NOTE: I am a bit later in this review than I wanted, Aztec, but here it is.
SPECTRE was a movie I really wanted to like on release and just couldn't quite do it. It had beautiful visuals, the occasionally powerful moment, a gorgeous and interesting Bond girl, some impressive fight scenes, and one horrifying death trap. All the ingredients were there, and yet a multitude of little things held it back, and made it less than what it should've been. SPECTRE [Redacted] proved that, fortunately, those moments stuck out just enough to be effectively shaved off.
A/V Quality: 10/10
Both sound and video are top notch and everything meshed perfectly. This will always get a 10 out of me.
Visual Editing: 9/10
Nearly perfect, and impossible to detect any notable change if you're a first time viewer. There was one moment when Bond was standing over Blofeld and looked like he was about to speak before it cut to Madeleine looking in his direction, but even that could easily be construed as a facial tick or even a consideration, and it was still a better alternative to the theatrical scene.
Audio Editing: 10/10
This is a big one. What really made the edit stand out was the alternate title sequence track, in that it turned a bad start into a great one. Sam Smith's Writing's on the Wall was an awful mess of a song that felt nothing at all like it had any place introducing a Bond film, or any film for that matter. Worse still, it was a horrible fit for what could be the franchise's most dark and unsettling opening sequence in recent memory.
Aztec's alternative, Bjork's Bachelorette, blended surreal with surreal; the track's symphonic power, catchy rhythm, and the trademark vocals were a great match for the skulls, tentacles, and inky phantoms that writhed through the screen. Where Writing's on the Wall contradicted the sequence and insulted the eardrums, Bachelorette only intensified its macabre tone, transforming it into an electrifying beginning that climaxed into a cold, jarring slam into the main narrative. Correcting bad production decisions like this with such efficacy is what fanedits are all about. This absolutely gets a 10.
The story itself was vastly improved by the simple act of redacting all mention of MI6 shutting down, which made little sense considering Nine Eyes was merging everything anyway. No bad line was left untrimmed, and the failed gags (like the old driver during the car chase) were thankfully removed. I find it amazing that the difference between a movie marred by unnecessary filler and a taut, focused thriller can be a mere 8 minutes.
Of course some narrative flaws remained, particularly near the end (the convenient net at the ground floor and the nigh-suspension breaking fight between a Walther PPK and a fleeing helicopter come to mind), but this time they were far and few between and did little to ruin the film.
Ultimately, SPECTRE [Redacted] still isn't quite as good as Skyfall (which, in all fairness, set the bar pretty high). That said it can finally stand next to the better films of the Craig era now that the redundancies and that awful, awful song are out of the picture. This is the send-off Daniel Craig deserved, and even through the few unavoidable flaws that remained, I enjoyed every minute of it.
Aztek improves on the original, showing that a satisfying edit can be subtle.
The Bjork song greatly improves the opening credits.
The cuts are unobtrusive. The one instance where I noticed is the removed "insurance" line: the silence works nicely, but I read Monica's face as annoyance at what Bond said not frustration at him not answering.
The original weak narrative is less frustrating through the improved tone.
Very well done edit. This is a great example of how removing a few minutes can really improve a film. I thought Spectre was okay. I think Craig has really come into his own and I enjoyed a lot of the performances around him. Monica Belluci crushes it as usual. Bond plots are often needlessly winding but Spectre was overly so. I didn't like the familial connections at all (looking forward to Declassified!) and there were more than a few lines that had me cringing (e.g. life insurance, meteorite, author of all your pain).
Thankfully, Aztek cleans up pretty much all the worst bits and it makes quite a difference. There are still elements that don't work for me but taking away some of the worst lines and moments (looking at you, old man) makes the rest not bother me that much.
A/V Quality - 10/10 - Looked great, no complaints at all
Visual Editing - 9/10 - Very well done, pretty much seamless throughout. Only exception is when Bond talks to Moneypenny it cuts from their conversation to Bond watching her through the window as she leaves. He jumps position since a bit of dialogue was cut. I think it would probably be better just to cut from the word "instinct" to the next scene and skip that bit.
Audio Editing - 10/10 - Sounded great, didn't notice any cuts. Plus the theme song is a million times better than the original IMO. I talked about this in the thread but must reiterate that it is a great choice.
Narrative - 9/10 - The removal of the 00 program ending was a smart one. It makes an overly convoluted plot less so. Also clever removal of a couple lines that tell us things that we see soon anyway (L'American).
Enjoyment - 8/10 - Great job, I can't go higher because of issues with the film itself but you have taken it from a 6.5 to an 8 for me. I look forward to seeing your more radical cut!
I one of those that was very let down by Spectre, specially since the same director and cast were returning after the great Skyfall.
Unfortunately, this edit by Aztek463 does little to improve on the overall enjoyment experience of the official release, the main structure and full plot remains (almost?) intact. Some trims as listed in the edit release info here and there remove some of the most annoying elements, which is quite a good thing; but still not enough for my taste. 7 on Narrative and Enjoyment.
On the technical side of things, wow! I am impressed with the editing, and A/V quality. If I didn't hit play on my HTPC i would have been fooled into thinking this was a store bought bluray, all of the footage and specially the audio quality are top notch - and the sound levels are a thing of beauty - watching this edit gave my Onkyo Amp quite a workout and brought much enjoyment to my eyes and ears. A definite 10 on all technical scores, and that's just because there isn't an 11 available.
I read Aztek is going to release a more radical edit of this film, I am looking forward to it. It just scratch my itch.
I have to confess that I am a fan of Daniel Craig as Bond, I believe in his portrayal of the character. I liked Skyfall a lot and had huge expectations on what Spectre would bring, sadly the movie was really disappointing (for me), I believe the plot was a mess and the jokes and action sequences were not structured. I wanted to see this edit with the hope of getting the good Bond movie that I hoped, first let me say that I loved the change in the song in this edit, the Bjork song works really really well, also, the trims on the bad jokes was a great plus (specially the old man in the car with the opera song), but the structure of the movie remained the same, so I am sorry to say that this edit didn't do it for me. Besides that, the edit is really well managed, the transitions are seamless, the quality of the picture and sound are great. If you are a fan of Bond, this is a must watch.