The Matrix

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The Matrix
Image:The Matrix Poster.jpg
IMDB Image:4hvof5.png 8.6/10 (187,144 votes)
top 250: #34
Directed by Wachowski Brothers
Produced by Joel Silver
Written by Wachowski Brothers
Starring Keanu Reeves
Laurence Fishburne
Carrie-Anne Moss
Hugo Weaving
Joe Pantoliano
Gloria Foster
Music by Original:
Don Davis
Rob Dougan
Jack Dangers
Chino Moreno
Hive
Non-Original:
Tim Commerford
Madonna Wayne Gacy
Stéphane Grappelli
Liam Howlett
Harry James
Grant Marshall
Tom Morello
Zack De La Rocha
Brad Wilk
David Wyndorf
Robert del Naja
Sara J.
Mushroom Vowles
Matt Schwartz
Jimmie Haskell
Cinematography Bill Pope
Editing by Zach Staenberg
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) Image:Flag of the United States.svg 31 March 1999
Image:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 11 June 1999
Image:Flag of Australia.svg 8 April 1999
Running time 136 min
Country United States
Language English
Budget $63,000,000
Followed by The Matrix Reloaded
All Movie Guide profile
<tr><th>Argentina: </th> <td>13</td></tr><tr><th>Australia: </th> <td>M</td></tr><tr><th>Belgium: </th> <td>KT</td></tr><tr><th>Brazil: </th> <td>12</td></tr><tr><th>Canada (Brit.Col): </th> <td>14A</td></tr><tr><th>Canada (Alberta): </th> <td>14A</td></tr><tr><th>Canada (Manitoba): </th> <td>PA</td></tr><tr><th>Canada (Ontario): </th> <td>AA</td></tr><tr><th>Canada (Maritime): </th> <td>14</td></tr><tr><th>Canada (Quebec): </th> <td>13+</td></tr><tr><th>Chile: </th> <td>14</td></tr><tr><th>Finland: </th> <td>K-16</td></tr><tr><th>France: </th> <td>U</td></tr><tr><th>Germany: </th> <td>16</td></tr><tr><th>Hong Kong: </th> <td>IIB</td></tr><tr><th>Iceland: </th> <td>16</td></tr><tr><th>Ireland: </th> <td>15</td></tr><tr><th>Israel: </th> <td>PG</td></tr><tr><th>Italy: </th> <td>T</td></tr><tr><th>Japan: </th> <td>PG-12</td></tr><tr><th>Malaysia: </th> <td>18SG</td></tr><tr><th>Mexico: </th> <td>B-15</td></tr><tr><th>Netherlands: </th> <td>16</td></tr><tr><th>New Zealand: </th> <td>M</td></tr><tr><th>Norway: </th> <td>15</td></tr><tr><th>Peru: </th> <td>14</td></tr><tr><th>Portugal: </th> <td>M/12</td></tr><tr><th>Singapore: </th> <td>PG</td></tr><tr><th>South Korea: </th> <td>12</td></tr><tr><th>Sweden: </th> <td>15</td></tr><tr><th>United Kingdom: </th> <td>15</td></tr><tr><th>United States: </th> <td>R</td></tr>
Ratings
The Matrix is a science fiction/action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving. It was first released in the USA on March 31, 1999, and is the first entry in the Matrix series of films, comics, video games and animation.

The film describes a future in which our world is actually the Matrix, an artificial reality created by sentient machines in order to pacify, subdue and make use of the human population as an energy source by growing them and connecting them to the Matrix with cybernetic implants. It contains numerous references to the cyberpunk and hacker subcultures; philosophical and religious ideas, including messianism and Socratic, Cartesian, and Platonic idealism; and homages to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Hong Kong action movies and Japanese animation.

Contents

[edit] Plot synopsis

A telephone call from a woman, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), in a dark hotel room is interrupted as a group of police officers attempt to arrest her. Using superhuman speed, she fights and escapes from them, fleeing across rooftops. The officers pursue her, along with three sinister government agents possessing similarly incredible abilities. At street level, she reaches a ringing telephone booth, answering it just as a garbage truck driven by one of the Agents smashes into it. Examining the wreckage, the Agents discover no body, but state that they have gained "the name of their next target": "Neo".

