Bishie - Short for bishounen, a guy so pretty other guys can't resist him either. BL - Japanese term for Boy's Love. Considered Yaoi Lite. DDR - Dance Dance Revolution, a game where you stomp on floor buttons and impress everyone else with your MAD DANCING SKILLZ IRCFiesta - A group of people in the irc channel #comicfiesta who have been online so long we have no idea what clean jokes and sensitive issues mean anymore. Seiyuu - The horribly talented Japanese who voice our favourite anime and game characters. Yaoi - Mangafied gay pr0n. 9000x more appealing than actual anything.
Monday, March 09, 2009
In which WE WATCH THE WATCHMEN, THAT'S WHO
Listening to: The Times They Are A-Changin' - Bob Dylan
You know what time is it? It's time for the most anticipated movie EVEEEEEEER!
MOVIE DESECRATION HOUR: WATCHMEN (possbile spoilers)
"The most celebrated graphic novel of ALL TIME-"
-I never even HEARD of Watchmen until the trailer came out. Whether this says more about 1) the small number of loud geeks who worship Alan Moore or 2) just how significant this book is in the big picture of life OR 3) just how knowledgable I am about the world and 80's pop culture is up for debate.
Watchmen is meant to be a twist on the superhero comic genre. It's about the jab on authoritarianism and humanity and the corruption of power and the implications about alternate history in light of superheroism. [Wikipedia] has a more comprehensive theme study than I can ever do; Any more and we might as well make it required reading in schools.
So the story takes the wotif situation of "What if anyone could be a superhero", and sets it in a time when most of the demographic wasn't old enough to appreciate the cold war or Nixon. The logic here is if you're willing to squeeze yourself into latex and lycra, wear your underpants inside out and proclaim you're doing all this to defeat evil, an army of therapists can't do jack to save you. Who cares? You're living our your childhood dream of being BATMAN! Except you can't be Batman because you'd be dealing with so many copyright lawsuits you won't have time to fight crime, so you'll have to settle with dressing up as an owl and calling yourself NIGHT OWL instead.
The problem with masked vigilantes is always that you run the risk of causing more damage than the bad guys, and nobody appreciates you for it. So in a move that inspires Marvel 20 years later, the government passes the Keane Act which forces all these "superheroes" into retirement. However, you can't keep a good superhero down, which brings us to the movie.
Someone murders The Comedian, who really is a violent assholic jerk in a costume but too significant in the story to be written out in the first 15 minutes so you see him in flashbacks for about half the movie and how he affects the lives of our main charas. Because the title of "WatchMEN" and not "WatchMAN", we need to have a few main characters:
1) Rorschach, a guy with a very nifty sock on his head (it changes designs! It's UNCOSPLAYABLE! unless you make your sock mask change design too). The antihero's antihero, it's always comforting to know there's a guy out there who believes the best justice is a violent one. 2) Night Owl II, who devoid of creativity said sod it and took the first guy's title and made it...more gadgety. Makes up for his post-retirement flab. 3) Silk Spectre II, who took over because her mum made her. If this was set in the 21st century she wouldn't need to put on the suit - she'd be on Myspace and Youtube and emoing when she's not camwhoring. Since this is the 80s and there's no internet yet she settles with doing these things in real life. 4) Dr Manhattan, who is BLUE DABADEE DABADA and is an actual superhuman. He got into a physics-related accident and then is a fully constructed...quantum physics...thing...I don't know, Gan can explain better than I ever will. More famous for his nudist tendencies than his ability to screw physics over. 5) Ozymandias, who is rich and handsome and awesome and a bastard. Also has a folder of BOYS in his 80s computer. DON'T LOOK AT ME, I DIDN'T WRITE THE MOVIE.
So after The Comedian dies, Rorschach's investigation finds that his murder could be the start of a conspiracy that'll leave them all dead. He tries to round up his old WatchMEN buddies into solving the case like real superheroes but since these people are Youtubeless LJ-less internet-less therapist-less neurotics, it's not going to be an easy job.
Zack Snyder made the utterly MANLY 300 and did such a great job that they figured at least he won't screw up the Watchmen storyline. Zack Snyder loves MANLY men doing MANLY things so much he wants to keep the moment for all eternity for all MANkind. When Zack Snyder wants to keep a moment in posterity, he cannot freeze it because then half the awesomeness is gone and then you'd just be watching a slide show about 300 half-naked men spearing things. No, you need it to be in S L O W M O T I O N! Savour the moment! Revel in each painstakingly-acted frame! Let your testosterone pierce the heavens!! Zack Snyder loves his pr0ny slow-mo , yes.
Rorshach running to dive out a window! Laurie & Dan walking across a street! Angry protesters in a crowd demanding the Watchmen be disbanded! Three quarters of the opening scene! The creation of Dr Manhattan! ALL of the Vietnam War! In this world, the entire Vietnam War was in slow motion because Dr Manhattan probably made the world run in slow motion while blowing people up. He too must share Zack Snyder's love for pornographic slow-mo. I'd ask why not make the entire movie in slow-motion, except that it'll stretch the movie to four hours (2.5 hours? Really?) and the audience will be forced to stare at everything longer.
Like Dr Manhattan's great blue penis.
The newfound joys(?) of censorship
Censorship has always been the great authoritarian evil pervading society. The thought that someone should dictate what we can or cannot see or even how to think is something that should be eradicated, and rightly so. You don't have to look very far to see how censorship takes away freedom of speech and expression and becomes a big hinderance in our lives.
Watchmen not only has Dr Manhattan in full frontal nudity each time he faces the camera (see nudist tendencies), it also has a sex scene that lasts for 90 seconds with the sort of cringing music your parents probably used to conceive you. In Malaysia, no one will see this because Malaysian censors have finally discovered how to block our view of unnatural male genitalia (it's BLUE. Are YOUR balls blue? If yes, why haven't they fallen off yet?) as well as cut sex scenes while still preserving SOME flow in the movie. Anyone remember those massive cuts that had people staring at each other in a bedroom and suddenly the main chara's in a gunfight? Yeah.
Of course this was not the way the movie was meant to be seen - it was scripted and put in there for a reason, and we've no right to change that. The problem only starts when message boards discuss nothing but the prominence of Dr Manhattan's dick when it's barely shown either way or how embarassing the sex was because it probably hit a little too close to home for them (fact: you won't look hot having sex because you don't have a movie star body).
So others say, "well they're just immature, sex is a part of life. Get used to it."
Except that's not how humanity works.
The story of Watchmen pounds in the theme that left to their own devices, man is inherently evil. The Comedian's joke is always that there is no external enemy, man is his own enemy (or...so I think...) and always is. No amount of lycra is going to make the world a better place because there is no God and the only way there will be peace in the world is if an external nonhuman threat came and killed half of us off. In this context, it makes sense to keep distracting us with blue balls every half hour or so. They KNOW you're going to be fixated about the damn thing, they KNOW you're going to argue its relevance on the internet, and they KNOW their point about humans being born idiots will be proven, with or without societal conditioning.
One could debate that if Dr Manhattan was a naked woman everyone wouldn't mind, but then we'd just come back to the same debate with added angry feminists for good measure.
So was censorship right? I wouldn't know, I was distracted by other things.
Other things I wanted to point out but had no transition point. Till now.
If Zack Snyder put ALL the slow-mo scenes to normal speed, the movie would only be 90 minutes long and we'd all have time to see the rest of the backstory without forking several hundred dollars for the Super Extended Shiny Director's Cut Complete with Gerard Butler Edition (now with 200% more blue balls!). I beg of you, please please please leave the Longass Movie Genre to Peter Jackson. No movie however awesome the source material should give me a sore neck watching it.
But he didn't, and figured amplifying the sound effects would make up for it. Assuming nothing else awesome-sounding debuts this year, this movie should win an Oscar for sound mixing, if nothing else. The sound of crunching bones and disintegrated bodies is always a good awards contender, and there's a LOT of bodily harm in this movie. Gangsters get beaten up! Vietnamese get beaten up! Superheroes get beaten up! SWAT teams get beaten up! A glass castle gets beaten up! This is one movie where having a good sound system (and a strong stomach) counts.
