:59 PM on October 27, 2008


Damn, you are all so lacking in imagination about the "squid".

About half of H. P. Lovecraft or H. R. Geiger could be called "space squids". Imagine Manhattan being choked by one dead huge Mother Alien, for example.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:30 PM on October 27, 2008


early sketch of dr. manhattan

news of the world, by queen
posted by Hat Maui at 10:53 PM on October 27, 2008


This 'black freighter could not be done in a movie' thing. Just think about the way TVs are handled in Being There. Everything can be filmed if you come up with the right idea.
I have no opinion on whether it actually should be included in the movie or not.

As it's the same colorist, my guess is its current form is what he would have liked to do back then, had he had the resources.

Ya, just ask George Lucas about that.
posted by Chuckles at 10:54 PM on October 27, 2008


AzzaMcKazza: The whole thing is just too slick for what the book was aiming for. Watch the latest trailer. It all looks so 'cool'.

That works for me--the original comic had to be visually in tune with (as well as a mockery of) the style of its contemporary superhero comic books; the movie has to do the same with its contemporary superhero *movies*. That's why it's called an adaptation. What works in a graphic novel doesn't necessarily translate to what works on screen. I think it's brilliant.

Of course, we've all only seen the trailer, so wtf do we know anyway.

For those who want to read up on some impressions of the first half-hour of the movie, which was recently screened for unsuspecting audiences, you can read reactions here and here and here.
posted by tzikeh at 10:58 PM on October 27, 2008


Bullshit. All the queen stuff was completely tacked on, plus Leonidas wasn't foaming at the mouth all the time in the book.
>Yeah, I’ll never forget all the rape scenes in Miller’s comic.


Yeah, aside from Snyder shooting scene-for-scene and using huge swathes of Miller's ridiculously self-important dialogue for y'know, 90% of the movie, I was totally comparing apples and oranges. Actually, this brief comparison sums things up pretty well; Snyder didn't change 300 so much as add to it, arguably making for a slightly deeper story.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:04 PM on October 27, 2008


Another data point re: the Freighter.

I'm reminded of the cartoon bits in Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai. These ridiculous cartoon pieces of woody woodpecker or whoever murdering each other repeatedly and at length with over-the-top cartoon violence. The cartoons parallel the main story (some of the same violence, and more generally represents the anachronism of the gangsters), and it works really well.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:25 AM on October 28, 2008


For me, the Black Freighter stuff is just at my own boundary of familiarity with comics history, and it seems like a deep fanboy thing, even though it also works as foreshadowing and recapitulation in narrative terms. It's unnecessary and easily tossed when you're trying to crunch what should be a 12-hour miniseries into two hours. (Tom Bombadil being another beloved example.)

Although I do find it interesting that we arrive at this film just as pirates are, indeed, having a big comeback with a billion-dollar movie series. (Back in my day, we had flops like the Walter Matthau or Geena Davis travesties.) Anyway, point still stands.

And yeah, the squid just wouldn't work. I don't know what would. I was always doubtful that the effect of a stunned populace choosing peace was unrealistic, and I feel that 9/11 pretty much proved it. On the other hand, something more along the lines of Katrina might produce an outpouring of compassion. If it were seen as a natural disaster rather than an attack, that is. The Bush administration is surely the closest real analogue we might have to a Nixon-for-life administration, and they chose brinkmanship and aggression rather than capitalizing on the brief moment of international unity (candlelight vigils in Tehran...) that arose. But this is just my analysis, and what works on screen might not work "politically", even if we discount the differences between the real world and the fictional one.

I thought 300 was lovely to look at, especially once I understood that Miller was indirectly channeling Greek visual art. Some of the battle scenes work wonderfully if you think of them as interactive vases. Narratively it had some problems, though, and it was difficult to care for characters who were so melodramatically mannered. I'm not sure if this is a media problem or an adaptation problem. It's in some ways more difficult to present point of view using film.
posted by dhartung at 1:18 AM on October 28, 2008


I mean when Billy Pilgrim hits the floor with his fist - man, I feel it.

Billy Bibbit? Billy Pilgrim was the protagonist in Slaughterhouse Five.

