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.
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.