The Matrix Revolutions appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Since they shot Reloaded and Revolutions at the same time, one might expect the two films to demonstrate similar visuals on their respective discs. One would anticipate correctly, for Revolutions looked like a virtual carbon copy of Reloaded
Once again, sharpness seemed excellent. Softness created virtually no concerns at any time. The movie always came across as tight and distinctive, with no signs of any lack of definition.
No issues with softness arose during the movie. Instead, the image always remained nicely detailed and well defined.
Jagged edges and shimmering caused no concerns, and I also detected no evidence of intrusive edge enhancement. Print flaws remained absent. Never did I notice signs of specks, grit, or other problems in this clean transfer, and with a light layer of grain, I didn’t suspect any intrusive digital noise reduction.
As with Reloaded, the colors of Revolutions varied from setting to setting. Scenes aboard the ships and those that involved machines looked blue. As with the first flick, segments that took place inside the Matrix itself demonstrated a decided green tint.
A few shots differed from these two schemes, but they accounted for the vast majority of the palette. Within the world of the film, the colors always looked strong. The movie held these stylistic decisions well and presented tones that were tight and cleanly represented, and the 4K UHD’s HDR added a bit of extra zing to the colors.
Black levels also were positive, as dark elements appeared deep and bold. Low-light shots demonstrated appropriate levels of opacity but didn’t come across as dense or thick. In the end, Matrix Revolutions presented a very solid image.
Downcoverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, I also felt that the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of The Matrix Revolutions matched up with what I anticipated. The mix for Reloaded started slowly, but that didn’t occur here.
To be sure, the audio created a much more active setting during the film’s second half, since that included most of the action sequences. However, it also kicked in with good material during the first hour, so the difference didn’t seem as noticeable as during Reloaded.
Forward definition always remained strong. Music showed good stereo presence, and the rears supported the score well. Effects demonstrated nice delineation and localization, and elements moved across the front smoothly.
The showiest parts of the film started with the sentinel attack on Zion. From there through the end, a great deal of unique material poured from the rear speakers, and they helped make the track engrossing and involving.
Audio quality appeared fine across the board. I discerned no problems connected to speech, as the lines demonstrated good clarity and crispness. No issues connected to edginess or intelligibility manifested themselves.
Music seemed bright and full, while ffects presented good range, as those elements seemed distinctive and accurate. They also powered the low-end response well, with bass that appeared loud and solid. Nothing about the audio of Revolutions disappointed, as it provided a consistently involving and impressive piece.
As we shift to extras, we get two audio commentaries. The first comes from philosophers Dr. Cornel West and Ken Wilber, both of whom sit together and provide a running, screen-specific chat.
This one presents virtually all the same pros and cons I heard on the two prior tracks from West and Wilber. On the positive side, the pair get into some of the movie’s weightier issues well.
They delve into the meaning of the whole thing and can put it in good context. This becomes especially useful during the somewhat convoluted final third of the flick.
As for negatives, the main one stems from dead air. An awful lot of the movie passes with no remarks at all. During those occasions, Wilber exclaims his appreciation for some scenes, but we get little in the way of interpretation or meaning.
I thought the first two commentaries would have worked better as separate interviews. The information can be good, but there’s not enough content here to make it a consistently satisfying discussion, and the massive amounts of down time make this one frustrating.
For the second commentary, we hear from critics Todd McCarthy, David Thomson and John Powers, all of whom sit together for a running, screen-specific chat. As with the first two commentaries, this one isn’t very informative.
Once again, dead air dominates, and when the critics do speak, they offer little other than smarmy one-liners. They never seem sure of their own opinions.
At one point during the first movie, they griped that we didn’t need exposition, only action. Here they reverse course and decide there’s too much action and they want exposition!
Sometimes they hit on insightful remarks about plot flaws and the political correctness of the way the movie portrays non-white cultures. However, there’s just not enough here to keep us interested or informed.
Over the three movies, I spent about seven hours with these guys, but I can recall almost no helpful points they raised. With all the movie critics in the world, this was the best the set’s producers could do?
The disc also presents a written introduction from the Wachowskis. This piece tells us a little about the trilogy’s origins and explains why the Wachowksis won’t discuss the flicks. They state they don’t want their interpretation to become the only one out there, so they figured it’d be interesting to offer a variety of viewpoints. It’s a helpful explanation.
