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Someone's killing our super heroes. The year is 1985 and super heroes have banded together to respond to the murder of one of their own. They soon uncover a sinister plot that puts all of humanity in grave danger. The super heroes fight to stop the impending doom only to find themselves a target for annihilation. But, if our super heroes are gone, who will save us?]]>
Everybody's favorite graphic novel comes to the screen (after years of rumors and false starts), less a roaring work of adaptation than a respectful and faithful take on a radical original. Watchmen is set in the mid-1980s, a time of increased nuclear tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, as Richard Nixon is enjoying his fifth term as president and the world's superheroes have been forcibly retired. (As you can probably tell, the mix of authentic history and alternate reality is heady.) Things begin with a bang: the mysterious high-rise murder of the Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a masked hero with a checkered past, puts the rest of the retired superhero community on alert. The credits sequence, a series of tableaux that wittily catches us up on crime-fighting backstory, actually turns out to be the high point of the movie. Thereafter we meet the other caped and hooded avengers: the furious Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), the inexplicably naked Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup, amidst much blue-skinned, genital-swinging digital work), Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman), Nite Owl II (Patrick Wilson), and Ozymandias (Matthew Goode). The corkscrewing storytelling, which worked well in the comic book, gives the movie the strange sense of never quite getting in gear, even as some of the episodes are arresting. Director Zack Snyder (300) doesn't try to approximate the electric impact of the original (written by Alan Moore--who declined to be credited on the movie--and illustrated by Dave Gibbons) but retains careful fidelity to his source material. That doesn't feel right, even with the generally enjoyable roll-out of anecdotes. Even less forgivable is the blah acting, excepting Jeffrey Dean Morgan (lusty) and Patrick Wilson (mellow). Watchmen certainly fills the eyes, although less so the ears: the song choices are regrettable, especially during an embarrassing mid-air coupling between Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre II as they unite their--ah--Roman numerals. In the end it feels as though a huge work of transcription has been successfully completed, which isn't the same as making a full-blooded movie experience. --Robert Horton
Also on the Blu-ray disc
The extended director's cut restores 24 minutes of connective tissue to the 162-minute film, most significantly the last scene of Hollis Mason, the first Nite Owl. Other elements help restore and fill in details that had been in the graphic novel. Fans of the film will be glad for the extra footage but there's nothing momentous that will change anyone's basic like or dislike of the film.
By far the most interesting Blu-ray feature (in addition to the great picture and DTS-HD Master Audio sound) is the Maximum Movie Mode, which incorporates several features into the viewing experience. Director Zack Snyder periodically appears on screen in front of two large monitors, one continuing to play the movie and the other displaying special-effects shots or scenes from the graphic novel. Snyder talks about how he shot the film and points out details in a variety of scenes: the opening with the Comedian, Dr. Manhattan's lab, the Nite Owl ship, Mars, Antarctica, and the ending (and why it was changed for the movie). This feature is much more interesting than an audio commentary or a standard picture-in-picture commentary so it'd be nice if it had been done for more scenes. Also appearing in Maximum Movie Mode is a timeline contrasting events in the Watchmen world with the "real world," occasional picture-in-picture comments by cast and crew, still galleries, and a series of 11 "focus points" that allow you to exit the film to watch these three-minute featurettes (sets, costumes, the Minutemen, etc.). Worthy of mention is how easy the Maximum Movie Mode material is to find: Snyder's footage and the focus points are very visible (even in fast-forward), and you can also access the focus points directly from the main menu.
The second disc has three documentaries. The first, "The Phenomenon: The Comic That Changed Comics," 29 min.), looks at the original graphic novel and its themes, and interviews artist Dave Gibbons, DC Comics executives Jenette Kahn and Paul Levitz, and cast and crew, illustrating its points with scenes from the movie, panels from the graphic novel, and parts of the motion comic. The next two are only on the Blu-ray disc but are less interesting and of varying relevance to the movie. "Real Superheroes, Real Vigilantes" (26 min.) examines real-life vigilantes including the Guardian Angels and New York subway gunman Bernard Goetz and compares them to Rorschach. "Mechanics: Technologies of a Future World" (17 min.) spotlights a physicist who served as a consultant on the movie. He talks about his experiences then discusses whether elements from the movie, such as Dr. Manhattan, the Owl Ship, and Rorschach's mask could really work. There's also My Chemical Romance's "Desolation Row" music video , and BD-Live offers even more making-of material. A third disc with a Digital Copy of the film (compatible with both iTunes and Windows Media; download code expires July 21, 2010) was included with early shipments of the Blu-ray disc but is no longer available. --David HoriuchiSee all Editorial Reviews
Zach Snyder's 2009 movie adaptation to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's Watchmen came out of the gates a little rough. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Andrew Cook
I COMPARE THIS FILM TO THE PETER JACKSON LORD OF THE RINGS,SLIGHT CHANGES FROM THE BOOKS BUT STILL A REMARKABLE FILM IN ITS OWN RIGHT. Read morePublished 2 days ago by not the hero of canton
The content is great I'm a huge fan of the graphic novel and the film so it's a no brainer. The packaging, however, leaves much to be desired. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Mr. Smith
This is one of the greatest movies of my time in my opinion and is definitely worth a watch. The directors cut has a lot of additional content which is very nice if you enjoy the... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Time
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Purchased a rental from amazon instant video..its not showing in my...||
I am having the same problem. It seems their "Instant" video is not very instant. I'm really frustrated and will probably never bother with this ridiculous service ever again. I'm very surprised that Amazon would fail this badly.
Jun 26, 2011 by AprilSunshine | See all 31 posts
|Why so many people insulting those who give negative reviews?||
It's the nutty people who are fans of the director. I wrote a bad review of 300 and was accused of being a pedophile. I thought the movie totally sucked. The original was 10 times better.
Jan 12, 2012 by Michael L. Wolff | See all 2 posts
This is the Warner press release for the DVD specs:
Director's Cut (additional 25 min.) Newly included footage contains more Rorschach and a scene of Hollis Mason's death.
The Warner Bros. studio has released the specs for the upcoming release of 'Watchmen' on DVD and Blu-Ray, hitting retail... Read More
Jun 4, 2009 by Jem | See all 6 posts
|not available on video on demand yet? anybody got it?||
Yup,ditto. I'm guessing VoD processing isn't nearly as fast as their automailer.
Jul 21, 2009 by Marcus A. Vitchell | See all 59 posts
|Is the rumored "Black Freighter Cut" coming out?||
Zack Snyder announced at a press junket about plans for Watchmen on DVD. It is as follows:
Summer/July: Director's Cut. This cut will feature "99% of what we shot," footage which Zack Snyder said he liked. The run time on this edition will be just over 3 hours long, compared to the... Read More
Jun 4, 2009 by Jem | See all 11 posts
|lame.||Be the first to reply|