Review Detail

9.6 43 10
FanMix August 09, 2021 5283
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Visual Editing
Audio Editing
Took me far too long to get to this! And I'm sorry I couldn't have seen it sooner. Great to have finally watched it though.

Video/audio quality - 8

So I know that I opted for the smaller file option (for time and space reasons), so the rating bears that in mind, but I was quite surprised by how heavy the artifacting was throughout. If I was to be completely honest, I would give this a 6 overall for video quality, but I felt like I should give the benefit of the doubt, knowing that a higher quality version was available.

Glass generally looked good enough, but Split had visible artifacting throughout and whenever we cut to footage from Unbreakable it looked very blocky. Obviously, Glass is the newer film, but the stark contrast made me wonder if all the films had HD sources or if Unbreakable was maybe SD. I'm sure the bigger file looks better, but I'm curious as to whether there's still a noticeable drop between the different films or not.

Visual editing - 9

Wraith has done some superb work here. The title sequence and credits look great, and there are some really creative edits to help marry the content of the three films together. My only real gripe here is that there were several instances (usually during transitions or establishing shots) where the framerate would drop noticeably. I wasn't sure if this was a stylistic choice, or if it was from trying to stretch some shots for the sake of pacing, but to me it didn't look good and took me out of the edit.

The contrast between some of the scenes in terms of grading was also quite different and I felt some more consistency could have been brought there.

Audio editing - 8

Again, the vast majority here is fantastic work, but I do have some gripes:

- I really hate to mention this first thing, as I know the editor has taken a lot of time to rerender in order to fix pops, but sadly it still seems to be an issue. I noticed several throughout. If I was to take a guess... Maybe 10-15 give or take? Most pretty subtle, but a few were loud.
- Audio balance is not always consistent throughout. Some dialogue is very quiet, other times quite loud. I typically assumed this was the different film mixes, but there were one or two occasions where the dialogue levels jumped up mid-scene and I had to turn the volume down, which made me wonder if there was some selective normalisation? An example would be the hair brushing scene.
- Additionally, while the rescoring is generally well done I did find it just slightly over dominant at points. I'm nitpicking here. It's not by a long way, but enough for me to think "ah, this must be rescoring", and at times this also made the dialogue a little hard to make out.
- During what is normally the opening scene of Split, there is a moment where Anna Taylor Joy says "I'm just gonna take the bus" and the dialogue is out of sync with her lips.

Narrative - 7

On the whole, this functions well. It's a highly enjoyable edit that (for the most part) I think is safe to say you could watch as a stranger to the trilogy and still follow. That being said, some elements were a little confusing and in some cases created a lack of continuity:

- During the hairbrush scene we are suddenly with 2 girls instead of 3. There's no context for where the third girl has gone.
- It seems highly convenient and random for there to be a piece of paper ready for Joy's character that says "say Kevin Wendel Crumb!". I would personally remove the paper from the equation and look at placing a shot of a folder on the computer screen with his name when she is looking through the vlogs.
- During the first standoff in Glass between Bruce and the Beast, the Beast throws a table and there is a brief shot of it hitting someone who doesn't appear to be in this edit. It's pretty jarring as it's unclear what's going on.
- The twist with Mr Glass is now reserved for a key moment during Glass. It's well executed, though I do think by holding it back it actually loses some weight, as it's treated as a brief flashback and not the main focus. It also means we go a long time not really understanding why Mr Glass has been confined and treated the way he is.
- While the ending to Glass has been improved and I feel like it is less expository (to my memory) I'm disappointed more wasn't done to foreshadow the secret organisation. We see enough flashes of wrists with the tattoo that I feel like one could be used in one of Bruce's intuition flashes somewhere... There must be a way in a non-linear edit such as this to give it some degree of setup.

A note on the length: I have no issues with a 3.5 hour edit (we've all seen LOTR, right?). It's all about how it's paced. Wraith does a good job here, but unfortunately, it still feels a bit episodic, with the first half heavily weighted towards Split. There are too many long gaps where we are only on the Split narrative, only to have a short deviation to something from Unbreakable. I think there could be more of Glass's setup added in earlier as well.

Additionally, I found the chapter names confusing initially and only caught on partway through that they were chapters rather than references to which character we were following. To have a character's name as the heading but not actually focus consistently on that character threw me off a bit.

One final very small thing... Not really narrative but for some reason we have the "the following fanedit is.." source warning right at the end of the edit as well as at the start. It's a bit odd, given that the edit has been and gone. A very tiny thing, but it doesn't really make sense to have it at the end since there is no edit to follow the warning like it says.

