Customer Reviews: Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic
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on March 7, 2009
I have to admit that I have never read `Watchmen'. More specifically, before I saw the teaser for the film last summer, I don't think I'd even heard of it. The only two comic books I really cared for when I was younger were `Superman' and `Batman', having more to do with the movies, cartoons and TV shows than the actual comic books themselves.

I decided to pick up the Blu-ray of the `Watchmen' motion comic as an alternative to reading the graphic novel in preparation for going to see the movie because I thought it was an interesting concept.

I must say I was stunned.

I won't get into the story and characters as most of you who are reading this are probably well versed already. Let's just say that I can see now what all the hoopla is about. Instead, let me talk about the actual presentation of the "motion comic".

The Blu-ray image is outstanding. Each image on screen is composed of a single panel from the comic complete with the dialog bubbles. The colors are vibrant and the lines are crisp. Many of the images seem to jump right off the screen at you. The score is quite good as the music helps to set the mood of what is going on. Having heard some excerpt's from the film score I have to say as of right now I think the `motion comic' score is more suiting to the story. The sound effects are also well done.

The voice acting is excellent for being performed by one person. Many of the reviews I have read seem to have a problem with a man reading a woman's part. Having listened to many audio books on the road or at work, I can say that I did not find it distracting in the least. Having said that, if this "motion comic" format becomes popular, I think having an actual voice cast would be a wonderful idea.

The pacing is deliberate and maintains a somber mood as the entire 12 part story unfolds over a period of 5 hours and 25 minutes, including opening and closing credits for each story. Getting through the entire disc in one sitting may be difficult but it may be more difficult to turn off.

The extras are minimal. They include a 3 minute mini-doc illustrating how the look of the comic influenced the look of the upcoming film, and a 10 minute look at the new `Wonder Woman' animated feature. I found the inclusion of the latter to be a "filler feature" as it was released the same day as this `Watchmen' motion comic and it was included with the previous release of `Batman: Gotham Knight'. A look at how they created the `motion comic' would have seemed a better choice but I'm not going to complain about things that aren't. Also, exclusive to Blu-ray is a `WB Live' sneak peek at the `jailbreak' scene from the upcoming feature film.

I have seen all of the recent Warner Bros. Animated features and I must admit that this is my favorite. The `motion comic' is an excellent concept and was pulled of quite well on this first attempt. I hope this format catches on as it would be great to see some of the great graphic novels like `Batman: The Long Halloween' or `Arkham Asylum' or any number of others come to "life".

As for this release, it's probably more geared to hardcore fans but I found much to enjoy and couldn't imagine a better way to experience this spectacular story.

Highly recommended.
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on February 26, 2009
The most compelling aspect of this release is that Gibbons' artwork is used. The frontpiece and endpiece quotes are also included (which will likely not survive the movie adaptation). Another excellent choice is the inclusion of the speech bubbles. Moore's text has delightful little nuances that can only be appreciated in the READING of the text. For the most part, the voice over exactly matches, but there are some VERY minor exclusions that must have been trimmed for timing.

There simply is no other way to experience the visual "harmonies" employed in the comic book in a live action movie. Zach Snyder is passionate, but he's already taken quite a few liberties with his production design. Ozymandias is horribly miscast (too bad, Jude Law didn't work out).

A perfect example is the iconic blood splash on the Comedian's "smiley" button. That splash motif is echoed throughout the 12 issues, effectively bookending the whole series. Snyder has "a" splash, but not "the" splash.

The voice work is initially off-putting, but he's a good actor, and his performance pulls you into the story. The background music sets the mood without overwhelming.

