227 of 238 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Directors cut review
I know a number of people are trying to decide whether to order the Directors cut from the states, or to make do with the British theatrical cut. It's a little hard to do when you've no idea which is better. Well thankfully ive been able to see the Directors cut version and here's what I think.
Essentially, most of the extra running time is made up of 5 seconds...
Published on 8 July 2009 by DeeJay
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat unsatisfying
I have read the original book and the film is very true to it, thankfully with 'The Tales of the Black Freighter' taken out. The advantage the book has is that you can put it down and come back to it because this is a complicated and multi-layered story. Sadly with most blu-ray players lacking the 'resume' feature of dvds you can't really do that with this film and at...
Published on 16 Feb 2010 by PJ Rankine
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227 of 238 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Directors cut review,
Essentially, most of the extra running time is made up of 5 seconds here and 10 seconds there. The most prominent additions are, a battle scene with the original Nightowl when thugs go to his home. This is superbly merged with flashbacks of fights from his heyday. As a result of this the bar scene with Nightowl and Rorschach is extended. I did enjoy this violent scene but I can see why it was cut, it didnt really fit in with Nightowls character at all, neither did Rorschach's reaction come to think of it.
There are extended/extra scenes of Rorschach without his mask as he watches his fellow Watchmen. He's much more prominent at the funeral and we see him taking his "face" out of a dumpster after watching Daniel. I imagine these scenes were removed as it takes away any mystique of who Rorschach is under the mask.
Laury has a few extra/extended scenes, and almost a subplot where the FBI are always keeping tabs on here to ensure Dr Manhatten is kept happy.
Also, there are a few moments of extra gore, which is always nice. We see more footage of the newspaper stand where a young man is reading the Tales of the Black Freighter comic. Overall though, the rest is mainly an extra line here and there. A few are superb, others not so worthy. Rorschach is certainly the main beneficiary of these added scenes, and seeing as he was most peoples favourite, thats not a bad thing.
Is it worth importing though? If your a Watchmen fan then yes, go buy it and im sure you'll love it, theres enough added there to make you happy. If your a film fan though? I wouldnt say the extra scenes made the movie any better to be honest, but I couldnt say they made it any worse either. While some of the extra moments were good, just as many felt out of place or unneccessary, not to mention the movie now runs over 3 hours long. I enjoyed it, but I could easily live with the Directors cut and the deleted scenes on a bonus disc.
Ive tried not to spoil the new scenes for everyone, but hopefully theres enough info here for you to make up your own mind on which version to go for.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Faithfully adapted comic works well as a film, although a bit talk heavy,
This review is from: Watchmen (2-Disc Special Edition) [DVD]  (DVD)I have little to no history with comics so it was very unusual for me to read one. It has the reputation for being the Citizen Kane of comics. So I thought it would be better to read it then it would be to watch a bland, simplified and shortened movie version.
So I bought the graphic novel and I really liked it. Well worth reading. I also agreed with Alan Moore, the creator and a noted hater of Hollywood, that a movie adaption was not needed. The book was complete in and of itself. It was not a blueprint for a future adaption in a different media. It was the definitive version. It was not a comic by default, it was a comic because it was meant to be a comic. A movie version was as needed as a musical version on ice - potentially interesting but pointless.
So I had low expectations when I finally watched the movie version. I initially wanted to get up and walk away from it in "disgust" but I sat it out. After the first half hour I relaxed into it and started to enjoy it. I don't think the first half hour is bad, more that it just took me that long to adjust to the acting style and the over-busy camera work, both of which were not what I was expecting.
I'm very surprised that so much of the book got into the film. Very little of note has been chopped. I would go as far as saying that I missed nothing from the comic. What little didn't make it onto the screen was of no great loss (I disliked the comic within a comic Tales of the Black Freighter and I'm glad it was removed). If you've seen the movie then essentially you've read the comic in its near entirety, which I'm very surprised to say.
If you're looking for an action movie then forget it. This is a talk-a-thon. There are only a few scenes of brief violence, none of which will satisfy anyone looking for large scale action thrills.
I liked the film and it's probably about as good an adaption as they could have made. No major mistakes have been made in my opinion (the contentious casting of the Veidt character didn't bother me). Also not one thing appears to have been invented for the movie, no new characters, new dialogue, new scenes etc. Everything seems to have come directly from the comic. The only alteration of note are the specific details of the climax. That major alteration works well and is perhaps more sensible and logical than the events in the comic book.
I don't think it matters what version you experience, the comic or the film, as they're pretty much the same thing. Neither has a significant edge over the other.
