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Marvel's Eternals: Chronological Cut

The line "true purpose" sounds like there is already a "purpose" - but I think this opening with Arishem could definitely be 'massaged" into a great opening.
Possibly have Arishem speak to the audience at first, then reveal Ajax at the end of the monologue.

But love it!!

Thanks for your input! I removed "true".

Here's a comparison of Arishem and Ajak calling / not calling each other by name at the start. Which do you like better?

 
Thanks for your input! I removed "true".

Here's a comparison of Arishem and Ajak calling / not calling each other by name at the start. Which do you like better?

Definitely the first one - in my opinion - when they calling each other by name. Simple and quick introduction of the first characters.
 
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For the no name, option, I would personally remove that whole line about the mission, and start right at the big bang, but that might be too much for you! LOL
 
@Wakeupkeo , a big bang opening would be dramatic, and look impressive. But I'm going for maximum clarity. As @SIUse notes, the names give a quick introduction, which helps the clarity.
 
For sure! I absolutely trust your artistic choice as I know that in the larger scope, you know your vision!! 👍
 
What do think of this replacement for Pink Floyd's "Time" playing over the Marvel logo? Too on the nose? 😁
(I won't jump from 5000BC to the present, so "Time" won't make sense anymore).


But seriously, I plan to place a bit from the End Credits score over the opening logo. It'll be inconspicuous, which works fine.
 
It‘s funny for sure and fits comics. I got the perception it didn’t flow really well with the marvel logo reveal, but probably just a timing thing (started too early - eternals still in the picture - and ended too soon).
 
The deeper I dive into Eternals, the more I feel like it's two movies mashed together. Similar to movies with a lot of reshoots where the director tries to create one tone while studio executives insist on a different tone.
There are so many (tonal) inconsistencies to tackle, that I think this is the most difficult MCU movie to fanedit!

Ugh, that was not what I was hoping for.
 
The deleted scene "Nostalgia" has hard-coded subtitles on the North-American blu-ray. Can anyone confirm whether different regions have this scene without hard-coded subs? ❓
 
I lined up the segments chronologically, but I'm not loving the result yet. I like the progression from Arishem's opening speech into Mesopotamia, and from the Marvel logo into Babylon. I also like that the viewer sees Ikaris' big crime before the other Eternals find out, leaving no ambiguity that he's a right git.

I don't like that the wedding scene in the Gupta empire feels like a throwaway scene (at only 31 seconds) between the more substantial Babylon and Tenochtitlan storylines. I think I'll cut it, even though it includes warm/loving examples of human culture (to balance the warmongering), and has this cute shot:
Eternals%20-%20happy%20days.jpg


I also don't like the transition from past into the present. With a straight-up chronological flow, we go from 1521 to 1945 to Ajak's house in the present. I don't know yet how to improve that flow.
 
You've got your work cut out here, I know a really compelling story is in there, but its deep down.
 
I’d be careful when editing a movie as long as this. First, watch it in it’s entirety, taking notes of scenes that play out too slowly or need explanation. Second, review the deleted scenes to see if any of those could further develop the characters whilst not bloating the story with unnecessary, extra content. Third, don’t keep a target runtime in mind, instead, cut everything you want cut first, then go from there. You’d be surprised how much gets naturally cut and if you focus on getting a certain runtime, you may cut too much.
 
This is still a total work-in-progress (so nothing is definite yet!), but I am making progress.

To help me focus my edit, please give your input on the following:

TIMELINE
1) The edit is chronological. No flashbacks. The edit opens with Arishem telling Ajak what their mission is as they arrive at Earth (a draft version of that clip is in an earlier post). We see Ikaris commit his big crime long before his friends figure it out.

REMOVED
2) Gupta wedding is removed. Pretty visuals, but not important to the story, too short, and it raised the question whether they got married and later divorced (instead of "merely" broke up)?
3) Hiroshima is removed to improve flow and because it was not necessary.
Together, these scenes played up the question "is Earth worth saving because humans are worth saving?". Removing these makes human behavior less explicitly a factor in the decision to save the planet or not.

ADDED
4) Sprite and Dane talk in the museum. More Dane Whitman! Plus, she tells him things that get referred to later.
5) Sprite and Makkari talk at Babylon. The film suffers from too many moments where Eternals respond quietly to dramatic events, but here I find it just right: both Sprite's frustration and Makkari's passion are loud-and-clear in this quiet scene.

TRIMS
6) I'm trimming quite a few shots by around 2 seconds. No dialog cuts, just speeding up the pacing. I was surprised to realize that the director holds many shots a bit too long (on both ends: coming into and out of a shot).
7) No steam engine. Now Phastos is proud of his plow, played straight.
8) Sex scene is trimmed to a bare minimum. Not removed completely, because, as lame as the visuals are, it's still iconic in the MCU that this is the only sex scene.
9) Druig doesn't walk away in Tenochtitlan. Was redundant: ten seconds later Ajak disbands the group anyway.
10) Removed the "pie" joke. That was really the bit that annoyed me most in the entire movie.
11) Trimmed/cut lots of jokes, including Gil's kid's beer comment.

RUNTIME
12) So far 28 minutes cut and 3 1/2 minutes added. More cuts to come.
 
