Print 23 comment(s) - last by AlexWade.. on Mar 28 at 9:00 PM

The burly brawlin' Agent Smith
The Matrix avoids Blu-ray due to technical shortfalls

Although Warner Bros. officially supports both HD DVD and Blu-ray camps, one of its biggest upcoming catalog releases will be an HD DVD exclusive for better part of 2007. On May 22, Warner will be releasing the Matrix movies on HD DVD in the form of two different packages.

The first offering, The Complete Matrix Trilogy, contains HD DVD versions of the three Matrix films in a 3-disc set, perfect for those who just want to see all three Matrix films in hi-definition. For the hardcore fan, The Ultimate Matrix Collection, presents all three of the Wachowski brothers’ post-modern films with more than 35 hours of bonus material in five double-sided discs.

Both The Ultimate Matrix Collection and The Complete Matrix Trilogy come with the In-Movie Experience (IME), an exclusive interactive feature that allows viewers to enjoy interviews and other material via picture in picture while the movie is running.

The IME feature is precisely why the Matrix trilogy is appearing on HD DVD first. Even after more than half a year following Blu-ray’s introduction, many players are still unable to support picture in picture. For this reason, HD DVD movies such as Batman Begins, Poseidon and V for Vendetta have yet to appear on Blu-ray. The Blu-ray Association hopes to catch up by setting a deadline for all Blu-ray players to support such new features by this fall.

The Ultimate Matrix Collection will be available for $119.99 SRP and The Complete Matrix Trilogy available for $99.99 SRP. Blu-ray Disc versions of both collections will be released later this year.

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By kyleb2112 on 3/27/2007 2:32:46 AM , Rating: 4
Does it come with an apology for the last two movies?

RE: Apology
By Saist on 3/27/2007 3:11:49 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks Kyleb... you beat me to it...

Yeah, I'm trying to figure out how this would classify as a big "thing" for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. Most of those who were fans of the first Matrix movie weren't exactly clamoring at the gills over the second, and outright mad at the third movie. Okay, big deal, so Matrix finally goes HD, and it will arrive on HD-DVD first. Who cares?

RE: Apology
By kristof007 on 3/27/2007 4:15:40 AM , Rating: 3
Who cares I do? Yes I am a huge fan of all three of the movies. Yes I did see the Animatrix. Yes I did go online and read essays on all of symbolism and then went the two books about the movie. So what. Different strokes for different folks.

There are a lot of people out there who enjoyed the three movies immensely, even the third one. If you fail to take pleasure in the action (intertwined with a plethora of subliminal messages), then I am sorry. I do not claim it to be the greatest movie that mankind has ever made, I'd just wish you wouldn't be so quick to put something down.

On a lighter note, put me down for Ultimate Edition .

RE: Apology
By luhar49 on 3/27/2007 4:21:54 AM , Rating: 2
Count me in too.
For me LOTR and Matrix are the most anticipated movies on HD. Release of these movies should get lots of "on the fence" people to jump into HD. Fact that it is getting released on HD DVD first will certainly help Toshiba's cause.

RE: Apology
By kalak on 3/27/2007 9:04:12 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. LOTR is the best... But I like Matrix too. So.. What's the differences (if any) between HD and BR versions?

RE: Apology
By Spivonious on 3/27/2007 12:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
Please don't tell me you had to read essays and books in order to see the symbolism that the Wachowskis were blatantly parading around the screen.

RE: Apology
By kristof007 on 3/27/2007 3:21:25 PM , Rating: 2
I did not need to read essays but obviously I did not catch everything that they had intended for me to get so to explore things more in-depth

RE: Apology
By therealnickdanger on 3/27/2007 9:57:54 AM , Rating: 3
How much for just the first one?

RE: Apology
By qrhetoric on 3/27/2007 10:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
You know I like the second and third as well, though not like the first. I'm still not sure why I would get an HD-DVD to see it again.

RE: Apology
By Moishe on 3/28/2007 8:13:19 AM , Rating: 2
It always surprises me when hollywood produces truckloads of crap that is crap in so many ways (predictable, not funny, not entertaining, etc, etc, etc) and people still find the time to bash movies that *taken relatively* are really good. Some examples are SW:E1, Godfather 2-3, and Matrix 2-3. The movies were entertaining and filled an important part of the story while being well done in most areas. Of course, we have our opinions about different aspects, but overall, I don't understand how these movies can be seen by most as "more bad than good".

I know that a lot of people couldn't get past the philosophical stuff in Reloaded and Revolution. I'm that way with the rants in social-soapbox movies but I can still generally set my dislike for one aspect of the movie aside and enjoy the rest of it for what it is. The action was great in Reloaded, the whole section with the merovingian, the highway scene, the rumble. I don't understand why the movie gets bashed. Is it as good as The Matrix? No! But it's way better than most crap that hollywood puts out.

I think Reloaded and Revolutions were a good, appropriate, and entertaining ending to the first movie. I like how the hero dies and bad things happen (because it's annoying and unrealistic when only good things happen to people in movies). I like how the complex philosophical stuff plays out in the end and how the story wasn't just intelligent for the sake of making people feel dumb.

And by the way, if you're gonna tell me I'm an idiot, at least please explain in logical terms (like I did) why you think I'm wrong instead of just saying "yeah, but reloaded sux and so do you!". I have little patience for people who don't even try backup their opinions.

By Lazarus Dark on 3/27/2007 8:47:51 AM , Rating: 2
This is what is holding HD in general back, lack of content, not just on hddvd/bluray but hdtv as well. When looking at buying a large screen tv last year, I had a big decision to make: 480p, 720p or 1080p. This was a very difficult choice as I had a budget. 90% of my viewing is currently sd, not by choice but simply because the stuff I want to watch isn't in HD yet. So, for my money I could either get a 480p plasma and get the best picture possible for 90% of my viewing, or I could get a 1080p lcd. Eventually I settled on the Westinghouse 37"1080p lcd, mostly because I will use it with an htpc and higher res would be best with desktop use and because hopefully an affordable hddvd/bluray drive will come out soon, though I guess the x360 hddvd drive is decently priced. But there is little reason yet to get a hd drive as there are only a handful of titles I care to see.

Matrix trilogy is one of the main titles I am waiting for, in fact the matrix trilogy on dvd, specifically the third one, is what really got me itching for a large widescreen tv. I noticed while watching the scenes in the big Zion battle on my 24" analog tv that there was a huge amount of detail that I just couldn't see on the small tv. Star Wars is like this as well. I am quite happy that upscaled dvd's look pretty good on my 37"1080p lcd, but I can definately tell that it is not native res. So if the matrix trilogy comes out on hddvd a significant time period before the bluray versions, well it's quite possible I will be getting a hddvd drive. Thats not to say I won't buy a bluray drive, but if I have an hddvd drive first, then I will likely buy most of my movies in that format. So this could be a significant announcement if many like me are waiting for the matrix to choose a format.

Incidentally, it was Metallica that got me to buy a dvd player all those years ago. It was their S&M concert that was the whole reason I first bought a dvd player. So I am interested to hear which format they might release something on as that may be a factor in my buying as well. Though I am likely to buy both players at some point, if a title I want is on both formats, well I have to choose one. And I will choose the format that seems to have the most content available as that is the format likely to last the longest.

RE: content
By novacthall on 3/27/2007 10:35:21 AM , Rating: 2
How do you like the Westy? I've heard good things about their 37" 1080p LCD, but I'm on the fence about it. You mention that you can tell your DVDs are upscaled, is it painful or just noticeable? If you have an Xbox 360, have you tried watching DVDs through it and if so does it aid with the upscale at all?

It seems that you have a lot of the same hesitations I have regarding taking the plunge into HD. No one in my household is a heavy TV-consumer - at most we typically watch about five to ten hours a week. Time spent on the computer considerably outweighs television time and video game console use outweighs watching cable. So if I did go and get an HDTV it would purely be for video games, in which case I'm not sure I'm willing to settle for 480p or 720p. (Don't get me wrong: my brother has a 720p HDTV hooked up to his Xbox 360 and it looks beyond gorgeous, but at this point the price delta for the added benefit makes the decision an easy one, in my mind.)

Further complicating things, my entertainment center has exactly 37.5 inches of horizontal clearance to accommodate a TV. I have an old 32" Toshiba tube in there, which is a mighty fine television and I've gotten plenty of miles out of the old girl, but I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to stave off these HDTV impulses I'm getting.

My main hesitation right now is to pick a side in the DVD Format War (TM). I think there's sufficient content available on the Xbox 360 (and eventually PS3, someday) for me to justify the purchase of an HDTV, but I'm not seeing anything worthwhile on either Blu-ray or HD-DVD to make me need one or the other.

Ever so slightly off topic: S&M on DVD is incredible.

RE: content
By therealnickdanger on 3/27/2007 1:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
but I'm not seeing anything worthwhile on either Blu-ray or HD-DVD to make me need one or the other.

I jumped onto the HD-DVD wagon extremely early and currently have a LOT of HD movies. However, I haven't bought a DVD (except Shaun of the Dead because it broke) or HD-DVD or BD movie since December because I want to wait for prices to come down more and get more content.

Seeing HD movies in the store and in your home are two drastically different experiences, trust me. What might not blow you away in the store will suddenly seem like digital crack once you bring it home. It's a slippery slope, watch your step.

By gramboh on 3/27/2007 12:06:27 PM , Rating: 2
How is the quality of the transfer on the HD-DVD of V for Vendetta? I enjoyed that movie a lot, high quality visual style.

By Alphafox78 on 3/27/2007 12:19:52 PM , Rating: 2
its good, I have it on HD-DVD. good movie

By therealnickdanger on 3/27/2007 2:11:50 PM , Rating: 2
The PQ is much, much better than the content itself, that's for certain, plus it has Dolby TrueHD audio. It's technically excellent. When it came out my buddy and I walked out of the theater and hopped over to "Inside Man" instead. MUCH better.

By deeznuts on 3/27/2007 1:29:58 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have a HD DVD player yet, thinking about getting the 360 add on and putting it into my computer (I'll have to vinyl dye it black) but does anyone use the PIP feature? That would absolutely annoy the F out of me.

By AlexWade on 3/28/2007 9:00:48 PM , Rating: 2
PIP is nice when re-watching the movie and you want to get a behind the scenes look at that part of the movie. Very nice actually. Stuff like that is why studios that swing both ways favor HD DVD. Where is Batman Begins on Blu-Ray? I favor HD DVD because it is guaranteed to have the best picture quality, cost less, and does things Blu-Ray will never do.

By margon on 3/27/2007 1:58:13 PM , Rating: 2
They're always playing these movies(LOTR/Matrix/Kill Bill/etc) in HD on premium cable channels such as Showtime. HD DVD might be a little better but probably not enough to justify buying a player at $500 particularly in the middle of a format war. I'll just play the waiting game until the players cost < $200.

RE: Cable
By luhar49 on 3/28/2007 1:28:39 AM , Rating: 2
Some of the movies they show on cable are not released in HD format yet. They use some very high quality upscalers to create their HD content. Still it is nothing like the real thing. So dont judge HD format from what you see on cable.

And so it begins...
By TheDoc9 on 3/27/2007 12:51:26 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like we all have to start deciding what dvd's to re-buy in the new format. I've already stopped most of my dvd purchases in anticipation, but the truth is - I can't see myself re-buying the matrix series and especially not for that price.

This is another hard call for the move to high def and I've decided to all but eliminate any re-buying myself.

By hubajube on 3/27/2007 3:16:25 PM , Rating: 2
I think I just pee'd a little bit.

Recorded in HD
By boogle on 3/27/2007 9:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
The question is - was it originally captured in HD? If it's from film, have they taken it from the original film again?

Not much good if it's just upscaled from the DVD release. I'm sure that's a tempting proposition, all the editing has already been done, just rescale and dump on a HD-DVD disc.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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