Watchmen - Director's Cut (Blu-ray) Watchmen - Director's Cut (Blu-ray)
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?
Snyder did a brilliant job bringing Frank Miller's epic graphic novel 300 to life for the big screen. Once again with Watchmen, he proves that he's the premiere choice in bringing this kind of material to theaters and translates the source material nearly perfectly. While different than 300, it remains a refreshing adult venture that doesn't pull punches in its message or imagery. Warner Bros was brave to allow this kind of film to be made given its budget and themes, but the end results are brilliant. Although nearly an hour longer than the theatrical version, this director's cut doesn't change the tone with a bit more character development and some brief additional sequences. In other words, the added length doesn't really add anything that needed to be there. Supposedly there is another edition of this film coming by year's end on Blu-ray but I'm not sure if that cut will add even more.
The video transfer is easily one of Warner's best. The film has a very dark look with deep blacks and outstanding contrast. This is one of the darkest films I've seen on Blu-ray, but the shadow detail holds up quite well with a very dimensional image. Detail is excellent throughout, although you will see some smoothness associated with the heavy effects used to stylize the film. Colors also have a strong yet dark appearance, but this Blu-ray looks far better than the two digital presentations I saw of the film in theaters.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack (a first for Warner) is quite an experience and really lends to the impeccable visuals throughout the film. The score provides a truly rich atmosphere and I love the song selections scattered throughout the film. The overall volume is a bit inconsistent with the quieter passages too soft and the action sequences blaring. This isn't a glaring issue, but my wife noticed it as well. Spatially it's quite engaging with plenty of surround activity and a rich front soundstage. Bass response is impressive, but just short of the best the format has to offer.
Warner has pulled out all the stops with a great supplement package. The most impressive is the onscreen commentary by the director that allows him to comment on the film as it plays with production footage that follows it. You also get an extensive look at the production, its history and its journey to screen. The video journals are all here along with a music video. This is also BD-Live enabled disc and includes a digital copy of the film.
I was surprised that the Director's Cut wasn't that different from the theatrical presentation. The back of the cover is a bit misleading and implies that both cuts are offered, but you'll only find the Director's Cut. Still, this is a phenomenal film that despite a 3+ hour runtime never bores. The presentation is outstanding and the cutting edge features make this a must own for the film collector.
Release Date: July 21, 2009
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