"Neo" is the alias and screen name of Thomas A. Anderson (Keanu Reeves), a computer programmer for a software company who leads a secret life as a hacker. One night he wakes to find messages appearing on his computer monitor, "The Matrix has you" and "Follow the white rabbit". This cryptic instruction leads Neo to a nightclub, where he is met by Trinity, who is aware of his desire to learn the answer to the question: "What is the Matrix?" Neo believes that a man named Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) is somehow connected to the answer.

At work the next day, Neo receives a telephone call from Morpheus, warning that three agents are searching for him. Despite Morpheus' seemingly-omniscient guidance, Neo is apprehended by the agents, who present evidence of his criminal activities as a hacker. They explain that Morpheus is a wanted terrorist, considered by many to be the most dangerous man alive. The agents request Neo's help in locating him; in return they will erase his criminal record. He refuses to cooperate and the scene turns nightmarish as his lips melt and fuse together and the agents implant a robotic bug in his navel. Neo wakes up at home, assuming the event to be a dream, but immediately receives a call from Morpheus, requesting a meeting. He is picked up by Apoc, Trinity and Switch, who remove the bug from Neo and take him to meet Morpheus. During their meeting, Morpheus explains that he has been searching for Neo his entire life, and informs him that the Matrix is "the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth". He then offers Neo a choice between two pills: one blue, which would enable him to wake up safe in his bed but never learn the truth about the Matrix; the other red, which would allow him to "see how deep the rabbit-hole goes". Neo accepts the red pill, and abruptly wakes up naked in a liquid-filled chamber, his body connected by wires to a vast mechanical tower bristling with pods identical to his. The wires, the largest of which is connected to a plug in the back of his head, are disconnected and Neo is ejected out of the pod into a pool of water. He is rescued by Morpheus and taken aboard his hovercraft, the Nebuchadnezzar. As Neo passes in and out of consciousness, Morpheus urges him to rest while his atrophied muscles are rebuilt.

When recovered, Neo is introduced to the crew of the ship, and is told that it is not the year 1999 as he believed, but estimated to be 2199 — the exact year is unknown. Sitting in a chair on the ship's main deck, a wire is plugged into the socket in the back of Neo's head. Instantly, he appears in a blank white expanse, his appearance back to normal. Morpheus is also there, and explains that they are in "the Construct", a virtual reality environment used for training. He explains that humanity is fighting a war against intelligent machines created early in the 21st century. After being denied their primary power source, the Sun, by the human race, the machines responded by enslaving human beings and using them as their source for energy, growing countless people in immense fields of pods identical to the one in which Neo awoke. It turns out that the world which Neo has inhabited since birth, the Matrix, is an illusory simulated reality construct of the world of 1999, developed by the machines to keep the human population docile while they are connected to generators and their energy is harvested. Morpheus and Trinity are part of a group of free humans who "unplug" other humans from the Matrix and recruit them to their resistance against the machines. Shocked by what he is told, Neo refuses to believe him, vomiting and fainting when he is unplugged from the chair.

Neo awakens in his bed on the ship, Morpheus at his side. He confirms that Neo cannot go back to his life in the Matrix, and apologizes for the stress he has caused him. However, he explains that he disconnected Neo for a reason: he believes that he is "the One", a man prophesied by the Oracle to "hail the destruction of the Matrix, end the war, bring freedom to our people". Morpheus believes that Neo has the power to free humankind from its enslavement through complete mastery of the Matrix, but Neo is skeptical.

In the morning, Neo speaks to the ship's "operator", Tank (Marcus Chong), who describes Zion, the last human city and a refuge for unplugged humans. In order for Neo to join the group, he must learn how to bend or break the rules of the Matrix in order to subvert the simulation's laws of physics. He is plugged back into the chair on the main deck, and Tank demonstrates that Neo can instantly learn new skills by uploading training programs directly into his mind. Over a period of ten hours, he learns martial arts disciplines such as Jujitsu and Kung Fu, then demonstrates his skills by entering another simulated environment similar to the Matrix and sparring with Morpheus. Despite a level of speed which impresses the crew, Neo is unable to land a strike on the more experienced Morpheus and is defeated. Morpheus encourages Neo to understand the idea that the Matrix is nothing more than a computer program with rules which can be bent or broken by mental effort; muscles have nothing to do with a person's abilities within the Matrix. In a second round Neo moves faster and finally manages to evade Morpheus's defenses, leaving the crew amazed.

