Matrix Revolutions Reloaded, The
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AN ESSAY IN EDITING “CAUSE & EFFECT”
THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS RELOADED
As I write this preface having “locked” this academic critique we collectively refer to as "fan editing", I recall the words of Pete Doctor “Pixar films are never finished, they just get released”, and so it will be with this particular endeavour. In fact, the very process of writing this essay made me face up to some editing home truths about what I was saying, that led to further amendments to my edit and thus further refining this piece. As such, and given that this piece exists in order to understand the intent of the original filmmakers versus their final result in contrast to my fiddling...this piece may never be finished...but here it is.
My exercise in applying some editing and academic rigour to the editing process of The Matrix Trilogy dates back mentally to that first viewing (and it was the first show of the first sequel at my local cinema) with my then teenage son.
As we exited the movie theatre we were both in awe of the visuals but somewhat letdown by the experience. This was nothing compared to the car wreck of the second sequel 6 months later which I have NEVER re-watched in full from start to finish until this project.
This reaction seems to be not uncommon among the brethren of “the disciples of Morpheus” ...you know who you are. What is rarer is the lack of insightful critique as to why these two films fell so far short of both expectation and vision.
This essay will examine why the sequels failed as a cinematic and artful attempt at telling a story. In so doing, this essay will first examine the inherent flaws from my lay academic stance. I am neither a film maker nor a scholar of film (in a formal sense), I am however a casual student of all things cinematic. In making the assessments that follow, my edit reveals itself, much like a solid block of marble contains a statue and the artist merely needs to remove the excess (sic Michelangelo). I am certainly no Michelangelo, but this trilogy is replete with excess and as such I took it upon myself to wield the editing hammer and chisel.
I trust that you will enjoy peering into my mind.
The structure of my ideal sequel, or for that matter, ideal overall story arc for The Matrix Trilogy began to form as my son and I drove back home and fired salvos of creative vitriol at each other. At that point in time I had only produced two projects (now known as fan edits); my complete version of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and setting the visuals of the original Star Wars Trilogy to the audio from the LPs of The Story of Star Wars. Both of these were edited using two VHS recorders on the floor of my parents lounge in what by today’s standards was a tortuous task. I’ll say no more.
Years later, and with fanedit.org up and away I find an audience of like minded souls with whom to share not just the product of our imaginations, but of our frustrations in equal measure.
Film is an art form. As such there is no right way to do anything though there are many wrong ways. In fact the greatest advancements in film history come from mavericks and visionaries breaking the mould; Orson Welles-Citizen Kane, Sam Peckinpah- The Wild Bunch, Wes Anderson- (anything he’s made) etc. I cite these film makers to establish my biggest point.
Adhere to your internal nomenclature
Any film must adhere to the rules that it itself establishes. This vocabulary includes the way protagonists use language, editing style, plot construction, character motives, etc. Collectively these elements forge the integrity of that films universe. When those internal rules are broken the viewer is left with that “removed from the viewing experience” effect. The film makers above, and many others, are masters of adhering to the internal rules of their creations. I will later illustrate how the sequels in particular, shatter the rules established in The Matrix and even the few rules established by the sequels.
In fact if you wish to see a master class in this, you should watch harry Plinket’s video review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Not only is this review film a masterwork in editing to illustrate Mr Plinket’s views, but it fleshes out in nearly 2 hours every nuance and misstep the filmmakers made and why the film falls so far short of the mark while simultaneously felling like “it almost got there”. That’s why it’s was joy to re-edit (see my Dr Jones and the Skull Kingdom Mystery”. There was a halfway decent film in there...just not all the marble had been removed by the sculptors.
If you own The Matrix Trilogy with the audio commentaries, I urge you to listen to the comments by the reviewers who in particular were detractors of the films (especially the sequels). They identify the many issues that these films have with them. In fact this was the final motivator for me to do something about it.
The other driver was the concept of the “perfect film”. We all know what they look like. The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Godfather, Hobson’s Choice, A Man for All Seasons,...even Singing in the Rain. These films have internal integrity, no excess marble and in fact not a single thing you would want to or need to alter in order to improve them. The list is longer and I am sure you all have your favourites.
In the next sections I will deal with the following: The Excess, Character Issues, Plot Issues and finally any other choices over and above those covered.
Excess in movie making is not a new phenomenon. Heaven’s Gate, Birth of a Nation, and many more. All have one issue in common. Film makers with total control; no third part to rein them in or no internal discipline to affect restraint.
The Wachovski (then Brothers) are no doubly talented and visionary film makers. I do however suspect that in the aftermath of the then surprise breakout hit the Matrix was, that they were either given full control of the sequels or (and I think this more likely) commercial influences intervened.
It is my assertion that the Wachowskis originally intended there to be a single sequel. Certainly the rich internal back-story and the foreshadowing in The Matrix indicate that there was a genuine end to the story which we were not seeing (in fact I hope that the forthcoming prequels trilogy does not perform a George Lucas on us all).
I suspect that the studios or financiers wanted more bang for buck and as such a significant expansion of the proposed sequel may have occurred. The reason I suspect this is due to two reasons. The first is that many sequences are either repeated in some form or are needlessly long and overblown. The second is that many plot and character elements feel “shoved in” in order to expand the story for its own sake. I will deal the latter later.
Let’s look at the needless repetition first.
The Lobby sequence in The Matrix that precedes the rescue of Morpheus is repeated in Revolutions almost beat for beat.
The fight with agents at the beginning of Reloaded is expanded in the Burly man Brawl minutes later.
The discourse by the Merovingian in Reloaded is repeated in Revolutions in the club.
The fight with Serif in Reloaded mirrors the training fight from The Matrix between Morpheus and Neo
Now let’s look at sequences that could be significantly shortened, not because they can be shortened, but because they outstay their welcome:
The Motorway chase, The Motorbike chase, The assault on Zion, the second Merovingian conversation, The Burly man brawl, The Blind Neo section, The latter conversations with The Oracle, The final fight with Smith in Revolutions, The Crater confrontation in revolutions.
Now let’s look at completely examples of redundant sequences:
The whole white subway station malarkey, the Architect, The Rave in Zion, Anything with Commander Lock, Smith in the real world.
The Blonde orgasm in the restaurant...we get the “cause and effect” speech. I guess that the filmmakers though a digital vagina would be neat. My cohort in the cinema laughed...not good.
Taken as a whole, I trimmed required bloated ones and deleted the rest.
By incorporating the above to pad out two movies (where one would have sufficed) some kind of motivational drive needed to be shoehorned in. This was done in two ways in my view. Expand the plot, and expand the characters. I will deal with plot last.
By expanding a character the usual motivation by a film maker is to increase the purpose or motivation of that character. If that expansion is true to my first point i.e. nomenclature then provided it is consistent with the films universe it is a joyous thing to behold. It draws the viewer in deeper, the action, threats and dilemmas are exported to the viewer and we exit the darkened theatre significantly richer for the experience.
Not so here.
Morpheus was established in the first film a string leader, inspirational to his followers, driven by his unswerving faith in the prophecy; namely a man of “god”. As a viewer you hung on his every word. By giving him a past love affair placing him in conflict with Lock Morpheus is Humanised. In doing this, the previous traits established in the first film are all but destroyed. He seems weak, vulnerable and his confused which trivialises his persona. This renders him redundant as a narrative force in the sequels. His authority is diminished and we the viewer cease to care and thus become disengaged.
The speech Morpheus gives is severely hampered as a result of the above even before all his flaws are revealed. This should have been a moment of depth and wonder; instead it plays as platitude of a politician without the inner resolve or sincerity you would expect. Shame.
Result: excise all that material...not just whole sequences but words and looks e.g. looks of doubt, statements of doubt etc. In fact I even pruned a few moments from the Matrix such as when Neo appears to die in the matrix Morpheus states “I don’t believe it”. All this is removed.
Neo: We spend 2 hours plus getting to believe he is the one...and we buy into that too. Now Neo’s doubts in the sequels are well handled but his selflessness does not quite chime when he eventually sacrifices himself without a single material utterance from ANY character about its magnitude etc. Result....we don’t care. Action to rectify: Remove.
The Merovingian: Almost a perfect addition in Reloaded but relegated to Architect levels of irrelevance in Revolutions. Action: Remove second incarnation.
Persephone. Not too much wrong there but the whole lesbian shtick almost feels like “we the filmmakers want to see some Monica Belucci ”girl on girl action” coz we can. Ridiculous. Delete. Persephone’s motivation for her actions in reloaded can be established in a more subtle way. I did this by just inserting her looking down when The Merovingian states in his power speech “and those without power”. You will see what I did.
The Oracle: I’m convinced that the sequences in Revolutions would have been redundant even if the original actress had been alive to utter the irrelevant dialogue. Deleted.
Characters have to have a legitimate driver which we the viewer believe and care about as established by the films inner universe. The Universe of The Matrix is severely diminished in the sequels. Result...remove the offending material.
Characters frequently make reference to contemporary cultural phrasing or ideas e.g. Morpheus’s “you all look the same to me” to Smith in The Matrix and a few more by others. All removed including Cipher wanting to be an actor (because they are “someone important”.
Well, I could really go on but I will try to be brief.
The Matrix established many things either explicitly or implicitly. In either eventuality, the sequels must adhere to the universe to be credible and for the viewer to remain engaged. If you expand the internal rules, then again they must ring true to the original vision. Step out of that and the viewer will disengage; not because we are all thinking in these terms when we watch a film but because the human brain is a powerful processor of information. It is not that easily fooled.
Let’s examine what I am referring to.
The Matrix is established as the internal virtual world where the laws of physics etc do not apply. Great...characters can fly, bend spoons, dodge bullets etc. But a major part of the battle against the machines takes place outside the matrix with Neo having the same powers as within the matrix. Not only is this not foreshadowed in any way, it completely shatters the rules so expertly established in the first film. The viewer gladly accepts that inside the matrix anything goes but without explanation Neo’s ability to defeat a Sentinel outside the matrix is rejected subliminally and seems preposterous to the viewer. Action: Excise with extreme prejudice. The battle is within the matrix.
Despite the fact that Zion is not seen in The Matrix (as much a budgetary consideration as it is a skilful “tantalizer” for viewers), it is established that it is deep underground near the Earth’s core. If so, they get to it pretty easily in sequels. Does not seem to me that that arrangement could remain hidden for several hundred years. What’s worse is that passage of time implies that humans have (for generations) been hiding not fighting in the real world. Well for crying out loud if they could build those walking fighting powerloader type machines could they not have build a flotilla of hovercraft and armed them sufficiently to storm the machine city (a new creation for the sequels) or the core? Neo and Trinity at the end of Revolutions seemed to get there quickly and easily enough. If the Zion was that near to the threat of the machines they would have been obliterated. As a viewer you are aware of this in the back of your mind and thus you don’t believe or care about those battles one jot. Eye candy it may be, but engaging, it is not. Needless to say it’s all removed.
Reloaded does establish a credible plot driver in that The Oracle, who we know is a selective revealer of facts, informs Neo that he must meet The Merovingian, get the Keymaker and go to the core. That does all work in Reloaded. Thus the obstacles placed in the way, namely the fight in the chateau, the motorway chase and the final sequence at the PowerStation, all work from the viewers perspective (even if there is a tad bloating). My Action; retain with selective pruning.
Revolutions however has no such internal legitimate drivers for the characters. The whole subway station material and the drivel uttered that acts as the driver for what follows comes from shoehorned characters that are there to set up the action. Since the drivers are neither legitimate nor logical to the universe established the viewer is disengaged and bored. Erased.
