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9.8 20 10
(Updated: August 21, 2012)
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I was spoiled by viewing njvc's version before the theatrical cut, and comparing the two is like asking which one gives off more warmth, a campfire or a match?

njvc finds the film's poetry and removes the semiwet concrete in which it's encased. Here, the protagonist is less of a brat, and that works better. The original soundtrack was serviceable, but njvc's sonic selections drew me more deeply into the movie.

And the intercutting between the real and the fantastic was inspired. The original kept the fantasy world tucked away from the introduction, as if the fantasy were a reward the audience had to wait for, according to some worn code of ritual. But njvc mercifully throws us into max's dreamspace without unnecessary ado.

This version has greater brightness in the nocturnal scenes, and that's for the better. Some of the lackluster dialogue remains, but that's not njvc's fault; enough was removed to elevate what was left.

Bravo, njvc. 10/10.

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