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Birds of Prey – The Chronological Edit

Wakeupkeo

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Birds of Prey – The Chronological Edit

I really loved this movie, once I got into it. But personally, I had a hard time with the narration and over the top silliness of the beginning. I bought this movie on blu ray before I saw it (since they end up being so cheap and lately I've ended up editing them anyways) but it took me a couple attempts to actually get through the first half.

My first edit plan was to see what this movie would be like without narration. But the voiceovers were in most of the audio channels, and sometimes over actual needed dialogue as well. So that was more work than I wanted to do for this experiment.

So my second attempt seems to have gone much better. Chronological cut, without the Ace Chemicals plotline. Harley, more of a known entity, now is simply discovering the protections afforded under Joker are slipping away. We meet Harley as a spoiled drunk still milking the privileges of being Joker’s girlfriend, so her personal growth seems bigger from basic piece of shit to possible new anti-hero. The rest of the major characters are introduced sooner, and Sionis’s displays of sadism ramps up more progressively until he dons the mask.

We lose a bit of the exposition in the beginning with the cartoon intro. I am hoping everyone is familiar enough not to need it, and she will explain it later in the grocery store and her apt, so even if you don’t know Harley’s history, you can still learn it when Cassandra does. But this edit feels like the violence is emphasized, so removing the cartoon is also better for vibe overall. I also removed Montoya beating up HUGE guys alone in the funhouse fight scene. I have one continuity error with Montoya’s clean clothes when she first confronts Dinah, but movie pacing seems off when I tried to keep Montoyas scenes strictly chronological. Instead of the week between Dinah saving Harley and Harley’s egg sandwich chase scene, they are made to feel much closer.

Update #1: removed name of Victor Zsasz from movie, now he is just a 'henchman."
Update #2 : tightened up funhouse fight scenes to remove some of the most choreograph-looking fight sequences (i.e. Huntress on the bouncy squiggle bars)

Initial Run Time: 1h48m
New Edit Run Time: 1h31m

1920x800 AAC 320 kbps, 48 kHz Stereo

New Synopsis:

Harley Quinn (former-certified psychiatrist, who became a crazed criminal and the Joker's accomplice/girlfriend) has since cut ties with the Joker and is on her own. Drunk at a nightclub owned by Roman Sionis, a ruthless crime lord, she cripples his driver after said driver insults her. Burlesque singer Dinah Lance rescues an intoxicated Harley from an attempted abduction. Sionis is impressed by Dinah's skills and appoints her as his new driver. 

GCPD Detective Renee Montoya investigates a series of mob killings carried out by a crossbow-wielding vigilante. Harley, fleeing from Montoya and several other people she had wronged, is captured by Sionis's men. Montoya approaches Dinah about being an informant on Sionis for them, but Dinah rejects the offer.

Sionis sends Dinah and his sadistic right-hand-man Henchman #1 to retrieve a diamond embedded with the account numbers to the fortune of the Bertinelli crime family, who were massacred years ago. Young pickpocket Cassandra "Cass" Cain steals the diamond from Henchman #1 and swallows it after she is arrested.. Henchman #1 informs Sionis that Cassandra has the diamond, and Dinah warns Montoya. As Sionis prepares to have Harley killed, she offers to recover the diamond for him. Sionis agrees but also places a bounty on Cassandra. Breaking into the GCPD, Harley frees Cassandra and the pair escape.

After escaping, Harley and Cassandra bond while hiding out at the former's apartment. Doc is approached for information by the "crossbow killer", who is revealed to be Helena Bertinelli. Having survived her family's massacre and becoming trained as an assassin, Helena has been targeting each of the gangsters responsible for her family's murders, preferring the moniker of "The Huntress". Harley's apartment is later bombed by criminals looking for Cassandra, and Doc sorrowfully reveals that he sold Harley out. Harley calls Sionis and offers to turn Cassandra over in exchange for his protection, agreeing to meet at an abandoned amusement park. Dinah notifies Montoya of the rendezvous, but her betrayal is noticed by Henchman, who informs Sionis. A devastated Sionis dons his ritualistic "Black Mask".

At the park, Montoya confronts Harley, but Harley knocks her out of a window. Henchman #1 arrives and tranquilizes Harley before holding Dinah at gunpoint, but he is killed by Helena, who reveals Henchman #1 was the last of her family's killers. Montoya returns and a stand-off ensues until they realize Sionis has arrived with a small army of masked criminals, known collectively as the False Face Society. Using Harley's old gear, the makeshift team successfully withstand and repel their attack. During the battle, Cassandra is captured by Sionis, while Dinah reveals her metahuman ability of supersonic-level screaming, defeating an additional number of mobsters aligned with Sionis. Harley gives chase on roller skates, and with assistance from Helena, the pair pursue Sionis. At a nearby pier, the final confrontation occurs. Sionis prepares to kill Cassandra, but she pulls the ring from a grenade that she slipped in his jacket after taking it from Harley's weapons chest earlier. Harley throws Sionis off the pier just before the grenade detonates and kills him.

In the aftermath of destroying Sionis's criminal empire, Montoya quits the GCPD. With the money within the accounts hidden inside the diamond, she joins Dinah and Helena in establishing a team of vigilantes. Harley and Cassandra escape, selling the diamond itself to a pawnshop and starting their own contract killing business.


