Region 4 / PAL / Roadshow
Okay guys, I'm about to write something controversial. Are you ready? You might want to sit down for this bombshell. Okay, you're right? Then I'll begin.
The Matrix is not by any stretch of the imagination the greatest science fiction film ever made. Nor is The Matrix deep and meaningful. At best, The Matrix is a pretty good action movie with some very neat special effects (and even they aren't as revolutionary as many would have you believe).
Now, was I the only one who wanted to smack that little spoon-bending shit upside the head? And then some bozo goes up to receive his Oscar, and he says something like 'Remember, there is no spoon,' as if they've gone and created some whole new frickin' philosophy or something so now I want to smack him upside the head! Let's face it, the whole concept of finding out that what we see as reality isn't really so is something that everyone's thought of at some pre-Matrix point in their life. Hell, I pray that to be the case every morning before I go to work because I just want to wake up in a place where people stop trying to poison me!!
Anyhoo, the picture and sound on this disc are, as expected, pretty damn good. I've seen a few better looking movies on DVD, but any problems with the way this disk looks are a result of the way the film was shot in the first place, as the transfer is close to perfect. The sound is impeccable.
While a lot of people will have you believe otherwise, the supplementary features on The Matrix are very average. The main commentary track which features a special effects guy and the editor, and occasionally actress Carrie Ann Moss, is incredibly dull. The other track features an isolated music score along with commentary by the composer during the quiet bits. This may be of interest to people interested in composing for film, but I'm thinking that your average Matrix fan is more likely to have dreams of becoming a computer analyst, or grand wizard of the Camelot Re-enactment Society. The most valuable extra on this disk would be the As-Seen-On-TV making of doco. Like most made for TV presentations, this is pretty shallow stuff and focuses mostly on the special effects and stunts, but hey, it's main purpose was marketing, and I guess it was proven to be successful. There are also a couple of mini-featurettes, including one about the 'bullet-time' technique which seems mandatory if you ever do a space warp or a car commercial these days. Of course there's also the 'Follow The White Rabbit' feature. In an attempt to do something clever, the DVD designers have gone and added a subtitle track which every now and then pops up a little white bunny rabbit. Selecting Mr Floppsy takes you to behind the scenes footage of the scene you're watching. This is a cute little extra, but these bits should also be accessable straight from the menu system. The DVD also features some DVD-Rom stuff, including the script and storyboards, which really would have been nicer if they'd been included on the regular non-DVD-Rom part of the disc. The last thing I want to do is spend more time at this stupid machine......