from winner Joshua Ruth of Phoenix, AZ
Firstly, understand that I am a huge 'Watchmen' fan. I've read the
graphic novel over ten times. I own a 1/6th scale model of Dr.
Manhattan. I have a french lithograph made to promote the graphic
novel when it was released in 80s.
So yes, I love me some 'Watchmen.'
As you may have heard: this last weekend, 'Watchmen: Director's Cut'
was screened in four theaters in the entire country. One of those
theaters was the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. As I live in Phoenix, I
made a special weekend trip just to check it out. I feel this is
important to bring up because while I loved 'Watchmen,' I certainly
had my issues with it. These issues, however, were things I was hoping
would be fixed in the Director's Cut. Previous to this weekend, I
would have had a hard time answering your question of what could be
improved. Now that I've seen the Director's Cut, I feel qualified to
highlight my problems.
The biggest things I would change have to do with Rorschach. There are
three points about Rorschach's character that are ingored in both the
original and director's cut that would have answered a lot of
questions for the Watchmen un-initiated.
It's no secret that the character those unfamiliar with the source
material gravitate to is Rorschach. This is obviously the case with
you two. Yet I bet you can't tell me why he is named Rorschach. Matty
brought up in the most recent episode that he didn't know why his face
was moving all the time.
THINGS I WOULD CHANGE:
1.) Young in his life, Walter Kovacs (a.k.a. Rorschach) took a job as
an unskilled tailor in a dress factory. At one point, a wealthy woman
places a special order for a dress made from heat and pressure and
sensitive liquids between two layers of latex to create a contantly
shifting pattern. When she saw the final product, she thought the
dress was ugly and didn't want it. This was the cloth that Rorschach
used to craft his mask. It is certainly not supernatural.
2.) The name of Rorschach is taken by Kovacs for a couple reasons.
Firstly, Kovacs sees the world as black and white. No compromises, as
he states in the end of the film. He responds to the material of the
Rorscach mask because it has no shades of gray. That is how he sees
life. The name also makes reference to the subjective nature of good
and evil. Rorschach looks at the world and sees bad. In famous scenes
from the comic, his psychologist starts his meetings with Kovacs
having a good outlook on life and by the time Rorschach is finished
with him, the psychologist now sees the black instead of the white.
Those are huge. As most people had a hard time relating to many of the
other characters, it would have been a smart move on Snyder's end to
spend two or three screen minutes discussing these facets of
Rorschach. As it stands, most people probably just think he's called
Rorschach because he has an inkblot on his face. And many of those
people may think it moves just because it would look cool on film.
The third issue I have has to do with Rorschach's first kill. In the
film, he mentions that he tracks down a kidnapper. In the book, the
story is that he kidnapped a little girl for ransom thinking that she
was the daughter of very wealthy people only he's made a mistake and
she was from a poor family who can't afford a ransom. To cover his
tracks, he chops her up and feeds her to his dogs. The revenge that
Rorschach takes upon this killer is a turning point for him, "I used
to let them live" he says. While in the film, Rorschach simply (albeit
viciously) kills the man with a meat cleaver - In the source material,
Rorschach handcuffs the man to a pipe, then throws him a saw and
lights the house on fire telling him that he might just have time to
cut himself loose. Rorschach stands outside the house and watches it
burn. Not only is this a much more fitting death for someone who did
something so awful, but it is the transition point. Rorschach doesn't
just snap and start killing. He eases his way into it.
I don't think this is just a case of 'I'm a fanboy and these are my
favorite scenes.' These would have made the Rorschach storyline much
more cohesive plot and would have left audiences feeling more
I throw myself on your mercy. I would love that book. I hope you deem me worthy.
- Joshua Ruth