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The Dark Knight Saga Recut - Part I (Batman Begins)


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Original film title: Batman Begins
Fanedit film title: The Dark Knight Saga Recut - Part I[SIZE=+0]
[/SIZE]Date Original Film Was Released: 2005
Date Fanedit Was Released: August, 2014
Original Runtime: 139 mins
New Runtime: 124 mins
Time Cut: 15 mins

Intention: Nolan's epic bat-trilogy is widely considered to be one of the great cinematic achievements, especially within the superhero genre. Yet despite their many strengths, the films are weighed down by poor attempts at humor, tonal inconsistencies, poor CGI, unnecessary exposition, superfluous characters, and bloated running times.

This series of edits intends to streamline the films, keeping the tone consistent throughout and emphasizing the strongest elements of the series.

Cutlist for Part I (Batman Begins):
Broadly speaking, I wanted to:
- get rid of as many fear toxin p.o.v shots as possible (never found the effect very convincing)
- trim the jokes
- trim needless exposition
- remove poorly performed/hammy dialogue
- trim some strange plot points (especially in the tumbler chase)
- tone down Batman (less shouty voice), and trim some story elements that are not directly tied to Batman's origin story (namely, Carl's murder and Earl's leadership of Wayne enterprises.
- Perform some colour correction to ease back on the heavy yellow colour grade present throughout the film.

Full cutlist:

