The Butterfly Effect: Director’s Cut DVD Review.
“SPOILER ALERT” IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS MOVIE, THIS REVIEW WILL RUIN IT FOR YOU.
I have now watched the movie six times and almost every single thing there is on the DVD and my opinion of how things happened has change three times so far.
This review is my opinion #3 of how things happened the third and final time I thought I had it figured out. I don’t even remember the first one anymore.
This review believes that blackouts came before the time travel. Meaning that the blackouts were Evan’s suppressed memories.
Rule 1. Blackouts are caused by Evan’s time travel, the events happened normally the first time but were blocked from his mind because of the future changes.
Rule 2. Blackouts are events in which time travel can fill them in and returned to and changed for alternate outcomes.
The beginning of the movie.
I think the beginning of the movie hints to us that this was not the first time Evan got trapped in the institution.
1. The first time we see this scene it’s as if he already knows how it’s going to play out and kicks the door in first and slams it closed. Once in the room he reaches for the movies and remembers to move the couch.
2. The second time he sneaks through hall to the door and pushes it with hand then kicks it in quietly closing it. Once in the room he pushes the couch in front of the door.
I think he probably got trapped in the institution many times and used the home movies to change something different each time.
Later in the movie when Evan tells the doctor to give him his journals and the doctor tells Evan that his Dad (Jason) was always asking for a photo-album. This is when we see Evan realize for the first time that his Dad used a photo-album and that’s when he realized he was not limited to using the journals to time travel.
The classroom blackout is an example of how we are not shown what happens the first time that event occurred.
Examples of his blackout in the classroom.
We see the first page of all his journals in the prison scene with Carlos, it starts ” Dear Journal Mom says that I have to write in you because wensday I got in trouble for a drawing I didnt do.
1. The first time he probably just drew a picture. We were not shown this event.
2. The second time he drew the picture of the dead men. We were shown this event first.
3. The third time he drew the dead men and impaled his hands on Mrs. Boswell’s note posts. We were shown this event second.
After the third time when he impaled himself a lot of people think that this would be a huge event, I think you could simply chalk it up to he was about to be taken to the doctor anyway. I don’t get how Carlos would see the hand scars appear for the first time, shouldn’t they be in his memory if Evan had them before going to prison. It’s a couple of small plot holes that you have to live with.
Another problem with this event is that it doesn’t makes sense, why did it happen twice. This should have only happened once when he was proving to Carlos.
What would be the purpose in going back just to draw the picture (without the impaling) like we are shown at the beginning of the movie.
This is when Evan’s Mom (Andrea Treborn) takes Evan (probably the same day) to Sunnyvale Institute and Dr. Redfield suggests the journals.
The kitchen blackout is an example of how we are not shown what happens the first time that event occurred.
Examples of his blackout in the kitchen.
1. The first time he probably just ate his cereal. We were not shown this event.
2. The second time he grabbed a knife hoping somehow this would disturb the blockbuster. We were shown this event first.
3. The third time we are just seeing the same scene that was shown to us earlier in the movie.
But I did notice he was trying to put the knife in his pocket, I don’t know if this means he was going to take the knife with him to the Miller’s house or if he was trying to freak out his Mom.
The basement blackout is also an example of how we are not shown what happened the first time that event occurred.
Examples of his blackout in the basement.
1. The first time he probably had just finished removing his cloths. We were not shown this event, but we are shown the moments after the original event.
Another thought, this is also the only blackout in the movie that has not yet been effected by Evan’s time travel.
2. The second time he gave George and piece of his mind. We were shown this event first.
This is the third time we see Evan time travel knowing fully that he is in control of the event.
3. The third time he blew up Kayleigh. We were shown this event second.
This scene is weird because we are to believe that the blockbuster was in the same place six years prior to the mailbox scene.
I’ve read a lot of people opinions on whether Evan and Kayleigh actually had sex as children and I think I can confirm that by saying no. Here’s why, his black out starts from the time he was outside to the time he was in the basement with his clothes off. No more than a few minutes. They barely had enough time to get down to the basement and have George convince them to take off their clothes. Kayleigh was probably just embarrassed by having to take here clothes off in front of Evan nothing ever happened between them. When Evan goes to question Kayleigh about that event later as an adult she is reminded of all the abuse she received from her father as a child, not that one event in the basement with Evan. And when Tommy later says “Why did you have to _uck with mine”, I’m certain he was referring to Evan and Kayleigh’s kiss at the movie theatre.
