July 12, 2011
First off, I'd like to thank Uncanny Antman for helping me when I reached out to him. He responded quickly and kindly to my request, which I think shows some excellent character.
The Batman: Under the Red Hood is one of the best DC Universe Animated Original Movies. It is one of those rare situations where the adaptation is better than the original source material.
Now, Uncanny Antman takes this great movie and almost makes it perfect. His edit is easily the definitive version of this film. He masterfully replaces the original opening sequence with the mob meeting, then reedits in the original opening later in the movie. This edit alone drastically affects the movie and makes it exponentially better. Not only does it make the movie more of a mystery, especially for those unfamiliar with the Batman Mythos, it generates more of an emotional impact later on in the film. Additional cuts such as toning down Nightwing's cheesy banter and making the final confrontation scene more realistic also positively affect the movie. Although I think Neil Patrick Harris did a decent job as Nightwing, his quips are relentless, so taking a chunk that cheese out really helps the movie. Also, UA's edit of the final confrontation makes Batman's actions way less superhuman and more like... well, Batman! That's a good thing.
I think my only complaint about this edit is how the original opening sequence was edited in. The placement in the movie was perfect, but it's execution was a little awkward at one point.
The scene is when Batman confronts Ra's Al Ghul and learns about Jason Todd. The original sequence played at the beginning of the movie has Batman racing on his motorbike to save Jason, with the music especially dramatic when showing batman on his bike, then slowing down to show a struggling Jason. UA's edit works well here for the most part: UA edits out the Batman on the bike action, but keeps the scenes with Jason, which adds to Ra's explanation of the events that occurred. However, there is an instance where the music is in a crescendo as Jason struggles to get to the door, then as the music gets dramatic again (which I think originally cuts to batman on his bike), it now cuts to Batman and Ra's standing there. Batman squints, then Ra's closes his eyes... I just found this transition awkward and it took me out of the moment a little. I think it would have been better just to let the Jason scene continue to play out instead of cutting back to Bats and Ra's. I think I understand why UA did that though. There's only an animation for Jason starting to crawl to the door and for Jason reaching the door, with Batman on his bike originally in between these moments. So it may have been awkward to have Jason suddenly appear by the door. I will say on my second viewing of this edit, I was less irked by this. However, I still think it could be handled a little differently
I know this might have been a bit nit picky, but this is seriously my only complaint about this edit.
*end of spoilers*
Beside that, I seriously loved this UA's take on this movie. This will be the version I will be showing to others. Uncanny Antman truly made a great movie excellent. Now do yourself a favor and watch this.
Now my only wish is for Uncanny Antman to make a HD version ;)