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The Matrix (DVD)

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      30.05.2013 19:01
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      Excellent film. Definitely recommended.

      "The Matrix" is a 1999 sci-fi film which was directed by the Wachowskis, who have also directed such films as "Speed Racer" (2008), "Cloud Atlas" (2012), and "Bound" (1996).

      Warning: Spoilers will likely be given during this review.



      Outline

      The film is 136 minutes in length and stars Keanu Reeves ("Speed", "The Devil's Advocate", "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure") as Neo, Laurence Fishburne ("Mystic River", "Apocalypse Now", "Hoodlum") as Morpheus, and Carrie-Anne Moss ("Vegas", "Disturbia", "Chocolat") as Trinity.



      Plot

      The plot for the film reads as follows: A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.



      Introduction

      Joel Silver has been known for producing some of the biggest action films over the last three decades including "Die Hard", "Lethal Weapon" and "Predator". When he became attached to the project, the Wachowskis knew they had someone who could deliver what they had envisioned.

      Actors who turned down the role of Neo included Nicolas Cage and Will Smith, the latter choosing to film "Wild Wild West" instead. Johnny Depp, Bradd Pitt, Val Kilmer, Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio were all also considered for the role, but it was Keanu Reeves who shone the brightest and so he was cast. Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman were both considered for the role of Morpheus, while Jean Reno was initially offered to play Agent Smith, and Gillian Anderson reportedly turned down the role of Trinity.

      On 31 March, 1999, The Matrix was released, and become a huge box office success, winning four Oscars for Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Visual Effects. Is it any good? Let's find out!



      Review

      The film begins with a conversation between Trinity and Cypher (Joe Pantoliano). The police have already gathered at the hotel room Trinity is in, and the Lieutenant says that he thinks they can handle one little girl and that two units are bringing her down. Agent Smith calmly replies "No Lieutenant, your men are already dead", before the first action scene takes place. I love the chase scene between Trinity and Agent Smith, especially as she rolls down the stairs and comes to a halt with pistols drawn, pointing in the direction she came from. You almost have to wonder if she's ever going to move from that position, but the survivor instinct eventually kicked in.

      The first time Neo and Trinity meet is in a nightclub where the DJ spins Rob Zombie's "Dragula" which nicely morphs into "Mindfields" by The Prodigy. There isn't much for the music lover throughout the film, but it is pretty good to hear metal followed by dance in the same mix and all credit must be given for doing that.

      What you get with this film is an ingenious look at tinting. In this case, a green tint specifies that we're in the Matrix, while it is normal for real life. One thing I never noticed in the many times I've seen the film before is that when Morpheus is explaining what happened to the real world, his tie is like the iconic Matrix green screen image, of which numerous people have as a screensaver on their computer. I enjoy films that make me look every time I watch them.

      One of the most shocking scenes in the film is where Neo has been captured by the Agents and is being interviewed. He is not sure what is happening and asks for a phone call. Agent Smith replies with "What good is a phone call... if you're unable to speak?" and in the next shot, we see Neo's mouth is closing up. Another scene which may disturb some is where Trinity and Switch take the bug out of Neo in the car. It could be classed as unnerving but necessary to keep the film going on an air of mystique, I feel.

      As the story progresses, Morpheus gives Neo a choice. If he takes the blue pill and Thomas Anderson wakes up in his own bed and has no recollection of anything he's witnessed about the Matrix up to this point, but if he takes the red pill he gets a chance to see what the Matrix is all about. If given the choice myself, I think I would be happy in my own little world, so it might have to be blue for me, though I would be tempted to see what the red pill has to offer. Evidently I would probably have to flip a coin!

      Another scene which grabbed my attention was when Neo is awakened in the Matrix. It is excellent visual effects and the backdrop is full of detail. The popping of the tubes from his spine is stunning but is also weird at the same time. It is often said that sometimes filmmakers go over the top on the special effects department, but I think in order to give it a sense of what was really happening here, they did it just fine. Jumping the film a little, there are some more excellent special effects when the Nebuchadnezzar is sailing through reality and has to be set down on the bed, only to be followed by the sentinels. Again, this is very pleasing to the eye and gives the viewer an insight into what lies beyond the Matrix.

      I also enjoyed the simulation fight scene with Morpheus and Neo, which was choreographed brilliantly. Keanu Reeves did a lot of the stunts himself and apparently still suffers from the after effects of the highly intensive scenes. A scene which made me groan was when Trinity takes Neo some food. By this time it is clear she has feelings for him, which is questioned by Cypher and they both wonder if Morpheus was right all along about Neo being 'The One'. A favourite scene among males will be when Morpheus and Neo are walking through a simulation program in which a woman in a red dress walks by and Morpheus tells him to be alert to everything, because Agent Smith is everywhere. It is difficult not to notice the woman, but as soon as Neo turns around she has morphed into Agent Smith with a gun pointed at him.

      One scene I keep trying to get my head around happens when Cypher makes a deal with Agent Smith and Cypher is eating a steak. He says that he knows it doesn't exist but the Matrix tells his brain that it's really delicious. As a lover of steak, it hurts my head to even think it doesn't exist. Hope I didn't offend the veggies out there!

      I also liked a warm scene in which Neo is taken to see the Oracle. He's standing in a room full of very clever kids and one of them is seen to be bending a spoon. He says to Neo, "Do not try to bend the spoon. That is impossible. Instead, only try to realise the truth." Neo eventually makes the spoon move and is quite shocked by it. I thought this was one of the lighter sides to the film and a welcome addition to see something different.

      As we get closer to the end of the film there is a turning point when Neo sees the same cat going past, like déjà-vu. It is here where they realise that they've been set up and it is also where Cypher shows his true colours and sabotages his former friends for what he believes will be his greater cause. It's here where we lose a few of the characters but I do think it was essential for the film to progress. If it hadn't happened, I do not think it would have been as successful as it was. The shock value is always going to win over the viewer, at the end of the day.

