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THE MATRIX EVOLUTIONS (Ver.2 DVD release now available)

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 (Edited)

http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/2834/evolutionsposterrc7.jpg

 

Trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmE8_FXT3cY

Notes
Many people have that certain movie that opens their eyes to the possibility of Film: for some people it's Star Wars, for others it's Lord of the Rings - for me, that film was 1999's The Matrix. The Matrix was and still is (to me, anyway) one of the most creative, original, and intellectually stimulating films to be made in the history of cinema. Like many people, I eagerly awaited the arrival of the sequels... only to come away bitterly disappointed from watching them.

Now, there were many things that ended up detracting from Reloaded and Revolutions: over-usage of CG graphics and action sequences in place of Story, poor writing and dialogue, lame secondary characters, critical references to other Matrix media that most audiences didn't see, self-referential moments that would decend to self-parody, etc., etc....

For me, however, there was one glaring problem that I could not overlook in the sequels: the character of Neo himself. In my view, this was NOT the same character that we last saw at the end of the first film. His powers appeared to have "de-evolved", his intelligence turned to nothing, his personality was dull and less interesting, and up until the last 1/4 of "Revolutions", it seemed like he really didn't give a crap about anyone other than Trinity. And then, of course, there's the ending: where Neo chooses to sacrifice himself for the "Love & Peace" of Humanity and the Machines...

That... is complete and utter bull.

In my frustration, I returned to the first film and began studying the various subjects and works that influenced it. It was from these elements and my interpretations on "The Matrix" that made me decide to go back and re-edit the sequels in a manner that I felt expanded on the themes of the original - an Edit that would ask the question:
"What if the Neo that we saw in Reloaded and Revolutions... wasn't the true ONE after all?"

FanEdit Information
Type of Fanedit: True Fanedit
Intention With This Edit: To create a sequel to "The Matrix" that uses the concepts and philosophies present in the first film.
Original Titles: The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, & Enter the Matrix
New Title: The Matrix Evolutions
Original Runtime: 280 minutes (The Matrix Reloaded = 138 minutes: The Matrix Revolutions = 129 minutes: Enter the Matrix scenes = 12 minutes)
New Runtime: 172 minutes (2 hours, 52 minutes)
Time Cut: approximately 109 minutes
Time Added: 8-9 minutes
Software Used: Sony Vegas 7 (video editing), Adobe Photoshop CS2 (image editing), Bahaus Mirage (compositing), Sony Sound Forge 8 (audio editing), Sony DVD Architect 4.5 (DVD authoring)

DVD Information
- DVD Format: NTSC - DVD9 DL
- Region: 0 (region-free)
- Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1, 16x9 widescreen
- Audio format: 2.0 Dolby Surround
- Language: English
- Subtitles: none
- Custom DVD Menus
- DVD Extras: Custom DVD & Disc Art
- DVD Extras: Deleted Ending: "Enter the Dark Matrix"
- DVD Extras: Fanedit Trailers - "Silent Hill: Red God Remix" & "Noir Simulacrum"
- DVD Extras: "The Matrix" 1996 draft script
- DVD Extras: "The Matrix Reloaded" 2001 draft script
- DVD Extras: "The Matrix Reloaded" 1999 Shadow Script (supposedly written by the Wachowski Brothers & features an alternative continuation of The Matrix storyline)

Major Edits/Changes
1. Numerous cuts to the various fight sequences throughout the film
2. Numerous cuts to remove redundant dialogue and bad writing
3. Neo has a second dream sequence of Trinity's death (taken from Trinity's encounter with the Agent at the end of Reloaded)
4. Neo's "powers" in the Real World now serve a very important purpose to the plot's subtext
5. Several scenes have been added from the Enter the Matrix video game (to flesh out several characters and introduce new plot elements)
6. The Kid's role in the story is significantly reduced than the original version (and he does not "save the day")
7. Removed the Morpheus/Locke/Niobe love triangle (instead, the relationships between the three is left more ambiguous)
8. Morpheus's "Speech to Zion" and the "Rave" sequences have been removed entirely
9. The Oracle's speech in the Park has been edited to change the nature of Programs
10. Smith is not a Rogue Program: he is still a part of the System, abit much more powerful
11. The Neb's destruction and Neo & company joining the Hammer crew occurs after the Burly Brawl
12. "Neo VS Bodyguards" sequence in the Merovingian's chateu has been removed
13. 6-7 minutes cut from the "Freeway" sequence (to increase tension of the car chase, remove unnecessary Bullet Time effects, remove rudundant scenes with Link, and make the Agents stronger and deadlier)
14. "Door to the Source" no longer leads to the Source, but to the Train Station
15. "Sati" scenes have been edited to make her less annoying and reduce her impact to the story
16. The "battle through Hel" has been removed
17. Neo's meeting with the "new" Oracle has been heavily edited to make her appear less-helpful and harder to trust her words
18. Nearly half of the footage of "The Battle for Zion" has been cut and restructured to be a much darker sequence
19. The "Architect" scenes has been moved from the middle of the story to near the end
20. Features a brand-new ending to The Matrix saga

http://fanedit.org/401/

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I noticed on the .avi version that the sound is a bit wierd. Seems to me that it's almost only the L & R channels from the 5.1 that's mixeddown.

I'm not very good at expressing myself, hopefully you'll understand.
- do or do not, there is no try -
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PSYCHO_DAYV: Yeah, before I saw the sequels, I also thought that it might've ended like the ending I made for the Edit - unfortunately, many of us didn't get what we had hoped for in Reloaded and Revolutions...

mikemccool: I edited Evolutions in Vegas using the original 5.1 mix, but I converted the final mix to a 2.0 Dolby Surround mix because the scenes I used from the Enter the Matrix video game were only available in 2.0 and I didn't want to "fake it" out as 5.1.

One other note about the AVI version:
there was an unintended "fade cut" at the 1 hour/35 minute mark that should've been a hard cut - this error will be fixed for the Final DVD version.

I am also working on some English subtitles for both the DVD and AVI, which should be finished by tonight.

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When is the DVD version coming out?
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tweaker: Hopefully, sometime in this week.
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I just finished watching the edit. The editing is masterfully done and the ending is a perfect way to end the trilogy.

I don't know if it's loo late for this, but I'd have a few suggestions for a final version:


-In Neo's dialogue with the Architect, there is one strongly noticable cut at 2:32 before the sentence "She would undoubtably be it's mother." He speaks of an "intuitive program" earlier, so "it" would refer to this program, rather than the matrix as in the original dialogue, where he refers to himself as the father of the matrix.

-Just before this scene, when Neo confronts the Source in Matrix Revolutions, there is a bit of dialogue:
<Neo: I only ask to say what I've come to say. After that you can do what you want, and I won't try and stop you.
Deus Ex Machina: Speak.">
This, together with Neo being plugged in, could serve as a good transition to the dialogue with the Architect

-At the very end (don't want to spoil it) how about letting the piano break from Rob D's "Clubbed to Death" play from the speakers? It's a very emotional piece and would also serve as a tie in with the music from part 1. And the transition to the credits would be perfect (with the beats kicking in when the screen goes black)



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Thanks for the reply, Amok. In answer to your comments:

1. the cut before "she would undoubtably be it's mother" is intentional - "it" does not necessarily mean "the Matrix" or "program".

2. the edit involving th Deus ex Machina was also intentional and involves the nature of the Real World in relation to the Matrix.

3. as for the speakers, I had debated using a different piece of music, but the 5.1 mix of the films (which I used to create the audio mix) didn't allow me to effectively switch out the soundtrack without losing the sound FXs of the scene.
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I'll be honest - I thought it was VERY promising, if a bit rough ... until the ending. I even liked what you did moving the Architect's scenes, though I wasn't sure what you were going to do about Trinity ... and then I got my answer. It was very close to being my definitive Matrix 2/3 edit, too ... but the last minute and a half or so ruined it.

It's original, no doubt about that, and upon reflection I might think differently about it. I think it might benefit from being re-shot with a different actor, but you'd never get the quality you'd want from it.

