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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:33 am 
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Minutemarch wrote:
The old double standard huh? Oh yeah, I'm sure that colours some people's views.
Myself, I never saw her as a floozy. She leaves a guy when the relatinship fails and falls in love with another guy. I don't see how that makes her a floozy but it's amazing how often people draw that conclusion.
I'm pretty sure men invented the concept of nagging as an excuse not to listen to women. Mind you, movie Laurie is presented without a lot of her motivations explained so she can come across as needlessly whiny. I don't find this with book Laurie though.

Yeah- I still think the whole double standard thing still plays a big role in the art of storytelling (whether it's films to books to graphic novels).
I've only watched the film and just started the GN- so going with the film, I feel as if there was nothing wrong with leaving. It did not work out and so she left. It's simple- think how hard it would be to be in a relationship with a blue guy with godlike powers. I think she said it was over as well (didn't she?). So- she can go to Dan if she wanted to (which she did want to) so she could have some stability and normality. But the film doesn't present this strong enough to overcome whatever....I don't know- I didn't see FilmLaurie as whiny. >.>
And thank you- the avatar was actually stolen from Deviantart...
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A good two pennies, Ink. Laurie's certainly confrontational, and not your typical superheroine: that's mainly what I like about her. Something that was rather missing, in the movie


I think that element of her not being a WonderWoman cookiecut kind of heroine did not pop out as well in the film either.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:13 am 
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Ink wrote:
Yeah- I still think the whole double standard thing still plays a big role in the art of storytelling (whether it's films to books to graphic novels).


And of course, we get back to the whole argument about the core market for Superhero comics being adolescent males and superheroines as marketing rather central to the narrative.

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I think she said it was over as well (didn't she?).


She said "I don't want that responsibility [of being Jon's only link to this world] any more", which sounds fairly conclusive. There again, she also said "He's all [Adrian's]". Which would bring a whole new angle to the Veidt as homosexual argument ... ;)

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So- she can go to Dan if she wanted to (which she did want to) so she could have some stability and normality.


I don't know, in the film it seemed fairly obvious that she hadn't thought of Dan in that way (or hadn't admitted to herself that she thought of Dan in that way) until he gets upset about her mentioning Jon. Their use of the "everything was as clear as day" line was a bit cheesy, but - I dunno. I found that moment strangely affecting.

I didn't find movie Laurie whiny at all: she just lacked the fiery temperament that Laurie has in the graphic novel, which made her less interesting as a character, and also lost the contrast with her tenderness towards Dan and (eventually) her mother.

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I think that element of her not being a WonderWoman cookiecut kind of heroine did not pop out as well in the film either.


I don't think they even tried - and I suspect that was deliberate. It still sort of works, in the sense of her being a generic Superheroine counterpart to Dan's generic Superhero, but it means that she doesn't have a role of her own in the film. All you'd lose by removing her from the film is the whole "sex and superheroes" angle: which is rather sad. We even lost her great reactions to the carnage at the end, which I thought really helped to show Laurie as a human being.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:22 am 
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I've only watched the film and just started the GN-

Cool! I hope you like it. It's nice to see the film in encouraging people to read the book.

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So- she can go to Dan if she wanted to (which she did want to) so she could have some stability and normality. But the film doesn't present this strong enough to overcome whatever....I don't know- I didn't see FilmLaurie as whiny.


I also don't think she saw Dan way at first but I also don't think she did anything morally wrong.

The whiny thing is subjective, I'm sure. Overall I think she's more bland than whiny but when she does complain about things it can be less understandable than in the book because you only get a very loose sketch of where she is coming from in the film.
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And thank you- the avatar was actually stolen from Deviantart...


hehe, it was their forums I escaped to come here. I do love some of the fan art of there though. Good stuff.

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I don't think they even tried - and I suspect that was deliberate. It still sort of works, in the sense of her being a generic Superheroine counterpart to Dan's generic Superhero, but it means that she doesn't have a role of her own in the film. All you'd lose by removing her from the film is the whole "sex and superheroes" angle: which is rather sad. We even lost her great reactions to the carnage at the end, which I thought really helped to show Laurie as a human being.


You know this makes me sad, especially if it was deliberate. You are exactly right that it robs her of a character of her own and, since she had in the book, that gets a failing grade. I don't think there is much bigger crime against a character than to rob her of her self. Not doing your actor any favours either (not that Akerman seems to have noticed. At least not in any of the reviews she has given I have read).

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:26 am 
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Minutemarch wrote:
I also don't think she saw Dan way at first but I also don't think she did anything morally wrong.


Sorry: I wasn't implying that she did do something morally wrong, or that it would be morally wrong if she had realised she fancied Dan and left Jon accordingly. I just thought that the film was fairly clear that she didn't dump Jon for Dan, but because Jon was being a jerk. And more of a jerk than in the GN, to boot.

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I don't think there is much bigger crime against a character than to rob her of her self.


I quite agree. That said, it could have been a lot worse: I mean, at least we didn't get a bond-babe sidekick with an awful line in double-entendres and a strange willingness to fall into bed with complete strangers. In that sense, it was like so much in the movie - better than your average Superhero movie, but well short of the Graphic Novel. There were things to like about movie Laurie, but there just isn't the depth there.

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Not that Akerman seems to have noticed.