WRT the squid thing. Watchmen without giant mutant telepathic squid teleportation is like God Emperor of Dune without a giant worm on a trolley.
posted by Sparx at 3:57 AM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]




That was sort of the point - if it had appeared manmade, a la 9/11 and the reports of the current movie ending, the end result is violence between human tribes. It required a true Outside Context Problem to achieve the kind of shock and awe required for Ozymandias's plan to work.

posted by Sparx at 4:02 AM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


I fail at closing brackets - the above comment was meant to respond to this line from dhartung:

I was always doubtful that the effect of a stunned populace choosing peace was unrealistic, and I feel that 9/11 pretty much proved it.
posted by Sparx at 4:03 AM on October 28, 2008


...as long as Ozymandias still speaks The Line.
The one starting "Do it?" -- Harkins_


Yup. To a readership (or movie audience) dulled by a generation of dumb Bond villains... that's the best line ever.
posted by rokusan at 4:44 AM on October 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


AS soon as I saw The Comedian fall back through the window in super slo-mo I knew it was gonna be rubbish. I want dark and gritty not The Matrix (Actually it was the second before Manhatten transforms... but I still tried to hold out hope)

The squid works in the comic... and you really have re-read the thing to get it. The clues are all there but the first time through they just pass you by. And the impact of using full page panels for showing the after effects... the feeling of silence, the shock; well you could probably fulfill something similar in a film but I think it would require a more subtle director than Snyder.

And it's not even the real ending of Watchmen anyway. Yeah apparently Rorschach's journal turning up a the New Frontiersmen office is in - but that's not it either. I will be very surprised if they actually include the real ending (link to an article I wrote a while back)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:06 AM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Damn, you are all so lacking in imagination about the "squid".

About half of H. P. Lovecraft or H. R. Geiger could be called "space squids". Imagine Manhattan being choked by one dead huge Mother Alien, for example.


You know, I love Watchmen. I'm a fan. But I'm kind of sick of the fanboyish "if you don't think it's awesome you don't get it" rubbish about the squid ending. I get it. I collected Watchmen when it was coming out issue per issue, and I got it again when bound. I've re-read the sucker. I like Lovecraft. But Lovecraft is about unspeakable evil just around the corner, usually in tentacled form. You don't have a giant telepathic squid showing up in a Bond film and tell people "yeah, but Lovecraft is good stuff, isn't it?"

Yeah, the idea behind it was fine. The outside threat forcing unity. But why not a giant Roger Rabbit? Oh, because that would be ludicrous.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:56 AM on October 28, 2008


Oh well at least fucking Kevin Smith thinks it works well as an ending. His vision has never yet steered us wrong.

Well, he at least knows Jersey Girl was a monstrosity, is I think harsher about Mallrats than necessary, and in his opinions of the Star Wars prequels, and Lord of the Rings trilogy, I totally agree with him.
So with any luck, it's that Kevin Smith airing his opinions about this.

I'm sceptical 'cause of 300, and the Sin City style production of that. And by god I thought Sin City was... Maybe not a piece of shit, but massively offensive. Looked stunning, but you really need to adapt comic books to make a movie. And Frank Miller's portrayal of women just irks me something rotten.
posted by opsin at 6:22 AM on October 28, 2008


OK I have never read the book but the movie looks too cool to pass up. Should I get the book and read it first aka Lord of the Rings?
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:50 AM on October 28, 2008


Some context: I was aware of but never read Watchmen before seeing the trailer attached to The Dark Knight this summer. I saw that movie at least five times and each time the trailer became more and more intriguing. Finally, I picked up the book and subsequently let everyone I know borrow it. It's easily one of the best things I've ever laid eyes on.

I have cautiously high hopes for this movie because it seems like Snyder and everyone else really appreciates the source material and will reference the book if it works better than the script. I'm also really digging the costumes and the overall look of the film.

I read about the altered ending and had the same reaction as many of you ("squid or death!!!111!!121!") but I came around and think the new ending works just fine...with one large exception. The Comedian lost it when he accidentally stumbled on the island, the squid, the missing writers/scientists, etc. I don't see how they can replace that if they decide to go with the ending shown. Of course, they would be stupid to not test out multiple endings so we'll see what we get in March.

