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The Killing Joke - "Two Cuts in a Lunatic Asylum" Edition

MusicEd921

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Just got in from seeing a theatrical release of the film.  Immediately while watching it I had my fan editor eyes on and walked away with some thoughts since I had some idea of what people were upset about with the final cut.  

The Batman/Batgirl sexual relationship was super forced and Batgirl came off very annoying in my opinion.  In fact, the whole prologue was just brutal because it felt like it was a Batgirl movie and not a Batman/Joker movie.  Now, the prologue could've been better and I think in that 20-30 mins lies a good 12-15 minute short or a better reworked opening. So, I am proposing two cuts/versions of this film upon the release. 

First cut:  By The Book Cut

Cut the prologue, cut the additional Barbara scenes including her Oracle scene at the end and even cut the additional fight scene before the Batman/Joker face off when Bats arrives at the carnival. 

Second cut:  One Bad Day Cut

This cut will keep the idea of the movie with expanding Barbara/Batgirls role, but trim it down to the bare bones in that the prologue will stay, but will be cut to portray Batgirls last case and how she encountered her one bad day that causes her to quit. No sex with Batman, no whining and just overall less annoying.  Her epilogue as Oracle will also remain intacted. The additional carnival fight will of course remain.  This is just to clean up the movie while maintaining the additional embellishments and eliminating the more cringeworthy scenarios.  

Just waiting on my disc to arrive in the mail!

Thoughts?  Suggestions?
 

Neglify

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Sounds like a great plan! I loved it but felt the Batgirl segment went on way too long.
 

MusicEd921

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LeonVIII said:
i hope this helps with some ideas on where to cut 

Thank you for that link.  I just finished watching it and I agree with mostly everything she points out.  She's right about how they could've easily stretched the film out for the 70+ minute run time without needing to add in a horny Batgirl, but I'd like to figure out how.  Should there be some scenes of Joker reflecting on his run ins with Batman as at the end of the day he is trying to make a point to Batman?  A scene inserted with Dick Grayson could've helped stretch the run time with maybe talking about Batgirl retiring?  What are some creative ideas that could've been utilized?
 

SkywalkerFan01

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I'm just now watching Batman: The Animated Series but I believe in Season 2 or 4 (not sure) there's a story where
Batgirl is captured by the Joker,
maybe this could be a part of her bad day, and as you mentioned Dick Grayson 
when he quits could help with this.
 

Neglify

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^Not a bad idea, but BTAS is 4:3 and wouldn't match unless cropped.
 

TomH1138

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I've been reading about some of the controversy surrounding the film, and all I could think was, "Oh, there are gonna be a lot of fan edits of this."  :D

Your ideas sound interesting. Good luck with them!
 

TM2YC

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^ Indeed. I'll mostly skip over discussing the laughably juvenile Batgirl prologue (Which I'd been really looking forward to). Obviously that should go. The genius of Alan Moore's words and plotting have never been more clearly illustrated than when prefaced by this garbage. People in the cinema were loudly laughing at how misjudged and awful it was at points.

The actual TKJ second half was much less problematic but still mishandled. Perhaps in an odd way, this is the worst Alan Moore adaptation so far. For the second half it sticks closer to the material than any adaptation before but still gets it all wrong. At least films like 'From Hell', 'V For Vendetta' and even to a much lesser extent 'Watchman' did their own things (While also screwing things up ;) ). It was probably a mistake on my part to re-read TKJ literally 10 minutes before the screening, so every change was very clear. Here are a few things that really stood out...

1. When the Cop tells Joker his wife has died. In the comic it's arguably one of the most horrific parts because of the way the Cop delivers the news in this coldly casual and off-hand way, without even making eye-contact, while lighting a cigarette. In the animation he sounds genuinely concerned for Joker and they decided to have it happen off screen. It was a small moment but it mattered to me and should have mattered to people who were trying to do a faithful adaptation. This is unfixable.

2. In the comic, every flash-forwards-flash-backwards is done with a clever cut on subject and framing. Fun house door, to bar room door. Joker in despair, to Gordon in despair. It's the most cinematic element of the comic yet they bungled most of it up. One time they just do a random and meaningless crossfade? Some of this could be fixed with different editing choices and perhaps inserting some custom establishing shots.

3. In the comic, Joker's little "Loo-oo-oony" song is this mad, disturbing and macabre ditty. In the animation it's expanded full-length into a catchy show tune. The point of it was to drive Gordon mad, not to provide him with some entertainment. I could've almost sworn that in the 15Cert UK screening I saw/heard the phrase "Acid casualty" was changed to "Massive casualty" but it's not changed on the Blu-Ray, so I don't know.

I can't think of a way the song can be fixed without a clean center channel. Then Hamill's singing coulld be edited and set to some more fitting, wonky, fun-house type of music (You know, the type of music that might actually be believably playing in a fun house?). Something like The Beatles 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite'. Imagine the singing over the top of this fan instrumental (From about the 01.24 point). It might even be improved by being sung out of time...