No, but then the script was her first exposure to the character. The only comment I've seen her make about it was that if she'd realised how unpopular the character was she might not have taken the role - or something to that effect. Ironically, I haven't seen anyone say they prefer the Laurie of the movie - so ironically, their plan backfired. I'll be interested to compare her comments about how amazing the film was prior to it coming out, with what she says two or three years down the line when everyone asks: "Was doing Watchmen a massive mistake?".

In the Film Companion (which I reference at every opportunity, in a bid to get my money's worth), she does make some insightful comments about the character and her relationship with Jon - especially the fact that you only see the end of the relationship (the film really did miss Jon's flashback scenes to arriving in Washington, visiting Karnak, and walking in New York - look at how much Laurie smiles, there) - and Dan being her link back to humanity. Now that would be an interesting take - how Jon's alienation is causing her to become alienated. But that's not what came across in the movie: Dan was really her link back to being a superhero, by reminding her how much fun it is to beat up prisoners and prison officers, and that there's really not much the ordinary plebs can do to stop them. It's an interesting take on superhero motivations, but it's not exactly an in-depth character study.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:53 am 
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Sorry: I wasn't implying that she did do something morally wrong, or that it would be morally wrong if she had realised she fancied Dan and left Jon accordingly. I just thought that the film was fairly clear that she didn't dump Jon for Dan, but because Jon was being a jerk. And more of a jerk than in the GN, to boot.


No, I'm sorry. The first bit was about you said (which I agree with) the second was in response to the floozy reaction she gets. That was not clear and I apologise.

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I quite agree. That said, it could have been a lot worse

I don't know. If you miss the character if it's by 10 metres or 100 miles you still miss.
If it's not Laurie it's not Laurie. Though she fit the tone of the film and didn't stick out like Barbie on red cordial so that makes it better.
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No, but then the script was her first exposure to the character.


Except that they all read the graphic novel in preparation. It was a requirement!
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The only comment I've seen her make about it was that if she'd realised how unpopular the character was she might not have taken the role - or something to that effect.

I think she was part of the reason Laurie was so unpopular. Her performance didn't grab me. It seemed devoid of layers. To be fair, though, Laurie was not handled well in the film.

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I'll be interested to compare her comments about how amazing the film was prior to it coming out, with what she says two or three years down the line when everyone asks: "Was doing Watchmen a massive mistake?".


I don't see how it would be. I don't think it will hurt her career, really I don't.

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In the Film Companion (which I reference at every opportunity, in a bid to get my money's worth), she does make some insightful comments about the character and her relationship with Jon - especially the fact that you only see the end of the relationship

Yes, that surprised me too, that insight. It was rather accurate and I had a tad more respect for her after reading that and it made me think she was sold very short.

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But that's not what came across in the movie: Dan was really her link back to being a superhero, by reminding her how much fun it is to beat up prisoners and prison officers, and that there's really not much the ordinary plebs can do to stop them. It's an interesting take on superhero motivations, but it's not exactly an in-depth character study.


But that's an important observation there Blue, that change on Dan's role. I do wonder how much was deliberately changed for the film and what was happenstance. I think it was more important for Laurie to get back to being a hero than developing as a person, for the film verse, so that had to be Dan's role.
Of course I like how it went in the book more.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:02 am 
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If you miss the character if it's by 10 metres or 100 miles you still miss.


True, but some misses are worse than others. There's missing, and there's shooting yourself in the foot. Their interpretation of the character was a miss: though some of the lines were a shot in the foot.

Or maybe I'm grateful that they changed the character so much: that I can actually treat her as a separate character from the GN Laurie, rather than fretting about them getting close but losing the subtleties. I think it would have been worse if they had captured Laurie's spikey attitude, without being able to show her softer side in the Owl's Nest Scene, or the roots of her insecurities in the Mars scene. That would have been closer to the GN, but a worse miss: you'd still lose the subtleties, but be left with all the negativity.

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I think she was part of the reason Laurie was so unpopular. Her performance didn't grab me. It seemed devoid of layers. To be fair, though, Laurie was not handled well in the film.


Well, yes, but I think the script has a lot to answer for there: they lost all the subtleties of her character - ironically, by removing exactly the bits that people complain about. And replacing her best lines with clunkers like "Do that thing you do." Granted, a really good actress might be able to make more of it - but then again, look at Brad Pitt in Troy or Ewan McGregor in Star Wars. Even they struggled with clunky lines and CGI. Not that I'm sure how much CGI Troy had in it.

There again, maybe part of that is down to the limited time and space in the movie. I mean, look at how quickly they have to whizz through the Owl's Nest scene, and Mars to keep the pace up: basically, Laurie's two biggest scenes. The Owl's Nest is handled reasonably well, but if they'd had more of Laurie being guarded and confrontational, then they'd need to spend more time showing her with her guard down. Maybe the Director's Cut will give her more breathing space, but as I understand the scenes they cut are essentially newly introduced scenes of her beating up Secret Service Agents: more generic superheroism. But I'll reserve judgement until I've seen it. I'd certainly like to see her throwing her drink in the Comedian's face: I think that's important for demonstrating her bravery and how far she'll go in defending her mother (which she doesn't really do in the movie).

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I don't see how it would be. I don't think it will hurt her career, really I don't.


Any publicity is good publicity, right? To be honest, I hope the actors are proud of what they achieved with Watchmen - it may not have been the blockbuster WB wanted, and it certainly had its flaws, but it was still a good film in my book. An ambitious film: it didn't get exactly where it wanted to be, but it got further than most.

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I think it was more important for Laurie to get back to being a hero than developing as a person, for the film verse, so that had to be Dan's role.


