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Edwin MacPhisto

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Posts posted by Edwin MacPhisto


  1. I'm still seeing a lot of "this was bad because it wasn't exactly like the book" logic, which I frankly don't agree with. This is the most faithful reproduction of a comic book story (yes, I'm calling it that because it was originally published as a 12-issue series) ever made. Film has different strengths and weaknesses than comics do, so a 100% faithful translation is impossible. Many people are being hypercritical because every single thing wasn't exactly like it was in the book, instead of judging it on its own merits.

    The plot is mostly faithful, and the images are faithful. The themes, tone, and several characters of the film are not terribly faithful to the book, unless you are reading the book in extremely simplistic fashion. I consider those a lot more important than, say, the blots on Rorschach's mask or Bubastis or a given line of dialogue appearing. That's not "overanalyzing" the movie; it's just analyzing it. If you enjoyed this incarnation, more power to you, but I think it's been made pretty clear why several people didn't, and it's not just cause there's no squid or Black Freighter.


  2. Yeah, that's yet another reason why clubs are pretty lame.

     

    I always thought it stupid not to let minors into clubs where alcohol is served. As long as they're not getting drinks from the bar, who gives a shit? Put a stamp on the hand and move on.

    Why would a club want to bother letting in someone underage, even excluding the liability issues should he or she manage to finagle a drink off someone? Assuming that the underage person isn't drinking, that's a body taking up space that isn't paying for more than a couple of $2 sodas all night. Most busy clubs are wall-to-wall with people, and the ownership surely wants them to be drunk, paying people.


  3. Well, Prince did release "Let's Pretend We're Married" as a single off 1999, too, and that song features the line "I sincerely want to fuck the taste out of your mouth." I guess it didn't chart as high as his major hits, but I still think of it as the sort of obvious blow-job themed pop music hit ancestor to "Lollipop." That said, Weezy has never exactly been one for subtlety.


  4. Be specific.

     

    What is it you think was missing?

    I'll refer you to some specific quotes from people on the previous page that sync up closely with my thoughts.

     

    snyder is totally incapable of handling violence in any kind of ironic, thoughtful, or interesting way that has any kind of subtext. to snyder, all violence onscreen is to be treated in the same way and must be made to look as cool as possible. not only did his attitude destroy 2 of the most powerful moments in the story (showing us only the aftermath of the NYC stuff and rorschach's death), but it shows that he isn't interested in what the comic was really about...

     

    ...deep down [Rorschach is] a fascist piece of shit, and that's really important for the comic because it's the whole root of his convictions and his take-no-prisoners uberviolent attitude. aside from 2 quick references to his distaste for homosexuality and women, snyder didn't explore any of that dimension at all. he just wanted to make rorschach look like a bad-ass and get all his good one-liners in.

     

    part of what makes the comic so great, i think, is that it has the balls to suggest that the very idea of a superhero is inescapably fascist, and that no one actually has the moral authority to assert himself as a "superhero." 'the dark knight' plays with this in a not very satisfying way, but this movie goes nowhere near any of that. all the complexity is taken out of adrian's egotism, and he becomes a cartoon villain. all the moral terror is sucked out of the decision to let adrian get away with it, and he tries to play the world-united aftermath straight, with swirling hopeful music, as if this was really an okay thing to do. there's no sick irony underlining the happy faces like there was in the last 5-10 pages of the comic.

    Second, being snuffed out of existence alone and unmourned in the middle of a snowfield is a much more fitting and tragic end for Rorschach. And it cheapens Dan's character. In the comic Dan KNOWS he ain't giving Rorschach a ride home. And he lets him be killed without a fuss, because it's nothing more than empty bluster at that point. He's shell-shocked and all he wants is to go home and fuck his new girlfriend and not live in fear for a while. Which is generally all most people really want. He's not a hero, he' a decent man, and he's a sellout, and he sells out his friend in the end, because what's the alternative? He's impotent.

     

    In general, amping up the blood and guts, and softening the faults of the characters is pretty sad.

    Even just looking at this as a pretty superficial take on the book--which is all I expected it could ever be--it became apparent pretty early that Snyder was using his actors as little more than action figures in a series of dioramas, focusing more on positioning and image than on any actual performance note. It didn't matter for a couple of the actors--Haley was mostly superb, and I thought Patrick Wilson "got it" as well. I think the first time this really clicked for me was when Rorschach visits Dan and they go down to the Owl Cave. You can see the path Snyder's taking from panel to panel, but it's all obviously leading up to the iconic shot of an out-of-shape Dan slumping in front of his costume. In the book, it's the first reveal of the costume, but we see the costume several times before then in the movie, and the impact is totally drained. What was the point?

     

    Snyder misses the point a lot, I think. The gore was comically drippy, and the fact that Laurie straight-up kills a gang member with a knife to the throat seems completely at odds with the character and the whole distinction between Rorschach/The Comedian and Nite Owl/Silk Spectre. If Dan and Laurie are breaking people's legs in half and killing indiscriminately, what's so special about the menace and sense of unhinged drive that pushes Rorschach? Laurie is just tits (nice ones, at least) and kicking in this version.

