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BR Black Lotus - The Movie Edit

Wakeupkeo

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Bad Movies Made Less Bad Presents:
Tightened dialogue, less flashbacks, and less “Junior.”

I’ve always loved the philosophical questions that the Blade Runner world poses. So I was very excited for Black Lotus, and was willing to look past the terrible animation. But WOW. I was SOOO disappointed. I was frustrated at the end of almost every episode in its "season one". Extreme predictability, weak writing, an overall slow pace, and a generically weak story overall. It was a test to my fandom to watch it all the way through, and it wasn't worth it. My god, the whole detective flashback episode was excruciating.

But for some reason, after accepting that it is what it is, I've decided to make the best of what we got.

Disclaimer: This is still a terrible series. But if you want to be able to watch it more easily for some insane reason, I've tried to find the best of whats there, and wrap it all up a bit faster. And since its another "robot gone off program", it seemed perfect for another "The Problem With Synthetics" Series Entry.

Original runtime: 3h47m
New runtime: 2h38m
Subtitles available


Main Changes:
  • Show, don’t tell philosophy in effect.
  • Flashbacks minimized.
  • Dialogue and pacing trimmed when possible. (Some continuous shots were unavoidable) Any fat that could be trimmed to reduce overall runtime without sacrificing story was removed.
  • Fight scenes trimmed to remove as many lame fight sequences as possible.
  • Wallace Junior isn’t revealed until Wallace Senior is killed, after Elle creates a picture of him. (News shots of his face removed as well.)
  • No actual confirmation who commands Marlow, but its implied that Blade Runners are dispatched by Wallace, not Police Chief Grant.
  • Memory themes minimized in default to revenge plot theme.
  • Jay’s contact with Wallace Junior is hidden until their phone call after Elles’s memory wipe.
  • Jay’s flashback story minimized to it’s principles, that Jay wants revenge on Marlow.
  • White Lotus is first revealed when she is infiltrating the Memory Maker’s lab.
  • Davis doesn’t make it through alive in this season one edit. (If they make a season 2, I’ll adjust her demise.)
  • The short “Blade Runner 2039” has been trimmed and used as an after credits scene, focusing more directly on legalizing obedient replicants.

Previews available and looking for input to try to make it better.

Areas that currently can use improvement:
Underground Boxing Scene - music and shots switching is choppy. Inherent, but we can improve.
 
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Interesting...I hadn't heard of this anime, but my interest is piqued now. I'll need to seek out the source material.
 
I watched this last year and thought this could use an edit, but wasn't willing to put the time in to do one myself. It sounds like your cutlist is about what I would have done, so I'm glad you saved me the effort!

I'd be willing to preview this for you if you want, but I probably won't be able to give you feedback for a few weeks because I'm going to try to put all of my free time into cleaning up my Star Trek: Picard edit. I was wanting to get that done before the new season premieres next week but I'm a bit behind on that artificial deadline.
 
@futon88 - I had to watch at a slow pace as they released the episodes weekly, and it was excruciating. Bing-watchign might give a different impression, I'd love to know your thoughts if you get through it.


@asterixsmeagol - No rush! But would LOVE you thoughts when you are ready, since you are familiar with the source material. Agreed, most of my edit choices are probably common sense. So now for the IFDB release, I'd like to look at possibly taking the new raw edit and try to create a more interesting overall story. Its much more efficient in telling the story, but the story is still pretty weak.
Either removing parts to add more mystery, or editing it into a more fast paced adventure. Something creative might be able to put a little polish on this turd.
 
Happy Friday friends!! Just an update on this edit!

I was able to integrate a bit more of the Go game clues as I hoped, and cleaned up any audio issues I feel needed work. This edit is technically ready for release. I think the resulting edit is a much more efficient way to watch the Black Lotus story, but...

I still worry that, if it stands alone... is it an intriguing story in an of itself? In one sense, I now have what seems like all the building blocks of a great overall story, but can it be retold in a more interesting way? And while I am in no rush, I wonder if the rebuilt story to create interest should be a separate edit all together? Just stuff I am mulling over.
 
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I'm still working through it. I keep forgetting which episode I'm on, and the effort to figure it out feels daunting. Maybe not a good sign.

There are flashes of something cool in there, but it's jarring when it switches between the two different animation styles. As if they're using a completely different mo-cap setup for the fight scenes or something. Or maybe the non-choreographed bits are animated by hand. I dunno. Also, it suffers from that thing where the objects and environments are gorgeously rendered, but the faces are Toy Story 2.

You mention trimming the fighting, but honestly those are the only invigorating bits for me so far. I'm sure it gets better. I think I'm on episode 7. Or 9. Or 6.
 
