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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spirituality in the modern, technological world
Reflecting back on the enormous popular and critical success of 'The Matrix', it is refreshing to note that people were overwhelmingly drawn to a film that conformed itself neither to the cynical and pessimistic bent that informs many recent movies nor to an easy and clichéd sort of optimism. The quest for truth is not mocked but strongly valorized here. This film...
Published on July 10 2004 by mythologue

3.0 out of 5 stars Crafty filmmaking lacking substance
In this movie, the Wachowskis obviously have a ball working out the technical details of the photography and the digital effects. There's a nice gloss and attention to detail that's lacking in many other films. The brothers have an eye for small details, such as reflections and color tints. What The Matrix lacks is any real intelligence. As an synthesis of comic books,...
Published on Feb. 29 2004 by Vstmxo

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5.0 out of 5 stars The movie that started it all., Feb. 27 2004
mashby (Nashville, TN - USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Matrix (Widescreen) (DVD)
The movie that started it all. The Matrix came completely out of the blue. No one had ever heard of the directors, the Wachowski brothers. Their only other movie directorial effort was Bound, which no one ever saw. (Turns out, Bound was simply an audition to prove to the studios that they knew how to direct and could handle the project that was The Matrix). The actors were a mixed bag of good actors (Laurence Fishburne, Joe Pantoliano), bad actors (Keanu Reeves) and then unknown actors (Carrie-Ann Moss and Hugo Weaving). The previews gave nothing away. You were simply left with the question ´¿What Is The Matrix?´¿ and a few images of some very cool action. The only thing I knew at the time was that I HAD to go see the movie the night it was released.
Before I go any further, I need to make a confession. I am the target demographic for this movie. As such, my opinion of this movie is biased from the word go. I love video games, I like kung fu, I like science fiction, I like comic books, and I like technology. The one overwhelming mantra of The Matrix is that the Wachowski brothers use everything, pop culture, religion, video games, you name it and blend it all together to make something new. Since they used all the things that I like already, the movie was a wicked cocktail that hooked me from the instant I tasted it. I loved the story, the action, the cinematography, even the acting.
Fishburne and Joey Pants are great character actors and I tend to love their work regardless of the film their in. Keanu Reeves is a different story. Other than the Bill & Ted movies, Keanu´¿s acting hasn´¿t been all that good. Johnny Mnemonic was a bomb in no small part thanks to Keanu´¿s lack of skill as an actor. He´¿s stiff, doesn´¿t convey a lot of emotion and his delivery is stilted. His main redeeming quality is that he looks good. All his negatives became positives in the Wachowski´¿s hands. The character of Neo is one where you need someone stiff and emotionless, but looks good as he´¿s kicking ....... Keanu more than fits the bill. This was the role he was meant to play.
The story was good, but the storytelling was the hallmark for me. For many people the cinematography was all new to them. Some people had never seen camera angles like they found in the Matrix, but I had in comic books and in Japanese Animation aka anime. In comic books, the method of storytelling is done through still images. Although that may sound somewhat stilted, it can actually give some freedom because each frame and show you more detail, slow things down, or speed things up. If anything it gives you a wide latitude with perspective. Anime takes a similar approach because much of anime is done on such a small budget. For example, one trick that anime uses is to take a still image and have the ´¿camera´¿ move from left to right. This gives the impression of movement, but it´¿s really just a single still image. These tricks created an entire style that anime still uses today even though the budget may be bigger.
The Wachowski´¿s came from a comic book background, and one of the things that they were trying to do was bring some of the storytelling style from comic books and anime to the silver screen. Trinity´¿s jump, bullet time, and the fight between Neo and Agent Smith in the subway are all examples of 2d comic book and Japanese anime style that was realized in film. Motion pictures, comic books and animation are all simply mediums to tell a story. The Wachowski brothers blended the styles and blurred the lines between the mediums.
The techniques that the director´¿s used in the Matrix changed film as we know it. Hardly any action movie today doesn´¿t use kung fu wire work. Charlie´¿s Angels, The Rundown, and even Le Pacte des Loups all used the fighting style made popular in The Matrix. Star Wars may have been a landmark movie because it changed how science fiction was done, but The Matrix did that and more. The ripple effect of this movie has left it´¿s mark on so many filmakers that it´¿s hard to watch any action or science fiction film and not see touches of The Matrix in them.