  • Cut prison dialogue, "Why?" "For Protection!" "I don't need protection." "Protection for them!"
  • Cut Thomas Wayne's last words to Bruce, "Don't be afraid".
  • Horizontally flipped shot of the Wayne graveyard, so that it sits on the same side of the house as depicted in The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Trimmed dialogue with Ducard by the fire, cutting “What stopped it?” “Vengeance” “That’s no help to me” “Why Bruce, why could you not avenge your parents?”
  • Cut Alfred's "I give a damn because a good man once made me responsible for what was most precious to him in the whole world".
  • Bruce/Rachel in the car: After" Sometimes, they're the same" cut to Rachel turning left to spare us all that "justice, revenge, system" yadda yadda. Then, when they get to Falcone's door, cut "Good people like your parents, who'll stand against injustice, they're gone. What chance does Gotham have when the good people do nothing?".
  • Cut homeless guy’s “shoulda tipped better” joke
  • Cut “it’s a nice coat!” repeat.
  • Cut “hallucination p.o.v effects” during Bruce’ league of shadows training (shaky cam/blue eyes etc).
  • Trimmed dialogue at Bruce’s initiation “It separates us from them.” “You want to fight criminals, this man is a murderer.” “This man should be tried.” “By whom? Corrupt Bureaucrats? Criminals mock society’s laws, you know this better than most.”
  • Cut “This in the most important function of the league of shadows. It is one we have performed for centuries. Gotham must be destroyed.”
  • Cut Alfred’s “what symbol?” during plane flight home.
  • Cut dialogue between Rachel and Carl, "What are you doing Rachel?" "What are you doing Carl?" "Looking out for you!" etc.
  • Trimmed Wayne board meeting, cutting “We are showing healthy growth in these sectors” “I don’t think Thomas Wayne would have considered heavy arms manufacturing a suitable cornerstone for our business.” “That’s 20 years ago, Fredricks. I think after 20 years I think we can stop asking ourselves what Thomas Wayne would have done.”
  • Cut short scene of Carl telling Rachel that Bruce is back.
  • Trimmed first meeting with Lucius to remove mention of his conflict with Earl, being banished to the basement, and exposition regarding the train/Wayne enterprises, cutting “Not in production on any level whatsoever” “None” “what did they tell you this place was?” “They didn’t tell me anything” “Earl told me exactly what it was when he sent me down here. A dead end. A place to stop me from causing the board anymore trouble.” “You were on the board?” “When your father ran things” “You knew my father?” “oh yeah, helped him build his train.”
  • Cut, “Wonderful project, your dad’s train. Routed it right into Wayne tower, along with the Water and Power utilities. Kind of made Wayne Tower the unofficial centre of Gotham City. Of course Earl let it rot.”
  • Trimmed unnecessary detail in conversation about ordering Batman’s Cowell, cutting “from a dummy corporation” “precisely”, and “put it together ourselves”. “We’ll have to make a large order” “How many?” “10,000” “At least we’ll have spares!”
  • Cut Alfred smashing the Cowell and the unnecessary “problem with the graphite” exchange
  • Cut “nice coat”, “thanks”, joke with homeless guy after Batman’s introduction.
  • Cut Rachel’s “That’s right, you’d better run!”
  • Cut clunky exposition scene at Wayne tower explaining that the water evaporating weapon has been stolen.
  • Cut Bruce’s jokey response to “Nice car!” (“You should see my other one!”)
  • Cut Bruce’s “Rachel, this isn’t me, I am more, underneath…” etc.
  • Recut Rachel’s line, “It’s what you do that defines you” to focus on Bruce’s reaction, and to have Rachel walk away more dismissively.
  • Cut Batman to Gordon, “A storm’s coming”.
  • Shaved a second before Batman says to Trask, “Where were the other drugs going?”.
  • Cut “Swear to me!”.
  • Cut Carl’s murder.
  • Cut Batman’s first encounter with baby Joffrey. “It’s really you, isn’t it…no one will believe me..” etc.
  • Cut Rachel’s, “My boss has been missing for two days, which in this town means I should probably start looking at the bottom of the river.”
  • Cut Earl demanding all the data for the water vaporising weapon and firing Lucius.
  • Cut scarecrow’s, “What anybody does when a prowler comes around. Call the police” “You want the cops here?” “At this point they can’t stop us, but the Batman has a talent for disruption”.
  • Cut Scarecrow’s, “Who knows?!” (maggots on scarecrow’s face, fear pov shot) and Rachel’s scream.
  • Cut Crane’s fear toxin pov (CGI Batman black ooze face), and batman’s “who are you working for” “Raz al guhl”. “Raz al gul is dead, who are you working for?”.
  • Moved a shot of police arriving earlier to allow for omission of batman’s oozy cgi face.
  • Cut “how was Crane working for Falcone?”, “He mentioned someone else, someone worse”.
  • Cut Batman running through Arkham corridor and blowing hole through wall, saying “excuse me” to surprised inmates.
  • Cut Gordon’s “I gotta get me one of those”
  • Cut Policeman’s, “He’s in a vehicle. It’s a black….Tank”
  • Cut most of Rachel’s fear toxin p.o.v shot during tumbler chase.
  • Cut batman’s “hold on!”.
  • Cut parking attendant checking his coffee after tumbler drives past.
  • Cut tumbler getting stuck in carpark, blowing a hole in the wall and taking a ‘shortcut’ by jumping over the rooftops.
  • Cut policeman’s “at least tell me what it looks like”… “never mind”, joke.
  • Cut Batman dropping explosives behind him to blow up the police cars.
  • Cut batman going into the ‘motorcycle’ position in the tumbler for no apparent reason.
  • Cut police losing tumbler because batman turns his lights off
  • Cut Batman’s “stay with me” and “Rachel!!”
  • Cut Batman’s, “Crane was just a pawn”. Now Batman has no knowledge of Raz al Gul being involved until he shows up at Bruce’s birthday party.
  • Cut Bruce’s response to Alfred’s, “what do you call that?”, “Damn good television!”.
  • Cut Bruce's discussion with Earl about the Wayne stock offerings and who's buying.
  • Cut Alfred putting unconscious Rachel in the car, saying “little the worse for wear I’m afraid” to the concerned kitchen staff.
  • Cut Lucius’, “A microwave emitter like the one Wayne enterprises just lost recently. Earl fired me for asking too many questions about it.”
  • Significantly trimmed Ducard and Bruce’s dialogue about the 'evil master plan', cutting "So Crane was working for you." "His toxin is derived from our blue flowers, he was able to weaponize it." "He's not a member of the League of Shadows?" "Of course not. He thought our plan was to hold the city to ransom." "But really you are going to release Crane's toxin on the entire city." "And then watch Gotham tear itself apart through fear".
  • Also cut: “You’re going to destroy millions of lives.” “Only a cynical man would call what these people have lives Wayne. Crime, despair, this is not how man was supposed to live. The league of shadows has been a check against human corruption for thousands of years. We sacked Rome, loaded trade ships with plague rats, burned London to the ground. Every time a city reaches the pinnacle of its decadence, we return to restore the balance.” “When I found you in that jail you were lost. I showed you a path, and purged you of your fear.”
  • Also cut Ducard’s, “When the forest grows too wild a purging fire is inevitable and natural.” And “Over the ages our weapons have grown more sophisticated; with Gotham we tried a new one – Economics. But we underestimated certain of Gotham’s citizens such as your parents. Gunned down by one of the very people they were trying to help. Create enough hunger and everyone becomes a criminal. Their deaths galvanised the city into saving itself and Gotham has limped on ever since. We are back to finish the job.”
  • Also cut, “Justice is balance”.
  • Cut Alfred’s jokes, “I hope you’re not a member of the fire brigade!”, and “What is the point of all those pushups if you can’t lift a bloody log?”
  • Cut Flask’s CGI fear toxin POV when about to shoot kids.
  • Cut Batman suiting up, adding weapons to utility belt etc.
  • Added extra screams to chaos in the Narrows.
  • Cut Batman’s exposition, “if they get the machine into Wayne tower it will cause a chain reaction that will vaporise the entire city’s water supply.” “Gordon: “Covering Gotham in this poison!”
  • Cut Batman’s “can you drive stick?”
  • Cut baby Joffry’s “Batman will save us” and “I told you he’d come”.
  • Cut, Batman’s, “..but what I dooo that defines me”.
  • Cut fear toxin p.o.v shot of batman with red eyes flying over the narrows.
  • Cut Batman’s “I can beat two of your pawns”. Raz: “As you wish”, and "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a city to destroy."
  • Cut exposition from train operator “Pressure’s moving along the mains, and if that pressure reaches us, the whole city is going to blow!”
  • Cut scene of Earl arriving back at Wayne enterprises and finding Lucius in charge, also ensuing phone call about Bruce buying it back again etc.
  • Cut, "I was a coward with a gun. Justice is about more than revenge".
  • Simplified Rachel and Bruce’s dialogue after their kiss, cutting: “But then I found out about your mask.” “Batman is just a symbol Rachel”. “No, this is your mask. Your real face is the one that criminals now fear. The man I loved. The man who vanished. He never came back at all. But maybe he’s still out there somewhere.”
  • Replaced ‘Batman Begins” title card with Dark Knight Saga Recut – Part I.
  • Added Bill Finger as co-creator of Batman
Release Info:
  • 8.5GB 720p MKV
  • 4.7GB DVD
  • 25GB Bluray

