By “Extended Cut” or “Special Edition,” I am referring to any DVD release which includes additional footage in the movie itself or special features which otherwise are not available in previous versions.
And what is it that I want from these special editions? The Theatrical Version!
One of the things that drives me up the wall with DVDs is when the extended cut doesn’t come with the original theatrical release. If you go mucking about with a movie, I still want to be able to enjoy the film as it was seen by movie-goers. Star Wars fans were pissed off when George Lucas released the original trilogy on DVD without the original versions; we didn’t want the Special
Editions that were released in the late 90s, and we definitely didn’t want a heavily edited Special Edition (remember Hayden Christensen put in place of Sebastian Shaw?).
Even something like Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings runs into this problem. The extended editions replaced the theatrical release with an extended cut. They’re incredible movies in either for, but sometimes all that extra footage doesn’t make for a better movie; it’s there to make fans giggle inside.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with these changes, even when those changes are kind of stupid. But sometimes the theatrical experience is the better one. Plus, I like being able to ignore the changes without having to buy two different versions of the DVD. Seems like a really simple thing, but sometimes movie studios don’t give you both versions on the same DVD. And it’s really annoying…
What about you? What is the one thing you want in a special edition release of your favorite movie?