Minority Report (2002): Spielberg Conveys a Deadly 2054

TOM CRUISE MONTH POSTER

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! We have reviewed four Tom Cruise movies so far this month, now let’s make it five! Before we go any further, if you do want to check out my reviews for “Oblivion,” “All the Right Moves,” “Days of Thunder,” and “Top Gun,” you’ll notice that the titles are highlighted, meaning that you’ll find the links right there! These are all other movies that I have previously reviewed for the purpose of Tom Cruise Month, but we’re not focusing on those right now. Instead, we are going to focus on the year 2054, which looks mighty pleasant compared to 2020. It is time to talk about “Minority Report” as we begin our final installment of…

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TOM CRUISE MONTH

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“Minority Report” is directed by Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park, Jaws) and stars Tom Cruise (Risky Business, Top Gun), Colin Farrell (Ballykissangel, American Outlaws), Samantha Morton (Band of Gold, Pandaemonium), and Max Von Sydow (Flash Gordon, The Seventh Seal). This film takes place during the year 2054 and is based on the material once created by author Philip K. Dick. In a future where Pre-Cogs can see upcoming murders and related criminal acts, a special police unit is supposed to stop murderers and arrest them before such crimes are committed. Interestingly, one of the police officers themselves is accused of a future murder.

Prior to making this review, I had not once seen “Minority Report.” And at this point, getting to witness something new, even if it is almost a couple full decades old, is kind of a treat. I bought the Blu-ray when I was in Santa Monica, California, and I figured this Tom Cruise Month theme would give me a solid excuse to pop in the disc. Unknowingly, I was aware of this movie’s existence. I mean, sure, I guess I knew the title and everything, but what I did not know was that this movie was the picture featuring Pre-Cogs. Like every other person under the age of thirty, I achieved a great deal of knowledge, or at least a conglomeration of useless factoids, over the Internet. If it were not for YouTuber Jeremy Jahns referencing one specific scene…

“Murrrrder.”

…I would probably not know squat about this movie, or at least acknowledge squat about this movie. So I will say, this movie must have stood the test of time in terms of being recognized in pop culture. Then again, it is a Steven Spielberg flick, and he has a fairly recognizable, prolific, diverse, and masterful library.

By the way, before we go any further, one of the biggest compliments I’ll give to this movie is that the framing is very well done. The scope of “Minority Report” pulls you right in. It does not disappoint. It takes this 2054 type of environment and makes you embrace it. Speaking of which, one of the best shots of this movie, is the first full-on glimpse we get of a Pre-Cog, which is shown in the GIF I would assume you have scrolled through fairly recently. It’s just so clear and crisp. I don’t know why, but the more I look at the shot of that Pre-Cog, the more I want to go into a pool. Although, maybe not until next year, knowing how things are right now. I will say, on that note, even though I really like the way this film looks, it’s not pretty all the way through, because I think the color scheme of many of the shots are a little too somber. Granted, “Minority Report” is not a comedy, it was never supposed to represent the best of times, even though we do get some classy looking cars in the future, but there are some times where this movie doesn’t come off as a soap opera from the script, but the color palette begs to differ. It almost reminds me of the “Point Break” remake from 2015, only this movie is twice as good as that film and in my personal opinion, technically qualifies as a “movie.”

Since this is a Tom Cruise movie, and given how this is the final entry to Tom Cruise Month, let’s talk about Tom Cruise himself. When it comes to Tom Cruise in this film, this is honestly one of his better performances. I think casting was a job well done with this film, not just with Cruise, but with names including Max Von Sydow and Samantha Morton. I bought into all their performances and it helped enhance the movie. I will say though, not that it matters entirely, Tom Cruise with a haircut like the one he has here is probably one of his inferior looks for one of his roles. But that’s just me. Also, if you know me, when it comes to Tom Cruise, I don’t always point out my love and respect for him through his ability to convey a character, even though he’s a respectable actor in that regard, but his motivation to perhaps nearly kill himself. Like some of his other movies, he does his own stunts here. Granted, I never really noticed anything as scary or heart-racing as say his plane hang from “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” as an example, but is nice to know that like some of his other projects, Cruise himself put an effort into the stuntwork.

One of the best parts of “Minority Report” is the concept. You have a special police force trying to stop murderers who are predicted by Pre-Cogs. I think the way that this movie went around executing the concept was worthy of a thumbs up. The movie kind of had me in the beginning alone. I will say when it comes to pacing it does slow down overtime, but the climax is fairly entertaining as well. It ups the pace of the movie when said climax begins, and it makes the viewing experience worthwhile.

