Review Detail

9.0 7 10
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Visual Editing
Audio Editing
First off, I'll give my view on the original movie...

The script is a rambling, incoherant, contradictory, convoluted, nonsensical and cliche-ridden mess. In fact, it's scarcily credible that something like this could be written this badly by accident. The makers bought the rights to a fantastic concept and then threw as much of that original concept down the toilet as they could and filmed their own thing (I'm sure that now, in these post MCU days the source would have been respected to the benefit of all).

It's to this film's credit that despite those huge negatives, there is a lot of fun to be had so long as you disengage the logic enters of your brain. I'm pleased to say BionicBob has brought the movies' strengths to the fore.

Audio/Video Quality:
There is a hell of a lot of compression in this encode. It's present throughout but in the Sepia scenes it is really bad. Although, as this edit is a kind of "Grindhouse" job with film-damage and stuff, the poor image quality becomes forgettable to some extent.

Visual Editing:
Nearly seemless from start to finish. The removals were well executed and the swapping round of scenes was always for the better. Especially in the snooze-fest that was the original sequencing of the Nautilus dialogue scenes. The pacing felt much more even in this edit. I didn't get bored of the talking and I didn't get bored of the over-cooked action either. Despite the extreme low-quality of the deleted-scenes I think they could have been colour-graded better to match in. However again, the mismatch fitted okay with the "Grindhouse" aesthetic.

Switching to monochrome was a great choice as the CGI effects looked cheap when this film came out a decade ago and look positively embarrassing now, which the single colours hide quite well (Except the Mutant-Hyde-Creature at the end, there is no disguising that atrocity!). The Cyan Mongolia sequence looked stunning and really looked like footage from a hundred years ago. I saw a silent movie about the Titanic a couple of years ago and the icey landscape looked just like this.

Audio Editing:
Again it's nearly seemless with only one or two moments where I noticed anything at all. The music changes are all excellent and well integrated.

The deleted material is all welcome and improves the narrative on a character level. I felt much more for characters like Quatermain and Jekyll and despised Tom Sawyer a whole lot less. The plot is still full of holes large enough to park a Zeppelin in though but there is little that any editor could do about that.

BionicBob's edit felt more "Old-timey", it felt more "Pulpy" and it felt more adventurous. I doubt this film can ever be fully saved, short of scrapping it and starting again but there is no question that this is a far superior cut of the film than was originally released.

p.s. As per usual with a Bob release, there are a few nice DVD extras including a trailer and an extensive and fun image gallery.

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