Starring: Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Louis Gossett Jr., Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Hong Chau
Created By: Damon Lindelof
Studio: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment/HBO
Buy On Amazon.com
I’ve heard the praising reviews of the Watchmen from some friends and critics but still kept myself out of the dark. I finally had a chance to watch the mini-series/limited series and thought it was excellent.
The Watchmen picks up 34 years after the events of the movie/comics. Masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws. The police must wear mask after getting targeted by a white supremacist group called the Seventh Kavalry years ago, who have returned. The focus on the series is with Sister Night (Regina King), a Tulsa detective who investigates the murder of a friend and her boss. She begins to uncover things about her boss, the Seventh Kavalry, a plot to kill Doctor Manhattan and she also finds out things about herself as well.
I didn’t know what to expect from watching The Watchmen. I sort of liked the movie but wasn’t a fan of Zach Synder’s style. There were certainly parts and characters I liked more than others. In the end, the movie was forgettable for me. Instead of watching Watchmen again and in a crunch of time, I just read the wiki on the movie to refresh my mind before watching this. Even though this isn’t a direct sequel to the film, it was still helpful getting back into this alternate universe. Of course, wikipedia being wikipedia, I got spoiled on a certain character’s true origin which pissed me off. Other than that, I went into this with a fresh mind and really enjoyed this limited series.
Watchmen felt more like a weird, fantasy cop show than a “comic book” series and I was perfectly fine with that. The cast was strong particularly Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Louis Gossett Jr., Jean Smart and Tim Blake Nelson. I’m sure comic purists will have issues with this (and of course, as usual, Alan Moore), but I liked the series a lot. Made me want to re-watch the movie and seek out the other cuts of the movie to see if I would enjoy it more. It seemed each character I liked, got an episode to be featured prominently and I think that method worked out. I’m still kind craving more scenes of Looking Glass and Laurie Blake. Kind of wish Don Johnson appeared in the series a little longer than he did. I guess he was sick of hanging around the set.
I enjoyed the aspect that the police had to wear masks and hide their true identities. Jokes on Watchmen, we all have to wear masks now! I thought it was great that Regina King was the main focus and she was pretty badass at times. I loved the scenes with Jeremy Irons. It took a little getting used to and to figure out what was going on but in the end, his stuff was great & weird. He really went for it with the role and hey, his character is a fan of reggae! Besides hearing some Desmond Dekker, I liked the usage of various classical pieces throughout the series. Beethoven’s Symphony No.7, Op.92 comes to mind. Sister Night’s “theme” from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross made her scenes even cooler too.
I thought the strongest episode was the backstory of the Hooded Justice. He wasn’t featured in this episode all that much (since it was his younger self) but man, it was good to see Louis Gossett Jr. again. I can’t remember the last thing I saw him in. The episode certainly feels relevant to what’s going on right now in the States on multiple fronts. In a way, I wouldn’t mind another series just on the original minutemen because that stuff was the most compelling to me. While others disagree, I thought the last few episodes tied everything all together on what was happening. Certainly made sense from a non-comic book reader perspective.
The Blu-Ray has a bunch of small featurettes which you can see in the list below. Some are the type that HBO plays in-between episodes or put on Youtube after the episodes. If you didn’t already see it or be there, there’s the 2019 New York Comic Con panel. Hey remember Comic conventions? I liked watching the featurettes after the series was done but they didn’t really offer up anything that special. The Blu-Ray comes with a digital code as well. The Blu-Ray quality was excellent and looked really crisp on my TV.
Watchmen, like the comic and movie, will be liked by many, hated by many and maybe there will be some people in between that. I thoroughly enjoyed the series and would have put it on my Year In Review list in 2019 if I watched it back last year. The acting was great, it was dark, it had it’s funny moments and it made me want more of it. Like come on, you can’t leave a series hanging like the way they did! We’ll see if HBO continues on without Damon Lindelof or not but either way, Watchmen was an interesting one and I recommend watching it.
EXCLUSIVE BLU-RAY/DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
• Hooded Justice
• The Colossal King – Adrian Veidt
ADDITIONAL SPECIAL FEATURES
• Watchmen: Unmasked
• 2019 New York Comic Con
• Watchmen: Masked and Dangerous
• Watchmen S1: Trailer
• Character Trailers: Sister Night, Blond Man and Looking Glass
• Becoming Sister Night
• Notes from the Watchmen graphic novel artist Dave Gibbons
• Rorschach Featurette
• Watchmen: Alternate History
• It’s Raining Squids
• Squid Shelter with Tim Blake Nelson
• Andrij Parekh on Directing
• Sadiqua Bynum runs, jumps and falls for Sister Night
• Anatomy of a Fight Scene
• Glimpses – The Visual Effects of Watchmen
DTS-HD Master Audio English 5.1 Dolby Digital
English SDH, French Subtitles
1080p High Definition
Bottom Line: A lot better than what I was expecting!
Running Time: 527 mins