Monday, November 03, 2008

Less is More

By Scott and Geoff (my comments are in the second half)

At the end of the day, I’m a minimalist. I like things short and sweet; I tend to cringe at novels that go too far past the 300 page mark or short stories that go much more than 20. I guess you could say I’m a big fan of economy. In fact, I think part of the reason I like comics so much is that they are the ultimate example of ‘Show Don’t Tell’ (this could be the minimalist’s credo). Last year, I finally got around to reading The Grapes of Wrath and I felt compelled to edit it, not only could the prose use some paring down (in a ten page passage, at least an entire page worth of words was dedicated to describing how Tom Joad was chewing his gum); more importantly, I thought it could probably go without the last 20 pages or so. I felt the same way about Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away.

More to the point, I recently purchased AC/DC’s Black Ice and I have agree with what many of the reviews have been saying: at 15 tracks it’s a ‘good’ album but, at 10 tracks, it could have been great. One of the biggest criticisms against The Dark Knight was that it was too long. There is a long list of artist who perhaps should have “quit while they were ahead.” Even the Beatles could be guilty of this sort of thing; George Martin once stated that he felt that The White Album would have been much better had it made into a single album. And it probably have been a much tighter album had it been edited down (don’t get me wrong; The White Album is one of my favorite albums and, personally, the ‘warts-and-all/everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-approach’ is probably one of the reasons I like it… but it really is kind of a mess).

So, what are some of your favorite examples of works that outstayed their welcome?

Here are a couple of mine off of the top of my head:

The Strokes- First Impressions Of Earth: I actually love this album, but it’s three tracks longer than the other two Strokes albums and that’s exactly how many tracks too long it is.

Foo Fighters- In Your Honor- This double album was divided into a ‘loud’ and ‘soft’ disc (the ‘soft’ featuring acoustic numbers), a novel idea, unfortunately, most of the ‘soft’ disc was largely unmemorable. Simple solution? A single disc that includes only the best of the ‘soft’ disc.

(Note: Something that has largely contributed to this problem in music over the last 20 years is the advent of the CD. Before that, in order for an album to be a standard ‘single’ album, it could not go over 60 minutes; with the introduction of the CD that length has been bumped up to about 80 minutes. If you think about it, that 20 minutes is about how much needs to be cut off of most albums that are ‘too long’)

Wim Wender’s Until The End of The World – It’s been years since I’ve seen this movie but, from what I remember, the final act of the movie where they were trying to record their dreams needed to be a LOT shorter.

Ang Lee’s Hulk – I really had no idea what was going on the last 20 minutes of the movie…. And neither did Nick Nolte, apparently.

Death Proof- I like it better now than when I first saw it, but it still feels too long… the extended cut was entirely unnecessary.

[Like Scott, I am a minimalist in most of my aesthetic taste, which is why I prefer poetry to the novel for example. I would very much disagree with The Hulk -- the last 20 minutes were wonderfully subversive, as the Hulk cannot just punch WATER. But I think I cannot disagree with Death Proof. Death Proof is the one where I fall into a trap I hit others for: I like part of the movie so much (the end) it kind of overwhelms the rest. The Road, as you know, is my favorite example of a book that needed an editor -- it is much better as prose poetry than as any kind of story. There was a good 200 page novel somewhere in Don Delilo's Underworld, and The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind needed some serious editing; Dark Knight too certainly. Moby-Dick on the other hand -- my favorite novel -- honestly could have been LONGER.

The key question on this topic is: Should we be more forgiving of movies such as Dark Knight because what is good about it is excellent, what is bad can be to a certain extent ignored? This seems to be what happens with most people I talk too, but I cannot give an A to a movie that has so much fat to trim, even if the lean is pretty well awesome.

Does anyone know about the fan edits of Phantom Menace, where someone made an alternative cut of the movie getting rid off the bad stuff, keeping the good stuff, and making Jar Jar talk in an indecipherable alien language so that his dialog could be rewritten in subtitles? I have always wanted too see it but am bad with the tech you need for finding and downloading semi-illegal stuff like that.

We are so close to a kind of editorial revolution where we will all be able to edit our favorite movies ourselves when they go on for too long. It could be like those "clean" Christian movies severely edited for content, except we could edit against self-indulgent bloat, rather than, say, violence or nudity. Think how great our bold new world of 50 minute summer blockbusters could be!


finsof72 said...

