Its really nice to see around, ScissorPuppy.
As you can see, BF is one of those movies that could improve IMMENSLY with re-editing.
Below is a copy n' paste of my ideas for a re-edit for BF from the BOF forum. On this forum, only one ADigitalMan read the below. Enjoy.
We all know the film could've been darker, and apparently someone has taken the ultimate opportunity to make the ultimate re-edit of BF.
Anywho, I wanted to share my thoughts on a re-edit for BF that I had on my mind for a LONG time.
Lets preface: WARNING
: This, is going to be a long, LONG
, exhaustive post, a personal report on how should BF be recut/re-edited to become the best of the past series' film, or, at the very least, be seen as an equal to all fans, and finally, make it a legitimate "open" conclusion to Tim Burton's Batman.
Below are my suggestions for a recut of BF, based on my what I would do, and what I would certainly Mr. Shumacher/somebody would do, in order to correct/improve the film and its inconsistent tone, and to make it fit more with the Burton Batman movies (the reason for that is to unify them as a series, since BEGINS and on are one entirely different series).
The first suggestion would be to simply resurface the original workprint version of BF, which clocked over 2 hours and 45 minutes. That version obviously would have no music, no visual effects that would enhance the neon, and would obviously not have the (Academy Award nominated, noteably) sound effects. The plus that comes from this, is to rework the film into the serious Batman film that the script (both drafts) and various publications (comic book adaptations, etc.) promised to be.
And if anything, leave out Goldenthal's score, completely. Either have a new score, or Elfman's Batman scores mixed up or B89 only, or, and the most plausible of all, no soundtrack at all.
The reason for that, is simply because the biggest factor that kind of destroyed the dark mood set by the previous films is the score itself. Not that Shumacher didn't want this score, but if this re-edit/recut means anything, if it really has any purpose, which I believe is to improve the film and establish the dark nature and serious atmosphere that I believe that really exists in there, then Goldenthal's score HAS to go. And I think many fans would prefer a silent score over Goldenthal's score, in the case this recut/re-edit happens.
And I mean no disrespect to Goldenthal's score. But like Scissor Puppy and PJ Wares have said, if one watched B89 and BR with Goldenthal's score, the mood and tone changes completely, and I must say not for the best. The illusion of a dark world with real, three dimensional characters who feel is lost, completely overwhelmed by a bombastic explosion of elephant horns that empaphize the fake nature of this world. The score really reminds this is just a comic book that doesn't need to be taken seriously, when B89 was made with that consideration, that it was a viable story that could be told seriously. So, for the intent, and purpose, of giving BF a validity and a chance to prove its a serious film, or at the very least a film that isn't a complete campy version of Batman like B&R was, either an Elfman Batman scores mix-up, a new score, or, quite simply, no score at all.
And I really believe that some fans will agree on this.
And I want to point out, since this is merely a copy-and-paste from the BOF forum (Batman On Film), that many of the below suggestions/ideas were made by fellow Bat member BatmAngelus. Thanks dude, if you're reading by any chance!
Anyway, lets proceed.
I would have the series of events in the movie happen, as mentioned, the way the did happen in the script (both drafts) and the original workprint. However, I will list my suggestions for changes/trims/additions for this recut/re-edit of BF, in the way the film is presented in its theatrical format (I will also critisize the deleted scenes found in the BF second disk DVD). That is not, however, the way I would have the events happen - that would be the original workprint version. So, that also means ALL of the original deleted scenes are inserted back in, in their original time slot.
Ready? Now, let the real game begin:
Keep the WB turning into a bat, and after the A JOEL SHUMACHER FILM credit, fade in to Arkham and have new credits play over, with the Batman theme on, and have an exploration of Arkham Asylum happen while the new credits play over. In short, a new title sequence, in which we explore the Arkham asylum from the inside. This is to tie this film to B89 and BR, where they explored the Bat-signal and the Gotham sewers respectively, to set the tone for the film. The new title sequence is combined with Dr. Burton's arrival at Two-Face's prison cell.
