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The Postman: The Expedited Edition by BionicBob

bionicbob

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THE POSTMAN: THE EXPEDITED EDITION


Postman_Cover1_front.jpg




original film names: The Postman, Terminator 3

new film name : THE POSTMAN: THE EXPEDITED EDITION
tag line: "NOT EVEN AN APOCALYPSE CAN STOP THE MAIL"
film studio name : Warner Brothers
edit crew name : Bionic Bob
persons involved: Me
Date Original Film Was Released : Theatrical Release 1997
Date Edit Was Released : April 2011
Original Runtime : 2 Hours 58 minutes
New Runtime : 2 Hours
Cut/Add Time: cut about 60 minutes, added 2 minutes


Fanedit Intention:
My intention is to try and bring some LOVE to this wrongly maligned movie.
The original POSTMAN is a sentimental, lyrical, optimistic post-apocolyptic epic adventure about the power of love, hope and patriotism.
What's not to love?
But in 1997 no one was interested in an OPTIMISTIC post-apocaliptic adventure movie. Audiences and critics widely panned the movie.
One critic called it "Mad Max if directed by Frank Capra". I am pretty certain the critic meant the comparision as an insult,
but I take it as wonderful compliment.
Capra movies are inspiring patriotic tales of the common man rising up and triumphing over corruption and the more powerful.

And at it's core, so is the The Postman.
It is a movie about HOPE.
It is NOT a movie for cynics or pessimists.

So with this edit, I have embraced the Capra-corn elements of unashamed patriotism, while adding an element of mystery by removing all scenes and/or dialogue that reveal the Postman's true identity or history.

Hopefully, by using this approach, you the viewer, will find the movie more engaging and entertaining.

So leave your jaded world-weary attitudes at the door,
sit down with your popcorn and let your inner patriot out,
because HOPE RIDES AGAIN!

Remember, Not even an Apocalypse can stop the Mail!

Editing Details:

CUT LIST:
---The first 44 minutes is completely cut

---Crafted a new prologue/opening credits.

---Recut the Shelter in the Storm scene, so he no longer discovers the mail bag or uniform.
Now it appears he is just taking shelter and drying out his uniform and mail.

---Lots of little cuts/trims while in Pine View in attempts to make it less clear his true identity or motivies.

---Cut the Sheriff scene of accusing him of being drifter who just found a bag of mail

---recut the after dance scene so it no longer looks like he trying to run away, but instead purposely looking for the local Post Office, thus seeding the idea he may actually be what he says he is...

---a few trims during the Benning, Oregon scenes....
--regarding the price of a stamp
-- Bethleham kicking over a barrel while under attack
--Abby blugeoning a Holnist to death

---a few trims during the Mountain Cabin scenes
--Abby discovery of the Postman's identity and confrontation have been reworked to keep it more of a mystery for the audience,
clearly Abby knows something and it is making her hostile towards the Postman but she never openly says anything

---cut the whole Scott Baristow spy subplot, now he is just another young person inspired by the Postman

---cut the Postman confessing who he really is to Abby

---cut Ford and Bethleham scenes, so now it is more of surprise when Ford appears at the end and leaves what tortures Bethleham may have inflicted on Ford to the audience's imagination

---cut the whole cliche Hollywood ending of the defeated Badguy suddenly rising up and then getting shot by another character.
Seen it a million times and it defeats the whole final message of starting over and "live and let live"


Used iMac 10.5, Mac the Ripper, MPEG Streamclip, Final Cut Express, GarageBand, and iDVD
 

bionicbob

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I am very curious what people will think of this one.

It should be noted, this was my last edit using iDVD, which as many of you may (or may not) know does not recognize 16:9 encoding.
So I had to "trick" iDVD into making "fake' 16x9 by altering the Visual Setting in the Movie Properties.

It will be interesting to hear what you think of the result. :)
 

Kevinicus

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I'm curious since you cut the first 44 minutes, how you handle the challenge at the end? Do you eliminate the whole laws of 8 thing and have Bethlehem basically accept his offer that wars be settled by the fools who start them?
 

bionicbob

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Kevinicus said:
I'm curious since you cut the first 44 minutes, how you handle the challenge at the end? Do you eliminate the whole laws of 8 thing and have Bethlehem basically accept his offer that wars be settled by the fools who start them?

It was very tricky. But I think I came up with a solution that works. The audience will have to decide.

I don't think you need to actually know all The Laws of 8, to understand the ending. They make it pretty clear at the end that only another clansman can challenge for leadership. As for the rest.... well, you will just have to watch to find out.:)
 

LastSurvivor

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This is certainly on my list to view. I like most things Costner, and whilst I know this is not one of his greatest moments, I didn't really think this was the disaster many made it out to be.
 

