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Favorite Edit of the Year (FEOTY) 2020 Awards are here.
In defense of some complaints (not that overall I'm not quite happy with the review):
I left the Trinity dying/coming back in Matrix Reloaded because it matches the first (and my 3rd's) ending quite well. The original Matrix had a treacly sweet ending that I want to reprise. Even more so because of the recurring theme of death and rebirth so prominent in that film (Smith, Neo, the Matrix and Zion).
That and I'm probably one of the few people that didn't mind it.
And to be fair, Dezionized didn't trim down the action sequences until version 2 which came after my edit (ditto for Squared).
Even still, I'm not sure I would have trimmed them, they might be overblown mindless action scenes, but they're still kinda fun.
It's sort of like the director's cut of a movie. They can add a lot of stuff that loses economy of plot that you wouldn't leave in for the theater, but on DVD it's great to see.
Love my edit or hate it, except for the possibility of redoing a couple clips in aftereffects instead of just cropping, I don't think I would ever change a thing.
Thanks for the review, I'm sure there are many confused as to which Matrix edit they'd like best. Only a few more and you have them all.
Here's my review of The Matrix: Dezionized. I haven't seen any other Matrix fanedit. Enjoy.
First things first, I saw The Matrix years ago, and I loved it. I became aware of the vitriolic response to the other two films, and on the basis of that avoided seeing them or even reading about them. The way I saw it was that the whole idea of The Matrix worked, but only just. You end the first film thus: Neo becomes The One, destroys Smith, utters his prophetic words about how things are going to change, flies through the air, aaaand CUT. Done, it's a wrap, go home people. It works. Don't dwell on it. If you go too far down the road beyond The Matrix, the whole idea will unravel and everything will be ruined. From what I've read about the other two Matrix films, it sounds like I was right. But Dezionized got very good reviews on this forum. So I thought I'd finally take the plunge.
And do you know what? It works. Splendidly. I enjoyed it from start to finish. I was even satisfied by the ending, which a lot of people don't like and which the CBB Group couldn't do much about. Overall, a damn good, and fitting, sequel to The Matrix.
I can't say I have any idea what happens in and around Zion, but on the evidence of this edit I doubt it's important. It also didn't seem to be a case of cutting out all the dialogue and leaving us with wall-to-wall mindless (and tedious) action, as the pacing was also very good. I don't know how much (if any) was removed from all the action scenes, but none of them outstayed their welcome. Any lingering problems are mainly to do with the existing material: our three intrepid heroes seem to act as though emoting is a crime, making it very hard for us to get behind us. I'm under the impression that the original films involved a huge amount of very bad philosophising, and thankfully what little is left is in the hands of the two most charismatic characters, The Oracle and The Merovingian. Any further cutting must begin with him, as he's still quite chatty, but what's left of his dialogue is generally useful to the plot, so I felt his involvement was just about right.
There are very few contentious points that spring to mind. There were perhaps one or two bits that could be trimmed or removed for redundancy (Foster on Film's review mentioned the 'Kiss' scene, and he's probably right) but I personally think it works perfectly well as it is, so why change it? The edits seem almost seamless, and it's amazing how the point where the two films come together flows continuously. The opening of the film (with a clip from the end of the first film) might be a little confusing for some (my brother felt it suggested his flying ability was part of a dream, as if he couldn't really do it - but he can) but I didn't mind it, it was a nice easy opening to the movie.
It seems futile carrying on about this, because I can't think of enough bad things. Ergo, download it, it's great. I'm no longer interested in seeing any other Matrix fanedits, because this one works so damn well.
Sorry if this is posted in the wrong place but I wasn't sure where else to put it.
I haven't had a chance to watch Dezionized but I sampled a few parts just to see what it looked like. The DVD is very professionally done (great menus, subtitles for the movie, etc.) but I noticed something odd about the sound. According to the information on the website, the sound is only 2 channel but my receiver is decoding full 5.1 sound. However, it seems like it is sending the sound equally to the front, center, and rear speakers - I'm hearing music and effects from the center channel, and I'm hearing dialogue from the rear channels. This gives the dialogue a strange "echo" effect which is kind of disconcerting.
I don't know a lot about surround sound, and based on the otherwise professional level of craftsmanship I'm seeing on the DVD, I assume this was a deliberate choice. Am I missing something? I suppose it could be something with my receiver, but I've never noticed this on any other DVD (including fanedits) before.
Anyone else notice this issue?
Regardless, I'm looking forward to watching this start to finish. It's a great idea and looks like it will be well worth the time.
there are 2 versions of this out there. One with 5.1 sound (RS) and one with 2.0 (BT). But both were made from the same stereo master, the 2.0 sound was upconverted to 5.1 which most people find an improvement (that's why it was done). You may need to change your surround settings for better quality on your surround system. The slight echo effect has been reported before (for several fanedits with "fake" 5.1), but is probably caused by the surround settings too.
It`s an amazing fanedit,the only thing that scared me ,and almost busted out my TV speakers, was the music that starts if you choose to enter any of the features from the menu.The bass(drum) that starts off the music is way to hard.I`ve learned my leasson,and tell any that borrow the DVD to be carefull and turn the sound very low or hit mute.
This is so far the best of the Matrix Sequel amalgamations I have seen yet it still has its problems. There is a clear agenda here and for the most part, it works quite well considering the limitations of the source material. Zion is not really missed yet in a way it is needed.
The first Matrix movie is a journey of discovery for one man. We follow our hero as he learns of two environments, that of reality and that of the Matrix. With the sequels the filmmakers realized that another location was needed and introduced us to Zion. As the original narrative plays scenes in Zion break up those set in the Matrix or on hover crafts and this allows for some breathing room.