      The best action scene comes when Neo and Trinity re-enter the Matrix to rescue Morpheus. There are some great battles with plenty of gunfire and carefully coordinated stunts. I really enjoy the slow motion parts which give it a sense of moreness, if there is such a word. I also loved the exploding elevator scene and the look on Agent Smith's face when the sprinklers are activated due to the fire caused by the blast. There is a scene where Morpheus dives for the helicopter but is hit in the leg by a bullet at the same time. Neo, attached to a chord, jumps out and grabs hold of him. I thought that was a little too far-fetched, but great action all the same. The fight scene between Agent Smith and Neo in the subway station is great action. There are some pauses in the battle but the choreography between the two is perfect.

      I'm not going to give the ending away, so I guess that is where my review comes to a halt, and we will now move on to the characters and summary.



      Characters

      If you can get past the realization that Thomas A. Anderson is Neo and Thomas A. Anderson doesn't really exist, then you're on your way to understanding what he is all about. He's unaware that his life is just a fantasy, but his curiousness gets the better of him and he thirsts for the knowledge of what the Matrix is all about. He is often referred to as 'the One', One being an anagram of Neo, though the Oracle says he isn't. I did enjoy Keanu Reeves' performance as Neo and think the role suited him well. It's difficult to imagine Nicolas Cage or Johnny Depp in the role.

      Morpheus is, in my opinion, Laurence Fishburne's defining performance. He's a big guy and at 6ft tall is shown to be quite agile. Morpheus is a strong character and leader of the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar, who firmly believes that Neo is the One. Fishburne has always been an accomplished actor but it is in "The Matrix" where he shines the most. He has that air of invincibility about him that is hard not to like, and is very popular in Zion.

      I did enjoy Hugo Weaving's performance of Agent Smith. Though he had been an established actor since the early 1980s, it wasn't until this film when he gained recognition and two years later he played the character of Elrond in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" and its two equally successful sequels. Agent Smith is a powerful character that is programmed to do the physically impossible. He has the strength to punch through concrete walls and never seems to tire. Smith is seen to be the leader of the Agents and is very formal with Neo, preferring to call him Mr. Anderson.



      Summary

      "The Matrix" is one of the best films of the 1990s. It broke the rules as far as cinematography goes with its 'bullet time' effects, showing time lapses and slow motion scenes. It is a hard film to understand but if you give it enough time you'll be able to enjoy it more. There are some odd characters and some even odder scenes, but the beauty of this film is that not everything is supposed to make sense the first time around. That's where it draws you in and makes you watch over and over again. It has some great acting, some even better fight scenes and some excellent imagery. You won't be disappointed by this film.



      What the Critics Say

      Film Threat: "I'll just say to anyone lamenting the state of American cinema since the 1970s, if you're curious where the next generation of auteurs is coming from, look in the art houses and look in The Matrix."

      Los Angeles Times: "A wildly cinematic futuristic thriller that is determined to overpower the imagination, The Matrix combines traditional science-fiction premises with spanking new visual technology in a way that almost defies description."

      TV Guide: "This dazzling pop allegory is steeped in a dark, pulpy sensibility that transcends nostalgic pastiche and stands firmly on its own merits."

      Chicago Tribune: "The writing remains more intelligent than most thrillers, and the action is executed with such panache that even if you don't buy the reality of The Matrix, it's a helluva place to visit."

      Entertainment Weekly: "The real soullessness here is built into the production, a polished adaptation of Hong Kong-style filmmaking that, with its cast of depressive characters, allows for little Hong Kong-style joy."

      My rating: 8/10

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        17.09.2012 21:03
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        a great film about hacking, with a great story.

        Intro and Info:

        The Matrix is a sci-fi action film that was made and released in 1999. The film was directed by The Wachowskis Andy and Larry (brothers) who has also directed other films like the entire Matrix Trilogy. The Matrix was produced by only one person: Joel Silver. The film was also written by the directors the Wachowskis. The Matrix was made on a budget of 63 million dollars but the film grossed well over 463 million dollars and so the film was a huge box office success grossing well over the budget. The IMDB website rates The Matrix as 8.7 out of 10 and that is based on a little over 550,000 Votes.

        Plot:



        Thomas Anderson (played by Keanu Reeves) is a computer programmer but also a secret hacker whose alias is "Neo". He wants to find out the meaning of references to the Matrix that appear on his computer. A female hacker named Trinity (played by Carrie-Anne Moss) tells neo that there is one man who can help him called Morpheus (played by Laurence Fishburne). Neo meets with Morpheus and takes a red pill, and then he awakes in a facility with thousands of other humans connected to an electrical structure. He is saved by Morpheus and Neo then learns that he is in the year 2199 and the earth is controlled by very intelligent machines that were created in the 21st century. Neo Learns that he is the only man that can stop the machines and help save the world.

        Cast:



        Keanu Reeves as Thomas A. Anderson/Neo

        Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus

        Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity

        Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith

        Joe Pantoliano as Cypher

        Julian Arahanga as Apoc



        Good points and Bad Points:



        I don't think that much animation was used in The Matrix I'm pretty sure it was all just CGI and Special effects. The direction I thought was superb, all of the scenes had the right camera angles and everything looked good throughout the film. Also all the scenes ran well together and there were no continuity issues, and the lighting was really good as well. I think it adds a good effect to the scenes and film and brilliant directing.

        Although The Matrix does rely heavily on special effects and some CGI because it is a futuristic action film, I thought they were to a very high standard and much better than some that is seen in other films. CGI was used much less than special effects but when it was used it was very realistic and so looked fantastic. The Special effects in the film also were very detailed and very realistic when it was used which also makes the film look better and in my opinion, like I said before the film did rely a lot on special effects but they are not overused, I also thought that even though The Matrix is 13 Years old I thought that the special effects are just as good as some films that are released recently.

        The picture quality was brilliant and just as good as many films that are released recently, all of the colours looked sharp and detailed and they were very vibrant when they needed to be. The sound quality was just as good as the picture quality with all the sound being very clear and easily heard throughout all the scenes even when there is a lot going on.Also the sounds were very realistic. Because the film is 136 minutes long it is a very long film but in my opinion I thought it was easily watchable and the film is very entertaining and the film's story doesn't fell stretched.



