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Sometimes, the Night Is Generous: The Watchmen Director’s Cut on DVD

What a difference a year makes. Around this time in 2008, geeks were buzzing about the Watchmen teaser trailer and the exclusive footage presented by director Zack Snyder and the complete cast at San Diego Comic-Con. This was going to be the superhero movie that would Change. Superhero. Movies. Forever. Now, on the eve of another SDCC, the director's cut of the film has just been released on DVD in a decidedly different atmosphere -- one in which Watchmen is considered not only a box-office failure (despite being the second highest-grossing R-rated release of the year so far) but also a huge disappointment to large pockets of its core audience, nerds who have been message-board screaming their displeasure like an abattoir full of retarded children (sorry, couldn't resist).

Revelation Row: A Spoiler-Filled Review of Watchmen‘s Greatest Triumphs (And Biggest Misses)

Already well on its way to becoming the most divisive work in geek history, Zack Snyder's film adaptation of Watchmen, the most revered comic book of all time, may best be approached as a giant -- you guessed it -- Rorschach test: you either see a pretty butterfly, or you see a dog with its head split in half. The naysayers are certainly out there in force, in both the mainstream publications and the fanboy blogs, and I don't begrudge them their sometimes valid, often contradictory, occasionally deeply flawed points of view. All I can do is report that when I gazed at this dense, two-hour-and-forty-minute-long inkblot of a movie, I saw the butterfly -- I saw a brilliantly realized, richly textured pop-fiction spectacle; candy for both the eye and the brain. Is this theatrical version a perfect cinematic treatment of Watchmen? No, and I'll explain why below. But in the final analysis, seeing this beloved story come to life in a completely fresh, unexpected way gave me the same sensation I felt when I first read it in its original single-issue form over 20 years ago: pure astonishment, quickly followed by a burning desire to experience it again and again. Nothing ever ends.

Watch… and Release: A Non-Spoilery Watchmen Review

Sitting in the theater waiting for Watchmen to begin, I turned to my friend and fellow comic-book geek and remarked that it didn't feel real. He agreed -- for the two of us to be sitting there, about to watch the movie based on a graphic novel we'd been reading and enjoying for 20 years, was truly bizarre. Were we in some far-flung future, where comic-accurate, impeccably cast comic book adaptations were an everyday occurrence? Apparently! Not that complete authenticity was of tantamount importance to me -- I loved the comic book, and I wanted to see the source material respected, but the movie wasn't going to replace the book in my heart and mind, so as long as it didn't embarrass me, I would have been cool with it. Luckily, it not only didn't embarrass me, it impressed the hell out of me. For director Zack Snyder to take such a rich, multi-layered, non-linear narrative and condense it down to a intelligent, action-packed, beautiful movie, keeping so much of what made the original novel great and replacing or removing whatever didn't work, is nothing short of a frickin' miracle. Not only did it keep me entertained for 2 hours and 43 minutes, it actually made me love the book even more. Which is saying something.

Who Photographs the Watchmen? This Guy!

Imagine being a fly on the wall of the Watchmen movie set. Better yet, imagine getting paid for it. Clay Enos is a professional photographer who also happens to be a friend of director Zack Snyder, so when Snyder offered him the job of set photographer for the highly anticipated film, he jumped at the chance. He soon learned that that meant that every photograph that appears in the movie, documents the movie, and promotes the movie would have to be shot by him. That included everything from the sepia-tone team photo of the Minutemen to last week's six different Entertainment Weekly covers. (Well, five of them -- Dr. Manhattan was a computer creation.) But whenever he had a free moment on set, he would shoot the portraits that are his signature work, and now those portraits -- of actors, extras and crew members -- are collected into a book called Watchmen: Portraits. We talked to him about the history-making shoot, his role in the movie and how he came up with the idea for Nite Owl coffee.

10 Unlikely Movies You Should Watch Before Watchmen

Are you eagerly counting down the days until next Friday's Watchmen release? Are you looking for a way to pass the time? You could gorge yourself on past superhero movies to prepare yourself for the inevitable comparisons and dissections. Or you could give these somewhat unlikely movies a gander to examine things from a slightly different perspective.

Watchmen: What You Can Learn From Books

You can learn a lot by reading. But we're not talking about history books or science books -- that stuff's for squares. No, we mean you can learn a lot about movies by reading their book tie-ins before you go to see them. Not only are they packed with spoilers, they sometimes have intriguing behind-the-scenes information you wouldn't know otherwise. Such is the case with the two lavishly illustrated Watchmen movie tie-in books: Watchmen: The Art of the Film and Watchmen: The Film Companion. Read on, and check out the ten (non-spoilery) things we learned about the movie from these info-packed tomes.

Watchmen: Watch and Learn

by Zach Oat February 19, 2009 9:36 am
Watchmen: Watch and Learn

Watchmania is upon us! The world has reached its saturation point with three trailers, nine movie clips and 20-odd posters promoting the upcoming Watchmen film (due out March 6), and the storyline seems more confusing than ever. If you haven't read the comics the movie is based on, all you know is that there's guys in costume running around and acting all serious. Well, we decided to put together a little guide to the world and characters of Watchmen for those who just want to know what the hell it's about and who in the hell these people are. In fact, we've titled it Watchmen: Just Who in the Hell Are They, Anyway? Check it out, and let us know what you think in the comments below.

NY Comic Con 2009: Watching More of Watchmen

So I mostly went to the Warner Brothers screening (which consisted of Watchmen, Friday the 13th and Terminator: Salvation) to see Terminator footage (okay, and to stare at Jared Padalecki for a while). And when we were told they were showing the Watchmen intro footage that they'd shown to the press, I sighed -- not because it wasn't awesome (it was), but because I'd already seen it and was hoping I'd at least get a little something else. I'm greedy like that. And very impatient. But then the teeming masses were informed that we'd get a little bit extra... that no one had seen before. Then, all of a sudden, I was on the edge of my seat.

Sneak a Peek at the Watchmen Settlement

by Tippi Blevins January 16, 2009 11:33 am
Sneak a Peek at the Watchmen Settlement

Warner Brothers and Fox reached an agreement yesterday involving the release of the Watchmen movie. So now you have more to look forward to this March than getting hammered on green beer and nursing the ensuing hangover. Huzzah! Fox will not co-own or co-distribute the movie, but it will receive a nice chunk of change from the proceeds. Beyond that, "[t]erms of the agreement were not disclosed," but some crumpled-up napkins were found in the trash outside a Los Angeles-area Denny's restaurant that were either the ravings of a someone suffering from a Grand Slam overdose or some preliminary settlement ideas from Fox. I can't tell, but maybe you can.

How to Resolve the Watchmen Mess? Two Words: Slap Fight!

Lordy! This Watchmen mess between Fox and Warner Brothers just goes on and on, doesn't it? Back in September, it looked like everyone had been placated when Fox said they didn't want to tank the project and got Adam West's Batman in return. But no, the mess continued and Judge Gary Feess decided Fox does, indeed, have the right to distribute Warner Brothers' Watchmen. Now the latest scuffle has the producers and Feess trading letters and barbs on the Internet and beyond. I can't help but think this would be so much quicker (not to mention more amusing to watch) if everyone just got into the ring and took turns slapping the crap out of each other. Last person standing wins!

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