New Line Home Entertainment’s Infinifilm DVD release of The Butterfly Effect is coming to stores on July 6th and is jammed-packed with extra features, including a brand spanking new Director’s cut of the film, which features a entirely different and shocking ending. Inside you’ll find my review for the film and DVD, which can be pre-ordered here.
Movies that involve time travel are really hit and miss with some people, take Lyle for example, he didn’t like New Line’s Butterfly Effect (his review), but me on the other hand- I love it. I’m going to keep my opinions on the film short, because I mainly want to focus on the DVD, which was fantastic and disheartened all in one.
When I first saw Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber’s Butterfly Effect, I went in with the full intentions of laughing at every move Ashton Kutcher made- only I walked out of the theater stunned, flabbergasted, and rubbing my eyes in shock. The moronic MTV icon had made a serious movie- and pulled it off without a blinking an eye. Surprising enough, adding Amy Smart to the cast- whom is also in tons of comedies like Rat Race– strengthened the believability of the film even more. But when it came to actors, here’s what really blew my mind- the supporting cast who played young versions of Ashton and Amy’s characters were so well picked. There were two younger versions of Ashton and Amy and both looked so disgustingly like the other it was astounding. To put the icing on the cake, I thought every single one of their performances were top notch. Could it have been the directing job by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber?
Stunning as it may sound, Butterfly Effect is Eric Bress and J. Mackye Grubers first movie. After watching some of the extra footage on the DVD and listening to some of the commentary, I think I know why they did such a tremendous job. The first reason is the same reason other first time directors movies are so good, heart. After watching the DVD, I found out that they’ve had this script written for a long time now, and have been saving it like it was their own child. When the right opportunity came to make their film, they put their heart and soul into it- like Martha Stewert into her Tupperware. The second reason isn’t as apparent until you stop and think for a second, what does Butterfly Effect have that other movies don’t? Two directors! Having two eyes and brains working together made all the difference. The creativity of one mind and the directing style of another blended together perfectly like eggs and bacon- or Tom and Rossane Arnold (heh).
I loved the story, I loved the directing, and I loved how everything worked out perfectly in the end. There were no misunderstandings, no cliff hangers- just a perfect conclusion to a perfectly fun and suspenseful film. Now what you may not know is that on the DVD that hits stores July 6th- there is a directors cut of the film, which has some extra scenes and a totally different ending. Although I’m not going to ruin the ending for you, I’m going to say this- I thought it was pretty cool, while my two friends absolutely HATED it. Its a big change from the original, this is a DVD worth buying, just to see the extra footage and ideas shot. I give both the original cut of the film and the directors cut 8 out of 10 skulls.
The Butterfly Effect DVD is the first of New Line Home Entertainment’s ‘Inifinifilm’ series I’ve ever seen. What is infinifilm you ask? Well you know all those super-cool extra features that New Line always has jammed on their DVDs? What they do is separate them up and integrate them into the viewing of the film. What this mean is it is like the ‘white rabbit’ on the Matrix DVD. You can set it up to where you will be watching the movie and something will indicate to you that there is material to watch, and when you click the button, it will pause the movie and show you a clip or a scene or even facts about the movie. This is optional and can be turned off. I think it’s an amazing innovation, but it’s not something I partake in- I’d rather just go straight to the extra goodies, which you can still do. Although the DVD has tons and tons of great stuff, I found most of it pretty boring, so maybe if you pick up this DVD, using the Infinifilm option might be a good idea, so you can get clips instead of sitting through 20 minutes of psychotherapists talking. But don’t take this as a bad sign on buying the DVD, you still get the directors cut of the film, which is worth the buy right there.
The special features are separated into two sections: “All Access Pass” and “Beyond the Movie”.
Beyond the Movie:
The first special feature under this option is “The Science and Psychology of the Chaos Theory”, which runs 8:55. This feature was like being in school and learning about how if you change a small system, it could in turn change everything. They interviewed Psychotherapists and Psychiatrists who talked about weather changes and how making decisions as a man changes things. It was extremely boring.
The next feature was the same idea, but called “The History and Allure of Time Travel”, which ran 13:25. They ‘taught’ me the two main reasons people want to time travel. The first was to see the differences and the second was a form of control. During this feature I had a revelation- the first since I was in school last year- HOLY CRAP are super smart people boring! It’s beyond me how some of these ‘professionals’ try and relate to us moviegoers, one doctor referred to Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure as “Bill and Teds Exciting Adventure.” Anyways, the point of this feature was a history of time travel and the different ways to time travel in film.
After that feature, the next was an option to turn on the “Fact Track”, which shows facts throughout the movie, which is really cool.
All Access Pass:
This section was much more entertaining, because it helped me understand the directors passion for their film. One of the features called “The Creative Process”, which ran 17:50, chronicles the efforts of both the writers/directors journey in making the film. They talked about how they wanted to create something different and new, and make sure the film had a good continuity. They wanted relatable characters, and characters they related to. This also showed the two working as a team making the film and how well it worked out.
There were obviously deleted scenes- beyond what you see in the directors cut, which included two TERRIBLE endings, which I was so glad were deleted. Besides the endings, there were a lot of cut scenes from Ashton’s childhood characters.
The ‘Visual Effects”, which ran in at 16:05, was a really fun feature. It’s pretty obvious what it was about, making the time travel sequences and how it would look. It was interesting watching them film the scenes and show the progression of the animation.
Besides all of that, New Line threw in some Storyboard comparisons and a trailer- it never hurts to add a little more. Over all, the effort on the DVD shows, and it’s quite impressive, only I didn’t enjoy half of them. Like I said before, the directors cut makes up for the lack of interesting features. Id give the extra features a 5 out of 10, but the effort a perfect score, don’t think New Line half asses anything for you guys! Overall I give the DVD an 8 out of 10 skulls.
Buy the DVD here.