r/TrueFilm Jun 18 '21

Why does Zack Snyder have such a cult following?

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u/Canvaverbalist Jun 19 '21

Alan Moore is disappointed in how, for decades, fans have misunderstood the comic book.

You thinking Watchmen was "cool" wasn't a problem with the movie, it's a problem with its source material.

It's easy for nerds in 2021 to go "urr durr watchmen satire rorschsarch alt-right homphobic" because it's cumulation of 4 decades of conversations about it, anybody reading this comment and going "uh, no, it's pretty obvious one is a satire and the movie is a celebration" blah blah blah, you're missing the point.

Maybe in 4 decades people will eventually see Watchmen: The Movie as the comic-book-movie satire that it is [the suits have batnipples for godsake, how "cool" is that, really?], but for the moment the reception of the movie is about the same as the comic book was back in the days - it flew over most people's head, and the vast majority of fans who like it just take it a face value.

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u/tattermandelion Jun 19 '21

I'm interested in one of the first things you said (the history of fan interpretations of Watchmen) and a little confused by your final paragraph. If you could elaborate on either or both I'd appreciate it. Thanks

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u/Canvaverbalist Jun 19 '21

Here's what Moore had to say in 2008, before the movie:

“You could put a superhero in the real world for a dramatic effect, because they are kind of stupid. They got these tight costumes, stupid names; they’re kind of unbelievable, so if you actually put them in the real world and have people reacting to them the way that people would, you’d laugh at them, you’d be scared of them. It would be a different way of looking at them, so that’s what went mostly into Watchmen.

“[Gibbons and I] thought about superhero types like Batman, so I thought, ‘What would he be like in the real world.’ And he’d be very much like Rorschach—if you’re a revenge-driven vigilante, you’re not quite right in the head. Yeah, alright, your parents got killed when you were a kid, whatever, that’s upsetting. But for most of us, if our parents were killed when we were little, would not become a bat-themed costumed vigilante—that’s a bit mental.

So, I thought, ‘Alright, if there was a Batman in the real world, he probably would be a bit mental.’ He wouldn’t have time for a girlfriend, friends, a social life, because he’d just be driven by getting revenge against criminals… dressed up as a bat for some reason. He probably wouldn’t be very careful about his personal hygiene. He’d probably smell. He’d probably eat baked beans out of a tin. He probably wouldn’t talk to many people. His voice probably would have become weird with misuse, his phraseology would be strange.

“I wanted to kind of make this like, ‘Yeah, this is what Batman would be in the real world.’ But I had forgotten that actually to a lot of comic fans that smelling, not having a girlfriend—these are actually kind of heroic. So actually, sort of, Rorschach became the most popular character in Watchmen. I meant him to be a bad example, but I have people come up to me in the street saying, ‘I am Rorschach! That is my story!’ And I’ll be thinking, ‘Yeah, great, can you just keep away from me and never come anywhere near me again for as long as I live?’”

https://www.stevensurman.com/rorschach-from-alan-moores-watchmen-does-he-set-a-bad-example/

For what I meant in the last paragraph, you can get a basic idea in one of my previous comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/comicbookmovies/comments/jwpczi/what_do_people_think_of_zach_snyders_watchmen/gcsk7x4/

I touch on that briefly here too: https://www.reddit.com/r/comicbookmovies/comments/euscp8/300_as_a_commentary_on_propaganda/ffto622/

Maybe one day I'll write an essay about it lol

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u/Loomingmountain Jun 19 '21

I was 15 when Watchmen came out - a plucky pubescent teen, of course I was going to think Watchmen was cool. And I will 100% argue that Snyder thinks so himself. It isn’t a problem with the movie but a specific design choice.

What Alan Moore thinks I don’t really care about. And neither do I care about what Snyder thinks. I have my ideas on Watchmen the graphic novel and I have my ideas on Watchmen the movie (which last time I tried to watch it I couldn’t get through the first 5 minutes). Snyder isn’t for me.

I don’t think your last paragraph is as insightful as you think it is. I an pretty sure that in 40 years, Watchmen the movie will be though about less because there just isn’t as much there.