March 4, 2009, - 12:21 pm

The “Watchmen” Lie: Hollywood Sends More Depravity Your Kids’ Way Costumed as “Superhero” Flick

By Debbie Schlussel
**** UPDATE, 03/05/09: Watchmen Derangement Syndrome Takes Hold; Movie Continues to Be Marketed to Kids ****
If you take your kids to see “Watchmen,” you’re a moron.
If you see it yourself, you’re also probably a moron and a vapid, indecent human being. The movie arrives in theaters at Midnight, Thursday Night. It’s rated “R”–which should kinda sorta be a hint–but it really deserves an “NC-17,” at the very least. And plenty of clueless parents brought their young kids and kept them there for the entire almost three hour “experience” at the screening I attended.
Yes, I know, it’s being heavily marketed as a superhero movie, with action figures for your kids. But that–and the heroic-looking movie trailer–are a big, fat lie. And that’s where real parenting comes in . . . like actually investigating the movie before you take or send your kids to see this garbage.
In fact, as a movie critic who sees most new releases, I haven’t seen a more violent, depraved movie in years (not to mention a longer, more boring movie with a more preposterous and silly plot). This movie makes the graphic bloodshed of the recently released “Friday the 13th” look like “Cinderella.”


This really isn’t a superhero movie at all. In fact, there was little “superheroing” until after the second hour of this nearly three-hour exercise on defining deviancy down. Some on the right are claiming this is a conservative movie because it’s made by some of the same people as “300” (read my review). But this is no “300.” (And that wasn’t for kids either, but this is far much less so.) A few lines of dialogue by the character “Rorschach” deriding “liberals and intellectuals” doesn’t excuse the nearly three hours of poison here. In fact, the movie kind of has a peacenik-themed ending and “message” regarding nuclear weapons. If this move is “conservative,” who the heck needs liberal?
There were so many disgusting, violent, morbid, grisly scenes and acts of killing, I had to start writing them down, lest I forget. And that’s in addition to the rape scene between superheroes (complete with violent beating of a female superhero) and an explicit sex scene between two other superheroes. Oh, and don’t forget another superhero’s swinging computer-generated penis frequently in your face on-screen.
In just the opening credits of this mindless celluloid claptrap, there’s a lesbian take-off on the famous photo of a woman kissing a sailor in Manhattan who is returning victorious from World War II. The lesbian make-out scene, featuring a “superhero,” is bad enough. But then, we see cops looking over their naked, bloodied, dead bodies on a bed, with the words “LESBIAN WHORES,” written in blood on the wall.
Mommy, mommy, what’s a lesbian? What’s a whore? And remember, this is just the opening credits.
The “plot” of this movie–if you can call it a plot–is that there were costumed superheroes in the ’40s and beyond. They grew old, but some of them didn’t. Then a new crop of costumed superheroes with special powers cropped up, some of whom were related to the older ones and some who still remained from the older group. But they all retired. Now, a superhero known as “The Comedian”–who is also a rapist and shot a Vietnamese woman who was pregnant with his kid (all of which we see depicted on-screen)–is murdered, and some of the superheroes, the “Watchmen,” get back together to find out who did it.
At the same time, the Soviets are about to nuke America. It’s 1985 and Nixon is President. We’ve won in Vietnam. Oh, and Henry Kissinger has a Russian accent. And Ronald Reagan is thinking of running for President in 1988. Wow, isn’t that cool that they got it wrong on purpose? I’m so amazed at this “high-brow art” of deliberately getting dates and timelines wrong, you know, just to be “artistic,” and get the drooling of the critics. That is sooooo genius. Like way totally cool.
Maybe if I make a movie about how Eisenhower was President in 1972, we “lost” World War II, and Bin Laden was gonna bomb the World Trade Center then, I’ll be cool, too. . . so long as it’s “dark” and I include a bunch of rape, torture, explicit sex scenes, and extremely graphic killings, and oh, write a “graphic novel” a/k/a comic book about it, first.
In the midst of this stupid story, we’re treated to the following:
* Dogs fighting over, tearing apart, and eating a six-year-old girl–we’re shown them chowing down on and tearing apart the remaining leg and leg bone, with the sock and shoe still on the bone as the dogs wrestle over it;
* A close up of man repeatedly getting an axe-blade driven through his skull while he’s being butchered;
* At least two very graphic scenes of naked superhero “Dr. Manhattan” vaporizing people to just blood, limbs, and guts hanging from the ceiling or spread in the snow;
* Many scenes of Dr. Manhattan’s computer generated penis swinging about;
* A kid biting a giant, bloody chunk of flesh out of another kid’s face–he grows up to be “Rorschach,” one of the superheroes’ compatriots;
* A man’s hands and arms being sawed off with an electric saw–we’re shown the bloody stumps and the bloody sawed off limbs in close up shots;
* A man with vat of hot french fry oil deliberately thrown over his head–we literally see him fry, and he ultimately dies, we’re told (no kidding);
* Many, many scenes of people’s hands, arms, fingers being broken in half or crunched by the “superheroes”;
* Cops being set on fire and burning to death by superhero compatriot “Rorschach;”
* Superhero “The Comedian” (a bad Robert Downey, Jr. look-alike) brutally beating and raping another superhero–tis movie concludes that the rape was a good thing b/c the slutty superhero had a slutty superhero daughter from him;
* Superhero “The Comedian” shooting and killing a Vietnamese woman because she’s pregnant with his kid;
* Superhero “The Comedian” being thrown off a roof of a tall building–we see his body hit the ground and the blood flow out;
* Two superheroes have an explicit sex scene in a spaceship–she’s on top, then he’s on top, awesome–you can teach your young kids multiple sexual positions before they even reach puberty, by taking them to see this (there’s a less explicit sex scene between the slutty superheroine and another superhero not long before that).
And these are just the highlights, plus superheroes hurling obscenities–great for the kiddies. There’s so much more–along with horrible make-up, bad acting, and terrible computer generated images (including the penis). Not to mention, a bad, extremely slow, and boring script.
Yup, this is the garbage that Rupert Murdoch’s Fox and Warner Brothers and Paramount are marketing toward your kids. All of these studios have a piece in this movie. And even thought the budget was just $100 to $125 million, because of a long legal battler between WB and Fox, the legal fees and pay-out make it such that they must recoup at least $200 or 300 million and make a profit. To do so, they are pimping the movie to all niches, especially your young kids.
But just because shameless whores and crack dealers of Hollywood deal this stuff out, doesn’t mean you have to buy it and poison your kids’ minds with it.
Remember the morons I told you about who took their kids to see the latest “Friday the 13th,” last month? Well, they were back with their kids at a Monday Night screening of this horribly depraved, whacked out movie.
Remember the White single mother who told me her ten-year-old son could see it because “he knows it’s not real and he knows the difference between right and wrong”? Well, she was back with her ten-year-old, and they waited in line for at least two hours with their free pass to get in to this screening, I’m told. I saw them walking out at the end.
Her son is going to grow up to be messed up. Don’t do the same to your kid.
And do yourself a favor, too. Save the ten bucks and the three hours of your life you’ll never get back. And the nightmares of some guy’s bloody, sawed-off arms and hands still clinging to the doors of a jail cell.
I don’t just worry that this is the new superhero movie being marketed to your kids today. I worry about the ones that will be even more depraved a decade from now.
G-d help this country (minus Hollywood).

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366 Responses

Ms Debbie. You want to speak of ignorance and proper parental investigation than perhaps as a critic, you should do some of your own investigative homework before making a preconception that you think somehow matters… As the point has already been made, this movie is very accurately a recreation of a pivotal graphic novel. And if you would have done your homework, you would know that this book portrays the anti-hero in a dark and corrupt world that parallels our own society. Agreed, THIS IS NOT A CHILDREN’S movie. It is a very adult movie that addresses realistic issues of society. And it was an excellent movie with amazing illustration and attention to detail. Those capable of deeper thought already agree. You don’t have to like it, but do your homework before you go criticizing based on shallow, spoonfed entertainment biases.

