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on April 4, 2017
Amazon should have multiple criteria for disc reviews, as I would give the film four stars, but this release gets two from me. First, this is just a 2K version being released on the 4K platform; it did not come from a 4K scan, so it looks only marginally better than the Blu-ray. While advertised as a 4K/Blu-ray combo set, the Ultimate Cut is presented on the 4K disc, while the shorter (and frankly superior) Director's Cut is relegated to the Blu-ray. You can't get the Director's Cut on 4K. This is basically a repackaging of the Blu-ray Ultimate Cut set, though it leaves out the Watchmen Motion Comics disc that was presented with the earlier release. Annoying, but at least it doesn't claim otherwise. However, the slipcover does claim that it features two commentary tracks, one by Zack Snyder and one by Watchmen comic artist Dave Gibbons, and this is untrue. Neither commentary appears on this version; they can only be found on the previous Blu-ray version. This is false advertising, plain and simple. Perhaps someday a proper 4K release, featuring an actual 4K scan of the film, along with actual inclusion of the extras it claims to contain, will be released-I'd hold out for that. If you have the Blu-ray of the Director's Cut, there's no reason to upgrade to this version. If you have the Blu-ray of the Ultimate Cut, the only thing you are getting with this version is a mildly better picture, so decide for yourself if it's worth the price tag for that slight improvement, given that you'll need to hang onto your Blu-ray for the missing extras. Warner Brothers really dropped the ball on this one.
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on December 9, 2017
Very poor 4K. Barely even looks good enough to be called upscaled 2K. The Black Freighter scenes are the only ones that look good enough to stop me from giving this a one star review. If you’re looking for something to show off your TV or get the best picture, buy Valerian, Life of Pi or Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. This is one of my favorite films, and I’ve never owned the Ultimate Cut, and since this is the only “4K” release of it, that’s the only thing stopping me from returning it, but if not for that I would have had it in the mail already ready to go back.
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on November 26, 2014
I finally decided to stuff away my anxieties of seeing a movie the general public deem "disappointing", since I've learned several times before how much I love something battered unfairly by critics.
My personal opinion is that it's a really good movie- the dialogue and visual effects are incredible. My nitpick is the confusing sequence of flashbacks and their placement throughout the movie, not being entirely sure of what's going on at times, and for someone whose never read the comics it's difficult to understand the plot- there seems to be several of them.

There surely is a bright blue distraction on more than one occasion- I find myself unable to focus on what people are saying because I have my attention drawn to it. It's an interesting turn, treating male nudity as female nudity has been treated for decades, but it's something to adjust to. That's not a bad thing, I'm just forewarning everyone- be prepared to see his package in great detail haha.
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Based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons graphic novel, "Watchmen" works more often than not and although director Zack Snyder's film may not be perfect, it's an extremely good adaptation of that work capturing the essence of what made the graphic novel so good.

The "Director's Cut" of the film features 24+ minutes of additional and extended scenes. Some work such as the confrontation that Dr. Manhattan faces by reporters on a TV show while others such as the murder of an important supporting character suffers from weak dialogue and acting by the extras.

There are some minor artifacts but on the whole the film looks stunning on Blu-ray. The special features are quite nice introducing a unique one in particularly called "Maximum Movie Mode" that you quickly get the feeling will be over or misused by others. In "Maximum Movie Mode" you director Snyder appears on screen during certain scenes detailing how the scene was shot. You can also access production photos/comic book pages for a comparison/contrast between how the film was storyboarded vs. the final outcome. You can also see the actual shooting of the scene while watching it again be aware however that this isn't presented in a picture-in-picture mode. It does interrupt the film but you can quickly navigate back to the film itself. There's also an alternate "Timeline" with photos comparing our world to the world of "Watchmen". It's marvelous special feature that could only be presented in Blu-ray because of the higher bit rate/capacity of the format.

***
The rest of the special features are located on disc two. We get a number of very good featurettes on the film itself from "The Phenomenon: The Comic That Changed Comics" which points out many of the innovative techniques, use of subtext and layering of the various stories that Moore & Gibbons used to present "Watchmen" back in the 80's to "Real Super Heroes, Real Vigilantes" which explores how the characters are mirrored in real life in our world.

"Mechanics: Technologies of a Fantastic World" allows you to dig into the technology of "Watchmen" ranging from Dr. Manhattan's Martian get-away to Nite Owl's ship. We also get the 11 "Watchmen" video journals which were originally on-line as well as the video for the song "Desolation Row" by My Chemical Romance. There are also BD-Live features planned for the future. You can share many of your favorite special features via BD-Live through Facebook. Some of this material is a bit repetitive because of the visual commentary track that Snyder does.

We also get a third disc with a digital copy of the film and the code which is active for a limited time."Watchmen" had a long and painful birth--it went through director's, writers and producers more rapidly than a kid eating a candy bar.It's the 1980's and Richard Nixon serves out his third term as President. The U.S.won the Vietnam War due to the intervention of superhero Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup)and the other superheroes now banned by the government from intervening in the affairs of ordinary folks. When the Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)is murdered the vigilante hero Rorschah (Jackie Earl Haley in a marvelous performance)as he tries to discover who is trying to eliminate America's former heroes. He contacts his old partners Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson), Silk Spectre II aka Jupiter (Malin Akerman) and Ozymandis (Matthew Goode) to convince them that they need to band together to discover who wants to eliminate them.

