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Kong: God Of Skull Island (Kong 2005) - Maniac

Empty headed blockbuster features performances by sponge brains or chunks of wood, and has a plot that might-could been penned by your grumpy cat. Not to fear, hard working Maniac trims half the movie, resulting in pedal to the metal mayhem and a fair dose of nonsense.

Video - 1280 X 720p AVC. Almost every boring bit has been pitched into Kong’s latrine, yet the jump shifts, dissolves, whatnot are all smooth and professional. As with most of Mr Maniac’s work, the filesize is large and the video rendering excellent.

Audio - 160 kbps AC-3. 2 Channel stereo. No subs, ha ha. Dialogue mostly clear, and if you missed some line here of there, I can assure you, you ain’t missed nothing. Explosions, screaming, howling, oh and Black Sabbath, too.

Narrative - Buckle up and hang tight! As far as being a coherent yarn, this is its own beast. Backstores are left out, the reasons for Goodman & Co presence is omitted, so the result is Kong, full throttle. What remains is an old B-film with no A-budget aspirations and pretensions. Loopholes, yeah, live with them.

Enjoyment - Wait, I’m still trying to catch my breath. This edit rockets, pounds, gallops with barely a lull. You want personal relationship drama, this ain’t it. Some lost kid who needs rescuing? No way. Instead, this is Action Junction! Don’t think about characters because they can’t think. EVERYONE is either cardboard or caricature with an IQ lower than Alien 3 jailer, 85. The original is an ugly, stupid mess but Maniac makes it a wild guilty pleasure. If you can relate with your fellow primates (aside from in-laws), you will appreciate this.

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Rosemary’s Baby: Hell A Cometh Swift - MusicEd921

Black and white fanedit of classic Polanski film.
Aside from the decoloring, 16 minutes were trimmed to tighten the pace.
Many of the cuts were references from the Levin book. This novel was wildly popular in its day, in a time when more people read. Older viewers may miss the cuts - younger viewers might have been puzzled by the material.
The film, by the way, works well in black and white.

Young couple move into old building they can barely afford.
The wife does not work, but hopes to get pregnant soon. Luckily the husband is a struggling actor.
They are befriended by elderly neighbors. The man, 79, is a pleasant raconteur. His wife, played by an on-fire Ruth Gordon, is a pushy, gregarious, nosy, busybody.
The narrative unfolds slowly. A sinister brownstone, smiling neighbors with dark agendas, betrayals and pacts.
Mia Farrow terrific as young wife who instinctively knows something is desperately wrong.
Classic Horror, though the pace will madden impatient souls.
Those unfamiliar with Levin’s novel might prefer the quicker tempo from faneditor MusicEd921, though they might not appreciate black and white. The original remains a must-see.

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Bond, The Dead Are Alive - Problem Eliminator

As Darth would say, impressive. Quite the distillation of “Spectre,” tossing the Mexico opening into the mixer with some later scenes used as a flashback. At least that’s how I view it.

Video - 1280 X 538p AVC. Really nice editing here. Cutting is crisp and effectively pushes the story.

Audio - 353 kbps, 2 Channel AAC. No subs (OK, this being a short). Dialogue is understandable, there are no abrupt music transitions. There does not seem to be a sweeping dynamic range, so I don’t know if there was compression involved. For a short, again this is a shrewd decision.

Narrative - This functions more as a single Bond mission, with events leading up to it and the aftermath. The story remains coherent, though character motivations are missing as are the villains’.

Enjoyment - Ending is a blunt, though to be honest, this would make an excellent break if the editor ever decided to craft a cliffhanger serial. That said, I did enjoy watching this, and was surprised by the turns and choices made by the editor.

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Predator Chronicles Volume 1 - Uncanny Antman

I liked UA’s concept of an episodic Predator Darkhorse series.
The audio for both episodes was clear and well focused. No crinkly edits to my ears.
The video editing for both was likewise well done and smooth.
The second episode, Unexpected Visitors, was always the lesser of both theatrical releases. Uncanny Antman removed most of the teenagers and meaningless subplots. The story moves like a rocket, and was a blast to sit through.
I had problems with the first episode, Cold Comfort.
Confession, I liked the first AVP. A lot. If I could have been on set I would have argued to give the humans more firepower. AVP coulda / shoulda been a three way fight.
Antman removed most of the humans, and also a great deal of the narrative cohesion. Characters made a quick entrance, swift exit. What plot there was, was scant. The whole edit resembled a shooter arcade game
Enjoyed Episode 2, disliked Episode 1.
Professional job in editing, though, all the way.

