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PHOTOGRAPHY

WATCHMEN Director's Cut (2-Disc Special Edition)
DVD Review by David Blackwell
 
DETAILS:  186 minutes, comic book featurette, 11 video journals, music video
VIDEO:   2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO:  English, French 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles:  English, French, Spanish
 
STUDIO:  Warner Bros. Pictures/ Paramount/ DC Comics/ Legendary Pictures/ Lawrence Gordon Productions
Theatrical Release Date:   3-6-2009
DVD RELEASE DATE:  7-21-2009

ANALYSIS: 
WATCHMEN is a comic book series regarded by many fans as one of the best series ever done. Many people considered the twelve issue series unfilmable while many fans would be offended if the movie wasn't faithful to the source material. Writer Alan Moore disowned the film adaptation and requested his name be taken off the adaptation (one of his many crazy things he done as he doesn't like Hollywood and think they can't do a proper version of any of his works). Director Zack Snyder (of DAWN OF THE DEAD remake and 300) delivers a very faithful adaptation except for a few minor changes that works in the film's favor. WATCHMEN is a film I love. It is so full of detail and manages to keep most of the plot intact (except they changed the climax for the better) while adding more gore than was ever shown in the comic. WATCHMEN is one of the better adaptations of an Alan Moore story (V FOR VENDETTA is another comic book turned into a great adptation while LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTALEMAN is best left unfilmed).
 
WATCHMEN starts with the death of The Comedian before launching into a montage credits sequence (that captures the back story in a great way). Then the movie builds the plot while weaving the plot with flashbacks and internal thoughts. WATCHMEN never lets up as it never bores and every detail deserves to be seen at least twice (I want to see it again) even though it is a 163 minutes movie.
 
It chronicles an alternate 1980s where the USA won Vietnam, Richard Nixon is on his fifth term as Presidant, superheroes are outlawed, and the Cold War between the USA and USSR is on the brink fo a nuclear war. The US has a not-so secret weapon named Dr. Manhattan- a scientist who can teleport, and assemble and disasemble anything (and anayone) after being involved in a lab accident. The problem these days is Dr. Manhattan is becoming distant to the point that his live-in girlfriend senses the distance (she was once the hero The Silk Spectre). Meanwhile, the violent vigilante Rorschach and the semi-retired Nite Owl begin to uncover a conspiracy that ended up getting The Comedian dead. WTACHMEN is a nihilistic R-rated superhero film that deconsturcts the genre while touching on the post 9/11 world we live in (even though the comic book was based on the cold War fears at the time).  WATCHMEN appears to be the type of film that divides critics which means it might be seen as a cult classic in years to come.
 
THE DIRECTOR'S CUT:   The film is now 24 minutes longer.  It does include a few new sceenes whil extending others.  The Director's Cut makes me love the moviue as much as the first time when seeing the Theatrical Cut in theaters.  Not much that can really stand out.  It just makes the experience just as good if you're a fan of the film already.  The DVD case does include a $10 off coupon for the 5-Disc Ultimate Edition out in December which incorporates TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER into the film with tons of new extras not in this release.
 
SPECIAL FEATURES:
The MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE video for DESOLATION ROW has to be the useless extra here.  A digital copy of the film is included on disc two if you care to have a digital copy of the director's cut.
 
THE PHENOMENON: THE COMIC THAT CHANGED COMICS is almost thirty minutes long as people involved in the making of the comic (excluding Alan Moore who strangely disowned the film like the strange comics writer he is and his name was taken off it), the Editor-In-Chief of DC Comics at that time, and the cast and crew of the WATCHMEN film reflect on how groundbreaking the comic book is.
 
The 11 video journals cover different parts of making the film and each journal averages between 3 to 4 minutes each.  I like the ones about THE MINUTEMEN, THE WOMEN WHO KICK ASS, and RORSCACH the best.
 
FINAL ANALYSIS:  The WATCHMEN Director's Cut is an enhanced experience for fans of the film.  Skip the theatrical cut and watch the DC.    Too bad the extras are thin and most of them will be in December's ULTIMATE EDITION.
 
this DVD review is (c)7-25-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Who watches the Watchmen?  send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com