August 16, 2012
November 19, 2011 @ 10:07 pm
WATCHMEN: MIDNIGHT is an interesting take on Snyder’s Watchmen. It improves in many ways by trimming down extraneous scenes (that I, while watching the film in theaters, found awkwardly lengthy), adding in extra material, and segmenting the film into chapters.
Below, I will focus on each of the major changes that set Flixcapacitor’s interpretation apart from other fanedits. If you don’t want some of the changes and cuts ruined for you, please scroll down to the Final Verdict.
THE UNDER THE HOOD SEQUENCES —————————————————————–
While I understand that Flixcapacitor was emulating the supplementary material of the Watchmen graphic novels, I found the Under The Hood sequences to be interrupting the flow of the film rather than adding to it.
Admittedly, some portions of Under the Hood nicely parallel what the viewer should be focusing on (Rorschach and the other Watchmen in 1985), such as Hollis’s attraction to the first Silk Spectre. Unfortunately, Flixcapacitor shows more than what I felt was necessary to contribute to the atmosphere of the movie during the Under the Hood segments, and prolongs the progression of the plot.
Their inclusion can be forgiven on the grounds that they give the viewer an experience more like the graphic novel. Personally I feel as though the interludes would be a more welcome addition if they had taken place during the lulls in the pacing of the film instead of after every chapter pre-intermission.
THE CHAPTER SEGMENTS AND EPIGRAMS ————————————————————
The faneditor shows a perfect sense of timing on this one, displaying the chapter titles and concluding scenes at exactly the right time. The inclusion of the midnight clock and epigrams helped set the scene for each preceding chapter, just as intended in the graphic novel. Putting them into the movie was a smart, logical addition that the faneditor implements seamlessly, and for that I really do applaud Flixcapacitor’s genius.
My only reservation over the segmentation is that the scene immediately following the intermission begins suddenly and abruptly, jumping directly into Big Figure’s introduction without giving the viewer time to recuperate from the film’s hiatus. Because of this, I found the intermission to be unnecessary as it only serves as a stopping point for the Under The Hood material, and doesn’t bridge a time cut or separate two radically different moods of the film.
Ultimately, segmenting the film into chapters and including the post-chapter epigrams are what I’ll remember WATCHMEN: MIDNIGHT for. It really contributes to the film and adds an extra dimension that is more like what Alan Moore intended in the original graphic novel. Excellent fanediting.
CHANGING/REMOVING MUSIC IN CERTAIN SCENES —————————————————-
The music of Watchmen was a large part of the movie’s appeal to me, and their removal seemed unneeded. The scenes are filmed to be structured around the music playing; replacing them without re-editing the scene to fit the added score is like taking a music video and changing the music, hoping no one will notice.
While Flixcapacitor excises “Ride of the Valkyries” for reasons I can get behind, the quiet music he replaces it with fails to capture the impact of the scene. This, I believe, is due to Glass’s score’s quiet, subdued nature. If I were able to hear a little bit of what was going on in the scene (explosions, helicopter rattle, screams), even muffled, I would gladly welcome the switch. However, the scene plays almost like a silent movie and distances the viewer from fully engaging themselves into the scene.
Adding score where songs were meant to be causes a dissonance in the film and leaves the viewer feeling very far away from what is happening. While most songs he replaces have good reasons behind them (removing “Times They Are a-Changin’” because the opening credits now begin the movie, removing “The Sound of Silence” because it’s too much like The Graduate), it’s important to remember that the scenes were designed to be set to those songs for a purpose.
OVERALL EDITING ——————————————————————————
All-in-all, the faneditor exhibits absolutely flawless editing skills. All scenes removed I didn’t miss or even notice they had been removed. Flixcapacitor’s changes are well-made and undetectable– the mark of a good editor. Cutting Rorschach’s run-in with the police? Shortening the awkward Nite Owl/Silk Spectre love scene? Reducing the prison riot sequence? Removing all mention of the Watchmen by name? All great calls.
Flixcapacitor’s good editing decisions in WATCHMEN: MIDNIGHT are numerous… and you’ll never even notice he made them. An excellent example for future faneditors.
THE FINAL VERDICT ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
VIDEO PRESENTATION: Exactly like the DVD, no fuzzy conversion. Perfect. (5/5)
AUDIO PRESENTATION: Overall quality clean. The replacement of score where songs were purposed distracts greatly. (3/5)
EDITING: Flixcapacitor demonstrates high editing competence, his changes are unnoticeable and improve the film. (5/5)
STORY PRESENTATION: The Under The Hood material detracted from the flow of the film, but the addition of chapter segmentation and epigrams really contribute. (4/5)
OVERALL RATING: WATCHMEN: MIDNIGHT is more like the graphic novels and though I have some issues with the Under The Hood material and the replacement of songs, it’s chaptered layout and seamless editing make this one well worth your download.