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Watchmen Collector's Edition: Ultimate Cut + Graphic Novel [Blu-ray]
Collector's Edition, Director's Cut
Blu-ray | Box Set
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Watchmen: Ultimate Cut + Graphic Novel (Blu-Ray)
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
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Turns out the Ultimate Cut is by far my favorite version of this movie (except for the "Halleleujah" scene): the scenes have enough time to breathe and revel in the period details; there's legitimately poignant footage added (I'm thinking of That Scene with Hollis); and my regard for Patrick Wilson's performance increases every time I watch this movie. I still think the movie is distinctly inferior to the GN, but the 3.5 hour cut of this movie is the best cinematic realization of this story we're ever likely to see. There are also bonus features which flesh out the world in interesting ways that aren't as engaging as I'd hoped (I'm thinking specifically of the faux Hollywood Tonight feature about the original Nite Owl book) but are still worth watching if you're curious to see everything this world has to offer. And I still maintain that people should definitely do that, because good as the GN or not, this is still a movie people should definitely see.
Either way, this is awesome for any collector, but you might be better off picking it up locally.
Maybe I will update more as I begin to view some of the discs. I hope this was helpful. In summary, it is worth it just for the novel itself.
The only thing missing however, is the directors cut of the movie which is still my preferred version.
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