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Rating History

Watchmen (2009)
8 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Upon reading Alan Moore‚??s Watchmen I was blown away by its complexity and attention to various small details that could be present in a society where caped crusaders were a part of everyday life, and the loved the philosophy presented within the panels, but now I am forced into the difficult task of judging this movie adaptation of the infamous graphic novel. Upon seeing this movie I wrote an initial review of my opinion, but realized there was something wrong with it. The problem was that I was spending more time praising Moore‚??s novel than the actual movie, so I deleted it and decided to start from scratch after spending a good deal of time reflecting on the movie and flipping through the panels of the comic.

Now I am torn between liking and disliking this film adaptation of the beloved graphic novel.

On one hand I love Moore‚??s original story and comic. On the other hand I am not very fond of director Zack Snyder‚??s previous films (the remake of Dawn of the Dead and 300).

On one hand this movie mimics the visual style of the novel very well and looks very well polished. On the other hand Snyder and his team in their dedication to perfectly mimicking the story of the graphic novel have made this final product come across as very mechanical and unmoving.

For the most part the actors pull of their parts, but none of them really go above and beyond to truly make the characters anything more than iconic images lovingly ripped from the panels of Moore‚??s story. There were only two actors who I felt really tried to do something with their characters in an attempt to enhance the characters, and they were Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian. Aside from these two performances I feel that most of the actors were so determined to fit Snyder‚??s idea of matching the book perfectly that they failed to take the initiative to really try and break the wall and make this movie more than the graphic novel put into motion. But, not to leave him out of this review Billy Crudup did do a satisfactory performance behind the make-up and special effects for his portrayal of Doctor Manhattan, but it wasn‚??t good enough to really get my attention when compared to Earle Haley and Dean Morgan.

We also get decent performances by a few minor, supporting cast members, such as Robert Wisden as Richard Nixon. He wasn‚??t no Frank Langella and his make-up was rather off part of Snyder once again trying to carbon copy the graphic novel), but it was by no means a bad Nixon performance. A good supporting act is also given by Carla Gugino as the first Silk Spectre.

As far as acting goes I found the acting of Patrick Wilson (Nite Owl II) and Malin Ackerman (Silk Spectre II) to be undeniably stiff in both their respective roles, but the actor who managed to disappoint me most in the entire production would have to be Matthew Goode as Adrian Veidt (AKA: Ozymandias). This man lacked the charisma, and charm I felt when reading the character in the book, and Goode just seems to have no emotion, simply being there to show off his fancy hair, and talk in his accented voice, but I will also say Wilson and Ackerman are only better by a small notch. The performances of these three individuals as a whole were some of the key reasons Watchmen disappointed me as a film.

Even with acting problems the production is a good and it is strong. The images are dazzling, and very true to the comic. It is definitely one of best providers of eye candy we‚??re likely to see 2009, but then we have to remember visuals aren‚??t everything, and that‚??s why I was let down by this film.

My biggest problem, as I have previously mentioned, is the lack of initiative that the production crew took when making this film. It‚??s like they took up a diet of respectively redoing the comic for twelve weeks until they remembered each panel perfectly and made the actors do the same. Most of the actors don‚??t look like they‚??re really into their roles, and the production is just a fanboy dream come true, but it manages to do one thing that made me mad that keeps me from rating this higher than a seven.

If this had just been a visual comic down to the letter I would probably give it an 8/10, but the few times Snyder decides to take action and add in his own little ideas to the plot it just really distracted me from the concept of the story, and ruined the mood for me. What is it that Snyder is adding that angers me so much? Perhaps the most pointless gore and drawn out sex scenes I have ever seen on the big screen.

The gore is tacky, and cheap, and distracts from the story, and philosophy behind the images. Many of these images were not in the graphic novel, and nor were they ever even HINTED in the graphic novel. In this movie we have arms broken wide open, a man has his arms cut off, and a man repeatedly has his head cut into by a meat cleaver. None of these moments ever took place in the graphic novel, and I felt they threw off the pace, and distracted the viewers from what was actually going on, and I won‚??t even talk about how he drew out a sex scene that was like six-panels into a 5-10 minute scene.

