Here are Russ's copious notes on this one...
The black & yellow title cards are a kind of acknowledgement of the Watchmen trade dress.
Legendary! DC “swish” logo! More Comedian!
The use of the media/screens in the Comedian opening feels very Zack Snyder (and of course allows the film to adapt the Veldt ad to live action in a way that the print ads from the coms wouldn’t necessarily have done).
300 (his suite number)
Veldt at no point in the film feels like a guy who has the physical presence to do what he does to the Comedian, which I guess is part of building a mystery but it feels like a weakness in the film since Snyder was the one who created the whole fight sequence, which was only barely hinted at in the comics.
Unforgettable feels like a rift on what they did with the Richard Cheese version of “Down With the Sickness.” The movie uses music in conspicuous ways, but that one is especially on the nose.
The lesbian super heroine in the opening credits was murdered, presumably by the Comedian and possibly for being a lesbian.
Moth Man, seen in the opening credits being dragged off to a mental institution, later died when that institution exploded unexpectedly in 1992. This was documented in the first issue of DOOMSDAY CLOCK
“Russ Have Atom Bomb” in opening credits.
The implication that The Comedian may have been involved int he Kennedy assassination was very understated in the comics, as opposed to seen onscreen here. It sets the murder victim up early as unsympathetic. (Ditto Woodward & Bernstein)
DP Larry Fong corrected me on Twitter for misidentifying him as the still photographer in a post recently.
Why would it have taken until 1969 to get to the moon if we had Doctor Manhattan?
All the things appearing onscreen together — Nixon’s election, the term limit repeal, and the Keene Act — at the same time is crazy.
The idea of masks leading to the creation of superheroes is actually a clever inversion, and something that answers Nolan’s “did Batman ‘cause’ The Joker?’ nonsense.
The “those were great times/you quit” bit is way less effective in the film than in the comic, and it almost feels like it was kept jut because of the gut punch of the comic but Snyder realized he couldn’t swing it. There are some lines like that throughout, including “What do you expect? The Comedian’s dead”
Malin Akerman is so great and seems like such a nice person, I’m a little bummed by how not-great she is in this. She is a weak link in a lot of her scenes.
“your mind goes to dark places, and you wonder why I keep the worst from you”
This whole movie, more maybe even than the comics, is a tragic arc for Dan, who goes from being the wide-eyed idealist who did what he did because he believed it was right, to someone willing to go along with Veidt’s plot.
“I’m 67 years old” was the most unconvincing moment in any Snyder movie.
I like how jarring Jon was in a lot of the shots; it gave him an otherworldly feel that usually they try to avoid with VFX characters but was thematically appropriate for this movie.
“What happened to the American dream? It came true: you’re looking at it.” - fascist state
Moloch is Matt Frewer, of Dawn of the Dead fame. I believe he is the only repeated cast member.
I always remember thinking that the cancer stuff was part of Ozymandias’s plot, a hoax to manipulate Manhattan. That is explicit in the movie. Did I forget chunks of the comic that made it so?
That cafeteria where Manhattan appears for the first time is actually at the same disused insane asylum that appeared in Psych and Riverdale, among many, many others.
The scientist who finds Manhattan on Mars — the guy with the glasses — is actually Emil Hamilton from SMALLVILLE, who also had a minor role on MAN OF STEEL.
Rorschach fantasizing that Laurie manipulated Jon into exile is a perfect metaphor for the way right-wingers like him talk about women in real life.
There’s a shot of Rorschach stepping into a puddle, his foot pointed to 5 minutes to midnight as the puddle ripples out like a clock face.
Superhero movies were not as common or nuanced as they are now when Watchmen came out, so deconstructing the genre was hard. The fact that Snyder clearly LOVES superheroes made the translation harder still. The superheroics return, prior to the “Hallelujah” sequence, was depicted as pretty unquestionably a positive thing. This ties into “flabby failure” Dreiberg still looking like a Hollywood leading man. It seems that the way Snyder decided to undercut the “epic-ness-“ of these sequences was to have them fighting regular people who go down easily, meet gruesome fates, and don’t make them seem particularly heroic in the doing of it.
…Also, why did Laurie — the one who hated her superhero identity the most — bring the costume when she moved out of the military base?
Shooting fire into the sky at the moment of climax is exactly as subtle as a Zack Snyder movie.
Jesus, what is Snyder’s thing with people being dismembered by saws?
The Tales of the Black Freighter thing is interesting here because while it was nice to see, the fact that the art in it looks like screen grabs from the animated series makes it kind of anachronistic. They did not have that computer coloring in the ‘80s.
There is something kind of depressing — and it wasn’t explicit in the theatrical cut — about the fact that the knot-tops killed Hollis because of Dan’s actions.
I kind of forgot that Bubastis wasn’t in 90% of this movie.
HAAAAAAATE the change to Ozy’s speech.
There was also no planting to the payoff of the kid and the news vendor dying together.