Review Detail

9.1 3 10
matrixrebellion_front
FanMix March 01, 2022 905
Overall rating
 
8.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Meant to watch this a while ago... sorry it took me so long! Been about 8 years since I've seen the theatricals, so hopefully my observations are relatively untainted by familiarity.

QUALITY

Visual quality is good overall, but compression doesn't hold up so well in some shots, such as prolonged explosions and the rain-heavy scenes (eg. during the climax). Audio quality is decent, but occasionally breaks up.


EDITING

Editing is nicely done across the board and there is nothing jarring. Loved the new Matrix-style Malthus branding :) Some small things below:

Visual cuts at 13:41, 20:03 and 34:25 all felt a little too quick.

I don't know if any colour grading was applied for this edit, but I felt that parts of Reloaded looked a bit inconsistent, with some scenes alternating between dominant teel and more neutral colours. Maybe that's just how the film is though?

Audio:

- 30:00 - this transition feels a little awkward.
- 1:26:57 - Sounded a bit to me like the start of the dialogue of the next scene may have been cut off just slightly? I also feel like having the dialogue overlap a little with the previous scene might help the transition feel more natural.
- 2:26:14 - there is a small hiccup in the audio

There is also a lot of low end coming through for a stereo track, which sounded muddy during some louder segments. If this was edited in 5.1 and then exported as stereo, I wondered if maybe the LFE channel may have also been included (whereas preferably it should be muted for a stereo bounce). It's possible that this is just how the film mix sounds, but it sounded a bit off to me, so I thought i'd mention it.


NARRATIVE

From my perspective, the original films are convoluted and don't make a whole lot of sense. The most that can be expected of a fanedit where things can only be cut is for the material to be made more entertaining without making things more confusing. On the whole, Malthus does a very good job of trimming fat and they don't introduce any plot holes so far as I could gather; to a small extent, I think the stuff with the Frenchman's partner's betrayal felt a little rushed/underdeveloped, and Smith doesn't seem to be much of a presence until towards the end of the film.

In terms of "Reloaded" material (more or less the first half of the edit), things generally fly by naturally and all of the best setpieces are retained. In isolation, "Revolutions" is also a significant improvement over the original film. It is the weaker of the two IMO, and isn't nearly as engrossing, but the important stuff seems to be there and again, fat is trimmed.

It's looking at the edit as a whole where I think things don't flow quite as well in terms of pacing. Reloaded drives us to a final act, where we as the audience know that the next big thing to resolve before the credits roll is the war on zion. In the original structure, Reloaded ends on a cliffhanger instead of bringing resolution, and then Revolutions pads this final act out in order to justify it as its own film. In Malthus' edit, much is cut, but the edit still very much has a feeling of "one film ends, another begins". The pacing is cranked for our Reloaded final act, and then it's like a reset button is hit. This is a pacing thing, not a runtime thing. 3 hours has proven itself as a runtime that can grip modern audiences (surprisingly).

I would say that if this is definitely all the material Malthus wants in the edit, then IMO it would still be more beneficial for the material to be presented as two separate films. However, if the main focus is in marrying the material into a single cohesive film, I would consider cutting the short-lived sub-plot with Neo inbetween worlds - it is pure filler, kills the pacing, and clearly only exists to help justify Revolutions' filmic status and kick the third part off with a bang. Admittedly, cutting it would not be entirely straightforward, since it connects quite closely to how Neo winds up in the matrix for more pivotal scenes, but crazier things have been done and I think it would benefit the narrative greatly to have that, the train man and the Frenchman reunion etc. all excised. Neo can be weak after his first encounter with the machines in the "real" world, but he does not need to go into a coma - avoiding that avoids a lot of dead weight.

Additionally, I would personally just make a handful of small extra trims to dialogue or action shots in Revolutions to help speed certain setpieces along. Ultimately, not a lot happens in the third film, but it takes a while to get there. The attack on zion, however, is in a good place and would probably not survive further trimming.


ENJOYMENT

Easily the most I have enjoyed both films. Reloaded is the best I've seen it and I can't imagine it getting much better. It's a silly film, but now at least it's an entertaining one. Revolutions still has a lot that I find tedious, and I just don't think there's anything in it which tops some of the heights of Reloaded, but this edit at least prevents it being a slog. The overall pacing feels a bit off, but taking a break at the rough halfway point is an easy remedy. Overall, vastly preferable to the theatrical cuts (which I had vowed never to watch again). Thanks for your work on this, Malthus :)

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Comments

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April 07, 2022
Thank you for the thorough review. I'll revisit those time stamps you mentioned.

Re: Colour grading. There was no colour grading done on the edit itself.

Re: Pacing. You are quite right, I can't really dispute anything you have had to say. I am now tempted to release this as two separate edits but pausing halfway through is just as viable an option in my opinion. Perhaps an intermission card could be added.

Re: Between Two World's. Personal preference here but I really like this content so I didn't want to axe it. That said as a proof o concept I'll take a crack at seeing if it can be circumnavigated and report back.
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