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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restored my faith in SF cinema
SF Movies have suffered from a lack of style in recent years. There's only so many times you can see Bladerunner or Alien ripped off cheaply before you start to get jaded. And it doesn't help that they keep casting muscular dolts with the intellect of a plank in violent revenge fantasies that do little more than ape the "Death Wish" movies.
So it's three cheers for...
Published on 24 Feb 2003 by William Meikle

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray version is tinted green - beware.
Obviously The Matrix is a fantastic film, but this version of the film is not strictly the original - it is the version from the DVD boxed set that was released a few years ago, and all scenes set within the Matrix have been tinted green, to keep in line with the production design of the sequels.

If you were familiar with the film (i.e, you watched it many...
Published 12 months ago by Mr. L. J. O'Neill


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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restored my faith in SF cinema, 24 Feb 2003
By 
This review is from: The Matrix [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
SF Movies have suffered from a lack of style in recent years. There's only so many times you can see Bladerunner or Alien ripped off cheaply before you start to get jaded. And it doesn't help that they keep casting muscular dolts with the intellect of a plank in violent revenge fantasies that do little more than ape the "Death Wish" movies.
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!") . Once he reintroduces himself to the Matrix's world the stage is set for some climactic fight scenes, among the best ever seen in cinema history.
To say more would be to give away too much of the plot, but suffice to say The Matrix is one of the biggest, most explosive, most stylish SF films ever.
It succeeds where lesser films fail by melding a hi-tech glossy look with martial arts battles familar to Hong-Kong film lovers, and overlaying the whole thing with a mythic plot of the Saviour who is slowly coming to realise his destiny.
Even the names hold a mythic quality to them, from Morpheus, the god of sleep who knows who is dreaming and who is awake, to Cipher who is not all he seems, to Trinity, the embodiment of child, mother and lover and finally Neo, the classic neophyte trying to find a path through the mysteries. The ancient Greeks would have had no trouble in following the basics of this story.
Reeves has never been better, portraying confusion and frailty one minute, strength and resolve the next. But it is Fishburne's movie....it is his presence that holds the whole thing together and keeps you rivetted to your seat.
All that and a shadowing of a peril coming to Zion, the last stronghold of the true believers, and we're all set up for a blockbuster of a sequel. I can't wait.
Couple that with an outstanding directors talk-over, and an ingenious "follow the white rabbit" extras feature that lets you cut in and view how any particular effect or stunt was achieved, and you have a DVD that's hard to ignore for quality, quantity and entertainment.
All that, loads of black leather gear, big boots and guns. What more do you want?
And any film that contains a clip of the cult classic "Night of the Lepus" is always going to be worth a look.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 out of 100!, 7 Dec 2003
This review is from: The Matrix [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
Someone once asked me how I could watch The Matrix so many times and why I haven't got bored of it.
She couldn't understand, mainly because she has only seen about 3 min of the film but my answer was "It'll never bore me because everytime you watch it you learn or notice something new". That is it.
The Matrix is such a delicious movie that leaves you wanting more and more and the more you get the more you love it. I have probably seen the film about 20 times since watching it for the first time last May. The special effects are mind blowing (and in my opinion better that Reloaded and Revolutions), the story is unforgetable, the outfits are cool as ice, and the music rocks (I've also got the soundtrack).
My fave character has to be Trinity because she is so independant and single minded. She is also so bloody lucky to snog Keanu.
They can make as many sequels as they want but nothing can compare to The Matrix chapter 1. It is The One movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blows the Phantom Menace out of the water, 4 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Matrix [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
It was often said that Star Wars set the benchmark for Special FX...that is no longer true. The Matrix will spawn a hundred inferior copycat films and (hopefully) 2 sequels of it's own. This is intelligent use of Special FX in a mind-blowing and stunningly original way rather the "for the sake of it" SFX. Fittingly this film swept the board in the technical awards at the Oscars sending George Lucas home without a prize for a Star Wars film for the first time. Not a fan of either Keanu or kung-Fu I missed this at the cinema and now bitterly regret it. The highest compliment I usually pay Reeves is that I can forget he was in a film - in the Matrix he is a positive assett. Surrounded by a very good cast - the always excellent Laurence Fishburne and Joe Pantaliano are ably assisted by the equally good but lesser known Carrie Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving as the main bad guy. You will believe that these guys spent 4 months learning Kung Fu (as we are told in the making of featurette) and when this is combined with the bullet-time special fx Kung Fu will NEVER be done better. If you like comics this is your comics brought to life. If you like action this is the best action film of the last century. If you like sci-fi it don't get much better. The Matrix on DVD is an example of what all DVD's should be but most aren't. It is packed with special features, with menu's introduced by clips and music from the film. For PC/DVD users the links to the website are (todate) still current and are worth checking out. Do not miss this. As I said in my one line summary this film blows it's summer 99 competitor out of the water. It used to be that I anticipated the new Star Wars films more than anything else. The Matrix and it's projected 2 sequels/prequels have now taken that honour - it really is that good.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking, visually stunning banquet of a film., 15 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Matrix [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
Why do you enjoy a film? Is it because you leave the cinema with your head buzzing with the questions the film has raised? Is it because it was filled with heart-racing action? Did you just sit back and switch off while the film's special effects blew you away? Or do you just like a soppy love story?
It doesn't matter with The Matrix. The film fills every niche, from the most cerebral to the most superficial.
Science fiction haters will still love it, since, if you wish, you can ignore the SF supertext and enjoy the stories and action beneath it. Even Keanu Reeves haters will have to accept that his inability to show any emotion other than vacant fits his role as a no-life hacker perfectly.
This film is perfect for DVD, as it will be watched again and again and you can skip straight to your favourite bits. The DVD also includes fascinating "making of" material.
If you don't watch this film you missed out on one of the best films this century. Your loss.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long overdue purchase...., 19 Oct 2002
By 
M. Benson "SVPirate" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Matrix [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
When I finally got around to getting a DVD drive in my computer there was not question what the first DVD I was going to buy was. It's over 4 years since this film was unveiled yet I have not found a film to beat it yet, and probably won't until The Matrix - Reloaded and - Revolutions are relesed in 2003.
The special effects changed film making forever, the story, although nothing sparklingly original in sci-fi and cyberpunk circles, was carried off in such a brilliant manner it is the most convincing sci-fi film I've seen since Dune (1984, David Lynch) and the original Terminator film.
As far as the actual acting goes it did suit Keanu Reeves pretty well, although his dialog does let him down on occasions but in some ways it reflects the 'panic - I'm feeling a little lost' element of his character Neo/Thomas Anderson. The support is fantastic, Laurence Fishburne as Neo's mentor, Morpheus, and Hugo Weaving as the insidious and evil Agent Smith are supreme in their roles carrying off their dialog with great aplomb and really adding atmosphere for the film. Carrie-Anne Moss carries off her part well, being a good balance of looks and brawn. The sets and cinematography are also fantastic as are the cityscapes, provided by The City of Sydney Australia.
The choreography and action in the film is unparalleled and helped widen the appeal of what might have been a slightly cliquey film had it not been carried off right. As it is the mix of cyberpunk style black clothes, cool sunglasses (I especially liked Morpheus's clip-on-the-nose ones) and huge black boots and the Kung-Fu fighting, gun totting fight scenes as well as the now legendary bullet-time effects really make this film scream to lovers of action and sci-fi alike.
All this is capped by, one might say most importantly, a great dramatic score by Don Davis (which I have just bought the CD of) and punchy metal/punk/techo soundtrack (which I have also just bought the CD of) that really conveys the mood excellently.
All in all it is, in the truest sense, a great film. If you've got the money and you love the film buy one of the special edition double-packs with the 'Matrix - Revisited' documentary DVD in. I have not seen the documentary personally but have it on good authority that it is a really nice addition. If you have not seen the film yet and like the sound of it prepare for stomach churning edge-of-the-seat action that will have you sweating right until the final scenes.
Can't fail to get 5 stars.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Flawless/Superbly Detailed Image and Excellent Extras for this Ground-Breaking Sci-Fi Classic, 5 Dec 2009
[I've added a photo to the item page showing the back of the Blu-ray box which details the disc specification and content. I have written Amazon reviews for the Blu-ray disc of each film in the trilogy...]

