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Firstly, I shall tackle the three films (discs 1, 3 and 5). The first Matrix is a masterpiece of filmmaking, enough said. Of course, as has been said, the second and third unfortunately did not live up to the hype surrounding them (although the second is still very good) which would drag down the quality of this boxset a little. They are still very entertaining films, none of which are by any means poor, and are deserving of attention from film lovers across the globe. The movie discs are quite plain when it comes to extras, although each has two commentaries, from the 'Philosophers' and the 'Critics'. I am yet to listen to the Philosophers commentary tracks although I can easily say that the Critics tracks are hugely entertaining and are probably worth the price of the boxset alone... the use of film critics to put down each of the films is such a novel idea; it gives the viewers a new-found respect for the Wachowski brothers and almost makes us forgive them for not recording commentaries of their own.
The Animatrix (disc 7) is an entirely different experience to the three movies. Nine short films in glorious animation help to gain a greater understanding of the Matrix concept and strenghten this boxset further. Each film has a short making-of documentary, some of which are quite insightful.
The 'Revisited' discs (2, 4 and 6) contain very interesting featurettes about the making of the movies.Read more ›
The detail: Time for honesty. I didn't like Reloaded. I despised Revolutions. Not for the reason that they were sprawling and overcomplicated but more for the fact that because they were sprawling and overcomplicated they lost so much of the solid audience base they'd built up with the original Matrix.
By the time I'd taken in all three movies, the Animatrix, Enter The Matrix and The Matrix Revisited I felt I'd pretty much got a feel for the series, its spirit and its intentions. Then I saw the roll call of features on this edition and, well, realised I might have some more work to do to get my head around what The Matrix experience was all about.
Finally someone has produced a DVD not with the director telling stories about how lovely it was to work with everybody and how the whole thing was neat-o but with two philosophers discussing the 'Manichean overtones' of the original Matrix. To then couple this with a commentary of movie critics ripping the film to pieces is a brave move and the most public admission that a film might not be everyone's cup of tea a film's director(s) are ever likely to make.
The fact is this is a risky box set. It does not massage its own ego and where the hyperbole threatens to be vomit inducing the Wachowskis have been very careful to deflate their own egos by giving voice to the many people who were unhappy with the conclusion of the trilogy.
As such for an interested party such as myself it has forced a re-evaluation of my previous opinion.Read more ›
Now onto the extras for us happy fans, on the first volume (This is what the collection is divided into) is The Matrix and it's twin with the extras corresponding to that film, The Matrix Revisted, where the production is discussed in depth with a feature-length presentation (Roughly two hours). There is also some extra goodies to keep your eyes open for, as there is all around with the extras discs.
Now onto the Matrix Reloaded, the longest and perhaps most action-packed film of the trilogy, and its extras disc called the Matrix Reloaded Revisited. Unlike Matrix Revisted it is divided into featurretes, many on the sequences and show the sets were built, and what ideas were used. There are also commentaries from Special Effects wizard John Gaeta on how major shots were achieved.
Finally is the Matrix Revolutions, building up into what I think is an awesome and justifiable climax.Read more ›
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