The first film establishes, in some detail, how humans enter the matrix via the construct loading programme. It also established how they get out and even the concept of bugs and tracer programmes being able to locate the human in the real world by the machines and programmes in the matrix. So how in the name of heaven can Smith exit The Matrix. It is neither foreshadowed nor consistent with the detailed rules I just outlined. You could argue that a programme could incorporate itself into the brain patterns of an uploaded human. Well if that is the case the film makers should have either scripted it or added in some dialogue during the additional dialogue recording sessions to state it. We might have rejected it as a viewer but it would have been a lot better than the effect the films actually had at that point which was “you the filmmakers are taking my dollars for granted and insulting my intellect; this is nonsense”. Consequence; we watch but just don’t believe anymore. Dissatisfaction is reinforced and we are drawn inexorably away from the experience of the film. My action: erase the programme. That means there is pretty much nothing of the third film that makes any sense in the context of the story, the universe or the characters. Delete the whole thing then...but I did not.
Well reader, if you got this far well done. I am grateful for your attention. Now the payoff.
So far my blathering has told you why and what I did with minimal spoilers (compared to the exhaustive cut list that accompanies this piece). The cut list is a mechanical record of changes but in itself does not tell you how the film hangs together.
My edit needed an ending. So where to find it. Well here the filmmakers gave me a gift. The Keymaker can open doors to anywhere. As such, when Neo walks thru that door I could (through the godlike power of editing) have appear literally anywhere (even in Bill & Ted if I chose).
Originally I was not going to use any material from revolutions. Neo steps thru the door into the subway at the end of the first film and wins the war there. But that was a bit of a lacklustre ending. Then I had him step though into the white subway, get rescued and play out per my edit. That made the film nearly 3hr and 45 min long and...well you read what I said above.
So at 2h 45 min, no digging machines, no external powers etc...my edit seemed locked. In fact the fight in the subway was also deleted with Neo just running when Smith appears coz he was told to run if you see an agent. In that version Neo become the one during the climactic battle with Smith intercut with the sentinel attack from the first film and resolution ensues.
I decided that the climatic fight with Smith was the way to go. The fight is heavily trimmed. I establish that the venue as the source using the power if editing in a foreshadowing. Job done.
The above represent what I regard as the optimal marble removal and that edit runs 2hrs 44min 38sec...yes those versions exist. Recall my reference to films are never finished?
On multiple viewings I realised that I was removing some nice foreshadowing and that the threat did not seem powerful enough. This meant making some final changes namely the ones I alluded to in the opening of this essay. I elected to increase the threat and play out the foreshadowing.
The foreshadowing I refer to occurs in the first films subway fight which at this point was not in the edit. Smith makes his speech about Neo and mans demise as “inevitable” and this is mirrored by Neo at the climax of Revolutions to Smith. Subway fight back. But this needed to be trimmed for the emotional and visual beats to be progressively greater (another reason for trimming the action sequences). This was done very carefully and should not be visible since cuts were made ensuring that continuity with the sequence is maintained.
This created an issue though. That fights intercuts with the Sentinel attack had been placed at the end of my edit. The intercuts actually are what raise that fights importance. Without them that entire sequence lost a lot of power. Reluctantly I moved them back (it took forever to nail them into the end of Revolutions) but this is about removing the marble, not what I want or like.
Restoring that subway fight meant my ending now lacked power and threat. What to do. Ant the answer came by mirroring the structure of Reloaded; a great piece of storytelling by the filmmakers namely bookending the film with Trinity falling. So this required placing Trinity’s fall at the beginning of this edit and then intercutting her rescue by Neo at the end of the film post Smiths ultimate defeat.
But that in turn forced another tough decision on me. The removal of the iconic opening of the first film with Trinity’s bullet time shot and roof chase. You can’t have two openings. Resigned to “removing the marble” I did just that.
Finally, I had to in some way show that Zion was under attack and saved. The edit can stand without it but I have sort of convinced myself of this and added in some Zion related material (about 2 min) which I will not reveal here since I do not want the viewer to panic.It acts as a foreshadower of Neo’s emerging abilities and then bookends the edit to give closure and an appropriate additional emotional beat at the climax.
Running time 3 hrs 11 min.
So in my mind what started off as wanting to create the ideal sequel (from reloaded and Revolutions) evolved into distilling all three films into a “perfect” film. I may or may not have succeeded in that (you will be the judges), but I’ve given it a shot. If you think it can be improved...I urge you to get out your celluloid pruning shears and re-edit my take on the saga. I would love to see it.
In closing, finalising this essay has made me realise a few more things which may or may not be an issue which I will not elaborate on in this draft. The edit is being proof viewed by a third party. That may decide the fate of some final, final final changes; or not.
the jumps in numbering represent the changes per line which is often more than one; audio changes ONLY are noted, not audio work to make the edit smooth nor any of the 5:1 surround work in re-scoring of the Burly Man Brawl)
000 Newly rendered Fan-edit warning in HD and BLUE
000 Segues into newly rendered HD version of the WRAITH LOGO with MATRIX font modifications and flare modifications
001 Opens with WB Logo from THE MATRIX (MAT)
002 This plays into the Phone Tap scene but this cross fades to the title of REVOLTUTIONS (REV)
003 Which then cross fades to RELOADED (REL) thus the title appears as “THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS RELOADED”, the name of this edit.
004 This cross fades to a section of the matrix code from REV
005 and then back to REL code sequence
008 The Trinity opening from THE MATRIX is deleted
009 Edit plays on to the scene with Trinity falling from the window from REL
015 The opening from REL is trimmed so that the money shots of Trinity falling are not all revealed (6 trims in all).
016 The speed of the sequence is also sped up by a third so that when it finally is re-used at the end, and in full, we see much more later, more slowly and in detail
017 As Trinity smashes into the parked car it jump cuts to Neo waking up at his monitor from MAT
018 Audio segue from crashing car overlaps the shot of Neo awakening
019 The opening of the monitor scene is deleted (some footage retained for later)
020 After "knock knock" a shot from earlier in the scene of newspaper clipping on screen referring to Morpheus is inserted replacing the shot of the screen that was there.