75 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant set... but a triple dip? Be ashamed, Warners.,
This review is from: Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE 5DVD US-ONLY ULTIMATE CUT : NOT THE 1-DISC, NOT THE 2DVD, NOT THE BLU RAY, NOT ANY OTHER VERSION. THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE 5DVD US-ONLY ULTIMATE CUT. (The UK 2 BR Directors Cut is very good, mind you).
Whether this purchase is worthwhile depends on what you have. Avid fans who bought everything as it was released will benefit only from the commentaries and the extra few seconds integrated back in. If you've bought everything else, the only `new' content is on the first disc ; all you get extra is a fraction of new footage and two commentaries for your big splashout. If you have no release of "Watchmen" at all, or held out, then this is the Big Enchilada, and get it now.
Britain, and the DVD format, get a bum deal. Britain isn't important enough to get the luxurious 5DVD set of "Watchmen : The Ultimate Cut". So in the end, I had to wait until the transatlantic postmen crawled through the snow to deliver this epic, but short-changing set.
THE ULTIMATE CUT
And what a Cut it is. The Ultimate Cut is exactly that : an enormous ambitious film that is, by any standard, a classic. It's not perfect in the slightest, but what it lacks in narrative it makes up in big brass balls. The pacing is often erratic, but then again - so was the original novel - and the small cinematic conceits of pacing and re-ordering of the narrative are for the benefit of the film.
What's different? Most of the "Black Freighter" is integrated back in, alongside some touching dialogue between the two Bernards that turns their previous cinematic incarnation - as two extras - into a symbolically important, wider universe. The "Black Freighter" exists in two or three minute increments spread out through the film as a whole - however the jarring change in visual style, from the rough animation to a pristine CGI-fest - can pull the viewer out of the cinematic trance despite the richness of the parable running in parallel with the main narrative. Overall, as per "The Directors Cut", many scenes are expanded with extra dialogue and nuance. And Everything feels just a little bit more real.
FEATURE DVD 1 :
On the DVD Edition, this disc is crammed with a 215m running time and two commentaries. Technically it's a slight disappointment, there were definite examples of slight blocking and pixellation, albeit only on occasional shots and lasting fractions of seconds. The commentaries are well wortha listen, albeit with a combined running time of over 7 hours, you would expect - and ye shall receive - moments of dead air. Zac Snyder's commentary is more technical than informative, and explains the occasional deviations from Alan Moore's Sacred Canon of work.
Dave Gibbons provides the second commentary, and, as the visual artist, it is fascinating to hear one of the creators thoughts on the work. His track is geared towards the visual, but its still chock full of fascinating nuggets
EXTRAS DVD 2:
The Special Features disc contains everything on the previous TC and DC second-discs, minus a three minute TV News Special. The disc has been reauthored, so the brilliant "Under The Hood Documentary" is included.
The special features themselves? Four half-hour documentaries that micromanage elements of the production, as well as 11 three minute webisodes.
Where the disc does fall down is in that every sense, a film this important, epic and loved deserves a truly loving documentary that chronicles the life of the film : including the numerous failed attempts. There is no equivalent of the enormous, covers-all-bases documentaries that accompany "Blade Runner", "The Alien Quadrology", or even "1941". A film like this deserves beter than a handful of featurettes, even if they do total three hours, they lack the over-arching narrative sense of the importance of this film to those invested in it.
Finally, "Under The Hood" is included, which makes the purchase worthwhile on its own. If you don't already have it.
THEATRICAL CUT DOWNLOAD DVD3 :
Here's a DVD disc you cannot watch on your DVD player, but only download to your computer, only watch on iTunes, and can only download for the first 12 months since it was first released. (That is, before 3rd November 2010). Worse than useless, to be honest.
COMPLETE MOTION COMIC DVDs 4+5:
Lets get the usual clichés out of the way : Unfilmable. Epic. Too long. This proves them all : it is a vaguely animated attempt at telling every frame and panel of the original comic, with scant animation that resembles primitive `South Park', and follows the structure of the original graphic novel exactly. An exact transference of one medium to another simply does not work in the majority. It is a brave flawed experiment that is certainly not the way you should experience Watchmen. Not only that, but the single male narrator provides the female characters a considerably more gruff demeanour, and it is often difficult to discriminate between say, Ozymandius, Roarsarch, and Dr Manhattan, when they are all voiced by the same person. For heavens sake, if you haven't got it, read the original book
Released in the US as a Region 1 only uber mega box set "Watchmen : The Ultimate Cut" is... exactly that. At 3 hours, 35 minutes, it's not so much a film as the most expensive, and grand, miniseries ever conceived. At it's bum-numbing length, it's practically impossible to sit down and digest in one sitting. This megaset is all the "Watchmen" you will ever need - and plenty you don't. If you have bought the other versions (aside from the standard Theatrical Cut), think long and hard before investing in this. It is by no means perfect, but near enough to comprehensive as to satisfy even the most obsessed Watchman... for now.