"Watchmen" may be flawed but Snyder's ambitious film overcomes many of those flaws by introducing a fascinating story filled with colorful, conflicted characters. One of the flaws of the film are some of the surface, shallow performances by the actors and part of that can be laid at the feet of director Snyder and his writers on the film. While many of them can't dig in underneath the surface of these characters and expose what's truly going, others such as Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino as Silk Spectre's mother Sally Jupiter and Crudup as Dr. Manhattan reveal a significant amount of what drives their characters. Part of the issue is the film format itself which allows limited time and space to portray the same story that was told over many issues of the original comic book itself and part of that is that Snyder becomes so enamored with his visuals that he loses track of the very human element he's trying to portray. Still, flaws and all I doubt anyone else could have tackled "Watcmen" and succeeded as well as he has here. Producer Joel Silver who had the rights to produce an earlier version of the film (which would have starred Arnold) recently commented that he felt his version would be a better version of the film, more populist reaching a broader audience. What he fails to realize is that is precisely what would have watered down and ruined what was unique about "Watchmen". The fact that Snyder makes a relatively faithful, visually epic that nicely captures the flavor of the graphic novel IS an outstanding achievement worth noting regardless of the flaws.
Recommended.
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on August 4, 2009
Who'd've thought a comic book (okay, a 'graphic novel') would've spawned such thoughtful reactions from viewers. But there is a lot of thinking going on in WATCHMEN to think about. Social issues from vigilantism to mob mentality to sociopath skirting liberal laws to... Well, this is a thinking person's action movie. So much have been written already, I'll just cop out and say I agree with all the raves. It's fine film which will be talked about for years to come.

One reviewer said see the movie first, then get the graphic novel. I think it would be better the other way. But I'm from
a generation brought up on comics. The graphic-novel version is a piece of art. I was surprised it was in a fixed, regular panel format. But the creators said why they did and, okay, they're the creatives. (But I maintain it's a graphic concept,
and as the movie has done, the more dramatic, innovative formatting, the better.)

Last kibitz: I liked WATCHMEN the first time I viewed it. So much so I viewed it again, and the second time through I saw/understood/appreciated it all the more. I waited a 10 days and again re-viewed it. And more came up and out.
If you agree with the really enthusiastic reviews, I'd suggest you see more than once. or twice. And next year, see it some more.

As a 69-year-old I often think many of 'you kids' are dumbed-down vis-a-vis those of us from the Gutenberg Galaxy (go google that phrase and be enlightened). But seeing the smart acceptance of this complex film and the sharp way reviewers have applauded it, I have hopes for the future after all. Amen, and see it again and again.
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on April 14, 2013
The transfer looks pretty decent. I really liked the original movie even though it is well over 2 1/2 hours. The extended Director's Cut is right at 3 hours. Some of the extra scenes didn't feel quite right to me. Many of them are about Rorschach. I won't spoil how they focus on him, but I can see why they were cut. It's kind of nice to see a little more about him, but ultimately they detracted from the film, making it overly long. Other extra scenes focus on Silk Spectre II and Dr. Manhattan. They are a little better, but as with the other scenes, they aren't really needed. If you are a fan of the movie, you won't mind the extra stuff as much. For someone who's not seen it, they might not like having to sit through 3 hours.
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on July 22, 2009
I'd like to call 'Watchmen: the director's cut' Bluray the Apocalypse Now! of american superhero movies. It is dark, yet poignant, dense, yet full of crackling dramatic scenes. It's probably one of the most striking VISUAL films of the past 10 years. Simply amazing in hi def.
Note to parents: I couldn't help worrying that some young kid might accidentally see it and get emotionally scarred from the violence. There is some near pornographic violence in this film.
I understand why there is, too. This film is trying to push the genre as far as it can in every area, and it does. For the casual viewer, this might not work. For fans of comics, it's a deeply layered treat. But like a rich chocolate cake, maybe a bit much to digest in one sitting.
If there's one thing that really stood out for this viewer it was the feeling of nostalgia for a 1980s that might've been. And the music choices were wonderful. Billy Crudup and Jackie Earle Haley are perfection in their parts, and each the opposite pole of the american hero myth.
A film to be watched again and again, commented on, argued about for years to come. Anyone with a Bluray player shouldnt be without this.
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on February 2, 2017
This is a movie meant for adults. It is a stand alone story that does not set up a franchise and tells a tale of troubled characters. This is probably will be Zach Snyder's best directed movie. It's not perfect, but it is a an intresting journey that takes you into the lives of troubled superhero men and women. Watch when you have a 3 hours to spare. A very good 8/10 if that helps. The video presentation was fine.
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on February 27, 2016
This movie rocks. I particularily like the music aspect of it. They merge the songs into the movie perfectly. Although this movie is about 80% flashbacks, they are each so well done that it doesn't detract from the awesomeness of the movie. I wish super heros movie today were more like this one!
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on October 30, 2013
For some reason, I wasn't that impressed when I saw it in the theaters when it was first released, but I have to admit that this version, with some added footage (although I couldn't tell what was added) worked much better for me. A truly epic story (which does fix Alan Moore's kind of goofy ending), some good performances (particularly Jackie Earle Haley, despite his mask), and some excellent twists. Not so much great big surprises that change everything -- more of a really involved, involving story with a lot of back history to fill it out. In this recent avalanche of comic-book based movies, I would recommend checking this one out again, even if you didn't like it the first time. And if you haven't seen it -- put it on your "must view" list.
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