'The Matrix' is the first film in a trilogy written, directed and produced by the Wachowski brothers. Although dating from the 1990s, it will continue to stand as a benchmark for the use of special-effects in films for many years to come....

It is arguably THE series of films which should be watched first on any new Hi-Definition video format to fully appreciate it and the film; Blu-ray is no exception to this 'rule' and I can confirm that it is simply astounding to watch (and listen to !) in this format. The remaining films are 'The Matrix Reloaded' and 'The Matrix Revolutions' and you can buy all 3 films in a Blu-ray boxset; Amazon links below for product and my review :

The Matrix Reloaded [Blu-ray] [2003]
Matrix Revolutions [Blu-ray] [2003]
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The Matrix/Matrix Reloaded/Matrix Revolutions [Blu-ray] [1999]

The film is notable for including imagery produced using a special filming process to digitally enhance the simulation of variable speed. Although 'The Matrix' was not the first film to use the technology, it did so in such a way that it essentially pushed the process into mainstream film-making; so much so that it was quickly given the registered trademark of 'Bullet Time' by Warner Bros (the film studio which financed the film).

The overall plot for the trilogy is novel and extremely complicated, requiring 'mere-mortals' to watch the films several times to start appreciating everything that occurs and all the reasoning behind it; quite a lot of the dialogue is involved and needs to be properly understood for everything to make sense....

