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The Matrix series

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The Matrix series

The Matrix Series
The Ultimate Matrix Collection cover
Directed by The Wachowski Brothers
Produced by Joel Silver
Written by The Wachowski Brothers
Starring Keanu Reeves
Laurence Fishburne
Carrie-Anne Moss
Hugo Weaving
Music by Don Davis
Juno Reactor
Cinematography Bill Pope
Editing by Zach Staenberg
Studio Village Roadshow Pictures
Silver Pictures
Fuse Global
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) 1999 – 2003
Country United States
Australia
Language English
Budget $363 million
Box office $1,632,989,142

The Matrix is a science fiction action media franchise created by Andy and Larry Wachowski and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The series began with the feature film The Matrix (1999), and continued with two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003). The characters and settings of the films are further explored in other media set in the same fictional universe, including animation, comics, and video games.

The series features a cyberpunk story incorporating references to numerous philosophical and religious ideas. Other influences include mythology, anime, and Hong Kong action films (particularly "heroic bloodshed" and martial arts movies).

Two of the Matrix video games, both supervised by the Wachowskis, are a part of the official chronology. Enter the Matrix, mainly focused on Niobe and Ghost and also written by the Wachowskis, connects the story of the short animated film Final Flight of the Osiris with the events of Reloaded, while The Matrix Online is a direct sequel to Revolutions.

Setting

The series depicts a dystopia in which Earth is dominated by sentient machines that were created early in the 21st century and rebelled against humanity. At one point, humans attempted to block out the machines' source of solar power by covering the sky in thick, stormy clouds. However, the machines devised a way to extract humans' bioelectricity and thermal energy by growing people in pods, while their minds are kept under control by cybernetic implants connecting them to a simulated reality called the Matrix.

The virtual reality world simulated by the Matrix resembles human civilization around the turn of the 21st century (this time period was chosen because it is supposedly the pinnacle of human civilization). The majority of the stories in the Matrix franchise take place in a vast unnamed megacity. This environment is practically indistinguishable from reality (although scenes set within the Matrix are presented on-screen with a bias toward the color green), and the majority of humans connected to the Matrix are unaware of its true nature. Most of the central characters in the series are able to gain superhuman abilities within the Matrix by using their understanding of its true nature to manipulate its physical laws.

The virtual world is first introduced in The Matrix Reloaded.

Films

The Matrix series includes a trilogy of feature films, all of which were written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski and produced by Joel Silver, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving. The series began with 1999's The Matrix, which depicts the recruitment of hacker Neo into humanity's rebellion against sentient machines. The film was highly successful, earning $460 million worldwide, and becoming the first DVD release in the United States to reach sales of three million copies.[1]

The film's mainstream success led to the making of two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. These were filmed simultaneously during one shoot (under the project codename "The Burly Man"[2]), and released in two parts in 2003. They tell the story of the impending attack on the human enclave of Zion by a vast machine army. Neo also learns more about the history of the Matrix and his role as the One. The sequels also incorporate more ambitious action scenes and visual effects.

Additional media

Anime

Main article: The Animatrix

In acknowledgment of the strong influence of Japanese anime on the Matrix series, The Animatrix was produced in 2003 to coincide with the release of The Matrix Reloaded. This is a collection of nine animated short films intended to further flesh out the concepts, history, characters and setting of the series. The objective of The Animatrix project was to give other writers and directors the opportunity to lend their voices and interpretation to the Matrix universe; the Wachowskis conceived of and oversaw the process, and they wrote four of the segments themselves, although they were given to other directors to execute. Many of the segments were produced by notable figures from the world of Japanese animation. Four of the films were originally released on the series' official website, one was shown in cinemas with Dreamcatcher, one was shown on MTV, MTV2, MTV3, and MTV4, and the others first appeared with the DVD release of all nine shorts shortly after the release of The Matrix Reloaded.

Video games

On May 15, 2003, the game Enter the Matrix was released in North America concurrently with The Matrix Reloaded. The first of three video games related to the films, it told a story running parallel to The Matrix Reloaded and featured scenes that were shot during the filming of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

Two more Matrix video games were released in 2005. The MMORPG The Matrix Online continued the story beyond The Matrix Revolutions, while The Matrix: Path of Neo allowed players to control Neo in scenes from the film trilogy.

Comic books

The Matrix Comics is a set of comic books and short stories based on the series and written and illustrated by figures from the comics industry; one of the comics was written by the Wachowskis and illustrated by the films' concept artist Geof Darrow. Most of the comics were originally presented for free on the Matrix series' website;[3] they were later republished, along with some new material, in two printed trade paperback volumes.

DVD releases

Over a year after the cinematic release of the final film, Revolutions, Warner Home Video released The Ultimate Matrix Collection, a 10-Disc DVD set of the films. It included the three films, The Animatrix, and six discs of additional material. A Limited Edition of the collection encases the ten discs, as well as a resin bust of Neo, inside a Lucite box.

Reception

Box office performance

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget Reference
United States Foreign Worldwide All time domestic All time worldwide
The Matrix March 31, 1999 $171,479,930 $292,037,453 $463,517,383 #176 #114 $63 million [4]
The Matrix Reloaded May 15, 2003 $281,576,461 $460,552,000 $742,128,461 #51
#107 (A)
#50 $150 million [5]
The Matrix Revolutions November 5, 2003 $139,313,948 $288,029,350 $427,343,298 #267 #137 $150 million [6]
Total $592,370,339 $1,040,618,803 $1,632,989,142 N/A N/A $363 million N/A
List indicator(s)
  • (A) indicates the adjusted ranks based on current ticket prices (calculated by Box Office Mojo).

