Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic (2008) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Animation / Drama / Fantasy
Warner Brothers || NR - 325 minutes - $35.99 || March 3, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-03-12


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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

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Jake Strider Hughes
Writer(s): Alan Moore (graphic novel)
Cast: Tom Stechschulte


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Featurettes
  • BD-Live
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

Alright, this is actually my first foray into the world of motion comics and I really had a hard time getting into it. That said, “Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic” is at least an interest watch especially for fans of the graphic novel, others might have a tougher time at it.

The motion comic is complete narrated and voiced by Tom Stechschulte, an actor with a sporadic film/TV career but best known for his voice work on a variety of audio books, which basically this is, just with visuals.

Stechschulte’s voice actually works quite well overall from his Rorschach (though Jackie Earle Haley does a fantastic job in the movie version) to Dr. Manhattan and Night Owl. The one part that was a bit, um, jarring is when he began doing the female voices as well. Now, he doesn’t imitate a woman’s voice but to see a beautiful woman speak with a man’s voice certainly will take you out of the moment. I know they wanted to just use one voice actor, but certainly one female could’ve been added for those lines.

If you’ve ever seen a motion comic before, like I said, I never had, all this is the animation from the graphic novel with moving people to advance the story to go along with animated voice bubbles like you see in the comics. It takes a bit to get used to but the story pulls you in enough.

“Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic”, much like the live-action movie, will not appeal to some, and in this case, most people (non fanboys). As someone who never has read the graphic novel, this seems like a good Cliff’s Notes version for those who might have a hard time getting through the novel (which I’ve read it can be). That said, however, this release is aimed more squarely on fans of the graphic novel and that group will most certainly love each and every minute.

I should note that this Motion Comic is divided up into 12 chapters (like the graphic novel) and having also seen the Watchmen movie this weekend (3/7/09), I can appreciate even more the job Zack Snyder did with the live action version as a good number of scenes/shots match these. I have read that some things were changed from the graphic novel, however...

Overall, it’s an interesting “experiment” (though it’s been done before), but I think this should only be watched by fans. If you have yet to read the graphic novel, that is probably the best route to go in first.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The only features on this Blu-ray is a Watchmen Production Diaries #4 (2:47; HD), a ** Blu-ray Exclusive **, which is a minor glimpse at the making of the film version and Sneak Peek at Wonder Woman DVD (10:26), which was available on the Wonder Woman DVD/BD as well as Batman: Gotham Knight.

There is also the BD-Live and a digital copy disc for those interested in watching this on your PC (sorry, not compatible on your iPod). Both are also ** Blu-ray Exclusives **. All the BD-Live contains at the time of this writing is the trailer for “Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic”.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

“Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic” comes to Blu-ray with a 1.85 aspect ratio and in 1080p high-definition. Because this is just motion animation there’s not much to judge other than colors and maybe imperfections. Colors certainly look good and I noticed nothing in the way of scratches.

Kind of like the video, I’m unsure exactly how much you’re getting with the extra cost between the DVD and Blu-ray versions. Yes, the dialogue is very clear coming from the center channel and the front speakers get some use from the minimalist score, but that said you’re not missing out on that much. Again, it sounds great, just not sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck... I should note that like other Warner releases, it defaults to the Dolby Digital 5.1 track, so be sure and switch to the TrueHD one when the movie begins.



.::OVERALL::.

“Watchmen: The Motion Comic” is an interesting concept but I believe that you might be better off just reading the comic as at times, this feature can become a tad boring, though some chapters are better than others. As for the Blu-ray, the video looks nice and the audio sounds great, but with this kind of movie, I’m not so sure if the cost upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray is worth it. The BD exclusive is way too short, though I guess if you love the graphic novel, perhaps you also want it in 1080p HD...