To the specifics. The casting was excellent, with the exception of Ozymandias. I thought the introduction brilliantly captured an enormous amount of background material in a very short period of time. I think that the changed ending worked perfectly well, from a storytelling perspective. The film effectively translated the basic structure of the story and the characters - better than I had hoped.
Many of us were skeptical that Watchmen could be made into a film. So much of the series was explicitly about comics, both in form and substance, that it was difficult to see how to interpret into a different medium. For example, movies generally need a linear storyline, and Watchmen most certainly did not. And here is where I think the movie got into trouble. The Comedian seemed to disappear from the second half of the film, and relatedly the big revelation at the end (which I won't spoil if you don't know it) lost much of its emotional power because the film took a fairly strict linear approach. As a consequence, the climax seemed a little clunky.
Having said that, I like the movie very much. I could quibble about a few lines that were cut or awkwardly moved, but one has to make allowances. I got the pleasure of seeing Rorschach tell his fellow inmates that he wasn't trapped in jail with them - they were trapped in jail with him. That moment alone made everything worth it.
It's been 10 years since I read The Watchmen, so my memories of the original are fuzzy. I have mixed feelings about the movie, except for the opening sequence, which was WONDERFUL. I think the guy playing Rorshach--his name escapes me at the moment--was absolutely, perfectly cast.By Leslie M-B (trillwing), at 12:36 PM
Yeah, the opening was great and the ending was weak, but on balance I give it a B+. I thought the guys actors for Rorschach, the Comedian, and Dr. Manhattan were all top notch. Too bad they didn't cast someone stronger as Laurie Jupiter - she's a fascinatingly broken yet still strong character.By Arbitrista, at 3:46 PM