I have to say right off the bat that for anyone looking for a Matrix edit which captures the essence of the Wachowski's vision in one film-- this is for you.
My thoughts on the original trilogy-- loved Matrix 1, disillusioned by 2, and really hated 3, to the point where I avoided watching the latter 2 for years because of how much I felt they tarnished the original. But there's no denying that these films EXIST-- and since they do,, what do you do with them? Well, I'm happy to say that Wraith has successfully combines the three films in his own take on the franchise-- note that this is not cramming the three films into a 3 hour timeframe, instead he condenses the 2 sequels into something new.
I won't spoil it, but the structure is changed from the get go-- with a new beginning which sets up the movie perfectly. The Matrix is cut well and has good pacing, but where Wraith''s edit really shines is what he did with Reloaded and Revolutions. I got the feel that this film was all about Morpheus, Neo, Trinity and co vs the machine, in and out of the system-- which was ALL that was great about the originals. NO one cares about Zion, and I was thrilled these sequences were completely dropped along with all the meandering dialogue. With the story now focused on the Nebuchadnezzar crew, the film never drags. I could not tell what exactly was dropped in the later 2 films, but the best scenes are included in this edit in a way which makes sense (primarily Reloaded). I was particularly impressed by the unique way Wraith ended this edit-- I was surprised and intrigued at the same time.
Audio/ visual quality was excellent. No noticeable visual cuts, and audio cuts were not perceptible to me.
Wraith presented a detailed video essay prior to the release explaining his intentions in detail and the reasons for his cut (I highly recommend visiting this before or after watching this edit)
Definitely watch this edit. Its a whole new spin on the Matrix, and after watching it, I actually appreciated Reloaded more, and what that movie could have been if they had been more concise.
I loved this eit, and highly recommend it :)
Nice one Wraith
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyJuly 24, 2014
Thank you for your interest and time in posting the review Ranger613.
I think this has to be reviewed in two parts, the Matrix as one and two Reloaded/Revolutions.
I absolutely love the reworking of the Matrix. I actually think it's better than the original looking at it today. Great concept for the beginning, love the pacing, and love that some of the fluff was taken out.
Moving into REL/REV the beautiful pace of the first half stops abruptly as we all the sudden have new characters and ship crews. Not sure if the source material will allow it, but I think the second half could have used some more tightening up. A transition to introduce new characters and (dare I say it) a little bit of Zion, drop the Smith super-brawl (plenty of action to come and we just saw them fight), and then we are off to find the key master. The rest is done well, though a couple spots could have used a little more fine tuning and I like the ending.
Absolutely appreciate all the hard work and loved watching it!
I'm learning that some fanedits require something similar to "suspension of disbelief" to really work and to allow the viewer to go along for the ride. This take on the whole Matrix trilogy requires a little of this. The movie starts off great, goes through the first film, with some new tweaks (loved seeing a little bit of Zion when Tank was telling Neo about it; that, to me, was a perfect use of the footage), but when the 2nd Matrix movie starts, it is abrupt. This is where, if you just accept the speed bumps and go along, you are rewarded, because the Matrix does feel more complete now. I generally thought Reloaded and Revolutions worked fine in this edit. It's just that one very tough edit between Matrix 1 and Matrixes 2/3.
Plotwise, things flow well and mostly make sense. I think I understood Smith as a self replicating virus/program better in this edit than I did in the originals. I wish it weren't 3 hours long. To me, personally, that's a little long. Other than trimming some fight scenes, I'm not sure how I would suggest tightening it though.
Overall, I enjoyed this and def recommend it.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyJuly 24, 2014
Thx for the review.
In earlier versions of the edit the King Fu training was removed as was the Smith Subway fight. That would remove about 8 min.
The Matrix can't loose much more, though removal of the Burl Brawl would remove a further 4 min...It then starts to get VERY tough if the story is to hang together.
One way is to remove Morpheus' abduction completely. I tried this but the issue was then Neo does not have a credible opportunity to discover his powers. Trimming the action from Reloaded (removing 5 more minutes) and then shortening the discussion in the yard with The oracle would collectively take this to about 2hr 40. That version exists and has a competely different opening and ending. It previewed with some friends a year ago who had not seen The Matrixm Trilogy and they found it confusing, rushed and lacking genuine character motivation.
The abrupt change I tried to smooth with the phone call from Morpheus, but you are right it is a tad sharp. I explored using some Zion footage but the other crew intros and characters that needed to be brought in made it feel even more abrupt (oddly). It also brought the pace to a grinding halt. Suggestions welcome and if anyone wants to edit my edit, I welcom that. No need to reach out to me. knock yourselves out.
Thank you for your interest and time in posting your review.
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.
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.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyAugust 10, 2014
Thank you SO much...I appreciate all feedback and am grateful for your interest.
FOR THE RECORD
The Blu Ray Version has a full 5:1 surround mix at 448kps...and lots of chapters with menus, extras , previews of 2 edits to come and more. The down mix here was to 2 channels admittedly...apols there was one chapter...I thought that chapter might map across, I will learn how for the next.
Appreciate your time.