March 08, 2014
Just reviewing The Prophecy here.
Big fan! Love the concept. I wanted to rewatch Buffy but didn't have the time or patience to sit through it all again. There's a lot of repeated exposition in the original episodes, as the editor pointed out, and a lot of very ropey martial arts. This cut just gets straight to the core plot involving Angel and the Master, but it still retains the humour and the charm. The gang are all still there. Cordelia loses out the most, if I remember the originals correctly.
There are a couple of plot holes, mostly towards the end, where characters seem to know more than they should (e.g. Cordelia suddenly seems very keen to help in act 3) or love interests or new characters appear with no lead-in (Giles's love interest and Cordelia's guy). I agree with the previous reviewer who pointed out that the scene with Buffy's dad seems very out of place as it's not framed as a dream (unless I spaced out for a second and missed the framing). The stuff with the annointed one (the kid) is underdeveloped too, as the prophecy isn't really fleshed out enough to know who he is or what he's doing there. The scene before Buffy's burial also just pops out of nowhere, with the kid talking to her like he knows her and the master suddenly being able to be above ground.
These are all minor points, things that I can live with in order to get a streamlined season one. I especially liked the new flashback structure of killing off a couple of the key vamps (Jesse, the Bounty Hunter from X-Files). Very efficient. Despite the niggles I've mentioned, it plays really well. The Buffy-Angel subplot is perfectly handled and, despite a couple of holes and leaps of logic, the master storyline works well, too.
The editing is very professional. There were a couple of ad break fade outs that could've been trimmed, I think (after Angel's found with Buffy's mum and after Buffy overhears the prophecy of her death in the library), but the structure of the film as a whole worked really well (I especially love that the Angel-is-a-vampire reveal comes bang on at the midpoint) and there were no jarring cuts or audio flaws.
I'm a little disappointed that season two has been cut into so many movies, if I'm honest. I like the idea of one two-and-some-hour movie per season. I understand this might not be possible, though, having not seen them myself for a while. Fantastic job on season one, anyway, and I look forward to getting into season two.