Postman: Spark of Hope, The

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Faneditor Name:
Original Movie Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1997
Original Running Time:
177
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
126
Time Cut:
51
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
The United States as we know it is destroyed in the climax of a Civil war.
Years after the nuclear event a vicious band of raiders, led by the ruthless General Bethlehem, reign terror among the survivors in the Oregon region.
In these desperate times a postman is send to restore communication routes and unintentionally ignites a spark of hope which inevitably crashes with General Bethlehem and his minions.
Intention:
The Postman was a box office dud, but from the first time I saw it, I fell in love with it's blatant message of hope. But for the most part the story got overshadowed by just trying to be too much.
A while back I discovered BionicBobs excellent edit of the Postman and it was great. Cutting the first act of the movie was a bold move, but it payed off big time.

However, I had some ideas of my own and decided to make this edit. It's not a carbon copy of BionicBob's version, but it does borrow a lot of his ideas (I can't help it, it's a great edit).
In the later stages I got help from a few well known members here and this edit grew into it's own right, becoming even more than I had hoped for.
Hope you enjoy the story of the Postman, just as much as I do.
Other Sources:
Video:
Snow storm footage by Nature Therapy
Waving US flag footage by John Hill
Fog on black background footage by Videezy.com

Sound:
Various sound effects by SoundsForYou from Pixabay

Music:
Johnny Cash - Help Me
Johnny Cash - The Man Comes Around
Johnny Cash - Redemption
Johnny Cash - I Won't Back Down
Johnny Cash - Wayfaring Stranger
image
Special Thanks:
BionicBob
ArtisDead
Wraith
INIGHTMARES
Futon88
Lantern51
Krausfadr
Release Information:
Digital
Special Features
2.0 and 5.1 soundtracks
Cuts and Additions:
- remade the intro with introductional texts. Some exposition text to tell the backstory.
- removed almost the entire first part of the movie, as per BionicBobs idea. It creates a mystery around the Postman and it focuses the story.
- I kept a portion to introduce General Bethlehem and his ruthlessness.
- made some small cuts so that the Postman doens't take the uniform from the skeleton, now it seems he's just taking shelter. Also made a small cut so the cobwebs on the postman hat are a bit less obvious.
- removed Costner's caveman impression while trying to light the Zippo. Costner's grunting is very much in the background now.
- removed the part where the Postman looses his hat while trying to get into Pineview, I thought it was silly and very obvious on purpose.
- made some small cuts in Pineview to remove the notion he might not be what he says he is.
- removed the part where he flees and made it so that he's searching for the postoffice.
- I wanted to keep the Sheriff Briscoe/Postman confrontation, there's a notion of the Postman lying and sneeking away in the scene. I tried removing that notion and keeping the scene, because I think it makes Sheriff Briscoe's "turnaround" and ultimate death more impactful.
- I made a small change to the scene where Bethlehem notices Abby, I think the "piece of ass" line doesn't fit the character.
-I removed the line "like a figure 8", It's a poor attempt at humor and it felt cringy.
- I added the line "a few days later" to the introduction of the town of Benning, later on in the movie Abby tells what Bethlehem did to her every night, indicating she was in captivity for a few days. But somehow that never came across in the movie, this is my way of trying to fix that sense of time.
- some small cuts in Benning, much like Bob's version.
- I removed Bethlehem kicking a barrel when Abby shoots him. Also Bob's idea :)
- the Postman shoots two guards, I removed an extra shot of the second guard emptying a clip only a few meters away and not riddling the Postman with bullets, and the Postman missing a lot of shots. The scene feels more realistic and the Postman now seems to be a better marksman.
- I removed Abby butchering a Holnist, now you only see her smack him once on the head. Abby is a bit weird, but not psycho.
- I removed the Holnists still looking for them in the snow and inserted stock footage to replace the shot. It seemed to me as if the snow had fallen instantly while Holnists were still on their trail. Now it seems as if they covered some distance and some time has passed.
- Abby still discoveres something on the postman's shoulder, which makes her somewhat hostile, except it's not yet revealed to the viewer.
- I removed the scene in which Abby tells the postman Michael had died and confronts him with being a Holnist.
- removed the line "I'm nobody Abby" also the line "In direct contact, I can't believe this".
- removed the traitor Luke subplot.
- removed the line "If I told you the real reason how I became a postman..." to Abby.
- a few cuts here and there in the postman leaving and taking Abby with him.
- made some cuts in the scene where Ford delivers the letter to General Bethlehem, even though the letter reads that there is no Postman, Bethlehem doesn't believe it, the Postman's "giving up" is his way to protect the people. I also really liked the fact that the Postmen
movement has expanded even beyond Ford's knowledge.
- removed Luke from these scenes as much as possible.
- removed the line "shall we fire?", I thought this line and Bethlehem's reaction made Ford's fate too hopefull. I kept the biggest part of this scene because I liked the fact that Bethlehem is obsessed with finding the postman.
- removed the Postman recognizing Tom Petty, this was suggested to me to remove, and it is a lot better. The 4th wall is still intact. Besides, Tom Petty's age is waaaaay off.
- removed Tom Petty's line "I ride it sometimes...", it fits the character, but I felt it distracted from trying to get across why the Postman is going to ride that cablecart.
- removed the copymachine salesman line, the Postman couldn't have known that.
- created and inserted a small scene as Bethlehem remembers Shakespeare. It shows the audience that they have a history together and that the Postman was at one point captured by the Holnists.
- removed Bethlehems death, as BionicBob said in his cutlist, it defeats the new message of hope.
- removed the original ending and created a new one with expositional texts. Never liked the ending scene of the original. Way too much tech and progress for being only 30 years after the events of the movie.
- added credits in the credits for the used stock footage.
Cover art by TheOmega (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image