The movie absolutely needs to have a strong cast of supporting players because that's who we care about when the squid explodes over New York. The deaths of millions and millions of people don't matter nearly as much as the deaths of the dozen or so secondary characters shown throughout the comic and I'm really worried that we'll lose this important moment.

In my mind, the comic book and the movie are and will forever be two very separate things. If the movie turns out to be a pretty awesome interpretation of the book...that's great! If it turns out to suck....we still have an awesome book. Regardless, we'll probably get to see some boob and that's pretty ok no matter what else happens.
posted by Diskeater at 6:53 AM on October 28, 2008


Should I get the book and read it first aka Lord of the Rings?

Regardless of the walking movies, the answer to your question is an unequivocal YES!
posted by opsin at 7:16 AM on October 28, 2008


It's because of people like you lot that Galactus turned up in a movie as a fucking cloud.
posted by Artw at 8:25 AM on October 28, 2008


It's because of people like you lot that Galactus turned up in a movie as a fucking cloud.

Can't blame the movie for that. That was a ... Warren Ellis? ... invention from the Ultimate Fantastic Four. Seems even comic writers are sensitive that a fifty foot purple guy with a bucket on his head might not transition to modern sensibilities well.
posted by Amanojaku at 9:51 AM on October 28, 2008


I'm not super keen on the Warren Ellis angry space bees but it made a hell of a lot more sense than the fucking cloud.
posted by Artw at 10:03 AM on October 28, 2008


arguably making for a slightly deeper story

Well, I'd argue it made for a more cliched, gee-we've-never-seen-this-before-rolls-eyes story. Plus, I'd call the change of Leonidas from cool customer to rabid dog a pretty big one.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:15 AM on October 28, 2008


It's because of people like you lot that Galactus turned up in a movie as a fucking cloud.

About the only thing that could have possibly made that movie any worse would be having a ginormous tubby dude with a silly hat floating around in space eating planets like apples.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:21 AM on October 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Indeed. Putting the traditional Galactus on the screen, you'd have had half the audience howling in what was already a pretty fucking awful movie excuse for mass marketing. Sorry, I'm a comics fan from childhood, but Galactus always looked to me less like a terrifying planet-devouring menace and more like a gigantic Mayan just home from a costume party at a gay disco.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:17 AM on October 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Where your argument fails is that the cloud isn’t actually any better, and the movie still sucks. Ellis style space-bees might have worked, but I’d argue that step 1 of making the movie not suck is embracing it’s Kirbyness, not fleeing further from it. Or not doing a Galactus miovie in the first place if you consider Galactus too silly.
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on October 28, 2008


Where your argument fails is that the cloud isn’t actually any better, and the movie still sucks.

The movie still sucks, yes. It is appallingly awful on many levels, and I hope that poor Ioan Gruffud, who I liked as Hornblower, can recover from the series.

But you can't possibly be claiming that a cloud of matter engulfing the Earth, looking sort of like the big machine that ate Constellation in TOS, looking like something actually out of science fiction, is just as bad as a literal GIANT MAN in a literal SILLY HAT reaching out and eating the Earth.

Things actually just as bad as a GIANT DUDE IN SILLY HAT Galactus:

*A giant rottweiler that humps the Earth to death.

*A less-giant dude driving a ginormous cosmic Caterpillar backhoe that he uses to scoop out delicious chunks of planet and stuff them down his piehole. The backhoe beeps in reverse.

*A giant bent-over naked dude who backs up to planets and sucks them into his gaping Space Anus -- that's right, Goatselactus.

*Cavity creeps.

*A giant Hamburgler who attacks the Earth with his basso profundo ROBBLE ROBBLE.

A gigantic whirling tornado of matter with something burning at its center: Not as bad. Still bad. But less bad.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:49 AM on October 28, 2008 [5 favorites]


It's basically just a giant space fart.
posted by Artw at 11:50 AM on October 28, 2008


A giant rottweiler that humps the Earth to death.

I would watch this movie.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:12 PM on October 28, 2008


Artw, if your farts look like that -- nay, if your farts are visible to the naked eye at all -- you need to see a physician.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:22 PM on October 28, 2008


IIRC Galactus was meant to actually have no real form but appeared to different civilizations in different forms.

