The Wachowskis blew more than a few minds when their sci-fi/action epic The Matrix hit cinemas in 1999. It’s now back in 4K Ultra HD form, but how does it fare on the format? Should you open your mind, or close your eyes?
The story: How to explain The Matrix without ruining it for those people lucky enough to be able to experience it for the first time? Well, we won’t say much. Keanu Reeves stars as Thomas A Anderson – aka Neo, a computer programmer by day, a computer hacker by night. Like all of us, Neo has often questioned his reality, but unlike most of us he gets to explore it beyond the realms of imagination and discover some alarming – and dangerous – truths.
“Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.”
The 4K disc: To quote Reeves in just about every movie he’s ever been in – including this one – “Whoa!”. The Matrix was originally shot on 35mm film, and the original camera negative has been used for this remastered, full 4K visual treat. The movie has never looked this good, with a minimum of film grain that’s for the most part only really noticeable if you’re searching for it – and if you’re doing that you’re not really letting yourself be immersed in the story! The original visual effects were only finished at 2K, but they were of great quality for the time and, while not as sharp as the filmed elements, they don’t jar. Beyond the new-found clarity that 4K resolution brings, HDR enhancement brings a whole new level of that aforementioned “Whoa!”, with the white expanses of ‘The Construct’ being a great example.
A new Dolby Atmos sound mix just adds to the awesome, flinging audio all around to wonderful effect. The score really wins from this, and wait until you hear the likes of The Prodigy and Rage Against the Machine in the format. Again, “Whoa!”.
In the extras department, beyond the Blu-ray full of them in this three-disc set, the 4K disc includes a written intro from the Wachowskis and four commentaries. One is a fairly standard cast and crew affair featuring Carrie-Anne Moss, editor Zach Staenberg and visual effects supervisor John Gaeta, another gives us the opinions of three film critics, and there’s also an isolated score track with notes from conductor Don Davis. The final one is perhaps the most intriguing, being a philosophers commentary from leaders in their field Cornel West and Ken Wilber.
Release date: May 23, 2018
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.