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DVD Review: Watchmen Director's Cut 2-Disc Special Edition

Posted on Monday, August 3rd, 2009 9:18 PM

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Front Cover ArtworkWatchmen Director's Cut 2-Disc Special Edition
Warner Home Video
186 Minutes

List Price: $34.98 (Check Price at Amazon.com)

This movie is also available from Amazon on Blu-ray and video on demand (rental or purchase), and from iTunes for rental and purchase.

Available 7/21/2009

Rated R

Click here for additional movie details, including the full plot summary, cast listing, trailers and videos, photos, reviews of the movie, and links to the official movie web site and more.

  TheatricalThis Disc
Video Format:
480i MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 2.40:1

Dolby Digital
DTS Digital

Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital 5.1


Movie: DVD
Extras/Digital Copy: DVD

Disc 1 Contents

  • Upfront Ads - can be skipped (SD, DD 2.0)
    • Blu-ray Promo (1:43)
    • Nicotine Mouse Smoking PSA (0:30)
    • Movie Trailer: Observe and Report (2:30)
    • Watchmen Game for iPod Touch, iPhone (1:43)
    • Watchmen: The End is Nigh Game (0:30)
  • Movie

Disc 2 Contents

  • The Phenomenon: The Comic That Changed Comics (28:45, DD 2.0)
  • Watchmen: Video Journals (DD 2.0)
  • My Chemical Romance Desolation Row Music Video (3:15, DD 2.0)

About the Movie

In an alternate reality of 1985 where Richard Nixon is still President and history has been changed by the involvement of super heroes in world events, the latest generation of super heroes have banded together to respond to the murder of one of their own. They soon uncover a sinister plot that puts all of humanity in grave danger. The super heroes fight to stop the impending doom only to find themselves a target for annihilation. But, if our super heroes are gone, who will save us?

This extended edition Director's Cut features 25 minutes of footage not seen in theaters, including more scenes with Rorschach and the fate of Hollis Mason. The first disc of this two-disc package contains the entire movie, and the special features are contained on the second disc along with the Digital Copy of the movie for iPods and other portables.

How Does it Look?

Still from the movie (not an actual screenshot)

The picture quality is quite good throughout the movie. As can be expected from a comic book (sorry, graphic novel) movie, the colors are adjusted, saturated, and subdued, depending on the scene and setting.

I never saw any artifacts that distracted from viewing the movie.

How Does it Sound?

The sound is quite good and what should be expected from a movie like this. There plenty of opportunities for action from the surrounds and the low-end gets a chance to show its stuff as well!


I like to see the theatrical trailer included with movies, so I was disappointed that one was not included here.

There is a second disc in the form of a standard definition DVD that contains the special features and a Digital Copy.

The Phenomenon: The Comic That Changed Comics gushes for quite some time about the graphic novel upon which the movie is based. I suppose it helps those of us who are not into comic books, er, graphic novels, but when early on, Watchmen is called the Citizen Kane of graphic novels, you know this segment is not for those who don't agree or don't get it.

The 11 video journals are short clips that feature various aspects of the production, such as the sets, the owl ship, costumes, and more. These videos are each about 3 minutes, which is probably intended to appeal to the YouTube generation that likes their information in small chunks. However, there's no "Play All" option, so you have to keep selecting the next video in line and hitting play, which gets annoying after two or three of them.

The music video is only for fans of the music. For the rest, it's three minutes you'll never get back.

Fans of the movie might enjoy the digital copy, as it would allow you to download the movie and enjoy it many times on your portable device. By inserting the disc into a Windows PC or Mac, you can obtain a digital copy of the movie for playback on your PSP, PC, Mac, or iPod. I didn't explore this option, so I can't comment on the picture or sound quality. The documentation says that the Digital Copy must be redeemed by 7/21/2010.


I've never read the graphic novel, but I have enjoyed other super hero movies with varying degrees, so I was willing to give this movie a fair shot at entertaining me. At the end, I got the distinct impression that a true fan probably enjoyed it more than I did, but I didn't find it a waste of time either.

If you're in the target demographic for this movie, you probably have already made up your mind about purchasing this title, so there's not much I can say to change your mind. However, if you've not seen the movie and you're not sure about buying this title, put it on your Netflix list or rent it via the Video-on-demand services listed above and check it out for yourself before spending a lot of money on it.

I would imagine that fans want every moment they can get to soak up the scenes and character interactions, so this extended version is probably right up their alley and it was most likely made just for them. If you count yourself a fan, this is a no-brainer purchase, but you should most likely seriously consider the Blu-ray edition instead to get the best picture and sound possible.

Recommended Reading

Don't just take our word for it, check out these resources for more reviews of the movie and of the disc.


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