This is yet another review of The Matrix Revisited. Haven’t picked it up yet? Click the Amazon.com link below!
Some films revolutionize cinema and will never be forgotten, especially in the realm of photographic effects. Films like Star Wars: Episode IV, Terminator 2, and now The Matrix. The one difference that separates the latter film from the two former is that while the other films were an inspiration, that pushed the limits of what special effects and served as a stepping stone for today’s films, The Matrix has been blatantly copied in film after film. Now, we see what made the film such a phenomenon, and to that I say…
%^&*@#$ PAPER KEEPCASE!
Sorry, went a little nuts there. Anyway, this DVD I happened to pick up on a trip to Sam’s Warehouse Club last night for $13, just as a little info. Not knowing what I was getting myself into, I bought it simply for the sake of completism. If you’re into the same kind of techie stuff that I am, this DVD will be a breath of fresh air while we wait for the sequels.
Kicking things off is two hour long documentary about the making of the first film, as well as what we can expect for the sequels. It follows the production from its initial conception, through the production and all the way to release. Included are interviews with Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Ann Moss, Hugo Weaving, Bill Pope, Joel Silver, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Steve Skroce, John Gaeta, Yuen Wo Ping and more, including (GASP!) Andy and Larry Wachowski, who made themselves conspicuously absent in both the talent bios of the film DVD and the recording booth for the commentary. We learn some interesting things about the production, such as how the Wachowskis hooked up with Steve Skroce through their collective work on Clive Barker’s ECTOKID comic, or how the only reason the film Bound was made was to get money for The Matrix, or how you don’t see Keanu kick very often because of neck surgery just prior to the start of production. These secrets and more are hidden inside this amazing look into the production. Lucas, eat your heart out.
What is to Come? is a special look inside the production of both The Matrix sequels AND the upcoming Matrix video game being produced by Shiny Entertainment (Messiah, Earthworm Jim, MDK). Included is new footage of the now famous car chase sequence, training for the new kung-fu that will be seen in the picture, some of the new costumes, some footage taken aboard NASA’s “Vomit Comet”, and from the motion capture sessions for the game.
What is Animatrix? is a preview of a series of upcoming Anime shorts that will delve deeper into the univers of the films…think of it as the online comics from whatisthematrix.com set into motion. It includes interviews with the directors of the shorts, and shows off some of the conceptual art for the shorts.
Dance of the Master is a series of blocking tapes created by Yuen Wo Ping to give the production team an idea of that the fighting sequences in the film will look like once the actors have finished training. They are indeed quite cool, as they cut out all the dialog and plot points and just let a couple of real martial artists do their thing.
The True Followers. Now, this is the one that concerns me. This is about geeks. No, not geeks like you and me. Scary geeks. Geeks who treat The Matrix like Rocky Horror. It must be seen to be believed. Only a nickel, son. Don’t worry, there’s room for everybody. Be sure and check out the woman who thinks the movie got her a job because she was so devoted to it. Or the kid with the badly permed afro. Egads, it’s the ultimate internet freak show! Oops, wait, that’s the Cinematic Lounge.
Finally, there’s The Bathroom Fight and the Wet Wall, an examination of the fight between Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus and Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith, and the other characters’ escape attempt during the battle. It was interesting to learnhow Hugo Weaving really got injured, nearly breaking his hand when he and Laurence Fishburne accidentally punched into each others’ fists.
This DVD certainly is interesting, but the main problem that I have is, of course, all of this should have been released with the original disc. Don’t think me ungrateful, I love this set, all in all. but a lot of this could have been used to beef up the original release, especially in light of such superior discs as Fight Club, Terminator 2 and Star Wars: Episode 1. However, if you want a real inside look at the production of what is probably the most influential film of the latter half of the 90’s, pick this one up, it’s a keeper.