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Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter & Under the

The DVD companion piece to the 2009 graphic novel to film adaptation.

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Excellent Features, But Rent, Don't Buy.

  • Apr 1, 2009
There are all kinds of things that make WATCHMEN a unique graphic novel. One thing is the comic book story within the comic, TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER. Even though the comic within the comic is important to WATCHMEN, it's not crucial to the story's plot. However, Zach Snyder really was dedicated to bringing the complete novel to life and had TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER filmed separately as an animated short. The short follows the story from the comic extremely well. Also included on the DVD is the faux television newsmagazine, the Culpepper Minute, which takes a retrospective look at Hollis Mason and his best-selling memoir, "Under the Hood". Great care was taken to put these features in their proper perspective of the greater world of WATCHMEN.

As a fan of both the graphic novel and the movie, I really enjoyed both TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER and UNDER THE HOOD. However, after watching the "Story Within a Story: The Books of Watchmen" I learned that the directors cut DVD of WATCHMEN will include TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER interspersed between the action of the film, just as it is the book. While I was excited to learn about this, I was disappointed that the studio and filmmakers released this DVD as a separate DVD and are selling it for the price of a two-disc full-length animated film (on average $20). If you're a fan of the movie and comic, these features are worth watching, but they aren't worth the DVD is currently selling for.

Besides TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER, UNDER THE HOOD, and the "Story Within a Story" featurette, the DVD also includes the first episode of the Watchmen Motion Comic as well as a preview for the upcoming Green Lantern DVD.

TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER is a wonderful supplement that fans of the movie and comic will enjoy. Not only that, but animation fans will probably even enjoy watching TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER just on its own merits. However, all of the "features" on this DVD are really just extras that shouldn't have been sold separately and just included on the WATCHMEN DVD. Instead of buying this DVD, rent it and when the WATCHMEN DVD is released buy that.

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review by . April 28, 2009
By this point we all know about the new live action super hero movie, Watchmen. We have all experienced the hype around it and even if we haven't seen it yet, we all have the urge to see it eventually. Those who, like me, have not read the comics will be very unaware as to what "Tales of the Black Freighter" is all about.    Within the comics, Tales of the Black Freighter is told as a comic within a comic which within the Watchmen series is known as "Marooned". This short animation …
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About this movie


When filmmaker Zack Snyder realized that he could not include two important segments of Alan Moore's story in his 2009 film adaptation of Watchmen, he decided that the best way to tell these stories and satisfy fans was to release them on DVD. The two segments will be animated. Tales of the Black Freighter chronicles a desperate sailor whose ship is attacked by savage pirates and in his attempts to survive and race home to rescue his family, he descends into violent savagery that is not only self-destructive but also endangers the very people that he wishes to protect. Under the Hood is based upon the fictitious auto-biography of Hollis Mason, a costumed vigilante best known as the original Nite Owl, and details his career as a superhero before retiring and becoming a car mechanic.

Now, as promised the DVD makes its way to stores on March  24th and will feature the voice talents of Gerard Butler, who had previously starred in 300, which was also directed by Zack Snyder.
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Genre: Animation
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 26 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Independent, DC Comics, DC Studios
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