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Old December 28 2008, 12:40 PM   #1
Dusty Ayres
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Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

Watchmen, a graphic novel by Alan Moore, is something of a holy icon in comic book world. I have this on good authority, having asked a number of men (mostly in their mid-thirties) who maintain that when Watchmen was released, in the mid-1980s, it was like a bomb going off. "We'd never seen anything like it before," is what most of their comments boiled down to. Why do they love it so much? Let me sum up. A cold-war tale set in an alternate-history 1985, Watchmen is a peek behind the mask into the psychology of superheroes and heroines. The graphic novel — and it is a novel — is layered with multiple stories that cut back and forth, every frame jammed with inside jokes and visual puns. Running underneath each individual adventure is the gonzo hand of fate, like some great cosmic banana peel, popping up when you least expect it. (More than one critic has compared Moore to Orson Welles.) Watchmen is the only comic book to win a Hugo Award, and the coming film adaptation has already inspired wild speculation: will it be good or a terrible disappointment?
Certainly, the film adaptations of Moore's work have not served him well to date. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and V for Vendetta were variously dreadful. In an interview with film-buff website spout.com, Watchmen illustrator Dave Gibbons said that Moore has disowned this film too, on account of his bad cinematic experiences.

Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen
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Old December 28 2008, 12:47 PM   #2
Jim Steele
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Re: Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

will it be good or a terrible disappointment?
However good it is, it's never going to live up to the source material.
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Old December 28 2008, 12:52 PM   #3
JoeZhang
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Re: Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

Watchmen is also a period piece, so I'll be interested to see how a film set in an alternative 1985 plays with the under 20s.
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Old December 29 2008, 12:08 AM   #4
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Re: Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

That lady is full of shit. V for Vendetta was a GREAT movie. Why shit on it in order to create consistency with your "every Alan Moore movie is garbage" theory. It's not the case.
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Old December 29 2008, 01:38 AM   #5
Dusty Ayres
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Re: Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

slappy wrote: View Post
That lady is full of shit. V for Vendetta was a GREAT movie. Why shit on it in order to create consistency with your "every Alan Moore movie is garbage" theory. It's not the case.
Because she's like every Sundance Film Festival/Sundance Channel/IFC/indie film snob; NOTHING from Hollywood is good unless it was made in the 1970's, is kitchen sink/weird, a foreign film, and comes from the 'boutique' divisions of the major studios (Paramount Vantage, Sony Pictures Classics, Fine Line Features, Fox Searchlight, etc.) These people are, and never will be, satisfied. Moore of course wants his creations be be adapted by some mythical independent film company that isn't located in Hollywood, something like Ealing Studios/Rank;only problem is, both companies are gone and aren't coming back, unless an outside group of investors decides to bring back Two Cities/Ealing/London Films/British Lion/Hammer/Rank..

And as I said before, if Moore didn't want his films adapted by Hollywood studios, he should not have sold Watchmen to DC Comics. He has no one to blame but himself if they didn't turn out the way he wanted.

Last edited by Dusty Ayres; December 29 2008 at 02:37 AM.
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Old December 29 2008, 07:43 AM   #6
Mike Farley
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Re: Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

Moore didn't sell Watchman to DC, it was an assignment originally to feature the Charleton characters.
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Old December 29 2008, 09:47 AM   #7
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Re: Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

Jim Steele wrote: View Post
will it be good or a terrible disappointment?
However good it is, it's never going to live up to the source material.
Though somewhat rare it isn't unheard of for film adaptations to live up to or rise above the literary source material.
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Old December 29 2008, 10:49 AM   #8
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Re: Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

Dusty Ayres wrote: View Post
something like Ealing Studios/Rank;only problem is, both companies are gone and aren't coming back, unless an outside group of investors decides to bring back Two Cities/Ealing/London Films/British Lion/Hammer/Rank..
Actually, Ealing Studios still exists and have released 2 films, that I know of, this year, and Dorian Gray slated for next year.
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Old December 29 2008, 10:54 AM   #9
Jim Steele
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Re: Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

dragunzng wrote: View Post
Jim Steele wrote: View Post
will it be good or a terrible disappointment?
However good it is, it's never going to live up to the source material.
Though somewhat rare it isn't unheard of for film adaptations to live up to or rise above the literary source material.
Trainspotting, prime example imho. But Watchmen has attained that almost mythical status of being unfilmable, and in the eyes of so many a new version will never cut it.

