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.
The original Watchmen movie didn’t really wow me. It was a movie that made many things wrong but then again it did so much different than mainstream superhero movies – how could I be so antagonistic to a movie that at least tried something different?
To me Snyder’s direction was the problem. He felt like a kid who really loved the comic but didn’t really understand that movies are a different medium. His focus on the over the top gore looked like a child shouting “LOOK! That’s totally gory, totally not like a standard comic book!” instead of focusing on the story which is very mature the over the top nature of some scenes plus some bad musical choices really pulled me out of the movie.
Gekko has already done a pretty dang good restructuring of Watchmen and I doubt that I will ever find a version that completely suits me – ultimately this movie is really not possible to adapt.
Structurally the original movie just goes along, starts strongly and then descends into awkward muddled something. with the episodic nature flixcapacitor has restored some focus but I hink this is due to the fact that I can watch this at home and not in the cinema. I bet that this version would have resonated even worse with movie audiences due to the fragmented nature
but the under the hood parts are just fantastic for exlaining the world. You get a much better sense of the watchmen world. In snyder’s original version the vigilantes moved with an overstylized speed, leaving some people who had never read the comic with the question if those people were super human.
now with all the antics gone and the under the hood parts as backstory there is no question about who those people are. Even better much like the comic you are feeling lost in the story in a positive way. There is so much going on that the mask-killer is just one of the things happening.
Much like in the comics the backstories offer other possible candidates for the mask-killer. Could Hooded justice have returned? Or maybe it is Hollis Mason! At least now there are more faces in this world and not just the skinny guy dressed in dark clothes.
Most of the intertitles worked pretty cool except for some that were a tad too abrupt. the doomsday clock at the end of the chapters was also a nice touch.
only thing I missed was dylan’s “the times are a-changing” song. The new version is pretty moody and nice, but it feels abit redundant because of the length of the credit scenes.
overall the editing choices are all well made, the quality is very good
Not sure why it took me so long to get around to watching this,
but I am glad I finally did!
The original WATCHMEN comic mini-series is considered by many as a seminal piece of work, forever influencing how comic tales are woven and presented. I read the Watchmen series when it was first released, and while I acknowledge it is an amazing piece of graphic literature, it never held a fond a fond place in my comic book library… its superhero world a bit too grim and gritty, too fatalistic and cynical for my personal tastes.
That said, the idea of translating it into a motion picture I found to be a fascinating one, and over the years I followed its many starts and stops in movie development with great interest. When Zac Snyder’s opus finally arrived on screen in 2009, I was there on opening night filled with curious anticipation. When the movie ended two plus hours later, and the lights came up and my buddies asked what I thought, I just sort of shrugged “meh”.
I did not hate it. I did not love it.
It had some great moments. It had some very dull moments. And some very “nuking the fridge” moments.
But mostly, it felt lacking in characters development. I never truly felt connected or invested in the characters’ journey.
So when reading Flixcapacitor’s intention was to try to improve the overall depth of the characters, I was very intrigued. And now after watching this epic edit, I think for the most part, he was very successful.
I very much enjoyed the new structure of the story with it’s chapter breaks and “Under the Hood” segments. For me, it gave the narration a more “episodic” feel, almost as though each chapter was an issue of the comic book. It also a lent a greater dramatic quality to many scenes, that for me, were lacking in the original.
I know much has been made of the music replacement in this edit. For me, 90% of the new music worked. But as some other reviewers pointed out, some of the music scenes could have played better if the editor had recut them tighter to time with the replacement tracks. Though the new version of the Archie love scene is a vast and superior improvement. For as much as I love Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, when that song played during the love scene, the movie officially “nuked the fridge” for me!
The editor shows a great talent for storytelling, as the restructured and added/deleted scenes all work very well and improve the over all viewing experience considerably.
The technical work is excellent. Picture quality is equal to the original source material. The audio work is very well done. All the cuts are clean. The only thing I noticed was one ghost frame of the Intermission title card.
So all in all, I found this edit to a significant improvement over the original version. It is still a flawed and shallow movie for me, but this is no fault of the editor, as he can only work with the material available. And while still not a “must see” movie experience for me, it is definitely my now preferred version of the story.