This is my first attempt at a blog, and it might be a bumpy ride, but stick with it because I have a lot to say. I decided I would try my hand at blog writing on Screened partly because of the desperate need for content on this site I love so much, but also because I finally have something to say. I'm going to talk about a film I care deeply about, Watchmen.
Watchmen was released in 2009 and was directed by Zack Snyder(Dawn of the Dead, 300), while it wasn't ravaged by critics, the reviews weren't glowing(It sits at a cool 65% on Rotten Tomatoes). It did respectable box office, but was no huge smash. Now, when I originally saw this it was probably a year and a half after it came out and I caught it late at night on HBO and I wasn't exactly impressed, in fact when I went to school the next day I ravaged it when i recounted it to my friends. I just thought it was terrible, I thought that they had done a great disservice to the fans of the graphic novel. I took the film at face value, I looked at it like an exercise of style over substance, much the same way many critics did. I thought it was a middling adaption that missed all the notes that the comic hit perfectly. It did away with any social commentary, and the layered, dense narrative of the original. That's not even mentioning the little changes they made to a few scenes, that at thirteen, angered me quite a lot.
But then, I sat down and watched it again. This time, I was about a year older and I had matured a lot, I found everything I missed. First off, I was much more appreciative of the style I had so quickly dismissed the first time. Watchmen is a beautiful film. The way it's shot it stunning, the way the colors are muted in some scenes and bright in others is just dazzling. The whole film has a very distinct visual style that deserves a post all it's own, but for the most part this was recognized and praised by critics and fans alike. Another very important facet of this film is the acting. The majority of the cast give great performances, but the two standouts are Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian. Both of these actors portrayed emotionally damaged and morally reprehensible characters, and they did it chillingly. Both of their characters were particular highlights of this film, along with the amazing visuals, and what for me is the most important part, the subtle underlying social commentary.
Originally I thought that the social commentary of the book was completely missing. I thought they stripped away this genius part of the book, but upon second viewing I recognized it. It has a lot to say about the nature of humanity itself. It comments on the animal natures inside all of us. This movie recognizes that all of us have these base desires and these reactions to situations that are out of our control. As much as we try to mask them they're there and they come out of us all at one point in time. The character most used to portray this was the Comedian, he was a terrible person, no matter how you looked at it. He was a killer and a rapist. He had given into these animal urges more than just once, but he comes to regret these decisions, if only superficially, later in life. It has more commentary than just this though, it comments on politics, and war, and love.
I don't think i particularly conveyed everything i wanted with this post, but i got most of it through. I recommend a second viewing of this film for anyone who felt about it like i did originally, and if you haven't watch it now.
Any feedback on how i did would be nice, also tell me what you think about Watchmen.