I haven't trimmed much of the fighting until some of the later episodes, but I won't ruin any surprises with details yet. And mostly just parts within fights that interject bad dialogue or that sort of thing. :)

But yeah, the visuals are jarring. Agreed about the beautiful environments but Toy Story faces! And for me, its the hair that reacts sometimes, but straight up defies gravity at other times. One shot she is on the ground but her hair points up, while still moving in reaction to her head movement. Its uncanny.

Its why I wonder if the streamlined Black Lotus story is strong enough to minimize the visual issue.
 
I had a similar idea to this. But I'm too slow. Looks very interesting. I disagree that the series was terrible. In fact the opposite is what I think.

Why is it called BD Black Lotus. What does the D stand for? Did you mean BR?
 
Wow. Yes I meant BD! Ha ha

And that’s awesome that you enjoyed it! I like the overall “revenge” arc, but I kinda felt emotionally confused after each episode. It was like each episode tried to set up a mystery, but telegraphed it too obviously and resolved it by the end of the episode, and it was an odd feeling to me. But as I mentioned, I watched it as each week’s episode came out, not binged.

I’m curious @INIGHTMARES, how did you first watch it, and if you were to edit it yourself, what would you change? I’d love new perspectives, as there were not a ton of reviews of this series.
 
Wow. Yes I meant BD! Ha ha
You said BD again:LOL:no BR! :ROFLMAO:
I can see why you put BD though it kinda sounds like "Blade" maybe :unsure: haha or just a typo
I’m curious @INIGHTMARES, how did you first watch it, and if you were to edit it yourself, what would you change? I’d love new perspectives, as there were not a ton of reviews of this series.
I watched it full through. Bought the series on iTunes once it was all released. Hard to say what I'd do because I've never worked a series into a film like this. But when I saw this show I thought about how it could be a movie instead. But I never wrote any concrete ideas or plans like you have.
I'd love to watch how you decided to edit it and can totally give you my thoughts and perspective. DM me about it.
 
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Good beer came early tonight, I’m on the east coast. I’m blaming that. And I agree, my subconscious is typing the BlaDe association I suppose.

I just watched with noise canceling headphones and caught some audio errors, I’ll reach out when those are fixed. I’d love a good outside opinion from the positive side!!
 
Finished a general cut list. More detailed at first, but that got old so the later notes are more general.

