Aquaman: De-Marvelized Edition
I'm calling it the "De-Marvelized Edition," not because it felt 100% Marvel, but because I felt like the humor was an attempt to copy the Marvel formula of a dramatic scene coming to a full stop for a joke (bathos) rather than the humor flowing naturally, and was indicative of a "new direction" by the studio.
This fan edit attempts to correct that and provide a better watching experience for those who would have liked the material to be taken a little more seriously. I wasn't really interested in changing the flashback or story structure. This edit mainly focuses on tone. I'm trying to better capture the intended tone of "Arthurian Legend meets Indiana Jones meets Underwater Star Wars."
- "...so you can KILL that sonuva bitch!" (Now cuts after "you need to live!" and the reason is implied rather than being so on the nose. Scene just feels better emotionally without that.)
- Biker selfies in the bar
- Arthur sniffs his armpits and winces
- "I already got one of those."
- Pros & Cons hologram screen before coliseum fight
- "We got a bogie on our six! BAD GUYS BEHIND US! AAAAAHHHHH!" (Seriously why is he this childishly scared)
- Mera telling Arthur to shut up.
- Arthur: "I just saved your life." Mera: "I saved yours first!"
- Ocean to Ocean by Pit Bull (replaced with more tonally appropriate "sahara desert" music, plus new sound fx)
- The Depeche Mode song during the Black Manta Suit Building Montage (replaced with more menacing music from the soundtrack and new sound fx)
- Arthur and Mera jumping out of the airplane.
- Arthur talking about jumping out of the airplane (since it was cut)
- "If you're the next true king we're screwed."
- "Could've just peed on it."
- "Something Something Trident"
- Mera and Arthur eating roses.
- The pinocchio book and more nagging from Mera.
- "Mi Scusi"
- The toilet bowl gag
- The exchange with his mother about needing a hero instead of a king. It was just way too on the nose. Now she asks him if he's afraid, he says yes, she tells him he's ready, then he goes in. We don't need to be spoon-fed the hero theme. We get it.
- Mera's "People of Atlantis" speech at the end. Her delivery was so cringy and forced she wasn't selling it. So now after they take away Orm, Nereus starts a "Hail to the King" chant and the moment doesn't seem as forced as before.
- Brand new color grading throughout to give this a more mature look, as I thought this movie was way oversaturated and bright AT TIMES. It isn't an extreme change, so don't worry. Everything still looks great.
If you're going to watch Aquaman, this is a better version than the theatrical, which I couldn't stand to sit through. This is a VERY conservative edit, and there's easily another 20 minutes I could've done without, but it doesn't matter. It's an aggressively dumb film with a lengthy IMDB page listing all the ridiculous errors in it (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1477834/goofs?ref_=tt_ql_trv_2), so there's just really no turning it into something it's not. That's not the editor's fault. I had high hopes that all it would take is some fine-tuning, but that's on me.
Visually, the color change may not really matter, depends on your taste. The editing was technically very well accomplished. I only caught two scenes that were weird. The first is on the boat leaving Sicily. Arthur wakes up and sees his body covered in seaweed, then walks towards the front of the boat. Next we see him arriving at the front to talk to Mera, and he is wearing a shirt and his hair is tied back. In the same scene, Mera is wearing normal surface clothes, then just afterwards when swimming in the trench, she's in her green bodysuit. I don't know if shots were clipped out in editing, these may be glaring continuity errors from the original film. Everything else is cut together well enough.
The "enjoyment" score for the film has nothing to do with the editor's work. DriggyDriggs seems to have executed their vision well. It just didn't substantially change my opinion of the original film: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/aquaman-2018/
I would of rather seen this version at the theatre. Even with the desaturated color (this I prefer). Everthing looked much sharper. Still a goofy at times fun movie. Thanks for your hard work
I personally adore the Aquaman we got, bright lighting and saturated colors and goofy humor and all, but much to my surprise, this was nowhere near as cringey as the title suggests it would. It's still the same movie, and it still has jokes, only a few have been cut out is all. The new color palette is also shockingly gorgeous as well. I liked this a lot.
I watched this in theaters with my brother and we couldn't stop laughing at how bad it was. Just as you are getting invested, the movie says or does something dumb/cringe-inducing. Now, through very incisive cutting, it makes for a much more even experience!
Now, fear not. This isn't a person trying to make the movie dark and depressing so that it feels more like part of the Snyder-verse. Not at all. The movie is still a fun, high action adventure film. It just feels more focused and tonally consistent.
The color correction reigns in the color a bit which I was apprehensive of at first because the movie shines in its big, bright spectacle. However, even though it's darker, I never felt like you were choking the life out of the picture. It still looked cinematic and comic booky; just with a slightly more mature tone. If I had to compare it to another DC movie it would be something like the tone of Wonder Woman.
There was one spot where I could notice a harsh audio cut but I can't remember exactly where it was. Other than that, it's seamless.