12 Monkeys is one of my favorite sci-fi flicks, so I was ready to see what a talented faneditor like Jorge could do with it. He performs major surgery on it, stamping it with his signature style and timeline alterations. Some of the changes are more successful than others.
The most excessive “looney tunes” scenes are toned down with smooth edits, and most of the cuts in this version flow well. Some of the really giant holes are smoothed over with expert, long crossfades of video or audio.
On the other hand, the recolorization is more a distracting gimmick than an enhancement of atmosphere. The film has a grainy look and there’s noticeable splotchiness and tiling in the shadows. Some of the background music has been replaced, or new music added, with more conventional music that lends a jarring melodramatic tone to some scenes.
The most interesting aspect is the total reframing that makes Dr. Railly the central character, a psychiatrist who is sucked into the paranoid delusions of her patient. By cutting all the future scenes, we see how unstable Railly is. All the characters who expressed closed minded disbelief in the original are now the sensible voices of reason and concern.
Like other commenters, I felt the final scene didn’t work. I think it’s trying for a “Sixth Sense” surprise, where one revelation resets the premist of everything that went before. But The Sixth Sense was finely constructed to reassemble with a nudge. 12 Monkeys doesn’t have that construction. To give another example, in Jorge’s previous Blue Skies on Mars, the theme of “is this real or is this virtual” is discussed and examined throughout, so the final twist is an additional and satisfying turn. This edit denies Cole’s reality throughout, so the final scene comes out of nowhere. Also, the final scene doesn’t make sense. Cole returns from the past – where he’s been bugging everybody about the Army of the 12 Monkeys – and then he goes and finds some 12 Monkeys graffiti. from Cole’s point of view it’s nothing new, so the only reason for the scene is to throw a twist in, which makes it an annoying stunt.
This fanedit is a clever reframing of the original, but ultimately it is a diminution rather than an enhancement. Without our full knowledge of Cole’s background and motives, the movie is far less poignant and there is no compelling urgency to Cole’s actions. And all the cool scenes of the future are gone.
I loved this new edit from Jorge.
The original is an amazing movie but this new take is so smart.
This time the audience is more or less at the same level of knowledge as the female character,
Only the mysterious vanishings of Willis can make us wonder if he’s telling the truth after all.
And so when she discovers the truth, watching that picture, that scene is so much stronger now, IMO.
I just love the new way to tell the ending, a bit like one of those Twilight Zone, or The Prisoner, episodes
where the hero finds himself brought back where he started (well, not really, since it is his “younger self”
that is seen on that last scene, but for the audience, in this case me, it worked the same.)
It was also the same kind of thing in the original, but told differently.
Maybe the original ends on a more emotional way, but this edit needed to end like this, IMO. If not for explaining
the animals screams and roars that Willis hears during the movie when he is visiting some places, at least for the
audience to really understand where did the character come from.
I know the goal of the edit was not to make it better than the original,
but to me it is close to that, and at least as good.
In fact I think this edit needed to be done! But only Jorge knew it, before us all!
(you can add that last line on your next advertise, Jorge! )
It’s probably my favorit Jorge’s edit and I can’t think of anything I did not like about it,
(maybe Jorge made better video quality in the past… but it was okay, exept on some dark scenes.
I guess it’s the price for the color change. that I also liked)
So I think I can rate this edit a 10/10.