In 1999 the Wachowski brothers released a landmark film that changed film, and to some extent our culture, forever. It came out of the blue and blew us all away. It would be four years before their story could continue, but it was all worth the wait.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Sound: 5+, Special Effects: 5+, Story: 1, Acting: -0, Feb. 14 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Matrix (Widescreen) (DVD)
The Matrix is probably one of the most overrated movies in film history. But then, I also thought Mad Max was a waste of celluloid. The resemblance being: the meaningless of life, a ridiculous storyline only an adolescent could believe and an ending that leaves you depressed.
The acting was far too serious, rather "over the top" as drama goes. I sensed that the actors were trying there best to believe the lines given them throughout this unbelievable premise of a story thus their intense consentration is mistaken for acting. The storyline is: nothing is real except what is really real and no one knows what's real except for the real people. In other words we are not really here, we are somewhere else, we just think we're here, consequently not knowing where "here" is, we need someone to tell us where we are. If that sounds familiar to you you're right. Charlie Manson brainwashed his tribe into believing that same philosophy! Between these struggles of belief and disbelief are characters that can survive all manner of certain death and then wind up in another scene trapped, helpless and whimpering. Maybe I missed something looking at my watch.
Matrix is the zenith of a heterosexual teen-age boys fantasy-adventure if they find distinguishing right from wrong in their lives bothersome. No wonder it was the favorite movie of the two Columbine students who slaughtered their classmates. But hey, it's just a movie, right?
If you love both visual and audial effects then this could be a movie worth seeing as a novelty, because the characters take second billing in this multi-million dollar epic devoted to state of the art movie magic, just don't get sucked into the underlying shell game philosophy that the film espouses
I must say again the sound effects are astonishing, be sure to play the DVD through your surround system, for that alone I stayed around for the finish, otherwise I would have had to ask somebody how it ended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Matrix- An Astonishing Piece of Science Fiction, Feb. 14 2004
Daniel K. (Maryland, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Matrix (Widescreen) (DVD)
The Matrix, an amazing and unique sci-fi thriller from the Wachowski brothers stunned the world. It had a unique concept, in addition to remarkable and fresh visual and special efffects.
Now the premise of this film is probably the hardest to explain,
for it surely is intricate and complicated. The film takes place sometime in the distant future, Reeves plays Thomas Anderson, a man who is searching for an answer to a certain question: What is the matrix? Laurence Fishburne who is perfectly cast, plays Morpheus, a leader of a bunch of rebels searching for "the one." Carrie-Anne Moss plays Trinity, a part of Morpheus's group and cause. In this film there are many references to the bible, which you can easily figure from the names of characters. All in all, confusing as you can tell.
The Matrix was a sleeper hit of 1999, and soon became a box-office smash and global phenomenan. The film intruced a fascination effect called Bullet-time, which was later copied in numerous movies, for example Charlie's Angels. The action in this movie was innovative and inventive, and certainly appealing, from amazing kung-fu fights to intense shootouts.
Though in comparison to the sequels, the origianly remains the best. Of course in terms of action, the sequels definetly win especially Reloaded which featured the amazing "burly brawl" and "freeway chase sequence." Revolutions also featured the amazing battle in Zion, which was groundbreaking in digital animation. The sequels are a worth addition to the trilogy though and are definetly worth owning too, by the way Revolutions comes out on April 6, 2004.