They are then transferred to "the jump program", a simulation of two skyscrapers a significant distance apart. Morpheus tells Neo to "free his mind" and jump from one building to the other, a leap Morpheus easily achieves, but Neo attempts and fails. After being unplugged from the simulation, he is bleeding. He questions Morpheus about this, as he thought the training program was not real, and is told that any injuries suffered in the Matrix are reflected in the real world: if he is killed in the Matrix, his physical body will also die, as "the body cannot live without the mind".

In another training program Morpheus warns Neo of the rebels' main hazard in the Matrix: Agents. The men in suits who interrogated Neo earlier were actually self-aware programs who behave as anti-virus utilities; their purpose is to seek out and eliminate any threats within the Matrix in order to keep it stable. Anyone who has not been unplugged from the Matrix is potentially an Agent, since Agents have the ability to take over the body of anyone still connected to the system. They possess incredible martial arts skills, superhuman strength, agility, and speed, but Morpheus explains that Agents are still nonetheless limited by the physical rules of the Matrix. Once Neo, being "the One", fully understands the true nature of the Matrix, the Agents will be no match for him. However, later, another member of the crew, Cypher (Joe Pantoliano), advises Neo to disregard Morpheus's advice, telling him that if he sees an Agent, his only chance of survival is to flee. Cypher is later seen having dinner inside of the Matrix with Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving). Stating that he prefers the artificial world of the Matrix to reality, Cypher strikes a deal with Smith that he will arrange for Morpheus to be captured if the machines will reinsert him into the Matrix as a celebrity and with no memory of true reality.

The group enters the Matrix and takes Neo to the apartment of the Oracle (Gloria Foster), a woman Morpheus describes as being very old and with the rebels "since the beginning ... of the resistance." Neo is puzzled at her ability to predict future actions. She then implies that Neo is not the One, and that he seems to be waiting for something — his next life, perhaps. She states that Morpheus believes Neo is "the One" so blindly, he would sacrifice his life to save Neo's, and predicts that Neo must make a choice between his life and that of Morpheus. As they leave, Morpheus explains to Neo that the Oracle's words were for him alone.

After the meeting, the crew heads toward the nearest "hard line", a telephone line in the Matrix which may be used by the rebels to safely exit the virtual world. As they approach the exit they realise that the line has been cut and they have become trapped, with Agents and a police SWAT team in pursuit. In their attempt to escape, an unarmed Morpheus saves Neo from Agent Smith's grasp, but is effortlessly beaten and captured himself. The others manage to escape, but Cypher is separated from the group and is the first to reach a new hard line. After exiting the Matrix, Cypher wounds Tank and kills Tank's older brother, Dozer (Anthony Ray Parker). The crew discovers that Morpheus was captured due to the betrayal of Cypher, who preferred living in ignorance within the Matrix and blames Morpheus for giving him the red pill. Cypher murders Apoc and Switch by unplugging them, but before he can kill Neo and Trinity, Tank recovers and shoots Cypher. Meanwhile, Morpheus has been imprisoned in a government building. Three Agents attempt to use a serum to gain information from him regarding access codes to the mainframe of Zion. During this time, Smith confesses to Morpheus that despite being a computer program he hates the Matrix and he demands the codes, so that Zion can be destroyed and he can leave.

Neo decides to rescue Morpheus despite Tank's warnings and the mission being virtually impossible. Trinity accompanies him. Entering the building, Neo and Trinity kill the dozens of guards. In the process, Neo becomes more confident and familiar with manipulating the Matrix, allowing him to perform feats such as dodging bullets fired at him by an Agent. They use the cable from an elevator that they explode to get onto the roof of the skyscrapper, then fly a helicopter to the level with Morpheus on it, succeeding in rescuing their leader. Their helicopter crashes, and Agent Smith realizes where they're going. In an abandoned subway station, Morpheus and Trinity exit the Matrix through a hard line. However, before Neo can follow, the phone being used is destroyed by Agent Smith. Instead of fleeing from him as Cypher advised, Neo duels with Smith, eventually managing to force him onto the tracks in front of a moving subway train. However, Agent Smith quickly possesses another body and pursues Neo.