Despite the loss of Moore's chapter addenda ("Under the Hood" excerpts, Rorschach's psych eval and Journal entries, etc.), I like to think that he would enjoy these motion comics... at least a little. I'm confident that most fans of the comic will feel the same.
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on March 3, 2009
This motion comic is a must have for Watchmen fans. This is exactly like the comic except for a few minor dialogs that have been removed because they would have been unnecessary for the motion comic since the narration adds the emotion in the characters dialog (you'll understand if you read the book along with watching the motion comic). The motion animation and added transitions are just amazing and I just loved the music, I mean really loved the music!! The narrator did a great job for even doing the female voices, but it wouldn't have hurt to have gotten a female narrator because it took some getting used to a man give out a feminine tone as I laughed the first time I heard it. A must have for fans especially if the movie doesn't do to well, but to me the movie looks great. I also agree with the other reviewer that Matthew Goode was terribly cast for the part of Andrian Veight/Ozymandias. I mean why did they choose that scrawy guy for the part and I dont know what the hair stylist was thinking giving Andrian that hair for the movie. Anyways the motion comic really brings the book to life and recommend you BUY THIS!!!! IT JUST RELEASED TODAY!!!
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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon February 25, 2009
Originally available to download through iTunes, Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic is now available on DVD. Whether you are a longtime fan of Alan Moore's revolutionary comic or are a newfound follower thanks to the upcoming Zack Snyder adaptation, you'd be better off checking out a single episode before laying down the cash for this DVD set. As you probably already know, there is only once voice used throughout The Motion Comic, as actor Tom Stechschulte provides the voices for everyone, including the female characters. Saying this is just plain weird to hear at first is saying it lightly (especially if you're not expecting it), but all things considered, he doesn't do as bad a job all around as it could have been. The panels and dialogue of the comic are followed to a tee, and making Dave Gibbons' artwork breathe is a sight to behold. Still, Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic isn't without its flaws, especially considering that the DVD itself has zilch for extras, of which there could have been a great deal. In the end, Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic is an interesting endeavor, but is really a worthwhile trip for die hard fans only, if only for the fact that nothing beats actually reading the comic. That being said, there are worse distractions to find as old and new fans alike wait for Zack Snyder's take on Watchmen to hit theaters.
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on February 28, 2009
I loved this from the first few seconds into it; after the credits had finished rolling! The music creates a powerfully interpreted atmosphere, and the directing is perfect. The only thing I hated was that there were no female voices. One actor narrated the whole thing, doing all the voices, and altering his tone and inflection slightly for each character. While he did an excellent job on all the male characters, I think the best approach for this would have been a two-person team of a guy for all the male voices, and one female for all the female parts. If this had been an audio book, the one actor approach would have sufficed, since in those cases, the actor merely provides vocalization for the dialogue, and it doesn't matter what gender it is rendered in. But in an Illustrated Graphic Novel, you actually See the characters, and one never loses the disconcertment (I checked; that is actually a word) of "seeing" a male voice being uttered by a female character, especially the Same male voice. I hope that they redo this one day soon, with that in mind. If they do, I will buy it again, that is how much I liked this. By the way I still own my original copy of the Watchmen, bought from Bud Plant's Comic Art, many many years ago now. To me, this was just as powerful, and I would highly recommend it. I watched the entire thing in one sitting, even though it took several hours, that is how entranced I was.
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on August 8, 2011
As much as I love the book, would it have KILLED them to get a woman to read the female parts? Listening to the actor's falsetto especially during the brief romantic scenes is just plain creepy.
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on March 23, 2009
I bought the WATCHMEN: THE COMPLETE MOTION COMIC DVD on a whim. I haven't read the graphic novel or seen the live action movie, but I wanted to familiarize myself with the story and so I decided to give it a go.

This is the first limited-motion, animated movie I've seen but it took very little time to get used to (limited-motion meaning that there's very simple movements and not a full-range of motion as in regular cartoons). About half-way through the second episode, I did get used to it and it didn't bother me; plus the story line is so engaging that I hardly noticed the limited movements.

The story is about a group of masked vigilantes or superheroes, only one actually has superpowers, who are now retired. One of them named Rorscach thinks there's a conspiracy going on when a fellow superhero ends up murdered. He believes that there's a mask-killer on the loose and targeting all the heroes for death. The retired masked vigilantes re-group and uncover a much more deadly plot that will end up killing millions of people in New York.

If you're looking for a superhero movie like X-Men Trilogy (X-Men/ X2 - X-Men United/ X-Men - The Last Stand) or Justice League Unlimited - Season One (DC Comics Classic Collection), WATCHMEN: THE COMPLETE MOTION COMIC might disappoint you. But if you like conspiracy theories and mysteries and profound ideals then you'll probably enjoy it.

