Review Detail

FanFix August 05, 2012 2369
(Updated: September 02, 2012)
Enjoyment
 
9.0
January 17, 2011

**** POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD ****

I was surprised to see that this edit appeared. I had somehow missed the thread in the Forum for this FE. As such, I did not read any information, the cut list or Wraith’s intention for the edit: I went into this edit “blind”. In other words, I had no expectations and no knowledge of what I was going to see.

I have only watched the original version of this movie twice: when it came out in the theaters and when I received it on DVD as a gift (and even then, I fast-forward through a lot of it). It has been a very long time since I watched Indy 4.

STORY/PLOT/REVISIONS:

I do not want to re-hash the long list of cuts from the Cut list, so I am only going to highlight some of the areas of the edit.

Before I proceed further, I want to comment that I could tell from the very beginning of the edit, that a great deal of thought, time, work and skill went into the creation of this FE. Indy 4 is not an easy project to tackle.

I thoroughly enjoyed the “Trinity and Beyond” opening and the use of William Stromberg’s score from it – I am a big fan of these documentaries and Stromberg’s scores. Not just because of that bias of mine, but because of the great choice to use this footage, narration and music as an opener that it definitely sets up the tone of the movie as occurring during the height of the Cold war and the “Red Scare” in America. Wraith skillfully transitions from the B&W documentary footage (no widescreen) to the color and widescreen of the actual movie. Excellent!

I like that this edit begins at the point of the Soviet Army at the base (no more stupid car chase with the American teenagers).
The shorter version of the warehouse scene definitely works for me completely – gone is a lot of the cheesy lines and the bloat – this scene moves along quicker than the original and, to me, is much more tightly paced.

I am very happy with how Wraith handles the meeting of Indy and Mutt – not as stereotypically antagonistic than the original and makes their bonding later in the movie much more believable.

Gone is the bloat/overall silliness of the motorcycle chase through the college (thank you for removing the entire library scene, thank you!). I never really warmed up to this scene until this edit.

The working out of the puzzle Ox leaves for Indy, the travel to and discovery of Ox’s cell moves along much, much better – less bloat/more engaging and without losing anything of the plot.

Almost every overly-long scene has been re-cut to make them tighter and more interesting – bravo on all points!

For me, there might have been one or two cheesy one-liners/looks that could have been removed – but since all the really annoying areas were taken care of, I am happy whit what remained.

One scene that I sooooooo desperately wanted to be gone is the “refrigerator scene”. I hate it in the original and I hate it here. I have thought long and hard on how it can be removed successfully without losing continuity, but I haven’t come up with any ideas that work would well or at all. So, I guess I can’t fault Wraith for leaving it in. The scene itself is not essential, but the scenes following it are: i.e. – the scene with Indy and the FBI, the scene at Indy’s school, his firing, etc etc. I am not happy with this scene and never will be. :-(

Wraith successfully and skilfully pares down the bloat of all the major scenes – all of which the originals always annoyed me.

To quote: ” … plus no mushroom cloud and LOTS more … no ants, no prairie dogs, no monkeys, no scorpions etc…” all of which are NOT missed and makes the movie that much more enjoyable/watchable/tighter.

This edit shows Indy in his best form – smart, humorous, serious, capable and adventurous. It is very tight story-line wise and makes Indy 4 an adventure. I believe that Wraith achieved his intention of making this “tonally” more in line with the way Raiders of the Lost Ark is.
All the characters have been made a bit more serious and it works.

The added FX are noticeable, but NOT in a way they seem out of place – but in the way that seem to enhance what I am watching. Good job!

(Two of the people I watched this with didn’t realize there were added FX; that really is one intention of an FE, right? To do something that changes the original but seems like the original?)

I absolutely liked how the spacecraft/inter-dimensional craft scene is handled. Gone is the scene of it lifting off. Wraith handles this well, good cuts to the water flooding the area. I had always thought that if it was an inter-dimensional craft, then why did it have to lift off and fly to leave? Again, Wraith trims down all the bloat/fat of all these scenes from entering the temple to Indy and gang escaping.

TECHNICAL:

VIDEO: First, I understand what Wraith did to the “look” of the movie and it pays off. It’s just that the overall quality of the edit suffers since it has been released as an mp4. I would have preferred a SL or DL release. I put this on a USB drive and plugged it into my LG BD590 blu-ray player and watched it on an OLED TV. Looked okay, but not great (Again, not because of the intentionally re-done look of the movie).

I did think the choice of making it look like a movie from the time of Indy 1 was a great choice and I appreciated it. Some viewers may be put off by this – because so many people are too used to the look of movies of today.

AUDIO: I guess this is where the edit comes up short for me. Maybe because it is an mp4, but I had to turn up the volume on my amp much higher than I ever usually have to, to really get a good listen of the movie. The audio is very consistent – i.e. the dialogue/music/sound effects are all even – the overall volume is very low. I watch a lot of video as an mp4 through my TV and/or my blu-ray player and I don’t see this with those movies. However, all of a sudden, near the time the group is about to enter the inter-dimensional temple/craft, the audio seemed to double in strength – causing me to turn down the volume to a lower level (still higher than I usually do, however). If I am the only one experiencing this, please let me know – I will retract this part of my review.

EDITS/CUTS/MISCELLANEOUS:

Overall, great cuts, no hard audio edits that I noticed and no what I call “flashing”. it’s a term I use to explain when an cut in a scene has been made, but one or two frames might be left form the cut and causes a quick “flash” when the cut/transition happens. (Not sure if this is a correct term/phenomenon, but I have seen it occur in other FEs). There are a couple of very minor hard scene cuts but I forgive them as they almost occur that way in the original DVD (I went back to compare). The one I most noticed is when Irina Spalko is about to reconnect the skull back onto the skeleton – a couple of very abrupt scene cuts happen – no a huge deal, but it is noticeable.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

This is my go-to version of Indy 4, hands down. I watched this with some friends of mine, while our wives were out doing there thing, and all 4 of us were amazed that we were over an hour into it before we knew. Despite some things remaining in this edit that I would have liked to see gone, minor things, it is an outstanding edit and well worth the time!
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