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Star Wars Episode I: Shadow of the Sith by L8wrtr

elbarto1

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ok, heres my review of mr L8wrtr's Shadow of the Sith v3. note that I mean no disrespect to the editor and offer my views as constructive criticism as an objective audience only.

!!!SPOILERS ABOUND!!!

The film:
very nice. I am not a huge PT fan and havent watched very many Ep1 edits but this is my favorite of the lot. The pace is brisk and well thought out. everything that could be cut has been in my opinion and the result is a decent version of a film we all hate. Jara Jar has been minimized to a great extent, anakin is tolerable and most of the characters no longer fill you with hate from their silly dialog or questionable actions. This is IMO, the best TPM edit I have seen.

a few really cool areas I'd like to comment on:
-The 20th century fox logo has been replaced w/ a custom L8wrtr graphic as has the Lucasfilm Ltd, both look very slick and are a nice addition.
-The custom crawl was very cool as well, with a new title and new text setting up the film. well done.
-Almost complete battle droid voice removal is a great touch. those guys annoyed me to no end.
-The removal of clumsy jar jar in watto's shop and at shmi skywalker's dinner table was exceptional.
-additional scenes such as greedo fights anakin and quigon smashes probe droid were very nice and allowed the editor to remove more garbage scenes in favor of these additions.
-anakin is now a hero during the 3rd act which makes the movie actually make sense.
-removal of the ascension guns, thanks. why were they included originally?
-custom credits very nice.
-bonus commentary is greatly done and is very interesting, explaining many subtle choices that I hadnt even picked up on.

However there were a few minor issues that I noticed, thankfully none really disrupt the enjoyment of the edit:

-slight image stutter on a few wide pans, nothing terrible, hardly worth mentioning
-deleted scene #2 (probe droid) has a slightly different aspect ratio than the film for an 8 second segment.

A few personal opinions where I was not in agreement w/ the editor (not a problem and doesnt effect my rating)

-droid says one roger roger still around 1:14:00. why?
-the dramatic ending of the films tone is completely shattered by the abrupt crash into the typical star wars theme. I understand that this is "the proper way" to end a star wars film traditionally but IMO it just deflates the ending in every way. I think Duel of the fates would be much more appropriate here since we are coming out of a variation of that theme and it is a somber scene foreshadowing the entire saga to come. BANG! Happy Music. It was the only thing that doesnt work for me in this edit, but I respect the editors decision to "stay true" to the ending of all the other films.

The extras:

Theres a fantastic commentary track that spans the feature, explaining what was cut, why, and gives alot of insight into the editors mind and passion for the material, very well done, clear and interesting. I wish more edits featured commentary as its much cooler than studio released commentary IMO.

Deleted Scenes reel, this is a nice inclusion but only angered me after being reminded what I had managed to forget over the last 10 years. The scens are divided up into characters w/ text explanations setting up each reel. a nice addition even if I hate all of this footage:)

Video: 8/10 this color corrected version from Adywan's source is very nice, black levels are pristine and overall its nice to look at. The deleted scenes vary in quality from 7/10 (almost unnoticed) to 5/10 (wow, thats different) but are of no fault of the editor. the deleted scenes were not in nice quality to begin with and look fine here despite the obvious drop in fidelity.

Audio: 5.1 surround is here although I cannot rate it as the review copy I watched was 2.0 stereo. The stereo sounded great (albeit a bit low) so I really doubt the 5.1 sounds "worse"

Editing: 9/10 exceptional skill from a first time editor. a new viewer would not notice his presence (even if star wars vets cant miss it since we have all seen this film multiple times). no hard cuts/etc. a fantastic first effort. I cant wait to see ep 1 and 2 by L8wrtr.

Entertainment: 10/10 I have never been so entertained by TPM. I actually liked this movie for the first time.
at 96 minutes, there is nothing more that can be cut. As of now, this is my go-to replacement copy of TPM.

DVD: 7/10 simple but well authored, intro clip into a static menu w/ the options: play film, commentary and deleted scenes.

Final Average: 8.5 rounded up to 9/10. a great effort from a new talent. well worth any jaded star wars fans attention.

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TV's Frink

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Thanks for the detailed review, eb1. And congrats, L8! :grin:
 

elbarto1

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in the star wars section of fanedit.info
 

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Any suggested player I should use I've tried a lot of different thins like Windows Media Player but none of them work....
 

TV's Frink

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Where can I find the password...

...

...

...I kid, I kid!!!
 

L8wrtr

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Toby, another note, m4v is apple's funky extension for .mp4. If you have a player that can play .mp4's, then you should be able to change the extension and it will be happy with it. iTunes should definitely be able to play it.
 

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I watched the first half (up to the completion of the pod race). I will sum up my reaction thusly:

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The best compliment I can pay this so far is I was able to watch it on the exercise bike and get a good workout. When I'm watching something bad or something I'm not terribly interested in, I really struggle to ride the bike. It's a fracking pain, frankly. But when I'm watching something good, and I really get into it, I barely notice the workout, and when I'm done, I find I burned a lot more calories to boot.

