What's new

Blu-ray Review HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Matrix - 10th Anniversary Edition (1 Viewer)

Citizen87645

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 9, 2002
Messages
13,057
Real Name
Cameron Yee


The Matrix
10th Anniversary Edition

Release Date: Available now (released March 31, 2009)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Packaging/Materials: Warner "Digibook"
Year: 1999
Rating: R
Running Time: 2h16m
MSRP: $34.99

MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURES
Video1080p high definition 16x9 2.40:1480i or 480p standard definition
AudioDolby TrueHD: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: English 5.1, French 5.1, Spanish 2.0, Italian 5.1, Portuguese 2.0Stereo
SubtitlesEnglish, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and Portuguese (movie and select bonus material)


Note: Portions of this review include material from my review of "The Ultimate Matrix Collection" on Blu-Ray. The entirety of that review can be read here.

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.

A groundbreaking fusion of philosophy, metaphysics, technology and martial arts became an instant sensation when "The Matrix" made its understated debut in theaters 10 years ago. And 10 years later it's still going strong, the film's disappointing sequels doing little to diminish its impact or popularity. If anything the sequels' problems emphasize the first installment's superior clarity and lack of self-indulgence, causing some to speculate that Neo's story was never intended as a trilogy. Indeed, even though the first film provides a compelling springboard to a multitude of ideas, it also easily exists on its own, to the point that those who choose to do so can simply disavow the subsequent films. With this 10th Anniversary Edition, Warner Brothers finally gives those with a particular distaste for "Reloaded" and "Revolutions" a chance to own the Matrix story in its best and purest form. Collectors of all things Matrix will likely be tempted also, but it's the ones who passed on the high definition releases of the trilogy to be first to pick it up.


Video Quality: 5/5
The film is accurately framed at 2.40:1 and presented in 1080p with the VC-1 codec. 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 the 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.

Commemorative Booklet: Integrated into the now familiar, but still somewhat divisive, Warner "Digibook" packaging, the commemorative booklet includes writings, cast bios, and photographs that provide a nice tribute and look back on the film.


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 of "The Matrix" trilogy - finally available in a high definition release independent of its sequels - gets excellent video, spectacular lossless audio, and all the behind-the-scenes extras one could want. Those who passed on the "Ultimate Collection" because of their distaste for "Reloaded" and "Revolutions" should be quite pleased with this standalone title, while collectors of all things Matrix have a handsome commemorative edition to add to their collection. More casual Matrix fans who already own the trilogy release will likely give it a pass, as the first disc from the collection has simply been relabeled and repackaged in Warner's now-familar "Digibook" packaging. For everyone else the 10th Anniversary Edition is highly recommended.
 

Dave H

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2000
Messages
6,162
I rented this and was impressed with the PQ/AQ. I will definitely pick this up on sale at some point. No interest in the sequels.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
66,687
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Watched this last night and was very satisfied with the audio and
video quality.

Amazing how this film still holds up 10 years later. Some of the
most breathtaking action sequences ever filmed.
 

Should I not be annoyed that they've adjusted the color timing of this one to match the annoying sequels? (Or the one sequel that made me lose interest in bothering with the third).

I loved the Matrix on first viewing, but I heard they've given the scenes shot in everyday Sydney a greenish tinge they didn't have on first release.
 

DaveF

Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
28,747
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
Late to the party: Are there any substantial differences from this Blu Ray vs the Blu Ray trilogy release? I only want The Matrix, but want to make sure I'm not missing something significant by not buying the super trilogy re-release.
 

Adam Gregorich

What to watch tonight?
Moderator
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 20, 1999
Messages
16,530
Location
The Other Washington
Real Name
Adam
I'd wait for Cameron to confirm, but I'm pretty sure they are the same exact discs. You get the "book packaging" with the single disc is the only difference (I think).
 

Mike Frezon

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2001
Messages
60,758
Location
Rexford, NY
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein

Watched this last night and was very satisfied with the audio and
video quality.

Amazing how this film still holds up 10 years later. Some of the
most breathtaking action sequences ever filmed.
I just watched this recently too...for the first time in a looooong time. First time ever on BD. I was thrilled with how good it looked and quite surprised, again, by just how good a story it is.
 

Citizen87645

Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 9, 2002
Messages
13,057
Real Name
Cameron Yee
the first disc from the collection has simply been relabeled and repackaged in Warner's now-familar "Digibook" packaging
The release also includes a Digital Copy, just as it did in the trilogy package.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2003
Messages
19
Real Name
Dennis Palla
The helicopter scene while rescuing Morpheus is an absolute classic sequence. The bullets shreading the office is still one of the greatest surround displays (and film also) captured on disc. I still use that sequence and the entrance by Neo and Trinity in the green marbled foyer for short demos of my theatre room or when I make a change of equipment. Simply stunning in BD and the new audio codec. As good as it gets.
 

kemcha

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
376
Real Name
Jaref
I'm wondering if there are plans on releasing the other two movies as single release BD's.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
356,989
Messages
5,127,810
Members
144,226
Latest member
maanw2357
Recent bookmarks
0
Top