Monday, March 09, 2009
OK- I have a few more Watchmen comments since I have seen the coverage of the movie, and talked to other people who have seen it. The overwhelming response I am seeing is, “did you see Dr. Manhattan's wanker?” Well, of course I did, as did the grown women giggling throughout the film in the theater with me (minus my beloved Jennifer, who apparently is unmoved by blue genitals...I suppose I should be relieved?) on opening night. There are even people complaining the film should have had a higher rating than R, and primarily because of the animated male nudity- and keep in mind, that's what it is: animated. This is not Billy Crudup's actual willie (unless of course someone attached the motion capture sensors, what a job that would be). This is a blue CGI model of a penis, just like how Shrek is a green CGI model of an ogre and not a real one, and Jar Jar is a pink CGI model of a... whatever the hell he's supposed to be and not a real one.
Now (minor spoilers follow) this is a movie where a pregnant woman is shot in the face with a .45 automatic; the implication is made a six year old girl is butchered on a cutting board and we see two German Shepherds playing tug with her severed leg; a man is killed with a meat clever through his skull; several gangsters are graphically reduced to the consistency of chunky salsa; a man's arms are severed with a circular saw; a man severely beats a woman, then bends her over a pool table to rape her. Though I see some references to the graphic violence in the movie, I haven't really seen complaints (except the dramatic discontinuity of Dreiberg and Laurie killing a bunch of muggers, but elsewhere in the film being indignant at Rorschach and Ozymandias' methods). The penis however, warrants complaint and outrage. And girly giggles.
A Google search for “watchmen dr. manhattan penis” returns 77,600 results. And that's with “safe search” on. (And no, I didn't click on “show image results”!)
Why are we as an audience that hung up on the well-hung Doctor? Why aren't we hung up on the violence? I am not arguing that we should be- I do expect parents to be parents and keep their kids away from this movie (I am), but I am really disturbed at what our priority of outrage or preoccupation is. If nothing else, this evens the score for years of exploited woman flesh in comics and comic movies. Admittedly, there's some revealing female outfits in this film, but they are remarked upon as being fetishistic, and you don't get the full frontal the way the good Doctor repeatedly delivers.
Perhaps both the violence and the Blue Meany are too much, but I think there's a real issue with folks who DO have a problem with a penis, and DON'T have a problem with a bloodied stump.
Oh, and the Google safe search “Watchmen Dr. Manhattan wang” got 163,000 hits- one for each girly giggle I heard Friday night.