Review Detail

7.6 4 10
FanMix January 09, 2009 2878
American History ReXamined by Adabisi

I liked the original film. I also liked the meaner and more vicious version that comes through on the workprint. I was very interested when I read Adabisi’s idea for this edit.

This is a retelling of the film in chronological order. I waited a long time to see this edit and now due to its easier availability I was finally able to do so.

The edit was worth the wait. The chronological order presented the story in a new light and I am slightly now partial for this to become my preferred viewing method. Story wise and flow this works perfectly. This also alters a few things as the story is no longer told through Danny’s report. In this version the report has no major significance and only slightly contributes to the film as well as Danny’s change in attitude that occurs later on. This edition will also at times makes you feel like you are watching a persons life in chapters. Even though the original was like that as well, it was a bit more emphasized here due to the nature of the edit. I enjoyed this effect and it still makes you care about the characters we see on the screen.

Adabisi had mentioned in forum posts that there were at least two scenes that made him cringe, and that some minor tech issues are present because it was one of his first edits.

Quite a few times while watching this I thought a better or longer transition to bridge scenes and show time pass could have been used (a transition with a possible “a few months later” title card was needed when we went from the early Derek on the newscaster tape and then cutting to the basketball court game with him much later on in life). Overall this edit could have used some tightening up with some of the transitional scenes (Danny finally writing the report was one of them), but the minor tech issues aside it did not hamper the viewing in anyway. I also noticed at least twice where the audio level from one scene to the next needed adjusting or more so a gradual cross fade to keep the levels proper. The actual video editing itself was done well and for the most part the audio was on key with no problems (minus the two mentioned instances I found). The picture quality was also good and looked really no less than the old dvd version this was derived from

Adabisi was very good in working around scenes that were infused with present and flashback material (most notable was Derek talking to the newscaster and seeing flashbacks of his father, which was a nice way to fix the gap in video because of other material that interrupts it in the original)

A good film, another great way of telling the story and a worth while edit

rating from me gets a 9

The ntsc DL dvd version for this was NOT authored properly for a dual layer. A big issue Abais had with many people on was his choice of not including any chapters in the film. I understand his reasoning (in bizarro land), but if you are making a dual layer dvd then that option is going to backfire against you and here is why:

When burning to DL, you need to have a layerbreak. Since this edit has no chapters and no cells (you can have cells as hidden chapters so to speak) the burning programs have absolutely no where to put in a layer break because it is not seeing anything.

If any of you burned this know now that you burned a very nonstandard DL dvd and many players will choke for this reason

In my case I used dvdremakepro and input chapters as well as cells and this fixed the problem.

For the rest of you an easier method since this has no extras would be to use vob2mpg or pgcdemux. Break the film down into one big file or elementary streams and re-author using at least 22-24 chapters or just cells. This way you will be able to burn and view this properly
Owner's reply July 17, 2012

Thanks for the review. Just to note, the available version has been fixed and has a proper layer break, chapters, etc.

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