Friday, March 6, 2009

But why is Mr Manhatten always naked in his lab?

Baha. Apparently, a nine year old girl asked Zach Snyder that during a Watchmen Q&A. Yup, that's right. In class this week was the Watchmen. I thought I should blog ASAP since having seen this might actually give me some street cred. I didn't read the books, so I don't know if I would have liked it more or less if I had...

Story: (Attempting to have no spoilers) It is 1985 (for the most part), America and Russia are on the verge of nuclear war and the vigilantes of the past have been banned. The Comedian, a member of a retired group of superheros, is murdered, and Rorschach (another superhero who still wears his mask) believes there is a conspiracy to kill all of the masked men. He goes to warn the others who mostly think he is a crazy paranoid and have better things to worry about like using Dr Manhatten's nuclear powered body to solve the world oil crisis and end the cold war. Natch, they're wrong.

The things I've heard the most criticism about are: the soundtrack, and the very hyper-sexy-sex and visceral violence of the story. People booed the soundtrack for having too many (bad?) popular songs on it. I don't know, I enjoyed it. I thought the songs were a good indication of what time period they were in, especially in the beginning montage where they jumped around so much. Rona was impressed with the music budget. And it's kind of fun to take a few seconds to bop around to a familiar song. As for the sex/violence... Snyder said it was intentional because it was meant to be an overturning of the traditional superhero comic, where you can't be explicit with sex, and you don't show blood, so it was meant to be an ironic statement or something. Personally, I didn't think it was out of place. My understanding of graphic novels (which is extensive, having read at least three) as compared to comics was that they are now much more about the anti-hero who has no qualms bloodying up the page. I know the target audience, his name is Nick, and there is nothing he enjoys more than bad-assness and people getting shot in the knee caps.

Alright, now that I've dealt with that, here are some things that I did have problems with:

Most importantly, dialogue. The same thing happened in Sin City, where the script is full of comic book speak, which is super cool and edgy on the page but actually sounds really really retarded when it is read out loud and often makes people laugh. (Your finger is like licking a battery????)

Dr Manhatten's nudity. Actually, his 'costuming' in general. The shiny blue penis was awkward, but his 'battle briefs' were way worse, and seeing him in a suit seemed unnatrual what with all the glowing. I don't know, there's no way out of that one.

While we're on Dr Manhatten, I think we spent a leeetle too much time emoting on Mars. It was very pretty and stuff but it got old fast because there wasn't much to look at.

I also spent a lot of the beginning confused: I didn't realize that they got new people to take over their superhero roles, I thought they just got awesome makeovers. Also, they are super strong right? How did they find other super strong peeps? The whole hero mythology was not well explained.

Most of all, I hated the bright yellow. Now that I've seen it, I get it, it's a cultural AND character reference. But I still think it's gross and tacky.

Some things I noticed that didn't bother me too much:

Rorschach's mask's (I kept thinking his name was Volcheck - OC reference anyone?) inkstains were sliding around all over the place and I really wanted a clearer indication of what they meant, or if they were just random.

Laurie Jupiter had man shoulders (that's just a little Mean Girls for you). Really, she had a very square face. And then during the sex scene I yelped "SHE HAS A TERRIBLE BODY" which I didn't mean to be quite so loud. Actually, her body wasn't awful, but it was definitely not Hollywood. She was kind of flat chested and not toned at all, which is weird because you'd think a superhero would get a lot of cardio in. Also, her costume required a good brazillian at all time because she was def flapping out.

At the end, Ozymandias had this weird animal that they never explained. I guess it was a fanboy secret.

Some things I adored:

The opening montage was quite beautiful, with lots of remakes of pop-culture moments. Flashback scenes in general. Costumes. Hair. Makeup. Sets. Visual effects. The fact that Denny (from Grey's and PS I Love You? aka the Comedian) was alive! The fact that Raoul from Phantom was pathetic as usual, the guy the chick runs to from her freaky true love. He's like the new James Marsden in the slightly more messed up version of every romantic plot. Sally Jupiter and how adorable she was and then aged into an alcoholic. Awesome. I was also quite fond of Ozymandias, there was something quite pristine about him and his golden hairband.

DENNY! You're alive!

I think you can see, generally, the movie LOOKED amazing.

Yay or nay? I liked it more than the batman movies, but they left me very bitter. Yay for the fanboys and gamers and the fans of gore, nay for my mother and maybe if you're bored for the girls who don't really care.

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