Sunday, September 06, 2009

Watchmen


Dir: Zack Snyder

I think this must be the best 'super hero film' I've ever seen, but since I'm not big on super hero films, thats not saying much. I certainly enjoyed it however, and found its mix of faux cold war nostalgia and brutally dark comedy to be just what the doctor ordered. I particularly enjoyed some of the really grusome bits, where super powers applied to human bodies meant serious blood and gore instead of the usual pantomime. Here, super hero's slaughter people and don't wrorry too much about it. It gave the film an added dimension of realism that most super hero films don't even come close to. Of course the whole thing was fundamentally pointless, but I don't expect reality from entertainment, just thought provoking idea's and Watchmen has those. Theres a lot of thought provoking themese regarding war, violence, rape and identity. I particularly enjoyed how the different characters dealt with being super hero's.

In a way I am fortunate in that I have never read the original graphic novel, because I believe that the film may be some of a parody of the original, rather as Peter Jackson's LOTR is a parody of JRR Tolkien's novels.

The effects and art direction were good too, much more understated than they could have been, whilst remaining stylised enough to retain interest. Snyders last film' 300', was very different and left a lasting impression, but not for the same reasons. Here the visual effects illustrated the story and not the other way around.



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Män som hatar kvinnor


Dir: Niels Arden Oplev

This is a Swedish film, the title of which translates to 'Men who hate women', though the original novel was sold under the English title of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'.

This is yet another book I have not read, nor am I ever likely to as I am supremely unimpressed with the general quality of Swedish art, particularly Swedish fiction and cinema. The film has garnered some praise in Denmark however, so I gave it a chance.

On the whole I liked it, though there were certain elements which jarred with my sense of aesthetic. The whole concept of the bad guys left me cold. It was as if the author, now deceased Stieg Larsson, had tried to create something too evil, so not only were his mass murdering villains all members of the same family, they were also Nazi's and industrialists. This was just too ridiculous especially given how many women these men were meant to have murdered, with no one ever realising what was going on.

There were other technical details which made me frown too, wireless internet connections which worked perfectly out in the Swedish wilderness and a hacker who was almost instantly able to figure out a biblical code which had stumped the police for forty years.

As a mystery it was good but a tad predictable, not least as the villain was played by the most famous actor of the possible suspects. I look forward to seeing the sequal, 'The girl who played with fire' which is showing in Danish cinemas in two weeks time. I think I might take Mette to go and see it. Its been ages since we went to the cinema together.

4 comments:

Grimsby Mariner said...

Watchmen was visually superb and many of the characters well executed. however the film lacked something overall. Perhaps it was the promising opening that deteriorated to a disappointing end. Perhaps it was the feeling that the director forgot the plot a little and had to rush the ending.

brando said...

I loved Rorschach. He was uncompromising. He wasn't the smartest, or most resourcefull, or most powerfull.

He was just the most driven.

I liked how fearless he was, becasue fear would get in the way. And his fearlessness mattered more, because there was a chance he would lose.

moif said...

I liked Rorschach too, in fact I think whilst Dr Manhatten gave the film a sense of other world wonder, it was Rorschach and his personality, driven through hardship and drive which made the story work.

All the stuff about the Comedian and the rape/love angle was interesting, but it didn't make me catch my breath as some of the scenes with Rorschach and Dr M repesctively, did.

moif said...

driven through hardship and drive?

I meant driven through hardship and pain