January 19, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

The Art of the Matrix

Current Status
In Season
Coffee Table, Movies
We gave it an A-

Just how deep is the rabbit hole? A mammoth 488 pages, at least in this wonderland of conceptual drawings, storyboards, and cut scenes from the cyber-sci-fi blockbuster. The movie’s every detail — from the color of the pod goo to the ripples in the bullet time sequence — was realized in comic-book form and drawn by some of the field’s best artists prior to production, which is why this tome reveals far more than the Matrix DVD does about the clarity of the vision of writer-directors Andy and Larry Wachowski. The shooting script is, surprisingly, the weak link in this compendium. And some commentary from the Wachowskis, along with a few more hints about the sequels, would have made Zion sing. But film buffs who are still asking ”What is the Matrix?” will learn more from these pages than Morpheus could ever tell. A-

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