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Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut 4K Blu-ray Review & Comments

Jim Di Griz

Distinguished Member
I already own the US 4K release and whilst this one differs from that one a bit, I wont be double-dipping. I really wish more superhero films were like this one though! I'm amazed at how close Snyder got with this film and I don't think it could have been done better in all honesty. The Ultimate Cut is a long old haul but its most definitely worth it. In fact, I think I need to watch it again soon, time permitting.
 

MarkNorton1

Well-known Member
Cheers Cas, big fan of the directors cut which I have on Blu, have picked up the 4k digital iTunes ultimate cut so far but unsure of what I think on the quality of the stream as yet, very grainy but might be intentionally so I’m guessing, still tempted by the disc mind.
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
Hi @Casimir Harlow what about the Tales of Freighter comic? Isn't that the main difference between this and the Director's cut? That (with Mr Blue's dong) is one of the main reasons why I haven't looked at purchasing this yet. I've read in other reviews that the film literally stops for you to read the relevant comic pages?
 

Jim Di Griz

Distinguished Member
Hi @Casimir Harlow what about the Tales of Freighter comic? Isn't that the main difference between this and the Director's cut? That (with Mr Blue's dong) is one of the main reasons why I haven't looked at purchasing this yet. I've read in other reviews that the film literally stops for you to read the relevant comic pages?
Eh?! The film doesnt stop! The Tales animation fits into the film at different junctures. Reading comic pages? No.
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
Eh?! The film doesnt stop! The Tales animation fits into the film at different junctures. Reading comic pages? No.
I'm simply quoting the reviews. Now I understand that they weren't talking about stopping in a literal sense. They were talking about the flow.
 

BrynTeg

Distinguished Member
Great review, i also have the us release, i love this film, have done since release, said i would not double dip but of course i will :cool: be interesting to see the differences, the increased teal colour timing on the uk release..
 

featherhall

Distinguished Member
Decisions Decisions. I’ve bought this many times but then for good reason. Think I will just wait for a sale.
Thanks for a great review
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
Hi @Casimir Harlow what about the Tales of Freighter comic? Isn't that the main difference between this and the Director's cut? That (with Mr Blue's dong) is one of the main reasons why I haven't looked at purchasing this yet. I've read in other reviews that the film literally stops for you to read the relevant comic pages?
Hey mate, I think I covered it in the review, no? I feel like it's something I would have covered...
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
Hey mate, I think I covered it in the review, no? I feel like it's something I would have covered...
You mean
which included the 'Black Freighter' story from the original novel and, although this fractured addition is somewhat jarring to the pacing, it remains the definitive adaptation of the novel - for good or bad.
I think it wasn't clear to me that the other reviews meant that the comic stopped "the flow" of the film, not the actual film itself. Now I understand what you were saying. I wish they released the directors cut in 4K. Thanks :)
 

Malingo

Active Member
I couldn't enjoy the addition of the Black Freighter. The 'motion comic' style of animation I find to be quite ugly. More importantly, I feel like it was a missed opportunity to actually think about what the purpose of the comic-within-a-comic was and recreate that commentary as a movie-within-a-movie, rather than a slavish barely animated adaptation of the source material which says nothing about either the plot or the state of superhero movies.

Obviously just my opinion, but it's something that I've stewed on quite a lot.
 

Gambit1977

Active Member
Thanks Cas, as always!
I’ve asked for this for Christmas, I’d forgotten how good that trailer was.
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
I couldn't enjoy the addition of the Black Freighter. The 'motion comic' style of animation I find to be quite ugly. More importantly, I feel like it was a missed opportunity to actually think about what the purpose of the comic-within-a-comic was and recreate that commentary as a movie-within-a-movie, rather than a slavish barely animated adaptation of the source material which says nothing about either the plot or the state of superhero movies.

Obviously just my opinion, but it's something that I've stewed on quite a lot.
I agree with everything you've said. The DC is the better cut.

But, unlike, say, Apocalypse Now, the benefit of the 'complete' version is that it is just that, complete, and gives an added bit that *was* in the comics, which I wouldn't necessarily watch were it not incorporated, however clumsily, into the movie itself. So I can live with it, and am happy to get that bit of the story.

