Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How Watchmen Killed 'R'-rated Fantasy Movies

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the oh-the-irony dept.

Movies 771

An anonymous reader writes "Of all the Hollywood properties consigned to development hell in the reductionist policy of the last 3-4 years of bad economy, the very last to have a prospect of a green light are expensive fantasy and SF projects that fall outside the 'family' remit. Not even the addition of James Cameron to David Fincher's Heavy Metal remake has stopped its begging-bowl passage from studio to studio; Robert Rodriguez's propriety of the Barbarella remake likewise toured the world in vain, apparently unmindful of the very unusual set of cultural and demographic circumstances that caused a major studio to back an 'erotic space opera' in 1968 — and to the fact that these circumstances are not likely to reoccur. David Fincher lamented in 2008 that the creation of dazzling artificial movie worlds is limited to family-friendly output — but in the long wake of the box-office disappointment of the 'R'-rated Watchmen movie, there seems no current prospect that the adults will ever get to play with the kids' toys again." The most frustrating part of this is that Watchmen was actually *good*.

cancel ×

771 comments

Or are you happy to see me? (0)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233354)


The most frustrating part of this is that Watchmen was actually *good*.

Indeed! In fact if there were an Oscar for "Best Performance by a Blue Weiner", I'm sure Watchmen would have won it.

Re:Or are you happy to see me? (1)

fre1 (1929104) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233642)

That's what stuck out (lol) the most, out of that entire movie? A blue penis? Is there an emoticon that conveys an eyeroll?

Re:Or are you happy to see me? (5, Funny)

Wumpus (9548) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233794)

No, what stuck out the most (to me, at least) was that the penis demonstrated better acting than anyone in that movie.

Re:Or are you happy to see me? (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233864)

Emoticon no, emote, yes.
I believe a /facepalm would be appropriate in this situation. Perhaps even a /headdesk ? Your choice!

It was OK (3, Insightful)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233368)

The most frustrating part of this is that Watchmen was actually *good*.

I wasn't very happy about the altered ending or the removal of the guy reading the comic book.

Re:It was OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233412)

Did you see the animated version of Curse of the Black Freighter? It's awesome!

Re:It was OK (5, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233464)

That depends on whether you evaluate it as an adaptation of the comic or on its own merits, of course. Having not read the comic (and having no desire to, for that matter), I evaluated the movie simply as a movie, and in that regard I thought it was excellent. One of the best movies I've ever seen.

Re:It was OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233542)

It was one of the worst movies I ever saw. I didn't read the comic, but it fits in my interest zone - especially as a movie. If you think a hundred million dollar project can succeed without appeal outside the VERY small group who read a comic book, you're crazy.

Re:It was OK (4, Interesting)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233666)

I wasn't very happy about the altered ending or the removal of the guy reading the comic book.

I think the movie ending wasn't that bad in that it effectively substituted one common enemy for another. And given Dr. Manhattan's public disillusionment with humanity, it was just as plausible as the original ending. Knowing both endings, I was a lot less upset about that change than I was about the pointless diversions in the Lord of the Rings to Helm's Deep and Osgiliath, for instance. The Watchmen ending actually had the benefit of actually surprising me a little, because I knew how the comic ended and while it was similar, it was not exactly the same.

My only real problem with the ending is that if Dr. Manhattan actually decided to act out, it seems to me that the devastation would have been total. Any government that had any intelligence on him would have wondered why his action was as (relatively) small scale as it was. At least in the original ending, the enemy is not a known quantity to anyone; it can produce fear from both its sheer power and from being an unknown.

Of course, familiarity with Dr. Manhattan's progressing condition might well have caused no small manner of fear and dread in an informed observer over time.

Re:It was OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233818)

I was just mad that they showed the big blue weenie, but didn't show any orchids.

Pole but no hole? This double standard is unacceptable.

Give me both or neither.

Re:It was OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233544)

The (much longer) director's cut included the kid reading the comic, as well as an animated version of the comic narrated by Gerard Butler. Also, I prefer the changing away from a fake alien invasion.

Re:It was OK (2)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233566)

The altered ending made a lot more sense. A giant alien squid is cheesy and we've already seen that an attack on New York City doesn't unite the whole world (See: 9/11). I loved the movie. It isn't without it's faults. I thought by changing the scene where Rorschach kills the guy in the house with a machete instead of burning him alive actually took away from the darkness by making it more brutal. In contrast, there were things about the movie that were better than the comic, such as Rorschach's death scene. You actually see the build up and emotion in his eyes, something that 2-3 comic panels couldn't do justly. All-in-all this was an extremely faithful adaptation within the confines of the limits of a film. There is a version of the film with Curse of the Black Freighter in it, but that also makes the film 4 hours long. They definitely gave the fans the best they could while still keeping it a good and watchable film to anyone who wasn't in love with graphic novels.