Plot hole killer. In the first 30 minutes of the movie we are shown six blackouts. One, two, four, five, and six show us what happens after Evan time travels.
The third blackout progresses through the movie as thought it hasn’t been altered by time travel yet. This makes things very confusing for linear thinkers.
The Dad blackout is also an example of how we are not shown what happened the first time that event occurred.
Examples of his blackout when meeting his Dad.
1. The first time he probably just rambled on about how much they had in common. We were not shown this event, but we are shown the moments after the original event.
2. The second time he asked his Dad how to fix what he messed up. We were shown this event first.
I think his Dad tried to kill him every time this event happened.
The mailbox blackout is also an example of how we are not shown what happened the first time that event occurred.
Examples of his blackout by the mailbox.
1. The first time he probably just stood there and then ran when it when it went off. We were not shown this event.
2. The second time he drops his cigarette and gives himself a scar. We were shown this event first.
This is the second time we see Evan time travel but he realizes after seeing the scar that it wasn’t just a flashback, he was actually in control.
3. The third time he runs to save the lady and gets blown up. We were shown this event second.
The junkyard blackout is an example of how we are shown a portion of what happened the first time that event occurred.
Examples of his blackout at the junkyard.
1. The first time we see them jump the car and run to the fire. We were only shown the first half of this event.
2. The second time we see Evan trip after getting up only to be hit in the head.
This is the first time we see Evan time travel but I’m certain that he thought it was nothing more than a flash back.
3. The third time we see Evan telling Lenny to use the shard to cut the rope.
I’m watching it a 5th time to make sure I have this one correct.
I’m still confused by the fact that the junkyard blackout seems to be two separate blackouts.
After this event the Treborn’s move.
Time Progression. I think that time passed normally for Evan throughout the movie, I think as he made changes time continued on as normal for him. Example, from the first time he time traveled to the last, several weeks or months had passed.
I think he had many blackouts that were not shown in the movie as well as variations of time travel that were not shown.
More twists, if you get the part about his dad then you understand that The Butterfly Effect is not the first part of the story.
In the Director’s Cut Evan ends the curse. By making sure he is never born the curse dies with him.
In the Theatrical Release he does not end the curse, he only makes things good enough to stop the time travel.
I think this because there is an entire story line about the Grandfather (Edward), Father (Jason) and possibly Andrea’s two previous stillborn children that are never fully realized.
Here’s what I mean, Evan was never really born the first time, the father used a photo-album to go back in time and change something that made sure he was not stillborn like Andrea’s two previous pregnancies. Then he realized that he changed more than just that one event and tried to fix it, which is why he wanted his son dead, because he was never suppose to be born.
They could do prequels on the Fathers and Grandfathers experiences alone. They must have continued to try and make changes until they ended up in the mental institution without something to escape. Jason being stuck there Evan went on to effect everything around him and inherited the same curse of time travel.
I’ve read peoples opinions on the difference between the directors cut and theatrical version.
The theatrical version was cut together to please New Line for those who must have a Hollywood ending.
In my honest opinion the Director’s Cut is exactly the way the movie was suppose to end and I prefer it.
The directors also indicate that this was always the original ending
The Theatrical Release may have a hole as well. Was the video of him meeting Kayleigh for the first time a blackout that was never shown, because without a blackout how is he to time travel? This is another reason why I don’t think the Theatrical Release is the original. Also, after the last time travel wouldn’t he be dead from the brain hemorrhaging?
I do suppose that if he had a blackout at his party then even he would barely have noticed due to all the commotion and from the beginning to the end of the blackout, very little would have changed with his party. Just like no one would have noticed a blackout in the womb.
Director’s Cut = Original ending.
Theatrical Release = Hollywood ending.
My wife and I don’t watch That 70’s Show, with that in mind we both thought Ashton Kutcher did a great job with this character.
Here is the mistake that most people make, they think the movie is linear and it’s not. There would be an insurmountable number of plot holes if it were linear.
We don’t always see what happened the first time and don’t always see things in the actual or original order they happened.
What did I think of the movie, I really liked it and give it an A+ for invoking a high level of thought that few movies accomplish.
If the director’s ever read this please correct any mistakes I’ve made. Some of the thoughts and theories here can be proven by the additional content on the DVD.
Other items can not be disproved by anyone but the directors themselves.