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directed by Josh Oreck

tocome-01.jpg (5428 bytes)It never ceases to amaze me how many companies are able to get the spending public to actually buy their advertising; legions of the spending public are actually willing to purchase a company’s advertising in its myriad forms. I remember seeing a catalog of posters of ads for companies like Adidas, Nintendo, and Trojan. I’m sure that Budweiser has sold more neon signs to guys to hang in their garages than they ever have to bars. It’s not enough to subject ourselves to 8 minutes of this for every half hour of TV we watch, but we have to go out and buy the T-shirt or stain the tattoo onto the back of our neck. Usually, the advertising that we pay for is at least clever or stylish. In the case of The Matrix Revisited we’re paying for the kind of press kits they usually reserve for the media. Interviews and footage designed to numb the viewer into passive assent.

neo_desktop2_small-01.jpg (5775 bytes)You may ask how many commercials for The Matrix are you paying for. Oh, let me count the ways. There is an over-long commercial about how great the movie is, there is a commercial on an upcoming anime series based on The Matrix, you get a short pitch for the upcoming video game, and there’s even a commercial for The Matrix website.

fight-01.jpg (5995 bytes)The heart of the disc is a documentary. This is the type of documentary that you usually get for free. To call it a documentary is really an insult to all of the filmmakers out there actually trying to document something. I haven’t seen something this self-congratulatory since…well, I don’t know when I’ve seen anything this self-congratulatory. For 20 bucks you get to sit through two hours of actors, directors, and various other movie folk telling you what an amazing, intelligent, and revolutionary film The Matrix is. Documentaries like this usually don’t bug me because they’re usually included on the disc for free. It’s alright to have commercials if you’re not paying for them. The documentary is also completely lacking in structure. There is very little in the way of cohesion to be found here. It loosely traces the chronological development and production of the film. There’s nothing new to be learned about the film. It’s philosophical foundation has been well covered, and if I have to watch another piece about how cool bullet time is I’m going to jump, jive and wail myself right off the nearest cliff.

morpheus_desktop_small-01.jpg (5919 bytes)The thing is, there could have been a lot of interesting things to say about The Matrix if the filmmakers had actually gone outside the core participants of the film to talk with some experts on philosophy, get feedback from other directors, or look at the eastern influences in a little more depth. Instead, we get two hours of people saying how smart it is without ever really saying what makes it so smart. Some of the principle actors mention that there are many layers to the film without ever talking about the film.

This disc has two purposes: First, to remind you about a film that is almost three years old, and second, to alert you to the fact that there will be two more Matrix films coming out in the not too distant future. There was nothing new on this disc. Most of the info you got in a much shorter and more efficient form on the original Matrix DVD. If you really feel like you need more than what the original could give you, who am I to discourage you, but if you wind up being a little disappointed, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Don’t get me wrong. The Matrix was a tight, smart piece of filmmaking that has the potential to spark some very interesting conversations. Unfortunately none of those conversations are to be found here.

Jason Frank   (12/02/2001)


Ups: A whole lot of Matrix propaganda.

Downs: Self-serving advertisement.

Platform: DVD