Do you live in Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis or Dallas? If so, you’ll be able to catch the Director’s Cut of Watchmen - with almost 25 more minutes added – in theaters. Projected digitally. The film will play for one weekend (July 17th, the weekend before Comic Con) and then hit Blu-Ray and DVD on July 21st.
I was able to see a bit of the extended cut, specifically the death scene of Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl. Usually scenes that are added back into new movies aren’t that interesting; for one thing, they usually deserved to be on the cutting room floor. For another, the newer a film is the less exciting it is to see deleted scenes. The movies where cut scenes are the grail are old ones, movies you know well that will take on a new life when viewed with the new footage.
Since Watchmen is so faithfully based on the graphic novel, there’s that frisson from seeing the deleted scenes. And on top of that, the Hollis Mason death scene is an amazing one. Snyder brings the scene to life in a really unique and unexpected way – as the top knots bust through the door and begin beating on poor old Hollis we see the scene from his POV, and he sees them as the enemies he fought in his heyday. As he battles back (his stance a perfect old time street fighter stance), Hollis sees himself punching out Captain Axis and other members of his 1940s rogues gallery. And it’s done in a way that recalls Raging Bull. Watching this scene I was bummed that it wasn’t included in the theatrical release; while I understand that it might have hurt the pacing at the end of the film, it’s not the kind of scene that deserves to be thrown away, and I think Snyder did it justice.
As for the Blu-Ray, which we saw demonstrated – I’m impressed. I recently bought a Blu-Ray player and have been feeling like it’s just a glorified DVD player. The ‘Maximum Movie Experience’ on the Watchmen Blu-Ray (and on the new 300 Blu-Ray, a triple dip, but one that looks actually worthwhile from where I sat) is a real step in the right interactive direction, giving the viewer lots of control of what sorts of behind the scenes info they want. It also has a feature where Zack Snyder walks out and interacts with the picture; while this happens 12 times on this Blu-Ray, I imagine future movies will feature much more of this sort of thing.
And for those of you buying the Blu-Ray (or attending Comic Con) – Snyder will be doing a BD Live event at Comic Con, screening the movie for an audience of real nerds and doing live commentary, which will go out to BD Live players, and with which you can interact from home.
You can pre-order the Blu-Ray of Watchmen by clicking here. You can pre-order the new 300 Blu-Ray by clicking here.