Harry lets TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER and UNDER THE HOOD play out before his eyes!
Published at: March 10, 2009, 8:41 a.m. CST by headgeek
WATCHMEN: TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER & UNDER THE HOOD
In total - there's over an hour or so worth of content on this DVD. I think that a lot of you will probably pass this release, hoping that this content will appear on some miraculous future WATCHMEN ultimate edition - and you're probably right - you'll most likely put this on a Netflicks queue before then though - and you definitely should.
I put this in at approximately 5am this morning - and it absolutely riveted me.
Upon unsheathing the disc from the case, I instantly chose to see UNDER THE HOOD - as I hadn't heard how that would be adapted. I quickly found out. It is in the form of a pre-Keene Act news program that was about Superheroes / Masked Heroes in America. It has lengthy interviews with Hollis Mason and Sally Jupiter, and newsreel footage of the various members of the Minutemen doing their thing. This is all WATCHMEN mega-geek overload stuff. Completely authentic feeling. The news show was very faithfully created and is critical of Hollis' book and heroes themselves. Interviewing people on the street about their thoughts and some surprising Watchmen side characters show up to talk as well! I found this very satisfying. It runs a shave over 37 minutes.
Then there's TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER. I fucking loved it! Atmospheric, haunting, creepy and a fantastic short film all on its own. I wish that they'd hold the DVD release - and release this first in a select few theaters for Academy Qualification.
TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER is very faithfully adapted - featuring the voice of Gerard Butler as the castaway. The feeling I got watching it (saw it 3 times tonight) is of a lost Poe or Lovecraft or EC story. The parallels and metaphoric references are all in there to work as a companion to the WATCHMEN universe, but better than that - this 21 minute animated short film is absolutely a solid work in and of itself. At points it feels very Graham Ingels or Bernie Wrightson. I love that this is hand animation at work, because it literally brings that comic to life. The score helps to enhance the fear - but Butler sounds like a man on the brink of insanity - clawing at reality as it tears upon his fingertips.
The shark attack on the raft... Quint will die - and all JAWS fans and shark attack junkies should love it as well. This short film is R-rated and uncompromising in its conveyance of dread and melancholy. It is perfect.
The only significant special Feature is the STORY WITHIN A STORY: THE BOOKS OF WATCHMEN - which is a very nice feature about why Zack felt it was important to give life to these two parts of the WATCHMEN story, which so many would have thought instantly eliminated from consideration. You'll find Len Wein and Dave Gibbons throughout this doc - along with various members of Zack's creative team - and lots of behind the scenes footage. It runs about 25 minutes. So in all this whole package is about an hour and a half - not counting the GREEN LANTERN preview or the 1st chapter of the Motion Comic for the WATCHMEN.
I'd say this. If you loved WATCHMEN this weekend - then this is definitely worth picking up. It really made me want to go back and watch the film again for a fourth time!