With the right filmmaker I think even a big purple guy with a funny hat could work. They've got a big blue guy with no pants in Watchmen.
posted by panboi at 12:38 PM on October 28, 2008


My farts have more character and a greater sense of cosmic menace than the space cloud.
posted by Artw at 12:38 PM on October 28, 2008


You know, I love Watchmen. I'm a fan. But I'm kind of sick of the fanboyish "if you don't think it's awesome you don't get it" rubbish about the squid ending. I get it.

No kidding. At this point I'm sick of Watchmen ENTIRELY. I'm one of those heretics that only "enjoyed' Watchmen. Or most of it. But it is completely over-fucking-hyped. All the hype has sucked what fun was left right out of Watchmen for me.

Last time I was told that if I didn't think Watchmen was the most awesome-est thing EVAR why... why... I must "not like William Blake!"

But. But. I DO Like William Blake. What a conundrum. I must question the foundations of reality.

Anyway. I'm glad I was ahead of the curve of the dumb Space Squid thing.
posted by tkchrist at 1:08 PM on October 28, 2008


You must like a different William Blake, Todd.
posted by mwhybark at 1:53 PM on October 28, 2008


I DO Like William Blake.

Obviously not in the right way...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:50 PM on October 28, 2008


One has to study for that.
posted by Artw at 3:56 PM on October 28, 2008


Watchmen Ending May Be Closer to the Comic Than You Think
posted by homunculus at 7:34 PM on October 28, 2008


I hear the ending is now slated to be a giant tyger.

Never get out of the fucking boat.
posted by mwhybark at 7:48 PM on October 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


rokusan re: The Line. Damn skippy.

To my mind that was the single greatest moment in the whole book. Don't get me wrong, I liked Osterman's bizarre time hopping monologue on Mars, the whole "watch Rorschach drive his court appointed shrink crazy" bit, etc. But for me it just didn't get any better than Ozy's line. The rest was kinda anticlimactic from mystandpoint, not bad, just an unavoidable descent from the perfection that was Ozy's anti-Bond Villain line.

The rest of the move can be flashy, not as true to the source material as I'd like, etc, but as long as they don't change the tone and intent of the ending and they preserve the line I'll be happy.
posted by sotonohito at 8:39 PM on October 28, 2008


It's an enormous mutant star goat.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:52 AM on October 29, 2008


Metafilter threads about Watchmen are best read in the voice of Mark Hamill's middle-aged fanboy from Comic Book: The Movie.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:32 AM on October 29, 2008


The squid and the Black Freighter are tied together by both theme and plot. Early it's revealed that Ozy is, among other things, a marketing genius. So the squid is the product of a focus group of the best horror-creating minds of a generation, carefully planned and crafted to be the most horrifyingly alien creature across the entire market. One of the squid's creators is the artist of Black Freighter. But I agree with the above comment that the whole premise behind the squid is that Ozy tries to unite the world behind a shared alien threat. A known threat would just devolve into petty bickering.

Two examples of movies that we accept even though they are dramatically different from the source material are Lord of the Rings and Frankenstein (1931). Lord of the Rings emphasizes tangential material that Tolkien was reluctant to include, and deletes scenes that develop the Hobbits as primary characters. Frankenstein (1931) dramatically reframes the conflicts. Both are great movies, that are not, and should not be judged on the basis of fidelity to source material.

Smedlyman: Indeed, why does everything have to be a movie?

I guess the question is, why not? Personally, I'm becoming convinced that the obsession with originality, fidelity, and ownership of a work has been taken to an unhealthy extreme. And if an artist wants to adapt Watchmen to a different artistic medium, there should be a mechanism by which that is possible. Frankenstein has been the subject of almost a dozen dramatic adaptations, of which, one or two are brilliant.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:51 AM on October 29, 2008


I guess the question is, why not? Personally, I'm becoming convinced that the obsession with originality, fidelity, and ownership of a work has been taken to an unhealthy extreme.

