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The Warriors (DC)
DVD disk
Oct 21, 2005 By: Matt Hosack
The Warriors (DC) order
Director:
Walter Hill

Actors:
Michael Beck
James Remar
Dorsey Wright

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In 1979, director Walter Hill released a unique film that embodied the rebel sentiments of an era, spawned a cult following, and kicked ass doing it. On the streets of New York, thousands of gangs have assembled to hear the words of a man named Cyrus. Something goes terribly wrong and the Coney Island Warriors find themselves being hunted by ruthless cops and gangs. Now, they have to fight for their lives to get back home. They’ve got one chance. They’ve got ONE night. The Warriors.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Warriors Exposed - the truth behind the Ultimate Director’s Cut. This version turns out to be one of the biggest shams in recent memory. More on that in a second, first let’s talk about the film. This is one of those few films that define the epitome of cool. The basic structure provides oodles of action, tension, and suspense. The Warriors are far from home and they must progressively encounter tougher enemies along the way. What really sets THE WARRIORS apart from other films is that it was shot entirely on New York locations with the exception of one scene. Also, the characters are varied and fun to watch. The made leader, Swan (Michael Beck) has a cold, calculation to him; while the muscle, Ajax (James Remar), is all about kicking ass. Every scene and situation is different from the last: from the encounter with the Yankees on coke Furies to the group’s encounter with the Lizzies. Smart dialogue also adds to the fun with lines like “can you dig it!” and “why are we standing here like a bunch of fagots.” A rocking score and exciting brawls all add to one hell of a viewing experience. If anything, you need to see this movie just for Luther’s (David Patrick Kelly) famous chant, “Warriors, come out to play!” Trust me, you’ll be reciting this tune long after you’ve finished the movie.

Having said all that, this particular “ultimate” version is a bunch of horse sh*t! All Mr. Hill did was cut a few minutes out of the original and slap in some really annoying comic book transitions. At first, these seemed cool but they seriously hinder the film after a while. The only other “change” made is a narration likening the Warriors to the ancient Greeks. So, basically this is the exact same version as the original, but made worse by distracting “Grand Theft Auto”-like transitions. I seriously hope that Rockstar (game publisher) didn’t have anything to do with this because I will personally kick their ass! It’s also coincidental that their game is being released around the same time. All of this to say, that you should definitely stick to the original version that’s already out there.
THE EXTRAS
This Ultimate version of THE WARRIORS DVD features some fun bonus features. I was rather disappointed at the lack of commentary though. Especially, since I needed an in-depth explanation on why we need this “cut.” Also beware those infamous tabs and cardboard shell around the DVD’s case.

Introduction by Walter Hill: This is pretty much our only real chance to hear from the man himself because there is no commentary. He basically recites the usual spiel about how you probably won’t like this version (which I didn’t) but that he’s throwing it out there. The only bit of interest he shares is correlating the Warriors to a legend of Greeks behind enemy lines.

The Warriors: The Beginning: This feature starts off a small series of slickly produced EPKs. By and large, its fun to see the origins from the book to the studio’s pressing for a white cast. The interviews are done very well and are pretty informative. It was also nice to hear from everybody, which is sometimes unusual. This is as good as it gets for an EPK!

The Battleground: This segment covers the actual filming of THE WARRIORS in New York. Various crew reminisce about their experiences of this “rough” shoot. A lot of focus is place on the difficulties of night shooting, the subway, and directing a riot gone wrong. More of the same really.

The Way Home: Various gang types are covered. Everyone talks about the Furies being their favorite gang. You learn how they came to be from the Yankee gear to Kurosawa inspirations. Mention is also made about the one set (the bathroom) that was used. The best part is seeing how the “come out to play” came about.

The Phenomenon: The best part of this bit is being able to see the only deleted scene from the film, which starts off at Coney Island in the day. Also the composer talks about The Eagles taking their song. Another cool bit is talk about Orson Welles narrating the beginning. Post reactions cap things off. I would have like to have seen more reactions from famous fans like Public Enemy, etc.

Original Theatrical Trailer: This comes from back in the day when trailers were short and featured the balls-to-the-walls narrators. Great trailer!

There is also a collection of various advertisements. Yeah Rockstar, you’ll be hearing from me!
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
THE WARRIORS has been a cult favorite for decades for a reason. It’s a damn good movie. I personally prefer the original cut and would recommend that DVD to anyone over this version. Both versions are practically the same but this one has annoying transitions. The extra features are nice, but forgettable - it’s not worth the double dip! Ultimately, no matter which version you choose, buy this movie because the Warriors are coming out to play.
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