Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 6th, 2009

Yes, 03.06.09 has arrived. I have seen the film (updated at the end, here).

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (“Who watches the watchmen?”) ~ Roman poet Juvenal

As I penned earlier this year, with signs of the second Great Depression nipping at our frosty heels, and all indicators pointing to motion pictures being a badly needed form of escapism during these times, I anticipate that 2009 shall be a big film year.

(This 03.01.09 photograph of me, taken by Bob Rickard of Fortean Times, in London, is purely by coincidence, as far as the framing here. The above Watchmen photo was undiscovered until today.)

Now the day has come for one of the year’s blockbusters to open.

The most successful films during the 1930s and early 1940s spilled over into the kinds we love, and these include all the varieties of cryptozoological and cryptocinema types.

Watchmen: Scheduled, famously, for 03.06.09 (clever), this cryptopolitical more than cryptozoo film will follow in the successful wake of the visually beautiful 300 (which is a “character” in Peyton Reed’s Yes Man, please note).

Alan Moore’s graphic novel is called the “Citizen Kane of Comics,” and thus great expectations proceed this movie.

Any storyline that has a caped anti-hero named Mothman (Nite Owl II is shown above) in it is well-worth our attention. (It seems like such a long time since The Mothman Prophecies was released, in 2002.)

Look for Watchmen to be big, really big box office.


A few things to share (without giving away anything, after having seen the film):

1) Yes, Mothman is only shown in group photos and being taken away to the “insane asylum in Maine,” which gave me a chuckle since that’s where I live.

2) Malin Akerman is the actress who plays “Laurie Jupiter”/”Silk Spectre II” in Watchmen. I thought her acting was rather good, and she handled all her scenes fluidly and with confidence. I felt she was an attractive and believable superhero.

3) Some comments are coming in that because Alan Moore will not see the film, various people are going to wait to see it.

Why should what Alan Moore thinks about the film influence anyone? He refuses to see any of his films, so he speaks without any foundation in his cinematic criticisms, specifically. Does not some of his fame and financial success not come from the movies made of his craft?

“I find film in its modern form to be quite bullying. It spoon-feeds us, which has the effect of watering down our collective cultural imagination. It is as if we are freshly hatched birds looking up with our mouths open waiting for Hollywood to feed us more regurgitated worms. The Watchmen film sounds like more regurgitated worms. I for one am sick of worms,” Moore told a reporter for the Los Angeles Times in September 2008.

“Collective cultural imagination”? And this from a man who creates comics but does not comprehend films!?

Moore told the LA Times he has never watched any of the film adaptations of his comics creations (which have included V for Vendetta, From Hell, Constantine and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and Moore, not surprisingly, believes Watchmen is “inherently unfilmable.”

Well, my creative imagination tells me that Moore says such things to stir up the media. Either that or he really is truly a self-described recluse who is both cynical and disingenuous.

Here’s a revolutionary suggestion for Alan Moore: Allow the artists of cinema to alert you to the fact it is not the 1950s. Go out and see this film for it is a remarkably complex, serious, and beautiful adaption of a great comic book maxi-series.


Read Red Pill Junkie’s review here.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

21 Responses to “Watchmen

  1. funky pixie responds:

    I am looking forward to Watchmen but with some trepidation. Alan Moore is a really (really) good bloke and he has completely disassociated himself from the entire project – I want to love the film and yet don’t want to be disloyal to the creator and the concept.

  2. cliffhanger042002 responds:

    While I do want to see the film, I haven’t really been impressed with the previews and trailers that I have seen. I’m a little surprised about one particular choice of the cast as well. The young lady shown in the very first pic of this thread is that same chick from “The Heartbreak Kid” with Ben Stiller and his pop, Jerry Stiller, aka the beloved Frank Costanza, lol. While I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction between father and son (real life and in the movie) I was not impressed with the performance of that actress, and haven’t been in anything that I’ve seen her in. So I’m just gonna skip the opening day showing and wait and hear th buzz and reviews, then determine if I should pay the bucks to see it at the theater or just wait for the dvd.