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Vultural said:

Dune: The Alternative Edition Redux (Dune) - spicediver

"A film that’s been admired, hated and puzzled-over in fairly equal amounts … "

How about, all the above?
Stunning set design and ridiculous costumes. What are the Sardaukar, firefighters?
Gorgeous Brian Eno theme - then Toto.
Exposition that advances the plot, dialogue that booms bombastic.
Top tier actors driven by madman Lynch to ham it up.
I loved Dune - I hated Dune.

Spicediver did an outstanding job in focusing the narrative thrust of the movie.
I appreciate how he organized the structure into four books.
Video editing was fine. When deleted footage was used, it was noticeable. Sharp to grainy. Yet the result was in keeping with his intended edit.
Audio, once or twice I caught some dialogue that did not match mouths. More often than not, there was a crop or he inserted audio when character backs were turned. Again, this was meant to enhance pacing or narrative, so I don’t want to nitpick.
I really enjoyed this edit, which eclipses my other copies, including the mini-series.

Trailer = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK5eoV93oyg

I agree. I believe this could have become an official alternative version. Much better than the original. My go to version.

Forever in search of that one movie experience…

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 (Edited)

The World is Yours (a fanedit by Maniac)

Some time ago I was reading a post on some blog about horror fanedits. An edit by Maniac was among those mentioned. I think it may have been his edits of the Saw franchise. I visited his site and saved it to peruse at a future time. I noticed Maniac mentioned on another forum that I frequent sometime later. Several of his edits we’re listed. Among them was his edit of Scarface. Another was his edit of Apocalypse Now. These are my two favorite movies. I was very sceptical, even though I knew there was much that could be trimmed from either of those two movies.

I went back to his site. I saw mention of The Chesapeake Ripper, his edit of the first season of Hannibal. He trimmed it into a movie of reasonable length. I found myself quite intrigued. Hannibal is my third favorite television series.

A deliciously wicked game of cat and mouse with a bit of unrequited love, as it were. Beautifully done.

So…I made contact. Maniac had to go to some effort to make his edits available to me. I am grateful.

On to my review of The World is Yours…

I will say that if one must edit this amazing movie, Maniac did an almost perfect job. I would likely share his edit with someone viewing Scarface for the first time or who may not have cared for the original. Believe it or not some people haven’t seen it.

Gone is much unnecessary drag. The movie races by at a very quick pace and has a more Goodfellas type punch while retaining a Godfather vibe and Miami Vice atmosphere.

Specifically, I like that he trimmed the entire beginning. That changed the tone instantly. You are face to face with Tony Montana within a minute. I also like that he cut out most of the silly dance with Frank and Omar comparing the size of their appendages. The scenes of him upgrading his taste in clothes are also gone. Some of the bloated club scenes are gone, as well. We get straight to the famous end in all of it’s bloody glory much quicker, as well.

Although, the movie was meant to romanticize a small time hood’s rise to riches and swan dive into infamy, Maniac has successfully made the movie into a downright vicious gangster drama/horror flick that can be enjoyed in a single watch. As a diehard fan of the original movie for over thirty years, I give Maniac’s edit two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Well done!

Forever in search of that one movie experience…

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Mulholland Drive: The Pilot - Q2

Note: Pilot!!!
The pilot, disowned by Lynch for decades, has been available in dismal quality for years.
Using the original script, and workprints as guides, Faneditor (and obsessed fan) Q2 restored the pilot into immaculate condition.
Numerous storylines weave a Hollywood entertainment tapestry.
There are mysteries, though no real story. Viewers had to accept on faith Lynch had an extended vision.
Though interesting as a curious what-if, this in no way supersedes Mulholland Drive, the film.
Character trajectories differ in the pilot, and the open endedness makes one wonder how stories might have played out over a season.

Warning! Diehards already know the site below.
New arrivals to Mulholland Drive, visit at your own risk:
https://www.mulholland-drive.net/studies/theories.htm

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Father Time (About Time) - NJVC

Initially, I thought this resembled a pitch for “About Time,” an interesting, if slight film from 2013. That film was leisurely to the point of lethargy. In addition, it tried, over hard, I thought, to fiddle the heartstrings.
As this edit progressed, however, I realized the story and themes had been chiseled to essentials.
For lack of a better phrase, similar to a prose poem.
Better than most, the character grasps the reward of Life is not replaying “moments” over and over, but embracing the joie de vivre.
An excellent edit with a sly, positive subtext.

