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Is that absolute fact? I'm sure I've seen that freeze and rotate technique many, many years before The Matrix.

Yes. The source is ErdemTuzun

Ahhh, apologies, I figured it was refering to the other technique (as described above), but what it that called? I remember seeing it years ago on the BBCs Tomorrow's World.

The freeze-and-pan effect existed before the movie; the technique the movie used to achieve it was new. The effect first appeared in commercials (notably the "Khakis Swing" commercial for The Gap). In the earlier versions, only a handful of cameras surrounded the scene and frames were digitally tweened to create the smooth pan. In the "bullet time" technique, hundreds of cameras are used to get precise views at all angles, and the hard work is managing the enormous amount of data. --LDC

It's not that hard to manage. Each camera in the setup takes one picture. You just put them in sequence. There's quite a bit of artistry in how to use the technique, and I think the director did an excellent job in this instance. --ansible

The freeze-and-pan effect existed before, but what about the slow-down-and-pan effect? That's what bullet time is. --The Cunctator

Didn't the film's producers have something to say about the fairly blatant violation of the laws of thermodynamics (along the lines of "yeah, we knew it was crap but the original reason for keeping people in the matrix (as a source of random inspiration for computing stuff, IIRC) was too hard to explain?"

So what's better: That we (the viewing public) think the producers are stupid, or that the producers think we're stupid? Either is a bad call in my opinion. -- ansible
Movies are made for a broad audience, little of which understands much basic physics let alone computer science. Even if they did, complex ideas like using the brain processes of millions of enslaved humans as a compute server is a tad difficult to get across in a movie. --Robert Merkel

used bioelectric energy to spark fusion reactors wasn't it? this should be easily verifiable, since I suppose someone could watch it again.

It's bull. It's not meant to be taken any more scientifically than Kryptonite in the Superman stories. :-)

Hi all. I consider the Matrix to be one of the most overated films ever, so i hope my editing was still NPOV (apart from the kids from Akira bit - heh couldn't resist - remove at will!). I've added some of the more obvious "influences" that were not included by previous contributors - probably because they are more "rip-offs" than influences. ho hum, flame away -- AW

The best comment on The Matrix may be from MaryAnn Johanson, the Flick Filosopher

Don't miss the end of the paragraph that begins: "The SF audience is going nuts for this movie" :-)