Review Detail

9.5 12 10
dicktracynoir_front
FanFix June 01, 2021 3301
Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
Sometimes it is nice to be wrong.

Way back in the early days of the Forum, there was much discussion of fan edit ideas for Dick Tracy, and at the time, I was not convinced a Black & White edit would work because the Primary Colour Scheme seemed so integral to style of the movie.

But Wakeupkeo has happily proven me wrong.

The alternation to Black & White, accompanied by the Miles Davis score, has given this Disney flick a whole new entertaining spin and tone.

Unlike Wakeupkeo, I do not think the original Dick Tracy was a Bad Movie. I absolutely loved the Primary Colours Design and the practical make up prosthetics. To me, it looked like the old comic strip jumped off the page into the real world. I still think it is an incredible accomplishment. To me, the big issue with the original movie was narrative and pacing.

But this edit masterfully corrects this, cutting I think over 10 minutes. Never once did I look at my watch while watching or notice anything significant missing. Well done.

As someone who has experimented with Black & White conversion with mixed results, I know how challenging it is and truly appreciate the hard work that went into this project. For the majority of the film, the Black & White looks very good. There are couple scenes (usually night scenes) where the flesh tones look off, almost like a muddy grey, such as when Tracy is on the roof before jumping through the skylight. Also, scenes where there is strong hot white light source, occasionally betrays the new Black & White reality.

The new Miles Davis score, which is essentially now Breathless's theme music, is wonderful and completely changes the tone and subtext of every scene it is used in. I loved it. I wish the entire Elfman score could have been replaced with even more Davis! There are a couple minor instances of original score spill, but technology like Vocal Remover can only do so much. There was only once scene where I felt the Davis score should have lasted longer, when Breathless meet Trudy for the first time.... the sudden fade out of the Davis score to be replaced by the background radio felt really out of place. To me, the Davis score should have continued until Breathless exited the scene.

With score replacement, comes the task of adding foley sound fx, and again for the most part this was done exceptionally well. Though I thought the added footfalls for Tracy in the end rooftop scene were too loud while the fireworks were too quiet.

All and all, a solid technical achievement and fascinating new noir narrative.

Good stuff!
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