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Posted October 1, 2010
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When I first watched The Tale of the Black Freighter, I was scratching my head, because I was not sure what it had to do with The Watchmen. Baring in mind I had never actually read the full graphic novel, I did watch the featurette afterward though and realized that it was the comic book that you see this teenage kid reading near a newspaper stand in the movie. Silly me, I had forgotten about that from the movie. Once I understood what it was all about, I was like 'ok, yeah...cool.' It is pretty grisely and all together kinda dark, so it's definitely not a cartoon for kids (it'd probably give em nightmares for a week), but if you're a Watchmen fan and familiar with the graphic novel, it's a pretty neat addition to the movie. Gerard Butler contributes some great voice work to it as well. Also, Under the Hood was pretty cool...playing out like a documentary from back during the 60s in which certain members of the old superheros from the story, the Minute Men, are interviewed and talk about the old days of crime fighting...and shot much in the style of the 60s too. It's pretty neat. There's also a still motion animated bit included in this from part of the graphic novel that's pretty cool too, and a couple other fun little bonuses. All in all though, if you're a Watchmen fan, this is a good little companion movie to own along side the Watchmen. Check it out! I just need to get the graphic novel, and my Watchmen collection will be complete!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
The DVD contains two features: Tales of the Black Freighter, that oh-so-bloody pirate comic embedded in the overall Watchmen strip, and Under the Hood, a TV-show-interview with Hollis Mason about his bestselling, tell-all autobiography about his time as the original Nite-Owl during the first superhero boom of the late '30s/early 40s.
Tales of the Black Freighter was remarkable, grisly, and just plain cool. Even if you don't like pirate stories, guaranteed you'll dig this. It's a story about survival, the need to save others and the consequences of choosing that path, and what might happen to a man who becomes so obsessed with an ideal that he runs the risk of distorting reality completely.
Under the Hood was equally well done. Done as a "look back" magazine television show--complete with commercial breaks with products in the Watchmen graphic novel--it explores the origin of the superhero fraternity through the very realistic eyes and humble spirit of Hollis Mason. You forget that it's fiction quite easily and the segment also has that nostalgic feel of the Watchmen movie.
Also included is the very cool motion comic of the first chapter of the Watchmen graphic novel. This was just plain cool and the animation was far more than I expected. Thought I was only going to get a few sliding frames ala some anime segments but instead got a lot of animation for each panel of the graphic novel. In fact, this segment alone sold me on getting the whole graphic novel animated DVD. Likewise, you also get a behind-the-scenes featurette on the back stories that are Tales of the Black Freighter and Under the Hood and what they mean to the overall Watchmen experience.
The reason I gave it four stars instead of five is solely because five stars means I've been blown away and, well, the Watchmen theatrical film already did that and this isn't quite as good. It's my hope, however, that on the Watchmen director's cut they splice in Tales of the Black Freighter as shown above. Very cool. They shot all the newsstand scenes with the kid reading the comic book for it anyway so might as well use them.