Re:It was OK (1)

putch (469506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233764)

Blaming the attacks on Dr. M really doesn't make any sense though. For decades he'd been an extension of the American military...essentially a walking, talking atom bomb. Would the world have been united had America "accidentally" nuked a bunch of cities? It need to be an exterior threat like aliens. Maybe not an actual Squid and maybe not just attacking NYC, sure. But, framing Dr. M really makes no sense.

They had already been turned against him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233832)

They had already been turned against him. That sham case that had him giving radiation poisoning to people? They already had a reason to think him unstable and unreliable.

It was far easier to accept than Spidey's continual problem with people believing any old set up framing him...

Re:It was OK (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233644)

I'm inclined to agree with you about the ending, although I think it can be argued either way. Removing "Tales of the Black Freighter", on the other hand, was the right decision. There just wasn't *room* for it. Yeah, it was neat, and yeah, it added a whole 'nother layer to the symbolism. But the movie was already two hours, forty-two minutes as shown in the theatres (with longer cuts on the DVD releases--up to three and half hours!). Adding in the Tales would've made the thing unwatchable in one sitting.

Re:It was OK (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233850)

Wasn't Tales of the Black Freighter all of 20-30 minutes? A 3 or 4 hour movie is hardly unwatchable in one sitting.

But I do agree it wasn't needed in the theatrical release.

Ending made more sense.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233648)

I found the movie ending to make more sense (Dr. Manhattan threatening whole world) compared to the book (aliens threatening the world).
However, there was no need for a full frontal Dr. Manhattan.

Re:Ending made more sense.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233828)

However, there was no need for a full frontal Dr. Manhattan.

That's what made it "ADULT"

Re:It was OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233756)

I agree. I remember people hyping the bejesus out of the movie before it came out then when I saw it I was underwhelmed. It wasn't bad but it frankly wasn't particularly good either.

It was good. (0)

_UnderTow_ (86073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233384)

It would have been great without the giant blue glowing penis though.

Re:It was good. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233444)

I think that was why CmdrTaco liked it. It gave him something to aspire to with his smaller-than-a-baby's-sized penis.

Re:It was good. (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233636)

It would have been great without the giant blue glowing penis though.

Why? Curious to know what your objection to it was.

Re:It was good. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233684)

It's obvious: he's a prude. Or maybe a closet faggot.

Re:It was good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233728)

Yeah, was it because it was giant, because it was blue, because it was glowing or because he had one at all? If it had been a female character, would he have been offended by the giant blue glowing breasts?

Re:It was good. (0)

_UnderTow_ (86073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233766)

I'm not against seeing things that are giant and / or blue, but I prefer my movies without penis shots. Call me crazy.

Re:It was good. (-1, Troll)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233806)

No, we'll just call you a closet homo.

Re:It was good. (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233860)

Depends, would motorboating them hurt?

Re:It was good. (1)

merlock18 (1533631) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233740)

Those were the best parts!

Re:It was good. (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233748)

I was under the impression that the comics had him wearing a speedo instead of his peenster blowing in the wind.

Re:It was good. (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233858)

Nope. If anything, the movie was tamer about it.

Your confusion probably comes from the fact that Dr. Manhattan's costume changes drastically over the story. It goes from a full set of clothes, to the speedo, to "blowing in the wind", paralleling the character's increasing detachment from humanity.

Re:It was good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233878)

Nope, he was flapping in the breeze in the comic as well.

Re:It was good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233854)

Actually I thought it this "addition" was a useful push to decrease the likelyhood of parents letting thier children watch this movie (Covering inside and outside U.S borders).
  - The high level of violence in this movie made it unlikely that in countries outside of the U.S. parents would give permission to watch this.
  - This level of violence would not phase a lot of American parents, so more likely to let their kids see it, beyond it's rating.

  - The high level of adult situations, in particular the showing of "naughty"parts (specifically male) made it unlikely that American parents would give permission to watch this.
  - Adult situations (and body parts) are less a "no no" in quite a few other countries, so parents are more likely to let their kids see it, beyond it's rating.

* In countries where with a low threshold for either violence, adult themes and/or exposed flesh, this pushes it deep into the realm of "Adult" only viewing

No matter how you look at it, this movie is for a mature viewing audience (Don't know how this would cover the average Slashdot viewer though).

