When cyberpunk met big screen for the first time in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep it created a stir in the SF and mainstream world. Great movies do that sort of thing and cyberpunk has a particular knack for working its way into the mainstream consciousness that is unique among recent movies. The most recent movie to have such a profound effect on popular culture was the Warchowski Brother’s second outing entitled The Matrix. Starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburn it is difficult to imagine a more influential movie in the last decade than The Matrix.
Ever since the epic martial arts battle between Morpheus and Neo there probably isn’t a boy in the world who hasn’t made the “come here” gesture that Morpheus uses to encourage Neo to start fighting again. Almost anyone who has seen the movie can do an approximation of Morpheus’ first encounter with Neo: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Any movie that has that profound an effect on popular culture is essentially a must have in your video collection. The real question is: How well does it hold up as a movie?
Fortunately for the Warchowski Brothers the hacker preference for command line interface with a computer hasn’t changed much and isn’t likely to change much. Working in the shell from a command screen is the way to truly control a computer so the scenes with Trinity and Neo and others jockeying a keyboard and staring at a black screen with green or white letters on it is still as high tech as it gets. Skin tight latex on beautiful women doesn’t go out of style either so, and there is a permanent cool to black leather dusters. The CGI was state of the art when the movie was released in 1999 and it remains some of the best work that has been done in the movies to date.
The Matrix is a tightly written, carefully directed, brilliantly lit with amazing sound and superb make-up and special effects. Keanu Reeves is absolutely flawless as the hacker come savior Neo as is Laurence Fishburn as Morpheus. The interplay between Neo and Morpheus as well as the love story between Neo and Trinity and the very real ability for story to get you to invest yourself in each of the characters and their plight make this one of the best movies to ever hit the silver screen. It not only stands up well it is likely to do so for a very long time. The Matrix easily ranks as one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time.
Special Features (in standard def): In-Movie Experience Commentaries Written introduction by the Wachowski brothers; Philosophers commentary by Dr. Cornel West, Ken Wilber; Critics commentary by Todd McCarthy, John Powers, David Thomson; Cast and crew commentary by Carrie-Anne Moss, Zach Staenberg and John Gaeta; Composer commentary by Don Davis with music-only track
The Matrix Revisited Behind The Matrix: Making The Matrix The Dance of the Master: Yuen Wo Ping's Blocking Tapes; The Bathroom Fight and Wet Wall; The Code of the Red Dress; The Old Exit: Wabash and Lake; Agent Down; But Wait- There's More; Take the Red Pills; Follow the White Rabbit
Audio: The Music Revisited; Marilyn Manson Music Video Rock is Dead
Trailers: The Matrix teaser; The Matrix trailer; The Matrix TV spots