Hey folks, Harry here... we American reviewers seem to be under an embargo. Now, some are being cute and publishing "Non-Review" of the film like Devin's Non-Review at CHUD but then you have a site like EMPIRE publishing their review. Then you have IMDB running their User Comments. There's also the guys at CineFools! And again here at DEN OF GEEK! Then there is this one from Total Film! Now we have THE TIMES from the UK chiming in. Then there's a negative review at News of the World that is pretty much the exact opposite of my thoughts, with the exception of the opening.
I've written my mostly love letter to WATCHMEN, but I am obeying the gag order. So far. It does seem fairly ridiculous that they're enforcing a review ban on such a high octane geek flick, as all it does is create fears. The audiences last night were mostly wildly enthusiastic with extremely loud applause in both theaters at the end and strong positive reactions throughout. Not everyone was pleased, but I'll get more into that with my piece as you'll see - hopefully soon enough. Overall though, I feel most of fandom is going to come away extremely pleased, with the Watchmen fundamentalists probably being a bit chafed - and still others raging because... well that's their default setting on most comic adaptations. Personally, I can't wait to see it again next Monday, and then again... many times in theaters Imax and otherwise. Here's a review from the London World Premiere:
Hi, I was lucky enough to be afforded a ticket to the world premiere of Watchmen in London last night, thought I'd send in a quick review as I can't seem to find one anywhere else! Right, bear in mind this is going to be quick as it's midnight now and it's been a damn long day. First off, the film is stunning - to look at and to listen to. Zack Snyder has outdone himself with look - absolutely beautiful. The soundtrack is phenominal - this is demonstarted with a beautiful opening montage set to Dylan's times are a changing, and carried right through to 'Hallelujiah' blaring out when Silk Spectre and Night Owl get it together in Archie. Some of the songs run the risk of feeling a little out of place sometimes...like a random sequence involving '99 red baloons' that booms when silk spectre meets night owl for dinner...but for the most part they are effective in setting the tone and the period of the film, and besdies, most of them are just fucking good songs that sound even better when married up with beautiful visuals...even if as I say, they can seem a little random I read the graphic novel last year for the first time, and I deliberately stopped short of the ending so as to allow myself the oppertunity to enjoy the film without comparing every damn frame to the book. So, with this in mind I can't comment on the whole 'squid' debacle, and whether the film is better to have left it out. I did keep my eyes peeled for any reference to a 's.q.u.i.d'- type inference to the 'doomsday device' that I've read could be mentioned, but if there was one I certainly didn't see it. To be honest though, every frame is crammed with so much visualy arresting information that it's damn near impossible to notice all on a first viewing. Without droning on about performances, they're all good - with Rorshach being one hell of an exception...he's incredible. Seriously, that guy absolutely nails it, from the moment his masked is ripped off, to when he flushes the dwarf down the toilet...I hate to say it but the guy gives Ledger a run for his money in terms of pulling of the 'psycho with a point' thing. The film is utterly uncompromising in terms of the ridiculously adult content it deals with - Rape, brutal murder, child abuse...you know when your watching a film where you see dogs chewing on the carcass of a brutally murdered six-year old girl that your watching a film that hasn't hidden from the darkest aspects of it's subject matter...you can see Snyder knows this is his one shot to get it absolutely right, a sequel is not going to happen - there will be no room to expand upon themes, or up the ante on action ever again...so he just goes for it. You can almost hear him saying 'fuck it, why not? it's in the book, so it's in here'...and that is something to be applauded. Why on earth there was such a legal battle over this thing I have no idea...I could be completely wrong (and indeed I probably am) but if I were a fox executive I'd be clapping my hands with glee that I didn't pool a load of money in to it...it seems utterly unmarketable. An 18-rated superhero film littered with some of the most grizzly aspects of the human psyche, a three hour running time...nothing for girls (I'm not talking about cool, intelligent film buff/pop culture/geeky girls...I mean the girls that booked to see 'Confessions of a Shopaholic'...girls en mass - there were two couples in front of me who left fairly early on...you could see them fidgeting restlessly, constantly bending their boyfriend's ear before eventually the guys just had to give up and head to the nearest sing-a-long showing of Mamma Mia!), and a swinging blue cock make the whole thing utterly bewildering to people who are not prepared for what they're getting in for. Anyway, as a film it's great, not perfect, but I'm sure all the fanboys will be in heaven. Dr Manhatten's origin sequence/monologue/escape to mars is wonderfully executed, and left me with actually quite moved...especially when the music stops, and all you here is Crudup's voice...alone against a wall of silence, before building his 'fortress of solitude' on the red planet. I could go on, but I'm knackered. Apologies for the horrendous spelling, I'm typing this out as quick as I can and can't be bothered to spell check. One major gripe...it's just so damn long...but, to tell this story right, that's precisely what's needed, so I guess it's a Catch 22 situation. Hope this provides some interesting reading! If you use this, call me Carousel.