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The Matrix [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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This hugely successful blockbuster stars Keanu Reeves as Neo, a young computer hacker who comes to believe that the world around him is not as it appears to be. With the aid of mysterious subversive Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Neo discovers that his whole existence as he knows it is a lie. Together with Morpheus' acolyte Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), Neo begins to fight back against the computerised hierarchy which is secretly manipulating the human race.
The Wachowski Brothers' The Matrix took the well-worn science fiction idea of virtual reality, added supercharged Hollywood gloss and a striking visual style and stole The Phantom Menace's thunder as the must-see movie of the summer of 1999. Laced with Star Wars-like Eastern mysticism, and featuring thrilling martial arts action choreographed by Hong Kong action director Yuen Woo Ping (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), The Matrix restored Keanu Reeves to genre stardom following virtual reality dud Johnny Mnemonic (1995), and made a star of Carrie-Anne Moss, who followed this with the challenging perception twister Memento (2000). Helping the film stand out from rivals Dark City (1998) and The Thirteenth Floor (1999) was the introduction of the celebrated "bullet time" visual effects, though otherwise the war-against-the-machines story, hard-hitting style and kinetic set-pieces such as the corporate lobby shoot-out lean heavily on Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). Elsewhere the influence of John Woo, from the ultra-cool near real-world SF of Face/Off (1997) to the raincoats and sunglasses look of bullet-ballet A Better Tomorrow, is clearly in evidence. The set-up isn't without its absurdities, though--quite why super-intelligent machines bother to use humans as batteries instead of something more docile like cows, for example, is never explained, nor is how they expect these living batteries to produce more energy than it takes to maintain them. The Matrix is nevertheless exhilarating high-octane entertainment, although as the first part of a trilogy it perhaps inevitably doesn't have a proper ending.
On the DVD: the anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 image is virtually flawless, exhibiting only the grain present in the theatrical print, while the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is demonstration quality, showing off the high-impact sound effects and Don Davis' fine score to great effect. Special features are "data files" on the main stars, producer and director and "Follow the White Rabbit", which if selected while viewing the movie offers behind the scenes footage. This is interesting, but gimmicky, requires switching back from widescreen to 4:3 each time, and would be better if it could be accessed directly from one menu. There is also a standard 25-minute TV promo film which is as superficial as these things usually are. --Gary S Dalkin --This text refers to the DVD edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
So it's three cheers for The Matrix, the film that restored my faith in SF movies.
It starts with a bang, a chase across rooftops with some spectacular leaps that make you realise that wherever you are, it's not the world you live in.
Or is it?
Neo (or is that Neophyte?) is a programmer by day in a faceless corporation, and a hacker by night, searching for Morpheus, a shadowy figure who may hold the key to Neo's longings for a different world. Morpheus on the other hand is looking for a Saviour, someone who will come and lead the oppressed masses to a new Utopia.
Soon their paths cross, and Neo is shown the real world, a world that is not all he thought it to be. In this world everything is run by "The Matrix", a super computer that controls everything and everybody, body and soul. (Or, as the Oracle so succinctly puts it, "Balls to Bones")
Neo is removed from the system's influence, and is told he is "The One", the long-prophesised saviour who can remake the Matrix to his own will. He is trained in how to fight the Matrix defense programs (or "Agents".....software that takes the guise of super-powerful humans and can take control of anybody still hooked up to the Matrix)
To accomplish this he is given a crash course in martial arts in a manner that would be great if it were possible today (I can imagine the ads - "Learn Kung-Fu in thirty seconds....no philosophising necessary!") .Read more ›
So, onto the review. This is a philosophical sci-fi action thriller with a noirish edge and religious themes. Interestingly it manages to balance all these elements in such a way that the film takes on something of a multi-layered nature, allowing you to watch it from any number or combination of stances and still love it from every one. It has stunning action sequences, a gritty cyberpunk sci-fi story and some seriously deep monologues (normally courtesy of Laurence Fishburne's smooth tones), which of these you pay attention to is entirely up to you, but watch them all and you'll get something pretty close to a sensory overload.
As far as action goes, this was absolutely revolutionary and still holds its own against the best of them (including its own massively inferior sequels). This isn't realistic, it's just cool. Slow-motion gun battles merge into wushu-esque acrobatics which merge into incredibly choreographed wire fighting martial arts.Read more ›
The basic idea is that NEO (Keanu Reeves) is living the life he - and we - call normal, and looking frantically for something, anything, to reassure himself that there is more to life than a deadly boring 0900 to 1700 job and an antsy boss. On the side he works as a hacker, selling pirated programs, almost as an off-shoot of his searching of the Internet.
It all goes a little weird late one night when his computer starts talking back to him in a program that he never entered and can't control (no, he wasn't running Windows XP) and tells him to follow the white rabbit.
This is the start of his journey to escape from the Matrix, which he didn't know existed and never realised was only an illusion ...
This idea is really gripping, and the Matrix says it all, without needing the rest of the trilogy: you can watch it as a sci-fi movie, because it is a very good one, with excellent and ground-breaking special effects, for the action scenes (which are sheer, self-indulgent eye-candy for any martial arts enthusiasts) or read as much more into it as you care to put there: because the basic concept is intriguing. Everyone wants, first and foremost, to know who they are, and what is real ... how else to all those Internet survey sites survive? - and the Matrix, following Neo's search for just that, has something to tickle everyone right on that spot.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quite simply a classic. I bought the DVD shortly after it was released. I bought the Blu-Ray steelbook shortly after it was released. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Roysie
The first and best of the three films. Neo by day working in an office, by night a computer hacker, who discovers the nature of the Matrix. Read morePublished 27 days ago by ChrisH
Awesome, different (at the time) well done in every way, just meggaPublished 1 month ago by Mr.Ian Geary
Zoro stars... Steelbook was bent, dented an doesn't even close... was packaged brilliantly so obviously was damaged before packing anf sending out... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Leon T
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