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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Ultimate Matrix Collection (Highest Recommendations)



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#1 of 27 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted October 11 2008 - 10:45 AM

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The Ultimate Matrix Collection
Release Date: October 14, 2008
Studio: Warner Home Video
MSRP: $129.95

Note: Portions of this review include material from my review of the HD-DVD release. You can read the entirety of that review here.

When I reviewed the HD-DVD release of "The Ultimate Matrix Collection[/img]
As with the HD-DVD collection, overall video and audio quality of "The Matrix" films on Blu-Ray are everything fans have been waiting for and expecting, undeniable reference titles. The first feature - being the most popular and familiar - will be a home video revelation to many who never bought into HD-DVD, offering an aural and visual depth that either meets or exceeds their theatrical experience with the film.

In regards to the first film's video quality score, on the HD-DVD review I removed a half point for some slight edge halos in the stark contrasts of the Construct environment. In hindsight I feel this was too harsh. If scoring were done by tenths of points, I would have only reduced the score by one-tenth based on that issue. Since we don't score things so finely here - and with the video quality on Blu-Ray appearing the same - I have now rounded up and given "The Matrix" a "5/5." All other evaluations stand as before, having re-watched the trilogy and confirmed that the special features package has been carried over in its entirety, though distributed somewhat differently now that "The Animatrix" gets its own Blu-Ray disc.

Some may be puzzled by the use of DVDs (one of them being a flipper) for "The Matrix Experience" set of special features. While all the material could have fit on one Blu-Ray disc, for whatever reason the producers chose not to do so. Since all the material was shot on standard definition video, it's more of an inconvenience to have multiple DVDs than it is a loss in technical quality. It's a minor issue, especially if we remember how the HD-DVD release was composed entirely of flipper discs.

As before, all the special features from previous DVD releases have been ported over for this exhaustive collection. The one addition to the release is a digital copy of "The Matrix" for computer and portable video device playback.

With the minor to moderate annoyances of the HD-DVD release addressed in this Blu-Ray iteration, I can now give "The Ultimate Matrix Collection" my highest recommendations.

Overall Score (not averaged): 5/5
The Feature Films: 4/5
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 5/5

Continue reading for details on each title in the collection.



The Matrix
Year: 1999
Rating: R
Running Time: 2h16m

MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURES
Video1080p high definition 16x9 2.40:1May be in standard definition
AudioDolby TrueHD: English 5.1, Dolby Digital: English 5.1, French 5.1, Spanish 2.0, Italian 5.1, Portuguese 2.0Audio standards may vary
SubtitlesEnglish, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and Portuguese (movie and select bonus material)


The Feature: 5/5
Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) is a corporate drone living a double life as a computer hacker named Neo. His life feels empty; he knows that something is wrong with it and the answer could be the Matrix. When he finally learns the truth, it's more than just a revelation, it's a rebirth.

The film's groundbreaking fusion of philosophy, metaphysics, technology and martial arts was an instant sensation when it made its understated debut in theaters. Though its sequels didn't live up to expectation it easily exists on its own, being clearer and less indulgent in its vision. It remains far and away my favorite of the three.


Video Quality: 5/5
Encoded in VC-1, the film is correctly framed at 2.40:1 and is devoid of blemishes. Grain structure is nicely preserved with no indications of noise reduction. Fine object detail and texture are amazing with a plethora of examples in just the first 10 minutes - the texture of Trinity's skin in her extreme closeup, the shards of glass as she breaks through the window, the motes of dust and palpable whisps of smoke after the truck collision. And this remarkable clarity and detail continue throughout the movie. Black levels and shadow detail are excellent, displaying nuances and subtle texture in the preponderance of deep black outfits and noir settings. Though the film as a whole is not a showcase for the format's color depth capabilities, it handily and consistently conveys its dark to muted color palette. My sole complaint (and it's a very minor one) is there is mild edge haloing when Neo and Morpheus are in the all-white Construct environment. But even so the overall quality is closer to a "5" than a "4.5."