Cut List:
  • Intro animation ends after sperm and egg joke.
  • Removed scenes of Harley alone in apt, buying hyena and playing roller derby
  • Moved scene of Harley in Bar with driver to later
  • Removed Ace Chemical destruction scene and title sequence
  • Moved Montoya’s intro scene to later
  • Moved Sionis warehouse scene to later 
  • Moved Egg Sandwich chase scene to later
  • Moved Montoya in the Station scenes to later
  • Moved Harley’s entrance into Station to later
  • Movie REALLY begins with the introduction of Black Canary.
  • Mr Keo face graphics when talking to Sionis removed
  • Removed Sionis talking to customers after Mr Keo leaves
  • Removed Harley talking to rando guy and getting shots with him
  • Removed mention of "Mr. Zsasz" name
  • Cut to scene with Harley and Driver
  • Cut to scene in Alley with rando guy trying to abduct her
  • Cut to Montoya intro scene, cut shorter to exclude Ace Chemicals explosion
  • Cut to Dinah arriving home
  • Cut to Egg Sandwich Chase scene, removed mention of ace chemical destruction, removed roller derby adversary, shortened Hyena mauling flashback to remove pulling up pants, removed Harley jumping on ladder and describing the whole situation as lucky, instead cutting to Harley escaping in alley, thanking business owner.
  • Cut to Sionis in warehouse with Mr Keo, Black Mask intro shots removed
  • Cut to Dinah picking Sionis up
  • Cut to Montoya confronting Dinah in Hallway (continuity error with Montoya’s clean clothes, but movie pacing seems off if made to strictly chronological)
  • Cut to Sionis having breakfast, removed mention of Ace Chemicals and Sionis looking for Harley
  • Cut to Cassandra stealing diamond sequence
  • Cut to Montoya arriving at Station
  • Cut to Sionis reacting to news of diamond gone
  • Cut to Harley hostage scene
  • Removed Harley dance scene Madonna tribute 
  • Montoya and Dinah phone call cuts to Harley entering the jail, which is cut much shorter and removed her shooting all policemen but one
  • Removed Cassandra recognizing her from roller derby
  • Removed Harley looking directly at the camera in the van with Cassandra
  • Removed Sionis line “you wouldn’t betray me, would you?” to Dinah
  • Removed Sionis calling out “Zsasz!”
  • Removed mention of “Mr. Zsasz” 
  • Added “Black Mask” graphic to when Sionis actually dons the Black Mask.
  • Removed Zsasz showing his scars.
  • Removed Dinah calling Henchman #1 “Zsasz”
  • Removed Huntress naming “Victor Zsasz”
  • Removed Montoya fighting the huge guys by herself
  • Tightened up fighting in funhouse overall to remove most choreographed moments
  • Shortened time it takes Huntress to tow Harley to first car of henchmen
  • Tightened Harley and Sionis Car chase shots
  • Cut short the Birds of Prey fight scene and lines about their name, mainly to detract from the weird costumes.
  • Changed “Victor Zsasz” name in credits to “Sionis' Henchman/Confidant”
  • Removed post credits audio.

PM me for a link if interested!

This is just a personal hobby for me but I am always trying to make my edits better, so I hope for and and always welcome feedback.

l1c4sSx.jpg
 

Wakeupkeo

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Found a couple errors and re-edited for removal of Victor Zsasz's name - he now becomes a simple "henchman," unnamed. It feels darker if he just seems like some club goon.
 

Wakeupkeo

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Found a couple errors and re-edited for removal of Victor Zsasz's name - he now becomes a simple "henchman," unnamed. It feels darker if he just seems like some club goon.
 

TinyBreadMouse

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Pretty good edit. It's sleek and well edited, I didn't notice any technical errors either. Doesn't feel like too much is lost in this version, so I'd say it works well to supplant the theatrical cut.
 

Wakeupkeo

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TinyBreadMouse said:
Pretty good edit. It's sleek and well edited, I didn't notice any technical errors either. Doesn't feel like too much is lost in this version, so I'd say it works well to supplant the theatrical cut.

Thank you for the feedback!! VERY glad my technical editing skills are getting better!
 

TM2YC

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The Great Subtracter said:
I will move this thread to In-The-Works when I am allowed LOL. Still waiting for other movies to complete the approval process, I am backlogging my projects here until then. I've been busy since the quarantine started.

There you go, thread moved to ITW :) .
 

Wakeupkeo

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TM2YC said:
The Great Subtracter said:
I will move this thread to In-The-Works when I am allowed LOL. Still waiting for other movies to complete the approval process, I am backlogging my projects here until then. I've been busy since the quarantine started.

There you go, thread moved to ITW :) .

Thank you, before I could even ask! You rock!
 

Wakeupkeo

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New update:
Found a glitch frame error to fix and one more "Zsasz" reference to remove on my latest review, and decided to tighten up the funhouse fight as well, to remove some of the most obviously choreographed fight sequences.
  • When I removed Montoya beating up the 300lbs guy, I didn't remove her getting tossed by him, so its not clear how she gets away. Instead, I cut the interaction with the 300lbs guy completely.
  • Tightened funhouse fight sequences to remove most obviously choreographed parts when possible
  • Tightened Harley skating around the giant hand to get right to the strikes, less skating
  • Tightened up the time it takes for Huntress to tow Harley to the first car of henchmen
  • Tightened up the Harley/Sionis car interaction to remove the lingering shots of Harley thinking. 
  • Tightened up the time from when Harley lets got of Sionis's car and when the car crashes, and removed the statue falling into windshield.

Edit: Clarified the Montoya cut description for accuracy
Edit #2: Clarified the Funhouse fight cuts - added some shots back in because the overall funhouse fight time seemed too fast.
 

Wakeupkeo

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[video=dailymotion]

Opening sequence now uploaded
 
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