4. The image of the Joker sitting on a throne of doll parts is striking and disturbing in the comic. In the animation they framed and lit it so badly that the doll parts were almost not visible. They seemed to think that the image of the giant throne was the important part of the image? This might be fixable with an FX tweak and some re-grading.

There's probably other small missteps if I thought about it more.


I must say that they got one thing right and actually improved on the comic. At the end as Joker and Batman are laughing they faded out Joker 'til it was just Batman laughing like a lunatic.

EDIT: This fan edited video pretty much nails the tone I was talking about...


In fact it's close enough to Hamill's voice that it might just pass, if cut into the movie.
 

MusicEd921

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Love all of these ideas!  

A little bummed that several people are basically doing the same things I proposed while I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive August 2nd.   :-/
 

TM2YC

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musiced921 said:
Love all of these ideas!  

A little bummed that several people are basically doing the same things I proposed while I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive August 2nd.   :-/

It's not who is first to the edit, it's who does it best. Fanediting can be all about the details and the polish. I'm sure people here would prefer to wait for an edit based off the Blu-Ray, rather than some sh*tty compressed streaming copy.
 

MusicEd921

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TM2YC said:
musiced921 said:
Love all of these ideas!  

A little bummed that several people are basically doing the same things I proposed while I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive August 2nd.   :-/

It's not who is first to the edit, it's who does it best. Fanediting can be all about the details and the polish. I'm sure people here would prefer to wait for an edit based off the Blu-Ray, rather than some sh*tty compressed streaming copy.

Thank you for the confidence boost!   :)
 

SkywalkerFan01

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TM2YC said:
[font=Raleway, sans-serif]It's not who is first to the edit, it's who does it best. Fanediting can be all about the details and the polish. I'm sure people here would prefer to wait for an edit based off the Blu-Ray, rather than some sh*tty compressed streaming copy.[/font]

Completely agree!
 

Zarius

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Maybe someone could do a "Grant Morrison" cut and try to explicitly hint Bats is killing Joker at the end and crossing that bridge, maybe even have Morrison narrate (using audio from the Kevin Smith podcast where he talks about it), like maybe the sound of a snapping neck or something or fairly large audible gasps from The Joker.

I haven't seen the movie, bear in mind, so if anything like this happened, feel free to shoot this down
 

SkywalkerFan01

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Zarius said:
Maybe someone could do a "Grant Morrison" cut and try to explicitly hint Bats is killing Joker at the end and crossing that bridge, maybe even have Morrison narrate (using audio from the Kevin Smith podcast where he talks about it), like maybe the sound of a snapping neck or something or fairly large audible gasps from The Joker.

I haven't seen the movie, bear in mind, so if anything like this happened, feel free to shoot this down


That doesn't happen and I love the idea.
 

MusicEd921

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One of the other fan edits I read about is doing this.  Personally I don't like that ending because I feel strongly that Batman would stick to what Jim asked of him.
 

MusicEd921

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Ok, here is the cut list for the book cut:

-Batgirl prologue is gone
-As in the comic, I'm using the last shot of the puddle and inserting it at the beginning as well to bookend the movie.  
-Added a rain effect to the above mentioned scene as well as Batman arriving at Arkham
-No phone call from Jim to Barbara
-No shot of Joker victims because it didn't exactly make sense that if he is supposed to be incarcerated (in everyone's mind) he would be able to pull it off (even though we know he has escaped).  PLUS, wasn't in the book!
-I'm working on cutting Batman and Jim's dialogue as they walk through Arkham since it references the cut scene from above.  Batman's first lines will be his basic monologue to the Joker in the cell
-Cut some of the Joker's lines when buying the carnival since they weren't in the book.
-Cut some additional lines during flashbacks
-Cut part of the doctor's examination of Barbara
-Cut Jim on trial in front of carnies
-Reordered some scenes to match comic
-Cut out some of the additional action during Batman's search for the Joker
-Batman's search and shots of the roller coaster doors will be turned into a montage as it was done in the book.  No dialogue, just music.
-Batman's fight with the carnies is now gone.  As Batman encounters the Joker, I am trying to include some of the voice over of his lines to the fake Joker in the beginning.
-When Batman and Joker jump out of the window, the whole ending sequence has a rain effect added to match the comic
-Batman's laugh will end sooner and we will see the same frame as we did in the beginning, this time with just rain sound effects as well as sirens approaching in the background.  Ambiguous as it was in the comic.

Total running time for this cut: 40 Minutes
 

paruco

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TM2YC said:
^ Indeed. I'll mostly skip over discussing the laughably juvenile Batgirl prologue (Which I'd been really looking forward to). Obviously that should go. The genius of Alan Moore's words and plotting have never been more clearly illustrated than when prefaced by this garbage. People in the cinema were loudly laughing at how misjudged and awful it was at points.

