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Released Highlander II - US Theatrical Cut - Preservation
#1
After completing the latest version of the European Theatrical Cut preservation, I thought I'd put one together for the US Theatrical Cut too. I had hoped this would be a quick process (I actually had an initial version ready to release just before New Year) but a few complications came up and it got delayed a few times. 

The US Theatrical Cut is a mess, but it deserves to be preserved if only as an example of how not to edit a film. As I was putting this one together I noticed lots of tiny editing oddities which clearly point towards the US Cut being edited from the EU Cut (or at least something very similar to it), rather than this version being put together from scratch. There's one instance where an additional scene is added to the US cut, and when the film proceeds to the next scene you can still see a few frames of fade out from the scene before the new scene. It's a real mess. 

The main visual source for this restoration was the French DVD which provides a nicely detailed picture. It's probably the highest detailed SD source I've seen for the film in any cut, however it looks like there's been some DNR applied and there are quite a few compression artefacts. It does however have the US Theatrical colour grading which is nearer to grey than the blue of the EU cut. 

Thanks goes to TomArrow for helping me with a shot extension; a ~3 second clip had to be reconstructed from three very different sources. My attempts to fix the shot were far from convincing but TomArrow came up with something that works really well. 

I originally used the English language audio from the Japanese DVD of the US Theatrical Cut, which is basically a poor quality LD rip, however Soundman offered me a bit perfect PCM rip from the US laserdisc which was much nicer quality so I've used that here instead. 

So thanks to both Tom Arrow Soundman! 

[Image: wWekJ6H.jpg]

There's a bit of scope for an second version in the future; I have both the French and Japanese audio for this cut of the film so they could be included if there's call for it. The French audio does feature Christopher Lambert dubbing himself so it may be of interest to some. 

I think after this I'll be leaving the world of Highlander 2 for a bit. I've now spent over a year working on various cuts of this film so want to take a break, work on some other projects and learn some new skills. I may revisit this and the EU cut later down the line though as I've still got some ideas for improvements...

PM me for links. I hope you enjoy and please let me know if you have any feedback!
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Thanks given by: Bigrob , TomArrow , PDB
#2
^ You could totally make the ultimate H2 fanedit.
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#3
(2020-01-09, 01:26 PM)Chewtobacca Wrote: ^ You could totally make the ultimate H2 fanedit.
Oh I've got plans for my own personal cut of the film, all the elements I like rather than just trying to make the Renegade version with Zeist restored or a kitchen sink edit, but not sure when I'll tackle it. Maybe once I'm done with preserving each version in the best quality I can.
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#4
I meant to mention this in the first post but it slipped my mind. 

I've had a few messages, both here and other places I've talked about these projects, about the 35mm print of the US Theatrical Cut of Highlander 2 that's been on eBay for quite some time, even some people offering to donate towards buying and scanning it. 

The Blu Ray of the Special Edition cut is pretty poor quality and the colour grading is awful, so there would certainly be merit in getting a fresh scan, but as this is the US cut it's missing about 10 minutes of footage.

While I think it would be a pretty fun project I have absolutely zero experience with film, and I doubt there would be enough interest to raise the near $1000 asking price plus whatever it would cost to scan, but I thought it was worth mentioning. If there's enough interest I could always start a dedicated thread.

                   

https://www.ebay.com/itm/35mm-Feature-Hi...4227080724
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#5
I should've waited for this!
Just a couple of months ago, I watched Highlander for the first time. It was a mess, but I enjoyed it. I wanted to watch Highlander 2, but only the Renegade cut was available anywhere, and I wanted to watch the theatrical version first. I ended up getting a VHS copy off of ebay.
For what it is, I actually enjoyed this movie more than the first one.
But I digress. If I ever feel the need to re-watch this, I will definitely watch this version. I'm super excited now that I've found this website.
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#6
(2020-01-15, 05:28 AM)Jrzag42 Wrote: I should've waited for this!
Just a couple of months ago, I watched Highlander for the first time. It was a mess, but I enjoyed it. I wanted to watch Highlander 2, but only the Renegade cut was available anywhere, and I wanted to watch the theatrical version first. I ended up getting a VHS copy off of ebay.
For what it is, I actually enjoyed this movie more than the first one.
But I digress. If I ever feel the need to re-watch this, I will definitely watch this version. I'm super excited now that I've found this website.