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I dig it. I do like Druig leaving over Ajak disbanding, any way to make is leaving simply start everyone just leaving as opposed to Ajak's decision?

I found the original movie so... flat. Where do you feel the mystery or emotional swings will be, without the "human behavior" and the Ikaris twist?
 
I'm surprised at the factual inaccuracies in Eternals. Yes, I know that the MCU is not factual, but these are unforced errors of the type that distract from the storytelling. Two that jump out for me are:

TIMESPAN: Arishem says "every billion years, new Celestials must be born". Later he says that Ajak "has helped many Celestials to emerge over millions of years". And Ajak says "I have followed Arishem for millions of years". If one Celestial is born every billion years, then it's impossible to help many emerge over millions of years. Solution: cut billion.

NAMING THINGS: Whitman (we're told he's a professor, so educated) tells Sprite that the gigantic skull in the museum belongs to a Smilodon (= sabretooth tiger) in the extinct Macrodontini (= a not-extinct type of long-horn beetle) sub-family. Those classifications cannot both be right, nor can even one of them when considering the size of the skull. Solution: cut Whitman classifying the skull, by Sprite interrupting him.
 
I'm surprised at the factual inaccuracies in Eternals. Yes, I know that the MCU is not factual, but these are unforced errors of the type that distract from the storytelling. Two that jump out for me are:

TIMESPAN: Arishem says "every billion years, new Celestials must be born". Later he says that Ajak "has helped many Celestials to emerge over millions of years". And Ajak says "I have followed Arishem for millions of years". If one Celestial is born every billion years, then it's impossible to help many emerge over millions of years. Solution: cut billion.

NAMING THINGS: Whitman (we're told he's a professor, so educated) tells Sprite that the gigantic skull in the museum belongs to a Smilodon (= sabretooth tiger) in the extinct Macrodontini (= a not-extinct type of long-horn beetle) sub-family. Those classifications cannot both be right, nor can even one of them when considering the size of the skull. Solution: cut Whitman classifying the skull, by Sprite interrupting him.
Druig also uses the word genocide to describe the massacre by the Spanish colonists, though the term wasn’t invented until the mid 20th century.
 
@stferguson78 , that I have less of an issue with because the Eternals could have invented the word, like "steam engine", and taught humans centuries after they started using it themselves.

What did bug me is Druig, in his present-day camp, telling his friends that this was the last place they lived together. Except the establishing shot en route to Druig has the title card "Amazon", while the last place they lived together before Ajak disbanded them was Tenochtitlan, which is present-day Mexico City. That's several countries away!

That's a major GEOGRAPHY inaccuracy. Either someone forgot to fact-check, or, far worse, someone didn't care because it was close enough, from a mindset that all Latin Americans are interchangeable. The same way that East-Asians got lumped together by Hollywood for a century. In a movie that overtly pushes multiple facets of diversity, I can't help but see this unforced error in that context.
 
@stferguson78 , that I have less of an issue with because the Eternals could have invented the word, like "steam engine", and taught humans centuries after they started using it themselves.

What did bug me is Druig, in his present-day camp, telling his friends that this was the last place they lived together. Except the establishing shot en route to Druig has the title card "Amazon", while the last place they lived together before Ajak disbanded them was Tenochtitlan, which is present-day Mexico City. That's several countries away!

That's a major GEOGRAPHY inaccuracy. Either someone forgot to fact-check, or, far worse, someone didn't care because it was close enough, from a mindset that all Latin Americans are interchangeable. The same way that East-Asians got lumped together by Hollywood for a century. In a movie that overtly pushes multiple facets of diversity, I can't help but see this unforced error in that context.
When you actually sit down and list all of these inaccuracies, it’s really remarkable how lazy and careless Marvel was with this- not like the movie was delayed for a year and no one had the time to review and fact check. I imagine there will be limits to what you can do about any of that in your edit though.
 
I added the Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want" over the end credits. It felt appropriate, as it can apply to the Eternals themselves, but also to Arishem, the human population (getting these flawed and alien heroes instead of more Captain America types) and even (on a meta level) to Marvel. What do you think?
Note: Volume is not level-matched in this test clip, the music is a bit too loud.

 
More (smaller) inconsistencies:

CONTRADICTION: Thena remembers that she died with everyone else on Centuri-Six, but at the end Phastos states that Eternals survive Emergences by linking to the newborn Celestial. Perhaps Thena remembers it wrong (though her memory seems the only one that's actually accurate) or Phastos' hypothesis is wrong (though he's quite brilliant at deducing things). More likely, it's another unforced error: an unnecessary contradiction. Solution: cut Phastos' theory.

CONFUSING: In the final battle, while Kro attacks Ikaris, Thena asks Kro why he helps Ikaris. That makes no sense to me. I'm cutting the line.

IMPROBABLE: Not an actual inconsistency; but unnecessary and improbable; is Ajak finding a shotgun on the ice exactly in a location that she's pushed to. Why is it there? According to Ikaris a group of workers got killed there by Deviants once the glacier started to melt, but why would those workers have been on the ice in the first place? Away from their equipment and accommodation, on an ice-sheet adjacent to a melting glacier. Yes, lots of things are implausible in superhero movies, but let's limit them to the ones that advance the story. This one doesn't: Ajak could have used her superpowers to fight the Deviants. Solution: none, the shotgun gets to stay.
 
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