Braveheart – The Elerslie Edition
- NTSC DVD-9
6 additional cbb trailers
3 previews for other CBB fanedits (each is 5 minutes)
MKV is 720p
The removal of Princess Isabelle worked really well and made William Wallace an actually more believable character, because his romance with the Princess always felt like cheating.
William’s childhood was really well filmed, but had to be removed for pacing reasons.
- The torture ending was moved to the beginning:
This was done to completely change the mood of the movie. The audience will know how and that William Wallace dies from the very beginning. It takes the sore feeling off the original ending and replaces it with the hopeful atmosphere of Wallace’s impact on Scotland.
- Robert the Bruce and Longshanks were removed from the torture ending: All major characters are shown in the original, when William Wallace dies, but since this scene is now the beginning of the movie, which also means that the characters are introduced, less was more. Too many people would have been confusing.
- Removed William Wallace’s youth: Although these scenes are really good and give the audience a nice picture of how it was to live in Scotland in the 13th century as a commoner, they slowed the movie down. Historically the youth of William Wallace is a myth anyway. Some scenes are referred to later on, like William’s first contact with Murron, but that could be corrected. Also the youth scenes give a first impression of the cruelty and incredibility of Edward the Longshanks, but he has plenty of room to prove that later on, so it wasn’t really needed.
- All scenes involving the King and Robert The Bruce were removed from the first half of the movie. They are introduced later and stronger.
- Princess Isabelle is gone entirely.
- Phillip, the homosexual lover of Prince Edward, is reduced to being a friendly servant. The homosexuality aspect is entirely gone.
- cut first Wolf appearance, when he watched the soldiers leave (continuity).
- William’s dream of his wife is gone. Although a reference to their metaphysical bond, this scene was actually really empty and rather cold. There was no space in the fanedit, where it would have fitted.
- The assassin attack on William Wallace: removed, because Isabelle could not be part of it. The scene was rather good, but it was not possible to include it.
December 29, 2011
This was fantastic. CBB should be proud of this one, as it is most likely his greatest achievement. (I say most likely because I haven't seen every one of his edits yet.)
It is interesting editing a movie that is very good as opposed to one with near unanimous dislike for certain parts like with Star Wars. Here is a movie that has many great scenes that were cut out, and I can’t help but feel a little sadness to see they are gone, but I also cannot deny that the movie works fine without them. It was almost the same feeling one gets when watching a book adapted into a movie. I missed the childhood scenes. I missed some of the King stuff with his gay prince. I really, really missed Sophie Marceau, whom I have the hots for. But I agree the movie really, really didn’t need any of it. The only question is whether the removal of these subplots increases or decreases the dramatic tension. In my opinion it is probably a mixed bag.
I was very fascinated with the idea of putting his death first. It is well executed, but left a few lingering issues for me personally. First, somehow the line of him yelling “Freedom” (while always a little hollywoody) now really stuck out as grating to me, whereas when the scene was at the end of the movie it didn’t bother me so much. I had heard his previous amazing monologues at that point and thus somehow it works better.
2nd, by not having the death scene at the end to break up the scenes before and after it, somehow the would-be King leading the troops at the end doesn’t sit as well with me. Though, come to think of it, I’m not sure that final scene ever sat right with me. I just can’t bring myself to forgive his earlier actions. His character is too repulsive, but even that aside the scene just comes off as cheesy in my opinion.
Here is a thought for an interesting alternative ending. Break the death scene into two pieces so that the audience knows he is going to be captured but his death is left open-ended. This increases the tension with the hope that he might get saved. Then have the “freedom” line and actual death back in its original place where it works better. Then we fade out with him seeing his wife and the axe coming down to music and then some text that describes historically what happened after that. Credits.
Technically everything looked and sounded good. I loved the HD action!. If it had been AVCHD instead of MKV I would have burned and put this on my bookshelf, but alas, I’ll take whatever HD I can get!
There was one edit early on that pulled me out of the story a bit when Robert the Bruce was talking to his father and you intercut some shots of the army. It sounds like a good idea on paper, but it didn’t work for me.
