The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
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
|Year Of Production||2003|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Jada Pinkett Smith
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|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.|
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.
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.
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.
|Surround Channel Use|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When you put the disc into your DVD-Rom drive an Interactual Player loads, offering links to various pages on the Matrix official site.
Justin Timberlake and Sean William-Scott star in this mildly humorous Matrix parody, highlighting many of the most memorable scenes from the film.
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.
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.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-525, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.|