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Reports and expensive cheap movies

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Gonna be gathering up the Austin reports and posting 'em this week on the front page. I have some good stuff. I mostly attended the sponsored sessions and left the keynote stuff to the new kids. . .I mean reporters.

I just finished watching "Death Proof", which is the Tarantino half of the "Grindhouse" double-feature movie that bombed in the theaters early this year. They decided to release 'em on DVD as separate movies, as they apparently also did with the foreign theater-releases.

And I found myself pretty disappointed. Being a cheapo movie buff, I had some real problems with the movie. The biggest problem I found is that the movie violated Pournelle's first law of writing (as it applies to movies), "Thou shalt not bore the reader". While most cheapo fare of the past avoided being boring mostly by being budget-limited to about 75-80 minutes, Tarantino decided that he could one-up those films by delivering something almost two hours long. And he filled that extra time with endless stretches of dialog that are so bad they'll make you long for the good old days of listening to that Hispanic girl in "Pulp Fiction" talk about freakin' blueberry pancakes for ten minutes.

And it cost 20 million dollars. For that kind of money, a real cheapo movie producer could've made 20 movies (plus three more cobbled together from outtakes and leftover sets). Not all of those 20 movies would be good, but I bet at least half of 'em would've been more fun to watch than "Death Proof".

Someday I hope all Tarantino and 1970's James Bond movies will be re-released in a special "without that extra half hour of self-indulgent crap" edition. They keep releasing those director-cut editions with 28 minutes of extra footage, so why not an editor-who's-not-necessarily-in-love-with-every-frame-of-this-movie-cut edition with the crap cut out?
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Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

I couldn't agree more about the self-indulgent crap that gets shovelled into DVD releases. Yes Stripes, I'm looking at you.

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I've never quite understood why the longer version is called the "editor's" edition. Surely the shorter version is the editor's edition, and the longer DVD version is the not-quite-so-edited edition.

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I thought they called it the director's cut, not the editor's. The director wants his original vision, the editor wants it cut down so people don't wonder why a unicorn is suddenly there when Harrison Ford was just shooting cyborg gymnasts a few minutes ago.

That said, I thought Death Proof was actually pretty good. The self-indulgent dialogue is kind of a Tarantino trademark.

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I missed it in the theaters, I'll have to look for it on DVD. I'm sure Blockbuster has it cheap.


The director wants his original vision, the editor wants it cut down so people don't wonder why a unicorn is suddenly there when Harrison Ford was just shooting cyborg gymnasts a few minutes ago.

I gotta admit watching the Director's Cut of Blade Runner did make the movie a bit more understandable. Just a bit, haha

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