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Superior Theatrical Cuts/Inferior Director's Cuts

Old 11-13-08, 11:08 PM
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Superior Theatrical Cuts/Inferior Director's Cuts

I'm sure a thread like this has been done umpteen times, but in the unlikely case that it hasn't, here's my two cents on theatrical cuts that are superior/director's cuts that are inferior (BESIDES a certain famous SF trilogy that got mutilated to crap back in '97...) Here are my picks--

Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Why couldn't the otherwise great Robert Wise learn from The Plaid-Shirted One Or maybe he did ($$$). But still is it too much to ask for the other two versions on a third disc or a separate release? It's not a stretch of the imagination that Trekkies double-dip!!!

The Blues Brothers
The biggest argument NEVER, EVER putting back in originally excised footage to a film. TBB is one of the most perfectly timed and edited comedies in the history of cinema. It does not, repeat does NOT, need an unfunny scene explaining explaining where Elwood got the glue he uses near the end of the movie (plus it shows him without his sunglasses, which is simply not allowed). And I like John Lee Hooker as much as the next guy, but his and other performers extended scenes take up too much time and interrupt the flow of the film. I was just tickled that they included the original cut in the 25th Anniversary DVD--so I'm not too miffed.

Superman II
I didn't find *that* much wrong with the Lester version of SII (aside from some stupid SIII-like "comedy" scenes). The much anticipated Richard Donner Cut, was just WRONG. Now, in fairness, it realistically couldn't be exactly what he wanted, but nonetheless, if it was any anything like what was released to years ago, then I need to give Richard Lester a laurel and hearty handshake.
The scenes with Superman and Jor-El have atrocious dialogue and Supes acts like a spoiled child when being refused by his father. And lastly, they took out "General, would you care to step outside?" before the big fight in Metropolis--I've lost all faith in humanity at this point. I could go on and on, here.

Amadeus
Bad, Milos Forman! Bad! The original cut is a masterpiece--the multitude of Oscars might be a clue! Here, once again, we get pointless scenes added and even a few scenes taken out--including Salieri's smile at the end of the "Now We Are Enemies" sequence. What really grinds my gears is that the original version will not be included in the upcoming Blu-Ray release (though I don't own one, but still...) and there will apparently be no 25th Anniversary DVD that will include it. In fact, the only way to get the original version on DVD is to buy the 1997 release that one a crappy flipper disc that has the movie split in half over two sides like a laserdisc.

JFK
It's not an awful director's cut, but Oliver Stone kind of messed up by adding a scene mentioning Clay Shaw, *before* Clay Shaw is introduced in the film. And while it's always nice to see John Larroquette, his scene wasn't that important to the overall film. Apparently, the 4th DVD release of this film classic, will still not have the theatrical cut. Phooey!

Dark City
All Alex Proyas had to do was excise the studio imposed opening narration and the film would be nearly flawless. Unfortunately he didn't stop there. The new version is padded with new scenes that add nothing to the story, new FX that stick out like a CGI dewback in a 1970's film, and an incredibly sluggish pacing. To all DC fans, stick with the original--just mute the beginning until Dr. Schrieber pulls out his stop watch.

Agree? Disagree? What would you add to the list?

Last edited by PatD; 11-13-08 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 11-13-08, 11:10 PM
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I imagine Donnie Darko will get some votes, although I haven't seen the Director's Cut yet.
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Old 11-13-08, 11:15 PM
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The 40-Year-Old Virgin- The director's cut is bloated, the pacing is off, and, as a result, it feels overlong. I was SO disappointed when I sat my brothers down to show them this film only to discover it wasn't as funny as when I'd seen it in the theaters.

Sadly, the theatrical cut is only available on a pan & scan DVD.
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Old 11-13-08, 11:20 PM
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I thought both versions of Dark City and Superman 2 are equally good...

But I have to agree, the Unrated Cut of 40 Year Old Virgin was just awful, throwing off everything. I was so happy when they released the theatrical R-rated version...
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Old 11-13-08, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by excom101 View Post
The 40-Year-Old Virgin- The director's cut is bloated, the pacing is off, and, as a result, it feels overlong. I was SO disappointed when I sat my brothers down to show them this film only to discover it wasn't as funny as when I'd seen it in the theaters.

Sadly, the theatrical cut is only available on a pan & scan DVD.
It's on the new Blu-ray AFAIK and might be available on DVD in 16:9.

I'll add Blade Runner. Not that I'd disagree with a darker tone, but the director's cut really reduces the intention of its "future noir" atmosphere. I still haven't watched the Final Cut, but honestly, the theatrical is the way to go, and when I've shown it to friends I always start with the that.
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Old 11-13-08, 11:26 PM
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Dark City's Directors Cut was fantastic felt like a different movie, the pacing was great, the additions were well suited.

