Friday, March 13, 2009

The Reel Deal Movie Review

This is my first regular segment. My brother in law and I will be doing movie reviews and bringing them to the masses. So without further ado.....The Watchmen

Citizen Brother-In-Law thinks that Watchmen is definitely worth watching -
If you are looking for a classic superhero story — good triumphing over evil wearing spandex and a cape — Watchmen is not your movie. If you’re looking to see an action movie to be entertained in the Hollywood style of watered-down, spoon-fed narrative and cardboard-thin characters, wait a few months for the next "Fast and Furious" franchise. I am sure it’s just what you need.

But if you want a movie to make you think and bombard you with graphic-novel violence that will jar even the most desensitized moviegoer, pony up the dough and hold on tight.
There is a moral ambiguity in this film that is rare in big-budget Hollywood movies that I found refreshing. The premise that superheroes are real (albeit flawed, damaged and sometimes even psychotic) people is fantastic. The role of masked vigilante attracts people from every imaginable stripe. This makes for very intriguing and sometimes frustrating characters that are compelling to watch.

There was a perceived undercurrent of anti-intellectualism that I found a bit ironic (perhaps it was intentional, but even after a week, I am not quite sure) considering all the philosophical questions posed in the film. Perhaps it was just a character quality of Rorschach and not editorial commentary, but since Rorschach served as narrator, I don't know.

And my own desire for justice was not satisfied by the ending of the story. But after a few days to digest and process this, I think it was appropriate. We don’t live in a perfect world. Sometimes the bastards get away clean. Like Wall Street bankers. And sometimes the greater good is more important in the long run. We all could stand to be reminded of that from time to time.
The visual style of the film was great. Dark, gritty. And only once did I wince at the special effects. Three words: crater smiley face.

The Watchmen is not perfect—far from it. There is a lot to cover in the story and even at 2:43 the film seems a bit rushed. The sex scene was gratuitous and unnecessary, and was obviously meant to cater to the cave-dwelling, pimple-faced, Halo-playing, I’ve-never-touched-a-human-girl teen boy demographic. Not that I minded.

I emerged from the theatre exhausted from the sheer intensity of the movie, but very satisfied and happy that I went to see it. I hope viewers will open their minds and do the mental heavy lifting required to really appreciate this film. I have my doubts if they will.

Citizen Ojo thinks if you are squeamish at the sight of blood, this movie might not be for you -
This was one bloody movie. There was blood everywhere. No, I’m serious……blood everywhere!!! Zack Snyder, the director of the movie 300, was at the helm of this film. That will explain the level of violence. If you have younger children, 6th grade down to Pre-School, this movie might not be for them. But I know some of you are too cheap to get a babysitter so do what you want. Just remember when your kid is screaming in their sleep, that I told you so. I collect comic books but I have never read the Watchmen series. I always saw the cover of the Watchmen comic in the comic book store. It was a blood stained yellow smiley face. That always gave me the ebegebes so I never picked it up. Now I know why. Don’t get me wrong. This is not a “bash the movie” review because I actually enjoyed it. I didn’t like the ending but that is a personal preference.

The story involves a suspected plot to take out superheroes. Which was really weird because only one of the heroes had super powers. Doctor Manhattan, a glowing blue ex scientist that walked around the movie naked most of the time. I really wasn’t too cool with that. I generally don’t like to see other men naked so even though his junk was blue it was still in my face. The rest of the heroes include:

The Comedian, a sadistic cold blooded killer. This guy shot John F. Kennedy for crying out loud!!!

Nite Owl, a nerdy guy that I believe was a little slow in the bed room.

Silk Spectre II, she was hot but they could have kept the romance (it was really just casual sex – you know the kind in college) out of it. When people are busy making out somewhere a crime is being committed. Come on people get on your job.

Rorschach, an only kill bad guy’s cold blooded killer. He punishes people according to his own brand of justice. In the movie they called him a Vigilante. In Texas he would have been called a Texas citizen.

Ozymandias, the world’s smartest man. I thought he was a rich jerk though. If you haven’t noticed from my posts lately I kinda have a thing against rich people (bankers, congressmen, ceo’s). Don’t worry Warren Buffett I still like you.