The Matrix is rated R for Sci-fi Violence and Brief Language. The violence includes a lot of gunplay, including the amazing Lobby shootout sequence. Some of which is bloody. The Matrix is suitable for kids 14 and up probably, for the violence isn't over the top. cheoreographed by Yuen Wo Ping, who later did work on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The language is mild and not particularly strong. There is also mild sexual innuendo. The Matrix, infact as I stated earlier the entire trilogy is worth owning espeically on DVD, if you haven't seen any see one of them today, and obviously start with The Matrix, the one which started it all. Now available on Video and DVD.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Often lost in the praise for this movie..., Feb. 13 2004
This review is from: The Matrix (Widescreen) (DVD)
is the exceptional sound design. Understandibly, everyone is captivated by the visual effects and the conceptual genius of this film, but The Matrix has one of the finest sound designs I have ever experienced in a film. I'm not just talking about the high quality of the sound, I'm talking more about the sheer artistry of the design itself. Instead of constantly overwhealming the viewer/listener with sheer quantity of sounds and loudness, the designers have created a highly refined, artistic soundscape that becomes a character in the film. They pick and choose the important sonic elements we need to hear in order to completely involve us moment-by-moment. The sonic perspective changes constantly. We constantly jump back and forth into the viewpoint of different characters--whichever perspective best emotionally supports the story. We go from an in-your face flurry of bullets and crashes and whooshes and explosions to, within the same scene, a sudden shift to hearing just the sound of one gun's bullets dropping on the floor from the point of view of one character. Brilliant! The film is mixed very well--with a wonderfully dimensional soundstage, great dynamics, clean and clear dialogue and fantastic panning effects. I love the moments when we "break through" various video display devices to enter a scene--the sonic detail and 3D effects are wonderful. I also enjoy the imaginative solutions for the question of what something not yet invented might sound like. It is obvious a lot of care and artistry went into the sound design, and that a rare synergy of all creative elements was achieved. Sound effects work hand in hand with visuals, dialogue and music to create a totally emmersive experience--a sign that the directors considered sound an important part of the process from the very beginning.
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5.0 out of 5 stars WARNING! WARNING! This is no "Collector's Set", Jan. 23 2004
This review is from: Matrix [Import] (DVD)
I jsut want to warn you all to slam on the brakes to avoid being duped into thinking that this item is a 'collector's set'.
I got this as a gift for my birthday in 2002 to replace a DVD of this movie that was stolen but I am just dissapointed with this item. I was expecting a very large stash of goodies but all I got was just two posters and just one, that's right ONE DISC!! Only one extra that was a second disc of behind the scenes footage and while it's great, I feel sorry for the person who ended up spending so much more money on just so little extra stuff.
This is a great item and the movie is just incredible but the title is misleading. Good thing that it's only a "Limited Edition" but there isn't enough that warrants spending and extra five thousand pennies on this set.
Stick with your older DVDs or wait until a possible MATRIX box set containing all three movies "Matrix", "Matrix Reloaded", and "Matrix Revolutions" comes out. You'll be much better buying that instead of this so-called "Collector's Set".
A total dissapointment. I'm only giving this a five star just because the movie is great.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The Sequels Put It To Shame, Jan. 21 2004
This review is from: The Matrix (Widescreen) (DVD)
I'm sick and tired of people being so hung-up on firsts. Check out ANY music artist, and people will ALWAYS tell you that their first album was their best. It's the same thing with movies, and, quite frankly, with "The Matrix", they're totally wrong.
I loved this movie when it first came out. It was undeniably creative, had great special effects, and really revolutionized the way action films would be looked at from then on. Then, "The Matrix Reloaded" hit the screens. After watching all the brand new, ultra-cool stunts, taking time to think over the philosophies, and trying to take in all the aspects of its massive scale, I can safely tell you that it makes this film look rather lame.
Sure, the lobby shootout and the battle in the subway station are excellent, but when compared to "Reloaded"'s burly brawl, freeway chase, and chateau death match, I just can't put the original on a pedestal. "Revolutions" with its truly epic battle for Zion (which set a benchmark in digital animation), and final showdown even further this film's mediocrity.
"The Matrix" has never been a series people came to for its writing or acting, and this one is no exception. Keanu Reeves is dry in his delivery, but makes up for it with all the coolness of his trench coat and sunglasses. The philosophical points and views expressed in the sequels are almost totally absent in the original, with the concept of a matrix of control constantly taking center stage during the dialogue scenes. Since Neo doesn't fully become 'The One' until the last minutes of the film, you won't be seeing very much of his lightning quick Kung-Fu either, and, to me, that removes a lot of this film's excitement.
