2009; Director's Extended Cut
The director has brilliantly addressed what was wrong with the original
version of Watchmen: it was just too damned short!
I'm kidding, but if you didn't realize that, here's your big opportunity to
see what was left out of the original two and a half hours of film. It's the
new, improved three-hour version.
There's not much difference that you would notice unless you're a comic
book fanatic. Several scenes are longer. There's a little extra gore. There's
only one expansion which has any substance: Night Owl 1 gets beaten to death by
a skinhead gang, then Night Owl II (Dan) loses it in a bar and beats the
daylights out of a member of the same gang that beat up Night Owl I. He gets
so far out of control that Rorschach has to calm him down.
Having Rorschach tell you to get a grip is like having Amy Winehouse stage
Here are the latest versions of the female nude scenes (Malin
Akerman). I think they are identical to what we have seen, but the quality
is slightly upgraded. That's not enough of an upgrade, to be candid. The
scenes are so dark, and the dim lighting so funky, that only a Blu-Ray rip
will present the scenes in adequate quality.
The Las Vegas Abductions
This is a softcore sex film within sort of an Invasion of the Body
Snatchers framework, with a little offbeat Vegas-style raunchy bachelor party
comedy thrown into the mix. It's not very good, and what is particularly odd
about it is the allocation of the nude and sex scenes. Although the film runs
a bit more than 80 minutes, there is no nudity past about the 32-minute mark,
which means that the film ends with nearly an hour of grade B no-budget
sci-fi/horror, as acted by fully dressed softcore porn stars.
And you really don't need me to tell you how good that is.
Here's the female nudity (T&A only. In Lynne's case, just the T without the
Streets of Blood
Streets of Blood is set in lawless post-Katrina New Orleans. Feds are
investigating crooked cops. Cops are investigating crooked Feds. The streets
are out of control. Blah, blah. Everyone is on the take except one cop. It
stars former A- or B+ listers Sharon Stone and Val Kilmer, plus screen
Val Kilmer has been in the straight-to-vid business for some time now, and
I can see why he might have liked this project, because his role is colorful
and the character is on screen for almost the entire film. He probably has a
big enough ego to crave that kind of part, and such opportunities are no
longer being offered to him in big-time movies.
On the other hand, while Sharon Stone has been involved in projects which
bypassed the theaters, I can't imagine why she was involved in this particular
- Surely there was not a big paycheck.
- Shooting in New Orleans can't be that much of a dream assignment these
- Unlike Kilmer's juicy part, Stone's role seemed like a tack-on, and all
of her scenes could be cut without affecting the film at all. She played a
police psychiatrist and, in effect, her scenes seemed to exist purely to
provide exposition and scene transitions. She is either sitting at her desk
or at a restaurant while she asks the police officers some questions about
what we have just watched. Her interviews with the cops almost seem to have
been inserted after the fact to make the narration smoother, as a substitute
for the timeworn trick of adding voice-over narration.
- Stone is too smart to have have read this script and thought "I just
have to be part of this film." There are only two things I liked about this
film other than the sight of the closing credits. First, Kilmer does an
excellent job, as usual. Second, the beginning of the film is gripping. The
opening credit sequence consists of some very impressive and evocative
footage of New Orleans taken immediately after Katrina, This was followed by
a boldly visual and dramatic set piece which takes place in that city's
desperate clean-up phase, with part of the action taking place within a
storage facility for carnival equipment, and the rest of it in the flooded
streets, where a tense "Mexican stand-off" develops between police and a
paranoid private security guard who is trying to prevent looting.
Unfortunately, the worthwhile elements of the movie are finished about six
minutes in, at which point the story jumps forward six months and turns into
a routine police procedural.
The only possible explanation I can think of is that Stone may have been
able to shoot all of her scenes in a single day, which would have made it easy
There is quite a bit of
nudity, but it all consists of background players.