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WARNER

SERIES INFO
Creator:
Damon Lindelof
Cast:
Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Tim Blake Nelson
Screenplay:
Various

Synopsis:
Detective Angela Abar investigates the reemergence of a white supremacist terrorist group inspired by the long-deceased moral absolutist Rorschach.
MPAA:
Rated TV-MA

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Castillian
German
Dutch
Chinese
Korean
Latin Spanish
Portuguese
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
German
Spanish
Dutch
Chinese
Korean
Portuguese

Runtime: 527 min.
Price: $44.98
Release Date: 6/2/2020

Bonus:
• Character Trailers
• “It’s Raining Squids” Featurette
• “Masked and Dangerous” Featurette
• 2019 NY Comic Con Panel
• “Becoming Sister Night” Featurette
• “Alternate History” Featurette
• “Unmasked” Featurette
• “Andrij Parekh on Directing” Featurette
• “Squid Shelter with Tim Blake Nelson” Featurette
• “Anatomy of a Fight Scene” Featurette
• “Immortal Vigilante” Featurette
• “The Colossal King” Featurette
• “Glimpses” Featurette
• “Notes from Graphic Novel Artist Dave Gibbons” Featurette
• “Rorschach” Featurette
• “Sadiqua Bynum Runs, Jumps and Falls for Sister Night” Featurette


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RELATED REVIEWS


Watchmen: The Limited Series [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 26, 2020)

Back in 1986, Watchmen came to life as a highly acclaimed graphic novel. The property leapt to the big screen in 2009 with Zach Snyder’s adaptation.

The cinematic Watchmen did decent business and got generally positive reviews. However, it failed to live up to expectations and its enormous budget, so the property went dormant after that.

For a decade, that is, until HBO brought a “limited series” take on Watchmen to the small screen. Set in present day years after the events of the original comics/movie, this Watchmen expands that universe.

This Blu-ray package includes all nine episodes of Watchmen. The plot synopses come from the set’s booklet.

It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice: “Detective Angela Abar (Regina King) investigates the attempted murder of a fellow officer.”

Like any good first episode, “Summer” introduces us to characters and concepts to ground us in its world. We get a hint at future developments, but the emphasis remains on exposition, and that becomes a logical focus. With appropriate references to the original Watchmen, “Summer” opens the series on an intriguing note.

Martial Feats of Comanche Marksmanship: “Angela detains a mysterious old man (Louis Gossett, Jr.) who claims responsibility for murder.”

Anticipate another episode that builds characters and tension here. Some new threads emerge and existing ones develop more in this impactful show.

She Was Killed By Space Junk: “FBI Agent Laurie Blake (Jean Smart) takes over the investigation.”

As an actual member of the 1980s Watchmen, Blake brings our clearest link to the previous tale so far – though an already established role reveals his own connection, one that delights, though it doesn’t surprise. Smart plays Blake with cynical glee and helps make this a solid push ahead in terms of characters and story.

If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own: “Reclusive trillionaire Lady Trieu (Hong Chau) makes a mysterious offer.”

Lady Trieu becomes the major development for “Write”, and she seems like a decent plot-thickener, especially since she comes with a serious Up to No Good vibe. Other elements move along in a satisfactory manner as well. Not as impactful as “Junk”, “Write” still becomes a good show.

Little Fear of Lightning: “The origin story of Looking Glass (Tim Blake Nelson) is finally revealed.”

A secondary character through the first four shows, Looking Glass comes to the fore here. This includes more connections to the original Watchmen as well as current developments to bring us a solid program with plenty of important moments.

This Extraordinary Being: “Angela gets a firsthand account of her grandfather’s (Louis Gossett, Jr.) journey.”

“Being” brings a slew of revelations, all of which keep it from ending up as an ordinary flashback episode. We tie various knots together in an intriguing manner that advances the narrative as well.

An Almost Religious Awe: “The Smartest Man in the World (Jeremy Irons) defends his past actions.”

Wow – the booklet brings a pretty terrible synopsis for “Awe”, as the elements mentioned present a minor aspect of the episode. Angela’s past becomes a dominant component, and some major plot points materialize as well. Expect a dramatic show with real narrative heft here.

A God Walks Into Abar: “Angela’s mysterious past in Vietnam is revealed.”

Major plot and character developments fly hot and heavy in the impactful “God”. Of course, the title gives a strong hint where these topics go, but that doesn’t make it any less substantial, so “God” cues up the finale well.

See How They Fly: “Everything ends in the epic finale. For real this time.”

The Limited Series Watchmen concludes on a suitably large-scale note via the dramatic “Fly”. The show ties together the necessary loose ends and finishes the show well, as it brings the expected excitement and drama.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C

Watchmen appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on these Blu-ray Discs. The shows offered good visuals.

Overall definition appeared positive. Occasional signs of softness materialized, but infrequently, as the episodes generally seemed accurate and well-defined.

I noticed no jaggies or shimmering, and I witnessed no edge haloes. Source flaws created no distractions.

In terms of palette, Watchmen veered a bit toward orange and teal, though not to an extreme, and the colors mostly felt fairly subdued. The hues came across well within stylistic choices.

