I am very grateful for Lapis cleaning this up and making it into a movie that we can be proud to remember. Perfect timing, as well. Very sly, that.
The great Molari acknowledges the original movies' shortcomings and attempts to correct them with adept skill. He can only do so much. This was not Speilberg's best moment. The original was targeted at a younger audience but there are too many moments that are certainly not meant for that audience. I'm surprised Lapis left a few of those in. In short, I did not care much for the original. The late great Williams, Hoffman or Roberts couldn't carry this thing to greatness. Hopkins' Smee may have been the film's best turn. What Lapis kept and what they removed will be subjective to the preference of each individual viewer, but the edit definitely seems more cohesive. I did, however. miss much of the cuts made to Hoffman's and Hoskins' performances.
Most of what i didn't like about the original is gone, even if a few things that liked had to be removed. The lost boys are far more amiable than in the original movie. I noticed that Tinkerbell is never big in this edit which I think was a great choice.
This edit, while still not perfect, has redeemed this movie from the abyss of mediocrity. I noticed a few awkward segues and artifacts. The audio had a few places that stood out, but I didn't score low because I believe that Lapis did the best that he could with the material available.
If you are a huge fan of any of the main actors, the film and the edit may leave you dissapointed. But if you are a fan of the J.M. Barrie story, you may find yourself delightfully pleased. Excellent work!
Oh, Hook. Where to start with this one. While not Steven Spielberg's worst movie (Indy 4 says hi), it's definitely his weirdest. What is it exactly? An adventure movie, a fantasy film, a goofy comedy, a sappy sentimental drama, yet another installment of Spielberg's ever-present daddy issues? Yes to all, and more. It's also strangely, fetishistically sexual at some spots (What's with the mermaids? What's with the moaning of that wench who removes Hook's, uh, hook for the baseball game?). And does it work overall? Yes, but no. It's a total head scratcher.
And all that head-scratching is what Lapis Molari acknowledges here. What was kept and what was removed might or might not be to the liking of each individual viewer, but what it definitely has now is much more tonal coherence than it ever had. I mean, I won't deny that I missed certain bits such as the "Don't try to stop me, Smee" scene as for me the highlight of the film has always been Hoffman and Hoskins and the dynamics of their characters, but I understand that stuff had to go for coherence's sake.
And fortunately, about every major problem I had with the film is gone as well. It even removes the one thing I detested the most yet I found potentially unremovable: I always thought this movie's version of the Lost Boys were a bunch of unlikable bullies and punks who behaved in a way that's almost cult-like ("Ru-fi-OOOOO!!!") and even as a kid I thought I would feel more welcome among the pirates. But I'm happy to report that I fond them a lot more likable in this cut. And yes, big Tinkerbelle (a pointless bit demanded by Julia Roberts just to physically share the screen with Robin Williams one) is removed as well. Now that's a happy thought!
And another happy thought is that this fanedit has made me like the Hook movie much better than I ever thought I would. It's still somewhat all-over-the-place, true, but there's only so much that can be done. Also, the timing for its release was perfect (I forgot it was a Christmas movie!) Technically is very well done, a few of the audio transitions are tricky but I don't know whether they can be done any better.
If you like the film, chances are you'll like this version even better. If you don't, you might rediscover and reevaluate it. I know I did. Thanks, Lapis Molari!
Firstly, I'll place my cards on the table and say that I'm in the Hook camp rather than out of it, along with John Williams' beautiful score, it was the magical place to go to as a child way before films and names like Harry Potter even existed.
I was very happy that the beginning of Hook was sped up dramatically. I think the original lacks the impact because it revolves around Peter Banning's mundane life and you aren't really sure where the character is going at times. Although Maggie Smith is a legend and Wendy's adoption charity is an interesting development of Wendy's life, it's not really needed to be focused on much as you just want the film to move onto Neverland as soon as possible. Can I just say it has always been a bit odd to me that Peter Banning watches the Peter Pan play and has no idea it's about him? How? And why did Spielberg think it would a good idea to add the Peter Pan play in a film about Peter Pan for the sake a shelved musical song from a shelved musical? I'm still scratching my head about that now.
Anyway, I'll be completely upfront and say I don't think the deleted scenes really needed to be in this edit. The first deleted scene pretty much repeats or expands on making the audience (and plot-wise, the Lost Boys) realise Peter Banning is Peter Pan. It didn't necessarily have to be added. The second deleted take I noticed was Peter flipping over a wall. It looked a bit jarring compared with the rest of the quality and doesn't add much, but I can live with it.
I thought certain parts being removed from the film helped enormously, such as the Tinkerbell seduction scene...I have no idea where Spielberg was going with that. Maybe it gave poor old Julia Roberts something to do? She did seem to have a bit more presence in this edit though. But oddly, this edit keeps the "I have a plan" line from that scene around the 1 hour 20 minute mark. I'd have taken that out as it looks out of place.
I think it was right that Ruflo's dying line "I wish I had a dad like you" was cut since Rufio has only been reintroduced to Peter for 3 days and has spent that time training him. I think the writers were pushing on that emotional ploy a bit too much. Another line of dialogue I would have loved to have seen cut (but unfortunately wasn't) was the cheesy one liner "your playing with us, Peter", which occurs at the food fight scene. It makes me truly cringe inside with every muscle in my body and I'm surprised it doesn't with anyone else. And one last rant on Hook in general, why does Peter keep trusting Hook to stop attacking him? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice....but three times? I'm surprised something there wasn't changed in the edit. I've never understood the crocodile ending either, but there's no other footage to use and from a story perspective Peter Pan cannot kill Hook as it keeps Pan's childhood and innocence intact, even if Pan's character in Hook is an adult father defending his kids....
I was truly happy with just how well it came together like the cutting down of Jack's pirate baseball match and the sniffing genital flowers. The removal of Hook's "family friendly" suicidal scene and the tiresome "Rufioooooo" chants. Scenes like Maggie's song are cut to make the film flow better too, for better or worse, I'll let you decide. But I will try and defend that she tried her best to sing at the age of 7 without autotune or being professionally taught how to sing. They'd probably never include things like that in a family friendly film now. Hell, would they even represent a girl like Maggie in a family friendly film nowadays?
Overall the audio and visuals (apart from the deleted scenes obviously) were great. I really liked the artwork that came with the edit and it's definitely a much more fun film to watch. I'll definitely be keeping this edit as my preferred way to watch Hook in future.