Uwe Boll on Uwe Boll
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Uwe Boll has earned a reputation as the modern day Ed Wood, making movies that nobody likes. One might also compare him to his more recent contemporaries like Troma Films, making low budget exploitation movies that may shock and appall, but rarely earn praise. Boll says there is one major difference.
"Postal is not cheap," Boll said. "It's like a $30-40 million movie with a lot of action, but in the way that satirical elements and the craziness of Lloyd Kaufman is of course in Postal. I personally like him a lot but also a studio like Troma, their biggest time is over. This is the thing. I think there's a lot of manufactured Hollywood studio franchise stuff going on, what is not interesting, what is boring, and what only makes some money because they put more and more money into the releases. A movie like Jumper, if you would do Jumper out with $15 million P&A, you would not make $5 million box office. Nobody would see the movie. So they have to put more and more money into more releases to get any attention for movies that basically nobody wants to see. There is nobody who wants to see 10,000 B.C. until you spend $75 million to release."
Boll's distributors may not have that kind of money to open his movies wide, but people know where to find them. Some have even taken to signing petitions to stop him from making movies. With the latest, Boll promised to stop if they collect one million signatures, but even that is suspect.
"It is also now kind of an absurd situation that the gum company is sponsoring with chewing gum if you're saying vote against me. So I wait for Budweiser now or somebody who goes for the pro-Boll petition and you get a can of beer for free if you vote pro-Boll. Yeah, and I'm not sure how many different people signed so far. There maybe everybody is doing 10 different identities and votes 10 times, so I really am not sure."
There is even more Uwe Boll coming, as he plans an extended cut of In the Name of the King, which he thinks will make the film flow better. "What is a little sad with In the Name of the King of course is that the real long version is almost three hours. This will come out on DVD as a director's cut hopefully soon, and I think this has more fleshed out characters. Then you feel more if he dies later because there are more scenes with him before. You get a better connection to his character. Also to Ray Liotta, all the connections between the people are in the longer version better. Now it's kind of flashy, and Ray Liotta is over the top in the movie. But if you see him developing into that situation, because it's like 45-50 minutes longer movie, then it's also working better."
Even Boll knows it is a lot to ask people who hated the two hour version to sit through the three hour one. "Yeah, I agree. That's the thing. If people don't like it, maybe they will not like the long version also, but I think it is definitely at least interesting. If you are a film lover, it is interesting to see the different take on the movie. Normally, whatever they do, if a movie works, for the DVD they cut 10 minutes or five minutes on top of the movie and this is then the uncut director's cut. Here, this was the cut but the movie was too long. Nobody wanted to release it too long, so I had to cut it down to two hours and 10 minutes. I think the real version is the long version."
For his own entertainment, Boll has tastes that may surprise his fans or detractors. "I watch basically everything that comes out, but I enjoy also more, let's say, no so commercial movies. Like No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood. There Will Be Blood was my favorite last year. For example, a movie like Juno I think was great but was not SO good. People say like it's a masterpiece or whatever, but I think it was a good comedy, a small little movie like My Big Fat Greek Wedding or Little Miss Sunshine. These are good movies you enjoy but they are totally overrated in a way. Years later nobody knows anymore why they were so successful. I love also movies like Iron Man."
There are plenty of those to go around. Perhaps it is Boll's responsibility to challenge the norm. "One of the reasons why I did Postal was I was tired from that kind of Hollywood movies coming out. Like I love Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey or Will Ferrell, but all the movies they do, they entertain me only 20 minutes. Then the rest is more sentimental kind of typical stories. Like the typical Hollywood story. You need the happy end and the family is great and weddings are great. In the end, they are all, the Ben Stiller stuff, very supportive of the status quo. They are not anarchistic like the Monty Python movies. This is what I really like. I like more like ruthless humor where you have no holdbacks. In a Wedding Crasher movie or whatever or Meet the Fockers, there are always those moments where I laugh my ass off, or Superbad, but overall, the movies are more, let's say, conventional. I tried to do with Postal something else."
Boll's latest film, Postal opens Friday.
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