"It Was Kovacs Who Closed His Eyes. It Was Rorschach Who Opened Them Again."

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The trailer for Zak Snyder's Watchmen is online.


An ominous thing that occured to me on my second (third?) viewing: Where had I heard that Smashing Pumpkins song before? The answer is on the soundtrack of Batman and Robin.

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  1. Crew you, man, now I’ve got Batman & Robin and Watchmen in the same part of my brain!

  2. Screw, that is.

  3. I saw a draft of the script from three years ago (my wife found it tucked in the seat pocket on a Los Angeles to New York flight), and that version had a happier ending. I can only assume they’ve made several changes since then.

  4. That’s actually a pretty sweet song, although it has the most annoying title in the world. Something like “The end is the beginning is the end is the beginning is the end.” Head out of ass, Billy, I know you shaved it to make it fit better.

  5. I wonder when Juvenal wrote those famous words — “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” — whether he had any inclination what his idea would one day derive into.

  6. The main theme for Batman & Robin was “The End is the Beginning is the End”, a much faster and rockin’ track. The Watchmen trailer uses an alternate, slower version, “The Beginning is the End is the Beginning”. Billy, it goes without saying, can do no wrong, regardless of his hairdo. 😉

  7. I liked it better when Juvenile said the words “Girl, you looks good, won’t you back that ass up .”

  8. This trailer has me excited, even though I hated Snyder’s last film, 300. If this movie is 80% slow motion I don’t know if I can take it. My hope is that he focused more on the plot development and less on recreating every single frame from the original comic…

    Jesus who am I kidding. This trailer confirms thats exactly what the movie is gonna be. Painstaking recreations of comic book frames at the cost of the intricate storyline.

  9. I didn’t watch 300, and I don’t regret it. Regarding this trailer…

    O…M…F…G!!!

    AWESOME!

  10. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Batman and Robin song is intentional. Read an interview the other day where Snyder was responding to costume critiques [al la Bat-nipples and whatnot] and responded to the effect of “Watchmen deconstructed the comic book, part of what we’re doing is deconstructing the comic book movie.” Well played, if so. I’ve read from lots of sources it’s damn faithful, i.e. no Hollywoodland happy ending. If true, teh awesome.

  11. Keep in mind that songs in trailers don’t always find their way into the actual film.

  12. Is it wrong that I attained climax during the shot of Dr. Manhattan’s citadel on Mars?

  13. Is it wrong that I attained climax during the shot of Dr. Manhattan’s citadel on Mars?

    That was unbelievable, as well as the nearly identical recreation of his origin. That shot of him being ripped apart was astonishing.

  14. As soon as I saw the words “From the visionary director of ‘300’” I knew,

    This movie is going to suck.

  15. I think this will be the Citizen Kane of comic book movies — if it’s adapted well.

    Clearly, they have great source material — a graphic novel that actually has the depth, pacing and characterization of an actual novel. Alan Moore’s writing is that good.

    If not’s adapted well, then I guess the Batman & Robin omen might apply..

  16. This is going to be awesome!

    I love the fact that the premiere date is 03.06.09.

    They’re counting down to midnight! I’m not much for midnight screenings of movies, or even of moviegoing in general, but I’m going to have to make an exception.

  17. yes I will see this in IMAX…

  18. The slow-mo and the music were a huge, huge, huge turn-off. Nothing about the comic book is sexy or sleek to me, despite the heroes trying to look sleek and sexy. That’s one of the book’s appeal.

    I think it should have been a mini-series, anyway, so I’m prejudiced, but, Christ, so much sexy slow-mo.

    Some beautiful imagery, though, no doubt. But that stuff can’t carry a movie for me, as 300 certainly proved.

  19. Bad 3rd sentence. Sorry. Blame the vodka, please.

  20. I’ll believe it’s not crap when I see it. Remember “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”?

  21. I hate that trailer. If the movie is anything like it, I will hate the movie. O let us count the ways I hated that:

    1) Billy Corgan song.
    2) The acting looks awful. Especially if those are the best, most impressive shots they could dredge up.
    3) Shot in such a way that half the scenes are in the dark but are brightly lit anyway for no adequately explained reason.
    3) Some Keanu Reeves-alike muttering “God help us all.”

    If this isn’t the stinkiest piece of comic book dreck deposited on the doorstep next year and the worst adaptation of an Alan Moore novel to date, I will personally eat my hat.

  22. Sorry for the unrelated post, but this cracked me up.
    You can’t smoke in SF, but at least you can mock the president.

  23. Everything I’ve seen so far looks pretty damned good, but I’m still a bit concerned about how they’re going to fit the whole story into a two hour movie.

    The graphic novel runs almost four hundred pages… particularly dense pages (often having nine panels/page) at that… and the story is so intricately crafted that if you start pulling parts out you’ll start losing subtext, theme, and detail.

    And if Snyder films half of the scenes in slow motion — as it was in 300 and how it appears in the trailer — this could be a huge problem.