Blade Runner: Final Cut (The real director's cut) was the best of the cuts.
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Old 11-14-08, 12:07 AM
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I loved the Dark City Directors cut, except for the remix of the music, alot of it was too low. It didn't have that bombastic sound anymore
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Old 11-14-08, 12:09 AM
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Apocalypse Now.
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Old 11-14-08, 12:10 AM
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Aliens

Spoiler:
except the scene with the sentry-bots (or whatever... I don't remember what they called them)
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Old 11-14-08, 12:35 AM
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Mallrats

I always felt the theatrical release had something missing. It all comes down the the pressure the studio put on Kevin Smith to meet their demographic targets. The Director's cut on the DVD feels much more like his other films. The editing and storylines are much more in line with the Askewniverse.
A dramatic improvement IMO, although my opinion here is biased as I have a huge mancrush on Kevin Smith.

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Old 11-14-08, 04:15 AM
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that 4 hour version of Dances With Wolves really is a borefest (in contrast of the theatrical version).
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Old 11-14-08, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mndtrp View Post
I imagine Donnie Darko will get some votes, although I haven't seen the Director's Cut yet.
I hated the director's cut. It took away the surreal dream-like feeling of the movie.
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Old 11-14-08, 07:22 AM
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The original Star Wars trilogy.
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Old 11-14-08, 07:31 AM
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The Gold Rush

Hate the narration.
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Old 11-14-08, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by excom101 View Post
The 40-Year-Old Virgin- The director's cut is bloated, the pacing is off, and, as a result, it feels overlong.
The Unrated Cut of 40-Year-Old Virgin is not a Director's Cut. It's simply a longer cut made for home video.

Sadly, the theatrical cut is only available on a pan & scan DVD.
Universal quietly released the theatrical cut in WS on DVD about a month after the original releases. Most B&M stores don't carry it, but it's available from online retailers like Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/40-Year-Old-Vi...dp/B000E6V07M/

Also, as Zen Peckinpah mentioned, the Blu-Ray contains both Unrated and Theatrical cuts
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Old 11-14-08, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by E. Honda View Post
Mallrats

I always felt the theatrical release had something missing... The Director's cut on the DVD feels much more like his other films.
Congratulations on entirely missing the point of this thread.
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Old 11-14-08, 07:48 AM
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The theatrical cut of JFK is far superior to the director's cut. Garrison flat out physically predicting the RFK assassination details is a very stupid scene, in addition to the ones mentioned earlier in this thread.

The unrated Anchorman cut makes some changes to the original cut that aren't as funny.
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Old 11-14-08, 08:00 AM
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A couple where the theatrical version was better than the director's cut, Pretty Woman & Dumb & Dumber. Very annoying that I had to import Pretty Woman from the UK for the anamorphic theatrical cut even after two U.S. re-releases.

Last edited by matome; 11-14-08 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 11-14-08, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by E. Honda View Post
Mallrats
A dramatic improvement IMO, although my opinion here is biased as I have a huge mancrush on Kevin Smith.
A) You're doing it wrong.
B) The extended cut of Mallrats is downright terrible. There isn't a laugh for the first thirty minutes.

And Dark City's and Aliens' DCs were far better.

Inferior cuts:

Gladiator Extended

Alien "Director's Cut"- Scott admits the theatrical version is his cut and he just recut the fim because Fox told him to

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story- All the added footage is just more repeats of jokes already repeated in the normal version.
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Old 11-14-08, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by matome View Post
A couple where the theatrical version was better than the director's cut, Pretty Woman & Dumb & Dumber. Very annoying that I had to import Pretty Woman from the UK for the anamorphic theatrical cut even after two U.S. re-releases.
What are you doing with either DVD version of Pretty Woman anyway?
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Old 11-14-08, 09:52 AM
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Not a "director's cut" per se, but Empire Records. I own both versions on DVD (the theatrical cut is discontinued in the US/Canada, I believe), but can't bring myself to watch the "Fan Remix Edition" ever again.

edit: Oh, and Terminator 2 (again, not a "Director's Cut", but there's two "extended" versions, and I hate them both)

Last edited by Dan; 11-14-08 at 09:53 AM. Reason: T2
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Old 11-14-08, 10:14 AM
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I thought the director's cut of The Abyss did a pretty good job of flushing out the story more.
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Old 11-14-08, 12:20 PM
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Cinema Paradiso-I perfer the shorter U.S. version. I can relate to not knowing whatever happened to your "love of a lifetime".
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Old 11-14-08, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by megashock5 View Post
I thought the director's cut of The Abyss did a pretty good job of flushing out the story more.
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Old 11-14-08, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
You made me spit
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