I think that the latter part of the Amazon synopsis sums things up very well : 'Reality is a world run by artificially intelligent machines who control the human slaves in a simulated 20th Century'. Although obviously only telling part of the storyline, it is enough to get going with as well as knowing that 'The Matrix' refers to the simulation and that the lead characters are either human 'rebels' who are free from the simulation and fighting for 'true reality' or computer program villains, known as 'Agents', tasked with defeating the rebellion.

Each film stands on it's own as a story, but the plot progresses through the 3 films and all need to be watched to get the whole picture and, of course, the ultimate ending.

Things get moving very quickly in this film and from then on there are several periods of 'explanation' as well as a multitude of stunning set-piece action sequences. There is a lot of violence/shooting/death and some truly terrific fight scenes. The fighting is usually based on techniques originating from the Orient and are extremely complicated/magnificently choreographed; they took a LONG time to produce and, for the most part, are performed by the actors...

Adding to the these notable features are an overall heavy-reliance on spectacular digital special-effects (which blend seamlessly with the imagery and look completely authentic), massive and dramatic explosions, superb 'machinery' creations and a pulsating rock-based musical soundtrack (which often has an injection of synthesised music accompanied by choral vocals !) - this film demands to be watched in a darkened room, on a big screen and at high volume !

The Blu-ray image on this issue is flawless/superbly detailed but I found the sound quality a bit subdued and not as good an improvement over the DVD format as I was expecting (but still perfectly acceptable). The extras on the disc are copious, including a 'Picture-in-Picture' narrative inserted into the film, 4 feature-length commentaries and a load of very interesting 'featurettes' - one covers the 'Bullet Time' process very well; see the photo I've added to the item page showing the back of the Blu-ray box which details the disc specification and content.

*** A final notable aspect of this disc is that the film is uncut with no change to the viewing classification; all previous UK versions (including that in the 'Ultimate' DVD boxset) had head-butting scenes from 2 of the main fight sequences removed....

Anyone who either already knows about, or wants to experience for the first time, this ground-breaking film really should see it in Blu-ray format - it will blow you away !

PS You then need to watch the remaining 2 films in the trilogy....
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome quality, 14 April 2009
This blu ray disc is great... I didn't ordered the complete package because I liked only the first movie.
The quality of the image is awesome and the sound is great.
Buy this blu ray... you won't regret it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A decade old, but more visually striking than many new films, 1 Aug 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
While I made a rule for myself not to go back and repurchase films I already had in my collection, I only had the matrix on VHS which is virtually redundant now, and a bit of an eye strain to watch on an HDTV, so I ordered this classic film in its latest visual incarnation. I had this preconceived notion that only recently released new films would show the real quality of Bluray. But I was wrong, and glad to be proven wrong, this movie from ten years ago looks every bit as good as a modern action film, if not better than most.

The movie is full of dark scenes which traditionally may have just limited how much detail was visible but with this version all the blacks are well defined, all their black outfits show their layers and woven structure excellently. All other colours look great too, particular good scenes include the agent training program where the colour and definition are so well pronounced, and any moment with a mirror or shiny sunglasses looks fantastically detailed, so much so that a finger print mark would be clearly visible. While most of the film has various colour filters applied it still looks completely blended and natural and not as if the colour filtering was a CG after-touch.

Facial textures are completely crisp, All the facial pores are visible, depending on your sharpness setting, it feels like a truly high definition experience to really see the pits in morpheus' face. Although it's a small thing, I really liked how dust looks in this high definition version. Picture grain is generally minimal with the exception of the plain white construct scenes. There is no blurriness in image anywhere and no jagged motion or artefacts.

The Sound quality is good, all the sound effects sound crisp and have good directional detail through a surround sound system. All the gun sounds are great, the green matrixy style opening is a very exciting sound test intro, and all the dialogue is clear to hear, and not drowned out by background noises.

A great film revived for the latest media capability, the high standards of filming and production used a decade ago seems to have paid off. Definitely worth getting for your collection but you really should have a good home set up to do it justice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HD - massive improvement.., 25 Feb 2012
Ok so assuming you agree with me and think this is a classic ,,,lets cut to the chase : It is classic, but flawed. Fishburne is a bit mis-cast and the acting dis-joins at times. but for 1999 this is good-to-awesome. BUT Blu-ray gives it a new lease of life. The pastel greens and sepias give the film a whole new depth. I am arty but not up my own A*** so I can see how blu-ray really does transform this movie. WELL worth the upgrade from DVD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!, 2 July 2009
By 
W. Wilkes "Home Grown Geek" (London, UK & Singapore) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Upgrading my old DVDs to Blu-Ray is proving to be an expensive task...however thoroughly worth it for the Matrix and I'd recommend it to anyone also going through this "refresh" of the classics.

The quality totally blew me away - it felt like watching it for the first time all over again. The action scenes were very crisp and I was pleased to find that the special effects still stood up under the blu-ray magnifying glass. Great price too - highly recommend.
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