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C'mon Hollywood #215

08.04.2009

...make the extra stuff worthwhile!
by J-A Hamilton

I miss the good ol' days when an uncut, unrated, extended or director’s cut version of a film actually meant something! My girlfriend ALWAYS curls her nose when I pick one of these up with the intent to buy it (especially if I already own the regular version). “What’s the difference?” she asks and (not so long ago), I was able to say “It’s got over a half hour of added movie baby!” I mean, hell, how can you argue when they add an extra thirty minutes to one of your favorite flicks? I certainly can’t. That said, is an extra five minutes a worthy cause or a slap in the face? I could tell you, but I think you already know.


Honestly, I don't know where half of this stuff comes from.

Some of the better examples I’ve found are DONNIE DARKO, DAREDEVIL, TROY and THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. Now when I see a tag promising “extra”, I WANNA SEE EXTRA DAMMIT! And by extra, I mean relevant material and not just an extra boob, bullet or patch of red (of course, those TOO are welcome, especially if we’re trudging through PG-13 territory). In the extended version of FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, Galadriel gives each hobbit a gift that pops up somewhere over the course of the three films, a noteworthy addition as without it the audience is left to ponder not only their relevance, but how they ended up with them in the first place.


But I don't want the STUPID ROPE!

A couple of other interesting cases are the unrated director’s cuts of PITCH BLACK and CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK. PITCH BLACK (one of my personal favs) was luckily rated R from jump street and as a result, ended up with a slim three minutes added (which in my opinion was a couple more “patches of red”). RIDDICK, on the other hand, got fourteen minutes which fans of the flick can easily spot by way of an added origin scene from RIDDICK’s past. Though I consider this scene valid, I can’t help but question the director’s logic in striking it in the first place as it showed up in all the trailers (unless that was the studio's doing, of course).


Riddick deserves more than just three minutes!

These days I find most of these versions are just “gimmicks” monopolized by Advertising and Production Companies to sell DVD’s by way of false advertising. Take THE UNBORN, for example. A mediocre PG-13 fluff horror flick I saw in theaters, but one that I was truly looking forward to seeing as an “unrated version” in hopes of getting something more. Now here’s the rub. I picked up the box and flipped it over to see how much “extra” I was getting, and was horrified to find the only difference between the theatrical and unrated cuts was ONE MINUTE OF FOOTAGE! Sure, this is the absolute worst case scenario, but it does make my point abundantly clear. This situation is only getting worse.


So much hype, so little reward.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that (lately anyway) directors seem to shoot the film they intended, only to cut out all the rougher bits so they can slap a PG-13 sticker on it and send it off to theaters to squeeze every dollar from it they can. Of course, then they turn around and put it all back into the DVD and Blu-ray, cleverly printing uncut, unrated, extended or director’s cut on the cover in hopes of enticing us fans who wanted to see the (God forbid) original film they promised us in the first place. It’s an evil recipe to a smooth tasting drink (one I’m personally not opposed to drinking), but in all fairness, if we’re not getting an extra 15-20 minutes I really don’t see the point.

Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood

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