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Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter & Under the Hood

3.5 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Product Description

Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter & Under the Hood (DVD)

Tales of the Black Freighter is a CG animated short written and directed by Zack Snyder. As superhero Dr. Manhattan abandons Earth, enabling the city to be destroyed, a young boy reads a survival tale about a doomed sailor who goes mad while returning home from being marooned. Also included are three ground breaking bonus features: Under the Hood: A live action docu-style look at the Night Owls autobiography detailing the establishment and disbandment of the group of superheroes known as THE WATCHMEN. Story within a Story: The Books of Watchmen: This feature weaves through the Black Freighter and Under The Hood to explore how the comic-within-a-comic acts as parallel commentary. This piece reveals profound insight into the Watchmen story for new fans who have not read the graphic novel. Watchmen Motion Comic Episode1: A retired costumed crime fighter is murdered, and one of his old sidekicks believes he was on a hit list of superheroes to kill.


From the Back Cover

They're in the book. And on this disc. From the director of Watchmen and 300 come two tales from the celebrated graphic novel that do not appear in the extraordinary Watchmen Theatrical Feature. Tales of the Black Freighter (featuring the voice of 300's Gerard Butler) brings to strikingly animated life the novels richly layered story-within-a-story, a daring pirate saga whose turbulent events may mirror those in the Watchmen's world. Stars from the Watchmen movie team in the amazing live-action/CGI Under the Hood, based on Nite Owl's powerful first-hand account of how the hooded adventurers came into existence. Two fan-essential stories. One place to watch the excitement. Watching the Watchmen begins here.

Special Features

FEATURE CONTENT: o Tales of the Black Freighter (Animated) o Under the Hood (Live Action) · ENHANCED CONTENT: o Story with a story Exploring the comic-within-a-comic concept in Watchmen o Watchmen Motion Comic: Chapter 1 o A first look at DC universes new animated Green Lantern DVD

Product Details

  • Actors: Gerard Butler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 24, 2009
  • Run Time: 518 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001QTWC0K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,755 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter & Under the Hood" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Is "Tales of the black Freighter" a very cool animated short film and a fantastic companion to the Watchmen film? Yes. Should it have been sold as a separate full-priced DVD altogether? No way. What this is is essentially a disc of bonus features marked up to the price of a feature film. This is no bueno. I was looking forward to a fleshed-out version of the story with tons of great material, but unfortunately there is very little on this release that you haven't seen if you've read the graphic novel.

The feature tale is 25 minutes long, looks cool, and has all the brutality of the comic and maybe even more. But God, do I hate me some roaring sharks. Filmmakers, take heed: SHARKS DO NOT ROAR! That aside, the film is good and would have made an amazing bonus feature on the double-disc DVD release of "Watchmen", but packaged by itself, it just isn't enough. Even when thrown together with a 37 minute live-action interview featuring cast members from the film discussing the original Nite Owl's tell-all autobiography "Under The Hood" it's not enough. The contents of "Under The Hood" is mostly just a reiteration of things from the graphic novel and even some redundancy from the film. Again, an outstanding bonus feature, but not worth a lot by itself. It's nice to get more Carla Gugino without that awful aging makeup, though. Also featured is a half-hour documentary about the projects, and a 10 minute preview of the promising "Green Lantern" animated feature. All good, but one more time: it all amounts to nothing more than a disc of bonus features that should have been saved for the "Watchmen" DVD release.
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Format: DVD
Tales of the Black Freighter was a story within a story in the Watchmen graphic novel. A young black man visits a newspaper stand everyday and reads comic books without paying for them. A pirate story bled through the pages and introduced the reader to a man who had lost his entire crew thanks to the attack of the Black Freighter. He decides to head home in hopes of warning the people before the Black Freighter makes it to his town. After making his way back to shore, he uses the corpses of his crew to make a raft and sets out to sea. He winds up going mad in the process as the Freighter impairs his judgement of what's truly fantasy and what is actually reality.

The storyline was almost identical with the source material in this animated feature. The only issue I had was the character design. Everything else looked fantastic and was animated beautifully. The sky was incredibly vibrant the entire time and the sea looked almost lifelike at times. The characters were animated rather poorly, in my opinion though. It may just be the design, but their quality looked poor and their animation wasn't up to par in comparison to everything else around them. Reminded me a bit of the character designs in Aeon Flux. All in all, it's well worth seeing. But it's rather short as it only clocks in at around twenty one minutes without the credits.

Under the Hood is the autobiography of Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl. It's basically his version of the events that transpired during the time he was a superhero and was a part of the Minutemen. There's a feature devoted solely to this autobiography on the Black Freighter DVD.

The feature is basically a live-action documentary of Hollis Mason/Nite Owl being interviewed about Under the Hood and everything he included in his book.
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Format: Blu-ray
Following on the smash success of "Watchmen" Warner Brothers Premiere has released "Tales of the Black Freighter" on DVD and Blue Ray. The features laden set is truly impressive an tells the story within a story of The Black Freighter in an animated format. Fans of the graphic novel Watchmen will remember that the newsstand owner had a patron who would read a pirate adventure and that the savage tale also served as a counter point to the events happening in the Watchmen universe.

The animated feature is voiced by Gerard Butler and tells the story of a captain who is the lone survivor of an assault by a mysterious freighter. Convinced that the freighter is headed to his home, the captain faces a series of ghastly challenges to stay alive and return home. As the obstacles mount, the captain slowly starts to lose his grip on reality which leads to a startling finale.

The top flight animation serves the episode well as does Butler's solid voice work. The episode is briskly paced and runs in at roughly 3o minutes.

Another feature of the set is the Under the Hood segment which tells the story of the original Night Owl Hollis Mason and provides a background on the world of the Watchmen. Done in the format of a television interview show, the great segment features characters from the film as they tell the story of the original Night Owl and the formation of The Minutemen and Watchmen as well as the villains they faced and the pending Keane Act.
This was a fantastic and unexpected feature of the disc and when combined with the look at the upcoming Green lantern DVD made this collection an absolute gem.
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Topic From this Discussion
double-dip!!! take caution!
Will the ultimate cut feature the "Black Freighter" story in one continuous presentation as in this release, or will it be broken down and edited into the film in pieces spread throughout the story? I think that there are plenty of fans who would be interested in having a copy like... Read More
Mar 3, 2009 by T. F. |  See all 6 posts
Proposal: Work with Alan Moore on Animated Version of Watchmen
Moore dosent think it should be adapted at all, he was asked in the 90s to write the screen play and refused. later when asked if he would ever personally adapt one of his works he said if someone was going to butcher one of his babies he would rather it wasnt him.

Also i dont think he cares... Read More
Mar 5, 2009 by Leon Evelake |  See all 6 posts
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