Sunday, May 9, 2021

Nightcap 5/9/21 Watchmen revisited

Outside the Colonial Theater in Phoenixville PA

This is an abbreviated and abortive piece I began five or so years ago (I think) about how much better the fuller versions of Zack Snyder's WATCHMEN are.  Somewhere along the way I lost what I wanted to really say. However not being one to waste anything I give you this little piece.

I somehow ended up with all three versions of WATCHMEN on DVD. I say this because when the film came out I had reservations about the film.

I picked up the theatrical edition because I wanted the extras. I also picked up the animated Tales of the Black Freighter (which I didn’t like) and the motion comic (which is good but would have been better if it wasn’t one person reading the whole comic)

I picked up the Director’s Cut because it was cheap. I never saw it until I caught it on cable and realized that the extra stuff vastly improved the film. Actually it made an okay film a great one. In this version it was clear Zac Snyder actually did the source justice and made it resonate for modern audiences.

Recently I picked up a copy of THE COMPLETE WATCHMAN which is the Directors Cut with Tales of the Black Freighter placed back into the story. Why did I do it? Because it was ten bucks and I liked the Directors Cut.

Sitting down one snowy night in January I put on the COMPLETE WATCHMEN and hunkered down to see how the really full version played. About a half an hour in I realized that several years on WATCHMEN needed to be re-evaluated by everyone. Quite simply taken on it’s own terms, taken away from the hype and stripped of comparison from the comic the film is brilliant.

The first thing that needs to be said as part of this discussion is that the theatrical version should not part of this discussion. While having the majority of the material in both of the other versions it is only a pale shadow of the other two.

The truth is the the Director's Cut brings us closer to what the comic is. It fleshes out plot points and more importantly it fleshes out the characters  and makes us connect to them and really understand them. Its a much more satisfying viewing experience. The additional 20 minutes actually make a difference.

The COMPLETE  version runs 53 minutes longer than the theatrical cut. 26 minutes of it is the addition of  the animated The Tales Of The Black Freighter. That's the comic book a kid is reading in the original comic It acts as a commentary of the main action. However what works in the comic doesn't really work in the film.  I understand why Snyder included it in the super edition but at the same time being faithful to your source in actuality sometimes means that you either make a film that is less than the source or worse not faithful to the sprit of the material.

To me the Director's Cut is a nigh perfect adaption of WATCHMEN
Once again and without hyperbole the future of Unseen Films may be in question, or at least as a site that posts every day. 

As I write this the site is programmed with older films pretty much until our 12th anniversary, however right now I am wrestling with how much I can handle going forward. 

A longer discussion of hows and whys will follow once I figure out what the hell I'm doing.

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