Watchmen: Midnight

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(Updated: May 03, 2020)
Overall rating
 
9.0
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9.0
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10.0
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10.0
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8.0
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9.0
There have been some very detailed reviews of this edit already, so I will try to keep this short.

Does this edit do what it sets out to do? Absolutely! This follows the flow of the book as perfectly as you can get! I loved the edit over all and would highly recommend this for sure!

Subjectively, there are things I could do without, but everyone is going to have there own feelings on things. So if there was anything I would change personally it would be: 1. I don;t think the Black Freighter needs to be in the movie. I think it's more if a distraction and takes away the focus from the main story. 2. The chapter subtitles are not necessary. People who are watching this and not realizing that it's just more closely following a comic wouldn't understand what that is for.

Things I liked a lot: 1. The overall flow of the main narrative is just way better. 2. I also like the addition of the documentary in the movie. It's a nice way to add context to the story. 3. I even enjoyed the addition of the black title cards throughout. 4. The musical changes were great! 5. The general snips that were made were perfect. Not too much and not too little. Even the (for lack of a better term) slow-fast-slow-fast fighting has been cut back. That always kind of bothered me in the original cut. I think it works well in 300, but not in this movie.

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Overall rating
 
8.5
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9.0
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10.0
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10.0
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8.0
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8.0
This edit has been my first encounter with the Watchmen movie. (Before this raises suspicions let's remind that we're required to *own* the original DVD, not to *watch* it!) I'm a big fan of the graphic novel, but my extreme dislike of Zack Snyder's style more than anything made me avoid the movie until now. Won't waste much space in my opinions on the non-edit aspects on it other than saying that I found it just as ugly and mediocre as I expected from its director, liked some bits, disliked others, but the worst thing was not what was left out or the changed ending, but Snyder's approach with the music video/commercial aesthetic and all that goddamn slow motion.

Still, reading about this edit's changes, I seem to agree with all of what was cut, and that this is probably much improved over any theatrical cut. I agree that Black Freighter has no real purpose without the squid, I agree that without Under the Hood Hollis Mason seems to be pretty much superfluous. And all what was cut looks like disposable filler, resulting in a well paced and reasonably entertaining edit (I say reasonably because every time I started enjoying the narrative, along came a damn slo-mo shot that ruined everything and annoyed me to no end). Given the circumstances, and as a fan of the graphic novel, I enjoyed it a lot as an edit, if not as a movie.

But, I think more could, and should, have been cut or modified. For starters, I'd like to see the opening credits sequence gone. I understand it has a lot of fans, but to me is an interminably long exercise in Snyderness that not only is unneeded for the narrative but contains a pair of howlers. Silhouette kissing a woman in the middle of a crowded street, in plain sight for everyone, in front of a photographer, in 1945? The Comedian murdering Kennedy, without any ambiguity whatsoever, shown to us even before we know who the Comedian is? Please. The movie would be better served by starting directly with the Comedian's button on the street, just like the source. Also, the Snydermotion should have been fixed or minimized whenever possible, particularly the changes of speed within the same shot. I feel this is possible in most cases. I'd also suggest minimizing distractingly obvious CGI such as Rorschach's grappling hook, and as much of Nixon as possible given that his makeup is a complete joke. And in this case, many scenes that are lifted verbatim from the graphic novel but didn't work as cinema, should go (all through the movie, but I'm thinking particularly of much of the climax in Ozy's lair).

Am I being too harsh? Maybe, in the sense that it's a matter of personal taste about a style I don't like. If you like Snyder, you'll probably love this cut. If you don't like Snyder, I still think it's worth watching, but know how to expect. As for me, I'd love to see a version 2 that at least fixes the slo-mo.

Video and audio quality was good enough, though the video showed a bit too much artifact and obvious compression, even for a 3 hour movie it could look a bit better since it's a DVD9 and bare bones. The editing itself was masterfully done and indetectable.

So I insist, anything bad I can say about this is the fault of Snyder, not Flixcapacitor. Overall, a strong firstling and a recommended edit.
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(Updated: May 25, 2017)
Overall rating
 
7.9
Audio/Video Quality
 
6.0
Visual Editing
 
8.0
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7.0
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9.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Who Watches the Watchmen?

Watchmen: Midnight is a unique and enjoyable take on revitalizing what made the graphic novel so breathtaking..

I am a massive fan of the Watchmen graphic novel and Alan Moore (and Dave Gibbons) work and love the original films greatly. I know the ins-and-outs of everything Watchmen - so I decided to dedicate 3 and a half hours to revisiting it in this masterfully crafted ode to the graphic novel, Watchmen: midnight.

Straight off the bat, the cutting in the opening sequence had me impressed. It tightened the scene and began instead on the investigation/crime scene and dialogue between the detectives. I think if this was my first time watching, I would be extremely invested in finding out what exactly happened - and the intertwining with The Comedians fight was suburb.

The first major difference with the edit I noticed right away was the removal of most graphic violence and gore aspects to fight scenes etc. I understand the reasoning behind removing them, but for me personally, I prefer seeing some blood and guts in action and hard hitting scenes. I feel it worked best during the Dr.Manhattan interview and alleyway fight better than the original however, due to the overall tone that takes place with the cancer plot arc reveal. So bravo. The weakest for me though, was definitely the 'Child Murderer' scene, I think the directors cut with the meat clever was a hard hitting conclusion to a very dark and emotionally engaging scene.

The second huge difference, as stated in the 'changes section', was the musical score. This version rocked it. I loved the removal of most of the songs as well as the ones kept (99 red Balloons is great!) However, one flaw for me was removing 'The Sound of Silence' which I thought fit the funeral scene and tone much better. The Vietnam scene was gripping and horrific - much like the visuals, so props there. Overall, the music score changes we're a great touch.