MusicEd921

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I always wondered if trimming this movie down would make it better. It sounds like you went at it with a really intriguing idea and I'm looking forward to checking it out. I too, thought this movie was pretty good and was just highly misunderstood (considering you have to really look deep at what message the movie was trying to send).

It ain't Waterworld (my favorite guilty pleasure), but I'm sure your edits will make it something great and more memorable!
 

Pagz

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Hey Bob!

I really dig the new opening and how it sets up Costner as actually being a postman and leaves it ambiguous as to the veracity of that. I do miss the donkey, but then I love the original film too ;) The film feels much more focussed now. The climax between The Postman and Bethlehem could be potentially confusing, but I think one can get byt without knowing the exact references they are making to each other, the audience can assume they are referring to a shared past that we are not privy too. I do get the sense that perhaps a little too much of the Holnists has been removed. For someone who has never seen the original film they may come off as not much of a threat, just a camp of guys in ugly orange overalls. Overall though, I really dug this edit :)

On to the technical: The editing is great, no complaints there. 2 technical gaffs: In the opening title cards there's a typo: Goverment instead of Government. and I noticed at Bridgetown through the end of the film the lip synch seemed to go off. I found it especially noticeable when Tom Petty was about to send the Postman across the dam on that basket zip line thing.

Great Work Bob, can't wait for Undiscovered Country :)
 

LastSurvivor

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The Postman - The Expedited Edition... Review

I remember quite vividly the out-pour of negativity which was lauded against Kevin Costner’s epic adaptation of David Brin’s novel, The Postman. It seemed that after the huge success of movies like Dances With Wolves, JFK, The Bodyguard, A Perfect World and Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, the media at large were just waiting for Costner to fall from grace. The much touted production problems of Waterworld in 1995 started the ball rolling, and two years later nearly everyone seemed to rub their hands together with glee when The Postman cemented the opinion that he had lost the plot and produced an overblown project of vanity which many would consider to be the worst film of that decade.

By the time I managed to catch up with the film, about a couple of years later, I came to the conclusion that the criticism was deserved and yet at the same time wasn't. The film certainly had problems. The first half of the 3 hour epic was somewhat ponderous, slowly setting up the story at large and in particular painting Costner's character as far too much of a con man for my liking. Sure, Dances With Wolves was a slow burner of a movie, but it had more focus in its direction then Costner shows here. However, amongst this was a movie with a good natured message about a hero who stood as a symbol of hope and patriotism during a time when pessimism ruled - not only in the time when the movie was set, but during the time it was released too. Ultimately, this was far from the worst film of the decade, but yes it certainly could have been a whole lot better.

When BionicBob somewhat sheepishly released his fanedit, entitled The Postman: The Expedited Edition, I was very intrigued to see what he had come up with; particularly when I read his cutlist. The first thing which grabbed me straight away was the intention to make Costner's Postman character far more of a mysterious figure; the second was excising almost the first hour of the movie. Both of which made me very eager to see the edit.

Bob begins the edit with a summary of what's gone before, relayed to us by onscreen captions and images, which tell of how social collapse around the world and nuclear war has more or less left society on its knees. It also briefly introduces the neo-fascist group known as The Holnists, led by a wonderfully stary eyed Will Patton, and then we pick up Costner as he seeks shelter from the rain for the night and then turns up at a settlement the next morning claiming to to be a Postman from the reformed Government of the United States of America. A perfect way to start for me, and already it creates far more mystery as to the authenticity of The Postman's claims and the actions he takes thereafter.

Throughout the edit Bob neatly keeps things moving at a far brisker pace than the theatrical cut, but never at the expense of key scenes which help build character or enhance the story. It wasn't long before I was already half way through the edit and thought how quickly it had breezed past. By concentrating on the central theme to do with the hope and purpose which The Postman brings to numerous communities, the film takes on a far more focused and powerful meaning. Strengthening this further is the decision to leave it far more open to the viewer's discretion in relation to Costner's character - in what motivates him, to whether he is a real Postman or just some kind of con man. Less is more indeed.

Technically, on the whole this is a top notch effort. The picture quality is more or less every bit as good as the official DVD release, and the audio levels are all fine. Only towards the end did I notice a problem where the lip synching seemed to be slightly out of time, which is a shame as otherwise this is a near flawless technical edit. So, video would be 10/10, audio 8/10.

So, as a fanedit this is up there with the best of them. It's definitely the version of The Postman that I wanted to see when it was first released and truth be told, I now have no need to watch the theatrical version again. Bob deserves huge praise for turning a frustratingly inconsistent movie into one which I would now quite happily recommend to anyone. The Postman does indeed ride again :)

Overall, I would give this a final score of 9/10. Well done Bob.
 

herowoac

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I watched this yesterday, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Emotionally it works wonderfully.

I didn't notice any technical problems,
both audio and video seemed near perfect to me.

