Watchman The Ultimate Cut.
Everyone knows I loved the Watchmen movie. I own all the books, figures, kubricks (tiny figures) and even have the Comedian’s Smiley Button. I also have the limited Rorschach doll and I have all versions of the film on dvd and the extended cut on blu-ray. My shelf/shrine dedicated to watchmen is right beneath my Conan shrine/shelf, so that tells you where I’m at. Watchmen is my third favourite film of all time (after Conan and 2001).
So I finally watched the ultimate cut – for those who came in late, Watchmen (the graphic novel/12 issue series) has a comic within a comic called Tales of the Black Freighter. There is also excerpts from a novel written by one of the characters, the first Nite Owl, included in Watchmen. Well to make the film complete, Zack Synder made Nite Owl’s book into a documentary, which is available on dvd and acts as an intro to the film. The doc is about 30 mins, which if watched before the film would make the entire experience 3.5 hours. However, the Black Freighter stuff wasn’t included – how are you going to make a comic within a comic part of a live action film? Well, make it a cartoon – brilliant. So whenever Bernard (the boy who reads the comic in Watchmen) is shown reading the comic in the film, the film transitions into a cartoon and we get to see what Bernard is reading in an animated short. This cartoon, together with the Documentary “Under the Hood” can be purchased on dvd.
But now, finally, in its full form, you get Watchmen The Ultimate Cut – which has the Black Freighter footage woven into the film making it 3 hours and 35 minutes. The Under the Hood documentary is still separate – because it doesn’t play a big part in the Watchmen story, it was mostly for back-story.
So how does this all go together – very well I should say. At first you may think it makes to the movie too long, I don’t. The characters and story are so amazing that a 5 hour Watchmen movie would be cool with me! I think viewers who know about Black Freighter would welcome it being woven into the film and consider Watchmen not complete without it.
The Black Freighter cartoon/comic was meant to parallel the story of Ozymandias, who believes he is saving the world while committing the worst atrocity of all time. The story in the Black Freighter comic is very disturbing – there is one lone survivor from an attack by the Freighter (a pirate ship made up of evil souls) has to travel back to his home village to save his wife and children from the Freighter, which is heading their way. Along the way his world view becomes skewed and morbid. He eats birds, kill’s sharks, and uses his dead crewmates bodies as a raft. Once he makes it home he believes that Freighter has already taken over the village and he kills a man believing his is a crewman of the Black Freighter. He then makes it home and discovers an intruder in his home and murders him, only to find that it was his wife he killed. When he realizes what he has done, he goes insane and runs to the ocean to find the Black Freighter waiting for him. He was the one they wanted all along and his soul now belongs to them. Thus ending the story.
The story on it’s own is really interesting and the animation is wicked. Plus Gerard Butler provides the voice, which is cool cause he was the lead in 300 – Synder’s previous film. Butler is also added to the opening credits of Watchmen, which is really neat I think, since his Black Freighter role was essentially cut from the theatrical release.
All in all, this is the REAL WATCHMEN MOVIE. It will be the one that I show people who haven’t seen it.
It adds to the story and makes the film complete.