The film seemed more tightened at crucial parts. Ie. The Ozymandias fight at the end flowed better with the dialogue when compared to the original and the removal of the cheesy action moments and sex scene was a good move.

The last note on the edit would be my biggest grievance, and although not a massive issue, the opening Title Sequence with 'Time are a Changing' being replaced to the end of the film was not something I was a fan of. I love the opening title sequence and think it's one of the best opening sequence to any film and the song choice is perfect. I think leaving it would also enhance the 'Under the Hood' inserts a bit more - which at times, especially the first, felt a bit out of place. (But very unique and the idea is excellent. So thanks for keeping it in)

Overall, Watchmen: Midnight was a blast. I love Watchmen to Mars and back and will be recommending this edit to everyone who is as big a fan as I am.

Watchmen: Midnight scores,

- 8/10 -

reviewed by Ryan Michaels. (0zymandias)

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When I saw the theatrical trailer for Watchmen I thought to myself, “oh no not another superhero movie, doesn’t people ever get tired of these.” Needles to say I had no idea what Watchmen was all about, never read the graphic novel.
But people raved about this movie like it was the second coming of Christ so I took a chance and watched it (the director’s cut) and it turned out to be a masterpiece. It definitely in my top 100…or maybe even top 50…

I never bothered with the ultimate cut. It looked like they only added the Black Freighter footage, so it didn’t look intruding to me. Better leave that version to the hardcore ner...fans.

IMO the director’s cut was perfect. At least I thought so…
I stumbled over the thread for Watchmen: Midnight and I don’t know why but I started reading what changes Flixcapacitor had done to perfection...and strangely enough it sounded really awesome. He sounded like a huge fan of the original material and sometimes these kind of people can do things that the filmmakers can’t, they don’t have to worry about what anyone might think, what will be attached to their “reel” etc.

Turned out the story was pretty much intact, just a couple of things that were over the top (yes I admit) were cut. And no Black Freighter. Instead he added Under the Hood, the “documentary” about Hollis Mason’s glory days. This footage first felt off when it cut back to the “movie” but it really fleshed out the story and the attack on Mason later on now has more depth to it and I cared on a whole other level than before.

I love the original soundtrack but the changes made are really for the better. Less is more and I’m now more involved in what happens on screen, this worked especially well for the opening.

I guess I owe it to myself to one day check out the original work that everyone praise so much. But for the movie version, this one is the best version so far. And I was a HUGE fan of the director’s cut.
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Overall rating
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
Watchmen Midnight is a 3.5 hour magnum opus and easily my new preferred way to watch the Watchmen (which I haven't seen since theaters).

Much of the stated purpose is to bring the film closer to the original graphic novel, and it achieves that in spades. Re-editing the film so that the Black Freighter and pieces of the Under the Red Hood documentary at the end of every chapter, the depth and density of the novel and it's themes are fully encapsulated. We look back into the past as well as the present, we fully understand this world and the pull of vigilantism on the greatest generation. It's not unlike looking at WW2 and Vietnam, the original minutemen of WW2 era had it cleaner, simpler, good vs. bad, while this new world is gray. The film jettisons some weak pop cultural music choices (Halleluiah and the gratuitous sex scene is gone) to make this whole thing more powerful. Also gone are the feats of superhuman violence, everyone here is human except the one and only super, Dr. Manhattan.

The meta commentary on superheros, along with commentary on media, politics, and society all come to a head far better in this version. Certainly the Black Freighter material still feels superfluous and primarily it's because we rarely see the character who the allegory is about. But once one extends that allegory to represent the world rather than a single character and some neat intercutting with the world helps, it becomes a bit more powerful, but only a bit. The added depth of more scenes with the original Nite Owl, and the history of the superheroes in this world with the mockumentary, show how we move through both the past, present, and future, not unlike Dr. Manhattan, seeing all things at once.

The movie is so much stronger for many of the changes, Jackie Earl Hayley and Jeffrey Dean Morgan stand out the most as the two most bizarre characters, but the rest of the cast is also very strong in their roles. By re-editing the whole sequence on Mars with Silk Spectre and Dr. Manhattan as one sequence rather than intercut with other activities it works far better. And people don't give enough credit to the Dr. Manhattan scenes in general, his origin in particular. Jeffrey Dean Morgan's The Comedian is an enigma, a scary one, a psychopathic killer and rapist that got caught up in his own power and the scenes with him are powerful. And obviously Rorschach, the man who only believes in justice, to the bitter end. Nite Owl and Silk Spectre's relationship is also stronger and in a way sweet, Dan's neuroses really coming through, the only regular guy in this wacky bunch of weirdos. This is an incredibly dense psychological and sociological study of the world of vigilantism and it remains fascinating.

Certainly this film is a bit slower, as we extend a lot of scene and lose some of the action, so from a pacing perspective there's something to be desired. But I loved every minute of it, because it's absolutely so thematically dense, that if you're paying attention there's just so much to see and unravel. The juxtaposition between the Under the Red Hood mockumentary and the present is just so vivid, and the different characters' neuroses and issues - just so beautifully realized. I love this version.

One thing that didn't work for me, were the titles, I didn't like them overlayed in the movie itself. It didn't feel necessary.

Finally the beautiful opening credits are popped in at the end, it's the one choice that I'm not a fan of (especially since we lose The Comedian killing JFK), but I understand it and can appreciate the execution, particularly that now we have the context we review everything that happened that got us to this point, much like Dr. Manhattan.

What a movie. I'll probably try and watch my blu-ray of the Director's Cut at some point to compare as I haven't seen a version of this film since theaters. But thank goodness this version exists!

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