All in all, I would probably give the story a 7-10 but for good technical work and originality I will say 9/10.
There was certainly a bit of controversy over my review of the first version of this edit. I just wanted to pop in and say that nearly all the issues I mentioned with that edit have been fixed and the edit has been improved tenfold. My review is based on the .mkv version.
Video - Flawless. The HD source looks great. The previous version zoomed the picture in remove characters, but this one removes them completely from the frame without zooming. Spectacular. You wouldn't notice that anything was off in the scene unless you were specifically looking for it. The only thing I could say about the video overall was that there was a slight bit of purple fringing in a couple of the very bright scenes, usually around a character that was in front of a white background. Barely noticeable.
Audio - Perfect. The previous version was not true 5.1. This one is.
Editing - Seamless. No issues whatsoever.
Story - The removal of Philip and Isabelle works perfectly. They were never necessary to the plot and were annoying, uninteresting characters. The film is better for it. Moving the execution to the beginning works great and it pulls you right into the story. Although, I donâ€™t think it quite serves to make the ending less depressing because I always found the ending of Bruce leading the army at Bannockburn right after the martyrdom of Wallace to be quite uplifting. Nevertheless, it works well. I always enjoyed the childhood scenes, but they were not essential to the plot and their removal improves the pace. A lot of confusion in the first edit came from references to childhood events that the audience had no knowledge of ("I shoulda remembered the rocks") and thankfully most of that has been removed. The dialogue between Murron and Wallace is still awkward ("Every single day I thought about you") because the audience has no knowledge that they knew each other as children. This, and the fact that Longshanks still has a very minor role and is introduced very late in the edit are the only real negatives I can say about this.
Overall, this is a great edit. It won't replace the original (and it was not intended to) but is a very interesting take on a great movie. Kudos to Boon for having the skill and dedication to improve on his original edit.
Braveheart: The Elerslie Edition by CBB
Review by Captain Khajiit
*Warning! This review contains spoilers!*
In some ways Braveheart was a great film. I enjoyed it well enough when I first saw it, but I have rarely felt the urge to see it again it. I liked CBB's first attempt, but it suffered from some technical issues. I am pleased to report that the faneditor has resolved *all* the issues with the previous version.
I watched the DVD. Sourced from the BD, the image quality is absolutely excellent. The color correction is very good indeed. There were only a few shots that stood out as having been recolor-timed, but this is always the case with fan color correction, even Adywan's. I have seen professional studios perform *far* worse color work. Rotoscoping and cropping was done in a masterly fashion and would be invisible to anyone who did not know the film and was not looking for it. 10 out of 10
Now with true 5.1, this edit sounds terrific. The audio was great. 10 out of 10
Presentation and Extras
The cover art was very nice. The menus were particularly well designed with thoughtful animated images that did not irritate me by showing me half the film before I watched it. The music was nice and did not make me mute the menu after a minute or so — a rare achievement. I do not care for extras, but I did appreciate the faneditor’s explanation of his ideas for the edit — a nice touch! 10 out of 10
Editing and Entertainment
The new cooler look helps CBB achieve its vision for the edit and create a new mood. As usual with CBB, the editing is seamless. I generally liked the re-ordering of events. The feel of the execution is slightly off towards the end because of the way the original material is composed. (Perhaps it is the music.) Apart from that, I really liked the way the edit flowed.
I do not agree with CBB's interpretation of some of the scenes that were deleted — notably Wallace's dream — but the edit works without them, so that is of no consequence. There is certainly something to be said for getting much of the nastiness out of the way in the first half and ending on a more positive note. The ending really comes off and does not feel forced at all, which is hard to pull off in a fanedit.
I liked the Elerslie Edition introductory title very much indeed. All the subtitling and credits were well produced, but I did not like the edit list at the end: it is not what I want to see after a film and belongs in the extras, in my opinion.
Braveheart will never be one of my favorite films, but when I watch it, I will watch the Elerslie Edition. (fanedit — 9 out of 10; theatrical — 8 out of 10)
Overall: 10 out of 10 CBB's second version is a triumph of fanediting.