Judging by the trailers, it doesn't even look like it'll be a great film in its own right imho. But then, I'm just a cynical bastard.
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Old December 29 2008, 11:43 AM   #10
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Re: Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

slappy wrote: View Post
That lady is full of shit. V for Vendetta was a GREAT movie. Why shit on it in order to create consistency with your "every Alan Moore movie is garbage" theory. It's not the case.
V was good movie (with some bits that were rather cringe-worthy to British watchers) but it doesn't come close to the original book, so in that way, she has a point. It's not as big a traversty of an adaptation as LXG or From Hell, but its definitely not Alan Moore's vision of V for Vendetta.
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Old December 29 2008, 04:22 PM   #11
Dusty Ayres
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Re: Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
Dusty Ayres wrote: View Post
something like Ealing Studios/Rank;only problem is, both companies are gone and aren't coming back, unless an outside group of investors decides to bring back Two Cities/Ealing/London Films/British Lion/Hammer/Rank..
Actually, Ealing Studios still exists and have released 2 films, that I know of, this year, and Dorian Gray slated for next year.
Okay, I forgot about that. But expecting that there will be some great independent company that's as large as the big five of Hollywood is a bit much, even for him.. And a company like Ealing can't afford to make a film like Watchmen in a million years, to say nothing of films based on any classic English sci-fi/fantasy characters, either, else they'd have done it years ago (there was a British version of Dune that was supposed to happen in the 1970's but never did, for whatever reason.)
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Old December 29 2008, 04:38 PM   #12
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Re: Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

Dusty Ayres wrote: View Post
Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
Dusty Ayres wrote: View Post
something like Ealing Studios/Rank;only problem is, both companies are gone and aren't coming back, unless an outside group of investors decides to bring back Two Cities/Ealing/London Films/British Lion/Hammer/Rank..
Actually, Ealing Studios still exists and have released 2 films, that I know of, this year, and Dorian Gray slated for next year.
Okay, I forgot about that. But expecting that there will be some great independent company that's as large as the big five of Hollywood is a bit much, even for him.. And a company like Ealing can't afford to make a film like Watchmen in a million years, to say nothing of films based on any classic English sci-fi/fantasy characters, either, else they'd have done it years ago (there was a British version of Dune that was supposed to happen in the 1970's but never did, for whatever reason.)
I wasn't really trying to contradict you, just pointing it out.
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Old December 29 2008, 05:16 PM   #13
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Re: Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

I am optimistic-the visuals for Watchmen look great and as long as they don't "revise" the written material for the script they have a great source material. Fingers crossed.
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Old December 29 2008, 05:21 PM   #14
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Re: Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

Bishbot wrote: View Post
slappy wrote: View Post
That lady is full of shit. V for Vendetta was a GREAT movie. Why shit on it in order to create consistency with your "every Alan Moore movie is garbage" theory. It's not the case.
V was good movie (with some bits that were rather cringe-worthy to British watchers) but it doesn't come close to the original book, so in that way, she has a point. It's not as big a traversty of an adaptation as LXG or From Hell, but its definitely not Alan Moore's vision of V for Vendetta.
A little off topic, but perhaps you can help me out. The explanation of the end hasn't stuck with me. It looked exactly as if everyone was marching to the Houses of Parliament, which are propmptly blown sky high. Visually, the conclusion is that they are all killed. This seemed especially likely since characters we knew to be dead appeared at the unmasking, implying the other were too, or would be when exploded.

So what exactly did happen in the movie end? And how does that contrast with the comic book's ending?
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Old December 29 2008, 05:28 PM   #15
Worf412
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Re: Graphic, but not so novel: Adapting Alan Moore's Watchmen

slappy wrote: View Post
That lady is full of shit. V for Vendetta was a GREAT movie. Why shit on it in order to create consistency with your "every Alan Moore movie is garbage" theory. It's not the case.
V was an ok movie. My biggest problem with V is the same as my problem with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (as well as several other book adaptations). I understand that some changes must be made when a book is adapted to the movie screen, but if you are going to stray so far from the original material/message of the book... then why even use the book as a base?
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