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I'm still not very confident that the movie will be anywhere as good as the book, but as a movie (meaning independent of the source material) the trailer looks pretty slick. I guess I'm just worried that all of the plot and characters will get buried under spectacle.

 

It also reminded me that I really need to set aside an afternoon and read Watchmen again-it's been a few years, and I have the nice shiny Absolute edition sitting on my shelf.

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I was debating whether to share my thoughts or not out of fear of coming across like the thread's lone stick in the mud, but here goes... I personally remain unconvinced. I’m not sure I really want to think of the words “awesome” and “badass” and hear them thrown around when it comes to the prospect of a Watchmen movie, but can respect why the tarted up, glossy pop promo of a trailer is probably getting AICN readers into a wanking frenzy.

 

Snyder has shown himself as someone who can capture the visual style of a graphic novel nicely in motion no doubt, but that’s actually the easy part (so easy in fact it's laughable to me that Warner would brand him "visionary"). Now I don’t doubt his good intentions with Watchmen, but for a film I've never really been sure about wanting to see made, if it had to be done I’d feel in safer hands with a more intellectually artistic filmmaker at the helm. Certainly then I must lament the loss of Paul Greengrass who had to bow out of from directing the film after production and budget delays (he shared thoughtful and intelligent thoughts on the project here, here and here). He was working from a highly regarded, contemporary set, screenplay - written by David Hayter of all people - a script Moore himself had even said was as close as he could picture a film getting to capturing the essence of his material. Comforting news is that Hayter is at least getting partial credit in Synder’s movie – though he’s not had direct involvement with the writing since it began production and his draft has in fact been adapted and re-written by another writer.

 

I was reading an interview with Snyder in Entertainment Weekly about the film and he’s coming off as rather arrogant, which is dangerous (just as dangerous the preoccupation of sticking religiously to the source) as it might suggest he’s basking in what he could consider a safety net of great source material that he may think he can't possibly screw up. My feeling is that it is source material that places him out of his depth and much of what he says in EW about his film being so bold and daring for taking the superhero form into the real world seems almost quaint now given the fact that – somewhat ironically – a Batman movie has, in many respects, got their first in bringing certain themes from Watchmen to life thanks to a filmmaker (Nolan) with far more vision and talent in his little finger than Synder could ever hope to have in his entire body.

 

None of this is to write the film off completely as this point. I may be surprised, but right now the teaser has not made me any more confident. It's slick and glossy, which personally isn't a good start if trying to get me excited about a Watchmen movie.

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I knew nothing about The Watchmen but after seeing it, I get the feeling it's another style over substance fest which is what Snyder seems to be. If he can reign himself in a bit on the style, I think he could certainly get the substance up to snuff.

 

We'll see.

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Never read or really ever heard of this before the talk of Snyder's film. Trailer looked ok, I did like the use of the Pumpkins.

 

Go to Itunes and search for Watchmen. Part 1 of the motion comic it is up for free.

 

It's the best Graphic Novel IMO. I read is a few months back after hearing the Totally Rad Show guys talk abou tit

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At least in so far The Watchmen story is concerned.

It's Snyder though and the trailer smacked me upside the head with all style. 300 could have been quite good instead it's an all style no substance fest. I'd like to be wrong. I'm sure I'll see this.

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I know nothing of the Watchmen except that the movie is being made, Snyder is directing and it was an Allan Moore Graphic Novel.

 

The trailer did nothing for me at all. I didn't even know what it was until I saw the guy with the sock over his face (since I had seen pictures of him before). It didn't even come off as slick and stylish to me, but amaturish and even poorly made (Kinda like Fantastic Four). Didn't really like the music that was used for it either.

 

*shrug*

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It's Snyder though

Which has nothing to do with stating that Watchmen is a style over substance fest. For clarity, I'm talking about the original graphic novel here and not Snyder's interpretation of it.

 

Also, for the record 300 as a graphic novel was style over substance. From the use of large panels to tell its story to the overly macho depiction of the Spartans in the book. I'm sorry if that offends the Miller fans out there and I even consider it to be a great ride as a far as graphic novels are concerned but Miller has written far more layered and substantial work. Synder, for all of the criticism he gets for infusing 300 with "style over substance" did an excellent job of staying absolutely true to the source material.

 

Snyder has shown himself as someone who can capture the visual style of a graphic novel nicely in motion no doubt, but that’s actually the easy part

No offense but it's also a very large portion of what we're going to see in a teaser trailer. I know it's fun to be cynical but I'm far from an AICN reader and I thought it looked pretty damn "awesome" and "bad ass" (though Ozymandias looks a bit crap:)). I don't think there's a damn thing wrong with that either.

 

I don't argue that I'd be more comfortable with Paul Greengrass or a more experienced and capable director handling this film but I'm also willing to give Snyder a chance to prove me wrong...

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No offense but it's also a very large portion of what we're going to see in a teaser trailer. I know it's fun to be cynical but I'm far from an AICN reader and I thought it looked pretty damn "awesome" and "bad ass" (though Ozymandias looks a bit crap:)). I don't think there's a damn thing wrong with that either.

 

What flashy slick pop promo like imagery? It doesn?t have to be that way at all - especially if one considers a good teaser or trailer's purpose is to set up a flavour for a film?s style and themes (so in this case I hope that's what this teaser isn't doing).

 

It?s no fun to be cynical at all actually - it's distressing with so much mediocrity being hurled at us in film, TV and music that it breeds cynicism, but the fact of the matter is I simply can't consider it a remotely imaginative or engaging teaser trailer.