Hmmm... that now defines Dan in terms of his relationship to Laurie. Interesting. Again, it's the whole broad brush thing.

EDIT:

Just to temper my criticism of the script above, I came across an interesting take on Movie Laurie at:

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/2008-12-6-motion-captured/posts/2009-2-24-the-motion-captured-review-watchmen

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Akerman plays Laurie as a child who never grew up, a little girl who wears her parental issues where everyone can see, someone whose sexuality is the only way she can really relate to anyone. Laurie's physically strong but emotionally hobbled, and as a result, she's not easy to like. It's a hell of a choice for an actress like Akerman, who is still building career heat, and I wouldn't be surprised to see people confuse their reactions to the character with their reactions to her.


Taken from this point of view, Akerman's portrayal actually makes more sense: childish is a good term for it, in that movie Laurie comes across more like a teenager than an adult. Certainly, her reconciliation with her mother at the end is played that way. It also makes some sense of her interaction with Dan after the Owl's Nest scene - the notion that, having decided she fancies him, the best way to let him know is by having sex with him. It would also explain why she doesn't demonstrate as much insight (or backbone) as Laurie in the GN. It's also one of the reasons why Laurie in the movie comes across as more frightening than Dan: her willingness and ability to kill and injure are quite a contrast to her naivety and relatively sweet demeanour. So, if that's what they were aiming for, then yes - they managed to get that at least.

But are they saying that basically superheroines are emotionally stunted and can only relate to others through their sexuality? I'd still rather have seen GN Laurie: her self-obsessive navel gazing may be teenage, but at least she actually gets over it in the end. In the movie, it seems like Laurie is content to carry on in that vein, as long as she keeps getting her adrenaline fix.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:02 pm 
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True, but some misses are worse than others. There's missing, and there's shooting yourself in the foot. Their interpretation of the character was a miss: though some of the lines were a shot in the foot.


Verily. My point was that if it's not Laurie it's not Laurie but she wasn't that bad. At least she was able to fulfill the role that Laurie has effectively, plot wise.

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Or maybe I'm grateful that they changed the character so much: that I can actually treat her as a separate character from the GN Laurie, rather than fretting about them getting close but losing the subtleties.


You are right. She really is very different. She changed more than any of the others.
And you are also right that if she had all her fire and brimstone and they still didn't show where she was coming from she would have been more disliked and maybe even despised by fans.
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Granted, a really good actress might be able to make more of it - but then again, look at Brad Pitt in Troy or Ewan McGregor in Star Wars. Even they struggled with clunky lines and CGI. Not that I'm sure how much CGI Troy had in it.


Hehe, yeah. It's not always the actors fault, though they often get the blame. Sometimes they get miscast, sometimes they are not given clear direction (or downright incompetent direction. NOT what I think happened here) and sometimes the script lets them down.

I think the script did let Akerman down. You are right that even a brilliant actress could only manage earnest at best with some of those lines.
And Brad Pitt looked down-right embarrassed in Troy (but I think he was miscast myself where as for McGregor I would say script was the problem).

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There again, maybe part of that is down to the limited time and space in the movie. I mean, look at how quickly they have to whizz through the Owl's Nest scene, and Mars to keep the pace up:


Indeed, and I still felt Mars dragged! (Maybe it was just my malaise about that scene and not the film itself though.)

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Maybe the Director's Cut will give her more breathing space, but as I understand the scenes they cut are essentially newly introduced scenes of her beating up Secret Service Agents: more generic superheroism.


*Sign* Why am I getting the feeling Snyder either doesn't get or doesn't like Laurie?
I'd really like to know what he was trying to do with her character here.


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I'd certainly like to see her throwing her drink in the Comedian's face: I think that's important for demonstrating her bravery and how far she'll go in defending her mother (which she doesn't really do in the movie).


Oh heck yeah! I can't believe they took that out! I hope it's back in the director's cut. I'd be thrilled to see that (and a bit saddened. You know my allegiance ;) ).

Now I have picked up some festy flu thing so I'm going to die in a hole.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:46 am 
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Sometimes they get miscast, sometimes they are not given clear direction (or downright incompetent direction. NOT what I think happened here) and sometimes the script lets them down.


No, I would expect incompetent direction to lead to inconsistency (essentially what I felt happened to Brad Pitt in Troy - even his accent seemed to slide all over the place). The changes in Laurie are at least consistent: Akerman's portrayal fits the script. It's not like she's given firebrand lines and delivers them flat, or is spikey and angry in one scene and all sweetness and light in the next. That said, she does make the most obvious flubs ("IveanameIvebeenusingacoupleofyearsnowuseit" and "Jon! Just Stop... Your Bullshit!"). I'm amazed these were allowed to go through - though the latter is ripe for having "Hammertime!" edited in. And in fairness, both Wilson and Morgan have flubs left in, but they're just not as blatant.

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Indeed, and I still felt Mars dragged! (Maybe it was just my malaise about that scene and not the film itself though.)


Well, the Mars scene just didn't make much sense in the movie. From a plot perspective, it was redundant in the GN (it's not like whether Jon returns or not makes any difference to the outcome): but it explores Laurie's background and both her and Jon's motivations. In the movie - none of that. Maybe they should have just gone the whole hog, and had her go chop-sockey on Jon until he agreed to come back. It would have made about as much sense, and offered some zippier action to keep the masses entertained.

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I'd really like to know what he was trying to do with her character here.


