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TROY: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT Screens At The Arclight, And One Spy Chimes In!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. I’m not sure the lure of a “director’s cut” is enough to get me to take another look at this stiff. Then again, I was a vocal advocate of the amazing director’s cut of KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, so I know sometimes it really can make a difference. I just didn’t care for the theatrical cut of TROY at all. Is there a different experience in store for me if I do try this version? A significant difference? And most importantly... is it better?

Hey Moriarty, When I first saw Troy in the theaters, something felt wrong. It wasn't that I was overall disappointed by the film, it was that I felt I shouldn't have been. I couldn't imagine Wolfgang Petersen treating the characters so cavalierly or making the whole of the battles seem so underwhelming. But after watching how Ridley Scott brought his similarly wronged Kingdom of Heaven to light as good film after all, when the Arclight in Los Angeles advertised a Director's Cut screening of Troy, I felt compelled to give it a chance. As it turns out, I made the right call. Prior to actually watching the film, the audience was treated to a Q&A with Petersen himself. He was charming, self depreciating and very candid about how he felt that the theatrical release was not what it could have been. He laughed about the strenuous process of post production and told some very funny anecdotes about how the studio would pester him with things that needed to go, "Too violent, we can't have so much violence, Wolfgang. But hey, you have final cut. I'm just saying." And how relieved he was when given the opportunity to make the movie he really wanted to. Added is some twenty plus minutes of new material along with a major reworking of what was already there. Sitting in the theater I felt like I was watching an entirely different movie and I am very happy to report: that movie was badass. The first very notable thing in the Director's Cut is how much more character is injected into the film. No longer are Hector and Priam the only people you care for. Real time is given to flesh out Sean Bean's Odysseus, Helen and Paris (Yes, you see Helen naked. Yes, it's good.), Menelaus, Agamemnon, even Ajax gets a lot of love. But most importantly the character who gets real love is Achilles. I remember when saw the Theatrical Release, I was stunned that Pitt had gone through such a dramatic physical transformation for the film only to deliver a performance that seemed positively phoned in. It seemed as though his only reason for doing the film was to do one scene with Peter O'Toole and though a fine scene it was, the rest of it was very unimpressive. This has changed. Recut, everything about Achilles is more interesting, he is the lion he claims to be with a savage nihilism about everything except his own legacy. As he undergoes his change in the film, it is genuinely compelling. Next on the list is violence. In the Q&A, Petersen stated that a lot of violence had been cut from the theatrical release. It is back in. If you were like me and thought the taking of the Trojan beach was a bit ho-hum, you will be stunned to see the savage fucking carnage that is the new version. As Petersen said, "War is horrible. This is what it is." And you are given a feeling that matches. Ajax is a monster, storming through Greek troops and shattering them with his hammer. Achilles is a pure machine of death, dispatching man after man in a savage display as the blood and viscera goes everywhere. I felt very much the same as I did when I first saw Braveheart. Remember how the battles were so brutal? All of a sudden we were watching limbs getting lopped off and it looked real. That same sense of horrific awe is brought back by the director's cut of Troy when a javelin pierces a man's skull, sending blood and brain everywhere as you realize that it's just getting underway. They take it to the next level in this. 300 ain't got shit on Troy. Another thing worth mentioning is the score. Many were dissatisfied with the scoring on the theatrical release. To hear Petersen describe it, it's no shock. James Horner was brought in last minute to completely re-score the movie when the studio rejected the original composer's work. What Horner did was cut in last minute and with little finesse. That's been redone to great effect and I will quote Petersen again when he said, "the score has integrity". It doesn't feel cheesy or overwhelming anymore, it's just right. The classical studies majors out there will still be bitter about how the story was changed, though I can say the new version gives much more respect to the Gods as forces in the film. Zeus still doesn't come walking down from on high with lightening but they aren't used as dialogue markers for human folly anymore either. In whole, the entire film has been treated with more respect, more care and more artistic vision than what we saw the first time around. Overall, I was very impressed by what was achieved in the Director's Cut and heartily recommend anyone to go pick it up. Petersen and his team did a great job; I don't think you'll be disappointed. -Benjamin Elial
Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 21, 2007, 8:46 a.m. CST

    first bitches

    by rhett beavers

    ....

