Saturday, July 25, 2009

Nostalgic for Watchmen posts?

Sorry, that's a reference only readers of the graphic novel will get. ;-)

Anyway, my DVD's of the Watchmen director's cut and Tales of the Black Freighter/Under the Hood arrived yesterday, and I watched the latter today - saving the best for last, you see. So here are my thoughts on TotBF/UtH. If I get the chance to watch Watchmen tomorrow, I'll probably blog about it tomorrow night. If I don't, you might imagine that I'm busy with my gf, in much the same way Silhouette is busy with that nurse in the image above. ;-P

But back to the DVD.

"Black Freighter" first. Gerard Butler's voiceover is perfect; but you know, I think that as over-the-top lurid as this tale is, it just works better in little hints salted into the overall Watchmen story. Seeing the whole thing laid out in all its gruesome excess is just (pardon the pun) overkill. I guess the most useful thing about it is that it underlines the parallels between BF's protagonist and both Rorschach and Watchmen's main villain (Do I still need to hide that person's identity? *sigh* I suppose I do.) so thickly that only the most gore-crazed teenager could fail to miss them. Hell, they even turned the raft's makeshift sail into a Rorschach blot.

"Under the Hood," on the other hand, is a total delight. Seeing Hollis Mason, Sally Jupiter (rocking an awesome '70's glamor gown), Moloch the Mystic, and others "interviewed" as real people is just fantastic. All these actors were sadly underused in the feature film, but here, they really get to shine. Notice, for instance, how Hollis and Sally both "speak with their hands" - and how Hollis' hands so often speak by hiding his mouth. Nice touch! And an even better touch is the look on Sally's face when the interviewer asks her whether or not it's true that she was assaulted by the Comedian. Her expression doesn't change one whit...and yet it totally transforms. Awesome acting there by Carla Gugino; I swear, I've never understood why she hasn't become a superstar yet. But moving on, we also get to see a bit more of Moloch, both embarrassed by and nostalgic for his past as a supervillain (I love how no one ever once mentions his ears), and also sadly thoughtful about what led to the rise of supervillains - and what might happen next on that particular front.

There's a little bit more on this DVD:

1) a "making of" featurette that's no more or less interesting than such things usually are. If you're the kind of person who enjoys "making of's," then you'll enjoy this one; if not, you won't. I am, so I did. :-)

2) The first chapter of the "Watchmen Motion Comic." I think I managed to sit through about 30 seconds of this. It was dreadful. It looked like someone had just taken all the panels from the graphic novel, made little paper cutouts of the bits they wanted to move, and then jiggled them back and forth a little. Ooooh! "Motion Comic!" Then they gave Rorschach's voiceover to someone about 1/10 as talented as Jackie Earle Haley and added the written text back in on top of it all for who knows what insane reason. Don't bother with this one, really, unless you're into masochism.

But do get the DVD, if only for "Under the Hood." It adds so much to the overall Watchmen story, whether or not you've read the graphic novels. And if you haven't read the graphic novels, then "Tales of the Black Freighter" will have its uses, as well. *shrug* Okay, I suppose "Tales of the Black Freighter" will have its uses for the gore lovers, too.

Anyway, just buy the DVD. It's worth the time and the money.

No comments: