Archives For Blade Runner

In this age of side-taking and constant arguing, I think what gets lost “appreciation” film is that love of sharing. Sure, it’s fun for me to tell my friend, Ryan McNeil, how wrong he is about films, and getting into arguments is fun, too. But you know what’s more fun? Enjoying a film together with someone else. Sharing an appreciation. This is doubly true as a film lover who often gets other people to watch films I already love.

My mom, for example, is particularly open to watching all sorts of films. Sharing films with her is a joy because she’ll actually watch most anything I recommend to her. She won’t like everything, but she’s open, and I’m usually pretty good at figuring out what she’d like. For example, a couple weeks ago we were looking for a movie to watch on Netflix, without even really asking her or telling her about it, I put on The Skin I Live In. The name “Antonia Banderas” was enough to pique her interest—stupid, sexy Antonio—and so she gladly sat down to watch it with me. About thirty minutes in, with the disturbing elements of the film making themselves known, she said, “I’m not sure I like this film.” But guess what? She stuck it through. She watched the whole thing, and when the final, gut-punching scene came around, all she could was was, “Wow!” Click to read more.

Ever since there have been movies there have been multiple cuts of movies. Silent films like Greed were chopped up and screened in various version, in many cases leaving many scenes lost to history. In some cases, films had roadshow edits that were trimmed for the regular theatrical release, as was the case with It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Sometimes studios would go in and meddle with the cut approved by a director. In many recent cases a director will agree to a studio-advised cut, only to put out a “director’s cut” later on. Sometimes the studio will want a new way to market a film and create a new “extended edition” or “unrated version” or even get a director to create a “director’s cut” that isn’t even the director’s preferred version (as is the case with Alien).

The prevalence of multiple cuts has increased drastically since the advent of DVD. It seems like every other movie released on DVD or Blu-ray is labeled “Unrated” or “Director’s Cut”. It’s hard to know whether this is a good thing, especially when directors are already talking up extended versions for Blu-ray when the movie was only just released theatrically. Why even pay to see the movie theatrically if the definitive version is being held for home video? This is the dilemma created when Ridley Scott says that a version of Prometheus 20 minutes longer is coming to Blu-ray. But is that the definitive version? What constitutes a definitive version of a film to begin with? Click to read more.

This article was originally written for, published January 12th, 2011. It has been slightly revised and updated.

This September, for the first time ever, the entire Star Wars Saga will be released in one complete package and in Hi-Def. That’s right, this coming September you can purchase Star Wars on home video, again! A Blu-ray set of all the Star Wars films sounds like a great proposition, and as a wholehearted supporter of the Blu-ray format I should be over-the-moon excited about this. But I’m not. Not only am I not excited about Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray, I think spending any money on the set is willful participation in destruction of film as the most culturally important artistic medium of the modern age. Click to read more