China, take our money!


I read this interesting article earlier which discussed how Hollywood is beginning to edit its movies in order to try and capture the Chinese dollar. It seems that everyone’s chasing those same dollars. Every second day there’ll be an article about the boom in Chinese tourism, or China suddenly exploding into our music markets, or car markets, or you name it whatever else. Of course that’s when they’re not purchasing all of our raw materials, or entire continents (hello Africa!).

This particular article mentioned Iron Man 3 which reminds me of the time I saw Iron Man 1 when it was first released, at a local cinema in Wuxi, China.

My memories of the movie – beyond the fact half of the people present were not watching the movie but pissing around on their mobile phones – was that it was edited in a really bizarre way.

During the opening scenes, Tony Stark was captured in the desert and forced to work on his first Iron Man armour suit. These scenes were choppy and random and leapt from one thing to another – sometimes mid-dialogue. It was not until sometime later that I discovered that this was not the editors trying to be funky with some kind of ADD-inducing new method – but Chinese editing.

There had been no attempt to make the removed scenes seamless. Anything deemed inappropriate was simply cut. The end result was a jumpy, stuttery series of segments that truly baffled.

Early into the movie, Tony Stark brought a reporter back to his room to sleep with. The sex scene wasn’t shown in the main movie other than the two of them kissing on the bed, then rolling over and falling onto the floor. This scene too was edited out.

The final scene I recall missing (and I am sure there were others mixed in there) was during the climactic battle between Iron Man and…whoever that other armoured baddie was. The two jetted super high into the air until Iron Man’s power source was disabled and he fell to the earth. When he fell, he landed in a small crater – nothing really amazing here – yet this fall was edited out. I really can’t understand this omission.

The moral of this story? There isn’t one – other than don’t go and watch movies in Chinese cinemas if you’re one of those people who can’t handle other people talking during a flick (aka all of us).

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