77 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rip-off Britain again!,
This review is from: Watchmen - Director's Cut (2-Disc) [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)So we've had the theatrical cut when America got the 'Director's cut'.
Now we get the 'Director's cut' just as America gets the 'Ultimate cut'
What the hell is wrong with film companies? I am sick to death of their attempts to rip us off with dearer prices and inferior extras. With this film they can't use the BBFC as an excuse - it's already an 18!
Five stars to the film, but a bunch of fives to the UK distributors for their ridiculous attempts to try to make people buy the film more than once.
I have deliberately resisted buying this yet. You should too.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who's Watching the Ultimate Watchmen?,
This review is from: Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)I got tired of waiting for this ultimate cut to be released in region 2 and ordered the region 1 edition, playable thanks to an online hack I found for my dvd player. I hadn't seen the film on its cinema release and, knowing there was an ultimate version on the way, I hadn't seen any of the other dvd releases. So, was it worth the wait? Well, yes. With a running time close on four hours, this version has the whole of the 'Black Freighter' animation spliced into the main story along with linking interplay between the news-vendor, the kid who reads the 'Black Freighter' comic and other characters who pass on the street. Since all these elements are fairly central to the story of the original Watchmen graphic novel, it's kind of hard to imagine the movie bereft of them.
As a fan of the graphic novel, I naturally had the usual concerns about how well or otherwise it might transfer to the very different medium of film. Given the different nature of the medium, I think the director has produced a very watchable, very enjoyable movie. Inevitably some of the subtleties and sub-texts of the original are lost in translation, but, in this version at least, a surprising number of them are maintained. The chief reason I don't give it five stars is that, having been incredibly faithful to the graphic novel in so many ways, the director randomly decides to radically change the ending, requiring several key aspects of the original story to be entirely dropped or substantially re-written as well as altering the motivations of some characters. I've no idea why. The only reason I've found offered is that the ending of the graphic novel was deemed too close to that of an existing movie. So what? Part of Alan Moore's original story involves the deceptive nature of the Hollywood machine and what better place to explore that theme than a blockbuster movie? In my mind, this was a great opportunity missed.
Other than that, the main characters are, for the most part, very well cast and played. I particularly like the portrayals of the Comedian and Nite Owl. In both cases the actors really nail what the characters are all about. The digital rendering of Doctor Manhattan, which could so easily have looked stupid on screen, actually comes across really well, supported by another excellent performance. And what about everybody's favourite psycho, Rorschach? Again, a very fine performance, striking just the right balance between insight and insanity, sympathy and loathing.
Overall then, an excellent version of a movie that, while falling short of brilliance, is still extremely enjoyable. Accept that it's not the graphic novel and watch it as a movie in its own right and you'll probably enjoy it even more.
The extras include one disk of background documentaries. Here you can have fun seeing how long people can talk about the graphic novel without mentioning Alan Moore. Moore famously refuses to have his name associated with any of the film versions of his stories or to accept any money from the companies who make them. This disk includes a very welcome bonus, a documentary based on 'Under the Hood,' the text autobiography of Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl, that appears within the graphic novel.
The box set also includes the whole Watchmen graphic novel animated from the original artwork on two disks so you can watch the live-action movie then check out the original ending. My only criticism of the otherwise excellent animated version is that all the voices are rendered by one male actor. You'd have thought they could have stretched the budget to hire a female actor to provide the women's voices.
The final disk is a digital version of the theatrical release of the live-action film so you can watch it on your computer (PC or Mac), although I'm not sure why you'd want to do that when you've got the ultimate version to watch.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BLU RAY [US IMPORT]: THE DEFINITIVE EDITION?,
This review is from: Watchmen - The Ultimate Cut [Blu-ray]  [US Import] (Blu-ray)THE MOVIE:
Set in an alternate 1985 where costumed crime-fighters stalk the streets and the Cold War is on the brink of nuclear armageddon, Watchmen portrays a society that is more morally complex than depicted in traditional superhero fiction, a society where it is more difficult to tell the difference between right and wrong, good and bad.
Whilst the Theatrical version of Watchmen was still a faithful rendering of the source material it omitted several integral elements, most notable the book-within-the-book concept: `The Tales of the Black Freighter'. By re-integrating `The Tales of the Black Freighter' as animated interstitials into the Director's Cut of the movie, the Ultimate Cut is a much more layered, satisfying and complete adaptation of the landmark graphic novel that deconstructed the superhero genre. This creates a truly remarkable vision that is something more special than the previous versions. In this respect, the Ultimate Cut should be considered the "Definitive Edition" - if not quite the masterpiece for which we were hoping. The main thing that spoilt the suspension of disbelief for me were Moloch's massively distracting Orc-like ears: 'Spock meets Nosferatu'.