Cut out Alfred's "Can I persuade you to take a andwich with you sir?" and Batman's "I'll get drive through". Cut directly to Batman driving the Batmobile. HOWEVER...
Whenever the cave is present, show CGI bats around the place. It should be cool.
This a directly steal from B&R, but I really think it fits here. Its not that important, if something like this isn't in the recut/re-edit, I wouldn't complain. But, how about inserting Alfred "Do try and bring this one, back in one piece, sir!", modified though to "Do try and bring this back in one piece, sir!", to say this is the same Batmobilem, only modified externally, to reference in retrospect to BR's Police chase. I'd find it cute!
Cut out Chase's "Really? I didn't know that... You are interesting! And call me Chase". Then shorten the following line "BTW, do you have a first name, or should I just call you Bats?" to "BTW, do you have a first name?", then have her turn and see him going.
Cut out the entire "Lets start this party with a bang!" and that ball coming through - why does it come anyway? Is this Looney Tunes of something? Cut directly to the elevator coming up.
Cut out Two-Face's "Kill the bat!" and "Blast him!"
Cut out that security guard's screams, and "Its boiling acid!", "No!", "Yes!", "Don't let go!", "Hey! Hey, thats my hearing aid!" and "My shoes are melting!", but keep his original "Oh no!" and "No more!" as they show he's clearly terrified.
Cut out Nygma's "Its him!" as the way he says it implies sexual innuedo. Leave "Oh my God!" as an offscreen voice, then cut directly to "I'm a winner, I'm a winner, I AM a winner!" scene.
Cut out the "OOh!" in Nygma's "Ooh... Bruce Wayne". Small sound fix.
Cut out Stickley saying “Back to work Edward” and Nygma saying “Some people have been trying to keep us apart.” Instead, just have Bruce say “What’s on your mind?” after Edward says “You’re my idol.”
After Edward says, “Someone like you wouldn’t need it…” mute out the rest of what he says and just have Bruce glance over to the Bat Signal in the silence.
Cut out Batman's "I hadn't had that much luck with women" and Chase's "Maybe you just haven't met the right woman". Why would he tell her ANYTHING about his "social" life? Totally needless.
Cut out Nygma's blubbering "too many questions brr brrr I'll show it works!". Keep one "Too many questions", then cut to Stickley seeing Nygma.
Cut out that cartoony sound of the hair coming off Stickley's moustache so he could wake up - probably isn't in the workprint version, but I just felt to notify it.
Cut out Nygma's "Huh!!!" and "Hang on!" and him running towards Stickley. Its pointless to full he's conscious, since he's going to kill him anyway. Instead, have Stickley being terrified by the fall and Nygma simply come before him and say "Ed babe, you are fired, or should I say terminated?"
After Stickley falls cut out Edward's dialogue in his reaction ("Surf's up, big Kahunaaaaa! Ooh, a little..."). Simply have him laughing.
Cut out Edward's dialogue when he arrives at Wayne Manor except for "See you soon." Just have him put the envelope there.
Cut out "Yikes...time's up" and "That's usually my line." Never made sense to me for Chase to say that to a complete (to her) stranger. Simply have him smirk and walk up to her and say "I'd love to stay and chat" and keep everything after that.
Cut out Gossip Gerty talking to Bruce about his date. Pointless, completely!
Keep the neon in the circus. Fits it, its an event full of ludicrocy - like a real circus!
Cut out "HARVEY! I'M BATMAN!!!" I think EVERYONE will agree on this one.
On the flashback thing... I'd mix both BF with B89 (I did it, once, and worked beautifully), like this... Show the parents and Bruce walking from B89, then a flash and Thomas Wayne gunned down (B89 version), then another flash and Martha Wayne gunned down (B89 AND BF - show her falling and then the flowers and necklace falling), along with Martha's scream from B89 for additional effect. Show Napier from B89 going away. Then the rest of BF's version of the flashback (kid looks at dead parents, kneals, and the funeral).
Cut out the ENTIRE surprise Two-Face chase scene. Completely pointless, useless to the story. And Batmobile on the wall... Really!
