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
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.
I really enjoyed this edit. The editing together of under the hood and the extended cut did indeed feel more like the graphic novel, and i appreciated the changes in music, although only the opening credits felt weaker to me. I really liked Bob Dylan there, but maybe I'm alone in this. Regardless, great choice using Phillip Glass and his haunting music.
The film felt better fleshed out, and I didn't find the headings/cuts to under the hood too distracting. The intermission felt unnecessary though. I just fast forwarded it, as others may do as well. We're used to long dvd's (aka lord of the rings) and I also found it odd that the under the hood segments abruptly ended. Did you try spreading them across the whole film? Perhaps that was distracting in the climax of the film. Removing the super human feats was also appreciated, and thank you very much for getting rid of the Halleluia sex scene! Talk about unintentional laughs.
One more thing, I would have removed the line after Rorschach says "gotta use the men's room", and silk spectre replies "aww you gotta be kidding me". Bad joke, poor delivery. But that's all. Very enjoyable edit, improved the original. Great work and congrats on Edit of the Month!
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.