DesignChic on March 12, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Dear Debbie
In one of your earlier responses, you launched into a tirade about how violence in real life was Ôø?okÔø? if it stayed true to the book. Ok, letÔø?s follow this train of thought. LetÔø?s say that there are two people and there is an apple on a table in front of them. One person likes apples, the other does not. Now does that provide justification for the person who likes apples to go out and harm people who do not like apples?
I realise that there is a difference between a graphic novel/film and an apple, but at the end of the day they are mere objects. Objects cannot influence your will. Sure people who commit atrocities will blame violent material. People who are outraged by such acts will blame violent material. But at the end of the day, objects, such as apples or films are just that Ôø? objects. The only way they could influence you will is if you let them, which means your mind was possibly travelling down a dark path and looking for a way to justify itself.
Many people (some politely, some not) have pointed out that posting in CAPS, is offensive on the Internet. It could be compared to shouting at a person who is less than a foot away from you. In other words it is just plain rude. Try replying to comments in another colour or even in bold text. It would then differentiate your comments from those of the posters on your website. As it is your website, IÔø?m sure this level of control is possible.
As for the movie being marketed towards children, I could only comment on my own country of Australia. I have only seen one advertisement for Watchmen and that was at 11.30 at night. I have not seen any figures for sale in the local department stores, or other tie in materials in Happy Meals.
If you donÔø?t like the film, or comics or graphic novels, thatÔø?s fine with me. I can respect your opinion. What I cannot respect is the way that you attack people who have posted well-thought comments. If you donÔø?t like people expressing an opinion, you could disable this function. Again, your website, itÔø?s in your control.
Films have always depicted violence. Does that make it ok? No it doesnÔø?t. Unfortunately violence occurs in real life. We humans are a brilliant, idiotic, fantastic and horrible lot all at the same time. It is what makes us alive. If you canÔø?t deal with that, seal yourself in a cave, close your eyes and block your ears. If that idea doesnÔø?t appeal to you, there is another option. IÔø?m sure I donÔø?t need to spell it out for you.

Nova Prime on March 12, 2009 at 7:37 pm

If you went into this movie without knowing what it was about prior, you’re a moron. If you still went into this movie and didn’t “get” the theme of the movie by the end of it, you’re a moron. Last time I checked, violence, nudity, and language was a part of the world that we live in.
I suggest you watch Cannibal Holocaust next. It’s a far safer film for your children to watch.

Mistigrist on March 12, 2009 at 11:22 pm

I don’t see how anyone could possibly believe that Watchmen is a “kid’s superhero movie”. One line that is constantly repeated in nearly every commercial shows this to anyone with a brain:
“They’ll look up and shout, ‘Save us!’ and I’ll whisper, ‘No’.” That in and of itself should be a major clue that this is not your stereotypical superhero flick. I’ll give it to you that the sex scenes were definitely over the top (Especially between the characters of Daniel Dreiberg and Laurie Juspeczyk) and the violence was rather graphic, but it was honestly no more so than any rated R movie that I’ve seen in the last four years. People shouldn’t have taken their children to see this movie in the first place. As for the murder of Silhouette and her lesbian lover, they certainly weren’t nude in the theatrical release and things like that happened in the past. Would you rather that they make it seem like the entire world was perfect between 1940 and 1985, because that would be a lie. Things like that happened, why hide it from fiction. As for Kissinger and Nixon, IT IS AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE. In this world, Nixon had the 22nd Amendment repealed and was re-elected several times. Continuing on to the major point, however, this movie isn’t about their hero-like behavior. It is about the struggles that these heroes have had throughout their lives. Dr. Manhattan (The blue man with supposedly “god-like” powers. He can only see his past, present, and future. Not everyone else’s, therefore clarifying that he is not in fact omniscient) begins to understand near the end of the movie what makes humans so special. Rorschach wasn’t meant to be a “true” hero. In fact, he’s the anti-hero. He adheres to a specific set of rules that he’s put forth for himself based off of the world that he grew up in and the psychological damages that he was made to suffer. Daniel Dreiberg comes to realize that this is what he wanted to do, through understanding his feeling of impotence without his costume. He feels that it was what he was destined to do. Laurie Juspeczyk comes to accept that while she felt that her mother had pushed her into the world of crime-fighting, it was in her blood. As for Edward Blake (The Comedian), he sees the error of his ways before the end, but he saw himself as a parody of what life is. He saw the brutality of the world around him, accepted it, and in certain ways, became apart of it, but he knew it was wrong. They may be dressed up in costumes and fighting crime, they may have powers, or they may not, but this isn’t a movie about being a superhero. This is a movie about life… They just happen to be heroes on top of that.

Melain on March 13, 2009 at 12:17 am

I am a mother of an 11 year old. I do not read comic books or graphic novels. However, I have family that does, including my child. I have seen the Watchmen.
I do not believe the Watchmen was directed towards children. Any figures out there are for the die hard fans, not the children as you cannot find them in a department store. Understand that the previous generation of comic book readers are mature and it’s their children who are the next generation reader. It’s not as common anymore to see children with comic books. Even the mainstream comics touch on issues that are controversial. Now that the comic book code authority is no longer “controlling”, these are the issues that the avid fan wants to see.
There are quite a few comic book movies out there that are not suitable for children, and neither are the comic books or any made into a graphic novel. For example, The Crow, Blade trilogy, and other current movies already mentioned. Would you say the same about The Crow, as there are quite a few action figures out there, but you have to know where to look to find them.
What we see today stems from society as a whole. We have set our standards for today and the movie business is profiting on that. Have you seen any of the Hannibal Lecter movies? There really is no difference here. The parents in our society need to take the initiative and investigate. Not just with this movie, but with all movies, televison. It does take a community to raise a child, but sometimes we don’t want everyone in our community to be in touch with our children.
We cannot raise our children the way we were raised. Sometimes this violence stems conversations that would otherwise not be made. You may call me a bad parent, but my 11-year-old saw this movie with me. We knew what we were getting into. I have enough confidence in MY parenting ability to say that the conversations regarding it were beneficial to the family and our understanding of each other’s views as well as reasons for rules.
You can’t say this movie does not fit society’s idea of a good time. It does. I enjoyed it (especially the part where he cleves the bad guy’s head in). It delves into the dark psyche of every human or superhuman. No person is just good or just bad. We all have good and bad. It’s just a matter of how balanced are you? It’s not a matter of nature vs. nuture. It’s both as we all are both.
All in all, I have to disagree with your review of The Watchmen. As an individual I am a liberal, but as a mother I am a conservative. I can see both sides of this fence. I believe that as a piece of art it has its merit. I don’t see this any different than having my child watch or read 1984. I believe that every scene enhanced the movie and did not take away the main message, which is “To have world peace, we have to have a common enemy.” How is this message not befitting to our children? It’s the media in which it is presented. This is presented in an adult forum not a children’s forum, and I knew that going into it.
Maybe you should re-evaluate how you say things and do your research before commenting on what YOU don’t understand.

Amanda on March 13, 2009 at 12:27 am

first, i wont worry about caps, not important and i will be blunt because i believe you will be as well so i will say what i really think. i will say i didnt know much about watchmen before seeing this movie other than it was based on a graphic novel comic. much like i know anime is usually not cartoons for kids. that i believe is just common knowledge to anyone who pays any attention to the world around them. i believe you have children which would be the reason for your outrage. i do not but have lived every second of my life for the ones i have not yet been blessed with. that being said, i will tell you that the actual story in the movie and comic is a brilliant one. i walked a way thinking ‘wow, i hadnt thought of that before, interesting’ you know what was not running through my head? ‘wow, that was a lot of penis, and man that violence was a bit extreme and that sex scene was really pornographic.’ no, none of those thoughts popped into my head because i was immersed in the actual story. there is a thought provoking idea at the end of the madness but you have to pay attention and be willing to hear. i think of boondock saints as another example, it was very violent but have an interesting question at the end with is relevant to all humans just as this one did. i cant help it that you were too caught up in your self righteous tirade to notice. i never once thought it was marketed to kids nor did it show it as a hip hero movie, not to mention, the batman movies are just as dark if you havent noticed because the comic was dark. batman had severe psychological issues and if you didnt see that then you are more dense then i thought. now, the other thing is this, if i were a parent and my child found this to be appealing and asked me about it, the big R rating would defiantly make me pause and look into it before going ‘sure little 6 year old timmy, lets make it a family thing and bring your little sister, it will be great’. and i am a psych/sociology major and therefore know that some kids actually are more mature then you give them credit for. not saying that anyone under the age of 10 should see it but there maybe some teens who could handle it. those people who took their children, that is their own discretion, the joy of being a parent is the that you get to make all the choices for your child and well i dont believe most are in a stable position to have that right but we dont test for these things do we? so anyone can have a kid. that is the real tragedy. i for one, believe that while you make think this movie is some sort of atrocity to the world, some people enjoy it and think it is brilliant and its very sad that people like you will miss the underlying thought. and in case you keep your kids in a cave or something, real live is full of just as much appalling things if not worse, since they are real. how did you handle the 9/11 event with your children? did you hide it or let them know the reality of the world since they are gonna find out anyway? news is horrible and as far as kids now these days are concerned, i am pretty sure the majority of them will be fighting that war in the middle east as soon as their of age since that will not end in my lifetime in my opinion. the thing is ma’am, the world is a harsh place, and yeah it sucks. but candy coating everything for your kid and keeping them away from everything different from yourself will only hurt them in the long run. from the way you speak i would think that you are one who never lets your kid online, or go out in public with friends unless you personally have someone watching them and dear god, ‘sex’ will never be uttered in your home for it is a sin to even speak of. it is people like you my friend who are the problem. you want to just get rid of anything you dont like since apparently you are so worthy of deeming the final judgment on us all. i mean seriously if we got rid of everything in the world that COULD be damaging in someway to someone or have a negative effect on someone, well lets face it we wouldnt have anything would we. animals could attack, a pencil could stab, water could be poisoned not to mention the things we cant live without which do have proof of the harm caused like your gas guzzling hummer and the cigarettes that are seen pretty much everywhere you go. the best we can do is put warnings on things and ratings to warn of the dangers, which we do. which in its self is making the world less intelligent because kids dont get to be kids and just play without being over protected and sheltered. and you wonder why we have teen pregnancies and kids taking guns to school, its because people like you would like to pretend that if you dont tell them about things, they will never know about them. not true, they just arent educated to make smart decisions. well heres the thing, some heavy shit for the world is on the horizon and if you dont see that, then wow, i really do feel sorry for you and your family because when it comes, it will be the people who went out and learned about these different ideas and thoughts and explained to their kids how to be safe and aware and actually know about the great beautiful things of the world along with the horrors that have to be as well instead of hiding it from them. those kids and people will be the survivors. you and your family will be huddled in your basement confused as hell while people who have accepted reality and try to learn from it like having ideas expressed in this movie take action and stand up and do what is right, we will form groups and make changes, may not be the best but for some reason these conservatives find that war is best so what happens next should not be that bad or shocking.
again, to clarify, i am a super spiritual being and have been through hell (died when lungs failed) and was saved by my guardians so i know the higher being quite well. i am a psych and sociology major so i understand the inter workings of the mind and want children more then anything and have spent my life making every decision i have ever made based on the impact it may have on them, and i found this movie to be a great thought provoking piece of art. im sure you watch some of the raunchy stuff on tv these days or maybe you stash porn away or who knows what else. but i have found that many of the condemning self righteous people like yourself, have some deep dark sometimes worse things that will come out eventually. i wish you well and will pray for you and the others on here condemning the movie since they could not exercise their right to think and choose not to see it just as the artists exercised theirs to make it. after all, this still is america right? god bless us all. for when people like you end up in charge, we are heading towards the reality in ‘v for vendetta’ and ‘equilibrium’, both excellent movies about a world where no one is allowed to think different then the ‘deciders’ so that nothing bad ever happens, yeah i suggest you watch and learn. ps, they arent for your kids either so im letting you know so you dont gather them and then be appalled. just a heads up.

