Gunney Highway

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Brief Synopsis:
More grit, Less 80s humor, some scoring tweaks and more credible.
Gunney Highway was made at the same time as Fallen Hero (my Gran Torino Heartbreak Ridge mashup.

While making Fallen Hero, it was clear to me how badly the 80s humor had dated in Heartbreak Ridge. Further, I found the character of Spike/Mario Van Peebles, to be intensely annoying.

Gunney Highway removes over 20 mins of dated humor and corrects a number of continuity errors in the sequencing of the cadets' training. This edit also tightens up some of the action for better impact, together with some minor scoring adjustments to deliver a classic Clint movie with the grit one expects, while retaining sufficient credible homor witout the 80s cringe factor.

Many additional tweaks and trims were made to consildate the edit, characters and tone of the movie.

There will be further WRAITH VAULT submissions in the coming weeks since my live editing and Godfather revisions are delayed due to real world issues in abundance plaguing my creative juices and available down time.
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The idea was just to have thge movie feel like it should always have been...A CLINT EASTWOOD MOVIE without the overhang of excessive humor and 80s stereotypical idiots in the platoon.
Cuts and Additions:
- New opening titles with the sped up footgae slowed to normal speed
- a few trims in the initial jail cell scenes
- some trims on the coach ride to tone down Spikes character
- some pruile dialogue removal from the initial base intro with a score enhancement
- Re-sequencing of the casdet training sessions with trims for excessive humor
- Some further tighteing up at the bar
- Better scene ordering and continuity for the whole Gunney lending money issue
- Action sequences and intro oto them tightened up with a view to flow and credibility
- Closing credit adjustments
- Many many more little trims and tweaks to consolidate the whole thing

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(Updated: July 08, 2022)
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I must confess i hadn't seen HR for at least twenty years before viewing Wraith's edit. I purchased the bluray over 10 years ago and it has just been sitting on my shelf in its wrapper with the fifty or so other movies you buy in sales - with all intention to re-watch- but never do.

Heartbreak Ridge for me, was another film on rotate in the 80's amongst other war movies of the time like Platoon, Hamburger Hill and Full Metal Jacket. I had a particular fondness for Gunney Highway's banter and sledging and my mates & I would often recite quotes from the film - quotes of the time that probably now seem draconian, and as Roger Ebert once reviewed, some people maybe offended by the "scatological and ancestral generalities" of Highway's speech but as juveniles we relished it like the naughty school boys we were.

When reviewing, i always watch the original alongside the edit , however this time Wraith advised me to watch his edit first, which i did, before having a quick skip through my bluray to remind myself of the scenes Wraith had omitted - i can honestly say that i am glad i took the editors advice.
Not only has Wraith achieved a goal by reducing the unnecessary overly long length of Heartbreak Ridge -he has also taken prominent character Stitch Jones (a musician that is kind of crap Prince meets Michael Jackson all wrapped up in the musical cliches of the time) and reduced his screen time to the level of his comrades - - no favouritism in Recon platoon... and this editing choice enables the viewer to focus on the hard drinking loser that is Gunney Highway ...after all this edit is named after him.

I am hard pressed to say i re-watched Heartbreak Ridge / Gunney Highway with nostalgic eyes and it is a product of its time , therefore a new or maybe younger viewer may not give it as much forgiveness - but if you can switch your brain off and excuse the somewhat low budget climatic battle scenes and the sexual orientated slurs - then just maybe you will find something in the movie you enjoy... for want of a better word.

The editing is the usual Wraith standard - so nothing to add technically but the source is from DVD and therefore don't expect to be blown away by the picture quality. A new HD upgrade would be great but watching the edit on my 65" TV almost gave it the VHS quality i so fondly remember from back in the day.

“You can run me, you can starve me and you can beat me and you can kill me. Just don't bore me.” ......and Wraith's edit of Hearbreak Ridge certainly didn't bore me.

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