Review by larrythefatcat — August 16, 2009 @ 7:48 pm
I JUST finished watching the “Gator Bait Edition” of Live and Let Die and felt as though I had to put in my two cents (which is probably more than they’re actually worth)
The video was quite high quality, but there were quite a few moments (I think mostly in the first half of the film) where it seemed that EVERYONE had the top of their head cut off about half the time they were onscreen. I personally felt the black and white at the beginning was unnecessary, but quite well done. One thing I would have changed in the opening titles would have been adding red to the sound generator that kills the UK ambassador. That choice mostly confused me because right after that was shown in complete black and white, Solitaire and Kananga were almost blindingly red. Not having red on the ‘peppermint’ poles in San Monique would have been my only other color complaint. Otherwise, very well done. (especially the snake and Filet of Soul)
The audio was the main thing that caused problems for me. There were a number of times when the music seemed overpoweringly loud (completely drowning out bits of dialogue here and there) and some edits that were very abrupt and jarring. The clip of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock ‘N’ Roll” was the main example of that at the beginning of the excised boat chase. It was there for no apparent reason and then very quickly ended as confusingly as it began. I think it was covering other audio, but it needed some audio filtering if it was supposed to be coming from the radio. The addition of some John Barry music from Thunderball, Octopussy and A View to a Kill (as well as some others) was nice. The plane chase (especially) felt more exciting with a bit of music behind it. The JB music near the end of the film, however, just had too many editing problems to have been enjoyable, IMHO. With all of the starts and stops in the music and the use of some of JB’s music instead of the George Martin score, it felt as though the last third’s music was almost an afterthought. I did notice in the special features menu that the faneditor mentioned that John Barry didn’t do the music and I realize what the editor was trying to accomplish, but especially with a good majority of the George Martin score intact, the ending just felt plain odd. The bit of music editing/choice that caused me to HAVE to post a review of this edit was the use of “We Have All The Time in the World” from OHMSS. I won’t be one of those obsessive ‘freaks’ about only being able to use that song for Mrs. Bond, but it still seemed out of place and was made completely ‘emotionally’ worthless by the abrupt edit into the final credits version of McCartney’s “Live and Let Die”.
I didn’t notice too many edits, so that’s probably a good thing. The new shots of the United Nations building worked very well. The removal of the boat chase was an interesting idea and seemed to work to a point. The main issue was that Bond’s boat changed color and style in a matter of seconds, so if some slight color editing had been done I don’t think I would have noticed that at all. One last thing, I saw in the info that the faneditor wanted to cut out “bad acting with no purpose” and (I believe) mentioned Jane Seymour. While I realize that Jane Seymour was no Dame Judi at this point in her career, she’s at least 10 (maybe closer to 100) times better than Gloria Hendry…. UGH! If there’s an updated version of this edit, I can only hope that more of her terrible acting can be removed… the more the better! ;)
The menus work well and the new skull design put into the titles and the ending were elements of this edit that I felt really added something. The video quality is about as good as a fanedit gets, but could use a little bit of reframing. And as for the audio, I can only hope that there will be a “Gator Bait – Second Edition” to remedy all of those problems.
I appreciate the faneditor’s hard work and I say I’d give this edit a 7.5/10
This Bond film, as well as Diamonds Are Forever, Man With The Golden Gun and Moonraker, was always a prime canidate for fanediting. With this one you’ve taken out enough of the silly stuff (including the truly appalling Sheriiff Pepper) without making the movie less fun. The movie IS a silly Bond entry – always will be because of its story. But this edit is just what was needed, there is little I would have done differently.
A few moments of dodgy audio design doesn’t spoil it. Visually, it’s gorgeous and well cut together.