Which version of the first Highlander did you watch? I'm in the UK so I've always been most familiar with the EU cut, which is now what's on all the Blu Ray releases. The US Theatrical Cut of the first Highlander is a real mess, but it's got it's fans Smile

Highlander 2 is a real tough one. As a sequel to the first film it's just awful, but if you take it as a standalone film it's actually ok. The US Theatrical version has been cut to shreds, but most of the later versions at least make the film internally consistent so it's no worse than any other early 90s sci fi action flick. 

If you ever decide to watch any of the other versions of Highlander 2 I'd be very interested in hearing your opinions. 

I haven't watched a VHS in years. Part of me is always curious to go back and see what they were like but I think my wife would actually kill me if I added yet another dead format to my collection ha ha
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#7
(2020-01-15, 11:20 AM)HippieDalek Wrote: Which version of the first Highlander did you watch? I'm in the UK so I've always been most familiar with the EU cut, which is now what's on all the Blu Ray releases. The US Theatrical Cut of the first Highlander is a real mess, but it's got it's fans Smile

Highlander 2 is a real tough one. As a sequel to the first film it's just awful, but if you take it as a standalone film it's actually ok. The US Theatrical version has been cut to shreds, but most of the later versions at least make the film internally consistent so it's no worse than any other early 90s sci fi action flick. 

If you ever decide to watch any of the other versions of Highlander 2 I'd be very interested in hearing your opinions. 

I haven't watched a VHS in years. Part of me is always curious to go back and see what they were like but I think my wife would actually kill me if I added yet another dead format to my collection ha ha

I somehow completely missed this, sorry!

I watched the European cut of the first Highlander. I didn't realize it at the time. It was on Tubi (a free streaming service with ads) simply labeled as "Highlander: The Movie," which I found amusing. The show is on there just called "Highlander," I guess it must be more popular than the movie.

Highlander doesn't really leave itself open for a sequel. I wouldn't want a sequel that tries to fit into the continuity of the first movie. I find it hilarious that they retconned everything from the first movie and made the characters aliens, and since I have no special connection to the first movie it really doesn't bother me. I definitely want to watch the Renegade cut eventually, I just didn't want to watch it for my first viewing.

I will never go without having a VCR, and I will never stop buying VHSes. I don't care much about quality. I mean, I prefer higher quality video, but I have no problem with watching lower quality. Thus, when I go to thrift stores or flea markets and happen upon dirt-cheap tapes of movies I don't own, I will absolutely buy them.
But I digress.
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#8
(2020-01-21, 07:48 PM)Jrzag42 Wrote: I will never go without having a VCR, and I will never stop buying VHSes. I don't care much about quality. I mean, I prefer higher quality video, but I have no problem with watching lower quality. Thus, when I go to thrift stores or flea markets and happen upon dirt-cheap tapes of movies I don't own, I will absolutely buy them.
But I digress.

I grew up with VHS so it will always have a bit of nostalgia for me, but I'm more of a laserdisc person : ) 

(2020-01-21, 07:48 PM)Jrzag42 Wrote: Highlander doesn't really leave itself open for a sequel. I wouldn't want a sequel that tries to fit into the continuity of the first movie.

Considering the quote above I'd love to hear your thoughts on Highlander 3 when you see it. It completely ignores 2 and tries to be a direct sequel to 1!
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#9
(2020-01-22, 11:09 AM)HippieDalek Wrote: It completely ignores 2 and tries to be a direct sequel to 1!

That's the reason I like 3 more than 2: it at least feels like a Highlander film.
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#10
(2020-01-22, 01:07 PM)Chewtobacca Wrote: That's the reason I like 3 more than 2: it at least feels like a Highlander film.

I've got an on and off relationship with 3. It certainly feels more like the first film, but at times it feels a bit safe and unmemorable, and in many places just outright copies the first film. Love or hate it you certainly can't say the same about 2!
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