Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Watchmen: Director's Cut Blu-ray Review

Watchmen Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys JohnsonDisc 1 Size: 39.8 GB
Disc 2 Size: 5.53 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: Free

Watchmen hits Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation that is sure to impress. While the quality wasn't perfect, I was very pleased and impressed, especially considering the film's look. I was so excited to see grain present on this release, with no signs of DNR or edge enhancement. Detail varies on scenes, but is usually top notch. The film's darker color palette shines with rich colors and solid black levels. There are effects here and there that affect the video presentation slightly, but that was all intentional. I am very pleased with Watchmen on Blu-ray. 9/10.

A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included and to no surprise is absolute perfection. The track definitely competes with the best available on Blu-ray. The mix is extremely impressive, and everything felt nicely balanced. Dialogue was clear as can be, while surround use was used mostly for the film's music and powerful effects. This track will also give your bass a workout, absolutely demo material stuff. 10/10.


Disc 1:

Maximum Movie Mode (HD) (Picture-in-Picture)
Warner has done it, they have created the most impressive Blu-ray exclusive feature to date. I absolutely love Picture-in-Picture tracks, but they were not always that great. Warner has created an intuitive and magical movie experience, that fans and high-def enthusiasts will absolutely eat up. Director Zack Snyder shares the screen with the film and sometimes brings up another HDTV for comparisons and much more. There are also fun facts and details popping up throughout the film, and the viewer can just sit back and relax as it's all presented flawlessly and seamlessly. Kudos, Warner.

Focus Points (HD)
Watched the Maximum movie mode and want to see a specific feature presented without going back into the film? Warner has made that possible, included them as standalone high-def bonus features.

Warner Bros. BD-Live

Disc 2:

The Phenomenon: The Comic That Changed Comics (28:47) (HD)
The comic that changed comics refers to Watchmen, and it talks about the phenomenon that is Watchmen. Lots of people involved in the comics really break things down and discuss their ideas going in and how it's changed comics forever.

Real Super Heroes: Real Vigilantes (26:18) (HD)
This was actually a very in-depth feature, despite being less than half an hour. It documents real-life vigilantes now and through history, and what drives them to do what they do.

Mechanics: Technologies of a Fantastic World (16:49) (HD)
James Kakalios, a phsyics professor from the University of Minnesota talks about his class, and talks about his involvement in Watchmen. Zack Snyder and others also comment on his involvement throughout.

My Chemical Romance - 'Desolation Row' Music Video (3:15) (HD)
While I'm not a fan of My Chemical Romance, it's nice to see a music video included and in high-def too.

Disc 3:

Digital Copy
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media.

Blu-news Summary
Watchmen was a mixed bag for me, one that I did enjoy much more than dislike, but didn't love it either. The film is true to the source, which I guess is the most important part. That being said I thought the film was a bit too long for it's own good at times. I loved the characters and the actors that portrayed the characters. I am in the minority of those who felt in between though, as the film has received mostly positive reaction from critics. I would definitely check it out whether it be a rental or even a purchase, because tastes do vary.

The Blu-ray release is stunning, with impressive video, perfect audio, and the best bonus feature I have seen yet on Blu-ray. Watchmen may not be for everyone, but there's no denying it has a lot to love, especially on Blu-ray. 'Highly Recommended Disc.'

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