It is difficult for me to rate this edit. Objectively I have to give it a high rating because it did mostly succeed at its intended goals. Much of the comedy was successfully stripped from it. The edit is also very professionally done with good video, audio, & an awesome menu. I did not detect any technical flaws.
The only objective criticism I can make is that there are a few places where the cutting probably went a little too far at the cost of a little bit of story. Nothing too major. The biggest is probably the cutting of the opening dance scene, which causes an issue both with Tia’s character and ruins the emotional impact of the end dance scene.
Other good news is that the run-time is now much better for this kind of movie.
Now on to the bad news. Subjectively I am not a big fan of this edit. I have always felt that True Lies was a very misunderstood movie. The movie was intended to be a comedy, but it is a very unorthodox comedy that is handled subtly and wrapped up in big budget action shots. People expected a James Cameron action movie and were disappointed when they instead got this weird pseudo spoof. Personally I love this movie in its original form and disagree with the goals of this edit, but that is just my opinion. For those who did not like the original and just want more of an action movie, you will probably be very pleased with Elbarto’s version of the film.
I enjoyed Elbarto1′s previous edits and I was looking really forward to his tackling of TRUE LIES, because he takes a lot of care for a working plot, has a great eye for detail and still manages with interesting editing choices to make scenes work that did not it the original.
Now when it comes to TRUE LIES he picked a major turd IMO. His first 2 efforts RUNNING SCARED and DIE HARD 2 were already really good fixes, but for me the original TRUE LIES is a terribly flawed movie that managed to annoy me big time and almost made me a disbeliever in the qualities of James Cameron.
I followed the IN THE WORKS thread with excitement and discovered soon that my assumption that this one could not be truly fixed was true, yet I kept the hope that maybe the fanedit could at least be watchable. I have watched the original exactly one time and bought the DVD just because I am a collector, but never bothered to even unwrap it. It still sits on my shelf in its plastic wrapping. So my memory is from almost 16 years ago, when i watched it in the cinema. Unfortunately (or maybe this is a proof of James Cameron’s talent) the memory was still a lot intact.
As for all my reviews: this is just my personal opinion of this fanedit. I cannot tell anybody else, if he or she will experience it in the same way or the opposite. So my review is not objective and does not reflect the opinion of fanedit.org.
!!!!This review contains heavy spoilers!!!
Right from the very start of the DVD, I knew this was going to be nice, just because the menus were awesome. The movie starts with beautiful mostly self created credits (except for the title) and sets the mood just right that this is not an action movie that gets interrupted with cheesy jokes all the time. In fact the first hour of the movie is a pretty great watch, much more in the style of a good James Bond movie than the ridiculous original. Elbarto1 took a lot of care to remove all the stupid distractions and kept me very entertained. I even laughed at some of the remaining jokes and found myself wondering how this could have happened, but it was just good.
The new bathroom scenes is one of the highlights of this fanedit. It works perfectly and keeps a great deal of tension.
When the 2nd half of the movie starts and Helen gets more involved the movie suddenly loses that tension, everything becomes more obvious and my mood changed from very entertained to slightly amused. It was not bad what I watched, but it was also not great anymore. I do not blame the faneditor for this, because the source material is much much worse and he tried his very best to keep to the previous style. Unfortunately there are just not enough great moments in the second half to let that happen.
Elbarto1 delivers what he said he wanted to: not a great movie, but a true improvement over the original. If I ever have to watch it again, it will be THIS version of course, because it is so much better. And this makes it a very worthy and good fanedit for at least all Schwarzenegger and James Cameron fans.
editing: 10 of 10 (great editing decisions, very precise. A lot of work went into this and it shows)
entertainment: 8 of 10 (the first half was really cool, the 2nd half was ok – the original got a 4 of 10 from me on imdb – I rate this with an 8 because of the huge improvement)
Image and video quality:
The video quality was in most scenes really good. During the movie a few scenes had a little stutter or the movement scenes were a bit blurry. The final tango scene stutters heavily.
Video quality: 7 of 10
Audio editing and audio quality:
audio quality was perfect.
audio editing: 10 of 10
sound quality: 10 of 10
resulting in a 10 of 10 for overall audio
This fanedit comes with all the great goodies one can hope for. Great cover art that outmatches the original easily, awesome animated menus with sound, a lot of extras and special features (realyl nice commentaries by Elbarto1 and Blueyoda)
To sum it up:
10 of 10 for overall presentation
Final result: 9 of 10
It’s not a great movie now, but an incredible improvement over the original and as that and for the whole package a true work of art. I can truly recommend this fanedit. Thank you, Elbarto1, for making it, for the guts to release it (even though you could not save it entirely) and for letting me enjoy this movie for the very first time and as that get rid of my bad memories. Now if can fix LAST ACTION HERO as well, you will be my all-time hero. :)