Audio Quality: 5/5
As impressive as the video quality is, I have to say I am more impressed with the audio quality, specifically the Dolby TrueHD lossless audio track. As with the video, the audio is filled with detail, most noticeable in the upper frequencies. Being my favorite film of the three I can't say how many times I've watched the DVD, and when I first heard the lossless track it was like hearing the film for the first time. Who knew there was such a musicality to the Matrix code sound effects, or that one could hear individual shards of breaking glass and parts of pistols moving into place? Though the added detail is more subtle in voices, it gives them a presence and depth lacking in the lossy formats. Bass is robust yet balanced, with LFE deep, clean and powerful. And though it can probably go without saying, the overall mix is perfect - balanced and enveloping.

The 640 kbps Dolby Digital track is no slouch, and I imagine the average listener would be hard pressed to differentiate it from the Dolby TrueHD without some aggressive A/B switching. That's not necessarily a bad thing, showing the inherent quality of the track, but given the choice between the two, lossless is the way to go if one has the capability. It has more detail in the upper frequencies, fullness in the lower and a more expansive soundstage, adding up to a more engaging, palpable experience.


Special Features: 5/5

In-Movie Experience: Picture-in-picture pop-ups featuring cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. Essentially a visual commentary track, there is a wealth of material to draw upon, as evidenced by the separate features. Their integration with the film makes for an efficient movie-plus-extras viewing experience.

Written Introduction to the Audio Commentaries by the Wachowski Brothers: The brothers explain their reasoning behind the philosopher and movie critic commentary tracks.

Audio Commentary by Philosophers Dr. Cornel West and Ken Wilber: Though the track starts off with two men's personal reactions and memories of the film, they don't take long to jump into some really meaty ideas. It's definitely a track I plan to revisit in its entirety.

Audio Commentary by Film Critics Toddy McCarthy, John Powers and David Thomson: More promising and interesting from the start compared to their subsequent tracks, the trio offers some interesting observations and insights with respect to the history of film and film criticism. It's a track I wouldn't mind revisiting in its entirety.

Audio Commentary with Carrie-Anne Moss, Zach Staenberg and John Gaeta: Ported from the original release, much of their comments will probably seem like a retread with all that exists in the other features. Still, it may be worthwhile just to hear them interact with each other.

Audio Commentary with Composer Don Davis and Music Only Track: Also ported from the original release, I wish content producers would include this feature more often. It's easy to take film music for granted and hearing an isolated score reveals how crucial it is to a film.

The Matrix Revisited (2h02m): Exhaustive documentary on the production covers every major element from script to stunts to theatrical release.

Behind the Matrix (42m56s): Featurettes covering major areas of production like Moss's opening scene and martial arts training.

Follow the White Rabbit (23m00s): Behind-the-scenes clips used in the original release's branching feature.

Take the Red Pill (17m41s): Two featurettes explaining the "bullet time" effect and showing concept art for the film.

The Music Revisited: Forty-one tracks of songs from the film.

Marilyn Manson "Rock is Dead" Music Video (3m19s)

Trailers: Includes a teaser trailer, theatrical trailer and eight TV spots.

Digital Copy: Download a digital copy for playback on computer or portable video device. Compatible with both Mac and Windows.


Title Recap

The Feature: 5/5
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 5/5
Overall Score (not an average): 5/5

The superior first film gets excellent video, spectacular lossless audio, and all the behind-the-scenes extras one could want.



The Matrix Reloaded
Year: 2003
Rating: R
Running Time: 2h18m

MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURES
Video1080p high definition 16x9 2.40:1May be in standard definition
AudioDolby TrueHD: English 5.1, Dolby Digital: English 5.1, French 5.1, Spanish 2.0, Italian 5.1, Portuguese 2.0Audio standards may vary
SubtitlesEnglish, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and Portuguese (movie and select bonus material)


The Feature: 4/5
The Machines launch a full offensive on the city of Zion, sending enough sentinels to kill every man, woman and child living there. While the city prepares for the attack, Morpheus, Trinity, Neo set out to stop the Machines at their source and on the way discover a startling piece of information about the Matrix and its creator.

Though the second installment of the trilogy amps up the action and stunts - as well as the philosophical and metaphysical components - it lacks some of the soul of the first film, ultimately feeling a bit distant or inaccessible. Still, even on a superficial level there's plenty to keep one entertained.