021 The inserted shot is played in reverse over the original audio such that it now zooms into the word "Searching" which is more likely to grab the viewers’ attention.
022 At the door Neo is no longer paid by the visitors
023 The scene where Neo gets the disc from the book is removed
024 The reference to mescalin is deleted. A touch cheesy and not required.
025 The reference to flying is deleted.
026 Neo no longer hesitates in the car and does not try to leave. This gives him a tad more purpose
029 The scene in the car is restructured to allow for a voice overdub and thunderclap to hide the missing footage (stepping out and back in) with the shot about “remove your shirt” is relocated.
030 Reference to the year removed when Morpheus meets the real Neo
031 Morpheus' line "welcome to the desert" is removed (as is a reaction shot).
032 An extra shot of the “real world” is dropped in to tie into later footage
033 Morpheus' line about "together with a form of fusion" is deleted. If they have fusion they don’t need humans as batteries!
034 SCORE ENHANCEMENT 1: @ 39.56-41:57 “Goodnight Zion” from Matrix Rev CE edited to fit
NEW SEQUENCE 1
035 Neo chat with Tank now includes a new montage to establish that Zion is real
041 Shots taken from REL and REV are cross faded over the isolated and re-ordered dialogue (6 pieces)
----- This implies that Neo has "the sight" later referred to by The Oracle. This plays on from his dream earlier. It also establishes the look of Zion for the viewer which is necessary given my ending.
042 The new sequence is introduced with, and ends with, a Flashback transition
044 This was a very hard choice. KUNG FU was gone, but in the end Kung Fu is back in: I changed my mind due to the hand beckoning...which is an iconic motif used a few times. The scene is seamlessly shortened...in two places
045 In order to accommodate the shorter scene, one shot of Neo needed to be flipped to preserve continuity
046 Reference to EMP no longer includes the dialogue "electromagnetic pulse"
047 Gloppy dinner scene on Nebuchadnezzar Gone
048 Chat between Neo and Cipher is shortened and no longer cuts to the steak dinner with Smith but straight back into the matrix
049 Scene in lift discussing The Oracle is cut
050 Some of the preceding dialogue is tracked in the approach to the Oracle apartment
051 Shot of girls playing with cube in the air is deleted (they were SO obviously on wires)
052 The lingering shot of The Oracle smoking before asking "are you sure you want to hear this" is shortened (to allow the use of the footage in scenes shot after the actress died in real life)
053 The visit to the Oracle is divided now by Ciphers steak dinner with Smith, hence he is doing something while the others are busy. It was a big plot hole to have cipher in the matrix earlier in the movie without an operator.
054 Cipher’s line about wanting to be important "like an actor" is removed
054 SCORE ENHANCEMENT 2: “A Morpheus Moment” from The Matrix Deluxe CD is tracked from 1.06.21-1.07.07
057 The dry wall descent is slightly tightened
058 Morpheus line to Smith "you all look the same to me" is deleted
059 Morpheus being beaten post Smith fight deleted
061 Cipher in street calling Tank and the crew and the following scene asking if Morpheus is alive deleted.
062 Cipher telling dormant Morpheus "he wants to be there" now cuts to Agent Smith and first part of Morpheus interrogation
065 Significantly lazy editing in the original to disguise dialogue trim is corrected with 3 changes.
067 a reaction shot of Morpheus is double by reverse playing it back to back
---- Originally Smith is seen stationary, cuts to under Morpheus chair shot with Smith walking, then back to Smith stationary with no transitions
068 Removed the line "entire crops failed"
069 Cut back from interrogation to Cipher "he tricked us".
070 Switch now only says "not like this" once prior to her demise. More impactful and sudden
071 Ciphers Line "Don't hate me Trinity..." etc is deleted now cutting to "Morpheus was right". Again more sudden and ruthless.
072 Tanks dialogue on shooting Cipher is removed (Cheesy)
075 Trinity and Tank now hug in silence
076 Tanks speech about "can't let that happen" is shortened
077 Discussion around Neo claiming to not be THE ONE is shortened
078 The discussion Trinity has with Neo about going with him is removed. This makes the sequence more decisive and exiting
079 The two agents on the roof discus the sentinels being in position. Since Smith needs to be calling the shots and earlier states “prepare the sentinels” the line from the other agents to “deploy” is removed.
080 The scene on the roof top ends early allowing the relocation of a Smith line to re “thery are not out yet”
085 The intro to the fight is re-edited to include the "hand beckoning" with 5 changes with the knuckle crunch removed.
086 Smith hitting the pillar twice is corrected to have the pillar struck once
089 Changes in quick succession remove over a minute from the fight. The main cut is disguised by doing so on a high leg shot of Neo with a Shot being flipped to maintain continuity
089 A shot of Neo on the Neb is included to increase the jeopardy and further shorten this fight so that the later sequences reveal more action and ever more impressive shots
092 The initial 3 shots on exiting the station are all trimmed to remove some sloppy issues in the Theatrical release (have a look) including major dialogue sync
093 An Early Proximity warning is dropped in since the overall sequence is shortened thus better spacing out the Sentinel attack (which also is missing the actual invasion of the Nebuchadnezzar).
095 Morpheus doubts are removed from the ensuing attack (two shots)
097 Neo's chase running away from the Agents is shorter and has a continuity error removed where Neo stops mid run for a split second, and then is running again...less than half a second after stopping
098 Chase in the apartments is trimmed for pacing removing the second outdoor section after he exits the fire escape completely.
099 Attack of the sentinels was to be removed for relocation to new ending but is kept here but re-sequenced with the RED ALERT occurring at this point.
