It's a fairly common practice in Hollywood: a film gets gutted of content and made "cinema-friendly" for its theatrical release, then has an Unrated/R-rated Director's Cut or Extended Edition that adds all the "good stuff" back in.
The thing is, though, these so-called Unrated/R-Rated Director's/Extended Cuts usually don't add anything substantial, amounting only to a couple extra minutes with a little more blood and/or a few more violent shots added (back) in (Terminator: Salvation's DC, for example, only adding 3 extra minutes with the Moon Bloodgood semi-nude scene and a scene with Marcus stabbing some guy in the shoulder with a screwdriver).
However, there have been some that actually went out of their way to give us a better film. What are some Director's Cuts that massively improved a film?
A couple that spring to mind off the top of my head:
DareDevil: Director's Cut-The 30 minutes of extra footage fixes a lot of the theatrical cut's issues. The fights are better and grittier (a facet of the character/franchise) and have real impact, the story is structured better (the Matt/Elektra love story is now secondary to the main story with a lot of the romantic cheese removed, certain scenes transition better, too), the added Coolio/hooker subplot patches a lot of holes from the TC while adding a lot more depth to Matt and his legal team as well as Kingpin. It makes for a darker, grittier, and much more complete and better film. And remember: this was all stuff that had to be cut to avoid an R rating, barely.
It's a shame because Fox's drive to go commercial ruined what otherwise could've been a solid film (Mark Steven Johnson's original pitch was supposed to be even darker and less campy than the 2004 DC). It's not as good as the Netflix iteration, but it's a marked improvement over the TC in every way. The playground scene is still full of cringe, though, there's no fixing that.
Lord of the Rings: Extended Edition-An extra hour of footage per film makes an already epic movie trilogy even better (Return of the King is the biggest beneficiary of the added content of the 3 films). I don't think this needs much of a descriptor.Last edited by KManX89 - on 27 July 2019