The Matrix: 10th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) lives a simple life, one in which he goes to work, comes home, and sits in front of his computer. Not a grand lifestyle, but Anderson loves to hack using his computer and he has some friends, just not ones he sees often. But what has been an ordinary life is about to take an unexpected turn, when he is contacted by a mysterious man known as Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). At the same time, a group of some kind of agents has taken Anderson and initiated an interrogation. His ties to the hacker world have given the agents reason to question him, as he might know some valuable information. The agents want to know about Morpheus, though Anderson supplies no such insights. When the agents implant a strange creature inside of his stomach, Anderson assumes it was all just a dream. But when he is picked up by some of Morpheus’ crew, he learns that reality isn’t at all what it seems. What he believes to be real life is just an illusion, a state of mind injected into humans. In reality, most of mankind is hooked into a massive machine, which withdraws the energy and uses the humans only as such sources. But Morpheus believes that Anderson, now known as Neo, could be the key to awaken all of mankind from this vicious slumber…

A landmark in action cinema, The Matrix was a smash hit in theaters and even now, continues to gain more and more fans. The Matrix is an awesome action movie that is without question. The special effects are dynamic and copied in more movies than you could count. The “bullet time” phenomenon continues to turn up in movie after movie, though often on a grander scale. But when first you saw Trinity float in the air for those few seconds before she delivered that kick, even the harshest critics had to think it was cool. In fact, if you want “wow” appeal, The Matrix is loaded with rewind and watch again moments, perhaps more than any other action film up to that point. The visuals borrow in large doses from the anime realm, especially Ghost in the Shell, but all movies borrow, so no harm there. Where I think fans overstep the film’s limits is when the philosophy debate surfaces, which happens often with the movie’s fans. No, The Matrix isn’t a totally brainless popcorn picture, but this is not rocket science, not even close. We’ve seen these kind of ideas before, just never in such a mass market, polished package like this. Don’t be turned away however, as The Matrix rocks and beyond a doubt, the film deserves a place in almost all film collections.

Video: How does it look?

?The Matrix? has the same exact transfer as the one found in the box set (matter of fact, everything is the same except you get cooler packaging with this stand-alone disc). The 2.35:1 VC-1 HD transfer and all of “The Matrix” films have a very unique look and feel to them. They all have somewhat of a green tint to them, with a very surreal feel to them as well. Flesh tones are almost constantly very washed out and have an almost sterile look to them. All three of the feature films feature brand new HD transfers and all three look amazing. “The Matrix”, being the oldest of the three looks as good as or better than I’ve ever seen it on a home video format. There’s no artifacting to be seen, edge enhancement is not an issue and the detail level has been bumped up giving it a true 3-D effect. Simply put, this is one of Warner?s flagship titles and you?ll get nothing short of perfection when it comes to the way this is presented on Blu-ray.

Audio: How does it sound?

The old saying does “If it ain’t broken, then don’t fix it” and Warner took that advice to heart in regards to their audio mix. This Blu-ray release features a very robust Dolby TrueHD track and ambient sound effects and suffice it to say that your speakers will get a workout with these discs in the player. What sounded good on standard DVD sounds exponentially better on Blu-ray. “The Matrix” is known for many things and dynamic audio is sure one of them, if you’ve been holding out for this Blu-ray version then you’re in for quite a treat when it comes to sound.

Supplements: What are the extras?

If you already own the box set then there’s no reason to buy this disc as it’s just the same disc literally re-packaged minus the sequels and other discs in the box set. On “The Matrix” you’ll find two audio commentary tracks here, one with two philosophers and the other with three film critics. These same groups return for each of the films, to offer insight and comments on the films what they represent. The philosophers have a positive take on the movies, while the critics are negative, so there is a nice balance. The philosophers delve deep into some subjects touched upon the films, though I think they put way too much stock in the movies. Even small issues are dissected at length, but in the end, there is some great information to be had. The critics are more brisk and given the negative spin, can be quite hilarious, even if you love the flicks. The critics tee off more with the sequels, which get hammered to no end, while the original only takes a moderate level of abuse. This is a wonderful, in depth piece that sheds light on all facets of the production. You’ll also find a host of musical tracks from the film, eight behind the scenes featurettes, and nine very brief production featurettes.

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