Video Quality: 5/5
Encoded in VC-1, the film is correctly framed at 2.40:1 and free of edge halos and blemishes. Grain structure is nicely preserved with no indications of noise reduction. Fine object detail and texture are amazing with a multitude of examples - from Morpheus's pockmarked cheeks, to the coarsely woven garments of the Zionites, to the aged and battered metal making up the city they live in. The remarkable clarity and detail also make textureless garments like Trinity's patent leather jumpsuit stand out, giving them a breathtaking, three-dimensional sheen. Black levels and shadow detail are excellent, consistent across scenes ranging from the shadowy, abandoned sewer tunnels to the virtual reality white room of Zion's gatekeepers. Though the film is not a showcase for the format's color depth capabilities, it handily and consistently conveys its dark to muted color palette. It's a reference image from top to bottom.


Audio Quality: 5/5
The Dolby TrueHD lossless audio track once more delivers a startling clarity and depth. Upper frequency detail helps one hear every pixel in the opening code scene, every arcing thread of electricity in the Nebuchadnezzar's engines, every shard of breaking glass. Though the added detail is more subtle in voices, it gives them a presence and depth lacking in the lossy formats. Bass is robust yet balanced, with LFE sometimes startling in depth and power, especially as the sound mix is judicious in its use. And though it can probably go without saying, the overall mix is perfect - balanced and enveloping.

The 640 kbps Dolby Digital track is no slouch, and I imagine the average listener would be hard pressed to differentiate it from the Dolby TrueHD without some aggressive A/B switching. That's not necessarily a bad thing, showing the inherent quality of the track, but given the choice between the two, lossless is the way to go if one has the capability. It has more detail in the upper frequencies, fullness in the lower and a more expansive soundstage, adding up to a more engaging, palpable experience.


Special Features: 5/5

In-Movie Experience: Picture-in-picture pop-ups featuring cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. Essentially a visual commentary track, there is a wealth of material to draw upon, as evidenced by the separate features. Their integration with the film makes for an efficient movie-plus-extras viewing experience.

Written Introduction to the Audio Commentaries by the Wachowski Brothers: The brothers explain their reasoning behind the philosopher and movie critic commentary tracks.

Audio Commentary by Philosophers Dr. Cornel West and Ken Wilber: The track gets off to a slow start but from my sampling I found the two offer plenty of interesting ideas and insights. It's definitely a track I plan to revisit in its entirety.

Audio Commentary by Film Critics Toddy McCarthy, John Powers and David Thomson: It is refreshing to hear criticism in a feature typified by praise, but from what I heard I don't feel especially motivated to listen to the track in its entirety.

Behind the Matrix (46m54s): Documentary covers the commercial impact of the first film, the making of "Reloaded" and its marketing and advertising campaign. Also included is a spoof from the MTV Movie Awards.

The Matrix Reloaded Revisited: Exhaustive and interesting series of featurettes totaling almost three hours focuses heavily on the stunt and action sequences, though some time is given to the supporting "Exile" characters like the Merovingian and his brood. Though no longer bearing the umbrella "Revisited" title on the Blu-Ray release, all the components are present and accounted for under the "Behind the Story" section.

Making of Enter the Matrix (28m13s): Documentary on the creation of the "Enter the Matrix" video game.

Enter the Matrix (42m29s): All the cut scenes from the video game, unfortunately in 4:3 matted widescreen. Not surprisingly the thing plays disjointedly without the video game pieces between scenes, but for anyone uninterested (or unskilled) in video games it's a great addition.

Sleeping Awake (3m43s): P.O.D. music video.

Trailers: Includes a teaser trailer, theatrical trailer and eight TV spots.


Title Recap

The Feature: 4/5
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 5/5
Overall Score (not an average): 4/5

A less engaging sequel gets reference quality audio and video and a plethora of extras.



The Matrix Revolutions
Year: 2003
Rating: R
Running Time: 2h09m

MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURES
Video1080p high definition 16x9 2.40:1May be in standard definition
AudioDolby TrueHD: English 5.1, Dolby Digital: English 5.1, French 5.1, Spanish 2.0, Italian 5.1, Portuguese 2.0Audio standards may vary
SubtitlesEnglish, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and Portuguese (movie and select bonus material)


The Feature: 3/5
In the final act Neo looks for the solution to end the war once and for all, while the citizens of Zion try to push back the relentless Sentinel onslaught.

