DVD of the Week – Watchmen (2009)
by HELEN GEIB
If you want to own, or for that matter to rent Watchmen you have several options. If you’re simply looking for the movie you saw- or missed- in the theater, there’s a bare bones single disc DVD release of the theatrical cut. If you’re looking for the director’s cut or you like some special features with your movie, there’s a two disc DVD release.
The two disc DVD doesn’t have a whole lot of features, but it does include a music video by the group My Chemical Romance, a short documentary on the graphic novel that inspired the film called “The Phenomenon: The Comic That Changed Comics,” and another short feature called “Watchmen: Video Journals,” whatever that might be. Unfortunately the theatrical cut is not an extra on the two disc set, so if you decide after watching the director’s cut that it isn’t an improvement, you’ll have to buy the other DVD. The single-disc DVD release also comes in a full-screen version, although I honestly can’t imagine why anyone would want to watch this movie with the sides of the frame chopped off.
Blu-ray owners are in luck, as the Blu-ray version of the two disc release comes with additional special features, although I can’t tell what they’re about from the titles: “Warner Bros. Maximum Movie Mode;” “Real Super Heros, Real Vigilantes;” “Watchmen: Focus Points;” and “Mechanics: Technologies of a Fantastic World.” Oddly enough, the Blu-ray release doesn’t appear to include the “Video Journals” feature that’s on the two-disc DVD release.
The director’s cut is about 25 minutes longer than the theatrical release version and apparently incorporates extended versions of most of the flashbacks, includes a significant new scene with Hollis Mason, adds some dialogue by Rorschach, and slightly lengthens a number of other scenes. I’m just going by what I’ve read on-line- I want to see the director’s cut, but haven’t yet. Anyone who’s seen it is invited to post a comment with a better description of the differences between the versions. Personally I’m most intrigued by the extended flashbacks, the flashbacks being a part of the film I especially liked.