Well, to make her more palatable: that was the stated intent. I'm not sure whether that says more about Snyder; the attitude of the intended audience; or the amount of flak that Laurie gets in fandom (which was, after all, what started this thread).

Just look at the one of the questions asked in the interview with Akerman and Wilson on this site:

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One of the things I think a lot of the people I’ve spoken to who’ve just seen the film yesterday said… You see, a lot of the fans in the graphic novel complain about Laurie. They say, you know, she’s just an incessant whiner.
She’s sort of annoying throughout the graphic novel. But what they said about your performance was she wasn’t. She was brought a little more forward, made a little more relevant and wasn’t annoying in the scenes that she was in.


So, some people obviously thought it worked.

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Now I have picked up some festy flu thing so I'm going to die in a hole.


Ouch. Hope you feel better soon.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:42 am 
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Jon! Just Stop... Your Bullshit!"). I'm amazed these were allowed to go through - though the latter is ripe for having "Hammertime!" edited in.


Hehe, lines that make you go "hmmmmm"

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From a plot perspective, it was redundant in the GN (it's not like whether Jon returns or not makes any difference to the outcome):


Well, no, it didn't make any difference to that but I think:
1. It was significant to have the only man whom Veidt saw as his equal there to see how horrendous he was.
2. The US was also under threat from Russia and Jon was there to hold off that threat so his return was still desirable.
3. For the drama it was better to have Jon there because
A) Who else would kill Rorschach?
B) You else could have seriously been able to stop Adrian?
C) Who else would have been willing to do a Batman and take the blame and be able to disappear as effectively so he could take the blame and still survive?

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but it explores Laurie's background and both her and Jon's motivations. In the movie - none of that. Maybe they should have just gone the whole hog, and had her go chop-sockey on Jon until he agreed to come back. It would have made about as much sense, and offered some zippier action to keep the masses entertained.

Now that I agree with. I love that sequence in the book because it was significant. Without those revelations it's just a couple of people arguing, one with no emotion and one with no logic. Not as cool as it sounds.

I hope you are not suggesting they have sex for world peace are you? :shock:

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Well, to make her more palatable: that was the stated intent. I'm not sure whether that says more about Snyder; the attitude of the intended audience;


Or what Snyder thinks of his audience...

Maybe McLaurie was the way to go. Undemanding to the palate and easy to digest.

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So, some people obviously thought it worked.


"Hello Miss Akerman, these people don't think you were annoying at all!"
Oh, that's tactful.

Though, it does work for some, indeed. It would. There is not a character made that doesn't have fans of some sort (OMG even Bella Swan has fans, doesn't mean she's not shite).

And I can't believe I just compared Laurie to that Bella chick. Shame on me.

She's not that bad. I suppose, in the end, Snyder had to go somewhere with her.
I'm not that stuck on where he went but I like how enough of the other characters came off to still enjoy the film.

And you really can't please everybody.

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Ouch. Hope you feel better soon.


Thank you. I'll just cough on Adrian. That'll make me feel better. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:12 pm 
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Well, no, it didn't make any difference to that but I think:
1. It was significant to have the only man whom Veidt saw as his equal there to see how horrendous he was.
2. The US was also under threat from Russia and Jon was there to hold off that threat so his return was still desirable.
3. For the drama it was better to have Jon there because
A) Who else would kill Rorschach?
B) You else could have seriously been able to stop Adrian?
C) Who else would have been willing to do a Batman and take the blame and be able to disappear as effectively so he could take the blame and still survive?


Yeah. It's one of many things I love about Watchmen. The basic plot is crap - the characters make few really meaningful choices in terms of trying to stop Adrian's plan. All the meaningful choices are in the character arcs, and how the characters interact with one another.

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I hope you are not suggesting they have sex for world peace are you? :shock:


Well, given complaints about the sex scene and pacing, I was thinking more of Laurie throwing Jon all over Mars, yelling "I'm a superhero - and I've got my mojo back, be-yatch!". But they could top that off by falling into bed together, while Jon waxes lyrical about Laurie being beautiful when she's angry, or something like that. :shock:

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"Hello Miss Akerman, these people don't think you were annoying at all!"


lol. Well, more tactful than: "You kept your trap shut and wore latex - just what I was looking for in a woman!", which I think was what they meant by "more relevant".

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:07 am 
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Well, given complaints about the sex scene and pacing, I was thinking more of Laurie throwing Jon all over Mars, yelling "I'm a superhero - and I've got my mojo back, be-yatch!".


This please, I want to see this!

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But they could top that off by falling into bed together, while Jon waxes lyrical about Laurie being beautiful when she's angry, or something like that. :shock:


This, not so much. There are few things more patronising than being told you are "beautiful when you are angry". Dangerous, yes. Beautiful? Only if you like pain. A lot. I think, if he said that, I would throw up and then demote Jon to clear-up duty. Hahahaha.
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Yeah. It's one of many things I love about Watchmen. The basic plot is crap - the characters make few really meaningful choices in terms of trying to stop Adrian's plan. All the meaningful choices are in the character arcs, and how the characters interact with one another.


I never thought of it in those terms before but the plot is kinda crap.
Yet it is still my favourite GN, even over ones with kick-arse plots.

I think it is the remarkable characters and the fact I care about them that makes it such an enduring title. There is a lot of clever in the stupid and I think even the daftness of the plot serves a purpose.

It highlights the flaws of the characters and makes them more realistic, the fact they are doing stuff you know they are technically too smart to do but I think the point is being smart doesn't protect you from bad judgement.


