Archive for the “Watchmen” Category

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Gratuitous gay-baiting in Watchmen?

Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That
A pivotal moment in the “Watchmen” plot has Nite Owl and Rorschach hacking into Ozymandias’ computer. Keep a close eye on his desktop, and you’ll see an ominously titled file folder. “Adrian’s sorta like very asexual, but he’s possibly a homosexual,” grinned Matthew Goode, referring to a long-held suspicion among “Watchmen” fans. “There’s a very small thing in his file window, and it just says, ‘Boys.’ Which is very funny, and that’s the kind of detail that Zack works with.”

Added by Zack Snyder? The devil you say!

This movie is going to suck on a scale heretofore never imagined, isn’t it?

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According to their copyright information, these are the actual titles of the first four trade collections of the current Hercules series from Marvel:

  • Hulk: WWH–Incredible Herc
  • Incredible Hercules: Against the World
  • Secret Invasion: Incredible Hercules
  • Incredible Hercules: Love & War

So, depending on how they’re stocked in the store, the books could be in either one place on the shelves, or three different places. It goes without saying that there are of course no volume numbers on the spines or covers of these books.

And it’s hardly as if Hercules is the only Marvel series to be titled in such an…idiosyncratic way for the collected editions.

Why, it’s almost as if Marvel, after all these years, is continuing to treat their trade paper-back program as a half-assed after-thought instead of a genuine revenue stream…

I apologize for the link to Ain’t It Cool News, but the video clip in question doesn’t make sense without the context. So go take a quick look and then come back.

This is the line that I want to take issue with:

But the following clip has one of the coolest sound effect mixed with an action that I’ve seen in a really long time.

Yeah, about that sound mix…it’s about as close an approximation of the “Biff”, “Bam”, “Pow”, “Wowee” sounds of the 60s Batman live-action show that I’ve ever heard. Insert some graphics over the action, and it pretty much is the 60s Batman tv show.

But was purposefully camp then, I’m being expected to take seriously now.

There’s something very wrong with that.

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Kevin’s right, of course.

I wish I could be as determined as Kevin to avoid the film, as Watchmen the comic book is a work I respect tremendously, but between Pete expressing an interest in it, the presence of Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the film, and my own morbid curiosity over just how bad it’s going to be, I’m pretty sure I’m on the hook to see it at some point. Of course, what really fascinates me in that link is the fact that, once again, for stating an opinion Kevin is being raked over the coals by people unable or unwilling to see his point. And that’s funny to me, because Kevin is a hell of a lot more politic about it than I would be.

I mean, let’s all be perfectly honest here: Watchmen the movie is not for comic book fans. It’s for the people who made Paul Blart: Mall Cop the number one film in the country for several weeks. It’s for the people who read The DaVinci Code and patted themselves on the back because they read big, thick books. It’s for people who keep Fox News on the air.

And you can’t blame Kevin, who is in most things a man of taste and discernment, for not wanting to subject himself to a film crafted for that audience. Which begs the question: why would anyone take Watchmen, one of the most important texts in the history of comic books, and turn it into a film aimed squarely at the lowest common denominators of the American public? And that’s when we get to the tragic truth…

Most people didn’t read Watchmen and come away with an indictment of the fetishization of nostalgia. They didn’t read it and find a critique of authoritarian power structures in global politics and how that is mirrored in popular entertainment vigilante fantasies. They didn’t find an examination of the limits of that whole “power and responsibility” thing and how that absolutist notion of morality falls apart when faced with reality. Nor did they find an amazing example of story-telling structure that fully exploits the idiosyncratic nature of the comic book medium to tell a mature story that is, quite literally, only possible within the comic book medium.

No, they found a cynical super-hero beat-’em-up comic with sex and swearing. They skipped the text pieces. They skipped the “boring stuff with the pirate comic.” And they found that if they threw the word “deconstruction” around when discussing the comic, they sounded smart.

And that’s the movie Zack Snyder is giving us:  that shallow, superficial reading of the comic translated to film. I mean, honestly, what else did anyone expect?

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I guess “cast stands around looking vaguely embarrassed to be here” is the new “giant heads looking off into the distance.”

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