The package also includes two Blu-ray discs, the first of which includes an In-Movie Experience. This picture-in-picture feature mixes shots from the set along with comments from West, producer Joel Silver, 1st AD James McTeigue, production designer Owen Paterson, supervising art director Hugh Bateup, supervising stunt coordinator RA Rondell, stunt players Darren Mitchell and Kier Beck, costume designer Kym Barrett, visual effects supervisors John Gaeta, Dan Glass, John Des Jardin and George Murphy, director of photography Bill Pope, conceptual designer Geoffrey Darrow, supervising animator Tom Gibbons, animation rigger leaqd Allan Arinduque, animator Scott Kravitz, stunt coordinator Glenn Boswell, concept artist George Hull, senior visual effects supervisor Craig Hayes, art director Jules Cook, and actors Carrie-Anne Moss, Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Harold Perrineau, Mary Alice, Bruce Spence, Lambert Wilson, Hugo Weaving, Ian Bliss, Jada Pinkett Smith, Harry Lennix, Nona Gaye, Nathaniel Lees, Rupert Reid, Anthony Zerbe and Rachel Blackman.
The segments look at the conclusion of the trilogy and connections to Reloaded, various effects, cast and performances, sets and locations, story/characters, working with the Wachowskis, costumes, visual design, stunts and action, photography, creature/ship design,
Like the first two “Experiences”, this one suffers slightly due to the inevitable absence of the Wachowskis. Nonetheless, it covers a of ground and it does so well. The final “Experience” brings us a valuable view of the film.
Over on Blu-ray Two, we open with a collection of featurettes under “Behind The Matrix”. Revolutions Recalibrated provides a 27-minute, four-second mix of movie clips, shots from the set, and comments from producer Joel Silver, director of photography Bill Pope, visual effects supervisor John Gaeta, production designer Owen Paterson, animation supervisor Lyndon J. Barrois, visual effects supervisor Dan Glass, supervising animator Tom “Gibby” Gibbons, conceptual designer Geofrey Darrow, prop maker foreman Dave Fogler, special effects supervisor Rodney Burke, MoCap supervisor Demian “DMAN” Gordon, and actors Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Harold Perrineau, Cornel West, Bruce Spence, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Lambert Wilson, Nona Gaye, Nathaniel Lees and Mary Alice. (Others appear as well, but the program fails to identify all of them.)
They cover a mix of issues like the replacement of the actor who played the Oracle, the long shooting schedule, stunts, the flick’s visual style and design, the massive sets, the dynamic between Neo and Agent Smith, and effects. The behind the scenes elements definitely present the most useful moments, as we get some cool looks at the shoot.
Otherwise, a smattering of good information shows up, but much of it feels fluffy. The participants mostly talk about how big the production and film are. This makes the result often feel like little more than a promotional tool. It’s got enough nice material to merit a look, but don’t expect a great examination of the production.
For more specific notes on the visuals, we head to CG Revolution. In this 15-minute, 31-second piece, we find remarks from digital effects producer Di Giorgiutti, producer Joel Silver, visual effects supervisor John Gaeta, executive producer Grant Hill, visual effects supervisor John “DJ” Des Jardin, production designer Owen Paterson, supervising animator Tom “Gibby” Gibbons, conceptual designer Geofrey Darrow, animators Neil Michka and Scott Kravitz, prop maker foreman Fon Davis, animation supervisor Lyndon J. Barrois, gang boss/prop maker Jon P. Guidinger, first assistant director James McTeigue, concept artist George Hull, and senior visual effects supervisor Craig Hayes.
They cover integrating CG and practical elements as well as the design and execution of APUs, diggers, sentinels, Machine City and its inhabitants, and the Deus Ex Machina. Unlike the puffy “Recalibrated”, this program feels pretty substantial. It covers the different pieces logically and concisely and gives us a nice look at how these bits came to be. It’s a solid little documentary.
With the 12-minute, 23-second Neo Realism: The Evolution of Bullet Time, we hear from Gaeta, Silver, Glass, visual effects supervisor Kim Libreri, animation supervisor Michael Gay, virtual background TD Andres Martinez, technology supervisor George Borshukov, Mocap supervisor Demian Gordon, and animator Jeff Lew.
As implied by the title, it tells us how the famous “bullet time” technique grew and changed across the three films. It works well.
Super Big Mini Models fills eight minutes, 47 seconds with info from Paterson, Hull, Gaeta, Des Jardin, Darrow, US unit production manager L. Dean Jones, Jr., special effects coordinator Geoffrey Heron, sequence lead Rodney Iwashina, high speed 1ST assistant camera Paul Sanchez, art director Nanci Noblett, US model unit producer David Dranitzke, model shop supervisor Michael Lynch, and prop maker foremen Dave Fogler and Fon Davis.
