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WATCHMEN: THE COMPLETE MOTION COMIC ($36) could quite possibly be one of the most interesting adaptations / repurposings of a graphic novel ever attempted. This program is quite literally a comic book brought to life. What they have done with WATCHMEN: THE COMPLETE MOTION COMIC is to take the graphic novel panels and apply slight animation. To this, a narrator has been added to read all of the dialogue. Music and sound effects are also present to enhance dramatic effect. This adaptation of the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons is as faithful as one can get to the source material.

For those unfamiliar with the graphic novel, WATCHMEN is set in an alternate reality, circa 1985, where the USA won the war in Viet Nam, Richard Nixon is still president and superheroes have been outlawed. Of course, in this alternate reality, superheroes are nothing more than masked vigilantes, as almost none of them have any actual super powers. There is however, one exception to this rule, but we will come to that in a bit. As the story of WATCHMEN opens, New York City police detectives are investigating the murder of Edward Blake, but are getting nowhere. An outlawed costumed vigilante called Rorschach probes further into Blake’s death, because the dead man was once The Comedian, one of the few government sanctioned "superheroes" who continued his work in of an official capacity as an agent against the communist threat.

Believing himself onto a conspiracy to eliminate "superheroes", Rorschach, warns his retired fellow colleagues Nite Owl, Silk Spectre and Ozymandias, as well as Doctor Manhattan (the world’s only real superhero and the United States deterrent against the nuclear aggressive Soviets) of his findings. Although Rorschach’s conspiracy theory is initially written off as a paranoid delusion, circumstances arise that makes it evident that said superheroes are being manipulated out of the way of an impending nuclear Armageddon. This realization causes a few of the now middle aged costumed adventurers to pick up their now illegal old habits and try to save the world one last time.

Warner Home Video has made WATCHMEN: THE COMPLETE MOTION COMIC available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. The 1080p presentation is incredibly good; appearing super crisp and cleanly defined. Colors are wonderfully vibrant, thus maintaining the rich primary hues one would find on the page of a graphic novel. Blacks are inky, while the whites are clean. Contrast is just perfect for this type of program. There are no film-based flaws in the presentation and the five plus hour running time is handled without artifacting.

WATCHMEN: THE COMPLETE MOTION COMIC is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. The sound quality is excellent for what it is, but the sound design is fairly limited. However, this is due to fact that WATCHMEN: THE COMPLETE MOTION COMIC is largely dialogue and narration driven. Sound is localized up front with some separations to the left and right, with very little material making its way to the rear. Fidelity is strong, but there aren’t many sonic challenges, especially at the bottom end. An English Dolby Digital 5.1 channel track has also been provided, as have English subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some production diaries, a WONDER WOMAN preview.

WATCHMEN: THE COMPLETE MOTION COMIC is a terrific release that benefits from the extra resolution of high definition to bring the comic book panels to crystal clear life.



Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic (+ Digital Copy and BD-Live) [Blu-ray] (2009)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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