TATM Classics #157: Watchmen & Water For Elephants

tatmclassics

WATCHMEN **** (2009)

As the graphic novel is, one of the Minutemen, a group of superheroes in the 1940s, The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), is killed from a throw out of a plate glass window. One of the Watchmen, Rorschach (played brilliantly well by Jackie Earle Hayley) is on the case and goes to other members of the Watchmen to see if they know anything. The other members include Night Owl II (Patrick Wilson), Dr. Manhattan (Billy Cruddup), Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman), & Ozymandias (Matthew Goode). Since The Keene Act was passed in 1977, superheroes were eliminated and forced to give up protecting the day and forced to live normal lives. The film is faithful to the graphic novel and many critics have criticized the film for that. I thought the point of being faithful to something was a good thing and people are criticizing for it. Me personally, I really dug the hell out of this movie. Zack Snyder does what he did with 300 and creates a strong visual effects spectacular with good scriptwriting from writers David Hayter and Alex Tse and also a strong cast of people. Not just Haley but the rest of the cast are doing very good jobs in their roles, it’s well made, although it’s a tad too long. This movie is about 12 minutes longer than ‘The Dark Knight’ and like that movie, the runtime is not a big deal for me. One thing that this movie kept reminding me of was Back To The Future Part II which made me think that ‘Watchmen’ is set in the Alternate 1985 that Marty McFly creates by leaving that Sports Almanac in the hands of older Biff. For one thing, in both movies and in both alternate 1985s, Richard Nixon is still president. That thought never got out of my head throughout the whole film. Final thought, I dug the hell out of this movie and even though it’s a little too long, I really didn’t mind it. The acting is pretty good, the action sequences are fun, and the film is very well made.

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS *** (2011)

When Jacob (Robert Pattinson) meets Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), it’s love at first sight — their shared affections for an extraordinary elephant stirring profound feelings of compassion within both of them. Theirs is a love that could span lifetimes, though the wrath of Marlena’s dangerously domineering husband, August (Christoph Waltz), threatens to spell tragedy for all involved. I thought the film was well made in every department except the story. The three main actors do a terrific job in their roles especially Robert Pattinson, the best performance of his career (which isn’t that hard considering what came before it (Twilight and Remember Me)). It’s funny how in both of those films, Pattinson isn’t giving no depth and is only giving one emotion through the Twilight films and in Remember Me, he’s given a really shitty Brooklyn accent and no character at all. Here, he’s actually acting and doing a really fantastic job. Sort of like what happened when Zac Efron stopped doing the High School Musical films and started doing stuff like 17 Again and Me & Orson Welles. Reese Witherspoon & Christoph Waltz are also really good even though I’m really getting sick and tired of Christoph Waltz doing these villainous roles. It was fine with Inglorious Basterds and The Green Hornet, but I really don’t wanna see him go down the same path as Mark Strong by playing so many villianous roles. The best thing about the movie is the elephant, Rosie, played by Tai the Elephant. It’s weird that the animals are usually the best things about director Francis Lawrence’s movies and that you feel really sorry whenever something bad happens to them, like what happened with the dog in I Am Legend. The biggest flaw with the film is the story. The story of the film lags a lot in the middle to the point where it was putting me to sleep. Another thing I didn’t enjoy were the opening and closing caps with Paul Schneider and Hal Holbrook. I thought they were okay but felt that they were unnecessary. Water For Elephants works most of the time with the exception of the story lagging. That being said, the best thing about this movie are the three leads and the elephant.

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