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 8:47 a.m. CST

    "Ahh, Hector...

    by PotSmokinAlien

    ...I haven't seen you with that look on your face since we were children and you'd stolen Father's horse." <P>that was all i needed to hear to know i was in for a bumpy ride with this piece of shit. who the hell decided this was worth doing??

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Troy is one of Pitt's best

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    One of the better modern historical epics as well...10x better than that POS 'Gladiator'

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Hmmm...

    by Celicynd

    Maybe I'll check this out... It's on my On-Demand menu. Just noticed it last night.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9 a.m. CST

    I was looking for an excuse...

    by zer0cool2k2

    to pick this up in HD. this review just gave me one. Thanks

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:04 a.m. CST

    I need to get this

    by CherryValance

    I loved the theatrical version anyway. So I'm happy to read that this version is even better. And YAY! for Odysseus. Sean Bean always gets better treatment in special editions.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Theatrical cut was meh

    by Knugen

    I doubt this is as good as KOH's director's cut (since that is one of Ridley's best of all time) but this is indeed intriguing. Braveheart's battle scenes are still horrific and I have seen it a few times mind you, so evoking that parallel is a good thing for credebility.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Carmilla, no one's gonna take the bait...

    by Abin Sur

    Did they improve the CGI that made Pitt's calves bigger?

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Awwww man, i thought this was....

    by BetaRayBill07

    TRON: The Directors Cut.....D'oh!!

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Give it a chance, it's worth it...

    by Mickguinness

    I always enjoyed the theatrical cut, though agreed there were a lot of things that could have been better. This cut hits pretty much on all of those things and makes this movies friggin awesome. Characters are more fleshed out and the true brutality of war is shown through some of the most horrific on-screen deaths you've seen in a long time. Especially if you watch the blu-ray version, which is so amazing I think it ranks up there as one of the best high def transfers to date.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:19 a.m. CST

    CarmillaVonDoom, I know good sarcasm when I see it!

    by SantiagoAtez

    Anyway, Troy was downright one of the worst of the genre. A genre that was won by Kingdom of Heaven, which is infinitely better.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:21 a.m. CST

    I will see this for Brad's glistening smooth thighs

    by BringingSexyBack

    The fight between Pitt and Bana was a little slow and weak, I hope it's better here. Peterson's best movie is The Perfect Storm.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:23 a.m. CST

    I find it hard to believe so much has changed

    by Dolph

    from only adding 20 minutes to the film.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Add 20 minutes of butt secks

    by BringingSexyBack

    Why indeed not?

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:32 a.m. CST

    This was a really nice review.

    by brokentusk

    I definitely want to check this out for myself, as TROY was a film that I thought could have been a lot better (despite the changes to the timeline).

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Not just 20 minutes added...

    by Mickguinness

    ...it's actually about 36 minutes or so added to the film and other stuff recut...and a lot can be done in 36 minutes...even just changing a score can drastically affect a movie, which is one of the many things done in this cut...if after seeing it someone can't get on board with it ok, but it's practically a different movie and is worth checking out, even if only so you can bash it again

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Will give it a chance, if only for some naked Helen!

    by performingmonkey

    It seems a little too good to be true that there's so much coolness put back in, but we can't judge until we've seen it.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:44 a.m. CST

    More nudity?

    by Frank Black

    Because who gives a sh*T about more violence anyway, sickos!!! (Kidding, I'll take more of both!!!) NOW YOU KNOW WHO YOUR FIGHTING!!! (In really bad Brad Pitt accent! This movie was the best comedy of the year and I had to hold back my laughter so not to ruin it for everyone else and it was so long for no reason and now it is longer? I am buying it! Seriously, I am going to buy it today! I'm not even kidding... Here I go...

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Any one see Alexander Final cut?

    by red_weed

    I am kinda morbidly intrigued... but yeah i'll give this one another go to. it's been a while

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Ishtar: the final cut

    by gride9000

    or how bout Daddy Daycare, the directors cut. I felt the characters were not given a chance in that one. Twenty more minutes and digitally inserting clips from a Vivid video and faces of death finally gave this picture the sex and violence We all depend on.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:09 a.m. CST

    I picked it up

    by Refuge5

    it is much better... good review.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Peterson's Best Movie Is...

    by R H S C

    The Neverending Story. Search your feelings, you know this to be true.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Fuck this

    by BitterMan23

    When will the director's cut of Poseidon grace our eyes and hearts???

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Always liked it

    by manzoniman

    I was always a fan, as I was with Kingdom of Heaven; sword and sandle stuff always floats my boat. Looks like I'll be grabbing this one.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Theatrical cut was already badass

    by SpencerTrilby

    can't wait to put this in my PS3. Unfortunately they're still relying on ol' James Horner "4-notes-of-Death". I wish they put the Gabriel Yared score back in.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:55 a.m. CST

    CarmillaVonDoom: I wholeheartedly agree

    by SpencerTrilby

    Gladiator has always been a real purge for me to watch. And the more I learnt about Rome, the more the whole flick looked like an overblown joke. I mean, a movie that manages to make Joaqin Phoenix act THAT BAD is inherently suspect. Ohh, how the mighty Ridley has fallen...

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:59 a.m. CST

    UK DVD

    by Shoegeezer

    Been watching this today, not only is the cut better - I've managed to get to the halfway mark without hitting the fast forward, something I couldn't manage with the theatrical cut - but the picture seems to have an improved colour scheme. Mich richer and more vibrant.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Abin Sur

    by Shoegeezer

    I know one of the effects guys who worked on this. He said after a day or so of shooting a very sheepish Brad Pitt came in mumbling that his shield was too heavy and could they make it smaller. They said it would be easy to make it lighter but Pitt was adamant he wanted it smaller. It turned out he wanted it so to make his arms look bigger. As soon as he hit the set with his smaller shield just about every other cast member came along moaning that their shield was also too heavy. if only they could edit out Bloom's wretched performance this film might even be worth owning.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:05 a.m. CST

    I saw a banner ad for this somewhere...

    by Fawst

    And I was like "Huh... wonder if it's just a longer version of a semi-boring film?" This has me REALLY interested. I'm gonna have plenty of free time this weekend to check it out, time to hit Blockbuster!

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:11 a.m. CST

    I always liked Troy...

    by Raymar

    but it was plenty violent already really.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:15 a.m. CST

    DATA: Hey guys, it's TROY!

    by Osmosis Jones

    Andy...you GOONIE!!!

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Re: the score

    by Osmosis Jones

    Supposedly they've hacked Horner's (terrible) replacement score to ribbons and tracked in elements from his score, Yared's original score, and tracks from Basil Poledouris' Starship Troopers and a few other things. Gad! Why not just hire Yared again to write a new score based on his old one?

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Saw this on the shelf @ BestBuy yesterday. 'was curious

    by George Newman

    if i can rent it some where i will

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Saw this on the shelf @ BestBuy yesterday. 'was curious

    by George Newman

    if i can rent it some where i will

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:43 a.m. CST

    dang

    by George Newman

    wireless crapped out mid-post

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Peterson's best film by far

    by J.B.M.A.

    Peterson's best film by far is Das Boot. Everything else has been sadly average.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Diane Kruger's ass

    by Film Whisperer

    As long as that shot is still in the movie, I'm good.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:56 a.m. CST

    The score

    by Series7

    I thought they just ran out of time with the score and used the same one that Horner made for Perfect Storm. That score with the horns was fucking irritating! Air Force One was bad ass, and it felt like President James Marshall could have kicked everyone ass in Troy. I hope the Re-Cut is better, because I want Enders Game to be awesome and since Air Force One all the Gang has given us is wimpy.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 12:02 p.m. CST

    I love how Patroclus became Achilles's "cousin"

    by rbatty024

    There was too much wrong with that film for a director's cut to fix anything.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 12:12 p.m. CST

    as one of

    by mrbong

    the MANY who enjoyed the original release, i am keen to see a version that is even better, then. Troy was perfect lazy sunday afternoon viewing, a great movie.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Worst thing about the theatrical versionw as the score

    by godoffireinhell

    so if they fixed that I'll ceratinly at least rent this. There was some stuff in the theatrical I liked, most of the film was just sort of mediocre but that fucking score made me want to stomp the composer's face in.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Terrible film

    by kwisatzhaderach

    the only way to save it is to go back, rewrite the script, hire a different cast and a different director and reshoot the whole damn thing.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 1:35 p.m. CST

    I'll give it a shot...

    by Crimson King

    even though I scoffed when I saw the DVD on the shelf. After reading this review, however, I'll check it out. I thought the theatrical cut was utter shyte.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 1:37 p.m. CST

    PLANT

    by Thoreau

    "300 ain't got shit on Troy" Uh huh

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 2:05 p.m. CST

    "Ajax is a monster, storming through Greek troops" ...

    by Shan

    "Ajax is a monster, storming through Greek troops and shattering them with his hammer" Ajax was on the Greek side, presumably shattering Trojans ...

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Wolfgang

    by skimn

    loves him the CGI over the last few years, doesn't he?

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 2:37 p.m. CST

    I'm still waiting for a great film version of

    by CranstonS

    "The Iliad," embracing all of its crazy fever-dream gods-and-monsters outlook. Achilles kills so many Trojans that a river gets clogged; the river *itself* then gets so mad at Achilles for all the dead bodies that it attacks Achilles by throwing the bodies back at him and then chasing him across the plain. The gods themselves fight right there on the battlefield with Achaeans and Trojans, but unseen by them. Then Diomedes is given the ability to see the gods for who they are (think "They Live," but in kickass Homeric fashion). He spots the gods in the fray, and then *goes after them himself* and actually drawing blood from one of them. THAT'S Homer, and still cooler than any silly summer action flick even 2,800 years later.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Am I the only one who really liked Troy?

    by jrbarker

    I guess so. But I'm really looking forward to this new cut.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Yared's score was brilliant

    by Evil Hobbit

    Horner is good but I wonder how 'integer' it is.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Gabriel Yared's best score = The Lover

    by BringingSexyBack

    Love that Lover!!!!

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Iliad & the Odyessy

    by tk 421

    I agree with CranstonS and would go even further. I would love to see a LOTR style 9 hour version of the Iliad and the Odyessy. Those two stories would make for a great series of movies. I did like Troy because I felt it was an attempt to show the "real" version of the Trojan war. I felt that Wolfie put in enough subtle things such as the arrow sticking out of Achilles' heel at the end to show us how a myth like that could have began. However, I did not appreciate Menelaus dying and other departures from the Iliad that were too blatant to overlook. I also felt that the movie wasted Brian Cox and Brendan Gleeson who I consider to extremely talented actors.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Sounds a whole heck better!

    by FILMFUNK

    I thought first time round this sucked Boredom from my Corneas<P>Sounds like there be a whole lot of Fecking medlin between Film maker an Audience that don't benefit Audience!<P>Might jist try this out again for the war is hell stuff and the nudie lady.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Always felt there was a good movie in there somewhere.

    by drfinkelstein

    There were bits and pieces of the theatrical release that seemed to be part of a much better movie. I liked the rage and physicality of Pitt's Achilles, and the character's development. O'toole's Priam meeting with him was contrived but still cool. I hated how a 10,000 ship force materialized in (it seemed) hours, and all the seemingly lazy storytelling along the way. Interesting review, I'm intrigued about the director's cut now.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 5:53 p.m. CST

    they left the temp score.

    by germanico

    This director's cut is a lot better but why the hell did they left some bits of the temp score? I don't want to listen to Starship troopers score during the battle! They did it already in Kingdom of Heaven and now they're doing the same bad choices on Troy.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 6 p.m. CST

    Achilles Last Stand

    by Mundungus

    Best Zepplin Ever- .... Don't F with Brad Pitt, He can decappitate a gold statue with a back handed slash and if you are too tall he will run and jump and stab you in the freakin neck, expertly severing your spinal chord. He Killed Hector then went two-wheeling through the Dunes with Hector strapped to the bumper. Brad's next role will be Brock F'ing Sampson.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Sounds Good

    by vicnameless

    I almost loved the the original, but wasn't quite there, looking foward to seeing this.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 6:14 p.m. CST

    I liked the original so I'm looking forward to this.

    by Valin Kenobi

    I heard nothing about a DC until I saw it in the Best Buy ad this weekend. It's weird because I usually follow this stuff pretty closely, visiting AICN and DigitalBits on an almost daily basis.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9 p.m. CST

    Additional shitty footage

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Yay.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Dino DeLaurentis..

    by nolan bautista

    ..Ulysees! w/ Kirk Douglas' hairy nut-sack flappin' in the breeze..this needs a re-release now!!

