July 13, 2014
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.