Watchmen (1-Disc) [DVD]
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An adaptation of Alan Moore's landmark comic book series, Watchmen is a story set in an alternative 1985 where a group of heroes, fo rced into retirement a decade before are called together once again to investigate the murder of one of their own. What they discove r an age-old conspiracy to change the balance of power
Everybody's favourite graphic novel comes to the screen (after years of rumours 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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Top Customer Reviews
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?Read more ›
“Watchmen” presents us with a nasty, gritty, worn-out world – a civilisation in decline. Crime seemingly lurks around every corner. This is a somewhat darker, slightly more menacing alternate version of our social reality – back in the late 1970’s and into the 1980’s (when global Armageddon of our own making – the Bomb! – was only a button press away). It’s here, in this “Watchmen” universe, that there’s a real need for heroes – for costumed vigilantes – who help save the innocent and mete out justice to wrong-doers. And so, rather than appearing in comic book strips in the late 1930’s, in this alternate reality ‘the costumed vigilante hero’ actually happened. Unfortunately, such heroes didn’t make much of a difference to the world. Their attempts to bring about change result in little more than personal tragedy and disillusionment.
But the appearance of one particular ‘hero’ does change the world – the arrival of a bona fide super-powered being, known as Dr Manhattan. But he’s not simply a ‘super-hero’, he’s more akin to a god.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sometimes a bit confusing,but a good film,whose out to destroy the world and can the war hymen stop them very good ending with,a,twistPublished 1 month ago by the reader
I saw this film in the cinema when it first came out, and really enjoyed it. Watching it again on DVD I was struck by how stylish it was. Read morePublished 4 months ago by film and theatre buff
Watchmen is an excellent film which I enjoyed very much despite having not read the graphic novels (it's on the to-do list). Read morePublished 4 months ago by A L H
This film tends to polarise opinion more than other superhero movies. It is not what many people expect from the genre (makes Batman at his darkest look really rather tame, with... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tarx