728 of 770 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2004
During the following I will intend to describe as best and briefly as possible this collection. I also will mention some differences between this collection and the original releases. Enjoy.
The difference between the limited and the unlimited editions are: The Limited Edition comes in a plastic box with trays, a Neo bust and an 80 page booklet that lists the extras of the 10 disks (yes, that's all it does). Besides this the sets are the same.
These two sets include all three films, The Animatrix, the film footage shot for Enter the Matrix videogame and 106 documentaries. The bonus disks for Reloaded and Revolutions are different from those included in the versions already released.
REMASTERD: The movies were enhanced so the films look brighter in color and richer in details. Don't worry it was not done by Gorge Lucas. The films are the same.
AUDIO: Also enhanced (not that it was necessary). Voices are stronger, gentle noises stand out more and details were sweetened just a bit. Great work!
DISK 1: The Matrix. The original commentaries, the music only audio track, follow the white rabbit, take the red pills... ALL ARE MISSING in this version. It comes with two commentaries worth listening to, a written intro from the Wachowski bros., and a ROM feature.
DISK 2: The Matrix Revisited. It includes the entire contents of the original disk except the fanboy stuff.
DISK 3: The Matrix Reloaded. Two new commentaries and a ROM feature.
DISK 4: The Matrix Reloaded Revisited. All new stuff such as a 17-min look at the fight in the Merovingian's chateau, 55-min dissection of the car chase, 40-min look at the Neo vs. 100 Smith battle, 7-min segment on Neo vs. Seraph and more.
DISK 5: The Matrix Revolutions. Two new commentaries and a ROM feature.
DISK 6: The Matrix Revolutions Revisited. Includes a tour of the set, 27-min piece on the Club Hel fight (ceiling walkers), segments on the workers and extras, 17-min profile of Neo vs. Smith final battle, 36-min piece covering the soundtrack, film editing, etc. and more.
DISK 7: The Animatrix. Just as we all remember it.
DISK 8: The Roots of the Matrix. Two documentaries: 1-Return to Source: The Philosophy of The Matrix: is an hour long discussion on the philosophical elements of the movie. And 2-The Hard Problem: the Science Behind the Fiction is an hour long discussion of the science of the films and its possibilities for a real life Matrix.
DISK 9: The Burly Man Chronicles. This is a 94-min featurette documenting the whole 276 day shoot for films 2 and 3. Profiles, interviews, a tribute to Alliyah and more are also found on this disk. Although almost nothing is said about Gloria Foster (the original Oracle).
DISK 10: The Zion Archive. Here we find storyboards and concept art for all three films; trailers and music videos for all three films; video effects in various states of completion and a Matrix Online game preview.
Overall: Excellent collection and a must for fans. If you are not a hardcore fan though and you like this collection, you may want to purchase the one without Neo's bust. It's cheaper and the booklet is only a guide to the extras on the 10 disks which are all included in both sets. The Wachowskis DO NOT give any commentaries on these disks which may be disappointing for some fans. But over all this is a great collection. You may add it to the ones you already own with confidence. There are more goodies in these disks not mentioned here so have fun exploring. Just follow the white rabbit and remember... there is no spoon.
260 of 276 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2008
There's really no reason to go into describing The Matrix Trilogy. Unless you lived under a rock for the past ten years, The Matrix is one of the most original and influential Science Fiction films of recent memory. Starring Keanu Reeves and directed by The Wachowski Brothers (who recently gave us the live-action Speed Racer film), this tale of computers taking over the reality of the human race and a small group of survivors in constant battle to win back their independence, successfully blasted it's way through theatres between the years of 1999 thru 2003. Complete with two theatrical sequels and one direct-to-video animated film called "The Animatrix", it was THE complete tale to own on DVD. Each film was released separately on the format as two-disc sets complete with somewhat bloated extras (The first and animated releases keep the extras on the film disc). But back in 2004, Warner Bros. released the "Ultimate Matrix Collection", a whopping ten disc collection featuring a brand new transfer of the first film and even more behind-the-scenes footage. But at a steep price of $52.00, for someone that really just wanted the movies, it wasn't all that practical. Now Warner Bros has introduced The Matrix to it's "4 Film Favorites" line, and the result is a great buy for the fan that just wants the films but at a more reasonable price.