The third film is more indulgent than the last, the religious and philosophical references becoming heavy handed by the finale. Though the action set pieces are riveting - more so now than when I saw the film theatrically - they can't wholly distract from the film's convolutions and flaws, making for a disappointing close to a series filled with promise.


Video Quality: 5/5
Encoded in VC-1, the film is correctly framed at 2.40:1 and free of edge halos and blemishes. As the film is a continuation of the previous one, what stood out there holds true here. Fine object detail and texture are again impressive - the Sentinel attack and Neo's encounter with the Deus Ex Machina in the finale show off the full extent. Black level and contrast are excellent as well, consistently holding up under a greater variety of lighting conditions. The movie also has more splashes of color than the others, which the format conveys with a remarkable boldness and saturation. Another reference image top to bottom.


Audio Quality: 5/5
Again I can't help but marvel at the Dolby TrueHD lossless audio track, the clarity of the upper frequencies adding so much to the experience. Sound effects for the Matrix code glisten and falling rain has a palpable quality. The film also pulls out the stops with the LFE, particularly in the final fight between Neo and Smith. It can be startling in its depth and power, but is never overbearing. And though it can probably go without saying, the overall mix is perfect - balanced and enveloping.

The 640 kbps Dolby Digital track is no slouch, and I imagine the average listener would be hard pressed to differentiate it from the Dolby TrueHD without some aggressive A/B switching. That's not necessarily a bad thing, showing the inherent quality of the track, but given the choice between the two, lossless is the way to go if one has the capability. It has more detail in the upper frequencies, fullness in the lower and a more expansive soundstage, adding up to a more engaging, palpable experience.


Special Features: 5/5

In-Movie Experience: Picture-in-picture pop-ups featuring cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. Essentially a visual commentary track, there is a wealth of material to draw upon, as evidenced by the separate features. Their integration with the film makes for an efficient movie-plus-extras viewing experience.

Written Introduction to the Audio Commentaries by the Wachowski Brothers: The brothers explain their reasoning behind the philosopher and movie critic commentary tracks.

Audio Commentary by Philosophers Dr. Cornel West and Ken Wilber: In their final commentary West and Wilber jump right in to the ideas and observations, making it another commentary worthy of a revisit.

Audio Commentary by Film Critics Toddy McCarthy, John Powers and David Thomson: In their final commentary the trio seem to be running out of things to say. Long periods of silence early on do not inspire returning for the track's entirety.

Behind the Matrix (1h30m): Featurettes on the film provide an overview of the production and pieces on the stunts and special effects.

The Matrix Revolutions Revisited: An exhaustive series of featurettes totaling almost three hours focus on the production crew, set pieces like Club Hel and the Siege of Zion, and the final battle between Neo and Smith. Though no longer bearing the umbrella "Revisited" title on the Blu-Ray release, all the components are present and accounted for under the "Behind the Matrix" section. The interactive "Before the Revolution" timeline, which shows the events leading up to the final film, is also included in this section.

Trailers: Includes the theatrical trailer and six TV spots.


Title Recap

The Feature: 3/5
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 5/5
Overall Score (not an average): 3/5

A disappointing final act gets the same treatment as its predecessors, with reference audio and video and exhaustive special features.



The Animatrix
Year: 2003
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1h40m

MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURES
Video1080p high definition 16x9 2.40:1May be in standard definition
AudioDolby TrueHD: English 5.1, Dolby Digital: English 5.1, French 5.1, Spanish 2.0, Italian 5.1, Portuguese 5.1Audio standards may vary
SubtitlesEnglish, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and Portuguese (movie and select bonus material)


The Feature: 4.5/5
Some of the top animators in the field ply their talents in a series of nine animated shorts that delve into the Matrix mythology. Stories run the gamut from a history of the man vs. machine conflict ("The Second Renaissance I and II") to a pure action setpiece tying directly into "The Matrix Reloaded" ("Final Flight of the Osiris"). Certain pieces will undoubtedly appeal to some more than others, much of that coming down to personal preference in animation style, but there's no denying the talent and effort behind each of the works. Although "The Animatrix" is not a sequel to "The Matrix" per se, it manages to do what the actual sequels did not - stay true to the spirit of the founding film.

