directed by Josh Oreck
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 companys advertising in its myriad forms. I remember seeing a catalog of
posters of ads for companies like Adidas, Nintendo, and Trojan. Im sure that
Budweiser has sold more neon signs to guys to hang in their garages than they ever have to
bars. Its 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 were paying for the kind of press kits
they usually reserve for the media. Interviews and footage designed to numb the viewer
into passive assent.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 theres even a commercial for 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 havent seen something this
well, I dont know when Ive 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 dont bug me because
theyre usually included on the disc for free. Its alright to have commercials
if youre 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. Theres nothing new to be
learned about the film. Its philosophical foundation has been well covered, and if I
have to watch another piece about how cool bullet time is Im going to jump, jive and
wail myself right off the nearest cliff.
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, dont say I
didnt warn you. Dont 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.