Dark Knight Saga Recut, The - Part I
- NTSC DVD-5
- Blu-Ray (BD-25)
- get rid of as many fear toxin p.o.v shots as possible (never found the effect very convincing)
- trim the jokes
- trim needless exposition
- remove poorly performed/hammy dialogue
- trim some strange plot points (especially in the tumbler chase)
- tone down Batman (less shouty voice), and trim some story elements that are not directly tied to Batman's origin story (namely, Carl's murder and Earl's leadership of Wayne enterprises.
- Perform some colour correction to ease back on the heavy yellow colour grade present throughout the film.
- Cut prison dialogue, "Why?" "For Protection!" "I don't need protection." "Protection for them!"
- Cut Thomas Wayne's last words to Bruce, "Don't be afraid".
- Horizontally flipped shot of the Wayne graveyard, so that it sits on the same side of the house as depicted in The Dark Knight Rises.
- Trimmed dialogue with Ducard by the fire, cutting “What stopped it?” “Vengeance” “That’s no help to me” “Why Bruce, why could you not avenge your parents?”
- Cut Alfred's "I give a damn because a good man once made me responsible for what was most precious to him in the whole world".
- Bruce/Rachel in the car: After" Sometimes, they're the same" cut to Rachel turning left to spare us all that "justice, revenge, system" yadda yadda. Then, when they get to Falcone's door, cut "Good people like your parents, who'll stand against injustice, they're gone. What chance does Gotham have when the good people do nothing?".
- Cut homeless guy’s “shoulda tipped better” joke
- Cut “it’s a nice coat!” repeat.
- Cut “hallucination p.o.v effects” during Bruce’ league of shadows training (shaky cam/blue eyes etc).
- Trimmed dialogue at Bruce’s initiation “It separates us from them.” “You want to fight criminals, this man is a murderer.” “This man should be tried.” “By whom? Corrupt Bureaucrats? Criminals mock society’s laws, you know this better than most.”
Cut “This in the most important function of the league of shadows. It is one we have performed for centuries. Gotham must be destroyed.”
- Cut Alfred’s “what symbol?” during plane flight home.
- Cut dialogue between Rachel and Carl, "What are you doing Rachel?" "What are you doing Carl?" "Looking out for you!" etc.
- Trimmed Wayne board meeting, cutting “We are showing healthy growth in these sectors” “I don’t think Thomas Wayne would have considered heavy arms manufacturing a suitable cornerstone for our business.” “That’s 20 years ago, Fredricks. I think after 20 years I think we can stop asking ourselves what Thomas Wayne would have done.”
- Cut short scene of Carl telling Rachel that Bruce is back.
- Trimmed first meeting with Lucius to remove mention of his conflict with Earl, being banished to the basement, and exposition regarding the train/Wayne enterprises, cutting “Not in production on any level whatsoever” “None” “what did they tell you this place was?” “They didn’t tell me anything” “Earl told me exactly what it was when he sent me down here. A dead end. A place to stop me from causing the board anymore trouble.” “You were on the board?” “When your father ran things” “You knew my father?” “oh yeah, helped him build his train.”
- Cut, “Wonderful project, your dad’s train. Routed it right into Wayne tower, along with the Water and Power utilities. Kind of made Wayne Tower the unofficial centre of Gotham City. Of course Earl let it rot.”
- Trimmed unnecessary detail in conversation about ordering Batman’s Cowell, cutting “from a dummy corporation” “precisely”, and “put it together ourselves”. “We’ll have to make a large order” “How many?” “10,000” “At least we’ll have spares!”
- Cut Alfred smashing the Cowell and the unnecessary “problem with the graphite” exchange
- Cut “nice coat”, “thanks”, joke with homeless guy after Batman’s introduction.
- Cut Rachel’s “That’s right, you’d better run!”
- Cut clunky exposition scene at Wayne tower explaining that the water evaporating weapon has been stolen.
- Cut Bruce’s jokey response to “Nice car!” (“You should see my other one!”)
- Cut Bruce’s “Rachel, this isn’t me, I am more, underneath…” etc.
- Recut Rachel’s line, “It’s what you do that defines you” to focus on Bruce’s reaction, and to have Rachel walk away more dismissively.
- Cut Batman to Gordon, “A storm’s coming”.
- Shaved a second before Batman says to Flass, “Where were the other drugs going?”.
- Cut “Swear to me!”.
- Cut Carl’s murder.
- Cut Batman’s first encounter with baby Joffrey. “It’s really you, isn’t it…no one will believe me..” etc.
- Cut Rachel’s, “My boss has been missing for two days, which in this town means I should probably start looking at the bottom of the river.”
- Cut Earl demanding all the data for the water vaporising weapon and firing Lucius.
- Cut scarecrow’s, “What anybody does when a prowler comes around. Call the police” “You want the cops here?” “At this point they can’t stop us, but the Batman has a talent for disruption”.
- Cut Scarecrow’s, “Who knows?!” (maggots on scarecrow’s face, fear pov shot) and Rachel’s scream.
- Cut Crane’s fear toxin pov (CGI Batman black ooze face), and batman’s “who are you working for” “Raz al guhl”. “Raz al gul is dead, who are you working for?”.
- Moved a shot of police arriving earlier to allow for omission of batman’s oozy cgi face.
- Cut “how was Crane working for Falcone?”, “He mentioned someone else, someone worse”.
- Cut Batman running through Arkham corridor and blowing hole through wall, saying “excuse me” to surprised inmates.
- Cut Gordon’s “I gotta get me one of those”
- Cut Policeman’s, “He’s in a vehicle. It’s a black….Tank”
- Cut most of Rachel’s fear toxin p.o.v shot during tumbler chase.
- Cut batman’s “hold on!”.
- Cut parking attendant checking his coffee after tumbler drives past.
- Cut tumbler getting stuck in carpark, blowing a hole in the wall and taking a ‘shortcut’ by jumping over the rooftops.
- Cut policeman’s “at least tell me what it looks like”… “never mind”, joke.
- Cut Batman dropping explosives behind him to blow up the police cars.
- Cut batman going into the ‘motorcycle’ position in the tumbler for no apparent reason.
- Cut police losing tumbler because batman turns his lights off
- Cut Batman’s “stay with me” and “Rachel!!”
- Cut Batman’s, “Crane was just a pawn”. Now Batman has no knowledge of Raz al Gul being involved until he shows up at Bruce’s birthday party.
- Cut Bruce’s response to Alfred’s, “what do you call that?”, “Damn good television!”.
- Cut Bruce's discussion with Earl about the Wayne stock offerings and who's buying.
- Cut Alfred putting unconscious Rachel in the car, saying “little the worse for wear I’m afraid” to the concerned kitchen staff.
- Cut Lucius’, “A microwave emitter like the one Wayne enterprises just lost recently. Earl fired me for asking too many questions about it.”
- Significantly trimmed Ducard and Bruce’s dialogue about the 'evil master plan', cutting "So Crane was working for you." "His toxin is derived from our blue flowers, he was able to weaponize it." "He's not a member of the League of Shadows?" "Of course not. He thought our plan was to hold the city to ransom." "But really you are going to release Crane's toxin on the entire city." "And then watch Gotham tear itself apart through fear".
Also cut: “You’re going to destroy millions of lives.” “Only a cynical man would call what these people have lives Wayne. Crime, despair, this is not how man was supposed to live. The league of shadows has been a check against human corruption for thousands of years. We sacked Rome, loaded trade ships with plague rats, burned London to the ground. Every time a city reaches the pinnacle of its decadence, we return to restore the balance.” “When I found you in that jail you were lost. I showed you a path, and purged you of your fear.”
- Also cut Ducard’s, “When the forest grows too wild a purging fire is inevitable and natural.” And “Over the ages our weapons have grown more sophisticated; with Gotham we tried a new one – Economics. But we underestimated certain of Gotham’s citizens such as your parents. Gunned down by one of the very people they were trying to help. Create enough hunger and everyone becomes a criminal. Their deaths galvanised the city into saving itself and Gotham has limped on ever since. We are back to finish the job.”
- Also cut, “Justice is balance”.
- Cut Alfred’s jokes, “I hope you’re not a member of the fire brigade!”, and “What is the point of all those pushups if you can’t lift a bloody log?”
- Cut Flass’s CGI fear toxin POV when about to shoot kids.
- Cut Batman suiting up, adding weapons to utility belt etc.
- Added extra screams to chaos in the Narrows.
- Cut Batman’s exposition, “if they get the machine into Wayne tower it will cause a chain reaction that will vaporise the entire city’s water supply.” “Gordon: “Covering Gotham in this poison!”