Cut out (although I doubt they are in the workprint) the Looney Tunes images in Two Face's girlfriends. Oh, and the cartoon sounds.
Unlike most, I actually like the Grayson-Alfred laundry scene. Keep it.
For the love of God, cut out the stupid, retarted "Show me how to punch a guy!" scene. Its really pointless, and cheap laugh generator. Cut it out!
From the deleted scene where Batman is led to another place instead of the real crime scene, cut out the shop and everything in it (including "a little behind the yers [spell!], Batman?" the laugh after). Keep Batman's reaction, and show something else (anything, from another movie where they see something unusual). Pretty easy edit.
In the deleted scene where Bruce and Dick talk in Bruce's gymn, after Bruce demolishes that wood, have him turn (stock footage?) and see a new shot, which shows a big portrait of his parents and below it, a black cat. A reference to both B89 and BR. Then, we hear Joker's laugh and Bruce turns again (another stock footage?). Challenging edit, but not impossible. I think BatmAngelus mentioned a few years ago, and I remember it because its a really cool idea (whoever thought of it)!
In a deleted scene, not seen on the DVD or anywhere else except U2's music video, but probably in the workprint (as well as, well, the rest of the deleted scenes we know and don't know) when Bruce dreams of the red diary, and reads "Bruce wants to go to a movie today!", have Napier's "Tell me kid, have you ever danced with the devil by the pale moonlight?" be heard endlessly as we see images of the murder happening over, and over, and over again, until Bruce wakes up, sweating.
Keep, and I really mean, KEEP, the Fat Lady Singing on the mind-sucking sequence. Its chilling, and creepy as you watch Riddler growing smarter!
Cut out the shots of the Batman photos and newspapers. Just have Bruce find papers we don't see on her desk. Chase and Bruce's conversation afterwards is enough to show that Chase is fascinated with Batman.
OK, I hate to say this, but cut out Chase's "rage, violence, passion" and her subsequent kiss with Bruce. Have the clock bip just as she stares at him , before Bruce says "Excuse me...". Why this edit? Because Chase actually realizes Batman and Bruce are the same after she has kissed Batman on her flat. Kissing Bruce here, won't make sense later in the movie. Its an awfully good, passionate kiss, but must be cut.
Digitally remove MacDonalds - do we really need to know Gotham City has one? I mean, please.....
Cut out the whole part where Dick talks to the girls. Instead, show the Batmobile coming, the gang freezing and then the young girl running off. Then put in a shot of Dick switching gears and the Batmobile charging after them.
Cut out the part where Dick claims to be Batman. Just have Dick yell "Hey, let her go!" and the gang leader, menacingly, turning and clapping his hands to signal the other gang members to kick his @$$.
Cut out the "Kiss the girl" part and "I could definitely get into this superhero gig." Instead just have him tell her to run....
Mute that guy saying "Batman, heeeey!" He's annoying terribly, isn't he?
Cut out the Indiana Jones joke. Its pointless, and done in B89, too. Cut out Chase kissing Batman during the whole thing. Keep though "My place, midnight" thing. But not the kiss. Let the balcony on Chase's apartment be the first time.
Cut out the other superthug that threatens Batman to which Batman simply kicks him in the head.
Cut out "I've never been in love before, Alfred". The deleted scene with the newscaster, and the scene in the movie will be edited in a way that cut out that line, AND Chase in the monitor. I mean, where'd he get that one?
