John Carter of Mars
I have removed the ERB bookends to get to the main story faster. Also, I have "Wizard of Ozzed" the Earth sequences into a dull washed out black-and-white, while increasing the bright colour saturation of Mars to give it more of a fantastical look. Along with some small trims, and cuts, I hope to have created a fun alternate viewing experience.
In particular, big THANK YOUs to Rogue-theX, TM2YC, Vultural, Dwight Fry, MusicEd921, and hbenthow.
--Opening in a faded, washed out Black and White
--Replaced modern Disney logo with Beuna Vista title card
--New John Carter of Mars Title Card with zoom in of Mars in B&W
--Added Arizona title card to Fort Grant, with new intro music cue and rain sound effects
--dream of wife is kept in colour
--Created a "sin city" blue light effect for Amulet teleportation to Mars
--Mars events are all in colour, increased saturation, slight red hue and blue balance--emphasizing this a fantastical world more
--broke Carter's arrival on Mars into two parts, moving the intro of Sab Than and Matai Shang in between, new music cues.
--added some of Dejah's dialogue from deleted scenes, explaining the history of Barsoom, repurposed footage for this scene.
--dreams of wife are original colour scheme
--cut Helium warriors surrendering when attacked by Sab Than
--cut Carter exclaiming "She's Human!" -- now more of man of instinctive action, added new music
--cut bum slap, imperial command to jump by Dejah and Carter saying he is not for hire
--cut "Zondanga happened" -- Barsoom is supposed to be world littered with ancient lost city ruins
--cut Sab Than and Matia Shang scene of Shang explaining how to demoralize a nation, as Sab looks like an idiot, new scene transition cues
--cut Carter telling Dejah no good would come from him fighting in her war
--added a Zondanga establishing shot to Matai Shang and Sab Than scene, cut Sab saying "now I sound like you"
--cut the other pilgrims on the River Iss, as they are never seen again and yet going to the same place? And what happens to those who reach the gates? It is never addressed in the story, so no need for it.
--cut Carter and Kantos falling, he now makes the jump in a single bound! \S/
--cut Carter saying he has changed his heart -- don't like the line or delivery, sounds like he has changed his mind about his love for his dead wife and child
--movie now ends on wedding with epic music cue and shot of Mars with title cards
--new end credits with images of John Carter through the ages with new music
--post-credits credits scene
--cut 7 minutes of end titles credits
The long and short of it is: this edit is better than the theatrical release, but it's still not that great of a movie.
BionicBob takes off a lot of extraneous material at the beginning and end of the film that just bogged it down even further. Great choice. It should go without saying that the edits are all made skillfully and seamlessly. His choice of filtering the beginning to look very muted didn't do it for me. Maybe I'd like it more if I rewatched, but my current impression is that without similar scenes at the end, it doesn't work thematically. It would also work better if all Earth scenes were pure black and white. There are some other good editing choices in terms of taking out story distractions, but there are still multiple cheesy moments that I wish were removed from the film. A laughably fast Mars-dog goofily leaping through a scene of carnage. A Martian crying at a wedding. Etc. Typical Hollywood blockbuster cheese. The beginning and end credits are actually my favorite part....the old-timey titles, the historical artwork...there's a lot of love there.
Unfortunately, all that old school pulp cool doesn't really translate to the movie. There's not a lot an editor can do about this. Taylor Kitsch just isn't a great actor, and he doesn't pull off this role. The script is way over-dense and way too rushed on the world-building. There are 4 cultures and civilizations, all with their own technology, rituals, weapons, and animals thrown at you in the first 20 minutes, not counting the Old West. It's just way to much to take in. The plot is also loaded with characters, all with their own sub-plots, none of which have time to breath. And yet somehow almost everything here feels like we've seen it in other movies. Andrew Stanton is just fully to blame as the director who apparently wouldn't listen to anyone's advice (look it up). I can imagine dialogue and scenes from his script working in an animated kids film, but they don't here. I wish they would've made a film that leaned into the pulp roots of the character, but well, nothing to be done.