athanasia on March 13, 2009 at 8:56 am

After reading through the comments, I wanted to make another note to you Debbie. I find it interesting that you, with your utmost intelligence (or so you say), have to resort to name calling and put downs (ie anyone who likes Watchmen is an idiot) in order to support your opinion rather than using intelligent comments to make your point. Your hollow opinions sound more like emotional rants based on conservative values rather than a logical argument that takes into account both sides of the coin.
You completely bash Watchmen without even trying to understand it or educate yourself about it. You want superheroes like Superman and Spiderman that are glossy and clear-cut, and lets say dumbed down, to appeal to you. You need somebody else to formally label “the bad guy” for you. Who is the good guy in Watchmen and who is the bad? Itís not clear and thatís part of the point and it angers you. You donít understand Watchmen so you condemn it. You condemn it for being raw and for addressing issues that get swept under the rug by people like you who refuse to acknowledge that it exists in society. Ignorance is bliss, right?
If I thought it would get through your emotionally driven skull, I would recommend actually picking up and reading the book. There’s a substory within the Watchmen, which was left out of the movie, that could possibly help you make the connection with the bigger plot and point of the story in our parallel society. This ofcourse would require you to subside your emotional conclusions and open your mind just a teenie bit. Afterall, to really make an intelligent argument as youíre touting, you need to know both sides of the story. Not just shut down and lash out because you donít understand something and/or it doesn’t agree with your preset values.

DesignChic on March 13, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Debbie, you keep hammering on the supposed “fact” that Watchmen is marketed to children, yet you fail to provide any proof of this. Can you produce a Watchmen toy cartoon? A happy meal toy campaign? For that matter, can you find a Watchmen action figure in any store other than a direct-market Comics shop? See them in any Toys R Us ads?
You can’t, and you won’t, because these things don’t exist. The film has been openly marketed as “Rated R”, and anyone with a single functioning brain cell knows that the “R” rating stands for “RESTRICTED-no one under the age of 17 admitted without Parent”. No one under the age of 17 without parent, rather than the family friendly “G” for “General Admission”.
“R” rated movies are NOT marketed for children, because they are NOT FOR CHILDREN. This film has never hidden the “R” rating. It announces it in the cartoons, displays it on the posters, and says it on the movie time list at the theater box office. How many places do they have to put that big old “R” right out in the open for you to see before you get the picture?
We get it, you don’t approve of this movie. That’s fine, it’s your right. But you’re blatant lies about who it’s marketed for are ridiculous. Not all comics are for children, and the same caveat goes for movies. But I know this won’t sink in, I mean you were too dumb to pick up on the fact that it was set in a FICTIONAL America where Nixon repealed the term limit and got re-elected to more terms in office.
Also, Kensington, why is it exactly that toy collectors automatically equal losers in your eyes? I mean, I’ve seen football players slap/grab each others butts, but I don’t automatically think all jocks are gay. Grow up some, both of you.

badspock on March 13, 2009 at 5:29 pm

So, you don’t need to do any research into the films you critique, you just KNOW verything about them by watching them. Brilliant.
Also, I read somewhere that you practice law? If this is true, then you should know that calling those of us that enjoy this film and don’t share your narrow-minded views “idiots with zero intellect and soul” in print constitutes LIBEL. Last I checked, libel is actionable. I wonder if libel laws apply to blogs? Maybe I should ask my own lawyer and get back to you on that.
I also find it telling that a blond-haired, blue eyed Aryan dream girl references Nazis so often in her diatribes. Rock on, Fraulein, because I need more foolishness to laugh at!

badspock on March 13, 2009 at 6:22 pm

1) Comic books are hardly ever successfully marketed or sold to children anymore. Neither is a significant portion of the action figure market. Children don’t read comics and hardly ever play with physical toys anymore-most of their buying power is directed at video games. The people in charge of these markets have a right to sell products to whomever they want to, that is their right as free market Americans.
2) The originator of the Watchmen comic is a radical liberal. He wrote the character of Rorschach as a parody of right wing extremists. Nothing that character says is an attempt to pander to you: it’s an attempt to make fun of you.
3) Parents in this country can bring their children into whatever film they think is appropriate. You have no right to pass judgment on their parenting as long as it’s legal. Raising ones children the way one wants to within the bounds of law is an American right.
4) Watchmen is about idiots who revere idealistic Superhero concepts yet commit and possess idiotic and disgusting acts and attitudes. It’s about how hero-ism has a dark side, about the fact that there is no true purity in the “grand warriors” that protect us. Look at a politician. Look at a dirty cop. Look at yourself, you arrogant, hate-filled idiot.

Bunduspest on March 13, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Debbie I am going to have to respectfully disagree on almost all your points. As a reviewer myself who is a longtime comic book reader as well as a reader of everything from the time chronicles, the dresden files, Stephen King work, Harry Potter and the list goes on I’d say I’m pretty culturally tuned in.
The trailers for the movie have all been very adult oriented and the only time I viewed one of them in a pg-13 movie was none other then the Dark Knight which had a similar dark tone to it which was not geared towards children at all either. Though I saw idiotic parents take their kids to the midnight screening of that too.
Most professional journalists/reviews do research into the things they review whether it be the extended career or someone like Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez or something like how Zack Snyder did his best to get his hands on Watchmen which was a benchmark in the comic book industry that showed that not all comics have to be geared towards kids. The over all story being a bit of a cautionary tale of what would happen if people in the brightly colored costumes lived in the real world.
Dave Gibbons the artist and co-creator of the book was involved in the whole process as Alan Moore the writer of the book has sworn off any actual relationship with Hollywood for how much his works have been completely butchered.
Just like 300 which was based after the book that Frank Millar made about a very infamous battle in history this stays very close to it’s source material. As a reviewer I’d hope you tried to at least google watchmen or noticed the big DC stamp on the opening of the movie and did your review from there?
But once again I respectfully disagree with the over all tone of the review and really recommend possibly gaining a copy of the graphic novel to see if you can tolerate that a bit more.

