Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The GOOD, the BAD, the AMERICANIZED CUT DOWN VERSION!
I have two versions of this film. I have a region 0 copy that is uncut and the new blu-ray that just came out from IFC Films. I don't know who but somebody decided to play director and change the ending in the U.S. version. The original has a longer ending with another nod to the Leone films that is crucial for the ending to make sense and another quick shoot-out. Its awesome. The U.S. decided that the movie was too long for today's high school musical crowd and cut it down to where the ending is weak sauce. The Weird survives but how and I do believe (though I am not sure) they leave the fate of the Good and the Bad a mystery. You see at the end wanted posters showing the Bad being marked out as DEAD. The Good is walking by and takes notice. They only show his feet at first with a shot of his back watching the Bad's wanted poster being marked out. It has to be the Good, right? When he turns around the lower part of his face is covered by a scarf (or whatever) but to me he looks different. Something about his eyes doesn't look right. Maybe the Bad is wearing the Good's clothes but I didn't notice a scar on his cheek so maybe it is the Good. The point is I couldn't tell. Its a much weaker ending. Why would IFC do this? I thought they would keep the intended viewing experience intact. Instead they sold out. Sony did the same damn thing to Sukiyaki Western Django where they removed a couple of weird crazy scenes involving a guy getting his balls shot off and later he tries to be a woman and hit on his gang's leader where he is promptly shot dead. Its weird and unnecessary but it adds to the unique Takashi Miike watching experience. Its something you don't see over here which is why we watch movies like this in the first place. I guess the powers that be decided to that we wouldn't understand so they cut the cool stuff out.
Maybe that is the intent of The Good, The Bad and The Weird. Maybe there are multiple endings that could be fitted to the end depending on which section of the world the movie is playing at. The final shoot-out seems left open to where any ending is possible. The Good could win with The Weird getting away or The Weird gets away and is still being chased by the Bad. Its whatever you want it to be. Its kind of like the new My Bloody Valentine 3-D. In that movie they leave clues to two possible killers. It was either Jensen Ackles (the hero) or the sheriff played by that one guy from Dawson's Creek who was the token gay character. But the ending isn't decided by the story itself because it could have been either one. The only way to tell is when Jensen finally comes out and says "I'm the killer". The ending seems more decided on focus groups and early screening reactions rather than the natural progression of the story. But I am a blogger on the Internet. What the fudge would I know?
Despite the ending I do believe the rest of the film is left intact. If you love westerns and action with blood and comedy I highly recommend.