Was finally able to get ahold of this classic edit after, no lie, YEARS of searching. Boy am I glad I did, because it's a shelf-replacer. The standard T4 dvd is dead. Long live the T4 fanedit.
The problems with the theatrical version of T4 are threefold:
1. We finally get the badass future war with John Connor the badass soldier that was glimpsed back in the original film. And then McG pushes John to the background and focuses more of the movie on this Marcus dude and a zit-popping Kyle Reese.
2. The logic in this movie is dumb, dumb, DUMB. It's constantly undermining the intelligence and capabilities of both the Terminators and the soldiers in favor of making everything connected in a neat little package for a theater audience.
3. It goes overboard with trying to show the cyclical nature of the connection between John and the Terminators. What everyone knows in this film just breaks the time travel of the other films because it creates paradoxes.
What this edit does:
1. Makes lots of artful trims to the Director's Cut of mostly Marcus and Kyle scenes. The result is the remaining footage is far more John's movie, which is great because Christian Bale is doing a killer job (I don't care how many lighting guys he had to tear a new one.)
2. Cuts so many small lines and small moments of stupidity. The Terminators are smart, the soldiers act quickly (except for the scene where they light up their whole secret base to chase one guy.) The Arnold cameo is trimmed down too, which I actually really liked, but in this state only the very best shots are kept and it looks phenomenal. Also rearranges scenes to make plot developments more surprising.
3. References to what Skynet knows are cut so that this film is not some future-past worm eating its own tail. John knows who Kyle Reese is, and unfortunately him trying to save the life of his own dad is a central plot point in the movie. No avoiding that. But at least most other people aren't aware of the significance of all these time travel events and the story just plays more straight. The original ending did have a certain poetry to it that built on T2, but it was also so convenient it was cringey. This is probably better.
Downsides of this edit:
The extensive added footage to the beginning is an impressive and cool way to start, but the video quality on it differs wildly. The music levels are also way off there and in the ending. The ending video quality also differs a bit, as do several deleted scenes that were added in. (Maybe it was like that in the Director's Cut, too?) The beginning in particular has a very noticeable stuttering effect as the video plays. There are also a number of noticeable hard cuts where scenes were moved or deleted, and the filter applied to the flashbacks is distracting... perhaps it was used to cover poor video quality of the original source, but it can't have looked worse than here.
Overall, despite the technical issues, the narrative restructuring and edits make this a FAR superior film to the theatrical cut. The bad news is... it's unnecessary at this point. Terminator: Dark Fate works as a direct sequel to the first two films, and it's a much better movie than even this fanedit. For me, that's the trilogy, and no need for any other Terminator films. But if you wanted to watch Salvation, then this is definitely the cut to watch!
This one has been on my CURIOUSITY LIST for a while now…
I really enjoy the whole TERMINATOR Franchise. I absolutely LOVE the now cancelled TV series (shame on you FOX). I haven’t really not enjoyed any of the previous movies. The first two are brillant. T3, while a bit too heavy on the humor, greatly entertained me in a otherwise dismal summer of blockbuster blunders. And I even like T4. Yes, even as a casual fan I noticed the continuity issues, but as a WAR MOVIE, I think it worked pretty well.
So when I read T-Hope’s thread and intention for this movie, I was very excited.
And now after watching, I am pleased to say I was not disappointed.
From a narrative restructuring point of view, this edit is excellent.
All cuts and reorganizing of scenes completely work and improve the overall story.
The new opening was very clever and I was impressed.
The editing of Marcus into a supporting character works well.
The handling of Kyle also works and makes more sense now.
So, again from the storyline perspective, exceptionally well done.
On the technical side, there a few minor issues, all which have been brought up by previous reviewers.
I too found the audio a bit quiet, but nothing distracting or significant. I just turned up the volume and
ate my popcorn!
A few cuts are very hard and noticebale. Also, many of transitions could use another pass to smooth them out.
But despite this, I still found this movie very enjoyable.
I would give this edit a solid 7/10.
I came into this edit as a blank slate. I never watched the original in the theater, and because of the lack-luster reviews, the bargain-sale DVD I bought on clearance from Blockbuster remains unwatched on my shelf.
So with a fresh slate and no frame of reference I have to say that largely, T-Hope has crafted a movie that narratively, works fairly well and overall, I was able to enjoy the story and sights.
Visual quality was hard to evaluate as I was watching this on a small screen. It didn’t present anything that looked bad, visual edits worked well, however the new introduction felt occasionally off as the film quality from various sources varied wildly. However, the manner in which they presented Judgement Day far outweighed the visual inconsistency. The only scene I think I might have cut was the insertion of Dr. Silberman, its video quality was so drastically different and overall feel was so ‘cheap’ for lack of a better word that it pulled me out of the montage which I had previously been pulled into.
Audio wise I noticed many hard edits, but to be fair I was listening with headphones which are exceptionally unforgiving. But there were a few where the beat and pace of the music simply didn’t fit well, and then a few seconds later would have the same mis-step as the next scene came on. One that stands out is during the sequence where Marcus is learning about himself, and then makes his choice.
Because I haven’t watched to original yet, I can say that I only noticed a few areas where something was obviously missing. While any overt mention of Skynet knowing who Kyle was, it was obvious from the footage left in that they were looking for him as the machines scanned him very specifically and reacted once he was Identified. Even without the supporting confirmation I could feel that something had been removed, which is further compounded by him being in specific isolation at Skynet and the fact that he was how Marcus leads John into the trap. More than enough was left on screen that I knew the subplot even with it being gone.
Marcus however was handled wonderfully. Reading the above reviews something was obviously cut at the beginning, but I never felt its absence, his story unfolded perfectly. I did not have a problem with the filter on his memory flashback. Not having seen the original i didn’t know that this was not original so good job.
Again, and this is not really in T-Hope’s hands, it was obvious that Marcus was suppose to be rescued in the final portion of the action sequence, if only because this is a big-budget Hollywood film. There are enough markers left that you know he’s supposed to get out of there somehow, and from reading the above reviews I guess this is true. T-Hopes method of editing out the heart surgery works well and seems a good choice, as described it’s a ridiculously over-the-top and contrived story point.
T-Hope has assembled a decent story out of what appears to have been a mess of a theatrical release, but even without seeing the original I could feel the edits and missing pieces.