Over a year after the Matrix Trilogy hit HD DVD and almost 10 years since the original film hit the cinemas, the Matrix trilogy has finally been released for Blu-ray, but should you bother upgrading?



Just to confuse there are two Trilogy boxsets available: The Complete Matrix Trilogy and The Ultimate Matrix Trilogy. The latter is only available in the US and that means if you are after the "be all and end all" experience, all seven discs rather than three, you've got to import (and yes it is region free).

So to the Complete Matrix Trilogy offering, which clearly isn't complete because there is a bigger boxset out there, but let’s move on. In the box you get the three movies and a stack of extra features from featurettes to audio commentaries although strangely neither the directors, the Wachowski Brothers, or lead star Keanu Reeves, get involved in anything other than the usual diatribe of features you find on ITV on a Saturday afternoon.

Instead you get a written introduction (what is this a book?) to each of the movies from the directors, with audio commentaries left to a bunch of philosophers and critics (but not too critical). The original Matrix does get some support from Carrie-Anne Moss clearly not to busy to spend a couple of hours on a film that briefly broke her into the big time.

We’re sure you know the story by now, heck you've had 9 years to find out, but just in case you haven't, it turns out all that you know and love is fake. The human race has been turned in a stack of batteries doing nothing more than powering Sentinels (read robots) who've taken over the earth.

Of course a bunch of rebels lead by Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) aren't too happy being Duracell batteries stuck in what is effectively a massive computer simulation (The Matrix) and so plucking Neo (Keanu Reeves) out of the system plans to take down the robots.

Move on to the second in the trilogy, Matrix Reloaded, and the action moves away from the computer simulation and more towards getting ready to save the rebel's city: Zion. Struggling even now to make sense of it all and spawn the original movie into a trilogy to rake in the cash, the writers clutch at straws throwing in a token love plotline and plenty of premonitions of impending doom.

By the time we get to number 3, Matrix Revolutions, you really are hoping for a revolution. Instead you are treated to more carnage, the battle promised in number 2 and the somehow improbable storyline that the Sentinels have worked out how to take a computer character and make him control a human one (virus it seems). Okay so we know the whole thing is improbable, but this really does stretch it to the limits and beyond.

Get past that and the mass of CGI does benefit from the upgrade to Blu-ray although by how much it's hard to tell. The original DVD releases were very good to start with finding a home with the majority of owners as the movie they pulled out to impress.

The exploding lift and bullets cutting through time have always been great showcases for the DVD format, so here in Blu-ray the upgrade isn't as noticeable as say Blade Runner over the original, remastered in all its glory. Still those bullets and fast camera pace of the Wachowski Brothers direction still benefits.

Verdict

If you're a Matrix fan and looking to slowly upgrade your DVD collection to Blu-ray then this is clearly one for the shelf, however only if you really must have a Blu-ray version.



Given the fact that the boxset is identical to the HD DVD offering, it's a shame given the year difference in release dates that Blu-ray users haven't been given anything extra. Okay so your average Blu-ray user isn't likely to have seen the HD DVD offering, but then why the wait?

So the final call? If you've got the DVD, you probably don't need to bother.



Rating: 15
Staring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
Directed by: The Wachowski Brothers
Extras: The Matrix Blu-ray
The Matrix Revisited – 2 hour documentary on the phenomenon of the Trilogy
Behind the Matrix – Making The Matrix featurettes
Separate cast , crew, critics, composer and philosopher commentaries
In Movie Experience commentary
Written introduction by the Wachowski Brothers
Rock is Dead – Marilyn Manson music video
The Matrix teaser and trailer
8 x TV spots
Follow the White Rabbit, Trinity Escapes – 9 mini featurettes
Take the Red Pills - 2 mini featurettes
The Music Revisited (audio only)

The Matrix Reloaded Blu-ray
Enter the Matrix: Introduction
Enter the Matrix: The Game extended featurette
Sleeping Awake – POD music video
Separate critics and philosopher commentaries
In Movie Experience commentary
Written introduction by the Wachowski Brothers
26 featurettes including previously unseen material
The Matrix Reloaded teaser and trailer
8 x TV spots

The Matrix Revolutions Blu-ray
Behind The Matrix – Revolutions Recalibrated documentary
Separate critics and philosopher commentaries
Exclusive In Movie Experience commentary
Written introduction by the Wachowski Brothers
8 x Behind the Matrix featurettes
4 x Crew featurettes
6 x Hel featurettes
4 x Super Burly Brawl featurettes
5 x New Blue World featurettes
5 x Siege featurettes
4 x Aftermath featurettes
The Matrix Revolutions trailer
6 x TV spots

This Blu-ray was kindly loaned to us by Play.com, the UK’s favourite online entertainment retailer.