        The acting was brilliant too; all of the actors were very good and were the right pick to play the characters in the film. All of the Actors also managed very well to show their characters emotions and feelings and so I was very impressed with the acting. Every one of the actors were also very easy to understand and all of the actors spoke clearly. I would also like to mention how well the actors did in the fight scenes in this film, the choreography was amazing and all the actors did very well to make the fight scenes look realistic and some of the fights were incredible.



        The story is also well written. The film's story has a lot to offer to a large audience. The story is also action packed and kick starts very quickly without any boring moments in the film and so this film is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. The story did have a few sub plots and they were great, they were compelling enough to be entertaining but they never confused the main story plot. The screenplay is as good as the story it's dramatic in places and it also has good dialogue. The story is also easily understood but can become confusing is some parts but that quickly clears up during the film as you learn more about the characters and the story.

        There was a soundtrack in this film and it was great, the music started when it was needed and was very clear but wasn't too loud that you couldn't hear what was going on. The Music also created some suspense in the film when it was needed and also made the film more dramatic in places. The Music in this film was very good and it also fit the tone of the mood which also added to the overall effect of the movie. Overall a very good and entertaining soundtrack that fit the film perfectly.



        I didn't really find any bad points with The Matrix as I really enjoyed it the only thing that I could see that would put people off would be the length but as I have previously mentioned I thought it was easily watchable. The story does not drag and is very action packed and so the length won't really be an issue. Like I said before the story can become confusing at points but it clears up as the movie progresses.



        Sequels:



        The Matrix is part of a trilogy and is the first film in the trilogy. The Matrix reloaded was the 2nd film and was also a very successful film, and the final film called The Matrix Revolutions also was a very successful film. As the last film was made and released in 2003 and so I don't think there will be a fourth film as the story was ended very well and they would find it hard to make a new film.



        Conclusion:



        Overall I really enjoyed watching The Matrix and think that it was an amazing film. The CGI and Special effects were amazing and all though the film relied heavily on special effects I thought they were all to a very high standard and so were very good.The story and screenplay provided a very good story and the story is easily followed, also it is very action packed and will keep you on the edge of your seat. The sound track as I have previously mentioned I thought was superb and the actors all did an amazing job portraying their characters. Overall I really enjoyed watching The Matrix and I could easily watch this film again and I highly recommend it. The film is rated 15 because of violence and some language.



        5 Out of 5



        Highly Recommended



        Links:



        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/



        Thank you for reading my film review, any comments or ratings are appreciated and I will try to rate you all back but if I miss you please let me know and I will rate. This review will also be posted on ciao under the same username.

        Funkyshoes3

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        19.02.2012 20:46

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        must see - a cinematic classic

        The Matrix tells the story of a chilling version of the future where machines have taken over as the dominant species and humans are farmed like animals to fuel the machines- and the worst part is that the machines have created a reality so convincing that we humans have no idea of our predicament.

        The brilliantness of this film is the way the Wachowski brothers make you think this could actually be reality, it definitely plays on the mind afterwards and makes you think, anyway! The characters are cool, sexy and stylish, and likeable too especially as the romantic element comes into play later in the film, which adds more depth and dimensions to the characters. Neo, the main character who we follow as the film unfolds is released from the Matrix finds out all the new facts about this terrible futuristic world as we do, making it easy to follow, which is sometimes the case with science fiction films in my experience. The action sequences as Neo learns how to survive in and out of the Matrix and fantastic, and is the ensuing final showdowns with the bad guys. These stunning scenes are much,copied in subsequent action films but these are the original ones and are brilliant. And of course, another major element of a great movie is a great villian, and Mr Smith and his minions are coldly calculating and really, really hard to get rid of, which gets you rooting for the good guys even more.

        I wont spoil the plot by telling you what happens, but as is common knowledge there are two sequels. However The Matrix is a fantastic standalone film, which crosses over from the science fiction genre and is also a great action, adventure and romance film that i would recommend to all ages, male and female. A definite must see.

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        26.06.2011 00:27
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        sci fi breakthrough

        Beginning this review I was writing the film's title and ended up with "The Mainstream" (100% accident) which pretty much sums up the premise of The Matrix franchise. The Matrix is good in the fact that it takes complex science-fiction from previous 1990s films that didn't quite meet mainstream audiences (Dark City, 12 Monkeys) and merges it with the spectacular CGI effects of an action film. As an action film The Matrix is incredibly successful and deserves great recognition as one of the best films of the 1990s, or the past two decades for that matter. However I do feel let down by the fact that I felt cheated by the story when they didn't try to further flesh out the world it took place in.

        My main problem with the film falls on the fact that, as an avid sci-fi fan, I had already seen most of the concepts The Matrix presented in previous films (go back to the two I listed above). The religious spin on things however does really make it interesting, kind of like a science-fiction version of some religious document, but a human being having special abilities and saving a captive human population from a controlling force which had everyone living in a false reality had already been used in Dark City back in 1996. This, among other things, is one of the reasons I don't give The Matrix a perfect score of 10/10.

        As a sci-fi film it was very good, regardless of how many of the elements that it was reusing from other films, but I often felt like the production team couldn't decide on whether or not they wanted an action picture, or a thought stimulating sci-fi epic. By the end however The Matrix does succeed in balancing these two things very nicely. The CGI deserved its Academy Award, because it really is amazing some of the things they were able to pull off.

        The acting in this film was grade-A, and one of the strongest aspects of the film's production, and there was only ONE performance that failed to catch my attention...sadly this performance (my opinion) came from the star of the film: Keanu Reeves. Reeves has had his moments throughout his career, don't get me wrong, back in the late 1980s (most will remember the Bill & Ted films) he was a rather likable young actor, even in his lesser known performances; he seemed very honest and sincere in his performances. A change came about when he announced he was going to "take acting more seriously". The result, in my mind, was horrific! He comes across now as someone with very little emotion, and just doesn't seem really human.

