Maybe not the slickest fan-edit out there but I've been waiting to watch True Romance in its proper, originally written sequence ever since reading about how Tony Scott altered the screenplay, and this version plays out events much more tantalizingly, as per QT's wonted way. Filling in the narrative blanks to involve the audience in the plot is half the fun now, and this sits much better next to the rest of Tarantino's early oeuvre. The one thing I'll say in Scott's defense -- he was right about the ending, this one is a stone cold bummer and I wanted to see our heroes go off to their island paradise. (Maybe a future editing project for some ambitious fellow optimist?)
Some of the previous reviews here some a bit harsh imho. They might scare you off of this film, but I've got to tell you that I watched with three friends and we all greatly enjoyed it. Yes, the A/V quality is not as good as newer edits on here, but you can fiddle around in Handbrake and get it looking a bit better. The quality in the deleted scenes isn't as good, but not so much that it takes you out of the experience. The audio edits are very clean, and the visual edits are mostly quite good, though I'd say just a few of the title card insertions draw a bit too much attention to themselves through fades and so on. If you didn't tell a new viewer this was a fan edit though, I think they could get lost in the story.
And there's a lot to the story! SPOILERS below, so just seek this out if you haven't seen the original.
-This cut opens on our main guy Clarence in a bar trying to pick up a floozy rather unsuccessfully.
-Then we go to the opening titles, and after that an extended scene with Samuel Jackson having an unfortunate run-in with Gary Oldman. This version is even funnier than the theatrical, and putting it here gives a great sense of tension to the next scene...
-Which is a big change when Clarence suddenly shows up at his dad's place asking for money. The dad is just as surprised as us now when Clarence introduces the beautiful girl he's with as his wife.
-The story plays in order now for a bit as we see Clarence and his wife, Alabama, head out to L.A. while some gangsters come to his father's, hot on his trail. With this edit, we still don't know how Clarence got in this kind of trouble, who's chasing him or why, so Walken and Hopper's scene is even more wildly unpredictable and shocking.
-When the couple get to L.A., Clarence's buddy asks why they're there, and that's when we cut back to Clarence's birthday, after the unsuccessful pick up at the bar. Some scenes here with Alabama are extended, and added, including a young Jack Black clearing out the late night theater. Even though it's B.S. that a guy living over a comic store would have a standing bathtub surrounded by a million candles, I can't deny that I'm happy they included Miss Arquette's sexy bath scene with Clarence while they have another iconic Tarantino pop culture jam.
-The scenes with Clarence and the pimp and so on play fairly normally (but with a bit 'o the old ultraviolence added) until we get to Alabama opening her suitcase to find it packed with coke. Cut to:
-L.A.: Clarence's buddy Dick is opening the suitcase to find it packed with c0ke. (brilliant Tarantino touch now apparent here)
-The rest of the film now plays basically chronologically as you've seen in the theatrical cut, but with a few extensions, some extra shots, etc.
-When we get to the big deal about to go down, there are some additional scenes. One with more Walken and juicier bits from the gangsters that feels like it's from another movie but helps explain why they're talking to "f'n Floyd" like they're expecting an onslaught. A bit of a jerkaround where Clarence has cold feet and then changes his mind. Some extra funny bits with the cops and Elliot.
-The film then plays pretty much the same until the alternate ending. Tarantino's writing and Arquette's performance of the ending monologue feel so at odds with the film that has come before, I can't help but think no one ever seriously thought of using this ending. I'm not sure if it Tarantino could've made it work if he'd been directing the film, but it sure doesn't work here.
Overall, this is a great experience if you love the original movie and want a cool way to rewatch. Some (but not all) of the extra footage makes a real fun addition, and the chronology is actually probably BETTER. You can understand producers and even Scott not having confidence in it until they'd seen it done in Pulp Fiction, but it's actually far more straightforward than that movie, and the scenes are arguably more powerful this way. The ending just really doesn't work for me, so I can't say this replaces the original film, but I can definitely recommend it as an alternative.
The original was great and this edit brings an interesting take closer to the original script which, for me, makes it a must-watch for any Taratino fan. True, the quality of the deleted scenes is not of the best but the edit flows perfectly, the cut uses an alternative ending that was on the script, and the fact that the shot it gives you enough clues of how different the two movies really are. In order to match the downwards tone, perhaps this cut would have benefit of some alternative soundtrack.
I thought this edit was alright. I prefer the cinema cut as I don't see why we need an out-of-order structure, as it works better chronologically. The deleted scenes were obvious due to the audio quality and the alternate ending sucks (even Tarantino said it was for the better that they changed it)! As for if you should watch it, it depends. If you want the good ending, then don't watch it. If you want the bad ending, then watch it.
I am a big fan of the original. This was a cool way of seeing it in a new light. The deleted scenes are not of the highest quality but I did not find it to be a big deal. Very enjoyable take on a great movie.