More Director’s Cuts – Apocalypse Now, The Act of Killing, Iron Sky

While Netflix only had Nightbreed out of the various director’s cuts I talked about, they do have a number of others available.

Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now (1979) – Rated R

During the Vietnam War, Capt. Willard is sent to Cambodia on a top-secret mission to terminate Col. Kurtz, who’s gone completely insane.”

Apocalypse Now Redux (2001) – Rated R

Obviously Francis Ford Coppola’s other masterpiece should be seen on a big screen but, barring that, stick to the two and a half hour original. The Redux at three hours and fifteen minutes is still powerful but feels a little bloated.

The Act of Killing

The Act of Killing (2012) – Not rated

A 2014 Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Feature, this film follows two former Indonesian death squad leaders as they reenact war atrocities.”

The Act of Killing: The Director’s Cut (2012) – Not rated

The director’s cut is more than half an hour longer. I found the original to be a very brutal (yet riveting) sit through and another half hour might put me over the top so I’ll pass but fans of the original may like the additional footage.

Iron Sky

Iron Sky (2012) – Rated R

The Nazis retreated to the Moon in 1945, but after they’re discovered by an American shuttle in 2018, they relaunch their plans to invade Earth.”

Iron Sky: Director’s Cut (2012) – Not Rated

I have no idea why this quirky 2012 movie got a director’s cut. While it is eighteen minutes longer, it is not appreciably different from the original. I did not feel the extra running time added anything important. Iron Sky was a great concept that made for an entertaining, though not especially memorable, film. There is a sequel in development: Iron Sky: The Coming Race

 

 

Iron Contracted Insidious Sky Chapter 2 – Director’s Cut

Contracted, Insidious Chapter 2, and Iron Sky – Director’s Cut are currently available on instant Netflix

Contracted

 

Contracted (2013) – Not rated

After a one-night-stand, a young woman becomes alarmingly ill — but what she thinks is a sexually transmitted disease turns out to be far worse.”

Okay umm so Netflix is using ‘one night stand’ as a euphemism for date rape. This is a low-budget chiller with a unique way of looking at a premise. There is very little violence and when it comes, it actually struck me as Pythonesque. There are some lapses in logic but luckily they are attributed to characters who have reason to have their logic impaired.

Contracted is an interesting, low-key story told from a good viewpoint.

Insidious 2

 

Insidious Chapter 2 (2013) – Rated PG-13

While the Lambert family struggles to overcome their son’s recent battle with evil spirits, father Josh must confront his own horrifying childhood.

Well the whole Chapter thing implies that there are going to be a string of these. I was not a big fan of Insidious. I though it was okay and well-shot but rather derivative.

I really enjoyed Insidious 2 which makes me want to go back and rewatch the original. Insidious 2 begins, as many sequels do, by showing us something we didn’t know about the past of one of our characters. Insidious 2 deftly weaves a main storyline with a series of flashbacks fleshing out a story of possession.

The first half of the film features all kinds of mysterious happenings (as opposed to the Paranormal series which seems to use the first half to sell more snacks and permit bathroom breaks). The second half picks up a lot of speed as we switch back and forth between locales. Almost none of the scares were of the cheap variety and there is a fair amount of atmosphere.

The family is very sympathetic. The researchers are nerdy but not overly annoying. The threat is gradually revealed in a very interesting manner. I suppose the only thing disappointing was the third act, which fell in line with the film’s PG-13 sensibilities.

Iron Sky

Iron Sky – Director’s Cut (2013) – Not rated

Okay I am a sucker for movies where Nazis are the bad guy. I love Dead Snow, The Boys from Brazil, Outpost, even the super-cheezy Shock Waves. On the other hand I’m not completely blind – Blood Creek was a ridiculous mess in spite of the sublime Michael Fassbender and Outpost: Black Sun clearly didn’t understand what made Outpost so much fun.

Iron Sky treads the middle ground. It is quite ludicrous (in a good way) but also tasteless (not in a good way). It is funny enough to be amusing (Nazi base on the far side of the moon) but many of the jokes fall flat (a faux President Palin) and some dip into the offensive (albinoing an African-American astronaut). I found Iron Sky to be worth a watch but only just.

Now Netflix advertises the director’s cut of Iron Sky as an exclusive. It is 18 minutes longer so there is substantially more goofiness on display.

New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 4/15/14

Takeshi Kitano’s Yakuza drama, Beyond Outrage is now available. Watch it as a double feature with Outrage.

G.I. Joe Retaliation

Action: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Comedy: D.L. Hughley: Reset, G.B.F., Peeples

Documentary: Milius

Drama: All Things to All Men, The Dirties, Short Term 12

Family: Khumba

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Iron Sky: Director’s Cut

Beyond Outrage

Foreign: Beyond Outrage, The Artist and the Model, Young detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon

Insidious Chapter 2

Horror: Insidious: Chapter 2

Television: Legit, AFV: Best in Boneheads, AFV: Kid’s Favorites, The Bible

Thriller: Forgetting the Girl