        I had the same problem with Keanu in the action movie, Speed, which followed the Die Hard franchise, but unlike Bruce Willis, I couldn't connect, or really care about Reeves in this film (similar feeling in Bram Stoker's Dracula, but he wasn't TOO bad in that film), which was certainly on par with the Die Hard films in production and story. Same problem is present in The Matrix. Reeves is trying way too hard to seem serious, and dramatic, and in the end comes across as being artificial, and dull. If that was the director's intention, I don't really care, because I felt this was a character the audience should have been able to relate to and care about, but that's just my opinion and you don't have to agree with me (just giving an honest view from my perspective).

        Okay, I've given my criticisms, but now I have to say what was really good about The Matrix, and there are a lot of good aspects of this film which is why it deserves my high rating (and a spot in my DVD collection). The action is well-done, and truly is an eye opener, and as I previously stated the performances are mostly strong. Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus) and Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith) are very good in their respective roles, and both (as most people will say) are embraced as engaging characters in the mind of the audience, while Reeves was more of a vehicle to channel elaborate action sequences (the highlight, in most people's opinion, of the film). Also the Wachowski Brother's film is simply beautiful to look at, from the all CGI sequences to the live sets. The sequels, which go purely into action, prove that this film could have been a much worse (I don't hate the sequels, they just are not really sci-fi; just action films).

        This film really does have all it needs to work as a successful film, especially in the mainstream Hollywood of this day and age. It would have been braver for the filmmakers to try and expand, and concentrate on the complex science-fiction aspects, instead of the action, but then it wouldn't have been the box-office success it was. I would defend them no matter what, but when you go against the powers if mainstream and the production companies and end up with a good film you'll always have me backing up your film...of course I will be critical if the plot and direction is bad, but at least I'll give you a positive word for daring to be different.

        I can only hope that The Matrix can help get moviegoers into the lesser known art-house science-fiction stories that inspired it, because it's a shame that our modern audiences can't seem to appreciate things that don't fuse with action or comedy, because I don't feel science-fiction was ever really intended to be a genre simply designed to create exciting action sequences.

        The Matrix was a great film, deserving its mainstream applause: Solid 9/10 stars

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          21.06.2010 04:31
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          Quick review on a recently watched film

          The Matrix

          Well this films been out some time now and i must have watched it at least 10 times.

          If you haven't seen this film its basically a science fiction about a computer hacker named Neo who is being watched by a group of people who believe he is the one to end a future war on their city Zion.

          Neo gets on board and enters a virtual life where limits and rules don't exist he becomes very skilled in martial arts and helps the group who include the main leader Morpheus along with Neo's future love trinity.


          My Views

          Viewing this movie many times shows I have a fondness for the film, I have always enjoyed these type of supernatural type scifi films so i really enjoyed watching the Matrix.

          The actors played their parts very well especially Keanu Reeves who plays Neo.

          This film i would say is good for the whole family yes it does have violence but it is not filled with gore and swearing or nudity.

          This film will be good for any scifi fan and if you have already seen the film you will know what I'm on about.

          Overall I give this film 9/10

          Positive facts:

          Great Action
          Great CGI
          Great Story
          Leads into a trilogy.

          Negatives:

          None.


          Can be purchased through Amazon for under £5 or many shops in the highstreet for around £7

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            01.06.2010 13:02
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            Ground-breaking and visionary film about what reality actually is

            In terms of ground-breaking concepts, The Matrix would seem to have gone for it in a big way. The 1999 special effects laden film challenges what we think is real in a way that other films have done, but somehow, it manages to do it with a big bang, spawning two sequels and a number of sideline stories to go with it. The Wachwski brothers' direction is superb, the casting and sub sequent acting occasionally sublime, and the special effects left me speechless at times.

            Essentially, The Matrix is a computer program that dictates our existence. It's the 'real' reality, a CG program that makes us believe whatever we want to believe, according to Morpheus, the leader of the rebels (I'll come to this later). However, this program is also what we see as our reality. As sure as I am sitting here writing this, or as you are reading it, or when we go for a walk, to work, to play: none of it is real. The reality, The Matrix, is a series of code in a dark and dismal world where computers and androids rule and there are no rules, other than conforming.

            We kick things off with a thrilling chase featuring Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), the heroine of the film. She performs gravity defying feats and stunts as she attempts escape from pursuers before reaching a phone booth, only for it to be completely crushed. However, the phone is the way out of The Matrix, for her projected self to return to her real body, which is plugged in to this computer system's program. Trinity is a rebel, fighting against the system that holds them all back and threatens to destroy what they hold dearest. They believe that one day will come 'The One', and the Oracle has prophesied that it will be Neo.

            Enter Keanu Reeves, with his usual amount of cheese, but this time with some maturity. He lives a double life already. By day, he has a boring 9-5 job. By night, he's a computer hacker who has broken untold numbers of laws. His hacking name: Neo. Neo is approached by both sides: the computer controlled androids who are virtually undefeatable, led by humanoid Agent Smith (an excellent Hugo Weaving); and the rebels, the approach made by Trinity on behalf of Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). Both sides believe getting Neo on side will mean victory.

            What is interesting about this is that both sides ultimately want no fighting. The outcome is the same. It's the way it works though, that differs. The Matrix is a system controlled by sentient beings to subdue the human race. They want to control the last rebels to complete things and have our race under complete control. The humans themselves want to revolt and control their own lives and destinies. The small band of rebels are portrayed immediately as the heroes, the Matrix controllers as the villains, with Weaving an excellent head villain.

            What amazed me about the film was the explanations it needs. This is not a completely unfamiliar situation in terms of pulling the wool over people's eyes in terms of reality. Goodness knows it has been done enough times before, from films such as The Truman Show, Dark City and The Thirteenth Floor. What this does however, is take it to the next level, and really go for the jugular in terms of digging deep. Much of the explanations are left to the big guns on either side. Morpheus does a great deal of the explaining in his conversations with Neo, and this is as much for us as it is for the hero. I liked the way this was controlled by the Wachowski brothers as directors.