Re:It was good. (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233870)

I don't think it would have been as popular though.

Re:It was good. (3, Interesting)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233876)

You must be awfully insecure to be offended by having seen a penis in a movie. Like... omg? It was not in any way or form the main point of the scene, nor did it play any part in the actual story, it was just a person being temporarily naked. It's pretty common in movies and I can bet you wouldn't have been offended had it been breasts or vagina, it's only because it happened to be the male body part.

As a side-note: in Finnish movies it's common to have scenes where the actors are naked in some situations, like for example if they happen to be in sauna or come out of one, and no one gets a fit about that. It simply is so normal and a part of many people's daily lives. And then again, nudity isn't depicted as an erotic situation or anything like that. It's sometimes funny how foreigners have so mixed reactions to such scenes: some react like OP for having seen a male penis, some are just excited about how casual Finns are about it, some get enormously embarrassed and try to look anywhere else but the screen..

Good? (5, Insightful)

berj (754323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233390)

Watchmen was an overlong, overwrought, overly wordy, over hyped, over produced mess.

It was not, by any stretch of the imagination, good.

Re:Good? (4, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233438)

Subjective art is subjective. For my part, it is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

Re:Good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233530)

Agreed. It is long, but for very good reason. Amazing adaptation.

Re:Good? (4, Interesting)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233580)

I am very much in the camp of the parent. I did not think it was well done in the least. I am curious to know, when you say, "Best you've ever seen," what are some of the other best movies you've seen?

Re:Good? (3, Funny)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233674)

Really? What was the other movie you saw?

Re:Good? (-1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233454)

Watchmen was an overlong, overwrought, overly wordy, over hyped, over produced mess.

It was not, by any stretch of the imagination, good.

Mod parent up!

My girlfriend managed 20 minutes of Watchman before finding something better to do and I wish I'd done the same; I had a hard time finding any motivation to keep watching it past half-way.

Re:Good? (0)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233514)

My girlfriend managed 20 minutes of Watchman before finding something better to do and I wish I'd done the same; I had a hard time finding any motivation to keep watching it past half-way.

Good, it's not just me.

Re:Good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233486)

Really? I thought it was one of the most faithful adaptations of anything I've ever seen, especially when it got the breathing room it so desperately needed in the extended cuts.

It's too bad though, because I do think there is a market for this type of film, you just have to get it through the studio brain that you can't advertise this type of picture the same way you would Spiderman.

Most faithful adaptation != Good (5, Funny)

RingDev (879105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233574)

Really? I thought it was one of the most faithful adaptations of anything I've ever seen

I can get you a faithful adaptation short video of a dog taking a dump on the side walk. It could be the most faithful adaptation ever constructed. But you know what? It's still just a video of a dog taking a crap.

-Rick

Re:Good? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233588)

Really? I thought it was one of the most faithful adaptations of anything I've ever seen, especially when it got the breathing room it so desperately needed in the extended cuts.

That's a large part of the problem. 'Watchmen' was an impressive comic... in 1990 when the alternative was yet more bland super-good superheroes saving the world from bland villains; as fiction it's a tedious mess where unsympathetic characters do stuff that no-one much cares about, and 'extending' it just makes it more tedious.

You probably could have made a successful movie out of 'Watchmen', but either you'd end up parodying it with 'Mystery Men' or a 'serious' movie that bore as little resemblance to the comic as 'V for Vendetta' did.

Re:Good? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233506)

Watchmen was an overlong, overwrought, overly wordy, over hyped, over produced mess.

It was not, by any stretch of the imagination, good.

Well, you either watched a different movie or just don't like graphic novels brought to the big screen. A lot of Americans seem to be put off by this genre, maybe the high brow thinks these are too low brow for them to consider.

Re:Good? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233520)

Yeah I don't really feel I need to watch it again. Maybe in 5 years or so. The first few comments here from people saying it was "good" seem to be the ones that were already fans of the graphic novel. Now, I like things to stay pretty true to the originals too, but what is good in a book isn't necessarily good in a movie.

Re:Good? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233532)

I personally really enjoyed it, atleast it wasn't your bog-standard action movie which only attracts people because of large explosions.

Games Instead (2)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233402)

the creation of dazzling artificial movie worlds is limited to family-friendly output

I think if you like this kind of thing, you have to skip films and play games instead. I recommend Dead Space 2 right now.

Re:Games Instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233434)

I recommend Dead Space 2 right now.

not enough glowing blue dong.