  3. red_pill_junkie responds:

    I’m watching it tonight, yet I also have some reservation. Apart from Moore’s dissociation with the project— He really has hated every single film that has been adapted from his work, so I think it’s more of a general distaste for Hollywood in his case— it’s no secret that the director changed the ending; that is what troubles me, as a fan of the graphic novel.

    PS: Cool pic Loren—or is it Ozymandias now? 😉

  4. Colpittsdragon responds:

    Unfortunately there is little to no mention of Mothman in the actually comic book (maybe more in the movie?). It just to says that he’s in a insane asylum in Maine. Don’t get too excited. I would love to ask Alan Moore if he has any sort of back story surrounding his hero Mothman, perhaps how it would tie into the legend (which I’m sure inspired the adventurer). All that said, I’ll be first in line for the opening night tonight!

  5. HulkSmashNow responds:

    Mothman plays a tiny role role in Watchmen. He’s not central to the plot of the comic book maxi-series (not “graphic novel” as Watchmen’s been labeled).

    And Watchmen is not escapist fare, either. If the film is anything like the comic book, moviegoers will leave either disappointed or confused by the film’s message and ending.

    If the public wants to escape the current economic troubles, they’d do better to wait for Wolverine, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and/or G.I. Joe.

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    See my update, above.

  7. cliffhanger042002 responds:

    Well, maybe she’s grown as an actress since I’ve last seen her. I have read several reviews now since you posted this here, from what I see now the movie is 3 hours long and contains very graphic nudity and sex scenes and has a rating of R. That’s what I read anyway, so definitely won’t be taking the kids to see it.

    So from what I’ve read, any parents thinking of taking the children to see a “super-hero” film, might want to reconsider or at least read some detailed reviews first. I’m glad I didn’t make that mistake.

  8. Loren Coleman responds:

    One thing that I wish to congratulate Frank Miller and Alan Moore for is an understanding that comics are for adults.

    Comics were first created for adults, and they have returned as a medium for adults to enjoy. As an extension of that genre, this movie is for adults and no one should have to apologize for that.

    It was the Walt Disney-like mentality that moved comics into the realm of childhood entertainment.

  9. cliffhanger042002 responds:

    Loren – That’s something that I wasn’t aware of, and I guess alot of people my age (30’s) aren’t aware of. When I saw the previews, sitting in front of the tv with the family, everybody, myself, wife, 2 boys, all said they wanted to see it. If I had not read some reviews today that could have been a bit embarrasing taking my two young ones in to a movie that continually (so I’ve heard) shows a blue wanker (can I say that here?)

  10. funky pixie responds:

    I cross paths with Alan Moore occasionally; we share a locality and an interest/enthusiasm for local arts projects, (including film btw – just not ones based on his own work). He is reclusive, he does eschew Hollywood and fandom and I have yet to hear him say anything that he does not sincerely believe.

    I will watch Watchmen, but I will also consider how the originator of the work wanted it portrayed. Hollywood is often noted for trampling over authors of the original works and changing/interpreting them in a way that does not ‘gel’.

  11. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Cliffhanger, you can still share this little gem of a short clip with your kiddies:

    I’m sure this is the sort of thing that would give Alan Moore an aneurysm, but I laughed nonetheless 😉

  12. BryanM responds:

    He’s read the script of many of these abortions while they were in production; asking him to see V after reading such lines of genius such as “eggy in a blanket”… it’s amazing the man hasn’t killed himself out of despair.

    Any royalties he’s gotten from the “films”, he’s given to the artist of the respective work.

    Personally. I’ve already seen Watchmen. In a book. Because I can read and can enjoy things that aren’t terrible.

  13. mystery_man responds:

    Well, as a big time comic geek, I have to say that I am quite looking forward to seeing this for many reasons. I really am curious to see how Snyder pulls off bringing the Watchmen books to the big screen, but also I just love the comic on which it is based and the visuals of 300, so I’m willing to give it a shot. It doesn’t really matter to me whether Moore approves or not, although it would have been nice to have his blessing. With a movie based on a comic, it’s not all about the comic writer. A film is a merging of the creative minds of the original comic, as well as the film director, and that is interesting to me. If people can enjoy the film on its own merit, then it has succeeded.

