In Director’s Cut Penn Jillette (Penn & Teller) plays a disgruntled crowd funder who kidnaps the footage, and star, of the film he backed in order to create his own version starring himself. Ironically, the film was actually financed by an elaborate crowdfunding campaign that attracted over 4,500 backers. Written by Penn and directed by Adam Rifkin, Director’s Cut stars Missi Pyle, Harry Hamlin and Hayes MacArthur who are playing both themselves as well as characters in the movie within the movie and cameos include Lin Shaye, Kristy Hill, Nestor Carbonell and Penn’s longtime partner, Raymond Joseph Teller.
What We Thought:
Director’s Cut is the Inception of parody movies. The movie is about the making of a movie that was crowd funded and then recut by Penn Jillette’s character. He pays to get on set because he’s obsessed with Missi Pyle who plays herself playing a character. He kidnaps her, recuts the footage adding himself and Missi while the others look for the real Missi and continue to shoot the fake movie. Don’t worry, watching the actual movie is a lot easier than this sounds!
The movie is super layered in dark humor and realism. This actual movie was crowd funded in real life and they talk about and explain that process. Penn’s character narrates the movie explaining all the inside tricks behind the magic of movie making. The tagline for the film calls it the ultimate meta movie ever and it might be. In his narration he points out continuity errors like the time on a wall clock changing from take to take. The movie being made within the movie is about a serial killer and he points out how Hollywood takes liberties with facts and evidence to make it more Hollywood. It’s a wink within a wink of movie making.
I have to say I really liked Penn’s performance. Maybe it’s because he looks like the super creepy stalker type, but he’s pretty fantastic in the role. He’s the only main actor playing a character and not themselves playing a character and he really nailed it. It reminded me a bit of Robin Williams in One Hour Photo. I’m sure the rest of the cast had fun making this oddball film as well. Hayes MacArthur is great at these side kick type characters. It’s great seeing Harry Hamlin doing some work. Lin Shaye is a personal favorite. Then there’s Missi Pyle herself who gets a ton of credit playing herself playing another character. It sounds like a complicated process, but for an oddball movie, the performances are good.
Obviously the more you are into movies the more you’ll like Director’s Cut. If you’ve never watched commentary on a bonus feature on a DVD/Blu-ray, this might not be for you. Penn Jillette is really good and the movie is over the top ridiculous, but if you need one more reason to see it, Teller does something you might not have seen before!
You can purchase the film here: https://epic-pictures.com/film/directors-cut#shop
Cast & Crew:
- Penn Jillette
- Adam Rifkin
- Missi Pyle
- Harry Hamlin
- Hayes MacArthur
- Lin Shaye
- Kristy Hill
- Nestor Carbonell
- Raymond Joseph Teller