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The Butterfly Effect (2004)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Co-writers/co-directors Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber Rating:8.2/10 (5 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Station51 on March 30th, 2016:Find all reviews by Station51
Bress and Gruber do a good job of covering many aspects of the film. They are entertaining but occasionally throw in some fairly odd, juvenile humour and comments.
Two points I want to make that are interesting about these two. Neither have directed again in over 10 years. Also they reveal that in the director's cut they thought that their original ending was the better one even though audiences thought ( spoiler ) that the main character killing themself as a form of absolute sacrifice and erasing their entire existence might be thought of as possibly negative and unnecessary. Well go figure. In this case the theatrical release is probably the better one. I understand their thinking about selfless sacrifice being the ultimate gift but it's not very life-affirming and ultimately leaves it with a negative spin. I, and most other people would rather see a win/win because...why not? I mean Jesus, they're premise is 'the world would be better off without me'? I think the world is much better with me in it, but hey, I guess that's just me not getting caught up in messed up self hatred. If you like the lead character you want them to gain something. Anything. Killing off your lead character as being the main problem in the movie is pretty dark. It's the exact opposite from what I wanted for this character.
Reviewed by grimjack on December 21st, 2020:Find all reviews by grimjack
This is a really great commentary. You can really feel their passion. This movie was something they knew was special, and were trying to develop for years. Odd that considering the obvious quality of their skill just from this film, that neither writer or director really got to make anything else again.

I am glad the commentary is over their directors cut so they can explain why they like scenes they put back in, and most importantly, their original ending. And why they let the studio change it.

They go into a lot of detail about little things in the film, inserted to effect mood, or to subtly imply the different effects the lead's power caused. A lot of these hints were with colors, and purposefully changing the filming style (no tracking, steadicam, documentary type look, etc.)

They also point out lots of moments where an actor, or crew member, really changed a scene for the better. And alternate ideas from earlier drafts and how they improved upon them for the final film.

One thing I did not catch they brought up a lot was how they used the color red for specific dangers, green when talking about dad, and other effects they digitally inserted that completely escaped my trained eye.

I for one liked this ending, and they verify that Kutchner did have two previous siblings who had messed up the world so much that they went back in time and killed themselves in the womb before he thought of doing it. It was not a terrible self hating act to me, but instead the warning that his dad gave him that going back and changing the past always hurt more people than it helped, and he needed to stop doing it before he killed his mom and all his friends.