    Though in 300’s case, the story was so thin that the slow-mo bits probably helped pad out the running time.

  24. The film, like 300, will be terrible, a slo-mo quasi-music video.

    But I thought Watchmen was terrible.

    The bad guy has no powers. The good guy has powers just short of God. Wow, that makes for good dramatic effect.

    I know, I know, we’re supposed to identify with Rosarch’s quest for the dirty truth blah blah. But the final battle between Dr. Manhattan and Ozmandias is not just anti-climatic, it’s a joke.

  25. Alan Moore’s Killing Joke was imo much better than Watchmen. Hell, I’d rather read the Watchtower than that again.

  26. Reason: if you really want to improve the level of discourse in these comments (and maybe you don’t), I’m asking you as a longtime comics reader and as a libertarian to quit posting links about comics.

  27. When will Snyder grace us with his interpretation of Maus? Slow motion is the key to the proper interpretation of Art Spiegelman.

  28. I know, I know, we’re supposed to identify with Rosarch’s quest for the dirty truth blah blah.

    No we’re not. Rorschach is a dangerous sociopath kept in check only by his fanatical devotion to a self-conceived moral code. He’s an exaggeration of the “badass antihero” archetype that stops just short of parody.

    The bad guy has no powers. The good guy has powers just short of God. Wow, that makes for good dramatic effect.

    And yet the good guy is completely paralyzed by his own indecision and apathy, while the bad guy knows exactly what he wants to do and has the resources to do it. Besides, if the climax were as boringly one-sided as that, wouldn’t Manhattan have won?

    Anyway, count me in with Les. Artistically it looks really good, but the point of Watchmen is so very far removed from cool-looking superheroes fighting well-choreographed battles with sexy special effects.

  29. you’re all wearing an extra large pair of crazypants – 300 was a great cartoon. it’s exactly what movies should be – flashy, fun, meaningless and excruciatingly homoerotic.

    plus it’s a meditative narrative on the collapse of a hedonistic imperialistic culture (the us) in the face of small bands of dedicated masculine powers (al qaeda)…and stuff.

  30. OK this will be, like the 327th superhero movie this year. What makes it any different than the other 326?

  31. If I was a super-genius who could catch bullets with my bare hands, I’d personally consider that to be a super power.

    I’m going to give this movie the benefit of the doubt and say it will be good. Comparing the movie to the comic isn’t going to be fair- instead we should compare it to other comic movies. Given the source material, it will (probably)be amazing.

  32. Saw the trailer at the midnight premeire of The Dark Knight. The trailer looks great, but I still think it will lack the laden symbolism riddled throughout the comic series…I hope I’m wrong.

    After seeing The Dark Knight though, I’m not sure Watchmen can ever top that. The Dark Knight was absolutely transcendantly brilliant.

  33. Though in 300’s case, the story was so thin that the slow-mo bits probably helped pad out the running time.

    300 pissed me off, even though I kinda enjoyed it, because the story of Thermopylae could be a great movie.

    Personally, if its going to be Hollywood, I think having Mel Gibson do a movie version of Gates of Fire would probably do the trick. He may be crazy, but Mel gives good epic, and I can’t think of anyone who puts better battles on-screen.

  34. “If I was a super-genius who could catch bullets with my bare hands, I’d personally consider that to be a super power.”

    Catching bullets is kind of smooth, but Manhattan totally outclasses Ozymandias. And it need not have been that way: Moore could simply have written him in some technology that could have made it more climatic (a la Lex Luthor, who has no powers either).

    “Besides, if the climax were as boringly one-sided as that, wouldn’t Manhattan have won?”

    Manhattan confronts Ozymandias, Ozymandias disintegrates him with a device and he simply reforms declaring that such a device had no chance of defeating him. Not much of a battle…

  35. “Reason: if you really want to improve the level of discourse in these comments (and maybe you don’t), I’m asking you as a longtime comics reader and as a libertarian to quit posting links about comics.”

    And music? And literature?

    Libertarianism or any poltical movement has definite implications and manifestations in various media. Moore is beloved by many libertarians and thus I think a post like this is very proper.

    I mean, they have movie reviews at Slate and National Review you know…Culture matters, maybe more than politics (if the two culd ever be seperated)

  36. Is that a photo from the Constitution Party convention?

  37. Watchmen definintely deserves respect among Libertarians; it’s certainly this Libertarian’s favorite comic book story of all time. And it pains me when I see or hear that anyone thinks the comic medium – whether it be superhero or not – is “cheap” or “for kids.” That’s a very ignorant stereotype from very ignorant people. Comics are no different than any other form of media, it can be thought provoking, fun, exhillarating, philosophical and create great debates.

  38. My slightly tongue-in-cheek comment wasn’t about the appropriateness of the posts, which I actually enjoy, just the fact that we get so many commenters (and no, I’m not going to single anybody out) who don’t really know what they’re talking about.

