Sentences Zack Snyder may come to regret

by Sonny Bunch on November 13, 2012

The fun of [Watchmen] is that these superheroes rape each other and they have super-destructive relationships and they don’t know how to cope with society or themselves.

Zack Snyder, talking to the LA Times.

So, look, obviously he’s not saying “rape is fun.” But you know how the feminists are. Someone’s probably going to end up writing an 80,000 word dissertation on “comic book films and the male gaze” centered entirely on that comment.

Anyway, the whole interview is well worth your time. I continue to believe that Zack Snyder is a.) entirely underrated, and b.) one of the few true auteurs at work today. I can’t wait until the French rediscover Sucker Punch in 30 years. I’m ahead of my time, I tells ya!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Will November 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Serious question: If Snyder is underrated, which of his movies are actually good? The ‘Dawn of the Dead’ remake is the only one that comes to mind, and I don’t think that was exactly groundbreaking.

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Sonny Bunch November 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm

I think 300 is good. I think Watchmen is good and, as that interview kind of gets at, has appreciated rather than depreciated over time. As I’ve noted at length, I think Sucker Punch is far more interesting than most are willing to admit. I think he has a solid visual aesthetic that is instantly recognizable (balletic slo-mo freneticism) as well as a consistent worldview (nobility of self-sacrifice), putting him squarely in the realm of the “auteur.”

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Will November 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Not a huge fan of 300 or Watchmen, but I buy that Snyder’s developed an immediately recognizable visual aesthetic, albeit one that only seems to work in small doses (The Watchmen trailer still looks awesome three years on, but the actual movie was pretty meh).

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Joe November 13, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I bought a Playstation 3 recently and it has brought me to the conclusion that video games have led action cinema merrily out back to be shot in the head. When I saw the last Indiana Jones movie, I thought that it was an expensive film structured like, and aesthetically resembling, a video game. But a terrible one. When I finished the game Uncharted 3, I realized that in many ways it was what Indiana Jones should have been. Namely, playable.

300 seemed to me a comic book refracted through a video game and into a movie. Except short, linear and more contrived. I’m pretty sure that in ten years movies like 300 will simply be made as video games and cinema as a whole will be no worse off for it.

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Thomas Barnes November 15, 2012 at 5:37 am

Watchmen and 300 are terrible. They are terrible because Snyder, while he may have an arresting visual style, does not know how to direct actors.

Examples: Having Gerard Butler shout every line in 300. Wasting a Jackie Earl Haley performance by having him lift Christian Bale’s awful Batman voice. Malin Ackerman. Having Ozymandias played by someone who couldn’t lift my smallest cat much less the Comedian over his head. Also, that accent.

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Sonny Bunch November 15, 2012 at 9:27 am

Let’s just take these one-by-one:

Butler does not shout every line in 300. Jackie Earl Haley’s faux-Batman voice is actually kind of appropriate, given that Moore has said Rorschach is a deconstruction of what a grim, somewhat insane Batman-like figure would look like in the real world. Malin Akerman…is not a good actress. That’s fair. And I agree that Ozymandias was probably played a bit swishy for my taste. But I don’t think Goode was necessarily terribly cast. The biggest are not necessarily always the baddest.

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Thomas Barnes November 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Do you think Butler’s performance was nuanced?

You’re reaching on Haley. Rorschach should be chilling, not merely pathetic.

Goode was terrible, period. Not believable.

And here is one more: the scene aboard the Owlship was laughably bad made worse by the music choice.

Believe it or not I thought Patrick Wilson and Jeffrey Dean Morgan were great. Wilson especially since he had so many scenes with Ackerman.

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Sonny Bunch November 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Butler’s role wasn’t one that particularly needed nuance, but it consisted of more than simply shouting, certainly.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan—or, as I like to call him, the poor man’s Robert Downey Jr.—was in fact great.

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