Another point of the movie that stood out to me for a reason I truly should have grasped from the very beginning was the score. For the record, the score for “Minority Report” was conducted by John Williams, and I don’t know why for the life of me I didn’t conceptualize that from the beginning. I knew John Williams automatically went hand in hand with the “Star Wars” franchise but for some reason I completely forgot his attachment to Steven Spielberg, the two go together in the same way that Hans Zimmer and Christopher Nolan tend to go together. They have worked on so many films to the point where their coupling has become nothing short of iconic. When it John Williams, I will say, even though there are fractions of the score that I happened to like, it is one of inferior scores. This movie came out the same year as “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones,” another score that John Williams did. And even though I, along with many others, would point out that “Attack of the Clones” is a lackluster installment to the “Star Wars” franchise, there’s a solid chance I would agree with someone that “Episode II,” per usual had a kick-ass John Williams score. When it comes to his 2002 work, “Attack of the Clones” kicks “Minority Report’s” ass. Although, if you want me to go further, even though I barely remember, I do recall not hating Williams’ score to “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” But I have to watch that movie again as it has been forever since I saw it. Sticking with “Minority Report’s” score, I will say I enjoyed it, but if I had to say one standout negative about it, I think it’s a little overbearing on drums. Just a little bit.

Little sidenote, this review is being written in 2020, the year that “Cops” was practically taken off the air for a list of reasons, so I will admit, I did get a slight chuckle seeing that apparently the TV show “Cops” was still relevant in 2054. Just thought I’d point that out.

In the end, “Minority Report” is a good movie, and a likable futuristic vision with a clever concept. However, when it comes to futuristic visions, specifically ones that come from the mind of Steven Spielberg, I much prefer his vision of 2045, which was represented through 2018’s “Ready Player One,” as opposed to his vision of 2054, represented here in “Minority Report.” Then again, “Ready Player One” is based on a book by Ernest Cline, and “Minority Report” is based on a short story from Philip K. Dick, so in reality, it’s not Spielberg’s vision. Nevertheless, I think when it comes to movies that are set in the future from Spielberg, I personally prefer “Ready Player One.” Although I will say, one thought that has been in my head for a little bit about this movie is the desire to check it out once more. Not just because I liked the movie the first time, which I did. But I feel like there are possibly one or two crucial points that I may have glossed over that are worth noticing in the future. If your movie can get me to have a urge to go back and see it one more time, no matter what the reason (unless maybe I want to torture myself), I’d say a job well done is in order. There are better Spielberg movies out there, I’d say there are better Tom Cruise movies out there. But this was worth my time, I didn’t really have any regrets. I’m going to give “Minority Report” a 7/10.

Thanks for reading this review! Thanks to all who showed any ounce of interest in Tom Cruise Month! I will point out that July is coming up, and while I have no real theme for the month, I will note that “Tenet” is scheduled to come out pretty soon, so maybe I’ll review some Christopher Nolan movies if I have the time. I will point out though, given how I have not really paid much attention to this year in film all that much, I do want to give this year’s movies a shot before it is too late. So there is a solid chance that a lot of July’s content is going to be of some 2020 movies that I missed. I’ve got a few on Blu-ray, I can probably check a few movies through streaming if I have the proper account setup. And even though I personally don’t have Apple TV+, there is a movie coming to that service that I might end up reviewing if possible, specifically “Greyhound” starring Tom Hanks. Because who doesn’t like Tom Hanks?! Be sure to follow Scene Before either through an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Also, check out my Facebook page! Speaking of checking things out, if you want to see some more of my Tom Cruise reviews that are not exactly affiliated with Tom Cruise Month, the links are listed down below. These reviews by the way go all the way back to 2017, my second year of film reviewing on Scene Before. I want to know, did you see “Minority Report?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite John Williams score of all time? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The Last Samurai

Risky Business

The Firm

American Made

Mission: Impossible

Mission: Impossible II

Mission: Impossible III

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

All the Right Moves (1983): An Infinitely Wrong Movie

TOM CRUISE MONTH POSTER

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! It is time for the second entry to the official Scene Before event, Tom Cruise Month! It is week 2 in this limited run of reviews, or as I like to call it, a cure to boredom. I love Tom Cruise, I sometimes forget how much I appreciate him as an actor, not just as a performer trying to encapsulate the heart and soul of the individuals he portrays on screen, but also how much he is willing to learn, how much he is willing to risk his own life just to entertain a modern audience. He’s this generation’s Buster Keaton if you ask me.

We are still early into Tom Cruise Month, and speaking of early, we are going to travel back to the 1980s, when the actor was just getting started, taking on films like “Endless Love,” “The Outsiders,” and “Risky Business.” But we are not going to talk about those films. I didn’t watch those a few days ago. Although, the thought of going back to watch “Risky Business” does intrigue me. Instead, we are going to dive into the 1983 flick “All the Right Moves.”

So let’s dive right–Wait… Tom! I didn’t mean that way! Ah, whatever, let’s start the review. This is a series I like to call…

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TOM CRUISE MONTH

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“All the Right Moves” is directed by Michael Chapman (Raging Bull, Taxi Driver) and stars Tom Cruise (The Outsiders, Risky Business), Craig T. Nelson, and Lea Thompson in a film about a teenage boy from a western Pennsylvania town looking for a football scholarship. The town is dominated by a steel manufacturing company, and it is kind of boring, but Cruise does have young Lea Thompson as a girlfriend, so that keeps life interesting. The movie follows Cruise as he has to deal with the pressure of a big football game, and the challenge of trying to get into a good school while living in a town that seems to be stuck in its own traditions that he may consider beneath him. Gotta be honest, and you’ll hear some explanation about this in the review. When it comes to the high school kid wanting a scholarship or a desire to get into a good school, this is a plot I think “Risky Business,” another Tom Cruise movie, did three times better than this piece of crap.

