As anyone who knows me from the forums knows I am a big comic fan, and that includes their adaptation to Movies and TV. In my personal opinion, while it has had its missteps, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is my favorite adaptation of the comic characters to live action media.
I agree with DSM2337's assessment of Agents of SHIELD, and it is not limited to its first season; the show does provide interesting plot points and character development, but it stumbles and does a lot of navel gazing wasting precious screen time. I put partial blame for this on the selection of TV producing house - ABC studios has been known to over stretch plots on many of their TV offerings and they have yet to adapt to the current 13 episode or less per season format.
Anyway on to the review of this edit, a great job is achieved of boiling down the plot and story offered by the first arc of the premiere season of this show, we get all the required information in two hours without any of the filler; which is a great achievement in itself. High marks for enjoyment.
The editing is also very well done, if not perfect; some fades that have no apparent reason like for instance when Coulson and Skye fly away on the flying car Lola stand out, some black screen transitions that do not work to well are also peppered throughout the edit. Wish this could have been avoided. 9/10 on video editing.
Audio editing, quite well done; no noticeable breaks or cuts; which is suspect was achieved with the aid of the aforementioned black transitions. Sill full marks.
A/V quality, as with every review a 2.0 audio track gets a 7 from me, also I noticed some issues with the audio, dialogue was somewhat muted while music and sound effects were comparatively much louder, I had never experienced this in my entertainment system with similar audio tracks; don't know what caused this but another point is deducted from the score making it a 6 overall. Video is crisp at 1080p. - On a side note I wish reviews allowed to give separate scores for audio and video quality, in case any site admin/mod reads this.
Enjoyment and Narrative - the best that could be done from source material is achieved in my opinion, yet it still feels somewhat lacking. 9 on narrative for effort, 8 on enjoyment.
On a personal note, the song used for the end credits is too loud and in my opinion does not fit with the tone of the plot. One point deducted from Audio Editing for this.
This is quite an interesting project and I look forward to watching the next installments.
Great work giving this such a cinematic feel. Visually in particular you feel like you're watching a HQ MCU production. Plot wise, the episodic nature of early season one makes it hard to tie something like this together well, and you've made a great effort. The only thing lost I feel, is the steady character development for Skye as she grows in confidence and connection to the other members of the team and begins to feel at home and valued. But this is an ongoing thing and couldn't be helped. Very well done.
It was great to revisit the first season of AoS in this new way. I was impressed by just how expertly DSM created a feature from the materials he had to work with -- it looks and sounds great, and the pieces are tightly interwoven to really flow like a feature film (or at the very least, a really good tv movie). Using the throughline of Mike Peterson's journey to carry Skye's introduction and Coulson's mystery was wise and works wonders to keep the story together. I particularly like the way the team members' introductions are handled in this version -- much more organically that the original pilot, IMO. Well done.
From a narrative stance, I do wish we'd had a montage or "___months later" (perhaps repurposing a climax from an episode not used here or in later planned fanedits?) to show the passage of time and growth of the team indicated by Skye's comments to her hacker buddy, and I'll agree with other commenters that Coulson's rejected phonecall feels abrupt. Part of me wishes that there'd been some way to work in at least one more "Tahiti... it's a magical place" somewhere, to tie in its use at the beginning with its use at the end, making it more clear that it's a Pavlovian response.
Those nitpicks aside, again, my compliments to DMS, and I look forward to seeing what comes next!
There's not much more I can say that hasn't already been said. After a disappointing first season that felt a little haphazard, this edit certainly condensed bits of the season into a cohesive story. Everything flowed very well, though sometimes a little too quickly. This wasn't the fault of the editor but more the nature of American television. Scenes are short with plenty of commercial interruptions so it's hard to edit a show into something that flows like a film. That's partly why I rated the A/V editing and narrative down slightly: some edits are a little abrupt, though I'm not 100% sure it's the fault of the editor or because of the nature of the footage. But because of it it did take me out of the moment from time-to-time.
That said, there is nothing wrong with this edit that would stop me from recommending it. Generally it's very well edited with a good pace, and it's nice to have a 2 hr edit of one of the more interesting stories from the first season.
Agents of SHIELD got off to a rocky start in the fall of 2013. The reasons for this are several: a somewhat unfocused concept, a cast that didn't have any chemistry, and the foreknowledge of the coming film Captain America: The Winter Soldier that dismantles SHIELD entirely, leave our Agents to be Agents of nothing, sort of. AoS also suffered from scheduling demons, getting pre-empted often and missing weeks, leaving the audience unclear when new episodes will arrive. Unfortunately, this caused many viewers to leave, never to return.
Despite this, there were some interesting narratives present throughout season 1, and DSM2337 picks up one of the more interesting ones and makes a tight little movie out of it. Jettisoning all of the side stories leaves a solid story about the Centipede project and Coulson's quest for the truth about Tahiti. This is the crux of the first half of the first season, and so for someone looking to get a quick start on Agents of SHIELD without all the boring bits, this edit is just for you.
I will say, however, that Agents of SHIELD works better on a binge than in its original release. All episodes are now on Netflix (in the United States), and it's worth the time investment to start at episode 1 and watch them all straight through, without the wacky scheduling that plagued its initial broadcast. If DSM2337's fan-edit leaves you wanting more, then by all means, do this. However, if you watch DSM2337's Centipede and feel you've got enough, you can move on without really missing anything important.
As far as the edit itself, technically it is superb. Cuts are organic and natural. Music cues line up well. I didn't experience any of the transitional issues ironman23 related. My only real complaint is the credits song. I love The Beatles, but for one, it's too loud, and two, it didn't really fit in with the rest of the story (in my opinion). Something a bit more subtle would have worked better.
In conclusion, for casual MCU fans this edit is absolutely recommended. For more dedicated fans who want to see a different spin on AoS S1, I would also recommend this edit. Hardcore fans may want to just watch the entire series. And make sure you stick around for the mid-credits scene -- it's great!