Ready to see an original five-star version of an early and almost forgotten work from visionary filmmaker Guillermo del Toro? Then you must check out the outstandingly candid Blu-ray for "Mimic: The Director’s Cut," out Sept. 27th from the good folks at Lionsgate. Don’t believe it could be worth the dough – check out the bold and brutal facts below!
Title: "Mimic: The Director’s Cut"
Cast: Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Josh Brolin
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Runtime: 112 minutes
Release Company: Lionsgate
The Flick: I vaguely remember seeing the original version of "Mimic" (what del Toro himself calls “The Imperfect Child”) and I was not impressed. A kind of monster with bad scares B-flick, the picture left no lasting impression on me – and now I know why. Seems as though the ego-driven folks over at Miramax at the time (yes, that means you Bob and Harvey Weinstein – you messed up on this one boys!) mistook stellar filmmaker del Toro for a loser punching bag and the result was a flick that didn't please anyone. Fortunately, Lionsgate handed the film reigns back to the real man in charge and the outcome is a movie that is on par with the slow, methodic and uber-moody work we’ve come to expect from the gifted filmmaker. Gone are the stupid scares and lame horror gags, now replaced by a heavy tone that beckons multiple viewings. I also saw more clearly the work by Mira Sorvino in this cut and it really is good stuff. Sorvino took quite a critical beating over her work within the bastardized version of "Mimic," so this Director’s Cut is a fitting tribute to her underappreciated talent. In fact, the only thing missing from this release is a formal letter of apology from the cocky Brothers Grimm that should definitely be forthcoming – what a difference a little pure del Toro makes, eh boys?!
Best Feature: Holy moly, there is virtually a ton of ever-honest (or as much as “legally possible!”) del Toro insight all over this must-have release. From the 'Prologue' where del Toro introduces his tale of caution to the candid featurette on 'Reclaiming Mimic,' it’s a non-stop Jack “The Hidden” Sholder worthy disc with honesty of biblical proportions. But the best has to go to the full-length feature commentary where del Toro (who was 33 at the time of "Mimic" and the “perfect age to be crucified” according to the auteur!) lays out his incredible ordeal (which he calls “a losing proposition from the get go”) for all to hear! (Everyone involved should be ASHAMED!) Highlights include:
-Even though del Toro originally wanted scarabs as his slick bug of choice, Bob Weinstein became obsessed and determined to make Mimic the giant cockroach movie! (Good idea Bob – go with that!)
-Not only were there a ton of massive re-writes from the likes of John Sayles to Miramax darling Steven Soderbergh (huh?!?!), but Weinstein favorite Robert Rodriguez was even forced into "Mimic" to needlessly shoot second unit! (Trust didn't run the way of the del Toro, eh Weinsteins?!)
-A producer after seeing the bug claimed he wanted more teeth (they had none!), more gums (they had none of those either!) and crazier hair too (also had none!) - sounds like a Harvey request to me!
-The way ahead of his time del Toro wanted the magnetic Andre Braugher (then John Turturro!) for the Jeremy Northam role, but was told “America is not ready for a mixed race couple in a major motion picture”, hey speak for yourself Bob!
-He argued for months with the powers that be over just having Northam wearing glasses! (He ultimately won – eat it Harvey!)
Best Hidden Gem: The fact that NOTHING is hidden – it’s all out there for folks to see, listen and learn from. (You go Guillermo!)
Worth the Moola: Look, I’m not denying that the Weinstein Bros. have created an amazing library and have cultivated and nurtured some of the most amazing talent over their years, but in the case of del Toro and "Mimic" let’s be frank - they f#ucked up. And the hell they put movie lover del Toro through during the making of "Mimic" is sad and shameful BEYOND belief. But the filmmaking master has the last laugh and this five-star director’s cut (which he claims is “95%” or “as close as we’re ever gonna get to it!”) is the proof positive – even the all powerful Weinstein 'get me the Oscar' boys can’t keep an inspired film man down.