Oh boy...Star Wars prequels and now the sequels. The eternal debate/fight. Well, at least for the prequels we have a ton of fan edits, plus the Lucas' versions, so it's really hard not to find your cup of tea. Which means prequels are already saved. The sequels on the other hand, mainly episodes 8+9, have a long way to go, very few fanedit choices.
Before my review for this, I should state my brief opinion on the original so you know where I'm coming from. I hated it. My overall enjoyment was like a 2. I saw it once in cinema, then saw a few analysis videos on youtube and never looked back. So I knew that I needed an aggressive edit and not a "restructure" one like those for Episode 7. Enter DonKamillo aaand another editor, not listed here for some reason, Clark Zuckerberg. To be honest, first I watched Clark's edit, The Fallen Knight, and I really liked it. The problem was he didn't have an Episode 9 edit and Don's edit contradicted Clark's a lot in terms of continuity, plus, Don's was the only aggressive Episode 9 edit I could find. I tried HAL's "Ascendant" but it didn't work for me, I guess I needed an aggressive edit for 9 too.
Thankfully, I liked this one also. It had some great ideas, like the ending, which created an excellent cliffhanger, or more scenes of Luke training Rey, which Clark's version didn't have much of. Also a couple of joke reductions, I always appreciate those. Now, the two major changes, Leia's death here and Luke's survival are a bit tricky. Clark kept the original outcomes and because he did it very very nicely, I was happy with it. On the other hand, by keeping Leia alive, she must die with that silly way in episode 9, which is a problem. So either you kill her in space or because she reached out to Ben. And then, there is of course the issue with the fight of Rey and Kylo at the sea, where you can't bypass the fact that someone reached to Kylo and distracted him. That can only be done by Luke or Leia. So you see what's happening here and the choices the editors must make. For me, personally, since a lot of changes need to be made in order for Luke to reach Kylo, and let's face it, Leia's death is a very brief scene which you can just "forget about it", I would prefer if Don had kept the original script and worked based on that in his episode 9. But that's me and I won't substract any points for that, in order to be fair.
Technical-wise, audio and visual edits were very good, except where noted below. And overall, definitely better than Episode 9 Anti-Cringe editing.
Now to some more specific points that were not that good:
- Cutting Snoke calling Hux at the beginning.
- Rey giving the lightsaber to Luke and then he gives it back? It was weird..I preferred Clark's version where he made it look like Luke drops it to the ground.
- Keeping those ridiculous scenes where the First Order is chasing the rebellion with a barrage of no-point-shooting. Again, Clark's version corrected this.
- An obvious jump cut, where Luke comes to save the day at the end, but since there is no Leia, there is a cut of their scene.
- Some added flashbacks I thought they where a bit forced (pun intended).
- Finally, though I appreciate the "purism" behind the gesture of the specific change, the green light on Luke saber was a bit obvious and too much.
All in all, in a perfect world I would have preferred an edit that is a mix of Clark's and Don's versions or I would be an editor and do it myself! Hehe..Anyway, I definitely suggest this edit, especially to anyone who wants an aggressive edit of Episode 9, Don's is the only one, so for continuity reasons alone, the "Anti-Cringe-Cuts" become your go to versions! I just hope the editor will revisit them to smooth some things out or even change others.
Thank you DonKamillo, thanks to anyone who read my review and may the force be with you!
Thanks to DonKamillo for sending me a copy of his edit!
(Note: I'm not writing this review to put down DonKamillo at all or to insult him. He seems like a great editor, and I'm looking forward to see whatever else he has in store for the fan editing community.)
After hearing a lot about DonKamillo's Anti Cringe cut, and how it fixed The Last Jedi for a lot of people, I decided to give it a watch.
The video and audio quality and editing is perfect and seamless. 10/10 there.
The narrative, however, is not my favorite.
Yes, the Canto Bight scenes and Finn and Rose's escapades are cut (and for the better), which does fix the narrative some, but this edit does in fact retain Luke being a crotchety old man who's lost all faith in everything, which is something I did not like in the regular film. That being said, I couldn't fully enjoy the edit.
However, like I said, DonKamillo did a brilliant and seamless job editing in general and with cutting out the different stupid and annoying moments. I also liked they he did not have Luke about to kill Ben Solo in his flashback sequence, and I loved the rearranged scene where he moved Leia's "wipe that expression off your face, Threepio" during one of the battles. It fit perfectly like a glove and helps relieve a bit of tension in the scene.
Unfortunately, (and I'm sorry if this offends DonKamillo), I stopped about halfway through, because I lost interest.
All that being said, what DonKamillo set out to do, in regards to cutting out annoying, cringe moments from this movie: great job! I do recommend this edit for those who liked the Last Jedi, but just wanted those issues gone.
