Thunderball: Warhead Edition
Thunderball failed to become the "best bond ever" as its theatrical tagline promises because it almost feels rushed, as if the editing was unfinished in certain instances. Well, now the editing is finished. Almost no major scenes or sequences have been removed but almost every scene has been trimmed for pacing, resulting in a faster film with an enhanced narrative.
--faneditor credit in title sequence
--trimmed shots of Largo entering Specter front
--cut out "Mr Angelo" subplot at the spa (this only needlessly convolutes the plot early on. Lippe's attempt to kill Bond on the rack is due to Bond's snooping around his apartment and Lippe's Specter affiliation)
--rack torture scene trimmed (BOnd does not scream out for help here)
--scene rearranged so that Bond discovering Duvall's body occurs immediately following scene of Duvalls murder and before the jet hijack
--Entire Angelo/jet sequence grouped together and trimmed for pacing. Underwater sequences trimmed to be relevant
--Scene rearranged so that Bond traps Lippe in the heat treatment before he leaves Shrublands spa.
--Extra gunshots added to car chase. Continuity error from original fixed (the motorcycle speeds by on the wrong side of the Aston Martin)
--Trims throughout Nassau sequences to focus on characters
--The tape recorder in the bible device is removed (seemed too impractical). In this version, Bond sees the bathroom door open as well as a noise from inside and decides to investigate
--Bond and Felix scouting Disco Volante by boat cut
--Bond discovers the missing bombs on their first flight around Nassau--the flow works well, as it is now more important than ever to get the information out of Largo/Domino
--Junkanoo scenes trimmed.
--Scene rearranged so that Bond meets Domino underwater after Junkanoo scene
--Color correction/grading to turn day to night in the scene Bond sneaks up on Largo's diving gang
--Cut Largo attempting to force himself on Domino before being interrupted by the scientist
--Trimmed helicopter rescue
--Trimmed and rearranged underwater fight sequences
--Disco Volante firefight trimmed for tighter action
--The Peter Hunt jump cuts in the final fistfight in the cabin were too numerous to eliminate, so they are retained
--fixed continuity error of gunshot wound to Bond's leg switching legs several times during mardi gras scene
--James Bond theme in the end replaced with the original Thunderball end credits from the soundtrack
I personally hate Thunderball, it's boring, too long and has horrible editing. This version is much better, but it could still be improved. Removing the entire spa scene would be good, as it just gives away Spectre's plan, leaving Bond to play catch up for the rest of the film, finding information that the audience already knows. Also, it is possible to remove the jump cuts during the finale, it would just take a re-sound.
If any Bond film is asking for a fan edit, it's this one (and I myself have been asking for an edit of it for quite some time). Not a bad movie by any means, but one that I just find less and less appealing on each subsequent viewing. It's gotten to the point where this is possibly my least favorite Connery, which is a shame because it's pretty cool. Still, lots of room for improvement, which thankfully is done here.
First of all, the movie is way over bloated. This is definitely helped. Overlong sequences are trimmed (underwater battle I'm very much looking at you) and the pacing is all the better for it. The second issue is that Thunderball is kind of stupid. This is helped a bit, but there's only so much that can be done. I personally would have went even further with the cuts (especially in the first act) but this isn't too bad.
It's not everything that I'd do but it is most of it, which is enough for me. I can safely say that this will be my new Thunderball from now on, which is much appreciated. Recommended.
If ever there's a Connery Bond film ripe for fanediting, it's Thunderball. One could argue Diamonds are Forever, but Thunderball would seem to be the more worthwhile cause, as underneath the sluggish pacing there's a good film in there, not to mention this is Connery's last performance as Bond where he looks like he gives a damn. Diamonds, well... I'm not sure anyone could save that one.
I even looked at performing an edit of this with a fellow faneditor, but hey, now Ranger has taken a stab at this, when I settled down to watch his Warhead edition, I was hoping he'd done everything to save us the trouble!
Reading the cutlist, the only thing which bothered me somewhat was the attempts to change Peter Hunt's editing style. Being a huge fan of Hunt's jump-cut approach to editing, I was dubious about this, but the way in which Ranger has executed this is both stylish and considerate.
Other than that, I really couldn't fault this edit. It now feels like a spy story with purpose and a sense of urgency; in particular the trimming of the underwater scenes is a godsend. I only wish there had been some way around the incredibly speeded-up footage which plagues the finale... as much as I’m a fan of Hunt’s editing style, those scenes are just too sped up for my liking and take one out of the film a little. I suppose you could try and slow them down, but it would involve significant sound replacement work ;)
The streamlining of the health farm scenes works a treat too, even if I would have personally trimmed a little more of Connery’s one-liners, but that’s just personal taste.
Picture quality and audio are excellent, and the fanediting itself is pretty seamless.
Overall Ranger deserves huge credit here. A really solid Bond edit which is significantly better than the theatrical cut and needless to say will be my “go to” version from now on... indeed, I am especially grateful as you've saved me the trouble of embarking on another Bond edit. Highly recommended.
Another fast-paced Ranger redux! If you're a Bond fan, add this to your marathons.
I thought this was a good improvement on the original and it moved at a good brisk pace. When I previewed it prior to release, I thought some things felt a little disjointed, but with this viewing, it all seemed to make sense. As I said in my preview notes, the transition point to the spa was very well timed and it appears that Bond was on assignment and not just stumbling into a plot. All audio and video cuts and fades seemed well executed. I didn't detect any problems in that area. Also, the conversion of the daytime scene to nighttime worked for me.
Couple of nitpicks:
As other reviewers pointed out, it no longer makes sense for the bad guys to be bringing the body of the pilot to the spa.
I watched this again on the big screen TV and thought the picture quality wasn't the best. I noticed a lot of blurring when the Mustang is speeding through the countryside and in some other spots.
When Q is handing out some gadgets, he turns away and it is obvious he isn't talking but there is dialog. (Not sure if this is on the original)
Very well executed edit by the ranger.