Archive for the Watchmen Category

Movie adaptations that are better than the original book

Posted in books, reviews, Watchmen with tags , on March 18, 2009 by Paxton

So you just finished my Weekly Geeks entry about the worst book-to-film adaptation of all time.  What now?  Well, as a bonus, I thought I’d compile a list of movies that are actually better than the original book they were based on. It’s rare when this happens, and it’s the exception, not the rule, but it does happen.  I could think of three.

Let’s begin:

The Natural

The Natural by Bernard Malamud – The movie with Robert Redford and Glenn Close was fantastic. One of the all-time classic baseball movies. The book? Pretty much the same story until the very end.  I guess Malamud thought that Hobbs hitting the home-run that wins the Knights the pennant was too Hollywood.  In this book, Roy strikes out, loses the game and dies penniless, alone and forgotten in a New York City sewer.  There’s actually a bit at the end where someone wonders, years later, what happened to him.  Yeah, that’s a much better ending.

Forrest GumpForrest Gump by Winston Groom – Granted, I’m not a HUGE fan of this movie, but it was sweet and entertaining enough that I don’t hate it. The book, however, receives the full brunt of my white hot hatred.  It contains a lot of the story in the movie, plus so much other utterly  insane crap that several times I had to look at the front of the book to make sure I was still reading Forrest Gump.  Part of the book takes place in the African Jungles where Forrest is lost for years (he even marries a tribal woman from an African tribe he lives with). There’s also an entire section of Forrest going to live with Jenny at college and them doing nothing but having sex everyday. Seriously.  EVERYDAY.  Jenny even mentions it.  And don’t worry, I checked, I was not, in fact, reading the novelization of Forrest Hump, it was Forrest Gump.  That wasn’t the only thing.  He also becomes an astronaut and blah blah blah.  It’s endless monotonous marches through history that we got plenty of in the movie.  But it was more.  And more obnoxiously over-the-top.  Needless to say, I really didn’t like the book.

Watchmen graphic novelWatchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons – I talked about this last week, but I have never been a fan of this graphic novel. The premise and the overall idea that Moore was trying to get across, I loved. However the presentation left a lot to be desired. It seemed dense and all over the place to me. The movie took the book and set it in a more focused timeline and gave you the same ideas that were posited in the graphic novel but in a more satisfying way. So, to me, the movie is better and more enjoyable than the graphic novel. However, I am going to give this novel one more chance (third time is the charm) to wow me, but I’m not expecting any difference than the first two times I read it.

Advertisements

Quick history of Watchmen and a review of the movie

Posted in comic books, movies, pop culture, reviews, Watchmen with tags , , , on March 12, 2009 by Paxton

Watchmen poster

Okay, I convinced Steph to come with me to see Watchmen last night. Wednesday nights are sometimes our impromptu movie nights because the theaters tend to be devoid of annoying teenagers talking on their cell phones and to each other.  We saw Iron Man this way and it can be a pleasant experience.

I’ve had several people ask me what I thought of this movie so I thought I’d do a semi-movie review.  I’m also going to talk a bit about the graphic novel because I’m guessing the majority of you may not know the history behind it.  It’s interesting how big a release this movie became considering the average movie going patron may not really know who or what Watchmen is or where it came from.  So before I talk about the movie, let’s just do a quick recap about where the story of Watchmen came from and what it’s about.  If you just want the movie review, you impatient sonova-bee sting, then skip down to that section.

Watchmen was a twelve issue comic book limited series released in 1986 and 1987 by DC Comics.  It was written by legendary writer Alan Moore who also wrote other famous limited edition comics League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta and From Hell.  Moore is notorious for being extremely anti-establishment and has preemptively dis-owned the movie versions of all of his comic novels.  Alan Moore’s idea was to take a hard look at superheroes and portray them as normal, flawed human beings.  Moore based the story in our reality, albeit a slightly altered one in which superheroes existed.  In keeping with our reality, even though the characters are called superheroes, only one character displays obvious supernatural powers.  The appearance of these heroes has altered the outcome of certain historical events including the Vietnam War, which we win with help from the heroes and Richard Nixon’s presidency which is extended because of the win in Vietnam.  Moore would use this setting to deconstruct the idea of superheroes as benevolent crime-fighters and show that they, too, are susceptible to the human traits of selfishness, greed and murder.

Watchmen graphic novel

Continue reading