What a masterpiece of editing!
My son and I watched the original version recently and at the end he commented "The trouble is, the film starts three times."
Well, not here it doesn't. There's none of the pre-amble about Edgar Rice Burroughs. Instead, it gets straight into the story of John Carter.
I'm not sure I liked the black and white intro before he gets to Mars, sorry, Barsoom. But once there, it's all full colour and full action. I only thought once that something had been cut. But, honestly, this is how the film should have been released. And the ending - wow! What a cliffhanger. I loved the end titles with all the classic artwork too..
I've read some complain about the story itself, but here we're judging the editing, not the story. I've actually read all the John Carter books and I didn't like what they'd done with the Therns who actually only appear in the second book. The story would have been good enough if they'd just followed the book properly. But going back to this film - this is how it should have been put together. Thank you so much for a truly outstanding edit. And once again - I love that ending!
Great choices all around to keep this edit focus and not *quite* as campy, as much as could be done IMO - the campy bits were balanced well enough - the original was just so over the top in the wrong ways.
I loved the BW intro that others mention, although that quick color flashback felt out of place.
I didn't even notice the low resolution until we got to Mars - Oh how I wish it would also jump to HD when we switch to color. I hope BionicBob gets to an HD release of this, it would be worth it!
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"!