March 7th, 2009

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03:29 am - Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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From: brotherless_one Date: March 7th, 2009 - 10:42 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: sui66iy Date: March 8th, 2009 - 03:36 am (Link)


I guess we just disagree. To me, fight scenes like that just don't look like fights. They look like carefully choreographed computer tricks with cheap gore and splatter thrown in. Real people don't move that way, and the falseness of it all pulls me out of the flow of the story.

Now granted, this is a problem with all stylization. People who aren't opera buffs find the fact that real people don't actually sing in the middle of a conversation off-putting, but it doesn't mean opera is a stupid art form. So maybe if I were more of a fight scene connoisseur it wouldn't distract me.

It isn't the brutality that bothers me --- I think we agree that brutality is part of the point. It's the manner in which the directors chose to depict it and how that meshes with the larger structure of the story. I guess I'm with Aristotle: it's often better to keep the violence off-stage. Which was more effective [SPOILER] the scene where Big Figure's henchman's arms are cut off, or the scene where Rorschach does something unspeakable to Big Figure in the men's room? To me, it's the latter by a mile.

Moreover, with the exception of Dr. Manhattan and [SPOILER] Ozymandias' bullet catch, these guys aren't superhuman, or even necessarily all that awesome as fighters. Rorschach main tactical advantage is creativity (the improvised flamethrower; the hot grease). Nite Owl is kind of flabby, and in the comic book is severely winded after the mugging scene. Eddie Blake is in great shape, but also 67 years old. However, once you slow everyone down and put them in bullet-time, you're programming the viewer to *expect* them to be able to catch a bullet, which robs the actual incident of its impact.

Overall, it's a nit. The fight scenes didn't ruin the movie. And I can see how if that's your thing, you might think they were a highlight. But for me, narratively, they were a detriment, and I didn't see any creativity in them particularly.

I guess I am a little surprised that you liked them so much. For the non-connoisseur, what do you think makes them special?
From: brotherless_one Date: March 8th, 2009 - 04:57 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 11th, 2009 - 03:18 pm (Link)


See, I don't think the point should be camp. The reason everyone in watchmen is normal is that the world moore created was supposed to be hyperreal, as opposed to the comedic innocence of the the 50s (which we discover wasn't so innocent or comedic after all). But the slowmo fight scenes didn't let me take anything in at my own pace. They distracted me. They came off more as the modern equivalent of the 60s Batman fight sequence. That's ok in some movies, not in this one.
From: brotherless_one Date: March 13th, 2009 - 10:43 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 11th, 2009 - 03:12 pm (Link)


I'm on the same page as you here. I didn't like the fighting, but it didn't kill it for me. At least not nearly as much as my problems with the editing, writing or the general direction of the film. Basically there are a lot of things about it that "aren't awful" but aren't particularly good either. And when combined they make it mediocre and a throwaway comic book movie. In a vacuum without ever having heard about the comic, I think it becomes rather forgettable. That makes me sad.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: March 11th, 2009 - 03:05 pm (Link)
I'm actually on Mike's side. I don't need to see that Batman cripples on a nightly basis. I can get that by the pool of humanity laying around him. The physicality of the fight is simply beyond Batman. He doesn't care and neither should I. It happens too fast for me to even notice. That's the mindset. Slowing things down simply takes me out of the moment. Even for the non-film buff, I don't think they were cringing WITH the movie when Dan gives the thug a 3rd degree compound fracture, they're cringing AT it. In the intro to Saving Private Ryan, guys are getting their heads blown off and I'm going "Oh my god! War is hell!" in Watchmen I'm going "ok, that's just gross and stupid, why would they show me that?" Saving Private Ryan earned my suspension of disbelief. Watchmen didn't. Obviously neither actor in either movie was actually injured, but in Watchmen I was painfully aware that it was fake and acting. I didn't lose myself in the moment. That's a failing.

you're right about one thing. I think they were trying very hard to emulate the appeal of the 70s kung-fu movies. The problem is in the 70s, when Bruce Lee did that, I kinda went OMGHEBROKETHATGUYSNECK!!!! or OMGHEPULLEDOUTTHATGUYSHEART!!! again, they earned my suspension of disbelief. Also, cinema was at a time then where special effects made that easier. in jaded 2009, I kinda went "oh they're trying to be bruce lee, ummm, yay... or something."

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