    I’ll give it a shot, and reserve the right to judge the film when I see it, whenever that will be. These things do not come out very fast in Japan where I live.

  14. coelacanth1938 responds:

    Almost twenty years ago, there was a Watchmen supplement for the DC Heroes Roleplaying Game, and if I remember correctly, their Mothman was an upper class type adventurer whose manmade wings actually allowed him to fly. But something happened that shattered his sanity, and after a long bout with drinking, was sent to an asylum.

  15. springheeledjack responds:

    Alan Moore, now there’s a topic. From what I’ve heard he hasn’t wanted anything to do with movies made from his stuff, except for maybe the paycheck.

    I think it is true, Hollywood does not make things verbatim from stories. There’s all kinds of politics, rationales and just plain editing for a global audience. I also think you can look at it two ways, it’s my creation and to think of messing with it for the big screen is blasphemy, and the other way, you take it as a nod that someone was impressed enough with your work to want it to reach a larger audience.

    I’ve liked Moore’s stories, but I always think he’s not much more than a primadonna, but that is my opinion. 🙂

    Personally, I think that if the original message gets across on screen that was in the original story, then it has succeeded. I also think that graphic novels are becoming more popular for movies, because essentially the story board has already been written for you.

    I’m going to go see the movie, probably in spite of Alan Moore’s bemoanings, which will still mean a bigger paycheck for him.

  16. scottc responds:

    I work in comics and have a good friend who illustrated a story by Mr. Moore. In all his years in comics, my friend never worked harder on a story because the script was so incredibly detailed in its art direction, over-explaining every aspect of each panel. The comic looked very good when he finished it, but it was a joyless process for him to draw it. So my theory of why Mr. Moore refuses to see a movie based on his work is that he can’t stand to see something of his that he doesn’t have complete control over. No doubt he is a major talent in the field of comics. No doubt he is also a major pain in the ass. There is probably some overlap in those areas, as well. Art is like that, sometimes.

  17. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Well, I saw it last night.

    I liked it.

    Go see it.

  18. drjon responds:

    Actually, Moore has refused to take a dime from the movie, insisting that the money go to the artist instead. I’m surprised that people would smear him in this manner without checking their facts first.

    Moore has legitimate complaints about the shoddy treatment he’s received from both the company that published Watchmen, and the companies which have attempted to “adapt” his work. One filmscript was pushed through before he’d even finished writing the comic story himself. And he has been publically misrepresented by the studios.

    His beefs with the movie industry are not piques or fancies. They are as a result of his long-term bad experiences when dealing with them.

    Moore is an honourable man. It’s a shame many of his critics are not.

  19. MattBille responds:

    I’ve not seen Watchmen yet, but it will be interesting to compare it to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

    Watchmen is a very faithful adaptation of its source material, which the creator deemed unfilmable, while League took only the main characters and made a wretched mess of a can’t-miss premise that you’d think any competent studio could have filmed well.

  20. cliffhanger042002 responds:

    Thanks Red-Pill_junkie. I’ll check that out.

  21. MonsterMash responds:

    “It was the Walt Disney-like mentality that moved comics into the realm of childhood entertainment.”

    And said mentality was brought on by the Comics Code Authority of the 1950s, which was created by the comic book publishers after the industry was raked over the coals by Kefauver’s commission hearings on juvenile delinquency. Crime and horror comics were big until the CCA went into effect; afterward, it was all about happy happy superheroes. Bill Gaines’ very successful EC Comics was decimated by the CCA, leaving him with nothing but MAD Magazine (which, admittedly, made him a fortune).

    Superhero comics started treading into adult issues in the 70s (Batman became Gothic again, ditching Robin for a solo career, and Spider-Man featured a famous storyline involving drug abuse; also, Iron Man dealt with alcoholism), which eventually led to the publication of Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns in the mid-80s.

    And, thankfully, we now have movie directors and screenwriters who cut their teeth on 70s and 80s comics, so they understand how the material should be portrayed.

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