That's an especially interesting thought with reference to Watchmen, since without the foundation of Steve Ditko's characters for Charlton, there IS no Watchmen. Or at least not in anything like its finished form.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:59 AM on October 29, 2008


enormous mutant star goat

Naw, that shows up in From Hell, silly.
posted by mwhybark at 8:51 AM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Leave Jeff Minter out of this, that's a different hippy.
posted by Artw at 9:08 AM on October 29, 2008


Moore + Minter = tasty!
posted by mwhybark at 10:44 AM on October 29, 2008


Worst slash fiction ever.
posted by Artw at 10:52 AM on October 29, 2008


Star Goat.

Star Goat.

Appears to be some sort of precursor to the One of Noodly Appendage.
posted by mwhybark at 11:08 AM on October 29, 2008


It's an enormous Star Goatse.
posted by homunculus at 11:36 AM on October 29, 2008


The link to psychoanalysis comics reminds me of Moore's Weeping Gorilla which is a prominent feature in the background of Promethia.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:33 PM on October 29, 2008


Heh. I have a weeping gorrila T-Shirt.
posted by Artw at 1:04 PM on October 29, 2008


According to Rich Johnson...

WATCHMEN ENDINGS

[Green Light]Last week's LITG talked about the different "Watchmen" endings that are being tested. And the one ending that's been seen and reported that has a bombed out New York, but no hyperdimensional alien squid.

I'm told that this screening was intentionally leaked to the fan press - with the exact time and place posted online with details of how to evade the security. The intent is to gauge fan reaction to a squidless ending for Watchmen and see what they can get away with, believing it to be more suitable for a more mainstream audience. The FX for the squid has been completed however.

And the "Watchmen" footage from the Spike TV Scream Awards (and online here on CBR) does appear to show a bombed out New York City sans squid.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:08 PM on October 29, 2008


The FX for the squid has been completed however.

...and the FX team? Are they booked for a cruise of some sort?
posted by mwhybark at 5:28 PM on October 29, 2008 [8 favorites]


Warren Ellis' Albino Anti-Hero Gets His Own Movie?
posted by homunculus at 9:24 PM on October 29, 2008


Maybe he can finish the comic then. And Planetary and Fell while he's at it, the fat lazy fuck.
posted by Artw at 9:30 PM on October 29, 2008


(mails off some poop, per LITG linK)
posted by Artw at 9:38 PM on October 29, 2008


Maybe he can finish the comic then. And Planetary and Fell while he's at it, the fat lazy fuck.

Hey, give the man a break; he's got ever so slightly creepy blog posts about his daughter to write
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:11 AM on October 30, 2008


Damn skippy. To my mind that was the single greatest moment in the whole book. Don't get me wrong... -- sotonohito

Oh, I couldn't be more with you on that. Watchmen, as a movie, should be about that that one-line twist in the same way that Fincher's Seven was often described as the "what's in the box" movie. I hope they treat it that tenderly.

I came to Watchmen in a strange way. A group of friends had a sort of informal reading group, in which we'd give each other books specifically because of a single sentence each contained that one of us had found exceptional. Most were novels; Watchmen was an oddball inclusion.

The twist, of course, is that the first reader didn't specify what the line was in advance. It was up to the rest of the readers to figure out which line it was that impressed the first reader so much in the first place.

There were a few "I have no idea" results over the years, but overall it was pretty remarkable how often that worked, how many times four or five very different people could pull out the same single sentence from the thousands and thousands of lines in an average novel.

Everyone "got" the Watchman line, as I recall, but it's a pretty obvious one: it's the pivot point, after all.
posted by rokusan at 3:37 AM on October 31, 2008


The FX for the squid has been completed however.

There are a lot of earlier clues that would have to be edited in or out, depending on whether the ending is nuclear or squishy. It's not as if either result could just be glued into the penultimate reel without some pretty weird, and suddenly red, herrings in the margins.
posted by rokusan at 3:39 AM on October 31, 2008


Hey, give the man a break; he's got ever so slightly creepy blog posts about his daughter to write

He's now got Marvel selling a 16 page comic of his for $4, on the rational that it's got some scripts in the back. Ellis: Embrace the rip-off.
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on November 1, 2008


Watchmen's Zack Snyder Sets Fire To Your Dreams
posted by homunculus at 1:38 PM on November 10, 2008


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