Review Detail

10.0 6 10
phaseivevolution_poster
FanFix January 19, 2021 2412
Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Saul Bass's only directorial contribution to the world of feature-film is Phase IV - a cerebral, science-fiction horror(?) concerning a dramatic increase in ants' intelligence and ability organise.

Last Survivor's edit removes overdub narration and restores Saul Bass' original ending, which was changed for the theatrical release. This brings the film more in line with Bass' original vision. Additionally, this edit embraces the film's atmospheric side with an all-synth re-score, utilising the likes of Jean-michelle Jarre.

On the audio editing front, it's hard to fault this. The score-work is perfect and fits the mood of the film wonderfully. Levels are excellently balanced and really show that care has gone into ensuring any changes are appropriate for the source material.

There is one piece of foley that is observable, but not distracting. This is mainly betrayed by where the new SFX sit in the mix and also the quality of the SFX, which are crisper than what has come before. This is fairly subtle though and you are unlikely to notice unless conscious of where the change has been made.

The narrative is easily followed without the presence of overdub narration, though aspects did feel a little rushed to me and so I wondered whether this would have been rectified with some of the narration intact. I will have to compare with the original to be sure. Regardless, the story is communicated well enough. I'm also not a fan of narration, so would possibly opt for this version regardless.

No complaints on visual quality. The only shift is towards the end when we transition into Saul Bass' original ending, where there is noticeable dirt/scratches etc., but this is no fault of the editor's and I didn't find it distracting.

My only real qualm with the edit is that it would have been nice to have had the original score/narration included as an audio option. This would allow both for an easy comparison and also for the film to be seen in a more pure form: with its original score and Saul Bass' ending restored. I do see that there is an editor's commentary though - nice touch! Will have to check that out sometime.

Enjoyment is high. Narratively, I wasn't keen on the ending this time around (again, will need to rewatch the original for comparison), but it was very cool on a visual level. The music choice is excellent and provides an atmosphere that I think I will find hard to separate from the film. I used to listen to a lot of Jarre, so it was nice to re-encounter his music in this form.

Overall an excellent piece of work and definitely an edit I'll revisit!

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March 10, 2021
Great review, man! Knowing nothing about the original and finding it a little hard to imagine the fanedit, this really helps me get a sense of it.
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