            The other side of the explaining comes from the Agents, in particular Weaving's character, descriptions of the human race as being parasitical not completely inaccurate, and providing a compelling argument for mankind's being subdued, if I'm honest. However, Reeves as Neo is left struggling very much in the middle, with the pressure on. Immediately targeted for recruitment from both sides, his choice comes in the form of choosing a pill to say whether he wants to join the fight for mankind's controlling of its own existence, or whether to go back to his own blissful ignorance before being approached by Trinity.

            It's really a tale of willpower, control and belief, and the way the plot develops makes you as a viewer waver in terms of the belief factor. Neo is hailed as the One, the person who can tip the balance by being in control of the Matrix and his own powers, to defy time, gravity, light and all other elements we perceive as natural and uncontrollable. In this sense, it's a true classic, and delves into areas untouched by previous similar films.

            The magic comes not just with the acting, which is brilliant, but with the special effects that were thrown at this film. 1999/2000 is a bit of a turning point in many trades, not just the film side of things. Computer games and cartoons, various other forms of technology, all of them have come so far in the past decade, and The Matrix is very precognitive in terms of its projections of the future. The dress sense, firepower, language, all of it is very relevant a decade on, and the special effects employed in the film have not really been bettered in terms of use of humans to perform what should be basic functions with an almost superhero addition.

            Point in case should really be a shoot em up style scene in the ground floor of a building, where Neo and Trinity arrive to be confronted by a number of villains with high powered weaponry. Thus ensues an immense battle as the heroes exchange with their foes who outnumber them, with slow motion being used excellently to highlight the destruction of the building, as well as the acrobatic and martial arts based moves from both sides. The scene cost a ridiculous amount of money, but it's money well spent, as it's one of my favourite displays of special effects I have seen in a film.

            Also, Reeves just looks so damn cool. In fact, all of them do. The Agents are shown in rather bland suits and ties, giving a corporate blah blah image that is dull. The heroes are decked out in balck leather, long coats, tight hugging outfits, sunglasses and weaponry. They pout, and it works. Reeves takes the biscuit, the long black coat over the tight T-Shirt and black trousers and boots no doubt making many a man want to look like that, but knowing they never could, and making many a woman stare for more than a comfortable second.

            Carrie-Anne Moss strikes a gorgeous pose as Trinity, too. Tight leather all round as well as her naturally beautiful looks stake her case as a rival for Neo's looks, and although she doesn't look quite so cool, the focus is deliberately on Neo, supposedly The One, and this is accepted. It also means that the others have got to follow suit, and while they may not look quite so good, the remainder of the rebels make up for the visual lacking and screen time by other elements. One example should really be Joe Pantoliano's performance as Cypher, the rebel controlling entry to and from The Matrix. He has a lot of the good lines of the film. An actor well known for talking incessantly in his role, he has a very good role here, and provides a number of twists as well as verbal pleasure. I enjoyed listening to his explanations as much as those of the main characters. The same goes with the little elements added in by some of the other rebels, as well as the villains. The whole thing is very well explained.

            However, this doesn't necessarily imply understanding, even after the film is finished. So much of the explanation comes in parts here and there as the film progresses, and it's a film you really do have to concentrate on. The very first time I watched it, I was open mouthed, and immediately started it again in order to catch the elements that I had inevitably forgotten. It's rare that I watch a film twice in quick succession, but with this, I found it necessary, it being before the sequels had come out. Th result was a bit more understanding, at least about the very concept and how each element of the film was put together by the directors. Their vision comes through very powerfully throughout the film, and although it must have been a very difficult thing to control, their use of timing and pauses is excellent, camera angles and volume control with a heavy backing soundtrack providing excellent atmosphere from start to finish.

            Sadly, the film has spawned two less impressive sequels in order to complete the trilogy. I enjoyed them, but the novelty value disappears after this film. It's hard to top something that's excellent, and event he introduction of new characters and raising the bar from the Agents' point of view doesn't do enough to match the brilliance of this first film. The Matrix was ground breaking at its moment of release, and for me it still hasn't been bettered. I was astounded by the vision it presented and just how deeply they went into the concept of what we know as being a lie. It really has to be seen to be believed. All I will say is, go into it with an open mind.

            I'll leave you with the pre-conundrum I was given. I first watched this with a friend who had already seen it. All he would tell me is to do one thing, and I would suggest the same to you: when you get to the part where Neo has to choose between the blue pill and the red pill, just ask yourself: what would you do? Recommend: enjoy!

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              03.05.2010 17:04
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              A Classic of Sorts

              The Matrix was pretty amazing in its day, it precursed two sequels of varying qualities and found the best home for Keanu Reeves' static brand of acting since Point Break.

              The film was released in 1999 by the Wachowski Brothers and instantly became a hugely popular film on general release and with sci-fi buffs.

              The film is incredibly complicated plot wise and in essence follows a bland computer programmer, Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) who uses his skills as the hacker, Neo at night.

              Things seem odd to Thomas until he meets a mysterious man, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) who explains that reality is nothing more than a computer generated illusion and that mankind is simply an energy source to the machines.

              Morpheus tells Neo that he may be the chosen one who can bring back reality and destroy the machines but with computers far advanced of mankind against him can this one man (energy source!) change the world?

              Cast:

              Keanu Reeves ... Neo
              Laurence Fishburne ... Morpheus
              Carrie-Anne Moss ... Trinity
              Hugo Weaving ... Agent Smith
              Gloria Foster ... Oracle
              Joe Pantoliano ... Cypher
              Marcus Chong ... Tank
              Julian Arahanga ... Apoc
              Matt Doran ... Mouse
              Belinda McClory ... Switch
              Anthony Ray Parker ... Dozer
              Paul Goddard ... Agent Brown
              Robert Taylor ... Agent Jones
              David Aston ... Rhineheart
              Marc Aden ... Choi

              What I thought:

              I have to admit the first time I watched this film I found it to be a massive headtrip. It is a visually stunning film with the use of slow motion action which has now become something of the norm in the film industry.

