When I saw TROY in the theaters, I wasn't expecting much (perhaps I should review it one day). After that first viewing, I knew there was something missing; the screenplay just didn't grab me, it failed to immerse me on the scenes. I am quite familiar with Greek myths, also both Norse and Roman mythology. Well, I managed to purchase the director's cut of Troy, and although it is not as outstanding as KINGDOM of HEAVEN Director's cut, it is a better cut of the film.
I presume that most of the folks who'll be interested in the director's cut are fans or at least the ones who saw it in theaters as I did. One Obvious improvement this version has over the previous dvd is the Picture transfer. The Video this time out is more vibrant, sharper and cleaner. Another difference is the soundtrack on certain scenes; the training scene of Achilles and his cousin, the duel between Hector and Achilles. Also, the music is improved with added bass during the siege at the beach and on the gates of Troy. The music sounded more powerful. But it fumbled the track in the Hector-Achilles duel, and it makes it a little underwhelming. It is a wonder how much a soundtrack can mean in a film's scene.
The Director's cut has the same plotlines, characters and scenes. It does have added "meat" and do they make Troy a better cut of the film? Yes.
1: Opening scene with a dog going around the spoils of war. (Dead bodies) 2: Nudity in the scene between Paris and Helen. Their relationship is also a bit more fleshed out. Love scenes are extended. Suffice it to say, the film is a bit more uninhibited when it comes to nudity and sex. 3: Helen's husband is shown as unfaithful. It gives more motivation to Helen's actions. 4: Odysseus is developed as the humble King of Ithaca. He likes to be among the common folk. His character is also more fleshed out; the film also emphasizes how it is Achilles trusts his judgment. 5: Hector knew about Paris' affair with Helen even before they boarded the ship back to Troy. He warns him of the potential consequences. 6: Achilles' ego is more fleshed out. He has a confrontation with Agamemnon regarding the Priestess of Apollo. (Extended) 7: Extended battle sequences. More blood is shown. Heads get lopped off more often. 8: Funeral sequences are extended. It shows more emotion and emphasizes the combatants' sorrow with the lost of their comrades. 9: A dog licks off the "fake" disease after the Trojans took the wooden horse inside their city. 10: Agamemnon's obsession and arrogance is more fleshed out. 11: Extended final act sequence; last assault on the city of Troy. More blood and gore is shown. A tad more brutally graphic that gives the film more gritty realism.
There may be more that I missed, it did contain an added 30+ minutes of footage. The film is contained in 2 discs (2 Dual layer DVDs) similar to the terrific extended cuts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Kingdom of Heaven Director's cut. The director's cut is a more rounded release and adds more emotional impact than what was in the theatrical cut.
VIDEO/AUDIO: 2.35 Anamorphic widescreen. Exceptional transfer, an improvement over the previous dvd release; Near-flawless picture quality, nice colors, improved sharpness and contrast. Black levels are solid. 5.1 Dolby Digital English is very powerful. I'd had hoped that this cut would include DTS sound mix, it would have been better with DTS.
In closing: Is the director's cut worth a "double dip"? For me, for $ 14.99 2-disc edition director's cut, definitely yes! As for the other more "stylish" Ultimate Edition (includes photo book etc.)with the $ 25.99-$ 34.99 price tag, I'm not so sure. For fans of the film, or if you don't have the original release, this is a no-brainer. The lack of DTS track is a minus, but this new edition definitely has a bit more "grandeur" than the theatrical release.
Updated: The Bluray is a lot cheaper than the dvd currently. However, if you hated the original cut, this new director's cut may not change your mind, but it does make it a more competent and entertaining motion picture.
Recommended Timidly [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars] This Review was originally posted in amazon.com on Sept. 24, 2007 and rewritten for Lunch.com
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