Re:Games Instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233522)

On the plus (?) side, you could probably sever it and use it as a weapon if there was one.

Re:Games Instead (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233608)

But there's no reason that they couldn't make them and turn a decent profit. The real problem is that the studios think a 'big name' movie needs to have a $150 million (or more) budget. If you spend that kind of money of course you're going to have problems turning a profit on a movie that half your potential audience can't, or doesn't want to see simply because of the rating. But, if you can cut just a few corners, user lesser known actors (but then you might actually have to put some effort into casting! The horror!), and independent special effects companies you can make a movie for 1/5th the typical Hollywood action movie budget and it becomes much more profitable.

District 9 is the quintessential modern example. Unknown actors, small special effects company trying to prove itself, a cheap filming location, etc. Revenues of $210 million (barely enough to come out ahead for a typical action sci-fi movie), but because of the much smaller budget ($30 million) it was a roaring financial success. Because when you come down to it, the actors were surprisingly effective, special effects just shouldn't cost tens of millions of dollars anymore, and it is the story first and the action second that people want to see and the film delivers both very well; over hyped special effects and famous actors a distant 3rd and 4th in the action sci-fi genre.

Re:Games Instead (2, Insightful)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233830)

I could not agree more. If they stopped pulling in the actors that think they require 20 million per movie, and bring somebody in and pay them 250k for a movie (I would be thrilled as hell personally if I worked for one year and made that), then the budgets would drop way down. Seriously big movie industry, stop throwing money around and, gasp, for once, act like a business. I hate the way big business conducts itself, but if the movie industry did this, their profits would shoot through the roof. Sure, Will Smith, Nick Cage, Vin Diesel, Bruce Willis, and those guys would be out on the streets since apparently they can't handle anything less than 20 million, we get the same movie, but with a new face. It would be nice, as we would associate with the character more than the actor. I would rather not know who in the hell the actor is, because I will associate the actor to that movie and not their role in Die Hard and then when this movie is not as good, compare it to Die Hard.

Re:Games Instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233880)

I could not agree more. If they stopped pulling in the actors that think they require 20 million per movie, and bring somebody in and pay them 250k for a movie (I would be thrilled as hell personally if I worked for one year and made that), then the budgets would drop way down. Seriously big movie industry, stop throwing money around and, gasp, for once, act like a business.

They are acting like a business. They know that paying $20,000,000 to Big Name results in $50,000,000 more profit if the movie is otherwise worth watching. If it's crap then having big names on the poster probably won't save it.

No Australian R18 for games (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233664)

I think if you like this kind of thing, you have to skip films and play games instead.

Films have Australian R18; games don't. What country is taking Australian expats again?

Heavy Metal? Plot? (1, Insightful)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233432)

Not even the addition of James Cameron to David Fincher's Heavy Metal remake has stopped its begging-bowl passage from studio to studio;

I'm sorry, but Heavy Metal's plot is that a guy saves a girl in a few different dimensions and gets sexual favors as a result. Oh, and the dimensional thing was caused by this evil orb. That might qualify for a porno, but not for a Hollywood movie.

Re:Heavy Metal? Plot? (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233474)

Try reading the magazine - a lot of it is the same kind of thing, so the plot sounds reasonable to me, if a lot pornier than the last one.

Re:Heavy Metal? Plot? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233564)

I'm sorry, but Heavy Metal's plot is that a guy saves a girl in a few different dimensions and gets sexual favors as a result. Oh, and the dimensional thing was caused by this evil orb. That might qualify for a porno, but not for a Hollywood movie.

Riiight. Because, Hollywood plots are always based on well thought-out ideas with cohesive plots and never stray into the realm of thinly put together stories.

And, really, if you think about it ... a series of vignettes that take place around a mysterious glowing green thing is, well, Pulp Fiction.

Seriously, take away the sex (or at least showing it), and I would argue that a tremendous amount of Hollywood movies have a plot not much more sophisticated than a porno ... well, at least the ones that make a pretense at plot. Hell, The Devil in Miss Jones had a far better plot than most movies in the last decade.

Re:Heavy Metal? Plot? (2)

SpeZek (970136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233576)

Is the plot of Heavy Metal really any more sophisticated than that of Avatar? Guy saves a girl('s people) on a different planet for sexual favours.

The point is that Pandora was awesome to look at. Same with the environments of Heavy Metal (I'd argue, more so, since they're completely fantastical rather than just alien).