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LV 426 (Prometheus) - TMBTM

Rearranging of Prometheus as a direct prequel to Alien.
This is a timely edit since it is apparent director Scott seems disinclined to follow the Prometheus arc any time soon.
The B-movie angle is paramount here. This has a 50’s SciFi look. Horror elements are more to the fore, as well, with an emphasis on dark undercurrents and heightened tension.
The character “David” is particularly Machiavellian here, whether by programming or faults.
The grandeur of the original is lacking, though the original was a disappointing failure of broad ambition mangled by sloppy, poorly focused writing.
Faneditor “TMBTM” has crafted a great late night ride. The last act interweaves several stories and strikes the hammer down. Strap in for high octane excitement.

Note: Some sources offer subtitles, most do not.
I converted the pgs subs to srt, then did a wee bit of editing.
My srt = https://www.addic7ed.com/movie/122414

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Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - Youngling Edition - DigModiFicaTion

Awesome edit!!! I saw Episode IV before it was Ep. IV, in a theater back in 1977 when I was 5 years old. I have a grandson who is now five. Being very cautious of what I allow him to watch, I sometimes wondered when he would get to watch any of the S.W. movies, more specifically one of the O.T. When I came across this one, and watched it, I was very happy not only with what DigMod had done in content, but also in quality. He wrote that his intention was, “To create a child friendly (6 and younger) viewing experience of the greatest Star Wars film that I can watch with my kids.” Mission accomplished. My grandson loved it!!! DigModiFicaTion’s edits never disappoint, in fact they rock! (This coming from both me and my youngling).

https://ifdb.fanedit.org/star-wars-episode-v-the-empire-strikes-back-youngling-edition/

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 (Edited)

The Mercedes Killer by Maniac

I had the very rare pleasure of seeing this edit, not only before it was actually released but… drumroll…before watching the series that it was based on, Mr. Mercedes.

Sure, I was familiar with the premise…based on a work by the one and only Stephen King, the story centers on Bill Hodges, a man who left his native Ireland (love that accent) as a teenager and became a cop in the small town of Bridgton, Ohio. After several years of service, He’s now retired, divorced and his daughter hates him. He’s also an alcoholic haunted by a crime he wasn’t able to solve before he retired. Someone stole a Mercedes and used it to drive into a crowd of people waiting for the doors to open at a job fair, killing sixteen people (including an infant).

Two years after the murders, the killer decides to reach out to Hodges and taunt him. The viewer knows the identity of the killer immediately.

That’s all I am going to spoil.

I will say this…this is one whacked out story. I guess that’s why Maniac wanted to take a stab at it (pun intended). It has mystery, horror, sex, incest and masturbation (to his mother, no less and then-to his crime). This guy’s crazy is completely off the chain.

This edit may be as close to perfect as an edit of a television series into a long movie may get. Anjohan may have Game of Thrones down, but there can be no dispute that Maniac has horror down. I watched this coming off of a binge watch of his Hannibal edits. I had high expectations after watching those and reading a few reviews of Mr. Mercedes season one.

I don’t have the technical specs but I can say that the video editing is seamless, almost perfect and obviously of superior quality. The audio was amazing on my home theatre system. I believe there were some alternate music choices used to enhance the effect. I truly felt like I was watching one of Stephen King’s long horror movies. However, this was more a psychological horror than blood and gore (although it is there…in spades). I felt the disturbing cat and mouse game that was being played out as if I was involved. I also felt both-the protagonist’s pain and desire for closure and the antagonist’s torment and desire to unleash the beast-equally.

It was an immersive experience made perfect by the hyperspeed pace and sledgehammer impact of the editing. I don’t believe that I will even bother watching the series now. How could I, after such an experience? (I’m scratching my head thinking that I may go back and watch it again after everyone goes to bed to see if I missed anything). By the way, don’t be shocked to find an easter egg hidden in the movie on the sly.

All things considered, if you are into psychologically disturbing cat and mouse games with a taste of blood and gore, this nearly perfect edit is a must see.

Well done! Two thumbs very enthusiastically held high.

Forever in search of that one movie experience…

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The Lament Box by Maniac

This was a perfect two in one edit for me. I always felt that Hellraiser and Hellbound should have been combined into one movie with about a third of the cheese removed.

What’s not good about those movies is that the acting is atrocious. Not even the guy playing the father, who is much better in other movies, could save it. Not even the subtle porn. Nothing really. I loved these movies because of the story. I mean, seriously, these are the perfect nightmare. I love the part about how the cennobites were people before they “were tempted and got sent to hell”. Real creepy stuff. When you got a story that heavy who cares about the acting?

