I really liked the theatrical release of First Class, but felt it ought to have been named "Magneto Begins". Theryaney's edit promised to trim the superfluous and redundant bits and turn it into an actual origin story. Sadly, I believe it fails in that.
As the-scribbling-man wrote, there are pacing issues throughout the film. The relationships between Moira, Raven, and Xavier are rushed and underdeveloped because too much has been cut. This, in turn, severely cripples the film, as certain scenes become jarring and almost incomprehensible. For example, cutting Xavier's recruitment to the CIA makes it difficult to understand the scene where he first meets Magneto. Additionally, moving Mystique and Xavier's first encounter to the end of the film takes away the basis for their relationship (and the transition was not done well - there's a noticeable drop in quality).
As a few others reviewers noted, the subtitles file is incomplete and some lines of dialogue are missing.
I really hope these issues are resolved, because this edit is very promising.
I saw First-Class about three years ago and was sorely disappointed. It came across to me as being very average, the many minor characters as annoying and their mutant powers uninspired. Then I came across this edit and, seeing the reviews, thought it might be worth another watch. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
It's hard for me to pinpoint how much of the blame lies with the editor and how much on the source material, particularly as it's been a while since I've seen the film. To the editors credit, many of the things I remember being annoying about it were absent this time; however, the entire first act felt rushed, characters were underdeveloped and there were times where I found it difficult to keep up with what exactly was going on. I think that if I hadn't had some sort of prior knowledge of the X-Men universe, most of the story would have come across as nonsensical. The school appears out of the blue, as do the students. Mystique and Xavier's relationship is also virtually absent until the end of the film (I understand that this was one of the things that was intended to be changed, but the fact is that the film shows they have a relationship. Taking away earlier scenes that show this doesn't make their relationship more casual, it just makes the later scenes look underdeveloped). Mrs. CIA's appearances were also very random. She kept on disappearing and reappearing throughout scenes and had virtually zero dialogue, but then right at the end of the film a romantic element is suddenly introduced between her and Xavier which just seems out of place. Once again, some of these things may have been a problem with the original film. I really can't be sure.
Editing wise this was mostly pretty good. Cuts and musical cues came across as very slick and I wouldn't have been able to tell where and when things were cut, bar a handful of scenes. The few that stuck out I will mention:
- After Eric fires his gun in the bar towards the beginning of the film there is a fade transition which came across as amateurish: for this reason I assumed it wasn't in the original film.
– Mystique's flashback when she walks into the kitchen and sees Charles is very jarring. The fade transition is quick and unnatural and didn't fit with the scene (IMO).
Audio is fine. Video quality could be better. It was decent, but not quite on par with the DVD from what I could tell.
Low points for enjoyment, I'm afraid. It has its moments, such as the climax with Charles and Eric, but at the end of the day I just don't think this is a good film, and there are narrative flaws of which I'm not sure where the blame lies (I'd have to go back and watch the original). As a result, I'm afraid I wouldn't recommend this edit. A lot of people seem to like it though, so congratulations to the editor; and Thankyou, theryaney for enabling me to watch it. I intend on watching more of your edits in the future!
Side note: There was a problem with the subtitle file, but the editor informed me of this prior to watching so I haven't taken points off for that. For those who are considering watching, I found that they could sometimes be fixed by turning them off and on again. This didn't always work, however.