2005's King Kong. I have it on DVD but I just skip to the dinosaur scenes but it's an example of a movie that takes wayyy to long to develop and then continues mercilessly. I timed it one time...King Kong doesn't make an appearance until 1 hour and 12 minutes into the movie. So nearly an hour and a half is dedicated to character development...which is fine if it wasn't a monster movie.

Christian said...

White Stripes' Icky Thump. The Album, but specifically the song. It should have stopped at 3:00 flat. It's way too long. Jack White of De Stijl is spinning in his grave.

Frank Miller's Ronin. That's a mini that somehow got turned into a six issue series. It's padded like fuck.

Chad Nevett said...

The epilogue to Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment has always bugged me and ruins the end of the book.

You Could have it So Much Better by Franz Ferdinand feels like it should end with the title track. The two songs that come after are decent, but I keep expecting it to end with the title track every time I listen to it. Same thing with "Square One Here I Come" on The Black and White Album by the Hives (although, I enjoy the songs that come after quite a bit, so maybe a reordering would work better there).

A few things that people MAY say are too long, but I think work great:

Ryan Adams's trio of 2005 albums: these three albums tend to get a lot of comments suggesting that Adams would have been smarter to just cherry pick the best songs from all three and release one album full of the best, but since each album has its own identity in a very strong way, I'm not convinced that would work. Plus, I really like the idea of releasing a lot of new material like that.

The extended "Untitled" cut of Almost Famous is better than the theatrical version despite being half an hour longer. I've caught the film on TV a few times and am always left missing the scenes cut for time.

scott91777 said...


I love Icky Thump actually and it's close to overtaking De Stijl as my favorite White Stripes album... I had never considered lenght an issue though... I'll have to give it a listen and see if it seems to drawn out... you're probably right about the song though.

scott91777 said...

I think I actually mentioned the 'clean films' to Geoff in an e-mail in regards to AJ Jacobs who, in "The Year of Living Biblically" rents the 'clean' Kill Bill just out of curiosity expecting it to be about 5 minutes long; instead, it breaks the hour mark, barely, and "makes absolutely no sense"

I think I've mentioned the concept of a 'minimalist library' that would take classics and wittle them for all of us who don't care for "All that David Copperfield kind of crap"

... you know, I think when I first read that line in Catcher in the Rye might have been the moment I became a minimalist.

Fnord Serious said...

While I agree that Dark Knight is long, I wouldn't know where to cut. I would almost welcome an even longer cut on the DVD if it gives us more character development.

The one that jumps out at me is AI. Not a great film to begin with, but I would have enjoyed it more with out the mawkish finale.

While I love Radiohead's Hail to the Thief, I find myself skipping over the first two songs when I listen to the album. It feels like they are there just to start the album off with a bang rather than to serve as proper songs.

On the pro-length side, Mastodon's album Leviathan climaxes with the 13 minute long Hearts Alive, which almost defines the word 'epic' when applied to heavy metal.

Fnord Serious said...

I am definitely a minimalist when it comes to video games. I love the Wii because there are only one or two good games each year that require a large devotion of time. Everything else is pick up and play, no huge time commitment required. I just don't have the time to devote to a game like Grand Theft Auto.

finsof72 said...

I get very upset when I spend $60 for an xbox360 game and I beat it the same day I put it in the console. I don't have xbox live or play multiplayer or anything like that so I was very dissappointed when finishing Gears of War in 3 hours. I have friends who play Halo religiously and though I enjoy it for its story I don't like the fact that I can beat it in 5 hours. That's why I play games that don't end, like Madden and NBA I'm cool like that.

ba said...

I think, as far as music is concerned, if you are really a fan of some band, you kind of love every track, even if it's terrible.

Example: In Noel Murray's popless column on the AVclub, when he talked about smashing pumpkins' mellon collie, he talked about what a great single disc album it would make. I have very fond memories about that album, so I'm like...I love every track on there (except the Iha track, because he wrote terrible songs). Now that I'm older, I am more selective about the music I listen to, as if my time was more precious or something.

So now, there are like maybe 4 tracks on Icky Thump that i listen to regularly, but I definitely know some white stripes fans who think that whole album is flawless.

Kenney said...

I agree with Fnord, short and sweet videogames are the way to go. Most games get "bloated" on artificial nonsense to increase length. As I get old, and my time more precious, I find I don't have patience for a game that takes 30 hours to beat.