Neo is chased through the city by the three Agents while Sentinels (robots used by the machines to "search and destroy" human ships) locate the Nebuchadnezzar's position in the real world and close in fast. However, the ship's electromagnetic pulse device, the crew's only weapon against the Sentinels, cannot be activated until Neo has left the Matrix. As they prepare to use it, Tank guides Neo towards an "old exit", but Smith is already waiting. He shoots him several times, and Neo collapses to the floor in the Matrix as a flatline readout of his heartbeat appears on a screen inside the Nebuchadnezzar. Trinity whispers to Neo that she refuses to accept his death, since the Oracle told her that the man she would fall in love with would be the One, she confesses that she is in love with him and kisses him. Neo's heart monitor begins to beat again, and within the Matrix he stands up. The Agents shoot at him, but he raises his palm and stops their bullets in mid-air. As they fall to the ground, Neo looks up and sees the artificial Matrix as lines of streaming green code: he finally becomes "the One". Agent Smith makes one last ditch attempt to physically attack him, but Neo effortlessly blocks his punches with one hand. He then plunges directly into Smith's body, causing it to rupture and then explode, leaving Neo standing. The other two Agents flee, and Neo returns to the real world barely in time for the ship's electromagnetic pulse to destroy the Sentinels.

A short epilogue shows him back in the Matrix, making a telephone call promising:

"I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you... a world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world... where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you."

Neo hangs up the phone, looks up, and flies into the sky above the city. <ref name="superman">The film's screenplay describes this final moment with the words "faster than a speeding bullet", a reference to Superman.</ref>

[edit] Principal cast

Image:Matrix Agents.jpg
From left to right: Agents Brown, Smith, and Jones
Actor Role
Keanu Reeves Neo/Thomas Anderson
Laurence Fishburne Morpheus
Carrie-Anne Moss Trinity
Hugo Weaving Agent Smith
Julian Arahanga Apoc
Marcus Chong Tank
Matt Doran Mouse
Gloria Foster the Oracle
Paul Goddard Agent Brown
Belinda McClory Switch
Joe Pantoliano Cypher
Anthony Ray Parker Dozer
Robert Taylor Agent Jones

[edit] Production

The Matrix was a co-production of Warner Bros Studios and Australian Village Roadshow Pictures, and was filmed in Sydney, Australia. Several landmarks and locations in the city are visible in some scenes, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Martin Place and a Commonwealth Bank branch.

[edit] Production design

Image:MatrixCodeCloseUp.jpg
Screenshot of a freeware PC screensaver which emulates the appearance of the Matrix digital rain.

In the film, the code that comprises the Matrix itself is frequently represented as downward-flowing green characters. This code includes mirror images of half-width katakana characters and Western Latin letters and numerals. In one scene, the pattern of trickling rain on a window being cleaned resembles this code. More generally, the film's production design placed a bias towards its distinctive green color for scenes set within the Matrix, whereas there is an emphasis on the color blue during the scenes set in the real world. In addition, grid-patterns were incorporated into the sets for scenes inside the Matrix, intended to convey the cold, logical, artificial nature of that environment.<ref name=proddesign>Costume designer Kym Barret, production designer Owen Paterson and cinematographer Bill Pope, interviewed in The Matrix Revisited (Chapter 7).</ref>

Also, the Chroma key screens used for shooting special effects scenes were bluescreen for Matrix scenes and greenscreen for real world scenes. This was done to ensure that the predominant colors of the sets did not interfere with the CGI editing processes.[citation needed]

The "digital rain" is strongly reminiscent of similar computer code in the film Ghost in the Shell, an acknowledged influence on the Matrix series (see below). The linking of the color green to computers may have been intended to evoke the green tint of old monochrome computer monitors.

