Only seen this movie once and it's been a very, VERY long time. Decided that when I watched it again I would watch an edit. It's always nice to experience a fanedit when you're not too familiar with the source material.
Being that I can't remember the original that well, I can't say much other than what I witnessed. The editing was tight. There were no awkward cuts and nothing felt out of place. The only thing that felt awkward was when Bond reversed his car and the bad guy drove through the ice. The editing was fine, but it just was slightly unclear what happened. I understand that this was due to removing scenes with the invisible car.
Watched this with a friend who was familiar with the movie and, bar a few cheesy lines that he missed, considered this a much better cut than the original. I thought it was an OK film, which I guess is an upgrade from the fairly naff film that I remember it to be. Although, no matter how much editing you do, you can't take away the fact that neither Halle Berry nor Madonna can act to save their mums.
Quality was DVD quality. No complaints there. Twas an average film so enjoyment gets an average rating. No fault to the editor.
The ending also felt a bit rushed, but from what I heard about what was cut, it's a small sacrifice!
Continuing my Bond reviews of LastSurvivor, I'd like to recommend Icarus to anyone who thinks the cgi and bad jokes on Brosnan are too much to bare. If you really go for it, at least include Jaws so we know this is meant to be campy!
The faneditor did a very good job at removing the most obnoxious or forced anniversary parts, while refraining from cutting the movie so much that there's nothing left. But in comparison to the "post Casino Royale" age, the action is still somewhat artificial even with a lot of the cgi cut. Still, it's an ok movie like this as you don't get thrown out of the story by awkward moments.
One thing that strikes me as odd are the torture scenes: Knowing what the CIA does to torture information out of captives, the North Korean methods displayed in the movie seem like a walk in the park. In retrospect, they should have been less visual so the torture doesn't seem so Hollywood-style in comparison to the real deal.
For the record: I think Brosnan's Bond already jumped the shark in the universally liked Goldeneye when he skydived after a falling plane, climbed into it and escaped into safety :-}
Edit: I nearly forgot to mention - the best thing again is the audio commentary, please do continue do do these in upcoming fanedits! I with more faneditors are inspired by the value this adds to their work.
I think the editor did an admirable job of cutting out some of the material that is silly and ridiculous, while preserving the plot, which is a difficult balance to strike when you are dealing with a 007 edit. Lately I have been re-watching a lot of the Bond films and so many of them are cluttered with annoying material that they risk being hacked to pieces by faneditors to the point that the plot is not longer understandable. Some examples of silliness that had to be left in this film for the sake of the plot are as follows:
- Bond and Company infilitrate an enemy foreign country by surfing the big waves. (gnarly dude)
- Bond meets Gustav for the first time and for some reason they get into an all out brawl of a swordfight.
- Bond and Jinx are able to get within 300 meters of their target in North Korea, yet they couldn't get a shot. That distance would be a "gimme" for a trained sniper. (Ok maybe this one is a little nitpicky, but it did take me out of the movie for a bit.)
Of course the list could go on and on, but the point is that the Bond movies are full of silliness and you definitely can't take them too serious. These are not the fault of the editor. He has to play the cards he is dealt as best he can. He really did do the best that I think can be done with such material by concentrating on the really bad dialog and some of the worst CGI stunts.
I have the 50th anniversary 007 collection and have been working my way slowly through the 60s, but having seen this makes me want to skip forward to re-watch some of the other Pierce Brosnan films to see if they contain as much silliness as Die Another Day. I think they probably do.
I also have not listened to the commentary, but look forward to it.