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M3GAN

Comparison:

  • Theatrical Version
  • Unrated
Release: Feb 26, 2023 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the Theatrical version and the Unrated version


31 differences, incl.
* 16x alternative material
* 4x digital retouching
* 2x plain audio censorship

Difference: 5.6 sec
* 1:10 min exclusive footage in the theatrical version
* 1:04 min exclusive footage in the Unrated version

 

Artificial intelligence wherever you look

The term "artificial intelligence" has been in use since 1955. Many AI components are already firmly integrated into our everyday life, e.g. in products of the notorious data giant Google: calculations on traffic events in Maps, website translations in Chrome, categorizations in image search etc pp. Especially in the last decades, there has been impressive progress on neural networks and in the sub-discipline of machine learning. Among techies and in Linkedin bubbles around digital marketing, the topic gained momentum in 2022, before it spilled over massively into all conceivable mass media with ChatGPT in early 2023. Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg, because Midjourney, Dall-E or Stable Diffusion, for example, generate photorealistic images for the wildest ideas. For video content, too, there are now considerably more possibilities than the DeepFakes that are discussed critically from time to time.

Security concerns are omnipresent, and criminals and Internet trolls alike have already been eager to test out limits of the tools that are so eagerly discussed in the media. In the case of ChatGPT, for example, it was soon discovered that the AI was trained not to describe in detail obviously illegal activities such as a burglary - but with the specification to describe the necessary steps in a fictitious film scenario, one does reach the goal. Of course, Microsoft's chatboy TAY, which was launched in 2016, also comes to mind. It was immediately fed with racist propaganda and taken offline after less than 24 hours after several inappropriate responses. It wasn't quite as bad this time, but when Microsoft spiced up Bing search in February 2023 with a new development by ChatGPT founder OpenAI, there were also manipulative and offensive comments. Google's hasty presentation of Bard was accompanied by mishaps as well.

At their core, the (predominantly purely digital) capabilities of current tools are still based on huge amounts of data and statistical probabilities - although, unfortunately, humanity does not always set the best example for this. But it is probably only a matter of time before we can speak of "real" intelligence, which will then sooner or later also be used in advanced robotics.

 

M3GAN: A technology satire with a censored theatrical release

From our point of view, this little digression naturally leads over to the film world, where Fritz Lang already dealt with essential questions around the topic in 1927, way before the introduction of its scientific term, by introducing a Machine-person as the spitting image of the female main character in Metropolis. In several cinematic contributions since then  (for example Blade Runner or Ex-Machina and the particularly recommendable Her), benefits as well as above all risks of living together with artificial intelligence in all conceivable forms have been discussed. To put it simply, the suspense usually results from the fact that the life form, which was created to support humans, acquires a consciousness and inevitably turns against the creators to secure its own existence. And basically this is where the present title M3GAN also fits in.

The focus here is on an AI-equipped doll for children that turns into a cold-blooded killer after just a few days. Film fans will surely think of the neverending Chucky saga. But the series, which has always aimed for splatter moments and is clearly anchored in the horror genre, raises false expectations, because M3GAN is actually clearly designed as a (not particularly subtle) satire on the marketing hysteria described at the beginning of this text and corresponding anecdotes about the technological stumbling blocks. The urge to offer competitive products on a competitive market as quickly as possible, as described for Google's Bard, is after all a major plot driver. Entertainment value is clearly in the foreground of the film though, with pop culture references and, for example, the much-cited dance scene, the TikTok audience is also taken into account here.

One can certainly criticize a lot, but also have some fun with the final product. Viewers interested in the horror aspect of the plot once again found this a bit more difficult due to the unloved PG-13 rating. This also built up after the theatrical release, when it became clear that, for example, the elevator kill in the official trailer (time code 2:06min) hinted at a clearly more explicit version.

 

Unrated version of M3GAN for the home cinema release

Already in the week of the theatrical release, the screenwriter hinted that one could also expect a "much bloodier Unrated version". At the beginning of February 2023, the Australian classification with higher age rating confirmed the existence of it and shortly thereafter there was also certainty: from March 21, 2023, both versions of the film are on board on the American Blu-ray. As is so often the case these days, the VOD business is once again ahead of the game in terms of timing. Since February 24, 2023, you can already find both versions on the US streaming provider Peacock.

In a nutshell: Yes, the Unrated version is worthwhile in principle and offers some differences both in violence and cuss words. It should be the preferred choice for most interested parties, apart from younger and more squeamish audiences perhaps. Every kill scene is now a bit more explicit due to alternate or additional bits. Especially the already mentioned elevator kill shows quite a few adjustments in detail. In the other scenes, it's mainly smaller additions, but all of them drive up the gore factor a bit. Apart from that, the F-bomb is now used 12 times, while this was only the case once in the theatrical version.

