Watchmen Director's Cut [Blu-Ray] Zach Snyder

Watchmen Director's Cut [Blu-Ray] Zach Snyder
After years of production limbo, legal woes, rampant fan boy scrutiny and near-hysterical anticipation, Watchmen, often deemed "unfilmable," materialized on screen, its iconic visual glory cemented into a new medium. Whether or not Zack Snyder's reverential filming of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' game-changing comic is as successful at adapting the spirit of the book as it is at capturing the aesthetics is a murkier question, although not as murky as the morality of the characters inhabiting Watchmen's alternate '80s reality. By now, the superhero murder investigation conceit should be familiar enough to mediagrazers, but it feels slight to summarize Watchmen's plot — each element of the story and the environment it's told in interconnect like pieces of complex machinery, no less than evolution at work, creating a sum so much greater than its parts. The question at hand becomes: will watching Zack Snyder's director's cut of the Watchmen assuage the hurts of viewers less than satisfied with the theatrical version? Not likely. The additional footage does little to alter the film's pacing, tone or provide valuable background context. However, if you enjoyed the film and want more, your butt is already numb so there's no reason not to go the extra mile, especially for a beautifully constructed scene of the assault on Hollis Mason. Quibbles with off-putting song choices and the casting of Matthew Goode as Osymandias remain (he lacks the convincing stature to be the world's prime human specimen), and there's still no fucking squid, so deal! "Maximum Movie Mode" is a fun concept that integrates production features, comic to film comparisons, storyboards and director's commentary into one beast of a trip through the film. Snyder's walk-on descriptions are novel but the information is harder to access if one doesn't want to sit through the whole film again, though there is a menu for the larger "Focus Points" that navigates out of the film temporarily and into a full production feature, like the awesome "Blue Monday" look at the making of Dr. Manhattan. A separate disc of special features includes three mini-documentaries. A fairly in-depth look at the history and creation of the Watchmen comic with Dave Gibbons and key personnel from DC comics is intriguing, especially for those fascinated by behind-the-scenes comic art developments. A piece on real vigilantes gives an overview on New York's Alliance of Guardian Angels and post-civil war gangs without getting too deep into specifics. It's overly padded with film clips, as is the final feature on the science and technology of the Watchmen, with the film's science consultant — a man who teaches a physics class using only examples from comic books — primarily focusing on the astounding realism behind the science of Dr. Manhattan. It's a pretty awesome Blu-Ray package but if you're interested enough in the director's cut, you might as well wait until Black Freighter and Under the Hood are included in the forthcoming Ultimate Edition. (Warner)