I convinced my friends to watch a Star Wars marathon with me and then spent a lot of time determining the edits we'd watch. I decided on Machete Order, with Harmy's DeSpecialized Editions for the Original Trilogy and Hal 9000's edits of Episodes II and III.
Within the first 5 minutes of Episode II, they were clapping and enjoying themselves far more than they thought they would. With a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes, this may not seem like a lot gets cut or changed until you watch it. Many one-liners, awkward phrasings, and too-long conversations get cut in half and put back together seamlessly or just plain left out.
Some highlights: Jar Jar and some other bit characters have massively reduced roles. Obi Wan's investigation that leads him to the clones is less clunky because there are fewer steps along the way. Anakin and Padme's relationship is basically a highlights reel, but it plays out so much better than the original; the wedding at the end of the movie is touching. Anakin and Padme's confrontation of Dooku is straightforward and there is no bizarre machine shop scene where R2D2 flies all over the place.
The edit: Seamless. Music and audio played over everything just fine - no choppy bits anywhere. Visuals were great as well, with some clever filters to fix up colors in many areas. Some good side-wipes were used to eliminate certain characters from scenes, these sorts of edits were only noticeable if you're familiar with the original cut.
One issue: The scene at the end of the movie with Dooku and Palpatine was left in. Our group tends to like the theory that Dooku became a separatist because he discovered the truth about Palpatine and doesn't know who he can trust on the council, so that scene burst our bubble.
His whining gone, Anakin is now a talented, albeit hasty, young Jedi. It is appropriate that Anakin no longer tells Padmé he slaughtered Tusken Raiders, which she should have been unable accept. The packing scene surprised me. Hal removed the awkwardness and changed it into a conversation between two adults.
It is great to see Padmé try to negotiate with the Separatists. She is a powerful politician, vehemently against the creation of an army, it only follows that she would try to solve things peacefully.
Reinstating deleted scenes vastly improves the story. Unfortunately, the transitions from the film to the deleted scenes are a bit jarring. This is no fault of the editor, but it still distracts from the story.
There are a few things I would have done differently. It is hard for me to part with Yoda and Dooku’s lightsaber duel, and there are many minor trims to dialogue I would have included. However, Hal’s cuts, especially those involving Anakin, out-value my disagreements.
Overall, I really enjoyed this edit. It adds new depth to the film, and fixes Anakin and Padmé’s love story. When we watched AOTC, we used to skip all the painful “love” scenes between Anakin and Padmé. Thanks to Hal, now we don’t have to.
AOTC is my least favorite Star Wars movie, and L8wrtr's The Republic Divided was my favorite edit of that. I thought, like in Cloak of Deception, my personal favorite would be better. But boy, was I wrong.
Star Wars - Episode II: The Approaching Storm is the best Attack of the Clones edit out there. Better than Seciors' Army of the Republic. Better than Q2's Fall of the Jedi II. Better than L8wrtr's The Republic Divided. All three are great edits of AOTC. But for me, TAS is the best.
The Audio/Video quality is great. One nitpick is that the deleted scenes distract the audience when watched. It's not the editor's fault at all. It just looks strange, but still, that doesn't really matter.
The editing is flawless, really. Besides the deleted scenes' look like I said, the edit feels like a real movie released in theatres.
The narrative is so much better than the original. I enjoyed the edit very much.
If you're looking to replace the original Episode II, this edit replaces it perfectly.
Hello everyone. Had the pleasure of following up my review of Hal9000's Cloak of Deception with this one. The Approaching Storm is a solid edit. It improves upon the film's strengths making this a fantastic addition to the go-to trilogy edits (this and L8Wrtr's sharing same spot of being my go to of the Prequels). The editing was pretty seamless. And really dig the Assassination plot making sense now.
Also have to say that the film looks fantastic. The alternate versions of some scenes are also wonderful addition that provides new way of presenting the film. With this, I mean the scene between Obi-Wan and Mace before heading to Kamino is a solid scene. And the introduction of Anakin to Padme's family is also a wonderful addition that helps shed some more light on Padme's character. (Why this was cut in the original, I still have no idea)