Friday, March 13, 2009

London films 2009

Back from London (after an additional days delay), so here go my movie reviews:

Films watched:
The Unborn

A Jewish Exorcist, pretty derivative, but still has some good scares and was mildly enjoyable.



Comes across as a student film with a sizeable budget. Thinks it’s cleverer than it actually is. Thumbs down.



Going to have to break my 20 word rule again for this one.

I fail. I cannot write a cohesive review of the film…I have tried and failed several time. As such, I’ll just post a few of my observations and feelings after watching it.

For a fan of the comics (which I am), seeing certain scenes come to life can seem like an almost religious experience. A particular segment which comes to mind is the Dr Manhattan flashbacks, which are narrated in jumbled timeframe by Dr Manhattan, which was absolutely magical. The same could be said watching the smiley badge fall to the ground during the opening moments of the film.

There is no squid, the ending has been changed slightly to remove the squid and replace it with something else. Overall, this actually works better for the film, as the squid would have come across as too much of a WTF moment to your average Joe and would have require a LOT of explaining, which would have been just too difficult to do. The film instead keeps the same themes of the ending, but deals with them in a quicker fashion. I do have one slight complaint with the alternative non-squid solution, in that the devastation and the consequences of someone’s actions are not felt as much. In the comic, at the “squid” moment, there are 6 full pages of broken, bleeding corpses, mutilation and destruction. Including the bodies of several minor, likeable characters that you have grown to know over the course of the comic. This is not in the film and as such, the heavy consequences and the effect of someone’s actions does not have the level of impact that it should have.

The film is long, running at around 2:40, but at the same time it didn’t stop for a breath and didn’t feel that long to me. I’m well aware that there is an impending directors cut out there with an extra 40 minutes of cuts, plus a further 20 minutes of the Black Freighter, meaning that in total, almost an hour of the film is missing. As such, the film really felt like an abridged version and not the full version, and as such, I have knocked at least half a point, or maybe a full point off my review score to reflect this. I really, REALLY want to give this at least 9 out of 10, but at the same time, I’m so aware that the film would benefit so much more with the missing scenes.

Amongst the missing scenes are lots of scenes featuring minor characters, including the two Bernie’s at the newsstand and also the psychiatrist. Although these are not intrinsic to the plot, they do add a human element to the story and also add additional emotion to some of the final scenes. I think that the inclusion of these scenes will add a great deal more emotional weight to the film. Also, the Black Freighter is an easy cut from the film, but at the same time, it also adds another layer to the film as much of the storyline in this, match and mirror the moral themes of the main storyline.

Overall then, for this fan of the comic it is a fantastic film, but at the same time I came away feeling like I had not seen the full picture. A condensed comic epic.


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