Dan Dreiberg (Nit Owl II):
Watchmen are over. What do you suggest we do about it?
Watchmen are over. What do you suggest we do about it?
Actors: Tom Stechschulte
Directors: Jake Strider Hughes
Producers: Jake Strider Hughes, Wesley Coller, Paul Baldwin, Brian Stilwell
Format: Animated, Color, Widescreen
Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 2
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009
Run Time: 325 minutes
Before the movie came the graphic novel. Although this isn't exactly the same experience as sitting down with a good book (or graphic novel) I was captivated by the artwork and story. It is dirty and gritty, and beneath the violence and very adult themed material is actually a tale of morality.
As mentioned in the movie review there are numerous super hero's, or as they are often called in the novel 'masked adventurers' or... and a more accurate description of Rorschach... a vigilante! The story is really more about Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan. The other characters are important to the story, but it really is the tale of Rorschach and his contempt of humanity, and that of Dr. Manhattan and his complete lack of concern for humanity that come through the loudest. In the end Dr. Manhattan proves he still has a thread of compassion left, but his final few decisions are made based on logic and lack of emotions whereas Rorschach refuses to compromise 'even in the face Armageddon'. Together they compliment each other and would make the ideal person... one that is compassionate about doing what's right no matter what the cost... tempered with one that is logical and deep down does still have compassion, even if it is fleeting.
[img]http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/wbassett/HTS/MovieReviews/Watchmen/the-7-watchmen.jpg[/img]Although there are many characters, each and every one of them are fully developed. The graphic novel spans twelve 'chapters'. The movie may run 163 minutes, with The Complete Motion Comic you get 325 minutes. The trimmed down running time of almost three hours for the motion picture is probably as low as they could have gone without seriously sacrificing character development and plot line. With the Bluray release of Watchmen The Complete Motion Comic you get it all. Normally when a movie incorporates this many characters, it is inevitable that some suffer from lack of development- Not the case here. The other thing that is typical when multiple characters are used is it is a sign of a weak story line, which is being filled with fluff and insignificant secondary characters... again not the case here.
The first thing I noticed was the animation style. It reminded me of the 1960's Spiderman comics I used to watch on TV as a kid... not a motionless still frame comic book, but also not quite full animation. Anyone that can remember this show with Spidey, The Submariner, and of course Iron Man knows exactly what I am talking about. For those that don't remember that show, or are too young and missed it, Watchmen The Complete Comic is going to be something new and a style that may or may not grow on them.
Perhaps the one thing that could have been done better is the narration. The music matches that of the new live action motion picture. The artwork is clean, yet beautiful in its own way. The narration though is the weak link. Tom Stechschulte is the narrator. He does a good enough job, but it's a one man show. Stechschulte not only does the voices for all the male characters, but also the female ones. This was a bit odd at first but after awhile it actually felt like part of the 'style' of this animated telling of the Watchmen. I do think it would have been better with a women doing the female dialog. It possibly could have been a complete home run if they had the actors from the movie reprise their roles and provide voice talent.
[img]http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/wbassett/HTS/MovieReviews/Watchmen/mc02.jpg[/img]Again Alan Moore's name is missing from the credits even though this is his complete story, albeit it is not 'print' and there is 'limited' animation. Perhaps it was the use of only one person for voice talent... perhaps it was the animation... or perhaps Alan Moore is way too full of himself and nothing will please him or meet his standards... not even his own work seeing he also refuses to have anything to do with this version.
What you do get from this DVD is a rich world that captivates and pulls you in. There is time for more back story and details. For the most part it is amazing to see how close the live action version is to the graphic novel and The Complete Motion Comic. Some shots in the movie are dead on with the graphic novel, as is the dialog. In this respect Moore should be please (but isn't) because this is as close to what was drawn as could possibly have been done with live action. Sure there were some changes, but all the changes make sense and are more appropriate when it comes to live action vs a drawn image.
I specifically picked the trailer that I always put at the top of my reviews for a couple of reasons. First the official trailer gives away too much plot in my opinion. More so though is this- Go back and look the trailer in my movie review. It is amazing how identical these are to each other, which was the point.
Below is a side by side comparison of the two. There is no sound and the video is a bit bad, but it is pretty amazing seeing them side by side like this.
The ending of the animated version is a lot different than the live action movie, but again I feel the movie version was more fitting and even prompted an interesting morality discussion between myself and my daughter. Don't fret, she's 22 now and definitely old enough to see this. Again, even though this is animated and a 'cartoon' to some, it is not suited for children at all.
For the artwork and style, again I give this :4.5stars:
Unlike the movie, I drop the overall rating a bit to :3stars: , mainly because of the narration being done by a single person- The female characters just sound odd, but again, by the end of the 12th chapter this became somewhat of a 'style', but again I think it could have been done a bit better.
Audio isn't that impressive. The music fits the story and is moody, but nothing jumps out at you and there was little use of the surround channels. Don't get me wrong, it was still enjoyable an almost like listening to a story being told by a creative story teller, while sitting around a warm fireplace. It definitely is different, but being different isn't necessarily a bad thing.