Let me explain what you exactly get here. Housed in one original sized keepcase with a leaf in the middle to separate the two discs inside, each disc is a DVD-18, otherwise known as "dual-sided/dual-layed". Imagine if you took say The Matrix DVD and glued/attached it's label side to the label side of the first movie disc of The Matrix Reloaded. Then did the same thing to Disc One of Matrix Revolutions and the single disc of The Animatrix. That's pretty much what this set is. Each side is an EXACT, down to the bitrate quality, copy of the original release as it was when first released. Same menus, video/audio, Disc One extras, and all. Nothing has been changed except there's no picture label side now. Sure, the Disc Two's of Reloaded/Revolutions are absent now, but for under $12, and if you only want the movies that still are presented in their original Anamorphic Widescreen video, this for the tight-walleted film fans out there that never bothered to buy these films in the first place is truly the best way to go.
If the set has any cons, the first film is from 1999 DVD master, and while it's okay, it's still nowhere near the quality of the 2004 remaster that for Standard Definition discs is still exclusive to the Ultimate boxset. The transfers on the other three films here DO match in quality since they all were shot digitally to begin with, so one out of three isn't all that bad. Also, in order to give two full dual-layered presentations on just one disc, they HAVE to be dual-sided, otherwise known as "flippers". With flippers, each side is untouchable so to not get unwanted scratches on either side, you have to be more careful with them than a single-sided disc with it's label side that can be handled much easier.
In conclusion, if you never bothered in buying either the individual releases or the high-priced boxset, this 4 Film Favorites set for the cost and space-saving is an excellent deal. Other than losing a bonus disc of features that you probably would watch just once anyway, you get the whole Matrix for the cost of just one tiny little red pill.
288 of 308 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2008
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Been waiting for this BD version for a while. I have the HD-DVD trilogy which was awesome. Before that had the 10 disc DVD version of the Ultimate Matrix Collection which was awesome.
The Blu-ray version is the best of them (except that it doesn't come with a Neo bust like the DVD edition did).
At the time of purchase and of writing this review the product info was wrong on the Blu-ray version. It claims it is a 10 disc set, when it actually is a 6 disc set, 4 Blu-ray's and 2 DVD's. I notified Amazon.com of this, but who knows when they will get around to fixing it.
Also it was said that this is a waste of money in another review because newer DVD players upscale. However this person must have never seen an upscaled movie compared against a Blu-ray or HD-DVD version of the same. There is a BIG BIG difference, I watch a lot of movies "upscaled" but all that does is allow you to watch a DVD movie on a HD TV, it improves the quality a little but not enough to say it is as good as Blu-ray or HD-DVD.
It is worth the extra bucks to buy one of greatest movies in the last 20 years in beautiful Blu-ray.
112 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2008
Well I thought I would repeat what others have said in case someone is still having doubts about it. If you are a fan of the Matrix there's no reason not to buy this one.
Video - 4.9/5 The quality is just great, and it looks impressive and far superior to any other format, period. The only reason I'm not giving it 5/5 is because there are some points where you can notice some insignificant details due to the source material, not the transfer itself.
Audio - 5/5 True HD audio is beyond amazing, if you had this on DVD you'll be blown away even if you are listening to it using headphones. And if you have a decent sound system you'll simply toss your DVDs to the recycle bin and never look back faster than you can say "I know Kung Fu".
Aditional Features - 4.5/5 Many people don't like digital copy only for the first movie, and while they have a point you wont really notice the loss once you watch the Blu-ray movies. Besides, that's just icing to the cake, so you'll probably be better off with a portable DVD player/laptop (and your old movies if you didn't toss them to the trash by then)for those cases anyway.
And the rest of the features is very complete with the only "complain" being about the 480p DVD format content. Which anyone who has watched it will probably agree that isn't even a loss considering you'll only watch them once or twice (specially compared to the 100 times you'll watch the BD movies.)
Long story short it's worth it, big time. Just make sure you have a display that makes these movies justice and at least a decent sound system.
You'll thank yourself. d(^^d)
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Format: HD DVD
Inside the case are five double sided discs; one disc for each of the films and the other two serving as a kind of data bank, with hours and hours of Matrix related info and behind the scenes footage and discussions.
Off the bat, the three movies look and sound absolutely fantastic in HD. The Matrix Trilogy is finally able to be seen as was intended. Special features on the film side of the discs are plentiful and easy to access. My personal favorite extra was the "In-Movie Experience", a nice little picture in picture supplement that plays over the length of the entire film and gives you just about everything you need to know in a nutshell concerning the making of the films.
