Customer Review

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
This review is from: The Matrix [Blu-ray] [1999] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
[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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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Jan 2012 22:06:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jan 2012 22:07:36 GMT
Only me says:
If you really believe the following:
"but I found the sound quality a bit subdued and not as good an improvement over the DVD format as I was expecting"

Then you have not chosen the Dolby TrueHD track (it defaults to an upgraded version of the Dolby 5.1 DVD track by default). If you have chosen the the TrueHD track and you still think that it is not an improvement then your system needs sorting out :)
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