I hate reviewing a fanedit that I really didn't like as I know the editor has put blood sweat and tears into the creation of his masterpiece. And I know that it hurts to receive harsh feedback.
Having said that, NewSpock did ask for reviews, and just having positive reviews doesn't really serve the community especially with an edit like this - so here we go.
There's a reason hardly anyone has touched the Matrix. It is a masterpiece. Pacing, shot selection, build-up, scene selection - genius. It told an extremely complex story with great dollops of philosophy in a relatively short space of time. It's genius was knowing what to leave out - particularly "Zion". Zion is left up to the viewers imagination, a warm place called home, something worth fighting for. Each of us imagined our own safe place, a haven. Then the sequels came and showed us one of the most boring places imaginable and everyone went meh! Unfortunately, this fanedit is the Matrix - with Zion.
I watched this edit from two points of view: one as an existing Matrix fan looking for an alternative cut - the other as a first time viewer seeing this film in the cinema. Both of these personas hated this film.
The Matrix fan was annoyed that his beloved Matrix was being sullied with, quite frankly, some of the WORST scenes from the sequels: Morpheus and Locke talking. Morpheus and Councillor Hamman talking. The boring prayer in the Temple. Morpheus yelling and shouting his prayer - which cuts to "the machines are digging". The end of the war battlements outside the Temple which look seriously low budget. And the Kid overacting with the end of the war.
The newbie was left thrown right in to a boring talking heads conversation between Morpheus and Locke (who are they? Who's Neo? Why is Morpheus such a zealot? Who's the Oracle? Who's right and who's wrong? Why do we not see Locke again - he seemed to talk sense).
The Temple scene followed by the abrupt cut to Locke in the War Room and "the machines are digging" *totally* nullifies Morpheus' optimism and makes him look like an idiot - some weirdo zealot with faith in Neo for, at this point, no reason whatsoever (makes more sense in the sequel). Then we cut abruptly to Cypher and Neo on the Neb - why? What was their reaction to the prayer. What does Neo think about Morpheus's misplaced faith? THe additional scenes raise far more questions than they answer.
The ending is the Kid yelling "the war is over" which would have been an suitable place to end this fanedit (seeing as adding all the bits of Zion - seeing what Neo was fighting to save - seemed to be the Raison d'être for this edit) - but then we cut to Neo talking to the Machines on the phone (the end of the Matrix). Why? Haven't they just been defeated. Didn't the Kid just yell "THE WAR IS OVER". WHy is NEo being all threatening about world without rules blah blah? in the context of this edit it makes no sense!
At every step the Matrix was weakened by the additions. The characters were made weaker, the pacing was off, Zion was reduced to a boring mosh pit of faceless made-for-TV characters... in short, a lot of the problems of the sequels were brought in to the Matrix! Yuck.
Also the sound mix was reduced to stereo - so even the bits I enjoyed (the MATRIX) was duller than usual because the sound mix was off. Yuck.
Now that I've slaughtered the film (sorry NewSpock), let me draw out some positives: the editing was seamless, particularly the sound editing. Visual fidelity was top-notch (HD 1080p quality). Great care was taken with scene selection and the way they were edited.
There's a great deal of passion in this project, and that comes through in the care and attention to detail.
NewSpock has good potential as an editor, that much is certain. Watch this man!