(aka "The Matrix 2" )

 

directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski
USA 2003

 

The Matrix was a huge success both cinematically and commercially, and The Matrix Reloaded did even better... only commercially. Everything that made the first film so brilliant and original, the plot, the cultural and smart philosophical references, all of that is swept away by an absolute overkill of pointless, endless action scenes (the 100 Smiths fight and the highway chase have no narrative use whatsoever, feature crappy CGI and just keep going and going and going and going and going and going...) and pretentious, almost incomprehensible, pseudo-philosophical dialogues.

"A propos", these dialogues are even more pointless when you realize that what it refers to (reason, cause, effect) is the very thing that this movie's story is lacking. "Ergo", the movie looks like a bad beat'em all videogame : a very basic, even simplistic story with stereotyped characters (Link, the "funny" black guy, is a very clichéd, almost racist kind of character that the Wachowski really should be ashamed of) whose only reason to exist is to put big action sequences together. And let's not talk about the so-called big surprise ending that we were supposed to expect, it only takes the film even deeper in dumbness.

As Neo said in the end of the Matrix, the possibilities for The Matrix 2 had "no borders nor boundaries". There was so much to say about the metaphor of the Matrix that in the end, the Wachowskis may have been confused and chose to do what they thought they were supposed to do : a big action movie with some philosophical dialogues. The first film's themes or ideas are not developed at all, and the dialogues are pompous and in contradiction "vis-a-vis" the action scenes. With all these flaws, The Matrix Reloaded is a boring, stupid and simplistic action film, the exact opposite of the first film. Did you say disappointment ? Even that would be an understatement.

Fabe Ashen

Posters

Theatrical Release: 15 May 2003

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Warner Home Video (2-Disc Edition (France)) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Warner Home Video (The Ultimate Matrix Collection Disc 3) - Region 1,4 - NTSC

(Warner Home Video (2-Disc Edition (France)) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Warner Home Video (The Ultimate Matrix Collection Disc 3) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 2 - PAL

Warner Home Video
Region 1,4 - NTSC
Runtime 132mn38 (4% PAL speedup) 138mn08
Video

2.40 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.40 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.34 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Warner Home Video (2-Disc Edition (France))

 

Bitrate:

 

Warner Home Video (The Ultimate Matrix Collection Disc 3)

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384kpbs), French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384kpbs)

English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448kpbs), French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448kpbs)

Subtitles English, French, Dutch and Arabic subtitles English, French and Spanish subtitles
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.40

Edition Details:
• Disc 1 : The Movie
• Disc 2:
• Preload (22mn12)
• The Matrix Unfolded (5mn22)
• Crash Course (30mn49)
• Get me an Exit (9mn49)
• Making Enter the Matrix (28mn17)
• Animatrix Trailer (4mn34)
• MTV Movie Awards (9mn41)

DVD Release Date: November 19 2003
Keepcase

Chapters 36
 

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.40

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary (128 kbps) by Dr Cornel West & Ken Wilber
• Audio commentary (128 kbps) by critics Todd McCarthy, John Powers & David Thomson
• Written introduction to the commentaries by the Wachowski Brothers
• Region 1, 2, 3, 4

 

DVD Release Date: December 7, 2004
Digipack

Chapters 36

 

 

 

 

Comments Well this is a lot tougher than the comparison for the first film : the 2-disc version is only a year older than the UMC edition, so it's very likely that the same source material (probably a HD transfer) was used for both editions. Therefore, if there's any difference between these two editions, it's very slight.

I might say that in the scenes inside the Matrix, the UMC is a little greener than the original release (see the sky on comparison 1 and the floor on comparison 5), but for the scenes taking place in the real world, it's the same thing. It could simply be a matter of PAL vs. NTSC, so it’s hard to say if there’s been any modification between the 2-disc version and the UMC version. All in all, both images have excellent definition, contrasts and a very well handled compression (a bit visible in comparison 1). There's a slight hint of cropping on the UMC, but it's very minor (see comparison 2 and 5 in particular). I read somewhere that the CGI in the "Superman thing" scene were improved for the UMC ; after seeing comparison 1, I seriously doubt it.

I haven't compared the DVDs' sound mixes, but judging by the bitrates I'd say that again the UMC has the edge. Anyway, both mixes are pretty destructive and very well crafted, demo material for sure. As for extras, the ones on the 2-disc edition are quite good but they can't match up with the UMC's discs 4 and 8, only because disc 4 includes all the movie material from the Enter the Matrix videogame, featuring the sequels' actors and probably directed by the Wachowski brothers themselves.

Bottom line : if you don't give a damn about extras or the trilogy's two other films, go for the 2-disc edition. Otherwise, the UMC is still a no-brainer.

 - Fabe Ashen

 

 



DVD Menus
(
Warner Home Video (2-Disc Edition (France)) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Warner Home Video (The Ultimate Matrix Collection Disc 3) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Warner Home Video (2-Disc Edition (France)) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Warner Home Video (The Ultimate Matrix Collection Disc 3) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner Home Video (2-Disc Edition (France)) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Warner Home Video (The Ultimate Matrix Collection Disc 3) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner Home Video (2-Disc Edition (France)) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Warner Home Video (The Ultimate Matrix Collection Disc 3) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner Home Video (2-Disc Edition (France)) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Warner Home Video (The Ultimate Matrix Collection Disc 3) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner Home Video (2-Disc Edition (France)) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Warner Home Video (The Ultimate Matrix Collection Disc 3) - Region 1,4 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


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Report Card:

Image:

Ultimate Matrix Collection (slightly)

Sound:

Ultimate Matrix Collection

Extras: Ultimate Matrix Collection
Menu: same menus : only the introduction on the UMC differs
DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 2 - PAL

Warner Home Video
Region 1,4 - NTSC

 




 

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