It might just need to sink in, especially since I'm so used to the original ending (which I was actually kind of fond of).

a trolling bantha

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ChainsawAsh: if you want to further discuss the ending with me, send me a pm and I'll talk about it.
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You've got to enable PM's in your profile first.

a trolling bantha

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I would actually like to see more discussion within this thread. Reviews, thoughts, etc.
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once the dvd version is floating around, i'll be able to comment on how it was. sounds interesting, though.
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There's no torrent for the final/2.0 version of the edit? What's been fixed/changed between the two versions? Is the technical quality very much better?
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Aside from AVI/DivX/XviD/whatever compression, the technical quality of the torrented version is very high, so I imagine there aren't many changes from that to the "2.0" version.

a trolling bantha

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Originally posted by: guitarfan01
There's no torrent for the final/2.0 version of the edit? What's been fixed/changed between the two versions? Is the technical quality very much better?

Version 2.0 had some minor tweaks to some of the audio transitions and fixed a video glitch that occured at the 1hour/35minute mark (there was a quick "fade" between two shots that should've been a hard cut) - other than that, it's the same as the torrent/1.0 version.
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Hey Jason/everyone else

I hope you don't mind talking about the ending and everything else publically, because that's what the forum is for! So here goes.. but...



***** SPOILER ALERT! DISCUSSING THE ENDING OF THE EDIT!! *******



****** DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED!! *******


First of all, I applaud even your ATTEMPT at this edit. It's a far cry from 95% of what we see here, which is just people sticking in deleted scenes. It's a HUGE amount of work to basically have to memorize these two sequels and then figure out how to re-arrange everything in a way that hopefully turns it into a better film... not to mention the technical hurdles in doing so. So, bravo.

One interesting thing that this edit (and the other fan edits) has done is prove that you just can't turn the Matrix sequels into a good movie. This cut is the best of them so far and it STILL can't save them... but this one does make it far less offensive, and watchable.

I'm glad you took out the rave scene, thank god. During the movie I thought this could be moved to the very end as a sort of "celebration" over winning the war, but your ending works far better.

Whatever people think of your ending, one thing is for sure - IT BEATS THE ORIGINAL.

The biggest problem with the "offical" ending is there is nothing unique about it - it's just a normal, hollywood ending. The Matrix always begged for a twisted, weird, twlilight-zone ending, and yours fits the bill. Sure, it might be a little predictable and simple, but IT WORKS.

The movie itself points out that these events have happened before and Neo had "predecessors." In the end, when there is clearly no winner to the war, the whole thing reboots and starts over.

That makes sense in the context of the Matrix universe, and there is even a glimmer of hope that maybe next time the good guys will win - after all, the Architect tells us that THIS Neo is smarter and faster than the others; maybe the next one will truly be "the one."

The only thing I would change is taking out the Oracle saying "sorry kid" at the end; it's a little too comedic for my taste and changes the mood from "mind bending, unexcpected twist" to "cute."

Otherwise, good stuff and I am sure this is the only version of the sequels I will watch in the future.
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Mojo_LA: Thanks for the comments. I also admit that the sequels, not matter how much editing you do to them, will never be as great as the original Matrix - hopefully, though, my edit has made them better than what they originally were.

The Rave: From a conceptual point of view, I think I may possibly understand the filmmakers' intentions when creating that scene (and that only comes from having extensively studied of the themes and influences of The Matrix) - in execution, however, "the Rave" is one giant clusterf*** of a mess and I never had any intention of keeping it in the Edit.
(I believe DoctorM over at Fanedit.org did use "the Rave" as part of the ending in his Matrix Hacked edits)

Ending: For the DVD version, I am seriously considering taking out that last line - when I had originally put it, it was intended to be a direct reference to those themes of rebirth/repetition/reincarnation/etc, but now when I hear it, I don't think it was really needed in the first place and now prefer the cut just being silent.
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Just thinking out loud, if you want something to replace "sorry kid" as a final line, "Follow the white rabbit" would be a fitting "punctuation mark" to the series; it hammers home the idea that we are starting over (since following the white rabbit is the first choice Neo makes to start the journey), and in a subtle way it's a message to the audience that WE should follow the white rabbit in our own lives.

Hmm, the more I think about it, the more I really would like to see "follow the white rabbit" typed across the screen as the very last image in the series. I think that adds the right touch.

What do you think, Jason?

