Blu-ray Review: Watchmen Ultimate Cut Blu-ray


There needs to be a big S spray painted on my forehead. That S would stand for SUCKER. I don’t even like the Watchman comic book or movie, yet I purchased every Watchman related item – except the Black Freighter. I mean I bought the horrible Watchman motion comic – which got corrupted on my AppleTV, then I bought the Watchman Complete Blu-ray set which included the Watchman game. I promised myself I wouldn’t bite on the super dooper Ultimate Blu-ray version, but I couldn’t help myself – my curiosity got the better of me and I couldn’t get it through Netflix. So I dropped another $30 on a movie I admire the heck out of but ultimately don’t like.


For those that don’t know The Watchman Ultimate Edition is a 3 Hr 35 minute extravaganza that weaves the animated Tales of the Black Freighter into the Director’s cut of the movie. So one would have to guess, unless they just start making stuff up, this is the final, definitive cut of the movie. At first I thought this would just be way too much, after spending a few days watching it, I have to say not only does the inclusion of the Black Freighter work really well, it adds a whole new layer of subtext to a movie that’s already filled with plenty of it. It also serves to break up the monotony of the overall movie. If you didn’t think director Zack Snider loved this material before, that doubt is completely erased after seeing this cut. While I don’t connect with the material, this is a beautiful, lyrical movie.

I’m not particularly a fan of the 1.77:1 aspect ratio. I think it makes the letterbox a bit too "letterboxy," but the 1080p transfer is flawless. The problem is most of the movie is shot in black, gold and other dark tones so watching this in "hyper real" HD doesn’t really do anything for me. The HD Audio is sharp, clean, and crisp sounding. It really makes me want to finally move away from my Sony Soundbar and invest in a true 7.1 setup.


This Ultimate Cut Blu-ray set includes 3 Disks (Movie, Features, and Digital Copy Disk) and a copy of the full Watchman Motion Comic (that’s over 6 hours!) Blu-ray comic. The Blu-ray includes two new commentary tracks one from Director Zack Snyder and Dave Gibbons. But Warner Brother’s dropped the Ultimate Movie Mode (Picture in Picture) from the earlier cut – Not cool. The way they seamlessly used PnP is the highlight of the last Blu-ray release. The Digital Copy version is also a bit cheesy because it’s the theatrical cut of the film and not the cut that I actually paid for. Getting the full motion comic is an interesting bonus because that in of itself is over 6 hours of viewing. I’ve tried to watch this on several occasions but the guy (Tom Stechschulte ) doing the Voices is just horrible – he doesn’t even try to do different voices for each character; he’s stiff, emotionless and sounds like he’s sitting on a toilet.

Warner Home Video does a nice job with their implementation of BD-Live (something I still find pretty much useless). You can do community viewings, create your own commentary tracks and it’s integrated with Facebook. The other thing I love about this Blu-ray is that it remembers where you left off, so you don’t have to keep restarting the disk from scratch when you stop it.


Disc 1:

  • Freighter" with the "Watchmen: Director’s Cut". 215 minutes
  • Audio Commentary with Zack Snyder and Dave Gibbons

Disc 2

  • The Phenomenon: The Comic That Changed Comics (28 Min) (HD)
  • Real Super Heroes, Real Vigilantes (26 Min) (HD)
  • Mechanics: Technologies of a Fantastic World (16 Min) (HD)
  • Watchmen: Video Journals
  • My Chemical Romance Desolation Row
  • Under the Hood (rated PG) (37 Min) (HD) – Really cool "documentary" about the Book
  • Story Within a Story: The Books of Watchmen (25 Min) (HD)

Disc 3:

  • Digital Copy of the Theatrical Version

Disc 4:

  • Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comics 325 minutes (HD)
  • Commentary Tracks by Zack Snyder and Dave Gibbons
  • Sneak Peak at the upcoming Wonder Woman Animated movie. (10 Min) (HD)


Other than dropping the Maximum movie mode, I think this is one of the best Blu-rays of 2009.


  • Movie – B
  • Video Quality – A
  • Audio – A
  • Menu/Navigation – A
  • Features – A

Final Overall Grade – A

EM Review by
Michelle Alexandria
Originally Posted, 11.15.09