100 Movies to See Before You Die- “The Matrix”

Has a movie ever stood out to you enough that you remember the first time you watched it? I was a freshman in college in the fall of 2002. I was in my dorm room with nothing to do one evening so I wandered across the hall to ask my neighbor if I could borrow his DVD copy of “The Matrix.” I knew of the film by reputation but had never seen any of it. I remember being completely blown away by the amazing visuals and the stunningly choreographed fight scenes. I remember loving the mind-bending story and found myself watching the film several times before I finally returned the DVD to the guy across the hall. Well, I revisited “The Matrix” to see if it really is one of those “must see” movies. I watched my HD-DVD (yes, HD-DVD) copy of the film and must recommend you watch this film in HD. That said, this film won four technical Academy Awards and was a box office success. So is it a classic?

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Should this film be considered a classic? Definitely yes! Why? This film revolutionized the way Hollywood did fight scenes. Look at movies pre-Matrix and watch the fight scenes. You will notice that not a lot had changed in decades of fight choreography. Well, “The Matrix” came along and introduced a broad swath of the western world to slow motion, highly stylized, fight choreography and cinematography.  “The Matrix” started a trend in films which continues today. The use of slow motion, elaborate camera angles, and “bullet time” have all been seen and parodied time and again since “The Matrix” incorporated them and the audience embraced them. A film that so quickly and deeply influences the industry is definitely worthy of the “classic” label. Also, the film had an intriguing and thought provoking story to help propel along the stunning visuals. The solid story and incredible visuals combine to make “The Matrix” a film that is still influencing the industry and is still being enjoyed by movie watchers well over a decade after release.

Would I own this film? Well, my introduction gives this away. Yes, I would own this film. I would also say that this is a film that really needs to be seen in HD to be appreciated. Yes, it can make some of the effects seem a bit dated but most of them hold up remarkably well. That is saying something about the quality of a film when a cutting edge, effects heavy film still looks good even more then ten years later. There are a lot of films released within the last decade that have not aged nearly as well as “The Matrix.” This is a great film to revisit periodically if for no other reason than to be able to appreciate the impact it has had in the world of film.

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