Thunderball: The Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Cut

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Thunderball: The Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Cut
Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
No more aquatic slumber. This is solid James Bond!
Original Movie Title:
Genre:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1965
Original Running Time:
130
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
112
Time Cut:
18
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
'Thunderball' is a spectacular Bond movie that needs more focus, and less water. The fanedit 'Thunderball: The Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Cut' cuts nine minutes of water and nine more to streamline the story and to make Bond's steam-room romp consensual..
Intention:
Thunderball has imperfections, but only a few that really hurt the film. Primarily the film drags. Early on (the plane theft), in the middle (huh, wha..., how much did I sleep through?), and at the end (can someone please hurry up the final battle?). One cause is that the director shows us too much and implies too little. Usually that's a good thing but Terence Young takes it too far. Many logical moments to cut away to the next scene are wasted by staying with a scene for too long.

Second is the convoluted story. Its sum is not greater than its parts, perhaps because Thunderball had five writers. After the overwhelming success of the preceding three Bond films, the makers were determined to top all that came before. When they said Thunderball has it all, they weren't kidding! They just overdid it, throwing in everything they could think of. When Bond tells Leiter "even the kitchen sink" it could refer to the film itself. More Bond girls than ever. Fancier gadgets than before (jetpack!). Great one-liners. The evil Bond girl, Ms Volpe, refers to previous Bond girls (meta language!). But rather than advancing the story, it feels like a James Bond medley.

Third is the rape. Bond blackmails a spa employee into having sex with him. Fleming wrote Bond as a rough, over-sexed alcoholic. Those flaws make him more interesting than a boy-scout caricature. I get that. I enjoy that. But Bond is also a role-model to the movie-going audience, he fights for what's right. While seducing Bond girls is exciting, raping one is an offensive crime. The writers compound their misstep by showing it was "okay" because she liked it so much she slept with Bond some more afterwards.
Fortunately, these problems can be addressed without sacrificing too much of the film.

A technical shortcoming of the blu-ray is the 5.1 audio mix: dialogue is too quiet relative to the music and sound effects. I've boosted the dialogue so as to not have to adjust the volume so often while watching the film. (A very gentle Compression of the Center channel in Audacity. I was initially hopeful that adding the inverted L+R channels to the Center channel would yield the best result but it caused glitches and only addressed the music not the sound effects).
Special Thanks:
Ranger613 for his Warhead Edition of this film.
Release Information:
Digital
Special Features
Video: 1080p MKV
Audio: (1) 5.1 AC3 640kbps with Dionne Warwick's 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' as title song, (2) 5.1 AC3 640kbps with Tom Jones' 'Thunderball' as title song.
Subtitles: English
Cuts and Additions:
PROLOGUE & OPENING TITLES
- Added second audio track. First track has the originally intended title song "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" sung by Dionne Warwick (used prologic settings to upmix the stereo to surround). Second track has the equally impressive Tom Jones' "Thunderball".

ACT I: THE CRIME
- Moved around spa scenes to show Pat having consensual sex with Bond before the steam-room scene, suggesting that she's willing in the steam room too. We retain this unpleasant side of Bond, without it being criminal. One scene is color corrected for consistency of Pat's uniform.
- Cut Mr Angelo alive in the room next to Count Lippe's, because that scene now takes place after his death. Also cut Bond asking Pat about Mr Angelo in the room next to Lippe.
- Split up the NATO story and spread (more) across the spa story. To improve the overall flow. Many small trims to stealing and hiding the plane.
- Cut sped-up shot of motercycle catching up to Lippe. The sped-up shots in the film are distracting, but mostly add more than they detract. This one didn't.

ACT II: THE CHASE
- Small trim to Q's scene. No more flare (it's use is cut).
- Trimmed Bond's night-time dive, so he is not discovered while he takes photos of the Disco Volante's hull.
- Cut 9 minutes of Largo and goons retrieving the bombs. Bond does not infiltrate in scuba gear, is not found out, does not get trapped in a cave. The underwater scenes are inferior to the final battle, we don't need to see Largo collecting his bombs (we know he has them somewhere, it doesn't really matter where), Bond's rescue from the cave is an inconsequential sub-plot. Largo's necessary line of exposition ("Miami") is dubbed into an earlier scene where Bond overhears Largo. Bond's necessary line (telling Leiter the target is Miami) is dubbed into a subsequent scene.
- Leiter's short scene "where's Bond?" is moved, from the now-cut Bond-in-a-cave, to Bond in bed with Ms Volpe.
- Extended Largo torturing Domino, to make him look nastier. Added a cut-away shot of the Disco Volante, with an extra scream from Domino, to suggest passage of time before the scientist walks in on them.

ACT III: THE BATTLE
Many small trims to the final under-water battle. For pacing and visual consistency (most murky shots are cut).
Removed shots in the boat fight of the unmanned steering-wheel looking out over a hyper-speed exterior.
Restored John Barry's original closing music.

