Discussion in 'Community' started by Adam of Nuchtern, May 8, 2019.
History of the Americas isn't the same as American History.
I thought the first episode was pretty amazing... felt very much set in the Watchmen world without being bound exclusively by the previously explored story... lots of enticing clues and possibilities... Regina King definitely owned. I think the thematic subject matter is perfect to explore right now and has certainly turned things on its head... its clearer than the original story who we're supposed to root for, who is "good" although even then there's a lot of question marks... the different developments of their history does an excellent job elucidating some of our own... I'm among the crowd that had awareness of the bombings of Black Wall Street brought to them by means of the show... I researched it as soon as they said they'd be working with it, so I had some knowledge pre-viewing, but I'm very appreciative of the fact that they're using this opportunity to encourage education. I didn't know that I was missing this event in history (though I was aware I was and am missing events), and I hope that they'll actually be able to weave more elements of important buried touchstones of our history in future installments.
Spoiler: First Episode Spoiler
I was sad at the lynching, heavily telegraphed though it was... I anticipated hating that character from the trailer and found myself rather in the opposite camp... as soon as he started singing at dinner though, I knew he was a goner... thought there would actually be bullets right then and there, but even when he finished, it was still very clear.
It felt like it was trying so hard to be edgy and enigmatic yet constantly shedding references to the movie as if it didn't have the confidence to really commit, like it was trying to walk this crazy line between pandering and provoking. We're winking at you so you can feel smug for liking this. It's an annoying quality not present in the original graphic novel or movie.
It's been a couple days since I watch it and yet here is me still trying to figure the episode out:
Overall I thought it was great though, really enjoyed it. If this continues, it will be IMHO the best new show of 2019 though my hope is The Mandalorian pushes for that title as well. *fingers crossed*
I know, that's what I'm saying. I didn't take American History so we never delved deeply enough to get to something like that Tulsa event. I'm going to have to look into it. Fascinating.
Yeah, same here. It was the fire-bombing biplanes that really made me think it was an alternative history bit, but nope.
Yep the planes involved definitely made me think it was fake. That's just insane.
Dropping kerosene bombs on civilians as they're being kristallnachted. Can't make that **** up
I assume you took "American Studies" which is one of the many many many many reasons I do not like teaching the course. And I make sure we touch on the Black Wall Street Massacre. Always leaves students stunned as I do not think a lot of people are aware of just how much racial hatred spun out of World War I.
No, as I said, I took IB History of the Americas. So while US history was part of that, we covered history of the whole hemisphere. It was a two-year college-level course.
Ya know, I've always considered myself pretty knowledgeable about American history, but I've never heard of the Black Wall Street massacre that occurred in Tulsa, OK in 1921. So when my wife turned to me and asked me about it, I told her, that's all fiction. I mean, that's such a horrific event, too horrific to be true I thought and I don't think that event would be swept under the rug. I'm sure if there was ever a film or documentary covering this horrible event. I'm thinking there will be one soon. Even the writer of HBO's Watchmen, Damon Lindelof, didn't know about the Black Wall Street massacre (he refers to his lack of knowledge as the hidden American history) until he discovered the writings of Ta-Nehisi Coates, as noted in the video below around the 7:21 mark.
In particular, it was Ta-Nehisi Coates testimony before the House regarding Reparations that really influenced Lindelof, and it shows in this first episode and most likely through the entire season.
As for Jeremy Irons' character, Lindelof doesn't reveal any spoilers but does note something very interest around 19:38 in the video above where he talks about how the script was tailor for Irons as well as how their filmed him.
On another note, Nerdist has done a wonderful job with noting references/nods to the original comic book story and Easter Eggs.
I think Lindelöf was just being pragmatic - by avoiding making explicit references to Watchmen and being cagey with the identity of Jeremy Irons character, HBO have the option to repackage the series as the sequel to Brideshead Revisited.
Well, Lindelof was building off Alan Moore's comic book and not Zack Snyder's adaption of Moore's work that was the Watchmen movie. Snyder's adaptation looses so much of the nuance, themes and essence in the graphic novel. Most of the people that have only watched the Watchmen film and not read the graphic novel doesn't think much of the movie and just gravitated towards the character of Rorschach.
I loved the graphic novel and then saw the movie and loved it too... Do I get a prize?
Watchmen is both a crowning achievement of superhero comic booking and also skewers the entire genre in equal measure, at least that's how Lindeolf has said he views it. So a bit of loving/hating the superhero genre is inherent to the vibe, although to be fair it may become more pronounced in the TV series.