Re:Heavy Metal? Plot? (3, Interesting)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233704)

I liked Heavy Metal and Avatar was fun to watch, but Avatar's biggest problem was morality-driven plot simpler than "do good" books you'd give to a six year old. From a story perspective, Heavy Metal seemed more involved (and fairly non-linear given the segments involved different characters and animation styles).

IMHO, "good" movies for adults have plots that share the real world's complexities, moral ambiguities and trade-offs. Nothing in the real world is as straightforward and simple as the dumb plot in Avatar.

Re:Heavy Metal? Plot? (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233662)

Hm... and how is that plot different from any "maid in distress"-story where in the end the guy marries the maid? There are hundreds of Hollywood movies of that kind - only difference being that the "sexual favours" are called "marriage".

There is always Showtime, HBO, etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233446)

It seems that the adult miniseries is doing quiet well. A 13 part Heavy Metal could be epic.

One of the best movies I have seen... (2)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233484)

in a long long time. Waited for it, watched the legal BS about it, and enjoyed the flick when it came out. To Hollywood, if you want my money then produce more flicks like the Watchmen. It was that enjoyable. Popcorn aside, you can't figure out a better way to get my money than putting together great 40+ something old's stories for me to enjoy.

Re:One of the best movies I have seen... (2)

RingDev (879105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233718)

Personally, I would have rather seen the money sunk into more movies from the Dead Gentlemen for continuations of "the Gamers: Dorkness Rising" and "Journey Quest".

Lets see, GDR budget was ~$1,000, with a whole lot of volunteers.
Season 2 of JQ has a $100,000 target budget.
The Watchmen budget was ~$150,000,000.

I think the geek subculture would gain far more entertainment from 50 more G:DR/JQ type productions than the 3 hours of drivel the Watchmen offered us.

-Rick

Good? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233490)

Mediocre at best!

It paid homage to the pages but it really did not translate well and it was not presented in a manner to really attract much of an audience. If you had read the comic then you wanted to see the movie. For anyone else it was pretty much "meh!". I think it would have failed if it was rated PG or PG13.

The topical material was so dated it was a nostalgia flick and nothing pertinent in the current mind set of current society. Most kids today in the PG13 rating range don't even know who Nixon or what the Cold War actually were.

Not the same thing (5, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233492)

The most frustrating part of this is that Watchmen was actually *good*.

Well, that was your opinion as a fan of the comic, I imagine. I am not a comic guy, saw the ads and didn't find myself particularly wanting to see it. I might Netflix it at some point, but it's not currently in my queue.

I strongly suspect the real issue is there aren't enough people with taste similar to yours to make the types of movies you want to see financially viable. I know it's frustrating - many of my favorite TV shows over the past 20 years have quickly withered - but that's life. There's no need to look for a broader conspiracy, although people do seem predisposed to finding conspiracies even when none exists.

Re:Not the same thing (2)

anethema (99553) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233590)

I don't read comics or graphic novels and have no desire to, but I found Watchmen fantastic. It is a bit of a slow movie in the sense that there is not action every five minutes, but it was a very watchable, very cool movie.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it as long as you don't need "Die Hard" or "The Expendables" level shoot em up action to enjoy a movie.

Re:Not the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233868)

Yeah me too. I thought it was very interesting and would like to watch it more than a couple of times.

Re:Not the same thing (1, Interesting)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233886)

I don't read the comics or graphic novels either, I saw the movie and found it to be trash, it was predictable and dull,

If not even Watchmen could do well... (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233508)

The most frustrating part of this is that Watchmen was actually *good*.

Well, yeah. The way I see it however, if not even Watchmen did well enough to satisfy the studios then R-rated fantasy movies never had a future to begin with.

Don't blame FILMS blame the SYSTEM (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233518)

Artistically speaking, freedom of expression is limited in the United States (and other countries, don't get me wrong) because of regulatory bodies that exist for the sole purpose of deciding what is appropriate content and what is not.

This is a fixed-position point of view in an ever changing sociological landscape and it increasingly does not make sense.

I often wonder if films like "Taxi Driver" could ever be made today.

Re:Don't blame FILMS blame the SYSTEM (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233654)

I blame the fact that the 'system' is running out of ideas. Remake after remake is mostly what they are talking about. maybe some places aren't rejecting the movies because of the rating, they reject them because it's crap or they shouldn't mess with the original. Yes Taxi Driver could be made today, but please please please DON'T! remakes are getting as bad as sequels.

Re:Don't blame FILMS blame the SYSTEM (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233788)

The issue isn't lack of ideas, the issue is that studios take low risk ideas and compromise them in any way that they think will increase the box office.

