Jackie Earle Haley plays the masked hero Rorschach in "Watchmen.”
This week’s batch of new DVDs is anchored by two fantasy films, each one aimed at a different audience. One is a stop-motion effort that’s spooky yet family friendly. The other is an R-rated comic book adaptation that is high minded and for adults only.
Malin Akerman, left, and Patrick Wilson play superheroes in "Watchmen."
3 stars (out of four)
Rated R for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language
“Watchmen” may be a superhero movie, but it’s got more in common with “Sin City” and “V for Vendetta” than the traditional caped crusader flick. That’s because it’s dark, gritty and built around a traditional detective story. It’s also because the movie is based on a graphic novel written by Alan Moore, who also penned “Vendetta.”
SAN FRANCISCO — The road to the “Watchmen” movie was long, bumpy and routed through rugged, unfamiliar territory. That it finally opened in theaters at midnight Thursday brings that road to an end. But one question still burns: Are audiences ready for an R-rated superhero spectacle that has been described by some as unfilmable?
“There are a lot of reasons, I think, why the movie didn’t get made up until now,” director Zack Snyder said during an interview last week at the WonderCon comic convention in San Francisco. “(Producer) Larry Gordon said, ‘It’s not unfilmable, it’s unfinanceable,’ which I thought was a really interesting distinction. … Culture, I hope, is ready for ‘Watchmen’ now.”