Exile in Guyville

A day and a half ago Variety‘s Anne Thompson said that “for the most part, women will not go for Watchmen. I can take neck-crunching, body-bashing, blood-spattering action, but this was tough for even me to sit through.

“While the movie is set to open big on March 6 — some folks are guessing as high as $70 million — I’ll wager that the ultimate audience will be limited to male action fans only. As someone with only fleeting exposure to the graphic novel, I watched the movie with little engagement or understanding of what was going on.”

In response to this, HE’s Austin-based columnist & correspondent Moises Chiullan points out that the Watchmen violence is “nowhere near as bad” as the violence in Saw and Hostel-type films. Well, of course. It’s not torture porn and Watchmen is supposed to be wrangling a huge nationwide audience. One thing he said stands out: “What The Dark Knight cut away from, Watchmen shows.”

  • Breedlove

    I have to say, I’ve really started to get excited for this movie in the past week. Devin and Drew’s reviews raised my expectations quite a bit. The fact that it’s rated R, is quite violent, and is apparently pretty dense and even confusing as far as the narrative goes are all very encouraging signs, as far as I’m concerned.

  • CitizenKanedforChewingGum

    So Watchmen shows what the Joker did up in the penthouse with all of Harvey’s friends and associates?

  • Aris P

    Little understand on what was going on?? Really Anne? Is it THAT confusing? Give me a break. She sounds kind of stupid, sorry.

  • AH

    I like Watchmen … in its original form. It is such a product of its time and format that I find it very easy to believe why it took so long to adapt it to the screen.

    Also, Aris, have you read any of Anne T’s writing? She is smart and knowledgeable. Just because you don’t agree with someone, does not mean they are stupid.

  • erniesouchak

    It’s shaping up to be a long spring/summer for those who aren’t 12-yr-old boys (or the mental equivalent).

  • Chase Kahn

    I just can’t imagine (even with the longer running-time) that ‘Watchmen’ will do any worse than ‘300’ money on opening weekend — which is $70 million.

    Add to it that Watchmen has a bigger built-in fanbase, trailer attached to ‘The Dark Knight’, a property rights battle making headlines, no competition — I think it will be north of $70…

  • Krazy Eyes

    Not one of Thompson’s shining moments I’m afraid. I’m afraid I agree with Aris P in that she sounds more out of touch than anything. Maybe she was drinking a bit too much before the screening?

    It’s kind of like when Ebert pans a film but in the review grossly mischaracterizes some theme or plot element (it happen more frequently than you would expect). It makes you wonder how much he was really paying attention.

  • Sabina E

    i left a comment on Thomspson’s blog calling her out for stereotyping female audiences. MANY women I know love horror, action and comic book/superhero movies. I’m tired of the bullshit “women won’t like this” excuse people have for movies. (for the record, I am a female if anyone wonders what my gender is).

    I agree, the torture in SAW and Hostel is pretty excruciating, “torture porn” is an excellent label to describe those films.

  • caslab

    I could be wrong, but it feels like Watchmen is shaping up to be a big bust.

    Anne Thompson might have something here. My wife was pretty excited about the movie after seeing the trailer attached to The Dark Knight . . . but in the months since, her enthusiasm has turned into, “Eh, tell me how it is”

    The problem Watchmen has here is that, at this point in history, it’s old news. When it arrived, it was a watershed moment for superhero comics and it informed nearly every writer and artist in the medium.

    But that influence also trickled down to the superhero movies everyone watches today. The big themes that seemed Earth-1-shattering back in the day, have already been explored in The Dark Knight, X-Men, etc.

    Of course, this will be the first superhero film to feature rape . . . so there’s that. It also kind of illustrates Thompson’s point.

    I’m just speculating (as we all do) and I’ll happily admit this could be way off base and the Watchmen movie could be a cultural milestone. The single biggest criticism seems to be its slavish devotion to the source material has rendered it somewhat lifeless except to its built-in audience . . . and that didn’t do Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone any harm . . . it made almost a billion dollars and became one of the least-loved blockbusters of all time.

  • Letters of Transit

    I am kind of puzzled by Wells’ dislike of comic book movies as there are rarely any fat superheroes.

  • DeafBrownTrashPunk

    i left a comment on Thomspson’s blog calling her out for stereotyping female audiences. MANY women I know love horror, action and comic book/superhero movies. I’m tired of the bullshit “women won’t like this” excuse people have for movies. (for the record, I am a female if anyone wonders what my gender is).

    I agree, the torture in SAW and Hostel is pretty excruciating, “torture porn” is an excellent label to describe those films.

  • KC

    Someone must have tipped him off about Nite Owl

  • Edward

    My daughter loves horror movies, even the Saw and Hostel films (I take no responsibility for that), but comic book super heroes are not her thing. She happened to love 300, but I can’t picture her going to see Watchmen with her friends.

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