Review Detail

8.6 1 10
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FanMix March 28, 2016 3472
Overall rating
 
8.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
Review for the 2021 update.

Video quality is very good. Audio is mostly fine, sometimes the levels change, but I suspect that the original is at fault. Cuts are largely unnoticeable. A few rescores are used, which are were well chosen.

The Deer Hunter is one of my favourite films and, in my view, a masterpiece that moves just a little too slowly at the beginning. I was interested in this edit as it promised to reduce the first act, which features a very long wedding sequence. This goes further than that and takes out quite large chunks from the film. I estimate that about 30 minutes is cut from the first act and a little over 30 minutes from the second and third. Since I'm a big fan of the original, I'm not sure what to make of that. While the edit does progress at a far higher pace, a lot of great stuff has been cut. Outside of the first act, I was mostly fine with the pace of the original. The edit does however (largely) work narratively.

The first act is reduced to just under 30 minutes, which is very impressive, and it allows us to get to the superb second act a lot more quickly, with all the moments preserved from the first act being the most relevant ones to the story and main characters. I do still miss the absence of some scenes, but the edit works without them. Two critiques of the new first act:

24:48 the characters are talking about what Stan said earlier, but it's not clear what about. I suspect something during the wedding that was cut.

Michael and Stan's conflict is not set up in this version, as the scene from the first act in which they quarrel over clothing is cut, meaning that their confrontation in the third act makes less sense.

All in all, it's a technically and narratively sound edit, and it has its merits in making the film an easier and shorter watch. However, I didn't think that the second and third acts should've been cut so much, and so I do still prefer the original - with the exception of the first act, which is mostly improved in this cut.
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