Zack_Hunter on March 13, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Ho ho, well, there is not much I can add to the rebuttal at this point, as most of my posts under other names were merely to vent rage about the intellectual dishonesty the review consists of, and others have delivered smashing takedowns in their own rights, but I would like to clear up a misconception Mr. Justthisguy has had. A few classic Disney movies would probably actually rebranded nowadays as PG as opposed to G. Sleeping Beauty is one (Mostly for the final battle with Maleficent, which I have heard as giving a couple more startle-able children nightmares even, plus the use of Hell). Three Musketeers another. (on-screen deaths treated realistically.) Black Cauldron a third (Humanoid villain melted among other occurences). The original Fantasia (especially for the topless nudity centaur part) a fourth. Therefore, even Disney movies would get the chop should Ms Schlussel chair the MPAA. And lets not even mention Donald Duck, Donald&the chipmunks (namely donald using a flamethrower on friggin’ chipmunks in order to chase them from a tree), or old Goofy cartoons. Remember how Goofy had a violent split personality for the educational safety shorts like driving with Goofy? Donald even once threw someone off a dock tied to an anchor, a bit one-shot character who hasn’t been seen since, extinguished just to showcase his extreme anger at that point. Pre-60s Donald is clearly Disney’s Comedian. Its one of the things that makes playing Kingdom Hearts so painful to this old timer, even though they haven’t had their more violent aspects of their personalities for a long time it still feels a bit like character assassination to see them act so retardedly infantile. (and that’s before you get into the poor AI!)
Badspock, Debbie is Jewish, which just makes the comparison there evermore hilariously ironic.
To Zack: I personally prefer much of the Hollywood League to Moore’s own, at least the basic storyline. Sawyer is a poor and hackneyed shoehorned addition, when so many lesser-known but more appropriate period American heroes existed.
However, I miss the period product placement. I miss Hyde’s screentime as there is little time passage between Hyde being a psychopath and Hyde becoming docile, at least to his teammates. I miss Hyde becoming Beast to Mina’s Belle (instead she handles all her business by herself, which is greatly anachronistic and also detrimental as it removes a necessary character-building relationship for Hyde). I miss Nemo’s anti-imperialist rants, and the resulting team interaction most of all.
Had it been a 3 hour movie like Watchmen I believe League would have been vastly superior to the original three comics. Quartermain, as a pulp adventure hero, had no need to be deconstructed, his continued existence and triumph through arrogant frontal charges ought be satire enough in itself. Connery, as usual, destroyed the original and made it his own just as he did with Bond all those years prior. In that case I think it was a good thing, self-hating pulp does not make for good reading. Comic Quartermain was in dire need of an esteem-building asskicking. I like that the Invisible Man temporarily gives up skirt-chasing instead of always trying to hop in Mina’s bustier. The prospect of gratuitously abusing such a power functions better when it doesn’t happen in view of the audience constantly. It would make for a good moral breaking point when faced with death later on, he cowardly backs out of the mission and resumes his old life, leading to his comic book demise to Hyde. They should have left Manchu in as Moriarity’s eastern rival, though changed to be an arms manufacturer as well, with the idea he is the villain for the second act, and the Martians being moved to a third. Possibly the defection of Invisible Man would happen during Manchu’s arc instead. V for Vendetta does mildly pale in comparison to the original however, as does the Watchman script finally chosen. Would have liked to have seen the one Moore preferred. Maybe as a follow up what-if sequel??
Also in this hypothetical third League movie, Hyde should live at the end, but burned so horribly by Martian rays that Jekyll becomes the physically stronger of the two, yet still weaker of constitution and bravery.
And to Amanda, I envy you, or rather, your child. If but every child had a parent as nurturing, protective, well-bred, and understanding as you, and could realise those qualities don’t all have to oppose one another. My own mother resembled the reviewer, and left me having to catch up a lot in life and in my studies for fear I may ‘learn or view something dangerous.’ If you have seen the cult movie Thr3e, you know exactly the kind of ‘mothering’ these types tend to do.

Count Piet Adbret Slann van Jaap on March 14, 2009 at 1:25 am


alexalex on March 14, 2009 at 2:15 pm

I would take this time to argue against the points you made in your review, Debbie, but many people have already done this, thoroughly and eloquently enough that there is little more to say. Suffice to say, the only truly “deranged” and “indecent” thing I have found on this page is your ultra-conservative tunnel vision and scapegoating regarding this movie. Allow me to elaborate. Your comments regarding parents who took their children to see the Watchmen film are baseless and foolish. Now then, I am not advocating taking a small child to the movie. I have both seen the film and read the graphic novel and even a quick Wikipedia search will tell you, this is not for children. However, to judge these parents from your pulpit is out of place. Do you know these people and their children? You see them in the theater, and that’s it. As for your inclusion about the “white single mother”, was that information even necessary to your review, or just a shot at single mothers? I was born to and raised for the first years of my life by a single, white, young mother. What does that matter? Does that automatically make me or her a bad person? Does the fact that when my own first child is born this summer (so technically, I have taken my child to Watchmen!) my long-term boyfriend and I will not be married make either of us bad people or parents? Or doom our child to be “messed up”?
To be perfectly honest with you Debbie, you have used your Watchmen review to trample, bash, and basically show your prejudice against everything that I am in life, while at the same time completely missing the point of the movie. I have to admit that does take some talent or something. To quickly elaborate once again, I am an unmarried expectant mother (although in a long-term relationship with the father), an avid reader of comic books and sometimes collector of the “action figures” as you call them, and I also saw and thoroughly enjoyed the Watchmen. So I must be all kinds of bad to you, the kind of person you’d pull your children away from and say “No, she’s a bad lady” to, eh? The sad part is, despite all this, which already makes me a “vapid loser” in your eyes, I hold a full-time job, my own apartment, and a university degree in anthropology/history studies.
From a historical context, (and this may come as a shock to you) the world is not a nice place. What you see in Watchmen is merely a reflection of that. To be honest, you can see more graphic images on CSI or Law and Order than the scene in which the Comedian is thrown from his window to his death. Historically, violent entertainment is not a new thing wither. A few examples: Gladiator matches and chariot races (which were extremely dangerous and could result in grisly crashes) were Roman entertainment. Later on, public executions, whether hangings or witch burnings, drew crowds of spectators as well. Are you naive enough to think that children were not present for any of these? So really, what you rail on is nothing new to humanity, except now, with movies, people don’t actually have to die to provide the illusion and entertainment. That being said, if all you saw from Watchmen was sex, violence, and a blue penis, you really missed the whole point of it.
After taking a look at the rest of your site (unlike you, I was not going to say anything out of hand until I had taken a look at what else you had posted, and do a little research), I can only come to one conclusion. You come off as a sheltered and hateful person, disliking everything and anything that you are not. I look at your site and words and hear echoes of the worlds of 1984 and V for Vendetta. And that is frightening. I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, that you were merely one of those over-zealous PTA moms attacking a violent movie as the root of all evil of society, etc., but what I see here goes far beyond that.
I hope that I have made my point sufficiently, whether or not it gets through to you, although I am sure you have judged me already based on this post (although last time I checked, there was only one who’s judgment actually counted, so think what you want of me, I guess. And for the record, yes, I am a religious person). But if nothing else, thanks for the entertainment thus far in this article. It has been very interesting and telling of you and the so-called “Watchmaniacs”.

LeoMel on March 14, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Now, Debbie, let’s get a few things straight. I only know a few other people who like Watchmen. We are a very nice, kind bunch. I do not find myself wanting to spew obscenities whenever someone insults something I like, and this is one of those times. Just because a few people commented nastily, does not mean they talk for all of us. Some people like Watchmen for the story. In the original comic books, the basic story was that, and this is spoilers for those who have not seen or read it, The Comedian is killed, so Rorschach investigates. He suspects that someone is out to kill all the people who were masked superheroes. A long time ago, a law was put out that all people wearing masks were to reveal their identities. some did not comply. Now, I don’t want to go on forever about the story, but, if you were to read it, you would see there are many intricate sub-stories, such as the two lesbians, one who looks at hustler, and the other a straight-edge woman. But you wouldn’t notice, you would be busy being horrified that they’re lesbians in the first place. Now, let’s get to another topic. You, Debbie, created this blog website to, what else, voice your opinion. That’s what these things are for. I respect your opinion. All I ask is that you respect mine. By voicing your opinion, you risk creating CONFLICT. This may be surprising, but not everyone has the same views. You may not like other peoples opinions, but you have to respect them.
Now, Watchmen, in my eyes, is an amazing work of FICTION (by definition, something that is NOT TRUE), but I’m not going to shove my opinion down your throat. I have been much more civil than most of the people here. If you respond with a comment like your others, simply ignoring what they have said, twisting their words, and calling them names, while comparing the good arguments with the lowbrow insults of others and saying the both are one in the same, the fact will be that you do not know how to argue your point without resorting to childishness, lies, and close mindedness. If you do not comment at all, you will show that when someone makes a good point, you ignore them and move one to the next person you can attack. If you respond nicely, it may show that you are a good person, but it may also mean that when someone has you in checkmate, you give in, and then continue to terrorize the people who cannot out argue you.
Your move.

sushix on March 15, 2009 at 5:46 pm

“You are not entitled to your opinion; you are entitled to your informed opinion. If you are not informed on the subject, then your opinion counts for nothing.”
–Harlan Ellison

UK on March 18, 2009 at 2:52 pm

“You are not entitled to your opinion; you are entitled to your informed opinion. If you are not informed on the subject, then your opinion counts for nothing.”
–Harlan Ellison

UK on March 18, 2009 at 2:53 pm

“You are not entitled to your opinion; you are entitled to your informed opinion. If you are not informed on the subject, then your opinion counts for nothing.”
–Harlan Ellison

UK on March 18, 2009 at 2:53 pm

(If you haven’t left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won’t appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

UK on March 18, 2009 at 2:55 pm

What we need is a kind of “American Christian Taleban” to restore good old fashioned Christian values in this country.
Then a few bombs in movie houses showing this trash would sort these people out!