I don’t want to give the movie away just in case you haven’t seen it yet. So I will only give the following highlights:

Pay attention to the opening credits with Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changing”. I thought that was excellent in giving us some background about the movie.

Actor Jackie Earle Haley is excellent as Rorschach. If they are giving comic book characters Oscars now he needs to be on the list.

It is a very long movie. I went in around 9:58am and came out in the afternoon. Yes, that’s what I said.

Richard Nixon is President of the United States and it is 1985. It sounds like a bad acid trip but you will get accustomed to it. The thought actually scared me but once I realized it was a movie then I calmed down.

This is probably one of the deepest comic book made for movie films I have seen in awhile. It has so many themes that you have to pay close attention. Alternative Energy, Presidential Powers, War with a Foreign Country, and Corporate Egomaniacs attempting to change the world are themes that are relevant now. I plan on getting the movie once it comes out on video. For some people they will probably get it at the barbershop on bootleg. I personally don’t suggest doing that due to the illegal aspects of it. But former President George Bush did tell us to buy buy buy in times of crisis. So not only would you be supporting a small business owner but a minority business owner as well.


Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

good one.

chauncey devega

what could have been improved about the film in your opinion?

Citizen Ojo said...

Chauncey Devega,

Could have gotten rid of the sex scene, cut down on the fight scene in the jail. I'm not a die hard fan of the comic so I can't complain that much. I think for what he was given he did a good job. I would have to ask my brother in law about his opinion but that's just my take.

Eye D. VS Mel O. said...

Even my 16 yr old brother said the sex scene was unnecessary!

That scene was very pointless as well as the last 20-30 mins of the film, but I need to see it again during the day with a different lens though.

But honestly Sin City was more violent to me even though that kind of stuff doesn't faze me

Debo Blue said...

How I wish I had read this review before seeing the movie. I've read the graphic novel and JT and I went to see it the night it opened.


Absolutely hated that movie. I'm a squeamish thing so all that blood and violence really turned me off. So much so that JT and I left. He was able to get our money back thank Goodness.

The cinematography and the colour of the movie was astoundingly brilliant, all the better to watch blood gush from a gunshot wound to the leg, right?

Will you b reviewing Space Mountain soon? Hurry, we wanna see it this weekend:-)

uglyblackjohn said...

Yeah Ojo, do (Witch) Mountain.

Would you say that Watchmen is a movie to: see now, rent later or watch on bootleg?

Citizen Ojo said...

Space Mountain, Witch Mountain.... um...let me think about that...mmmmmmmm...No! Not my cup of tea, you can go get that one at your local barbershop. The next review will be in May. Big Box Office Films are coming out. Ugly Black John - go to the cinema, unless you have a big screen t.v. This blog does not endorse bootleg videos which are illegal...wink wink.

Anonymous said...

Great movie. (but don't read on if you haven't seen the movie and want to be surprised). :)

Each super hero represented a certain character that exists today in the world and in society. We could look at each super hero, but let's just look at Adrian for example.

Adrian, the richest and smartest man in the world, celebrated Egyptian mythology and culture. He was more resourced than all of his competitors combined. Adrian decides who he will let live, and who will die (he orchestrated nuclear explosions globally to "unite" fighting nations and prevent a WWIII). But he does not value the life of other people, he values his own ability to sustain and remain the all knowing, controlling, and powerful one. He pulls all the strings. EVERYONE either willing or unwillingly, knowingly or unknowingly, passively or actively, happily or angrily... EVERYONE does as he says to do.

In his character, Adrian represented the superfamilies of the world - the Rothschild's, the Rockefeller's, the royalty of Europe. Each of these families, EACH, have net worths in the TRILLIONS of dollars. They have the smartest people working for them, to accomplish their goals, using academia, government and industry.

I believe that the writers want you to leave supporting Adrian's plight, and we should be 'ok' with the nuclear explosions that take place all throughout the world. It is for this reason that I think the movie is a public monument written to celebrate these family's legacy.

Citizen Ojo said...


Interesting theory on what each super hero represented. I'm curious to know what you think about Rorschach. Also is the Comedian a representative of the Far Right Wing? Interesting...