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December 26, 2005

WEINSTEINS CUT THE PROMISE

Well, it's official: the Weinstein Company has cut Chen Kaige's THE PROMISE by about 20 minutes, changed the beginning and the ending, and added an Anthony Minghella written intro. Patrick Frater writes about the whole deal over at Variety and he says:

"Anthony Minghella has written a preface to communicate to Western auds the soul of eastern culture in Chen's film..."

For those who beat their chests and cry that Asian directors need to demand final cut when dealing with the Weinstein Company, well Chen Kaige did have final cut. Apparently he was convinced that the movie needed to be re-edited and cut so it runs 97 minutes. Chen says:

"Western audiences may not have the same patience as Asians. What we have now looks more of an action movie, but I think the soul of the movie is still there. Harvey sent people to help with things like the subtitles, and I participated all the way."

I'm sure he was also contractually obligated to say nice things about his movie being recut, as well.

So let's be clear: MASTER OF THE CRIMSON ARMOR does not equal THE PROMISE.

December 26, 2005 at 07:20 PM in News | Permalink

Comments

the promise/master of the crimson armor has changed
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rei

Posted by: rei | Dec 27, 2005 6:15:09 PM

If Weinsteins are so afraid that "Westerners" are impatient, AND they are trying to sell it to the mass audience, then it would make sense. But they don't seem to be putting much resources into its marketing, then it will be seen by only a limited number of Asian movie maniacs - then cutting the movie only makes them mad. What are they thinking?? Isn't it a contradiction??

Oh, I get it... "Westerners" = "Academy Members"... They have no consideration to the potential PAYING audience like me, I guess.

Posted by: Michi | Dec 27, 2005 6:35:45 PM

At least Kiyoshi Kurosawa held on to his balls - i.e., the right to criticize Miramax - when he sold the remake rights to PULSE.

Posted by: Steve | Dec 27, 2005 7:14:19 PM

The funniest aspect of this is that THE PROMISE isn't even supposed to be that good. So getting upset over this (as I am) is sort of like those instances when the ACLU supports the right of the Ku Klux Klan or the Neo-Nazis to march. You're supporting the principle of the thing, not what they're actually saying. I'm supporting the principle that Asian films shouldn't be re-edited for the American market, not so much that THE PROMISE shouldn't be re-edited for the American market.

I've never felt like the ACLU before.

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Dec 28, 2005 11:05:14 AM

Along those lines, there was a great old Onion headline:
"ACLU supports right of Neo-nazis to burn down ACLU headquarters"

I agree on the lack of excitement about The Promise, but I do think the principle is worth fighting for. They've done it to good movies before and they will again.

Posted by: David Austin | Dec 28, 2005 1:21:48 PM

Well, so far reading the very disappointing reviews of The Promise and seeing a less then exciting trailer, this news actually gives me some hope that a re-edited version of the film might be a significant improvement. Perhaps even a strong Oscar hopeful seeing that the Weinstein’s are pushing for an Oscar qualifying run, despite the current poor reviews. Granted the Hero edited version was a huge disappointment, and the disclosure of pay bonuses at Miramax the reason for Hero's 2 year delay gives me little trust in the Weinstein’s. I am naivingly giving them some hope. My friend is grabbing a pirated copy for me while he's in Hong Kong and I will shell out $10 bucks to see it in the US. So.... we will see.

Posted by: Hayden P | Dec 28, 2005 10:10:26 PM

http://www.variety.com/ac2006_article/VR1117935265?nav=news&nid;=2848
amazing article that reads, in part:

weinsteins have handed back the rights to distribution in
the US, UK, austrailia, and south africa to chen kaige
and moonstone group.

title will go back to THE PROMISE.

this is getting unreal.

Posted by: rei | Dec 29, 2005 12:30:53 AM

I can't believe it why couldn't this happen when Hero came out. But Yeah!!!!! I'm sure they wont have any problems finding a new distribitor. Sony might be ruled out since they are promoting Memoirs of a Geisha. Also Focus features is packed with Brokeback Moutain, the Constant Gardner, and Pride and Prejudice. But perhaps the abandoned Miramax could slap the Weinstein's in the face and pick up the film and go for Oscar glory. Besides Totsi which isn't even released to Feb. they have no real competitors for this years Oscars.

Posted by: Hayden P | Dec 29, 2005 9:13:28 PM

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