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lol. Well, more tactful than: "You kept your trap shut and wore latex - just what I was looking for in a woman!", which I think was what they meant by "more relevant".


Hehehe, well a little yes. What does it say that there were the sort of fans that took to movie Laurie? *shudders*

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:51 am 
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This, not so much. There are few things more patronising than being told you are "beautiful when you are angry". Dangerous, yes. Beautiful? Only if you like pain. A lot.


Yes, but then, Jon is patronising, so it'd be in character. Plus, there'd need to be a plausible reason for him letting Laurie kick him all over the shop, given that he could just keep teleporting himself or her out of range of every blow. Liking the pain would provide sound character-based reasoning for this. And for an extra twist, why not have Jon reveal that he was Captain Carnage? That's exactly the kind of shocking revelation that would have given the film some real emotional punch.

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There is a lot of clever in the stupid and I think even the daftness of the plot serves a purpose.


Absolutely. I think it's significant that the overarching plot is crap - but it has to be, to give the characters space. And the character plots are not crap - that's part of what makes the book so interesting. The characters make lots of meaningful decisions about their lives, and where they're going and what they stand for. But none of them really affect Adrian's overall plan. One of the problems with kick-arse plots is that the plots tend to drive the characters, rather than the other way round - meaning you have characters who have to be arbitrarily shaped around their role in the plot. If there had be an in-depth investigation into Eddie Blake's murder, culminating in a huge confrontation at Karnak where the heroes finally put aside their differences and work together to save the world - it would have had much less emotional impact.

In many ways, I think that's what some people expected from the movie: it was sold as "bunch of retired heroes get back into the game after one of them is murdered". On that basis, you expect to see a bunch of wash-outs getting their mojo back (because I like that phrase) and going off to be heroic again, making the world a safer place. But that's selling an impossible dream: "All you have to do is believe in yourself", etc, and misses the inherent contradiction of vigilantism. If anyone is really a superhero, it's going to require something pretty fundamental to retire them - and that's not going to be overcome quickly. In the end, only Dan and Laurie fit that bill, and they're basically going back into it to alleviate their boredom with sex and violence. As an examination of the fundamental issues with superheroism, it works nicely - but it completely undermines what people expected to see.

There again, I'm sure there are Watchmen fans who don't appreciate that angle, either: one of the reasons that Rorschach is so popular is that he carries on in more or less the way that we expect our superheroes to.

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What does it say that there were the sort of fans that took to movie Laurie? *shudders*


Apart from that one comment, to be fair, I've not come across any reviews that said movie Laurie was an improvement: they've either said annoying in the book and annoying in the movie, or interesting in the book and just a body in latex in the movie. Makes me think that those who complained about Laurie in the GN didn't really want what they were asking for...

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:58 am 
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One of the problems with kick-arse plots is that the plots tend to drive the characters, rather than the other way round -


Excellent point. Story-driven books can be very interesting and effective too but I'm glad Watchman is character-driven. It gives these complex characters more room to shine and, really, they are strong enough to carry a simple plot.
It reminds me of the film/play of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Most of it is just two guys talking, trying to work out what's going on. But they are so interesting and engagingly acted it's riveting to watch and you end up caring a great deal what happens to them.

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Yes, but then, Jon is patronising, so it'd be in character. Plus, there'd need to be a plausible reason for him letting Laurie kick him all over the shop


Ha. I suppose that he is! And he's an old fashioned guy so I could also imagine him being that cheesy too.
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And for an extra twist, why not have Jon reveal that he was Captain Carnage? That's exactly the kind of shocking revelation that would have given the film some real emotional punch.


OMG!!!! *dies of the sheer awesome of the mere suggestion and the idea he survived being dropped down the lift shaft*

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There again, I'm sure there are Watchmen fans who don't appreciate that angle, either: one of the reasons that Rorschach is so popular is that he carries on in more or less the way that we expect our superheroes to.


Ooooh, that's an interesting theory. I like it. Makes sense to me. Though I have to say most of what Rorschach actually does is rather different to what people expect of heroes. Killing dogs and breaking fingers are, I imagine, not big on the Marvel fans wish list.


(Now I'm wonder what my favourite character says about what I expect from my heroes...)

I agree Watchmen's marketing is misleading, and what was marketed would make a very interesting film, but it wasn't this film. I can understand new people being disappointed when they went to see it as it.

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If anyone is really a superhero, it's going to require something pretty fundamental to retire them - and that's not going to be overcome quickly. In the end, only Dan and Laurie fit that bill, and they're basically going back into it to alleviate their boredom with sex and violence. As an examination of the fundamental issues with superheroism, it works nicely - but it completely undermines what people expected to see.


Exactly. Though it is interesting to note the different heroe's reaction to the Keene act and also to speculate the on what hey may have done had the Keene act not passed. You raise an interesting question. What would have made them retire? What would they have done without the Keene act? (I think there is a thread in this).

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Apart from that one comment, to be fair, I've not come across any reviews that said movie Laurie was an improvement: they've either said annoying in the book and annoying in the movie, or interesting in the book and just a body in latex in the movie. .


I have not either. Unless you are only after eye candy (and she doesn't do it for me on that level either) you are going to miss out because her characterisation in the film just isn't that strong.
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Makes me think that those who complained about Laurie in the GN didn't really want what they were asking for..