I also agree with Scott about books often not needing to be longer than 300 pages. When I'm at the library, browsing for something to read, I often flip to see the page count and will put things back on the shelf that exceed 400 pages. There are some books that warrant massive page counts, but I don't have the patience for a 1000 paged book. This is why me and Stephen King don't get along.

I have to disagree about albums needing to be trimmed, though. Sure, there is something to be said for the tight 11 track album, but I'm of the mind that there are going to be people who love those songs that are cut. I say give me everything an artist has, and I will just skip the stuff I don't like, making "my own" album. People often complain about Jay-z's Blueprint 2 double album, because it's bloated. I can't disagree, but there is one really good album there. However, if it came out as only 1 cd, a lot of the songs I really enjoy would have been cut. So when it comes to music, I think more is better.

angela said...

--->is one of those White Stripes fans. No, I could do without a few of the songs... I'm not sure why "St. Andrew" is there at all--"Prickly Thorn" ends so perfectly.
The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" is one of my favorites, but without fail, I always end up saying, 'wow...we're still listening to this?'
This topic couldn't have come at a better time. I decided this semester to take a course entitled "Masternarratives". I've always enjoyed the attachment that long novel encourages; it travels with you on the subway, to work, to the gym, etc. You read it for a few weeks and it becomes a part of your life for that amount of time. However, I believe I misjudged exactly how long a semester lasts--we're reading each of these books: Tom Jones, Clarissa, Bleak House, Daniel Deronda, Ulysses, The Golden Notebook--what's awful is that we spend only two weeks on each. I'm finding that what I once enjoyed as a relationship to these purposefully long novels (I discovered this with Atlas Shrugged, The Brothers Karamazov, and even Ringolevio, by Emmett Grogan) has now become a battle, and now all I want to do is just shake George Eliot and say, "do we REALLY need to know that much about Mordecai??"

Jason said...

But if stuff wasn't overlong in the first place, we couldn't have our fun making our own personal "Fan edits" and stuff. To use the White Album example, there's probably a huge amount of Beatles fans who do agree with George Martin's take that it would be a killer single album -- but I defy you to find two Beatles fans who would agree on what to cut. (I've already made my own personal single-disc White Album, and I love it. But I"m sure if I played it for any five Beatles fans, I'd get all sorts of varied "You left off THIS?" and "You kept THAT" responses.

Stephen Merritt's triple-album "69 Love Songs" was, according to Merritt, deliberately created with the expectation that people would pick their favorite songs and make a single-disc mix.

Maybe back in the age of vinyl, I can see people getting a bit annoyed by over-long albums, but in the digital age I actually prefer artists who over-stuff. Frankly, I don't trust them to edit out the right stuff.

Christian said...

Disclaimer: I generally think Icky Thump is one of the White Stripes' weakest albums. A lot of that has to do with the fact that I absolutely loath Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn and St. Andrew. There's not really interesting in them for me and they just SOUND terrible. I think the major problem I have with the album as a whole is that there is so much fiddling with instruments that I just find utterly droll.

scott91777 said...

The video game point is excellent! Case in point: The new Guitar Hero, the series, up to this point, has been simplicity itself... you plug in, you rock out, you have fun. The latest edition, while the gameplay remains simple, the game is also loaded with so many bells and whistles and options that it is almost infuriating. For example, the set list menu was great on the previous games... it was a list of songs on a piece of paper and you just 'scrolled' down, you could easily see what your high score was, how many stars, perfect performance... now, in career mode... there are a series of posters... each containing 'setlist' that you have to jump around to... and the 'quickplay' menu is alphabetical now... but, since the songs are no longer broken up in to their respective 'sets', they are just listed alphabetically which is actually quite intimidating.

Plus there are all sorts of options for building characters... modes ... etc. Overall, it's just too busy.

But, for the record, I do love me some grand epic style Final Fantasy RPGs that take 30 hours to complete... granted, I haven't played one of those in a while... but still.... my summers get boring.

jen said...

I have mixed feelings about the long vs. short thing. As they say, the more important thing is knowing how to use it.

There are many albums that I would've cut songs from (Use Your Illusion could have been a great single album, just to name one). Anything that gets released with 'such and such remix' is generally way too bloated for my liking.