Re:Don't blame FILMS blame the SYSTEM (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233862)

Agreed.

It's sad, film is a great art form but it's easily perverted by the profit motive of the industry behind its making.

Re:Don't blame FILMS blame the SYSTEM (2)

BaronHethorSamedi (970820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233720)

Artistically speaking, freedom of expression is limited in the United States (and other countries, don't get me wrong) because of regulatory bodies that exist for the sole purpose of deciding what is appropriate content and what is not.

Which regulatory bodies are you referring to, specifically? The FCC? They don't regulate movies. The MPAA? They're a private outfit. They don't censor anything; they just attach a letter to most major studio releases so people can decide if they want to watch it or not. (Whether the letters themselves make sense is a separate question.) That movies like Watchmen are having a hard time getting financed these days has nothing to do with regulation--it has to do with Watchmen being an expensive film that did rather poorly at the box office.

As an aside, freedom of expression in the United States is at a higher point now than ever. There are more ways of expressing oneself, to a wider audience, and with less restriction, than at any other time in human history. Griping about some sort of repressive system, in 21st century America, doesn't make much sense.

What about "Pretty Baby"? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233744)

Usually when they release a film in DVD they include material that was not present in the original. "Pretty Baby" is the opposite, the DVD shows less than was in the VHS or theatre versions.

I waited for the DVD release (1)

Yaddoshi (997885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233534)

The amount of money poured into hyping the film was so ridiculous that it made me assume there was absolutely no way the film would live up to my expectations, and therefore I decided to go see whatever else was out at the theaters at the time. Once I finally watched the film on DVD, however, I will say that it did manage to live up to my expectations, which is very unusual for a comic book adaptation.

Forget R - where is G? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233548)

As a parent of young kids, I'd like to see more decent G or PG fare. Toy Story 3 and Tangled were good. But movies like this are few and far between. More common is junk like Yogi Bear. And even more common is the theater showing nothing but PG-13 to R movies, 90% of which are yet more horror flicks to heap on the pile.

Film raters are stupid, but can be worked around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233560)

It's not difficult to stay below an R rating and still make a good film, despite the idiotic restrictions on nudity and profanity.

Holy crap (1)

torstenvl (769732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233568)

This is by far the most incoherent OP I have ever read. Can someone translate this guy into English?

Re:Holy crap (1)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233652)

No, you'll need to use Night Owl's goggles to understand it.

Don't have any? Oh well.

*good* vs. *not good* (2)

phaserbanks (1977290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233592)

Adult fantasy can become popular, if you don't bore people out of their chairs. Watchmen was a horribly long, boring mess. Heroes is another example. It was painful to watch the last couple seasons. Folks might consider taking notes from HBO. TrueBlood = wildly popular adult fantasy. We'll see about Game of Thrones... looks cool too.

The long copyright period . . . (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233610)

A artist/craftsman, using todays video editing, drawing, and compositing tools could make a fantastic movie based on comic book heroes. The tools are out there. It would take thousands of man-hours, but it could be done. I also think that there are people out there who would consider such work a labor of love. Computing power is getting fabulous. Pretty soon, real-time previewing a near-photographic quality 3D vector-based animation for minutes at a time, is going to be affordable for every cartoon movie-maker wannabe. The only limitation will be artistic skill--and intellectual property law.

Copyright law prevents this kind of work because copyrights last a REALLY long time. No artist or collective will labor thousands of hours over a comic-book movie if it will be suppressed by the copyright holder as soon as it sees the light of day. Trademark law is also a killer. Tarzan, Superman, Spiderman, etc. are active trademarks for brands of products. You might be able to make a Tarzan movie, but you couldn't call the hero Tarzan.

Comic books exploded in the 1930s. Why won't animated cartoon movies explode in the near future? There are lots of forgotten comics with lapsed copyrights that are out there. . . .

But wait..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233616)

Sorry, not specifically germane to the article itself but more a commentary on the commentary: I know this runs counter to popular nerd culture, but Watchmen was a terrible, horrible movie. I'm sure the graphic novels were very engaging, but that movie was godawful. It just was.

I was really looking forward to "Lost Girls". (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233620)

But I don't think it can be made into a PG-13 film.

Alas.

