|Category||Science Fiction/Action||Theatrical Trailer(s)||None|
|Rating||Other Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - Dolby Digital City|
|Year Released||1999||Commentary Tracks||Yes, 2
1 - John Gaeta (Visual Effects Supervisor), Zach Staenberg (Editor), Carrie-Anne Moss (Actor)
2 - Isolated Music Score plus Commentary by Don Davies (Composer)
|Running Time||131:20 minutes||Other Extras||Menu Audio & Animation
Cast & Crew Biographies
Featurette-What Is The Concept (11:24)
Featurette-What Is Bullet-Time (6:14)
Featurette-Making Of (25:55)
Featurette-Follow The White Rabbit (22:51)
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
Isolated Music Score plus Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
It's very hard to give a synopsis of The Matrix without giving away significant amounts of the plot. As Morpheus says, "No one can tell you what The Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself". The Matrix is a visionary movie, painting an intriguing vision of the future. It is a full-on sensory explosion, grabbing its audience from the very start and never letting go. It is heavily reliant on special effects, but unlike most special-effects driven movies, the story does not take a back seat to the special effects. Quite the contrary, in fact. The special effects help to tell the story in a very unique way.
Neo (Keanu Reeves), is a computer hacker. He senses that something is not quite right, but he is not sure exactly what it is that is wrong. Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) intend to show Neo exactly what the problem is, once he takes the red pill.
The transfer is generally very clear and very sharp throughout. A few scenes show some minor grain in the background, and the aforementioned scene in Chapter 5 is a little washed out, but generally the picture sharpness is excellent. Shadow detail is very good, though it does fall just short of the very best transfers that I have seen. There is no low level noise.
The colours were accurately rendered according to the directors' wishes. The Matrix is very much lacking in blue, which gives these scenes a strong green tint about them. In direct contrast to this colour scheme, the scenes aboard the Nebuchadnezzar are strongly blue-tinted.
There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some minor moiré effects on some of the zoom-in sequences into TV monitors, and some trivial aliasing here and there. Film artefacts were very few and very far between.
This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring during a fade-to-black at 59:12, between Chapters 18 and 19. It is not intrusive at all, and very well placed.
There are three audio tracks on this DVD; the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, an English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack and an Isolated Music Score plus Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. I listened to all three soundtracks.
The dialogue was basically completely clear and easy to understand at all times. The only sequence where I had to strain to understand the dialogue was the scene where Trinity meets Neo for the first time at the rave club.
Audio sync was not a problem at all with the Toshiba 2109 DVD player. As a test, I then compared a selected passage from Chapter 5 on both a Pioneer DV-525 and a Pioneer DV-505. On the DV-505, the sync was so far out as to make the passage all but unwatchable. On the DV-525, the sync was still noticeably out, but considerably better than on the DV-505.
The musical score by Don Davies is exemplary in creating the appropriate atmosphere and feel for the movie. It is a very dramatic and strident score, ideally mated to the on-screen action.
The surround channels were used extremely aggressively by this soundtrack, with frequent special effects finding their way into all sorts of positions in the soundfield. It is a fully enveloping soundtrack - one that grabs you by the coattails and drags you into the movie.
The subwoofer was used very heavily by the soundtrack, but despite being used heavily, it was always used appropriately. It never called attention to itself, but it accentuated the on-screen action superbly when it was used.
[Addendum 24th November 1999: There is a minor packaging error. The packaging states that the scene selections are animated. They are not - the animation was deleted at the last moment to leave sufficient room for the other extras.]
The Region 4 version misses out on;
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is superb, and is of reference quality.
The extras are superlative.
This disc is good enough to be inducted into my Hall Of Fame.
© Michael Demtschyna
17th November 1999
Amended 24th November 1999
|DVD||Toshiba 2109, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer|