March 08, 2009

Who shall watch? Well, lots of people

Estimates are that Watchmen did $83 million worldwide at the box office on its opening weekend, which ain't too shabby. The real test is going to be next weekend. Will it be a one-weekend wonder or have staying power? I think it will have.

A few of our friends have seen it. Brickmuppet has a one-word review, but he's kind of busy right now and didn't really have time for anything longer. This guy liked it, too: five out of five stars. So it's probably going to be a solid success, but I don't think it's going to end up being a phenomenon, like Star Wars or like The Matrix.

But that's OK. And this is a title that seems to really deserve high res; when it comes out on Blu-Ray it may be the impetus for me to finally get a BR drive.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Entertainment at 09:34 PM | Comments (17) | Add Comment
Post contains 151 words, total size 1 kb.

1 My tastes are the same in movies and animie, so DO NOT WANT. A friend walked out after about an hour.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at March 09, 2009 02:03 AM (/ppBw)


Two thumbs up.  Don't take the kids - it's hard R.  Theater where I saw it on Saturday was very, very empty, but it wasn't just Watchmen; the whole place seemed empty.

Last twenty minutes is a desperate close-quarters fight with one mind screw after another.  My favorite character was probably the most insane, Rorschach.

There was a little liberal BS in it, especially what I presume was supposed to be the Kent State riot (peacful, flower-in-the-gun-barrel hippies being shot in cold blood, as opposed to bottle/rock/moltov-cocktail-throwing rioters); but it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  Best line I think, has to go the the Comedian.

"What happened to the American dream?"

"It came true!"

At the time, he was violently dispersing an anti-costumed-hero riot during a police strike...

Posted by: ubu at March 09, 2009 05:41 AM (i7ZAU)

3 Looking at my last comment, I realized something was missing -- why I liked it.  The reason is that neither the writers, nor the filmmakers forgot the key element. The protagonists may wear masks and run around in tights, but they are real people for all that, with all the flaws inherent in human beings.  The movie never forgets that, so we can't . It even makes us empathize with Rorschach -- who, frankly, is a murderous psycho.

Posted by: ubu at March 09, 2009 05:47 AM (i7ZAU)


It was good, but I wouldn't call it perfect.  Ironically, the stuff that worked the least for me was lifted directly from the book... but things that work on the page sometimes come off as overly melodramatic on screen. I greatly enjoyed the movie and I was generally surprised at how well the story was captured.  Rorschach was perfect and the new ending works, though I didn't find it to be a necessary change...

Posted by: Mark at March 09, 2009 06:08 AM (aUPJJ)

5 I'm going to give it pass for now. I'm just not in the mood lately for grim. Mr. Den Beste posted too many screen shots from the Kirimeki Project so I've given in and placed an order to Robert. After including USPS priority shipping, it was about $23, now that's my kind of price range.

Posted by: toadold at March 09, 2009 07:15 AM (zcbXo)

6 Even though I liked the book, I'm giving it a pass.  The importance of the book, as focal point for the deconstruction of the comic book super hero, is vaguely moot twenty years later, as the lessons learned therein have already been incorporated into pretty much everything in the last decade.

Posted by: metaphysician at March 09, 2009 08:15 AM (h4nEy)

7 What I love about the book -- with the proviso that it's been quite a few years since I read it, and I may see it differently today -- is not the deconstruction of the superhero, but how it explores the temptation to let the ends justify the means.  It's marvelously disturbing and unsettling on that point.  The key is that, from everything we see --

Posted by: Griffin at March 09, 2009 10:26 AM (9Lc3E)


Posted by: metaphysician at March 09, 2009 11:03 AM (h4nEy)

9 The importance of the book, as focal point for the deconstruction of the comic book super hero, is vaguely moot twenty years later, as the lessons learned therein have already been incorporated into pretty much everything in the last decade.

...and Shakespeare is moot, because everything he taught us about drama has been done to death over the past few centuries, and everything Citizen Kane taught us about cinema has been played out over the past sixty-odd years, and let's not even get into the Beatles or the Rolling Stones for heaven's sake.  Completely overdone.

Posted by: Wonderduck at March 09, 2009 07:06 PM (tMdKd)


Yes... but only because the writers of the book say it does, because apparently the novel's entire human race has the scientific skills of a high school dropout high on gold spray paint. World peace, and nobody ever questions why the "aliens" never attack again! Or even if they did find out the truth, by then everyone would have realized that there are no real ideological differences between socialist authoritarians and democratic libertarians, so while they might get mad at the slowly dispersing particles of Ozymandias, they would never ever do anything so gauche as blame one another for the genocide, or have one side decide the repulsive beliefs of the other leaves them no choice but to enslave them "for their own good."

Works great, as long as you are the one writing the story and can make it all perfect "because I said so!" No, in the real world, I would never support any plan that incorporates genocide, by any name (not even one as politically correct as "population control"). Especially for as ridiculous a con game as "world peace." The only way the world will ever have peace is when the entire human race is dead forever, and any leader promising world peace is just looking for people they can cajole into stepping into the mass grave on their own accord, prior to breaking out the guns and driving the rest of humanity into it by force.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at March 09, 2009 07:16 PM (4njWT)

11 Ubu, it's true that the Kent State tragedy didn't happen quite as shown in the our universe. But we didn't have The Comedian there.

Posted by: Jonathan Tappan at March 09, 2009 07:27 PM (7wFYN)


Posted by: pgfraering at March 09, 2009 10:31 PM (C0GT4)


Pixy, bug? Take a look at pgfraering's comment. How'd he managed to louse up the display like that? Where did that box come from?

It displays wrong for me in both IE7 and in Firefox 2.

PG, did you format that with some other tool and then paste it in place here? If so, what tool did you use?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 09, 2009 10:45 PM (+rSRq)

14 My apologies. I copied that in firefox from the tvtropes page, where it's already in italics.

When I copied the Harry Lime quote, I had to put it in italics manually, but the Veidt quote (which I copied-and-pasted from tvtropes) showed up as italicized already; it was italics in the original page. I remember thinking at the time that I had stumbled across a neat feature.

Posted by: pgfraering at March 09, 2009 11:10 PM (C0GT4)

15 You don't have to apologize; you just uncovered a bug. We're beta testers, you know; we're supposed to be watching for bugs.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 10, 2009 12:43 AM (+rSRq)

16 We're not, technically, in beta any more. Not beta, just broken.™

As to the flerbled-up formatting: Yes, you can paste HTML into the editor widget, and it will do its best with it.  But since the stylesheet on this site might be completely different to the stylesheet on the original site, the results are unpredictable.

So the question of whether it's a useful feature or a bug remains open.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 10, 2009 05:11 AM (PiXy!)


I'm actually kind of glad that quote got fubared. I'd considered posting it myself and decided against it, because in some ways, it's the climax of the film and the biggest mind screw of all, because it plays on the viewers expectations for a "battle to save the world."  It's also a self-referential, sly wink to the audience.

It won't become a "geek line" like "my name is Neo," or "you don't know the power of the dark side" because it's too long and too complex. At least in it's entirity.  But I think it's going to earn a place in the "Crowning moment of Awesome" for Ozymandius.

And in the end, I think he knows that it is, at best, only a temporary victory; look at the name he chose for himself, not to mention the statue that the entire fight takes place in front of.  Sure, the last stanza is missing.... which makes it all the more evident.

Posted by: ubu at March 10, 2009 08:57 AM (i7ZAU)

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