The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

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Released 13-Oct-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Preload: A Production Overview With Cast And Creators
Featurette-The Matrix Unfolds: A Look At The Total Matrix Phenomenon
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-The Freeway Chase
Featurette-Get Me An Exit: Matrix-inspired advertising
Featurette-Enter The Matrix: The Game
Featurette-The Animatrix Trailer
Featurette-2003 MTV Movie Awards Matrix Reloaded Parody
Trailer-Matrix Revoutions
Web Links
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 132:36
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (77:13)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Andy Wachowski
Larry Wachowski
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Keanu Reeves
Laurence Fishburne
Carrie-Anne Moss
Hugo Weaving
Jada Pinkett Smith
Gloria Foster
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $49.95 Music Don Davis


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Samsung electronics and Ducatti motorcycles.
Action In or After Credits Yes, Matrix Revolutions trailer.

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    I made an effort to see The Matrix Reloaded several times at the cinema, with a different group of friends or family each time. I was surprised that after each viewing I was literally the only person to walk out of the theatre satisfied. Was I seeing something in the film other people weren't? Were my fellow viewers expecting too much? I was baffled, and still am to some degree. Anybody with the most vague interest in films knows that this is the second of three parts - but some movie-goers still expect their endings to be neatly tied-up as the credits begin to roll. If you only read the first two acts of Macbeth it would surely end on a similarly unfulfilling note, so why expect a climactic and fulfilling end to the middle chapter of a story? One columnist in a Sydney newspaper went so far as to demand the two hours of her life back that the Wachowski brothers had stolen from her. I'm willing to bet the same journalist will be praising the Wachowski brothers for their vision when the final film is released.

    Now that I have that out of my system, we can talk about the story in this portion of the saga. About six months have passed since Neo blew agent Smith to pieces and he is still growing into his skin, steadily becoming aware of his true capabilities. One of his new abilities includes premonitions, and one strikes him in his sleep that makes him fearful of the future.

    Carrying on from events covered in The Animatrix, vital data has been relayed to the fleet by the Osiris regarding the advancing of thousands of Sentinels towards Zion - the last cluster of human life on earth. The defence of Zion is soon placed in jeopardy by friction between those who share Morpheus' beliefs and those that couldn't care less for Neo's supposed talents. Political sympathisers manage to allocate three ships to an attempt to make contact with the Oracle, who points Neo in the direction of the Keymaker - an exiled program with the ability to help Neo attain an audience with the Architect who designed the Matrix.

    The Architect proves to be an enigmatic and apathetic character, not threatened by Neo in the slightest. He claims to have been through this routine many times before, attributing all past events to the application of a program designed to nurture The One in a perpetuating cycle that sees the human race face extinction every hundred years. Just as the Oracle warned him, Neo will face a decision - to rescue the human race and continue the cycle, or save the life of his beloved and risk totally wiping out the population of Zion.

    The pace of the action in this instalment is absolutely unrelenting - the film feels only half of its two hour runtime. This is superb entertainment, and I cannot wait for the third and final part, which is said to completely wrap up the saga.

    One special note - the runtime of the film as quoted above includes the Matrix Revolutions trailer which is tacked onto the end of the film after the credits, in the same way that it was presented in theatres. I was frustrated by the surprise inclusion of a Warner Bros. Movie World trailer prior to the film when Play Movie is selected from the main menu on disc one. The skip button seems to work very effectively on this occasion.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a beautiful transfer and is virtually flawless.

    This transfer is presented in a ratio of 2.40:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. This is close to the disc's packaging which lists the aspect ratio as 2.35:1.

    The level of sharpness is superb, with plenty of detail evident in both foreground and background elements of the film. In some close-ups the level of detail is so good that the textures of skin and clothing are clearly visible and realistic. Black levels appeared solid and the amount of shadow detail during the darker scenes of the film was most impressive. There were absolutely no instances of low level noise present in the transfer.

    There isn't a lot of bold or eye-catching use of colour in the film; the Matrix itself is an expanse of cityscape and the real world is dominated by dirt and machines. Skin tones appeared true throughout the film and were consistent. There were no examples of over-saturation or colour bleeding in the transfer.

    MPEG artefacts were nowhere to be seen. The video bit-rate hovered between 5 and 6 Mb/s for most of the film but rose sharply during the film's final twenty minutes. This is the first disc I have reviewed in which I didn't notice any aliasing at all, which impresses me because that is an artefact I witness very often, and find most irritating.

