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Watchmen (****)
directed by Zack Snyder
by David Hayter and Alex Tse, from the graphic novel by Dave Gibbons and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named
Watchmen
Principal Cast
Malin Akerman -- Laurie Jupiter / Silk Spectre II
Billy Crudup -- Dr. Manhattan / Jon Osterman
Matthew Goode -- Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias
Jackie Earle Haley -- Walter Kovacs / Rorschach
Jeffrey Dean Morgan -- Edward Blake / The Comedian
Patrick Wilson -- Dan Dreiberg / Nite Owl II
Carla Gugino -- Sally Jupiter / Silk Spectre
Matt Frewer -- Edgar Jacobi / Moloch the Mystic
Stephen McHattie -- Hollis Mason / Nite Owl
Ratings
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Watchmen is my kind of movie.

Often when a film adapts a book, it tells the story of the book, instead of translating the book into a series of dramatic scenes that draw you into the story. Watchmen draws you in. The writer and director know what we want from a super-hero movie. We want to see the hero beat the shit out of a bunch of bad guys. No super-hero movie prior to Watchmen has pandered so well to that visceral desire. This is really Rorschach's movie, and it satisfies the inner Rorschach in us all.

The movie is unbelievably true to the original. There are places where I thought a scene departed from the comic book, only to look it up when I got home and discover that the scene is in the comic book, often word for word. When the movie does make changes, it makes them for the better. For example, it gets rid of that awful octopus creature in Chapter Twelve. I'm told the comic book editor, Len Wein, tried to talk Alan (sorry) He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named into changing that in the comic, unsuccessfully. When I first read the twelve issue series, that ending came as a disappointment. The movie ending is better.

The film is full of references to other science fiction films, many of which I didn't catch, and some of which I caught when they weren't really there. I thought the use of "All Along the Watchtower" was a Battlestar Galactica reference, but no, it's in the original comic book. Certainly, I'm looking forward to seeing Watchmen again, which is a good thing because I'm told that the director's cut, with an extra half hour of material, will be in theaters this summer.

While you wait, there's "Tales of the Black Freighter" on DVD, on sale March 24.

No credit cookies, but the end-credit music is worth a listen.

I'm looking forward to director Zack Snyder's adaptation of Vaughn Bodé's Cobalt 60.

Copyright © 2009 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.


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