If you mean someone who was not annoying then no. I don't think they did get their wish.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:47 am 
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Minutemarch wrote:
Most of it is just two guys talking, trying to work out what's going on. But they are so interesting and engagingly acted it's riveting to watch and you end up caring a great deal what happens to them.


Ah, good analogy: I love Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. None of their choices make any difference to the main plot (of their own play or of Hamlet) And like Watchmen, it deals in some interesting philosophical questions. I wonder, could such issues be addressed in a purely plot-driven tale? It would make an interesting discussion on the characters' free-will, but perhaps you need a story to be character-driven in order to make that point?

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Though I have to say most of what Rorschach actually does is rather different to what people expect of heroes. Killing dogs and breaking fingers are, I imagine, not big on the Marvel fans wish list.


No, but generally we want our heroes to kick ass. And Rorschach shows what a kick ass superhero would really be like - violent and rather gory.

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(Now I'm wonder what my favourite character says about what I expect from my heroes...)


I'm sure psychologists could have a field day with that - there's probably a personality test in there somewhere! I remember doing a Myers-Briggs Test once that defined each personality type according to the Simpsons Character it represented.

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What would they have done without the Keene act? (I think there is a thread in this).


You're right. Let's go and start one!

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(and she doesn't do it for me on that level either) you are going to miss out because her characterisation in the film just isn't that strong.


The thing with movie Laurie is that she's more sexual than sexy. The costume is a large part of that: it's fetishistic rather than attractive, and when she's out of costume she looks quite plain. Much plainer than GN Laurie, whose height and build makes her imposing even when she's out of costume (and whose costume makes her less imposing in my view - she looks scarier in her trenchcoat). As a contrast it works: in the movie, Laurie looks more frightening and (for my money) less attractive when she's in costume. When Dan's gawking at the big reveal of her costume, it's slightly bizarre, because she doesn't look that stunning - or is that the point? That Dan's gawking at the costume, and not the woman in it?

I'm just not sure that's what they were aiming for. On the one hand, it fits in with a lot of what they do in the movie: Akerman's performance, the overtly sexual nature of the outfit, the tone of the sex scene and the prison break. On the other hand, these issues are only implicit in the movie - we've got nothing to go on when trying to decode how they meant Laurie to be presented because - as you mention - her characterisation just isn't that strong. The interpretation that makes the most sense for me is the one I cited above: a child who never grew up, whose sexuality is the only way she can relate to anyone... physically strong but emotionally hobbled. But that doesn't tally with the interviews Akerman and Snyder have given - Akerman described her character as "a kick-ass Femme Fatale".

Were they trying to make points here? Or is it just the nature of the source material that you can't translate one of the central characters into generic eye candy without these issues being raised automatically?

Either way, it's a score for the Graphic Novel, and for Snyder's faithfulness to it in the rest of the movie. Looking at the earlier Samm and Hayter scripts, I think we'd have lost these points. As soon as he decided to stick with the novel, Snyder couldn't help but make a thought-provoking movie: the things he changed become thought provoking, even if he didn't mean them to. Perhaps that's a natural consequence of Character Driven Stories?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:26 am 
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No, but generally we want our heroes to kick ass. And Rorschach shows what a kick ass superhero would really be like - violent and rather gory.


So more for the Vertigo fans then. You have a point. Superman is always so neat and almost prissy but if he was real he would make a serious mess in the process of his rescues.

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I love Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
:D
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I wonder, could such issues be addressed in a purely plot-driven tale? It would make an interesting discussion on the characters' free-will, but perhaps you need a story to be character-driven in order to make that point?


I can't think of any plot driven films that allow the space for that kind of investigation into a character. It's not that plotish films can't have character development but they main focus of the characters has to be the end point dictated by the plot.

I do think character driven films are harder to write. They can easily be flaccid and dull. Good characters films are not that common.

Watchmen, the film, has some great character stuff and some great plot stuff. The match was a little strained at times but the way the characters was direct without being overly wordy and it just seemed to work.


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I'm sure psychologists could have a field day with that - there's probably a personality test in there somewhere! I remember doing a Myers-Briggs Test once that defined each personality type according to the Simpsons Character it represented.


That's very interesting, very interesting indeed. I don't suppose anything so cool as a Watchman example exists.

I wouldn't mind being a psychologist's field day :geek:

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(and she doesn't do it for me on that level either) you are going to miss out because her characterisation in the film just isn't that strong.

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The thing with movie Laurie is that she's more sexual than sexy. The costume is a large part of that: it's fetishistic rather than attractive, and when she's out of costume she looks quite plain.

Exactly and well put.

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Much plainer than GN Laurie, whose height and build makes her imposing even when she's out of costume (and whose costume makes her less imposing in my view - she looks scarier in her trenchcoat).


What is it about scary Watchmen characters and trenchcoats?

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or is that the point? That Dan's gawking at the costume, and not the woman in it?


Or is the point he has fetishes and weird tastes that hide under his respectable exterior?
It's almost like he left Laurie at the door and traded her for a hot fantasy girl who doesn't care for him but fulfills his physical needs. When she changes out of the costume Laurie comes back and they are friends. I agree it's not an attractive costume.
I think it's hideous! And it is no way suits Laurie's character. I never believed she would actually wear that.

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Akerman described her character as "a kick-ass Femme Fatale".

Um, no. Femme Fatales look at home in plastic and leather.
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Were they trying to make points here? Or is it just the nature of the source material that you can't translate one of the central characters into generic eye candy without these issues being raised automatically?


