Watchmen

1: Analysis of the Book

 

The Watchmen book isn’t actually a book, but is instead a twelve-issue comic book limited series written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. They were originally published by DC Comics as a monthly, limited series from September, 1986 to September, 1987.

 

One of the main themes of the comics is the threat of nuclear annihilation. Since the setting is 1985 and the United States and Soviet Union are still in the Cold War, this is perhaps predictable. Another theme of the series is human morality, which each of the masked adventurers seems to have a different take about. An example is Rorschach who is a strict absolutist, while the Comedian is a relativist. A third theme is the conspiracy theory of history and the resulting apocalyptic attitude. The Comedian exemplifies this attitude by saying that it is foolish to bust the organized crime ring because “the nukes” are going to end it all anyway. For Moore and his readers, the comics are a way of engaging in adult themes, political history and philosophy.

2: Analysis of the Film

 

Going from a comic book to be a movie version is hard enough, but to make it into a live action movie is even harder to do. This movie has been in production since 1986 with two movie versions that failed to ever gain traction. Because this movie was based off a comic book, ten visual effects companies, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Intelligent Creatures among them, came onboard to help with the film. It ended up having 1,100 shots featuring effects, with a quarter of them being computer-generated imagery. Snyder’s first cut of the film was three hours long, which is way too long for a movie of this magnitude, so he decided to edit it down to 162 minutes. Zack Snyder and the composer for the movie, Tyler Bates, listened to the soundtracks of 1980s films such as Manhunter, Blade Runner, and To Live and Die in LA for inspiration for the score. Bates used some of the songs mentioned in the comic, and that became a challenge for him because composing music that would transition effectively into these famous songs was difficult. 

3: Analysis of the Adaptation 20th Century Fox initially was going to be making the comic into a movie, but that never came to fruition. The unproduced movie went from one major film studio to another and in December 2005, Warner Bros. became officially involved in the film. Alan Moore, the original writer of the comic, was initially excited that the comic was being adapted to the big screen. However, when a disagreement over the film adaptation of V for Vendetta came into the spotlight, Moore called off all involvement for film or television adaptations. In fact, right before filming ended in February of 2008, 20th Century Fox brought a lawsuit against Warner Bros. that alleged copyright infringement on the film. Although the development of the film had been delayed for many years, in the end Warner Bros. was able to make a far more sophisticated film due to the many technical advances in the industry that took place during that time.

4: Online Research

http://watchmen.wikia.com/wiki/Watchmen_Wiki

This is the Watchmen Wikia which is a collaborative website about Alan Moore and David Gibbons’ graphic novel which is a major motion picture now.

 

http://www.watchmencomicmovie.com/

This is a fan site for the Watchmen comic book mini-series and the movie.

 

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Comicbook/Watchmen

This is the TV tropes site for the movie. One of the Tropes from the movie include:

Alternate History: This trope is very obvious from the movie, seeing how Doctor Manhattan greatly changed the world, since he can synthesize normally rare elements and win wars single-handedly.

 

http://www.reddit.com/r/Watchmen/comments/1g25g3/would_watchmen_have_worked_better_as_a_netflix/

This site is basically a place where people post things on the site and where fans of those things respond to it. This post is very interesting because he thinks the movie would have worked better as a Netflix Original Series. Some people are agreeing with him, and some others disagree. This two to three hour movie is overlong as it is, yet many parts had to be left out. To remedy this, someone thought that a twelve-hour mini-series would be a better format for this material. I agree!

5: Critical Argument Paragraph

After viewing the “unfilmable” films in our class (Tristram ShandyAdaptationA Scanner DarklyWatchmen), which do you think is the most unfilmable? Why?

 

Is this question even a normal question??? The movie that has to be the most unfilmable in our class has to be Tristram Shandy, HANDS DOWN! I think Tristram Shandy is  unfilmable for many reasons. For one, there is confusion about identity. An example is that Steve Coogan plays both Tristram and his father, which is confounding,  Another reason is that the movie shifts back and forth between Tristram’s life and the actors own lives, which is way too strange for anyone to realize what is going on. A third reason is that there is no discernable story line as the movie covers (like the volume it was adapted from) only the time of Shandy’s conception and birth. Watchmen  is a very watchable movie because it is adapted from a popular, contemporary comic book, while Tristram is based off a very weird book published in 1759.

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