Conservative Christian on March 19, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Alright. Just putting this out there.
The movie was great. I loved it. The plot was quite interesting, you were SUPPOSED to hate The Comedian, and I’m kinda surprised at the negative spin you’ve put on the Old Silk Spectre’s acceptance of her daughter, aren’t conservatives generally anti-choice? ;P
However, I agree entirely with you that the marketting was largely geared ambiguously to the public at large. The word ‘vigilante’ and some spandex costumes sets the mood for superhero- sure, it’s dark, but that ad was played at The Dark Knight, and it didn’t seem to ME that it would be anything more explicit than ye good olde Batman (Yes, I was rather surprised by the content of the film… but pleasantly so. for the mostpart.) so I understand how a few parents might overlook that as well. (In the future, I vow to actually pay attention to those rating things.)
As others have said, the memorabilia are largely geared towards adults, but you’re right, the ad definitely appeals to children, even if it wasn’t constructed to-
which I doubt.

pumpkinskull on March 20, 2009 at 12:25 am

What will you do for an encore, Ms. Schlussel? Will you write a blog entry denouncing Dungeons & Dragons? How about heavy metal? Or perhaps you will educate us about the morally corrosive effects of modern video games?
Since this is still a somewhat free country (no thanks to you and the liberals you mock like a cut-rate Ann Coulter), I will not tell you what to write about. After all, I would not forgive such an insult from you. I will say, however, that you are doing no favors to American conservatism by focusing on parents who insist on bringing their children to an R-rated movie just because the trailer showed a bunch of masked vigilantes.
In fact, Puritanical social conservatives like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and yourself are part of the reason I turned my back on the Republican party and became an independent back in 2001. If anything, I should thank you, Ms. Schlussel. When somebody asks me why I am not a Republican despite my desire to see Federal power limited to its Constitutionally-defined boundaries, I will direct them to your site. The GOP abandoned its principles in favor of pandering to people like you. It, and you, deserve the irrelevance you have brought upon yourselves like the wrath of the God you should shove down our throats.

Eddie Van Helsing on March 20, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Oh dear Debbie – I would have loved to chat with you, but it appears as if, instead of blindly rebuffing our comments like before, you have simply disappeared; refusing, or simply unable, to sensibly reply to the extremely well thought-out arguments that have been posted here.
I agree with all of the people who think that you are an uninformed neo-Nazi who would rather blame the makers of a film about the darker side of the human psyche than the stupid parents who assume that all films based on comic books are intended for children.
I won’t repeat what others have said before, but I will stress that comics have not been intended for children since the early 1980s. Check out the Batman comics ‘The Killing Joke’, and ‘The Dark Knight Returns’. Yes. Batman. And what do these comics contain? Nudity, incredibly graphic gunshots and death, psychological torment, and the rather memorable death of an entire troop of boy scouts. Nowadays, any intelligent person would know that films based on graphic novels, ESPECIALLY those with a harder then PG-13 rating (or 12a, as it is here in the U.K.) would be unbelievably unsuitable for children. In the U.K., audiences of Watchmen have to be 18 or over – any less then that, and they are turned away. All I can say is that if all Americans where like yourself, you would be part of an ignorant and stupid nation which didn’t deserve the freedom of choosing what is suitable for it’s own children to watch.
As for your defense that this film is aimed towards children, let’s take a look at the trailer, shall we?
The first trailer : .
Man is shown to graphically explode, man is thrown through a window backwards, a man in a trench coat makes a flamethrower from an aerosol, a women is shown wearing a very small latex job which shows much of the crotch, a man is shown using a flamethrower on another man before smiling and puffing on a cigar, a group of rioters are consummed by fire, extreme violence shown such as the multiple hitting and punching, a man is exploded, general nihilism shown throughout (such as ‘people will look up and shout “Save us” and I’ll answer… no’), and the film is finally shown as being ‘Watchmen’, one of the most controversial and extremist graphic novels written.
Yep, from this early trailer, I can already see that it is entireyl suitable for a child.
Bring on trailer 2:
Opens with an extreme slow mo shot of a man being thrown into a table, shot of blood hitting a smiley face, another slo mo shot of man being thrown through window, shots of true to life firearms, man using a flamethrower on another man, the words ‘political killing’ used, mention of nuclear war and shot of New York being bombed, more graphic beatings, many repeated shots from the first trailer, including bodies exploding and beatings, obvious shots of rioting and more nihilism (‘why would I save a world.. that I no longer have any stake in’).
So far, so good. Looks perfect for my small, impressionable children.
Trailer 3 time :
shot of a ‘superhero’ caught in a rotating door with multiple gun wounds, more reused clips from past trailer, including beatings and nudity, slow mo close up shot of a woman upon a man with no clothes, more nihilsim, more graphic depictions of warfare.
Yes, from viewing these trailers, all of which have the ‘this film is rated R warning beforehand’, it seems as though this film is very much marketed towards children.
If you didn’t realise I was just being sarcastic, I don’t blame you. After all, you were stupid enough to believe that all parents would think this was appropriate for children.
Also stupid enough to completely get wrapped up in the violence, sex and nudity of the film, whilst completely missing why these themes are utilised, and what the overall film is supposed to mean.
I sincerely hope you read these posts. It is incredibly rude to not acknowledge the commenters have spent so long trying to educate you.

Bex on March 21, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Debbie, I find it ironic that you say that Watchmen fans are hypnotized into thinking that anything you say is false, when you have been shooting down peoples opinions this whole time. Not just ironic on that level, but the fact that there is a conflict JUST like this in the Watchmen story makes it all the more ironic.
You see, that bad man, the one with the blue penis, see time in a different way than anyone else. He sees time happening all at once. He is in 1972 and 1982 at the same time. His girlfriend, the slutty girl’s daughter, argues with him that he doesn’t see the way humans do, so he can’t understand the impact of what he says on them. But, while saying that he doesn’t want to see things the way humans do, she is at the same time rejecting the thought of thinking the way he does. Sound familiar? In any way? Like, exactly the way you are acting? Just a thought.

sushix on March 21, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Now, I’ll try not to blow my top, but you, Ms. Schlussel, are STRONGLY mistaken if you hadn’t heed the warnings clearly issued by the trailer, which is “R”… That should be an indicator that this movie is NOT FOR KIDS. And, since you take the “action figures are for kids” route, I must ask: Do the words COMIC-CON mean anything to you? There are nerds in this world, I should know, I’m one of them. And we nerds like action figures, seeing as how we read/watch the material they originate from. Now, riddle me this. There is a GRAPHIC NOVEL which this movie is based off of. Pretty well done, from what I’ve heard. This graphic novel is NOT FOR KIDS in any way, shape or form. Now, if you STILL haven’t followed this, you have ABSOLUTELY, NO PLACE to see this movie. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Simple as that. And if you can’t understand that, you are simply, retarded. Thanks for a waste of my time, and I’d like to tell you to kindly KILL YOURSELF, you mistaken WHORE.

MouseyWithPower on March 21, 2009 at 11:01 pm

And Huck Finn is racist too, isn’t it?
Accept the differential values. Take a punch. Read the novel, eh? You can be wrong. But you can be right. Most likely you’re neither. It is an opinions, so you can’t be right of wrong.
Yes, I’ve read Watchmen, and I loved it, and yes, I’ve seen the film, and I liked it too. And you’re right on one count, it was exceptionally violent and somewhat crude. I now have to live with my favorite Hallelujah chorus stuck to that movie and Shrek.
But you see the violence and nothing beyond it. You don’t see any motifs, or any thematic elements. I do, but that too, is an opinion, and thus, invalid. Your opinions is invalid as well.
So, shut up. See what you will, but don’t dissuade others from what they might. And whoever talked trash back, same thing to you.
This whole argument is pointless, just like the review.
So, to rehash everything:
It’s not for kids.
It’s rated R.
You’re a stubborn conservative.
You don’t see the themes becuase you choose not to.
You choose not to becuase of the violence and the sex.
But they could be there.
Everything is an opinion.
Your opinion can’t be right.
Stop trying to prove that it is, both sides.
The world turns. Let it go.

Lilium on March 22, 2009 at 5:12 pm

I noticed you keep bringing up Hitler, Mein Kampf, and what not…
Godwin’s Law. Whoo! I win!

