Watchmen Extended Director’s Cut

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 Horrorthon Posts

It’s 25 minutes longer, 186 minutes total. It was supposed to be released in theaters in July; I don’t know anything about that (and I think we all probably missed it). The DVD and the Blu-Ray come out today (July 21).

Anyway I just watched it…and it’s good. I’d say it’s a lot like the Lord of the Rings “Extended Editions;” if you liked the theatrical movie, you’ll like the longer version and if you didn’t you won’t. There’s nothing particularly earth-shattering about the new material, but (as with the LOTR example) it’s not just the additions that make it worthwhile; it’s the cumulative effect of being immersed in the crazy story for that much longer. The sensation of “coming up for air”—returning to reality after three hours and ten minutes in Alan Moore’s dark, parallel world—is much more noticeable and interesting. If you haven’t seen Watchmen, you should probably see the shorter, original version first, just so you know what you’re getting yourself into and you’re not constantly looking at your watch and asking, “Is there much more of this?” (which is exactly how I just endured Transformers).

I have to say that the whole Watchmen cinematic experience is definitely growing on me. I’ve seen it a few more times, and (expecially after slogging painfully through Transformers, which was execrable, and Hellboy, which was merely bad) I’m finding that I really admire what they did here. It’s not just about the satisfaction of seeing something adapted properly (although that’s a large part of it); it’s also a fresh opportunity to appreciate the imaginative leap, the strangely-earnest step beyond comic books and into satirical pop surrealism that this project represents. (And the Dr. Manhattan effect is a trip.) Anyway, get your Watchmen on if you haven’t already. If you read this site, you’ll probably dig it. And the Leonard Cohen song halfway through is sublime.