Unsurprisingly, this one looks at the film’s use of not-very-small miniatures. We find a nice collection of notes.
Double Agent Smith gives us a seven-minute, 11-second featurette about the artificial Smiths. We see how they created the Smith animatronics and human-worn Smith rubber masks. It’s highly informative and fun as well.
Next we check out Mind Over Matter, an eight-minute, five-second look at fight choreography and training. It doesn’t seem as strong as the Smith piece, but it still includes some nice notes, especially due to all the great shots from the set.
For some gaming information, we hear to The Matrix Online. In this 11-minute clip, we find comments from Monolith Software CEO Jason Hall, lead designer Toby Ragaini, producer William Westwater, movie producer Joel Silver, writer Paul Chadwick, Warner Bros. executive producer Travis Williams, Ubi.com vice president Joe Ybarra, and lead engineer Rick Lambright.
They go over the aims and design of the online game. We learn a little about some issues, but expect almost no interesting behind the scenes information. “Gamer” offers nothing more than an extended promo piece to entice us to play.
For some history, we check out Before the Revolution” Matrix Timeline. This uses a stillframe format to detail the world of The Matrix.
It goes back to the origins of the machines and also gets into topics apparently addressed in games and comics. The interface is clunky – it’s slow-going to get through all the frames – but the information is fun to see and brings viewers up to date with material that precedes Revolutions.
3-D Evolution Multidimensional Stills Gallery splits into three areas: “Concept Art” (14 images), “Storyboards” (14) and “Final Scenes” (15). The “3-D” aspect of this doesn’t come to fruition. I thought it meant we’d be able to zoom in and around images, but that doesn’t happen. It’s just an awkward way to look at the stills, though the “Play All” option simplifies things. The images themselves are decent but not anything special.
Crew includes four components: “Owen’s Army: The Australian Art Department” (four minutes, 22 seconds), “2nd Unit: A World of Their Own” (5:58), “Bill Pope: Cinematographer of The Matrix” (7:47), and “Masters of Light and Shadow” (6:52).
In these, we hear from production designer Owen Paterson, supervising art director Hugh Bateup, art director Jules Cook, props department leading hand Kevin McManus, second unit director Kimble Rendall, second unit director of photography Ross Emery, second unit dolly grip Matt Coping, director of photography Bill Pope, supervising key grip Ray Brown, gaffer Reg Garside, and first assistant director James McTeigue.
They cover sets and art design, the work of the second unit, Pope’s career and cinematographic choices, electrical issues, and various practical physical work required to shoot.
“Army” is fairly dull as it does little more than wander around the art department’s offices and introduce us to the workers. “World” proves more interesting as it details the nature of second unit photography, though it’s also moderately fluffy and insubstantial.
The featurette about Pope goes through some general subjects and also seems sporadically interesting but not great, largely because it lacks great focus. “Masters” reminds me of “Army” in that it acts more as a general introduction than anything else. I like the fact that these featurettes let us get to know more about some less glamorous positions, but they simply aren’t very compelling.
Under the banner of Hel, the next section includes six featurettes: “Coat Check” (4:40), “Upsidedown Under” (5:11), “Fast Break” (5:46), “Exploding Man” (4:34), “Gun Club” (2:26) and “The Extras of Club Hel” (4:56).
They feature comments from McTeigue, actor Carrie-Anne Moss, supervising stunt coordinator RA Rondell, special effects supervisor Steve Courtley, stunt coordinator Glenn Boswell, camera operator Andrew Rowlands, stunt players Bobby Bowles, Keir Beck, and Alex Kuzelicki, main unit supervisor Robert Heggie, pyro head technician Leo Henry, armorer John Bowring, costume designer Kym Barrett, and unnamed extras.
Most of these examine the creation of the movie’s big nightclub action sequence. The featurettes get into the design of the action along with shooting the stunts, working out the visual effects and explosives, weapons and extras.
Some of them - primarily “Break” and “Exploding” - go over general topics with material about other scenes as well. The pieces add up to a decent summary of the segment’s creation.
After this we go to Siege and its five programs: “Dig This” (9:54), “The Siege Action Match” (10:03), “Anatomy of a Shot: Mifune’s Last Stand” (5:07), “Building an APU” (5:06), and “Product of Zion” (9:57).