Definitely the latter. Although she is the most homogenised of the characters in the GN she does have her own presence but in the film she is turned into an ache type.

In the film he has a certain look like an advertising icon. She draws the eye and says "Watchmen" but she doesn't say "Laurie".
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Snyder couldn't help but make a thought-provoking movie: the things he changed become thought provoking, even if he didn't mean them to. Perhaps that's a natural consequence of Character Driven Stories?


If they are handled well, yes indeed.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:12 am 
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Minutemarch wrote:
Superman is always so neat and almost prissy but if he was real he would make a serious mess in the process of his rescues.


Ah, Hancock! Though admittedly, Superman isn't generally drunk... except in Superman III, of course.

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I can't think of any plot driven films that allow the space for that kind of investigation into a character.


I guess film has naturally much less space than a novel for plot and character development, hence it tends to be one or the other.

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I do think character driven films are harder to write.


I think that's partly because people confuse character (demonstrated through meaningful choices made under pressure) with characteristics (a collection of character traits). After all, most superheroes are defined by their superpowers. People tend to write characters based on a collection of features that seem superficially interesting (a thing for sarcastic, snappy one-liners; a tendency to be polite and noble to everyone; the ability to fight off a crowd of enemies with your bare hands), and even if they make for good moments, but they don't make for good stories in themselves. Han Solo isn't interesting because he's a smuggler, or sarcastic, or he says all the self-centred things we think but are too polite to express, or he has a fancy wasitcoat and a disco haircut: he's interesting because when he's given the chance to take the money and run, he comes back to put his arse on the line for his friends.

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Or is the point he has fetishes and weird tastes that hide under his respectable exterior?
It's almost like he left Laurie at the door and traded her for a hot fantasy girl who doesn't care for him but fulfills his physical needs. When she changes out of the costume Laurie comes back and they are friends.


Now that's an interesting take, and one that's very relevant to the whole issue of superheroes and alter egos. Is it Laurie he desires, or Silk Spectre? Certainly, Dan is superficially the most likable and human of the characters, but he has some dark undercurrents: in his eyes, his costume makes him a superhero, and Laurie's makes her a sex object. It's a further play on the Superman/Clark Kent identity - mild-mannered Dan Dreiberg doesn't just hide the noble Nite Owl: he's also hiding a fetishist with a thing for having sex with superheroines.

In the GN, I always wondered - was there ever anything between him and Twilight Lady? He doesn't seem to be a novice when it comes to sex: maybe Nite Owl was quite the ladies' man back in the day... even if Dan Dreiberg wasn't? Maybe he's not so different from Captain Carnage...

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In the film he has a certain look like an advertising icon. She draws the eye and says "Watchmen"

Hmm... good point. And she's the only main character to wear the distinctive yellow and black of the title typeface and the Smiley logo. Though, to be fair, she also wore yellow and black in the GN, so there was precedent!

That said, it's telling that - in comparison with all the issues related to Laurie in the GN that we've discussed in this thread - the only one that really crops up in relation to the film is: sex.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:15 am 
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Ah, Hancock! Though admittedly, Superman isn't generally drunk... except in Superman III, of course.


I love Hancock! I think it is born of the same spirit as Watchmen. A different tone and a narrower focus but the same spirit the Superhero as flawed human.

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I think that's partly because people confuse character (demonstrated through meaningful choices made under pressure) with characteristics (a collection of character traits).


Oh, good point. And I agree. Not least because one of my hats is sorting applicants into Hogwarts houses in LJ community Hogwarts is Home. (It's also a hobby of mine to sort fictional characters and historical and contemporary figures).

Anyway, to do this you have to look at people motivations, what drives them their actions. The person under the list of character traits. It's somewhat of a habit with me now so your Han Solo analogy makes me smile because that's exactly how I feel about him.

Yes he is sarcastic and cheeky, a flirt and a good shot (Han shot first!) but that is not his essence. At his core there is a loyal and principled man. Just don't tell anyone...
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Is it Laurie he desires, or Silk Spectre?

I think desires them both on different levels. Laurie is a companion. Someone who understand him and his strange life. He needs that because he doesn't like being alone and isolated. Laurie get's him away from that. I guess he admires her spunk too. It balances out his timidity. Plus she is sexy.

Now (movie) Silk Spectre is his rubber doll. She is like a fantasy. Tangible but not really a real person. But that's OK because when he is with her he is not a real person either. The sex, it starts with SS and NO. It cannot start without them.
By the end it may be Dan and Laurie but they needed super help to get started.
It's more than bedroom costume play to them. It's the excitement they need so much. Not to mention Masks have been outlawed. Some people find the illicit pleasure of breaking the law leads to other illicit pleasures.

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In the GN, I always wondered - was there ever anything between him and Twilight Lady? He doesn't seem to be a novice when it comes to sex: maybe Nite Owl was quite the ladies' man back in the day... even if Dan Dreiberg wasn't? Maybe he's not so different from Captain Carnage...


You know, I never though of that but I see no reason why not. I can see that happening. It's true Nite Owl is more sexually confident than Dan (not that he has Rorschach's duality but you get the point).

Captain Carnage lol. He just makes me lol.
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That said, it's telling that - in comparison with all the issues related to Laurie in the GN that we've discussed in this thread - the only one that really crops up in relation to the film is: sex.