"The Animatrix" includes the following animated shorts:
  • Final Flight of the Osiris: The Osiris hovership stumbles across the Machines' latest plan to wipe out the human race.
  • The Second Renaissance Part I: How did the conflict between Man and Machine begin? This visual history will answer all your questions.
  • The Second Renaissance Part II: The visual history continues as the Man vs. Machine conflict reaches its inevitable conclusion.
  • Kid's Story: If the Neo-phile from "The Matrix Reloaded" was able to self-extract from the Matrix, maybe he's not so lame after all.
  • Program: It may be mind over matter in the Matrix, but where does the heart fit in?
  • World Record: A competitive runner pushes the boundaries of his existence.
  • Beyond: A young girl and her friends find an abandoned house where things behave a little differently.
  • A Detective Story: A private detective is hired to hunt down Trinity.
  • Matriculated: What does it take to make a Machine join your side? Reprogramming or something else entirely?
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Encoded in VC-1, the film is correctly framed at 2.40:1 and free of edge halos and blemishes. Grain is visible in some pieces more than others ("Program" and "A Detective Story") but appears nicely preserved with no attempts at noise reduction. Though color palettes vary between works, each has good depth and saturation. Fine object detail is harder to judge however, given the nature of animation. The hyper-realistic "Final Flight of the Osiris" seemed like the perfect candidate for that demonstration, but it has a surprising smoothness to its surfaces, suggesting that the high definition treatment may be too revealing in some cases. Nevertheless, all nine pieces look great, crisp and clean and with excellent black levels and contrast. Since the film was a direct-to-DVD release, this is undoubtedly the best it has ever looked, not to mention the first time the public has had a chance to see it this way.


Audio Quality: 4/5
Though sound design varies between pieces as well, there is consistent use of the entire speaker array for directional effects, ambient sounds and soundtrack support. And the Dolby TrueHD audio track does an excellent job with both the variety and the consistency. In some instances the shorts with the least amount of action, like "Kid's Story," have the most interesting mixes, though no one will complain about the immersive and room-shaking sounds of battle in pieces like "The Second Renaissance Part II" and "Final Flight of the Osiris." Now sitting beside the other films as a feature and not a component of the special features, the audio for "The Animatrix" suffers a bit from comparison, sounding a little flatter and less expansive, but judged on its own there is very little to complain about.

The 640 kbps Dolby Digital track is no slouch, and I imagine the average listener would be hard pressed to differentiate it from the Dolby TrueHD without some aggressive A/B switching. That's not necessarily a bad thing, showing the inherent quality of the track, but given the choice between the two, lossless is the way to go if one has the capability. It has more detail in the upper frequencies, fullness in the lower and a more expansive soundstage, adding up to a more engaging, palpable experience.


Special Features: 4/5

Commentary for "The Second Renaissance I and II," "Program" and "World Record": Tracks recorded by the directors of the four pieces are quite good, offering insight into the intention and process involved in creating the animated shorts. Mahiro Maeda, who directed "The Second Renaissance" has the greatest tendency for on-screen description, but given the interesting imagery it's not all bad to hear what he sees in what he created.

Making-Of Featurettes (55m04s): Behind the scenes of each of the nine animated pieces includes interviews with creators and early conceptual images.

"Scrolls to Screen: The History and Culture of Anime" (22m24s): After a lengthy introduction about how "The Animatrix" project came to be, the documentary describes how manga became so popular in Japan and how anime evolved from that. Overall the piece provides a nice primer on the history, language and techiques of Japanese animation. Strangely there are no burned-in subtitles, meaning if you turn on the subtitle track you are getting them for both the Japanese and English speaking interview subjects.

Biographical profiles of the directors and animation producers: Text profiles for directors Peter Chung ("Matriculated"), Andy Jones ("Final Flight of the Osiris"), Yoshikai Kawajiri ("Program"), Takeshi Koike ("World Record"), Mahiro Maeda ("The Second Renaissance Parts I and II"), Koji Morimoto ("Beyond"), Shinichiro Watanabe ("Kids' Story" and "A Detective Story"), and segment producers Michael Arias, Hiroaki Takeuchi, and Eiko Tanaka.


