The Director’s Cut (Director’s Cut)

Is a “director’s cut” ever a good idea? The director’s cut has been a feature of the home video landscape for years, getting a significant boost from multi-disk DVD and now Blu-Ray sets. There are some pretty bad ones around, but which are the best? Movie sites like Shortlist, IGN Movies,, FilmWad and Empire have all given us lists of the best (and worst), and online discussions have suggested others (Blade Runner tops most lists, but beyond that they diverge significantly). Where do you start when that two-hour epic isn’t epic enough?

As posted to MetaFilter.

Director’s Commentary

Interesting to see where the MeFi thread went. I loathed the director’s cut of Donnie Darko, which actively sucked the joy out of the original for me; admired Apocalypse Now Redux; liked the original Blade Runner when I saw it in cinemas at 14, and the 1992 Director’s Cut, and haven’t got around to watching the 2007 version that’s sitting in a metal-cased box-set on my shelf; bought the director’s cut of Until the End of the World some months ago after reading some positive online comments, but again, it’s sitting on the shelf; wouldn’t dream of watching the non-Gilliam cut of Brazil; liked the director’s cut of Dances With Wolves at the time, which introduced some ambiguity that tempered the noble savage tendencies of the original; and love the 100-minute cut of the 1973 Wicker Man.

The ones that intrigued me in those lists (and the comments on Mefi that led me to look for them) were the less obvious ones, like Kingdom of Heaven, Daredevil and Alexander, none of which I’ve seen yet in any cut, and The Abyss, which I saw too long ago to remember well. I’d even be up for giving a full-length Heaven’s Gate a try.

3 April 2012 · Film