By Edwin P. Sallan, InterAksyon.com
Six months after its successful premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival where it was immediately picked up for American distribution by Well Go USA, “On The Job” becomes the first Filipino film to be released in Blu-Ray high-definition format.
This was announced by director Erik Matti on his Facebook page and during the recent special screening of the “international cut” of the film presented by adobo magazine at the Power Plant Mall in Rockwell Center, Makati.
During the open forum that followed after the screening of the version that was first screened in Cannes, Matti said the Blu-Ray and DVD versions of “On The Job” will be released in the US on February 18 next year even as pre-orders can now be made at Amazon.com for $16.98 and $14.98, respectively.
Local fans of the film, however, need not wait until next year to grab a DVD of the film as Star Cinema will release the DVD of the local theatrical version of “On The Job”, also known as simply “OTJ”, this December 19.
Matti said that other than the fact that the US and Star Cinema home videos of the film will present the two different versions of the film, they are pretty much identical in terms of the additional content that will be included.
“There will be a director’s commentary, special features and lots of deleted scenes on both home video versions,” he declared.
Asked what are the differences between the two versions, Matti said the international version that premiered in Cannes is a shorter and faster-paced version that did not include scenes he and the producers ultimately included in the local release.
This include (spoiler alert!) the back story of Joey Marquez’s dysfunctional family which in early pre-Cannes screenings with selected film programmers did not receive favorable feedback.
“The consensus that we received from programmers is that while they love the Acosta role played by Joey Marquez, they thought the back story of his family only slows down the film and does not really advance the plot,” Matti revealed.
As a result of the sub-plot’s deletion, Rosanna Roces, who plays Joey Marquez’s wife, and JM de Guzman, who plays his son, do not appear in the international cut of “OTJ”.
Another scene that was not included in the international cut was the much-ballyhooed love scene between Piolo Pascual and Shaina Magdayao, which Matti wanted to badly include in the international cut.
“You know, I’ve been hearing a lot of how that particular scene is not really necessary, but it is an important scene in the sense that it establishes how much Shaina’s character is being used as leverage by his politician father played by Michael de Mesa to keep Piolo Pascual’s NBI agent in line and make sure his son-in-law does his bidding,” Matti added.
And then, there’s the ending. “The ending as written in the script, shows Rayver Cruz discovering Piolo’s iPhone but the one we showed at Cannes is a close-up of Joel Torre’s face in the blur of the wiper of Vivian Velez’s vehicle,” Direk Erik said.
Reality Entertainment co-producer Dondon Monteverde, who sat in the panel with Matti, “OTJ” music supervisor Erwin Romulo and production designer Richard Somes also talked about the upcoming Hollywood remake of “On The Job”.
Although the US remake has yet to be cast, Monteverde happily shared that in addition to the $US500,000 that Universal Pictures is paying his and Matti’s Reality Entertainment for the film’s rights, they are also getting 5 percent of the total worldwide gross of the upcoming Hollywood version.
And that’s only the beginning, Monteverde and Matti declared. The two were also happy to disclose that they are in talks with producers of Hollywood blockbusters like “World War Z” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, among others, for projects that Matti will soon be directing.
As for the international cut of “On The Job”, Matti likewise announced that it will have a limited theatrical run this month in selected theaters until December 24, the day before the Metro Manila Film Festival opens.