[edit] Visual effects

The film is known for popularizing and evolving the use of a visual effect known as bullet time, which allows the viewer to explore a moment progressing in slow-motion while the camera appears to orbit around the scene at normal speed.

One proposed technique for creating these effects involved accelerating a high-frame-rate motion picture camera along a fixed track at a high speed to capture the action as it occurred. However, this was discarded as unfeasable, as the destruction of the camera in the attempt was all but inevitable. Instead, the method used was a technically expanded version of an old art photography technique known as time-slice photography, in which a large number of cameras are placed around an object and fired simultaneously. When the sequence of shots is viewed as a movie, the viewer sees what is in effect two-dimensional "slices" of a three-dimensional moment. Watching such a "time slice" movie is akin to the real-life experience of walking around a statue to see how it looks at different angles.

Some scenes in The Matrix feature the "time-slice" effect with completely frozen characters and objects. Interpolation techniques improved the fluidity of the apparent "camera motion". The effect was further expanded upon by the Wachowski brothers and visual effects supervisor John Gaeta to create "bullet time", which incorporates temporal motion, so that rather than being totally frozen the scene progresses in slow and variable motion. Engineers at Manex Visual Effects pioneered 3D visualization planning methods to move beyond mechanically fixed views towards complex camera paths and flexibly moving interest points. There is also an improved fluidity through the use of non-linear interpolation, digital compositing and the introduction of computer generated "virtual" scenery.

Image:Neo SmithPic.jpg
Neo's confrontation with Agent Smith features the bullet time effect

The objective of bullet time shots in The Matrix was to creatively illustrate "mind over matter" type events as captured by a "virtual camera". However, the original technical approach was physically bound to pre-determined perspectives, and the resulting effect only suggested the capabilities of a true virtual camera.

The evolution of photogrametric and image based CGI background approaches in The Matrix's bullet time shots set the stage for later innovations unveiled in the sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. Virtual Cinematography (CGI-rendered characters, locations and events) and the high-definition Universal Capture process completely replaced the use of still camera arrays, thus realising the virtual camera.

This film upset the juggernaut release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace by winning the Academy Award for Visual Effects.

[edit] Music

See also: The Matrix: Original Motion Picture Score and The Matrix: Music from the Motion Picture

The film's score was composed by Don Davis. He noted that mirrors appear frequently in the movie: reflections of the blue and red pills are seen in Morpheus's glasses; Neo's capture by Agents is viewed through the rear-view mirror of Trinity's motorcycle; the broken mirror that mends itself as Neo is looking at it; reflections warp as a spoon is bent; the reflection of a helicopter is visible as it approaches a skyscraper. (The film also frequently references the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which has a sequel entitled Through the Looking-Glass.) Davis focused on this theme of reflections when creating his score, alternating between sections of the orchestra and attempting to incorporate contrapuntal ideas. <ref name=mirrors>Don Davis, interviewed in The Matrix Revisited (Chapter 28). A transcript of his comments may be found online: [1]</ref>

In addition to Davis's score, The Matrix's soundtrack also features music from acts such as Rammstein, Rob Dougan, Rage Against the Machine, Propellerheads, Massive Attack, The Prodigy, Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson.

[edit] Influences and interpretations

The Matrix makes numerous references to recent films and literature, and to historical myths and philosophy. A precursor story is "They" (1941) by Robert A. Heinlein.[citation needed] A manipulated reality is the context, and at one point the protagonist even calls the setup a matrix: "Why the grand scale to the deception, countless creatures, whole continents, an enormously involved and minutely detailed matrix of insane history, insane tradition, insane culture?"[citation needed]

The Matrix makes numerous references to recent films and literature, and to historical myths and philosophy including Messianism, Buddhism, Advaita Hinduism, and Gnosticism. The film's premise resembles Plato's Allegory of the Cave and The Brain in a Vat thought experiment, while Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation is featured in the film. There are similarities to cyberpunk works such as Neuromancer by William Gibson.<ref name="williamgibson">"The Matrix: Fair Cop". URL retrieved 7 July 2006.</ref>

