Watchmen and its cool Blu-ray features
I just got around last night to watching the 3 and 1/2 hour "Ultimate Cut" of Watchmen (who watches the Watchmen? I do!) I read the book years ago and declared it amazing, then saw this in theaters opening weekend and enjoyed it but didn't think it was as good as it maybe should have been, then late last year I saw the "Director's Cut" on Blu-ray which just had one new scene and extended dialog on a dozen other scenes, then followed that up by watching shortly after the "Tales from the Black Freighter" animated short that was a parallel side story from the book, which was pretty good as well.
But when ALL of that is mixed together in the Ultimate Cut, it seemed clunky and terribly paced. I think one of the cool parts of the comic book was the changing styles of the art and formats. If you've never read it it shifts between classic comic book style to "comic book in the comic book" style, and often even goes for several pages with just text, like a regular book. I think that may have been the ultimate flaw of Watchmen from the start, I don't think anyone could have translated what were tricks done specifically for an actual novel, into film. For instance, to translate the text chapters from the book into the movie would probably just entail interpreting and visualizing them into scenes like the rest of the movie. But that would defeat part of why the text chapters were good in the book to begin with.
Plus I think the fact that you could put the book down between the style changes and pick it up later with ease didn't make it feel as, I don't know the word, "annoying" as they seemed in the Ultimate Cut. I'm gonna say the Director's Cut is the best way to enjoy the film.
I also wanted to comment that, while I didn't watch the whole movie this way, the director commentary is really cool on this Blu-ray! Zach Snyder is like standing in a virtual room with some screens behind him, and he goes into detail comparing storyboards-to-the-comic-to-the-film, talking about why he loves making movies, etc. And you actually see the guy on screen, pointing at things while the movie is playing. It's pretty cool, and a film nerd's delight. I'd be in heaven if someone like Scorsese got in on this kind of action!
[Scott Roberts] "...he goes into detail comparing storyboards-to-the-comic-to-the-film, talking about why he loves making movies, etc. And you actually see the guy on screen, pointing at things while the movie is playing."
This is the stuff that's going to be more interesting to me than picture quality. Even something as simple as menus accessible while movies are playing.
The coolest extras EVER are on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which comes out on Blu-ray in April. I wonder if there are any special Blu-ray-only features...which would be great...and if not, if they'll show up in a later edition. I wouldn't be surprised....which is the only reason I'll probably be putting off my BD LOTR purchase for now....
BTW, there's a GREAT article in the Cow Magazine about the Neil Young Archives on Blu-ray. A lot of is only audio, with the bandwidth and mix that can now accommodate the richness of the analog originals. It also includes massive, massive visual and interactivity features that aren't possible without Blu-ray...including new songs and extras being downloaded to your player via BD Live's internet connection.
Check it out...
In my opinion, a special edition of Watchmen would be 1 hour shorter. I thought the theatrical version was long and drawn out as it was.
The special features are what I have always loved about DVD.
100% agree on the LOTR DVD special features, however many hours it was (it was honestly something like 12 hours of special features for each film) I watched every minute of it. Those movies are probably hands down the most interesting movies to learn about how they were made, from the screenwriting, to the grueling production, to the visual effects.
But these April Blu-ray releases are a rip-off, they aren't the Extended Editions... Probably have to wait until holiday time for those...
And thanks for the Neil Young link, at first glance it looks really interesting, I'll read it later today when I free up some more time. (plus I'm a Neil Young fan, it's double interesting!)
[Scott Roberts] "But these April Blu-ray releases are a rip-off, they aren't the Extended Editions... Probably have to wait until holiday time for those..."
I hadn't heard that these were the theatrical editions, but I'm not shocked. They have established that pattern, and I think that most of the enthusiasts like you and me know to look before we leap.
I (obviously) couldn't agree more with you about the richess of the special features. I include the commentaries among the extras - for the Return of the Kind for instance, that's 4 hours total with the added scenes, then times 4 commentaries - heck, you're looking at 17 hours of great stuff right there!
Definitely worth another thread just to talk about LOTR DVDs - I've called them "film school in a box" -- but I'm going to enjoy having the extended versions of the movies on a single disk. I don't even NEED a bunch of new features...but it would sure be nice.
Thanks for the heads up re: Watchmen, though. I didn't check out the movie because I love the graphic novel so much, and didn't feel that the trailer, commercials, etc. were getting it done for me. Even if the DVD doesn't quite succeed re: the movie itself, this is one case where the features will make the entire package worthwhile...
These kinds of reasons are why Kathlyn and I have not bought the Monsters vs Aliens DVD that was released a while back. They are selling it in a two-fer package with an extra DVD of a new Bob adventure in 3D, but the MvsA DVD is not 3D. We are waiting until they release the 3D version. Short of that, we'll keep waiting.
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Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Better is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with the poor spirits who neither enjoy much, nor suffer much because they live in a gray twilight that knows no victory or defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt