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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Matrix
Matrix
Warner Bros. // R // September 21, 1999
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Geoffrey Kleinman | posted January 4, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:
The Matrix in one of those rare movies that you can watch a zillion times and enjoy even more with each viewing. A perfect synthesis of Cyberpunk, Kung-Fu, Sci-Fi Japanamation and Film Noir, The Matrix repeatedly breaks ground on new film territory and delivers a film like nothing before it.

You can't talk about The Matrix without mentioning the amazing special effects. With a new technique called 'Bullet Time,' The Matrix captures a dimension of action scenes that we've never seen before. I kept thinking back to Raging Bull, at how it captured the artistry of prize fighting. The Matrix captures the artistry of action.

The Matrix doesn't just rely on special effects to entertain. It has a solid core of great directing, a fantastic script and strong performances from stars Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, and the brilliant Hugo Weaving.

The Matrix is my pick for one of the top films of 1999.

The Picture:
When I original reviewed The Matrix I had concerns over the grainyness over some of the scenes which took place 'in' The Matrix. My first instinct was that it was a less than stellar transfer, but after re-examining the actual film again it's a stylistic choice which was present in the theatrical version of the film. The Wachowski Brothers use film grain and color to distinguish between The Matrix and The Real World. So given that The Matrix gets HIGH marks for excellent picture and transfer

The Sound:
If they overdelivered on anything with this DVD it is with a stellar 5.1 Dolby Digital sound track. To simply put it, The Matrix sounded amazing. It far exceeded the movie theater sound experience and captured the excitement of this film. I now use the scene where Neo and Trinity go to rescue Morpheous as my Home Theater Demo scene!

The Extras:
Warner Brothers pulled out all the stops on this DVD with an offering of extras that make The Matrix DVD one to own. My favorite extra is called "Follow The White Rabbit" - at eight points during the movie (if you have this feature enabled), a white rabbit pops up and cuts to a quick behind the scenes look at how they did the scene you are watching. This type of contextual content is fantastic. In addition to Follow The White Rabbit, the DVD has the HBO Behind the Scenes making-of featurette and 2 'hidden' behind the scenes segments. The collection of behind the scenes material really gives you an in-depth look at the making of this film and added appreciation for it.

The DVD features 2 commentary tracks, both worth a listen. I really enjoyed the selection of Carrie-Anne Moss for the first audio track as she gave a really amazing perspective on her roll in the film. Her commentary is mixed with insights by editor Zach Staenberg and visual effects supervisor John Gaeta. In all, very insightful and entertaining.

The other audio commentary comes from composer Don Davis, whose combined commentary and isolated music score track is definitely worth a listen.

I was less enthusiastic about the content on the DVD-ROM part of the disc. I guess all the content on the main part of the disc fed my appetite for The Matrix, so when I flipped it into my DVD-ROM, the only extra I really liked was the impressive Storyboard to Screen section which compares the script and storyboard to the movie. The Storyboards for this film are a treasure and it's worth spending the time with this extra.

Conclusion:
The Matrix is a stellar DVD that is easily one of my favorite DVDs out there. There's so much stuff on this DVD, you'll find yourself spending hours with it. Then, after going through all of it, you'll want to watch this amazing film over again.

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