My favorite part was by far the opening credits, and I don‚??t say that in a bad way because it was really a brilliant way to open the movie. To the tune of ‚??The Times They Are A Changin‚?? we get an animated series of photos that maps out most of the Watchmen‚??s history, the universe they live in, and the setting for the rest of the film. This moment alone makes this movie a must-see for fans of the comics.

I can‚??t recommend this film very positively because I for one was disappointed by the finished product. I‚??m sure many will rave about this film, and it‚??s sure to become a cult-classic, but compared to the graphic novel it really is nothing. Watchmen may be the most endearing comic of all time, and is a classic for the medium, but as a film its impact will not be as lasting as films such as last year‚??s The Dark Knight. The comic will always be remembered as a great, and an incredibly unique, original tale, but I fear this film adaptation will slip away into strictly cult-movie realm over the next twenty years.

Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
9 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]One of the most anticipated movies of summer 2007 Spider-Man 3 ended as possibly the biggest letdown. The spirit that had driven the first two films seems to fizzle in a film that just doesn?t have a story to work with its substantial budget. [/font][/color][/size]

[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]The original Spider-Man was a great popcorn film, providing a good live-action adaptation of the character?s development while Spider-Man 2 was one of the best superhero features ever put on film. So why does a sequel involving the same cast and director fail? I personally believe it was art. Director Sam Raimi seems so caught up in dazzling the audience with visual spectacles that he loses the heart of the previous films. The special effects drive this film which is never a good thing. Human elements are lost, and thus the film fails. Sorry to say Tobey Maguire?s portrayal of Peter Parker and Spider-Man is amusing, but it isn?t in the same league as Johnny Depp?s Jack Sparrow who?ll pull in the crowds. The acting in these films has been good, but no character has ever stood out to the point of wanting to see the movie for the character alone. J. Jonah Jameson is probably the most enjoyable character of all three films, but of course no one wants to see a movie based on him. [/font][/color][/size]

[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]Part of the no plot problem is the villain overdose this film suffers from. How they went from Green Goblin in the first one, Doctor Octopus in the second (my favorite of the web-slinger?s villains) to the third with New Goblin, Sandman and Venom. That?s THREE villains, Sandman and Venom not getting enough character development for the villain to care about them as characters, and you only know New Goblin because, you guessed it, Harry Osborn?s been in the last two films, prepping for his turn to crime?which also comes across as very forced in this movie. Not to try and spoil the film, but to save viewer groans he has a period where he hits his head and forgets Peter?s Spider-Man, but of course remembers later on. The fact that they used that clichť is something I can?t understand. [/font][/color][/size]

[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]Moving on to Venom and Sandman, we get a mixed issue. Neither of these characters gets the screen time required to have the viewer care for them, especially Sandman. Another problem I have is after they went through all the trouble of bringing realism to Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus, Sandman still looks and dresses exactly as he does in the 60s comic books, but not to discredit him entirely some of the Sandman effects in the film provide great entertainment. Then we have Venom, who I actually liked the design of, but even if Eddie was fleshed out he must only be Venom for the last fifteen minutes of this movie, and knowing how many fans the character has this will come as a major disappointment to say the least. [/font][/color][/size]

[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]Going back to visuals and specials effects; this film suffers from some of the same problems the original Spider-Man film did, and that?s at times the special effects seem to deny reality in many ways. Characters seem to fly through the air as if they are weightless, and some things just defy physics and logic, no matter how cool it looks on screen. Spider-Man 2 didn?t suffer from this, Doctor Octopus and Spidey seemed to have weight to them when they fought on building tops and fought across The Big Apple. Sandman turning into a sandstorm and flying around (probably against the wind too) doesn?t seem to cut it as real. [/font][/color][/size]

[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]Overall Spider-Man 3 is a great display of visuals, but not that great of a movie. Lots of it looks like they had a concept artist sketch some cool images out which Raimi just randomly slapped in their (such as Spider-Man crouching in front of an American flag). Could?ve worked as a poster collection, or comic book, just not as one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year. [/font][/color][/size]

