Friday, March 6, 2009

I watched the Watchmen and couldn't believe my eyes...

I have a confession, I've already seen an advanced screening of Watchmen on Tuesday, so today is the second time I've watched the movie. With that in mind I think I have a better perspective after a second viewing and I have to say I loved the film this time.

Watchmen movie costumes - Nite Owl and Silk Spectre
Watchmen movie costumes on display at ArcLight Hollywood
I'm also thrilled that I got to see up close and take some fantastic pictures of the original costumes from the Watchmen movie on display in the ArcLight Hollywood cinema foyer.

Watchmen movie costumes -
Ozymandius, Silk Spectre II and Nite Owl II
Watchmen original movie costumes
Spoiler alert: Please be aware the following contains some major story and plot elements from the movie.
Watchmen movie poster
This is my own personal review, it's not a film critics opinion, just one individual's who is a self-confessed Marvel Comics fan (always have been, always will be), but has also read the Watchmen graphic novel years ago.

So why the confusion over whether I liked it the first time you ask? Well I think I came out of the screening slightly shocked and numb.

Silk Spectre II and Nite Owl II Watchmen film costumes
Nite Owl and Silk Spectre Watchmen movie costumes
The sheer amount of sex, nudity, hyper-violence, brutal imagery and a giant blue-skinned bald man, with a very distracting perfect body and impressive genitalia left me mentally reeling.
Dr Manhattan Watchmen movie poster
Don't get me wrong it's one kick-ass movie, but this superhero tale is not for kids, and is purely for the grown-ups. And why not.

Prepare to be shocked, disturbed and amazed. There's brutal fighting and shocking images throughout - hatchets in heads, bullets tearing through flesh, bones bursting from bodies, attempted rape, pregnant woman being shot, dogs eating what's left of a murdered girl, the same dogs killed and hurled through windows, boiling hot oil melting faces off and the list goes on.

Watchmen movie costume - Ozymandius
Ozymandius costume from Watchmen movie
As you can guess it's not exactly a mainstream movie (even though it's been marketed as one). There's no happily ever after and it's not your typical superhero action movie (although there are some stunning action sequences).

At 162 minutes (just short of three hours), the movie seems to be very faithful to the original comic series source material and I'm sure die-hard fans will love it. But I think that may be the problem with the film, a 'Dark Knight' it's not. I don't think it'll have the same mass appeal to those who don't know the characters. These are not your instantly recognisable Marvel and DC iconic heroes like Batman, Spider-man or Superman.

Watchmen Silk Spectre and Nite Owl costumes
on display at ArcLight Hollywood
Watchmen film costumes
But after a recent glut of brightly coloured super adventures in recent years (which don't get me wrong, I love), it's nice to be treated to an edgier, more subversive world of prostitutes, unlikeable and slightly sociopathic heroes, impending nuclear destruction and a different way of saving the Earth.

The movie seemed to fly by for me as well and so 2 hours 42 minutes didn't seem too long and upon second viewing I even caught lots of details that I'd missed the first time.

Silk Spectre II costume from the movie Watchmen
Silk Spectre II Watchmen movie costume
And if you were one of those who thought Nixon got off lightly in Frost/Nixon, his depiction of a ruthless President willing to sacrifice entire American States to win the Cold War with the Soviets is not so kind.

Not to sound ageist (I am feeling a very old thirty-four mind you), but I do wonder how relevant younger audiences will feel about a movie set in The Cold War era is to them, without living through the threat of impending nuclear doom that seemed to be part of growing up in the 1980's.
Watchmen movie billboard
Now that I've had a chance to appreciate the movie again, I gladly give Watchmen a five ***** star rating, especially for Zack Snyder's achievement at bringing this epic movie to the big screen, which was previously believed to be unfilmable (made so much more possible by the CGI world we live in today).

I loved the great costume reinventions for Silk Spectre II, Ozymandius and Nite Owl, whilst the interpretations of the classic Rorschach and Comedian looks and the naked blue-skinned Dr. Manhattan, were fairly spot on in my mind.

Malin Akerman's Silk Spectre costume
from the Watchmen movie
Silk Spectre II Watchmen film costume
Silk Spectre Watchmen movie poster
The use of the iconic comic book imagery throughout the movie was amazing too - Rorschach silhouetted in a doorway, Silk Spectre smashing through the ceiling of a burning building and Nite Owl dropping to the streets from above, to name but a few moments.

I also loved how Rorschach moved - climbing up buildings and hopping down from window ledges, it was really unique and fit his demeanor. Mind you, lord only knows how Malin Akerman was able to move in her lycra clad Silk Spectre outfit, although her 80's inspired shoulder-padded street clothes were also fun to behold.

Patrick Wilson's Nite Owl costume
from the Watchmen movie
Nite Owl II Watchmen movie costume
Nite Owl Watchmen movie poster
All the actors seemed perfectly cast. I loved Patrick Wilson as the second Nite Owl, he still looked amazingly buff even though his character was supposed to have gained weight in his retirement. Surprisingly Matthew Goode really made me like the superior Adrian Veidt/Ozymadius Watchman, who was my least favourite character from the original comic books.

Matthew Goode's Ozymandius costume
from the Watchmen movie
Ozymandius Watchmen movie costume
Ozymandius Watchmen movie poster
Even though I wasn't that thrilled by the Rorschach journal voice over, I loved the 80's music soundtrack and thought there was some brilliant dialogue and one-liners - Rorschach in prison: "I'm not locked in here with you, you're locked in here with me!"
Rorschach Watchmen movie poster
Even though there was some fairly gruesome scenes and fights in the movie, there was also some welcome humour and wit, plus some in jokes like in the opening scene when The Comedian hurls a coffee mug at his door knocking off the '1' of '3001' to leave '300', a nod to the Director Zack Snyder's massive box office hit.
The Comedian Watchmen movie poster
Even though I've said that this isn't a normal superhero movie, I must say that I was mightily impressed by the Nite Owl and Silk Spectre fight scenes in all their high-kicking, hair flicking goodness.

Watchmen Silk Spectre and Nite Owl movie costumes
Watchmen movie costumes - NIte Owl close up
Overall the visual effects, costumes and physical recreation of the mid-80's alternate world were flawless, plus life on Mars never looked so spectacular.

Watchmen movie props including Nite Owl snow mask
Watchmen movie props
Watchmen is a clever and thought provoking film but there is a lot to take in for people experiencing the concept for the first time with no prior knowledge of the comic book origins. However I almost think that is better, to see the film then compare to the original source material for full enjoyment of an original and engrossing tale.
Watchmen film poster
But why not see it for yourself and decide, whether you're a fan or newcomer to the joys of Watchmen The Movie.

I hope you enjoy the costumes as much as I do too...


coffee maker said...

Rorschach was an especially well developed as a character, that guy rocked

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting these images of the new Silk Spectre and Nite Owl. They will be excellent in creating costumes.

Jason in Hollywood said...

my pleasure :-)

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