Ok, while I'm at it, I'll just voice some of the other things about the sequels that bugged me and I'll leave it up to you to decide if you want to work on any of it for the final:

- shots of guys in their mechsuits screaming while firing their machine guns at the end; this is such a tired cliche of action movies, and I think ANY moment that drags the Matrix down to that level just feels like a kick in the groin.

- The captain yelling orders during the battle; no way in hell anyone could hear him, and if I remember the second time he barks an order it's the same thing as the first time and has no real bearing on what's happening anyway

- I really hated that when the human Smith first confronts Neo, it takes Neo FOREVER to figure out that it's Smith. I mean come on, from the very first "Mr Anderson..." Neo should instantly know. If there's any way to shorten or remove Neo's slow realization, that would be great. It makes "the one" look like a moron.

Maybe it's a testimony to your edit that I can't remember any other "groan" moments right now!

Anyway, consider that "white rabbit" thing, I think it could work.
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Originally posted by: Mojo_LA
Just thinking out loud, if you want something to replace "sorry kid" as a final line, "Follow the white rabbit" would be a fitting "punctuation mark" to the series; it hammers home the idea that we are starting over (since following the white rabbit is the first choice Neo makes to start the journey), and in a subtle way it's a message to the audience that WE should follow the white rabbit in our own lives.

Hmm, the more I think about it, the more I really would like to see "follow the white rabbit" typed across the screen as the very last image in the series. I think that adds the right touch.

What do you think, Jason?
"White rabbit" isn't exactly my cup of tea, but it does give me another idea for that end scene.
(although maybe just snipping the dialogue would be good enough)

Originally posted by: Mojo_LA
- I really hated that when the human Smith first confronts Neo, it takes Neo FOREVER to figure out that it's Smith. I mean come on, from the very first "Mr Anderson..." Neo should instantly know. If there's any way to shorten or remove Neo's slow realization, that would be great. It makes "the one" look like a moron.

Which was the entire point of it - this Neo is a moron.
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I'm a lurker over the fanedit.org, so thanks for bringing this up for discussion over here!

This is a very well crafted edit. Like Mojo said, this goes far beyond your standard "cut things you dont like" and "insert deleted scenes" fan-edit. Not that there's anything wrogn with those, but I find these more ambitious projects much more interesting.

My opinion of The Matrix is a lot like yours; loved the first one, the sequels were big dissapointments. I hadn't seen the offical movies in a long time, so there's a lot of stuff I'm sure I just forgot about, but I do have some questions that popped up during my viewing:






SPOILERS







-What was the significance of Neo dreaming of Trinity's death? Twice? Since those events no longer occur, what do they mean? And what about at the end with the Architect? You edited out some of the more obvious dialogue referring specifically to the events of Reloaded ("she is going to die and there is nothing you can do about it"), but still I didn't understand where you were going with leaving so much of that in for Neo's and the Architect's conversation.
-In this edit Smith is still part of the system. Is this because his purpose is to purge "the anomaly" from the system to reboot the program? That's what I took from it; if not I'm not sure where exactly you were going with his character.
-I think I have the Neo's real world powers and the new ending figured out. EVERYTHING we see is a simulation, the "real world" is indeed a Matrix outside the Matrix. The illusion of freedom is just another form of control by the machines. That's why Neo has powers in the "real world" and that's why when the system reboots, everyone is back to where they were at the beginning of the series, even though they might have been unplugged or even "dead." Do I have it right, or is it just "up for interpretation"?

As for the final line, it worked enough for me. Without it all we see is a scene from the first film. "Sorry kid" makes seeing it again just different enough for it to be an appropriate ending.

I think the "perfect" edit of the sequels lies somewhere in between your edit and Doctor M's Hacked edits. I might try to do one myself one day, but I really don't care about the Matrix a s much as you guys do so maybe not.

