Dark Horizons Reviews Matrix Revisited

By Paul Martin November 21st, 2001, in The Matrix

In a vein similar to the “Hannibal” making of documentary comes “Revisited”, a doco covering the film from conception, through production and post, and final reaction – a doco just a few minutes shorter than the film itself. As these types of films go this is one of the best ones out there – the creators have purposely made this fun, off-beat, exciting visually and detailed almost to the point of exhaustion. There’s interviews with all the cast, crew and Warner execs from Producer Joel Silver to WB head honcho Lorenzo DiBonaventura. As this is a retrospective, everyone’s claiming to be the first to have known that this would be a huge hit (when in reality they probably thought the complete opposite before it opened), but all the back slapping crap disappears as the doc moves toward the production stage and we concentrate on the more nuts and bolts aspects like costumes, FX, sets, training, etc. (the Wachowski’s are great fun). Some surprise facts ensue such as the skyscape backdrop in the room of Fishburne’s interrogation is actually an amazing fake (the biggest one-piece translate in the world). The post production/release segments of the film has some great bits such as a quite cool bullet-time shot in the outdoors, how they did the helicopter explosion, etc. Its no “Heart of Darkness”, but as making of docos go this is one of the better ones. Those who’ve never seen the film should wait and see that first, fans though will love it. – Garth Franklin

“The Matrix Revisited” Film Score: 7 / 10

DVD Review: Swapping between high quality DVD print widescreen and home video proves surprisingly smooth in this disc release. One of the reasons I guess is that most of these docos are shot on film or home video and so in natural light have a very grainy and soft look to them. Everything here has been done in high quality digital video and sequences you’d expect to show artifacts are clear and sharp. The sound isn’t made of much use other than the film clip segments but no surprise there.

Onto the extras and most of them are more ‘promo ads’ for other things than insights into anything. The highlights are Wo Ping’s “Blocking Tapes” which is basically a recreation of the main fights in the film (kind of fun and cool, moe realistic looking and sounding than the final movie as well), along with a ‘deleted scene’ from the doco explaining the ‘wetwall’ sequence. The other extras aren’t so good – “What is To Come” is more an ad for the upcoming game and both it and the last bit of the main doco give basically no insight into the next film (though we do see Fishburne learning to stunt drive cars). The “Animatrix” segment is interesting in itself but why not shows us examples of the work done by the animators, “True Followers” is a 5-minute featurette on how a group of about six people met in “The Matrix” chat room (what in the hell was the point of this), a promo ad for what’s to come on the official site, and a clip montage of about 3-minutes set to music. There’s not much here in the way of extras to really pull you in, this is made for and designed for hardcore fans of the original film solely and for those guys – they’ll love this. – Garth Franklin

Video/Audio Score: 8 / 10
Extras Score: 6 / 10

Overall DVD Score: 7 / 10

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