100 Dialogue on the Nebuchadnezzar is reordered
101 Sentinel Approach shot is split here and cuts back to the fire escape having omitted the second portion of the outdoor chase
102 An interior section on the Nebuchadnezzar is removed from here
103 The sequence with Neo flat lining on the monitors is altered
105 Some reaction shots from trinity and Neo dying are reordered.
106 The Sentinels arrive at this point
107 SCORE ENHANCEMENT 3: He's the one alright" Matrix Deluxe Edition CD 1:38:07-1:38:43
108 The volley of Smith shots from Smith is reduced.
109 The Smith destruction is enhanced to have more light earlier and now is emanating from him to better fit the conclusion of REV used at the end of this edit
110 This was also applied to the Head (this was tracked frame by adding the glow, lens flares, reflections of light). T
111 The sentinels start to almost enter the Nebuchadnezzar (They don't make it since the Nebuchadnezzar needs to unscathed for the story to continue).
112 Jump cut to Trinity jacking Neo out from a scene from revolutions with all Sentinel entries removed.
113 Modified dialogue and shots removed to excise LINK from this scene since he is not yet on the NEBUCHADNEZZAR
114 Dialogue is also reworked to remove Link.
AT THIS POINT VERSION 1.0 HAD ONLY 035 EDITS
From here I am only detailing what has been retained from REL and REV rather than detail all the deletions which are extensive (retaining about 76 min in total from both films).
I will continue to note changes to the retained materials as well. At the end of this list is a summary of the major excisions and the running time changes to the 3 films materials and running time changes to major sequences.
New Sequence 2
115 The Nebuchadnezzar the flies off (scene from REL beginning) modified to Remove Link and shots from REV added (4 changes)
118 3 shots are flipped and reserved for later re-use
120 2 shots of the Nebuchadnezzar from REV complete this new sequence which is tracked to the REL version audio.
122 As ship lands the noise is overlapped with the Trinity REL fall onto the car which segues into a dream Neo is having.
New scene 3
1275 Created using footage from ENTER THE MATRIX and THE ANIMATRIX to establish a call to Niobe from Morpheus requesting they meet in order to set up new characters and the meeting which follows.
124 Morpheus dialogue from ENTER THE MATRIX is processed to 5000Hz which is the frequency many landlines use.
125 In the game dialogue he asks for Niobe and Ghost. The word “Ghost” is deleted in order….
126 to accommodate the screen shot from Reloaded
127 Call ends with shots from The ANIMATRIX of the machines digging using
128 Dialogue from THE ANIMATRIX overlaying the ENTER THE MATRIX footage finishes the new scene
129 This cuts to the LOGOS flying off. The footage is NOT the Logos. It is the Osiris taken from The ANIMATRIX
130 Some of the excessive blue tint iS reduced but not too much so as not to confuse this ship with the Neb
131 This cuts to the actual machines digging from the Animatrix and tracks to the meeting from REL
135 SCORE ENHANCEMENT 4: He's the one alright" Matrix Deluxe Edition CD 1:52:41-1:53:32 Tracks throughout this new scene in 4 sections to have correct timing of crescendos.
136 Reference to "these geo-therms confirm the last message of the Osiris" is deleted
137 References to 250,000 Sentinels is removed from the next scene twice
138 Morpheus dialogue referencing the "commander" is removed
146 All remarks of exclamation removed from onlookers (8)
149 All exposition not relevant to this version of the story removed
150 The arrival of Smith is not intercut with further exposition from this meeting as per the theatrical cut
151 "Now piss off", post Smith’s departing, is deleted
152 The scene ends with Neo stating "depart to your exits"...no flying nor unrequired fight follows
153 Cuts to a shot from Revolutions of the “Nebuchadnezzar” taking off with another ship which in this edit is the Logos
154 Cut to the unused portions of the earlier flight of the Nebuchadnezzar now with Link on board, since he must have joined post meeting per the dialogue which follows.
155 Replayed shots are flipped and re-reversed back to original position implying that Morpheus is not in the same seat as earlier and that the ship is flying from where we saw it arrive earlier.
156 Scene plays out per REL and into Trinity and Neo with score changes below
157 SCORE ENHANCEMNT 5 : "The Plan " from Matrix Reloaded CE 1:57:02-1:57:28 this segues into
158 SCORE ENHANCEMET 6: "The Road to Hell" 1:57:25-1:58:53 over a relocated scene
160 Serif, in a scene from REV, summons Morpheus to The Oracle (in a scene from REL)
161 Only Morpheus is seen on the bridge taking the call to visit The Oracle
163 Scene from REL follows with a flipped shot of Neo approaching the Oracles apartment so the door opens the correct way round in the next shot to avoid a continuity error when…
165 …he walks in on Serif in the Japanese type room which is edited
166 This scene has the fight removed since it is a needles repeat of the KUNG FU training retained earlier and serves no real purpose.
167 By having Neo walk in through a familiar door and into the white corridor we establish the concept of "back doors" for later
----- The next 7 minutes is the longest unedited section taken from the 2 sequels with 2 score enhancements made as follows.
168 SCORE ENHANCEMET 7: "Neo Vision" from Revolutions Complete Score 2:00:28-2:01:49
169 SCORE ENHANCEMET 8: "Neo Vision" from Revolutions Complete Score 2:02:08-2:03:49
171 Smiths approach is trimmed for some odd dialogue and uses the music below
172 SCORE ENHANCEMENT 9: "Neo on the Edge" 2:05:56-2:06:24 from The Matrix Deluxe Edition CD
,,,,T H E M O T H E R L O D E ,,,,
173 This is the BURLYMAN BRAWL re-scored from start to finish using DON DAVIS unused original orchestral score from The Matrix Reloaded Complete Score CD.
174 Only 20 seconds in the middle of the fight are unchanged. The new Score tracks in from
175 SCORE ENAHNCMENTS 10 2:07:39-2:09:08
176 SCORE ENAHNCMENTS 11 2:09:32-2:11:26
177 A big section from the middle of the fight is removed seamlessly, for both time and escalation reasons (plus some fairly poor CGI by today’s standards and audience expectations.