It's safe to say that "The Matrix" is a good movie, but if you want something that will blow you away both mentally and visually, check out either of the two sequels instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! A sc-fi action movie that actually is deep!, Jan. 6 2004
Sean E. M. Dence "optimus_sean" (Quilcene, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Matrix (Widescreen) (DVD)
Do we choose what we are going to do or are we fated to do what we do? Is there fate or is there freewill?
This is a really complex question that is not easy to answer. The Matrix trilogy really attacks this question head-on and it never really leaves you with a definite answer. It makes you really think about everything that you have ever seen or done in your life and it leaves you with so many moral and philosophical questions. The people that hate the Matrix movies hate it because they can only see what is on the surface. They see people in funny black costumes flying around doing kung-fu. They don't ever see how deep and philosophical the films (or the characters) truly are.
I appreciate the Matrix and the Matrix sequels because they truly are the "thinking-man's" action films. The people that like The Matrix and dislike the sequels aren't really the true fans. They fail to see "how deep the rabbit hole truly goes."
I think The Matrix series is THE BEST Sci-Fi/Fantasy series ever. I think it's deeper than the Star Wars or Lord of the Rings films will ever be.
This film is the film that started it all. Buy it and it will truly open your mind. You will be thinking about it for days after you see it. It truly is excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars what is the matrix, Dec 31 2003
Bobby (Tucson, AZ) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Matrix (Widescreen) (DVD)
There are many, many varying perspectives about the true philosophical and religious foundations of the Matrix trilogy and its almost innumerable quantity of symbols and direct relations to ideologies and world religions. The directors chose to unfold the story of the Matrix through more than one form of media; likewise, I have studied the beliefs of many individuals through multiple forms of media and have come to portray the Matrix trilogy as both a philosophical interpretation of the postmodern condition and an artistically portrayed modern representation of Jesus Christ.
The Matrix trilogy is by far the most moving and inquisitively mind-expanding, thought provoking, and most detailed work of cinematic art I have ever experienced. Another human beings concept for an ideology has never been conveyed in such a bluntly ingenious manner.
The Wachowski brothers have revealed nothing in regard to the nature of the trilogy's meaning and its design of infinitely layered implicit foreshadowing of current trends intricately composing the soul of the Matrix experience. Their only response is that its depth is "More than you will ever know."
The part of this generation of videogaming, tv raised, comic book junkies who came to see the movie for its special effects and violence, were not expecting to find themselves questioning their very existance after viewing a film that merely touches on the fact that we, in fact, do not know what true reality is, and that we have absolutely no way of providing concrete facts that suggest otherwise.
In regard to the trilogy, I have yet to hear a criticism that is not obliviously asinine. A part of its genuine design is to point out the naivety of those who label the film according to what they rated it as a motion picture viewing and nothing more/less. Those who do so generally judge by covers and accept everything as it is with little or no doubt. Beyond what they see as kung-fu used to snag viewers, is a monumental unspoken relation to the enslaving political, social, and economical issues of what has been titled the postmodern society.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Moose Hole - Enter 'The Matrix', Dec 30 2003
This review is from: The Matrix (Widescreen) (DVD)
Let's imagine that you are an average Joe just trying to make your way through the world, doing whatever you can just to make a living. But just like that, your entire world is turned upside-down. That is what happens to a man in the sci-fi action thriller, The Matrix. When The Matrix was released into theaters over the Easter weekend in 1999, it looked to another innocent film that might make some decent money since it had a relatively low budget. Who would have figured that this film would become a cultural phenomenon? It became one of the biggest DVDs of all time in 1999 and spawned two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, both set for release in 2003. Animated prequels, titled The Animatrix, have also been created based on the success of the original film. Obviously many are surprised at the success of the series but is the original as great as many claim it is or is all the praise just a lie?
The story goes that Thomas Anderson is another run of the mill guy. He works in an office building during the day but outside his usual job, he sells computer programs and such in his spare time. His world is soon turned upside-down when he meets up with a woman named Trinity. He is seeking the answer to the same question she has: What is the Matrix? Mr. Anderson meets up with a strange man named Morpheus, who believes he can help him find the answer. Morpheus reveals to the now named Neo that world he had been living in is a lie. The year is not 1999 but rather closer to the year 2199. No one really knows for sure. Artificially Intelligent Machines have taken over the planet and have hooked every human being into The Matrix, a computer program created to keep everyone in check, so that the dead may be used for fuel. Neo is recruited to join the resistance movement and save the human species. The story for The Matrix is probably the best ever created for a film of this genre. The Matrix blends not only good storytelling and amazing special effects but also blends references and elements from classic literature and mythology which is extremely rare for sci-fi action films so like The Matrix.