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:53 p.m. CST

    The Perfect Storm was an awesome movie

    by BringingSexyBack

    Makes me wanna drag my ass out to the Grand Banks and catch me some fish.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:25 p.m. CST

    HECTOOOOOOOOR!!!

    by Dazzler69

    I remember for the rest of my life Pitt calling out Bruce Banner over and over again.

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 4:32 a.m. CST

    Definitely better.

    by WONKABAR

    It's weird how even the scenes you remember now seem totally different in this version. The whole movie has much more meaning. It's actually pretty darn good ('cept that goddamn Wrath of Khan-horn is still in there). It's a shame this isn't what came out in theaters in the first place. Worth second look IMO.

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 6:08 a.m. CST

    The Perfect Storm - The director's cut?

    by theycallmemrglass

    Just pitching a thought there I always think the sign of a great film is you can watch a heavily cut or hacked version and it will still be great. blade runner, Fistful of Dollars (Duck, You Sucker), Gladiator (come on Oliver Reed was supposed to have a baddass fight scene) etc. But Troy was not great to start with so I have my doubts that the extra time will elevate it to that status but it may only improve it a little. I may be wrong though and I will have to check out the Kingdom of heaven.

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 6:18 a.m. CST

    You are kidding? They were given the opportunity

    by Seph_J

    to recut TROY, and make it all better... and STILL didn't use Gariel Yared? You are KIDDING? What a perfect chance to have righted one of the most criminal balls-ups of Warner Bros. this decade... Mr. Yared, you have my sympathy. Mr. Peterson, you have failed us all.

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 6:58 a.m. CST

    I hear there is a new

    by Internet Thug

    Elliot Yamin song featured in the new cut of Troy...fucking awesome.

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 8:05 a.m. CST

    tk 421:

    by Seph_J

    "I felt that Wolfie put in enough subtle things such as the arrow sticking out of Achilles' heel at the end to show us how a myth like that could have began" <p> yeh, real subtle.

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 9:25 a.m. CST

    The score

    by Kizeesh

    will be very interesting, I enjoyed the original although was saddened at the cuts and flippancy (being a classical scholar) But I reallly want to see what Petersen has done. A tiny piece of editing can make a huge difference to a film, as can be seen from any of the stuff on Fanedit.org<p> Will order this today and check it out, still need to get hold of Alexander Final cut too.

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Steph J

    by tk 421

    Well, I mean, not subtle, but more subtle I guess than a Greek soldier standing over him sayin "Ye Gods, look at that arrow in Achilles' heel. It must mean that this was his weak spot and the only way to kill him!" Then his buddy would say, "I know, maybe he was dipped by his heel in the river by his demi-god mother which resulted in this weak spot."

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 10:22 a.m. CST

    And Steph

    by tk 421

    Maybe if you didn't wake up so early on a Saturday, then you wouldn't be so pissy. I'm just saying, sleep in, enjoy the weekend.

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Re: HECTOOOOOOOOOOOOOR!!!

    by Osmosis Jones

    That was fucking hilarious. Pitt's supposed to be all badass, and he screams like a girl.

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 11:34 a.m. CST

    When I first saw this...

    by TheAtomicCow

    I was so horrified that my friends and I went right into see Shrek 2 to cleanse our eyeballs. When the promo with all the fighting popcorn began some teenagers in front of us called out "Hey, this is better than Troy!" Most hilarious thing I ever heard and all too true.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Yared's score was really great.

    by minderbinder

    I'm not sure what they were thinking with that, the replacement one was a huge step down.