178 The unused score tracked PERFECTLY to the film as edited (which was INCREDIBLY LUCKY) but was dumped in favour of the “rock like” music instead...(and in my view a major error) which made the fight feel clumsy
179 After excising a chunk form the middle it took over 6 months "on and off" to do a full 5:1 surround isolation of audio effects and remove the original score as much as possible.
,,,,I think its work it,,,, (let me know in your reviews)
----It is impossible to detail the audio mix changes since this involves 5 channels and the notation would be meaningless and boring to most (plus almost pointless to note)
180 The end of the fight cuts to the same post fight scene with Neo and crew but a lot of poor and needless dialogue is removed to maintain momentum
181 The shorter scene described is tied together by…
182 SCORE ENHANCEMNT 12: "That's Gotta Hurt" from The Matrix Deluxe Edition CD which segues into the next scene from REV
REFORMED SEQUENCE 5
184 Cuts to Smith walking into the Oracles Apartment with trims to dialogue.
185 The Second Oracle is replace with the Original Oracle (Gloria Foster) with the footage harvested earlier as described.
186 The second Oracle is cropped out of the shots
187 The Second Oracles Dialogue is tracked in over the Original Oracle just opening her mouth and cutting to a reaction shot of Smith (yes the voice is a tad different but there was no solution to this).
188 Cuts to another scene from REV where Link notices there is something wrong in the matrix
189 Cuts to the Scene from REL where Smith meets a copy of himself (relocated from much earlier in the Theatrical release) and remarks "it’s going as expected"
190 This cuts to the Machines digging post the remark "well not exactly" which implies Smith is in control (a key point for later in the edit). He previously in the Matrix was also directing the Sentinels (dialogue in the roof top scene) and will later exclaim “THIS IS MY WORLD”.
NEW SCENE 6
191 This cuts to a new scene constructed from dialogue from Reloaded to have Neo express fear to Trinity and permit Link to interrupt and state “we are late”
192 SCORE ENHANCMENT 13 T2:13:37-2:13:52 "That's Gotta Hurt" from The Matrix Deluxe Edition CD
193 This is interrupted by Link saying "we are late"
194 Cuts to driving sedan footage from REV with dialogue removed since there is now a sense of foreboding. The looks say it all (this footage is similar to the scene in the sedan from The Matrix). This tracks over the correct score piece which follows it, namely
195 SCORE ENHANCMENT 14 2:13:51-2:41:16 "The Council of Cool" Reloaded Expanded Limited Edition CD
196 Cuts to the exterior overview shot entering the Merovingian Office block but
197 most dialogue in the elevator is removed since the references to "a bomb" and the matrix looking "weird" is daft and serves no real purpose. It also keeps the silence of foreboding going.
198 The Ghost Twins in this edit have almost been completely removed so dialogue deleted on entry to restaurant
199 The Merovingian’s dialogue about "time” is trimmed
201When the Merovingian talks about those "with power and those without" a shot of Persephone glancing down is added to establish that she has no power and thus some negative feelings to The Merovingian. This establishes some motivation in her without the need of the Lesbian kiss which would follow later.
202 The entire section with the Blonde woman’s digital orgasm is removed!!!! And the follows the longes unchanged section
204 The shot of The Merovingian observing the blonde going to the ladies is altered.
205 The Merovingian’s "why” speech is trimmed.
206 The Merovingian’s telling them to run back to the Oracle is trimmed.
207 On exiting the lifts with Persephone it cuts to the kitchens, the entire Lesbian kiss sequence is removed
208 Persephone shooting the vampires and all proximal footage is removed. They walk into the room and she opens the bookcase directly
209 SCORE ENHANCEMNT 15: 2:19:29-2:19:46 "sample this" from The Matrix Reloaded Limited Edition CD
223 14 edits at the end of the Ghost Twins corridor chase ending to remove the bulk of their fight with Trinity. I hated the Ghost Twins.
Twins dialogue on freeway removed
Trinity being worried about Morpheus and Link stating he’s ok keep going is there to inform the viewer only. Thus removed…we will find out in due course.
224 A chunk of the chase in the cars is removed after the dialogue "Winslow overpass"
228 4 Edits for more Twins removal during the underpass section
229 Niobe and Link’s phone call is trimmed to remove clumsy exposition
230 While the Twins shoot machine guns on the freeway a section of this is removed seamlessly taking into account vehicle positions
242 12 edits to the Twins minimised during the agent jumping section
255 3 edits to Trinity's bike weaving
256 A clumsy section (Morpheus handstand) of the fight on top of the lorry is removed
263 6 trims to tighten the pace up on Niobe’s drive overtaking the lorry to maintain pace
264 Post chase Link cuts to the digging machines
265 SCORE ENHANCEMNT 16: 2:48:08 2:49:13 “Switch's Brew” from The Matrix Deluxe Edition CD
266 Since all the stationary shots of the Neb have been used up at this point, a shot from REV is used as an intro over Score change 16 and The Keymaker speech.
267 When the sequence cites the warping building a shot of the rainy city scape from the end of REV is inserted to establish that THIS is The Source.
268 A lens flare and more light is added to the shot
269 REV Audio is also tracked over the transition (flash bookends).
271 2 sets of puerile reactions of the Logos crew are removed during The Keymaker’s speech
2721 A further reaction "27 blocks" is removed....
273 Guards dialogue at PowerStation trimmed
274 Trinity's line "I’ll tear that whole building down" is no longer followed by The Keymaker walking with Neo and Morpheus past back doors. This is moved to later.
275 Scene cuts to guards sequence from the opening of REL and cuts to Link from later in the movie
278 Trinity's bike jump is a combination of shots taken from the opening of REL and the later version of the same sequence so that we get only the best shots (give they were missing in my opening.
280 The Guards reaction is also a combination of the opening and later versions of the same sequence
281 This cuts to the delayed back doors sequence
283 Trinity's fight is again a combination of shots from the opening and later versions of the fight.
286 Her dialogue "I'm in" is spoken once to camera and once heard over the phone (beginning and end of REL). I have blended this now seamlessly.
