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.
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.
The first time I hear about Watchmen I was handed the graphic novel and asked if I was interested in reading it. I said 'yes' and borrowed it with the intention of making it all the way through. Unfortunately, for me, I was bored and only made it about halfway through. When the movie was being released I went with a group of friends and still felt underwhelmed by what I saw. There just seems to be something missing from the story to really get me excited.
With that said, I gave it one more shot by watching this edit of the movie with the interviews with Hollis and the Black Freighter sequences inter-cut with the Ultimate Edition of the movie. While this cut doesn't always flow perfectly it is a far superior version than any of the previous cuts released to the public. By taking out a lot of the superhuman abilities (slow-mo) and focusing it more on the personal stories between characters I connected with it better than anytime I tried watching it before. I believe that this is the best version that can be constructed for the fans of Watchmen.
Thank you Flixcapacitor for taking the time to put this together. You have changed my mind on how I feel about the material presented. This is a more grounded version of the material and it really makes it so much stronger.
This one is really brilliant and convinced me that there's something to like about superhero movies other than goofball parodies like Kick Ass.
Living in a country (Germany) where US-style comic books were never ubiquitous, the genre was hit for six when the first over-hyped Nicholson Batman movie was released back in the 90s. In comparison to European comics like "Lucky Luke" and "Asterix" the prejudice was confirmed to many that superhero+movie equals superdumb. Alas, subsequent batman incarnations didn't manage to counter this perception - until Nolen's Dark Knight, that is.
However, having access to this re-graded and re-edited Watchmen I keep watching it again and again. The pacing might be too slow and the runtime too long for the big screen, but the documentary and comic interlacing hits the spot. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, but the mood of the costume heroes looking back on their origins with the embedding in the Nixon era gives this movie depth beyond a pure action flick.
I cannot recommend Watchmen:Midnight 2014 highly enough, just a small points deduction for the lack of an audio commentary which I've come to love from editors like Hal 9000 or Last Survivor.
And one point less enjoyment because "life" seems to consist solely of humans, personally I'd find more than enough reasons to save the planet just for the sake of all the wildlife which doesn't have any part in building hopping malls or oil pipelines as Dr. Manhatten criticises. But then again, this isn't the fault of this edit and the stance is probably true to the comic book source.