- Cut Batman’s “can you drive stick?”
- Cut baby Joffry’s “Batman will save us” and “I told you he’d come”.
- Cut, Batman’s, “..but what I dooo that defines me”.
- Cut fear toxin p.o.v shot of batman with red eyes flying over the narrows.
- Cut Batman’s “I can beat two of your pawns”. Raz: “As you wish”, and "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a city to destroy."
- Cut exposition from train operator “Pressure’s moving along the mains, and if that pressure reaches us, the whole city is going to blow!”
- Cut scene of Earl arriving back at Wayne enterprises and finding Lucius in charge, also ensuing phone call about Bruce buying it back again etc.
- Cut, "I was a coward with a gun. Justice is about more than revenge".
- Simplified Rachel and Bruce’s dialogue after their kiss, cutting: “But then I found out about your mask.” “Batman is just a symbol Rachel”. “No, this is your mask. Your real face is the one that criminals now fear. The man I loved. The man who vanished. He never came back at all. But maybe he’s still out there somewhere.”
- Replaced ‘Batman Begins” title card with Dark Knight Saga Recut – Part I.
- Added Bill Finger as co-creator of Batman
A fine edit by njvc - I applaud your hard work. I have not seen the rest of the re-cut trilogy, but after seeing this one, I honestly can't wait!
A technically brilliant feat, the editing is stellar throughout. A great improvement from the original, though I felt one or two cuts could've stayed. Probably some of the humor I want back but that's subjective, of course.
Highly recommended saga, the three films really shines in njvc's take on 'em.
I absolutely loved this. This will be my go-to version of the film from now on. I'm excited to check out the other two edits.
It was a solid cut, to be sure, but I'd have to say I liked the original better. I watched this cut because although I loved Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, I feel that the trilogy as a whole does not feel like one cohesive work (and also, I'd love to see a cleaned-up version of The Dark Knight Rises, which I feel was the weakest of the trilogy). So I'm still planning on watching the rest of The Dark Knight Saga Recut and seeing what I think of it, but I'll definitely be going back to the theatrical cut next time I want to watch Batman Begins. I felt that a lot of the things NJVC cut made the narrative more confusing. I remembered why Batman was trying to stop the train at the end from the theatrical cut, but my wife was confused. All of the explanation for why the train needed to be stopped was cut out (unless I missed something, but reading through the cutlist afterwards, it seems that it was indeed all cut out). Additionally, I think that a lot of the humor that was cut really added to the movie, but that's definitely a matter of opinion and I can understand why NJVC cut it. But I personally missed it.
I will say that I did appreciate the color correction. This does look better than the original. And the edit was very professionally done. As I said, solid edit, it's just not for me.
Brief: this surpasses the original. It can easily replace the theatrical cut Batman Begins for any viewer a bit underwhelmed by the first installment of Nolan's trilogy.
NJVC has done excellent work on this edit: there are no pacing issues, the story remains intact but streamlined, and video/audio quality is superb.
1. The initial confrontation between Jonathan Crane and Rachel Dawes jars slightly, as it used to be followed by a quick conversation between her and her boss. The new cut removes that second conversation and goes straight to Wayne watching Dawes from a pay-phone. The cut is fine, but the scene switch comes quite jarringly. It may have been better to keep that second conversation to maintain the smooth flow of those scenes, and also to introduce the minor character of Dawes' boss. As it is the character is a one-shot, who is suddenly introduced in Act II and then never seen/heard from again.
2. The sub-plot of the Microwave Emitter comes a bit from left-field, and probably could have been retained in some places (particularly as it kills of Dawes' aforementioned boss, resolving his character). The conflict between Fox and Earl was suitably gone, but that earlier introduction would be valuable.
Really these were the only scenes I noticed that (I felt) should have been kept. Which is excellent for a film with this many trims!
The sub-plot of Earl vs Wayne + Fox is gone, and not missed. Although it is always lovely to see more Rutger Hauer, I can see why it's cut. That subplot basically resolved itself as a status quo: Wayne owns Wayne Enterprises at the start, and he owes it at the end. There is no change to that situation, so it wasn't necessary. Good work!
Overall, this is an excellent cut, and will replace my DVD of Batman Begins for sure. The colour correction is a stand-out: the film no longer looks like it was dipped in mud before shooting.
9.5/10 for narrative, 10/10 for all other elements.