Saturday, March 07, 2009

Why watch

Here's what I don't get about the MTRCB: you can allow graphic violence like the Comedian's murder and Dan and Laurie beating the crap out of a street gang but you have to cut a sex scene to reduce the rating? One of the most awesome things about "Watchmen" is the soundtrack and in the quest to get in down to R13 the distributors manage to butcher what could've been the best music video of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

Seriously, is there any better lyric for a washed up superhero with erectile dysfunction, pre-Viagra, to make love to?

There was a time you let me know
Whats real and going on below
But now you never show it to me do ya?
I remember when I moved in you
The holy ghost was moving too
And every breath we drew was hallelujah 

The NYTimes' AO Scott is calling for a moratorium on the song (it was used in "Shrek" of all places) but, hey, here it works. 

"Everybody Wants to Rule the World," as Veidt was addressing the businessmen  is obvious; what's less so is Nena's "99 Luftbaloons." And while it seemed jarring to hear that a tad too loud during Dan and Laurie's dinner, the lyrics were more than apt. I never paid attention to it before but apparently in the song they release 99 red balloons and start a war. 

99 red balloons.
floating in the summer sky.
Panic bells, it's red alert.
There's something here from somewhere else.
The war machine springs to life.
Opens up one eager eye.
Focusing it on the sky.
Where 99 red balloons go by.

Foreshadowing for those who remember the english translation of the song.

But what really blew me away was the opening credits. "Watchmen" is probably the only superhero film that you can set to Bob Dylan without sounding cheesy or "pilit." 

[Edit: Aw crap, they took the video down. Guess you better watch it again.]

* * * * * 

I like the new ending. Without a lengthy exposition involving psionics and genetic engineers and Veidt's extra-spatial studies institute the giant squid would've been weird. Instead we get a 9/11 vibe with Dr. Manhattan as the boogeyman. 

And it works in the film. The giant monster from outer space is a staple in superhero comics but won't really work in a film era full of Dark Knights and Iron Men. So a blue explosion it is. More bodies perhaps, but I'm fine with what we have.  

* * * * *

And Rorschach. Oh yeah. Best. Line. Ever. 


Anonymous said...

The opening credits:

Enjoy. :)

missingpoints said...


bigenya said...

Got into a little argument over at Twitter when I was raving about Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Billie Holiday and Jimi Hendrix. The OST is anything but trite.

missingpoints said...

The soundtrack sometimes bashes you in the head with obviousness but it helps set the mood. I think Snyder was compensating for what he lost from the printed page (the articles in the back pages) by using something pop cultural that only movies can offer.

Angela said...

There's a double standard between preferring violence than sex in television and movies. Have no idea why.

missingpoints said...

^ Because sex is bad? :))

But seriously, I think it's because violence doesn't need explanation. The only thing you need to tell a kid if he sees graphic violence is that it's not real and that it's wrong.

Now if he sees a sex scene then that opens up a can of worms the parent might have a hard time explaining.