“All the Right Moves” came out in 1983, back when Tom Cruise was getting started, before Oprah Winfrey ever could have been concerned about getting her furniture ruined. I bought this movie in 2017, watched it once a little less than a year later, hated myself afterwards, and moved on with my life. I did not think I would watch it again, but I kept it in my collection because when it comes to what I’ve got in said collection, Tom Cruise is such a crucial part. I believe I have more Tom Cruise movies in my collection than I do for Criterions. That’s how much I am willing to embrace the dude. I don’t agree with his personal views in regards to Scientology. But I don’t let that get in the way from how much I respect him as a performer. Granted, a lot of his roles have gotten more complex and dangerous as time has passed, but even back in the 1980s, I can sense strong acting chops from Cruise himself.

So, I have the Blu-ray, so I took it from the collection, carefully inserted it into the player, it asked me if I wanted to resume from the last place I stopped because my 4K Blu-ray player apparently remembers s*it from 2018 and robots are taking over the world, said no, then I began watching the movie.

It still f*cking sucks. Plain and simple. I have not seen all of Tom Cruise’s work. Heavy hitters like “Vanilla Sky,” “Collateral,” and “Cocktail” are all titles I have not dived into as of yet. I fell asleep during the first few minutes of “Jerry Maguire,” but that was more or less because I was tired and not because the movie sucked. But if you ask me, if I had to pick a least favorite Tom Cruise movie of the ones I have seen, this would be it. Either this or “Mission: Impossible II,” which I have previously labeled in my review as “Impossible to Enjoy.”

I am being harsh on this movie, admittedly, so I will point out that I cannot overlook the things I liked about it. Tom Cruise is pretty good as the starring role, I like Craig T. Nelson as the coach, the performances all around are halfway decent. The cinematography and directing are both competent. But even though Tom Cruise plays the lead character well, I cannot say I related to him. Yes, I don’t play football. I don’t even like football! I think as a sport it is one of the most overrated concepts I have ever seen, even though I have watched the Super Bowl for the ads. Now, I understand that one of the big techniques when writing a likable main character is to have them be broken, they can’t be perfect. But there are certain times where Tom Cruise’s character of Stefen just comes off as a dick. I don’t know why. Just the way he talks, he feels more selfish than anything. And I understand that when it comes to storytelling, everything is typically supposed to come from the lead character’s perspective. But when your lead character is doing things that make them come off as a complete jackass, why should I care? I was able to defend him maybe once or twice, but there are so many other instances where a part of me died inside.

I mean, if you look at a similar movie starring Tom Cruise, specifically “Risky Business,” I felt for his character for just about every second of the movie. And whenever there was a fault that he made, it didn’t make me roll my eyes and wonder why I was rooting for him. His character, Joel, was relatable, and at times I kind of wanted to be him. I don’t think I’d want to be Stefen from “All the Right Moves,” even if I did get to date a young Lea Thompson in high school… If I were Joel I’d get Rebecca De Mornay so that’s a pretty fine alternative. By the way, the high school in this movie, at least from the perspective of young student characters we see inside, is unrealistically steamy. Maybe I’m saying this as someone who went in the 2010s, but still. It felt like something out of a stereotypical cheesy CW teen drama.

I don’t know, but the way this entire movie plays out feels incredibly stupid. Granted, it has some solid buildup and introduces you to the world in a well executed manner, but when it comes to building the characters, I don’t really like any of it. I understand want, but there’s want, then there’s a Veruca Salt impression. Maybe that’s a little too far, but without spoiling anything, some of the actions that Stefen takes in this movie almost feel unacceptable or inexcusable. If you want me to like you, don’t be a dick. Don’t go around doing s*it that makes you the scum of the earth, it’s that simple. I don’t care if you don’t like a person that much. JUST… Be polite. I get that girls… supposedly like bad boys, but holy s*it, if I dated this moron, I’d beat his ass before getting out of his sight.

Not even a gorgeous young Lea Thompson could save this mess! I mean, another compliment I could give is if you really want something sexy, this… is kinda serviceable. There’s one or two parts of the movie that at least could fulfill that. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend it as a date night movie. I think date night movies should have a little more substance, at least if you’re asking me, but ya know. Although I wouldn’t stop you from watching this with your mom, even though there is nudity.

One of the worst things about this movie is the ending. I will not go into it, and even though it is coherent, it is nevertheless cringeworthy to watch as a viewer because I’m looking at the main character. Did he earn his fate? Honestly, he didn’t. It was just given to him. I don’t even know how it adds up.

