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Watchmen delivers on hype, lives up to comics

Andrew Dotta

Issue date: 3/6/09 Section: Focus
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It must be hard to be Zack Snyder. After directing the arguably successful remake of Dawn of the Dead and the 300 comic-to-film adaptation, his next task was to create a film adaptation of the notorious Watchmen 12-issue comic series. The graphic novel, appearing on Time's "100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present," has, up until now, been regarded as being completely unfilmable. Fanboys rejoice: Zack Snyder has done the unthinkable: he has filmed a perfect adaptation to Watchmen.

With a complicated legal battle between Fox and Warner Bros., along with story trade-offs in development hell between Terry Gilliam, Darren Aronofsky, and Paul Greengrass, the movie was almost doomed to begin with. The numerous years-in-the-making has made it almost as difficult to be a Watchmen fanboy as it would be to be Snyder himself. Fortunately, Snyder beat the odds.

Watchmen is the tale of a group of superheroes that live among us in a parallel reality in 1985. Superheroes have since been banned due to a government act, and the "Doomsday Clock" only has five more minutes left until midnight, the dawn of nuclear holocaust and ultimate destruction between the United States and the Soviet Union. The film begins with the death of former Watchmen member The Comedian, as the ink-blotted vigilante Rorschach tries to figure out what's "really going on."

The movie's story is no doubt complicated. Clocking in at 161 minutes, with a director's cut of 191 minutes, the film moves at a brisk pace. Snyder allows no room for the comic book characters to breathe: everything they do is, for the most part, exactly what they do in the comic series. Minor changes (yes, the ending is different but it works) are hardly noticed. Multiple times, I was left cringing because I knew what was going to happen next, and I didn't know if I really wanted to see it.

Halfway through the movie, I did doubt the legitimacy of this film as "entertainment." It's a gory movie. It's a hard-to-watch movie. There's rape, children killed and burned, bones popped out, and curse words left and right The movie hides nothing that would have been found in the comics. And I guess that's the point: to film a faithful adaption, satisfying fanboys everywhere.
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In This Issue


  • E.O. Wilson delivers Distinguished Lecture
  • Have you heard about: Student Executive Council?
  • Research at Case: Indian philosophy
  • The Internet and your finances
  • University continues to look for input on SAGES
  • USG's Student Life Improvement Grant delayed, but still moving


  • Baseball: Spartans split No. 10 Wooster
  • Men's Basketball: Spartans get happy ending against Emory
  • MLB Preview: Angels will continue to dominate AL West
  • Softball Preview: Young, small squad and interim head coach hope to come together
  • Spartan Spotlight: Phil Keefe
  • Track & Field: Nwanna mastering all trades
  • Women's basketball struggles in second half, falls to Emory

Fun Page

  • Crossword Answers
  • Jumble Answers
  • Sudoku Answers


  • Chimp mauling, octomom clog Congressional operations
  • Editorial: Grant selection process needs refinement
  • Good night's sleep brings health, success


  • Local artist opens tongue-in-cheek exhibit at AAWR
  • Memoir strays from current popular topics, brings refreshing take to genre
  • Sex and Dating: The benefits of casual sex
  • Spartans of Style: Picking the perfect suit
  • Spring break 2009: a slice of Case students' travel plans
  • The Buzz
  • The Secret Ingredient: Tart and tangy grapefruit
  • The Worst Case Scenario: Enjoying Cleveland in the spring
  • U2 expands Horizon with experimental album
  • Watchmen delivers on hype, lives up to comics
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