Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic

Featured In Issue 140, May/June 2009

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Home Video
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Not Rated
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Jake S. Hughes
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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Tom Stechschulte is the narrator for all 12 chapters of the story. The graphic novel is told through limited motion, voice, and sound, and strikingly drawn panels. The story spans everything from the mysterious demise of the comedian, to the crisscrossed destinies of loosely allied superheroes, to their fateful impact on the world. Set in 1985 at the height of the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union, costumed avengers have been banned, with the exception of two''The Comedian and Rorschach. During this time the mysterious murder of a United States government official named Edward Blake occurs in New York City, possibly by Soviet Communists. It is later confirmed that Blake is actually a costumed avenger—The Comedian. The news of the murder is discovered by his fellow costumed avenger, Rorschach, who set out to discover the murderer. During his search, viewers discover whether Rorschach is really insane or if he's uncovered a plot to murder superheroes and, even worse, millions of innocent civilians. On the run from the law, Rorschach reunites with his former teammates in a desperate attempt to save the world and their lives. But what they uncover will shock them to their very core and change the face of the planet. Following two generations of masked superheroes from the close of World War II to the icy shadow of the Cold War comes this groundbreaking comic story—the story of The Watchmen. Based on the graphic novel Watchmen co-created and illustrated by Dave Gibbons and published by DC Comics. (Gary Reber)

Special features include Watchmen Video Journal #4 —Dave Gibbons discusses how faithful and true the film is to the original source material (HD 02:47), the Wonder Woman Sneak Peek, plus BD-Live interactivity.

The 1.78:1 1080p VC-1 picture quality is excellent, with a comic book look and pop-up written dialogue. Colors are vibrant and pop with richly saturated pure hues. Contrast is superb, with deep, solid blacks. Resolution is terrific, with sharp edges. The dialogue pop-ups often appear against a solid black background, for a very striking look that will challenge any display system's black level capability. In our system, the black remained inky black in a completely darkened room. The contrasting impact is amazing! Noise is injected into some characters to contrast with the otherwise-pristine imagery. This is an exceptionally colorful film that is visually exciting throughout. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack is nicely produced, with a wonderfully recorded articulate narration by Tom Stechschulte, with incredible contrasting characterizations that often are nicely integrated spatially with the visuals. At times the dialogue characterizations are positioned off center for effect. Perfectly intelligible, the dialogue sounds perfectly natural and not out of place with the visual storytelling. The music score is recorded well, with a wide and deep soundstage. While front-hemisphere focused, atmospheric sound effects provide rich, though low-level, directionalized surround envelopment. The LFE .1 channel provides a subtle low-level bass foundation that is barely perceived. This is an engaging soundtrack that uses nuances to enhance the dramatic storytelling. This is a different sonic experience that is totally captivating. (Gary Reber)