What Maniac has successfully done, as usual, is re-arrange certain aspects of the movies to accomplish a setup that is more satisfying and creates a more forceful impact. He has removed a lot of the cheese. I mean a lot. He couldn’t remove it all because it would be left as a half hour shock flick that would be very disturbing and confusing. He has added some things that truly make it more terrifying. He did it all in a manner that made it seem like it was meant to be.

I can’t imagine what could have been done better to integrate these two movies into one. Horrible acting aside, “It’s your flesh we want to experience” come on…cheese!,
Maniac has created a much more disturbing vision of a terrifying movie and it’s sequel. Don’t bother with the others. Just horrible from here. But this edit is definitive if you want to experience Hellraiser. My go to version from here on out.

Another incredibly well done edit.

Forever in search of that one movie experience…

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 (Edited)

The Firefly Clan Both Parts by Maniac

WTF?!!! Talk about creepy, whacked out, disturbing-image-inducing, nightmare-causing-demented weirdos!

I never wanted to watch the three movies that these edit were based on (House of 10000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects and 3 From Hell) because of the reviews I read and the stories I heard. What kind of mind does it take to dream up this stuff?

Rob Zombie and Eli Roth need to have lunch…and then shoot each other in the head (not really but they might want to look for Maniac?). This stuff is disturbing because it could actually happen, may have happened, is happening or will happen? That’s when things get disturbing. When you can actually see the potential truth in it. These edits really messed with my head.

And you know what? As you might expect, you can leave it to Maniac to have an even more disturbing vision of how these movies can be spliced together, rearranged as it were, have a few scenes added…eeeewwwwww!, change out some music and take this s#$t to the next level.

3Razor had the “Scary as hell” edits. Maniac should call his the “Disturbing as hell” edits! Seriously, this s#$t will stay with you and mess with your head for a while.

Not for the light hearted.

“Disturbing as hell” seriously.

An almost perfect-hit you upside the head, corkscrew through your temporal lobes, psychotic rollercoaster ride. It’s full speed and non-stop.

It’s seamless, exceptional editing in every aspect.

But…

Damn!

I can only imagine what he’s done to upgrade The Devil’s Eyes.

Forever in search of that one movie experience…

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Last Son Of Krypton by SouperboyX

Here are my thoughts, having viewed the whole thing (spoilers)

Let’s get the obvious out the way first…WOW

Now onto the meat of the matter.

I’ve seen edits that alter narratives many a time, but the sheer amount of narrative changes he put together for this is just mesmerising. He took stuff from later episodes, deposited them at earlier points in the series, and somehow it all fits together. This is a testament to not just how diligent he is at episodic research, but also shows Smallville is full of moments that can fit just about any scenario with a few touch-ups.

I was very surprised at how quick he got Tom in the suit, moments after the fortress was formed even…but I suppose that was to be expected considering the pace of the remaining Kryptonian’s arrival. We’d had two hours plus of build-up, so by this juncture the audience have licked their lips long enough so serve up the main course!

How you structured Lois and Clark’s relationship to begin as work colleagues rather than as close friends from high school was a fine comics accurate-touch, and it allowed Lois to really peak in her element as a feisty, determined intrepid reporter digging as far as she can down the rabbit holes.

Lex’s journey was the most consistent from what we know of his tv portrayal, a few minor creative tweeks and omissions, but the themes are all there and the whole story plays out fairly straight forward, right up until the fortress invasion, that was a treat, I felt Lex and Jor-El never truly having a confrontation was a major element Smallville missed taking true advantage of.

I don’t think there’s too many things to critique, at least things he might already be aware of himself (I noticed a repeated frame in part six during the Crosby and Marth conversation), perhaps there was one too many dream sequences for my liking too, some parts of that confused me, particularly during the Lana and Teague fight, and Lex at the fortress…I know “Arctic” doesn’t give anyone a whole lot to work with, but I’m having some issue understanding what Kara rescued him from, I thought it was going to end with him being transported to the Phantom Zone until the scene with Kara.

I’ve had moments altering narratives in edits where I feel it made more sense in my head than anyone elses’, rofl. If he can explain these things, I’ll have an easier time understanding the decisions and choices.

Overall, Man of Steel provided some tender meat to a pleasantly functional skeleton, everything fused together, and those little issues noted above aside, I will state with great enthusiasm this guy has stitched together the best fan edit of 2020, and definitely one of the best Superman edits of all time. This is what Smallville was always capable of being, it has the best Superman cast, the best ‘young’ depictions of the characters, and is a great spin on the hero’s journey template.

I hope this edit inspires others, as much as it inspires me, to be more creative with their own editing projects and dare to think and do different.

