And, well, ended up hanging around the city and seeing Watchmen, since it wasn't that busy and I had time to kill.
(I know I said I'd go see it with you on Monday, fa11ing_away, and I'm still up for that if you want to. Incidentally, you read the original?)
Anyway, my non-spoilery review would be pretty much good but not great. Though I'm not sure how much of this opinion is biased by me being a bit of a fan of the comic/graphic novel/whatever.
It has it's moments of brilliance, but they don't quite coalesce into a brilliant whole. It is, however, pretty pretty amazing visually, though.
My main criticism (aside from fangirl pedantry, which I shall get to in a moment) is the pacing just seemed... off. I'm aware that this is a fairly vague thing to say, but I think it was in the way the flashbacks were done, and how the plot moved.
I mean, the backstory is so essential to the plot (Honestly, it's a B-plot, really) that the flashbacks and extended set-up were needed. It's just that in the comics, with Black Freighter and all the text clippings and the page layouts - and the fact that the flashbacks are spread through the book and all the main characters get some - they just flowed and fitted and felt natural. You could go from present to past in one panel, for just a few panels, and it was seemless. In the movie, without the Freighter and all the diversions - which basically cuts the backstory from B-plot to just backstory - it makes the movie a bit top-heavy and info-dumpy for the first half.
It's just that while cutting all the intertexual stuff is necessary to make the A-plot filmable, cutting it sucks the story of a lot of it's layers of complexity - and coherency. You can't cut all of it, because then the A-plot makes no real sense (and ruins the whole deconstruction of super-heroes). But if you cut some of it, the story seems unbalanced, and nowhere near as deep.
Which is a pity, because the titles with the photos and all did a great job of getting a lot of backstory across in limited time.
Comic fangirl pedant comics.
THEY CHANGED THE BEST GODDAMN LINE. "I triggered it 35 minutes ago." WTF IS THIS SHIT? That just really bothered me, okay. It's a pretty pointless change to a famous and awesome line.
Also, I'm kinda annoyed that they cut the final conversation between Manhattan and Veidt (or altered it, anyhow). Because the moment that Veidt asks Manhattan if what he's doing is right, is worth it, was the moment that he suddenly seemed like a real, 3D character to me, as opposed to this distant sort of vague archetype.
I'm still kind of bothered by how Veidt looked, though. Nothing against the actor, who did a perfectly decent job (though the German accent thing made me go "huh?"), he just... didn't look right. Aside from the decade too young thing, instead of looking like the friendly nice guy in contrast to his actions, we got someone who was dressed all darkly and looked too, well, Malfoyish and made it obvious. (Yes, I know. The analogy makes sense to me, though).
Again, nothing against the actor, who was entirely competent. Just he didn't look right, which bugged me with how well-matched everyone else looked.
I was amused at how "possibly homosexual" got translated into "blatantly obvious gay subtext", though.
...And yet despite this nitpicky stuff, I was totally fine in context with the change from the vagina squid to mimicing Manhattan's powers. Go figure.
Despite all that criticism, I did actually like it - like I said, good but not great (the criticisms are what stop it being great). It's just that an awful lot of the good stuff is about the original version, and it feels, well, unnecessary to say. It looks lovely, the actors all did a decent job, people obviously put a lot of effort into the sets and fine detail. The musical montages were quite nifty (if, after a couple, a bit too "another one?"
Anyone else seen it and want to discuss?
ETA: If you want a link to something related to Watchmen (but not spoilery for the movie), I give you The Funniest Watchmen Related Thing Ever. No Words.