    English subtitles for the Hearing Impaired are optional on the disc and were almost spot-on. I viewed over half an hour of the film with the subtitles enabled and found that they followed the dialogue accurately, but they did not translate the brief lines of French spoken by the Merovingian and his cohorts (60:51).

    This disc is dual layered, with the transitional pause located at 77:13 in a quiet moment that only briefly interrupts some ambient noise.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is only one audio track on this disc, Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 384kb/s.

    The dialogue was always easy to understand throughout the film and was never overpowered by foley or sound effects. Audio sync was always spot on and didn't present a problem at all.

    Composer Don Davis has outdone himself on this film, creating a soundtrack score that flows beautifully with the action on screen, blending with the film so neatly that it's very easy to forget its there. As well as the conventional score there are contributions from Rage Against the Machine, Rob Zombie and many other contemporary artists, often lending an alternative electronic or techno backbeat.

    Surround activity was sublime, with all channels receiving an intense workout from beginning to end. It was so refreshing to hear the rear channels constantly buzzing with activity, and to hear the rears used for action off screen was brilliant. The first use of the surround that caught my ear was bullets flying over my head at 2:44. Neo later flies overhead with a loud swoop at 11:18 and agent Smith's voice whispers to us from all directions at 56:26. This is certainly one of the most active DVD soundtracks I have experienced in some time.

    The subwoofer kicked in regularly to accent the many explosions and gunfire during the film, but I would not say that it's presence was dominating in any way. The most penetrating rumble came at 94:00 in a wonderful build up of tension.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The Matrix Reloaded has less bonus material than the first film, but is spread over two discs - the first containing the movie only. No commentaries here, and no White Rabbit-style feature. Also disappointing is that besides the menus, none of the extras are 16x9 enhanced.

Menu

    All menus are smoothly animated with highlights from the film and are 16x9 enhanced. The audio level on the menus is mastered at a much lower volume than the feature.

Preload (22:12)

    This is a mildly interesting featurette that covers nearly all aspects of the filmmaking process, including the fight scene choreography, pre-visualisation, storyboarding and post production, giving a brief overview of the filmmaking process. I expected a lot more.

Matrix Unfolds (5:22)

    This short featurette follows the entire Matrix franchise, touching on The Animatrix, Enter The Matrix, the three Matrix films and their relationship to one another. With nothing of any real interest for fans, this is just an exercise in cross-promotion.

Freeway Chase (30:49)

    This is the most interesting featurette on the DVD, offering a deconstruction of the massive car chase, the crashes and stunts involved. This scene was a massive undertaking, an entire length of freeway had to be built for the 10 week shoot and all of the cast underwent driving training. It is also quite interesting to see the complex stunt work in action, the drivers take some amazing risks in their line of duty.

Get Me An Exit (9:48)

    A rather bland look at how The Matrix name is used to market sports drinks, mobile telephones and plasma televisions. The Wachowski brothers have a say in all aspects of the franchise; they even used their first assistant director to shoot the commercials for products tied-in with the film.

Making Enter The Matrix: The Game (28:16)

    This featurette covers all aspects of the development, production and story behind the console game, featuring some scenes that were specifically shot for the game during the production of Reloaded and Revolutions. Programmers developed an entirely new fighting engine for this game with more manoeuvres and fighting styles than you can imagine. Film-like aspects were applied to the game play, using motion capture to choreograph the CG characters. This is a game on a massive scale.

The Animatrix Trailer (4:33)

    This is a great sample of The Animatrix, an absolute must see DVD for anyone with an interest in anime or the Matrix universe. For more detailed information concerning this brilliant DVD, check out my review here.

Web Links

    When you put the disc into your DVD-Rom drive an Interactual Player loads, offering links to various pages on the Matrix official site.

MTV Movie Awards Reloaded (9:40)

    Justin Timberlake and Sean William-Scott star in this mildly humorous Matrix parody, highlighting many of the most memorable scenes from the film.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Region 1 has released both wide- and full-screen versions of the film which contain two additional audio options: French Dolby Digital 5.1 and an English Dolby Surround track. French and Spanish subtitles are also available on the feature. The Region 4 is fine, but I'd recommend you buy this wherever you can find it cheapest.

