Monday, 17 August 2009

Who watches the Watchmen? Me of course.

I observed with interest when news broke of the making of a Watchmen movie.
The comic (graphic novel) that it was based on had become legend in fanboy circles and deservingly so, Alan Moore’s genius script with Dave Gibbons competent artwork have created an amazing epic saga that satisfies immensely brilliantly detailed with it’s fantastic storylines,
plot subplot and ultimate finish.
The word was out that Zack Snyder would destroy the adaptation completely and Hollywood would be responsible for screwing up another masterpiece to satisfy the masses and their own wallets.

They were wrong in my opinion, it turned out Zack Snyder was the perfect guy for the job, heaven forbid if Michael Bay got the gig, the movie was faithful to the book and only omitted this not totally necessary to the plot, the Tales of the Black Freighter (the comic book story inside the comic) being the most noticeable.
It was a major hit and deservingly so and I bought the special release dvd and because of that I decided to have a peek at some of the other releases that the movie has set into action.

Of course you can get re-releases of the 12 part comic release as an omnibus, some are ridiculously expensive and are for people who collect don’t enjoy.
For me it was the $AUS 39.00 soft cover version which is more than satisfactory, because it is what it is, the complete story as it was told.
For those who thought the whole movie for some strange reason inappropriate (and there are a few out there) the answer came in the Dave Gibbon’s produced Watchen, motion comic dvd.
This is the next best thing to the comic if not better.
Because it’s the comic, panel-by-panel animated.
Nothing is left out At 5 hours it is terrific value and gives you a chance to relive the graphic novel as a whole new experience.
Something that is a bit of a mystery in the dvd if I have to be a critical.
The narration is handled superbly by Tom Stechschule , I just wish they could of spent a few dollars hiring a woman to do the female voices. It is the only failing in a great production.
As with most film adaptation of his work Alan Moore has said he has no intention of ever seeing Zack Snyder’s Watchmen movie and in the Motion Comic you would be excused if you thought he had nothing to do with it as he is not mentioned anywhere in the credits.
Released at the same time is the Tales of the Black Freighter, this short animation is a retelling of the comic within a comic from the Watchmen graphic novel.
Technically better presented than the Motion comic and with "300" star Gerard Butler doing the voice of the doomed captain it is a bit short.
Clocking in at 30 minutes and incredibly gory it is the cautionary tale of madness, as a stand alone product it could be considered a bit of a rip off what saves this dvd from such accusations is the accompanying short.
Under the Hood. The memoirs of Hollis Mason mentioned in the comic and movie.
This mockumentary delves deeper into the cult of the Watchmen and uses all the movie characters to fill in a lot of detail regarding the formation of the minutemen and the period between the early “Masked Heroes” and the Keene Act the outlawed the new brand “The Watchmen” Of course this is all in the original comic but it shows Zack Snyder's geruine good will and respect towards the original concept by being a big part of these additional projects and hopefully dispell the nasty attacks that first appeared when it was first announced to head the movie project.
I believe he has breathed new life into a 20 year + project that could have got lost in fandom.
Once again the is no mention of Alan Moore only the Dave Gibbons co-created.
Highly recommended.

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