Monday, June 6, 2016

No 3D for Extended Cuts of "Batman v Superman" or "The Martian" (But Why?)


Coming out within the next few months are two extended editions for two very big box office hits: "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "The Martian." The former needs no introduction as you all know what it is.  The latter is a science fiction drama (not comedy) starring Matt Damon as a man who is stranded on Mars.  The first film was critical panned while the second film garnered praise and Oscar recognition (including a nomination for Best Picture).  Both were directed by men who have shaky careers as directors.  The only thing they both have in common is that both movies are getting extended cuts from what movie goers saw in theaters on BluRay.  Also, in both these cases, the extended cuts will NOT be presented in 3D!  The question, of course, is why is this the case?  Especially since both these films 3D versions made lots of money at the box office and were acclaimed for actually using the 3D effects properly.

Let's look at "Batman v Superman" first, as it's obviously the one you readers are more interested in.  First of all, I do want to point out that while the Ultimate Edition of this movie will not contain the extended cut in 3D, the theatrical cut WILL be in 3D, so there will be no need to have to decide between which version you want to buy!  As for why the extended cut won't be in 3D...well, the reason may lie in the fact that "Batman v Superman" is an unconverted presentation.  That means the film wasn't shot in natural 3D and was converted during post production.  Now, natural 3D is better than upconversion, but if this movie proves anything it's that the upconversion process is getting a lot better.  It is also really expensive, one that will add millions of dollars to a films budget.  This extended cut isn't just a few minutes here and there, it's a full half hour longer.  This means the cost of up converting the new footage would be considerable.

Had "Batman v Superman" been a bigger hit, maybe the studio wouldn't blink twice at the thought of spending the money.  Yes, despite the fact that this movie has made roughly $871 million dollars world wide, this was considered a huge disappointment for Warner Bros. (I know; problems of the rich and famous).  Course, this doesn't explain why the extended cut of "The Martian" isn't getting a BluRay 3D release.  Because, unlike "Batman v Superman," "The Martian" WAS filmed in natural 3D!  There is NO additional costs to convert 2D scenes to 3D scenes because everything is already in 3D.  So why isn't the extended edition of THIS getting a BluRay 3D?!  I couldn't tell you.  I've e-mailed Fox to see if they would like to comment, but they have yet to return my e-mails.  This is especially frustrating since this is a double dip of a movie that was released with bare bone features earlier this year, and rather than put both versions in one set (kind of like what Warner Bros. is doing for "Batman v Superman"), they would rather gouge their fans.

Regardless of the reasons, it is more than frustrating to be forced to choose between a longer cut of the film and watching it the way the directors intended it to be viewed.  In all fairness, most extended cuts aren't a marked improvement over their theatrical cuts, adding little to the film other than making it longer, so chances are fans won't really want to watch these extended cuts too many times anyway.  Of the two, Warner Bros. is doing this a little better than Fox, for the mere virtue that you get a 3D disk of the theatrical cut with the purchase of the Ultimate Edition combo.  When an extended edition BluRay is released of a film that was shot in 3D in the first place can't get a 3D release... well, that is a problem, and one that needs to be rectified by the studios.

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