Review Detail

8.9 6 10
FanFix June 16, 2013 2861
Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Eyes Wide Shut is not a movie that I really liked all that much, and thus I did not have high expectations when I decided to give this edit a try. I am so glad I did though, since Gatos has created a truly amazing movie that, in my opinion, showcases what the magic of fan editing is all about.

Even though Gatos classifies this as a "FanFix," to me it is a perfect example of a "FanMix," as Gatos has given us a completely new story, subtext, and interpretation of this movie through the use of expert editing, and obvious care and respect for the source material. To remove over an hour of footage and end up with such a cohesive and powerful piece of work is no small feat. Yet Gatos has done just that!

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*WARNING* - THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS! IF YOU HAVE NOT YET WATCHED THIS EDIT, YOU MAY NOT WANT TO READ THIS JUST YET.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! :-)
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VIDEO/AUDIO QUALITY - 10

Gatos has used an SD source which he says has noise and grain throughout. While I did notice some graininess and a bit of noise, it is by no means detrimental to the viewing experience, and in fact it is my opinion enhances the story Gatos decided to tell, which is one of mystery and foreboding. I find the grain a perfect match for the mood of the film.

In any event, the A/V quality is exactly on par with the source.

VISUAL EDITING - 10

Gatos does a truly masterful job with the visual editing. Even though he removed 65 minutes of material, I truthfully could barely notice any of the edits. Perhaps there are one or two moments where a scene change feels only a bit abrupt, but to me, this was not a problem because it usually fit the style Gatos was going for. And in general, he perfectly matched Kubrick's style of frequent long cross fades, so that it was hard to tell which edit points were Kubrick's and which were Gatos'.

This is in my opinion a stellar visual editing job.

AUDIO EDITING - 9

Gatos' audio editing was also top-notch. Audio editing is generally more difficult than visual editing, especially when so much content is removed. I hesitate to take a point off here, but there were a few places that felt like the audio edits were a bit too noticeable, and unlike the few abrupt visual edits, they didn't feel "right" to me. The editing was excellent overall, and just fell behind the visual editing by hair.

NARRATIVE - 9

This is the triumph of Gatos' work -- he has truly given us a completely brand new movie that in almost every way perfectly fits together, so that one would be hard pressed to argue this wasn't a "real" release.

Gatos transforms the story to focus solely on Bill; he in fact keeps the audience so closely involved with Bill's every move that we begin to really feel empathy with this main character who does, as one character says to him, get in "way over his head." Tom Cruise's performance seems perfect for this approach. He starts of as an arrogant doctor, using his credentials freely to do and get whatever he wants. He feels entitled and superior to others. He blatantly blows off his wife multiple times, and acts like the staff at his office are his servants. But then he gets himself into trouble due to his huge ego and hubris, which lead him down a very unexpected and unintended path of danger.

This is really a brilliant approach that Gatos has taken, and it seems like Gatos found all the perfect moments to make Cruise's performance work for his own goals. In some ways, I felt like Gatos was borrowing from Hitchcock, who frequently used similar techniques when building a mystery where both the main character and the audience share a common sense of confusion and fear of what is going to happen next.

Now, why can't I give this a 10? Well, there's just a few minor quibbles I wish Gatos could have addressed (though I am not sure if the source material or the requirements of a cohesive storyline would have let him).

First, I am not sure seeing Bill immediately go off with two women at the party (with the obvious implication he is going to have sex with them) was a good introduction to his character. I know that he is with the women when he is called up to deal with Mandy (so part of the scene is required for continuity), but the amount of flirting could have been reduced a bit. I say this because it immediately places in the audience's mind that Bill is a womanizer and also does not care about fidelity to his wife. I think it would have been fine to have Bill pick up the women, but it just felt like he had absolutely no problem with cheating on his wife, which is not really (IMO) what the rest of the character building Gatos does seems to support. Again, this is just a minor issue, and perhaps once I watch it again I won't feel this way.

Second, I would have liked to not have the extremely bizarre moment when Bill is returning the tux and the shop owner is pimping out his daughter. This just felt out of place to me. However, I acknowledge that it would have required a perhaps too hard a visual cut to get out of this scene, and thus again, I realize why Gatos might have kept this in.

