C'mon Hollywood #140

... Stop with the Director’s/Extended/Unrated cuts of films!
by Sturdy

Virtually every big DVD release these days has an alternate cut of the film available. Sometimes they label these “Director’s cuts” which implies this was the version of the film the director would have liked to release in the theaters, but couldn’t for whatever reason. Other times they call it an “Extended cut” which implies we’re getting additional, exclusive footage put back in the film for whatever reason. Then there’s the “Unrated edition” which simply means it hasn’t been rated by the MPAA, despite what the advertisements try to make you believe.

There are many annoying things about these alternate cuts of the film, but the biggest question I have is; why didn’t we get this version to begin with? If this is the “Director’s cut”, then why didn’t the director do it right the first time? If studios are pushing for a certain rating, as in the case with LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD, then the studios need to back off that demand. I can’t imagine a movie like DIE HARD is going to benefit that much from a PG-13 rating as opposed to an R rating. Granted the fourth one was more successful than the other sequels, but that probably had more to do with the fact it was a better film, not because of the rating. The studios need to let the directors have their creative freedom. If they’re cut gets an R rating, then let it be.

Bruce should have yelled “motherfu****” the first time. Period.

The extended and unrated cuts are also very annoying. Usually, the only thing being extended is the audience’s patience. It’s clear with films like THE BOURNE IDENTITY that these “extended” cuts are merely a ploy to get customers to buy the same film twice. The “unrated” cuts are just as bad. Let’s review what “unrated” actually means. It means the film wasn’t submitted to the MPAA for rating. That means that you could take a five second clip of leaves blowing in the wind, splice it in the middle of I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY and call it “unrated”. Of course, you’d sell the “unrated” label hard by showing a big picture of Jessica Biel with the word “unrated” across her chest. How many films have done crap like this? How many of us bought the “unrated” version of MR. AND MRS. SMITH hoping to see more of Brad Pitt…err…Angelina jolie?

Ahh…what could have been.

The guys whose films have received the biggest shaft out of this whole “extended/unrated cut” deal, are the films of Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow. I’m not going to question their comedic genius because every movie they’ve touched recently has been hilarious, but the extended/unrated cuts of all of their films have actually hindered the film. I can’t believe the extended/unrated version is what they really wanted. I get frustrated with them because I see a movie like KNOCKED UP at the theater and laugh my ass off. Then I show it to my friends on DVD and they give me a big “it was funny, but way too long”. I thought it was a little long originally and there was no need for even more footage to be put in.

It was still funny, just a little too long.

So c’mon Hollywood, drop the extended/unrated/director’s cut versions of films. If the director wants a certain cut of the film, let them have it. Don’t sell us lame extended/unrated versions just to milk a little more money out of us. If you have additional footage, show it in deleted scenes, not cut back into the movie. Finally, if you absolutely HAVE to give us an extended/unrated cut of a film, at least give us the original cut on the same disc.

Tags: Hollywood



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