              The story is incredibly intricate and you have to watch the others to really enjoy it, but unfortunately much like the tv series Lost, the concept is far better than the finality of the trilogy. For me this is a great introduction to the series, much like Batman Begins we see our hero being transformed from an everyman to a hero with a purpose, Keanu Reeves suits the role of man/computer creation well with his lack of emotivity and creativity, Fishburne is excellent as Neo whilst Carrie Anne Moss gives girl power a real kick as the awesome Trinity.
              Hugo Weaving is good fun but somewhat annoying as the computers henchman and the film offers lots of things to lots of viewers, to some it's a fable about technology, to others it's a good old fashioned beat em up with twists, to others it's a confounded pile of contradictions and stylistic twists.

              With cool pumped up music, a cast who seem in tune with the concept and a script that is technically correct but a tad corny, this is a good adventure film that is one of the best and most original of the nineties and now one of the most copied.

              I really enjoyed this film, we bought the trilogy for £14.99 at Zavvi but you can buy this on its own for £4.99.

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                20.04.2010 12:19

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                A rip roaring ride of fun!

                This is without a doubt one of the best sci-fi films of all time, but I do think it's somewhat overrated at points. Brought to us by the Wachowski brothers (Assassins, V for Vendetta), this a a roaring ride of schi-fi, action and adventure, starring Keanu Reeves (Speed), Laurence Fishburne (Event Horizon, CSI) and Hugo Weaving (on top form in this film)
                The plot revolves around one man with two identities. Keanu Reeves plays Mr Anderson/Neo, the unwilling hero of the film who knows something is wrong with the world around him. He meets Fishburne, who explains that the world around him is a lie, and is in fact computer generated for the use of the machines who have taken over the real world. Waking Neo up, he continues to explain that he believes Neo is the 'One', who can bring about peace and stop that war between the humans and the machines (watch for references to the Bible and the struggle between the Jews and the Romans).
                Between them, and with Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss) and other characters, they set out to free more minds from the computer world, whilst fighting against computer generated killers (the lead by Hugo Weaving, who steals this film)
                In many ways, the plot borrows heavily from the Bible story of Jesus and his disciples, and from other legends including Greek legends (the character names all reflect legends, as does the name of the ship and Zion itself). This actually gives the film a certain depth that a lot of sci-fi films miss, making it a cut above. It also borrows from the plot of Tron.
                This was the film that also ushered in a new age of special effects not seen since Terminator 2 in 1991, and even now has some of the most innovative and stunning effects of any film.
                And to top if off, the lobby shootout remains just about one of the finest action scenes ever devised.
                There were two downfalls of this film. One, the dialogue is very scrappy at times, making some of the Star Wars dialogue seem like good material. Some of it can be hard to follow, and is clunky.
                The second problem was the sequals, which were poor and didn't do anything for this film.
                That said, overall, this is stunning.

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                01.04.2010 02:20
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                One of the best action films ever made

                The Matrix follows the character of Thomas Anderson, aka Neo, who is a software programmer during the day, but a hacker by night. When he is visited by famous 'terrorists' Trinity and Morpheus, he soon learns the world isn't what it seems.

                The Matrix is one of the best action films ever made. The actors should be credited for their obvious efforts, not only in their vocabulary but the main difficulty in this movie is the martial arts involved. Each actor looks convincing in fight scenes, which isn't always the case in other movies. The fight scenes themselves are excellently choreographed, filled with all sorts of cool moves. The Matrix was also the first film to use 'bullet-time' filming, which adds a nice dimension to the fight scenes.

                Beyond the action, the storyline is pretty good too. Its not your basic action film with someone becoming a badass and killing the bad guys. The concepts of the film, such as a 'real' world masking what is really out there, are pretty interesting (who knows, maybe even true!).

                The Matrix raised the bar for action movies in the 2000s

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                26.03.2010 13:26
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                Classic

                For those who have yet to see this still, let me remark that this is a stunning film. It is a stunning film for many reasons but first I shall outline the plot a little. The world is very much how our world is now, everyone goes about their daily business, the hustle and bustle of the rat race and yet something is also very wrong.

                A few can sense it but even fewer understand it, Neo (Keanu Reeves) is seen as the chosen one who will lead the world out of the matrix which is essentially a false reality, a virtual reality which all of the world unknowingly resides within.

                I don't want to reveal too much of the plot, but a few escaped this virtually imposed reality and witnessed both the horror and the blessings of freedom. They believe that Neo can rescue humanity before it's too late.

                The Matrix is headed by a terrific cast included Laurence Fishburne and Keanu Reeves and both deliver stellar performances which capture the emotion and drama of the film. Their performances are full of verve and energy and delivered in a very convincing fashion.

                The special effects are terrific, even excepting the fact that things have moved on, it nontheless holds it's own under close scrutiny. It does not dominate the film but merely adds to it.

                The plot line although deep, dark and futuristic is deeply thought provoking to and just on the base level when you strip away some of the other elements, this film can be viewed from many perspectives, including being something of a political commentary on how we ourselves live in a matrix.

                However this film isn't simply reliant on provoking a train of thought, it is an added ingredient which is complimented by a terrific intensity which is delivered through some terrific fight scenes, featuring both all out gun fighting, to hand to hand combat.

                What I also noted about this film was that recently I watched it again and discovered it had terrific replay value. Due to the fact the film is so multi faceted, there is always something new which you can pick up from the film, or perhaps ponder later. Anyways in terms of star points, I have no qualms in awarding this film 5/5 because it's a terrific blind of an excellent plot, great action, very strong acting and wonderful special effects.

                If you haven't seen this film already, then you are missing an absolute treat which rightfully is seen as a classic.

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                  27.01.2010 21:31
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                  A great film and a great trilogy.

                  The matrix is one of my favourite films and just as a warning *SPOILERS* will be in this review.

