15 Cuts = 9 Min 43 sec.
As it so often happens, "Bound by Honor" only saw the release of its normal version in Germany, while its US DVD-debut prompted the release of the longer Director's Cut.
The question you have to ask yourself when facing longer versions of movies, is always the same: Are the new scenes an improvement or do they hurt the movie? - With "Bound by Honor" the answer is quite obvious. - Since a lot of errors in the movie's logic are corrected and the plot is extended in a meaningful way, the Director's Cut is clearly an improvement.
Why a movie like "Bound by Honor" remained as obscure as it did, is incomprehensible. The genre is exactly the same as "The Godfather 1-3", "Scarface" and "Once Upon a Time in America". In contrast to most of the classics of the mafia-genre, the plot doesn't revolve around Americans of Italian-Sicilian descent, but those of Mexican origin. So the cultural sphere is a different one, but the genre barely changes and also this fact shouldn't cause a bad review. With a run-time of around 190 minutes (DC) the movie tells a compelx story in epic breadth, comparable to most of the genre's classics. Though the movie can't offer famous actors like "Robert DeNiro" or "Al Pacino" it is definitively recommendable!
We compared the Theatrical Version, reptresented by the German FSK 16 Special Edition DVD by Buena Vista with the US-DVD's Director's Cut by Hollywood Pictures
The times refer to the US-DVD
Joyride in a stranger's car
The scene in front of the autoshop runs a little bit longer: You see the small boy leaving with his father in the red van. Gushingly, the boy says good-bye to the three. The Cruz once again stresses that they are not allowed to drive the car. Paco (the bully with the hat) downplays the whole affair and after a little hesitation, Cruz (The Artist) is also convinced by the idea.
(Change of scenery)
The three of them sit in the car and talk about women.
(Only after this drive follows the scene with the old, big tree in the DC)
altogether 50 sec.
Artists' competition's award ceremony
In the DC, Cruz gives a small speech before thanking his relatives: He tells about how, when he first started painting, his mother was in the hospital and he used to paint her get well cards. Back then she told him that he was an artist. He takes a look at his award and says: "I guess, she was right." - A little sad he goes on telling that he would have wished for her to be able to see him now.
(Now he starts thanking his relatives in the audience)
Arrival at the prison
Miklo (the protagonist) is lead towards his cell through the prison. On his way, he sees a lot of dark figures giving him the evil eye.
When he is in his cell, the guard closes the door behind him and tells him to come and see him, if there is any trouble.
Miklo reaches out with his arm until he touches the wall of his small cell.
Depressed, he leans against the wall
Introduction of the gangs in the cafeteria
If you've seen this scene in the DC it just looks badly edited in the German version.
The following can also be seen in the theatrical version: The Spaniard tells Miklo something about the black gang "BGA" (Black Guerilla Army). One of the blacks, who is standing next to the leader, notices that the two of them are looking at them wrong. Looking for a fight, he gets up and walks towards them. This, too, is being shown in the theatrical version, but then the scene suddenly stops and Miklo and the Spaniard continue walking through the cafeteria (?).
The DC continues as follows: The black guy asks both of them if they have a problem. The Spaniard says, he doesn't have a problem and adds an ironical "brother". Then he yells at the black leader what he thinks he's doing with his comb and that one of his bitches must have given it to him. One of the members wants to attack him but gets held back by the black leader, who then starts rambling about "Black Power". After a short back and forth a further walk through the cafeteria follows, which is also contained in the theatrical version.
The scene with the leader of the radical right-wing gang (AV) is also much longer in the DC. He threatens the Spaniard some time and he tries to talk him out of it. The whole action is being watched by the leader of the Spanish gang. He gives signals to some of his henchmen, who then get up in order to help their fellow countryman. When the leader of the whites sees this, he leaves the Spaniard alone and the scene continues like in the theatrical version. (One fellow countryman says "Just fuck him" and the leader of the whites throws his plastic toothpick in his face).