They present statements from Gaeta, Pope, Paterson, Beck, Rondell, Boswell, actors Rachel Blackman, Harold Perrineau, Nona Gaye, Harry Lennix and Nathaniel Lees, producer Joel Silver, visual effects supervisor George Murphy, computer animator Gabe Rountree, MoCap supervisor Demian Gordon, high speed first assistant camera Paul Sanchez, art director Nancy Noblett, conceptual designer Geoffrey Darrow, prop maker foremen Adam Savage, Dave Fogler and Fon Davis, property manufacture supervisor Peter Wyborn, weapons coordinator Robert Galotti, animation supervisor Lyndon J. Barrois, visual effects supervisor John Des Jardin, and pre-vis supervisor Colin Green.
As one might expect from this domain’s title, “Siege” gets into the massive Zion battle sequence. “Match” gives us a comparison feature; it shows the final footage on the bottom while we see relevant behind the scenes bits on the top.
“Anatomy” offers narration from Gaeta as he focuses on the execution of this part of the battle. The technical elements dominate, though “Product” offers a nice look at some of the Zion characters. The components combine for a good examination of the sequence and its parts.
Next we find Super Burly Brawl and its four featurettes: “The Skybarn” (4:50), “The Crater” (4:55), “The Egg” (2:43), and “Anatomy of a Superpunch” (4:25). We hear from Paterson, Rondell, Cook, Gaeta, McTeigue, martial arts stunt coordinator Chad Stahelski, stunt player Darko Tuskan, stunt performer David Leitch, gag supervisor Rodney Burke, on set technician Jason Grant, and actors Mary Alice, Keanu Reeves and Hugh Weaving.
“Skybarn” offers a cool deconstruction of stunt shots that lets us see how various performers take on different elements. Despite the relative brevity of “Brawl”, it covers the appropriate topics well. “Anatomy” echoes the Gaeta-narrated feature found in the prior section, while the others delve into a mix of subjects.
It’s good to get notes from the actors ala “Crater”; we didn’t hear much from them in the Reloaded set, so I’m pleased to find them more frequently in Revolutions. Gaeta’s “Anatomy” is unusually interesting as well, especially when we see test footage created for the shot.
Within New Blue World we discover another five pieces: “Geography of Zion” (8:45), “The Ships” (5:43), “Tour of the Neb” (3:16), “Matrix TV” (5:14) and “Logos Fight Expansion” (3:07). These feature notes from Gaeta, Paterson, Lennix, Perrieneau, Darrow, Cook, McTeigue, Pope, art director Charlie Revai, screen graphics design supervisor Tim Richter, screen graphics technical supervisor Tim Ahern, and actors Laurence Fishburne, Ian Bliss and Jada Pinkett-Smith.
We get a lot of information about the look and configuration of Zion and the ships. I like these programs because they get into the more creative side of the technical elements. The parts about the nitty-gritty of digital work and whatnot is good, but it gets a little tedious, so it’s nice to learn more about design choices and details.
Finally we end with Aftermath and its four components: “Revolutionary Composition” (8:45), “The Glue” (7:30), “Dane Tracks” (7:21), and “Cause and Effects” (16:11). We discover remarks from Des Jardin, Gaeta, Darrow, Libreri, Murphy, Barrois, composer Don Davis, editor Zach Staenberg, assistant editor Allison Gibbons, visual effects editor Jody Rogers, sound designer Dane Davis, visual effects producer Di Giorgiutti, animator Michael Holzl, effects supervisor Mike Schmitt, technical director/compositor Jon Heckman, animator Greg Gladstone, senior visual effects supervisor Craig Hayes, ESC Entertainment chief technology officer Paul Ryan, art director Tom Hull, supervising animator Tom Gibbons, animator Scott Kravitz, UCAP processor Ken Faiman, compositor Barnaby Robson, animation supervisor Michael F. Gay, animator Kody Sabourin, sequence lead Mohen Leo, and ESC Entertainment technology supervisor George Borshukov.
The programs cover the movie’s music, editing, sound effects, and computer generated elements. These serve to summarize post-production elements well. I especially like Dane Davis’s discussion of all the work put into the audio.
The Matrix Revolutions finishes a once-exciting series on a moderately flat note. I can’t call it a bad film, as it presents far too much good action and excitement to flop, but it lacks the humanity and depth that helped make the first movie such a success. The 4K UHD’s picture and audio seem excellent, and the extras help expand our understanding of the film and the processes used to make it. This becomes a fine release for an erratic movie.
Note that this 4K UHD version of Revolutions can be purchased on its own or as part of a “Matrix Trilogy” set. In addition to Revolutions, it includes Matrix and Matrix Reloaded. With a list price of $70.99, it's a good deal for fans who want all three.
To rate this film, visit the original review of THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS