Lent: Part 9

Watchmen (2009) – It’s nice to know, based on what I’ve heard, that I needn’t bother reading the book, since, as they say, virtually nothing was done to adapt the story aside from point a camera at it and transfer it directly to film. Expect the soundtrack to be available soon as Time-Life’s Collection of Tired Hits of the 20th Century.

16 thoughts on “Lent: Part 9

  1. volus

    My Two Cents, Year 4: Part 9

    I’m afraid I have to disagree with teutonic, and anyone else who gave you the impression that no effort went into adapting it. The film is certainly very faithful to the source material, but not slavishly so. Unlike 300, which used the books as a storyboard, Watchmen does exactly what a book to film adaptation needs to do: streamline the story, tighten things up, and emphasise visual storytelling. Even just flipping through the first few issues, I see scenes that were cut or moved around, flashbacks reshuffled a bit, and a gawdawful amount of redundency trimmed out. The opening scene was created completely to hook the audience with some starting action, and the bad guy’s plan in the end was simplified considerably. I was originally somewhat disappointed in the change, but I now see that the original is about five times as complicated as I remembered it being. I’d still have prefered a simplification of the original, rather than a whole new plan.

    Graphic novels have a leg up in the film adaptation department because they already emphasise visual storytelling, but the sad fact is that despite a life of working in a graphic format, Alan Moore never got the hang of “show, don’t tell.” He’s a wordy motherfucker, is what I’m trying to say.

    The best change I can see is in cleaning up the dialogue. The original features some painfully blunt exposition (Laurie explaining her last name to Rorschach when they met years ago, for example). General wordiness was also cut down: “Restructuring myself after the subtraction of my intrinsic field was the first trick I learned. It didn’t kill Osterman, did you think it would kill me?” became “Putting myself back together was the first trick I learned.”

    So, having wasted far too many words myself defending the adaptation, I won’t bore the audience with a discussion of whether adapting it was a waste of time in the first place.

    Short answer: enjoyable, if graphically violent, superhero film. Don’t expect it to shatter your preconceptions about the world, but there was a lot to like here.

    Reply
    1. teutonicboytoy

      Re: My Two Cents, Year 4: Part 9

      I don’t think Alan Moore is way too wordy at all, but that’s a matter of opinion I suppose. The fact that he writes graphic novels, emphasis on the novel, is what makes him so special.

      Reply
      1. volus

        Re: My Two Cents, Year 4: Part 9

        Yeah, that’s a point I’m absolutely willing to grant as a matter of taste. I prefer to emphasise the graphic half of the phrase.

        Reply
        1. teutonicboytoy

          Re: My Two Cents, Year 4: Part 9

          I was just reading an interview with Moore where he mentioned an actual novel he’s working on, which is already 1500 pages even though he’s only 2/3rds of the way through it. Maybe he CAN be too wordy. 😉

          Reply
          1. volus

            Re: My Two Cents, Year 4: Part 9

            Wow.

            Just, wow.

            I have no doubt that there’s a very specific audience for that book. I’m pretty confident I’m not a member.

Leave a Reply