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Watchmen Motion Comic (Blu-ray)
Forget iTunes, watch it on Blu-ray!
By Robert T. Trate
March 03, 2009
Rorschach from the Motion Comic and three other DC Comics properties that hopefully will get the same treatment.
© Warner Home Video
At the 2007 San Diego Comic Con G4’s Attack of the Show host, Kevin Pereira, showed the world the Watchmen Motion Comic for the iPod/ iPhone for the very first time. The hype machine started rolling with this free first episode download. Eventually you could download the entire comic for $1.99 per episode. I thought about it and was ready to do it, figuring that on the eve of the Watchmen premiere I would wait in line and watch it. Boy, am I glad I didn’t. For as great as it was, it was still only as big as my iPod screen.
After watching the Watchmen Motion Comic on Blu-ray one cannot help but wonder why DC Comics and Warner Brothers didn’t give this a bigger treatment. To see this on a big screen at the Cineplex would have been an incredible experience. Now I know they wouldn’t run it for weeks upon end but why not a one night only event? The running time of five hours and twenty-five minutes is a bit much but after watching it on my HD TV I feel the need to see it even bigger, louder and with an audience. Sure that experience will happen at the theater but the motion comic is Alan Moore’s work unspoiled. Each line of dialogue is contained and each one of Dave Gibbons’ panels is brilliantly captured. Already my mind is scheming to get this on the big screen. But how?
If you didn’t watch it on iTunes and you are ready to give Warner Brothers even more money this week, as you can tell, Watchmen Motion Comic doesn’t disappoint, it is worth the purchase. Despite the fact that the “motion” rivals the old Marvel cartoons of the late 1960s the animation is fun and a great way to tell the story. Shockingly enough are how some panels literally look alive. Most noticeably are Dr. Manhattan’s, “I said leave me alone!”, scream and Rorschach’s unmasking by the police. Both scenes not only capture the moment perfectly but reveal the true emotion behind the characters.
The whole comic is solely narrated by Tom Stechschulte. It follows the tradition of all audio books where one person acts out all of the characters. This might deter some, especially when he does the Silk Spectre, however his Rorschach is spot on and makes it totally worth it. The music for the complete series fits perfectly. What is amazing is that this score, for a motion comic, is reminiscent of the old Hollywood film noirs of the past. It’s simplistic and yet has a mysterious tone that goes hand in hand with the characters unraveling the mystery of who killed the Comedian.
There are some bare bone special features included on the Blu-ray. One of Dave Gibbons’ video production diaries is included. Something that is easily accessible on the Watchmen movie website. There is also the Wonder Woman (released today) sneak peek included that was on Batman-Gotham Knight DVD. There was promise of an exclusive Watchmen scene via BD-Live but it has yet to materialize. What is really missing is all the supplemental material that Moore included after each comic. Newspaper articles, “Under the Hood” and journals are all absent from the motion comic. Despite them not being drawn in comic book panel form they are nonetheless a part of the book and should still be included.
This is a great tie-in and yet another outlet to get Alan Moore’s work out there. Unfortunately, like the film (his choice), his name has been left off the motion comic as well. For someone that has read the Watchmen a few times this was an incredible way to experience it all over again. Though I can’t help but feel that Warner Brothers and DC Comics missed the boat on doing this for V For Vendetta. Imagine it read completely by Hugo Weaving. I am sure that we’ll see Frank Miller’s Ronin in motion comic form soon. If this becomes the new tie-in for the comic book blockbuster then I’ll happily fork over my dough. It certainly beats the rock and roll crap fest soundtrack and pays better homage to what we have all come to appreciate in the first place, the comic book.
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