Honestly guys, if you want a solid story where Tom Cruise plays a teenage boy going about his daily life that feels raw, packs a total punch, and feels fun all around, go watch “Risky Business!” It came out in the same year, has a slightly similar concept, but is just about better in every single way from directing to writing to camerawork to emotion to music, just about everything in that movie is better, and apparently it came out before “All the Right Moves” did. And even though I gave some flack for “Risky Business” not keeping their original ending, which can be seen in the bonus features from their 2008 DVD/Blu-ray release, I consider it a near perfect movie. If I had to choose a favorite Tom Cruise movie, I would have to flip a coin between “Risky Business” and “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” At least this movie’s short, I didn’t suffer for too long.

In the end, “All the Right Moves” is all kinds of wrong. There are a couple things I like about the movie, there were one or two dramatic points that had me looking at the screen. Although when it comes to characters, they start out fine, but become flat or annoying as the movie goes on. I was not bored by this movie, even though it may drag at later points, I just found this movie rather unwatchable. Tom Cruise shows a decent acting ability even for an earlier role. Not enough to make a good movie. One or two scenes are kinda attention-grabbing. Not enough to make a good movie. Lea Thompson looks like a goddess! Not enough to make a good movie. I don’t know if I’ll be watching “All the Right Moves” ever again. That is even if I do keep the Blu-ray for the rest of my life. I’m going to give “All the Right Moves” a 3/10. Thanks for reading this review! Next week I’m going to be reviewing “Days of Thunder.” Another Tom Cruise movie I have not watched in a long time. I’m personally curious to see if any of my opinions change, but that will have to be revealed in the future. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Also, make the right move, and check out the Scene Before Facebook page! Give it a like too! I want to know, did you see “All the Right Moves?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite Lea Thompson movie? SPECIAL RULE: If you say any of the “Back to the Future” movies, I want a second choice if you have seen one. Admittedly, this is probably me just looking for a recommendation or two. Leave those picks down below and I will have a “Days of Thunder” review next week! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Oblivion (2013): Non-Cyberpunk 2077

TOM CRUISE MONTH POSTER

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Fun fact, ever since I have started my journey here on Scene Before since 2016, I have talked about 10 Tom Cruise movies. Granted, 60% of those films happen to be in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, but still. I have talked about “The Last Samurai,” “Risky Business,” “The Firm,” “American Made,” and as recently suggested, all six of his “Mission: Impossible” movies. Over the years I have missed a few new releases of his that I had a chance to review while it was in the theater such as “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” and “The Mummy,” but between life, a lack of motivation, and those kinds of weird-ass excuses, I have not gotten around to them.

So the question is, after all this time, will I finally get to these movies?! No! I will not!

Instead, I’m gonna focus on some other Tom Cruise films, one of which includes the 2013 post-apocalyptic science fiction flick “Oblivion.” This film, along with a few others are going to be reviewed in place of what could have been reviewed in June, “Top Gun: Maverick,” which was supposed to release at the end of the month. But, you know, coronavirus. It’s the talk of the town. While Tom Cruise felt the need for speed in 1986, things must have slowed down in 2020, which at this point is asking 2016 to hold a crapton of beers. Nevertheless, let’s stop dilly-dallying and start diving into the first review of…

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TOM CRUISE MONTH

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“Oblivion” is directed by Joseph Kosinski, who coincidentally is also helming the upcoming film “Top Gun: Maverick,” which like this movie, stars Tom Cruise. Aside from Tom Cruise, this movie stars Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight, The Shawshank Redemption), Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, To the Wonder), Andrea Riseborough (Welcome to the Punch, Disconnect), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones, Mama), and Melissa Leo (Frozen River, The Fighter). This film takes place during post-apocalyptic times in the year 2077 and it follows Tom Cruise’s character of Jack Harper, who currently lives on Earth as a technician who is responsible for maintaining drones as remaining resources are extracted in order to complete a five-year mission. Once this mission is completed, Jack and his partner will join the rest of humanity on their new home, Titan, a moon near Saturn.

Going into “Oblivion” for this review, it was my first time watching it and I was relatively curious as to what it would contain. I figured from the title and Tom Cruise being put in the center that it would be somewhat blockbuster-esque. When it comes to Tom Cruise movies, it kind of sounded like an “Edge of Tomorrow” type of deal. After all that film is sci-fi and action based. Much like “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Oblivion” does have its moments of action, but it does not seem to commit as heavily to it. From what I remember of “Edge of Tomorrow,” the action in that film is almost nonstop. After all, the concept of “Edge of Tomorrow” completely warrants it. It’s “Groundhog Day,” but the same day over and over is in the middle of futuristic battle. “Edge of Tomorrow,” even though there are other things to like about it, shines mostly from its concept.

Similarly, the writing and story for “Oblivion” is not all that bad, but it is two of the main characters, at least to me, that give this movie its overall watchability. And even though Morgan Freeman is the second actor I mentioned when introducing this film, he is not the highlight, even though his voice is worthy enough of its own relaxation album. In fact, his character, is probably one of the few that I’ll probably forget as time goes on. But from the very beginning, Jack and his communications partner have terrific chemistry. This movie takes place in a post-apocalyptic 2077 and not only do the characters played by Cruise and Riseborough match the vibe of the time, but I was able to buy into the stakes regarding their partnership. Together, their goal as partners is to be an “effective team,” which plays heavily into how the movie unfolds. One of the things that I notice a lot about futuristic sci-fi, or maybe just sci-fi in general for some cases, is that compared to the world we live in today, there is some lack of emotion in certain spots. Even with the lack of emotion in place, there is still a sense of realized chemistry between Cruise and Riseborough. And when the dramatic moments do hit, I feel it. This movie is a post-apocalypse story first, but if I were to judge it as a relationship drama, I’d give it a thumbs up. Also, sidenote, I like how at the beginning of the film he travels in his ship with his personal bobblehead to keep him company. It’s like his own little hula girl you put on the dashboard of your car or something.