Correction (2)

F34nor (321515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233622)

The most frustrating part of this is that Watchmen was actually *fucking awesome*

When has any movie of a comic had a better sub-ending than the book? Sub-ending you ask? Rorschach's death is the real meat of the finale not the geopolitical change.

adult Sci-Fi is too niche (0)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233626)

When a PG-13 movie like Serenity has a viable, enthusiastic, and most importantly a measurable fan base, and yet no studio wants to pony-up for a sequel, that ought to be a clear indicator that there is zero possibility for an R-rated Science Fiction film. Think how last year's Sherlock Holmes (albeit, not a Sci-Fi flick), which was rated PG-13, could have been darker, gorier, sexier, and clearly better had they told the story in a more graphic manner and just went with the resultant R rating. But money talks louder than art, so we get what we get, not what we want.

Anyone who thinks tits don't sell tickets is dumb. (2)

F34nor (321515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233646)

Tits in space? I'm there. See my previous posts related to the video "All is Full of Love" by Chris Cunningham and Bjork.

Re:Anyone who thinks tits don't sell tickets is du (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233808)

Tits in space? I'm there.

To anybody making movies, I second this.

Or, just keep making Resident Evil movies until Milla Jovovich doesn't have the body for the mandatory nude scene.

Something here is not like the other (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233658)

First, the two movies mentioned are not like Watchmen. They are remakes, and remakes have their own issues. They are bought and sold on the popularity of the original and how other remakes in their class performed. In the case of Barberella and Heavy Metal, these are movies of their times, with little relevance to the contemporary world.

Second, IMHO, there are four audiences for films. First is the family, which is big as it can be as many as four tikets sold if one person wants to see a movie. No nudity in family movies. Second is the teenage date movie. These tend to be gross and with some nudity, but they are marketed to boys, and boys want to see teats, not penises, and also often must pass parent approval. Third are movies made for families with older teens, or adults who go and see movies, where there is something substantial in the movie. Nudity is optional, but promotion has to be done in such a way that potential viewer gets what the movie is about. Fourth is art crowd. Cinematography, story, writing is the thing. Nudity and sex is not always expected but no one is going to stay away because it is explicitly there. Budgets tend to be lower, and stories tend to be non-fantastical, at least outside the realm of believing that people with no money can afford expensive Paris flats.

When I look at watchmen I see a movie that did none of these things. It did not market outside of the group of viewers that understood it. It also feel to the current situation in which a movie that is not good, and does not do enough to promote the oening weekend, will fail because everyone who did not go the opening weekend will know it is not good and not go.

Why would you remake Heavy Metal? (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233696)

This is as bad as the remake of Red Dawn, yeah for those who didn't know they are doing a remake of Red Dawn.

There was zero reason to Watchmen to have released as R rated. If anything I got the distinct impression they were after that so all those geeks who would see the film regardless of rating could somehow feel smug that they were seeing an serious "artsy" film, you know what I mean.

Who needs nudity to tell most of these stories? This is starting to sound like I am in MMORPG where every other word in chat is a cuss word or bigoted as if that somehow elevates the participants to a higher level of maturity or intelligence.

Just give me good stories. Nudity is a cop out, the examples all cited by the article are dwell on nudity. Sorry, Alien was rated R for violence and gore and it was a damn site better than Watchmen. It was story and the presentation of the story that mattered, not who was wearing what.

Sorry but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233698)

Watchman was not good. It was barely passable.

Moviegoers want a plain good v. evil happy ending (4, Insightful)

StandardCell (589682) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233790)

This is part of the problem with these R-rated fantasy/comic movies. Watchmen is pretty heavy stuff both from a philosophical and situational perspective. I saw the movie on a plane flying to my vacation and came off of it depressed and with a heavy heart despite the basic outcome. In that respect, the movie did its job. The adult comic genre is really a way for many artists to express themselves on very adult topics without having a huge production budget and just some decent drawing talent.

Watchmen wasn't too dissimilar to the bittersweet ending of Sin City. You liked the characters, but most of the "good" (read: likable) guys actually die. The key is that both of these comics explore the subtlety that what is good versus bad isn't cut and dried. Most people aren't really willing to spend their two hours of escape dealing with these subjects and want to see the bad guy lose because it represents their boss or ex or some other negative character in their lives.

Contrast Watchmen and Sin City with LOTR: ROTK where the ending was again turned into a much happier event than what was in the books. Now look at which of these three movies I discussed made the most money. That's what the studio execs are most interested in. I just hope the genre doesn't completely go away because of straight money concerns. Sometimes producing art for its own sake is a worth cause.

Good..? (1)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233792)

"The most frustrating part of this is that Watchmen was actually *good*"

Yes, right up until they changed the ending and basically implied that an American man, rather than an alien race, was responsible for the destruction of New York city.

