April 27, 2013
bionicbob is not only a very active member of the fanediting community but a very prolific releaser of high quality edits of films that I often find near and dear.
It has been many a year since I last watched the original film, but I remember enjoying it on VHS more than once; and while it features a very well constructed plot that I often found vaguely reminiscent of the serial type adventure of the Indiana Jones entries from the 80s, it is elevated with some great production value and quite a good direction. But flawed by a shall we say, somewhat distracted performances from the leads actors and it suffers from a few excesses that thankfully Bob has remedied with this release:
A/V quality, I have to say I really enjoyed the Black and White treatment - it fits the time period, look and film of the movie perfectly. And with it, one of the 90s excesses I mentioned has been resolved in one fell swoop: the somewhat over the top coloring of the film is thankfully gone for good, and the experience is all the better for it.
The inclusion of classic radio clips as a framing device is a dead on way to introduce a character like the Shadow and the editing is completely seamless, and given that the original source is a years old DVD encode I applaud what has been accomplished on this edit.
However I did notice some slight stretching of the frame to the sides throughout the edit, and perhaps this is an issue of the original encode and not much can be done about it. - All in all a solid 9/10.
Visual Editing - Not a single noticeable cut, the whole edit flows completely unhindered and its quite enjoyable. As mentioned,I enjoyed the The B&W treatment quite a bit, and some added effects were added on top - scratches and marks here and there that I understand are meant to give a period piece look and feel, but felt just a tad too much at times (such as when Cranston is being driven by his loyal Cabbie associate/friend), nothing too hindering but I wish they'd be toned down juuust a little bit. 9/10
Audio Edition - In a word : perfect. As mentioned, some Radio clips were seamlessly added on top of a brand new credits sequence that fits perfectly with the edit; a very few scenes from the main feature were suppressed and I couldn't find a single noticeable change. 10/10
Narrative - The narrative from the original is pretty much intact, and it's a good thing; the quite flat tension release humor is completely gone and the most over the top scenes involving Lamont Cranston's dubious past were smartly trimmed down to show the audience what is necessary to follow the plot. 10/10
Enjoyment - A real pleasure, I enjoyed the experienced thoroughly for the reasons already exposed. 10/10
In shot, another not to be missed quality release from bionicbob, congrats :)