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Old 26th July 2003, 06:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

I remember a few years ago when Director's Cut was exactly what it said. Take, for example, Blade Runner: The Director's Cut ends up shifting the ending quite significantly.
Usually, the reason for the director's true vision not appearing on the silver screen as intended was running time...which is why most films are around two hours - allowing more than one showing in an evening.
Now, we get the film at the cinema, the film on DVD, the extended 'director's cut' usually follows later - forcing people who want the definitive version to buy it for a second time. And yet, in most cases now the director's cut adds very little to the film itself except running time.
It seems to me that the phrases 'Director's Cut' and 'extended version' are just new ways of making money.....which begs the question: If this is so, then are we being sold short at the cinema?
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Old 26th July 2003, 08:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re:Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

Certainly the "Director's Cut" has become a marketing tool. I guess the early success and fame of cuts such as Ridley Scott's awaoke Hollywood up to the sales potential - of putting out purposefully slashed films simply to push a second version. I guess it's like remixes of pop music.

I was quite pee'd off when I bought Fellowship of the Ring, only to find an advert for an extended version of the film. I haven't bought the extended set (yet?) and certainly won't be buying any Two Towers releases until I'm sure I've got the full show. In fact, it may be worth waiting until the final 3-film boxed set is released, just in case there are any more suprises.

Really, the whole issue of Director's Cut is bound to create a backlash - after all, if only the Director's Cut is worth buying, then why should anyone buy the first "cut" release?

Are there many "Director Cut" versions actually worth looking out for? Certainly the Bladerunner one was interesting. On that count, though, I'm a complete heretic and am very happy with the original - the overdubbing helps bring an extra dimension to the characters, and helps push the noir detective feel intended - not to mention the fact that you really can't go wrong with Harrison Ford. We all enjoyed that film originally, which is precisely why it became an underground success in the first place! I'm not too concerned which version I see (though I'm really hoping one day to see a DVD release with both present, not to mention other features.)

But I digress.

Any specific Director's Cut editions to watch for? "Aliens" was one I never saw but should have - I've been thinking of looking for that on DVD recently. That has a good reputation, namely because it includes material quite important to the story and were pointlessly cut for quick and easy popcorn consumption.

But are there any others? Or is that ignorance and heresy (and bad memory!) surfacing again?




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Old 26th July 2003, 11:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re:Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

Many thanks for your thoughts on the subject. As a collector of films, I find it frustrating to buy one copy and then find a new version with extra footage of 'how it was meant to be seen'. It also brings into question the integrity of the distributors and makers. On the subject of a backlash - for me it has already happened: I positively refuse to buy another copy of LOTR no matter how much running time it has extra.
The best example of a film substantially changed by an extended version is probably Cinema Paradiso. It went from 2 hours to 4 hours in length and allowed the viewer to see the main character in a completely different light.
Certainly the Aliens extended footage is good entertainment but doesn't really add any extra dimensions to the film. Another of Cameron's (The Abyss) almost completely changes its meaning when you watch the extended version.
So, yes, there is a place for a director's cut - if that director feels that his film was unfairly hacked in the final production. The problem is identifying those that add that extra dimension and those that merely deepen the void that was once our bank accounts.
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Old 27th July 2003, 02:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re:Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

Aliens Director Cut had some small scenes removed. Ripley coming to terms with missing out on 50 years and her daughter growing old before her. It also had the big autocannons setup for protection about their perimeter before the aliens learn to move in 3-D. I don't remember much else. Made more sense.
I don't make a real issue of special editions. If the first version is rubbish there's no way I'm paying for a second version that could be the same!
Right about LOTR. A lot of people I know were pssed about the Fellowship release. I didn't buy the other either. I only nkow a few who have. They hurt themselves with that stunt.
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Old 27th July 2003, 09:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re:Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

It is for the most part a marketing technique. There are some films where the directors have been forced to make decisions they did not like. But that is the nature of film. It is a team event with team constraints and no one is allowed to be a creative prima donna. Some directors seem to think they are hard done by else the studio simply recognises the value of releasing a new remix. To compare a director reigned in with a director with power simply compare Lucas and Star Wars to Phantom Menace. Star Wars was better almost precisely because he was forced to compromise and consider other areas. The cast rewrote his dialogue. A director cut therefore cannot always be a good thing and will probably never see commercial release unless the studio smells money in it anyway.
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Old 29th October 2006, 05:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ;3082
It seems to me that the phrases 'Director's Cut' and 'extended version' are just new ways of making money.....which begs the question: If this is so, then are we being sold short at the cinema?
I agree. I see it as being pretty much like the "deleted scenes" extras they put on DVDs, those scenes were usually cut for a reason... No need (for the value of the film, that is) to put them back in.
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Old 29th October 2006, 06:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

On this one, the best advice I have is: find a reviewer for DVD releases that you trust, someone who does this either out of love for film or for a living, and get their opinion before buying. There are indeed plenty of them that are nothing more than cheapjack marketing tools, but there are still a fair number (especially with older films) where the "Director's Cut" makes substantial changes in the film, often for the better. With older films -- I mean classic films here -- often they were cut down over the years until large portions of the original release have gone missing (Lost Horizon, The Devil and Daniel Webster;aka All That Money Can Buy) and while these are generally labeled "restored" when all that (or what survives of it) is replaced, occasionally they have been labeled "director's cut" for one reason or another ... and this is the only way you'll ever see anything close to the film the way it was envisioned and originally released.

So -- find a knowledgeable source, and let them be your guide; or, where possible, rent the director's cut and compare for yourself.
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Old 29th October 2006, 06:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

I refuse to watch the theater versions of Lord of the Rings these days. The extended editions add so much subtlety to the story.

