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Iron Man 2: At the Core of It

lapis molari

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IRON MAN 2 is one of the weakest installments in the MCU. No focus, too much snarky humor, a teeth-grindingly stupid Justin Hammer. This edit is a major overhaul of the storyline. Lots of dialog is trimmed, scenes moved around, deleted scenes inserted.

Key goals:
1) Focus the movie: WHO is the main enemy? Spoiler: Tony's heart condition.
2) Remove most of the anger between Tony and Pepper.
3) Upgrade Justin Hammer.

Note: This edit retains the Avengers-promo way how this movie fits in the MCU continuity. Some FE members have criticized this, and I disagree. This is not a stand-alone story, it does set the stage for the Avengers movie.

Story with cuts and changes:
- Keep Vanko opening.
- Follow with deleted scene of Tony trying new element combo for his heart, without success. Add Jarvis voice that it's "not a suitable replacement" and it's "killing you".
- Title, followed by partial deleted scene of Tony not wanting to jump out of the plane. Including Pepper kissing then throwing his helmet and Tony telling her "you complete me". This way we start with a smiling couple instead of an exasperated Pepper. Plus this was tge intended (alternate?) opening considering the music lined up perfectly between the theatrical and deleted shots. Color corrected the light green tone.
- Keep Stark Expo, with some trims for dialog.
- Rework Senate hearing, add partial deleted scene with Coulson, cut Hammer's dumbest bits.
- Vanko makes whips. Tony continues to try and fail to find a cure-element for his heart.
- Tony and Pepper argue. She focuses him, he makes her CEO, reaffirms the importance of the Expo, and introduces the Monaco storyline.
- Retain Black Window intro.
- Trim Monaco pre-race to remove dumb Hammer and to make Tony's driving look planned (plugging the plot hole that Vanko couldn't have known Tony would drive if it was last minute). It also looks like Pepper knew Tony would drive.
- Trim Monaco fight to minimize the shots showing Pepper and Happy sitting shell-shocked (pardon the pun) in the car a few steps from the fight. Flipped a shot for continuity.
- Trim Tony - Vanko talk in French cell.
- Slight trim to Vanko's escape.
- Trim Vanko meeting Hammer, then going to warehouse, to remove dumb Hammer lines.
- Retain the bird but cut the bird jokes.
- Retain Stark pre-party with Natalie, into heavily edited party. Add partial deleted scene with Munn, to play up escalation of Tony's behavior, to better justify Rhodey taking the armor.
- Retain donut scene.
- Trim Vanko explaining to Hammer that drones are better, making Hammer less a dweeb.
- Rhodey brings armor to army. Fury gives Tony house arrest.
- Overhaul Tony in Pepper's office scene. Shorter, no Natalie, Pepper doesn't leave.
- Add partial deleted scene to expand Tony finding the element.
- Vanko tells Hammer "no demonstration". Tony has his A-Team moment, building his new machine. Hammer gets armor from the army, then confronts Vanko (trimmed for Hammer's benefit). Tony completes his A-Team moment (mute "that was easy" because the point is that it wasn't). Vanko calls Tony. Juxtaposing Tony's inventing and Hammer's acquiring reinforces that Hammer is no real threat for Tony. Hammer is no buffoon, he's just not in Stark's genius league.
- Trim the Expo for pacing and Hammer's benefit.
- Many trims to drone battle and Tony-Rhodey dialog. Minimize civilian casualties. Cut dialog of Tony telling Pepper he was dying.
- Add unused shot from drone battle into Vanko battle. After Vanko battle, Tony says " that was easy" (telling the audience that he too is surprised it's over already).
- Trim rooftop scene. No Rhodey. Pepper doesn't resign. Tony and Pepper get to their kiss much faster.
- Insert mid-credit scene of Coulson's "A funny thing happened on the way to Thor's hammer". Retain post-credit scene of Coulson arriving at said hammer.
- Replaced last 2+ minutes of music during credits with the unused Danny Elfman "Heroes" from Avengers 2. Sped up credits 3% to make the tune fit. It referred back to Avengers 1, now it refers forward to that. I decided against Iron Man 3 music because this edit leads into Avengers 1. We haven't arrived at IM3 yet.

Cut around 15 minutes of original movie, insert around 6 minutes of deleted scenes, new runtime around 1h54m.

I'm not sure of the subtitle. Any suggestions are welcome!

Audio is I might not do 5.1 audio.
Videoclips to come later this month.
 

Masirimso17

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This looks great! I had attempted an Iron Man 2 edit a while ago but it wasn't very good, and my opinions have vastly changed since then. Looking at your cutlist, seems like you got it great.

About the deleted scenes, I recommend 5.1. My edit of Amazing Spider-Man 2 also has 2.0 deleted scenes but I'm keeping the edit 5.1. Is that good or bad?
 

Nic

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Cutlist looks excellent! If you need better title ideas, i’m thinking:

Iron Heart
Heart of Stark
Stark Attack (play on Heart Attack)
Bleeding Stark (reference to Vanko’s desire to make god bleed)

And a bunch of other Heart-puns that you can swap out Heart with Stark:

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/heart
 

TomH1138

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Even though I feel like IM2 is underrated, I'm glad this is getting an edit. Considering how many people think it's the worst MCU film, it's surprising that it hasn't gotten an edit until now. Maybe you can polish it up and help people see the movie I see in it. :)
 

lapis molari

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TomH1138 said:
 Maybe you can polish it up and help people see the movie I see in it. :)

Exactly this. IM2 has lots of potential but the theatrical version overplayed jokes and underplayed character development.