Looking forward to the DVD!
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Some of these next comments are from a previous PM I had with ChainsawAsh, but hopefully they'll answer a few of your questions on why I chose the edits that I did:

Trinity's "Death"/Architect/Neo's Choice
To a large extent, Neo's final choice that the Architect gives him is based on illusion/s. Whether or not Trinity is really alive or dead or trapped in the "Matrix" is immaterial - it is Neo's choice that is the most important factor. When the Oracle in the Park tells Neo, "You've already made the choice. Now you must understand it", she is really telling him, "Look, you already made a decision on this: there is no way in hell you're going to let Trinity die", but it is the second part of that statement that is the most important. If Neo truly understood the Choice and realized that by choosing the Right Door to save "Zion", that does not mean it "excludes" Trinity: Trinity is still a part of Zion, a part of humanity - choosing to save everyone also includes her. However, Neo feels that he has no other bond more important that Trinity and places her (a single individual) as being of greater importance that the other humans of Zion (the community). That is the flaw in the "One" and that is the reason why Neo is not yet ready to join the "Source" (be it Paradise, Perfection, Nirvana, etc... take your pick).

Also, the other concept I had with the "Trinity/Agent encounter" dreams is that, just because Neo think it is a future event or that the Architect shows it to Neo near the end, it does not necessarily mean that it occurs in the Present or Future: the Oracle states that Neo's seeing the world "without time", which Neo (and most audiences, from what I've seen) assumed to be a future event, but that may not really what she's saying at all. If you've ever read into things like the science of quantum mechanics and time physics or religions like Buddhism, Jainism, or Hinduism, Time could be viewed as being circular instead of linear and in a constant state of repetion and reincarnation where past, present, and future are both seperate and the same. So, Trinity's encounter with the Agent may have perhaps been a past event instead of a future one.

The Role of Smith
By chosing the sole connection to Trinity and ignoring the connections to humanity (deciding that she is more important than all of Zion), Neo has demonstrated that he has not truly freed his mind and that he still dependent on the "physical" connections. So, in returning to the "Matrix" Matrix, Neo has proven that he is not ready for the Source and so his existence must now be terminated and reborn. That is why only Smith remains in Neo's "Matrix" - the Source has seperated Neo from ALL connections that he may have/make, leaving only Smith as a "destroyer" for Neo. Smith's primary purpose has always been to challenge and attack Neo, but his secondary purpose (which even he is not fully aware of) is to terminate Neo's existence and restart the Matrix should Neo choose the Left Door in the end. And just as Neo has visions of Trinity's "death", Smith too is starting to have visions of "Neo's end" (hence the "I've seen this" speech at the end).

The Nature of the "Matrix"
Granted, I think it is important that people develop their own interpretations on the story and ending, but you sorta/kinda hit the nail on the head in terms of the concept I had behind the Edit.

For the original film, I did (and still do) believe that there is more than one Matrix in the film and that there are numerous "Realities" that exist in the Matrix and beyond it. At the end of Reloaded, I was thoroughly convinced that my theories were correct and that the "Zion" world was merely another Matrix built on top of the first one (in particular, Neo's new "powers" in the Zion world, which for me only made sense if you looked at that world as being another simulation, another illusion). However, by the time that Revolutions came and ended, the filmmakers more or less gave me (and the other viewers) a giant middle finger and said: "Neo has powers in the real world cause he's Jesus!" "Zion is the 'real' world, as in the same reality that we're in." "All you need is Love and Peace and Unity and Humanity and...."

Naturally, I was royally P.O.ed at the Wachoskis brothers and swore off watching the sequel films ever again (I only looked at them again when I started work on this Edit).


And regarding the final line:
After going back and forth on the issue, I think I'm just going to the leave the line in as is: extending the scene any futher kinda takes away from the mood of it and, as Commander Courage pointed out, that last line of the Oracle shows that something is different/changed from the original scene in the first film.
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Given the "loop" nature of the Matrix universe your edit sides with, it would be nice to see the moment in the train station when Neo runs out one side and comes back in the other - it's a good metaphor for the series and a foreshadow of your ending. Maybe Neo could dream that? And excuse me if that shot is in your edit, I don't remember it but maybe I missed it.

Personally, I think the W brothers had probably planned that the big twist would be that the "real world" was a Matrix within the Matrix, the idea being that if people BELIEVED they had escaped, they wouldn't look any further. But I think since fans were predicting this would be the case, the film makers abandoned that idea just to avoid being predictable.

Even though that concept, in my mind, is the only true logical progression of the story.