This is a great fanedit, made all the greater with the knowledge that this is Severian's first submission.
I have been quietly waiting for a bold Prometheus edit to come along. The original is visually stunning, but I still left the theater disgusted. The original narrative is a complete mess. It would be one thing if some things were just left a mystery. That I am totally ok with and usually even prefer, but the truth is that Ridley Scott did have a specific agenda with specific answers in mind. In interviews he has made certain specific claims about why the engineers turned on humanity but I won't go into that here. The bottom line is that I think this story works a lot better with more mystery surrounding the motives of the engineers. All we need to know as an audience is that this was a weapons testing facility, an accident occurred and all except (presumably the captain) died, and that the engineers were working on weapons that might potentially be used against Earth. This edit much more effectively conveys all that.
Simultaneously there needs to be less mystery surrounding the motives of the actual characters we are following. This edit succeeds with some details in this department. Unfortunately I still don't buy into the motive of why the android would so casually infect one of the crew's top scientists with an unknown substance in such an uncontrolled way or why everyone reacts so casually to the c-section events that follow.
Lastly, the scientists need to come across as less stupid than the original. The edit succeeds here as well.
I can't really think of a way to resolve my remaining problems with the story, and so I am grateful to have this fanedit. I daresay it makes Prometheus actually watchable for me. It is a better, more philosophical treatment of the film, and I can now suspend my disbelief for the most part.
Kudos! I watched the 720p mp4 version. Detected no major video or audio issues other than technical decisions made by the editor to do a 2.0 audio track and not release as a DVD or BD with a full-featured menu.
I would put my overall enjoyment of the original at a 4 or 5, whereas this was probably a 7 or 8.
Prometheus was one of the most conceptually ambitious sci-fi films to come out of Hollywood in many years. The film's genuine weaknesses were justly criticised but unfortunately the Alien-related hype created false expectations, leading a surprising number of people to completely diss the film. That's unfair and such arguments are easily rebuked upon closer examination.
I'm a fan of the original while being acutely aware of its flaws. I'd give the theatrical cut 6.5 out of 10. Severian's fanedit is a real pleasure and brings the film up to at least 8 out of 10 for me.
I don't have much to to add to the technical comments others have made already. Generally the editing and mixing is of a high standard.
Narratively, the film is quite substantially improved and a good deal of thought has gone into the use of deleted scenes. Lisbeth's relationship with Hollaway is better fleshed out, for example, even though a smug, swaggering, self-aware actor like Logan-Marshal Green was clearly the wrong choice for the part of her doctor/scientist lover. While I wouldn't say the new opening sequence is better than the original, it's powerful and very different in tone. Moving the arrival of the Engineers on ancient Earth into a dream sequence of Lisbeth's in the middle of the film is an intriguing idea. Racial memory? Something else?
And most of the film's stupidities are gone - excellent work there. Too bad we can't get rid of Charlize Theron's embarrassing performance as a stereotypical hard-bitch. She's saddled with the film's worst written main character, so it's not all her fault.
All up it's amazing for a first fanedit. Congats to Severian.
Before I say anything else, I want to clarify the scores I've given: I've assigned Severian's edit a score of 8/10 for both Narrative and Enjoyment. These should be taken in the context of the scores I would assign the theatrical release (5/10 for Narrative and 6/10 for Enjoyment). Severian has done an excellent job in using the available material to make the best presentation possible of a promising but substantially flawed film, and I want to stress that while I think flaws remain in the film, they remain despite his efforts rather than as a result of them.
I'm very impressed at the new opening sequence; while it doesn't have the breathtaking visuals of the theatrical release, it introduces the film's narrative in a much more cohesive fashion and crucially gives us an introduction to Peter Weyland's character. Given that we're talking about a home viewing, the visual impact of the theatrical opening sequence is limited (at least in contrast with the experience of seeing it at eg an IMAX screen in 3D), so I applaud the decision to focus on the narrative.
I haven't watched the theatrical release since it was at the cinema, but I still recall its numerous distressing faults. Severian has done as good a job as I believe is possible, given the material, to address these issues - the somewhat clunky pacing is improved, the number of instances of Idiot Ball Behaviour is substantially reduced (though sadly the phenomenon is not eliminated entirely), and some of the action sequences are improved through the use of additional material.
I would be lying if I didn't say that there are a couple of moments where the editing leads to abrupt transitions, but these are abrupt in narrative terms and cannot be helped given the available footage.
All in all, there's only one thing I'd change about Severian's edit - personally, I would have removed the epilogue scene with the proto-xenomorph. That tiny issue aside, this is now my preferred cut of the film and I highly doubt I'll ever watch the theatrical release again.
I thought I should also note that I watched this with my OH who generally pays no attention to the fanedit scene outside of what I explicitly bring to her attention; her opinion was that the edit was substantially better than the theatrical release.