Japanese director Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell was a strong influence. Producer Joel Silver has stated that the Wachowski brothers first described their intentions for The Matrix by showing him this anime and saying, "We wanna do that for real".<ref name="silver-anime-1">Joel Silver, interviewed in "Scrolls to Screen: A Brief History of Anime" featurette on The Animatrix DVD.</ref><ref name="silver-anime-2>Joel Silver, interviewed in "Making The Matrix" featurette on The Matrix DVD.</ref> Mitsuhisa Ishikawa of Production I.G., which produced Ghost in the Shell, noted that the anime's high-quality visuals were a strong source of inspiration for the Wachowski brothers. He also commented, "... cyberpunk films are very difficult to describe to a third person. I'd imagine that The Matrix is the kind of film that was very difficult to draw up a written proposal for to take to film studios." He stated that since Ghost in the Shell had gained recognition in America, the Wachowski brothers used it as a "promotional tool".<ref name="south bank show">Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, interviewed in The South Bank Show, episode broadcast 19 February 2006 [2]</ref>

Reviewers have commented on similarities between The Matrix and other late-1990s films such as Strange Days, Dark City, and The Truman Show.<ref name="rogerebert">Roger Ebert's review of The Matrix. URL retrieved 21 August 2006.</ref> <ref name="channel4review">"The Matrix (1999) - Channel 4 Film review". URL retrieved 21 August 2006.</ref> <ref name="cinephobia review">"Cinephobia reviews: The Matrix". URL retrieved 21 August 2006.</ref> Comparisons have also been made to Grant Morrison's comic series The Invisibles; Morrison believes that the Wachowski brothers essentially plagiarized his work to create the film.<ref name="grantmorrison">"Poor Mojo Newswire: Suicide Girls Interview with Grant Morrison". URL retrieved 31 July 2006.</ref>

[edit] Release

The Matrix was first released in the U.S. on 31 March 1999, less than two months before the highly anticipated sci-fi film Star Wars: Episode I. It earned $171 million in the U.S. and $460 million worldwide,<ref name="boxoffice">Box Office Mojo: The Matrix. URL retrieved 8 March 2006.</ref> and later became the first DVD to sell more than three million copies in the U.S.<ref name="dvdsales">"Press release - August 1, 2000 - The Matrix DVD: The first to sell 3 million". URL retrieved 26 July 2006.</ref>

[edit] Critical reception

The combination of special-effects-laden action and philosophical meandering was considered fresh and exciting<ref name=positivereview>"Positive review of The Matrix"</ref>. Roger Ebert praised the film's visuals and premise, but disliked the third act's focus on action.<ref name="rogerebert"/> Other reviewers criticised the comparative humorlessness and self-indulgence of the movie<ref name=criticised>"Critical review of The Matrix"</ref><ref name=selfindulgent>"Negative review of The Matrix"</ref>. Philip Strick commented in Sight & Sound, "if the Wachowskis claim no originality of message, they are startling innovators of method", praising the film's details and its "broadside of astonishing images".<ref name="sightandsound">Sight & Sound review of The Matrix</ref>

In 2001, The Matrix was placed 66th in the American Film Institute's "100 Years... 100 Thrills" list.

[edit] Awards and nominations

The Matrix received Oscars for film editing, sound effects editing, visual effects, and sound. Furthermore, the film won these awards in the year that Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released, making it the first film to win the special effects Oscars when competing with an entry in the Star Wars series.

It also received BAFTA awards for Best Sound and Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects.

[edit] The Matrix series

Main article: The Matrix series

The film's mainstream success led to the greenlighting of the next two films of what was conceived as a trilogy,[citation needed] The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. These were filmed simultaneously during one shoot and released in two parts in 2003.

The first film's introductory tale is replaced by a story centred on the impending attack of the human enclave of Zion by a vast machine army. Neo also learns more about the history of the Matrix, his role as the One and the prophecy that he will end the war. The sequels also incorporate longer and more ambitious action scenes, as well as improvements in bullet time and other visual effects.

