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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Saturday night's all right for blogging. After the first few links we even get to some stuff that's not about Watchmen.

* Walter Chaw's Watchmen review goes to many of the same places as my own, albeit in a more thoroughgoing way:

Freeze any frame of the film and find in it the panel that inspired it. With each section separated by grabs from the covers of the comic book's initial run, fanboys should have no quarrel with the fidelity of the piece--but the reaction to the picture will likely continue to be fairly muted, as devotees of the graphic novel didn't exactly appreciate it for its slickness and sexiness. I'd hazard that what attracted people to the book is that Moore's vision is one of absolute respect for the power of the image in molding human history. Snyder does seem to understand this in restaging the Kennedy assassination with one of his masked heroes as the culprit, drawing a line pure and true from Zapruder's inauguration of film as history to the comic-book medium's inextricable hold on the collective imagination-in-formation. The power of Moore's work is that it takes the divine and, like Milton's mission, explains the ways of these gods to men in terms that men can understand: they're corrupted by their power and governed by their avarice and the essential baseness of being human. This sentiment is all but jettisoned, alas, by the time Snyder recasts the pathetic victories of sexually-reawakened schlub Night Owl (Patrick Wilson) and paramour Silk Spectre (a severely overmatched Malin Akerman) as triumphant victories. Watchmen--filthy with its director's now-trademark ramping technique--sees itself as a superhero adaptation of a human book. The failures of these characters are just weaknesses our ├╝bermenchen must overcome, not the foibles and hubris that lead to their downfall--and ours.
Vu and kate both get at this deep in the comments to my original post as well.

* Meanwhile, Spencer Ackerman says Watchmen is a "great film" and then spends the rest of the post explaining why it isn't.

* The headline reads, "Watchmen's first day disappoints." You're telling me!

* John Scalzi argues for a statute of limitations on spoilers.
Television: One week (because it’s generally episodic, and that’s how long you have until the next episode)

Movies: One year (time enough for everyone to see it in the theaters, on DVD and on cable)

Books: Five years (because books don’t reach nearly as many people at one time)
To my mind the whole "spoiler" hysteria needs to end; suspense is an overrated aesthetic in all but the rarest cultural productions.

* Husband, Wife Unaware They Are A Comedy Team.

* I suffered from this for years without knowing there was a name for it besides "being a college student."

* Another picture of a grown-up Calvin and Hobbes for your collection.

* The economy and literature: Will this crisis produce a Gatsby? More at MeFi.

* Does the financial crisis signal the end of neo-liberalism? David Harvey on the credit crunch and class.

* Abandoned places: a LiveJournal community. (Thanks, Eli!)

* And attention would-be humanities grad students: there are no jobs. None.