THE MATRIX REVISITED
Warner Home Video, $19.95
I CONCUR with the public: Directors Andy and Larry Wachowski are indisputably geniuses. Not so much for conceiving their overrated '99 sci-fi cult fave, The Matrix, but for now releasing this extras-only companion DVD to snare still more coin from ravenous fans. The single-disc The Matrix Revisited gives back, though, and generously. A priceless segment dubbed "The True Followers" lets one Real Live Dork gush that, by adhering to the film's theme of "believing in yourself," she got a pay raise. She "lifted the veil," all right—on the capitalist oppressor!
Most of the fun stuff is crammed into a comprehensive From Conception to Phenomenon documentary. We see the rigorous kung fu training the leads undertook at the hands of amusingly unimpressed Hong Kong master Yuen Woo Ping. A fascinating feature on "bullet time" illustrates how 100 still cameras were responsible for the groundbreaking, 360 degree, tilt-a-whirl action sequences. Still, that's all kinda old news; thankfully, the DVD competently bridges past and future, offering an extensive preview of the upcoming Matrix anime series, to be directed by a revolving group of renowned overseas talent.
As for The Matrix Reloaded? Here it's revealed that the '03 sequel will have (spoiler ahead) car chases! Anyone for The Matrix Regurgitated?
WITH HOLIDAY shopping season officially beginning this week, we can recommend Calle 54 for lovers of Latin jazz, which includes a minidocumentary on that subject. Crazy/Beautiful is no great flick, but does feature the commentary of Kirsten Dunst, one talented young actress. Funnier French fare is The Closet, with no extras but capable leads in Daniel Auteuil and G鲡rd Depardieu. The annoying but highly profitable How the Grinch Stole Christmas may be a must-buy for some families; sing-along and read-along features are promised, plus deleted scenes and still more trivia about how hard it was on poor Jim Carrey to endure all that makeup. How many millions was he paid for the role? Boo fucking hoo.