Solid integration of deleted scenes. The crossfades were a nice touch. Although, I don't see much benefit to the deleted scenes, and feel that they just mess up the pacing a bit and, unfortunately, takes you out of the movie a bit due to the lower quality. I know this is the highest quality source available, but still think it's fair to mention.
Another thing I noticed was framerate issues: I don't know if this is an issue with the source, or export, but some scenes are of a noticeable lower framerate. Listed timecodes below:
However, this is still a cool edit to check out, and certainly not a bad idea/decision to make it. I'll personally be sticking to the original on a rewatch, but I'd recommend this edit to anyone who was a fan of the original!
I was really excited for this edit because the almost identical one I made over a decade ago would be great with an HD upgrade. I was glad to see Bobson Dugnutt took the reigns and I'd love to recommend this as a replacement for my original edit, but there are some serious technical issues with this edit that prevent me from doing so.
First, the edit looks great is HD and is a big improvement over the SD edit. Overall, this edit looks much better. But an issue arises when the deleted scenes are inserted. There's an obvious, but acceptable, ,drop in quality as the deleted scenes are in SD. But, as another reviewer mentioned, there are some serious technical issues with the frame rates. There obvious ghosting and jagged lines in all the inserted scenes that also extends into the original scenes. This really should have been addressed before it was released.
The second issue is with the audio. The editor has released this with a 5.1 surround mix, but it's really just an extended stereo mix. In a proper 5.1 mix, dialogue should be isolated to the centre channel while other sounds should occupy the front and rear channels. But on this mix, dialogue can be heard through all 5 channels, including rears. The impact of the proper 5.1 mix is completely lost with this edit. Again, this is something that should have been addressed before it was released.
As it stands now, I can't recommend this edit. If the editor was to go back and correct the technical issues, I'd be happy to recommend this as a replacement to my dusty old SE7EN Extended Edition.
Bottom line: this is a solid alternative way to REwatch the film, though I don't think I'd recommend showing it to a first time viewer.
I'll first point out that Bobson usually includes extra files in the folders for his edits which are unused scenes or bits with commentary or sometimes a peek into his process. Here, there are before/after comparisons with the deleted scenes, and you can see that his color regrading is impressive. I really appreciated the work done with this footage.
On the other hand, the overall drop in video quality is still quite noticeable, and there are serious framerate issues with several scenes. The audio is also a problem due to the way the sound is mastered, so sometimes dialogue dominates a scene and sometimes it's too quiet.
In terms of how the deleted scenes change/help the narrative, this is an odd one, and feels to me like a missed opportunity. My read on the film is that it's already clear enough what Detective Somerset wants to get away from and why...the extra scenes harping on this are too much for such a subtle film, and just slow things down. While the added car conversation between him and Detective Mills also slows things down, it's probably Pitt's most interesting performance in the film, and it helps sell his choice at the end. I think it has enough value to leave in.
However the two deleted/alternate scenes NOT included are a real shame, ones that would really validate this as an alternate edit of the film. (SPOILERS) The first is a really gorgeous shot of Mills' wife (Paltrow) being all alone in this huge building, which would be perfectly inserted on the final morning as foreshadowing. On the deleted scenes commentary, Fincher himself says how gorgeous the shot was, but how he ultimately thought it might be hinting at the ending too soon. He may be right, but this would be an alternative cut.
Bobson writes here that the ending isn't that different, but he's wrong. In the commentary, Fincher even remarks how the lines and the way the actors play them are totally different, much closer to the storyboards. This was the originally intended ending too, where it's supposed to just cut to black after Mills shoots and walks out of frame. No "coda" as Fincher puts it, that tacked-on ending where Somerset says he thinks the world is "worth fighting for." It's a note that always read false to me. This alternative ending is so much quieter, so much subtler, it's just Somerset and Mills knowing that they're beat, and being helpless to not play it out. That would be such a great way to end this, and seeing the unused footage but not having it cut into this edit is actually painful. I'd love an edit that take this route.
As-is, the scenes included here have some value, but the technical issues would be too much of a distraction on a first time watch, I think. Would love to see a second pass on this one.