August 14, 2012
Sam Raimi is a filmmaker who has my deepest empathy, as his great films show true passion and potential. This makes it all the worse when his bad films have constantly been ruined by studio interference, when being given creative control would have made them great.
Thanks to Badscooter, we have a version of this film that is actually the version Sam Raimi intended to make.
What he has done is focus the thematic arc of the film, removing any elements that distracted the viewer from focussing on the elements Sam Raimi wanted us to pay attention to. Little things stick out here and there as subtly profound visual arcs that I completely missed the first time because the other unrelated arcs distracted me from being able to see it; for instance, Harry and Peter's first dialogue scene in the film mirrors their last, with Peter standing over Harry to cut between a low and high angle shot. By having both their first and last conversations as friends visualized the same way, the viewer reflects on everything that has transpired in the evolution of their friendship between those two scenes. They are able to serve as bookends; the visual similarity signals the beginning scene and end scene to the arc of their friendship.
PROFOUND THINGS LIKE THIS ARE SO MUCH MORE CLEAR IN THIS VERSION OF THE FILM!!!
It is truly a well guided thematic arc, refocussing the viewer on what the film is truly about: the horrible things people are willing to do for love, and how those actions evolve into destruction. Every relationship based in love causes the character in question to do horrible things in the name of that love. It evolves into the consequencial flames of the final act of the film, which now has a clearer purpose than when all the subplots that weren't building to it were there.
The only real problem is there's still too much cutting back and forth between the other villains. I'm not sure Badscooter could have altogether cut Sandman and Venom, although I'm not even sure if that was the solution if he could have. Not his fault, but cutting together 3 unrelated narratives of 3 unrelated conflicts from 3 unrelated villains still bogs down the film... only it's less of a problem now due to his brilliant editing choices. It's certainly FAR better than the official editing together of said narratives in the film.
~Silver Screen Samurai~