I'm quite sure I'm not the only one out there who has this opinion, but I'll go ahead and say this: I did not like Watchmen, the graphic novel, but I loved Zack Snyder's film adaptation. I know with a lot of comic book geeks saying you didn't like Watchmen as a graphic novel is like a Christian saying he or she didn't like the Bible, but my one and only readthrough of the entire Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons epic yielded very unsatisfying results.
I know people who have read Watchmen many times and have said that the book gets better with multiple readings. The deal is, if I didn't like it on the first readthrough, why should I read it again? Now that I've seen Watchmen as a film, I'm quite compelled to read it again.
Maybe it was the book's artwork and the very, very 1980s vibe, but I found reading Watchmen in 2004 a very dated book. This is not a book that's easy to digest with its multi-leveled story, so repeat readings are pretty necessary. But, I now have a better understanding with those who didn't like Southland Tales. I guess the perspective has come full circle.
All this said, I wasn't going into the movie hoping that every single panel from the book would be presented onscreen exactly how I wanted it. Frankly, I wanted to see a film director's point of view about this story, and I was completely blown away by what Snyder pulled off. The music, the acting, the pacing -- everything just rang true for me. Plus, I was able to see the deeper story instead of trying to understand what all the Black Freighter meant and why the Squid seemed so necessary.
So for me, Watchmen is just a stunning film -- and a film that I highly doubt any studio would greenlight unless Snyder was at the helm. He had a box office hit with a mostly faithful adaptation of a graphic novel before, so they gave him another shot. That sure beats a softened, PG-13 version of the material set in the present day focusing on Iraq and 9/11. But alas, people have complained that there were tweaks made, but I find Patton Oswalt's rant pretty spot on. (HT: Josh at the A.V. Club)