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DVD Review: Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter & Under the Hood
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Henchman21   |  @   |  
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Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter & Under the Hood
DVD, Blu-ray, VoD
Directed by Mike Smith & Daniel DelPurgatorio (Black Freighter)/Eric Matthies (Under the Hood)
Starring Gerard Butler, Stephen McHattie, Carla Gugino
Warner Home Entertainment
Release date: March 24, 2009

And you thought we were done with our Watchmen coverage? Well Warner Brothers has a few more dimes they can squeeze out of the property, so now we get a stand-alone DVD release of a couple of glorified special features. Is this disc worth buying, especially knowing that the animated section of this disc will be on the eventual DVD release of Watchmen? I’d say yes, if you’re a big fan of the book or the movie (or, like me, both). More casual fans will probably be okay waiting for these to be included when the regular movie comes out on DVD.

The good thing to say about this is that the two features here — Tales of the Black Freighter and Under The Hood — are both very well done. First you get the main draw of the disc, the animated feature Tales of the Black Freighter. Readers of the book will know what this is, but for those who haven’t read the book, the Black Freighter is a pirate comic that is told in conjunction with the main story and serves as an allegory for those events. It the story of a captain (voiced by Gerard Butler) whose ship is attacked by the titular Black Freighter, and then must struggle to get to his home before the freighter crew kills his family.

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Movie Review: Watchmen
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BAADASSSSS!   |  
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Week of Geek: Watchmen

Watchmen movie posterWatchmen
Directed by Zack Snyder
Starring Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson
Rated R
Release date: March 6, 2009

This movie should not exist. There have been rumors of its making finally happening for many years. How many acclaimed visionary filmmakers have tried and failed to make this movie? Terry Gilliam, Paul Greengrass, and Darren Aronofsky are the most well known. I’ve been reading the reports of development and false starts in the pages of magazines like Wizard and entertainment web sites since I was a kid. The material first came to me more than a decade ago after I had read about it for many years and after digesting the collected volume in a single setting I stared off into space wondering how in the hell they could ever make a movie of this. It was impossible, a mad folly that would frighten even Werner Herzog. There was just too much in this book to absorb. I myself even attempted to create a movie version in my head just for fun and see how it would play. It practically fried my brain, but then again I wasn’t a director or a screenwriter.

What brave soul would take on Watchmen, the landmark comic miniseries created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons that ran for twelve remarkable issues from 1986-1987 and has been credited with ushering in a darker and more introspective age of comic book storytelling, and not just live to win to tell the tale but conquer the bloody thing? Why did George Leigh Mallory attempt to climb Mount Everest 75 years ago and die in the process? “Because,” as he said in an interview with the New York Times in 1923, “it’s there.” But his son John also had something to add: “To me the only way you achieve a summit is to come back alive. The job is half done if you don’t get down again.” Zack Snyder, the former music video and commercial director who made a blazing feature directorial debut with the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead and followed it with the blockbuster 2007 adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel 300, took on the mountain that defeated many a great filmmaker before him and reached the goddamned summit.

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Geeks Gear Up For ‘Watchmen
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The Geeks of Doom   |  @   |  
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Week of Geek: Watchmen

Widely considered to be a groundbreaking series that changed the way the world viewed comic books, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen showed us that comics could be more than just funny books, but a place for challenging, thought-provoking literature that extends beyond the mere cape and cowl of typical innocuous superhero tales.

Some of us geeks just found out about Watchmen when director Zack Snyder announced that he was be making the film adaptation for Warner Bros.; the rest of us have been waiting for over 20 years to see a Watchmen movie done right on the big screen. After years in development hell, a potentially damaging lawsuit, and the stigma of being called the “unfilmable” story, the theatrical opening of Watchmen is finally upon us! Whether you highly anticipate the movie or are as skeptical as can be about it, there’s no doubt it’s at the forefront of all of our minds: will Zack Snyder and his propensity for slo-mo be a distraction or will he bring the printed page faithfully to life the way we all hope?

