Hollywood, We Need to Talk About Film “Rereleases” and “Alternate Cuts”

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Remember how “Avengers: Endgame” became the biggest film in history? Well, some may argue that it couldn’t have gotten to that point without one thing, putting a new version of the film in theaters! I remember back in June we were getting advertisements for the upcoming “Avengers: Endgame” rerelease, signifying there would be new content to witness. Granted, I already knew what audiences were in for. It’s the exact same movie, but with end credits content that audiences didn’t get to see originally. I still roll my eyes to this day that the marketing team decided to market this as a rerelease to begin with because THE FILM WAS STILL IN THEATERS BEFORE THIS HAPPENED! I figured this would be a one time thing. Granted, “Avatar” did a rerelease back in the day with extended content, but for one thing, that was a different version of the film, and it was already out on DVD.

I was able to personally let “Endgame” slide. After all, it ended up being the king of the box office as an effect. But then came August, and apparently “Spider-Man: Far From Home” was joining the party on this!

Now, I will give some credit to “Spider-Man: Far From Home” in regards to their actions during this rerelease game plan. Why? Because they at least called it the “extended cut.” This cut featured additional footage that wasn’t seen when this film originally came out, so ultimately, this wasn’t a “Spider-Man 2,” it was a “Spider-Man 2.1.”

Wait a minute…

Coincidentally, on the same weekend “Spider-Man: Far From Home” came out with its alternate cut, another movie which, believe it or not, came out at the same time as Spidey’s original cut, “Midsommar,” was doing the same thing. “Midsommar” came out with what was marketed as the “Director’s Cut.” This different cut included extended and new scenes.

I will point out, for those who are not in the know, these “rereleases” and “alternate editions” are not a new thing. “Blade Runner” has had multiple releases in various forms including “The Director’s Cut” and “The Final Cut.” The “Lord of the Rings” franchise, including installments of “The Hobbit,” would eventually release an “extended edition” on DVD of each film. And “Star Wars” has been putting out redos of the original trilogy in 1997, 2004, and 2011.

But here’s the difference, everyone behind these movies are not putting these out only a couple of months after they originally went into theaters! I don’t know how the average moviegoer feels about this, but if I had to judge from my perspective, it sort of is beginning to remind me of a path that the video game industry seems to follow. Back in the day, you would pay full price for a game, and you get the entire game. Nowadays if you typically want to buy a video game, you have to not only pay $60 if it is a big name title, but on top of that, you have all these additional downloads, in-game currencies, packs, those sorts of things! I remember I would play a lot of NBA 2K back in the day, everything I needed was included! Now, if you want the good stuff, you might as well sell your soul! This is why I refuse to buy what seems to be a pay to win-oriented NBA 2K20! If I wanted to gamble, I’d go to Vegas for crying out loud!

Movie tickets are not as expensive as video games (although if you are buying popcorn and bringing a family along, I might take that back), but it is still not cheap. The average price of a movie ticket in 2019 is $9.01, which as far as my area is concerned, is actually kind of a bargain. Where I live, specifically eastern Massachusetts, I’m usually paying somewhere in the double digits for one ticket each time I go see a movie. It could be worse, but it is certainly something that can warrant a slight complaint.

I don’t mind seeing the same movie twice in the theater. I’ve done that with a number of a titles throughout my life because a lot of them happened to be very good and perhaps worth a rewatch. But it never felt like in any of those scenarios that the studio was robbing me. I was seeing the exact same film, just at a different time.

I guess there is a curiosity factor that can come out of an extended cut or something like that. What if there’s a scene that makes the movie better? But at the same time, an extended cut of “Far From Home” feels cheap because I just saw the original.

I am not worried about this right now, but I honestly think this has the potential of becoming the next big trend in moviegoing. Audiences see a movie, and since Hollywood is running out of ideas, someone thinks, “Let’s show the same thing two months later!” Now if this is a way for the director to get out a version that they would have preferred releasing as opposed to the original, then I can approve. However, why couldn’t we have just seen that version in the first place? As a moviegoer, I want to see the next new thing as opposed to seeing studios perhaps making me obligated to see their product again because “it’s my duty.”

I just don’t want to see a future where all of our movies lose their individuality. It seems kind of pointless and just an excuse to make more money. Even if these extended editions do end up somehow being better than their original counterparts, it manages to give me this vibe that certain movies are overstaying their welcome. Who knows? Maybe this will simply be a 2019 fad that will wash away over time, but I am hoping for the sake of individuality, not to mention moviegoers’ wallets, that we don’t give into Hollywood studios putting out a bunch of changed products. And you know what? Let me just put it this way…

I make a bunch of movie reviews for Scene Before. One of them by the end of the year is inevitably going to be for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Let’s say I see that movie, review it, and give my thoughts on it. How would you feel? After wasting about 5-10 minutes of reading that, that I announce, “Hold your horses! Stay tuned for this February where I release the EXTENDED EDITION of this review!” Granted, if I went ahead and made a spoiler talk that is one thing, because I’d intentionally make the review filled with spoilers, but what if I came out with the exact same wording, phrases, and paragraph structures as I did in that original review, but I sprinkle tiny new bits and pieces? Wouldn’t you feel like I snatched your dignity and thrown it out the window?

So please, Hollywood… Stop grinding my gears.