I was really drawn into the story line by episode two, even after I realized that this wasn't going to be the normal hero adventure like the previous mentioned titles. Hooked until the very end, and the end had a surprise twist that I didn't see coming, I was pleasantly surprised.

There are 12 episodes in all--on two DVDs--and you have the option to "play all" or "episode selection." All the voices including the women are done by a very talented voice-over actor named Tom Stechsculte and he does vary the voices enough, so you know when a different character is talking. Also, the original dialogue bubbles appear so you can read along with the comic as it comes to life.

I would've liked to have some special features like perhaps the writers discussing "Watchmen" etc., but there aren't any. You do get a sneak peek at Wonder Woman 2009 (Two-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy) if you haven't bought that already.

This is an animated movie that you really have to pay attention to because there's a sub-story going on as a character is reading a comic book in the film. But the dialogue and action going on in the comic book, blends perfectly with the movie time line and action, so there is a purpose.

Very cool and I recommend to comic fans.
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on March 6, 2009
Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic is exactly what the title says it is: the original comic book, illustrated by Dave Gibbons, brought to life through crude animations and narration. For those who have already read the graphic novel before, there may not be enough of a reason to pick this collection up. I have read the book before, but wanted to read it again before I went out and caught the long-awaited Live Action adaptation of it. Time constraints made that largely impossible for me, however, so I went and picked up this Blu-ray instead.

Honestly, I was blown away by how captivating this is. At its most simplistic, The Complete Motion Comic looks a lot like a flash cartoon, and yet it remains as captivating as the original work, if not more so. The narration, for the most part, is fantastic, though I would have like a woman to voice the female characters in the story. As it is now, there's just one man narrating all the characters. The first time you hear him narrating Silk Spectre II, it's a little jarring, though it gets easier to swallow as you continue through the episodes.

Really, what makes this Blu-ray worth owning is the fantastic score that plays throughout the presentation. It makes the tense moments tenser, the action scenes more enthralling, and sad scenes more heart-wrenching. It's as if you're reading the book with an orchestra behind you, knowing exactly what to play at exactly the right times. It's great!

The video quality of the disc is about as you would expect. Gibbons' drawings look sharp and detailed, and reading the text is never an issue as it might have been on the DVD version of this release. Special features are a bit weak, and nothing that we haven't seen before. There are two small featurettes in addition to three BD Live videos (internet connection required), including the Jailbreak Scene from the motion picture (which, after seeing the movie, I can say is one of the coolest scenes in the whole flick). There is an additional disc in the packaging which includes a digital copy of the complete Motion Comics. Unfortunately, these are in WMV format and are therefore incompatible with Macs and iTunes. That makes them completely useless to me, but if I ever wanted a non-reading friend to read the book, it's still a convenient way to pass the episodes along.

Overall, this is a well-produced, faithful translation of the most acclaimed graphic novel of all time! I've had the opportunity to see the motion picture and this as well. While the movie is as faithful as it can possibly be, I still found myself much more enthralled with this Blu-ray than I did sitting in the theatre watching the film. All the tension, build-up, and thematic elements that the movie couldn't pull off are recreated brilliantly in this collection. If you're a fan of Watchmen, or you're looking for a way to get friends and family in on the action, this is a great way to do so! I highly recommend it.
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on April 25, 2016
The motion comic was the best thing to come out of the Watchmen movie. It would have been cool to see what this would have been like with individual voice actors, but as it stands, I have no problem with one actor doing all the voices. Gibbons' artwork in Watchmen always had a sense of dynamism and flow. It's fantastic to see it actually happen on screen without being overdone or compromising the excellent storylines.
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on February 18, 2009
Highly recommended. The adaptations are very well done and really allow you to linger over the art with the semi-animated, sub-anime level of motion they use. The soundtrack is great and really lends an amazing atmosphere to the episodes. The only caveats I have is that they use a single male narrator/actor, who can get a bit dicey for the female voices, and I don't understand why they used dialogue balloons. But these choices don't detract from the overall excellence.
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