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IFDB Review: Highlander II – The Quickening – The Extended Zeist Version:
#1
There have been many releases of Highlander 2 over the years. "Desperately passed from editor to editor in an attempt to save it.", so to speak. But we all know there's no saving it. Indeed, this movie is an atrocity. It should be remembered, so that future film makers will never again follow in its footsteps. This fan editor has done a service by preserving the excised and altered elements and presenting this abomination in its full horror. The footage that's widely available (without the CGI corrections of later releases) is very high in quality. The European-cut exclusive material is poorer; it's obvious when sources switch. However, this is as good as that footage can look with the limited releases available, so complaining about it would be a moot point. The Renegade Cut exclusive footage is the worst of the bunch, but as far as I'm aware, that's a problem with the source material. Aspect ratio changes with each source, with subtle changes to horizontal letterboxing and vertical pillarboxing - the later is probably only obvious if you aren't watching with overscan. Some may find multiple aspect ratios bothersome, but I prefer this method. Better to have all visible picture data available than to crop it and lose some. Despite using a European source, everything appears to be in the proper 23.97 frames per second with pulldown. Audio sync is perfect. It should be noted that the movie (mostly) follows the editing structure and soundtrack of the European version. This makes sense, as it is the most complete Zeist flavored version of the film out there. However, this also means that the awkward flashback intro and continuity-error filled final battle of the American theatrical version are now in their correct places in the film. I found myself missing some of the music from the American version as well - a second audio track may have been warranted. However, the presence of the legendary extended ending more than makes up for their absence. There's a collection of other deleted scenes as an extra feature. This is always welcome, but I'm confused as to why they weren't included in the edit proper. All in all, this is an admirable effort. Anyone who wants to experience one of the worst sequels ever made in its full context should look into this edit.

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