“Oblivion” came out in 2013, and when it comes to the effects in this film, they feel pretty clean despite being in this rather depressing environment, but that’s not a bad thing. It does add a little glamour to something that doesn’t have much life in it. Specifically, I’m talking about the world, not the movie. This is not me bashing on the movie. I mean, the drones look very well put together and even though we just saw a new “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie that came out this year, the drones in this movie look twice as detailed and polished. I like the drones from a sound perspective as well.

I will say, having watched this movie in 2020, it does feel a bit weird, because even though we are living in a time where things are getting back to normal, one of the major plot points of the movie involves Tom Cruise’s past. Without really diving into spoiler territory, the way “Oblivion” handles this is likable, and as of now, kind of relatable. The movie starts out with Tom Cruise in an industrialized New York City, and it goes into his emotions in terms of how much he longs for the good days of old to return. Back when we had toilet paper and less masks and gather–wait, I think this is the wrong timeline! From this moment, and a few others during the movie, I got a sense of who the character of Jack Harper really was. A guy who went about his daily life with his partner, appreciating one moment after the next, but he also wanted the past to return, back when the Earth had numerous fun activities.

And even though Jack Harper is… (sigh) a Yankees fan, I understood his character because he wanted activities like sports and those sorts of things to return. Although given the circumstances, bringing those back would be a near impossible task.

I also really like the character of Julia, played by Olga Kurylenko. As mentioned, this movie focuses a lot on Jack Harper’s past, and the same can be said for this character. The way this was handled was very well done and made for one of the better parts of the movie. If I am not mistaken, “Oblivion” is my introduction to Olga Kurylenko, so I would like to see what else is put on her resume in the future.

Now onto the negatives, the film honestly starts much better than it concludes. I think the best parts of the movie take place through exposition and buildup. Even though the climax is somewhat entertaining, it misses an oomph factor to take it up a couple notches. Once again, I will mention, as much I like Morgan Freeman, this is probably one of his roles that I will end up forgetting. Granted, per usual, he is charismatic, but compared to other characters in the film, he does not climb up the ladder for me.

In the end, I went into “Oblivion” thinking it was kind of going to start off as this big action extravaganza, like “Edge of Tomorrow,” but it turned out to be something somewhat smaller in scale, which I am fine with. The shots in this movie are very well done, I admire most of the characters, and when it comes to Joseph Kosinski as a director, seeing this film makes me somewhat faithful that he can pull off a “Top Gun” sequel. Although when it comes to his past work, “Tron: Legacy” is definitely worth your time. Would I watch “Oblivion” again? Sure I would. In fact, this might be one of those movies that might be better the second time. It may have one or two moments or things that I missed that could make for a relatively fun second go. As far as Tom Cruise movies go, not bad. I’m going to give “Oblivion” a 7/10.

Thanks for reading this review! This is the first installment to my Tom Cruise Month review series, I hope you enjoyed it, because I want to remind you that this is just the beginning. My next film in the series is going to be the 1983 flick “All the Right Moves…” I wish I’m doing something else, but here we are. That review is probably going to be up on Monday or Tuesday, depends on when I watch the movie. But next Friday is my current deadline. I wanted to get the post I’m doing right now up by this previous Tuesday, but between everything going on in the world, and I will admit, laziness, I was a little late on this. By the way, if you are reading this, happy June! …Or whatever time in the world it is, I lost track I don’t know how many centuries ago. If you want to see more content like this, please consider following Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account! Also, head on over to my Facebook page! WE HAVE TOILET PAPER! That’ll get everyone in, right? I want to know, did you see “Oblivion?” What did you think about it? Or, do you have any bobbleheads? List em’ down in the comments, I want to hear about them! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

10 Movies That Have Changes You May or May Not Have Noticed *SPOILERS*

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! You might have clicked on this post thinking “Oh, crap! Clickbait! GO BACK! GO BACK! GO BACK!” First off, thank you for giving me one extra view, very much appreciated. Second, regardless of how clickbaity this sounds, I will say what you’re about to read is somewhat interesting. When movies come out, you might think of it in a certain way. You might go back and watch it the way you remembered. Although in some cases you might go back and watch it, and there’s something different about it. Today we’re going to be looking at some of these changes, see if you see the movie in a different view than you did before. One rule I’m making for this list is that no made-for-TV changes apply here. If a movie gets a change from its original release because it airs on TBS or something, it doesn’t count. So changes as the one from “Home Alone” where Buzzy doesn’t say “I wouldn’t let you sleep in my room if you were growing on my ass,” and instead says “butt,” doesn’t qualify. Just for the record, this is not a countdown, these aren’t in any specific order, and I’m not sticking to any sort of idea, stating how much I like or dislike these changes. I might go into that, but I’m not saying I like every single change or dislike every single change. So let’s dive into this.

