News


It’s Friday again, Friday the 13th no less! And, for the UK, it’s Red Nose Day – Do Something Funny for Money. Has anyone done anything “Funny for Money”?

Comic Relief

Some Friday the 13th odd-ness:

Have you got a Smoothie

13

Friday the 13th vs Saw

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On the face of it it may look like I’ve fallen at the first hurdle and gone a whole week without posting! I have excuses but no-one likes excuses so I’m just going soldier on as if nothing had happened.

Today I’m going to review Watchmen (2009).

The movie Watchmen, based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ celebrated graphic novel, tells the story of a group of masked vigilantes who are now outlawed, and mostly retired, as they investigate the murder of one of their own.

If you go and watch this movie you are going to fall into one of two categories, someone who has read the book or someone who hasn’t. Personally the book is one of my all-time favourite stories and I have read it many times over the last few years so I had some high expectations for the film to live up to. I am happy to say I was not disappointed. 

 Zack Snyder has done a fantastic job of taking the images from the pages and making them move on screen exactly as they do in my head. He has sacrificed none of the complexity of the story nor has he compromised on the visual style of artist Dave Gibbons. Sets, costumes even art direction refer back, directly to the original panels of the comic book.

However, there is something to note, something which fans of the comic book feared. The ending has been changed! OK, not the way the story ends but the execution of the ending. In my opinion it has actually been changed for the better as I do not think that the specifics of the illustrated ending could be credibly reproduced for the cinema and would have likely harmed the wider opinion of the film. I think even the die-hard fans of the novel would agree that the change is acceptable and does not detract from the story or it’s conclusion.

The other notable difference is the exclusion of the “Tales of the Black Freighter” pirate story which runs in parallel to the story in the novel. I noticed a quick reference to the news stand, where the boy reads the comic, in the movie  but the Pirate story itself was not mentioned or referenced at all (not that I noticed anyway). It’s something which could easily be cut out, at no detriment to the story but it was a bit of a shame not to see it referenced, even in the closing credits.

So, what if you’d never heard of Watchmen before your partner/friends dragged you to the cinema to go see it? Will you like it? Well that depends on what you like in your movies. First and foremost Watchmen is a sci-fi/detective movie in a noir style, there’s plenty of rain and even a gritty voice over. You need to be able to cope with there being a character who has real superpowers, in fact he’s so powerful that, in this story, he has single-handedly won the Vietnam war for the Americans. As such the repercussions of his existence are a significant driving force for the “universe” the story is set in. There’s also quite a bit of violence, bones are broken and blood is spilled, it can be unsettling in it’s context at times but the violence is not what I’d call excessive or gratuitous. The story itself is complex and engaging. All the characters’ motivations are clearly explained which leaves you with a real moral dilemma at the end, one which my wife and I argued about all the way home!

All in all then, a great movie, well paced, some good action set-pieces with a plot and even a setting which makes you think. A worthy companion to the classic graphic novel.

5/5

Let’s start something that’s going to be come a regular post, The Friday News.

Here’s my first selection:

Police Hunt ‘Radioactive Teacher‘ – slightly more serious than you first think

Snooping can be Hurtful – possibly the revalation of the day …

Fanzines Enter the pages of History – old fashioned bloging?

Tabbloid RSS app – a slice of Warren Ellis.