On both points, however, one must also admit: M3GAN has now certainly not become a vulgar gorefest. The promise of a harder version for the movie was clearly kept, but those who expected completely new kills or other nasty scenes will perhaps be disappointed. In principle, the version used here would probably have received the R-rating without any problems and yet more, additional brutalities would honestly not have really made sense in the basic structure of the film. But who knows, maybe the sequel M3GAN 2.0, already announced for 2025, will go a different way here.

It's worth mentioning at this point that the Unrated version even runs a bit shorter than the Theatrical version. It's a no-frills version, so to speak: aside from the censored bits, no plot scenes or the like have been added, which often are the actual explanation why other Unrated versions had a longer running time. As a substitute for the bloodier, presumably "original" kills, the theatrical version had several alternative and even longer scenes to offer though. Partially these may seem more conclusive for the viewer, e.g. when M3GAN talks about suicide to Kurt in the elevator in both versions and only in the theatrical version makes sure that Kurt kills himself with the weapon. But as said, the bloody scenes will probably please many fans and one has both versions to choose from on the Blu-ray at least.


Running time information is arranged according to the scheme
Theatrical version in 23.976fps / Unrated in 23.976fps

Alternativ
07:38-07:42 / 07:38-07:42

David comments in the theatrical version, "You didn't just tell me that."
The Unrated has an alternate take in which he says: "You did not just fucking tell me that."

Gemma's identical answer starts already during this take.

Unrated 0.2 sec longer

Theatrical VersionUnrated




09:03 / 09:03-09:04

Interestingly, a few frames were cut out of the same take here in the middle with the nasty F-word; "And I want a fucking swipe card for this door!"

0.5 sec




28:15 / 28:16

Again, they just shortened David's comment a bit; "The moment we kicked Hasbro right in the fucking dick."

0.6 sec




Alternativ
35:33-35:35 / 35:34-35:36

At this point, once again an alternate take was used so that Gemma expresses herself in a more harmless/violent way.

Theatrical version: "...keep your dog off my property."
Unrated: "...keep your dog on your fucking property."

Unrated 0.5 sec longer

Theatrical VersionUnrated




Note: Brandon's "Fuck off, Holly" in the 52nd minute is the only moment where a F-bomb was also heard in the PG-13 rated theatrical version.


Re-cut
56:04 bzw. 56:05-56:06 / 56:06-56:07

After Cady turns around in the woods and calls for M3GAN again, the shot of M3GAN lying on the ground under Brandon was brought forward a bit in the Unrated. The theatrical version starts with another shot of Brandon with his earlobe stretched far to the side by now and shows the shot of M3GAN right after that..

No runtime difference
Image for orientation




56:06 / 56:08-56:09

Dafür hat die Unrated nun eine Großaufnahme vom nun abreißenden Ohr. Es wird nochmal zur Ansicht von Brandon gewechselt, bei der das Ohr ebenfalls sehr blutig abreißt. Brandon taumelt etwas zurück.

1.7 sec




56:06 / 56:09

In the theatrical version, the following shot begins a bit earlier: In these frames, M3GAN also pulls off the ear. However, this happens quite inconspicuously with a quick hand movement - no blood and hardly to see.

+ 0.4 sec




56:08 / 56:11-56:14

After Brandon bumps into the tree, the theatrical version quickly fades away. The unrated version shows him a bit longer and also again in a closer shot.

2.3 sec




56:50 / 56:55-56:56

Only 5 frames, but an interesting example of censorship: When Brandon is run over, the theatrical version only starts at the moment when the car has already covered him. The Unrated starts earlier, so you can still see him on the road and thus see the impact better.

0.2 sec




Alternativ
63:20-63:27 / 63:26-63:29

When M3GAN sprays Celia, the neighbor, with the high-pressure pesticide, the theatrical version has two shots of the drain on the floor with some blood slowly flowing into it and another shot of M3GAN spraying in between.

The Unrated instead has another close-up of Celia on the floor with parts of her face decomposing. The shot of the spraying M3GAN then closes the scene here.

Theatrical Version 3 sec longer

Theatrical VersionUnrated




Audio censorship
73:51 / 73:53

No image adjustment was necessary here, since the sentence can be heard above Gemma's previous shot. David's off-screen sentence was re-recorded in a shortened form: "I don't even know what the fuck I'm looking at."

Image for orientation




Alternativ
74:19-74:22 / 74:21-74:24

David says in alternative take: "I don't want any fucking kids onstage."

No runtime difference

Theatrical VersionUnrated




74:41 / 74:43-74:44

The end of the shot was chopped off, removing David's F-word coming at that exact moment; "Get me a fucking kombucha!"

0.7 sec




76:33 / 76:36-76:37

As Cole stands up, at the end of the shot, he mumbles another "Fuck!"

