Reviewed September 2nd, 1999 by Staff
In 1999, Warner released a movie that combined state of the art special effects with a good story and kung fu type action and it was called “The Matrix”. The movie stars Keanu Reves (“Speed”, “Devil's Advocate”), Laurence Fishburne (“Event Horizon”, “Othello”), Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano and others. The movie was written and directed by the Wachowski Brothers (“Bound”).
Without giving too much of the plot away, the basic story surrounds Thomas Anderson (Reves) who by day is a software programmer, but by night he is a computer hacker calling himself “Neo”. He feels something is wrong with the world and is actively searching for an answer. As the story unfolds, a strange man named Morpheus (Fishburne) contacts Neo claming he can show him what he is searching for. Can Neo even handle the truth? Morpheus feels that Neo is “The One”, a promise of a man that will end up saving them all.
“The Matrix” has one of the most interesting scripts and some very fine acting and directing. The movie starts out with Trinity (Moss) in one of the most unforgettable opening sequences in any film. Reves also does a fine job as Neo, showing the audience how his character progresses in his mental growth throughout the movie. Hugo Weaving, who plays “Agent” Smith also does a great job (far from his performance in “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” where he played a gay drag queen).
This movie has it all. Deception, great action, new special effects and Warner has presented us with a DVD packed with extras and a good clean copy of the film.
The movie is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen format and is 16x9 enhanced. The transfer is almost perfect, however there is some grain during some of the darker sequences. Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and gives you a true 360 degree sound field with all the action coming from all the channels. The movies also uses the .1 (sub) channel to give you not only a movie you can enjoy, but also feel during some of the sequences.
Warner went beyond the call of duty with all the extras that they have included on the DVD. For starters, there is a commentary track (with star, Carrie-Anne Moss, John Gaeta the visual effects supervisor, and editor Zach Staenberg). There is also a isolated music track with commentary by Don Davis the composer. There are plenty of documentaries on the disc including a “Making the Matrix” that runs about 25 minutes, two semi-hidden documentaries called “What is the Concept” and “What is Bullet Time”.
The “Follow the White Rabbit” option is one of the most original “extras”. After choosing this option, nine times during the film a little white rabbit will appear allowing you to either click on it with your mouse or hit “enter” on your remote. When doing so, it will take you to a behind the scenes look at the scene you are watching. After viewing the “extra”, it will take you right back to where you left off in the movie.
There is also some DVD-Rom material including concept art, the screenplay, storyboards, trailers for: “The Matrix”, “The Road Warrior”, “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome”, “Demolition Man”, “Outland”, “Soldier”), screensavers, a trivia game, link back to “secret” website giving you even more access to special stuff including some future online chats among other things. Warner 100% gets an A++ on supplemental material.
The Matrix is a special effects action rollercoaster and Warner has done a suburb job of how they have presented the movie on DVD. This DVD is very highly recommended. The movie is rated R and runs 136 minutes.
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