Who’s Gonna Watch the Watchmen

The title of this piece would more appropriately be titled, “Who Gonna Watch The Watchmen When the Music is so God Awful?”  I am by no means a comic nerd in the same way that, Jeff Albertson, the stereotyped comic nerd in The Simpsons is, but as a kid, I gobbled them up.  And as an adult, there have been a few comics that have moved me much more than some of the classics I was forced to read in high school and college.  Watchmen was one such comic.  I was as excited as any other Watchmen fan out there (besides the writer, Alan Moore, himself, who refused to be associated with the film version of his masterpiece) when the film version was announced.  And after seeing the trailers and how faithfully Zach Snyder had been to Moore’s and Gibbon’s vision, I felt like this movie was no doubt going to be, at least, the greatest superhero movie ever.

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The movie was great.  I have read that some of the actors seemed oppressed by the source material and that one or more of the actors seemed lifeless, but I thought the casting and the acting was spot on.  The action sequences were definitely more than what the comic had offered, but they were fun, and with a comic movie that features so much heady material, I enjoyed the break.

The music in The Watchmen, however, was Godawful.  I’ve never seen so many cliched musical moments in one single movie, and the ones that weren’t cliched, such as the Hallelujah sex scene, were still driven by, well, Hallelujah… and many other extremely famous and played out songs.  I’m sure that there were very good, artistic reasons for choosing the classics, not the least of which being that several of them are referenced in the book, but when Ride of the Valkyres gave Vietnam helicopters a soundtrack, and when The Sound of Silence played over a funeral, I was no where near being involved in the movie.  I could only think how much a certain music editor needed to get sacked, even if he was being influenced by a dictatorial director.  We as sound designers, or music editors, etc. need to be conscious of these decisions, as these decisions are not trivial, but can make or break an entire movie, however beautiful and blockbustery that movie may be.

I have heard that The Watchmen looks to be on it’s way to losing money for it’s studio.  Sucks for them, they were one Hans Zimmer original score away from a classic.

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