Some Watchmen Alternatives

Yes, the day has finally come.  The long-awaited Watchmen movie arrives today.  Reviews from my favorite critics have been lukewarm.  And I’m trying to forget the few minutes of 300 I caught on TV, which were more than enough to shake my faith in director Zack Snyder.  I suspect I’ll end up wondering what might have been had Darren Aronofsky (who directed π, Requiem for a Dream, and The Wrestler, and was at one point attached to Watchmen) ended up in the director’s seat.  I can’t really take anything away from Alan Moore’s dissociation from the film, since his snubbing yet another adaptation of his work seems more a formality than any statement of ideological or artistic differences.  At any rate, I’m still holding out some hope.

In the meantime, here are a couple of terrific alternatives (a pictorial reimagining followed by possibly the greatest video ever):

charliebrownwatchmen1

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3 comments so far

  1. Matt Haley on

    I’ve never been a fan of the Watchmen (go ahead, lynch me!) A.O. Scott puts it better than I could:

    “And [Snyder’s] commitment to violence brings into relief the shallow nihilism that has always lurked beneath the intellectual pretensions of “Watchmen.” The only action that makes sense in this world — the only sure basis for ethics or politics, the only expression of love or loyalty or conviction — is killing. And the dramatic conflict revealed, at long last, in the film’s climactic arguments is between a wholesale, idealistic approach to mass death and one that is more cynical and individualistic.

    This idea is sickening but also, finally, unpersuasive, because it is rooted in a view of human behavior that is fundamentally immature, self-pitying and sentimental. Perhaps there is some pleasure to be found in regressing into this belligerent, adolescent state of mind. But maybe it’s better to grow up.”

  2. remixedmetre on

    Matt: Yep, I’ve read A.O. Scott’s review as well as those of J. Hoberman and Anthony Lane, all of whom I enjoy reading and all of whom reacted similarly to the film.

    Regarding your comments, I can’t disagree with any of them intellectually, even though I feel differently about the art itself. The best I can say is that Watchmen’s “immature, self-pitying, and sentimental” view of human behavior arises out of a very specific context (i.e. the end of the Cold War and 1980s comic culture, which involved a lot of postmodern deconstruction of the whole notion of superhero worship and the very notion of the superhero itself).

    It’s not meant to be subtle, nor is it meant as intensely probing, metaphysically dense literature. It is, in a way, silly. But it’s entirely apropos in context. And actually, in light of what has happened recently (economic unrest, corporate thievery, the horrors of health insurance, etc), I find some of the stuff in Watchmen very relevant, even if it is hyperbolic.

  3. Matt Haley on

    Not having been a superhero worshiper myself, I can see how such deconstruction would have appeared flat and irrelevant to me when I read the Watchmen. I just get irritated when comic book authors set up false dichotomies and pepper their stories with vain, simplistic, sometime wholly ridiculous characters. Although I don’t remember the exact dialogue when Dr. Manhattan takes that chick to Mars to philosophize at her, I recall it was laughable and philistine. As long as the context remains reality, I don’t see what depth of understanding or feeling such self-indulgent meandering yields.


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