You take the blue pill…
Oh, wait. Sorry - the blue pill isn’t ready yet. It’s been delayed due to continued BD-Java problems. The red pill will, however, be ready for you to swallow on May 22nd, at which point you’ll be able to see just how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
What am I babbling about? Why, the announcement of The Ultimate Matrix Collection for HD DVD, of course. The Matrix was one of the most hotly anticipated high definition titles last year (and rightly so - it certainly helped sell plenty of DVD players, so chances are it will do the same for HD DVD), with many expecting it to arrive at some point in the run-up to Christmas. When it failed to materialise, customers were understandably disappointed, but it seems that Warner are intent on making up for lost time by releasing what looks set to be the single most comprehensive and all-inclusive high definition box set to date. In addition to the first film, the shoddy The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (which I haven’t actually seen - Reloaded was that bad), each film will include an In-Movie Experience feature and all of the extras from both the original and Ultimate Matrix Collection standard definition releases. (Read the full press release at the AV Science Forum. (A slightly cheaper, less extras-intensive version, The Complete Matrix Trilogy, will also be available.)
Part of me is slightly disappointed that the films are not being released separately, given that I only really want the first one. Then again, this does sound like the HD DVD box set to die for, and part of me really wants to listen to the notorious “critic commentaries”, in which an increasingly disgruntled group of film reviewers lay into the trilogy. Knowing me, I’ll end up splurging on the full package - unless, of course, I can get a review copy.
Oh yeah, and in case it wasn’t clear enough from the little reference to one of the film’s iconic scenes at the start of this post, the Blu-ray release will be arriving “later”, giving the HD DVD version free reign until it deigns to put in an appearance. Many will no doubt say “Oh, it’ll come eventually,” but how many format-neutral customers are going to wait for that? It certainly looks like Warner have delivered a Pirates of the Caribbean beater to wipe the smirks off the Blu-ray fanboys’ faces come May.