Watchmen (2009) - Director's Cut

Genre(s): Action / Crime / Drama / Fantasy / Science Fiction
Warner Brothers || R - 186 minutes - $34.98 || July 21, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-07-19


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Zack Snyder
Writer(s): Dave Gibbons (graphic novel); David Hayter and Alex Tse (screenplay)
Cast: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson


Theatrical Release Date: March 6, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Music Video
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

So this DVD has a whopping 24 extra minutes of footage looped into the already two-plus-hour film as it is, making it a three-hour movie after all is said and done. I normally enjoy extra footage or violence, of which there is both involved in Watchmen, but the problem is that thereís too much extra footage that was added and not enough violence put in to make this the blockbuster I had heard it was. Also it doesnít help when there are numerous characters and conflicting plot lines going on, it makes my job that much harder. Letís get on with the movie already.

The year is 1985, and President Richard Nixon just passed a new act that forbids superheroes from, well, being superheroes in America. This happens shortly after a superhero named The Comedian is killed by an unknown assailant in his house. Well, the assailant doesnít kill him, the giant 200ft fall he had helped and then the ground did him in, but I digress. Another superhero by the name of Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) visits the scene of the Comedianís death after the police have already searched it and finds stashes of weapons along with the famed pin from the start of the film, the smiley face with a tiny drop of blood on it. Rorschach leaves to meet with other superheroes, also with funny names that are a pain to continually type out.

Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup) is a giant blue superhero that can do anything he wants, including make clones of himself and teleport people all over the world (which for some reason includes Mars). Heís with his girlfriend the Silk Spectre (Malin Akerman) and they talk about along with Rorschach about the epidemic going on with the world. Rorschach also visits a man by the name of Ozymandias (Matthew Goode), who recently has been nicknamed the ďSmartest Man in the World.Ē The two discuss the idea that imminent danger may soon happen to earth and part on those terms as though the funeral for Eddie is held the next day. The first Silk Spectre, Sally (Carla Gugino) has her daughter Laurie teleported by Manhattan to talk about the fact that the Comedian wasnít a superhero, but instead a super villain.

Roarschach also finds this out soon after, and as such, goes around for the duration of the movie kicking arse and taking names to find out the real reason why he was killed and protect the earth from the real villain in the movie, who I wonít spoil for you although it is pretty obvious. Itís up to him, the flying Nite Owl ship, and the other super heroes to once and for all stop the villains in the world and let Earth be protected by them.

This movie was long, arduous, and lacked a decent storyline that could hold me for the three-hour runtime. I was heavily disappointed, as the ďextra 24 minutesĒ made this movie seem like an eternity. I donít know the difference between the directors and theatrical version, but Iím betting it was just more dialogue and a little extra violence thrown in for good measure.

Speaking of which, the violence in this movie is nothing like previous films that Snyder has dne, and Iím not talking about that in a good way. I was hoping for more head splatters, chest rips, etc, and instead I just got a toned down version of 300. It wasnít the fact that I was putting this movie up to the previous one I just described, as I donít think any movie can hold a candle to it, but I came to expect a lot and after viewing Watchmen I was solely disappointed. The dialogue in this flick is incredibly boring, and the action scenes although great, werenít the best. They are too far and few apart to be enjoying.

I could have easily taken out an hour of this flick by yanking out most of the dialogue, as even after watching this movie twice I still have little idea what the big plot was. I thought it was to find out who killed Eddie, but then other things kept popping up that made me forget who people were and what was going on. This isnít Snyderís best work, but itís not his worst either.

For future reference, Iíd appreciate the option between a directorís cut and theatrical cut, especially if thereís a large difference like there was in this one.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The Novelís Groundbreaking Impact (29 minutes): This long feature talks about taking the comic to the big screen for the movie, and also goes through some of the comicís history. Itís a feature dedicated to fans of the flick, and since I wasnít one, I didnít enjoy it as much as others probably will.

Video Journals (36 minutes): A total of 11 video journals can be found, which range in things from the set design, to shots of the owl ship, and to girls kicking some arse (my personal favorite). Annoyingly enough though, thereís no ďplay allĒ feature and you have to thumb through them individually.

Finally, the music video for ďDesolationĒ by My Chemical Romance and a Digital Copy that (yippy!) works with i-Tunes.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The video for this flick is outstanding. The colors (even though this is a rather dark film) appear outstanding for a recent film, and as such, made me pleasantly happy to watch it. I had no issues with them being overblown or a bit light in any area. Flesh tones for the movie are also appropriate, even though most of the characters do wear masks, but hey their flesh tones look great! The downside is that as I pointed out earlier that the movie is a dark film, and suffers from several contrast issues. Grain is apparent in many of the scenes, which knocks it down quite a bit from being reference material to just a movie a little below that quality.

I have been waiting for this release since it hit theaters to show off my sound system. What I got was a letdown. While some of the scenes are loud and engaging for my system, the rest of the movie just isnít. Dialogue levels are nowhere near perfect, as I struggled to not only hear lines but also understand them. The surround noises throughout the flick are too loud and sometimes overpower the dialogue, which was a huge issue with me. Also, even though some of the scenes sound phenomenal, I had to constantly tweak my volume to get it just right then tweak it again after the scene was over. This Dolby Digital 5.1 track is engaging, loud, and uses surround use well. But not to the point I had wanted, nor other audiophiles for that matter.



.::OVERALL::.

Even though it wasnít the box-office smash it was expected to be, Watchmen appears now on DVD with 24 extra minutes of footage and some throw away special features. Thereís also going to be a re-release later on down the road before the year ends. Needless to say, Iíd recommend nothing more than a rental for now, as the newer version is rumored to have audio commentary from Snyder on it as well as other extras. Hopefully weíll get a reworked audio track as well. Sorry, but these are heroes to watch just for the night.