The extras for the set are the exact same selection as the Ultimate Matrix Collection that was released on DVD a while back. All of these extras, including the Animatrix, are in standard 480p definition. If there is anything that keeps this set from being an instant purchase, it's this little detail. I really would've liked to have gotten the Animatrix shorts in HD as well but sometimes you have to take what they give you. Now, that's not to say that the Animatrix looks bad, it's just basically the exact same copy that was released before, even with the same menu screens.
If you are interested in the filmmaking process and want to know every little detail about what went into creating the Matrix films, then you might as well pick this set up because it has something like thirty-five hours of content that will keep even the most die hard Matrix enthusiast busy for days. It's the kind of package that most will not get to finish in it's entirety due to the sheer amount of content.
I'm a bit disappointed that the set isn't completely in HD (again, the choice to present the Animatrix in standard def is just mind boggling) but that's about the only complaint I have. I'm just glad that the Matrix Trilogy has made it to HD-DVD in pristine quality.
79 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2009
There's no reason to spend more money on the Matrix Box Set unless you want all of the additional footage from behind the scenes ETC. This has ONLY the movies and that was good enough for me. In my opinion though, only the first Matrix is worth watching more than once. The 2nd and 3rd one are flashy with effects but the stories suck. There were no problems with the discs. Buy this if you just want the movies!
58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Format: HD DVD
"The Matrix" in high-definition video fulfils the prophecy of the A/V geek elders: this is audio and video of a higher order, a plunge into the future of home theater.
The video has little in common with some of the jacked-up, overly hot presentations of older films we've seen in high-def formats. The colors, though muted by design, feel lush and true to the theatrical vision. The experience is that of watching moving images on film, not television or DVD. (The series was produced "with future technology execution in mind," Warner points out.)
High-def has rarely delivered the stunning audio we heard about when the formats first hit the market, but here it is. The rear soundstage doesn't sound subordinated: when the audio engineers send a jolt to a specific, discrete speaker, the result is powerful and distinct. The percussive sounds of gunfire are unlike anything I've heard on disc or in theaters. Some soft-spoken dialogue sounded indistinct or muffled from the center channel, but given the overall quality this is likely in the original elements.
Flesh tones are true, but only on close-ups do you get that film-like definition. All that computer-land metal looks astounding; sharp with three-dimensional pop. When primary colors break through the algae-green atmospherics, they radiate but without the annoying signs of artificial boost.
"The Matrix" was the first DVD title to sell more than a million copies back in the launch era. This set probably won't be a breakthrough for high-def, but it most certainly is a milestone in quality. The set is available only in HD DVD. Blu-ray Disc versions of both collections will be released later this year.
58 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2008
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Just received my copy today. Great movies however one feature was supposed to be digital copies of the movies for portable playback. Turns out they only put in the first movie and nothing else. Not a deal breaker, but hardly an ultimate collection without digital copies of the last 2 and Animatrix feature.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2008
I don't notice the transfer things. The movies play as they should , and they look awesome, and they're not scratchy. I don't get what the others are complaining about.
The Matrix- 5/5, best out of the series. Most compelling plot of the 3 (or 4, if you include Animatrix), and is the most interesting.
The Matrix Reloaded- 3/5- The movie had more action than it did substance, and depth stoy-wise. It looked nice, but the movie itself was a little short on story. It's worth watching if you want eye candy. Some things are really unexplained and weird though. About 30 minutes in there's an underground rave in the real world, and it doesn't make sense how they got the instruments, clothes, and technology. The clothes was the weirdest part. They were all modern, and perfect, unshredded. You'd think after thousands of years underground, they'd lose the time to make decent clothing when they're in the middle of a war.
The Matrix Revolutions- 4/5 A pretty good ending to a great story. Makes up for #2, but still not as good as #1
The Animatrix- Not Rating- Some of it was interesting, some of it was dull. The animation is nice I guess. It's nothing amazing like Triplets of Belleville.
Overall this is a great set, because it is cheap, and you get the movies in good standard definition.
51 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2005
**Warning: Spoilers ahead**
I bought this Matrix collection back in December of last year. I've watched this collection and thoroughly enjoyed it. So you must be asking yourself, why did I bother writing a review so late after I got this collection? Well, very recently I was watching the entire Matrix Trilogy (as well as several episodes of the Animatrix) in one sitting with a large group of people. After the movies were done with, we broke out into discussion about these movies, specifically as to whether the quality of the movies dropped dramatically after the first movie. Most of the people at this viewing chastised Reloaded and Revolutions, while one lone voice tried to defend these movies. Guess who the lone voice was (I'll give you three guesses). As such, this review is meant primarily as a rebuttal to the various comments I heard about the Matrix Trilogy, as well as my thoughts on the Matrix movies themselves.