As for making the Black Freighter live action, it's a lovely idea - genius even - but, perhaps like other animated segments (off the top of my head, I can think of one from Kill Bill), they may have been animated also because that, in some ways, tones down the sheer graphic violence that they portray. The idea of bloated bodies exploding and being ripped apart and tied together... well, I just can't imagine anybody actually filming that, nor particularly wanting to watch it. Animation allows us to more palatably endure a horrific tale, in this instance.

As I say, agree the DC is better, but I'm happy watching the UC in 4K as the preferred go-to choice overall. Were they to have released a seamlessly branched series of all three cuts, the choice would admittedly be much harder.
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
Were they to have released a seamlessly branched series of all three cuts, the choice would admittedly be much harder.
Wouldn't the choice be much easier ? :)
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
Wouldn't the choice be much easier ? :)
Well, kind of, but as I said, I'd still miss the BF, however clumsily spliced it is, and I'm not sure I'd watch it separately, which would - ultimately - mean I was missing out on something quite special in the Watchmen story. But yeah, I would be tempted to go DC in 4K, hence the harder choice. Here it's not as hard for me, as I favour the 4K over the BD, particularly in DV, and I don't mind the clumsy UC because I excuse it knowing I get the complete tale.
 

raduv1

Distinguished Member
Whilst I really believe this film would be greatly enhanced with a 3D audio sound stage .For once considering the run time of the film it would be to much to ask for to put all that on one disc.

For once i will break my rule because it's my favourite of the supe genre , much like Dune its a slightly flawed masterpiece of film making that for me begs to be watched .

Wii take pride of place in my collectors edition BD case.
3487_tn.jpg
 

Malingo

Active Member
I agree with everything you've said. The DC is the better cut.

But, unlike, say, Apocalypse Now, the benefit of the 'complete' version is that it is just that, complete, and gives an added bit that *was* in the comics, which I wouldn't necessarily watch were it not incorporated, however clumsily, into the movie itself. So I can live with it, and am happy to get that bit of the story.

As for making the Black Freighter live action, it's a lovely idea - genius even - but, perhaps like other animated segments (off the top of my head, I can think of one from Kill Bill), they may have been animated also because that, in some ways, tones down the sheer graphic violence that they portray. The idea of bloated bodies exploding and being ripped apart and tied together... well, I just can't imagine anybody actually filming that, nor particularly wanting to watch it. Animation allows us to more palatably endure a horrific tale, in this instance.

As I say, agree the DC is better, but I'm happy watching the UC in 4K as the preferred go-to choice overall. Were they to have released a seamlessly branched series of all three cuts, the choice would admittedly be much harder.
It would really draw in that Cannibal Holocaust crowd...
But yes. It definitely allows for the more gruesome aspects to go down a bit easier.
And I get it. I mean, I certainly chased it down because I was keen to see it in its most complete form so I suppose I'm part of the target audience for it!
 

golden phoenix

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the review Cas, I will never tire of watching silk spectre in all her glory! Just wish they would make all versions available in one set. Annoying - directors cut is my go to edition but just for completist sake
 

Garrett

Moderator
I had the sitting on the shelf for a bit watching the Director's cut on disc and watching in the cinema but a friend borrowed the Director's cut and peaked my interest in the Ultimate cut. I stuck it on at the usual time and got to the prison part and wondered how much longer is there to run and found over another hour and a half and decided to watch the rst an other night. Funny enough my mate rang me and said he was having to watch in 2 goes and was of all things up to the prison bit.

It's a very good story and really comes alive when Rorschach on screen but should have started watching earlier in the evening as it bit of a slog for me in one go and know some of you watch 3 films on the bounce.
 

mooperman

Distinguished Member
ive bought this on itunes.... keen to give it a blast as im a fan of the movie (and been loving the tv show) but at 3.5 hours almost... not sure... im hoping the option to just watch the original movie in DV and atmos is there.
 

