Tuesday, September 08, 2009

DVD Review: Watchmen

Directed by Zack Snyder

The movie is set in a parallel time-line set around the date of 1985. Many things are recognizable so people that are not exactly interested in this type of science fiction device, won't be put off too much.

One major difference is Richard Nixon has been re-elected to the presidency for a 5th time! Also with lighter than air craft apparent in the sky, disasters like the Hindenburg/Graff Zepplin didn't happen.

Costumed heroes or vigilantes are common place (you really can't call them superheroes because there seems to be no powers evident in most of the people. Dr. Manhattan may be one of the most striking exemptions however) Most it would seem are very much in the “Batman” class of crime fighting.

The real twist is as the movie opens, it's apparent that these heroes have fallen on disfavor and are no longer practicing their craft. But it would seem that there is a conspiracy to eliminate each and every one of them. Plus the Nixon administration has outlawed the practice.

Most of the movie revolves around a small group of “Watchmen” trying to uncover the conspiracy and dealing with their past which in some cases went well off the path for some to be considered heroes.

One thing that can be said is that the film is long. The theatrical cut was 162 minutes and the directors cut 186. After about 90 minutes you find yourself saying...wow, this is a long movie. But the plot doesn't fall down. It's dark, moody, introspective at the same time violent and hard edged. It earns it R rating hands down.

The dvd doesn't seem to be any great shake though. No extra features that I could find. And once again if I am going to be asked to lay down money for content, I would expect some premium extra which are lacking. Though the longer cut, does have its appeal. So its a great rental DVD but I would question its value as a purchase ...not quite enough value added in my mind. I do see though that if your inclined to rent Blu-ray you do get the special edition director's cut that does run 186 minutes.


Anonymous said...

For me, what warrants buying a dvd, is whether or not I will watch it over and over throughout time. I find myself rarely watching the extra features on dvds, but didn't mind paying the extra bit for the extra footage of the movie, itself. Although, it is a dark movie, I thought it was well done, as I also read the graphic novel. I have already watched it a few times, since buying it. I thought all the actors/actresses fit their characters perfectly.

Beam Me Up said...

Good thoughts Jeanna!
but you have made my point...

"didn't mind paying the extra bit for the extra footage of the movie, itself."

This is just the point - if you're going to buy the format, then there should be some "value added" which is becoming sorely hard to find. Yes, when DVD first came out the extra features were closed caps, languages and direct scene access. But as of late I really began to enjoy features like those available with say the Matrix movie. You had deleted material, different camera angles and one feature that I really enjoyed which was selecting deleted scenes back into the movie so you had your "own cut" Plus it seemed that "the making of" shorts were becoming obligatory, now we are back to basics. Push may not have be the greatest movie of all time, but the directors commentary on deleted scenes is fascinating. If I were just going to watch the movie, I wouldn't even bother with the format. Most rental online vendors will allow you to download a film and burn it yourself. I am just finding the disk format less interesting with the lackadaisical effort that the producers are putting into them.