Major tinkering by one of the site’s best editors. Included is a terrific audio commentary which is particularly enjoyable and entertaining, in which the editor elaborates on alterations and shares his enthusiasm for this, his obvious favorite Bond outing. Also included is a third audio track featuring an unaltered music score.
Video - 1920 X 1080p mp4. Solid editing and wise choices all the way around. The Alpine scenery always featured stunning blues and whites, and the night scenes hold up masterfully. I can appreciate that numerous small cuts are often trickier to pull off rather than wholesale pruning with the editing chainsaw. Source selected, by the way, was the HD mp4.
Audio - Mono. Really? Yes, truly, though Last Survivor does discuss that in his commentary. Keep in mind the original was mono, as well, so I can understand his reluctance not to use the “upgraded” sound. No subs, though clarity of dialogue excellent throughout.
Narrative - I grasp Last Survivor’s concept, trying the excise the condescending and belittling scenes and comments aimed at Lazenby. In that regard, LS has succeeded marvelously. Lazenby comes across smoother and more professional. There were no modifications to the structure, consequently the story remains cohesive.
Enjoyment - No change as far as I am concerned. The action sequences were and remain outstanding, far ahead of their time, actually. Barry’s score is one of my favorites. Most of the actors are fine, Savalas surprisingly so. Ms. Rigg notwithstanding, the “Bond girls” were sorority also-rans.
In the audio commentary, Last Survivor makes a persuasive case for Lazenby as a most excellent Bond. Sorry, I never bought Lazenby as 007 when the film was released, and if anything I am even less convinced now. Aside from the poorly choreographed, laughable fisticuffs, which seem closer to serial cliffhanger antics, there is Mr. Lazenby’s overall presence. The actor exudes palpable menace, an absolute necessity for a 00 agent, yet there is, for me, a distressing thuggish quality to Lazenby. As a villain, he could have been ideal; an anti-Bond if you please. Yet as Bond himself? Hardly. Lazenby would always pick the wrong wine.
Another solid Bond improvement from Last Survivor. This edit convincingly replaces the original.
Distractions are removed, we get back to the ultimate Bond girl faster, the narrative is tighter and more rewarding. The (enjoyable!) leisurely pace is retained. Lazenby comes into his own better than ever before.
Visual and sound editing are excellent. The one visual hiccup is a helicopter making a small jump on screen when they attack the mountain. And we get another editing masterclass with the audio commentary.
This edit is a bit polarizing for me. On the one hand, I love all the little things in this edit, the fixing of continuity errors and slight trims here and there to really tighten things and remove some of the more dated and silly elements. On the other hand, the removal of two scenes dampen my enjoyment a bit. The first is the rearranging of Campbell's ascent and capture, as I feel without the scene where they're all playing curling we lose sight of Blofeld for too long. I love Telly Savalas as Blofeld and feel the removal of this scene hurts the film by keeping him out of frame for far too long. The second is the removal of the bell room fight, one of my favorite action scenes in the film. I understand why it was cut, but I think it adds a certain element of danger to Bond's escape, that he's far from being out of the woods even when he makes it to the town. I love all the other work LastSurvivor has done, such as removing some of the egregious rear projection shots and recutting the battle at Piz Gloria to be more coherent and suspenseful, and the musical changes throughout to correct some baffling bits of tone-deafness on the part of the soundtrack. I feel that if these two scenes were retained or only slightly modified, I'd consider this a replacement for the theatrical version, hands down. Perhaps at some point in the future, there will be another version of this edit that fixes my minor quibbles. I won't hold my breath, though. However, aside from those complaints, this is a superb edit. Nearly seamless visual and audio editing and a good grasp of story and character make this an edit to seek out, even though it might not fully replace the original. It's still fun to see attention being paid to what is, in my opinion, the greatest James Bond film ever made.
Hey nice job on this. You really cleaned this movie up nicely. The music changes you made were really outstanding and well thought out. There were a couple of spots where I think you may have been able to cut a little deeper. One example was the voiceover of Lazemby saying something like "this is where I stop" at the end of the bobsled scene. It felt awkward and took me out of the scene.
Also, I was thinking if you chose to resolve Blofeld's story, you could have edited him out of the drive by shooting scene and made it appear that Bunt did the shooting as revenge for Bond killing Blofeld. That of course involves a significant change of story and probably wasn't what you were going for. All in all, I really enjoyed.what you did with this film. I did notice some peculiarities with the sound, especially some of the dialog, but I suspect they were source material limitations.
One note about this film and others of its vintage, it really shows how far the craft of movie making has come, especially professional film editing. The original video and sound edits (not the fanedits) Seem clumsy and awkward in spots. It definitely not cut it in today's film industry
A very good edit that trims away some of the problems I have with the original. Most prominently, the scenes with the Angles of Death. The film at least moves on now, instead of dies completely. Vultural's review below really says it all, so I will only commend LS's skills as a editor. Though I would argue against Vutural that this cut makes Lazenby quite alright as Bond (despite the poorly inserted one-liners they gave him). No silly callbacks and I like some of the fights in this, especially the one on the beach.
Then again, "Lazenby would always pick the wrong wine" is a wonderful description!