Friday, May 09, 2008

REVIEW: The Matrix

The Matrix

Year: 1999
Director: Andy Wachowski & Larry Wachowski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Marcus Chong
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
MPAA: Rated R

The year 1999 had a great selection of movies that really gave people a run for their money. From Toy Story 2 to Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace to The Sixth Sense, the year was full of great movies, but none was as groundbreaking and revolutionary as the mega popular hit "The Matrix". The movie opened peoples eyes to slow motion special effects and awesome fight scenes. I believe this was the first motion picture to feature extensive slow motion effects that are now widely used today because of this film. Now everyone I talk to mentions The Matrix when I bring up things about slow motion. The film also did great at the box office grossing an estimated $460 million worldwide on budget of only $60 million. Their was no doubt that their would be sequels, but will get to that another day.

Plot Outline:
Thomas A. Anderson (Keanu Reeves), exists as a software program writer by day and as Neo, an infamous computer hacker, at night. Following his curiosity and the instructions of Trinity (Carrie Anne Moss) a lady in black leather, Neo is lead to Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne), the leader of a small band of freedom fighters. Danger lurks in the form of Sentinels and Agents, both programmed by The Matrix to seek out and destroy free human life. Under the guidance of Morpheus, Neo begins to explore a life of dual existence, discovering the truth about himself and the surrounding world. He learns that life as he knows it is simply a computer program called The Matrix, made by Machines to keep human beings-their sole power source-in check. Machines have ruled the real world since the early 21st century and now a small group, the only humans to awaken from the Matrix, are leading a revolution against the sadistic mechanical beings.

Their is a reason why I have seen this movie more than 9 times and its not because they had a marathon going on. No, its because of the story. The plot has so many interesting levels to it that I can sit here all day telling you how great they are. The idea of this world created to blind us from reality, reality that the world we know of is not real is just mind boggling. The thought of being chased by agents and trying to find an exit out of the Matrix is also very cool to see. The story doesn't drag and only goes deeper and deeper giving you more answers. Off course the movies doesn't give you ALL the answers that your looking for, but honestly what movie does? The characters in the movie are all very likable too. The movie doesn't just make Neo the only person in the movie that enjoyable to watch, but rather other ones too. The movie also doesn't let the audience be bored as it contains some of the best fight scenes I have ever seen. The fights that go on are very well choreographed and exciting to see. I dare someone to tell me that they didn't enjoy watching Neo fight Morpheus in the training room. The more you dig deep into The Matrix, the more you get out of it. Just like the slogan, "The Matrix has you".

Keanu Reeves plays as the main character Neo and he gives a good performance. I thought he was a good casting for the role of Neo. He looked the part and very much acted like it. I just cant imagine anyone else playing this part than Keanu Reeves. Laurence Fishburne plays as the famous Morpheus and he too gives a good performance. He looked and sounded very much how Morpheus should sound. Just like Keanu Reeves, I cant possibly imagine anyone else playing this part than Fishburne. Carrie-Anne Moss plays the leather lady Trinity and shes just perfect for this role. This movie really launched her career into stardom. She looks very sexy next to Neo and I'm glad the studio went with her and not some other girl. We also have Hugo Weaving playing as the intelligent, but crazy Agent Smith. Hugo gives a great performance here and I really enjoyed his work on this movie. His Smith character is an interesting being and someone that really plays a crucial role in this film. I'm happy to inform you that he has a much bigger role in the sequels.

The visual effects of The Matrix is just jaw dropping. The movie features muted colors that aren't very colorful, but still have some color to them. The movie is also dark and somewhat gritty with many of the environments sectioned indoors. The special effects look wonderful and it amazes me to see the budget on this film is only $60 million. I cant imagine how much more amazing it could have looked if they had more money. Thankfully the sequel does and again, Ill get to that another time. Their doesn't seem to be any grain and the movie looks as if it were released just last year when in fact its nearly 9 years old. The Sentinels also look very wonderfully done. They have a very creative look to them that makes them seem very dangerous. Detail is pretty remarkable on this DVD and I think Warner Bros. did this film justice because it looks marvelous. This is easily demo material and is something you should watch out for in High Def.

The music is composed by Don Davis who also composed the Wachowski's Bound. He does a great job scoring this movie because The Matrix has a very engaging score that makes it a killer when combined with the films story. I was very pleased with how well everything transitioned from one scene to another with the score being just as great each time. The score isn't the only music we have as we also have other music from people like Rob Dougan, Rage Against the Machine and many more. The music particularly the ones by Rob Dougan are very impressive and well used. They make the movie look and sound so cool while keeping up with the action. Great music by Dougan folks, you should definitely check them out. What kind of movie would this be without some hard bass usage and in short answer, nothing. This movie was meant for heavy bass work and you can right of the bat tell when the movie starts. Bass is really loud and very full. This is easily demo material for your surround sound.

The Matrix is a movie that everyone has to see at least once in their life. If you haven't seen the Matrix yet, then you should be shot. The movie has a very fascinating story that engages you into this world that you may think is real, but it isn't. The cast is blooming with celebs that are more than worthy for their roles. The visual effects are astonishing and really eye candy to watch. I'm happy that this movie set a benchmark for special effects with its slow motion degree effects. The soundtrack easily matches the visual toe to toe with impressive music from Rob Dougan and the engaging score. Its bass work makes this demo material and something you can easily whip out to demonstrate to friends. The Matrix was great when it released in 1999 and it still is one of the best movies of all time. The Wachowski brother should be proud to have made a wonderful movie that really changed the way people make movies now. This is easily recommended by me if you love action packed movies with a great story.

Grade: A-

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