At the very beginning of the format war – back when it looked like things might just break in the direction of HD DVD – sizeable, marquee releases like The Ultimate Matrix Collection marked the real battleground. In the case of The Matrix, this five-disc collection gave HD DVD a big win upon its initial release, but now that the format war has been decided and we're all spinning Blu-ray players and PS3's, the much-demanded set is re-releasing in the current, victorious format.
And is it any different? In a word – "nope."
As a collection of all existing Matrix materials, the Ultimate Collection delivers. One cannot scoff at the sheer volume of extras here: 35 hours in all. But if you are a longtime fan and already have the SD version, there are only a few reasons to pick this one up: 1) Better audio and video transfers of the films, 2) A compact collection of all previous features, and 3) One new in-movie feature for each of the films in the trilogy.
For a more extensive breakdown of the set's strengths and weaknesses, peruse the specific sections of the review that follow below.