Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Watchmen: Director's Cut (Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8.5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: R

Starring:
Malin Akerman as Laurie Jupiter / Silk Spectre II
Billy Crudup as Dr. Manhattan / Jon Osterman
Matthew Goode as Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias
Jackie Earle Haley as Walter Kovacs / Rorschach
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Edward Blake / The Comedian
Patrick Wilson as Dan Dreiberg / Nite Owl II
Carla Gugino as Sally Jupiter / Silk Spectre
Matt Frewer as Edgar Jacobi / Moloch the Mystic
Stephen McHattie as Hollis Mason / Nite Owl

Directed by Zack Snyder

Special Features:
Disc 1 (BD-50):
Director's Cut of the film (186 minutes)
Interactive "Ultimate Watchmen Experience"
BD-Live

Disc 2 (BD-25):
The Phenomenon: The Comic that Changed Comics (30 min.)
Real Super Heroes, Real Vigilantes (27 min.)
Mechanics: Technologies of a Fantastic World (27 min.)
Webisodes (38 min.)
Music Video: My Chemical Romance Desolation Row (3 min.)

Disc 3 (DVD):
Digital Copy - Theatrical version

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.40:1)
DTS-HD High Res Audio
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 186 Hours

The Movie:
The following is the official description of the film:

"Someone’s killing our super heroes. The year is 1985 and super heroes have banded together to respond to the murder of one of their own. They soon uncover a sinister plot that puts all of humanity in grave danger. The super heroes fight to stop the impending doom only to find themselves a target for annihilation. But, if our super heroes are gone, who will save us?"

"Watchmen" is rated R for graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language.

The Movie:
I already reviewed the theatrical version of "Watchmen" and you can read that here. So this will just cover the Director's Cut.

What's new? Well the DVD cover declares that there's 24 minutes of new footage. But I'll be honest; it didn't feel like that much. It's mainly three or so major scenes, then a few brief moments sprinkled here and there throughout the film to the point that you almost don't notice they're new.

Many of the new scenes center around Stephen McHattie as Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl. Early in the film, we briefly see Hollis and Dan watching a news report on Rorschach getting spotted at the crime scene of the Comedian's murder. It just lasts a few seconds. But later on we get a much more significant scene. A group of thugs (the ones beat up earlier by Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre II) decide to take out their revenge on Hollis. They approach his house as he's on the phone reminiscing with Carla Gugino as Sally Jupiter. They break in and proceed to beat him to death as he valiantly attempts to fight back. Later in the film Nite Owl II beats a man to a pulp (where he is literally spitting out teeth) trying to get info on Hollis' murder.

Another new scene shows the government cornering Laurie Jupiter after Dr. Manhattan freaks out and goes to Mars. They interrogate her to the point that she smashes one agent's face into the table. Alessandro Juliani (Gaeta from "Battlestar Galactica") then runs in and says they've spotted Dr. Manhattan on Mars. Laurie then gives the government men the slip after knocking one out again.

You'll also find a few minor scenes showing the kid reading "Tales of the Black Freighter" as Walter Kovacs parades around with his sign. I was hoping that the animated scenes from "Black Freighter" would be added back into the movie, but you'll have to wait for the "Ultimate Edition" this Christmas to see that version.

A few more scenes are added here and there. At the beginning, Rorschach scuffles with a couple of cops. There's also more Rorschach monologue, discussions with the psychiatrist, etc. I would be hard pressed to tell you what else was new. It's short and blends in with everything else.

I wouldn't say the new footage makes the movie any better. But if you have the choice between getting the Theatrical version or the Director's Cut, then the Director's Cut is definitely the way to go.

The Extras:
Here are the bonus features you'll find on the Blu-ray:

Interactive "Ultimate Watchmen Experience" – If you've already seen the movie, then this will be your preferred method of viewing it. It's like having Zack Snyder sitting in your living room watching it with you. He'll pause the movie and talk about certain scenes, give commentary along the way, show storyboard art, and more. As the movie plays, behind the scenes footage will also pop up along with interviews with the cast and crew. On occasion, you can hit a button and watch 2-3 minute videos on the making of the movie. (They can be watched outside of the "Experience" too, which is convenient.) They cover the original superheroes, the costumes, the blue lights on the Dr. Manhattan suit, Rorschach's mask, and more. There's some cool stuff here, but I would have liked all of them to be accessible outside of the "Experience" feature.

The Phenomenon: The Comic that Changed Comics – This is mainly 30 minutes of people gushing about "Watchmen" while trying to mention 'Alan' as little as possible. (I don't recall them ever saying his last name, at his request of course.) More interesting are stories from the original DC editors and Dave Gibbons on the actual development of the comic.

Real Super Heroes, Real Vigilantes – Another documentary talking about the psychology of superheroes. Honestly, I had a hard time getting into this featurette.

Mechanics: Technologies of a Fantastic World – Yet another 'real world' documentary, this time talking about the physics behind superheroes. From the gadgets to the powers, it's all discussed here. Again, it wasn't that interesting to me.

Rounding out the bonus features are the online Webisodes, the music video for "Desolation Row" by My Chemical Romance, a digital copy of the Theatrical version (not the Director's Cut!!), and BD-Live extras.

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