Finally, the ending scene just kind of blew my mind. Now, it was a much better ending then the original, and I'm really not sure what other options Gatos might have been contemplating. But to me, the new ending can easily be interpreted that his wife was actually at the party. Maybe that's what Gatos was going for. While that's a cool concept, I feel that it ends up being more "shock" value than anything that we could have foreseen in the narrative. I am wondering if there was any way to somehow make Bill think of his wife during the masked party scene and superimpose her face somehow on one of the girls that tries to take him away (not Mandy, of course, but someone else). Again, I'd have to think about this more when I rematch it.

All in all, I have to emphasize that my minor quibbles are just that -- minor! Gatos has laid out such a strong and compelling narrative that I literally could not keep my eyes away from the screen the entire time, and was enthralled from beginning to end. One final comment -- even though Gatos cut out over an hour, which left just about 90 minutes remaining, I really felt that the pacing did not feel at all rushed, and in fact, quite deliberate, with a slow build of tension throughout.

ENJOYMENT - 9 -- though I would give this a 9.5 if that were available!

(NOTE - I would rate my enjoyment of the original movie probably around a 6.)

There's really not much more I can say about this edit other than how superlative it is in so many ways. Gatos had a vision and he accomplished it; the fact that I want to watch this again is a testament to how much I enjoyed it!

I actually somewhat disagree with Gatos' brief synopsis, calling Bill a "victim of curiosity, coincidence, and circumstance." Certainly those factors come into play, but I also feel Gatos clearly provides ample evidence that Bill does himself no favors due to his aforementioned character flaws. This to me adds a lot of depth to the movie; how much of what happens is Bills fault? Could he have prevented what happened, and at what point does he pass the point of no return?

But maybe this is another example of why Gatos has done such a terrific job with the narrative, as he has allowed more than one interpretation of the story, just as many people can disagree with a director's own interpretation of his or her own movie!

My only criticism from an enjoyment perspective were the small issues with the narrative I describe above, that distracted me a small bit. And to re-address the ending, though it happens so abruptly and suddenly (without any narrative support) it feels almost cathartic in a way, given how quickly it happens and how quickly it ends the movie. So really, I can't really say it wasn't enjoyable, even if it was not completely satisfying. And again, for me, the ending of the original movie was much less satisfying.

OVERALL RATING - 9.2 (calculated) -- and a 9.5 if I could modify it myself!

In conclusion, I really think this is what Fan Editing is all about! Gatos has done a stupendous job in making a completely new story just by using his editing skills, which by the way, are stellar. I can't wait to see more of his works!

RECOMMENDATION

I can recommend this edit without reservation, as long as viewers understand up front that this is not in any way the same story as Eyes Wide Shut. It is a new story, which works terrifically well on it' own merits.

Truly an amazing job, Gatos! Congratulations!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
DVD
Owner's reply July 22, 2013

Hey seciors,

Thank you so much for the honest and in-depth review. I'm glad you enjoyed the edit. I'm also glad you pointed out what you didn't like about it!

In regards to your comments about the ending:

"Finally, the ending scene just kind of blew my mind. Now, it was a much better ending then the original, and I'm really not sure what other options Gatos might have been contemplating. But to me, the new ending can easily be interpreted that his wife was actually at the party. Maybe that's what Gatos was going for. While that's a cool concept, I feel that it ends up being more "shock" value than anything that we could have foreseen in the narrative."

This is a great interpretation, not one I had considered with regards to how I edited the ending but still an interesting interpretation. My feeling was that in the original they made it ambiguous as to whether or not Bill left the mask at the mansion, or if he left it as his apartment before going to investigate what happened to Nick.

My intention with the ending was to take out the ambiguity and strongly suggest that the mask on the bed was a final warning/threat to Bill.

Thanks again for the review and I'm glad you enjoyed the edit.

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July 22, 2013
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***WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD -- DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T YET SEEN THE EDIT!
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** YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
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Doh! Ok, I was waaayyyy off on what the mask signified I guess. :-)

I guess I have to be honest and say I didn't get your intent because I kind of felt like they had already given him "a final warning." So that's kind of why my mind went in a different direction. (I do think that it is a credit to your editing that I actually could interpret the ending in a way you completely didn't intend!)

But like I said, the abruptness of the ending coupled with the obvious shock that we could see Bill experience, then cutting to black, was a very effective visceral experience for the ending, regardless of the interpretation. And it really in no way took away from my overall enjoyment of this truly superlative edit!
S
seciors
July 23, 2013
In reply to an earlier comment

Haha, you weren't way off. I'm glad that you interpreted it differently. That's part of the fun of movies in general IMO!
G
gatos
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