August 12, 2012
April 21, 2011
I had gotten the DVD of the original film (two-disc director’s cut) when I found out Kerr was fanediting it, as I had never seen it before… and I couldn’t finish watching it. I had to force myself to watch all of disc 1, then I decided my time was too precious for disc 2. It seemed to me like a desperate attempt by Ridley Scott to repeat the Gladiator Oscar sweep by delivering yet another self-important piece of junk food history, the kind the Academy seems to love so much. And that, yet again, depicts the 1200 as being the 2000s in different clothing. I repeat, I’m referring to the director’s cut, which is supposedly the “good” version. Guess I’m just not a fan of Ridley Scott (with the exception of his first three films).
Still, since I’ve enjoyed Kerr’s previous output, I decided to give this a go. And while I still think it’s far from great cinema, and way too contemporary for my liking, I wasn’t nearly as annoyed this time around, which means Kerr has achieved a tremendous goal. I’m guessing most cuts have been performed to the second half, as, apart from the beginning being moved around, the only big difference I’ve noticed from the first half is the removal of Balian and Sybilla sleeping together, which already makes this cut a huge improvement. Yet it’s on the second half where I though the excitement actually kicked in. I do think Kerr should have removed more contrived modern behavior: the first thing that put me off the original was nobleman Liam Neeson APOLOGIZING to blacksmith Orlando Bloom for having taken advantage of his “first night right”. I repeat, a nobleman apologizing to a blacksmith. For exercising his given right. In the Middle Ages. Well, that moment puzzlingly remains in this version, much to my annoyance. Another example, which shows Scott’s total lack of subtlety: I thought Sibylla looking at her deformed reflection in that primitive mirror was a genius way to imply her being thinking of her deceased leper king brother… until Scott actually MORPHS the reflection into the face of the deceased leper king brother. Thanks, Mr. Scott, for calling your audience retarded. Too bad Kerr didn’t get rid of that either.
Still, for all the garbage that remains, I was much more entertained by the whole thing than I thought I could possibly be. This being a Kerr edit, the nips and tucks were totally invisible, as usual. Video quality (DVD version) was pretty good, if showing slight blocking in several moments. Audio was fine.
This is a good edit that deserves more attention than it has gotten so far. I give it 8/10.