I burned a lot of calories this morning :)

I'll be giving a full review down the line (and more thoughts when I finish the movie tomorrow) but just wanted to say how much I am enjoying this so far. The only slight negative I can think of (and it's extremely slight) is that the edit moves very fast because so many little moments are cut out, and I think some people might think the pace is a little rushed. Personally, I thought it was great.

Video looked really strong to me. I did think the beginning few scenes looked a bit washed out color-wise, but I assume that comes from adywan's version. Audio sounded great, I was listening to 2.0 on headphones and almost everything sounded seamless. There was one possible dropout I thought I heard during the podrace (a spot where Anakin drops into a canyon) but that may be present in the original mix as well.

I definitely will be listening to the entire commentary track when I have time - I'm very much looking forward to it. However, I should mention that in the little bits I sampled, the background movie sound was nearly as loud as the commentary and made for a difficult listen in spots (especially in action heavy places).

Can't wait to finish this. I'm expecting to give it either a 9 or 10 out of 10.
 

L8wrtr

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Wow, thanks TVF!! Comeing from the man who has seen TPM in all its various incarnations, and in general more than any human on Earth, I take that as a great compliment!

re: washed out color. Yes, this is the adywan affect. In making the Trade Federation ships a more neutral color he desaturated (I'm assuming) the color in space, while this makes the Trade Federation ships look great, the Republic Cruiser and Naboo suffer a bit.

The biggest gain is on Tatooine where he all the magenta/pink is removed and restores the look feel to be more in line with ANH. Also, on the surface of Naboo during the planning Queen's plan in particular, the original grass is bleh and brown in several places, Ady fixed that so it's lush and verdant. I feel that the gains more than outweighed the occasional wash-out, at least imo. When I first saw that I considered going back to DVD color, but in particular the lack of pink, and the punched greens (after comparing) really sold me on it.

Anyhow, thank you for the great feedback and I hope you enjoy the rest as much as the first!
 

elbarto1

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he didnt even get to all the great ideas I gave you, ie: the best parts ;)
 

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Review of Shadow of the Sith

Watching this edit reminded me, forcefully, that TPM is rubbish. The cuts only serve to highlight how terrible the movie is.
But: it is no longer utterly crap, thanks to you, L8wrtr. Your skills have made it watchable.

I disagree with a couple of your choices (particularly the cringe-worthy virgin birth: Anakin is Jesus - but an Evil Jesus!), but overall you have done a sterling job. Very, very impressive.

If I HAVE to sit through TPM again, this is the version I will watch, particularly for the last 30minutes. That was some sublime editing of the four battles taking place!

Video: I was watching on a relatively small LCD screen, but I didn't notice any imperfections. Quality seemed great to me throughout. I didn't notice the drop in quality that elbarto1 noticed. However, the subtitles looked blocky and semi-transparent (at least on VLC).

Sound: I was only getting 2.0 sound out of my 5.1 system - I thought it was supposed to be 5.1?. But the soundscape was generally very good, apart from some dialogue sounding rather "echoey", and one sound drop-out (weesa going home)

Some notes I jotted down as I watched - hope some comments are helpful!
- Opening scroll - self-conscious reference to the Phantom Meance is poor, doesn't fit well with the text, and takes you out of the movie before you've even begun!
- 5min - why not cut out the droidicars completely? Have them fight the droids outside the door because they have to - and then go to hangar scene. The other scenes add nothing of value - and, as you said in the commentary, show the Jedi to be weak because they can't defeat two droids "because they have shields". Doh!
- 8:40 cut out JarJar's uncertainty - the cut shows too much (different colour) - just go straight from "can you take us there" to "yes" or whatever he says.
- 12:44 arrival of bongo or whatever it's called - you've just shown the army moving in to the city, flying around etc - but there's no army in this shot - maybe move it?
- 23:50 - please, please take out the Greedo comment. It is just poor, self-referential crap GL stuffed in.
- Consider cutting C3PO completely. It's not unbelievable that he could make a robot, but why would a 6 year old make a PROTOCOL droid? Gaaah! C3PO adds nothing in this movie, and you've already cut most of him out....
- 28-29 min - the dinner scene. Wow-.Just wow. Awesome editing. Tone is great, all Jar Jar antics gone, dialogue makes sense and flows instead of cheesy. Amazing.
- (I also really like the new less wussy Federation, and the nonspeaking droids. Fantastic.)
- No, no, nooooo. I can't believe you kept the Virgin Birth. Please reconsider! The Darth Plagious link is way too tenuous - never made any connection to virgin birth in Ep 3.
- Hooray! No midichlorians.
- Pod race - excellently edited - BUT the removal of the announcer makes it a little difficult to know what's going on, and also deadens the race somewhat. The announcer gave it a ESPN sports feel that somehow worked. Maybe a little bit of announcer would have been helpful?
The film suddenly becomes a silent movie - no dialogue for about 5 minutes - and this makes the pod race seem even longer than in the original, even though you've cut it down.
- It's a pity you kept in the prophecy, vergence in the force, will of the Force nonsense. (How can the Force have a will??)
- 1:05:50 (approx) - sound dips out noticeably where you cut "Weesa going home!"
- Trim up the Gungun alliance scene a bit more - don't need Boss Nass's answer, and the awful "Yipee" celebration - they're going to WAR, not a trip to the seaside!
- 1:13:10 why leave in Q saying to Anakin "find a safe place and hide" and "Find cover" at around 1:14:00 - just have him run to his ship after "get to your ships" Isn't the PLAN that he will fly?
- The editing of the 4 battles - Gunguns, queen, Anakin in space and Darth Maul was superbly handled. It was an excellent piece of film, seamlessly edited, and exciting. 20 brilliant minutes. Well done!
- At the end of the commentary you say "Thank you very much" then a big sigh and a number of mouse clicks are heard.... Consider cutting...