                  Thomas Anderson (played by keanu reeves) works at a respectable software company but has a hidden life as a computer hacker going by the alias of neo. Neo (as he is almost always refered to in the film) is contacted by a terrorist and possibly the most dangerous man in the world morpheus while he is at work in his office. Unfortunatley for him agents appear out of nowhere as morpheus tells him that they are coming for him. Morpheus then instructs neo on how to avoid them though he is captured and taken into custody. Later the agents propose a deal for him to incriminate morpheus though he rejects and the agents plant a tracer in him and he suddenly awakens in his bed.

                  Morpheus again contacts neo and tells him to meet him. Trinity and some other members of morpheus's team meet neo in a car and remove the tracer. Neo is then taken out of the matrix.

                  ok this is going to take a bit of explaining o.O

                  Morpheus reveals to neo that in the early 21st centuary human kind gave birth to ai (artificial intelligence). The robots turned against humans and during the war the humans scorched the sky as the robots relied on solar energy to survive. This resulted in them thinking of new energy scources thus they decided to imprison all humans in a virtual reality world based on earth around the year 1999. No one inside the matrix realises they are in a virtual reality world and the robots remove them at will and use them humans as power scources.

                  Morpheus,trinity and the rest of the crew of his hover craft the nebuchadnezzar have been freed from the matrix and are in the real world as well as neo now being removed. Morpheus beleives neo is
                  "the one" also "neo" is an anagram of one (this is not said in the film). Morpheus beleives neo is the one from a prophecy (not much is revealed about where this prophecy came from throughout the enitre film trilogy)
                  Neo later re-enters the matrix and is told by the oracle that he is not the one though morpheus tells him not to tell anyone about what she says before he entered. Thus when they are attacked by agents later morpheus chooses to sacrifice himself to save neo because he beleives he is the one.

                  Meenwhile another crew member named cypher betrays his crewmembers by being the first to leave the matrix and to kill most of the crew in the matrix and one of the people that were left on the ship while they were in the matrix. One person he previously shot and thought had killed later appears and shoots him and kills him. The reason for cypher betraying his crew is that he realises he was much happier in the matrix then he was after being freed resulting in him making a deal with the agents to be put back in without remembering anything. This leaves only the operator tank, neo, trinity and morpheus alive. Neo decides to go back into the matrix to rescue morpheus and trinity folows him.

                  After several fights with heavily armed security forces and one agent that was relativley easily killed as he was unawhere of trinity's presence and she shot him at point blank range. They capture a helicopter with a mounted gun and rescue morpheus. As they attempt to leave the matrix an agent appears at the last moment just as morpheus and trinity have left leaving neo alone with the agent. After almost killing him neo makes a comeback resulting in the agent being hit by a speeding train. Leaving the subway to find a way out of the matrix as the phone they had used was destroyed by the agent neo hears the train stop behind him and another agent walks out.

                  Neo is guided by tank to a way out of the matrix though neo opens a door and is killed by an agent. If you want to know the ending you betterfind another site as I don't want to spoil it for you.

                  The film is science fiction and there is a fair bit of action. The crew of the nebuchadnezzar and the agents all have inhuman reflexes though the agents even more so as only they and neo are capable of dodging bullets. The action scenes are of top class and this is a film you won't regret watching.

                  I highly recommend this film and the entrie trilogy. The second film is my favourite of the three. This is a great film but it may confuse some people as it took me quite a while to realise the significance of certain things.

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                  06.01.2010 15:24
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                  Overall exciting and action filled movie

                  The Matrix is one of the most famous movies of recent years and was originally released in 1999. It is a sci-fi blockbuster that manages to superbly combine action sequences with state of the art special effects.

                  The movie stars Keanu Reeves as a dutiful company man who has a secret double life. At night he is actually a computer hacker named Neo. He has always been sceptical about reality itself and what is real and what isn't. His scepticism is validated when he is introduced to Trinity played by Carrie-Anne Moss, and she in turn introduces him to legendary hacker Morpheus played by Laurence Fishburne.

                  He subsquently accepts his offer to take a mind and brain opening techno-drug trip. Neo discovers while on this drug he has taken that the world in which he existed is nothing more than a computer-generated virtual reality program which is controlled by machines made by the human race many years before.

                  It seems that these machines that run this virtual world need an endless supply of electrical current in order to survive and keep almost the entire human population in a constant state of dream like hallucination. Humans are left lying in unconscious in automatic incubators, made to believe that are actually living their life as normal and doing productive things. However, in reality they are not.

                  Morpheus is convinced that Neo is the one who will show up one day and save the human race from this eternal state of deception. Neo has to attempt to rescue human kind by defeating the artificial intelligence defence squad that run this computer program so effectively.

                  The movie is packed full of slow-motion fight scenes and gunfighting, plus plenty of martial arts as in John Woo style movies.

                  For me what really caught my eye when I first saw the film were the breathtaking visual effects deployed. Things like the slow-motion photography and wire-enhanced gymnastics, plus the perfecly choreographed fight sequences set this film aside from others and showed what is possible.

                  It is an interesting plot too when you think about it in that we could all be living in a some sort of virtual universe and no-one would really know. You need to open you mind a bit with this film and it can get a bit confusing if you don't concentrate but if you do that and let the movie immerse you then it's great.

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                  08.11.2009 17:51

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                  A really quality film

                  The Matrix

                  WARNING SPOILERS!

                  The Matrix is a relatively low budget film, written by the Wachowski brothers, and released in 1999, which quickly became a huge cult hit.

                  Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) is a computer programmer who lead a duel life as a computer hacker under the alais 'Neo'. He is desperately seeking answers the the question that has been keeping him awake for years. What is the matrix?

                  Trinity (Carrie Ann Moss) arrives in his life and brings him to Morpheus an man infamous in the computer hacker world, who offers to show him the truth about the matrix and the world.

                  The matrix, as Neo finds out, is a computer generated dream world that most of human kind have been plugged into by the machine population. Humans are now been used as batteries by the machines, and their minds plugged into the matrix.

                  Trinity, Morpheus and now Neo, are living in the real world and trying to free people from 'The Matix'.

