MONKEY REVIEW: Watchmen (Director’s Cut)
July 26, 2009
As I’ve already done a complete review of Zack Snyder’s adaptation of the Alan Moore penned, Dave Gibbons illustrated graphic novel Watchmen, to be found here, and as this director’s cut of the movie, released to DVD and Blu-ray this week doesn’t alter my fundamental opinion of the movie, I won’t repeat myself for this review. Suffice to say, I still regard it as one of the very best superhero themed films I’ve seen to date, and as of this writing, one of the best films of 2009. This director’s cut, which I saw as part of a Zack Snyder moderated live screening at Comic Con in San Diego on July 25, broadcast via the BD-Live feature on the Blu-ray, features 24 minutes of extra footage, though that doesn’t include the Tales of the Black Freighter and Under the Hood footage. The latter footage will presumably be worked into an even longer cut, suggestions of which were evident in this current cut. (Snyder pointed out a transition point between Freighter and the greater narrative.) The most significant new footage, initially cut for time, is a striking sequence detailing the fate of the characters. Other footage added to the film extends some scenes, adding more dialogue here and there, and generally adding more character and story detail. Though the director’s cut has a running time in excess of three hours, it doesn’t feel significantly longer than the theatrical cut, which is a credit to the skill with which the additional footage has been woven in. All in all, it’s an excellent movie made better.
With regard to the BD-Live aspect of the screening, it was essentially the movie featuring a gray chat box superimposed over the top of the frame, with Snyder making comments and taking questions about the movie as it unfolded. When he wasn’t gushing over his cast and crew, he was enthusiastic and funny, and provided a frequently insightful and often funny commentary. It would have been nice to have had more of a sense of the atmosphere at the Comic Con screening, perhaps an audience shot or two, or even sound piped in from it, but otherwise it was an interesting, mostly successful experiment.
MONKEY RATING: ONE WATCHMEN MONKEY
(For a brief explanation of the Monkey Review rating system, click here.)