Release Date(s)1999, 2003 (October 30, 2018)
Studio(s)Village Roadshow/Silver Pictures/Groucho II Film Partnership (Warner Bros.)
- Film/Program Grade: See Below
- Video Grade: See Below
- Audio Grade: See Below
- Extras Grade: A-
- Overall Grade: A-
The Wachowskis’ Matrix films have been released multiple times on home video over the years and we’ve reviewed all of them here at The Bits, from the original DVDs, to the special edition DVDs, the eventual HD-DVD (all on the original Bits website), and most recently The Ultimate Matrix Collection on Blu-ray (reviewed here).
In terms of overall content and extras, The Ultimate Matrix Collection on Blu-ray remains the best total package of content for reasons we’ll address in a moment. But Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has now released these films on 4K Ultra HD too, both individually and in this The Matrix Trilogy box set. And there is no doubt that this collection offers the films in the finest picture and sound quality they’ve ever had, are are likely ever to have, and that includes the original theatrical release.
Under the supervision of cinematographer Bill Pope, the original camera negative and master internegative (for VFX shots) has been scanned in full native 4K. The films have been graded for high dynamic range in both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, and trust us when we say that HDR and wide color gamut make a huge difference with these films. The result is more film-like, natural, and cinematic than ever before. The films also include new object-based Dolby Atmos lossless sound mixes which elevate the sonic experience to new heights. And each package includes not only a 4K Ultra HD version but a new 2-disc Blu-ray release, where the film Blu-ray has also been completely remastered from the new 4K scan.
We’ve reviewed each of the individual films in 4K UHD at The Bits recently, so rather than rehashing our comments here, we’ll simply link you those reviews where you can find all the details:
Those same three individual releases are exactly what’s included together here in The Matrix Trilogy set, in three UHD cases with a slipcase to hold them.
In terms of extras, each of the films includes nearly – but not quite – all of the previous Blu-ray and DVD special features, which were originally created in SD resolution. Check the individual reviews for the exact details, but essentially what’s missing are the theatrical trailers and TV spots. You do now also get Movies Anywhere Digital Copy versions of the films via a code on a paper insert in the package.
Still, if you do have that original The Ultimate Matrix Collection box set on Blu-ray, you’ll probably want to keep it. The reason is that The Animatrix is not included here in this 4K set. Nor do you get The Matrix Experience DVD discs from that set (which included The Burly Man Chronicles, The Roots of The Matrix, and The Zion Archive). For serious fans and completists, that’s content you won’t want to lose.
If you are a true fan of these films though, it’s rather shocking how much better they look and sound now here in 4K Ultra HD, a format to which they’re uniquely suited. Even the newly remastered Blu-rays are a significant step up from the previous editions. So wait for a good sale price if you must, but don’t miss them. Recommended.
Individual Film Grades (Film/Video/Audio/Extras):
The Matrix: A/A+/A+/A
The Matrix Reloaded: B-/A/A+/B+
The Matrix Revolutions: B/A/A+/B+
- Bill Hunt