I think Watchmen is a very good adaptation, probably my favourite Zack Synder movie (although I do like 300 cuz it's freakin bananas). The loss of the squid is befuddling (would it really take that much more time to set up, it basically has no context aside from And now A Giant Squid Alien), it hyperspeeds through the entire comic series so it can seem a bit rushed even at 2 hours and 40 minutes, and Synder's predilection for cool violence does sometimes tonally clash with Watchmen where the violence is supposed to be horrifying (I think the TV series got that much well). But the movie nails pretty much all the great big moments in Watchmen (even adds a cool new small bit where Nite Owl slams Ozzy into a wall and says he mutilated and deformed humanity), it looks fantastic and the casting is actually kind of great, especially Doc Manhattan and Rorschach. And Comedian. And dammit everyone. Synder movies actually generally have fantastic casting.
See I loved the change to the ending in the movie. The random Giant Alien (or interdimensional being?) Squid was always very odd to me. Although I'll roll with it since obviously in the show that's canon.
It's a joke Ozymandias pulled on humanity, showing his contempt for the intelligence of ordinary people. I mean, he saves the world using a ridiculous B-movie alien - that's why the Comedian is so affected by finding out Ozzy's plan - Veidt calls it professional jealousy.
The faux alien is massive black practical joke pulled on the world, that's kind of the point.
yeah , its an interesting technique , maybe there'll be more like this - incidents that seem to be from an alternate reality but are in fact just forgotten bits of real history.
I think Zack Snyder's Watchmen lost many of the elements, themes and feelings in the adaptation. While I agree, Snyder did an amazing job with recreating the graphic novel visually, almost panel by panel, he didn't convey the major essence of the story, which Amazon's The Boys brilliantly did, which was these superheroes shouldn't be trusted. That there's something inherently wrong for someone to dress up in a costume and become a vigilante. I don't feel the general movie going audience got the feeling from Zack Snyder's Watchmen. My non-comic book friends and family found the film quite boring and were really interested in the Rorschach character, as the rest of the characters were pretty stoic or uninteresting. Snyder really dropped the ball on adapting the characters and drawing connections to the archetypes; which again, The Boys does brilliantly with Homelander, Queen Maeve and the rest of the 7.
I also feel like Snyder's Watchmen film did not properly conveyed the 80's vibe or countdown of the Doomsday Clock towards nuclear war.
And now that requirement use of spoiler tags regarding the first episode of HBO's Watchmen has expired, I will not use them.
So episode one of Watchmen spoilers ahead for anyone who did not watch it...
I thought the episode did pull a lot inspiration from the graphic novel and brought the viewers back into that world by its references and call backs, such as Robert Redford becoming President. There are too many to note, but here's a video that lists a lot of them.
The video above believes that kid that escaped the Black Street massacre is Hooded Justice, and his hanging of Don Johnson's character mirrors the black & white film that opened the episode. Additionally, the kid's escape from Tulsa mirrors Kal El's escape from Krypton.
This first episode is definitely a commentary on today's America, with the news filled with stories of police officers shooting unarmed people or use of unnecessary lethal force. In Watchmen, they've seemingly solved that issue with cops' guns being locked down until given remote authorization because they can't be trusted. Moreover, there seems to be distrust and an ever present threat against cops, so they have to wear masks. There's more in the episode that worth discussing, but I really don't have the time to write them all out. The video above talks alot about them.
I just want to say that this first episode of Watchmen creates a mood, vibe and world that Snyder's Watchmen film didn't. I feel that's one of Lindelof's strengths as a writer, which is to put the audience into the deep end of pool and immerse them in the world that's about to unfold. I feel like HBO Watchmen is going to capture the spirit of Alan Moore's graphic novel and create a stir as well as generate further points of discussion.
In addition to the in-text rationale, it's also probably a joke about/reference to Charlton Comics' origins as one of the front-runners in the horror genre. Like I don't think it's a coincidence that Watchmen is engaging so extensively with Steve Ditko's works and ideas and one of Ditko's best known horror covers, made for Charlton, was, well...
The problem with Snyder's adaptation, IMHO, is that it's just one movie, while the source material asked for at least a trilogy.
To me, most of its shortcomings comes from condensing a very long story in just one movie. The subtly, the mood, the horror, the crazyness fall short from the comics, but, then again, the material is way too extensive to fit in just one film.
I agree to a certain extent. But, it's hard to definitely say is way too extensive to fit in just one film based on Snyder's adaptation. I mean, Snyder's past few films, including his own Sucker Punch hasn't really shown Snyder to be a great storyteller. Perhaps if Watchmen was given to a more talented director/storyteller, a single movie would be able to convey all the moods, vibes and whatnot of the source material.
The movie is hot garbage. I know because I watched it this weekend in preparation for the show, with no cultural context. It reads like a 14 year old just transcribed the book with no literary understanding of what he was adapting. I had just read the graphic novel and literally could not sit through the film.
I just rewatched the movie and f n loved this time around. So much going on in it. Idk dick about the comic but having just watched the movie am I crazy in thinking that
Don Johnson somehow becomes Blind Justice? I think it ll be a waste to only have DJ in Ep 1
The director's cut is definitely better than the theatrical.