Now it's a long hard quest for Tony to find his cure. Vanko is a determined but minor villain who never rises to Stark's level. Hammer, though naive, is more ruthless in his thirst for power. I imagine him in a future story as enabler for villains. And Pepper mostly stands by her man instead of the angry on-again-off-again relationship.
 

addiesin

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lapis molari said:
I imagine him in a future story as enabler for villains.

Luke Cage's villains in the Netflix series use Hammer tech (name drop only, no Sam Rockwell appearances). So this is pretty consistent with what they ended up using him for.
 

davetennisx

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THANK YOU!

I've been wanting to see a fanedit for this movie since it was released. Your ideas sound great. Can't wait!
 

lapis molari

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Here's the Rooftop scene, after the final battle. It's not the most spectacular clip, but it's representative of how I'm cutting the scenes in this edit. Several scenes are joined by having off-screen dialog run over a cut.

- Original 2'22", edit 0'59".
- No Rhodey on the same roof, because that was lame.
- Pepper doesn't quit, so she doesn't have to un-quit later.
- No being angry at each other. At events, yes. At each other, no.
password: fanedit.org
 

Zamros

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The cut at 0:30 is good, but needs a bit of improving. It should sound more like Tony is cutting her off, right now it sounds like an actor waiting to be cut off because it says so in the script.

I really like the intent of this edit, and glad to see you're keeping the doughnut scene in, that was my favourite part :p
 

TinyBreadMouse

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I agree with Zamros here, the cut idea at 0:30 is really good, but could be a bit better. Maybe have Tony start speaking a little sooner so it sounds like a more natural cut-off?
 

Masirimso17

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I see the intent but personally it doesn't really work for me. The cuts are way too abrupt and the scene changes too early. Maybe you should keep the quitting then the "How can you resign? I don't accept." etc. Maybe even Rhodey? I dunno.
 

lapis molari

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Here's a clip of Hammer and Vanko at Hammer Industries:
- Hammer gives Vanko his bird. There are no jokes, no accusations that this bird is a replacement. It shows Hammer's willingness and ability to invest in the collaboration.
- Hammer's dumb lines are trimmed in his discovery that Vanko is making drones instead of armor.
- Vanko's burn "learn to let go" is retained. Hammer's is cut, making Vanko's a bit meaner.
Password: fanedit.org
 

Zamros

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I think you can meld the "We got you the bird" line, with the end of the "It's a great bird" line to make it flow a bit better. Otherwise the dialogue is a bit disjointed, makes the cut obvious.

Other than that it's pretty good :) Hammer seems more tolerable in this version
 

lapis molari

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I (finally) realized that this edit doesn't focus on Tony's heart but on replacing his Iron Man Core with something safe. So instead of Heart-something a more accurate sub-title is IM2 Core edition.
What do you think?
 

TinyBreadMouse

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At The Core of It could work as well. But I do like IM2 Core Edition as well
 

The Scribbling Man

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Masirimso17 said:
I see the intent but personally it doesn't really work for me. The cuts are way too abrupt and the scene changes too early.

I have to agree. It's been a long time since I've seen this film, but your first clip has a lot of abrupt cuts in the dialogue. In some cases there isn't enough space and lines are being cut off too early. 

On first glance at your second clip :

0:16 - the cut here is too sudden, the gap between the two lines being unnatural. Sounds like Rockwell is cutting himself off ("we got you the bir- it's a great bird!") 

0:41-0:44 - the mix changes back and forth quickly and noticeably here. Sounds like it's bouncing between centre and right speaker. 

Generally speaking, be very careful with your audio transitions here. There is heavy reverb in the room of the 2nd clip, and there are a few cuts where the echo of the dialogue is just slightly cut off. I highly recommend doing audio editing using a good pair of headphones, and at a slightly higher volume than comfortable when checking through the cuts.
 

lapis molari

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The Scribbling Man said:
Masirimso17 said:
[...] The cuts are way too abrupt and the scene changes too early.
I have to agree. [...] In some cases there isn't enough space and lines are being cut off too early. 

I know, right? The content of the edited dialog works, but the delivery doesn't flow yet. That's why I put the clips up, for your feedback. :)

This IM2 edit is definitely more demanding than my previous ones. Indy 2 was a linear edit, BttF 2&3 had some switched scenes but the narrative stayed intact and no deleted scenes were added, this edit has it all. I want a clear narrative and smooth flow, but I fear I won't get my way on everything I want for this edit.  Or I'll have to sacrifice that balance a few times. This makes me appreciate the seamless work of FE's many experienced editors all the more!

The subtitle is decided: "At the Core of it". It's clearer than either "At the Heart of it" or "Core edition".
@"Q2" , I know that thread titles can change, but I don't know how to. Will you please point me to the right page, or update the thread title for me to "Iron Man 2 - At the Core of it"?
 

lapis molari

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Here's another clip. This time a fight scene: Stark and Rhodey fight Vanko's drones. The implausibly long banter is removed, as is a shot of the fight that gets re-used in the subsequent fight against Vanko himself.
Pw: fanedit.org

My question: you see smoke build-up during the fight. At 1'06" there is one short shot with less smoke. What special effect or editing trick is a convincing way to create matching smoke in that one shot?

 
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