There has been a ton of new classic films I’ve been reviewing lately that really start to make me feel my age. The latest one is the re-release of The Matrix in 4K, which I remember seeing back in theaters in March 1999. To say the movie was mind blowing is an understatement, and it still freaks me out and gets me excited with it’s sci-fi action and story just as it did back then. Thanks to this 4K release, it felt like I was watching it again for the first time with the improved visuals and audio, and is a must-have for anyone’s collection, fan or newcomer.
I’d like to think that just about everyone has seen or at least heard of this film at some point, but just in case, it stars Keanu Reeves as a young man that goes by Neo. One day while being stuck at his boring job, he learns that the world we live in is a computer-generated one called “the matrix” from a guy called Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). After a brief adventure and some freaky sci-fi escapades, Neo is finally unplugged from it and joins Morpheus and his ragtag rebel crew consisting of them, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and some others.
They think that Neo is some savior known as “the one” who can save the rest of mankind hiding in the shadows of the real world where machines use humans as living batteries. But they’re always on the run from agents, machines given ultimate power in the matrix that’s led by Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving in one of his most iconic performances), and they will have to overcome them and other challenges that arise in order to save what’s left of humanity.
Well first off, I have to say the movie has never looked or sounded better now that it’s in 4K, as it literally felt like I was watching it again for the first time thanks to it looking so great and not seeing it for quite some time. The added HDR color also makes details stand out more, and it’s good to know the special effects still hold up pretty well as I enjoyed every second of watching this. There’s also some nice extras thrown in such as a written introduction by the Wachowskis where they talk about what inspired them to make the film.
The commentaries are also a nice bonus, yes commentaries as in multiple ones starting with the “Philosopher” commentary by Dr. Cornel West and Ken Wilbur that discuss some of the complex moments of the movie, a “Critics” commentary by Todd McCarthy, John Powers and David Thomson who give their takes on the film, good and bad. The “Cast & Crew” commentary by Carrie-Anne Moss, Zach Staenberg and John Gaeta is a nice one where they going into the making of the film and how it was working on it, and “Composer” commentary by Don Davis that features a music only track where he talks about how he came up with the music pieces and more.
Love it or hate it, The Matrix is a new classic that deserves to be seen by everyone at least once, as it’s one of the movies that changed how films were made after its release. The intense sci-fi action, impressive martial arts scenes that definitely changed fights in U.S. movies, and a great 4K transfer will have you taking the red pill and jumping down the rabbit hole all over again.