Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne lead the fight to free humankind from The Matrix in this special effects-laden cyber-thriller. In the year 2070, a young computer operator (Reeves) discovers that through the use of artificial intelligence system (The Matrix), the world that he—and everyone else—knows is completely unreal. The Matrix taps into people's minds and creates the illusion of a real world, when in reality they are just being controlled to see and feel what they are programmed to experience. But when Reeves meets Morpheus (Fishburne), he feels that Reeves is Neo, the one human who can override The Matrix and free humankind from this psychological and physical imprisonment. Winner of four Academy® Awards: Film Editing, Visual Effects, Sound and Sound Effects Editing. (Laurie Sevano)
Special features on Side A include five commentaries (Wachowski Brothers, Philosophers, Critics, Cast And Crew, and Composer), a 41-track The Music Revisited, Marilyn Manson "Rock Is Dead" music video, and the seven-part, 43-minute Behind The Matrix feature, plus In-Movie Experience. Side B includes three featurettes: the 33-chaptered The Matrix Revisited, the nine-part Follow The White Rabbit, and the two-part Take The Red Pill.
The Ultimate Matrix Collection also has a two-disc bonus, The Matrix Experience, which, ironically, is not in high-definition. Go figure. On Disc One, Side A, there are nine short anime films under Visions, a total of 14 creator commentaries in two sections (Voices and Creators), a 22-minute history capsule of anime, a seven-part behind-the-magic segment, and DVD-ROM material. On Side B, there are two documentaries (Return To Source: Philosophy & The Matrix and The Hard Problem: The Science Behind The Fiction) and web links.
One Disc Two, Side A, there are two featurettes: "The Burly Man Chronicles," and the three-part "Follow The White Rabbit." Plus some web links. Side B is home to "The Zion Archive," which includes storyboards; the three-part "The Media Of the Matrix"; a rave (music) reel; a nine-minute online game preview; and web links.
The stylized VC-1-encoded 2.35:1 HD DVD can look very good, with well-defined details, solid black levels, and impressive shadow delineation. While much of the presentation is completely awash in green hues, fleshtones begin to look more realistic in the later scenes. The picture quality isn't perfect, but it is still very good. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolby® Digital Plus and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel encoding is enjoyable, with a low noise floor with impressive dynamic range and good articulation. Fidelity is pristine, and the mix is exciting. The TrueHD encoding provides even greater naturalness and fidelity. Like the original DVD release, the mix can be lacking in surround envelopment at times, but is generally very entertaining. (Danny Richelieu)