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The Matrix Resurrections (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

At some point, in our IP driven entertainment society, it was going to be The Matrix’s turn to be resurrected for the sake of being resurrection. Thankfully, it was resuscitated from the breath of the maker. Arriving day and date in theaters and HBO Max, The Matrix Resurrections was unleashed with plenty of people having plenty of opinions on it. Truly divisive, it brought some interesting conversations regarding it. At the end of the day, that’s better than boring and safe, even if some of my best colleagues/friends and I are on polar opposite ends of the spectrum on it. Warner Bros brought it to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray on March 8, complete with an Atmos track and a handful of featurettes featuring interviews with the cast and crew of the film. Where’d you side with the film? Are you going to be picking this up or are you #NotMyMatrix? If you’re of the former, you can use the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review to land your copy if you’d be so kind.

Film

Return to a world of two realities: one, everyday life; the other, what lies behind it. To find out if his reality is a physical or mental construct, to truly know himself, Mr. Anderson (Keanu Reeves) will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more. And if Thomas…Neo…has learned anything, it’s that choice, while an illusion, is still the only way out of—or into—the Matrix. Of course, Neo already knows what he has to do. But what he doesn’t yet know is the Matrix is stronger, more secure and more dangerous than ever before. Déjà vu.

A divisive Matrix sequel? Ya don’t say? Thus was the story of The Matrix Resurrections which happened to fall into the loved it and hated it crowd immediately upon release. To be fair, it seemed people were mostly fine with it despite kicking and screaming about it in one direction or the other. Personally, a lot of what Lana Wachowski was going for in the film was right in my own personal wheelhouse of filmmaker voices using a franchise entry to filter through some things. There’s a lot of deconstructions, heavy handed metatextual designs in dialogue, character and plot that I recognize isn’t in everyone’s wheelhouse. But for me, its exactly what I wanted from both a Lana Wachowski film and a new Matrix movie, giving itself a decent reason to exist in the first place.

Back when the film came out, I joined Aaron Neuwirth and Scott Mendelson for an episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe to share my thoughts on the film and discuss it in some good depth as to why I enjoyed it more than the crowd calling “foul”. And a few views in, my thoughts still hold on it. You can listen to that episode here.

Video

Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-100

Clarity/Detail The Matrix Resurrections comes to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray as a native 4K title having been mastered with a 4K digital intermediate. And its digital look is quite lovely here on this disc. Its plenty sharp, crisp and radiating in the finer details. It has a little bit different look and aesthetic and feel than that of its predecessors on disc, but surely that’s part of the design. Color saturation, depth and black levels are all at top levels here as well.

Depth: Of course a Matrix movie features a terrific depth of field. Flexing in its slower motioned moments, there’s plenty of pushback and space on the screen with lots of layers. Movement is smooth and confident with no issues regarding and blur or jitter distortions for the more rapid areas of action on screen.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and about as natural as a digital picture is going to get. Shading and darkness is handled pretty expertly, without any information hidden in the blacker areas of the screen. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are quite striking. From hair color, to garments, to blasts, explosions, signage lighting and displays, there’s a good pop and strong glow from the HDR to build a nice strong contrast to the black levels.

Flesh Tones: Facial features are natural and consistent from start to finish, aside from some more heavily filtered scenes. Facial information and texture is sharp and discernible from almost any given distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, German Dolby Atmos, Italian Dolby Atmos

Subtitles: English SDH, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

Dynamics: The Matrix Resurrections comes with a pretty awesome Atmos track. This one features a great balance between vocals, effects and music that establishes great layering and depth. There’s a lot of playfulness in the mix as well, though the low frequency end of things is rather standard or merely above average.

Height: There’s plenty of fun to be had from above. Dead bodies falling from the top is one of them as well as many bits and points of action as the film offers plenty to score or make itself known from above.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer does its job just fine, but it doesn’t really go above the call of duty or shake the room like some bigger action/fantasy movies of modern times have been known to do. Nonetheless, its a find job in terms of catching engines, mystical beams, punches, gunfire, crashing and explosions.

Surround Sound Presentation: Coming as no surprise, this one wanders and plays all around the room. It does well in knowing what’s going on offscreen as well as having good force with rolling sound across the room. Environments have terrific unique contributions from side and rear channel speakers to build he ambiance.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras

The Matrix Resurrections comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code. All bonus materials are found on the standard Blu-ray disc.

No One Can Be Told What The Matrix Is (HD, 8:52) – Cast members reflect on what the original Matrix movies meant to them and their legacy.

Resurrecting The Matrix (HD, 30:44) – Lana Wachowski, Keanu Reeves, Carrie Ann Moss, along with many of the newbies, talk about returning to the series and doing so with a sizable gap between Revolutions and the new one.

Neo x Trinity: Return To The Matrix (HD, 8:16) – Carrie Ann and Keanu have a reflection on working together back then on the original film and now.

Allies + Adversaries: The Matrix Remixed (HD, 8:27) – This featurette is a focus on all the new, supporting or non Lana Wachowski, Carrie Ann Moss and Keanu Reeves folk.

Matrix 4 Life (HD, 6:19) – Another reflective feature about the series and working on this film from several cast and crew.

I Still Know Kung Fu (HD, 4:56) – This piece is focused on the stunt work, fight training and such for the film.

The Matrix Reactions – A breakdown of the action sequences in the film, complete with cast & crew interviews and on set footage.

  • Echo Opening (HD, 5:34)
  • Deux Ex Machina (HD, 4:45)
  • Welcome To IØ (HD, 5:17)
  • Morpheus vs Neo (HD, 4:00)
  • Exiles Fight (HD, 5:20)
  • Neo vs Smith (HD, 4:09) 
  • Bullet Time Redux (HD, 4:34)
  • The San Fran Chase (HD, 7:32)
  • The San Fran Jump (HD, 7:56)

Summary

The Matrix Resurrections certainly isn’t for everyone and one that might take some time for others to come to appreciate (Or may depreciate). Warner Bros brings it to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with a pretty awesome presentation, with rather attractive audio and video to bring the experience to life. Extras are a bit on the fluffier side, but do deliver some decent insight. If you’re a fan of the film, this is a solid disc to pick up.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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