Blacks looked dark and tight, while low-light shots offered nice delineation. Despite light softness, the image usually seemed strong.

As for the series’ DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it worked reasonably well. The soundscape opened up the material in a decent manner, though the mix never became terribly involving.

Still, various elements fleshed out the spectrum, and a few action beats featured the surrounds in a pleasing way. More of a thriller than a traditional superhero tale, Watchmen lacked the whiz-bang one might expect from its basic genre, but the soundscapes felt well-rendered nonetheless, and they kicked into higher gear when necessary.

Audio quality satisfied. Speech was distinctive and concise, without edginess or other issues.

Music appeared lively and full, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy. The track wasn’t as good as one would get from a theatrical release, but for a TV series, it seemed positive.

A mix of extras spread across this package’s three Blu-rays, and on Disc One, we open with Character Trailers. These fill a total of three minutes, six seconds and we get these for Sister Night, Blonde Man and Looking Glass.

The “Trailers” include notes from actors Regina King, Jeremy Irons and Tim Blake Nelson. They provide basic promo material and nothing more.

It’s Raining Squids goes for one minute, 58 seconds and involves Nelson, VFX supervisor Erik Henry, series creator Damon Lindelof, and director Nicole Kassell.

This show offers some minor thoughts about the series’ falling squid. It’s more informative than “Trailers” but remains intended to advertise the show.

Next comes Masked and Dangerous, a two-minute, 20-second reel that features Lindelof, King, Irons and Kassell. “Masked” covers some themes and story points. Like its predecessors, it seems superficial.

A 2019 NY Comic Con Panel spans 36 minutes, 49 seconds and involves Lindelof, Kassell, King, Irons, Nelson, graphic novel artist Dave Gibbons and actors Hong Chau, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Louis Gossett, Jr. and Jean Smart.

Along with host Jen Chaney, they discuss the source and choices for this expansion, cast and performances, characters and themes. Because the panel took place before the series ran, it lacks many specifics. Still, it seems breezy and offers some decent nuggets.

Becoming Sister Night runs one minute, three seconds and provides comments from King, Kassell and Lindelof as they discuss King’s character. Expect a promo piece.

Disc One concludes with Altermate History, a two-minute, four-second clip that includes Lindelof, Kassell, Nelson, production designer Kristian Milsted and set dresser Edward McLoughlin. They offer hints of the ways the series expands upon the graphic novel’s “history” and becomes a short but interesting overview.

One Disc Two, Unmasked lasts 16 minutes, 33 seconds and provides material with Lindelof, King, supervising producers Lila Byock and Christal Henry, executive story editor Cord Jefferson, and story editor Jeff Jensen.

“Unmasked” looks at connections between the original novel and the limited series as well as themes, characters and social issues. Deeper than most of the set’s other components, “Unmasked” comes with some intriguing insights.

Andrij Parekh on Directing goes for one minute, three seconds and delivers info from director Parekh. He tells us a little about his life and work on Watchmen in this brief piece.

Up next, we get the two-minute, 31-second Squid Shelter with Tim Blake Nelson. The actor shows us one of the series’ sets in this short but fun examination.

Finally, Disc Two ends with Anatomy of a Fight Scene, a two-minute, 32-second piece that involves Lindelof, stunt coordinator Justin Riemer, stunt double Dan Carter and camera operator Chris Cuevas. They analyze one particular physical sequence in this tight little show.

Disc Three opens with Immortal Vigilante, an 11-minute, 47-second program that includes notes from Lindelof, Jensen, Kassell, Byock, Jefferson, Henry, director Stephen Williams, and actor Jovan Adepo.

With an emphasis on Hooded Justice, we get some character and thematic notes. “Vigilante” explores the subjects reasonably well.

The Colossal King goes for 12 minutes, 36 seconds and brings comments from Lindelof, Irons, Jensen and Kassell.

“King” covers a character from the graphic novel who returns for the Limited Series. Like “Vigilante”, it comes with some useful insights.

Next comes Glimpses, a three-minute, four-second reel that boasts material that offers a look at visual effects, as we see scenes in their before/after states. This seems fun, but it’d work better with commentary.

Notes from Watchmen Graphic Novel Artist Dave Gibbons fills one minute, 49 seconds with remarks from Gibbons. He chats about various character and art-related areas in this fairly promotional piece.

With Rorschach, we get a one-minute, 40-second piece that features Lindelof, Kassell, and costume designer Megan Kasperlik. They offer hints of the way the graphic novel character manifests during the new version. We don’t get much substance.

Finally, Sadiqua Bynum Runs, Jumps and Falls for Sister Night lasts one minute, three seconds and provides remarks from stunt double Sadiqua Bynum. She tells us she’s happy to play the stunt double for King and that’s about it.

As an expansion of the original graphic novel, the Limited Series of Watchmen offers a satisfying effort. It mixes old and new in a compelling way to turn into top-notch entertainment. The Blu-rays bring positive picture and audio along with a mix of bonus materials. Fans should enjoy this fine mini-series.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main