Posted September 14 2005 - 09:29 AM
Sorry to jump in late on this (especially since I'm the maniac who's been yelling the loudest about this release...).
| This is a “fully restored” version of the film, I’m assuming from the original negative since most of the deleted scenes have been redone from the negatives. The resulting 1.85:1 picture is very satisfactory and much better from what we’ve seen in the past. The image is dim in its appearance to highlight the mood of Seth’s isolated loft/lab. Shadow detail is excellent and it needs to be for this film. I was very happy! Outdoor scenes and the interiors in Particle magazine don’t follow suit with the dimness, but rather offer a pleasant range of contrast. |
There are still some problems though, but not big ones. Black specs still pop up every so often and there is quite a bit of fluff strands that mark the picture once and a while. I would also classify the overall image as slightly soft, but it has always looked this way. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very sharp, but compared to other titles this is the impression I get. Thankfully, no edge enhancement is applied to make up for it, and halos or compression artefacts of any kind are not seen when watching this movie.
Strangely enough, the video and the audio of first few beats of the drum of the 20th Century Fox logo are missing from the beginning of the movie. I don’t have my original Fly DVD anymore, so can anyone confirm if it was the same on that disc? I can’t remember.
As noted, the transfer is identical to the 2000 Fly/Fly II Double Feature DVD.
And yes, the film has always started without the first beats of the Fox Fanfare (it's an edited version of the 1954 recording, I think, the same one that opened the 1958 version of The Fly, as well as Star Wars).
So, in terms of audio/video (with the exception of the new DTS and Spanish language tracks), this version is the same as the previous one.
| There are two documentaries; on is titled Fear of the Flesh: The Making of the Fly. This is a new interactive documentary that runs 2hrs 42min with all interactive features. A fly will appear on the screen and if you want to find out more you hit the “enter” button on your remote. The documentary has chapter stops and has titles all of the way through just to let you know what is about to be discussed. The information in the documentary is invaluable to any Fly fan as it features interviews from Goldblum and Davis, the original director before Cronenberg, as well as the writers and some people on Cronenberg’s crew. You’ll see lots of test footage, raw dailies, deleted sequences, as well as four different codas for the film, none which were used (THANK THE MAKER!!) The documentary is enhanced for widescreen TVs and is in Dolby 5.1. Unfortunately the picture quality is crap and this is surprising considering that HD is right around the corner and it seems to have been filmed with 4:3 480i video cameras. My home videos from the Yukon and Northwest Territories (Canada’s far north) on an SD 16:9 DVD camcorder look far better than this documentary – even the titles look worse than what I can assemble on my computer. So if there is something to grip about on this whole collection it would be this one only thing. But don’t let that take you away from the information presented here. |
Early reports stated that the "interactive branching clips" would be on Disc 1 (and one could select the icons during the film), but this makes more sense.
Question: Is this a "talking heads" documentary (in which the interviewees do all the talking), or is there some kind of narration spread throughout?
Question # 2: FOUR DIFFERENT CODAS????? Four? I'd theorized there were at least two (Ronnie dreams of the butterfly baby alone in bed, and with Stathis in bed), but FOUR????????
| Next up are everyone’s favourite: deleted scenes. There are four deleted scenes as well as two extended scenes to show the editing process when pacing a movie. They include second interview (1.42), the infamous monkey-cat scene (6.58) [you can also view the storyboard and script separate from the video], Brundlefly vs. Baglady (script only – abandoned before filming), butterfly baby (2.25) [this is the L.A. screening version. The workprint is lost so this is reassembled from the original negative and a VHS dupe of the animation]. Some of the scenes are reconstructed from the original negative or are from the workprint, or from a bit of both. |
The same applies to the extended scenes. These extended scenes also have an option for you to watch them on their own or with a “red box” around the parts that were excised to quicken the pace of the scene. The two extended scenes are reconciliation (2.59) and the poetry of steak (3.39). While there are probably many other small cuts like this left on the cutting room floor, they by no means change the direction of the story. They just add a few more sentences between important dialogue.
Questions: Are these scenes 1.85:1 (and thus, presumably, enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions)?
One issue made known to me is that the shot of Brundle amputating the insect leg was badly underlit when shot. How does it look on the DVD?
How do the scenes play? With the newly-added sound effects/music (taken from the completed film) put into the deleted scenes, do the scenes feel more "authentic"? Appearently, Cronenberg himself approved of the sound/music additions made to "complete" the monkey-cat scene...
I (and others) have often wondered just how long the monkey-cat/leg amputation sequence lasted. At nearly 7 minutes, that's a sizable chunk of screentime (The final cut of The Fly runs some 90 minutes). Nifty.
And it's logical that the version of the butterfly baby scene presented in the DVD's Deleted Scenes section (which shows Ronnie and Stathis in bed) is the one used for the LA test screening, since that's presumably the one that came closest to actually being in the final cut (as opposed to the other four. FOUR!!!! FOUR CODAS!!!! Wow.).
The "extended scenes" are a surprise, although I'm already 99% sure about what they are. "Reconciliation" is almost certainly an extension of the scene where Ronnie comes back after Brundle teleports himself (with more dialogue between them, including the closest to saying "I love you" Brundle and Ronnie get), and "The Poetry of Steak" would be an extension of Brundle's lesson regarding why the Telepods couldn't properly teleport the steak (and Ronnie's comment that Brundle can teach the computer about the flesh by reading it Naked Lunch). Cool.
Although (if the version of the script I have is any indicator) there were other scenes that had dialogue and little moments cut out, the selections included on the DVD are good choices, I think.
All in all, excellent review. I'm just jealous someone else got there first!
But there isn't much longer until this release is, well... released!