Available Balance
Awesome uncut versions of movies you didn’t know existed

Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said that perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. It’s an engineering philosophy that keeps bicycle horns off helicopters and
The Homer out of our car dealerships.
But what’s good for engineering isn’t necessarily conducive to successfully creating something as subjective as film. There’s a lot that can keep a director’s vision from making it to the big screen. Sometimes it’s studio interference or budgetary restrictions. Sometimes it turns out the director is farther down the eccentric side of the spectrum than the social contract can justify. For receipts on that last one, please see just about everything Orson Welles touched after Citizen Kane.
Luckily for the curious and fans of cinematic completionism, we live in a glorious age. An age when infinite variations of our favorite films can be accessed at the click of a mouse. And honestly, some of them are pretty killer.
Daredevil Director’s Cut
It was August 2013 when Ben Affleck was officially revealed as the new Batman , and the nerds of the world cried out as one. Their beef? Affleck had already had his shot at a beloved superhero franchise, and the results were … less than stellar .
Yes, 2003’s Daredevil came at a time before the worst thing you could say about a Marvel movie was that it was too watchable. It was a mishmash of cartoonishly over-the-top characters and a story without a human element. Oh, and Evanescence. So much Evanescence .
And then along came the director’s cut. It heaps on a pile of new footage. It develops the characters. It fulfills some sort of ancient prophecy by making a film better by adding more Coolio .
Aside from upping the relative grit factor, the unrated cut improves on the original by including a storyline about Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan trying to defend an innocent client in court. Utilizing an everyman character, especially one as charming as Favreau, makes the
movie (conservatively) 80 times better.
T2: Director’s Cut
Who knows why Hollywood took so long to trust James Cameron. Nowadays, he could pitch the heartwarming story of a gentleman pug fighting the kitty cat aristocracy, shoot the whole thing with hand puppets, and still make more money than the island nation of Vanuatu.
Still, there was a time when Cameron wasn’t a sure thing. The first Terminator picture made back five times its budget, but The Abyss underperformed . Combine that with a budget of over $100 million , and you can understand why the studio got skittish when Cameron’s first cut of Terminator 2 came in at over two and a half hours long.
Cameron was (rightly) pretty in love with the scenes he’d shot. He tried a lot of approaches to shorten the film without losing any scenes, at one point even experimenting with cutting one frame per second and hoping audiences wouldn’t notice. In the end, he trimmed half an hour of pretty remarkable stuff. There are sequences that turn the T-1000 into a surprisingly relatable movie monster and one fantastic scene where Sarah Connor performs brain surgery on Schwarzenegger that only gets more impressive when you find out how they did it. Seriously, check out the director’s cut. It’ll knock your socks off. Which is fine, because Arnold needs your clothes (and the keys to your motorcycle) anyway.
Television cut of Superman
The Infinity War memes. The billions in merchandising. The endless pedantic internet debates over whether DC or Marvel has the better cinematic universe. We have 1978’s Superman to thank for all of it.
The granddaddy of modern superhero movies,
Superman was an absolute cinematic milestone. Its special effects were revolutionary, its actors were iconic , and adjust its $55 million budget for inflation , it would be about $210 million today. The picture was epic in scope, especially considering that the comic book genre was relatively untested at the time.
The finished product is an undisputed classic (even with the flying around the world backward scene). But what a lot of fans might not know is just how much of the movie they haven’t actually seen. Back in 1982, ABC aired a three-hour cut of the blockbuster featuring a ton of new footage. It expands on Clark Kent’s upbringing and even shows off a bunch of unused shots of the seriously-you-guys-still-so-cool Krypton sets.
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut
You’ve got to hand it to the producers of Superman –
they didn’t just want to make an unprecedented comic book movie. They wanted to make two. When production started on Superman, the plan was to shoot two movies at once: the original and Superman II. More than halfway through shooting the sequel, however, the studio put the film on hiatus, hoping to wrangle the increasingly eye-popping budget and hedge their bets.
Another factor in the decision to halt production? Director Richard Donner’s heated relationship with his producers, who he referred to with a less than polite nickname, according to Empire. They pulled him from the picture and hired Richard Lester to finish work on
Superman II.
The resulting picture was asymmetrical and wonky. Lester’s more comedic sensibilities shone through, detracting from the movie’s dramatic sequences, and fans were left wondering what Donner’s work would have looked like if he’d had the chance to finish.
In 2006, they got their answer: Richard Donner released a DVD cut of his original vision. It used nearly 30-year-old footage that had never seen the outside of the can, plus they used era-specific special effects to recreate action sequences that hadn’t been completed at the time. It’s a killer reexamination of ’80s filmmaking and a way cool look at what could have been.
Highlander 2: Renegade Version
Highlander was about as ’80s as a movie could get without printing its posters in the blood of Ronald Reagan. It had sword fights and an untenable romantic subplot and a soundtrack by Queen and that very specifically cultivated facial stubble that toed the line between style and homelessness. If that was your jam, chances are you were champing at the bit for a sequel.
And then you learned to be careful what you wished for. If Highlander was the cinematic representation of the ’80s, Highlander II: The Quickening was the storytelling equivalent of the hole in the ozone layer. The bad guys are aliens. The story from the first film might as well not have happened. A lot of this could have to do with the fact that production of the film was taken over by the company insuring it . A lot could also be put down to how much more delicious people found cocaine back then.
In 1995, director Richard Mulcahy released the not-at-all broishly named Renegade Cut , editing out some of the lamer aspects of the theatrical release and making
