Paradise

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9.4
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(Updated: January 21, 2020)
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I usually don't like this sort of merging of two separate stories into one feature. However, using David as the beacon and ignoring a lot of the unneeded material from both sources has surprisingly created an exciting story with a complex narrative that is still not too hard to follow and make sense out of it.
I really like the visual editing in this one. It keeps the pacing consistent enough and is done very creatively. And though the extensive cutting, there was still some development of characters present within the final product. David obviously is the focus. The short clips that preceded to the release of Alien: Covenant also helped and were wisely placed within the story.

The quality is top notch and the visual and audio editing is seamless.

The infection sequence inter-cutting between the two films is well done but not easy to follow.
Keeping track of two different crews, each with its own members, relations and journey can be quite exhausting.

The fanedit is great and the best edit of the month reward is well deserved. Good job Job!!

EDIT: watched it again and loved it even more. My enjoyment score is up to the 10
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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Wow! I was really looking forward to a character-driven mashup focusing on the malevolence of David and the Creator/Creation theme. The editor has executed this thesis perfectly. Both original films were very unsatisfying to me, given the Hollywood box-office-appeal choices that were made. This edit strips away much of that artifice. The editor made lots of great decisions, cutting back the TED prelude to its essential message and presenting in B&W; a classic tool to set up a past significant event.

The interweaving of the content from the two originals was to my eyes done seamlessly and purposely to navigate the scenes in the new direction chosen by the editor. Visually, the film looks gorgeous when viewed in full 1080p resolution on my tried and true plasma display. [A quick note that has nothing to do with edits. Many thanks to the editor for making this available directly from Google Drive. I don't burn physical copies, so a direct mp4 upload saves soooo much hassle as a Mac/ATV4 user.]

I like the use of the Beatles in the soundtrack. I'm not sure why this is such a sticking point with folks. If the finale had been set off by "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" I could relate, but I thought the tunes were tastefully chosen. I particularly liked the use of the minor key driven "I Want You (She's so Heavy)".

The overall effect is to set up these films and the next upcoming release as a "David Trilogy". I find this way more satisfying than the emphasis on the Engineers or the Creature. I'm putting this film into heavy rotation both at home on when traveling. Fantastic work!

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Yes
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Top 500 Reviewer 5 reviews
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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
JobWillins’ Derelict was quite the experience, combining two Ridley Scott films separated by over three decades into a coherent and suspenseful single storyline. After Alien: Covenant was released, I suddenly had a spark of inspiration; why couldn’t Prometheus and Covenant be combined in a similar way? After all, both films feature a central character in David, the murderous, disturbingly creative android, so why not give it a go myself? Well, little did I know that JobWillins was already on it, and let’s face it, he was always going to do a better job than I would.

As it turns out, JobWillins had conceived of the Paradise idea long ago. From his Tumblr:

“When I edited Derelict a couple of years ago, combining Prometheus & Alien in black & white, it was mainly because I found Prometheus unsatisfying as a standalone film. Its ending promised (and begged for) a sequel, but that sequel kept falling behind other Ridley Scott productions. With a sequel in doubt, I tried to use material from both films to make a single experience that felt more like a satisfying whole.

“We eventually did get a sequel 5 years later in Alien: Covenant. Half of it felt like a Prometheus sequel and the other half an Alien prequel. In my opinion it didn’t fully succeed in either role. I enjoyed parts of Covenant very much as I did Prometheus, but also much like Prometheus, it ended on an intriguing promise of a sequel. That sequel may never come thanks to its relatively poor box office performance.”

And so, here we are with another expansive, 2.5 hour sci-fi epic!

Opening in the all-too-familiar black-and-white style of Derelict with the ominous Peter Weyland TED Talk, Paradise shifts into full color with the excellent prologue of Covenant, David’s first day of life in the company of his father. However, the prologue stops short, giving us the new title as the Prometheus flies through space. Throughout the film, this prologue will return periodically, as if to punctuate the themes of creation and godhood with increased clarity as the narrative bounces between time frames.

While the transitions aren’t quite as good or numerous as those witnessed in Derelict, JobWillins covers this with a restrained hand, ensuring to keep both films at least thematically-synced. Probably the best example of this would be Covenant‘s backburster scene, intercut with Holloway’s agonizing death in Prometheus. As Ted Kurzel’s brilliant score pulsates away, the horror of both Shaw and Oram seeing their spouses’ deaths is compounded nicely. A lot has been cut from both films, including some of my favorite bits, like Milburn and Fifield’s run-in with the Millipede and various snippets of the Covenant crew’s first trek across Planet 4, but again, this is all in the name of ensuring the finished project isn’t so long that viewers check out for other offerings.

As before in Derelict, several deleted scenes from both films are used, as well as some of the online viral content from Alien: Covenant. Major props to JobWillins for his beautiful rendition of the ‘Crossing’ prologue. As for changes wholly his own, some may or may not like his musical choices for the beginning and end of the Covenant storyline, but I for one enjoyed them.