MarkNorton1

Well-known Member
ive bought this on itunes.... keen to give it a blast as im a fan of the movie (and been loving the tv show) but at 3.5 hours almost... not sure... im hoping the option to just watch the original movie in DV and atmos is there.
Be interested to hear your thoughts on the quality of the iTunes version when you get to it, of course your setup will likely vary but I’ve found that on occasion it looks amazing and other times I’m checking my settings wondering who pressed what to make it worse!
 

mooperman

Distinguished Member
Be interested to hear your thoughts on the quality of the iTunes version when you get to it, of course your setup will likely vary but I’ve found that on occasion it looks amazing and other times I’m checking my settings wondering who pressed what to make it worse!
yeah ill be watching via a 65" oled and a q90 soundbar (its the all singing all dancing 7.1.4 atmos samsung jobby) so it should sound pretty decent. Wife out tomorrow afternoon so might slip it on then with a cheeky afternoon beer :D
 

SonOfSJ

Well-known Member
I have the Director's Cut of the 2009 1080p Blu-ray, which is one of my favourites. It might be useful hear to see a summary of the AVForums review of it from 2009, and another 2009 review on Hi-Def Digest is also worth revisiting. Reading the review of this new Ultimate Cut 4K disc, I'm not sure that it is sufficiently better than the Director's Cut from 2009 to make me buy it..
 

Garrett

Moderator
I have the Director's Cut of the 2009 1080p Blu-ray, which is one of my favourites. It might be useful hear to see a summary of the AVForums review of it from 2009, and another 2009 review on Hi-Def Digest is also worth revisiting. Reading the review of this new Ultimate Cut 4K disc, I'm not sure that it is sufficiently better than the Director's Cut from 2009 to make me buy it..
It depends on if you already got the Director's Cut or not as if not that cut is also in the Ultimate Cut case.

Some differences in the cuts from IMDB
In Thailand the genitals of Dr Manhattan are masked and where Rorschach attack with an ax the victim's head is heavily blurred.
A "Director's Cut" brings the film from its theatrical 162 minutes, to 186 minutes. Scenes include expanded action sequences, and additional exposition.
The "Ultimate Cut" brings the film from its theatrical 162 minutes, to a whopping 215 minutes. Scenes include the expanded action sequences and additional exposition from the director's cut, even more exposition segments, and additionally interweaves the animated Black Freighter short into the story to mimic its role as the story within the story in the graphic novel.
The Director's Cut is 20 minutes longer than the Theatrical Version. Differences:
  • While Rorschach is in The Comedian's apartment, two uninformed cops enter to investigate noises.
 

SonOfSJ

Well-known Member
It depends on if you already got the Director's Cut or not as if not that cut is also in the Ultimate Cut case.
But I had begun my post #25 with: "I have the Director's Cut of the 2009 1080p Blu-ray ". Thanks for the differences that you give in the spoller alert. I think I'll stick with my 2009 Director's Cut though, it continues to look and sound very good.
 

ziglar

Active Member
I've just watched the iTunes version and enjoyed the movie but found the quality quite poor. I have 100mb fibre but watched via wifi connection but will re-try with a direct connection.

Not sure how to describe the pq but it seemed to 'fizz/sparkle' quite a lot on the background colours and even on faces when they filled most of the screen
 

Slinkywizard

Well-known Member
I have the American 4K disc and I can honestly say I didn't like the presentation at all (though I do like the film a lot). Thanks for the in-depth look at the picture side of things in this review, Cas. Sounds like it's definitely an upgrade. I will think about it. :D
 

Drongo

Well-known Member
I think it’s quite easy to work out the merits (or otherwise) of the different versions of Watchmen.

The Theatrical Cut, avoid, it’s pointless.

The Directors Cut, well worth watching if you are not familiar with the graphic novel or are familiar with the graphic novel, but don’t like the ‘story within a story’ concept.

The Ultimate Cut is the definitive version for fans of the graphic novel.

I have the USA version of the UHD but find it a pretty mediocre “upgrade” over the Blu-Ray. In some places, it’s actually worse than the Blu-Ray. I may get the new UHD version if I’m persuaded that it’s sufficiently improved, but I’m dubious that will happen.
 

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