Trailer #3

User reviews

6 reviews
 
100%
7-9 stars
 
0%
5-7 stars
 
0%
3-5 stars
 
0%
1-3 stars
 
0%
Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.7(6)
Audio Editing
 
9.5(6)
Visual Editing
 
9.8(6)
Narrative
 
9.7(6)
Enjoyment
 
9.5(6)
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Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I have never seen the original film, up to this point it has been of little interest to me due to it's unflattering reputation, so it's great to see no evidence of anything dreadful in theomega's edit. Even though more than 50 minutes have been removed it still feels suitably epic, and I could not identify any gaps in the narrative.

The end result is still a bit cheesy (a violent cult decides to abandon its ways on what is basically the outcome of a wrestling match) but that fits with the type of story it is trying to tell, and I much prefer sincerity and tactile visuals over the more modern trends of sarcasm and CGI. Helps too that it is less of a Mad Max ripoff than Waterworld, Costner's other post-apocalypse vehicle where he plays a mononymous wanderer.

The Johnny Cash songs work really well, you could imagine them being played in-universe. Only a few things stuck out a little, these were: colour banding in the new title cards (mentioned in an earlier review); what appeared to be flash frames at a couple of points (but on frame-by-frame playback were actually film edge damage), and a location card flickering for one frame before fading in.

Barring those nitpicks, I can't see anything to prevent it from being mistaken for a professional product, and can quite imagine myself watching it again. The key question is now to decide whether to give the original a go!

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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Top 50 Reviewer 81 reviews
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(Updated: January 03, 2024)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
In High School this was one of my Favorite movies, this edit caught my attention immediately. I always felt the beginning was always the weakest part of the film, and they did an amazing job cutting out that section of the movie, They still managed to convey all the information about the army but without having to experience more than necessary.

I love that you left his membership in the army as a reveal, The best movies, books, games have something unexpected. The Flash Backs were an amazing touch, I wish I could have seen this edit blind.

Johnny Cash Throughout was great, though I Don't like the final song they chose for the movie, I don't feel it fits the moment, it sounds very somber and sad which doesn't match how I feel the movie ends.

Amazing Edit, better than the original.

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Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
I was one of the editors that helped getting this edit finished. That being said, I came into the edit with not so high expectations, but came out loving it. I really like the using of BionicBob's edit as the foundation for this new version. The pace and editing are wonderful. The music additions are great and the overall story and ending I genuinely love. If you weren't a fan of the original you've got to check out this version because it may just be the shelf-replacer you didn't know you needed.

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
An all-around solid improvement to the original, and the two hour runtime is perfect.

I loved the literal "spark of hope" from the lighter in the Postman's first scene. Perfect foreshadowing, and a perfect microcosm of the entire story in this one moment.

I noticed a few small issues during my viewing:

There's some oddness with the audio at 35:00. Some music bleed (I think), and the sound of the horses feels misplaced, like it's panned too far to the rear. It was enough to bring me out of the movie, so I've graded audio an 8. Additionally, there are some missing sound effects at 1:22:53 (gunshots).

There's a tiny continuity error at 1:35:45. We see Clark remove his hat twice (once in the background, and again in the foreground). It's possible most folks won't notice this, so I feel bad pointing it out, but maybe it's an easy fix.

I've graded the video quality 9 instead of 10 because the background during the opening text was quite blocky, and didn't feel right for such a large file. The rest of the movie was perfect.

Overall, I enjoyed it! It really didn't feel like anything was missing, which is impressive considering the huge reduction in runtime.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Owner's reply March 19, 2023

Thank you Futon88. I'll check out the problems you mentioned.

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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Wow! Im one of the few who loved the original, but this edit was amazing! I enjoyed your version so much but i wish you either kept the original future ending or didnt keep the letter kid in; it feels weird but that could just be bc i know why its there. I love the reveal and flashback for the ending; chefs kiss! I think you should lose Abby finding out in the cabin as it never comes up as a point of tension that she knows he's lying about the restoration. I like that the Holnist kid stays a postman. The music is louder than the music in the movie so it feels obvious its been added. I love the Cash songs, i bet every studio wish they could just use music royalty free lol. I know killing Bethelham violates rule one but still....

All in all this is a fantastic piece of work!

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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