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Director's Cuts and Deep Blue Reviews

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Mark Kermode | 17:27 UK time, Tuesday, 6 December 2011

I recently asked you whether director's cuts are always a good idea and also for reviews of the new Terence Davies film The Deep Blue Sea.

Here I pick out just some of your many responses...

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Related Posts on Kermode Uncut
Did You See The Deep Blue Sea?
Better The Devils You Know?

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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Contains Spoilers for: Bladerunner and Inception and Lost In Translation. You have been warned.

    The Bladerunner point has been argued many times and no-one is any closer to an answer. My take on it is merely that it doesn't matter either way - the ambiguity of it is the important point being made. The fact that there's even doubt about Deckard's status, reinforces the difficulty in identifying what exactly it is that defines humanity.

    In a sense, I think it's a similar argument to the one about the ending of Inception - does the spinning top fall or not? Or indeed what Bill Murray's character says to Scarlett Johansson at the end of "Lost In Translation". It doesn't make a difference to the meaning of the film.

  • Comment number 3.

    RE: 1. and their comments about Mark's glasses...MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Thanks for the reviews of The Deep Blue Sea. I can't wait to see it when it hit the shores of Oz in February 2012. I loved Terence Davies "Of Time and the City" and show it to everyone who crosses my threshold, in true proselytising style.

    As for Director's cuts, the one I felt ruined an otherwise convoluted story was Peter Weir's cut of Picnic at Hanging Rock. A superb and seminal Australian movie from the 70s. The storyline is complex enough, but essential lines were removed by Weir which made the movie more incomprehensible.

    I prefer the original release movie. However, the novel the movie was based upon had the final chapter removed and it wasn't published until years after the author, Joan Lindsay's death. Of course, the original book/movie as whole made sense when you know the finale. There's that "oh, yeah!" moment when you realise what some of the lines refer to.

    Loved seeing the good Dr on his book tour last month at the Hackney Picturehouse. A great evening.

  • Comment number 5.

    There is often little excuse for constant tinkering with already well-liked and well-respected films. George Lucas has sucked all of the joy from the Star Wars films by digitally inserting Hayden Christensen's smug puss into the closing scene of one of the best-loved trilogies of all time, Francis Ford Coppolla made me want to claw my face off through boredom during the Plantation Scene in Apolocypse Now Redux, and why anyone wants an even longer version of any Lord of the Rings film is beyond me. Please stop trying to re-do the past. Live in the now.

  • Comment number 6.

    Just the fact that Deckard survives his encounters with Zhora and Leon made me think he was a replicant the first time I saw the film. Wouldn't you need at least a month in hospital before returning to work? I know it is a cinematic convention that a hero can survive an explosion blowing them out of a window, falling a hundred floors then catching themselves on a gargoyle but Ridley isn't usually like that. My familiarity with Dick's novels (couldn't put what I call myself, it is a "profanity", apparently) might have predisposed me to that conclusion as well.

    He also ate twice what the chef thought he needed and had noodles on top. Bryant said "I need your magic".

    Now I feel a little self-conscious about the handle I chose a week ago.

  • Comment number 7.

    RE: 1. At 18:59 6th Dec 2011, somefellacalledlime.

    NO. You are alone in thinking that.

    What difference does the style of Mark's eyewear make to you -is it ruining a fantasy? Frankly, even if he chooses to start wearing a monocle or swimming googles for his PTC, you shouldn't be so personal.

    It may be all in 'good fun' but it's difficult to judge that tone in a blog comment. I'd suggest that if you don't want to add to debate or make reasonable comments on this blog, then perhaps two words apply… jog on!

  • Comment number 8.

    Regarding Blade Runner.... there is such a book as Do andriods dream of electric sheep. This explores the idea of Deckard being a replicant quiet a bit. Perhaps some people who don't like that premise should read the book before commenting.

    I couldn't agree more with Mark's comments (and others) about Kingdom of Heaven, the directors cut just made more sense.

    I think directors should have the chance to create their own cut - the story that they always had in their mind when taking up the project. Whether it works or not is by the by, it is their film after all. Remakes on the other hand are a completely different story!

  • Comment number 9.