Here’s some anticipatory thoughts from those of us on the Doom Crew — who happened to be huge lovers of both movies and comic books — on this most auspicious occasion.

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WonderCon 09: ‘Watchmen’ Director’s Cut To Get Theatrical Release This Summer
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Geeks of Doom Invade WonderCon 2009

WatchmenDepending on how well Watchmen does at the box office next month, a director’s cut of the film will be getting a short theatrical release this July, according to the film’s director Zack Snyder at Warner Bros.’ Watchmen panel today at WonderCon.

Watchmen will be released on March 6 and will run about 2:40 minutes, but Snyder said that his director’s cut will run 3:10 minutes.

Regarding the eventual DVD release, Snyder said that after an initial DVD release, which will be the theatrical version along with some extra footage that had to be cut for time, this Fall there will also be a lengthier DVD that has the Tales of the Black Freighter animated tale intercut into the main film which will be 3:30 minutes long.

Snyder revealed that some of the footage he had to cut from the upcoming theatrical release includes the death of original Nite Owl Hollis Mason, as well as some brief scenes like Edward Blake raising the flag by himself at Iwo Jima and Nixon’s inauguration, both of which were originally intended to be part of the opening credits.

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Watch Now! Trailer For ‘Black Freighter’ DVD
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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FreighterAs you’ve heard, a direct-to-DVD animated movie based on the comic within Watchmen, Tales of the Black Freighter, is being released. As if that wasn’t enough to make Watchmen fans rush out to buy it, the studio has released a small trailer of the movie for you all to adore.

Not much is said in the trailer (though it is cool to hear Gerard Butler when he does speak), but they show a lot of the memorable bits from the comic — stormy waters, a corpse raft, and even the shark.

Also to be included on the DVD will be Hollis Mason’s Under the Hood, which will be a kind of documentary-style live-action/CGI look at The Minutemen. It’s based on the other content within Watchmen, the various documents you read at the end of each chapter.

Yet another extra will be a look at The Green Lantern, but no one is quite sure what that means yet.

Click over to check out the trailer!

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‘Watchmen’: New Images, ‘Black Freighter’ DVD & Blu-ray Details
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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RorschachWhile we’ve been more than spoiled with Watchmen goodies over the past few months, it’s always good to get more. This particular day, we have some new images, a link to check out, and our first look at the cover for the Tales of the Black Freighter DVD and Blu-ray editions.

Zack Snyder has officially launched the website for his new production company, Cruel and Unusual Films, and in celebration of, he presented EW with a brand new image from Watchmen. The picture is from the beginning of the movie when Rorschach is going to do a little sleuthing; and what’s the easiest way to get somewhere fast in the world of superheroes? That’s right, grappling hook! Sweet. To see the full image, click above.

Snyder developed the site as a way to keep people up-to-date on what was going on with his projects and anything else that was going on.

Click over to the other side for some other images and a look at the Tales of the Black Freighter DVD and Blu-ray!

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‘Watchmen’ Footage Previewed + Running Time
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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WatchmenWarner Bros. gave some members of the press a special treat yesterday in Los Angeles by showing 26 minutes of footage from their highly anticipated superhero flick, Watchmen.

Our friend Alex from First Showing was one of the lucky few to get a sneak peak at director Zack Snyder‘s adaptation of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons graphic novel and he reports that it was “absolutely phenomenal” and that “it’s going to be The Matrix all over again.”

Here’s some other tidbits:

  • Current running time is 2 hours and 43 minutes
  • Snyder said no sequel/prequel for him
  • A new trailer will be attached to theatrical screenings of Quantum of Solace
  • Working on a version of the film that incorporates the “Tales of the Black Freighter” (the animated side story adapted the graphic novel) into the actual movie; there are transitions that were shot and will be implemented on DVD versions of Watchmen.
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