Wednesday, March 18, 2009

[review] Watchmen

So, I sit down to write 2 sentences about this movie - well, quotations, actually, as a prelude to writing this:
"... are presented in a film experience of often fearsome beauty."
"The film is rich enough to be seen more than once."

Coming from my favorite movie critic. Wow. I've got the day off, I'm thinking about hitting the multiplex in Southdale ... I log on here, and what do I see? STFU&GBTW posted a review. No! Ah, normally, I would read them. For, while he isn't Roger Ebert, I enjoy his reviews. Not that Ebert is so wonderful, but his opinion usually matches mine, and his opus is more accessible than my brother's. 'Nuf said. off to the movies ...

A whopping 2:41 (hours, not minutes) managed to keep my attention. The characters aren't really "superheroes". They call themselves 'masks', as they all hide behind them. After being outlawed (the scriptwriters of The Incredibles must have read the graphic novel), a couple come forth to admit their prior activities. A murder of one retired 'mask' leads to others. Only one wants to pursue it; the others hide behind their secret identities and quiet retired lives as mild-mannered people.

Why does anyone want to kill retired crime-fighters? Mixed in are vignettes of how does one become a super crime-fighter? I found these little stories quite interesting in filling the characters' motivations. Following in mom's footsteps; nuclear accident; abusive childhood - other than the giant naked glowing blue guy, pretty much just the way anyone chooses a profession. There's more male full-frontal nudity than in any other ordinary Hollywood film I've ever seen. A swift flash of Mortensen in Eastern Promises this wasn't.

This is one of the more gruesomely violent movies I've seen: violent in the sense of Eastern Promises, not just ordinary action movies. There's a bit of romance & far more of social commentary. It's 1985, Nixon is on his 3rd (4th?) term and the government is running on the fear of imminent nuclear annihilation from the USSR.

The photography was wonderful, giving a distinct picture of 1985. The music, when it hit, was overwhelming, though quite a bit preceding 1985. Characters appear whom I doubt anyone under 20 would recognize, like Henry Kissinger or Lee Iacocca. Altogether a picture of how 1985 could have looked, perhaps not politically but visually. The end of the movie was a surprise to me (never having read the comic book), although the denouement was kind of saccharine.

okay, just read STFU&GBTW's non-review ... shouldn't have avoided it - though it's an interesting comparison of hypothetical "themes"

Gopher Rating:
2 - Go see it on the big screen, at matinee prices

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