ok, heres my review of mr L8wrtr’s Shadow of the Sith v3. note that I mean no disrespect to the editor and offer my views as constructive criticism as an objective audience only.
very nice. I am not a huge PT fan and havent watched very many Ep1 edits but this is my favorite of the lot. The pace is brisk and well thought out. everything that could be cut has been in my opinion and the result is a decent version of a film we all hate. Jara Jar has been minimized to a great extent, anakin is tolerable and most of the characters no longer fill you with hate from their silly dialog or questionable actions. This is IMO, the best TPM edit I have seen.
a few really cool areas I’d like to comment on:
-The 20th century fox logo has been replaced w/ a custom L8wrtr graphic as has the Lucasfilm Ltd, both look very slick and are a nice addition.
-The custom crawl was very cool as well, with a new title and new text setting up the film. well done.
-Almost complete battle droid voice removal is a great touch. those guys annoyed me to no end.
-The removal of clumsy jar jar in watto’s shop and at shmi skywalker’s dinner table was exceptional.
-additional scenes such as greedo fights anakin and quigon smashes probe droid were very nice and allowed the editor to remove more garbage scenes in favor of these additions.
-anakin is now a hero during the 3rd act which makes the movie actually make sense.
-removal of the ascension guns, thanks. why were they included originally?
-custom credits very nice.
-bonus commentary is greatly done and is very interesting, explaining many subtle choices that I hadnt even picked up on.
However there were a few minor issues that I noticed, thankfully none really disrupt the enjoyment of the edit:
-slight image stutter on a few wide pans, nothing terrible, hardly worth mentioning
-deleted scene #2 (probe droid) has a slightly different aspect ratio than the film for an 8 second segment.
A few personal opinions where I was not in agreement w/ the editor (not a problem and doesnt effect my rating)
-droid says one roger roger still around 1:14:00. why?
-the dramatic ending of the films tone is completely shattered by the abrupt crash into the typical star wars theme. I understand that this is “the proper way” to end a star wars film traditionally but IMO it just deflates the ending in every way. I think Duel of the fates would be much more appropriate here since we are coming out of a variation of that theme and it is a somber scene foreshadowing the entire saga to come. BANG! Happy Music. It was the only thing that doesnt work for me in this edit, but I respect the editors decision to “stay true” to the ending of all the other films.
Theres a fantastic commentary track that spans the feature, explaining what was cut, why, and gives alot of insight into the editors mind and passion for the material, very well done, clear and interesting. I wish more edits featured commentary as its much cooler than studio released commentary IMO.
Deleted Scenes reel, this is a nice inclusion but only angered me after being reminded what I had managed to forget over the last 10 years. The scens are divided up into characters w/ text explanations setting up each reel. a nice addition even if I hate all of this footage:)
Video: 8/10 this color corrected version from Adywan’s source is very nice, black levels are pristine and overall its nice to look at. The deleted scenes vary in quality from 7/10 (almost unnoticed) to 5/10 (wow, thats different) but are of no fault of the editor. the deleted scenes were not in nice quality to begin with and look fine here despite the obvious drop in fidelity.
Audio: 5.1 surround is here although I cannot rate it as the review copy I watched was 2.0 stereo. The stereo sounded great (albeit a bit low) so I really doubt the 5.1 sounds “worse”
Editing: 9/10 exceptional skill from a first time editor. a new viewer would not notice his presence (even if star wars vets cant miss it since we have all seen this film multiple times). no hard cuts/etc. a fantastic first effort. I cant wait to see ep 1 and 2 by L8wrtr.
Entertainment: 10/10 I have never been so entertained by TPM. I actually liked this movie for the first time.
at 96 minutes, there is nothing more that can be cut. As of now, this is my go-to replacement copy of TPM.
DVD: 7/10 simple but well authored, intro clip into a static menu w/ the options: play film, commentary and deleted scenes.
Final Average: 8.5 rounded up to 9/10. a great effort from a new talent. well worth any jaded star wars fans attention.