DVD RATING: C- (Skip It)
Tales of the Black Freighter is a companion release to correspond with the theatrical release of Watchmen. An animated narrative of the comic within the comic that appeared in the Watchmen graphic novel, Freighter is a skillfully animated short. A cross between Dante’s Inferno and Pirates of the Caribbean, the film is a gruesome account of one mans survival amid isolation. The moral of the tale indirectly mirrors the storylines of Veidt and Manhattan in Watchmen; a man pushed to the limits of exile who is acting with the blind hope of staving off disaster.
While the animation is well done and the voice work by Gerard Butler is adequate, the film is only 22 minutes long, and feels like a waste of a DVD. To make up for the length, producers have added a 35 minute special called Under the Hood. Under the Hood is a retro take on a Sixty-Minutes type news program, and acts as an exposé on the original Watchmen, the Minutemen. Under the Hood drags through boring interviews with characters from the film, and seems like it exists as nothing but filler to give producers an excuse to release the 22 minute Freighter with some additional nerd alluring meat. Tales of the Black Freighter is an entertaining short, it would be a great extra feature once Watchmen comes out on DVD, but by itself it seems to be nothing more than a capitalist venture.