NJVC's edit of KOTCS is a handy replacement for the loathsome original. There is no reason anyone should be watching the original with this in their collection. NJVC has succeded in the stated goal to make this feel more like Raiders but it still feels like a very drab and boring relation to that masterpiece.
Audio/Video Quality: The audio and image quality is absolutely stunning (Near faultless). The new score is wonderful although I thought the original wasn't so bad. I thought it just needed more of the stronger themes, not replacing entirely. However while the colour correction is an improvement it doesn't go nearly far enough. The image is still wildly over-saturated and of course the artificial glow that is filtered over everything is still present. But the glowing halos over every part of the image that even approaches white is almost impossible to remove.
One of the best scenes is the skull montage in the jungle camp which contained the only error I could see. The montage contains sequence from Raiders and since those shots are in a slightly different aspect ratio they are bleeding out round the edges. A shame that the only error is in the best edited bit. Knocked off 1 point but would've been a frction if that was possible.
Visual Editing: This is a huge improvement on the original. Trimming out alot of stuff that needed to go. e.g. flying saucer, gofers, doom town, motorcycle skiing. But IMO it also removes stuff that didn't need to go and leaves in other bits that did. e.g. removing Spalko's (Wonderfully tongue-in-cheek) awesome scene stealing monologue but then immediately after, leaving in her using telekinesis? I thought characters like Spalko, Mutt and Mac got a bit lost somewhere. Also I was hoping that Mac's constant flipping of sides was going to be streamlined more.
Audio Editing: Clearly a ten out of ten. I'm sure the work and effort that went into the score replacement was huge but it seemed effortless. The score always matched the action and the replaced sound effects were undetectable to my ear. The way the score comes in over the credits is sheer magic.
Narrative: Sadly this is where the edit fell down for me. The original's plot is so convoluted and boring that it's barely watchable. From the the post rocket sled de-brief to the quicksand scene it's still 40 minutes of our heroes jumping all over the globe in an attempt to disguise that every scene is a drawn out exposition of the plot...
EXCITING CHASE! / Sit in AirForce base explaining the plot / Sit in Indys home explaining the plot / Sit in Cafe explaining the plot / BRIEF CHASE! / Walk through market explaining the plot / Stand in cell explaining the plot / Explore tomb while explaning the plot / Tie Indy to chair while explaining the plot to him / MILDLY FUN QUICKSAND SCENE!
But even after all that I'm still unclear about what happened to who and when and how? So I'm unclear what could be done to fix this but something needs done to up the pace in this segment.
I've checked the original and the original exposition sequence lasted 47 minutes but I feel it needs cut almost in half to stop the audience falling asleep.
Enjoyment: The first 15 minutes and and the last third are top draw Indy entertainment but the exposition 40 minutes I've mentioned is so boring that I struggled to get to the last third. I think this is the reason this film may be unfixable at anything like feature length but for a 90 minute cut this is probably as good as it's gonna get.
This probably sounds like quite a negative review but make no mistake that NJVC has improved this film dramatically. I've given it an enjoyment score of 6 but the orginal cut would be something like a 2 (If I was being generous). And lastly the way NJVC ended this thing is a masterstroke, removing the cheesy wedding and replacing it with something, warmer, more subtle and more in keeping with how a Indy film should end... hurrah!