The Ultimate Matrix Collection (Blu-ray)
SRP $129.98 2.40:1 Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1 WARNER BROS

The long awaited "blu-ray" collection of "THE MATRIX" series is finally here!  While the first "MATRIX" is arguably an intelligent, accessible sci-fi/action film that transcends the genre, its two sequels are a mess, with the last one, "MATRIX REVOLUTIONS" being so bad that it insults even the mediocre "MATRIX RELOADED," which preceded it! Keanu Reeves does a decent job in all of them, and he's aided by a terrific supporting cast. Unfortunately, while the first film had such an innovative and clever script that the state-of-art effects served to compliment it, the scripts to the sequels are terrible, and the special effects engulf and try to drown out the narrative, but can't save either film, and only dull the viewer. In fact, from the very beginning of the second film, "MATRIX RELOADED," viewers know they're in for a completely different tone than the original film. It's needlessly darker, and less artful. The only saving grace is the far too brief appearance of the stunningly beautiful Monica Bellucci. Well, actually, there's a fantastic extended chase sequence, but, then not long afterwards, and after a "too long" film, everything ends abruptly, intentionally "forcing" those viewers who've not left  already, to have to watch the final film for a conclusion. The complex ideas introduced in the original "MATRIX" film, are delved into even more in the sequels, but to their own demise, sometimes "less is more," and the Wachowski Brothers' attempts to clarify explain things fails miserably.

Still, the entire series has legions of fans, and those who've finally bought a blu-ray player will be extremely pleased with the quality of the presentation as well as the ton of extras that are included within this boxed set.

WARNER BROS. has provided the correct 2.40:1 aspect ratio for these VC-1 encoded blu-ray transfers. All three films have stunning image quality.  Colors are often vibrant, and even when they're intentionally subdued, they're still polished. While "THE MATRIX" appears slightly less slick than its two sequels, it's due to the grittier, more innovative atmosphere of the film than quality of the transfer itself. All three films feature plenty of action sequences, and even with fast motion, as well as "slow-motion" bullet effects, there aren't any compression artifacts. The blacks and grays are deep enough to offer reference quality detail for these films and scene-after-scene jump off the screen with depth! GREAT TRANSFERS!

WARNER BROS has provided a Dolby TrueHD mix for all the films, and the mixes for each film raise the bar for all other Dolby TrueHD mixes to follow. The "MATRIX" films feature elaborate visual effects, and now the elaborate sound effects thoroughly compliment them. Discrete and surround effects are abundant and aggressive, without ever overshadowing the dialogue.  Those wanting to show off their sub-woofer will be pleased with the power of bass effects as well. In fact, bass has seldom been more prominent or effective than as featured in these films.

WARNER BROS has carried over all of the extras offered previously on the HD-DVD(remember HD-DVD?)set, comprised of many featurettes and documentaries, as well as the great "ANIMATRIX" collection(animated vignettes), however, this time, in full 1080p and TrueHD 5.1!!!

Anyone with a blu-ray player should included this set in their collection!