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Chris McKittrick

Chris McKittrick is the Assistant Editor of Movie Buzzers

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10 Comments

  1. 1

    TheAngryInternet

    The international cut of The Grandmaster actually runs 122 minutes. The 130-minute version only came out in China/HK and a few other Asian territories (Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia). The international version makes some of the same changes as the Weinstein edit (more expository intertitles, a couple of additional scenes, more of Bruce Lee) but is a less radical restructuring. Wong says all three versions are “director’s cuts,” but scuttlebutt is that Harvey was unhappy with both the 130-minute and 122-minute versions and told Wong to either make more changes or someone else would make them for him. Harvey also asked/told Wong to cut three minutes from the U.S. release of My Blueberry Nights (this was after Wong had already cut 20 minutes from the original Cannes edit).

    Reply
    1. 1.1

      Chris McKittrick

      Thanks again! I’m sure our readers will appreciate the extra details you’ve provided.

      Reply
    2. 1.2

      Chris McKittrick

      Thanks again! I’m sure our readers will appreciate your added details.

      Reply
  2. 2

    BrettLawriesnewesttattoo

    Kate Winslet wasn’t in DOUBT. That was Amy Adams.

    Reply
    1. 2.1

      Chris McKittrick

      Yikes! Thanks for catching that mistake! I’ve corrected it.

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply
    2. 2.2

      Chris McKittrick

      Yikes! Thanks for catching that mistake! I’ve corrected it.

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply
      1. 2.2.1

        BrettLawriesnewesttattoo

        No problem. Impressive research here.

        Reply
  3. 3

    sean

    I saw a test screening of “The Brothers Grimm”, I think it was the second one in the whole country, more than a year before the theatrical release. It is a very, very different movie. (In fact, I made a point of shaking hands with Gilliam because I love his work so much, and while waiting I got to hear him complain a lot to whoever would listen about how the Weinsteins wanted at least 20 minutes cut out — which, one way or another, they got. I gave him my own two cents advice about what part felt too long — the theatrical release left that scene untouched. Haha.) It’s not just longer, although almost every scene was cut down to remove instances of Gilliam’s sense of humor (Damon’s performance is really mangled in the theatrical cut, which is what happens to a comedic performance when all the punchlines are removed). The entire plotline of movie was made linear, so that things which were revealed in flashbacks later in the film are instead told chronologically. But it was done really sloppily; it’s hard to explain, but essentially, for the first half of the movie, the audience is kept in the dark about certain motivations, and then a flashback reveals the “full story”, which the characters have known the whole time of course. In order to keep the audience interested, characters make veiled references in the first half, and then have a big explicit argument after the reveal. But when the film is recut chronologically, suddenly you have characters who simply refuse to talk about something even though everybody including the audience knows it, and then they have a huge argument about it with no new motivation. Cinematically and dramatically, it just doesn’t work. Somebody in the edit room had to choose between “Either we do this the way Terry Gilliam made it or we go back to the story and eliminate everything besides the visuals that make this feel like a Terry Gilliam movie.” Based on all that, I have never been able to believe that Gilliam had much to do with the theatrical cut (especially since he shot and edited an entire film during the post-production period of Grimm). I remember reports that Steven Soderbergh was the person who convinced Gilliam that the film would work better without a huge effects sequence in the middle which slowed the pace, but was the best scene in the movie. Based on that, my guess is that the Weinsteins hired Soderbergh to prepare a cut, on the grounds that Gilliam would respect him more than some studio hack, and Soderbergh agreed conditional to “This won’t be forced on him” or something like that; and, further, that Soderbergh did a rough chronological recut that removed all of the fluff, assuming that it would be finalized by Gilliam, and Gilliam watched it and decided, for whatever reason, it wasn’t worth fighting over and signed off on it without and further work, leaving it sloppy and inconsistent but with interesting potential in exactly the way I have felt about various recuts of films Soderbergh has released on-line. The changes between the two are almost as significant and severe as the changes between Gilliam’s cut of Brazil and the studio’s.

    Reply
    1. 3.1

      sean

      I should add one addendum: the test screening cut was definitely a mess. Anybody saying that the film still needed work, and could do with some trims, they weren’t wrong. But it was a Terry Gilliam mess, like Jabberwocky or a lesser Baron Munchausen. It had all the flaws you would expect from that. The final release removed the Terry Gilliam ness, and that cleaned up some of the mess, but what was left was still messy and sloppy, but also had a bland story with little of the directorial embellishments that kept the test screening cut interesting.

      Reply
    2. 3.2

      Chris McKittrick

      Thank you so much for your perspective on the test screening! It definitely adds so much to read the perspective of someone who actually had the opportunity to see “Gilliam’s version,” or at least a rough approximation of it.

      Reply

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