Ah, Thunderball. The first partial misstep in the Bond series. Don't get me wrong, it's still pretty good and it contains some classic 007 moments that are among the best ever, but after having hit the jackpot three times in a row, this felt... bloated, unfocused, draggy, interminable. It takes forever to get moving, and then there is enough underwater footage to fill three Jacques Cousteau documentaries and then some. With the biggest budget in the series up to the day, I guess they went for excess instead of for the self control that had worked until then. Who cares, we have money, let's go big, huh? This needed some judicious editing from day one.
And now it has it, and is indeed a huge improvement for the most part. Okay, before going on I must address something that came across as a valiant effort yet I didn't think worked as it should: the way Lapis Molari got rid of the r*pey aspect of the steam bath scene. That definitely had to go, it was Bond at his creepiest and most despicable, but I found that the way it was edited here created sort of a character behavior inconsistence, similar to one issue I had with Lapis' own Live and Let Die cut. Now it happens after Bond and Pat the nurse have slept together, so far so good, it becomes consensual, yet suddenly the characters behave like they arent't yet close, keeping their distance, her addressing him as "Mr. Bond", and such. It's true that shortly before in this version, we left Pat sort of angry at Bond, "haven't you had enough exercise for one evening" and whatnot, but still the progression didn't really work for me. If I were doing this, I'd keep the theatrical order of scenes and completely lose the steam bath thing. It's the only workaround that would feel natural.
But other than that and maybe some other minor things (Lapis has stated their reasons, but introducing a gadget that won't be used still feels weird to me in a Bond movie), the rest was a gigantic improvement. For maybe the first time ever, I never found myself yawning while watching this film, and since the best looking underwater footage was kept while the murkiest was removed, it even looked relaxing and pleasant. Also, very clever use of repurposed lines from deleted parts in order to fill narrative gaps. And as expected, the technical aspects are completely flawless.
I may have some issues with parts of this, but it's still miles better than the original and I can see myself rewatching it several times in the future, something I very rarely do with the original. Good job, 007!
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!
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.
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.”
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.