Despite a heterosexual sex scene, one cannot run away from homoeroticism - especially if you watch with CFers. Innocent dialogue between Night Owl II and Rorschach become yaoi fodder. HEY you never know what they were doing they were still partners right?? 8D
Obligatory nonexistent yaoi fodder pic.
Movie!Ozymandias is the best comic-movie change ever, excessive hairspray and inconsistent accent (even the german accent is inconsistent!) be damned. The only time that hairspray hair gets loose is during a yaoi-charged scene (for you SM fetishists out there), and it was so hot. Until Mintos said he physically reminded her of Elder, and then I wept. Why must you ruin everything! T__T
I had no picture of his VELVET CAPE, so...
Comparing Jackie Earle Haley's pics and his Rorschach, still can't make connection. Is that real face? Makeup? No idea, that good. Also goes in book for doing Christian Bale "Batman smokes 10 packs before fighting crime" voice without being corny, cringing, or inconsistent. Also learned how to pronounce Rorschach's name. Milestone must be noted. Not sure if readers catch reference.
More tsundere than House. Srs.
So...how was it?
Never ever watch a movie with 25 CF folk.
Not only do they forget they are in a public area, they also think it's a damn great idea to scream in anguish during the entire Dragonball Evolution trailer. Or squeal in excitement during every homoerotically-charged scene. Or laugh inappropriately. Or clap inappropriately. I highly suspect they cut the credits short to chase us out. Someone's movie night was totally ruined, and it was all our fault! We're jackasses! >8(
You can't take the movie seriously at all. When 24 people aren't, how can you?
My colleague saw Watchmen the same night - the next day he babbled incoherently about Dr Manhattan and Mars and some explosion and WAIT WHAT AAAAAAA before proceeding to throw his head into the wall. Simply put, he never read the comic and thus never got any of the plot points. He mentioned he liked how neurotic the world was without internet, but that was the last sensible thing he said.
This seems to happen with non-readers.
Watchmen is a movie for fans. You never read the comic? Time to spend some money! The movie doesn't have the luxury to explain all the backstory and side comic and old superheroes and the Keane Act save for the opening credits (which should be a reason to hand out 3D glasses), and if you didn't get that, sucks to be you.
For that, it's hard to recommend Watchmen - one on hand it's a different superhero movie (SO glad they kept the original ending but NOT happy they altered one of Rorschach's actions), but on the other it's a chore to sit through 2.5 - 3 hours of a movie you know nothing about unless you read up. Imagine watching LOTR and it's only ONE movie long because they assumed you read Fellowship of The Ring. And half of Two Towers. At *least*. That's the sort of movie Watchmen is. Some say it's smart, I just call it aware of its target audience. It knows who it's fanservicing, and goes all out for them. Everyone else can go stuff it. Or fixate on the blue balls, whichever.
So if you don't mind expending effort to be part of that target audience, give it a go. Blue balls notwithstanding, it should be seen at least once.
Do tell me if you figure out the joke, though.
Posted at 07:58 pm
enervate March 10, 2009 04:59 AM PDT
Hahaha oh man, the review is so classic you! Although personally I've never read the book, I still find it most enjoyable and I like it. Or maybe because I had the liberty to watch it in full, uncensored. :/ Lots of blue balls for sure. ... and a blue stick. And then copies of them.
Although seriously, I know it was meant to be straight but the ghei moments are pretty ... gay. ;D
Tuna March 10, 2009 01:06 AM PDT
ARGH LAST POST GOT CANCELLED SHIT
But anyway, while the cinematography is acceptable and to my likings, I kinda find the whole movie leaving me with feelings of dissatisfaction, maybe due to me not knowing the storyline beforehand so some things doesn't make sense to me.
K1 says in US, he sees a giant 10 foot blue penis flopping across the screen. In a way, the censorship boards are doing us a favor perhaps least the guys get self-inferiority that this random Smurf-colored dude has a bigger package than them.
I think I appreciate the movie more for it's tribute to the 80s (always had a soft spot for them) and the fashion around that era, very nostalgic :D