Hopefully any kind of sequel won’t take up another seven years, but then, perfection cannot be rushed!

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The Haunted World Of Katie Featherston (Paranormal Activity) - Frantic Canadian

The original Paranormal Activity is marred by the godawful “found footage” crutch, unsympathetic, foolish characters, and a decrepit, snail like pace. Frantic Canadian trims 12 minutes of unnecessary footage, quickening the tempo and boosting scare ratio.

Video - Quite a bit of cuts in this. Edits well chosen, and because of the fade to black structure of the original there is nothing noticeable. I calculate half the film are semi-lit, nighttime shots, and the blacks stay solid throughout.

Audio - Nice 5.1 sound that responds during some of the quietest scenes. Mumbled - garbled dialogue often difficult to understand, probably by design. Subtitles could help - though most of the talk is everyday prattle and unimportant.

Narrative - This is a light edit, so the story holds together. Good result here, and a better experience than the original.

Enjoyment - Tough to call. I do not like “found footage” movies. They strike me as lazy, self indulgent, and bucket level cheap.
The characters are introduced as likeable goofs who grow dangerously stupid.

  • SPOILER - Midway through, I’m telling them to phone the demonologist specialist. Of course they do not. - END SPOILER -
    Why do they stay in that house / apartment night after night? Come on, go to a motel! Go to Mom’s! But get out of there! Fools. Very hard to enjoy a film with characters you cannot empathize with because they have less sense than a tennis ball.

Appreciate would be a more appropriate term for this. Frantic Canadian offers an excellent edit of a film that will not appeal to everyone.
γνῶθι σεαυτόν.

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Midnight Slaughter Train (The Midnight Meat Train) - ranger613

One of the better Clive Barker adaptations. An ambitious, artsy shutterbug trails a possible homicidal killer (Exceptional use of Vinnie Jones, by the way.). Ranger’s edit removes occult references and conspiracy elements, thrusting us into splatter spree.

Video - Excellent editing, as expected from this editor. New opening credits, well chosen and well done. Story spends considerable time in subway trains, drenched in darkness and flickering light. Blacks solid throughout.

Audio - Dynamic 2.0 sound mix. Dialogue generally clear, bit murky at noisy junctions. No subtitles. Quite a bit was removed for this version, but no audio giveaways. Nice job.

Narrative - Some odd things persist. The butcher is still cutting “chest scabs” during one scene. No explanation. In Ranger’s version, the butcher is an inexplicable force, compelled to murder, patient enough to wait for the lonely opportunity. The randomness of the attacks is particularly chilling.

Enjoyment - Take the A-Train, baby. I enjoyed this slasher ride a lot. In the original, and I know others will regard this as blasphemy, I considered the demonic angle distracting, if not silly. Here, the butcher is a twisted soul. Because we cannot tell what formed him or what compels him, he becomes a rogue cancer cell in the community.

As much as the butcher is a slave to his impulses, the photographer is equally troubled. His narrative is one of obsession becoming compulsion. He is increasingly drawn to darkness, forsaking the light.

Despite the gore and violence (squeamish souls, take note), this film is bleak, cold, despairing at times. Perfect, nonetheless, for urban dwellers who walk the half-lit 2:00 AM streets and try not to glance over their shoulders.

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 (Edited)

Vanishing Point: The Molecule Of Speed - 15MaF

A film I have watched numerous times. Indeed, I first saw this the way it was meant to be viewed, at a drive-in, in the early 1970‘s. This carried a heady, late 60’s vibe of freedom vs control.
For me. 15MaF’s version is something between an edit and a preservation. Minor tweaks and restoration.

Filesize = 4.9 GB. Video = 1920 X 832. Audio = 5000 kbps, 5.1 AAC (my mixdown reads stereo, plays mono). No subs.

Straight off, this is HEVC h265, which neither my BluRay nor my main computer could handle. I downgraded this to h264, and that is the version I watched. If at all possible, watch as 15MaF crafted!
As indicated, the editor has cropped this for a greater widescreen experience. This is hit n miss for me. I live in a region under what could be defined as big sky. That is missing in this, though it is a wider experience for the eye.
The sound mix is robust! Everything seems dialed to 11, which the way to experience those supercharged v8’s. Although no subtitles, dialogue is clear.
The Charlotte Rampling sequence is included, edited in nicely. Her dialogue is stilted, acceptable for a chimera, and a quiet breath before the final rush.
Extras include an alternative, alternative ending.
Gearheads, get this! Pedal to the floor.

Vanishing Point: The Molecule Of Speed - 15MaF