March 04, 2009

Film Critic Quote of the Day

David Poland on "Watchmen":

Have you ever been at a party and there is a story that you remember as being so funny… and you start telling it… and the people you are telling it are not responding it the way you expect them to… so you elaborate so they “get it”… but the more you elaborate the longer and less funny the story really is… but you are in it and you are just trying to fight your way through to that punchline…

That’s Watchmen.

It’s a great story, but you (or your director) had to be there.

They built this movie from the outside in. And you feel it in virtually every frame. That will be plenty for some. Not for me.

It looks cool, I'll give it that, and the opening credit sequence is something to behold. But this movie just plain didn't work for me, mostly because it's written, and structured, absolutely atrociously. It's absolutely impossible to follow if you haven't read the book, and too long by about an hour.

I'm not a graphic novel guy, but the fact that I've never read a "Batman" book didn't in any way lessen my appreciation of "Dark Knight." Not so here; pretty much all that kept me going while watching it was Jackie Earle Haley's excellent performance, and the hope that something, anything, might actually happen by the end.

UPDATE:Sean Burns, too:

I can’t help but wonder if the movie will even make any sense to anyone who hasn’t read the comic. This is such an obsessively detailed, richly realized universe, it takes the film well over an hour to establish all the players and their histories before the story can get started. Characters too often pause to deliver lengthy monologues that played great on the page, but stop the movie dead in its tracks. For a flick so chock-full of apocalyptic ultraviolence, Watchmen often feels strangely inert.

Posted by Stephen Silver at March 4, 2009 08:22 PM

So have you read the book? I did for the first time last October, and it was pretty good.

Posted by: Jeremy at March 6, 2009 12:20 AM

I'm seeing it tonight and hope I enjoy it despite how long it is. I didn't like Button and didnt appreciate how long it was but I did love Road to Perdition which was also a graphic novel. So we will see...

Posted by: A at March 6, 2009 09:12 PM
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