Revenge of the Nerds: Phone Number

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The first change comes from the 1984 comedy “Revenge of the Nerds.” This is one of my personal favorite comedies. The sequels? Not so much. The movie has been released on VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-ray. However, the sequels haven’t gotten past the DVD mark. This is a change that is seen on both the DVD and Blu-ray editions of the film. In 2003, the film was put out on DVD, but with a reedit brought to the mix. There’s a “For Rent” sign in the movie which had a genuine phone number on it. For legal reasons, the footage where the phone number was displayed was removed. Note, I didn’t say blurred, but removed. I have never seen the footage of where the phone number is revealed and as I write this, I’m looking at originaltrilogy.com, where a bunch of users are talking about this change and a couple of them called it “jarring.” I will have to watch the original cut in order to agree or disagree, but if you really want to make everyone happy, just blur the phone number. Also to everyone, please don’t call the phone number. Don’t be a dick.

All the Right Moves: Lea Thompson In the Nude

Remember how I said this isn’t a countdown? Well, I guess this may be an excuse to talk about movies I haven’t seen. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you “All the Right Moves,” starring Tom Cruise (Risky Business, The Outsiders) and Lea Thompson (Jaws 3-D, Back to the Future). Why am I talking about this? Well apparently I was in Connecticut and while I was there, I managed to pick up a bunch of Blu-rays to add to my collection. This movie happened to be one of them and I figured it would go great in my Tom Cruise collection. Due to random research, I came across something interesting. When “All the Right Moves” came out in 1983, there’s a sex scene featuring Tom Cruise and Lea Thompson which contains full frontal nudity, however when the Blu-ray released in 2012, the framing of Lea Thompson’s character in the nude was altered. This prevented people from seeing Lea nude below the waist. I don’t want to sound like a pervert, but I don’t know why that change had to be there. First off, the movie’s rated R. Second, if people who have watched this before are rewatching this today, they might be slightly jarred by what they’re seeing and the experience of that scene might be ruined for them. Not to mention, this is a Blu-ray cut! Not a cut made for television! On TV, I can sometimes understand some movies being altered for certain viewers for a number of reasons. But, on a Blu-ray?! What do I know really? I’ve yet to see the film so I can’t really say much.

2001: A Space Odyssey: “Affirmative, Dave” and Nineteen Minutes of Footage

It’s been almost fifty years since the release of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” In that span of time, the movie has been considered a classic by fans of science fiction and film from a general perspective. You know what they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This change, much like the “Revenge of the Nerds” change, didn’t really break the film or anything for some people. In fact you can say it broke the film less because if you think about this, it’s not really that jarring compared to the “Revenge of the Nerds” change. In 1998, MGM released “2001: A Space Odyssey” on DVD, with a slight change in the dialogue. During the scene when Dave is trying to get through the pod bay doors, he asks HAL “Do you read me, HAL?” In that particular release, HAL responds by saying “Affirmative, Dave.” Although in the original release, HAL says “Affirmative, Dave. I read you.” What makes this change extra wacky is that the English subtitles for the DVD released by MGM actually still displays the line from the original release. The full dialogue however was revived in future home video releases from Warner Brothers. Speaking of changes, when “2001: A Space Odyssey” was first released, it was slightly over two and a half hours long. The version which is seen on most home video releases is a version that’s just slightly shorter than two and a half hours. Stanley Kubrick, the director of the film, removed nineteen minutes of footage after the film premiered. It would be nice to see that footage restored for when “2001” comes out on 4K, I’d totally buy that!

Blade Runner: Endless Cuts (SPOILERS AHEAD)

“Blade Runner” is one of the best sci-fi films ever made. In fact, a sequel just released in October and it might be just as good, if not better, compared to the original. Followers over the years have been exposed to multiple editions of what director Ridley Scott regards as “probably his most personal and complete film.” Ridley might not be lying when he says that, and we’ll get to that in a second. “Blade Runner” has had seven different cuts of the film released to the public.

In 1982, the workprint prototype version was shown to test audiences in Denver and Dallas. This was also shown in 1990 and 1991 to audiences in San Francisco and Los Angeles as a “Director’s Cut.” Although it didn’t have the approval of Ridley Scott. We’ll get back to that in a sec.

There was also a San Diego sneak preview version shown to audiences only once in May 1982. This version included three scenes that was never shown in any other version of the film (before or after).

Then we have the version the US audiences saw in theaters. This included a “happy ending” that the studio wanted in the film. Fun fact by the way, there are aerial helicopter shots which weren’t even filmed for “Blade Runner.” These shots were actually from Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.” The movie also included narration by Harrison Ford, who played the lead character of Deckard. While some might say Ford either was angry about his task or he intentionally narrated poorly, he said it was simply bad narration. This was also referred to as the “Domestic Cut,” which wasn’t released on DVD until 2007 as part of a collector’s set of the film.

