Posted by: 紺月明 | August 18, 2009

Who watches the Watchmen?

So earlier today, I finally saw the movie adaptation of Watchmen, a comic published through DC Comics during 1986 and 1987. Written by Alan Moore, drawn by Dave Gibbons, and colored by John Higgins, the 12-issue comic was a narrative of the times during the Cold War and end of it, speaking much about human nature and the human condition and the super-hero.

I was actually first introduced to this comic through my university. Taking a writing seminar is a part of the general requirements and, while it’s not that I don’t enjoy writing, I wanted to take it on a topic that’d be interesting to me. I’ve had enough of the American and British literature I was continually exposed to through high school years so, during the second half of my freshman year, a writing seminar about graphic novels was offered and I signed up for it. With my love of manga, the graphic novel equivalent of Japan, this was a class whose prospect thrilled me. As you can assume, one of the comics we were required to read and discuss was Watchmen.

It was almost 3 years ago when I read the comic, so I was definintely a little rusty remembering some of the events and occurences throughout the course of the movie. I found it quite enjoyable for what it’s worth, though long. I mean, at a running time of 162 minutes it can get to be a little bit too much. Nonetheless, it was well done as an adaptation. Of course, I enjoyed the comic format more but it doesn’t mean it does the comic any disservice…it’s just another way to enjoy an excellent work.

Alan Moore

Before watching the movie, I saw the mixed reviews that were out there on the Internet. Yet, I believe when there’s mixed responses, it’s definitely something worth watching, like a diamond in the rough. I think a lot of people get hung up in glorifying Watchmen, the comic, and then believe they can measure the movie to the original. I don’t really think that’s possible and the main reason lies in the fact of the matter that one is a movie and the other a comic book. The movie is a powerful visual experience but there’s more depth in a comic book because we process it in a different matter. The movie already is processed visually and bared to us; all we do is sit and watch the successively running images. A graphic novel, on the other hand, leaves space for the reader to fill in the blanks him or herself through the breaks and pauses between panels and space on the pages.

One of the things that I will say, though, is that the music kinda threw me off, at times. It was obnoxiously loud and not necessary, in my opinion. Others will disagree with me, but Watchmen isn’t something that brings along background music to mind. lol Of course, it’s an added effect for movies, especially to reiterate the time during which it took place, so I can’t blame the director or anything, but it’s what I least liked about the film. I’d still call it a pretty good film and one I wouldn’t mind watching again, though.

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