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Posts Tagged ‘Nite Owl’

First Impressions: "Watchmen: The End Is Nigh"

In First Impressions on April 6, 2009 at 12:12 am

So, I recently got my hands on an XBox 360 at long last, and with it came a month long trial of XBox Live GOLD. So, as I poked around, I noticed that “Watchmen: The End Is Nigh” is available, and decided to give the demo a go.

For those of you who don’t know, “The End Is Nigh” is a prequel featuring Nite Owl and Rorschach back in their heyday as partners. The demo is timed segment in which the two are trying to stop a prison riot at the prison which Rorschach would be incarcerated in during the movie. Its a fairly simple beat-em-up game, as onslaughts of escaped prisoners who all look remarkably similar to each other (maybe its the jumpsuits?) run at you and your partner, who is either AI controlled, or a second player can jump in the mix.

Both Jackie Earle Haley and Patrick Wilson reprise their roles from the film, for some pretty good voice acting. The animations on the two are rather interesting, as Night Owl maintains an air of karate mastered martial artist and Rorschach lumbers about in a style more resembling a hobo in a street fight. Unfortunately, the controls feel a little sticky, something unforgivable in a game of this genre. Too many times I took a hit because Rorschach was too busy running in the opposite directions, and once I was nearly beaten to death because Rorschach was ignoring the prisoner punching me in favor of kicking an unconscious one below me.

As I stated before, I only played the demo. The segment of the prison has a 30 minute timer on it, but the demo only allowed me to play for 20 minutes. Its not a bad game by any means, but the current price of 1600 Microsoft Points (roughly $20) is a little steep. When the price comes down on this one, definitely check it out, but for now make sure you download the demo before you buy.

Final Grade: C

Review: Watchmen – Derk's Take

In On Film on March 9, 2009 at 11:45 am



After what seemed like a nonstop barrage of ads invading television and other mediums, the film adaptation of Alan Moores’ 1986/1987 graphic novel is here. Was it worth the hype? Did all of talk and anticipation culminate in a nearly 3 hour epic like we’ve never seen? Well, in a word, no.

Let me say up front that unlike a lot of reviewers out there, I have read the comic from front to back. I was familiar with the material prior to watching the movie. Let me also stir the pot a bit here and confess that I am apparently alone in thinking the comc wasn’t as grand as what I had heard.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t fall in love with it like so many other comic fans did. It was probably due to this that I went into the film with very small expectations. I wasn’t expecting an epic and I wasn’t expecting this to be the film of the century. Even with all of that, somehow, I was still let down by the movie.

If you’re a reader of this site, you’re familiar with the plot/material, so I’ll spare you having to read through another rundown. The movie is extremely faithful to the comics. I honestly don’t know if I’ve saw a comic film AS faithful to the source material as Watchmen was. That’s a good thing, right? Well, no, not really. If you’re unaware of the comic, you’re more than likely going to deeply hate this movie. There’s no way around it. You’re going to find yourself lost and frustrated because you have no idea what’s going on. So yeah, while most of us will piss and moan when a film strays from the original material, I have to say this film would have benefited from doing so.

I thought all of the actors did a fine job with their roles. Just like in the comic, the star of the film is Rorshach (as a matter of fact, he’s the only one I cared about in the film, and the only thing that saved me from utterly hating the movie). Jackie Earle Haley hit it out of the park with his portrayal. But all in all, I can’t say that I hated any of the performances, the exception being Carla Gugino’s portayal of Sally Jupiter/Silk Spectre I. Her acting was garbage, plain and simple.

A lot of people discussed the length of the film being an issue prior to its release. I can say, for me and a couple of others I saw the movie with, it WAS an issue. This movie is downright boring in the first hour. I wanted to scream at one point when I looked down at my watch and saw that only an hour had passed. So yeah, maybe for the huge fans out there this wasn’t an issue, but I thought this was one of the key elements that helped to bring the enjoyment level way down.

One utterly wretched thing about the movie was the music. The placement and choice of the music in the film does nothing but induce groans and makes the film look really campy. The music during the infamous sex scene was extremely terrible. The only time I thought the music fit was in the opening credits. Other than, honest to God, worst score I’ve heard outside of Troll 2.

The fact that the squid wasn’t in the movie bothered me a bit.  I thought that having Dr. Manhattan destroy New York instead of the squid really lessens the impact of Veidt. But this is certainly isn’t the thing that really brings the film down. What does that is the extremely boring first hour and the “way too loyal to the comic” nature of the film. Maybe I wasn’t into the comic enough to really “get” or enjoy this. Like I said previously, I didn’t hate the movie…but I would never watch it again. It’s one of those situations where you go, “alright, I’ve saw it. That’s that.”

Sleep well, Christopher Nolan. Your film is still the gold standard in comic films.

Final Grade: C-

Review: "Watchmen"

In On Film on March 8, 2009 at 7:12 pm

watchmen-final-posterWhen “Watchmen” became a comic back in the 80’s, it reinvented comics. By shrugging off the archetypes of super hero comics, viewers were given a brand new look at comics. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons masterpiece redefined the super hero genre, and still has a lasting effect and impact on comic books today.

Now, over 20 years later, “300” director Zack Snyder has taken a stab at doing what has been previously been deemed undoable: a filmed adaptation of “Watchmen”. Did he do it? More or less, but he still falls a little short. The biggest flaw is that “Watchmen” was designed exclusively and specifically for the medium of comic books. Translated to film and existing as a moving, breathing medium, there’s definitely something about this that feels off. But hey, maybe that’s just “Watchmen”.

In regards to the characters, its pretty much nailed. Its obvious that Snyder’s favorite character is Rorscach: the narrator and mystery man retains the majority of his existence from the comics, and is played to pretty much perfection: Jackie Earle Haley just looks like he would kill you with a pneumatic grapple gun. The remainder of the characters, while still obviously the characters that existed in the “Watchmen” universe, are modified more heavily, with changes made and bits left out in order to accommodate the story better. The film is still essentially a translation, panel for panel, of the comic. The first hour especially is a series of shots in which you can pick out and remember your favorite panels.

There’s no denying that the filming looks fantastic, and all those rumors of too excessive slow motion were unfounded. Yes, there is a lot of it, but its not as bad or as noticeable as you’ve been led to believe, especially after the first hour. Zack Snyder has created a film that neither exceed or falls short of your expectations, it just is. This is a passable, decent adaptation of what is considered by many to be the greatest graphic novel of all time. If you don’t want to spend the money in the theater to this one, its at least worth a rental, or perhaps even a purchase, but do go in with an open mind; this is most definitely not the “Watchmen” you grew up with.

Final grade: B