EXCLUSIVE Joel Silver/Matrix Reloaded DVD Launch/Matrix Revolutions Interview by Paul Fischer in Los Angeles.In the midst of LA's West Hollywood, lay one of the city's trendiest restaurants: Mortons. No, not the chain of steakhouses made famous throughout North America, but the famed site of the annual Vanity Fair Oscar bash at Morton's on Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood. The perfect place for a star-studded DVD launch, and not any DVD launch mind you. The event was the worldwide release of Matrix Reloaded, coming to DVD shelves about a month prior to the theatrical release of the third instalment of the metaphysical sci-fi series, Matrix Revolutions. Why else would the likes of Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Ann Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith and producer Joel Silver turn up at this media-frenzy party? Reeves was one of the first to arrive, was polite, answered questions as he walked the endless press line and inside looked as if he'd rather be anywhere else. But in between forced smiles he heaped praise on the Reloaded DVD which hit shelves simultaneously on Friday. "I've seen some of the behind the scenes footage it looks incredible. They had a documentary crew during the course of making the film, and so I was interviewed a couple of times for that," he said after shaking hands. These parties are exciting for the hangers on, the throng of permanent party goers who attend these functions to be seen, and not necessarily heard. From Pamela Lee and others, more large breasts permeated the walls of Mortons per square inch, than in most public beaches. But hey, this is Hollywood folks, and they don't call it Tinsel Town for nothing. In between sips of Apple Martinis, and delicious finger foods of various shapes and sizes, impeccably attired waiters put on a permanent smiling face to help feed the zoo of media, celebrities and DVD impresarios who gathered en masse for this multi-million dollar event. The cast was duly shown off to the press, and some were gracious and good humoured, while others preferred to ignore those of us inside, and after promising interviews, left with little fanfare once she wasn't needed.
Cattle show or not, this is all about promotions, and for Joel Silver, dressed in a ruby-red shirt and suit minus tie, it was all about defending the critical bashing of Reloaded and promising a major finale when the Revolution hits theatres in November. If he was concerned about the negative reviews heaped on Reloaded, he remained typically unconcerned, as we chatted in a back room at the restaurant. "We didn't really get a great critical response to the first one, so it's what I'm used to," Silver says smilingly, also insisting that Reloaded "was a huge success, as was Animatrix and the video game, so we believe that this picture [Revolutions] is the crowning glory of the three stories. This latest one is really an incredible resolution."
In comparing Reloaded to Revolutions, Silver wanted to make one thing absolutely clear: "Reloaded was always the first half of the movie and people didn't really seem to get that. Revolutions is like one movie, cut in half, and unfortunately at the end of the first half, there were a lot of questions left unanswered, but in Revolutions, all those questions are answered", Silver insists, competing with the loud party music in the background. Refusing to give too much away, he points out that all three Matrix films "are all different movies. The first one was more about discovery; the second movie is about a realisation while Revolutions is the end of the story. The final sequence, the defence of Zion is truly mind-boggling. I've said before that in terms of trying to raise the bar, there IS no bar, and I think that sequence makes that very clear."
Of course if you want a refresher course in the world of Zion, then Silver hopes the Reloaded DVD will be huge, and talks up the DVD's myriad of extra features. "We go into great detail as to how we did certain things, like the car chase and some of the big fight sequences. There's also the parody from the MTV Movie Awards, which is very funny, so I think there are a lot of great added features." But he also adds that coolest feature of the DVD "is the movie itself, because the boys worked very hard in the transfer. I think the whole package is great in its totality."
On a side note, the week that a certain Austrian became Governor of California, Silver produced 1987's Predator, which happened to have starred Arnold and one Jesse Ventura, both of whom became governors. "It must have been something in the water", he quips. Perhaps that a former movie star now runs California, movie making in Los Angeles will become a whole lot easier. "I'd still rather work in Sydney". Joel Silver for Governor? "Absolutely not." He'd rather eat sushi at glitzy Hollywood parties than head to a governor's mansion. After all, here in Hollywood, making movies and promoting them is akin to a political campaign anyhow. Silver just smiles at the analogy.
MATRIX RELOADED is NOW available on DVD worldwide.
MATRIX REVOLUTIONS will be released on November 5.