I go a bit further than swo17 here; I think it's not Wong's business to change his films at this point. He is, as he says in his notes on the restoration, a different filmmaker now. I don't want to see the current filmmaker that is WKW recut his previous films any more than I want to see Lars Von Trier recut a WKW film. What value would that really have, beyond wacky experiment? Let's have Dos Passos edit a James Joyce novel after this; it'll be scintillating, rather than purposeless. The biggest problem as I see it is that there are two Wong Kar Wais; two separate auteurs. One is back in the 90s, making these films. The other is in 2020, remaking these same movies with the same materials and a host of post-processing effects. He is older, and his world has moved on from the concerns we saw in these films when they were being released. This second auteur seems somewhat insecure about what he had made previously. It's all going to be restored and made available for a new generation of fans. If this second Wong wants to prove his skill now, he can certainly make a new movie, or remake what he had made before––really reconceptualize and rewrite and recast and reshoot it––if he really has a new take on the film for us. But as swo17 pointed out, it's potentially to the detriment of the availability of the original versions––this is almost definitely the case. These restorations aren't restorations of all available footage, subsequently arranged into the new cut Wong wants. It's restoration of the footage Wong wants for the new cuts, arranged in the way he wants it. It's highly unlikely there's going to be multiple assemblies made with restored footage. The language of Wong's notes on the restorations goes very far to suggest these will be the versions of the films available in the future––the only cuts he supports.
And as far as giving Wong a listen...let me just dispel with the metaphor first, because what you're really saying here is, if I understand you right: we haven't seen the film, and it may end up being a great experience if we go and watch the restoration with an open mind, with the welcoming curiosity swo17 is mentioning in his post previous to this. The issues I have with that premise...well, there are a few. First of all, I think of the first time many of us encountered this auteurist phenomenon, by which I mean, the Star Wars Special Editions. I saw the first of these in my late teens (I think I skipped Empire and Jedi, because when I saw some of the changes later on home video they totally blindsided me). At the time many of us really liked the Special Editions––it was an opportunity to see Star Wars again on the big screen, CGI did not have the bad reputation it has gained in recent years (hence the "amplifying" of effects like explosions seemed pretty cool), and I think many of us were intrigued by the idea sold to us by Lucasfilm that this was finally, in fact, the film Lucas had seen in his head, and that the previous versions released had been oh so compromised by the vicissitudes of filmmaking. Little by little, that enthusiasm eroded. It especially did so when I saw later that Lucas had changed the cheerful Ewok victory song at the end of the movie to Georges Zamfir's panflute medley or whatever. Friends and I used to have private jokes about the song; as kids we could all sing it. And at that time I looked around to find a version of the film that included that original song. One that I could play on my home system, watch good quality picture, hopefully in widescreen––and of course, I didn't have a VCR anymore, because I hadn't needed one in years (I only had a couple of VHS tapes back then; Ildiko Enyedi's Magic Hunter and Mina Shum's Double Happiness, but that's another story). And I found that I couldn't really get another version of Return of the Jedi that didn't have those changes made.
Of course we know now that this was expressly George Lucas' wish for the films; that the later versions replace the earlier ones entirely at some point. And we don't know that to be Wong's wish, since he hasn't announced that. But changes to the way people collect films will naturally make that happen, favoring newer and wider-access versions of films over previous versions as the physical media the previous versions have been released upon become out-of-date and essentially unplayable. Plus, as the old, eventually preferred versions get harder to find, and rarer, they become prohibitively expensive. The Kino blu of Fallen Angels is already out of print. I mean, if you want proof that changing patterns of access make for a gradual favoring of the favored version of the films, you only have to look at Wong's previous venture in this field, Ashes of Time Redux. If I want to watch Ashes of Time on streaming services now, like Amazon Prime, it's the Redux I can watch, not the theatrical release version of the film. Occasionally I'll see a blu ray of Ashes of Time I've never seen before, and I think maybe I've stumbled onto the theatrical cut; nope, it's the Redux. Previous DVDs of the theatrical cut of the film are out-of-print, and they were all non-anamorphic DVDs anyway, so they're actually harder to enjoy now, depending on what type of television you have. They go through periods of being a little more available, and a little cheaper; but in the past I have seen them sell for larger amounts of money, and eventually those poor old discs will be very hard to find, and that will make them very expensive, indeed. Most of the companies that released them are out of business. Anyone wanting to get a new transfer of Ashes of Time (CN Entertainment, which seems to own a lot of the Mei Ah catalog, might want that) has to go through Wong's company, and they'll only get access to the Redux. Wong has claimed that there was irrevocable damage to the original negative, and that is his excuse for keeping the original version of the film out of circulation.
