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Watchmen - Tales Of The Black Freighter [DVD]

4.1 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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  • Watchmen - Tales Of The Black Freighter [DVD]
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Product details

  • Directors: Mike Smith, Daniel DelPurgatorio
  • Producers: Brian McNulty
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 6 April 2009
  • Run Time: 64 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001S3GDPE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,127 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER: Tales of the Black Freighter brings to striking animated life the graphic novel's richly layered story -in-a-story, a daring pirate saga whose turbulent events may mirror those of the Watchmen's world. A mariner survives an attack from the dreaded pirates of the Black Freighter, but his struggle to return home to warn has a horrific cost. UNDER THE HOOD: Base d on Nite Owl'as powerful firsthand account of how the hooded adventurers came to existence. Live action.

From Amazon.co.uk

Based on a comic within the Watchmen graphic novel, Tales Of The Black Freighter was cut out of the big screen version of the story, and is set to reappear in an extended cut of the film on DVD. For those who simply can’t wait, however, the 26-minute animated story has been given a standalone release, attracting the voice talent of 300’s Gerard Butler too.

Tales Of The Black Freighter is actually, in the Watchmen graphic novel, a comic book that we see being read reasonably regularly. It concerns itself with pirates, and the story is that of a man who survives an attack from the Black Freighter of the title, only to then have to try and get back home and warn people at home it’s coming. His journey, and this is some understatement, isn’t an easy one, and for good reason this was the story deemed to be the most tricky part of the Watchmen graphic novel to realise on screen.

It turns out that animation has proven to be a wise way to go, though. Tales of the Black Freighter works well as a cartoon, and it’s able to contain much of the material from the graphic novel as a result. Its effect is a little dampened when taken in isolation, but it’s still a welcome and well-realised version of the story, and a faithful one too. Well worth picking up. --Jon Foster

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This Blu-ray consists of two short films: first and foremost, "Tales of the Black Freighter"; and, secondly, "Under the Hood". These are part of the wider "Watchmen" universe, and contribute to that saga. Note: if you have the "Ultimate Edition" of the film, these are already included.

"Tales of the Black Freighter" is an animated film, about 30 minutes in length. It is based on the comic book as seen in the movie (which, in turn, is based on the original graphic novel). Within the alternate universe of the "Watchmen", super-hero comic books didn't emerge (as the costumed vigilante happened in real life) - so kids read comic book stories about pirates. And the Black Freighter is the most popular of these comic books. This short film tells the story of a man - voiced by Gerard Butler - who survives an attack by the Black Freighter, but is lost at sea ... he desperately seeks to get home, to save his family, and along the way is driven insane. It's an interesting short film, but - in my opinion - is the least important of the two pieces found here.

"Under the Hood" is a supposed biopic of an ex-costumed vigilante hero (who dealt out justice in the late 1930's through to the 1950's). He's now retired, and has written an autobiography. The film is intended to be a documentary about the publication of this book. It involves a series of interviews with characters from the "Watchmen" film, and in so doing it adds to our understanding of the world depicted in the movie. It's not a long film, about 40 minutes in length, but I found it quite enjoyable.

If you enjoyed "Watchmen" and want to learn a little more about the fictional world shown in that film, then these two pieces will be of interest to you. If you didn't enjoy "Watchmen" then I don't recommend this Blu-ray.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD is a deeper look into the world of "Watchmen" and it explores the comic book universe of "The Black Freighter" as well as "Under The Hood" (The pseudo documentary of Night Owl). During the late eighties and early nineties "Watchmen" graphic novels and comics appeared in local comic book shops around the world and appealed to people who liked their comics dark and ironic. "Tales of the Black Freighter" is an animated story not suitable for children as it has graphic horror and violence with a very dark sense of humour. The format is "Motion Comic" and is quite well done. Gerrard Butler does the voice for the protagonist and is amazing. If you love animated movies with a really dark twisted sense of humour and irony to spare buy this DVD!
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By TMUK VINE VOICE on 12 Mar. 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Tales of the black freighter (TOTBF) is a comic book story within the Watchmen comic book. The Story is dark and sinister and watched on its own can be quite a depressing tale.

Within the original watchmen comics the tale is super imposed over the main story line and is cleverly weaved within the fabric of the main story with some TOTBF comic book images appearing with main plot text and vice-versa.

Although the story stands on its own, the context of it is lost without the main plotline and to viewers who haven't read the graphic novel and only seen the regular versions of the Watchmen films may raise the question of what is it all about? its seperate release is also reminder that the Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut [Blu-ray] [2009] [US Import] in which the TOTBF story is reinsterted into the main film hasn't been released in the UK, though the US version is not region coded.

The sound and film quality is great on blu ray. and overall a good watch though the overall runtime is short at 25 minutes for the main tale it does include in the extras the "under the hood" hollis mason feature which runs for 35 minutes.

Maybe overall this release was intended for more hardcore watchmen fans but hopefully will encourage new fans to check out the graphic novel which is a masterpiece of comic genius.
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...or whatever they're calling it. Now knowing that at the end of 2009 they will be releasing the directors cut of Watchmen with Tales of the Black Freighter cut into the actual film (according to Zak Snyders original intention) does sting a bit after having just bought the both of these dvds seperately. Irritating that as so often happens these days they spin one film and its extras (or bits that should have been included in the first place) over several staggered dvd releases. What a swizz.
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Format: DVD
Much as I respect him, Alan Moore can say what he likes this time: Watchmen was a great movie, and a great comic-book adaptation (dodgy incidental music aside). Moore is well known for distancing himself from the films created from his graphic novels after the event, sometimes with cause, other times, not so much. Watchmen however succeeded on practically every level, the film being a near panel-for-panel remake of the book version. Even where the plot diverts from the original story and uses Dr. Manhattan as a scapegoat rather than the comic's Outer Limits derived plot device (subtly referenced in the film's conclusion) of `humans unite in the face of extraterrestrial threat', it is - I maintain - an improvement. They did themselves proud with this one. The only thing left for fanboys to bemoan was the obviously necessary exclusion of Black Freighter comic-within-a-comic segment. After all, the film is already pushing three hours long.

It's true that the metafictitious Tales Of The Black Freighter comic story was a marvellous little additional plot device which nicely mirrored The Watchmen's main story and was allegorical of many of the main characters' - specifically Ozymandias' - bloody paths to becoming what they most hated, all paved with good intentions. It fitted nicely within the pages of the comic books and all was well-and-good. Tales Of The black Freighter was never likely to make it into the movie-proper though and - as much as those purist geeks may disagree - it is far from an essential part of the story, however much I may personally have liked to see it on celluloid. I was delighted, therefore, when I heard that, so dedicated were Zack Snyder and Co.
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