Thanks for reading this post! This weekend is the release of “IT: Chapter Two.” As for whether or not I’m seeing it, that will be up for debate. And I just want to let everyone know that next week I’ll be heading back to college for the fall semester, so if you see me posting a tad less than usual, that could be a reason why. However, this all depends on the workload, so we’ll see what happens. I am not planning on losing my commitment to Scene Before, so I will do my best to stick to doing at least one post a week. I will do my best to cover topics that stand out and focus on big or important movies coming out. After all, …Oscar season is upon us. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your thoughts on these alternate editions of films? Or, have you seen the recently put out versions of “Spider-Man: Far From Home” or “Midsommar?” Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

What Blade Runner Got Right About the Future

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Just about a month ago, I watched “Blade Runner” for the first time ever. For the record, no, I didn’t intend on doing so because the new one was coming out, however I would have done that anyway. By the way, the main reason I watched it is because it was part of a class curriculum in my school. Anyway, that movie takes place in 2019, which is two years away, and if you read the title of this post, you’d probably already know I’m going to be talking about what “Blade Runner” got right about the future. You’re probably thinking, why you doing this in 2017 and not 2019? I figured it would be appropriate to do it now since there’s gonna be a new “Blade Runner” installment coming out this weekend called “Blade Runner 2049” and I had no review planned for the original. If you’re asking, yes, I do want to see it, but I’m not sure when I will. However, I’ve watched the movie multiple times now, specifically “The Final Cut.” As mentioned, I watched it in school, but I later picked up the 4K Blu-Ray edition even though I don’t have a 4K Blu-Ray player. Throughout watching the movie I picked up on a number of things: The endless inspiration it had on material which arrived after it, the visually pleasing world and effects, and also, considering we are two years away from this movie’s setting, how much it got right about the future, along with how much it could get right in the meantime.

A lot of people are saying that it’ll probably be a bit longer before flying cars become a reality. While they certainly aren’t seen on the streets all that much, it doesn’t mean they haven’t been partially realized. There’s a company called Terrafugia who has made this happen. According to the Wikipedia page labeled “Flying car (aircraft),” Terrafugia announced the first autonomous flying vehicle on May 7, 2013. Now, these babies have not come to market yet and development is going to likely take 8-12 years. So this means these cars might come to market somewhere between 2021-2025. By the way, the name of this vehicle is the TF-X and there is a page on Terrafugia’s website about it. If you’re interested in checking it out, click the link down below! Also something interesting I just found out, their headquarters, located in Woburn, Massachusetts, is actually a couple towns away from where I live! So that means I’m currently a couple towns away from possibly future history in the making!

https://www.terrafugia.com/tf-x/

In “Blade Runner,” you’re seeing Replicants, artificial creatures, and scanners to confirm one’s identity, so it’s not really much of a surprise that another thing they’ve gotten right is the rise of technology. Sure, this can apply to flying cars, but I feel that deserves its own topic. This is something that a movie thought of before the release of “The Terminator.” Not only does technology control our everyday lives, but it comes off as superior to humanity in various ways. For example, with the rise of chess computers in the 1980s, they’ve beaten some of the world’s best chess players. Also, stores are now commonly using self-checkout, heck! People aren’t even going to stores anymore! Just look at what Amazon’s doing right now! It’s not just stores that are doing this, McDonald’s put self-checkout in its locations in 2016. By the way, they already had a number of these, this was the time when it was put to absolute use. They did this because the employees at McDonald’s wanted a $15 minimum wage. By the way, f*ck McDonald’s. I’ve been on the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) to ride trains into Boston and they barely even announce anything manually anymore! In fact, they’re soon replacing their Orange Line trains with newer models, some of their last trains that only allow manual announcements. Not to mention on the topic of computers, not just ones that can play chess and win, we’ve even had IBM Waston, a computer that can play “Jeopardy!” and take victory against two of its winningest contestants, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter! I wouldn’t be surprised to go to restaurants in the future and instead of seeing waiters or waitresses, I just see robots coming to you and taking orders! Who knows really, only time will tell.

I want you to take a moment to observe this shot, what do you notice? If you’re thinking that’s Harrison Ford holding a gun, you’re right, but that’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about in this shot, is the rain. 2017 has been a hard year in terms of natural disasters, specifically hurricanes. This year we’ve seen hurricanes such as Harvey, Maria, and Irma. This is more rain than usual in any sense of the word. I won’t get into climate change or global warming because the movie didn’t really suggest any of that specifically, but the rain may have suggested all the pollution we’re getting. Who knows what it could be from? Maybe all the flying cars aren’t as efficient as those on the ground. If you watch the movie, look very carefully, because you’ll be able to see it’s raining a good portion of the runtime. In movies, it usually rains during certain situations such as a dramatic fight scene like in “The Matrix Revolutions” or to move the story along like in “Bee Movie.” The rain is much more common here than those films.

Much like flying cars, this isn’t really something that’s technically happened, but it is potential to happen soon, which is people living off of Earth. In the movie, they talk about off-world colonization, suggesting that people started living their lives on planets that aren’t Earth. Right now in the real world, people are actually getting ready to colonize Mars. There’s actually a couple of missions that are planned in future decades from SpaceX and Mars One. SpaceX wants to see colonization begin in 2022 and Mars One wants to see it begin in 2032. Not only are organizations planning to colonize it, but people are just planning to just travel to and fro. This is something that both the US and Russian governments are planning in the 2030s.

If you think I missed something that “Blade Runner” got right about the future, please let me know about it. I actually almost put sex robots on here, but the furthest we’ve gotten with them as far as I know happens to be prototypes plus I don’t even know if I fully trust the sources I’m getting this info from. For those of you wondering what I’m talking about, just watch the character of Pris in this movie. If you want to talk about something different related to “Blade Runner,” well then what are your thoughts on the movie? Are you excited for the sequel? I’m personally excited if you ask me, I will hopefully have my review of “Blade Runner 2049” very soon. Also, in terms of upcoming reviews that AREN’T “Blade Runner 2049” I do want to see “Stronger,” and I might also have interest in another film coming out this weekend, “The Mountain Between Us,” starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet as two people who crash a plane on a mountain and go on a journey together. Stay tuned for more great content! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!