Disc 2 imports the bonus material provided with the Theatrical and Director's Cut releases. The Four main documentaries are all worthy of inclusion and concentrate on the origin of the graphic novel, its themes, and subsequent impact.
The pseudo-documentary `Under the Hood' is a fun 60-Minutes-style pastiche that provides more backstory and details from the graphic novel that are missing from the feature films.
The Video Journals deal with the making of the movie but (putting the lack of a PLAY ALL option aside) it would have been nice if there was a more in-depth making-of feature to take us through all the stages of this ambitious production - Especially one that covered the casting of the movie, its troubled release and the abandoned previous incarnations. (The inclusion of a few trailers would have also been welcome.) So this cynic suspects a Deluxe-Ultimate Anniversary Edition in the pipeline at Warners.
Instead of the obligatory, annoying Digital Copy, just a simple DVD of the Theatrical Cut would have been better (like Disney includes with all of their blu-rays), or even nothing at all. Hopefully film companies will abandon the Digital Copy fad altogether. Personally, I'd prefer no additional copy and a few pennies shaved off the price instead.
Rounding off the package, at 325 minutes, is the exhaustive (arguably gimmicky) Motion Comic - But at least it's broken into 12 episodes, like the 12 chapters of the novel, and should satiate completists' appetites.
On a final note, the 3 main discs come packaged in a fold-out card case (with the Motion Comic in a slim plastic blu-ray case) inside a card box. The only problem with this nifty packaging is that the matt finish tends to flake away on the edges and creases of the box. ("Somebody call Quality Control!")
These disappointments aside, Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut is definitely the version fans have been waiting for and as all of the discs are REGION FREE, it is available for everyone to make up their own minds. It is certainly an adaptation Alan Moore should be pleased with...but he probably won't be.
DISC 1 - THE MOVIE
- Commentary track by director Zack Snyder
- Commentary track by graphic novel co-creator Dave Gibbons
- Video - 1080p High Definition 16x9 2.4:1
- Audio - Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1, Dolby Digital: English 5.1
- Subtitles - English SDH, Francais & Espanol
DISC 2 - SPECIAL FEATURES IN HIGH DEFINITION
- Under the Hood
- Story Within a Story: The Books of Watchmen
- The Phenomenon: The Comic That Changed Comics
- Mechanics: Technologies of a Fantastic World
- All 11 Watchmen Video Journals
- My Chemical Romance Music Video
DISC 3 - DIGITAL COPY OF THE THEATRICAL FEATURE
DISC4 - WATCHMEN THE COMPLETE MOTION COMIC
40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Director's Cut.,
This review is from: Watchmen - Director's Cut [Blu-ray]  [US Import] (Blu-ray)This U.S. Blu-ray release is a 3-disc set. Disc 1 has the extended version of the movie with 24 minutes of extra footage taking it to 186 minutes. The additions simply move the movie closer to the graphic novel with extra dialogue between characters, more explicit violence and the added scene in which Hollis Mason dies. The Maximum Movie Mode enables viewers to view timelines, behind-the-scenes footage and director and actor insights while watching the movie. Storyboard comparisons and inserts from the graphic novel are also included.
Disc 2 includes three documentaries. The Phenomenon is a 29 minute feature exploring the Watchmen graphic novel. Real Super Heroes is a 26 minute feature about real-world vigilantes. Mechanics is a 17 minute feature exploring the science behind Watchmen. Disc 3 is a digital copy of the director's cut. You will need a PC with DVD-Rom drive. This digital copy may not be compatible with U.K. systems so check your systems spec.
It must be said that the theatrical release is no less enjoyable without the additional footage. The Director's Cut is probably for completists only. Although a five disc set is due for release in December 2009. This must cater for the ultra-completists. If you are going to buy The Director's Cut, Amazon.com is the way to go. There were no import charges and it works perfectly on my U.K. PS3.
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate cut blu ray is region free,
This review is from: Watchmen - The Ultimate Cut [Blu-ray]  [US Import] (Blu-ray)For anyone who is after this but unsure about whether it is region encoded, I ordered the US version from Amazon.Com and it plays fine on a European player.
By the way the prices quoted here in sterling are crazy - I paid about £23 taking into account fx.
This is an excellent version of the film, although I couldn't manage it in one sitting.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat unsatisfying,
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digital Copy version expired on 27 July 2010 - Buy the normal Blu-Ray instead.,
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Watchmen - Director's Cut (2-Disc) [Blu-ray]  by Zack Snyder (Blu-ray - 2009)
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