Most seems a bit negative - however most of the way through I was nodding my approval, and the comments above are tweaks rather than real flaws.

Overall
I find this a difficult one to rate. As a movie I would rate it around a 6 (compared to the original a 3 or 4) - but as a fanedit I would rate it 9/10. Excellent work.
 

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If the first half of the film rated a fistpump, the second half easily rates a double fistpump.

837b71de-9da9-4808-9d42-aeee4c1bd5c2.gif


The final battle is just phenomenal. The Gungans are engaged and don't last long. The Naboobians (OT.com inside joke, sorry) are quickly captured. Anakin is the hero, just like it should be. And all the crap is gone - every little bit of Jar Jar, the ascension guns (including the dude that goes too slow), all of Anakin's accidental-ness (if that is a word)...it's all gone. I want to watch it again just thinking about it. ;)

The ending is also great. I've seen that ending a couple other times and it always works for me. It sets up the next movie perfectly. And no stupid parade, no Jar-Jar getting his foot caught, no electro-static ball that is never explained, and so on.

The inclusion of the virgin birth and the prophecy stuff is a tough call, but in the end I don't think I mind it too much. It definitely helps a lot to remove the midichlorians and make it just "the force" instead. I assume that when you get to EP3 you'll make the same change during Palp's little speech to Anakin. I actually kind of liked the idea that an evil Sith Lord created Anakin through the force.

If you were ever to update this, I can think of just a few minor requests:
-No wookies or ET's in the Senate
-No droid voices during the final battle (it was a little jarring to have it show up, plus there's still that one Roger roger)
-Lower the background volume on the commentary so it is easier to hear your comments

Oh, and mad props for the iris wipe (if that's the right term) from the Queen signing off of the Nemoidian's viewscreen near the beginning of the movie. I forgot to mention how super sweet that was.

Final verdict - 9.5/10.

Two last requests:
-You've got to give us an EP2 and EP3 as great as this one.
-When (not if!) the official Blu-ray comes out, with deleted scenes in HD, you've got to redo this edit.

You've given the Star Wars community a great gift. I would recommend you join OT.com and make a thread there to share this edit with more people. Hell, I might just do it myself if you don't. Thanks for this edit :-D :-D :-D
 

Remixed by Jorge

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Well, well, well. I've never heard TVF pipe up so loud over a fanedit before. :-?
It was a little a w k w a r d before with JasonN but now it's downright embarrassing! :lol:
Nah, I'm just teasing. :razz:
So it's this a Green light or Red light? I'm so confused. :-(
 

JasonN

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killbillme said:
Well, well, well. I've never heard TVF pipe up so loud over a fanedit before. :-?
It was a little a w k w a r d before with JasonN but now it's downright embarrassing! :lol:
Nah, I'm just teasing. :razz:
So it's this a Green light or Red light? I'm so confused. :-(
Just as long as I don't get dragged into some sort of bizzare "Faneditor Love Triangle" by Frink, then I'll survive. :p
 

TV's Frink

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JasonN said:
killbillme said:
Well, well, well. I've never heard TVF pipe up so loud over a fanedit before. :-?
It was a little a w k w a r d before with JasonN but now it's downright embarrassing! :lol:
Nah, I'm just teasing. :razz:
So it's this a Green light or Red light? I'm so confused. :-(
Just as long as I don't get dragged into some sort of bizzare "Faneditor Love Triangle" by Frink, then I'll survive. :p
046a784d-9b31-4a5d-832c-2d184ce62a5a.gif


;)
 

Remixed by Jorge

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JasonN said:
killbillme said:
Well, well, well. I've never heard TVF pipe up so loud over a fanedit before. :-?
It was a little a w k w a r d before with JasonN but now it's downright embarrassing! :lol:
Nah, I'm just teasing. :razz:
So it's this a Green light or Red light? I'm so confused. :-(
Just as long as I don't get dragged into some sort of bizzare "Faneditor Love Triangle" by Frink, then I'll survive. :p
:lol: :lol: :lol:
"I love you for eps 3 but I love him for eps 1!"
"Oh please... do them ALL"
and those little animated gif are downright orgasmic!
 

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kick.gif

.................................................................^TVF........^Jorge
 
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