Comic MMIX Year-End Picks: Favorites (and not-so-favorites) of 2009, part 1

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9 Responses

  1. Brian Sokol says:

    I agree with everything said on this page, except that Watchmen was a good adaptation. Sure, they recreate the majority of the book in the movie and the parts in the movie were mostly faithful to the book, but the parts that were left out or changed made all the difference.First, changing the ending from an "alien" to a Dr. Manhattan bomb should have completely changed the outcome of the story. In the book, the world unites against an external threat that they don't understand. In the movie, the world unites against a known threat from America? Why would the world not turn on America for apparently unleashing Dr. Manhattan on them? I highly doubt the fact that an American city was also destroyed would make any difference to them. It would be exactly like if we launched nukes at all the major cities, and one at ourselves. They'd simply think we screwed up. No one would buy that it was an accident or a rogue agent. That wouldn't bring back the lives lost. It certainly would not unite the world, at best it would make everyone suspicious and untrusting.Second, they removed all the scenes where they show just plain old New Yorkers living their lives. Sure, that may not make for an exciting movie, but it's the relationships you form with the people that makes their deaths at the end more impacting. Reading the book, you feel like people you came to know just died. It was nice that they were all seen in the movie seconds before they died, like Snyder at least made the effort. But I formed no attachment to anyone in the city. It could have been Moscow for all I cared.However, given the other comic book movies that came out last year, I can't say that any of them were better adaptations than Watchmen, so I guess it still wins for best adaptation. I think it is telling though that the opening credits do seem to be the best part of the movie. It's all downhill from there.

    • Marc Alan Fishman says:

      And I beg to differ. I actually though Snyder's ending was about as good as we were going to get. Short of extending the film to somewhere around 4 hours, we couldn't expect to get an exact copy of the graphic novel. Nor should we. The film is an "adaptation"… it takes the parts of the graphic novel it needs and "adapts" them to a given time limit of the film itself. In order to legitimize the "alien" in the book, Alan Moore had all this set up with the kidnapping of the artists, musicians, scientists, etc. to "build" this perfectly evil creature the world could unite to destroy. In the movie, I think Snyder did a good job selling that Dr. Manhattan could be seen as a "rogue superman". And if we'd spent time seeing new yorkers actual lives, like we do in all those trite disaster films… we might feel some loss at their death, but how much screen time would that have to take to have made an impact?With Dr. Manhattan gone by the end of the film, I think it's plausible that America could have "spun" the world to unite. It's certainly as plausible as Moore's ending… which had the benefit or 11 issues of backstory. The key I guess is that I think Snyder did the best he could to adapt something that truly shouldn't have been made into a movie. If nothing else, your criticism shows that there simply would not have been enough time to show a move that did the original work true justice. A for effort in my eyes.

      • Brian Sokol says:

        I will kinda of agree with you in that I do believe that Snyder did a good job at taking a book about people who happen to be costumed adventurers and turn it into a movie about super heros. In my opinion though, the parts that needed to be changed for the movie were what made Watchmen Watchmen. The book isn't about a detective or a mad scientist or a man-turned-god. The heart of the story is about people, how they treat each other, and how despite all the evils in the world, humanity still comes together when brought to the brink. The book shows humanity at it's worst and it's best.The costumes aren't there to look cool while they fight, the costumes represent something important about each person. Nite Owl's costume is his confidence, Silk Spectre's costume is her repressed desire to please her mother, Ozymandias' costume is his arrogance, the Comedian needs his costume so he doesn't have to face reality, Rorschach's costume is his own reality, and Dr. Manhattan has no costume because he is above these human emotions. The movie only barely touches on this kind of thing.So no, I can't say this is the best adaptation we could get, because it could have been adapted perfectly. Is that unrealistic for Hollywood? No doubt. Often times I'm grateful that a beloved story gets adapted into a movie at all, no matter how poorly (like Transformers). But for Watchmen, it seems like Snyder missed the point of the story entirely, and was just trying to make an action flick. I would have preferred he made no movie at all, because now it means there will not be a true Watchmen movie for at least 20 years, if ever. The tagline should have been "The coolest looking scenes from the most celebrated graphic novel of all time."

        • Marc Alan Fishman says:

          Well put Brian. That is very deep look into what made the Watchmen book so good. And no, there is no "perfect" way for Hollywood to have done it. No studio exec would green light a super hero movie with that much depth, and lack of slow-motion super fights and glowing special effects… because Hollywood never trusts the populace to want anything less than visual spectacle.Snyder's missing of the "true point" of the book is sad, but I'd be curious (since Snyder DID NOT write the script for the movie) how much of the film itself was mandated by what was eventually greenlit. And all the great points you make about each hero and their costume? Did you not feel the performances given in the film reflect those exact traits? Cause I certainly felt like at very least… Night Owl, Dr. Manhattan, and to a lesser degree Silk Spectre and the Comedian were all well acted parts.While you're right the failure for the movie to become the "blockbuster" the studio wanted it to be has put the kibosh on any chance of it being redone again in the next 20 years… It will probly take that long for audiences to prove to Hollywood executives that it can handle a dramatic action movie with the gravitas Watchmen actually has.

  2. Alan Kistler says:

    Definitely agree with the Kyle moment. This was kind of the epitome of death as a cheap stunt. At least he didn't wind up in a Black Lantern's refrigerator. I do have to point out though, Kyle must have done SOME kind of force field protection on himself from the battery, otherwise he would've been atomized instead of just having some cuts and bruises on his body.A favorite moment of mine from the past year was Peter Parker (not Spider-Man) delivering Norman Osborn a serious blow and standing up to him in front of a crowd of on-lookers in SPIDER-MAN: THE LIST. Incredible scene and a long-time in coming.

    • Allyn Gibson says:

      Re: Kyle.Read in the individual issues, it's not that bad. When it's collected in trade and read that way, with Kyle dying and coming back hale and hearty fifteen pages later, it looks weird.

  3. Brian Sokol says:

    Ok, regarding what I said about costumes: I didn't mean to imply that the actors did not portray the characters true to the book. I do feel that each character retained the traits they were known for in the book (except Ozymandias, who in the book you can almost sympathize with, but in the movie is clearly a villain). I only meant to say the importance of the costumes themselves was diminished to just an outfit, except for Nite Owl and maybe Dr. Manhattan.Let me finish by saying that I only saw the movie once in the theater, and I bought the ultimate cut in the hopes that it would feel more complete, but I have yet to bring myself to watch it. My opinions are based on how I remember the movie making me feel, which may not necessarily coincide with how the movie actually was. Which means it's possible that this entire rant served no purpose and didn't need to happen. Kinda like the movie. Bazinga.

  4. Patrick Hughes says:

    I was fine enough with Kyles death, sad, but fine with it. That said, I was over joyed when he was brought back right away though. Muppet Show is Amazing! Hands down one of the biggest surprises of the year for me!I will toss this at the Watchmen movie, I was totally cool with it right up until the end I feel like that ending is very different from the book for the same reasons Brian pointed out. That is all. Good list.

    • Brian Sokol says:

      I'm only cool with Kyle coming back right away as long as we all act like he never died.