The Matrix Trilogy 4K Ultra HD Review
Not having seen the films in some time, it was nice to go back and watch the trilogy with a fresh set of eyes. I was happy to discover that the original film still holds up, even after almost 20 years. All the actors absorbed themselves into the characters and made them their own; it would be hard to imagine anyone else ever filling their shoes quite as successfully. Keanu Reeves (John Wick), who is an exceptional actor, brings Neo to life, as a character who goes about his mundane life until he is introduced to the Matrix. Having to choose between the blue and the red pill, Neo makes a choice that changes the course of his life and others. Reeves shows throughout the trilogy how his character grows from a non-essential person to a leader and a decision maker. It's almost a slow progression but by the end of the series, Reeves shows how Neo changes the course of a universe. Lawrence Fishburne is another incredible actor (Ant-Man and The Wasp), who owns his character, Morpheus. Pressing Neo into hard-core decisions, Fishburne brings his character to life. Morpheus becomes the dad everyone needs and the teacher no one wants but must have in life. Fishburne's performance is critical to the storyline and no other actor could come close to cloning Fiothone could every come, Fishburne. Honors also must be awarded to Carrie Anne Moss (Jessica Jones) as she made a lasting impression as Neo's ultimate love interest, Trinity. She starts off in the trilogy almost annoyed that Morpheus has so much faith in Neo- as if Neo is just an annoyance- yet you can see the growth her character has throughout the franchise. It is easy to see why this film propelled her career to where it is today.
While the first Matrix film was a mind-blowing groundbreaking film, that turned the action and science fiction genera on its side, the remainder of the franchise did not capture the same exact quality. The first movie, The Matrix, we meet the characters- such as Morpheus and Neo. It's almost a coming of age movie- wherein Neo must choose his path and which side of history in which he wants to be remembered. The sequel, The Matrix Reloaded, has a different spin by introducing the Machines to the plot and planting seeds of doubt in Neo's mind. Is he – or is he not supposed to save Zion? Upgraded foes, plot twists, and continued growth of the characters bring drama and intensity to the second movie. The final chapter and conclusion to the franchise is The Matrix Revolutions. Mr. Smith is out of control, threatening to destroy both Zion's world and his. Neo is unconscious, in the real world and Morpheus and Trinity must bargain to get him out. With their friends in Zion fighting on one plane, our heroes must defeat the machine world – and Mr. Smith- without destroying Zion. While others would say that this franchise may not have retained the intensity that the original movie contained, The Matrix Revolutions is a healthy end to this unique franchise.
The Matrix Trilogy resolution is native 4K (2160p), with an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. HDR is Dolby Vision plus HDR10. Having seen these movies on the screen, and owning the DVD and on Blu-ray, I have to say that the 4K version is worth every penny. The picture quality and detail is amazing and the special effects are so much more "special". The 4K makes the viewing experience unlike any of the previous releases. The Audio quality is amazing, also. The Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 bring a pure sound quality. No sound is overpowered, which is especially important with a Keanu Reeves movie, as he has such a soft and low-pitched sounding voice. I have a small sound system on my television and it does assist with the depth of the Dolby sound but even without a sound system, the audio is amazing.
Below is the list of special features for this 9-disc set:
The Matrix Special Features:
Disc 1 & 2: On these discs, we are treated to Audio Commentaries from Philosophers Dr. Cornel West and Ken Wilber; Critics Todd McCarthy, John Powers and David Thomson; Cast & Crew including Carrie-Anne Moss, Editor Zach Staenberg and Visual Effects Supervisor John Gaeta; Composer Don Davis and a Written Introduction by The Wachowskis.
- The Matrix Revisited: A behind-the-scenes look at the film throughout its history with interviews from the cast and crew.
- Behind The Matrix: Another behind-the-scenes look with various featurettes including the HBO special.
- Follow the White Rabbit: This featurette takes a look at some of the action/fight set pieces from the film.
- Take the Red Pill: This combo feature includes a look at the groundbreaking special effects of the film as well as the concept behind the film.
- The Music Revisited: This feature is the score/soundtrack to the film.
- Rock is Dead: Marilyn Manson's Music Video
- The Matrix Teaser (1:01)
- The Matrix Trailer (2:33)
- The Matrix TV Spots (3:54)
The Matrix Reloaded Special Features:
Discs 1 & 2: On these discs, we get Audio Commentaries from Philosophers Dr. Cornel West and Ken Wilber, and Critics Todd McCarthy, John Powers, and David Thomson. Disc 2 also includes an In-Movie Experience that brings us behind the scenes via picture-in-picture footage from the "Behind the Story" section on Disc 3 and a Written Introduction by The Wachowskis.
Disc 3 :
- Behind The Matrix: This four-part feature includes some behind-the-scenes footage as well as interviews by the cast and crew.
- Car Chase: A look at the freeway chase from the film as well as other chase scenes.
- Teahouse Fight: A behind the scenes look at this scene plus a bio on martial artist Collin Chou.
- Unplugged: A look at how the "Burly Brawl" was filmed.
- I'll Handle Them: A look at the weapons and set design for the "Great Hall" fight.
- The Exiles: The cast talks about their characters and the "Architect's Office" scene in this feature.
- Additional Footage: This consists of a Making-of Enter the Matrix: The Game as well as cutscenes from the game, along with interviews.
- Sleeping Awake: P.O.D's Music Video
The Matrix Revolutions Special Features:
Discs 1 & 2: On these discs, we get Audio Commentaries from Philosophers Dr. Cornel West and Ken Wilber and Critics Todd McCarthy, John Powers and David Thomson. Disc 2 also includes an In-Movie Experience that brings us behind the scenes via picture-in-picture footage from the "Behind the Story" section on Disc 3 and a Written Introduction by The Wachowskis.
Disc 3: Behind The Matrix: This 9 part feature includes info on visual effects, training, storyboards and more.
The Matrix Trilogy is what I would consider a modern but not so modern foothold into science fiction. The acting is impeccable and the casting pure genius. Despite the fact that the trilogy doesn't quite keep up with the first mind-blowing installment, The Matrix Trilogy is an amazing movie collection that everyone should watch in 4K.
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MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 136 minutes
Distributed By: Warner Bros.
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