    (Username simplified for film critics)

    Concerning a film's length, or the pre-Director's Cut, there needs to be a discussion about the movie as a product. While Blade Runner is a rare high-water mark for a scifi movie, the average release becomes a bit more average when it has to be crammed into 100-120 minutes and targeted towards a targeted demographic, typical "art-as-commerce"-thinking. My example: Kenneth Brannagh's recent "Thor".

    Having seen it several times now, I almost ache for a Directors Cut of this movie. It's far, far better than it has any right to be, and it's also clear to me that there must be some considerable exposition left on the cutting-room floor, particularly those scenes in Asgard where this film shines. "Thor" was a notoriously difficult movie to make, spending the better part of a decade in development, and Brannagh's version wisely plays on the nuanced relationships of family — and especially, the competitiveness of brothers There are no better family dramas than those of the Gods. Unfortunately, that's not the usual super-hero fare, which often consists of a "save the girl and stop the bad guy"-combo meal. "Thor" feels like a banquet by comparison, but via a boxed-lunch, as if there've been great depths excised in service to a shorter running time and an impatient audience...and that's a shame. I dearly want a director's cut of "Thor".

    But this is typical Hollywood at work, right? So who do I have to sleep with to get this stuff re-released?

  • Comment number 10.

    Sadly my local Arthouse cinema in Shrewsbury doesn't start showing DBS untill Tomorrow (Thursday).

  • Comment number 11.

    Much as I love 'Blade Runner' in all its incarnations, the 'unicorn' sequence just never worked for me. Totally out of place.

  • Comment number 12.

    Arch Stanton, sorry about that don't know what i was thinking, i was still drowsy after the dentist, my own fault.

  • Comment number 13.

    On topic but nothing to do with Bladerunner - did anyone happen to see the american documentary "The People Vs. George Lucas"? Rather than what you might think would be simple Lucas-bashing, the documentary raised interesting questions about who really owns a work of art once its entered the public conciousness.

    Does the artist (in this case, Lucas) have the right to tinker with their own creation (bearing in mind film-making is a collaborative art-form, therefore it's arguably the creation of *many* people) or does the original artwork belong in that rather queasy, psuedo public domain zone called "cultural property", where it is considered inviolate and untouchable?

  • Comment number 14.

    I think and believe that directors cuts are allot better. Look at dirty harry and Death Wish, they were cut very badly so badly that it effect the whole story and subplots of the films.
    look in the cut version it just looks that Dirty Harry is just picking a little weak guy (because all the violent things with the Andy Robison charter were cut) same with death Wish. It looks like Charles Bronson is just kill people with no back story because it was cut. And with the back-story you know why he shooting people.
    It should be left to the viewer 100% on home viewing. And the cinema the viewer should be told what it is in film (E.G violence and such) and then just watch.
    Robocop (the more action remake of Johnny Got his Gun) not a great film very dated but with a great under story (name what is it be human and can a company own a human) the cut one does not half the power. The violent cut makes the film more real and it makes you feel a 1000 time more for the lead charter.
    We should all ways see what the director wonted you to see. And with the exorcist the uncut version were things (watching an interview with William Friedkin and William Peter Blatty) that they there thing that Blatty were more passionate about being put back in Friedkin thought the spider walk was in the wrong place in the film. The uncut version I think is better because it is closer to the book. What I would like to see is a great film that no one seems to like at all but IS ONE OF THE GRET ALL TIME HORROR FILMS (no matter what anyone says) is the Exorcist 3 a truly great film as it is even Blatty the director openly does not like the relished film. I would like to see his cut just see what his version is like.
    P.S I know this is not my blog but does anyone like the Exorcist 3??

  • Comment number 15.

    Director's Cuts are fine, as long as they add more to the film than running time.
    For instance, the DC of Aliens made a great film so much better. Sentry guns, anyone?

    I fell for the first round of directorial fiddling by George Lucas, and most of his additions were good - the windows in the cloud city on Bespin, for example - but making Greedo shoot first, and miss from 4 feet? Pathetic. Adding Haydn Christiansen at the end of RotJ? Ludicrous without putting Ewan McGregor in instead of Sir Alec as well, and then ludicrous anyway.

    More often than not, I buy DCs because they are the version that is out when I want to buy the film.

  • Comment number 16.

    Kermode looks like he stepped out from a 40's time machine:)

  • Comment number 17.

    I just want to say that I really hate 3d films as well, they should all be banned!!!