Then we have the International Cut. This cut is a minute longer than the US version, and included more violence in three action scenes than the US version. This cut was eventually released in the US on VHS and Criterion Collection laserdiscs. Interestingly, this version was shown to the US on HBO during the 1980s, the 1990s, and 2015.

In 1986, the US broadcast version was released. This was put together by CBS to meet TV broadcast requirements. There’s even narration that wasn’t in any other version of the film leading up to it, plus a different opening crawl. And yes, I said made-for-TV changes don’t count, but I’m just providing evidence to prove my point.

Next came the Director’s Cut, which was created technically by film preservationist, Michael Arick. This cut was discovered as a 70mm print which nobody had an idea that it actually was the movie’s workprint version. This was discovered after a screening of the film in Los Angeles. Ridley Scott said the cut was roughly edited, lacked a key scene, and the climax missed Vangelis’s score. The Director’s Cut was very popular that it rereleased theatrically in 1992. This cut also brought up a very popular fan theory if you will to the table. At one point in the film, we cut to a clip of a moving unicorn. The original idea for this scene was to cut between Deckard and the Unicorn, but the condition of the print associated with this was not presentable, so it just shows the unicorn trotting. This scene along with a clip of Deckard holding an origami unicorn, may suggest he is a Replicant. Speaking of things this film removed, the movie no longer has the narration from Deckard along with the happy ending the studio wanted. Despite being called the “Director’s Cut,” Scott wasn’t satisfied. To be fair, he was busy with “Thelma and Louise,” time and money happened to be a problem, however this cut brought more satisfaction in general to Scott than the original. There’s one cut although, that brought even more satisfaction to Scott…

Here’s where we get to “The Final Cut.” This is the cut where Ridley Scott had complete artistic control. Remember the unicorn dream? Turns out in this version, the original dream was included. You know, the one where it cuts between Deckard and the unicorn. Other additions include alternate edits and violence featured in the international cut. It turns out there were parts of this version that went through reshoots to fit in this version. One such example is Zhora’s death scene. Fun fact, if it weren’t for Warner Brothers gaining total control over distribution rights in 2006, this would have probably never been released. This project started once the 21st century began, and in mid-2001, legal and financial troubles put the project to a halt.

Porky’s: Cherry Forever’s Extra Nudity

“Porky’s” is an interesting movie to say the least. When it comes to its reception, critics weren’t exactly pleased, but it did gain a cult following and there are still people who go back and watch it today. As far as 1980s coming of age stories go, this isn’t my goto pick. However, back in the 80s, this was a hit among many people who flock to the cinema. The film was #1 at the box office for nine consecutive weekends, suggesting that either a lot of people either wanted to see it, liked it and went multiple times, or happened to be really horny. The film eventually released on VHS and something appeared in that which never appeared in the theatrical release, or the future DVD release. Based on how the release was open matte, more nudity was revealed in the VHS version. This happened during the Cherry Forever scene. The additional nudity was a result of the transfer, and was never intended to be shown. You know, unlike my secret identity–whoops! That was close! I almost told you guys I’m the guy who saved the Golden Gate Bridge from absolute destruction. Oh, crap! I did it! I’m a failure! I was told by a wizard to keep that a secret! Oh, well! Sucks to be me!

xXx: Head-butt

One interesting move executed in battle is a headbutt. There’s something about it, you’re literally using your head to bounce off someone else as a fighting technique. Plus, the term itself is awesome. One movie where a headbutt is shown is 2002’s “xXx,” starring Vin Diesel. This movie isn’t exactly the next “Citizen Kane” or anything, however it is a fun action flick with some interesting lines in the lines in the script. Going back to headbutts, when this movie was released in several territories, audiences were exposed to a moment where a headbutt occurs. One territory where audiences didn’t get to see this however, was in the UK. Similar to the US’s MPAA, the UK operates under a rating system referred to as the BBFC. The BBFC has a rating labeled as 12A/12, which was the rating “xXx” was given. If the headbutt was kept in, the rating wouldn’t have been secured and would have bumped up to 15. This is how the film was presented for years. The headbutt wasn’t even in the eventually released Director’s Cut DVD. Although on January 5th, 2017, the film was rereleased on Blu-ray in honor of the film’s 15th anniversary. It was at this point that the BBFC waived the cuts to the film, and the headbutt was then inserted. The BBFC must have had this slogan for years:

BBFC: We’re buttheads!

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: Paramount Logo

I love “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” It’s a coming of age story that a lot of people in high school can relate to. In fact, you can also include anyone going to school in general, not to mention anyone who’s working a s*itty job can relate to. Sure, “Office Space” kind of does the same thing, but this came first. This change doesn’t even affect much of the movie, it just has to do with the logo. This movie is from Paramount, and if you know who they are, there’s a good chance you’ve seen one of their logos. Some time after the movie was in theaters, it came out on VHS. However, the VHS versions contain a plastered Paramount logo depending on the year the print released. The original logo although was restored on all future DVD and Blu-ray releases.