And here we have summed up my main problem with Silk Spectre's interpretation in the film. She was there to be the eye candy and to keep Jon happy by being his bed candy. She never got to be a fully realised character like the others and I think that need to have a sexual character, that sex, (she shouldn't fight with the others too much or show too much independence, that's not sexy) may have swallowed up much of her other, more interesting, character traits.

The fact we keep coming back to the sex doesn't surprise me at all.

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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 4:31 am 
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Minutemarch wrote:
Not least because one of my hats is sorting applicants into Hogwarts houses in LJ community Hogwarts is Home.


Do you mean that literally? You own the Sorting Hat?

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(Han shot first!)


Too right!

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I think desires them both on different levels...But that's OK because when he is with her he is not a real person either.


This is a good point. I mean, they don't actually have any real interests beyond their shared lives as Masks. Nor do any of the other Masks, of course - even Adrian, who is the only one who outwardly professes to have left the mask behind, but is secretly obsessing about it. There's no real substance to them as individuals. But maybe (in the GN at least), Laurie appreciates this duality, too, albeit in reverse - she appreciates the fact that Dan as Dan isn't powerful, is "more receptive" - that when he takes off the mask, he stops being Nite Owl.

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It's more than bedroom costume play to them. It's the excitement they need so much. [/qote]

And I think is a really important point. It's easy to focus on Dan as a costume fetishist, but actually he revels in the confidence that being Nite Owl gives him. So it's not the costumes so much as the identity that he's fetishising. But this is an occupational hazard for Masks. These are exceptional people, who do exceptional things - way beyond the lives of Joe Average. When they're told that they have to stop being exceptional - what can they do?

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She never got to be a fully realised character like the others and I think that need to have a sexual character, that sex, (she shouldn't fight with the others too much or show too much independence, that's not sexy) may have swallowed up much of her other, more interesting, character traits.


Good point - and one that rather harks back to the whole male vs female character traits that Ink raised. Is it the feeling that to be sexy she needs to be feminine, and she can't be feminine if she's smoking and being arsey and sarcastic with everyone?

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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 8:14 am 
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Do you mean that literally? You own the Sorting Hat?


I mean I am the sorting hat.
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But maybe (in the GN at least), Laurie appreciates this duality, too, albeit in reverse - she appreciates the fact that Dan as Dan isn't powerful, is "more receptive" - that when he takes off the mask, he stops being Nite Owl.


Hmmm, yes, It makes sense that Laurie would want the opposite. We already know she really wants normality. In the end she gets it, in a fashion, too.

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Is it the feeling that to be sexy she needs to be feminine, and she can't be feminine if she's smoking and being arsey and sarcastic with everyone?


I'd say yes, it is that. Even though many women smoke and act arsey as naturally as a man it is considered unfeminine when compared to the ideal set for women by the aristocracy several hundred years ago. Femininity is an illusion imposed on women.
It's an ideal at best and not a very helpful one. It generally involves pretense, artifice, deferring to men just to keep the peace and uncomfortable clothes and foot-mangling shoes. The contradiction is a result women are often considered underhanded even though it's basically expected for them to put on an act.

It seems women are expected to be generic, to be a certain way, far more than men and that way of being is largely shallow, picturesque and undemanding.
And it's older women who perpetuate this much more than men as they are convinced it's the only way to attract a man. That men, all of them, only want this kind of woman.

One should care about shopping and clothes of a certain type. Take on a nurturing role and cook like Nigella. This is supported by the toys aimed at girls (fashion dolls, baby dolls, kitchen sets, make-up, hipsters for 6-year-olds.) Lucky girls have a brother with actually interesting toys! (Hmmm, Transformers) or at least a mother who wont have a spaz attack then their little girl asks for a Tonka truck.

Any girl who is more practical in dress and actually interested in things like construction and machines and playing in dirt, (perhaps in object more than people is the parent's fear?) is labeled a tomboy, implying such interests are the domain of men.

To me they are the domain of those who are interested in them and I don't get any thinking to the contrary.

It seems a woman can be forgiven anything except practicality.

I think Laurie is a victim of this thinking.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:35 am 
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dandreiberg wrote:
My apologies in advances if this seems somewhat confrontational or provocative.

Sometimes I feel Silk Spectre II is the Rodney Dangerfield of Watchmen; she don't get no respect. Perhaps it's my own personal attitude about women (and I'm an aging fanboy who's been around the block a few times in case that matters), but I don't think so. I've seen a few fanboy comments on more than one site implying (using sometimes rather rude wording) that she's less than virtuous in her relationships. In my mind that seems rather harsh and judgemental, especially considering the moral lapses of some of Moore's other characters are patently worse.

Let's face it. Jon's first adventure ended in adultery. The fans say nothing. Dan is a little flaccid, and the fans chuckle. Blake rapes one woman and kills another carrying his child. The fans think he's great. Rorschach hates women. The fans cheer "yay Rorschach".

Laurie has a relatively normal experience. She leaves one relationship because she can't stand the guy no more. She shacks up with another guy. It's called serial monogamy. The fans mutter something about loose morals or flawed psychology.

I for one just don't get it. :?: :?: :?:


Wait how does Rorschach hate women? o_O

I don't think he hates them....he never even hurts a woman in the entire comic. He just had a bad experience because of his mother. I'm sure he doesn't actually believe that all women are bad though....

Anyway, I agree with you about Laurie....she really doesn't do much wrong compared to most of the other characters.

In all series I've read, even well-written ones, females characters really always get more crap from fans and what not. I don't really know why. I guess sexism is still everywhere even if people want to deny it or something. :(

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