For this review, I watched his full-quality offering of the edit from Google Drive, which at a file size of 9.62 GBs, is plenty enough for home theater viewing. The video bitrate is a little lower than Derelict‘s at 8 mbps, but this allows for the inclusion of both stereo and surround audio tracks, and I honestly didn’t see any video quality loss, at least on my 1080p equipment.

While Derelict seemed to emphasize the mystery and intrigue of the films it sought to combine, Paradise is an edit more preoccupied with the grander themes at work within Ridley Scott’s mind: themes of creating life from nothing, of going against the natural order, themes more reminiscent of Shelley than Lovecraft, which is something I picked up from Covenant that I’m sure most viewers either didn’t see or didn’t appreciate. JobWillins certainly did, and that’s just one of many reasons why I love Paradise. I’m still thinking of doing my own Prometheus/Covenant fanmix, but not because Paradise was inadequate. On the contrary, if I never got around to it, I wouldn’t feel that bad. I still have this gem to come back to.

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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Top 500 Reviewer 4 reviews
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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Wow! I was blown away by how well you combined the two films into one story. I normally don't like movies that jump back and forth through time or location, but this one really worked for me by following the intersecting stories of the two synthetics (David/Walter). My only very slight criticism is that a bit more of the dialogue wasn't trimmed from Alien: Covenant. IMO that was the weaker of the two films theatrically which may play into my wish that more wasn't trimmed from that film. I really enjoyed Paradise so much that I want to go back and watch it a second time in the near future.

On a special note, I was very pleasantly surprised at your inclusion of The Beatles into the soundtrack. They sounded great, and the songs you chose worked like a charm where they were integrated into the story. I've had your song selections stuck in my head all week, and that's a good thing because they're great songs. I look forward to your future work. Thank you for this great fanedit!

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I have to start off by first saying that I was blown away by this edit, and that it is a much deserving of the Favourite Edit of the Month win. The way that these two narratives have been interwoven is phenomenal, and it shows just how talented of an editor JobWillins is. I applaud you!

I watched the film in 1080p, and the attention to quality is perfected in terms of video and audio; it is as crisp and clear as I would have expected from the editor of Derelict.

In terms of visual editing, there is little evidence of any jarring cuts throughout - the only moments you pick up on are the time jumps, which are expertly edited around so they do not feel rushed. The inclusion of the deleted scenes/marketing material is just brilliant, and are used to reinforce the themes well. A particular favourite of mine was the deleted scene of the Prometheus crew, where the inclusion of 'Take Me Home, Country Roads' is added to setup the next scene and create a stronger connection between the two films. The initial usage of titles to aid jumping between the two time frames is done well, and sticks around just long enough to reinforce the narratives. As many have already mentioned, the intercutting during the Infection scene was flawless and easily one of the high points of the editing; it just works visually as well as thematically (Shaw and Oram's grief running parallel made so much sense). Overall, the editing has great pace and the rearranging of scenes has strengthened the narrative.

The audio editing is incredible, with the scores of each film playing off each other very well. JobWillins has edited it in a way that weaves between the leitmotifs seamlessly and manages to ensure both stories have their own identity. Adding music to scenes where there initially was none assuredly amplifies the emotion in those moments, and takes a lot of the awkwardness out of the original films (Covenant most of all). Similar to what some have mentioned, the main issue I have with the audio is the choice of The Beatles in the soundtrack - however it is only with the closing song. Their appearances for the most part are used very well (I would've believed they were always there if I hadn't seen the original films), and I loved how the shower scene is edited. As we hear The Beatles play for the first time whilst Walter is on screen, for some reason I began associating it with his character (as I associate the classical music with David), so when another of their tracks is played by David at the end it felt somewhat out of character to me. Especially since the setup of the Wagner track didn't pay off. This is just a personal gripe though. During the final scene, the background effects from the audio (Bluray extras) seems to be distracting somewhat; I think this could be fixed if you intercut more of the clip with the last scene, like how it started.

Narratively, the circularity of starting and ending the film with David watching over the cryo pods was a stroke of genius - something I only picked up on when flicking through quickly a second time. The intercutting of the white room conversation with Weyland is perfectly used at key moments; I feel like they set up the themes of the following acts clearly. It is done so well that it feels like this is how they should have been edited in the original cut. JobWillins cuts out all of the spectacle and Hollywood fluff, leaving only essential scenes. This helps the pace move along so that the story doesn't drag. The only criticism I have of the narrative is what carries over from the original films. Primarily some of the goofy unrealistic CGI effects (Covenant especially); I feel like there are moments where we could see even less of the Alien and other creatures to leave as much to the imagination as possible. There are some moments that work very well, such as the added cut of Walter seemingly killing David, although I feel like it could be strengthened by the removal of the shot where he leaves the temple and looks back. There are a few moments like this but it is nothing that ruins the film; these are tiny smudges on a masterpiece.

Overall, I am hugely impressed by the film. It feels like it does justice to David's character and Michael Fassbender's performance(s); we get to see his motivations and what impact they ultimately have. JobWillins re-structures the film into what feels more like a character study and I love it. I enjoyed it so much that I am preparing to watch his previous edit 'Man of Tomorrow', which is a big deal considering I dislike the original films it combines. Great job! I can't wait to see what is next.
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