However, I don't recommend this edit for anyone who are expecting a complete narrative overhaul.
In regards to stopping about halfway through, I may go back and fully watch this edit. And if my mind changes about anything, I'll make a new review to reflect how I may feel then.
I don't have a whole lot to add that everybody else has not already said. The "Anti-Cringe Cut" of TLJ is one of the more interesting versions of that accursed film and probably the most invasive edit to-date (I don't mean that as criticism). It sets out to fix the most cited problems of that movie, cutting out a lot of the out-of-place humor and the insulting "subversions" and editing out all of the fat, effectively shifting the entire narrative of the film. Without Canto Bight and the Holdo/Poe slap fight, this version of the film focuses entirely on the Luke/Rey/Ren relationship. The edit states that this is its intention and it's impressive at how successful it is at that.
The biggest narrative flaw I can ascribe to this edit is that, because of its extensive cuts, the pacing is a little off and so is the narrative cohesion of the movie. Moving from the Resistance, to Luke and Rey and back to the Resistance for the climax is fairly jarring and it does feel like things are cut out (because, you know, they are). It's not DonKamillo's fault, it's a given with every fanedit of any film that these problems will appear, because there's limited material to work with. You can't fix what's fundamentally broken, you can just patch it as best as you can. This is probably why, much as I dislike TLJ in its entirety, I probably favor Hal9000's less extensive edit just a tiny bit more.
Having said that, the Anti-Cringe Cut succeeds in what it sets out to do and if you're looking for a version of the movie in which Luke somewhat resembles his old self, all of the Codebreaker fluff is removed and Holdo doesn't try to burn her bra on Poe's head, this is a well-done and enjoyable version of the movie.
So far, this is the best version of the film that's existed. I've tried watching many other edits of this... thing that was splattered on to the silver screen. The Rekindled edit has good ideas, which is built off Hal9000's Legendary edit, but neither theirs nor anyone else's bothers to extensively cut the film down. Just trim some minor moments, but keep the entire narrative intact. The thing is, much of this film shouldn't exist. The Canto Bight sequence should be entirely gone, as should almost all of Holdo. It's a script that's all over the place, with confusing messages, political points, hamfisted/childish banter, wrapped up in awful execution. The codebreaker plotline goes nowhere. The Holdo "follow orders no matter what, don't ask questions" schtick is insulting. The Canto Bight sequence goes without question.
So far, DonKamillo's Anti-Cringe Cut is the only one with the gumption to strip all that out. We bring the narrative down to 1 hour and 50 minutes, which is still a long length, up there with all the other Star Wars films. 2 hours and 30 minutes originally was ridiculous. Trimming the fat is necessary here. Just focus on Rey and Luke. Rey's journey finding out she is a nobody with parents who aren't important is good here. It depends if you watch the Rise of Skywalker normal or Anti-Cringe cut after of course, but trimming the stupid remarks, out of place jokes, lore breaking, or lame lines helps us focus on the meat on the story. That being Luke Skywalker abandoned his Jedi past to protect the galaxy, at least in his mind. It's a good step in the right direction. Letting all that stuff breath here without cutting away is very nice. This edit lets the Achtoo scenes go on for like a half hour uninterrupted. It's unusual for a Star Wars film, but it works great here.
Now, of course, I will make some minor notes for the edit itself. Overall, the film is just the straight visual/audio from the blu-ray. No real color correction or anything was done. There are some edits, like the exterior shot of the Crait blast door that is pixelated a bit, probably because it's zoomed in, that was jarring. There are some transitions lacking a little in context, or rely a bit much on ADR to deliver the information, like Poe being told the plan to use the ships to escape undetected. Just a few different shots would fix this right up. There's also some audio choices I find a bit odd, like that 'Luke has a moment' bit, but it has the Rise of Skywalker finale fanfare playing over it. It just feels a little too triumphant for such a somber moment. Same with the ending with Palpatine. Jovial music shouldn't be playing over Kylo being told he'll rule the galaxy as the new Emperor. Either change it to a sweeping Empire theme, then cut to credits, or something else entirely.
And I'll say, I'm speaking from the Definitive version, adding the Emperor scene at the end is a bit wrong. If I may suggest, if you ever decide to do another edit, to do what the Rekindled edit does, and add that hint to Kylo through the computer screens where Palpatine whispers, "Find me." It's an ominous edit, just if you're looking for inspiration. But other than that, this edit fixes this movie a lot. It's not perfect, I mean, there's no real saving this fundamentally broken movie, but mitigating the cancer swelling over this does help. Thank you DonKamillo.