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"The Natural" Director's Cut


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#1 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 02:48 AM

First off, I've had a life-long love affair with this film. It's probably the #1 reason why I wanted to be a cinematographer in the first place. So, it's very hard for me to form an unbiased opinion of the theatrical cut vs. the new director's cut. But I just had to post this to show my frustration with what Levinson did with this new DVD release of the film.

The first act of the film...completely butchered. Originally, it was a great meshing of Americana, tragedy and romance that was paced nearly perfectly for an efficient and economic establishing of the characters. But now, it's so clunky, it's unbearable. Once gorgeous slow-mo shots have been sped up (namely the introduction of the bat "Wonderboy") and regular speed shots have been slowed down to completely ruin the effect they had in the original version.

Wilford Brimley's first scene and monologue was chopped up with cutaways of Robert Redford walking down the tunnel into the dugout. And, there was a reaction shot of Redford turning his head quickly that was used twice!

And some of the "new shots" you can tell just haven't been stored very well, are extremely grainy and not color corrected as well as they could be since they just don't fit with the color palette of the rest of the film.

Levinson's introduction to the film said that just the first act was really changed, and honestly, I couldn't even sit through it without getting sick to my stomach.

Some of the DVD extras on disc 2 are OK, but nothing too insightful.
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#2 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 09:12 PM

There are many on IMDB who agree with you.


http://www.imdb.com/...at/71040030?p=1


Keep watching the original and pretend that the new director's cut you saw was a bad dream.


Incidentally, there were fans of the novel who thought that the movie betrayed the book.
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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 10:34 PM

"First off, I've had a life-long love affair with this film"

I would have to agree with you it's one of the best films ever made, and cinematically, beautiful.

I've always thought it was the quintessential American movie, I just love the ending, so classic.

Redford breaks his wonder bat, then calmly says to the pudgie bat boy, "pick me out a good one Bobby." He hits the famous home run. Boy oh boy, brings a tear to your eye.

I love that shot of Redford standing in the wheat field at the very end playing catch with his son, he looks like the very definition of a "movie star."

R.

PS: Of course this movie does not compare with the Black Stallion, but it's still pretty good :D
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 01:34 AM

Incidentally, there were fans of the novel who thought that the movie betrayed the book.


Yeah, the new making of doc on Disc 2 goes into that. How the book has a really sad ending, which makes it more a product of the time it was written

And how gorgeous is the scene of him rounding the bases as the stadium lights explode and sparks land all over the field and players with Newman's epic score blasting away.

The new cut was definitely a bad dream...thankfully I don't usually remember my dreams too well :)
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