Thursday, April 30, 2009

Watchmen vs. Wolverine

Dan Raspler, the victor in our Lolita Bar debate before last, about sci-fi, forwards this combo-parody of the Mac/PC ads, Rorschach, and Wolverine.

That in turn reminds me that even an animalistic, deadly, “berserker rage”-prone fellow like Wolverine is depicted in the comics as feeling a certain reverence towards other species, once explaining to his teammate Storm that he tracks but does not kill deer in the woods, a neat way of displaying skill without killing that I could actually imagine catching on. More on animal welfare at Lolita Bar on Wednesday (8pm) next week, of course. And much more on Wolverine tomorrow, as this blog begins “Month of the Nerd II.”

As for Watchmen: I’m saddened some people didn’t like it as much as I did. Even Reason, whose website ran my positive article about seeing the film, featured subsequent negative comments about the film from Peter Suderman and Jesse Walker. Film critics A.O. Scott and Anthony Lane were extremely harsh. At least one DC Comics staffer I know wasn’t that crazy about it. And one of my girlfriend Helen’s favorite bloggers, Eve Tushnet, sounded very disappointed by it, but I give her some bonus points for combining nerd-fiction analysis, placement in a conservative publication, and a headline derived from an alternative rock song (by the Smiths) — that being the crucial trifecta in my eyes, obviously.

Oh, and my friend Christine Caldwell Ames didn’t like the movie, either. One thing she, some of our May 6 crowd, and the Watchmen-hating figure depicted in this video all have in common, by the way: vegetarians. Coincidence?


Jacob T. Levy said...

I didn’t hate it or anything, but I found it to be pointless, and confirmation that the book is basically unfilmable. The “hey, it’s pretty cool to see that moment in live action on an IMAX screen” moments were pretty much outweighed by the “WTF?” and “they just completely missed the emotional point of that” moments.

And Dan and Laurie constantly seemed to me like they’d wandered in from a very different, popcorn-action, post-Matrix super-hero flick– the kind in which the old group would have been called The Watchmen, as they were in this movie but of course were not in the book, and in which the violence is balletic and a series of punchlines, not poetic and tragic.

The risk that a Watchmen movie would degenerate into a “Rorschach Rawx!” movie was always there, and this wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, but there were sure strong tendencies in that direction.

But I’ll admit that seeing the Mars watchgear structure on an IMAX screen was way, way cool.

Todd Seavey said...

While it crosses my mind: I wonder what Rorschach’s journal would sound like on days of _real_ cynicism and apathy:

Rorschach’s Journal, April 30, 1985: Sat on sofa. Neighbor keeps hammering for some reason. Daytime talk shows so stupid. Housewives with secret sex obsessions reveal all to shocked audience, mouths hanging open with perverse mixture of horror and curiosity. Flip channel but keep seeing that same John Hughes movie over and over again. May go back to bed. No point. Remain on sofa. Eat Cheetos. Won’t end up fat like neighbor. Bloated zombie. Never exercises. Need new issue of _TV Guide_. May fight crime later…

Jacob T. Levy said...

Cable, daytime talkshows, and reality TV: far worse than the most haunted minds of mid-80s dystopianism could have imagined.

Mark said...

Now that I think about it, that “skill without killing” rings false at least if the character is supposedly “Canadian”. It only could have been written by Christopher Claremont long after John Byrne (I remember reading that issue twenty years ago) left the X-Men. Most residents of Alberta wouldn’t have a problem shooting the beast, chopping it up, and storing it in their freezer.