First off, let me just say that the following review will primarily consist of a discussion on the Matrix movies themselves, and not the many documentaries that are packaged with this collection. Second, I want to focus on a discussion of the Matrix Trilogy as a whole, and as such I'll say something about all three movies, but Reloaded and Revolutions in particular. Lastly, I realize that different people have different opinions, and everybody is entitled to there own opinions. I only want to present the reasons why I enjoyed all three movies so hopefully you will understand why I think the Matrix Trilogy is good.
Notice how in the last sentence I said "good", not "great". I am going to admit something right now...yes, I will agree with almost everybody who has seen all three movies that the Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions were not as good as the first Matrix. HOWEVER, where I disagree with many people is how far the "quality" dropped after the first Matrix. Some people have even gone as far to say that Reloaded and Revolutions (especially Revolutions) are the worst movies of all time. Please. I've seen the worst movie of all time, and it's called Starship Troopers 2.
When I saw the first Matrix in the theatres so many years ago, I was completely blown away. Not only did it have some of the best action sequences and choreographed fights ever put on film, but it had an intriguing discussion on the nature of reality, and what it means to be human. On the other hand the Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions did not have as much philosophizing, but instead focused more on action. I think that is one of the reasons why people disliked Reloaded and Revolutions, i.e. many people felt that these two movies focused too much on "mindless action." I would argue though that if Reloaded and Revolutions talked more about "what is reality?" like in the first movie, people would get board pretty easily because that idea was already discussed at long length in the first Matrix. In any case the directors needed to move along with the Trilogy's plot.
Ah yes...plot. What is "plot"? Apparently, to the detractors of Reloaded and Revloutions, these two movies had no plot. To them I ask...are you blind, or did you just not bother paying attention? The last human city, Zion, is just hours away from total destruction and there doesn't seem to be a way to stop the Machines. Neo has visions of Trinity's death and has to find a way to save her. Is everything Neo doing predestined, or does he have control over his own destiny? How can Neo stop Agent Smith when he's able to create so many copies of himself? Those are just some of the plotlines in these movies that apparently don't exist. As a counterpoint, let us consider the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (which, in my opinion, are some of the best movies of all time). On the surface, the plot of these three movies appears razor thin, i.e. it's simply all about trying to destroy a powerful ring. But if you look deeper you'll find stories of hope, betrayal, courage, greed, and love. The same applies to the Matrix Trilogy. On the surface, all it seems to be about is Neo trying to stop the Machines, but if you look past that you'll find so much more.
With Reloaded and Revolutions, the Wachowski brothers upped the ante with what could be done with special effects. The fact is I am not a person who thinks special effects can make a movie on their own, but you would have to really hate science-fiction movies to not be at least somewhat enthralled with the action in these movies. Seeing Neo fight dozens of Agent Smiths all on his own in the Matrix Reloaded, and kicking their asses all over the place, was both weird and exciting at the same time. When the forces of Zion had to defend the city against a massive Machine invasion force in the Matrix Revolutions, I was on the edge of my seat! I don't understand how anyone could think that seeing people in giant, gun-toting robot suits, blasting away at hundreds of Machine sentinels was not cool. Yes I know, storyline (which the Trilogy has in spades) is far more important than computer generated effects, but these effects are some of the most groundbreaking ever produced.
To be honest, looking back I think that one of the primary reasons that people disliked Reloaded and Revolutions was because of their expectations. After people were blown away by the first Matrix, everybody was expecting the Wachowski brothers to make movies that would cause our heads to explode in the theatres from their sheer greatness. When that did not happen people became disappointed, even to the level of outrage in some cases. Reloaded and Revolutions were different in terms of plot and tone than the first Matrix, which many viewers did not like. Now, this is not to excuse the fact that Reloaded and Revolutions were not and good as the first Matrix, because they weren't. But our expectations of a movie can definitely have an impact on how we perceive it.
In the end, the Matrix Trilogy is not going to receive the same reverence as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and the original Star Wars Trilogy. However, I think it should deserve remembrance for the opening our eyes as to the potential of science-fiction. The first Matrix movie is arguably one of the best sci-fi movies of all time, and the Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions are good movies in their own right. Even when I get older, I will still fondly remember all three Matrix movies. If you have never seen the Matrix Trilogy, I urge you to at least see the first one. If you have time, go see Reloaded and Revolutions with an open mind, and I think you will come away pretty satisfied.
My rating on the Matrix Trilogy as a whole: 8/10.