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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Is ‘Watchmen’’s male nudity a problem for the film?

In the comments section of the Patrick Goldstein L.A. Times piece I linked to the other day, the one about the gnashing-of-teeth that the box-office performance of Watchmen has ignited, one commenter posted this to explain the appeal (or not) of the film:

It comes down to this: Do you mind watching a blue schlong swinging around in a non-porn movie?

I’m probably making a huge mistake in taking seriously anybody who uses the word schlong, but here goes: Is Dr. Manhattan’s nudity really that big a deal? No one too young to know what a penis looks like should be seeing this film anyway — it’s far too violent and morally complex for child too young to understand the difference between fantasy and reality — but even if tender eyes do fall upon the film, the nudity is treated casually, as a basic part of what it means to be human (which is an ironic underline to the character’s retreat from humanity).

I find it hard to imagine that someone who cannot accept this basic fact of human biology will be able to cope with the actual issues the movie raises, and maybe that’s a good indicator: if you’re too immature to cope with a movie in which a glowing blue penis appears in a nongraphic, nonsexualized, non-in-your-face kind of way, you’re too immature to cope with the movie on the whole.

What do you think? Is Watchmen’s male nudity a problem for the film?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)



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