Red Chili on March 22, 2009 at 11:50 pm

“Maybe if I make a movie about how Eisenhower was President in 1972, we “lost” World War II, and Bin Laden was gonna bomb the World Trade Center then, I’ll be cool, too. . .”
Bin Laden was born in the 1950s, so if you were creating an alternate history that diverged from real history in the 1940s at the latest, Bin Laden would never have been born, so your scenario wouldn’t really work as you lay it out.
Eisenhower, of course, was born prior to your point of divergence, though, so you could have him as President in 1972. Though the real Eisenhower died in 1969, in your alternate history he could certainly have lived beyond that point, and would only be 82 in 1972; Reagan wasn’t quite 80 when he left office, so your alternate Eisenhower would be a little older as president than Reagan ever was, but that’s not really a huge deal.
So, your alternate historical setting is sound, but your plot could probably use a few changes.

Luke Styer on March 26, 2009 at 10:16 am

While I think Ms. Schlussel largely missed the point of the movie (perhaps the three hour running time outstripped her attention span — she saw the movie and by her own admission that means she’s probably a vapid moron), she’s definitely right that it’s not a kid’s movie — hence the R rating.
I’ve not seen a single advertisement that told me that the movie was being marketed to kids, but I probably haven’t seen all the advertising, so while Ms. Schlussel doesn’t back up her repeated assertion that it’s being marketed to kids (well, she does follow the assertion with “PERIOD” at least once, so that might officially count as all-the-evidence-she-needs), I certainly can’t disprove that assertion. But even if it is marketed to kids, I’d think it is the responsibility of individual parents to look into any movie they would allow their children to see, particularly if it is rated R. While Ms. Schlussel’s post largely misses the point of the movie, she’s correct that it features sex, violence and nudity, so her “review” can stand as a warning to any parents who take the time to research whether they should take their kids to see an R rated movie.
All that said, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the fans of the movie who are arguing that one can’t intelligently review the movie without having read the comic book. If understanding the movie requires reading the comic book from which the movie was adapted then the movie is a failure.

Luke Styer on March 26, 2009 at 10:42 am

Styer – your post is pretty great, but what the other commenters meant when they said that you can’t fully appreciate the film without reading the comic is correct in my view. The film, as Synder said, was made for fans, by fans. The film seems to be a very good companion to the graphic novel, and stands well as a film in it’s own right, but it really needs a full grasp of the comic to fully understand. That’s why many reviewers have slated it – it doesn’t really compensate for those who don’t know the background, and it assumes you know every bit of Watchmen-lore. It’s like the Lord of the Rings films, good, but possibly confusing if you didn’t know the story, but so, so much better when you know the source material that inspired it.
I agree when you say it’s unfair to state you can’t review the film if you haven’t read the book, though. However, Debbie didn’t really review the film at all. She just insulted the entire Watchmen fanbase, repeatedly stated that it’s not quite right to let children see it (which is bloody obvious), then listed a lump of sexual and violence scenes, many of which are not half as graphic as some other R-rated films. As a ‘movie critic’ as she calls herself, she really doesn’t have a sence of what reviewing movies is all about. She’s even made the error of assuming that because Watchmen has violence in it, it must be promoting it. She didn’t critically analyse anything in the film, just whined about completely irrelevent points.
Debbie, I’m not going to stop commenting until you publically apologise for insulting every single member of the human popuation who has read the graphic novel and/or seen the film. I would prehaps have let you off if you had backed up ANY of your points with valid evidence. Wishing death upon anyone who enjoyed the film is very childish. Maybe those with the mental age of a child should be restricted to seeing Watchmen too.

Bex on March 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm

It has become increasingly obvious to me, as it should be to everyone that you have absolutely no idea what your talking about and are completely stuck in your ways. Countless times throughout your post as well as your replies to comments were filled with unsubstantiated Ôø?factsÔø? (Ex: Ôø?this movie was marketed to kidsÔø? I only ever saw the trailer played on TV on channels directed at Adults, generally that means its not marketed towards children, please give reference to were you got the information that it was marketed towards kids). Past that you make it seem as if the Film Ôø?glorifiesÔø? rape, sex, and violence, however the rape depicted is shown to be brutal and very looked down upon, and the only reason the victim does not feel vengeful upon the rapist is because of the wonderful daughter she had because she eventually had consensual sex with the man (which you would have known had you paid attention to the film). The Sex scenes in the film I will admit were a little over the top but the first between Dr. Manhattan and The second Silk Specter is integral to the plot as it is the catalyst for her to leave. The violence throughout the Film is not really anything more horrible than I have seen in any other highly rated film.
Now, I must say that some of your replies to comments seem rather low, and unintelligent. In one comment you make reference to Hitler and ask the commenter if they had even read Mein Kampf (Ôø?SOME SAY HITLER HAD A “GREAT MESSAGE.” EVER READ MEIN KAMPF? I GUESS MAYBE A MESSAGE JUSTIFIES COOKING PEOPLE IN OVENS, TOO. BUT, HEY, HE FORGOT TO MAKE MEIN KAMPF INTO A GRAPHIC NOVEL. BIG MISTAKE.
OH, AND YES, LET’S MAKE THE WORLD EVEN MORE OF A DARK SCARY PLACE BY MAKING THESE KINDS OF MOVIES TO BE INHALED BY PEOPLE LIKE YOU. AWESOME.Ôø? Direct quote) Have you read Mein Kampf? Or even googled what it is about? Or taken the time to find out it was written before World War Two even started (Both volumes in fact, and all three editions were released before 1939, the considered starting point of WW2). You should really check your facts before you hop all over someone else because you think their facts are false.

slightly on March 27, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Wow, for a grown woman you are incredibly clueless.
I have not seen this film nor read the comics, but any idiot can tell that this IS NOT, AND HAS NEVER, been marketed towards children. The film is rated R. It is the parent’s responsibility not to take their children to an R-rated film. The film, and the comic, were both intended for adults, and the toys are not intended for kids either. They’re for the collector’s market (most people who purchase Star Wars figures, for instance, are adults who just collect things – not as many kids these days are as interested in the franchise)
And calling ADULTS indecent, vapid morons who choose to see an ADULT film? You’re the most fanatical, short-sighted and ignorant reviewer I’ve ever seen for any form of entertainment. You go into this review with nothing but false assumptions about its marketing, then insult mature, rational people for their choice in fiction. You’re an anti-intellectual clown.

scythemantis on March 28, 2009 at 4:59 am

It maybe the fact I rarely watch TV now a days, but I never saw any advertisement for The Watchmen on an channel that was aimed at children. The action figures are for sad people like myself who are a little two old to be collecting such things but we still do so, I have looked and none could be found in areas for younger children. The ones I could find were in either bookstores that sell the graphic novel, and more adult stores such as Spencer’s Gifts.
Now I have read it, and knew what was going to be shown.(though I admit some of the gore surprised me, but the movie the Re-Animator was much worse in my opinion, but it is just that an opinion) The parents though do have a responsibility to look in to what they take their children to see. I was rather surprised when I saw parents taking their children in to see (Thankful some realized their mistake and walked out.) As many people have stated, though at times in a less the reasonable manner, this is a movie for fans, by fans. (I also like to point out for that this kind of stuff happens in real life, minus of course the obvious. People die, have sex, get raped, etc. There is no sparkle world where it rains gumdrops and the author of this showed us in a rather extreme manner.)
If you want to question my sanity for liking this and try to insult me, go ahead. I will still enjoy this movie, and this graphic novel. (which was listed multiple times in Time magazine)

hatteraxel on March 28, 2009 at 7:02 am

Noticed my comment was erased. You didn’t answer my question. If you want to talk about Jim Jones. How about all of these parents who can’t find out about what to teach their children and take them to see, etc. without all of your opinionated rhetoric guiding there hands. Somebody seems a little butt hurt at Hitler. Not condoning his actions or even way of thinking but this happened quite a while ago. I don’t deny it happened like some people in the Middle-East but, to keep bringing up Hitler is redundant and doesn’t bring any substance to your claims. I know you are Jewish but I have plenty of friends from that religion and they do not keep complaining about it although their families were refugees from all over Eastern Europe. You have repeatedly been proven wrong and the only retort you can supply is “You are idiots, morons, and have no souls.” Wow. That really counteracts all these points against yours on here. Just for future reference, bring substance not attacks. Works better that way. Who knows? Maybe we would be more inclined to see it your way. Probably not. But, it would be better than berating people for liking something you do not.

WalterKovacs on March 29, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Obviously Watchmen is not a movie that children should be taken to. Good advice that. It isn’t a movie for people who who have a serious aversion to graphic violent content. Absolutely. However, your review seems to lack a certain insight. In order to evaluate the stupidity of a plot, one must first understand it. I take it you are unfamiliar with the science fiction concept of alternate history, but surely you must realize that this is a fantasy movie. Sure, Nixon never really served a fifth term, but he never had an omnipotent blue giant or an unstoppable hitman either. One of the points of the story is to attack the comic book (and comic book movie) idea that the world could continue fundamentally unchanged if it had a Superman, or even people with Batman’s abilities in it. Personally I think it’s a bit of a smear on Nixon and more of one on the American political system to posit that a decisive victory in Vietnam and the assassination of a few people would be enough to let Nixon serve a sixth term as President. But just dismissing it as “wrong” as if the authors just made an arithmetic error, betrays a fundamental lack of comprehension that makes your review sadly superficial.