290 4 edits to Smith’s appearance in the back doors corridor cuts early to Trinity on the keyboard typing
291 Neo stepping through the door segues to the raining shot used earlier to re-enforce that he has gone to this edits version of The Source.
292 Link telling Morpheus there is a problem cuts to an earlier section of Trinity's fight which is re-sequenced to better intercut with the new finale.
293 A later section of the fight is trimmed for pacing and joined to a later piece
294 Trinity's fall does not cut to the Architect (since he's been removed) but to the exterior rain shot previewed twice as "The Source" to begin the new final confrontation.
295 The initial REV Smith final fight plays out per the theatrical cut until they both crash into the building and cuts away to trinity fall sequence.
296 A portion of the interior building fight is removed
297 Trinity’s fall plays out per the longer later version from REL but is now divided for dramatic timing and intercut
299 Smith and Neo’s second part of the aerial fight is shortened
300 Neo’s fall is quicker and shorter
316 16 edits in 47 seconds to restructure the fall and post fall sequence to keep the pace up. Some shots are re-ordered and trimmed.
319 3 edits of Smith being punched into the rock face is trimmed to give a quicker re-emergence
NEW SEQUENCE 7
335 16 alternating shots and edits for Smiths demise with the machines falling through Zion’s dome to the ground to close the foreshadowing earlier in the edit of Neo’s new Zion vision.
338 Smiths destruction has some light enhancements
339 This segues to the shots from REL of the door knob prior to Neo flying out through the door..
341 The shot has been cropped and aligned to align with the preceding shot
342 Electrical sparking light has been added to better tie in with previous effects with increased ambient glow and reflections (tracked frame by frame to expand from the lock’s center to its edge before the door bursts open)
345 This cuts to Neo flying out of the door with glow and sparks added to the beginning of the shot (you may need to freeze frame to see the changes)
346 SCORE ENHANCMENT 17: 3:01:29-3:30:09 "Neodamerung" from The Matrix revolutions CD plays over this with an audio edit in the music
347 Neo catches Trinity with no alterations until the kiss fade out from REL.
348 This cuts to a re-edited Zion Homecoming of the Nebuchadnezzar from REL (even though it follows footage from REV
371 23 Edits to remove the walking machines, some shots flipped or reversed and shots from ALL 3 FILMS in the trilogy are used (very deliberately as a bookends) to close the this edit. Details on request.
372 After the Nebuchadnezzar lands hard cut to my EDITED BY WRAITH using the same font as the rest of the end titles.
373 SCORE ENHANCMENT 18: 3:07:52 - 3:09:15 My re-edit of SPYBRAK by the PROPELLERHEADS replaces the original score followed by
374 SCORE ENHANCMENT 19: 3:09:50 My re-edit of The Châteaux taken from the REL CD.
375 All 3 end titles play simultaneously until 3:30:50 when a picture in picture insert I culled from DVD extras to show some of the making off the trilogy (about 50 edits in here alone)
376 ,,,,DONT MISS MY POST CREDIT CLOSING SCENE...
383 ITS NOT OVER YET....NOT GOING TO SPOIL IT....,,,,,
384 a relocated final word from the man himself……
----- YOU NEED TO LET IT PLAY ALL THE WAY TO THE VERY VERY END...
This review will be divided into two sections. The first is about the editing of the second and third movies. The second will be about the edit as a whole.
The editing connecting "Reloaded" and "Revolutions" together into one standalone ending to the franchise was excellent. The pacing was much better than in the original movies, and the removal of most of "Revolutions" was very welcome. The ending (in which "the source" is revealed to be the street where the final Neo/Smith(s) battle from "Revolutions" occurs) doesn't make a terrible amount of sense. Neither does the plot as a whole. But the same goes for the theatrical versions of the Matrix sequels. At least in this edit, the story doesn't outstay its welcome, so I'm willing to just "go along with it" and have some fun with the movie, something that was sometimes impossible to do in the theatrical version of "Revolutions". If there was one thing that I would have preferred to be different, it would be more footage of the drilling machine going toward Zion, and the residents of Zion bracing for the attack. Not much, just five minutes or so. It would have made the stakes seem more concrete. That's just a nitpick, though. The editing was nearly flawless for the most part.
Unfortunately, this edit combines all three Matrix movies, rather than just the last two.
The first Matrix movie is one of the most painstaking examples of Joseph Campbell's hero's journey to be found in recent film. While it leaves the story open for sequels, it has a clear beginning, middle, and end. So, by tacking your (excellent) edit of the sequels onto the first movie, you make the whole experience feel awkward. Even though the scene where Neo comes back to life, defeats Agent Smith, and awakens to his purpose as "the One" is not at the ending of your edit, it still feels like an ending, because the entire story up until that point sets it up as the ending. It is the resolution to the climax of the first story. Thus, when the edit seamlessly segues into the section taken from the sequels, the result is jarring, and feels like two wholes unsatisfactorily stitched together, rather than one cohesive whole. It feels like seeing an unsatisfying, anticlimactic end to one story, directly followed by another story.
Not only that, but in making the entire trilogy into one movie, you were forced to remove the original opening from "The Matrix". Not only is the original opening a neat scene in and of itself, but it is also the perfect introduction into the world of the Matrix. It was clearly meant as an introduction, and it feels like one. Whereas your new introduction (the scene featuring Trinity falling off of the skyscraper) plunges us headlong into the world of the Matrix. It's jarring. It fits as the beginning of the second movie in a series, but not the first. It doesn't make a good introduction.
Beyond that, I can't explain, but I feel it. I feel it the entire first half, that there's something wrong with the edit. I don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in my mind, driving me mad. It is this feeling that has brought me to write this portion of this review. Do you know what I'm talking about?