Highlander II (stay with us here) watchable. It’s a lot to try to believe, but give it a shot if you’re jonesing for more of that decapitation-driven storytelling. If you get nothing else out of it, the clip of Sean Connery saying “Just look at my splendid waistcoat!” makes for a solid new ringtone.
Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut
Published from 1986 to 1987, the Watchmen graphic novel was considered by many to be unfilmable . Depending whom you ask about the 2009 adaptation, they may have been right.
Watchmen is one of those properties with such an avid fan base that it would be almost impossible to keep them all happy, but props to Zack Snyder for trying. His movie stays largely faithful to the comics, fitting about as much of a 400-plus page comic as you can into a nearly three-hour film.
But still, the fans cried foul. “More,” they shouted into a thousand comment sections. “Hold your horses,” said Snyder.
And then he put out Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut , a staggering 215-minute compilation of the director’s cut and an animated version of Tales of the Black Freighter, the comic’s famous play-within-a-play sequence. Only then, after countless hours of work and the addition of roughly 30 percent more movie, did Watchmen fans … still have a lot of problems with it . Still, it’s an amazing effort and a great way to spend an afternoon.
Demolition Man: The Pizza Cut
Was it Christopher Marlowe or Sting who first uttered the words “I’m a three-line whip, I’m the sort of thing they ban, I’m a walking disaster, I’m a demolition man”? Either way. Poetry.
Demolition Man is an absurd, beautiful movie that you would be right to go to your grave defending. It’s that perfect combination of surrealist satire and over-the-top action that keeps you off balance the whole time you’re watching it. It’s gold. It’s weird. It’s so weird that it can’t be improved upon.
Except maybe by adding more weird. Fans will remember that a chunk of the bizarre universe’s backstory is devoted to ” The Franchise Wars,” an unseen conflict between fast food chains that only Taco Bell survived. It’s such a good movie.
But when the movie released in Europe, an important point came up: Nobody on the other side of the pond knew what Taco Bell was. The solution? The European cut of the film digitally replaced all mentions of Taco Bell with Pizza Hut. And when the fast food chain was mentioned in dialogue, they redubbed the lines in a sloppy, slapdash fashion. It’s bonkers to watch and it adds +10 to the bananas factor of a movie that’s already stranger than those three seashells.
Waterworld Director’s Cut
Alright, Einstein, you try making Waterworld good. Even harder, try making it good by adding more Waterworld.
Impossible, you say? Yeah, that’s understandable.
Waterworld is pretty objectively unwatchable in its out-of-the-package, vanilla format. Kevin Costner’s dead-eyed performance is a bland totem for the film in general, which is only ever fun when Dennis Hopper shows up to get all outrageous.
And then along comes the extended cut and it rocks your world.
Be as skeptical as you want, but an additional 40 minutes and change of footage makes for a significantly more fun experience. Plot threads are expanded on and fleshed out. Characters have time to become characters. Relationships feel less arbitrary.
Originally broadcast as a two-night ABC television special, the extended version of the movie was released
on DVD in 2008 , and it’s worth checking out if you’ve been holding out hope for a more palatable way to dry land for the last 23 years. It’s not an easy thing to imagine, but it’s true: There’s a good version of
Waterworld. Life’s just crazy like that sometimes.
Nightbreed Director’s Cut
The ’90s weren’t kind to the horror genre, and Clive Barker’s Nightbreed is a testament to that fact. It was
advertised poorly and hamstringed by studio mismanagement. What should have been marketed as a creature feature from the mind behind Hellraiser was instead sold to audiences as a run of the mill generic slasher flick, and the studio demanded that nearly an hour of the original cut be removed. And that’s how you get a bad movie, kids.
Luckily for fans of cult practical effects magic, there’s
the Cabal Cut, an extended edition with scenes compiled not only from the director’s cut, but also footage that was previously only seen in festival showings. The fact that some of the shots are still near-VHS quality adds a just-for-connoisseurs aesthetic to a cult classic. It’s the sort of movie that used to be passed around on a dinged-up video cassette to be watched with friends in blacklight-covered basements, and now you can see it without sitting in your buddy Kevin’s petrified Cheeto dust. It’s a great time to be alive.
R-Rated Supersized Anchorman 2
Anyone who’s watched a gag reel from one of the
Anchorman movies knows the scripts were sort of an afterthought. There was abounding goofiness on set, with the overarching philosophy leaning toward “have fun and we’ll figure it out later.”
Giving that sort of free reign to comedic icons like Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate and David Koechner meant a lot of brilliant stuff wound up on the cutting room floor, but a waste-not want-not attitude and a few dozen extra hours of editing brought us the
Supersized R-Rated Anchorman 2 . Featuring a difficult to verify 763 new jokes , this alternate cut is essentially a whole new movie. Some scenes have been altered, some replaced, and it features enough entirely new footage to keep you laughing 60 percent of the time, every time. Of special significance: Check out Champ’s explanation for why he got fired. It’s a symphony.
Blade Runner
Blade Runner is the Mt. Everest of movies with more than one cut. Its scope is unimaginable, its reputation doubly so, and if you approach it from the wrong direction you’ll pass out.
Ridley Scott’s cyberpunk masterpiece has a long and storied history of being recut and re-released, with each revisiting adding more to the overall experience. The theatrical cut is pretty universally unbeloved, and for good reason. The studio added a voiceover by Harrison Ford to explain the plot, a move so ridiculous even Ford himself hated it . And that was the tip of the iceberg. It wasn’t the Blade Runner we’ve all come to love. It’s
Blade Runner with a happy ending. What kind of a world is that?
Ten years later, the director’s cut became a cult classic, and 2007’s Final Cut is considered a masterpiece. But wait, there’s more.
According to the 2007 documentary Dangerous Days: Making of Blade Runner, Ridley Scott presented a cut of the film to studio executives that was almost four hours long. Tragically, it’s been lost to history here on Earth, but who knows? Maybe there’s a better life waiting for us offworld.

Rate This Content




  • Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published.