    300 requires a bit of digging through layers of meta stuff which most people (and sadly, Alan Moore) haven’t done.

    Watchmen may require the same and the theme of the story relies on the reader having previous knowledge of superhero comics. I can already hear people accusing the movie of ripping off the TV show Heroes.

  39. Catching bullets is kind of smooth, but Manhattan totally outclasses Ozymandias. And it need not have been that way: Moore could simply have written him in some technology that could have made it more climatic (a la Lex Luthor, who has no powers either).

    He could have, but what would be the point?

  40. Although I stand by my words, I apologize for being such an elitist bastard.

  41. RC, George Clooney’s production company has had some form of movie adaptation of Gates of Fire in the works since 2000. Between that and The Diamond Age miniseries, Clooney’s got some pretty good contemporary lit by the balls.

  42. Some thoughts:

    I’m sure this movie will suck, but you shouldn’t hold the music against it-the real music probably just hasn’t been recorded yet. That’s usually one of the last things done.

    I’m surprised that nobody’s mentioned yet that Rorschach is actually Moore’s parody of one of the only true libertarian superheroes: former Reason contributor Steve Ditko’s Mr. A. Ditko’s politics kinda went over Moore’s head and he just made Rorschach a psychopath.

    I don’t have real high hopes for the cast when the best-known actor is Max Headroom.

  43. I don’t have real high hopes for the cast when the best-known actor is Max Headroom.

    Really? Because I can’t stand seeing the same actor in more than one movie. It really breaks the immersion seeing Dr. Doubtfire playing a 200 year old robot forensic investigator from the jungle.

    Unknown actors are a plus for me.

  44. Kim Scarborough – Moore said in an interview that Rorschach is actually only character to stay true to his morals. Though disagreeing with his politics, Moore was actually a big admirer of Ditko.

  45. I think I wet myself a little bit….

  46. Damn. I wake up, crawl down to the lappie, nav to this page…

    …and am jarred into the world by a cacophony of geezers whining about how bad good movies are these days!

    Thanks for making me feel young again, guys!

    (Except you, Old Bull Lee. Ironically, despite your name, you seem to *get it*.)

    Christ, you’d think they all want comic book movies to be Hitchcock. A Hitchcock comic book movie would, p.s., suck a ball.

  47. Actually, I think The Dark Knight will raise the bar for serious superhero movies.

    My elitism confirmed by Elemenope! You’re forgiven for saying Superman sucks.

  48. Read the credits.
    Whose name is missing?

  49. Actually, a Hitchcock Batman or Shadow would’ve been kick-ass. Hitch was fond of storyboarding his films, so using comics as a source wouldn’t be all that different. Given his roots in the radio drama, Welles might have been a better choice to bring The Arch Enemy of Crime to the screen. Of course, Orson’s interest in The Batman is well known to fanboys.

    Now, how can a film that riffs off several Ditko characters not be culturally interesting to many libertarians? Herm.

    Kevin

  50. Drew: The one who has gone on a multi-year campaign to remove his name from all adaptations of his work. I find a lot to complain about with film adaptations of Moore’s work, but it’s not the producers’ fault his name isn’t on them.

    And for all my bitching and moaning this’ll probably turn out like V For Vendetta – a perfectly entertaining and well-told comic book movie that’s different enough from the norm to stand out, just missing the textual elements that made me like the original so much.

  51. Niceguy,

    But I thought Watchmen was terrible. The bad guy has no powers. The good guy has powers just short of God. Wow, that makes for good dramatic effect. I know, I know, we’re supposed to identify with Rosarch’s quest for the dirty truth blah blah. But the final battle between Dr. Manhattan and Ozmandias is not just anti-climatic, it’s a joke.

    …Just out of curiosity, how old were you when you read it?

  52. I’m surprised that nobody’s mentioned yet that Rorschach is actually Moore’s parody of one of the only true libertarian superheroes: former Reason contributor Steve Ditko’s Mr. A.

    Actually, he was based on the Question and initially was going to be the Question (a Charlton Comics character that DC had just gotten the rights to). Of course, the difference between the Question and Mr. A is more one of attitude than anything.

  53. Hey, I saw their show right by Astor Place. Those guys were bugged out!

  54. I saw a draft of the script from three years ago (my wife found it tucked in the seat pocket on a Los Angeles to New York flight), and that version had a happier ending. I can only assume they’ve made several changes since then.

    And I’ve seen 2 versions of the script via a Hollywood cx, one of which has since been distributed widely.

    But Watchmen has already been adapted for the screen. It’s called Lost. Plus a little swipe in a Pinky and the Brain.

  55. Watchmen’s strength was the non-linear story telling which will be difficult to translate to the screen…lots of DVD extras may make for a closer approximation.

  56. Eric:

    The Question when Ditko was still plotting and drawing it was as Randian as all get out. Mr. A. was a very similar character, but one that is creator-owned.

    Kevin

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