Thanks to the stealthy nature of this blog, I was not captured by Warner Brothers executives for spilling the beans a week early about Watchmen. Even though I saw the movie before almost anyone else in the universe, I still went last weekend to see it again. It’s that good a movie. Completed, I would say it’s even better.
I noticed a lot of the little details you miss the first time around on a movie like this.
I really dug the Batman posters in the background of one scene that took place in the 1940s.
There were a few scenes that seemed better this time, like the little get-together between the two Nite Owls. Sadly, the second scene with the original Nite Owl was cut for this version of the film. I’m sure it will be back for the DVD. The scenes on Mars, fantastic on first viewing, were even grander with the finished special effects. How did people make comic book adaptations before computer special effects?
There were two suggestions I made after my test audience viewing that Zack Snyder apparently agreed with. The first was about the song, Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen. In the test screening, he used a cover version that didn’t sound all that good. I said, why not just use the original? He did.
My second suggestion has to do with a major plot point; a surprise for anyone who hasn’t read the book or seen the film yet. I won’t give it away, but I will say that there is a flashback of sorts near the beginning of the film. Dr. Manhattan puts his hand to Laurie’s forehead and forces her to “see” certain events from her past. In the original cut, you saw something that is meant to be a surprise at the end of the film. It totally ruined the surprise.
I said, why not let that be a surprise? You give away too much, too soon. Zack Snyder totally agreed with me. He said, you’re right Josh, how could I have been so stupid? And I said, you’re too hard on yourself, Zack. And he said, I’m nothing without you. And then we hugged for a really long time, but not in a gay way.
In short, I should have gotten co-directing credit for Watchmen. My fingerprints are all over that movie. I’m not concerned with the money. My foremost concern is that Watchmen be the best movie it can be, and that my name is first on the credits. Not too tall an order, really.
Thanks, Mr. Snyder, for making a great comic book adaptation. I was glad to put my hard-earned money down to see it a second time. Next time you’re making a movie, I hope you remember my essential contributions and give me a ring. You know where to find me. (Right here.)