Watchmen I give it 4 stars

Zack Snyder is a terrible director. I can’t imagine anyone else having done a better job adapting the graphic novel. Most of Snyder’s version is a slavish copy of the original; almost every shot is a direct imitation of the framing and angle of a comic panel, down to the angle at which Dr. Manhattan tilts his head. That’s fine; the original is great. Almost all of the changes are bad ideas; we’re lucky that there are so few of them.

A good director would have tried to put his or her own stamp on the movie, and probably failed miserably. (Exhibit A: the unused 1989 Sam Hamm screenplay). But Snyder happens to be an uninspired helmer of flashy but mindless violence coming off of an insanely successful bit of flashy but mindless violence. No one else would have been trusted this absolutely with the project; no one else would then have put so little a stamp on it. The unfilmable has been filmed, and while it’s not an enduring masterpiece, it’s much better than we could have hoped.

Reading the comic yesterday, I was charmed by the inclusion of kidneys in a panel in which someone is described as a “walking circulatory system.”

Same scene in the movie: no kidneys.