David Johnston on April 1, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Dear Debbie,
I have learned not to start fights on the internet, but I’m a sucker for punishment. First, let me start by saying that we are coming from very different political backgrounds, but although I severely disliked the message of 300, I still appreciated its visual value and did not decide that the sex, rape, and violence were intrinsically tied to its conservative message. I would also like to say that I think it’s interesting that you overlook the rape in 300 and also that the gore was viewed positively in 300 rather than as a disgusting by product of a broken society in Watchmen. Further, I think a movie that deals with the nuclear arms race with apprehension and a desire for peace is hardly liberal bent or deserving of being called peacenik in such a derisive manner. Nuclear weapons can destroy us all in under 4 hours; I’m sorry but I think that even the most hawkish conservative can agree nuclear war is a definite negative. Also, I think your view of the superhero in this movie is tragically simplistic. The whole point of this movie is “who watches the watchmen”, or that superheros are lose cannons and not the heroes we think of them as. Also, all the things the Comedian did were meant to demonize him. We’re meant to hate the Comedian; find him charming, sure, but still hate. Basically I would like to conclude by saying I think you are clearly completely lacking in either intelligence or knowledge and are unfit to do anything in relation to movies except spew some of the most pathetically thought-out conservative propaganda I have ever seen. Honestly, I know high school kids who would make better talking heads.
P.S. Rupert Murdock is yours, and we SO don’t want him.
PPS also anyone who thinks a movie that is rated R is aimed at children is a crazy conspiracay theorist or stupid. Its dark and artsy and has the same appeal to children that any war movie would.

hanedw on April 5, 2009 at 2:04 am

oh and another ps the dolls are so meant for 35 year old men you can only buy them online and there only making 5000 there collectors items not toy.

hanedw on April 5, 2009 at 2:07 am

“This review looks like revenge of the f’ing psychos! Talk about a rash of pedophile philosophers standing up for their favorite movie! So this is what society has bred? A horde of perverted psudo intellectual nerds that like violent comics with sex.
To quote Travis Bickel from “Taxi Driver”: Someday a good rain will wash all the scum off the side walk….(A cool Noahs ark reference). Bottom line the movie sucked and isn’t for kids.”
Brad, I understand that you posted this comment a month ago, but I absolutely had to respond. Please explain to me one thing: how can you adamantly decry a story like Watchmen while simultaneously praising a quote that references Noah’s Ark and the “washing of the scum off the side walk?” How can you ever accept the Noah’s Ark story? Don’t you think its a tad hypocritical to glorify a so called ‘benevolent’ God that ruthlessly murders every fucking human being on the face of the planet, sans a few whom he deems holy? I’m fine with you lambasting Watchmen (which is admittedly violent), but how can you also accept the absurd hyper-violence present in nearly every religious story of the Old Testament? It constantly baffles me that the ‘modernized, absolutist, fundamentalist Americana’ can crucify current society as sinful and unfortunate with the tools of dogmatic rigidity and holier-than-thou politics. Isn’t it a huge clue that religious tactics need changing, that society has ALWAYS BEEN “IMMORAL?” No amount of religious intervention has ever changed human beings from being what they inherently are: moderately civilized apes. Accept it. Human nature is extraordinarily ambiguous, and it is clearly evident that claims as simplistic as “they are bad, we are good” have not only never worked, they are essentially fear-driven cop outs.

Rationalist on April 11, 2009 at 1:44 am

Look, there’s no point in trying to rationalize with her. She can’t answer a comment without resorting to insults unless that comment is in 100% agreement with her. Those of us who actually understand the comic understand the point it’s trying to get across. She doesn’t, she doesn’t appear to want to. Leave her be. The movie was meant for fans of the comic anyway, not to draw people in.
BTW, Mrs. Schlussel..If that was an explicit sex scene to you, you really need to step out from under your rock. There is alot worse going on in plain sight every day.

Selaris on April 11, 2009 at 3:45 am

Debbie Schlussel – I’m not going to lie – You’re the worst reviewer I’ve ever seen. At the very beginning to say that the movie is rated R and not for kids but for the rest of the review all you do is complain about how kids are affected. Parents bringing their kids into movies they shouldn’t be seeing has been happening for over 15 years. This happens with any movie. On that topic I instate BAKA CLAUSE – This movie was not in any way marketed for children, unless you can prove me otherwise you’ll shut your dry, tasteless mouth.
Every solid intelligent comment towards your Watchmen review is coincidentally ignored. As you’ve nothign to say to back yourself up. The toys are expensive, and made to be kept in their boxes and collected. They are not for children, as many people here have told you. They are not sold in Toys R Us, or Wal Mart. Like another person said, the comic book (I don’t bother with this graphic novel bullshit either) has been around for years and years, and is critically acclaimed as a fantastic piece of literature. Unlike anything you’ll ever produce on your blog.
You’re way too hot headed and ignorant to believe you have a voice that is valued. There is a reason that 95 percent of the comments on your page are calling you an idiot, you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.
This left wing right wing type of thing is your scapegoat into saying whatever absurdity you can and try to get away with it. This is the kind of review that finds it’s way across the depths and bowels of the internet to places like 4chan, and ends with your humility and tears.

Mavzer0 on April 12, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Ms. Schlussel, I have no idea whether you are still frequenting this site in order to read our collective comments about your review. In any case, I feel the need to contribute. I’ll approach your review in blocks:
ITEM 1: You complain about the attendance of children. The “R” rating denotes “NC-17” in an of itself… except that a parental accompaniment can override the age minimum. Thus, it is the parents’ own fault for not reviewing the content of the movie prior to allowing their children to see it.
ITEM 2: Watchmen was not heavily marketed as a superhero movie. It was marketed as a “hero” or perhaps “anti-hero” movie. I watched every single trailer so that I can provide you with this infallible statement: It displays no great similarity to any “tame” superhero movie released thus far. Aside from Dr. Manhattan, all characters are without “powers” aside from mere athletic ability and mental prowess. Those action figures? They aren’t even articulated! They’re mere objects of display; collectibles; boring things to any normal child.
ITEM 3: You take issue with the violence and sexual content. To address them in the same order you do:
1) Rape. Excuse me? The Comedian attempts to rape his female colleague, but fails. There is not an actual rape scene.
2) Explicit sex. Again, where are you living? In all of the sex scenes, the most offensive body part you view is a pair of breasts. Those are allowed even in PG-13 films. Get a grip, please.
3) The penis. You haven’t seen one before? This pertains to the target audience: All people 17 and above (or nearly all) will have seen a penis in a high school health class, or even between their own legs. For God’s sake, we teach our children about them in school.
4) Lesbian whores. Yet another time the target audience is critical. The words are undoubtedly part of any 17-year-old’s vocabulary.
ITEM 4: You don’t find a meaningful plot within Watchmen. Perhaps you should’ve paid better attention. The entire elder generation of heroes ages (even the Comedian shows signs of age depending upon the point in the movie), so that point is invalid.
ITEM 5: You have a contention with the historical liberties taken(ie. Nixon’s elections, events in certain years). You sarcastically call Watchmen “high brow” because of these alternate histories. In doing so, you insult the film because of it’s speculation on an alternative chain of events over the course of time. Thus, you also insult 1984, Catch-22, and other incredible works of fiction that alter the course of human history (or future) to enable a sensible plot.

You then proceed to list the violent or sexual scenes in the movie. Have you not seen “Pandora’s Box”? Violence, in a decent movie, is used to convey a message, or a particular character trait, and is NOT disgusting as a videographical element. Take, for example, the scene where Rorschach dumps boiling oil on an inmate’s face. We don’t see any particularly disgusting side-effect of the action, and the audience gets to see just how ridiculously adamant Rorschach is in his beliefs (and therefore behaviors).
I must admit, your intelligence shines when you associate a film that you find in poor taste to the growing decadence of our entire nation. Doing so is like saying the marketing of condom’s in the 1950’s led to increased unwanted pregnancies in the same decade. Stupidity.
I read the graphic novel before I saw the film. I don’t like rape, or extreme violence. But the film conveys most of the same important themes as the novel: Humanity waits until the last possible moment to unite as a single force; Those who are most content hold on to integrity and character, even to death; To dissociate oneself from the human race is to lose a significant amount of emotional health. The list goes on and on. If you actually try to appreciate the film instead of shallowly concentrating on its often repulsive visuals, it is deeply moving and edges on philosophically educational.

langsand000 on April 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm

While I’m here, I may as well add:
You dare comment on the IQ of “Watchmen” defenders in another of your posts? You attended the University of Michigan and Univeristy of Wisconsin. If I were you, I would think twice before demeaning another’s intelligence.
You may have two degrees, but you aren’t the only one. I hope that by this time tomorrow, when I have correct a cerebral aneurysm in one of my patients, you have posted a response to me. I find your opinions and general lack of intelligence absolutely distasteful.