 

Synder, for all of the criticism he gets for infusing 300 with "style over substance" did an excellent job of staying absolutely true to the source material.

 

Which is actually a danger with the Watchmen film.

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What flashy slick pop promo like imagery?

No, a films visual look and feel is all I'm saying. I'm not adding a negative or positive connotation to it either way. Liking or dislike it is subjective and no ones wrong with thier viewpoints in so far as that's concerned. You're perfectly entitled to say that you don't like the teaser and feel that Snyder is the wrong choice here.

 

My point is that some directors choose a more low key aspect to a teaster trailer (The Dark Knight for instance) while others choose to push the visual element more. Considering who's behind The Watchmen, I'm not entirely shocked Synder went for the most visual element afterall;). I'm also not disliking the direction but I certainly want to see more before I'm confident he won't "fuck it up" so to speak.

 

but the fact of the matter is I simply can't consider it a remotely imaginative or engaging teaser trailer.

Which is entirely fair statement. I just could do without the AICN reader label for actually enjoying it...

 

How is staying true to the source material a danger?

I believe what Daniel is trying to say (and I agree with) is that Snyder may feel that the source material is so good - he can't fuck it up as it were. He's working with a safety net and when all is said and done if he's so religiously chained to The Watchmen comic - the film may end being a very vanilla vision of the very layered and powerful themes present in the comic book. I'd equate it to how my wife views the work Chris Columbus did with the first Potter film. It's very true to the source but it felt very "paint by numbers" with very little vision behind it.

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How is staying true to the source material a danger?

 

Adaptation without unique interpretation of material to suit another media, whilst keeping the essence true to the source, rarely serves a purpose. Not everything translates from one art form to another, and sticking religiously (or as good as) to source material of a book, comic or graphic novel can often run the danger of serving little in the way of reward to anyone save those who lack imagination to bring what is on the page to life in their own head.

 

That?s what worries me about Watchmen ? that however honourable Snyder?s intentions to the material are (I believe them to be so), he actually runs the risk of losing sight of making the best adaptation possible ? one that is relevant not just to the fanbase but a wider audience unfamiliar with the themes of the graphic novel too. That?s actually where I find the teaser falters most because it plays up to the fans who might get off on seeing highly stylised imagery from the book (which personally I consider the greatest turn off here), but not really anyone else. In some way it almost strikes me as a teaser that would have been best suited as a Comic Con and internet exclusive. If the movie itself does this then they?re going to have problems.

 

 

I believe what Daniel is trying to say (and I agree with) is that Snyder may feel that the source material is so good - he can't fuck it up as it were. He's working with a safety net as it and when all is said and done if he's so religiously chained to The Watchmen comic - the film may end being a very vanilla vision of the very layered and powerful themes present in the comic book. I'd equate it to how my wife views the work Chris Columbus did with the first Potter film. It's very true to the source but it felt very "paint by numbers" with very little vision behind it.

 

Pretty much (your "paint by numbers" analogy is actually one I would personally apply to the 300 and Sin City movies and why I just couldn't get into either despite trying). Again I think Snyder has good intentions, but the trailer leaves me no more confident than I was before seeing in thinking that he might he posses the intellectual and creative ability to address the themes of Moore's work to deliver a film truly relevant to our times. As I wrote last night, it actually strikes me as if Nolan has successfully brought a number of Watchmen?s themes ? those of exploring the concept of a masked vigilante in a realistic environment and how that environment reacts to his actions (and vice versa) ? in The Dark Knight in a way that is relevant to current times that a modern audience can respond to. It?s also done in such a way that, like Watchmen, it is almost critical of the superhero genre [a factor inevitably contributing to the praise Dark Knight is receiving for seemingly transcending other superhero movies].

 

Remember I asked you privately last night if you knew whether Watchmen (the movie) would be set in the mid-80s? You didn?t know but later that evening reading the Entertainment Weekly coverage gave me the answer. It is, and this fact is perhaps the best example of Snyder loosing sight of what?s truly important.

 

Snyder persuaded Warner Bros. to abandon the Greengrass/Hayter script and hew as faithfully as possible to the comic. The key battles: retaining the '80s milieu, keeping Richard Nixon (Moore did consider using an era-appropriate Ronald Reagan, but worried it would alienate American readers), and preserving the villain-doesn't-pay-for-his-crimes climax. ''It was clear that Zack felt an intense obligation to the fans and the book,'' says Warner Bros. Picture Group president Jeff Robinov. ''There was definitely a conversation about the best way to make it contemporary and relevant to today. Zack felt the best way was to go back to the roots of the novel.'' -- EW article.

 

I should have posted the EW article and interview last night. It actually leaves me even more concerned than the teaser itself did. Snyder just seems out of his depth. Compare his thoughts to Greengrass? in the 3-part 2005 Chud interview and it?s like they?re divided by a parallel universe of their own.

 

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20213273,00.html (article)

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20213257,00.html (interview)

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I don't mind that Snyder wants to be super faithful to the comic. It's one of those deals where if it's not broken, don't fix it. I've never read the comic though anyways, and will do so after I see the movie so there's less risk of the movie disappointing me.

I think the problem is though that if he tries to be slavishly faithful to the comic you aren't going to end up with a very good movie. Just because the graphic novel isn't "broken" doesn't mean that it will translate well point-for-point into a movie. The graphic novel is so dense with imagery and details, things you have to flip back a few pages to connect. That's what makes it "unfilmable" in a lot of people's minds, not the that the special effects aren't up to it.

I hold out hope it will be good, but no, the director involved does not inspire a lot of confidence. If Gilliam couldn't do it, I don't know who could. Hopefully I'm wrong. :)

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