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9.6 4 10
FanFix June 25, 2023 1186
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Full disclosure: Jackie Brown is my least favorite Tarantino film, and one that honestly I find pretty lackluster. So I was really looking forward to this re-envisioning of the film. I fully agree with every one of Daedal's goals for the edit (listed in "Intentions"), but for me, this edit didn't fully accomplish those goals.

Firstly: the edit is amazingly professional from a technical standpoint. No notes. My issues all come with the choices made in terms of re-structuring the narrative, and how the tone is (or isn't) established. The edit is structured really weirdly, where the first hour feels like it’s all leading up to this big heist, but then it HAPPENS.... and there’s a whole third of the film left afterwards of people just arguing about what went wrong. This is partly the shaggy nature of the book and a script that doesn’t adapt it all that well, imho. But it honestly feels like a perfect opportunity to play with a typically-Tarantino mixed-chronology structure...

While the current cold open isn’t bad, I think it would work a lot better to move some of that bickering from the end of the film up to the front. This woudl produce tension and curiosity where currently the edit is lacking much of that early on. Specifically, the first half of the interrogation scene with Jackie and Ray after the heist would make a good intro, then cut to the credits of her on the moving sidewalk after she <sighs> at the end of that scene. THEN maybe go to the Max Cherry intro after she gets picked up.

It also feels like this film needs a lot more music. So much of the dialogue is delivered so matter-of-factly, really the film can feel slow and draggy with only the talking. But lay a groovy jam underneath and this could all feel SLICK. That already happens in a couple scenes in the film, like with the Delfonics track, but the movie needs MORE of that. On the other hand, “Rolling in the Deep” is such a well-known, contemporary hit, it feels really out of place in the film with the other music and atmosphere that’s in there. I think you could either change it out for another song, or add in a lot more contemporary music throughout the film. Regardless, the tone just isn't quite established.

Where this edit really starts losing me though is about 1h8m in: the two Melanie scenes back-to-back is pretty awkward. This also feels like a massive detour in the middle of the film when we haven’t spent any time with her character or Luis before, and have been so focused on Jackie and the heist, and now we’re just listening to them BS for literally 15 minutes. It tanks the momentum of the film and really serves no purpose in the edit since literally only the final line is connected to the heist. Then: next time we see Luis and Melanie, his vibe is like this completely different person with no explanation (because the fighting was cut out). It just seems inexplicable and their whole arc is bizarre and distracting from the characters we’re really invested in (and that are better written), Jackie and Max.

There are a couple of other weird edits in the back half of the film, like at 1h29m with “If you had to do it, you had to do it.” It’s an abrupt change in the conversation. I would also suggest new foley for the gunshots in the parking lot and in the van. The original work just isn’t good, they don’t have the right acoustics and sound really fake and cheesy. Overall though, it's just the balance of the characters and the structure of the story that didn't really work for me. This is obviously somewhat subjective. I do think Daedal is on the right track though, but I think honestly a more severe edit and one that rearranges the film even MORE would be the fix I'm looking for. As is, I think the theatrical cut still works better for me.

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