CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.
Blu-Ray Review: Everyone Needs to Own ‘The Matrix’ in HD
Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
CHICAGO – Like a lot of movie fans, one of the first DVDs I owned in the early days of the technology was the revolutionary “The Matrix,” starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano from directors Andy and Larry Wachowski. Not only was this sci-fi action extravaganza an easily re-watchable film but it looked amazing with DVD quality. Of course, HD was developed for movies like “The Matrix,” now available as a stand-alone Blu-Ray release for the first time.
The tenth anniversary edition of “The Matrix” brings the already-influential tale of Neo, Morpheus, and Trinity home in crystal-clear 1080p High Definition with the film’s original 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The impressive audio track is a Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 track and the film also includes French and Italian 5.1 tracks and Spanish and Portuguese 2.0 tracks.
What is there to say about the plot of the quality of “The Matrix”? It currently stands as the 29th highest-rated film of all time on IMDB, in between “North by Northwest” and “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Fans of “The Matrix” don’t just “like” this movie. They adore it. They can tell you every twist and turn, every line of dialogue, and go deep into the symbolism of the world created by the Wachowski brothers.
The Matrix was released on Blu-Ray on March 31st, 2009.
Photo credit: Warner Brothers
If somehow you haven’t seen “The Matrix” and yet are still connected enough to be reading an online Blu-Ray review, please just stop whatever you’re doing and go buy the Blu-Ray release of one of the best science fiction movies ever made. I’m actually a little jealous that the first time you’re going to experience the film is in HD.
Everyone else, you know by now if you love “The Matrix”. If you do, make the upgrade. If you’re just a casual fan and have the old version, decide what’s important to you. Isn’t this the kind of movie that was designed to be watched with the best possible picture and sound? What did you get a Blu-Ray player for if not to watch technical masterpieces like this one on it?
The special features on “The Matrix” are the same as in the trilogy Blu-Ray set recently released, but this is the first time that the film has been available alone. The coolest thing is In-Movie Experience, which allows for behind-the-scenes details as the film plays picturein-picture.
The copious and somewhat exhausting special features include four commentary tracks from four distinct angles. First up are the philosophers - Dr. Cornel West and Ken Wilber. After your mind has been thoroughly blown, give a listen to the critics - Todd McCarthy, John Powers, and David Thomson. The final commentary tracks feature the cast and crew (Carrie-Anne Moss, Zach Staenberg, and John Gaeta) and the composer, Don Davis, with a music-only track.
Fans will adore the feature-length documentary “The Matrix Revisited” and spend hours with 7 featurettes that make up “Behind The Matrix”. 2 featurettes make up “Take the Red Pills” and 4 combine in something called “Follow the White Rabbit”. Finally, music fans can listen to nearly 3 hours of music in “The Music Revisited” and top it off with the “Rock is Dead” video from Marilyn Manson.
There are certain movies that simply lend themselves better to the Blu-Ray format more than other titles. Animation always looks a little better than live-action and effects-heavy extravaganzas are natural fits with the format. “The Matrix” is as natural a fit with HD picture and sound as any title released so far this year. It’s a must-own.