As far as giving Wong a chance on this, I would say we already have evidence of what he is interested in doing to his previously-released films; we have the Ashes of Time Redux. This is a genuinely reckless and awful re-tinkering of the movie, with vast changes to the edit, the look of the film, and the sound––which is something like 3/4s new or substantially redone. These changes are drastic, and while that might tickle your fancy as an auteurist viewer...well, there was once a pretty darn good film called just–plain Ashes of Time. I used to recommend it to people. It is much, much harder to do that now. And I think the Redux shows very clearly what Wong is willing to do to his previous movies; he's willing to alter them beyond recognition so that they fit the matrix of what he's doing with film nowadays. Wong's restoration notes basically admit much of the same. He feels free to make changes because he looks at these films as new versions, or variations from what came before. But if he truly thinks of these new versions of the films as creative experiments, wholly separate from the goal of restoration and preservation, then he is very naive in not trying to preserve the initial versions of his films. Certainly he has the example of Ashes of Time Redux before him, to show him how his new version of the movie might completely supplant the previous one. But I don't really believe that hypothetical, that Wong isn't aware he's siloing the original cuts of these films and making them extinct; I think Wong knows exactly what he's doing, and that he wants for the new versions of these films to supplant the previous ones. He uses the same language as Lucas and his supporters did when talking about the special editions. These new versions of the films represent his "true vision" for the movies––a vision he has miraculous access to 25-30 years on. If this is somehow ambiguous, look in Wong's restoration notes at the final section, where he talks about, and essentially admits to the negative reaction fans of Ashes of Time had to the Redux. He is willing to write these people's memories off as those of "pirate copies" of the movie and "sub–optimal" viewings. He is really unconcerned with the half of moviegoing where he is less of a participant; he's not willing to let his movies pass into the popular consciousness unmolested. Instead he's going to seize the films and change them and warp them so that they look the way he later on wishes he had made them. Colorizing the first shot of Fallen Angels is a great example of what he's doing. He had plenty of opportunity at the time he made the movie to shoot that opening bit in color. But your auteur, ladies and gentlemen, chose to shoot the scene in black and white, and now, for some reason, he wants it in color. What a mistake it was at the time. I guess the devil made him do it. A fly, whispering in his ear. That wasn't the true vision he had for the movie all along.
If I'm a little churlish there at the end, it's to point out that Wong's defense of his current choices does not line up across the board. Granted, he may have at some point in the process wanted to have Fallen Angels stretched to a cinemascope aspect ratio, though in his notes he seems to imply he didn't shoot the film with that in mind. In fact, what he describes as his process of discovering the stretching effect sounds more like a whim than an auteurist intention. His description of the changes to Happy Together really rides the line. Here he claims the Ashes of Time excuse, that the negative was damaged and he had to make changes as a result. Lots of people on this thread have talked in eloquent detail about how in restoration one would simply go to the next most optimal source to replicate the missing elements, but Wong also wants us to look at these changes in the same way as the others––this is a new version of the film, with shorter Tony Leung monologues. Were we all waiting to have those shortened? I have to say, I find this whole "original intent" argument suspect from almost every angle. It seems more like an excuse Wong has crafted to make these changes fit into the matrix of auteur–worship he has clearly bought into, to the exclusion of any other frame of consideration. The goal of preserving the films is used pretty harshly in this paradigm, and the part of the film experience that belongs to the viewer is severely compromised as a result. I can hardly go back and show my young niece the Ewoks' song in Return of the Jedi––not in any legal way, certainly––I can no longer invite another person into an attempt to replicate the experience that touched me when I first saw it. I can't do it because George Lucas has a strange complex about his identity as an artist, the commercial value of his movies in a later age, and, up until recently, a controlling interest in what happens to the movies that overrides my experience with the films. And the previous desultory dance in Jabba the Hut's palace has been made insane by lurid, awkward CGI. It's more than my precious memories that are getting the boot here; the new changes are done in exceptional bad taste. That's a move that, of course, Lucas is certainly allowed to make, in the commercial and I suppose in the auteurist sense, but it's a decision that reveals a lot of that bad taste in his more recent attempts to alter his previous work.
The last thing I'm thinking of in response is that we don't actually have to wait to see what Wong has done to these movies; he's more or less announced it with his restoration notes and his trailers. The Fallen Angels footage doesn't make the figures look further away from one another as Wong insists; it makes you feel the need to get your eyes checked. And the cuts to Happy Together that Wong notes could have easily been avoided. Happy Together is, I think, the best of Wong's 90s movies; It's already rather brief as a film. I do not need it to be any shorter. I don't need Tony Leung to say fewer words in order for it to be good. We've already seen in these sources the callous indifference Wong has to what his films have been in their time; his indifference to what they've meant to the people who have seen them. That indifference is present in the AOT Redux, in the new Fallen Angels footage, and it is complemented quite clearly by Wong's statement of intent for the restorations. It's representative of a kind of auteurism gone to an aberrant extreme––I think most people would recognize that about George Lucas' Star Wars re-education for the youth of tomorrow plan, and Wong is not far off from putting himself in a similar role; the cultural arbiter, telling us what we ought to have seen, demanding that we look at the restorations of his films as new movies, as entirely different experiences. But we ought to respect his genius, I guess. Far be it from us mortals to know or remember how we liked something in the past. And surely the audience appreciating the movie shouldn't be any measure of what to preserve. And who knows? Wong just might make something way more brilliant with his retroactive genius than I am giving him credit for. I'm sure a whole movie stretched horizontally out of proportion is going to be great. It's the product of a genius, I'm told; an auteur.