Now, here's a new scene that I propose: Many fans complain about how Batman would never have gone to Chase's apartment and kissed and made a smile afterwards about Bruce. I kind of agree, but this new scene could help show WHY Batman would go to her. Follow me, for a bit:
Fellow Batfans and friends have suggested that the "terrible morning" scene should be played as a series of Keaton-free scenes from the previous movies, with Kilmer's voice voiceovering. I keep that, only to create, a dream sequence. We see Bruce in bed (a freeze shot of Bruce in bed before he wakes up from the other nightmare scene, above), and then, we hear his preaching to Dick again. Its the same monologue about "killing is wrong and the pain won't stop" and all, and we see how it plays in Bruce's mind and nightmare. The footage, won't show Michael Keaton's face. We would see the cowl and Batman moving, from the behind, but not parts of his face because, it'll give away the illusion. When Bruce says "You make the kill" show the shot of Batman punching Joker in the cathedral and holding him up by his lapels. Then when Bruce says "You'll see another face, and then another, and then another" show footage of Batman taking out members of the circus gang, the bats flying around Penguin, Catwoman fighting Batman inside the building (near the Ice Princess), and then, when he says "until one terrible morning you realize, that revenge has become your whole life", show Joker falling to his death, Penguin falling down, Catwoman and Shreck electrocuting themselves, and the shot where Bruce is kneeling between his parents (from this movie, yeah). Then, re-use the shot of Bruce waking up, sweating, from the previous scene where he woke up from a nightmare.
This engineered scene, apart from being an elaborate effort to tie B89 and BR, effectively, to BF, is an indirect effort to have viewers think/believe that Bruce goes to Chase AFTER he has seen that dream. And when Chase says she's interested in Bruce, and he smiles, one thinks, he's happy that he'll rid of his nightmares, and be Batman, no more.... What do you think?
Anyway, lets continue...
Cut out Riddler's "If I was a superhero", but keep "where would I hide. No one in the films EVER, called Batman a superhero. It also seems like an elaborate joke. Oh, and cut out "Spank me!", please.
Personally, I wouldn't cut the whole Riddler scene, which I hear is even bigger in the workprint/original version of the film. But, "Joygasm" and the "Fat Lady...' part are goners.
Cut out Two-Face flipping the damn coin over and over. No matter how corny, turn the coin once and then shoot him, damn it!
When Bruce's shot and the villains have left, but before he opens his eyes again, keep the screen black, but add women voices from B89 and BR. Specifically, Vicki's "Will we try and love each other?", Selina's "psychos never scare me. At least they're commited", also "Don't pretend this is a happy ending" and Chase's "I want to get close to you, but you won't let me near. What are you protecting me from?", and then Alfred's "Master Bruce... Master Bruce..."
The scene with the giant bat, plays out as it is, only when Bruce gets out, cut to point black when Bruce says "Batman, Alfred. I'm Batman." I can't STAND his smile when he says, but the black screen should complete the scene perfectly. Preferably... I'd even replace that line, with Keaton's "I'm Batman!" But then again, maybe not...
The moment you've all been waiting for... Cut out, phaser out, whatever, the BUTT FRICKIN' SHOT! I never, ever heard of Shumacher's excuse of that one. Whats the need of showing the BUTT of all things? Either a cheap joke, or cheap sexual innuedo.
I'm surprised nobody mentioned this, but why does Gordon light up the Bat-signal? Unless some other, serious crime is commited, there's no need for them to light up that thing. So, I really that the showing of Bat-signal, its been question marked by Riddlers, and Batman's subsequent going through, cappled with Gordon's yells, all of them, need to be cut out. They're pointless. I mean, again, why are they lightining? They surely don't know anything about Riddler/Nygma. Only Bruce and Alfred figured it out. Anyway, a definite goner.
In the UK video version, after Robin says, "The ground, it`s full of holes....y`know, holey.", a line is cut in which Batman tells him, "This place was a refuling station for submarines during the war." Insert that - undoubtably, it must be in the workprint, but if it isn't, someone bud it, or just take that line from that version. If anything, its an excuse to keep this reference to the 60's series, which some fans (including Jett, I believe) like. I like the reference too, despite the fact that I actually despise the 60's series.
Cut out Riddler's "I hope they find the little black box!" Never made ANY sense. Did it make any sense to anyone else?
Cut out "Was I OTT? I can never tell!!" as it, for me, ruins the effect of his menace, which plays well. After the deep "IIIIII....", show Batman's face, and while we see him, we hear "By the way...", then we cut back to Riddler, then the rest of the scene plays as it is.