I always thought that the point of the ending in the comic book was to gather the human race together, to defend themselves against an alien aggressor. In the movie, it felt as though the attack had been perpetrated by a man who was at one time in his life an American citizen...

They were warned (1)

schlesinm (934723) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233800)

Alan Moore said over and over it wasn't filmable. They tried to film it and killed R Rated fantasy movies. This is what happens when you don't listen to Alan Moore.

Watchmen vs Snakes on a Plane (1)

merlock18 (1533631) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233804)

Id like to see number of viewers of Watchmen vs Snakes on a Plane. I'd probably cry if I knew the truth...
Watchmen was a great story with emotion and character, along with action and a great plot. Why did it fail? *sigh*

Nothing to see here (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233824)

And yet "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" did quite well, despite being based on a graphic novel. Films that won't earn as much as they cost to make don't get made, it's simple economics. The majority people paying for movie tickets are either dating or already have kids; "adult comics" aren't suitable fare for either group. Simply put, there aren't enough guys living in their mom's basement for a film like this to make money.

Art vs. Commerce (1)

JakeJaywalker (1372969) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233838)

First, let me say that I enjoyed Watchmen. However, I streamed it on Netflix and watched it at home alone because my wife and kids do not share my desire to watch that kind of film. What people fail to realize when shopping a high-budget, non-family movie is the economics of the thing. In America today, the big money is not found attracting the 18-25 year crowd; those kind of people will go buy a single ticket for themselves - especially when it comes to sci-fi or fantasy, which aren't traditional "date" genres. The money is with the middle-aged couple with kids, who go and buy 4-6 tickets as a family event and represent a larger portion of the market. If the movie is good enough, it will appeal to the young adults as well who will go by themselves, on dates, and with their friends. When you give a movie an R rating, you eliminate a large portion of the potential market. It's like why there's not a lot of money to be made making desktop software for the Mac (outside of graphic-design), and why there's no real market for Mac games (since only a very small portion of home users have Macs).

Movie makers may try to defend their choices, saying that they have to push the envelope to create "adult" entertainment that has psychological, societal, or artistic merit. This is fine with me. However as a parent of young children, I have to make choices as well. I have to choose how to spend my limited entertainment budget: do I expose my children to media that will challenge or disturb them, or do I have a good time with my kids? For me, it's a no-brainer. If the studios want my money, they have to pander to my entertainment needs. If a director wants to make an "erotic space opera," let him fund it himself or find a market that will pay him to do it. It really boils down to the basic market principles of supply and demand.

Do adults go to the movies anymore? (1)

DanCentury (110562) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233842)

I stopped going to movie theaters in favor of my giant TV+ DVDs, Blu Rays, NetFlix, YouTube, PS3, etc. I have my fridge full of snacks, and can pause movies at any time, and visit my clean bathroom at any time. The best part is I don't have surly teens kicking the back of my chair, talking on their phones, throwing candy, talking during the movie, etc...

If me, and people like me, abandoning theaters means no more R-rated CG overblown blockbusters, so be it. Intriguing films can be made for relatively low budgets.

If you want Heavy Metal part II, turn on your Mathmos lamp, put on some metal music, and scroll though some pr0n on Tumblr.

Disappointment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35233872)

Watchmen:
Budget $130 million
Box office $185,258,983 (boxofficemojo)
DVD revenue $52,594,958 (the-numbers.com)

(Numbers lifted from Wikipedia.)

If "disappointment" means "we didn't make $300 million box office", then yes I would say it's a disappointment. But I think it's a miracle it made what it did considering the circumstances.

pretty good, but it showed a real problem (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 3 years ago | (#35233874)

I do realize Watchmen really put the kibosh on movies of its ilk.

And it was a pretty good movie. They put a lot of effort in it, it was not half-assed.

But I think that it showed legit issues.

In essence the problem is that the story in the movie is complex enough that it's tough to really get into by only watching the movie. So really the movie is really appealing only to those who already read the comic. And no matter how good the movie is, it isn't as good as the comic because the story had to be cut down to fit the time and the media.

So ultimately, the movie ends up with little point except as a visualization of the comic. And Watchmen even did a good job of this, but it still didn't make much money.

There should be room for a few R-rated fantasy movies. And I'm sure there will be again some day. They'll just have to start with low budget ones and work back up again.

But in the end, I think Watchmen's downfall wasn't an unfortunate fluke or due to poor execution. It did really show the problems with making a story like that into a movie.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...