You could say the same about Kingdom of Heaven. The theater release was nothing but fighting, but the extended version, which added 47 minutes, were needed minutes. All the little dialog and happenings that made you care about the characters was in that version.

The original theater release of The Abyss had a really crappy ending. I was so mad I nearly asked for my money back at the movie theater. However, I enjoyed the rest of the movie, so that when the EE came out on DVD I snapped it up and enjoyed it immensely. The ending actually made sense this time!

I've only seen the version of Blade Runner where the narrator was deleted, so I can't say which of the current versions I like better.
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Old 30th October 2006, 06:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

Quote:
I refuse to watch the theater versions of Lord of the Rings these days. The extended editions add so much subtlety to the story.
Strangely enough, I'm the exact opposite. I refuse to watch (or more accurately - purchase) the extended versions on the grounds that, if this is what was meant to be seen, then it should have been released to the cinema going public. After all, these were the first people to gamble their cash and make the trilogy a success. I think that these people are the ones losing out.

A trip to the cinema is normally much more expensive than waiting for the DVD. When you take into account cost of travel, tickets, the inevitable popcorn, it seems to me that the least a cinema viewer should expect is the definitive version.
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Old 30th October 2006, 06:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

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Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
Strangely enough, I'm the exact opposite. I refuse to watch (or more accurately - purchase) the extended versions on the grounds that, if this is what was meant to be seen, then it should have been released to the cinema going public. After all, these were the first people to gamble their cash and make the trilogy a success. I think that these people are the ones losing out.

A trip to the cinema is normally much more expensive than waiting for the DVD. When you take into account cost of travel, tickets, the inevitable popcorn, it seems to me that the least a cinema viewer should expect is the definitive version.
With most films, I'd tend to agree with that. But, having watched American audiences, there is absolutely no way the mass of the audience would have sat through the things. Far too many people complained about the length of ROTK as is... and I've heard plenty of complaints about the length of the others, as well. Had they even attempted to put what became the extended version of FOTR out, it would have bombed over here. And, frankly, I've never much cared for the theatrical version myself, and would have preferred the extended version, so it's not a matter of preference. Much as I dislike this, looking at the attention span of the general movie-going audience, it's a matter of practicality as far as getting them to both sorts of audiences, really.

There have been a few theaters that, when the final film came out, booked extended versions of the other two as well, but only the true Tolkien fanatics tended to attend them. (I wish I could have gone, as there was such a showing here in Austin; but was unable to due to other commitments. Still, that would have been something like 10 or 11 hours at the theatre... a fair amount of time to be seated in one place!)
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Old 30th October 2006, 08:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

I am one of those people who do like the extended version for some films like all of the LOTR films... I love to watch them in their fullness
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Old 31st October 2006, 03:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

I'm with Carrie. I like the extended versions and Director's cuts of movies and will generally go out and buy then. There's a huge black market here for movies and everything is pirated and a lot of time given really daft censorship rules, I can't buy originals anyway. I tend to buy the new versions from the pirates and if I really like them, then I try to find originals when i travel abroad.

I've got the extended Lord of the Rings Movies and the longer versions of Abyss and Aliens. Found Cinema Paradiso at a pirates' store tucked away in a huge mall in Penang recently as well and yes, the extra footage makes a huge difference.
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Old 31st October 2006, 03:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

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Originally Posted by j. d. worthington View Post
There have been a few theaters that, when the final film came out, booked extended versions of the other two as well, but only the true Tolkien fanatics tended to attend them. (I wish I could have gone, as there was such a showing here in Austin; but was unable to due to other commitments. Still, that would have been something like 10 or 11 hours at the theatre... a fair amount of time to be seated in one place!)
I went to a double feature once when I was in about ninth grade...How the West Was Won and Gone With the Wind. That involved upwards of 8 hours in the theatre, including intermissions. It was a long, long time. However, I had walked in a parade that day, so I didn't mind sitting for that long. How the West Was Won wasn't so much of treat, as I'd seen it on the huge Cinerama screen not long after it was originally released. But Gone With the Wind, in it's umpteenth re-release on the big screan was a real treat.

And now, back to the topic at hand...Nesacat, The Abyss in its longer version is much, much better than the shorter version. A much underrated film, in my opinion. It's one of those films that I will drop anything to watch, given the opportunity.
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Old 31st October 2006, 03:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

I agree... The Abyss, with the extra footage, is almost an entirely different film. The same for Aliens, as we get the footage with Newt's family and see how the creatures first gained access to the colony (as well as getting a little more involved with her character and building that empathy -- already strong -- even more highly); as well as various other aspects of it (Ripley's grief at the death of her daughter, of course, plays even more into her determination to not fail Newt, etc. (Which, on a side note, makes the autopsy of Newt in the third film extremely painful to watch. I think I may be the only person I know who actually has a regard for that film, though I have trouble watching it... hits too close to home emotionally, in some ways -- personal stuff -- as, despite its flaws, I think it has a lot to offer. It's an extremely bleak film, though, with one of the grimmest messages of any film I can think of.)
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Old 4th November 2007, 07:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Director's Cut? Or am I just too cynical?

I know that some of you stated that it was nothing more than a mere marketing technique, but I think it's actually worth the purchase. Now that the legal issues have been dealt with, Ridley Scott was able to work on this greatly. Not only that, they redid the special effects which is going to look tons better. I think they're doing this more for the fans than the money itself (I'm sure Ridley Scott is living a comfortable life). I'm also really happy about this release because of all that they're doing for it. They're showing early releases of this in theaters (listed on the WB site) and they're holding a contest at bladerunnercontest.com where people submit original work to win an entertainment system. I'm a sucker for Director Cuts and what not, but I'm very excited about this one. I'm sure that the scenes they're going to add in are going to add to the film altogether and make it a better experience.
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