Episode 1
  • New Adult Swim Intro
  • Crunchyroll credit from end credits used in intro
  • Removed Series Intro
  • Removed some of Elle’s flashback, leaving only the eye shot.
  • Removed date and location card, added title card for the edit
  • Removed Elle getting knocked down in the city, moved “This is all wrong” to when she is first looking around.
  • Removed Elle talking to diner owner about her tech
  • Removed Gang Leader line “Aww, what's a nice girl like you doing with a tat like that?”
  • Removed Elle discussing the daytime darkness
  • Removed Doc and Elle’s dialogue ”Ah, now that is something”, and “I don’t have any money. I should have known. Well I think I’ve had enough trouble for one day. I’m afraid I can’t help you.”
  • Re-edited Elle and Doc’s dialogue about the tech not being Elle’s.
  • Removed continuity issue where there is a closeup shot of Elle getting ready but her nose is unharmed.
  • Removed Gang Leader line “She can’t hide forever”
  • Bumped up some of the punch and kick SFX during the fight
  • Tightened Elle’s reaction before her flashback
  • Removed some of the “Blimp Advert” after Elle fights the gang. After so many years, they would have changed it a little… so let’s draw less attention to it.
  • Shortened Doc looking at the tech before Elle returns
  • Removed Doc looking for Jay. Now he just walks right into his home.
Episode 2
  • Tightened Jay first looking at the tech
  • Removed Davis interaction at the diner
  • Tightened Elle following Senator Banister
  • Trimmed some shots of the boxers that highlight the bad CGI
  • Trimmed Elle walking into the club, and some of her walking through
  • Added more crowd sound during Elle taking our Bannister’s guards
  • Removed Bannister yelling “Kill him!”
  • Added crowd chanting “Kill him”
  • Removed Junior and Senior Wallace talking
  • Tightened Davis’ interaction with Elle outside the club
  • Scene of Wallace senior removes Junior. Senior puts a game piece on the Go board in the room alone now, and receives the news about Bannister
Episode 3
  • Tightened Elle coming to
  • Tightened some of Jay and Elle’s discussion
  • Tightened Davis and Drove’s scene, removing Davis fighting anyone but Drove
  • Slightly tightened Elle and Jay’s “replicant discussion” scene.
  • Removed VK questions about Elle’s boyfriend
  • Removed Wallace Senior and Junior scene
  • Tightened Davis’s interaction with Doc
  • Added sfx so Elle wakes to the sound of the computer tech
  • Tightened video footage
Episode 4
  • Tightened flashback to continue where the footage ends, instead of the full flashback story
  • Tightened Jay calming Elle down
  • Tightened Davis taking info to the Chief
  • Episode 5
  • Scene with Wallace Senior and the Chief moved up, trimmed to remove implications that the Chief directs the Blade Runners
  • Tightened Marlow calling into HQ
  • Removed Elle finding Jay’s gun
Episode 5
  • Moved up Chief sending out the Police to search for Elle to before Jay offers her food
  • Removed Chief calling Marlow
  • Moved Elle and Jay discovering the Chief on the video footage to after Chief sends the force after Doc, so Jay gets the call after that.
  • Removed Jay’s last name when the Police say they found him at Doc Badger’s place
Episode 6
  • Removed Elle taking out guards a Chief’s residence
  • Removed Marlow talking to Chief
  • Tightened Elle’s fight with the Chief’s wife
  • Tightened Elle’s confrontation with the Chief
  • Tightened Elle’s confrontation with Marlow, removing some of their fight
  • Removed Elle’s experience after she is thrown from the explosion
Episode 7
  • Removed Junior Wallace confronting Senior Wallace
  • Tightened Davis confronting Jay
  • Beginning of Davis’ interrogation moved up to here, heavily trimmed.
  • Elle entering Dr. M’s lab tightened
  • Discussion by doctors about “an inconsistency” tightened
  • Tightened Elle fighting Dr. M
Episode 8
  • Davis’ interrogation is heavily trimmed to remove the flashbacks, we begin at the end of the session
  • Discussion in the desert tightened
Episode 9
  • Wallace Junior cut out of scene with a panicking Senior Wallace, Go gameboard inserted
  • Scene from Episode 5 of Junior playing Go from his lab while ignoring Senior trying to call him has been inserted here, with shot of Junior’s face removed.
  • Edited dialogue between Jay and Elle to remove the “Senior” reference
  • Scene of Marlow looking over photos of Elle removed
  • Removed Jay talking on the phone
  • Tightened Elle’s infiltration of the Wallace Tower slightly
  • Tightened some of Elle’s fight with Marlow
  • Trimmed handprint sensor showing Junior reference
  • Tightened some of Wallace Senior and Elle confrontation
Episode 10
  • Jay’s flashback trimmed to just when Marlow shows up at the club, dialogue tightened
  • Elle’s flashback removed
Episode 11
  • Reveal of White Lotus removed
  • Tightened Doc welcoming Elle
  • Removed scene of Jay and White Lotus
  • Tightened Jay at the payphone, moved discussion with Davis to first
  • Removed Jay scene at the mirror
Episode 12
  • Tightened first fight between Elle and White Lotus
  • Removed shot if Davis disappearing after being stabbed
  • Removed first Jay flashback
  • Tightened Jay and Marlow confrontation
  • Removed Jay dream with Elle
  • Episode 13
  • Tightened Elle and Junior’s discussion
  • Tightened Elle’s fight with White Lotus slightly
  • Tightened Junior finding Jay
  • Tightened Elle and Junior’s final confrontation
  • Removed Jay and Elle’s final emotional exchange
  • Removed Davis’ return to the office
  • Removed final Junior scene
  • Removed extra rider as Elle rides into sunset
2036 : Nexus Dawn Post Credits Scene
  • Tightened heavily to simply focus on Wallace and his new Angel
 
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Yes! Ready for previews! I would love input on how the ending plays out and if you think there is any more opportunity to make it great! I'll PM you the link! Thank you!
 
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I finally finished my preview of this edit. In short, it's great.
I loved the series even though the reviews on IMDB make out the series to be mid at best. The show does have all kinds of callbacks to it's roots and I'm okay with it all. Elle is a great character, and female which is cool. If viewers are interested in what the series has to offer but don't want to watch the full 4+ hours of it in one or multiple sittings then this 2.5 hour film version is perfect. You will get all the essentials of the story in a well truncated way. Side plots being cut and reveals of characters/villains both happen naturally. The brooding, neo-noir atmosphere the property is known for still remains in tact, even with the quickened pacing of this edit.
A few audio issues were noticed but nothing Keo won't be able to fix.
I don't think the live action short being used as an end credits sequence is needed. If cut it would also help on runtime.
 
I finally think it is finished. This edit was quite fun to do - the animation element allowed me to mash together two shots that were farther apart, allowing a lot more options for dialogue manipulation. Much of the tightening of scenes mentioned below are not simple cuts, but literal rotoscoped overlapping shots.

  • One constant request on this edit from early viewers was the desire for film grain. Simpler methods like overlays never achieved more than a “muddying” of the look, and I never was happy with the results. However @INIGHTMARES took my edit and added high quality film grain with Topaz, as well as upscaling it to 4k. It looks absolutely amazing. (It would have took my computer over a year to process the same file at those settings)

  • Also a big shoutout to @TheTVEditor for the new custom credit text effects. Their passion and wanting to help has made it even better, which I am very grateful for!

I'll be posting to IFDB this weekend!
 
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