But then there's novels and I get all wobbly kneed for hefty tomes. I do agree with Geoff that Underworld had a good 200 page novel in it (and I seem to remember much of our undergrad class discussion being about that issue), but I wouldn't want to choose which 200 pages. (And for that matter, The Body Artist was concise, but terrible.)

Infinite Jest clocks in at 1079 pages, and it's perfect as it is. The overwhelming quality of a novel that has footnotes that form entire chapters, and that reference the OED like it was a bit of children's lit is simply genius.

I'm strange with this, though. I can't deal with most movies, finding them way too long, but then my faves all end up being over 2 hours.

Paul said...

I'm a big fan of ten track albums that clock in under 45 minutes. I find them more cohesive and the fat has been trimmed off. R.E.M.'s Up and Radiohead's Hail to the Thief were hurt do to their length. The beauty of an mp3 player is that you can cut out tracks, insert b-sides, and rearrage the order of any album. I'm very happy with my reworkings of Radiohead's Amnesiac and the Cure's Wish.

Prof Fury said...

Hm. I can certainly list off my own catalog of wish-they-were-shorters, Bruce Springsteen's The River chief among them, and also The Rising, which is noted in the earlier referenced AV Club piece. I felt this way about Lethem's Fortress of Solitude, too.

But I'm suspicious of this impulse (which I do indeed share), as there's a thin line between "my taste is for shorter things" and "shorter things are better." After all, a novel is not meant to simply tell a story but to provide a particular aesthetic experience. Yes, Absalom, Absalom! could be shorter, but it wouldn't be A,A! anymore. I'd say the same for Grapes of Wrath -- aren't those incredibly drawn out descriptions part of the point, fundamental to the novel's formal structure and themes?

Now, I've satisfied myself that no really, Fortress just really needed paring down. But I worry about the tendency in these shorten-this-long-thing arguments to privilege narrative over form.

finsof72 said...

The last CD I bought was from Rage Agains the Machine in like 2002. I was in 7th grade. Obviously, music is my handicap and always has been when it comes to pop culture. But I don't quite get is why it matters if an album is too long when you don't have to listen to all of them? It's not like in a movie where you pretty much have to sit through all the excess crap (ala King Kong). With a CD you can just listen to the ones you want, so why does length and number of tracks really matter?

Chad Nevett said...

finsof72--For me, it's a matter of viewing an album as (ideally) a cohesive whole rather than a random collection of songs. This doesn't necessarily mean an album must have a unifying concept, but I think the songs included and even their ordering should work as a whole. Possibly an outdated approach, but that's how I tend to view things. It's also why I choose to listen to music on CD rather than on the computer, because I very much enjoy listening to albums from beginning to end as a whole. The relationship between songs can be important--one of my favourite instances is on Permission to Land where "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" is immediately followed up by "Love is only a Feeling." Despite the changing technology, albums are still the primary manner in which a lot of musicians release their work, so what is included on the album and why is important.

finsof72 said...

That makes sense. I always bought CDs for like one particular song...hence my ever clear handicap with music.

neilshyminsky said...

jason: Have you ever tried going through the solo Beatles stuff and trying to construct Beatles albums from them? It's very nearly as much fun as trying to edit down the White Album - do you go for thematic, chronological, or stylistic similarity? Do you strike out songs like 'How do you Sleep?' and 'Let Me Roll It', and nearly all of Plastic Ono Band and Ram because they contain material that either alludes to the break-up or that simply never would have been considered for a Beatles album? (Or, conversely, do you point at songs like 'Glass Onion' and 'Wild Honey Pie' and say that those aren't actually good arguments to not include them?)

scott91777 said...

A lot of things I want to comment on:

First of all,


Is that you Brent?


Stephen King is an excellent example. I feel that Chuck Palahniuk's Lullaby is the best Stephen King novel ever written: He tells a story in 260 pages that Kind would have told in 600.

Which brings me to....

Prof. Fury,

You're absolutely right, the novel is meant to be a sort of experience, not even necessearily in terms of actual lenght of the physical book, but the amount of story encompassed within (i.e. they are usually more 'epic' or cover a longer span of time). In fact, I may not be a fan of novels so much as I am of 'Novellas'... which are, basically, just really long short stories (what's the technical definition of a novella? less than 200 pages? over 100?... Salinger had works that were well over 100 pages that were still often labeled as 'short stories'). Maybe we need to creat some 'third' category for this 'short-novel-that's-longer-than-a-novella' In fact, I think the only work I truly love that can be considered a 'Novel' might be One Hundred Years of Solitude.