The actual TKJ second half was much less problematic but still mishandled. Perhaps in an odd way, this is the worst Alan Moore adaptation so far. For the second half it sticks closer to the material than any adaptation before but still gets it all wrong. At least films like 'From Hell', 'V For Vendetta' and even to a much lesser extent 'Watchman' did their own things (While also screwing things up ;) ). It was probably a mistake on my part to re-read TKJ literally 10 minutes before the screening, so every change was very clear. Here are a few things that really stood out...

1. When the Cop tells Joker his wife has died. In the comic it's arguably one of the most horrific parts because of the way the Cop delivers the news in this coldly casual and off-hand way, without even making eye-contact, while lighting a cigarette. In the animation he sounds genuinely concerned for Joker and they decided to have it happen off screen. It was a small moment but it mattered to me and should have mattered to people who were trying to do a faithful adaptation. This is unfixable.

2. In the comic, every flash-forwards-flash-backwards is done with a clever cut on subject and framing. Fun house door, to bar room door. Joker in despair, to Gordon in despair. It's the most cinematic element of the comic yet they bungled most of it up. One time they just do a random and meaningless crossfade? Some of this could be fixed with different editing choices and perhaps inserting some custom establishing shots.

3. In the comic, Joker's little "Loo-oo-oony" song is this mad, disturbing and macabre ditty. In the animation it's expanded full-length into a catchy show tune. The point of it was to drive Gordon mad, not to provide him with some entertainment. I could've almost sworn that in the 15Cert UK screening I saw/heard the phrase "Acid casualty" was changed to "Massive casualty" but it's not changed on the Blu-Ray, so I don't know.

I can't think of a way the song can be fixed without a clean center channel. Then Hamill's singing coulld be edited and set to some more fitting, wonky, fun-house type of music (You know, the type of music that might actually be believably playing in a fun house?). Something like The Beatles 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite'. Imagine the singing over the top of this fan instrumental (From about the 01.24 point). It might even be improved by being sung out of time...


4. The image of the Joker sitting on a throne of doll parts is striking and disturbing in the comic. In the animation they framed and lit it so badly that the doll parts were almost not visible. They seemed to think that the image of the giant throne was the important part of the image? This might be fixable with an FX tweak and some re-grading.

There's probably other small missteps if I thought about it more.


I must say that they got one thing right and actually improved on the comic. At the end as Joker and Batman are laughing they faded out Joker 'til it was just Batman laughing like a lunatic.

EDIT: This fan edited video pretty much nails the tone I was talking about...


In fact it's close enough to Hamill's voice that it might just pass, if cut into the movie.
 

Yes! There was something so off about the song I couldn't quite figure it out( I was  so tired and disappointed by then that I just couldn't) That video is great!

I hated how they messed up the transitions! they even have joker standing in front of the window but dont go for it! Was there even a close up of the fat lady image?
I  agree they got the ending right, mostly,  they could've added the beams of light from the cars like in the comic. Someone said it reflected the joke at the end and I liked that.
 

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sounds great! Especially the montage. Are you doing the crossfades like the book?
I'd like to suggest some filter or color correction, at least in the house of mirrors/funhouse. Batman walks through there and I believe theres mirrors or screens giving off colorful light, theres none shining on him, it looks like he's not really there.

Also did batman kill that little guy by throwing him into the spikes!? Kinda defeats the whole "by the book" thing....
 

MusicEd921

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paruco said:
sounds great! Especially the montage. Are you doing the crossfades like the book?
I'd like to suggest some filter or color correction, at least in the house of mirrors/funhouse. Batman walks through there and I believe theres mirrors or screens giving off colorful light, theres none shining on him, it looks like he's not really there.

Also did batman kill that little guy by throwing him into the spikes!? Kinda defeats the whole "by the book" thing....

I'm not sure what crossfades you are referring to, but I've been going through this with the book right on my lap and trying to keep it as close as possible.

I color corrected the initial train doors so it doesn't look like he is going through the same green door.  While I don't have the skills to change the graphics on the door, I changed the door color to red, blue, yellow, and kept the green.  Like in the book, the only sounds during the montage are from the train going through the door.

I tried to cut Batman throwing the little guy down there, but not only was it in the middle of the Joker speaking, but there wasn't a clean way I could find to do it.

At this point, I didn't try to replace the song.  I tried messing around with isolating his voice as much as I could while replacing it with generic scary carnival music and it just didn't work and sounded more off than creepy.  I could potentially try to sync up the video version from above with the movie, but we'll cross that bridge if need be.
 

MusicEd921

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I'm currently producing a my first cut of the movie.  It runs about 39 minutes.  I'm going to upload just the video file to MEGA, so if anyone is interested in viewing this and giving me some feedback before I move on to the One Bad Day cut, please PM me and I'll get it to you as soon as possible.
 
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