The Matrix
Warner Bros. / 1999 / 136 Mins / Rated R


MOVIE
Okay, this is a comparative review between the R1 and R4 versions of The Matrix. Now to all intents the Region4 disc is the same as the Region1 disc  with only a few differences.  As such my description of the movie will be mostly same as the R4 version. Note: There is one small difference in the movie compared to the R4 version. The R1 version has the WB logo first then the Village logo. On the Roadshow disc the titles are around the other way. I have to admit it feels very weird on the R4 disc as the audio doesn't seem to match with the picture as it does on the R1 disc. That aside the movie is the same.

This is one movie I have not been looking forward to reviewing, not because I didn't like it, far from it. But because it's a hard movie to describe without ruining it. Oh stuff it.

Basically the world we know of does not exist and the world we live in is a lie.

Neo (Keanu Reeves) is the chosen one and it is up to him to stop whatever or whoever is behind the Matrix. He is recruited by Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) to stop the bad guys. Along the way he meets some pretty nasty anal retentive type dudes called agents who won't seem to die.

The main agent is played by Hugo Weaving in one of his coolest roles yet. That voice he uses goes off. The movie is filled with pretty solid performances all round and really helps pull off the wonder of it all.

This is a movie you have to see to believe. It's scope amazing and execution is perfect. Bring on the sequels please.

VIDEO
Very high quality is the keyword for this Region1 version. The disc looks very clear and vibrant. As this is an NTSC format disc there are some very slight problems with shadow detail. There was also some very slight grain apparent in some scenes. I would say that the video on this version is slightly poorer on this NTSC disc.

The Matrix is framed at 2:35:1 and is 16:9 enhanced.

This is a single-sided, dual-layer disc.

AUDIO

Unlike the video quality, the sound is as good if not slightly better, this track doesn't seem so hollowish, but anyway it's already hard to top aural perfection so I'll call it a tie and the same is said about the audio as was said for the R4 version.

"This disc has reference quality audio. There are several audio formats on this disc. The movie is encoded in full Dolby Digital 5.1 and is as aggressive as all hell. The surrounds and .1 channel are forever receiving a pounding. The sound steering in this disc is also amazing, just checkout the scene where Neo is being shot at by an agent on the top of the building. Wonderful stuff."

EXTRAS

Again really the same. The R1 version of The Matrix has an animated chapter selection screen and some DVD-ROM trailers, the R4 version doesn't have these, but it does have a Dolby Digital trailer and in my book the DVD trailers sucked so the R4 version nudges across the line here also. The rest of the extras are the same.

Cast & Crew Notes: Like it says.

Audio Commentary 1: The first audio commentary features Carrie Anne-Moss (Trinity), John Gaeta (VFX) & Zach Staenberg (Editor). This track is encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0. I have to admit that it is not the best commentary but has some good technical details. Carrie Anne-Moss is pretty silent throughout.

Audio Commentary 2: Music Only Score with commentary by Don Davies (Composer). He is very informative also. He speaks in sections without music.

Making Of Feature: This is a 30 minute HBO making of about The Matrix and is quite entertaining and a damn sight better than those short 5 minutes crap fest you can get on other discs.

2 Hidden Featurette's: There are 2 hidden featurette's on this disc. You need to find them by looking for the red pills in the menus. They are entitled "What is the Concept" & "What is Bullet Time"

"Follow The White Rabbit" Featurette: This has to be the coolest feature. When you enable this feature you watch the movie as normal and then at various points throughout the movie a little white rabbit pops up and you press you enter key on your remote. Once you press the enter key a little featurette pops up and you can see how that scene was made. After the featurette ends the movie continues from the point you left it at. All up around 20 minutes of footage.

DVD ROM Content: There are several features on the DVD ROM content. The biggest feature is the website on the disc as well as other little games and trivia.

Subtitles Include:
Closed Caption

FINAL THOUGHTS
It's good. But not as good as the Region 4 version. Get the Roadshow disc instead.

16:9 ENHANCEMENT DISC RATING

VIDEO:
AUDIO:
EXTRAS:

PLOT:
OVERALL:

REVIEW EQUIPMENT

Display: 48" Sony RPTV.
DVD Player:
Panasonic A350 Player using S-Video Cables.
Receiver:
Pioneer VSX-D508 Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.
Speakers:
Accusound speaker system.

Copyright 2000 by [Roger Ward].
Revised: 25 May 2000 22:39:40 +1100 .

DVD INFORMATION
Region Coding: Region 1
No of Discs: 1
MPAA Rating R
Running Time: 136 Mins
Case Type: Black Amaray
Release Date: 21/9/1999
Catalog Number:
List Price: Personal Import
Distributor: Warner Bros.
DISC SPECIFICATIONS
Disc Format: NTSC
Disc Type: Picture Disc
Disc Format: SS-RSDL
Chapters: 38
Macrovision: Yes
Manufacturer: WAMO
VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS
Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
Anamorphic: Yes
Film Format: 35mm
SOUND SPECIFICATIONS
Dolby Digital:

5.1 Surround

DTS: None
PCM Stereo: None
Other: 5.1 Music Score
Languages: English
Subtitles: Yes
SPECIAL FEATURES
Audio Commentary: Yes
Theatrical Trailer: None
Teaser Trailer: None
TV Spots: None
Dolby Trailer: None
Documentary: Yes
Cast & Crew Bios: Yes
Deleted Scenes: None
Music Videos: None
DVD Rom Content: Yes
Collectable Booklet: None
Scene Access: Yes
Animated Menus: Yes
Production Notes: Yes
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INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE INFO
OFFICIAL WEB SITE
VIEW TRAILER
NONE