Chase and Alfred talk. "Not in this lifetime" Alfred says, Chase looks outside the car. The camera pans away from the car, and are "traveling" through Gotham, looking at various places from the three films (ie, the Zoo place from BR, the Axis Chemicals from B89 etc.), before we settle to the very same image of Batman staring at the Bat-signal from B89. All the while the FINALE track from the B89 soundtrack plays. Next, after fade-to-black, and as the Batman Theme reprise plays, again from the B89 soundtrack, we see Batman and Robin running towards the screen (yes, the very scene from BF). I thought I should save this shot, and given the greatnes of the original Batman theme, it'd have some more grace to it. After the Batman Theme reprise plays out, Seal's "Kiss from a Rose" plays out.
OK, now I'm finished with the main film... But I didn't elaborate on Two-Face. You see, here's how I see this:
Why not make Two-Face in the film an impostor?
What do I mean? I'll explain right away. In the 60's and 70's, there a number of comics which sported a number of Two-Face's impostors. They would either be criminals just out for kicks, or seriously deranged people who choose to be fake Two-Faces as an "homage" to the real "Two-Face" (see [link=en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-Face#Other_Two-Faces newwindow]here about the Other Two-Faces[/link]). What I am proposing to do, is to insert in place of the news footage that explains Two-Face's origins, a whole new scene that will involve NEITHER Tommy Lee Jones and Val Kilmer, and could helmed by practically anyone.
Here's how I see it - the scene would include the newsreporter that tells of Batman's failure to capture Two-Face, and a psychotherapist that will explain of this Two-Face's origins. As the doctor goes on, he reveals that this man is not the real Two-Face (the real Two-Face, as we find out, is actually Billy Dee Williams from B89) that Gotham has met quite a few years ago, but an impostor/fake. His name is Lyle Heckendorf (a nod to Riddler's original name in the early BF drafts), and he was a mere thug who was trustworthy, but a scared personality. When his boss, Boss Moroni, was apprehended, he was scarred with acid when testifying against him in court (NO footage of the tv "flashback", as its incosistent, and then his mind slipped and thought that he was Two-Face. Apparently, the scar gave him "new life". This origin for the fake Two-Face is a combination of Harvey Apollo and Paul Sloane, two of the comic book fake Two-Faces.
The psychologist goes on state/remind us that the first, real Two-Face appeared two years ago (shortly after BR), and was Harvey Dent. Reminding us also, that Tommy Lee Jones's Lyle Heckedorf version is not the real Two-Face, and that the real one is still in Arkham and in coma, leaving Lyle rampaging in his glory.
I could script such a sort scene, if you'd like. I don't think it tempers with continuty too much, in fact it improves it. B89 stated that Harvey Dent in this series was black. This film has a Two-Face, but with nifty cut outs of "Harvey", "Dent", Harvey Two-Face" and "Harvey Dent", he doesn't need to be the same character as in B89. It just explains that the Two-Face in this film, is not the real Two-Face that we know from comics, and is also not Billy Dee's character, thus salvaging the character a great deal, and also allows to think of our own Two-Face movie to live in our heads.
Of course, the above would NEVER be something that Shumacher would do. Not in ANY stretch of the imagination. So, for the official recut/re-edit, I'd take into consideration all, and I mean, ALL of BatmAngelus's offers for the character. You can see them on his list. But the above is something I would do if I re-edited the film, and may as well do. Really, it works to retrospectively "fix" Jones' performance, as it would also rectify continuity with Billy Dee Williams and B89 - we can show an image of Billy Dee being scarred, through the magic of Adobe Photoshop. I think I have such an image, somewhere on my disk. What do you think of that?
OTHER than that.... Thats all, folks! After all this is done, CGI work needs to be done to provide the film its look, new sound effects, and either a new score, or a no score. Or, preferably, an Elfman score mix-up like BatmAngelus suggested.
Very, VERY sorry if I bored the life out of you. Its been a really long post. But I hope you have found it interesting. And I hope you approve me ideas, because I believe they are the definitive list for the changes. But then again, I could be wrong.
Anyway, I would really, really like to see what do you think of this list. Feel FREE to critisize ANY of my ideas.
Well? What do you think?