In short, I consider your version of the sequels to be top-notch, but feel that it was a big mistake to make the first Matrix movie a part of this edit. I intend to stick to the theatrical cut of the first movie, and skip over the sections of this edit featuring material from it during any future viewings. I would have much preferred an edit almost identical to this one, but without the inclusion of the first movie.
Every ones in a while there is a new fanedit for the Matrix sequels and I have almost every time thought that the work put in trying to fix these movies have seemed waisted since I didn't believe the source material could be fixed. It was beyond saving. Doctor M did some interesting things with his HACKED edits but it wasn't enough. Anyone heard of the expression "you can't polish a turd"? Okay I shut up now.....
Wow! just....Wow! This is the one. The cover art brags that this is "The Ultimate Matrix Fan-Edit" and it's not far from the truth.
If you are a matrix fan and was/is disappointed with the sequels YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS FANEDIT!
The pacing is perfect! The final scene is perfect. And the final fight with agent Smith when Neo are going after Trinity I was pumped. So good! But as some other reviewer have said, one thing doesn't makes sense. After the key-maker have died and Neo goes through the door and then it is the final fight between Neo and Smith.
It feels like a workprint sometimes (that are on the right track of perfection) like some footage are missing, some scene feels a little rough. I'm guessing that it was a pain in the butt to make some of these new sequences happen, footage not existing that was needed, so this is something I guess we have to live with.
I think that this should just have been a edit of the sequels since the first movie is perfect. That is my one big complaint.
Also I don't now about the new score in some scenes, but that might be because I'm so used to the original score. It will probably grow on me.
But all that aside (nitpicking because it isn't 100%) the negative doesn't stop this from being very very good. I never thought that the sequels could be edited into something this good honestly. Thank you Wraith.
Well...this is my first review for my first ever viewed edit!
I stummbled across this on YouTube via the essay. Tracking this down was an issue and I bought the Animatrix in order to comply with the rules, but it was worth it.
I just can't bring myself to rewatch Revolutions and now and again I watch the choice parts of Reloaded but whenever I re-watch The Matrix I'm left unfullfilled because I know there was more.
Now my wish has come true with this fabulous edit.
I'm not sure how to write these so I'll follow the format below.
Maybe I'm wet behind the ears but the audio and visual editing was great. I can vouch that the Blu ray has none of the artefacts and issues described below but I undestand that a 25gb download vs. 3 or 4 GB is an issue. I also enjoyed the extras on the Blu ray as well.
The narrative worked very well and the only part that was a bit off was the transition to Reloaded. The new scene that bridges the gap is well done but did look very soft but I'm guessing that that was limited by the source material.
I can't really think what was missing from The Matrix so I actually went back to my disc to check. I also did not notice what was missing from the fights that were listed as having sections removed, so I again checked. I was very impressed by that (if not a little annoyed that I could not work it out for myself).
The coolest thing for me though was the new ending. The second half of this is edit is so inventive. It's odd that the pieces that were used are all that I care to rememeber about the sequels. There is a lot of inventive cutting and pasting here and I was knocked out by it. When I read the cutlist my jaw dropped off. Really, is that what was done here? I would love to do an edit one day but this must have taken forever.
This won't replace the originals (even with all the flaws) but it will join them in my Real World and will be watched again, and again and again.
Super stuff. This is an amazing artform and I am grateful that you are all so passionate about what you do.
Overview - Intending to overhaul the Matrix trilogy, Wraith follows the road less traveled and merges the three films into one. Reloaded and Revolutions was where the original series went off the rails, then off the cliff. This edit does much to fix the disappointing stupidity and redirect the narrative into a more coherent structure.
Video - Solid work here. Couple of early sections where the blacks were not as solid as I would have liked. Altering the sequences was cleverly done, just as were the mixing in of deleted scenes. One transition held black too long, but that was in the original.
Audio - Robust 2 channel audio mix. I cranked up quiet dialogue, only to jump for the volume knob during explosions. Viewers who watch in a room with non-viewers, consider yourself warned. The editing was flawless, though. Crisp, free from noticeable miscues.
Narrative - I was on autopilot during the first part of the film. Where this edit soars is after entering the Reloaded world. Inventive and creative editorial choices were made and flawlessly executed. Cannot tell you how many times I was pleasantly surprised when the plot veered into an unexpected direction.
Enjoyment - Let me get this gripe off my chest: One chapter? Really? I like chapter breaks, especially in a three hour movie. Come on, please.
The less Zion I see in Matrix world, the better the edit. This was brilliant. No sweaty Zionistas here. Now, I wasn't really sure what the diggers were doing. I don't want to spoil the plot jumps, but the keymaker finale woke me up. The film ending, however, meandered.
Wraith cut a lot - I never missed a scene. Matrix fans, even jaded ones (count me in), be sure you check this one out.
This was an interesting re-telling of The Matrix saga. (This is what a "reimagined" Matrix feels like.)
A/V Quality - Watched the HD MP4 and there was a fair amount of artifacting and compression. Not the worst I've seen but could have been better.
Editing - Solid. The audio editing was very impressive, what with how much micro-cutting was involved. There were a handful of shots that felt too short due to removed dialogue, but nothing too terrible.
Narrative - I am not a hardcore Matrix fan by any means. I've seen the flicks a few times and (I think) I understand them. I was able to follow this new version but there were certain aspects that, like an earlier reviewer mentioned, you need to just suspend your disbelief and go along for the ride. Wraith changes things up quite dramatically in the second half, and I'm not fully certain whether this story is better than the theatricals or not. Ok well, it's definitely better, but it feels a little incomplete somehow. Some of his major changes rely on faith, such as [SPOILER!] the Keymaker leading Neo to the final Agent Smith fight instead of the Architect. I kind of said to myself, "Wait, how that lead to that? Eh whatever, these movies make no sense anyway."
Enjoyment - I quite liked it, definitely better than Reloaded and Revolutions.
Recommend? Hard to say how diehard Matrix fanatics will like this. But I think the casual Matrix fans will get a kick out of it.