  • Comment number 18.

    Mark: Thank you for the acknowledgment in your video reaction to people's comments on your directors cuts piece. Could you get in contact with me at Nat Segaloff (Nataloff)

  • Comment number 19.

    I'm kinda torn on my liking for directors cuts... I think I can only define it this way.

    If the theatrical cut was not as the director intended (For example Changes/Cuts made due to length and/or studio pressure), then a directors cut is most welcome to me. Some improve the film and some don't, but it's the directors choice and not the viewers.

    However... returning to a film 30yrs later and making changes and additions that change the tone and/or define characters differently are most unwelcome... and Yes I'm talking about the likes of Lucas and Spielberg.

  • Comment number 20.

    Never understood why the final film isn't always the directors cut, surely the purpose of having a director is to see the production through from filming to screening.
    As for making changes to a film years afterwards and putting out a directors cut, I have no problem with that, after all I don't have to watch it.

  • Comment number 21.

    gururob1, i agree, they really kick ass. :)

    porkchopexpress, i would guess it is because the people financing the film always want to ring its neck for all the money they can squeeze out of it. Which mostly seems to mean trashing films to make them appealing / get them seen by as many people as possible?
    But i think you're right, it should be as the director intended. As you said, that is what he is there for.

    Blade Runner.
    Deckard is human (i wont go into why i think so).
    The unicorn scene is amazing.
    Voice over is terrible.
    Happy ending is terrible.
    Final cut is the best.
    For me there are just 2 things i would change, put the unicorn scene back to how it is in the directors cut as it fit with the score better, and Batty should still "want more life f***er" not father.
    All my opinion, others are available, please don't shout at me.
    Also, it's my favorite film.

  • Comment number 22.

    I love the director's cut of ALIENS. It's "forty miles of bad road", as described by Cameron's friend and certainly the quickest 2 hrs and 40 mins film I've ever watched.

    I also like LETHAL WEAPON 1,2,3; I think my copies are also director's cuts, I''ll have to check. While dated, they're still great; Riggs & Murtaugh as a double act are still hard to beat.

  • Comment number 23.

    Director's cut of 'Dark City' : utterly pointless. Loads of extra guff about some kid hiding under a bed that made no difference to the actual story whatsoever. When I bought the updated R2 DVD to replace my original R1 I was very annoyed it didn't also have the theatrical release. Relieved the Blu-Ray has both versions.

  • Comment number 24.

    'Assassination of Jesse James...' Directors cut is something I would embrace full heartedly. Mostly based on Roger Deakins comment about his favourite cut being over 4 hours long and rewarding us with a lot more detail about Bob Ford after Jesse's death than the existing (still fantastic) version.

    Also, I love this Blade Runner debate. It signifies to me what is important about story telling, to take the film (story) beyond it's own existence and thus enormously enhancing it's reputation. Personally I don't want to know if he is human or a replicant, the ideas and theories interest me immensely. But if I am forced to know one way or another, the debate ends and so with it dies a level of interest... The question is what's interesting, the answer is stupid! I think Hampton Fancher said that?

  • Comment number 25.

    Re Blade Runner - there are two key clues to Deckard being a Replicant. One, the much mentioned unicorn scene. The second is his eyes glowing red in the scene in his apartment after he gets beat up by Leon.
    I actually think the film works better dramatically speaking with Deckard being a Replicant.

    I do, however, think that The Final Cut was unnecessary. It looks brilliant, but I think getting rid of Batty's father/f***er was a really bad choice.

  • Comment number 26.


    I have that tin box with five or six different cuts in it but really I only bought it because it was the only way to get a widescreen DVD of the original theatrical version. That's the version I first saw and the version I fell in love with. I like the voiceover, I like the flyaway ending. It works. Taking them away (as in the so-called "Director's Cut") left me feeling something was genuinely missing and I've always likened it to an old friend who returns one day with that mole removed and that tooth straightened - now they're "perfect" or "better" but you loved them to start with. (Exception: the father/f***er change. "Father" is absolutely the appropriate word in the context.)

    And I don't think Deckard is a replicant, because then it's a film about robots hitting each other and that's rarely if ever a good thing.

  • Comment number 27.

    I went and watched Kingdom of Heaven cut as a result of this blog. Wow it fixes nearly everything, apart from Orlando Broom of course.


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