Dezionized with one location eradicated leaves little room for pause. To take an example: We are treated to the lengthy and wordy scene with the French man in the dinning room and not too soon after he appears again in a nightclub. The passing of time between scenes has been so short that the motivations that we were left with in the first scene are obviously not present in the following scene. In this case the FanEdit feels awkward and abridged. However horrendous most of the scenes are in Zion, some are needed simply to allow an alternative to the Matrix or as this FanEdit proves things quickly become frenetic.
I would have liked to have seen the Agent Smith fight heavily reduced and most of the PlayStation quality CGI removed. Most of the fights could have been reduced in length as they are simply gratuitous and lead no-where. It would be nice if just for once Neo finished off a villain with a single killer punch.
I also noticed a few audio issues such as some sharp audio transitions and some audio clicks where shots were removed, the early briefing scene being a point in case. There were also some abrupt fades and a strange few seconds of blackness around the time Agent smith presents a "Gift" at the door while the briefing is going on.
The feeling as a whole is of watching something that is not quite complete. The narrative of the original movies is confused and contrived but in the case of Dezionized it simply speeds that up, so in effect more confusion is added.
This is the best of the Matrix FanEdits as it has a clear direction but I fear that these sequels will never be redeemed however much altering and cutting a FanEditor might do. Blame must rest at the Wachowski Brothers feet.
I've debated back and forth as to whether or not to write this review, due to the fact that I myself have created a fanedit of "The Matrix" sequels and had wanted to avoid any type of bias that may cause. So, to keep this review fair and balanced, I will not be making any contrasts between this fanedit and my own and will only be comparing it to the original theatrical versions from which it was derived from:
"The Matrix Dezionized" by CBB
I'll make no bones about it: The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions were some of the bitterest disappointments that I've had in a cinema. So many aspects of the sequels, were to put in mildly, "insanely half-assed":
- over 2/3 of the writing was atrocious
- the new characters ranged from poorly developed (Niobe, Link, Mifune, Hamann) to the flat-out terrible (the Kid, Sati, the Councel, Roland, Locke)
- previous characters introduced in the last film were either cheap knockoffs of their previous selves (Morpheus, Trinity) or just disappeared with nary a reference (Tank, I'm looking at you)
- too much emphasis of bigger and better CG graphics and action sequences in place of Story and Character
- self-referential moments that would devolve into self-parody of the first Matrix
- the ending... oh god, the ending was wretchedly, mind-numbingly bad.
Even to this day, I still refuse to believe that these later films were written during the same time as the first Matrix (either they were really written by Hollywood executives instead of the original creators or the Wachowski brothers are indeed a couple of hacks).
In an effort to remove much of the crap, CBB has opted to remove every scene relating to Zion and has book-ended Revolutions to the end of Reloaded to tell a single continuous story of Neo's journey as the One. I have no problem with cutting nearly half of the film's runtime, but in this case, it's what has been removed that keeps me from enjoying this edit. When it comes to fanedits, I believe very much in the advice of the Mike J Nichols (the Phantom Editor): "Not everything about a film has to be good, so long as it works for the further develop the plot and its characters". Yes, many of the Zion scenes were terrible, but they did serve a purpose to the overall story of Reloaded and Revolutions (even if that story was terrible). In addition, for every removal that CBB makes which created a positive aspect, there was an unfortunate negative that reared its ugly head in its place. Yes, the Kid has been removed, but Sati still remains in the story and while a good chunk of her backstory with Rama-Kandra is taken out, the scenes that she remains in still portray her as being a "precocious little girl" (aka, so damn sickening-sweet and annoying that she could give Jake Lloyd a run for his money). Yes, Commander Locke and his poor subplots (Niobe love triangle, crappy leadership, hatred of Morpheus, etc.) are now gone, but Captain Roland scenes remain mostly intact and the character still comes across as a blowhard and asshole who hates Neo for no reason. Ultimately, what this edit shows is that there is many more things that do not work than just the Zion plot-point and that the story of these films is fundamentally flawed in more ways than one.
I can also understand the desire to refocus the story back onto Neo, but honestly, the character was such an underwritten afterthought in the sequels that no amount of cutting can improve him. At least in the original versions, I can kind of distract myself with Niobe or Zee or Mifune, but with all those characters gone, my focus is back on an uninteresting and bland main character played poorly by an actor who doesn't know where to take the character next.
Another aspect which I had hoped that CBB would correct, but didn't is what I refer to as "3-Year-Old Audience Syndrome" - this is the poor storyteller's technique in which everything that visually happens onscreen is redundantly repeated by the film characters to the audience because the filmmakers miscalculate the intelligence of the audience (for further examples, look to the work of Roland Emerich and Michael Bay). In the Matrix sequels, this storytelling redundancy is given to other lesser characters such as Link, who is constantly cut to sitting at his console in order to pointlessly explain what is happening to Neo and crew in the Matrix while the audience is watching the EXACT same thing occur onscreen a few seconds later. As I said, I had hoped that CBB would remove or reduce these moments, but alas, they are still there.
From the technical side, this edit was for the most part very well done. However, there were several choppy jump cuts that were rather distracting, most of which occurred during the film's fight sequences (Burly Brawl, Neo VS Merovingian's Guards, Super Burley Brawl, etc.). I definitely understand the desire to shorten these action sequences, but the editor/s should not forget the importance of visual continuity. Audio-wise, I can also live with a 2.0 Dolby surround mix, but the audio mix sounds somewhat off as both character voices and soundtrack are several pitches higher than what it's suppose to be (as someone who's familiar with the original versions, this can be quite annoying to listen to).