On this topic, does anybody know what that form of novel was, most popular in the 19th century, that followed a character from childhood to early adulthood in close detail(a la Great Expectations). I think There's a particualr term for this kind of novel... I could have sworn I heard it once before.

Per the discussion of individual tracks:

There are many albums I love that have tracks I don't care for... however, I wouldn't necessarily say they were too long... they just have weak tracks. 'One Step Closer To Knowing' from How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is a great example... its just this total momentum killer in an album that's already bottom heavy with slow to mid-tempo tracks. On the other hand, there are occasionally songs that I don't care for on first listen, that I grow to love. From the same album, "Original Of The Species" which I didn't care for (once again, as a result of the ordering of too many slower songs at the end of the album) actually grew on me over time and is now probably my favorite song off the album after "Vertigo"

Use Your Illusion would probably have made for a great single album... I think wal-mart actually sold this as a 'clean-version' of the album (which ties in nicely to Geoff's mention of the whole, 'clean version' subject).
However, in a way, I like its excessiveness... it was G N' R at the height of their own excessiveness when they really were the biggest band in the world with music videos that were short films (remember the video for "Estranged"?). It's basically their 'White Album'


I have thought about making that post-Beatles album you mention, but my interest in most of their solo careers is pretty lacking. I have no George or Ringo solo albums and on have 'best of' albums for Lennon and McCartney... I think I would stick to the early seventies stuff (pre-wings) because, after that, most of them had moved on to making music that really is hard to imagine on any Beatles record.

finsof72 said...

Yeah I'm trying to get into this blogging thing and it's actually kind of neat.

scott91777 said...


Glad you're enjoying it, it's a good way to keep yourself writing, even if only commenting on others posts we can get into some pretty good discussions on here.

Jason said...

Neil, my answer to your question is pretty much the same as Scott's -- I'm not really familiar-with-slash-interested-in enough of the Beatles' solo work to even put together such an album.

I DID make a seven-CD set that put all the Beatles' songs in the order that Ian MacDonald covers them in the original edition of Revolution in the Head (i.e., not the one that includes "Anthology" material). THAT, I was really proud of. :)

scott91777 said...

Oh, to expand on a topic that angela brought up... what about the long side? Albums that are absolutely perfect? Ones that make every track count?

Off the top of my head:

U2- Achtung Baby and War

The Strokes- Room On Fire and Is this It?

Def Leppard- Pyromania

The Who- Who's Next

Born To Run is close... but I've never cared for "Meeting Across the River"... it's not that it's a terrible song... but in comparison to the rest of the album... it just doesn't measure up... all of the other tracks are classics... this is the album I would play to aliens in order to explain what Rock N' Roll is.

Also, of honorable mention, while it isn't perfect, Stadium Arcadium by The Red Hot Chili Peppers is one of the best double albums I own... one of the few albums where, even thought every track isn't a potential single, it remains solid throughout with few lulls and, as has been mentioned, there is enough variety in the arrangement of the tracks to keep you interested.

neilshyminsky said...

jason and scott: Whaaaat? Plastic Ono Band and Imagine are absolute classics! (The latter sounds like the nearest thing any of the Beatles came to a genuine Abbey Road follow-up. Band on the Run tried, though it's actually more properly a response to Imagine - a follow-up to Lennon's follow-up. And as the last album in which the two are still obviously in a post-Beatles competition - which is not unlike the competition that existed while they were in the band - it's also the moment at which it becomes difficult to try and arrange a post-Beatles Beatles album. But I digress...)

I mean, aside from the obvious, there's good reason to not own nearly everything that any of them released after 1973... but to not be interested at all? Dude!

Jason said...

Well, I just said I wasn't familiar with enough of their material to create a post-Beatles "imaginary Beatles album."

I've got some kind of Lennon anthology with some material I really like ("Imagine," "Watching the Wheels," "Nobody Told Me," "Working Class Hero," "Instant Karma," "John Sinclair," "Gimme Some Truth" ...), and I really like George Harrison's Gone Troppo album from 1982 ... (mainly because of "Dream Away," the song that plays over the end-credits of the Harrison-produced cinematic masterpiece "Time Bandits") ...

Other than that ... I don't know, a couple songs off of Ram, maybe ... ?

Some all right stuff. (Meanwhile, I DESPISE the song "Band on the Run.")