0.6 sec




Alternativ
78:25-78:27 / 78:29-78:31

Without censorship background and a bit strange: In the theatrical version you see M3GAN walking through the hallway from behind a bit earlier. In the Unrated version this is the same insignificant 8 frames longer though. It's the shot right after the explosion in the other room with Cole and Tess, where there were no other changes.

No runtime difference




Alternativ
78:48-78:52 / 78:52-78:57

David's comment on the phone was shortened a bit: "we're in the middle of a tech rehearsal that's becoming a little problematic because we don't have a fucking doll!"
The theatrical version shows an additional shot from behind and switches to the shot from the front only at the word "doll", i.e. right after the nasty little word. The unrated version starts in this frontal shot throughout.

No runtime difference

Theatrical VersionUnrated




A rather strange change of audio can be seen at 79:22 / 79:27 . As David flees through the corridors, at the brief moment when he runs through the frame, you hear, "Security! (Help!)"
This was pushed back a bit in the Unrated and here you hear at this moment "Doll!". The optional English subtitles, however, do not reflect this at all.

Image for orientation




Audio censorship
79:29 / 79:34

A questionable bit: While the elevator door opens with Kurt, Kurt is supposed to say "What the fuck?" off-screen according to subtitles. But you can hardly hear it and in our comparison there was no real difference to the theatrical version.

Image for orientation




Digital retouching / Alternativ
79:38-79:39 / 79:43-79:44

Now the kill scene, which could already be guessed from early trailers in the harder form. When David holds the door open and moves backwards, the same take can be seen. However, in the unrated version there is a lot of blood spurting out of his upper body, which was completely retouched for the theatrical version. An alternative take follows, in which a lot of blood lands on Kurt's face and upper body.

Unrated 0.4 sec longer

Theatrical VersionUnrated




Digital retouching
79:40-79:42 / 79:45-79:47

After Kurt's bottle has fallen to the floor in close-up, the same take was used again for the next shot of David at the door - but in the theatrical version, the paper cutter still hanging out of David's chest at the beginning was retouched.

No runtime difference

Theatrical VersionUnrated




Alternativ
79:45-79:51 / 79:50-79:55

Kurt slumps to the ground in alternate takes. The Unrated lacks the nice shot through M3GAN's legs and shows a closer shot instead.

Theatrical Version 1.5 sec longer

Theatrical VersionUnrated




Alternativ
79:54-80:01 / 79:58-79:59

In the theatrical version, M3GAN can be seen longer from the side moving towards Kurt, who is of course not covered in that much blood here. The Unrated version switches in time, before you see Kurt, to a frontal close-up with his bloodied face.

Theatrical Version 5.5 sec longer

Theatrical VersionUnrated




Alternativ
80:03-80:06 / 80:01-80:04

Kurt asks in alternate take how M3GAN was capable of killing someone.

Unrated 0.1 sec longer

KinofassungUnrated




Alternativ
80:10-80:14 / 80:08-80:12

And another alternate frontal shot of Kurt as he inquires in shock why she is framing him for the murders.

Unrated 0.3 sec longer


Alternativ
80:19-80:22 / 80:17-80:21

Ditto.

Unrated 0.7 sec longer


Alternativ
80:27-80:32 / 80:26-80:31

Ditto.

No runtime difference


Alternativ
80:41-80:45 / 80:40-80:44

When M3GAN puts the cutter to Kurt's neck, alternate takes with blood can be seen again.

Theatrical Version 0.2 sec longer

Theatrical VersionUnrated




Alternativ
80:45-80:52 / 80:44-80:47

How Kurt is then killed by M3GAN deviates more extensively and is thus worth another single mention.

In the Theatrical Version M3GAN grabs Kurt's hand, slides it under the blade and then pushes it offscreen towards his face.


In the Unrated instead, M3GAN simply grabs the blade herself and pulls through towards the camera. In another shot of Kurt, lots of blood gushes from his neck.


Theatrical Version 4.8 sec longer



Digital retouching
81:03-81:07 / 80:58-81:01

When the elevator door opens again, you can see in the Unrated now clearly more blood behind M3GAN on the wall.

No runtime difference

Theatrical VersionUnrated




Digital retouching
81:12-81:15 / 81:07-81:09

And again, when people notice the bodies.

Hard to see on the small screenshot size, but there is also more blood on the face in the Unrated. On the second picture we show the same screenshot zoomed in a bit.

No runtime difference

Theatrical VersionUnrated




Alternativ
85:22-85:25 / 85:16-85:20

In der theatrical version M3GAN says "I'll rip your head right off your neck", while in the Unrated she says "I'll tear your head right off your fucking neck" instead.

Unrated 0.4 sec longer

Theatrical VersionUnrated