Wednesday, January 29, 2003

So I've been trying to get through the James Cameron director's cut of The Abyss and I'm pretty sure the experience is going to kill me. I mean I just can not make it through the whole thing without dozing off at some point. And it's supposed to be a thriller! Now usually I am a big fan of "extended editions" and "director's cuts" and "various other ways to snooker me out of my hard earned cash" but this time I'm just too frickin' bored by the way the story drones on and on and on get the idea.

Now Cameron has made some pretty great movies and I find it hard to fault someone who created The Terminator (even if time has made that killer robot seem a little silly to me now) but and goodwill I felt for the man went right down with Titanic. There's a perfect example of a three hour movie that really should have only been half and hour long. Face it, all we wanted to do was see the ship go down. Right?

So I guess what I'm saying is that if anyone is in need of a bit of editing advice it's Mr. Cameron. Usually extended versions of movies do add to and enrich the story but were cut out of theatrical releases due to that even more important component of motion picture making...the pacing of the story. For further proof of this, refer to any deleted scenes section of a DVD and ask yourself,"Yeah, that was funny/cool/illuminating, but did it really have a place in the story?" More often than not the answer is no.

Sometimes stuff is cut for an even more bothersome reason: a director's fear or lack of confidence in his audience. I don't care how much Cameron Crowe goes on and on about Almost Famous being the movie he wanted to make since anyone who has seen the Untitled version of the film can attest to the fact that it is largely superior. Crowe caved into his lessened expectations of the modern audience.

So we have some directors unsure of their audience, some directors making cuts for all the right reasons and some directors who just don't know when to shut the fuck up.

Thank god James Cameron never got around to making Spider-man as he had originally intended or we would have had to sit through and four and a half hour morality tale!

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