RETAINED
Initially I got stuck figuring out what to retain. Once I broke down the plot lines and scenes, I was pleasantly surprised how little needs to be trimmed to turn Thunderball into the solid Bond adventure it deserves to be. I hope that a future Thunderball editor will find this list useful ("Gee, I wonder why this was/wasn't cut").
- Distractingly poor green-screen of Connery flying the jetpack. Retained because the image so iconic it would be missed if cut.
- Retained sped-up shots of Bond's opening fight. It looks fake, but it's a consistent part of this 1965 Bond film. Later sped-up shots are either retained or cut (none are slowed-down). In the audio commentary, film editor Peter Hunt is outspokenly enthusiastic for the effect.
- The plot device that the Nato pilot is replaced by a plastic-surgery double. In Fleming's book the original pilot steals the plane so doesn't need to be replaced. Retained because it's needed for Bond to see the dead pilot at the spa, which in turn is needed for the memorable scene with M and Bond "If Bond says he saw ... that's enough for me to start inquiries."
- The steam room sex. See change list above. This was changed (from rape to implied consensual sex) rather than cut, because it's a memorable scene that shows us a credible dark side of Bond.
- The co-pilot switching seats with fake-Derval inside the plane. Retained because it shows the size of the plane's interior and the crew. And the English co-pilot taking a white, triangle-shaped sandwich is a fun little detail.
- The car chase of Bond being chased by Lippe who's being chased by Volpe. Poor green-screen, parts are obviously sped-up, Volpe implausibly ditches her moterbike in a lake (is she walking back to civilisation?). Retained because it shows us that Lippe dies, and that Volpe is a killer not just an assistant.
- Q presenting a radioactive pill, now no longer used, is retained because it's a fun Bond / Q interaction (making this Q gadget unusual for not getting used).
- Volpe barging in on Paula. I initially thought to cut Volpe from Paula's abduction, thinking the scene made Paula look stupid. Retained because it neither slows down the film, nor does it convolute the narrative.
- Most of the final underwater battle. Yes, Thunderball has waaay to many underwater scenes. But cutting the poorly lit, implausible, lengthy Bond-infiltrates-the-bomb-retrieval, gets rid of enough underwater time that we can retain most of the final battle (which for the most part is gorgeously lit and choreographed).
Cover art by lapis molari (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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Trailer (Password: fanedit.org)

User reviews

8 reviews
 
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Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.8(8)
Visual Editing
 
9.9(8)
Audio Editing
 
9.6(8)
Narrative
 
9.4(8)
Enjoyment
 
9.4(8)
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Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
This is it! This is the one! I have been thinking for so long that "there has to be a better version of Thunderball a opposed to the original", which overstays its welcome. I thought this over and over throughout the years after each viewing.

This is it! With this viewing of this fanedit I tell you again, This is it! Thunderball is now the experience I felt it could be. I thank lapis molari for the great work and editing expertise and thoughtful artistry to bring this to reality. What bountiful fruit this experience was.

This is my only Thunderball from now on. Check it out!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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Overall rating
 
9.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
To me, THUNDERBALL is a technically impressive film that managed to pull off an "epic" story, and the fact that it was done in the 1960's only increases this admiration of mine's on seeing what they were able to pull off with their dated, limited resources....but it was ultimately overly-long and rather boring. Admittedly, I could never finish the film in one sitting. This edit fixes all of that, plain and simple, without sacrificing anything vital in the original film.

In general, the edit removes excessive bloat and fat, and thus increasing the overall pacing of the film; which successfully kept me engaged instead of nodding off throughout. The Video and Audio Quality is top-notch, and there were no noticeable edits that jolted me out of the experience. My one and only complaint is that it would've been nice if the final underwater battle was shortened a bit. Other than that, a great edit.

Highly recommended.

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Digital
T
Top 500 Reviewer 6 reviews
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Overall rating
 
9.4
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8.0
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9.0
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9.0
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9.0
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10.0
The literary Bond is hardly the most upstanding of characters, yet I cannot recall any instance when he behaved in a manner akin to that in the theatrical version of Thunderball. For that reason alone one can recommend this edit, but as others have mentioned the rearranged Shrublands segment also has the advantage of better connecting to the SPECTRE’s meeting in the previous scene, we cut straight to their plan going into action rather than waiting around at the clinic. Pacing throughout the film is far less tedious, somebody unfamiliar with the original would not notice the missing scenes barring a couple of moments (e.g. an orphaned reference to Bond being ambushed while photographing the Disco Volante).

Picture quality and sound was excellent, nice to have the option of the original song and hear the proper music at the end! Little bit odd at how the title sequence and establishing shot of Largo in Paris is cropped at the sides, same in the Warhead Edition. New cuts are generally unobtrusive, sometimes a little abrupt but quickly forgotten, and not of a dissimilar style to some of those in the original.

Definitely my preferred version now, sadly I think it would be impossible to restore a favourite line of mine only found in the book “And if you catch fire you can sue.”

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Yes
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Digital
P
Top 100 Reviewer 45 reviews
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Overall rating
 
9.5
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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9.0
The edit feels more streamlined than the original movie and the cuts and transitions worked seemlessy. A/V quality is great. I also really appreciate the custom subtitles as a Non-native English speaker.

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1 reviews
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(Updated: February 03, 2021)
Overall rating
 
9.9
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
An excellent well paced edition from the original. So much excess footage was trimmed down that this edit's duration felt fairly close to Goldfinger. The narrative was given more efficiency for example switching the later scene with Deval's body and Lippe's henchmen earlier gives continuity to Bond's investigation with Spectre after the fight with Jacques Bouvar instead of Bond and Lippe both meeting coincidentally. The transitions were surprisingly well placed and no video error artifacts occurred while watching this edit. It deserves to be watch for fans who dislike the extended duration of the original.

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Digital
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