Review Detail

9.7 21 10
FanFix August 16, 2012 3171
(Updated: September 12, 2012)
Enjoyment
 
9.0
February 13, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

Wolf Dancer – A Review by Mollo

Dances with Wolves in its original form is a perpetuation of the long-standing myth of the American west. It embodies overt revisionism and romanticism. At its heart, it reeks of fantasy and sentimentality. It also continues the insidious myth popularized by western screenwriter Frank S. Nugent, that white women once captured by the American Indian inevitably go mad.

The problems I had with the original film mainly focused on four issues. The opening American Civil War sequence, the Mad Major scene, the vaudeville villainy of the American troopers and Mary McDonnell’s poor acting and Bonnie Tyler hair.

Boon’s idea that Dances With Wolves could do with a FanEdit is a solid one and I eagerly anticipated its release.

The opening titles of Wolf Dancer are superbly done and the introduction of our hero reminds me of westerns of a bygone era. This also removes the American Civil War sequence, which in my opinion is a major improvement.

In Dance With Wolves, there are constant references to Costner as a benign Christ-like figure and the more of those that are removed the better in my opinion.

So far great stuff but this beautiful title sequence leads us to the “Mad Major” scene. Boon has radically culled this scene of its nuttiness but in doing so has altered the pacing, which now appears somewhat rushed and abridged. The line “I want to see the frontier before it is gone” needs a reaction shot from the Major or a pause before he rapidly suggests the wagon master. Also Costner’s salute but mainly his reaction is at odds with the new content of the FanEdited scene.

From here the FanEdit settles into a confident stride with solid narrative flow and seamless editing. I began to become engaged in the film rather than being aware that it is a FanEdit. This feeling of completeness continues right until the end credits and I was very satisfied with the over-all result.

The problems that remain are inherent in the original, as mentioned above but these cannot affect the consistent improvement Boon has achieved with this FanEdit.

The removal of the narration is perfectly done and the sound editing is faultless. I would have added a bit more of a thump when the young brave is pulled off his horse, maybe even the sound of bones breaking but this is subjective. The enormous amount of work that has been with the sound design of this FanEdit is really excellent and in my opinion sets a new standard in CBB productions.

So in conclusion this is a healthy improvement over the original apart for the minor issues with the “Mad Major” scene. Wolf Dancer is now my preferred version. Not perfect but damn near close.

The picture quality is very good. I have not compared it with my PAL Special Edition but it is really crisp and bright.

9/10
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