    I also felt that the subtlety and ambiguity of the ending was more or less entirely tossed out. It's like, look kids--Nite Owl's beating up Adrian because black and white superhero morality fails and/or is pointless! Zounds! Snyder didn't have the balls (or maybe the talent?) to really imbue the story with the level of moral terror and horror it demands throughout its 12 issues. Everything was very simplified, most of the "good" characters were idealized in a way the book, to its credit, never allows to happen, and the film ended up being a pile of exposition with a rushed plot and some weird leftovers. It's like Watchmen for people who read the comic but didn't get it.


  5. There's a couple grocery stores around in the area that'll do a professional job of it for free, which is pretty cool. That's why I say I just haven't gotten around to it yet, but I think I would really prefer a whole new knife entirely. In pursuing one, however, I think I am more into going for what Anthony Bourdain recommended over the Wusthof in the Global:

    21NrkcbLttL._SS400_.jpg

    Seriously, look how sexy that guy is. Love it. That's a good 8 incher.

    My biggest problem with Global knives is that they're crazy light. I feel like the chef's knife would just fly out of my hand. I hear the handles can also get very slippery, which could add to the "I am trapped in a knife fight in my kitchen oh god" experience.


  6. Kinda boring, mostly devoid of subtext, powered along by a superb Jackie Earle Haley and a handful of strong sequences, and frustratingly paced. I actually think people who know nothing about Watchmen will like it way more than people who've read and loved the comic; the movie does little more than serve the plot (and some characters) of the story, which makes it somewhat dull for fans--it's not that fun watching the story beats you know by heart play out awkwardly. Still, it's probably just as exciting for first-time viewers as it was for those of us cracking the spine the first time.


  7. I developed an aversion to peeing in the shower as soon as I got to college and had to share a bathroom for the first time. It just seemed like a dick move (har!) and the practice has stuck with me since. I'm sure everyone else was coating the tiles, but at least I did my part. I blow my nose sometimes when I'm feeling particularly congested or am out of tissues.


  8. If you want to upgrade your knives a bit without breaking the bank, I highly recommend Forschner/Victorinox. The swiss army knife people make extremely sharp and nicely weighted knives on the cheap. It might not be a $100 blade, but for $16 or so, the 8" chef's knife is hugely better over anything I've found even in the $30-$50 range.

     

    I love my cast-iron skillet, though I've only got a 10". Ought to upgrade that. I get a ton of mileage out of a huge 12" Anolon non-stick skillet I picked up on sale a couple years back, especially for breakfast stuff or big wok-ish stir fry type projects, but I do most of my cooking in stainless steel. Have a full set of saucepans, pots, and skillets, some department store brand that's held up well.


  9. I'd be stunned to see Owens sign with a team that didn't have a winning record last year, much less one that was far, far from it. The first three teams that popped into my head were Jacksonville, Tennessee, and San Diego. Problem with the first two is that neither has a QB who's likely to be throwing out many 300-yard games, and we know especially from last year that Owens wants his looks and his stats.


  10. Also, was I the only person here who had the pleasure of reading Ayn Rand in high school? We had to read Anthem in 11th grade.

    We did Anthem in 8th grade. It was ass even then.

     

    I assume you mean Ellison Invisible Man and not Wells? Weird, cuz that book had plenty of its own controversial content. Some sex, a little bit of abortion talk, a shitload of various racisms, violence, and even a segment where the main character becomes a Communist.

    Not nearly as graphic, as I recall. Beloved has a nice pile of rape, rapists violently drinking milk out of their victim's breasts, and a woman brutally murdering her infant child with a saw. I don't think anybody failed to get the slip signed, though.

     

    Why do English teachers invariably hit kids with Romeo & Juliet anyway? Just because the main characters are roughly their age? It's not one of Shakespeare's better masterpieces, and you'd think that having two idiot kids who commit suicide over their puppy love would not be a role model you'd want to teach to impressionable teenagers.

    It's one of his more straightforward works, which makes it a pretty good intro to his catalog. A lot of his other work plays heavily with gender, identity, and politics in a way that might be a little heavy for most 9th/10th graders to really follow. Most students already know the basic story, too, since it's such a cultural touchstone. That eliminates some of the initial challenge of comprehension that a lot of people encounter when they read plays in verse for the first time. My school gradually ran us through R&J, Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, and King Lear, but I think that much Shakespeare is somewhat uncommon.


  11. It's the biggest problem of the show for me. Nobody but Helo is worth a shit; even Harry Lennix is a deluded asshole who sits in a van while his charge gets sent out for sex. The show needs to get much darker on that aspect to be at all compelling. It obviously can't be ignored, but the show's handling of it thus far is totally puerile.


  12. I've been watching. There are vast problems with the premises of the show, and I'm not convinced Whedon understands how to handle the trafficking/exploitation side of the organization in an adult fashion. The lens of his show is very male-gazey and his heroine's been prostituted out in 2 of 3 episodes, but there really isn't a visible counterpoint yet; thematically, the show isn't subtle enough to effectively foreground much more than Dushku wearing skimpy outfits, which makes it both uncomfortable and stupid to watch. Whedon seems to operate much better in a more fantastical environment, where he can explain things with broad metaphor via the adventures of various charming rogues. I like pieces of what's going on, but there's no viable show here on any level--it's totally getting canceled by the end of March.

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