Alexander: The A to B Cut

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Faneditor Name:
Original Movie Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2004
Original Running Time:
175
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
208
Time Added:
33
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
This edit is based upon the straight chronology of the Theatrical Cut, interweaved with much of the Final Cut’s additional material. I also excised anything that insults audience intelligence or prevents this film from being the sweeping, ever-moving-forward epic it so desperately wants to be.
Intention:
This film is an epic. Epics are stories that convey a great span of time. There is no better way to do that than by presenting the story in chronological order. I wanted the 30+ minutes of material that Oliver Stone added in his subsequent edits, but I wanted to watch all of that material chronologically.
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
I cut this version together from two sources: a Theatrical Cut (TC) HD DVD and a Final Cut (FC) Blu-ray.

The TC HD DVD was, in my opinion, the superior source of the two. The VC-1 video encode was not as good as the FC’s AVC—and there was a yellow tinge to the highlights, which I removed (and Stone removed in the FC)—but it was obvious in a direct A/B comparison that the TC was more finely detailed and had a more natural color palette. In addition, it was less matted. The FC boasts a 2:40:1 aspect ratio, while the TC is around 2:34:1, but the FC isn’t wider—it’s more matted. We’ve lost picture off the top and bottom of the frame.

I had to decide on a common aspect ratio, and in the end I chose to conform the FC to the TC. I cropped the FC slightly to the left and right to fill the picture out to a 2:34:1 frame. It seemed a shame to crop the FC even more than it already had been, but I didn’t want to matte my better source. For this reason, I used the TC as much as possible in my edit, but forgoing the task during radically recut scenes.

After a series of visually lossless conversions, I created Apple ProRes 422 files for both sources to edit with. My final master is similarly exported.

Both edits have gone through no small amount of color correction, which in the end I had to scale back a bit due to my relative inexperience in the art. The FC is just too hot—the reds too punchy, color saturation verging on excessive. I much prefer the steelier look of the TC. I conformed the FC’s color palette to that of the TC where necessary (and possible), but changes were made to both. It was usually with one of the following aims in mind: 1) Neutral blacks, 2) Neutral whites, and 3) Reasonable color saturation.

I downmixed the 5.1 audio to stereo. It’s not that I couldn’t do a 5.1 mix—I just have no 5.1 equipment with which to do quality control on it. So why bother?

I’m a video professional, and it was important to me to create a professional edit. I wanted polish more than I wanted to include every second of footage. When a splice didn’t work, I’d keep trimming until it did. Where I couldn’t color correct without introducing distracting video noise, I didn’t color correct.

I found this whole process challenging. Achieving precise audio sync was maddening. Doing initial conversions on PC, and then getting those files in a Mac-happy format for editing—without further loss of quality—was not easy. Color correcting material of varying quality… it seemed hardly worth it at times.

To do this sort of work, as a perfectionist, could drive a person crazy. I just had to settle on “good enough” at some point. I hope you find it to be of better quality than most fan edits.

User reviews

1 review
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0(1)
Visual Editing
 
9.0(1)
Audio Editing
 
9.0(1)
Narrative
 
10.0(1)
Enjoyment
 
10.0(1)
(Updated: June 19, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Oliver Stone's "Alexander" has always had a rough history ever since it came to cinemas back in 2004. One of the biggest criticisms - which I agree with - is the way in which it had been edited, where key moments to the main character's past had been hidden until a specific moment in the film's present where a flashback would occur that would condescendingly try to shoehorn an explanation to the viewer what he had been reminded of at that time, taking them out of the experience they're comfortable with.

Thankfully, this edit corrects that wrong and - in doing so - delivers a much more powerful film. The passage of time is better represented and as you see Alexander grow up, it is now left up to the viewer's imagination as to what Alexander is truly feeling or reminded of from his experiences, which respects the viewer's intelligence and allows them to more easily create their own meanings and interpretations.

Massive hats off to the editor, ramapo, for this edit. He has truly fixed this much maligned film, to such a high quality as well - I did not encounter many obvious issues at all while watching it except for what I am about to list below:

41:27 - I don't mind the idea of removing the scene where Alexander refuses to apologise to Attalus which leads to Philip banishing Alexander, as I imagine having this in a chronological A-B edit would make it seem confusing for the viewer to suddenly have them both back together after being separated for less than a minute. However, the way the transition has been edited here is rather odd as the audio is still in the palace chamber (echoes of whispering + quiet, tense music) as Philip is glaring at Alexander on his chariot. This feels like a rather obvious editing error and ought to be fixed if possible.

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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