A Few Arrows More

A forthcoming Bluray combo-pack of Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood (Universal Home Video, 9.21) will include a director’s cut running 156 minutes, or 15 minutes longer than the 141-minute theatrical version. The question, of course, is whether the extra length will make it a stronger film or just another case of directorial indulgence or lost “darlings.” Scott’s longer version of Kingdom of Heaven was, of course, far superior to the theatrical cut, so here’s hoping.

31 thoughts on “A Few Arrows More

  1. Thank goodness Ridley Scott never directed an episode of Family Matters…the director’s cut would have 80 extra minutes of “uncut Urkel action.”

    And if you take those last three words in a uniquely specific way, well, really thank goodness…


    The untold story behind Did I Do That

    KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, both cuts, put me to sleep.

    BTW does anyone really still fall for the “uncut” promo, I’ve yet to see anything that would garner such a label from a major director; stop overhyping a DVD and just go back to the basics before the uneducated masses got into purchasing DVDs, you kow before mulitiple editions with wacky titles and unskippable previews were entered into the fray; its simply a directors cut & even that is skeptical.

  3. KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: DIR CUT was superb. I really enjoyed ROBIN HOOD too, a solid adventure movie of the sort few directors know how to do anymore. Great score too, and beautiful end credits. Glad you were one of the few critics to appreciate it Jeff.

  4. In yesterday’s thread I lamented Apocalypse Now “Redux”, though on further consideration I realized I had discounted the number of quality director’s cuts out there. Bob_Roberts pointed out Almost Famous’ “Untitled” cut, which I find an unqualified success and the only version to watch. And I don’t even remember how Oliver Stone’s final cut of “Any Given Sunday” differs from the theatrical, and don’t much care to find out. (Stone’s 3rd or 4th final cut of Alexander is a marked improvement, though I’m still not sure I actually *like* it.)

    Then of course there are plenty of films, Kingdom of Heaven among them, where the director’s cut is simply undoing the studio’s meddling. Unfortunately, I can’t see how Robin Hood is going to get better: the movie falls apart in its last half hour, and presumably the “big battle” is not where the studio would have demanded cuts.

  5. Clarifying the above post’s unclear phrasing: I like Any Given Sunday quite a lot. And final Alexander cut vs. theatrical.

  6. fucking sweet…robin hood was aces all around…why so many people complained about that film i’ll never understand…nobody does epic quite like ridley scott…can’t wait to see the new footage…

  7. Halfway through the “extended cut” of Rambo now – and as usual, the stuff added in was wisely snipped in the first place. Though I’ve heard most of the improvements come at the end, so we’ll see.

  8. Mr. Scott appears to be rather conscious about the distinction whether to call his films “Extended cut” or “Director’s cut,” so if that’s any indication, marked particularly with the case of the dir. cut of Kingdom of Heaven(though with a much more substantial addition of footage), I’d say the director’s cut of Robin Hood may hold something of value to make it the preferable version. Of course, it remains to be seen for, and evaluated by, ourselves..

  9. Dir Cut for KINGDOM OF HEAVEN was like watching a different movie. If he released that cut, it would have grabbed awards. It’s a tremendous film.

    ROBIN HOOD, however is just a mess. No rhythm to the film. Maybe the additional footage will help bring some shape to the thing, but I think it’s just a bad film.

    And the extended cut of APOCALYPSE? Completely unnecessary.

  10. KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: DIR CUT was superb. I really enjoyed ROBIN HOOD too, a solid adventure movie of the sort few directors know how to do anymore. Great score too, and beautiful end credits. Glad you were one of the few critics to appreciate it Jeff.

  11. I quite enjoyed Robin Hood in the theater, and like actionman was wondering what everyone was bitching about. But I must admit it’s faded from my memory incredibly fast. I can’t really recall anything that happened in it, beyond that battle on the beach at the end and a bit where Robin’s Dad writes the Magna Carta or some such absurdity.

    It was decently entertaining, though. It’ll make a solid TNT film in a couple of years’ time.

  12. I remember the Mark Strong “Captain Vidal-meets-Heath Ledger-meets-Madeleine Stowe-in-Revenge mouth scar”.

  13. I loved Robin Hood as well, but the movie already felt quite long, but also strangely incomplete at times. It’ll probably be R-rated as well (eg “unrated”).

  14. I wonder if without “Blade Runner” Scott (and others) would have developed the Director’s Cut fettish?

  15. Clearly the extra footage in a director’s/extended cut of Robin Hood will primarily consist of unicorn shots.

    I’d actually be more curious to see an “uncut” Jonah Hex, even though Robin Hood is a much better movie. Watching Jonah Hex, I was trying to figure out who, exactly, thought this movie would be more palatable at 80 minutes than 100 or so, since it doesn’t really FEEL like a trim 80 minutes anyway. And I’m wondering what Michael Shannon did for his “and” credit in a longer version, since he literally has no more than two lines in the movie.

    Interesting that among all of the big epic/sci-fi/fantasy directors, Spielberg seems to be the only one without some kind of extended/director’s cut/special edition fetish. Ridley Scott, James Cameron, George Lucas, Peter Jackson… all have multiple versions of their big movies. Even Cameron, who routinely exceeds the 150-minute mark and presumably has final cut! Wasn’t there talk of an even-longer cut of Titanic he had up his sleeve? So I appreciate that Spielberg doesn’t do much of that; shows a little more confidence, I think (not that any of those other guys are lacking in it). I mean, I guess Close Encounters was one of the first “special editions” to be tagged as such, and there was some monkeying around with E.T…. but there doesn’t seem to be much question that regardless of various gripes with them, A.I. and Minority Report and Munich and War of the Worlds and everything else he’s made in the past 20 years are pretty much as he intended.

    I’ll go in on the love for the longer Almost Famous, though. I’m not sure if it’s definitively superior just because I loved the original version so much and had seen it three or four times before I saw the extended version… but it’s definitely at least as great, and possibly better. And I appreciated the extra five minutes and change of Zodiac that we got with the director’s cut, although the changes were so subtle (apart from the music over blackness) that I’m not sure why it wasn’t released in the first place. Is a 160-minute movie really so much less commercial than a 155-minute one?

    I don’t have much use for Lord of the Rings, but I do harbor a ridiculous fantasy that someday McKay and Ferrell will edit the cut subplots and scenes from “Wake Up, Ron Burgundy” (the 90-minute DVD bonus movie made up from cut Anchorman footage) into some kind of ill-conceived three-hour mega-epic Anchorman cut, and package it in rich maghony-smelling leather. Same deal for what I imagine would be somewhat shorter (since they have more extra/alternate scenes, rather than whole subplots) versions of Talladega Nights and Step Brothers.

  16. It doesn’t matter if Scott’s Director’s Cut is longer or better. I could never buy into his vision for this film because I can’t accept the idea of Robin Hood and Maid Marion being in their 40s.

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