Also released was The Animatrix, a collection of nine animated short films, many of which were created in the same Japanese animation style that was a strong influence on the live trilogy. The Animatrix was overseen and approved by the Wachowski brothers but they only wrote four of the segments themselves and did not direct any of them; much of the project was created by notable figures from the world of animé. Four of the films were originally released on the series' official website; one was shown in cinemas with the Warner Bros movie Dreamcatcher; the others first appeared with the DVD release of all nine shorts.

The franchise contains three video games: Enter the Matrix (2003), which contains footage shot specifically for the game and chronicles events taking place before and during The Matrix Reloaded; The Matrix Online (2004), a MMORPG which continues the story beyond The Matrix Revolutions; and The Matrix: Path of Neo, which was released 8 November 2005 and focuses on situations based on Neo's journey through the trilogy of films.

Available on the official website are a number of free comics set in the world of The Matrix, written and illustrated by figures from the comics industry<ref name=comics>The Matrix Comics at the official Matrix website</ref>. Some of these comics are also available in two printed volumes.

[edit] Impact

The Matrix has had a strong effect on action film-making in Hollywood. It upped the ante for cinematic fight scenes by hiring acclaimed choreographers (such as Yuen Woo-ping) from the Hong Kong action cinema scene, well-known for its production of martial arts films. The success of The Matrix put those choreographers in high demand by other filmmakers who wanted fights of similar sophistication: for example, Yuen Woo-ping's brother Cheung-Yan Yuen was choreographer on Daredevil (2003). There was a surge in movies, commercials and pop videos copying "the Matrix look", usually without the training and attention to detail that made it successful in the first place.

Following The Matrix, films made abundant use of slow-motion, spinning cameras, and, often, the famed bullet time effect of a character freezing or slowing down and the camera panning around them. In several video games, most notably Max Payne and its sequel, bullet time and the ability to dodge bullets became core gameplay elements. The bullet time effect has also been parodied numerous times, in comedy films such as Scary Movie, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Shrek and Kung Pow: Enter the Fist; in TV series such as The Simpsons and Family Guy; and in video games such as Conker's Bad Fur Day.

In 2003, GRACE, the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment, commissioned Free Range Studios to produce The Meatrix, a dark satire of The Matrix, to encourage the purchase and consumption of organic foods and sustainable, free-range meats. In the Adobe Flash short, Leo, a pig on a seemingly bucolic farm, is approached by Moopheus, an anthropomorphic bull, who reveals to him that the farm he has known is an illusion, and in reality he is trapped in a horrific "factory farm". The animated short has won numerous awards, been reported in major international media, has been viewed over 10,000,000 times and translated into 13 languages.[citation needed] In 2006, this was followed by a sequel, The Meatrix II: Revolting, themed around the factory farm treatment of dairy cows.

Some considered that The Matrix signaled the end of significant exploration in the cyberpunk movement. Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky commented,<ref name="Aronofsky:>Darren Aronofsky, in the article "The Outsider", WIRED magazine November 2006 issue (page 224)</ref>

I walked out of The Matrix [...] and I was thinking, "What kind of science fiction movie can people make now?"

The Wachowskis basically took all the great sci-fi ideas of the 20th century and rolled them into a delicious pop culture sandwich that everyone on the planet devoured. Suddenly Philip K. Dick's ideas no longer seemed that fresh. Cyberpunk? Done.

[edit] Sophia Stewart legal case

On April 24, 2003 Sophia Stewart filed suit against Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Joel Silver and the Wachowski Brothers claiming that the stories of The Matrix and Terminator franchises were based on a manuscript she wrote titled "The Third Eye". She allegedly submitted the manuscript to the Wachowskis in response to an advertisement. On October 4, 2004, a California court granted Stewart leave to continue her case. One account misreported the October 4th decision as Stewart winning her lawsuit, rather than simply winning permission to continue with the case. The case was dismissed in June 2005 on the basis that "Stewart and her attorneys had not entered any evidence to bolster its key claims or demonstrated any striking similarity between her work and the accused directors' films".<ref name=sophiastewart>"Report on Sophia Stewart's lawsuit against the Wachowski brothers"</ref>.