Summary

    The Matrix Reloaded is a brilliant piece of sci-fi action, and a magnificent viewing experience on DVD. Bring on part three!

    The video transfer is the most impressive I have had the pleasure to review.

    The audio transfer is excellent, with some wonderful surround usage.

    I didn't find the extras as earth-shattering as they are made out to be. Sure, there are some mildly interesting featurettes, but to spread the contents of this package over two discs seems a bit silly.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-525, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Vincent C
MovieHole - Clint M
AllZone4DVD - Alex C
The DVD Bits - Dean B

Comments (Add)
Matrix Game is actually crap! - Anonymous
I also enjoyed Reloaded - Zinzan (This is my.... bio)
I didn't enjoy it much... - Simon O'Connor (I wouldn't suggest reading my bio)
Better than the original - damnfine
Matrix Reloaded - Defending the knockers. - Rodda (This... is my *bioom* stick!)
Nice Rental DVD. Now, what are they doing for the fans ? - gRANT (Read my bio, mmm... uncompressed surround audio)
Matrix and DTS - Jace
Matrix Reloaded = too long, too much "fighting" - Anonymous
Huge fan here - Kaiser Soze (I'm not stupid. You're not interested. But my bio is here anyway)
Why no 486kb/s bit-rate on Warner Titles??? :( - Axe
Opps - I meant 448 kb/s .... Doh!!! - axe
throwaway script - Anonymous
forget matrix reloaded.... - Anonymous
Is that Warner Bros. Movie World trailer only for the rental version of Reloaded? - HAGAR THE HORRIBLE REPLY POSTED
Reply to Kaiser Soze - Simon O'Connor (I wouldn't suggest reading my bio)
There will no doubt be a Special Edition of this - Anonymous
Pseudo Intellectual rubbish - Anonymous
Some of us can't wait that long, some of us can't even wait 10 days! :) - ROBOCOP
News from thedigitalbits.com - Simon O'Connor (I wouldn't suggest reading my bio)
Hear, Hear, Simon - Shane C (read my bio, you will)
Reply to Simon O'Connor - Kaiser Soze (I'm not stupid. You're not interested. But my bio is here anyway)
Reply to the Pseudo Intellect - Gordon Rock
Rise up against Warner Brothers - AXE
Rise up against Warners... - Jace
re: Comments of Matrix Reloaded. - Roger T. Ward (Some say he's afraid of the Dutch, and that he's stumped by clouds. All we know, this is his bio.)
Roger T. Ward - Christopher
anti-warner people, please read - millhouse
Special Editions? - Johnny Wadd (i am bionic)
Re: Matrix Special Editions? - Christopher
Reply to Roger - Simon O'Connor (I wouldn't suggest reading my bio)
Speaking of multiple DVD releases... - Christopher
re: Reply To Roger - Roger T. Ward (Some say he's afraid of the Dutch, and that he's stumped by clouds. All we know, this is his bio.)
Reply to Reply to Reply... - Simon O'Connor (I wouldn't suggest reading my bio)
Amount of data on disc - Steven B
Data amount's on disk..... - Anthony
re: Reply to Reply to Reply... - Roger T. Ward (Some say he's afraid of the Dutch, and that he's stumped by clouds. All we know, this is his bio.)
re: Data amount's on disk..... - Roger T. Ward (Some say he's afraid of the Dutch, and that he's stumped by clouds. All we know, this is his bio.)
Final reply to Roger :) - Simon O'Connor (I wouldn't suggest reading my bio)
Agree - too long and boring - Anonymous
Michael D - Time for a new poll? - Rodda (This... is my *bioom* stick!)
R1 DVD is 448Kbps encoded on both Audio Tracks - Anonymous
Info on the 2 disc Matrix Special Edition - Anonymously
To Anonymously - Anonymous
The Matrix Trilogy is the new generations Star Wars. - Anonymous
RE: The Matrix Trilogy is the new generations Star Wars - Craggles (Behold the mighty bio!!)
Enter the Matrix Featurette reveals a big lie about the game - Anonymous
Disc only has 5.7GB worth of movie - Quizo69
My thougths on Reloaded.... - Anonymous
Reply to Joe Public (Gordon Rock) - Anonymous
"Every scene in this film went on for too long..." - Anonymous
don't take it seriously - Mike
Re: entertainment - Neil
Don't seriously entertain - Le Messor (bio logy class)