Search - Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter & Under the Hood on DVD

Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter & Under the Hood
Watchmen Tales of the Black Freighter Under the Hood
Actor: Gerard Butler
Genres: Action & Adventure, Animation
NR     2009     0hr 26min

Theyre in the book. And on this disc. From the director of Watchmen and 300 come two tales from the celebrated graphic novel that do not appear in the extraordinary Watchmen Theatrical Feature. Tales of the Black Freighter...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Gerard Butler
Genres: Action & Adventure, Animation
Sub-Genres: Superheroes, Animation
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Animated
DVD Release Date: 03/24/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 0hr 26min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Movie Reviews

Watchmen bonus features.
trashcanman | Hanford, CA United States | 03/24/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Is "Tales of the black Freighter" a very cool animated short film and a fantastic companion to the Watchmen film? Yes. Should it have been sold as a separate full-priced DVD altogether? No way. What this is is essentially a disc of bonus features marked up to the price of a feature film. This is no bueno. I was looking forward to a fleshed-out version of the story with tons of great material, but unfortunately there is very little on this release that you haven't seen if you've read the graphic novel.

The feature tale is 25 minutes long, looks cool, and has all the brutality of the comic and maybe even more. But God, do I hate me some roaring sharks. Filmmakers, take heed: SHARKS DO NOT ROAR! That aside, the film is good and would have made an amazing bonus feature on the double-disc DVD release of "Watchmen", but packaged by itself, it just isn't enough. Even when thrown together with a 37 minute live-action interview featuring cast members from the film discussing the original Nite Owl's tell-all autobiography "Under The Hood" it's not enough. The contents of "Under The Hood" is mostly just a reiteration of things from the graphic novel and even some redundancy from the film. Again, an outstanding bonus feature, but not worth a lot by itself. It's nice to get more Carla Gugino without that awful aging makeup, though. Also featured is a half-hour documentary about the projects, and a 10 minute preview of the promising "Green Lantern" animated feature. All good, but one more time: it all amounts to nothing more than a disc of bonus features that should have been saved for the "Watchmen" DVD release.

If you are a complete rabid maniac over anything "Watchmen"-related then by all means, pick this up. But know what you are getting. This is not a feature-length release that will substantially enrich your appreciation of the film. It's more of a cash-in to scrape some capital from the hardcore fans while they await the real DVD. I would recommend a rent for this if you're really itching to see it like I was because I for one would have been seriously bent if I'd spent $15 on it. It's definitely worth seeing because it is a very well done animated version of the comic within the comic, but as a full-priced standalone release it reeks like a boat built out of corpses. If I were you, I'd wait until it's packaged with the film before buying.

2 1/2 stars, rounded down for taking advantage of the film's supporters."
Borne on the Naked Backs of Murdered Men
C. Sawin | TX | 03/21/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Tales of the Black Freighter was a story within a story in the Watchmen graphic novel. A young black man visits a newspaper stand everyday and reads comic books without paying for them. A pirate story bled through the pages and introduced the reader to a man who had lost his entire crew thanks to the attack of the Black Freighter. He decides to head home in hopes of warning the people before the Black Freighter makes it to his town. After making his way back to shore, he uses the corpses of his crew to make a raft and sets out to sea. He winds up going mad in the process as the Freighter impairs his judgement of what's truly fantasy and what is actually reality.

The storyline was almost identical with the source material in this animated feature. The only issue I had was the character design. Everything else looked fantastic and was animated beautifully. The sky was incredibly vibrant the entire time and the sea looked almost lifelike at times. The characters were animated rather poorly, in my opinion though. It may just be the design, but their quality looked poor and their animation wasn't up to par in comparison to everything else around them. Reminded me a bit of the character designs in Aeon Flux. All in all, it's well worth seeing. But it's rather short as it only clocks in at around twenty one minutes without the credits.

Under the Hood is the autobiography of Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl. It's basically his version of the events that transpired during the time he was a superhero and was a part of the Minutemen. There's a feature devoted solely to this autobiography on the Black Freighter DVD.

The feature is basically a live-action documentary of Hollis Mason/Nite Owl being interviewed about Under the Hood and everything he included in his book. It also focuses heavily on the Minutemen, the original team of superheroes from the thirties. Sally Jupiter/Silk Spectre and Edward Jacobi/Moloch are also in it quite a bit. There's even a brief cameo from The Comedian. It's really just a companion piece to the film that sheds a bit more light on characters that were only briefly touched on in the actual Watchmen film. A must see for anyone who was a fan of the film.

Rating: 7/10"
A great Follow Up to the Graphic Novel and Movie
Gareth Mc Bride | Lynnwood, WA United States | 03/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Following on the smash success of "Watchmen" Warner Brothers Premiere has released "Tales of the Black Freighter" on DVD and Blue Ray. The features laden set is truly impressive an tells the story within a story of The Black Freighter in an animated format. Fans of the graphic novel Watchmen will remember that the newsstand owner had a patron who would read a pirate adventure and that the savage tale also served as a counter point to the events happening in the Watchmen universe.

The animated feature is voiced by Gerard Butler and tells the story of a captain who is the lone survivor of an assault by a mysterious freighter. Convinced that the freighter is headed to his home, the captain faces a series of ghastly challenges to stay alive and return home. As the obstacles mount, the captain slowly starts to lose his grip on reality which leads to a startling finale.

The top flight animation serves the episode well as does Butler's solid voice work. The episode is briskly paced and runs in at roughly 3o minutes.

Another feature of the set is the Under the Hood segment which tells the story of the original Night Owl Hollis Mason and provides a background on the world of the Watchmen. Done in the format of a television interview show, the great segment features characters from the film as they tell the story of the original Night Owl and the formation of The Minutemen and Watchmen as well as the villains they faced and the pending Keane Act.
This was a fantastic and unexpected feature of the disc and when combined with the look at the upcoming Green lantern DVD made this collection an absolute gem.
Very, very good
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 03/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Despite its flaws, I enjoyed Zack Snyder's adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' classic Watchmen, and I wholeheartedly believe that Snyder's interpretation of the material is the most faithful film adaptation that there could have been. Case in point, Tales of the Black Freighter, which takes the comic within the comic read by the young man at the news stand, and transforms it into an animated tale. Featuring the voice of Gerard Butler, Tales of the Black Freighter is beautifully animated and wonderfully done overall, with enough attention paid to it to make it as relevant to the film as the story was to the comic it appeared in. Even better however is the Under the Hood documentary, derived from the prose sections of Watchmen that bookended each chapter in the story, and features Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl, detailing past events. There's a lot to enjoy here with this DVD, however considering that Snyder will eventually re-edit into his Ultimate Director's Cut of Watchmen somewhere down the line, there really isn't much point in picking this up. Despite that though, whether you are a longtime Watchmen lover or are a newcomer thanks to the film, Tales of the Black Freighter & Under the Hood are definitely worth seeing at the very least, and if this doesn't strengthen the idea that Snyder truly does appreciate the material he's drawn from, then nothing ever will."