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)
....and so here we go....THUNDERBORE...as I used to call it when I was growing up.
This was my first cinematic bond movie ...and for a 5 year old...it almost killed the franchise stone cold for me.
There have been many bond edits but none as ambitious I think as this. The Never Say Never edit was a tonal question... was a more a PLEAS STOP BEING BORING issue...and for the most part it succeeds.
After getting over Connery's eyebrows on this, this is a vas improvement on the material as originally presented. I think that of all the bond outings this is the one that could do with a real trim and RANGER613 has not held back.
Pacing was generally fine. There were a few points where I felt something had gone but I could not glean what. I have seen this bond many time but not for at least 6 or 7 years, ideal.
What did shock me is how some of the sexist misogynist Bond swagger grated on me in this truncated form...to that extent I think leaving in a bit more of those sequences might have dulled that. I note that Thundeball is full of plot holes even before this got pruned..and the is some improvement n that respect.
Audio...I being a bit of a fascist here since I own all the score so I notice a few things...But there are some nice score enhancements (I have not checked on the cutlist) which work really well. Agree with the below...you have to watch this properly to gain the feel of it. I did enjoy and not only recommend it but will burn to disc and am grateful for the coverart that matches the DVD discs in my 007 Briefecase.
The video wipes were well executed and apart from some compression artefact...generally good (but would love a1080p version)
Overall, this is my least favourite bond and enjoyment would be 4/5 for the uncut version, so a 7 is a vast improvement (6 would be too harsh).
Overview - Thunderball was a fine followup to Goldfinger. The style and tone of the film were peerless, and it was the last Bond in which Connery seemed committed. Over the years, there were complaints of sluggish pacing. In Thunderball Warhead, Rangerkris cut the reruns and the redundant, and jolted the tempo. The result is a brisk moving spy op.
Video - Nice editing here, and good flow from scene to scene. Noticed noise or artifacts in background sky while Emilio Largo and Fiona Volpe were skeet shooting (58.47). No idea. Checked in my DVD, not there. Did not catch anything else like that.
Audio - More quality work here. No rapid crossfades, no hard cuts. Sound was good quality, two channel stereo. The stereo seemed non-existent except during action and climaxes, then the range was loud and wide. So dynamic, in fact, that headphones came out to spare non audience members of the room. The mix was so boisterous at times that I wondered if it was LPCM, but no, just a rousing AAC.
Narrative - As designed, Thunderball Warhead propels ahead like Fiona’s blue Mustang. Plot held together, but first time viewers might have assumed there were goofs. When Domino first calls 007, James Bond, there was no introduction before that. Later, Felix and Bond took barely one minute of screen time to locate the missing Vulcan bomber. The climactic underwater battle was wisely trimmed, while staying coherent.
Enjoyment - A bit uneasy here. Thunderball is easily one of my favorite Bond movies. I saw it at the theater when it was released, owned it on VHS, Laserdisc, and DVD. Connery was superb in this. The pacing was lethargic at times, which I chalked up to rush release and padded script. Rangerkris’s removals of spa scenes, the Nassau hotel, and the hunt for the Vulcan definitely accelerated the story, but also cast a movie-of-the-week feel.
Not to confuse anyone, I did enjoy this edit, and it was well crafted. Easily recommended to action fans, Bond buffs, especially to those who normally punch the fast-forward button. You won’t do that it this one.
i love all the Sean Connery bonds as well as Daniel Craig's bonds both are so bad ass shoot first type bonds but thunder ball is the weakest bond by Sean Connery.
i was hoping this edit only cut out some of the bloat that plaged this film and that is exactly did.
i love the choices made for this edit as i was afraid it would be overly hacked(its not)
the pace it fast and works perfectly.
Video Editing: 10/10
Audio Editing: 9/10
I own the entire Bond Collection, some I have watched more than others, but Thunderball I have never taken the time to pop the dvd into the old player. Why? I dunno. Maybe because I have heard too many poor reviews or watched Never Say Never too many times and assumed (wrongly, it turns out) that it would the same movie. So my review is basically on the fan edit itself, and not as a comparison to the original.
Firstly, is a beautiful looking movie. The video quality was excellent and the audio was crisp and clear. The only scene that looked odd to me was when Bond was sneaking in to the beach house at night. According to RangerKiss's cutlist, this was originally a daytime scene he converted to night! Very cool idea. But to me, it looked a bit too nighttime dark blue? The scene is brief, but when compared to the brilliant video quality of the rest of the movie, it stood out to me.
This may be the fastest paced Bond movie I have watched and for the most part it works really well and my understanding of the original, one of the biggest complaints is its plodding pace. So there is definitely no plodding in this version, though occasionally the pacing felt a bit too modern to me. One of charming aspects of the original Bond movies was the travelogue elements... in this cut, I never really got a true feel of where I was... the movie never really takes a moment to breath... it is pure rollercoaster from start to finish. And this is not entirely a negative thing, as I riveted throughout, but at the same time it did not quite feel like a classic Bond film to me and some of the characters felts either underdeveloped or not introduced properly.
The narrative works, though there are many plot holes, but based upon what I read I am assuming these are issues of the original that can not be corrected. As Anarchemist pointed out, why bring the dead guy back to the spa? And hey, what happened to Domino's rescuer after jumping off the boat? Did he drown? LOL! But the most noticeable thing to me (and I don't know if this a continuity error from the original or if the editor rearranged the scenes) is the intro of Felix. You see him twice before in the background, once directly beside Bond, but they don't actually meet til Bond's hotel room but it does not sound like a first time meeting. Also Bond is wearing the same outfit from the previous day scene. I dunno, it just did not play right for me.
All in all, a fun, fast paced, action filled fan edit. Very entertaining and well worth watching. I think it could have been slightly slower paced and wish some of the narrative had been a bit more polished but it is a solid piece of editing.