Sunday, March 22, 2009 - 7:37 PM

It's been a bit of a crazy week, what with a very dear friend giving birth to a healthy baby girl just a couple days ago, among other things. I have a couple pieces nearly ready to throw out here, but nothing spontaneous, so I thought I might offer some random commentary here.

My Kult game ended today after the characters meandered through a series of recursive hallucinations and dreams, and the survivors have now moved on to an uncertain life where they might refocus and perhaps start anew. Given how things went, I doubt there will be any closure any time soon for some of them. It has been quite a satisfying game, with a potent dose of the usual inter-party tensions that make for such a good time in Kult. There were a good many stories that didn't quite get told, but for the ones that did, I offer the following dedications:

To Rose, who never failed to betray herself for the love of her brother, and found her peace in a personal hell at the end.
To Ally, who cheerfully went forward, even when it led to a shadow existence as a woman she'd never been, to live on forever in memories of a place and time long gone.
To Lara, for providing the rational voice even when she was raving mad, and for enduring for so long just for the sake of compassion. Or was it ambition?
To Gideon, putting the 'pain' in painting, who wouldn't stop looking even if it tried to kill him, which it often did... and for finding more than a few things he would have been happier without.
Finally, to Alex, who just couldn't be comfortable sane, and who offered everyone else a voice well worth listening to, even if he didn't make much sense a lot of the time.

I'll miss you all.

To my Kult players, I applaud you for bringing these wonderful characters to my table. You were an exemplary group, and I hope to see all of you again at my gaming table.

Next, I did see Watchmen just a day ago. I adored the original comic, and I regard it as a piece of literature in its own right. That said, I'm not a raving rabid spitting-out-quotes sort of fan. I just respect the work. So, in seeing the movie, I understood the changes they made in putting the story to this very different format. I completely understand Alan Moore's decision to distance himself from the movie.

I also really enjoyed it.

I'm not going to sit here and praise the movie overmuch, but there are a few pointers I'd like to mention. First, the Watchmen story says an awful lot about the problem of being a human dealing with a world that is far bigger than you. There is a conflict underlying the story of the deep need that humanity has for convictions, and how a single conviction can ostracize and empower a single person at the same time. For that alone, I'll recommend anyone who hasn't experienced the story to do so.

Second, I don't know how someone who wasn't familiar with the original story would view it, but I imagine they might feel that the movie is a bit uneven. To those who haven't seen it yet, be warned that you might think it jumps around a bit much.

Third, I'm going to mention Dr. Manhattan's groin again. One thing I'd noticed in many of reviews of the movie was that Dr. Manhattan's full nudity was distracting. Some actually complained about it. I've mentioned before that anyone who sees the ubiquitous and generally almost-naked women common in advertising really shouldn't be fussed about a naked man, particularly in an R-rated movie. After seeing Watchmen, however, I would like to adjust my opinion on this a bit.

You found the naked man uncomfortable, but not the brutal near-rape or the random breast displays or the rather candid sex scenes or the gritty violence? All of which, I should mention, generally featured actual human beings as opposed to the glowing naked blue man who was mostly COMPUTER GRAPHICS and usually... just standing there.

Think about that for a little while, thanks.

My apologies for using all-caps, but it felt warranted, and my compliments to the director of Watchmen, who has no problem showing off male nudity as well as female nudity.

Lastly, I want to leave people with one of the most brilliant interpretations of Charlie Brown I've ever seen. Do enjoy.

More stories soon.



At March 23, 2009 1:14 AM, Blogger Scattercat said...

One interesting facet of the movie versus the comic as regards the "human versus the world" motif was the change in Silk Spectre and Nite Owl. In the comic, they don't want to be a part of the violence and mayhem anymore, but they don't know any other way to deal with their problems. The movie makes it much more of a... not a kink, per se, but a quasi-sexual need and drive towards violence. The movie versions enjoy the violence in a particular way which the comic versions do not, which subtly alters the whole tonality of their plot arc in a way I'm not entirely sure I'm comfortable with.

(And really, I'm not sure why everyone is so fixated on the Little Doctor M. The painfully overlong sex scene on Archie was far more uncomfortable to me.)


At March 23, 2009 8:55 AM, Blogger Montgomery Mullen said...

I absolutely agree on this observation. This is something I just wrote off on the nature of the director (also responsible for the blood riot of machismo known as '300', after all, where he decided not to use much phalanx fighting because it wasn't 'exciting enough').

Cinematic violence is practically the norm these days. If it has action, then it apparently needs some Matrix-esque fight scenes in it, apparently. Thank heavens they didn't have Dr. M doing kung fu. I would have walked out of the theater.


At March 24, 2009 9:17 AM, Blogger Montgomery Mullen said...

Yes, I noticed the rather uncertain set of previews. They couldn't seem to figure out who the audience was. If people thought this movie was being marketed to children, I really don't think they were paying attention... to, say, the rating system. R, people. R.


At March 25, 2009 3:28 AM, Blogger Scattercat said...

I saw a guy in our screening who had his son with him, and that kid couldn't have been more than ten, eleven at the outside.

I seriously question the wisdom/sanity of showing this movie to someone so young. This is not a children's movie in any way, shape, or form.


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