Title Recap

The Feature: 4.5/5
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 4/5
Overall Score (not an average): 4.5/5

Beautiful in its conception and execution, "The Animatrix" proves in many ways to be more compelling and engaging than the sequels. Finally in high definition, the project gets excellent video and audio transfers and a thorough set of special features.



The Matrix Experience

**Both discs (the first being a flipper) are DVD format

SPECIAL FEATURES
Video480i or 480p standard definition, partially 16x9 1.85:1, partially 4x3 1.33:1
AudioStereo
SubtitlesFrench (select bonus material)


Disc 1 (Side A): 5/5

The Burly Man Chronicles (1h34m): Production diary of the "Reloaded," "Revolutions" and "Enter the Matrix" productions. Includes a branching feature incorporating the creative professional profiles found in the "Follow the White Rabbit" feature.

Follow the White Rabbit: Individually accessible profiles of the creative professionals who worked on the films.


Disc 1 (Side B): 5/5

Return to the Source: Philosophy and the Matrix (1h01m): Documentary exploring the philosophical underpinnings of the franchise.

The Hard Problem: The Science Behind the Fiction (1h01m): Scientists sound off on the ideas presented in the trilogy.


Disc 2: 5/5

The Zion Archive: Massive collection of storyboards and concept art for characters, settings, vehicles and other technology.

The Media of the Matrix: Trailers, TV spots and music videos from each of the films.

Rave Reel (9m09s): Montage of animatics, CGI work and screen tests.

"The Matrix Online" Preview (9m34s): Featurette about the online PC game that picks up where "Revolutions" left off.


Title Recap

Overall Score: 5/5

Two more discs of extras make the total special feature set beyond exhaustive.




Packaging

A heavy cardboard slipcover houses five slim Blu-Ray cases, including a 24-page booklet that contains chapter indexes and the Wachowski Brothers letter found on each of the feature discs.
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#2 of 27 OFFLINE   Randy_M

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Posted October 12 2008 - 12:24 AM

I sure hope the films become available separately. I dislike cartoons, and thought the third film was just bad. Anyhow, thanks for the review, and will look forward to buying the first two movies separately.
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#3 of 27 ONLINE   Neil Joseph

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Posted October 12 2008 - 01:22 AM

I enjoyed the total package and like all 3 films each in their own way. A real keeper for me. I hope they do LOTR in the same manner when it comes out.

Thanks for the review
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#4 of 27 OFFLINE   Mark Butler

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Posted October 12 2008 - 02:46 AM

Nice Review. I am thinking of ordering this but I was wondering if you could check something out on the discs for me. Some of Warners (Harry Potter, Batman Begins etc.) discs have alternate language menus in them. For example if your blu-ray player is set to default to a display its menus in Japanese, if the disc has an alternate Japanese menu on it, it will load up that menu with available audio and subtitles for that language. Those language options are hidden unless your player is set to display that language. It is something that I discovered by accident. I rented I am Legend here (Japan) and when I put my disc in my PS3 it came up with an English menu. But none of the Japanese language or subtitle options were there, every thing was in English. I checked my PS3 to see what the problem was and noticed that it was set up to display menus in English. I changed it to display menus in Japanese and started the disc again and the Japanese menu came up and all the audio and subtitle options were there but some of the ones that were available on the English menu were gone. So if you could check this out I would be very grateful as the set is much cheaper ordered from the states and it comes out here in December.

Thank you in advance
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#5 of 27 OFFLINE   Zack Gibbs

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Posted October 12 2008 - 03:01 AM

They're releasing a 10th anniversary edition of the original Matrix next year, but I think this may be the only way to own either of the other two for a while.
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#6 of 27 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted October 12 2008 - 05:27 AM

Quote:
So if you could check this out I would be very grateful as the set is much cheaper ordered from the states and it comes out here in December.
Hi Mark. I changed the BD Menu language to Japanese and the disc menu language showed the change to that language. But not everything was in Japanese, for example "Special Features." As you drill deeper into the menus also, it's a mix of Japanese and English. I understand there's generally a mix of Japanese and English in use in Japan, but I'm curious how it's decided what gets which language.
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#7 of 27 OFFLINE   Mark Butler

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Posted October 12 2008 - 01:06 PM

Thank you Cameron. As long as there are Japanese subtitles and/or language available for the movies that really is all I care about. Thank you again.
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#8 of 27 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted October 12 2008 - 03:52 PM

I loved one, liked 2, am ambivalent about 3, but liked the Animatrix. And I've only purchased the original DVDs as they came out (so I have the original The Matrix DVD, not the remastered/reissued one). So this will be a no-brainer purchase for me.