Enjoyment - 8

I really enjoyed watching this and there were several moments where I was able to appreciate the amount of work Wraith had put in to achieve his narrative slant. I have to admit I liked the second half more, and I think this was mainly because it is mostly the film Glass, and that narrative flowed a lot smoother than the preceding jumping back and forth. But even during that segment, significant trims have been made to the film to help it flow better and keep the runtime from being too overbearing.

Finally, I apologise for not being able to give specific time codes. My computer is broken and so I watched this on a guest's laptop (HDMI to TV) with a couple of people - so no opportunity to check back on the file. I also don't feel right constantly pausing a film when others are watching with me. Hopefully some of what I've gathered from memory is of use though.

Thank you, Wraith, for your work and for allowing me to watch this. I'm sorry to be the first review that's a little less positive than most! I hope it isn't a discouragement though. While I personally think a bit more could be done here, I still think this is a great edit overall and I really admire the work you've put in.

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(Updated: October 07, 2021) October 07, 2021
I am one of three reviewers who gave this edit a perfect or almost perfect review. I don't believe that any of us, speaking just for myself, ultimately, experienced most of the issues that you have mentioned. I know of your position and experience and say this with all respect...perhaps it was a codec incompatibility with your player that affected the bitrate/framerate? I know that wouldn't explain your issues with some of the narrative structure. I would offer that our differing opinions on those ideas and decisions are merely subjective. I watched the edit six times as it was being tweaked with much stopping and starting, Bluray on 64" LCD after watching it twice on my Dell Precision laptop. I did experience a different presentation between the two mediums but somehow, I never experienced most of the technical issues that you describe.

I do slightly agree with what you mention about setting up the Coalition of Evil more forthright, but I think Wraith did that on purpose. He may have intended for that to be a thinly veiled shocker.
October 07, 2021
I agree with you and thanks for making the point. I have watched many times on a similar screen with no issues. I have also looked at it on a laptop this evening, and it is less than ideal visually with some noise blocks, the odd skipped fram and even pops in the audio that are not on the source file when checked. I guess this goes to why Directors pushed the TV industry to make monitors that have a so called FILMAKER mode...I think we are beginging to understand why they pushed for it. I have all enhancements OFF on my TV.
November 20, 2021
I would like to chime in here and say that I watched the full-resolution version, also laptop HDMI-to-TV, and I experienced none of the sound or video issues that you did. And I would like to argue that, if you opt for a more compressed version of the film, it's a little unfair to ding the rating based on compression artifacts.
(Updated: November 27, 2021) November 27, 2021
I don't seem to get notifications when there are comments on my reviews, so I'm sorry for not replying to these sooner.

@artisdead - no disrespect received and hopefully you won't take any offence in response either: in my experience, lots of edits receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from the majority of reviewers on IFDB, even if there are glaring errors. That's not to say that i'm right and others are wrong, just that I don't think a slew of positive reviews negates the observations of a single reviewer. I seem to be the only reviewer that picked up on the flash cut of the table hitting someone, but this was not a glitch. Wraith PM'd me to confirm it was an oversight and I believe the issue is now fixed. They also messaged me to discuss other points of mine further and seemed keen to make some changes to the edit off the back of my review, so I can only assume that they concurred with at least some of what I said.

@wraith - I very much enjoyed the edit and hope there are no hard feelings here. This was just my honest assessment of the file that I watched in the context i was in. I believe we have already spoken a bit about the laptop/quality thing in PMs so I won't repeat that. For the record though, my TV is properly calibrated and all gimmicks are off.

@plurmonger - I didn't ding the rating. If you read the top of the review, I clearly state that I bumped the rating UP to make up for the fact that I watched a smaller file. However, I don't think it would be unfair to say that if an editor chooses to make a smaller file available, that they also be ok with people reviewing the edit based on their experience with that particular file.

Ultimately, my observation on quality seems to be people's main gripe. At the end of the day, my experience was subjective and based on an environment that I can't replicate. I also think it's only fair to bear in mind that there have been several revisions and updates to the edit since its release, and I expect many of these reviewers will be relating their experiences with different versions of the file. The version I watched has hit the dust now and so much of what's in this review may not be relevant. If I ever get round to rewatching the edit one day, I will update my review to reflect the experience. But until that point, it remains a reflection of my impressions at that point in time. 8/10 feels like a very solid rating for quality to me and I don't think it has done any damage to the edit or the editor's reputation.
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