The acting is pretty dry in The Matrix but that is the way it is intended to be. No one is suppose to stand out but all are intended to blend together to create a better movie-going experience. Keanu Reeves, who is probably best known before The Matrix for his role in Speed, plays the character of Thomas Anderson, aka Neo. Reeves' acting is much better then most of his other films and shows that he is really maturing in his choices of roles. Some of the dialogue sounds weird coming from him and some of his actions seem awkward but that is his acting style that seems right in place for this kind of film that throws all kinds of weird things at you. Laurence Fishburne is absolutely perfect in the role of Morpheus, the man who trains Neo to free his mind from the machine controlled world. Fishburne presents a strange yet intriguing feeling with the character of Morpheus that always keeps you guessing at what he character is going to do next, which makes him a favorite among many fans of the film. Carrie-Annie Moss is pretty good as Trinity. Her character obviously kicks some serious butt but she is less focused on then Neo or Morpheus, who are more of the focus of the film. Hugo Weaving is extremely creepy as the cunning Agent Smith, a program of the Matrix sent to destroy the rebel movement. His character is a great highlight of the film.
Overall, The Matrix is truly an amazing experience that must be seen to believe. The special effects are only part of this film and aren't the main focus, which the Wachowski brothers pull off with great storytelling and direction. That doesn't mean they aren't amazing by themselves. The special effect sequences in The Matrix are probably the best choreographed scenes you will ever see in sci-fi film or any film for that matter. It shows that a lot more went into each scene other then just the CGI, which is so rare in most films released today. The plot for The Matrix is the main focus and it is very well done. One has to watch the film more then once to actually get everything since most is thrown at you so quickly that it can be processed all at one time. And a lot of things that have to be taken from The Matrix are hidden in the film but that's what makes watching this film so much fun. The Matrix is probably one of the best things to come along in quite awhile. This singular film will hopefully change the way we watch movies for many years to come. It shows that there is more to a film then spectacular effects. It is the little things like chromatography, plot developments and such that make a truly engaging movie experience. This one film alone should be everybody's list to see.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You don't gotta be the one to see this movie, Dec 24 2003
S. Dickler "dpd89" (LA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Matrix (Widescreen) (DVD)
The Matrix is no doubt one of the best movies of it's time, with in your face action and awsome special effects you could and will want to watch it over and over again.
Unless you have been living under a rock you would know the general premise of it so there isnt any need for me to say it. Exept for the fact that it blows you away every time you watch it with new hidden meanings and forshadowing, which I would watch it just for.
Anyway lets talk about the acting. Keanu Reeves { Neo} acually did a great job. Now before you just skip over this reveiw because you think im being overly enthusiastic just read for one more second..... People critize him for being " wooden" and not showing much emotion, and that he doesn't seem like anything special { which I TOTALLY disagree with, but thats besides the point} well thats why why he is soooo PERFECT for this role, he is suposed to look confussed and guarded during the film, which is why i give the casting so much credit, as well as Keanu because lets face it, could you see brad pitt or will smith now as Neo? So I really believe he deserves more credit then what fans and critics have given him.
Anyway where was I, Lawrence Fishbourrne, he was great in the part of Morph. He was very confident, in a good way, but he was also able to put lots of emotion into the easily dense part of "the captain".
Finally we come to the runaway hit of the matrix....... Carrie Anne Moss. She was beautiful, strong, kick ass, emotional, simply wonderful. Every time I watch it I'm blown away by the presence she has, it's not a big over blown one, just you always want her on the screen { and not just because she is beautiful}. By the way, if you liked her in this you should definatly check her out in Memento, which is my second favorite movie behind this.
So basically what im saying is Screw lord of the rings, buy the MATRIX and of couse it's sequels but thats for another review.
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