American Graffiti: Digital Effect

Ah, George Lucas. What have you done? You took a bunch of people’s childhoods, which were epic because of your “Star Wars” movies, and you threw them in the garbage! Because if you haven’t noticed, the original “Star Wars” trilogy has made a crapton of changes over the years! Well ya know what?! I’m not gonna focus on that! Because I already did a countdown focusing on those changes, and apparently George Lucas made a change to “American Graffiti” as well! This change didn’t exactly offend me as much. Then again I only saw this movie once. The change is shown in the 1998 Collector’s Edition DVD and VHS, and once you hear what it is without any specification, it almost sounds like something George Lucas would do. Lucas requested for the opening scene which features Mel’s Drive-In to have a sunset with clouds. The original opening had a cloudy sky with buildings in the background. In this opening, the buildings are still there, but the weather is different. Interestingly, there was also a documentary on the making of “American Graffiti” included as a bonus feature on the DVD, and the original shot was inserted there. Time travel much?

Kindergarten Cop: Little Terrorists

I imagine some people getting a sense of surprise from “Kindergarten Cop.” The film itself is a comedy where a cop goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher in order to locate the ex-wife of a dangerous criminal. This movie released in 1990 and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s kind of interesting to put the Terminator as the star of a comedy, but stranger things have happened. Although I wouldn’t say it’s all too strange because another comedy, “Twins,” released two years before this one, and while not all critics and audiences appreciated the film, there were a number of them to say it was worth a watch. Interestingly, both comedies were directed by Ivan Reitman, who also directed “Ghostbusters” 1 and 2. And the movie does have some witty Schwarzenegger lines and also has some funny lines given by a bunch of kids as well. Speaking of lines, let’s talk about one of them. As mentioned, this movie released in 1990, which is eleven years before 9-11. Once that day occurred, it inspired the removal of one particular line in all future versions of the film. After Schwarzenegger’s first day with the kindergartners, he has this to say about them.

JOHN KIMBLE: They’re horrible. They’re like little terrorists.

I’d just like to state that if I were in kindergarten watching this film, it would probably be debatable on whether or not I should be watching it given it has a PG-13 rating. However I don’t know if this one incident means this line should be deleted. I don’t know if Reitman decided on this or if Universal did or anyone else for that matter, but you don’t really need to get rid of it. Sure, in reality, kindergartners aren’t commonly associated with terrorists, although that would make for an interesting cartoon or something, but I don’t see how this would offend anyone. I mean, it’s probably better than changing the line, but the elimination felt unneeded. Let’s face it. Kindergartners are crazy, and I know that because I was one. I wouldn’t blame someone comparing me with a terrorist at that age because I was a chaotic brat. Anyways, let’s move on.

Jaws: Smile, You son of a… (SPOILERS AHEAD)

“Jaws” is considered by many to be one of the greatest films of all time. It has a terrific script, admirable characters, and an awesome score from John Williams, who went on to do “Star Wars,” “Superman,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T,” “Home Alone,” “Jurassic Park,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and “Harry Potter.” If you’ve seen the ending, you’d probably know how it ends. Part of that ending involves the character of Brody. He’s in a duel against the shark and he’s got a gun. He’s in full concentration mode, trying to take the creature down. In honor of the movie’s 30th anniversary, a DVD was released in order to celebrate. This brought a very minor change in one line, in fact, it’s actually one of the lines of the movie that I remember most. In versions prior to this release, before Brody shoots his gun to kill the shark, he says “Smile, you little son of a bitch.” Here, he says “Smile, you little son of a…” and then his gun is shot. Like the original, all the blood and gore remains, but the word “bitch” is removed. I’m glad I’m not Jesse Pinkman from “Breaking Bad,” because finding this out would be the worst day of my life. I can now say that my memory suggests that all the versions of “Jaws” I’ve seen in my life at this point, have this specific “bitch” removed. I want to know how this feels for everyone who has either seen the original version and possibly been exposed to alternate editions of the film. How does this “bitch” removal come off to you? Does it take away from the scene? Does it not take anything away at all? Does it anger you? I really want to know. I can’t say much about this change, but if they ever alter “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” there will be riots.

Thanks for reading this post, there’s a good chance I just possibly either ruined a scene for you, so if I did, I apologize. If so, don’t blame me, blame the people who changed them! Nevertheless, the year’s almost over, the holiday season is coming to its conclusion, but that also means I will have two countdowns coming up. Like at the end of 2016, I’m counting down my top 10 BEST and WORST movies of the year. I’ve seen a number of films that came out this year. Most of those films are ones I reviewed, and there are others I’ve watched but couldn’t make a review of for the sake of time such as “The Great Wall,” “American Assassin,” and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.” Believe it or not I will still be going to see more movies as the year comes to a close, because I have aspirations to go see “Downsizing,” “Father Figures,” “The Disaster Artist,” and if any other opportunities come up to see a movie released this year, I’ll take those as well. Stay tuned for more great content! Also, what is the worst alteration you’ve ever seen in a movie? For me, I gotta say Darth Vader screaming “no” at the end of “Return of the Jedi.” Leave your responses down below! And yes, can also includes ones from TV. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!