In my last review, 3:10 to Yuma, I lamented the casting of two non-Americans, Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, in the lead roles for a Western. I suppose, however, that would be our just desserts for movies like this, which retells an English legend with four Americans in the lead roles. The most visible British actor is stuck playing the villain, making this, I suppose, sort of an unofficial Star Wars film. To add insult to injury, the entire story is refashioned as a generic action movie, raining down clichés like flaming arrows.
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James Cameron’s deep sea science fiction tale is one of those rare instances of a director revisiting a finished work and genuinely improving the film. The 1989 theatrical release was marred by an abrupt, confusing ending that was the product of Cameron removing almost an entire storyline to bring the film down to a more commercial 146 minute running time. This drastic surgery earned it some lukewarm reviews when it first hit theaters.
Four years later, Cameron re-released a 171 minute cut to theaters and then home video. Continue reading