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[font=Calibri][size=3][color=#000000]Spider-Man 3, I give it a solid 3/5 Stars [/color][/size][/font]

300 (2007)
9 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]300 was a huge success, due largely in part to the splendid CGI backgrounds and limitless display of bloodshed. I was caught up in its success for several months before I watched it a few more times asking ?is it really that good?? Although it will appeal to fans of the graphic novel, and mainstream action moviegoers when you pick it apart on a critical level you?ll see how it fails to compare to other epics based on similar time periods. In no way those this rock ?em sock ?em action joy ride hold a light to such films as Spartacus or Gladiator or any other of the notable films of this period in time. I can see how this works as a graphic novel, but the same style just can?t come across as excellence on screen. [/font][/color][/size]

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[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]My biggest complaint has to be the poor dialogue in this film, which can only be described as taunts you?d typically see inside a wrestling stadium, characters allows shouting at the top of their lungs. The things they say lack charisma, it just seems very unreal. [/font][/color][/size]

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[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]If you want a real representation of this point in history go looking for another film, but if you want a great visual feast of gore and mayhem (like I am when I sit down to watch this film every now and then) then this film is perfect, especially when you?re angry. [/font][/color][/size]

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[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]A good 3 out of 5 stars for 300 for visuals, but lack of dialogue and other key items missing from the script. [/font][/color][/size]

The Crow
The Crow (1994)
9 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]Director Alex Proyas? American film debut and Brandon Lee?s final performance before his untimely death The Crow sours on black wings straight out of the darkest portions of the imagination. A dark, visually luscious and captivating tale The Crow (Based on the graphic novel and comics by James O?Barr) truly is a sight to behold. Proyas demonstrates his artistic abilities in creating films with incredibly dark and eye popping set designs which he?d later use to create a perfect Film Noir atmosphere for his vastly underrated masterpiece Dark City (1998). It is a story of live, death and most certainly revenge. [/font][/color][/size]

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[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]Eric Draven, a rock guitarist and his fiancťe are brutally murdered on October 30th, and a year later Eric rises from the grave under the guidance of a mystic crow which follows him, or leads the way, helping him on his quest for vengeance. Using make-up and articles of clothing leftover from his days as a heavy metal band he soon enters the city, a new man so to speak, his look being one that helped inspire The Joker in The Dark Knight.

One by one he takes down the four gang members who murdered him, leaving behind the outline of a crow wherever it was he they were killed, his methods often brutal and without remorse, or the slightest sign of pity, because why should those who killed him receive less than the worst he can offer? Eventually his vendetta leads him to the criminals? deranged boss and his possibly even more psychotic half-sister. The two begin face off towards the end, when Draven crashes a little baddie get together as the boss was preparing to cause some mayhem, because nothing brings more of a smile to his face then a little chaos and anarchy. Once his entire group is taken down by the black clad Draven, he flees determined to kill the reborn individual leading to the film?s last confrontation. [/font][/color][/size]

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[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]Brandon Lee gives an amazing performance, which only makes his loss during this film all the sadder. This film proves that he could have surpassed his father (Bruce Lee), because The Crow proves Brandon is the better actor, and it is a shame that will never see where this film would?ve taken him if he were alive today. [/font][/color][/size]

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[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]Alex Proyas as stated before proves he is one of the most unique and talented filmmakers in the business, though his style may not suit mainstream or the average Joe?s likes it?s still something to behold, because the only other director I?ve seen close to Proyas? level of craftsmanship when it comes to this style of art is the more universally recognized Tim Burton. [/font][/color][/size]

[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]The movie is short, at around ninety minutes, but all it is too me is short, sweet and to the point and couldn?t be better without dragging on. [/font][/color][/size]

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[size=3][color=#000000][font=Calibri]I give The Crow 5 out of five stars for outstanding visuals, story and for the sensational performance by Brandon Lee. [/font][/color][/size]

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