New on Blu-ray: Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter


If you’ve read the graphic novel and seen the film adaptation, you may be wondering what happened to a couple of key elements from the book. Don’t fret; the filmmakers are taking care of you.

Tales of the Black Freighter is Alan Moore’s richly layered story-within-a-story. The disconcerting pirate saga’s events parallel those in the Watchmen’s world. The animated account of a shipwrecked pirate (voiced by Gerard Butler) desperate to get home and save his family from a perceived and imminent danger is striking. The narrative is the comic story in action and Butler’s gruff speech is perfect to breathe life into this turbulent tale.

Hollis Mason’s Tell-All: Under the Hood is also included in the release. Actors from the Watchmen movie appear in the live-action/CGI revelation. The 1975 exposé is based on Nite Owl’s firsthand account of how the superpower-less heroes came into being. Larry Culpepper (Ted Friend), of “The Culpepper Minute,” interviews Mason (Stephen McHattie) and Sally Jupiter a.k.a. Silk Spectre (Carla Gugino) about their time with the hooded adventurers’ circuit. Of course, Sally’s agent Lawrence Shexnayder (Frank Cassini) is sure to have his say too.

This Blu-ray release is a must-have for any Watchmen fan. These short films complete the Watchmen story, as well as the motion picture experience. Both are look exceptional, as the animation strikes a balance between horrific and stunning; while the throwback tell-all captures the atmosphere and character reactions to the experience.

The special features include a 25-minute featurette exploring how these stories expand the world of the Watchmen via interviews with the actors and filmmakers. There’s also a sneak peak at the upcoming animated Green Lantern, as well as the first episode of the Watchmen Motion Comic and a digital copy of the feature. BD Live exclusives include “The Why of Watchmen with Executive Producer and Director Zack Snyder” and additional footage from the Watchmen film not seen in theatres.

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