Bad Santa: Director's Cut - 10/10

Discussion in 'DVD' started by PaulP, May 17, 2006.

  1. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    http://www.dvdactive.com/news/releases/bad-santa7.html

    I have the [shudder] "Badder" Santa DVD and will get this to create my own 2-disc set. I'll have to check but I think, apart from the commentary, the other extras are also new. In this case, a likely $13.99 update for the original release seems okay. I have a clear two-disc case, so both covers will go in, with the "Badder" going inside [​IMG]
     
  2. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    WTF? I thought the "Badder Santa" DVD was the director's cut?
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Depending on the price, the Zwigoff commentary will get me to buy it (again).

    I guess the '88 minute director's cut' is the same thing as the unrated Bad Santa. I refuse to call it Badder Santa. Oops.[​IMG]
     
  4. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    It’s a bit far from Christmas time mate, where still only in spring…[​IMG]
     
  5. Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre Cinematographer

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    "Bad Santa" was taken out of Zwigoff's hands and drastically reshot and recut. "Badder Santa" is nothing more than an extended version of what the studio wanted. This new cut is a true director's cut that presents the film the way Zwigoff intended it.
     
  6. Travis Brashear

    Travis Brashear Screenwriter

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    Weird that this is shorter than both the theatrical edit and BADDER SANTA. Who wants to pay more for less?!

    Edited to add: Well, I guess Bill GrandPre answered that one for me! [​IMG]
     
  7. Andrew Radke

    Andrew Radke Screenwriter

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    Well as someone posted in the thread pertaining to this release on DVD Active, the running time for this is 88 minutes, whereas "Bad(der) Santa" was 98 minutes. That's quite a chunk of footage missing, especially for a comedy. I own the aforementioned "Bad(der) Santa" and am quite happy with it. This is the same reason I refused to buy the "Ali" director's cut. Sure, new footage may be added, but we're losing footage in the same breath. Out of sheer curiosity however, I'm interested to know exactly what changes are being made for this "Director's Cut".
     
  8. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    You may be losing footage, but you're gaining the director's actual preferred cut. For any given film, there are always hours of additional footage left over that can be put back in, but it's not every film for which we can get the director's true preferred cut in the face of excessive studio intervention.

    DJ
     
  9. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Thanks for the info, Bill. I'm much more interested in this now than I was 4 or 5 hours ago. [​IMG]
     
  10. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    For the lazy, here are the stats for the unrated edition, via DVD Compare:


    I'm wondering if it's just worded differently, but content-wise the same, or indeed new features (other than the commentary, obviously).

    In any case, it'll be interesting seeing the director's intended version of the film, as, apparently he didn't sanction both the theatrical and extended versions.

    Plus, it'll be worth it just to have a cover with the actual title of the film [​IMG]
     
  11. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

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  12. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    Apparently it indeed is.
     
  13. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    I saw this new cut on the big screen a couple of weeks ago at Ebertfest '06, where Zwigoff told us he was recording (or had already recorded) a new commentary for the DVD.

    Glad I held out on "Badder Santa" these past couple years...
     
  14. Kyle_D

    Kyle_D Second Unit

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    I saw this as well at Ebertfest '06.

    The differences I noticed (granted, I only saw the film once before upon its original theatrical release):


    -The epilogue is changed, and the film ends with the kid wiping up Billy Bob's blood from the front porch.

    -A few scenes are removed, such as the subplot involving the kid's box of chocolates. After the screening, Zwigoff indicated that the studio mandated these scenes be shot after he presented his first cut to give Billy Bob's character more of a conscience.

    -Bernie Mac's murder is much longer and more graphic. Marcus finishes him off by electrocuting him with jumper cables (kind of like Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) and repeatedly rolls over his corpse with the van.


    I'm sure there were additional changes, but those were the ones I noticed. My general impression was that this cut had a slightly blacker tone than the theatrical release, though it was still just as funny.
     
  15. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Kyle, based on your spoilers, am I correct in assuming that Billy Bob's character was dead at the end of Zwigoff's version.
    The first time I saw the movie, I thought that it seemed like they had changed their minds over that at the last second and tried to 'fix' it with narration.

    I never knew that the movie was so altered by Dimension.
     
  16. Kyle_D

    Kyle_D Second Unit

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    TravisR,


    No, Billy-Bob is still alive and the film still ends with a voice-over of his letter to the kid from prison. The "Nothing vital was hit except my liver, which was pretty much shot anyway" line is still in there, though I think much of rest of the VO was changed. I forgot exactly how the theatrical version ends, but in the DC, Laura Graham's character moves in with the kid and his grandma and Billy-Bob sends the kid a shirt from prison that reads "Shit happens when you party naked." During the voice-over the Kid walks around the house gathering cleaning materials, and we see Laura Graham enjoying the hot-tub in the background. As stated in my earlier post, the last shot is of the Kid mopping up Billy-Bob's blood off the front porch, which I know was not in the original.

    Zwigoff mentioned that after someone in a test screening focus group suggested it, he briefly considered re-shooting the ending to kill off Billy-Bob, but one look over at the Studio Suit in attendance told him that wasn't going to fly.


    Again, the main difference between the theatrical and the DC is that there's even less of an attempt to make Billy-Bob sympathetic. Any scenes in the theatrical that were shot later in order to soften Billy-Bob's character are removed, while others are reinstated to give the film a slightly blacker comedic tone.

    Overall, the DC doesn't change the film much and if I hadn't known it was a different cut going in, I probably wouldn't have noticed the differences - apart from the slightly altered ending. I have to say though that Zwigoff seemed pretty bitter about the whole experience and was pretty dismissive of the theatrical cut, saying that the stuff Dimension added was so out of tone with the rest of the film that he figured everyone would know he wouldn't have shot it if he wasn't forced to. Maybe if I had watched them closer together I would have a stronger opinion either way.
     
  17. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    Kyle:

    The third change made it into the Badder Santa cut.
     
  18. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Thanks for the info, Kyle.
     
  19. Joel C

    Joel C Screenwriter

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    This is probably worth a rental for the commentary alone, especially if he is allowed to say what he wants to say. In the end, the movie sure made enough for the studio, so maybe they were right. It was darkly funny, but not too repellant. Who knows.

    I doubt I'd buy simply because, while I thought the movie was hilarious the first time, I found it sort of disgusting the second. Granted, the first time I watched it alone at night and not exactly sober, and the second time was with my parents (who thought it was really funny).
     
  20. Kyle_D

    Kyle_D Second Unit

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    Not very likely. Zwigoff mentioned that he pretty much had to sign a gag order concerning the backstage political dealings that led to the film being taken away from him. I guess this is pretty common with Hollywood/The Weinsteins when films are taken away from directors - which might explain Scorsese's "on the record" statements about his satisfaction with Gangs of New York and his supposed "off the record" statements that say otherwise.

    Zwigoff even related an anecdote that had to be censored out of the commentary for legal reasons, though it didn't seem like a big deal. I guess the whole inspiration for mall Santa scenes stems from Zwigoff's observations of the Santas at Macy's. From his point of view, Santa's are basically there to sell pictures and nothing more, hence the repeated "What do you want"/Smile for the camera/Shove the kid off gags. Dimension was afraid Macy's might sue them, so they cut that bit out of the commentary, which Zwigoff seemed to find amusing.
     

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