Just not enough for me to make any decent mix CDs, is all I'm sayin' ... !

scott91777 said...


It's not that I'm not interested at all... Just that my 'Best of' albums (Working Class Hero for Lennon, Wingspan for McCartney) are enough to do me. I do love a lot of Lennon's stuff, right up to the end ("Watching the Wheels" is such a beautiful song). One of my key problems with much of Lennon's Albums was the fact that you would also get half an album of Yoko... I'm not a fan of noiserock (Revolution no. 9 would be the first track to go from the White Album)

I used to hate "Band on the Run" but now I love it (I was pleasantly surprised to see it on the new Guitar Hero). Tying in to our 'less is more' discussion it's proof that a song doesn't need to be Epic in length to be 'Epic'.

However, most of the Wings stuff just doesn't sound very 'Beatles-like' to me. It has it's own unique sound... very 'modern' at the time... which has since become kind of dated (as opposed to the timelessness of the Beatles).

neilshyminsky said...

jason: "Band on the Run" is lyrically silly, but just about one of my favorite songs from a song-writing perspective. What's your beef with it?

scott: re: Yoko - But that's only true of his arty stuff from the early 70s (the New York album) and his very late career stuff.

I also have to disagree with the "timelessness of the Beatles" comment - in many ways, it sounds to me as if Martin's often idiosyncratic production unavoidably dates it. The Beatles albums certainly don't sound as if they could've been recorded after they were (unless, I suppose, they were recorded outside a major label), and sometimes sound quite unlike everything in the period in which they were recorded, though I'd hesitate to say that sounding as if you don't quite belong anywhere is equivalent to sounding 'timeless'.

Jason said...

Neil: The lyrics. :) I can certainly forgive silly lyrics if I love the music enough (see: the 1972-75 output of The Kinks). But in this case the melody kind of shoves the lyrics right up one's ears. "Baaaand on the run. Baaaand on the RUN!" Gah.

The whole silly premise of the song has always kept me from listening to the music very closely. (I mean, it's a pun on "man on the run," right? Am I missing something? 'Cause if I am, that's cool, but if I'm not, then lawdy, that is so stupid.)

What's in the music that makes you rate it highly? What has my irrational prejudice against the words caused me to miss out on?

scott91777 said...

On the subject of piecing together albums:

I have The Book of Rolling STone's 500 greatest of all time where, in his introduction, Little Steven names 'Meet The Beatles' as his number 1 greatest album. He then discusses how, as most Beatles fans/music geeks know, that, at the time, the American record labels would chop up the british albums, throw in a few hit singles so that they could get more product (Meet The Beatles, basically, being the equivalent of the british With The Beatles) and he says: It's difficult for me to get too upset at the A & R guys who created the early versions of those british LPs, because they accidently had great taste! and I will forever argue that "I've Just Seen A Face" belongs on 'Rubber Soul' rather than Help [...] because as the all important opening song on our Rubber Soul it heralded the Beatles embrace of Bob Dylan and The Byrd's folk rock.

This might be a big reason behind captials releasing the 'American' Beatles albums a couple of years back.

Streebo said...

I mentioned in an earlier comment on this blog that the extended cut of Death Proof made me like it more for the simple fact that it was more in line with Tarantino's original stated intention that the film play as a hybrid slasher film/road movie. The extended cut reinstates the elements that lent themselves to creating that much needed atmosphere of fear - which was sorely lacking from the theatrical version.

And for the less is more crowd - how about this short trailer for a fan edit called Batman vs Superman? The longer version is supposed to be horrible - but the trailer makes it look interesting.

Geoff: You don't have to know anything about fan-edits or illegal torrents. All you have to do is know someone that knows about it and they can help you out. I often trade DVDs with a guy in London that works on such fan-edits and he sends me things all the time. I've never requested any of the Phantom Menace versions as I enjoyed all of the prequels as they are. I just watch the parts I like anyway. The Star Wars prequels may in fact be responsible for the phenomenon of fan-editing as so many disgruntled Star Wars fans have spent many an hour reworking the films to their liking.

Check out this forum for more information on fan-edits.

Original Trilogy Forum

Streebo said...

For clarity's sake Batman vs Superman is a fan edit combining footage from Batman Begins and Superman Returns to make it appear as though Superman and Batman are fighting. The idea is inherently limited as no actual footage exists of the two on-screen together - so it can only go so far.