Like was stated in some of the other reviews the beginning does feel fanedited,
but after that I barely noticed the faneditors presence,
with the exception of when Abbey finds the 8, which was edited a bit hard,
seemingly to hide the 8 and her reaction to it. More on that later.

Plotwise mostly it works very well.
I'm not the best to judge however,
I tend to be more sensitive to the emotional aspects of a movie,
and more forgiving of logical shortcomings.

The end battle however is quite a mess plotwise.
For anyone, like me, who's not very familiar with the movie
(I only watched it once or twice years ago and didn't much care for it)
it's very hard to follow the dialog, since it seems to be
almost entirely about things that hasn't happend in the expedited edition of the movie.

What do you mean your both imposters? What's this Shakespeare stuff?
What is this prior meeting their talking about? What's the significance of the 8 on the shoulder?
What laws? The postmans a holnist? and can end the war by just knocking out Bethlehem? huh what?

None of these things are really explained. And without them the dialog just doesn't make sence.

If only there was some small flashback or something to explain or set you up for it,
so that the whole thing didn't come completely out of left field.
It seems there where several good opportunities for further explanation.
For instance when Abbey finds the 8 on the postmans shoulder,
or when general bethlehem captures some of the mail couriers
and keeps them alive seemingly to make them join the clan.

Anyway, I really did enjoy this new cut of the postman. Despite the plothole in the end.
So thank you for making a movie I've otherwise regretted buying worth owning again.
Now at least I can enjoy an hour and 40 minutes of it. And the ending isn't bad enough to ruin it.
Even though it doesn't make any sense it's still kind of a cozy way to go about things,
it's kind of nice to not have everybody kill each other for a change.
 

bionicbob

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Thanks for review and insights Herowaoc!:)

While I agree the ending confrontation between the Postman and Bethlaham may be a bit challenging,
I don't agree it is the big plot hole as you described.

All the necessary clues are present throughout the movie, I just did not shine a big spotlight on them.
The opening prologue sets up the "8" symbol and it's importance,
and is reinforced by Abbey's later discovery.

While the 8 Laws are not explained in this version,
the Postman and Bethlaham's conversation at the end
clearly summarizes the most important one regarding Clan Leadership,
which is all your really need for the plot and story resolution.

In many ways, I just wanted to drop the audience into this post-apocalypic world
and let them learn things as they happen instead of spoon feeding them plot/character points.

Yes, some the references/comments the Postman and Bethlaham make to each other are unclear.
But that is the whole point of this edit.
Clearly, they share some sort of past relationship/history with each other
but never did I want that history made crystal clear for the viewer.
I wanted the origins of the Postman to remain a mystery right to the end.
In many ways, the closing act is not a plothole,
but a big reveal.
At least that is how I intended it to be perceived.:)
 

bionicbob

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For anyone who is interested, I have re-uploaded my POSTMAN edit.

Links should be updated in a couple days, or you can PM me.

:)
 

Neglify

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News item of equal importance...

Look at that sweet new avatar you got! :madgrin:
 

bionicbob

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Neglify said:
News item of equal importance...

Look at that sweet new avatar you got! :madgrin:

Yep, taking it for a test drive.:p
 

Neglify

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And oh yeah, I downloaded your Postman edit. Will put it with the other BB edits I need to watch ASAP.
 

bionicbob

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As has been pointed out by some of the past reviews/comments, this version of the Postman does not give any clear answers to The Postman's past or his exact relationship to Bethlaham. This is done on purpose. The viewer is deposited into this apocalyptic wild west with little information and must just go the ride. There are no flashbacks or convenient exposition to explain each characters' history or motivations. That said, all the facts/info you do need to understand the plot and resolution are there on the screen.;-)

One of the inspirations on how I approached this edit in terms of storytelling was Clint Eastwood's HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER (and to a lesser extent PALE RIDER). Exactly who the Drifter is, (the Marshal, a brother, a ghost?) and how he knows what he knows is never directly answered. Not saying this edit is anywhere in that league of entertainment, but it was definitely influencing my decisions when crafting this story.

It is an edit I am very proud of and I hope people who are interested but maybe missed it the first time around, will now give it a viewing.

Remember, not even an Apocalypse can stop the Mail. :)
 

Neglify

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The DLC has been updated and this edit is available. Hooray!
 

bionicbob

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Inspired partly by a recent exchange with @"Sinbad" in the Last Movies thread, I went net surfing and came across some images that led me to creating this....

d4ySIvEh.jpghttp:


...oops, noticed a couple of typos... must fix! LOL  :p
 

bionicbob

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A big THANK YOU to @"mnkykungfu" for your detailed review.  :D

It is interesting how this movie, once dismissed by many, now seems frighteningly too relevant.

But I like to stay optimistic.... "things are getting better, things are getting better everyday."
 
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