This works as both a great Extended Edition of the movie Serenity, as well as a great finale to part 3 of MusicEd921's "Serenity Chronicles". It is overwhelmingly a good edit, though I haven't decided yet if it replaces the original film for me, for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, a few others have noted the difference in quality of the added scenes, and the editor himself does put a warning of this at the start of the film. Personally, it did bother me the most in Part 3 though. The first 2 parts were sourced from TV, and the resolution of the normal footage was average anyway. However, the footage here from the theatrical film looks great!....and consequently the contrast with the added scenes is that much more noticeable. Also, unlike with the previous 2 parts, several scenes here are "extended", and it actually seemed to me that specific shots of a few seconds each were spliced in with the extant footage. So you're watching high quality video, than suddenly the scene switches to be much rougher looking, then back to high quality, then maybe back again to rougher footage ten seconds later. I found this much more distracting than in parts 1 and 2 when there were simply some rough quality scenes added in whole.
I will say that while all of the "deleted" and "extended" footage is great on its own, there were a few bits that I could see why they were deleted. Sometimes they were just better left out for tonal reasons. While I was very grateful for scenes of Inara's world or other longer ones that were probably cut for time, the bits that were cut for tone should probably have stayed out. The most notable one for me was a big fight between Mal and The Operative which suddenly stops for 10 seconds to trade quips. I mean, they're funny, but it just ruins the momentum of the scene. The result of all this is that this Extended Edition is basically just the maximum length the film can be, without much editing for quality.
Fifteen years has given time to see this film for what it is, a fantastic Star Wars substitute that had a lot of potential. It's given time to let all the superlatives die down and realize that it does have continuity issues (Simon starts off as a super-confident secret agent mastermind?!) and it does fail to pay off many points from the series. It would've been a great start for a film trilogy, but here it's the finale of a TV trilogy. It's a bittersweet experience watching this, because it's so good but also leaves so much undone. It actually doesn't stand on its own very well or wrap things up either. I'd still recommend any sci-fi nerd go out and watch the series, though. If you like it, The Serenity Chronicles are a great way to rewatch and get even more added bits.
Great edit of a great show. Me and my family had the best time watching this. From all the browncoats I want to thank you!
PS. I'm sure copying and pasting the same review for each of the movies is not the most professional thing to do but I really feel each of these edits are spectacular.
PPS. Well, I guess technically I haven't written the same review for each movie since I keep adding to each review. I wish to add to this review that I am so pissed that Mr. Whedon couldn't keep this ball rolling, at at least come back to it between Avenger movies. This trilogy really shows how much potential this series had. Well I did my part for the cause, I have three (3) preteens are now fans of the series/movies. Thanks again Ed.
Yep, based on the original sources, this is a near flawless edit. (2 personal edit remarks mentioned below) I can't give a 9.9, so a 10 it is....
Deleted scenes added back in = amazing to flesh out the characters a bit more, love it. While the change video quality is obviously noticeable, the audio (which I think is more important in many respects) was perfect to my ears, well done.
Narrative-wise, yep - replaces the original. Absolutely. It's just plain better, enough said.
Spoiler alert? 2 minor PERSONAL quips: there is a slow fade used to transition from a Mal and Inara deleted scene to their ship in space - while the fade works artistically (I like it coming off their emotional exchange), it didn't look right for pacing and took me out of the moment. I understand that's probably the best you could do with the material, but I wonder if the reaction shot of Inara would have been better just cut. 2nd quip is the ending shot of Serenity being cut too quickly pacing-wise - took me out of the final moment sadly. Maybe it was on purpose as a metaphor: there wasn't enough, and it was over too quickly. ;)
These are both personal things, but wanting to also give constructive feedback - there it is. :)
Overall, well done on the trilogy, MusicEd - I was very pleased with the entire experience! Thank you!