Arriving on the prison yard
After the Spaniard told Miklo: "Some questions you just don't ask", the scene continues in the DC:
You hear the prison guards yell. Both of them turn in their direction. Two guards escort one inmate. By stating "Dead Man Walking" the preceding guard emphasizes that the man is being lead to his execution.
Cruz walks through the crowd of guests with his manager until they meet a couple. Cruz welcomes the woman politely and greets the man with a gang-like handshake. - The joke is well received...
The scene with the party ends abruptly in the Director's Cut:
After Cruz received some cash from his manager, in order to obviously spend it on drugs or alcohol, there is a time cut. - Cruz returns with his friends totally wasted and makes an utter fool out of himself. Ridiculous teasing, laughing and other tomfooleries disturb the guests. When Cruz falls down from intoxication, his manager stands over and looks down on him. She calls her assistant and tells him to pick Cruz up and get him outside. Then she tries to contain the damage in front of the guests ("Well, that's the way artists are etc.") while making a good impression, though.
Miklo's rise in prison
The Spaniard, whom Miklo tried to rape at first, comes towards him and tries to convince him to pay his debts. At first, Miklo says no. But when the Spaniard offers him to make him one of the seven leading members of "La Honda" through his connections, he accepts. Miklo tells him, that he would remember it. Finally, the Spaniard offers to help him, when he gets out one of these days.
Interrogation at the precinct
The dialogue between Paco, who is now an undercover agent, and the arrested criminal is somewhat longer in the Director's Cut. One of the criminal's accomplices shouts at him from behind to not tell anything. Paco yells at his co-worker to get him out and slaps the man in order to make him turn around and face him again. Then he tries to scare him a little bit.
Miklo is let out on probation
In the theatrical version, after the second meeting of the probation hearing, there is a direct cut to a tree with an overlay saying "1982". The following plot development reveals that the second hearing was a success and Miklo got out on probation. The Director's Cut shows this immediately. Miklo walks towards the leader of La Honda (who became his friend in the meantime) and has a sad face. Just when he wants to comfort him, he starts laughing and tells him happily that he got out on probation. His buddies congratulate him.
Back outside - In the Spaniard's appartment
The Spaniard opens the door leading to another room where a naked woman lies on the bed. This scene runs a little longer in the DC: After the man shouts at her that there is coffee, she moans sleepily. He turns towards Miklo and tells him: "She is fucked up. We had a party last night".
During the prison riots
In the hallway, the leader of "La Honda" gives orders to kill "Smokey" as quickly as possible. (Smokey is the brother of the renegade La Honda member Carlos).
The theatrical version shows nothing but this order to kill Smokey, but the DC runs a little longer:
Smokey is standing in front of his car on the street. A second car, in which the Spaniard is sitting, stops right before him. He gives him some cigarillos as a present, pulls out a knife and stabs him in the stomach. But Smokey manages to pull up the cigar box in front of his stomach and thus depress the stabbing. He jumps over a small wall and runs away. The Spaniard tries to shoot him, but misses.
It's ridiculous that this scene is missing, because in the next scene, you see a heavily wounded Smokey. He holds his bleeding stomach and calls Paco, since he needs police protection.
After Montana's murder
While all hell breaks loose at the prison, various things get destroyed, mattresses are torched, toilets overflow etc. The scenes of destruction are so far identical, but there is additional dialogue in the DC:
Magic (one of the seven leading La Honda members) is out of his mind with grief about Montana's death. He yells: "You want a war, I'll give you a war". Miklo tries to calm him down. He holds him tight and tells him that the others are just waiting form them to act uncontrolledly and blindy. He asks his friend to be like a "Mero Mero" (whatever that is...)
Finally, he manages to calm him down.
Revenge on "The Day of the Dead"
The leader of the nazi-gang runs around burning for a little while longer in the DC.