                  This is a really great piece of science fiction and is really entertaining. Some people really dislike this film, but it has a great script, really good casting, a great plot, and is uniquely film, which for me makes it a winner.

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                  27.10.2009 13:40
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                  entertaining and enjoyable with stunning visuals

                  (film only review)

                  Introduction

                  The Matrix was a film when released that was something fresh, new and quite original. It had a bit more than the usual sci fi action thrillers and included some great special effects. It was released in 1999 and was written and directed by the Wachowski brothers. It considers the idea of what it would be like if what we perceived as being reality was actually a simulated reality created by Machines with Artificial Intelligence (A.I). The success of the original Matrix film led to two sequels which were the Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions.

                  Plot

                  The film is the story of Thomas A. Anderson (Keanu Reeves) who is a man that is living two lives. By day he is a computer programmer and by night he takes on the identity of a malicious hacker known as Neo. Neo has always questioned his reality but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo finds himself targeted by the police when he is contacted by Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). Morpheus is a legendary computer hacker and has been branded a terrorist by the government.

                  Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines that create in their minds an artificial reality known as the Matrix. As a rebel against the machines, Neo must return to the Matrix and confront the agents, the super powerful computer programs designed to stop him and the other humans fighting against them.

                  Opinion

                  When the film first came out it was considered pretty ground breaking in its use of special effects. Effects wise the film is simply stunning and it deservedly was awarded the Oscar for best visual effects. The camera angles really work well for the action sequences and the choreographed fight scenes were amazing. The script which was written by the Wachowski brothers is intelligent but not too geeky. And the acting? Maybe not the best but the characters are likeable especially Neo and Morpheus. Keanu Reeves was ideal for the role of Neo as was Laurence Fishburne for Morpheus. Carrie Ann Moss is also good as Trinity. It was a film that really changed the shape of the use of fight sequences and special effects in films especially films in this particular genre. Following The Matrix quite a few films have made use of slow-motion, spinning cameras, and the bullet time effect of a character freezing or slowing down. Out of the three movies in the series this was definately the best as it was something very original and quite ground breaking. Overall a very entertaining and enjoyable film with some stunning visual effects.

                  Film details:

                  Directed by: Wachowski brothers

                  Produced by: Joel Silver

                  Written by: Wachowski brothers

                  Starring:

                  Keanu Reeves
                  Laurence Fishburne
                  Carrie-Anne Moss
                  Hugo Weaving
                  Joe Pantoliano

                  Music by: Don Davis

                  Cinematography: Bill Pope

                  Editing by: Zach Staenberg

                  Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

                  Release date:

                  United Kingdom:
                  June 11, 1999

                  Running time: 136 min

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                    25.10.2009 09:11
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                    Brilliant mix of sci-fi and reality brought to this amazing film

                    Advantages: superb choreography, photography, SFX, score, and story
                    Disadvantages: Reeves is pretty wooden

                    The idea behind the matrix is that we are in a pre engineered dream world. If the waking world we believe we are living in turns out to be a dream and how machines have taken over mankind.

                    Keanu Reeves stars as Neo, just an average office worker and also a hacker. He discovers that the life he is living is just a simulation that all of humankind are hooked up to. He learns how machines have taken over the human race and they now farm and grow humans and feed off them for energy.

                    A group of rebel fighters then turn around and tell Neo that he is the One, the chosen one and that he will basically save mankind. This leads to all the gunfights and martial arts scenes in the movie where the rebel fighters go in the mmatrix (the mainframe all humans are hooked up to) and fight in the dream world against the machines agents.

                    The film was amazing and not just is the story encaptivating and extrememly well thought out, but the film also changed a lot of things in the genre. One the new ideas that came from the matrix was the use of bullet time. This was were hundreds of cameras were placed around the actor and then they could use the footage to spin around the charcater while stopped. This was an amazing effect that also was used to slow down some the gunfight scenes and really make the film stand out.

                    The film has amazing choreography for all the martial fight scenes and most of the characters acting is top notch. This film is brilliant because it totally drags you into the world and also showed such adrenaline pumping scenes that you cannot help but watch it. And to finsih you can never get bored of this film everytime you watch it, it's just as good.

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                • Product Details

                  The Wachowski Brothers' The Matrix took the well-worn science fiction idea of virtual reality, added supercharged Hollywood gloss and a striking visual style and stole The Phantom Menace's thunder as the must-see movie of the summer of 1999. Laced with Star Wars-like Eastern mysticism, and featuring thrilling martial arts action choreographed by Hong Kong action director Yuen Woo Ping (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), The Matrix restored Keanu Reeves to genre stardom following virtual reality dud Johnny Mnemonic (1995), and made a star of Carrie-Anne Moss, who followed this with the challenging perception twister Memento (2000). Helping the film stand out from rivals Dark City (1998) and The Thirteenth Floor (1999) was the introduction of the celebrated "bullet time" visual effects, though otherwise the war-against-the-machines story, hard-hitting style and kinetic set-pieces such as the corporate lobby shoot-out lean heavily on Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). Elsewhere the influence of John Woo, from the ultra-cool near real-world SF of Face/Off (1997) to the raincoats and sunglasses look of bullet-ballet A Better Tomorrow, is clearly in evidence. The set-up isn't without its absurdities, though--quite why super-intelligent machines bother to use humans as batteries instead of something more docile like cows, for example, is never explained, nor is how they expect these living batteries to produce more energy than it takes to maintain them. The Matrix is nevertheless exhilarating high-octane entertainment, although as the first part of a trilogy it perhaps inevitably doesn't have a proper ending. On the DVD: the anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 image is virtually flawless, exhibiting only the grain present in the theatrical print, while the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is demonstration quality, showing off the high-impact sound effects and Don Davis' fine score to great effect. Special features are "data files" on the main stars, producer and director and "Follow the White Rabbit", which if selected while viewing the movie offers behind the scenes footage. This is interesting, but gimmicky, requires switching back from widescreen to 4:3 each time, and would be better if it could be accessed directly from one menu. There is also a standard 25-minute TV promo film which is as superficial as these things usually are. --Gary S Dalkin