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007 The Unofficial Series

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2 reviews with 7-9 stars
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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0(24)
Audio Editing
 
9.8(24)
Visual Editing
 
9.9(24)
Narrative
 
9.6(24)
Enjoyment
 
9.7(24)
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Overall rating
 
8.9
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
7.0
I have a confession: aside from Casino Royale, I am not a fan of the Daniel Craig James Bond films. My interest in this edit was to see if engaging with this content in the form of a serialized television program rather than a series of (very poorly connected) films might improve the experience for me.

The TL;DR answer is.... yes, sorta, but with some caveats.

DigMod has done a really fun thing, and when it worked for me, it really worked. And when it didn't, it was a little easier to swallow, because a bad episode of television is not quite as egregious (to me) as a bad movie. You simply move on to the next episode and hope it'll be better. Overall, I had a blast watching one episode a day. It became something I looked forward to, even when I wasn't particularly loving certain episodes, and I'm really grateful for that.

But that said, the source material is the source material. He cuts some stuff out here and there, but there's no giant changes here (with one exception I'll get to in a second). His Casino Royale episodes were great and totally work as three episodes of prestige spy television, even when cutting out some things I genuinely like. But while the Quantum eps are an improvement on the film, it's still characters shouting exposition at one another as fast as possible between incomprehensible action sequences. Skyfall sticks out like a sore thumb for ignoring the previous five episodes. Spectre really could have used a heavier edit; there's so much dumb filler in that movie and as far as I can tell, all of it made it into this TV cut. And No Time to Die works far less well here than as a film, and while the ending may make some fans happy, it actually makes even less sense as the culmination of this television series than the original ending. (And for the record, I HATE the original ending.)

A lot of this comes down to taste, and I don't think DigMod and I share the same sensibilities. Removing the thrilling construction site/crane fight from Casino but leaving in the incredibly stupid, overly long mountain chase in Spectre is a baffling choice. Removing double entendres, adult language, and suggestive content in films that have precious little sensuality in the first place but retaining every brutally violent kill is peculiar to me (except for Jinx's eyeball crushing kill which is excised but not JB's line referencing it later). Deciding to go for a happy ending for the finale when the edit of the previous two episodes (including the end credits music) evokes a funereal atmosphere creates a dissonant effect that left me feeling empty rather than fulfilled.

From a technical perspective, I am incredibly impressed with the majority of this enormous effort. It's especially remarkable in those first three episodes where I am more familiar with what has been cut out. The cuts are invisible. It's really excellent work performed by a master editor. That said, there are a few errors in the later episodes that do drag down the score a little. One of the Spectre episodes introduces some faint judder, and the No Time to Die episodes bury the score in the sound mix (which is a real bummer during the action sequences), and there is some really egregious judder in the re-edited ending. As for that re-edited ending, while there's some clever attempts at reconfiguring scenes, it just doesn't make any sense. Bond's been shot multiple times, he's still in the complex when the missiles hit (we see him in the shot as the explosions occur), and there's no boats or flight craft around, but somehow he survives? I just don't buy it, especially in the more grounded world established by these films.

In summary, this was a gargantuan task and a really cool idea that works some of the time. When it's working, it's great. Hell, it's practically transcendent. But the farther into it you get, the more the seams start to show, either from a technical perspective (rare though they are) or from a narrative perspective, because these movies just don't make any sense next to one another. I absolutely recommend this fanedit and had a fun, albeit conflicted time, watching it. Just know that if you don't already love these movies, this probably won't turn you around on them.

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched
Digital
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Overall rating
 
8.9
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
6.0
Enjoyment
 
6.0
Fascinating concept and superb on a technical level. Only caveat would be that some of the minor trims seem arbitrary, oddly puritanical and miss the point of who Bond is as a character. But really that's a matter of personal taste.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched
Digital
Owner's reply July 25, 2021

Thanks for the review fred! I'm taking it that the minus 4 points in the reviews for narrative and enjoyment were due to what you called "puritanical" motives. I'm assuming this is because we dont' see James shacking up with all the ladies? As shared in the project thread, the idea was to create a straightforward action spy ala Ethan Hunt rather than a drunken oversexed killerr. There's definitely pleasure in this series, it just happens to be more focused and less free flowing. I did see that I didn't put the more focused on action part in the intention, I'll update that so people don't expect to get the traditional bond.

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