Watchmen and Comic Serial Novels

I love to catch a film after the hype has died down.


This movie is based on the comic novel series Watchmen by Alan Moore. The last time I read a comic novel was by Frank Miller. He had a sci-fi futuristic comic novel called Ronin, with a samurai and a black woman, and another set with Batman called The Dark Knight Returns. In one of them Batman kicks Superman’s ass. Epic. I still have the comic novels.

Frank Miller gave us today’s dark, moody, and borderline(?) psychopathic Batman.

On a side note, I believe the reason why Ronin has never been made into a film is because of the race of the two lead characters. An Asian guy and a black woman? Oh horrors. That’s not the first time. Whenever a popular comic serial novel or cartoon goes to the big screen, if the major characters are black female or Asian male – don’t expect to see them. Either they’ll be replaced by whites (like Angelina Jolie in Wanted, and all the characters of Avatar: The Last Airbender), or their roles will be diminished.

I haven’t read Watchmen, so I cannot tell if there were any Asians or blacks in the storyline. Aside from the minor role played by a black male shrink, I cannot recall if there were any Asians or black women in the 2 hour plus film: being a part of the background scenery doesn’t count. There were plenty of homoerotic, lesbian, and gay themes though. When Hollywood makes a show or film that is all white the only “minorities” they can think of today has to do with sexual proclivities.

Alrighty, then.

What did I think of the film? The opening sequence is awesome. It’s long; a worthwhile and strong effort to educate the audience as to who the Watchmen are. Unfortunately, any sympathy you might have felt for the Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is immediately wiped away, and throughout the film there’s no one left to like. There’s not one character among this wayward, vapid, self-absorbed, and empty crew that garners any emotional attachment.

No matter how crazy Batman is – we get why he’s the way he is. He’s effed up, but we sympathize with him, plus he’s got people around him to push him back when he starts stepping over the line.

Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) tried to fulfill this role as the one who draws the line. As for his character – I really, really hate this modern “sophisticated” cynicism that a true good guy can only be a psychopath, because he believes in absolutes. I think Rorschach was supposed to be the one redeeming person that we could feel simpatico with, but his back-story (when we find out who he is) arrives too late. And by then, he’s jumping way, way, way over the line as well.

And so does the movie.

I realize that this film probably follows the novel religiously and without deviation. Or perhaps not. However, it suffers from misunderstanding mass audience appeal. It failed to give us proper nuance. It failed to give us a true “good guy(s).” I got that all of the Watchmen suffered from moral ambiguity mixed in with self-righteous despotic inclinations in order to “do the right thing”, which is more about shades of gray, than black or white, but at the end of the day, the whole movie was a massive fail, and a big big mess.

Yeah, I didn’t like it. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

Not only did I hate the pornographic violence, I couldn’t abide the horrid acting. Outside of the interesting performances by Jackie Earle Haley and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, everyone was rather lame and blah. Cardboard. Dry. Stiff. Reading their lines as if for the mentally challenged.

They could have cut out all the scenes with the Owl and that black wig wearing chick. Those two alone nauseated me. Way way too much of them in the storyline.

My only favorite character was the Big Blue Penis. I enjoyed every scene.

If I have the time I may read the novel, because it’s considered “one of the best comic novels” around.


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4 Responses to Watchmen and Comic Serial Novels

  1. I am reading this post and after will watch The Dark Knight
    New info about The Dark Knight Thanks
    I have some movies with Christian Bale – Equilibrium and Rescue Dawn best actor )
    Does someone agree with me?

    GoldenAh: I didn’t see Rescue Dawn, but he was great in Equilibrium. I really liked that movie.

  2. Amanda says:

    Haven’t seen The Watchmen yet, but I’m with you. I want to see good guys. I don’t want them to be perfect, but I don’t want them ambiguous either (well maybe every once in a while). Same with bad guys I don’t want them to be caricature bad guys, but I don’t want to be so sympathetic towards them that you don’t want them to get what’s coming. I can’t stand cynicism that’s taken over movies and TV. I too think that these films have a big disconnect with the movie going and TV watching audience. My thoughts are validated when I see fan films of movies or TV shows such as the New BSG (yes some had the same style). Most of the fan films especially from kids tended to be action adventure Hero vs. villain. DGMW I like the cynical hero or ambiguous hero or bad guy every once in a while, but not all the damn time. This humanity sucks etc. has got to die. The fact that people are still watching movies like True Grit, shows like Gunsmoke, Star Trek even Blake’s 7 which should be Bleak’s should tell Hollywood something. (Both Gunsmoke and Blake’s 7 are bleak, but they have action adventure and hope (not always in B7) there are times when you wonder about Avon with the cause, but he always comes out helping the cause (mainly cause it benefits him) whatever it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Serenity comes close to B7 (even Paul Darrow= Avon commented on this and loved the movie and the show). He has the rights to B7, but won’t consent to a revival or remake, because he doesn’t like the state of TV today. (Don’t blame the guy) Seriously I’d take TOS BSG over New BSG any day. Yes they had some cheesy as hell episodes, but that had great ones as well. Same with shows like Space 1999 (which had some freaky eps.)

    Off that tangent
    I loved the Dark Knight especially Harvey when he became two face. I was like that’s how I imagined him. The make-up/cgi (whatever) was great. Nolan is good for using cgi as a tool with practical effects. I think that’s why people loved it as well. It looked real, because most of it was actual sets and props not cgi extravaganza.

    GoldenAh: I think Nolan is brilliant. I like his directing style. He’s still willing to take chances, and he seems to really respect the intelligence of his audience. This is the man that gave us Memento. That film was off the hook. I hope he continues to do his thing.

    I know I’ll be sorry I didn’t, and wont, be seeing Inception in the theaters, but I prefer to watch slightly complicated plots with close caption, and I like it where I can stop the action.

  3. Amanda says:

    I’d like to see many of these graphic novels made into films independently. I know that would be hard.

  4. pparalajkec says:

    I was more in, but he had put.

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