I went to see Watchmen again today. As I mentioned earlier, my little sister sent me the Watchmen Motion Comic DVD set for my birthday. Included with the set was a free pass to go see the movie! Cool, eh?

I must say, I enjoyed the film much more the second time around. I wasn't all hyped up with anticipation this time, so I was able to watch it more objectively than the first time. I knew what to expect, so I wasn't busy comparing it to the graphic novel, and I was able to judge it on its own merits (mostly -- see below).

Despite everything that is wrong with the Watchmen film, I must say I continue to be impressed with the film's faithfulness to the graphic novel, especially visually, which far outweighs the differences. It is a visually rich movie to watch. This can be attributed to the visual richness of Dave Gibbons illustrations in the original. And therein lies one of the movie's problems -- a lot of the backstory is presented in details like newspaper headlines and TV clips, as well as through one-line bits of exposition -- and all of it is so rapid fire that, unless you're paying real close attention, it's very easy to miss.

As I mentioned in my initial review, the film suffers from inadequate editing in places. I still maintain this is true. And upon second viewing, I saw some more places where this was true. For instance, the backstory detail that I just mentioned would be easier to catch if the shots with visual detail could be held just a little longer.

The scene where Jon Osterman learns to recreate his body after the Intrinsic Field accident goes by just a little too fast for comprehension -- there's an edit jump to "A partial circulatory system was seen..." which happens so suddenly that you don't have time to comprehend what's happening. The editing feels really rushed in a place where a bit more exposition and a slightly slower pace would help, and I suspect there is a lot more material there that just got edited for time. Again, I await the Director's Cut, which will be released later this year.

A couple of other notes:

I stand corrected on Rorschach's journal -- it actually does appear early on in the film, when Rorschach breaks into Dreiberg's home the first time, it's sitting on the dining room table, but no attention is drawn to it, so it's easy to miss.

Rorschach's "The End is Near" sign is really hard to read at times -- like when he stands outside the cemetery. I wish that it was more visible in places, so you really know that this character is the same one you see earlier.

And I miss the smoking in the movie. In the graphic novel, Laurie smokes constantly, smoking the strange glass ball cigarettes that are seen throughout the book. They are strangely absent in the film -- I'm guessing someone at the studios decided they looked too much like crack pipes, and that they just couldn't have the main female character smoking cigarettes all the time. Which is too bad, because it would have been relevant to the time period -- smoking was more socially acceptable in 1985 than in 2009 -- and the Silk Spectre is, like all Watchmen characters, a deeply flawed human being. Keeping her tobacco addiction would have just added to her complexity.

OK, enough for now. Again, the film is definitely worth a second viewing.

.

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