Watchmen 2019: The Bass Reeves Cut

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Brief Synopsis:
I'm calling this The Bass Reeves Cut of HBO's Watchmen. It turns the 9 episode miniseries into a 2 hour and 22 minute movie. My edit primarily concentrates on the mystery of what happened to Judd Crawford and the origin story of Hooded Justice. It centers on Angela Abar and Will Reeves. There's no Adrian Veidt, no Dr. Manhattan and just a bit of Laurie Blake.
The 2019 Watchmen series was (in my opinion, and I know plenty of opinions differ) absolutely brilliant. It stayed reverent to the events of the graphic novel while charting its own path. I was slightly disappointed by the final episode so this edit is my attempt to take one of the central stories and turn it into a film length experience.

This fan edit is meant for those who loved the show and want to experience a condensed retelling of Hooded Justice's origin or for those who are unwilling to commit 9 hours to the show but are intrigued enough to spend just over 2 hours. With that said, I highly recommend the show in its entirely. The music especially is incredible!
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As this pulls 9 hours of TV down to just over 2 hours, here's a brief outline of what was used or removed:

Most of episode 1 remains. I cut the scene of Captain Crawford talking to the wife of the hospitalized cop. Adrian Viedt is cut from this and all other episodes.

I kept much of episode 2. I removed the newspaper stand chatter. I removed the winged paparazzi. I removed the White Knight attack. I removed / partially repurposed the hospital scene. I removed the Nixonville attack. I removed most of the family scenes and the Crawford wake (but kept Angela sleuthing). Removed Will being pulled into the sky.

In episode 3 I only used Laurie and Angela meeting at the funeral.

From episode 4 I used Angela at the Ances-Tree as well as Angela asking Looking Glass about the pills and hood.

Episode 5 only uses the scene with Angela taking the Nostalgia pills.

Nearly the entirety of episode 6 remains. To me, this is the core of the story I was looking to tell. I cut a few small continuity pieces from the beginning and the very end with Lady Trieu.

Episode 7 only uses Angela driving through Red Scare's blockade (it's implied they're stopping her from leaving a hospital).

Episode 8, despite being a great episode, doesn't see any use in my edit.

Episode 9 uses the theater scene with Angela and Will.

A few scenes play slightly out of order for pacing and / or continuity in my version of the story. Some new scene transitions played out better than I could have expected.

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A streamlined narrative for Angela that is largely successful.

The story here is grounded, and primarily focused on Angela and Will, with Judd providing the narrative spark that starts the presentation on strong footing (as with the series). The otherworldly elements are excised, with just the barest sense that things might be quite different from our reality. A throwaway reference to "trans-dimensional attacks" was appreciated.

The editor included all of episode six, which I think was a bold but smart move. It's a standout episode in a standout series, and here it acts as the defining third-act moment that connects Angela to Will in a satisfying way.

It's hard to decide whether to recommend this...Watchmen (2019) is one of the best things I've ever seen, and there's a ton of amazing material that isn't represented in this cut. If you haven't seen the series, I do not recommend starting here as it will spoil some things when you inevitably see the series. If you've seen the series, then I recommend this if you just want to move to episode six sooner, and stay focused on Will/Angela. Perhaps the editor would be interested in creating a companion version that centers on Adrian Veight and Doctor Manhattan but still includes some connective tissue to this one...




There were two cross fades where I was able to hear sound from a preceding scene that was cut (it was obvious in one and subtle in the other), and while there was no musical discontinuity in the song, some creative clipping in Ball of Confusion nonetheless betrayed a cut (folks less familiar with the song may not notice).


There was at least one transition that felt more like a TV break between one episode and the next. It didn't quite feel like a seamless movie experience all the time.


For the most part, a complete story is told in this cut and the cliffhanger at the end can be excused as an "Angela will return" moment, but the scene juggling isn't fully successful, in my opinion. There are some noticeable continuity issues (clothing, hair, demeanor), and some elements that aren't explained (eg. why are the kids at the theatre, what does Will mean when he says he hopes his motel is "still there"?).


The material is fantastic and hard not to enjoy in isolation to the other elements. 9/10 = same enjoyment for me

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