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Who watches The Watchmen? We do!


Despite (or really in spite of) a lousy Thursday night and working an extra few hours yesterday, we decided to go to a Chinese buffet for dinner and went out and saw Watchmen for our Friday the 13th anniversary.

It qualified for a great film under my one rule - I lost myself in it and completely lost track of time.

I did have a few questions, though...

Why did public sentiment turn against them in the 60's? Why did Nixon outlaw them? Was it because of that one police strike? Or maybe because of The Comedian's behavior in Vietnam? Also, did I misunderstand what Dan said to Laurie at the restaurant, something about they were the only two who knew each others' identities? I must have, because that didn't seem accurate. Maybe he meant only the Watchmen knew each others' identities? But none of them knew who Rorschach was, and I think only Dr. Manhattan knew The Comedian's real identity (having worked with him in Vietnam). Hmmm...

Anywho, just a couple of small points in an otherwise brilliant film. I think they were all great characters and the actors really brought them to life nicely - Eddie was a bastard but flawed, Dan was believably middle-aged but not yet washed up, Laurie's mother was appropriately fucked up, Veidt was maddeningly both right and wrong at the same time, Dr. Manhattan's interpretation of the world from his point of view was thought-provoking, and Rorschach perfectly saw the angles that others chose to ignore.

Quincy got an animated version of the comic on DVD, so I want to watch that and/or read the graphic novel at some point. And, yes, hot lesbo action (that chick was hot!) and big blue wang (the woman sitting behind me sniggering every time it came on the screen was kind enough to remind me of that). Whatever. :)

Comments

( 14 comments — Comment )
(Deleted comment)
jkusters
Mar. 15th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
Ya know, everyone keeps talking about the "big blue wang" as if it was gratuitously on display throughout the movie. I noticed it once or twice, but after that, it really didn't jump out at me. Are we as a society so priggish that naked breasts are blase but a guy's penis causes us to collectively revert to fourteen year olds? *sigh*

I don't have answers to your questions. I believe they do go into greater depth in the graphic novel, but I can't recall off the top of my head. They are good questions, though. Were you not familiar with the source material before seeing the movie? Sounds like you were prepared for the kind of story that Watchmen is, a character drama, rather than what I'm hearing from a lot of other people, that it was "too dark" and there wasn't enough "superhero" stuff. *chuckle*
esprix
Mar. 15th, 2009 06:51 am (UTC)
I knew enough not to expect Batman. Q's bought an animated version of the comic, and is going to pick up the collected book next time he heads up to his comic shop.
sistercoyote
Mar. 15th, 2009 06:17 am (UTC)
The public was never entirely comfortable with the idea of costumed heroes. The change in public opinion, however, had less to do with the behavior of the Comedian in Vietnam (which I doubt most of America was aware of) than it did with Dr. Manhattan himself. Remember the fuss that was made about how computers and robots were going to take away people's jobs? I would imagine some of that was involved with the reaction to a real "Superman," as well; that somehow he was going to eliminate the need for police. Also, I think there may have been some intimation that the rioting had to do with the "Summer of Sam," which not only had the issue of a serial killer but also was an exceptionally hot summer with many blackouts.

Nixon outlawed them because public sentiment had turned against them, if I recall correctly. I'd have to go back and read the first chapter of the Graphic Novel to be sure, though. Or possibly it's covered in "Under the Hood." I'm pretty sure the answer gets mentioned somewhere.

And I don't remember Dan saying anything to Laurie about identities. Again, I'd have to go back and check the comic book for sure. The thing with Dr. Manhattan knowing people's identities probably had more to do with his perceiving the past, present, and future as one than anything else (and it's not actually clear he knew Rorschach's identity, oddly). Dan and Laurie knew each other; Eddie obviously knew Laurie's identity because he knew her mother. Manhattan and Eddie were both government agents. Nobody knew Rorschach's identity until he was captured by the police. Veidt outed himself, so everyone knew.

My amusement with the giant cerulean wang had more to do with the discussion about it over at fandom_wank. And I liked the hot lesbian action and (even though I knew it was coming) was annoyed by the unnecessary "lesbian whores" deaths.

You need to read the Graphic Novel, and how did Quincy get an early version of Tales of the Black Freighter?

Um. So, nobody's shocked that I'm a huge geek, right?

Edited at 2009-03-15 06:19 am (UTC)
esprix
Mar. 15th, 2009 07:17 am (UTC)
Yes, we know, dear. :)

Dr. Manhattan was created in the 50's, and the cold war didn't start until the 80's, so I'm curious if there's a clearer explanation of why in the 60's there was a public turning. Q's picking up the book soon.

And he doesn't have the Black Freighter DVD yet - what he got was a frame-by-frame "movie" of the comic, with some animation added in (eyes looking around, people walking across the frame, etc.) and a voiceover (although they left the word balloons in). I didn't watch it, but Q did - it was 5 hours long!
felis_ultharus
Mar. 15th, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC)
There was always a certain discomfort, because they were masked vigilantes. It didn't come across as well in the movie, because one thing that was missing was the "Greek chorus" or ordinary New Yorkers on the street corner commenting on larger events.

The point of The Watchmen in the original was that costumed superheroes are essentially brownshirts. They hide their faces, are accountable to no lawful authority, and impose their own brand or morality through swift and blinding violence.

In this parallel earth, the anti-police-brutality movements of the 1960s and early 1970s were transferred to an anti-superhero movement (just like superhero comics died in favour of pirate and horror comics, once there were real superheros around, whereas in reality it had been the other way around). The police themselves were on strike because of the interfering heroes, and the superheroes were far worse than anything the police had done.

I second reading the comic. Most of it was frame-for-frame identical, but what they left out was a) the left-wing politics, b) the Greek chorus of ordinary New Yorkers, and c) the real ending and everything leading up to it. The ending in the comic is much more spectacular, with better foreshadowing, and probably would've broken their special-effects budget.

Edited at 2009-03-15 12:25 pm (UTC)
esprix
Mar. 16th, 2009 01:14 am (UTC)
Ah, yes, that does explain more than what was in the movie.
troystar
Mar. 15th, 2009 04:43 pm (UTC)
the cold war started when?
"the cold war didn't start until the 80's"

Huh? So the Korean War, the Berlin Wall and the Cuban missile thingy (oh and let's not forget McCarthy) were when :-?

Don't blame troystar, this is his better half...
esprix
Mar. 16th, 2009 01:15 am (UTC)
Re: the cold war started when?
Oh, *him*... ;P

Yes, yes, sorry, I think of its most frosty bits in the 80's, but then, that's my childhood. Still, it wasn't clear in the film exactly why or precisely when public sentiment turned, but felis_ultharus explained it pretty well above.
[no subject] - colinblackthorn - Mar. 16th, 2009 01:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
esprix
Mar. 16th, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the input. I really do want to read the comic now.
troystar
Mar. 16th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
Sorry my LJ was highjaked again ;-)

What Laurie and Dan meant was that general public did not know the identity of the heroes, with the exception of Hollis (Original Nite Owl) who wrote the book and Ozymandias. Most of the others (Minuteman) knew each others identities. There were exceptions like The Comedian, Rorschach (sp) and Hooded Justice....hmmm seems like there was more exeptions LOL

Is the Watchmen DVD worth it? It can't be really animated?
esprix
Mar. 16th, 2009 02:55 pm (UTC)
I don't know if it's worth it or not - Q said it was just eyes moving and figures moving across the screen and stuff, so it's not animated in the traditional sense.
frozenbroken
Mar. 27th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
read the book! you will love it!
( 14 comments — Comment )

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