As is, this isn't a bad film, and if you're going to watch a version, watch BionicBob's. It's just not a movie I'd ever rewatch, imho.
What a great edit.
BionicBob took a somewhat bloated adaptation of a classic novel, which managed to stay true to the original material for the most part added lots of unnecessary exposition and trimmed it down to the bare essentials; offering a grand adventure that this great character deserves.
Editing is seamless as usual, perfect audio quality in 5.1, seamless editing. I think some color correction was applied here to make the whole edit look better.
A perfect edit for me, worthy of printing the cover art and put in a DVD case.
Bionic Bob does it again! Yet another edit of his that removes my need of watching the theatrical cut ever again. It is that good.
Bob has removed a lot of bloat (I was particularly happy to see the ERB bookends go, those added nothing but runtime to the film) and has pushed the old-fashioned adventure flavor to the foreground, both with the cuts and with the new color treatment, which may not work for some people but I loved. It feels so much more old-timey "they-don't-make-'em-like-this-anymore" in this version (well, except for the massive CGI, but nothing can be done about that).
Maybe a little bit more could have been cut, though. For instance, I'd have removed the first time Carter says the line "A princess of Mars", which feels forced and calls attention to itself as an awkward "Hey, look at me! I'm only here as a nod to the book's title!" I'd have lost it and the nod would stay anyway, as Carter says the line again when proposing to Dejah, and there it works. Also, the wife and child flashbacks being in color does work, but why isn't the burnt-down house and burial stuff black and white? It would make more sense like that, it's there when Carter's life becomes a downer.
The new end credits with the homage to Carter through the ages are wonderful, though I'm still not convinced about that Requiem for a Dream ripoff theme music. What I did love was a hilarious moment that might or might not have been intentional: at the end of the credits we get a reprise of the rather violent scene of Carter mass-slaying Tharks left and right, followed by a title card which reads "A Disney Picture". LOL!
The technical quality of the release does have the slightly blocky quality usual in Bob's edits, sadly, and I must substract a point for that. Audio is sadly still 2.0 (Bob, 5.1 is not that hard, honest! ;) ) so another point down. Otherwise, I did not detect any bad edits, and I'm usually good at detecting them, so 10's for video and audio editing. And also 10's for narrative and enjoyment because despite the tiny nitpicks above, I found this so vastly superior to the original that I think it deserves them.
Definitely, when I feel like taking a trip to Mars, I will not tell my Thern medallion "Barsoom". I will tell it "Bionic Bob's Barsoom"!
I was a little mixed on this cut. I really loved this when it came out in the theater and marvelled at how far CGI technology had come.
At the beginning of this edit, I felt a little rushed along by the story pace. I wanted things to slow down a bit and they eventually did. By the time Carter was captured by the Tharks, I was enjoying the pacing.
I did not miss some of the dialog that was removed throughout and thought those cuts were appropriate.
The color saturation was a mixed bag for me. I liked that it made Mars and the Martians more visually striking, but it came off a little odd at times, like watching an old Disney movie. (Ironic, I know) I also seemed to notice some of the CGI effects a little more in this cut, especially when Dejah was holding herself hostage. I don't know if it was caused by the color saturation, the non HD source or a little of both or something else, but I noticed it more.
All of the visual and audio editing felt seamless to me except I felt something had been cut when Carter and the old lady were walking together. I also could tell that there were cuts made during the battle with the (evil tharks??) whatever they were. Then during the sword fight with the bad guy (sorry, my memory sucks) I noticed somethiing wasn't quite right. None of these were really that jarring, but noticeable.
Regarding the flashbacks to the wife being in color, I think I understand what Bob was going for here, but I would have preferred them in B&W. Maybe a brightened B&W for those scenes to contrast with the dark visual of the burial scene.
One thing I think got rushed through too quickly was Carter learning to walk and jump on Mars. It just felt like that wasn't fully established and would have preferred to leave in most of that scene.
All in all the thing is well put together and definitely worth checking out by those that loved the original, like myself and those that weren't so impressed.