I gave a high audio/video quality rating because the filming era of the footage was changed from the late 90s to the 70s-ish. And all of the quality work done on the video and audio to make it feel like 70s film was dead on. 9 stars for that. I feel like the narrative-voice was a bit off and could have had the voices match up a bit better. so 9 stars for the audio editing. 10 stars on the visual because it was dead on for the time period. 9 stars for narrative and enjoyment because there were moments when I felt a bit lost and had to re-watch parts and understand what's going on.
I tried to keep in mind all of the details as I watched it; like Neo as a drug dealer and possible traitor working for the machines... It's tough to learn the new story when I've watched the old one so many times. It was very good though. The extensive audio work was really good, and making Morpheus out to be a cold hard-ass was a great touch. I also liked the history lesson that Neo received. I suppose that was to catch him up on the years that he missed while he was being removed from the matrix? From an outsiders view of course. I liked the removal of animation, it was nice and made the show feel dated. There was also a lot of the close up action removed. This is so ever-true of old style movies. They didn't get too close to the action because they knew it would make it look fake (because it was fake) so they kept their distance from the action scenes or used obscure shots or made the action start and end quickly. This re-edit nailed that aspect of old film making dead to rights. The blurring from distant shots was a good touch too. Neo killing the people he used to work for was good too, but I'm wondering where he found the time to do that. The previews were good also, along with the DVD Menu work. It really made it an immersed experience from start to finish. The scene of the machine (smith) fighting Neo down on the subway rails was confusing for a few moments. I thought it showed Smith jumping out?? and then it showed Neo and Smith still down there, and then Neo had gotten out of the trains way... that part was trippy. I'm not sure if it was intentional or just an honest error in this massive re-edit.
Over all, this was absolutely great and I think that any big Matrix fan would enjoy viewing it.
The whole modern grindhouse genre is a very fascinating idea but not one that I think works well in a long form format. Hobo with a Shotgun, Machete, and Planet Terror, to name a few, were all novel ideas but after the initial awe wore off I began to become disinterested.
This is the same thing that happened with this edit. I found the idea extremely interesting and unique but half way into it, I lost interest and began to drift away from paying attention. This has nothing to do with the quality of the edit but is more a reflection on my interest and thoughts on the genre.
Rating the technical aspect of a film like this is difficult because bad editing techniques are what make a film a grindhouse film. That being said, this edit is a perfect representation of how the techniques for a grindhouse film should be executed. The amount of work that must have went into this edit is astounding.
I don't really think the Johnny Mnemonic scenes worked very well for the most part because they threw off the narrative, which is why I gave it an 8 rating.
On the other hand, there were several things about this edit that I did enjoy. The running gag of Agent Smith zipping his pants (inferring a certain action) was hilarious. As were some of the lines of dialogue, like the conversation between Neo and Trinity about her being a man a long time ago HAHA!! I also really enjoyed the ending, which I won't spoil.
My favorite part of this edit was actually the fake trailers that occur before the feature film, similar to the fake trailers before Grindhouse (Planet Terror/Death Proof). Trailers of this sort is where I feel the modern grindhouse technique is best used, because they are in a short form format.
Overall, even though I didn't enjoy this edit as much as others I would still recommend it. The ideas are solid and would be hard pressed to find anything as original. For those reasons alone, this edit should be viewed and if another is released I will most certainly view that as well.
Let me preface this by saying that every time I would see someone write "you should do a grindhouse edit of _____" on the forum, I wanted to ban them immediately. There were a lot of hack attempts, but shitty-ing up the picture quality and making a bunch of hard cuts does not a grindhouse film make. Fortunately the trend seemed to fade from the spotlight for a bit. TMBTM's War of the Stars edit was a bit closer to the real deal, and that edit was a lot of fun.
Now, with Robots vs. Kung Fu, we have as close as a true grindhouse film as you are going to get. The editor did a fantastic job with this. The editing was quite good at times, the music choices were great, and it really did feel like a cheap grindhouse film. That said, not everything worked for me (a bit too much Johnny Mnemonic footage was used, and the filters/compression were a bit much for me) but I did really enjoy this. I look forward to watching the bonus features and listening to the commentary. Great job!!!!
I watched the DVD version (still have to watch the 2nd disc with the extras). I haven't read any reviews of the edit yet, and I didn't read any of the detailed info about the edit before watching. Here is my stream of consciousness bulleted noted that I took as I watched the edit:
- Nice DVD Menus!
- Cool Previews
- opening with the cityscapes and narration/conversation kinda caught me off guard
- Nice choice with Jefferson Airplane
- sound replacement/foley effects etc. is kinda interesting, not sure if its intially not supposed to sound polished, either way it works
- the inclusion of some of the behind the scenes/outtakes footage worked, sometimes it didnt (just my opinion)
- been a looonnggg time since I've seen Johnny Mnemonic
- LMAO at "long story"
- in certain places (for example the kung fu training scene), the music could have been a tad lower and the dialogue could have been a bit louder. This is somewhat nitpicky, as this wasn't a constant problem throughout the edit, just in certain spots
- from the meeting with the oracle onward, the narrative and visual editing felt a bit erratic sort of all over the place (again, just my opinion)
- The ending was great though. very, very clever.
- I didn't really know what to expect going into this edit but overall this was a fun, outside-the-box fanedit.
Nice work matrixgrindhouse! Looking forward to Chapter 2!