Four years later I’m still fuming over Dimension “Extreme’s” half-assed, “Unrated” DVD-only release of Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo brilliantly bloody Inside, which was edited down by 7 minutes to get more units into Blockbusters. (Yes, the “unrated” version was actually trimmed down.)
The “Harvey Scissorhands” joke isn’t anything new in Hollywood, but maybe it will be to some of you younger readers. Either way, it strikes again, this time affecting the release of The Host director Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, which is absolutely kicking ass in Korean theaters. Bong’s 126 minute film, starring Chris Evans as the leader of a revolt on a train that carries the last survivors of the human race after an experiment to end global warming fails, opened in Korea on August 1, selling nearly 3.3 million tickets in the first five days for a gross of US$21.4 million! The cast also includes Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, Ko Ah-sung, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Ed Harris and Octavia Spencer.
According to IF, The Weinstein Company is demanding Bong slash the running time by 20 minutes for the version to be released in TWC’s territories. And while we should understand that movie distribution is a business, it’s still frustrating as a film fan to learn that a director’s work is being “dumbed down” for the masses. Seriously. Check this…
“TWC people have told Bong that their aim is to make sure the film ‘will be understood by audiences in Iowa … and Oklahoma,’” English writer and film festival programmer Tony Rayns told IF.
“Leaving aside the issue of what Weinstein thinks of its audience, it seems to say the least anomalous that the rest of the English-speaking world has to be dragged down to the presumed level of American mid-west hicks,” added Rayns, who attended the film’s premiere in Seoul and spoke with the filmmaker, whose credits include The Host and Memories of Murder.
According to Rayns, Bong said the cuts would eliminate much of the character detail, which would make the film seem more like an action movie. Weinstein is also adding opening and closing voice-overs (you know, so explain to “the dummies” what’s going on).
“Nobody (least of all Bong himself) is optimistic that his rear-guard actions against the ‘Weinstein version’ will get his original version released in English-speaking territories, but I hope that Oz, like the UK, will fight the good fight to protest Weinstein’s cuts,” said Rayns.
He jokingly concludes talking about the director’s cut: “If the ‘Weinstein version’ flops in theatres, it may at least speed up release of what I’m sure Weinstein will call ‘the director’s cut’ on Blu-ray and DVD.”
What do you guys think of THIS?!