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    Theatrical vs. Director's cuts

    Which director's cuts of films did you think were better than the theatrical cuts and vice versa?

    I thought the Director's cut of Donnie Darko was better than the theatrical version. It's a slow and ponderous film to begin with, but the DC allows you to appreciate the philospohical conundrums of the movie. I really liked the use of the title title cards.

    The DC of The Exorcist, on the other hand, was just plain awful. The additions didn't make any sense. Chris Macneil's reaction to Regan's urinating on the carpet was perfect in the original, but when you add the spider walk to it, her reaction is ludicrous. Any mother (and the people at the party) would be freaking out by seeing that.

    And the Complete and Uncut version of The Stand was...wait a minute, that wasn't a movie.
    Last edited by srboone; 08-10-2011, 01:02 PM.
    "I'm a vegan. "

    ---Kirby Bliss Blanton , The Green Inferno (2013)

    #2
    Asian movies do this a lot. There will be an "international version" which may be shorter or have a more upbeat ending or otherwise try to adjust for what they assume U.S. or European audiences want. Sometimes, some of the more esoteric cultural or historical references are left out of the international version.

    I assume that the director has some sort of control over this, as opposed to films that get hacked up by a U.S. distributor (see many Jackie Chan or Jet Li movies).

    Think of the movie Righting Wrongs. Very good Hong Kong modern action/martial arts starring Yeun Baio and Cynthia Rothrock. Do you want an ending where the "good guys" live or the good guys die? Take your pick, as there are two versions.

    Another interesting example is the fantasitic Hong Kong movie Infernal Affairs . The original ending was, let's say, along the lines of "he got away with it." However, in mainland China the government did not like the ending and felt that there had to be the proper comeuppance, so an alternate ending was filmed and shown there.

    Korean movies often have several versions. For example, The Good, the Bad, and the Weird (a really fun flick!) has Korean and International versions. Likewise, Daisy. Sometimes I think the director can't leave well enough alone. One of my favorite Korean melodramas is A Moment to Remember. The Korean Special edition DVD set has the theatrical version but also a "Director's Cut" that is substantially longer and (to me) adds nothing in the way of improvement.

    I'm sure I can think of more examples but longer is not necessarily better, unless of course the shorter release was done over the objections of the director who has to wait for the DVD release to set things right.

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      #3
      My favorite Director's Cut is The Abyss, which is a much better version of the movie. When the budget went out of control, the studio/producers cut Cameron off and he wasn't able to work on the effects for the climax of the movie. It led to a confusing ending, and dangling subplots (the whole WW III thing). When Cameron finally got the cash (I think for the laserdisc release) he got ILM to do the effects and finally got the movie he wanted to make in the first place.
      "Dance until your feet hurt. Sing until your lungs hurt. Act until you're William Hurt." - Phil Dunphy ("Modern Family"), from Phil's-osophy.

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        #4
        I'm a huge fan of the Halloween movie franchise, so when Rob Zombie released his remake or re-imagining or whatever Hollywood is calling them these days, I very much wanted to head out to the cinema and see it on the big screen. But my daughter was still an infant at the time, so I waited (not so patiently) for its DVD release.

        At the time of the pre-order, I noticed that the theatrical and a director's cut of the film would be available simultaneously. Now, generally, I go for the director's cut because in the horror genre those versions tend to reveal the director's true vision of a film before the rating's board gets its conservative little hands on it. Anyway, unable to decide, I bought both versions.

        When they arrived, I decided to watch the theatrical version first. And I was extremely disappointed. Pretty much the reaction I'd anticipated because just a couple years previous to that, I'd vowed to never ever watch a remake of my favorite film of all time: Halloween (1978).

        A week later, I figured I'd watch the director's cut of the remake just to get it out of the way so I could move on to other movies waiting in the wings. Much to my delight and surprise, I was blown away by this version of the film. It seemed to retain some of the flavor of the original while at the same time adding something new to the franchise reboot. So my affinity for director's cuts grew.

        Until I viewed the director's cut of Paranormal Activity 2 a couple months ago. Now, I haven't bothered to use the time to watch the theatrical version yet, but what a stinker compared to the first PA. Very slow and tedious and ultimately suspense- and scare-free.

        Since then, I've developed a new philosophy regarding this conundrum. I'll purchase and watch the director's cut of a film only if I'm very familiar with the director's previous works. Otherwise, I'll stick with the theatrical version.
        "Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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          #5
          Back in those long ago laserdic days, I was really into special editions/director cuts/loads-of-extras/etc/etc/etc.
          Over the years, I've just lost interest. I do not waych any extra's, can't bear to listen to commentaries and couldn't care less about director cuts.
          I do make an exception for some of my all-time favorites though: the Lord of the Rings trilogy, anything James Cameron, Ridley Scott's science fiction movies, and finally, Streisand.

          sk

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            #6
            Streisand? The last film of hers I liked was What's up Doc with Ryan O'Neil; but I'm not hankerin' for a director's cut...
            "I'm a vegan. "

            ---Kirby Bliss Blanton , The Green Inferno (2013)

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              #7
              The Director's Cuts of Brazil, Dark City, and Natural Born Killers all vastly improve on the studio cuts (IMO).

              I have to disagree with the DC of Donnie Darko, though. I disliked the changes to the soundtrack and thought many of the changes in the DC took away from the original cut's mystique. I saw the original cut in the theater several times when it was initially released (without knowing much about it aside from the glowing recommendation of a friend who'd seen it previously), so it's possible that could have colored my opinion.

              The thing I liked the most about the original cut was that it didn't spell everything out for you; it rewarded repeat viewings and discussions with others, much in the same way that David Lynch's films do.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by srboone View Post
                Streisand? The last film of hers I liked was What's up Doc with Ryan O'Neil;
                Your loss.....

                sk

                Comment


                  #9
                  Well, there was "Mecha-Steisand" in a 1st season episode of South Park...
                  Last edited by srboone; 08-11-2011, 10:24 PM.
                  "I'm a vegan. "

                  ---Kirby Bliss Blanton , The Green Inferno (2013)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Ah, yes, those guys really love her.
                    Well, they're my idols, King and Streisand.
                    The best.

                    sk

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by frik51 View Post
                      Ah, yes, those guys really love her.
                      Well, they're my idols, King and Streisand.
                      The best.
                      Ugh, Siep. And I was starting to like you. One of those I love, the other just turns my stomach.
                      "Dance until your feet hurt. Sing until your lungs hurt. Act until you're William Hurt." - Phil Dunphy ("Modern Family"), from Phil's-osophy.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by TerryE View Post
                        Ugh, Siep. And I was starting to like you. One of those I love, the other just turns my stomach.
                        Maybe Streisand is to the Netherlands what Hasselhoff is to Germany.... lol
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                          #13
                          Originally posted by TerryE View Post
                          Ugh, Siep. And I was starting to like you. One of those I love, the other just turns my stomach.
                          Haha, I'm still the same me, though.
                          Hope your stomach has settled a bit...

                          sk

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Dan Hocker View Post
                            Maybe Streisand is to the Netherlands what Hasselhoff is to Germany.... lol
                            Nah - he's got no talent.
                            Barbra has been at the top for five decades.

                            sk

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by frik51 View Post
                              Nah - he's got no talent.
                              Barbra has been at the top for five decades.
                              sk
                              And she's phenomenal as a singer and showperson, just like Barry Manilow. I just like her better as a performer than a director or actress.
                              "I'm a vegan. "

                              ---Kirby Bliss Blanton , The Green Inferno (2013)

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