Critical reaction

While The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded received largely positive reviews,[7][8] the critical response to The Matrix Revolutions was mixed.[9] One major complaint was that it did not give any answers to the questions raised in Reloaded.[10]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
The Matrix 87% (129 reviews)[7] 73 (35 reviews)[11]
The Matrix Reloaded 73% (236 reviews)[8] 62 (40 reviews)[12]
The Matrix Revolutions 36% (205 reviews)[9] 47 (41 reviews)[13]
Average Ratings 65% 61

Awards

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by The Matrix franchise

Influences and interpretations

What we were trying to achieve with the story overall was a shift, the same kind of shift that happens for Neo, that Neo goes from being in this sort of cocooned and programmed world, to having to participate in the construction of meaning to his life. And we were like, 'Well, can the audience go through the three movies and experience something similar to what the main character experiences?'
So the first movie is sort of classical in its approach. The second movie is deconstructionist, and it assaults all of the things that you thought to be true in the first movie, and so people get very upset, and they're like 'Stop attacking me!' in the same way that people get upset with deconstructionist philosophy. I mean, Derrida and Foucault, these people upset us. And then the third movie is the most ambiguous, because it asks you to actually participate in the construction of meaning.

Lana Wachowski (formerly Larry), Movie City News, October 13, 2012[14]

The Matrix makes numerous references to recent films and literature, and to historical myths and philosophy including Buddhism, Vedanta, Advaita Hinduism, Christianity, Messianism, Judaism, Gnosticism, existentialism, and nihilism. The film's premise resembles Plato's Allegory of the cave, René Descartes's evil demon, Kant's reflections on the Phenomenon versus the Ding an sich, Zhuangzi's "Zhuangzi dreamed he was a butterfly", Marx's social theory and the brain in a vat thought experiment. Many references to Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation appear in the film, although Baudrillard himself considered this a misrepresentation.[15] There are similarities to cyberpunk works such as Neuromancer by William Gibson,[16] who has described The Matrix as "arguably the ultimate 'cyberpunk' artifact."[16]

Japanese director Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell was a strong influence.[17] Producer Joel Silver has stated that the Wachowski brothers first described their intentions for The Matrix by showing him that anime and saying, "We wanna do that for real".[18][19] Mitsuhisa Ishikawa of Production I.G, which produced Ghost in the Shell, noted that the anime's high-quality visuals were a strong source of inspiration for the Wachowski brothers. He also commented, "... cyberpunk films are very difficult to describe to a third person. I'd imagine that The Matrix is the kind of film that was very difficult to draw up a written proposal for to take to film studios." He stated that since Ghost in the Shell had gained recognition in America, the Wachowski brothers used it as a "promotional tool".[20] Besides Ghost in the Shell, another Japanese anime which influenced The Matrix was the 1985 film Megazone 23, directed by Noboru Ishiguro and Shinji Aramaki.[21] An American adaptation of Megazone 23 was released in 1986 as Robotech: The Movie. There are also several more Japanese anime and manga that can be found as sources of influence.[22]

Reviewers have commented on similarities between The Matrix and other late-1990s films such as Strange Days, Dark City, and The Truman Show.[23][24][25] Comparisons have also been made to Grant Morrison's comic series The Invisibles; Morrison believes that the Wachowski brothers essentially plagiarized his work to create the film.[26] In addition, the similarity of the film's central concept to a device in the long-running series Doctor Who has also been noted. As in the film, the Matrix of that series (introduced in the 1976 serial The Deadly Assassin) is a massive computer system which one enters using a device connecting to the head, allowing users to see representations of the real world and change its laws of physics; but if killed there, they will die in reality.[27] There is also a similar "Matrix" used by the Travellers in Paul Cornell's 1992 Doctor Who spin-off novel Love and War, in which a socket at the top of the spine is used to plug into the Matrix.

The first Matrix film features numerous references to the "White Rabbit", the "Rabbit Hole" and mirrors, referencing Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

Biblical and historical references are found in the names of places and vehicles in the trilogy, such as the "hovercraft" Nebuchadnezzar (pronounced ne-bah-cahn-ez-zer, /nɛbəkənɛzəɹ/). Another notable name is the City of Zion, often used as a synecdoche for the City of Jerusalem or the land of Israel in Abrahamic religious texts and by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or to refer to a "promised land" or utopia. There are significant overtones from Hinduism and Vedanta text. The final screen credits to the final of the three matrix movies include chants directly picked up from the Vedas. The concept of balance needed in the universe is also a core component on Hindu philosophy.

There are still numerous other influences from diverse sources such as Harlan Ellison (I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream),[28] Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49),[28] and William Gibson (Neuromancer).[29]

Matrixism is a new religious movement inspired by the trilogy. The sociologist of religion Adam Possamai describes these types of religions/spiritualities as hyper-real religions due to their eclectic mix of religion/spirituality with elements of popular culture and their connection to the fluid social structures of late capitalism.[30] There is some debate about whether followers of Matrixism are indeed serious about their practice; however, the religion (real or otherwise) has received attention in the media.[31][32]

Books

Official

Unofficial

See also

Film in the United States portal
Australia portal
Film portal


References

External links

  • Hack The Matrix interactive franchise encyclopedia
  • DMOZ
  • Ken Wilber.

Template:Wachowski brothersta:தி மேட்ரிக்ஸ்

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