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Ye Gawds and Little Fishes

Debbie Schlussel does not understand the concept of alternate reality. Or science fiction.

Likewise, Debbie Schlussel doesn't seem to get the idea that comic books and graphic novels aren't just for kids. (Honestly, up until the Industrial Revolution, I can't think of much that was made for kids that wasn't made for adults first, and that includes all forms of entertainment. Fairy tales? For adults. Comics? Um, political commentary in newspapers first. Sweet baby jeebus.)

Debbie Schlussel begs you to think of the children, despite the thing she is upset about (Watchmen) being NOT MARKETED AT KIDS AT ALL.

Debbie Schlussel is upset about the toys--the very expensive limited edition action figures that cost about 200 bucks or so--but seems to completely ignore any and all people from the subculture she's ignoring who are trying to tell her that there is a very adult market for that stuff.

Of course, Debbie Schlussel doesn't want to get it because then what would she be outraged by. Debbie Schlussel pretends to be very very upset on behalf of the kiddies, but if Debbie has an ounce of reading comprehension, she knew full well what she was getting into. (Yo, Debs, the movie was rated R. You know, the rating associated with adult content, nudity, violence, etc. etc. Gee, sorry to break it to you but that movie is not aimed at children.)

Also, Debbie Schlussel is terrified of a blue CG penis.


(Via Nick)


I saw Watchmen tonight, incidentally. I thought it was decent, and mostly not disappointing. Several sequences read better than others, and I did give a thought to all the non-Watchifiles in the audience, wondering if the storyline was holding together cohesively.

It's pretty damn faithful, barring the end sequence, and it even gets most of that accurate.


I don't know. I like it, but I didn't love it. The narrative seemed slightly patchy--and now when people say the Watchmen was unfilmable, I think I have a better hint at what they are talking about. In a comic book, you can recheck the panels, make the visual connections, let the hints sink in, and the cutting back and forth isn't too disorienting. In this film, the flashbacks and the correlated actions seem a little jumpy, a little too disorienting.

The biggest change is in the ending, but it still seems nominally consistent with the Watchmen's world. It's not a far-out story choice, and since you still get the basic effect of the ending in the book, and the main characters' storylines all play out to the same results, eh, whatever. I personally don't think it was as big a betrayal to the source material as, say, Faramir saying "Let's take the ring to Gondor," or an army of EEEEEVIL robots with the potential to turn on humanity.

The Jon-and-Laurie-on-Mars scene also fell flat for me, which is too bad, because it's one of my favourites from the graphic novel and the whole bit about "thermodynamic miracles" is one of my favourite lines. That speech got kludged together--or so it seemed to me. Or Billy Cruddup (Dr. Manhattan) just didn't sell the delivery. (All in all, while I think they could have got better actors to play Laurie, I don't think she was pulling a Jessica Alba, EXCEPT for the Mars scenes.)

There are a LOT of details from the book in the movie. I'd even go so far as to say that the art direction was more rigourous than LotR or Harry Potter, but they did have a design bible in the graphic novel. I mean, if Mordor doesn't live up to my imagination in the LotR movies, well, the original source material didn't come with a visual impression--I was free to make my own. But Watchmen does come with an original "look" so in some ways, the art direction made the movie feel denser than your average Hollywood flick, just because you'd be seeing THAT panel and THAT panel and THAT panel, and oh, look, there's Laurie's snowglobe, and there's the stuffed owl in Dan's den, and Janey's earrings and Jon's cufflinks.

That said, the final treatment of the movie, while competent, left me feeling as though the density of the art direction had been concentrated on at the expense of the actual story. The movie story feels.... lightweight, without heft, comparatively. Ultimately, I enjoyed the movie, but don't feel fully satisfied. I'd give it a B.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 7th, 2009 02:08 pm (UTC)
Felt the same way about the movie. Not love not hate. It reminded me of a very expensive high school production by really pretty rich kids that lacked a good deal of content. Some things were great, some things not so. And the music? Blew.

Speaking of blue, I thought Dr. Manhattan's boson gun was a bit longer than in the book but overall I was impressed with how much male frontal nudity was in it. Woo.

Mar. 7th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
So who is Debbie Schlussel, and why the bloody fuck should I give a rat's ass what she thinks? (Pardon the language.)
Mar. 7th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
You probably shouldn't. She's a cut-rate Ann Coulter that hangs around being a quisling re: women's rights and shouting a lot of things down for the sake of the children. But I find her complete lack of getting it....even to the point where she disses alternate reality as being "edgy" to be just breathtakingly weird.
Mar. 9th, 2009 02:06 pm (UTC)
Based on what I saw in the link you gave, Ann Coulter is a far more intelligent and rational person. I almost get the impression that Schlussel is deliberately trying to not get it because even the slightest hint of getting it would invalidate her entire thesis.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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