Editing Software: Premiere Pro CS6, Encore CS6, DVDFab, Bigasoft Audio Converter, Photoshop

BD artwork:

BD Disk Art

Special Thanks:
@Dwight_Fry and INH5 for previewing and providing great ideas/feedback.
Early review: Incredible. All sappy dialog and stupid wisecracks excised. This is the definitive version.
I have not watched these yet but will soon.

But I just wanted to APPLAUD your promotional posters and dvd art you created! :clap2:

They are FANTASTIC! I love the design concept and your choice of colours and characters. Absolutely AMAZING!:thumb::first:
Thank you Bob :) The project took so long that I was able to spend the time in between getting all the artwork ready. The posters/cover art were finished about 3 months ago! :-D Actually, I think I use coverart to procrastinate from actually finishing these edits...
Review left on IFDB:

An excellent fanedit! Fans of Nolan's Bat Trilogy will love this cut, much tighter and less groan-worthy. I didn't "agree" with every cut, but no major harm was done. The only nitpick is (as others have mentioned also) the de-emphasis on "It's not who you are underneath..." Mainly because now Rachel realizes he's Batman because "oh, he said 5 short words in an ungravelly voice."

Other than that, this was super-groovy!

A/V Quality - 10
Editing - 10
Narrative & Enjoyment - 9
IFDB review:

This is a tough one. Batman Begins is, I think, the best movie of the three: coherent, tightly edited, with heart.
But njvc showss that BB can be tweaked. No major cuts here, just little nips and tucks everywhere which, for the most part, greatly improve the film.

First, the negatives:
I missed "SWEAR TO ME!" - I think it's funny, but no biggie.

But these next cuts make the edit a companion piece rather than a replacement to the original:
Cutting Bruce's hesitant response to Rachel and de-emphasising the "it's what you dooo" weakens the link they have. His soul is laid bare in the "it's not what you see, it's underneath" - you see the deep connection Rachel has for him - she is his link to normalcy. Removing it removes his link to normalcy, which considerably weakens not just this film but the next two as well.
It also makes her realisation that he's Batman really random. In the original their interaction sticks out in your mind - his vulnerability is so unusual. In the edit the scene is forgotten - so much so that at the kiss at the well I thought "huh? how did she know he's Batman!"
The kiss is also very weird. I know Holmes delivery is iffy, but without the dialogue their reactions are just extremely odd. She needs to tell him that his mask is his normal face - because that's a major theme (will the Bat consume the Man?), which is also a callback to "hwo I am underneath" (which is probably why you removed it?)-
A v2 re-inserting all three scenes "it's me underneath" "it's what I dooo" and stregnthens the characters immensely and would replace BB (for me, at least!).
I'd also either cut Flass threatening the kids or put back the voodoo-vision for him - at the moment it just seems that he's going to randomly murder some kids. I know he's an ass, but he wasn't THAT bad!

Then the positives:
Wow. Just wow. Nipped and tucked and tweaked - this edit is amazing. Lots of tiny, flawless trims to dialogue.
The Mr Earl sideplot, although amusing, is easily disposed of and strengthen the movie.
Ra's is more threatening with the removal of acres of exposition. Now he's focussed, brutal, to the point.
The weird voodoovision is flawlessly removed - and the movie is SO much better for it.
The editing is amazing!

Audio: There was one point when I noticed a flutter in the music (the 10,000 cowl's scene), otherwise flawless to my ears. Impressive.
Video quality is superb (watched HD mkv).

I rated BB a 8/9 originally. This edit is better in so many ways, but because of the Rachel /Bruce scenes mentioned above I can't replace BB. So it comes in as a solid 8.
For those who aren't bothered by those scenes- you will never watch the original again.
Outstanding work njvc.

8/10 for enjoyment. 9/10 overall score.
That is an amazing first post.
I will give this edit a try, but please tell me you made the Tumbler be driving without Gordon. That part STILL bothers me....but then again, if Catwoman can figure it out, why can't Gordon? *groans*
Gordon still drives the Tumbler in this version, but all the one-liners are gone. ("I gotta get me one of those!" "Can you drive stick?" etc). Batman Begins: The Dark Cut did a pretty good job of removing Gordon from that scene.
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