langsand000 on April 12, 2009 at 6:31 pm

I would like to debate that the movie was marketed to kids.
First, the trailers. I just rewatched all of them so that they’re fresh in my mind. The background music sets a dark tone – a remix of the Smashing Pumpkins, Muse – all music teenagers or older tend to listen to. The cinematography is dark – even colors like yellow seem muted.
Things depicted in the trailers include: a man electrocuted until he disintegrates, a man being pushed through a window, NY blowing up, Silk Spectre II’s latex outfit, “God help us all,” said in a despairing tone, a mob throwing a Molotov cocktail, a mob attacking the superheros’ vehicle . . . not things usually found in a kids movie. That combined with the R rating would make me think the movie is going to be dark, violent, and sexy.
Second, the “action figures.” A quick Google search of “Watchmen action figures” turns up a bunch of figurines labeled collectible, describing limited numbered series, and the least expensive was over sixty dollars. A few more looks and I find cheaper figures, described as:
The wait for Watchmen is finally over! But who’s watching them? These excellently detailed characters from the movie are 6 1/4 to 6 3/4-inch tall action figures that feature exquisite sculpting along with multiple points of articulation and presentation bases. Each comes packaged in a 4-color window box, ready to protect you and watch over your collection!
. . . those don’t sound like kids toys to me. They sound like something meant to sit on a shelf and accumulate value.
Any parent who took their kids to Watchmen paid no attention to marketing. They just saw that it had people in costume and assumed that would make it family friendly. (Heck, even most Batman movies aren’t family friendly.)

Liviania on April 21, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Hi Debbie.
I posted your review of Watchmen over at another site, and it caused such hilarity that several people are now going to see it based purely on your ranting misconceptions and rabid hatred of Anything Not Debbie.
That’s right. You are used as a figure of fun to press home the opposite point of view, very rarely does that happen, but when it does it’s like finding a little magic leprechaun.

DMarkwick on April 23, 2009 at 8:40 am

You madam, are a royal fucktard. Your ignorance is staggering both that you fail to understand the meaning of the Restricted rating or even the concept of an alternate history. Parents who took younger children to this movie likely didn’t do any factchecking at all to the fact that the original graphic novel(which the movie is very true to) is incredibly adult oriented. As my compatriots above have pointed out your ravings really don’t make you look good. It’s like you never learned how to write a persuasive essay without pissing off everybody with any knowledge of the subject. Your are quite honestly a waste of time, energy, food, water, oxygen, and a soul. No wait. Strike that last one. Please do us all a favor and suck on the sweet double barrels of a Browning shotgun.
Hugs & kisses
Your biggest fan
P.S. I had my autistic little brother read your essay. He thinks you’re retarded. Let that sink in for a bit.

FuckYouDebbie on April 24, 2009 at 10:55 pm

For writing this review -you’re a moron.
I bet you are the type who adores those dumb “feel good” movies, but I am so mentally exahsted from reading this piece of crap, I am not even sure if I want to go read anything else written by you.
It is rated R for a reason, and any parent who took there kid to this movie is just as retarded as you. If you didn’t like the movie, oh well no reason to waste internet space.
You are a joke, there are about 30 different people laughing at you right at this moment [Well, because my friend sent this to me, and 29 other people], commenting about how dumb you are.

MissMusical on May 5, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Debbie, was it? Nice to meet you Debbie. I’m a teenaged girl, and this movie was possibly the best movie I’d seen in the year. Also, I have a few problems with your rant here.
1. Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a bad rip-off of Robert Downey Jr.? Are you insane? Morgan is exponentially better of an actor then Downey, and I would like to think that you researched each of them before writing such baseless crap.
2. A ‘superhero’ movie? Are you aware of how much money JUST ‘superhero’ movies make? Anyways, this isn’t a superhero movie! It has one character out of the entire movie with legitimate superpowers, and everyone else are a pack of regular folks who are taking a stand. But maybe that is superheroism to you…?
3. Marketed to kids? If it was being marketed to kids, dear Debbie, this movie would not have been rated R. Most superhero movies are not marketed to pre-teens and under, and are justly so as they have some violence. Coincidentally, superheroes get in fights on occasion. This is madness, I know… We can move past it with help, I think. The movie was an ‘R’ and for good reasoning. The main problem with movies nowadays, which you SHOULD be ranting about, is that parents are so stupid that they let their children see anything. I’ve met kindergarteners watching R movies before I had even considered viewing one.
There are so many more problems. I’m not even considering them. I am sick of people who post online with absolutely no knowledge.

joelle131 on May 8, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I enjoy the fact that you never responded to my email. But that’s alright, you’re probably busy denouncing other movies that offend you and your fat-assed moral majority after failing to do your homework because you were too busy curling up with your plain-cover copy of Mein Kampf auf Deutsch. Such a good little Hitlersjugend.

It’s been since March now. It’s July. And I still can’t help but laugh.

Deborah Schlussel, you are a pathetic mess. And I’ve never been more amused.

Kait on July 27, 2009 at 4:47 am

“If you see it yourself, you’re also probably a moron and a vapid, indecent human being. ”

Whoa. WHOA. Assumptions, much?
As for the sex/violence, yes, I agree, some of it went over the top, but do you expect every movie to be Disney-like? This film shows how foolish it is to put a certain group of people above the rest, because, in the end of the day, we’re all human, and we all have our flaws and cracks.

Also, read the graphic novel. It’s like ten thousand times better.

Susan on August 17, 2009 at 10:21 am

This is for the parents out there. Mainly the sheepishly ignorant ones, who naively assume that every movie in Hollywood is distributed by the Walt Disney Corporation, and that every piece of media is targeted at a kindergarten demographic.

These are the same stupid, slathering sacks of entrails that purchase thousands of dollars worth of Hannah Montana merchandise for their little girls, who will invariably attempt to emulate their pop star idol’s every move, right down to the provacative pole dancing she’s recently become so infamous for.

Let’s get to the issue at hand, here. To echo the sentiments of many others, the film in question is rated “R”. If you decide to let your children accompany you to an “R” rated film, you probably shouldn’t be left alone with them, to begin with. God knows what other kind of neglectful errors they could be privvy to.

Secondly, since when was this film aimed at children? I certainly don’t seem to recall cathcing a glimpse of Watchmen cereal boxes at the local grocery store, nor have I seen any commercials of children recreating scenes from the film with their Watchmen “toys”. And I’m fairly certain that there are no plans for ABC to air a Watchmen cartoon on Saturday mornings, at least not in the near-future.

And while we’re on the subject, since when are superheroes for children, anyways? With the exception of the kid-friendly Spider-Man, who is completely absent from this film, in case you failed to notice, a vast majority of today’s comic book films feature complex themes, with events and situations that may be incomprehensible to the average grade-schooler. If you, as a parent, actually did your part and RESEARCHED the material before blindly walking into the theater with your tots into tow, you would find that comic books themselves have found a much wider audience in males ages 18-34, and are therefore written to appeal to that audience. The films based upon these comics are no different.

And to bring up a question that one has to ask when reading the title of this blatant display of ignorance, why exactly would Hollywood be out to contaminate our children? This type of conspiracist-thinking usually has negative consequences. And if this is the mind-set under which you raise your children, I pity them.

But back to the film in question, the book it is based upon was certainly not written for children. Ergo, it’s cinematic counterpart was not filmed for children, nor does it make any attempt to market itself as such. I’m not quite sure how you came to the conclusion that is summarized in the stupid title of your stupid post, but it seems to me that logic would dictate that an “R” rated film should not be viewed by anyone under the age of 17.

The rating system exists because concerned parents wanted a way to identify what types of films were suitable for their children to watch. The system has even eveolved to include relatively detailed reasons as to WHY it recieved it’s respective rating. But the system only works when you actually pay attention to it.

As for your proposed movie about Eisenhower, it sounds contrived and uninspired, unlike the film you’re reviewing, which actually has a pretty valid point, if you’re mature enough to handle the subject matter. I won’t attempt to explain that point to you, as this reply has outgrown itself, already, and I’m sure that no amount of dumbing-down would be able to aid your comprehension of it anyhow. Your stupidity is astounding on a geological scale.

May you and your kind suffer a long and prosperous life, ending in an agonizingly peaceful death.

Tony on October 30, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    spider-man is actually deep too

    his baby died
    his clone died
    his best friend died and was resurrected after a deal with the devil
    his villain had sex with his old girlfriend who in turn had Goblin babies and almost killed him (something none of us want to remember though)
    he has suicidal thoughts about ben’s death being his responsibility and completely disregarding himself for the safety of others
    One of his villains raped his wife
    his wife was retconned by the devil (You can thank conservative Joe Quesada for that)
    He died once and came back

    Plus so much more

    Allen on February 8, 2010 at 10:09 pm

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