[edit] Trivia

  • The locations mentioned in the film are all named after places in Chicago, Illinois. Maps of the city shown in the film also resemble Chicago, although most filming was done in Sydney, Australia. Landmarks were purposely not included in order to maintain the setting of a generic American city. However, at the beginning of the scene where Neo is talking with his boss, the Sears Tower is visible in a picture on the wall. In the last scene, in which Neo hangs up the phone, the camera pans and the Sydney Harbor bridge is visible in the background.
  • The film was almost completely filmed in Fox Studios, Sydney, Australia and in the vicinity of Sydney, New South Wales as per the acknowledgements in the film credits. Apart from one or two scenes shot in the United States, the film has been almost completely pictured only in the Fox Studios, Sydney and some outdoor scenes in the city of Sydney
  • Some of the rooms shown early in the film are featured again later. Room 303 in the Heart O' the City Hotel, where the police officers find Trinity, is the same room where Neo is killed by Agent Smith and resurrected as the One; the building in which Neo meets Morpheus for the first time is the place in which the group later appears before meeting the Oracle; and the room in which Neo takes the pill is the same room in which Mouse dies.
  • The rooftop set that Trinity uses to escape from Agent Jones is one left over from the production of Dark City.
  • According to The Art of the Matrix, only one filmed scene was omitted from the final cut. In the scene, Cypher explains to Neo that he is not the first person Morpheus has singled out as the One.
  • The first phone call from the Matrix between Cypher and Trinity is shown as: Call trans opt: received. 2-19-98 13:24:18 REC:Log >, and Neo's final call from The Matrix at the end of the movie is: Call trans opt: received 9-18-99 14:32:21 REC:Log >, which is approximately 576 days of Matrix time.
  • Towards the beginning of the film, Neo hears the knock at the door in his apartment in the Matrix he goes to get a disk for the person at the door. The disk is hidden in a book with a hole cut into it. The book is Simulacra and Simulation by the French Philosopher Jean Baudrillard. This book was required reading for most of the principal cast and crew involved in the film.
  • "The Lady in The Red Dress" is likely a reference to Ana Cupnanas, who was believed to be wearing red after FBI agents shot him in the back, the same manner that the simulation showed.[citation needed]
  • Actor Will Smith turned down the role of Neo. He later stated that, if given the role at that time, he "would have messed it up".<ref>http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.07/smith_pr.html</ref>
  • In 2006, comedian Michael J. Nelson, of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame, mocked the film in a downloadable audio commentary track for his RiffTrax service with Kevin Murphy.
  • Several years before this film was made, Carrie Anne Moss had co-starred in a fantasy television series, also entitled Matrix. That series ran for only 13 episodes but was rebroadcast in several countries after The Matrix became a hit.

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The Matrix series
Films The Matrix  | The Matrix Reloaded  | The Matrix Revolutions
The Animatrix Final Flight of the Osiris | The Second Renaissance | Kid's Story | Program | World Record | Beyond | A Detective Story | Matriculated
Soundtracks The Matrix: Original Motion Picture Score | The Matrix: Music from the Motion Picture | The Matrix Reloaded: The Album
The Matrix Revolutions: Music From The Motion Picture | The Animatrix: The Album | Enter The Matrix: Original Soundtrack From The Videogame
Games Enter the Matrix | The Matrix Online | The Matrix: Path of Neo
Characters Neo | Trinity | Morpheus | Smith (Agent Smith) | Captain Mifune |Agents | Oracle | Architect | Niobe | Merovingian | Persephone | Seraph | Deus Ex Machina | Minor human characters | Programs and machines
Locations The Matrix | Mega City | Club Hel | Mobil Ave | Zero One (Machine City) | Zion | List of ships in the Matrix series
Cast and crew Wachowski brothers | Keanu Reeves | Laurence Fishburne | Carrie-Anne Moss | Hugo Weaving | Jada Pinkett Smith | Owen Paterson | John Gaeta | Geof Darrow | Steve Skroce
Other topics Thematic motifs |Matrix digital rain | The Matrix character names | The Matrix Revisited | The Ultimate Matrix Collection
Related topics Bullet time | Cyberpunk | Digitalism | The Hero's Journey | Martial arts film | Messiahs in fiction | Virtual reality
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The Matrix

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