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DVD shenanigansMovies
Recently there's been a lot of shenangians surrounding 2 different DVD releases. In both cases, I've held off getting the movies that are already available on DVD because I found out that they were bare-bones releases and something better was coming down the road. The two releases (or technically 3 right now) are Kill Bill and Blade Runner.

Kill Bill: For the unaware, Kill Bill was originally envisioned as one movie by Tarantino, but obviously that would have run quite long and the studio pressured him into splitting it into two films. Knowing that makes things interesting because as two films you really notice the second half is dramatically different than the first. The first is more action and suspense-driven, while the second was more dialogue and drama-driven. The international version of the film was actually released as a single movie. So many of the hardcore fans got the import version of the DVD. When the US DVD was released though, Tarantino had said he intended to recut the movie as originally intended and call the new movie The Whole Bloody Affair, and even re-release it into theaters. He also explained that was why the Kill Bill DVDs that have already come out didn't have much bonus content on them. From Wikipedia:
In the United States Kill Bill: Volume 1 was released as a DVD on April 13, 2004 while Volume 2 was released August 10, 2004. As of October 2007, only the basic DVDs have been released, with almost no special features.

In a December 2005 interview, Tarantino addressed the lack of a special edition DVD for Kill Bill by stating "I've been holding off because I've been working on it for so long that I just wanted a year off from Kill Bill and then I'll do the big supplementary DVD package."
He ended up working on Grindhouse between, and it looked like the DVD release had fallen off the map. But recently some people noticed Amazon had The Whole Bloody Affair listed with a December 2007 release date (though it now says they don't know when it will be in stock).



The version might apparently have an NC-17 rating because of more violent scenes that were removed from the US theatrical releases (which means it might not make it into many retail outlets). And as a single movie it clock in at just over 4 hours (247 minutes).



Blade Runner: This release is even more ridiculous. Some people consider Blade Runner the greatest Sci-Fi movie ever made, while others find it slow (including Ebert, who said it's plot was "thin"). It didn't make a splash in theaters when it first came out in 1982, probably not helped by the fact that it came out against E.T. There was already controversy then. Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott were at odds over the movie and they made Harrison add all these voiceovers which he felt were unneccessary. His reaction from this year:
"When we started shooting it had been tacitly agreed that the version of the film that we had agreed upon was the version without voiceover narration. It was a fucking nightmare. I thought that the film had worked without the narration. But now I was stuck re-creating that narration. And I was obliged to do the voiceovers for people that did not represent the director's interests."
So the movie's theatrical cut was liked by some and not by others. In 1990 Warner Bros. started screening a workprint of the film and Ridley Scott found out it was being called the Director's Cut even though he had nothing to do with it and it was missing a key piece - the original soundtrack. So they created a true Director's Cut that he signed off on, but it was still rushed and he didn't have much say in it. That was the version that went on to become one of the first movies released on DVD.
Scott has since complained that time and money constraints, along with his obligation to Thelma & Louise, kept him from retooling the film in a completely satisfactory manner. While he is happier with the 1992 release of the film than with the original theatrical version, he has never felt entirely comfortable with it as his definitive Director's Cut.

In 2000, Harrison Ford gave his view on the Director's Cut of the film saying, although he thought it "spectacular," it didn't "move him at all." He gave a brief reason: "They haven't put anything in, so it's still an exercise in design."
Finally around 2000 Scott went back and made the "Final Cut" with some new special effects and surround sound. That would have been finished and become the "special edition" DVD in 2001, but they ran into a bunch of legal problems and didn't resolve them until last year.
Which brings to the end of 2007, when there's now 7 different packages coming out, with various versions of the movie available. 3 Standard DVD packages, 2 Blu-ray, and 2 HD DVD. The biggest package is 5 discs, with the theatrical, director's cut, final cut, workprint, and international versions of the film. If you ever finish watching that, there's 90 minutes of bonus material too.

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