The gift that keeps on giving…

Before we get serious and shit by totally beginning our discussion seminar on Watchmen, I thought I’d provide us all with some amusement.

I present two reviews. The first is by Debbie Schlussel who has the following credentials:

Schlussel’s unique expertise on radical Islam/Islamic terrorism and a host of other issues make her a popular speaker and television and radio news talk show guest, both nationally & internationally. (Her online fan club is the Internet’s second largest for a political personality–behind only Ann Coulter.) She is a University of Michigan graduate and holds both Law and MBA degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

In 1998, Schlussel went undercover, dressed as a religious Muslim woman, to the Islamic Center of America, North America’s largest mosque, and reported, in The Detroit News on its support for terrorism, and anti-American, anti-Semitic hate. She was interviewed and quoted by Rolling Stone about the mosque and its radical imam, Hassan Qazwini, who is frequently consulted by President Bush and was invited to his Crawford, Texas ranch. Qazwini was embarrassed by the radical speakers and anti-Semitic hate he fostered in his mosque, and refused to address it in newspaper interviews. Schlussel was even attacked for her work on terrorism by movie critic Roger Ebert in a 2005 syndicated movie review.

Attacked as “Enemy #1” by Ms. Magazine (“Women to Watch . . . and Watch Out For,” February/March 2001), Schlussel is a frequent guest on ABC’s “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher,” CBS’ “Early Show,” FOX News Channel’s “O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity & Colmes,” “FOX News Live,” “Beyond the News,” and “Judith Regan Tonight,” Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” “Buchanan & Press,” “The Abrams Report with Dan Abrams,” “Scarborough Country,” and “MSNBC Live,” CNN’s “Crossfire,” “Talk Back Live” and “Weekend Wrap,” C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” FOX Sports Net’s “Best Damn Sports Show Period,” and the Nationally Syndicated “America’s Black Forum” (hosted by NFL on FOX’s James Brown).

Her review of Watchmen is as follows:

If you take your kids to see “Watchmen,” you’re a moron.

If you see it yourself, you’re also probably a moron and a vapid, indecent human being. The movie arrives in theaters at Midnight, Thursday Night. It’s rated “R”–which should kinda sorta be a hint–but it really deserves an “NC-17,” at the very least. And plenty of clueless parents brought their young kids and kept them there for the entire almost three hour “experience” at the screening I attended.

Yes, I know, it’s being heavily marketed as a superhero movie, with action figures for your kids. But that–and the heroic-looking movie trailer–are a big, fat lie. And that’s where real parenting comes in . . . like actually investigating the movie before you take or send your kids to see this garbage.

In fact, as a movie critic who sees most new releases, I haven’t seen a more violent, depraved movie in years (not to mention a longer, more boring movie with a more preposterous and silly plot). This movie makes the graphic bloodshed of the recently released “Friday the 13th” look like “Cinderella.”

This really isn’t a superhero movie at all. In fact, there was little “superheroing” until after the second hour of this nearly three-hour exercise on defining deviancy down. Some on the right are claiming this is a conservative movie because it’s made by some of the same people as “300” (read my review). But this is no “300.” (And that wasn’t for kids either, but this is far much less so.) A few lines of dialogue by the character “Rorschach” deriding “liberals and intellectuals” doesn’t excuse the nearly three hours of poison here. In fact, the movie kind of has a peacenik-themed ending and “message” regarding nuclear weapons. If this move is “conservative,” who the heck needs liberal?

There were so many disgusting, violent, morbid, grisly scenes and acts of killing, I had to start writing them down, lest I forget. And that’s in addition to the rape scene between superheroes (complete with violent beating of a female superhero) and an explicit sex scene between two other superheroes. Oh, and don’t forget another superhero’s swinging computer-generated penis frequently in your face on-screen.

In just the opening credits of this mindless celluloid claptrap, there’s a lesbian take-off on the famous photo of a woman kissing a sailor in Manhattan who is returning victorious from World War II. The lesbian make-out scene, featuring a “superhero,” is bad enough. But then, we see cops looking over their naked, bloodied, dead bodies on a bed, with the words “LESBIAN WHORES,” written in blood on the wall.

Mommy, mommy, what’s a lesbian? What’s a whore? And remember, this is just the opening credits.

The “plot” of this movie–if you can call it a plot–is that there were costumed superheroes in the ’40s and beyond. They grew old, but some of them didn’t. Then a new crop of costumed superheroes with special powers cropped up, some of whom were related to the older ones and some who still remained from the older group. But they all retired. Now, a superhero known as “The Comedian”–who is also a rapist and shot a Vietnamese woman who was pregnant with his kid (all of which we see depicted on-screen)–is murdered, and some of the superheroes, the “Watchmen,” get back together to find out who did it.

The second “review” (it is less a review and more of a preview/ramble – but I paint with a broad brush) is by famed comics writer Bill Willingham (Fables) over at Big Hollywood:

The character Rorschach will enter the greater public consciousness as an icon of the left’s view of extreme right wingers — which, of course, includes all conservatives.

And from his comments:

screened it last night. If it definitely a super hero movie. The fight scenes are awesome. The special effects are awesome. You can tell when it was written. Gives you that cold war feel that nuclear conflict was inevitable.

I love Rorschach was amazing. There was only one moment (i was counting) that bashed the Right when one of the Watchmen is talking about ‘free energy’ and Lee Iacocca said ‘free . . . sounds like socialism.’ that ticked me off. Plus the concept of renewable energy leading to all the worlds trouble. That was a bit heavy handed.

And at the very very end they bash Bush. I feel they bash the Leftist view that control is the way to peace. That was supposed to be the message in V for Vendetta. I would say the movie is the most politically balanced of any ‘political’ film. The end is actually very open and will leave you thinking about what you would’ve done.

A must see. Aside from everything, it’s an enjoyable, well structured movie. And Rorschach is this Conservatives hero.

And:

there is something new here. for the first time in memory, the cool menacing character that the sullen adolescents will identify with is a right winger. can rorschach imagery possibly cut into che t-shiirt sales?

And:

I agree wit Bill about everything, except the last one. I think Rorschach will do in the general population exactly what he did in the comics community. He’ll seem to be disturbed at first, but actually come away unintentionally by the creators, as the hero of the piece. Seeing how Alan Moore is a self-proclaimed servant of the dark arts I have no doubt that he intended the villain of the piece, Ozymandias, to be the hero. But darn it! things just got out of his control. For some reason, the unwashed masses, still admire people that say “it’s not ok to kill millions of people just cause” And believe me, in our post-9/1 world “just cause” is exactly how Ozymandias’s plot will read. We all know that any peace will be temporary at best. Rorschach will emerge as the hero of the film , as he did the hero of the comic, and will perhaps be embraced by conservatives. Keep in mind that for all his lack of personal hygiene, Rorschach is right about everything. There is a conspiracy, there is a mask killer, and there is something terrible about to happen. The only thing he missed was where to look.

I will add one prediction of my own. One or more idiot 9/11 self-proclaimed “truthers” will take Watchmen as evidence that 9/11 was caused by the Bush administration.

Personally, I am incredibly excited to see the movie tomorrow and begin discussing it and the masterwork that spawned it.

(very much via)

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3 Comments on “The gift that keeps on giving…”

  1. doctorbrown says:

    I wonder how conservatives would feel about Rorschach if they knew he was an atheist. Again, trying to pin your morality on a caricature of Ayn Rand’s beliefs is not the best way to make a point.

  2. psycholarry says:

    Considering he’s a professional writer, Willingham is shockingly incoherent.


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