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#9 of 27 OFFLINE   Jari

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Posted October 13 2008 - 02:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron Yee
Hi Mark. I changed the BD Menu language to Japanese and the disc menu language showed the change to that language. But not everything was in Japanese, for example "Special Features." As you drill deeper into the menus also, it's a mix of Japanese and English. I understand there's generally a mix of Japanese and English in use in Japan, but I'm curious how it's decided what gets which language.

Any chance there being Finnish subtitles also? I'd really appreciate if anybody could check that out. it would be way cheaper to order from States. Thanks! Posted Image

#10 of 27 ONLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted October 13 2008 - 01:38 PM

What a massive box set and fantastic review!

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#11 of 27 OFFLINE   Steven Simon

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Posted October 14 2008 - 01:07 AM

Yes!! Fantastic review!!Posted Image
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#12 of 27 OFFLINE   Jari

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Posted October 14 2008 - 03:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jari
Any chance there being Finnish subtitles also? I'd really appreciate if anybody could check that out. it would be way cheaper to order from States. Thanks! Posted Image

Answering to myself. Someone at the AVS forum posted disc info and there's only Japanese language option in addition to the back cover specs. Still ordered the boxset from amazon since they dropped price to $74.95! Posted Image

Thanks Cameron for your great review!

#13 of 27 ONLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted October 14 2008 - 05:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jari
Still ordered the boxset from amazon since they dropped price to $74.95! Posted Image

I was going to hold off on this release for awhile, but that Amazon price got me, too. Posted Image

Thanks for the great review, Cameron.

#14 of 27 OFFLINE   Craig Beam

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Posted October 14 2008 - 07:28 AM

I was gonna hold off on this, but Best Buy's $74.99 price got me, especially since my wife gave me a BB $50.00 gift card recently. I went with the in-store pickup option (there's a store near my house), so I'll grab it on my way home from work tonight.

The Animatrix in 1080p? Can't wait to see it. Great review, Cameron!

#15 of 27 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted October 14 2008 - 07:40 AM

Thanks everyone. I hope you enjoy the collection!
One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#16 of 27 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted October 14 2008 - 09:13 AM

Nice review. If I can find these for a good price I'll finally pick up this box set. I skipped the HD DVD set because of WB's failure to produce The Animatrix in HD. Glad to see that oversight has been fixed for the BD version.
"You bring a horse for me?" "Looks like......looks like we're shy of one horse." "No.......You brought two too many."

#17 of 27 OFFLINE   Geoff_D

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Posted October 14 2008 - 10:07 AM

This is a great set. Nifty packaging too (nice and frickin' simple).

I agree about the Osiris short, Cameron. It looks nice and all, but it doesn't have the razor-sharp 3D look that people might expect from CG animation like this.

#18 of 27 OFFLINE   CraigF

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Posted October 14 2008 - 04:19 PM

Great review. In fact, so good it's nudging me to buy the set when I had no intention to do so! As is my recent habit, I watched the DVDs just before the BDs came out to decide if I "need" the BDs. I decided I only "needed" the first two BDs, but now I'm thinking what's the point of the first two parts in hi-def without the completing third part...

#19 of 27 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted October 14 2008 - 04:25 PM

Quote:
I agree about the Osiris short, Cameron. It looks nice and all, but it doesn't have the razor-sharp 3D look that people might expect from CG animation like this.
I haven't seen "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" on BD but I'm curious whether it has the same quality. It's pretty much like getting up close to something in a video game and seeing that the texture is really just a skin with drawn on texture.
One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#20 of 27 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted October 14 2008 - 06:17 PM

Just watched all three and loved the A/V quality but I have a new pet peeve:

Not being able to make my PS3 choose the highest bit rate track by default. These movies (most Warner BDs actually) kick right into the movie choosing DD by default. I have to manually choose TrueHD.

Otherwise, great looking and sounding set!

XBox Live: TheL1brarian (let's play Destiny on XB1)



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