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The Matrix, released in 1999, snuck up on a lot of people. Several trailers and TV commercials were released, but with little or no information available on the creators or story, little hype had built up. People were intrigued both by the unique visuals and by the "mysterious" flavor of the trailers, which gave almost nothing of the story away. A stylish blend of intense action, precise martial arts mayhem, and a multi-layered storyline blew initial audiences away. No one knew what to expect, and still they had their expectations shattered.
The Matrix was a box office smash, set records for DVD sales (first DVD to sell 1 million copies), and won four Oscars - Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, Best Sound, and Best Sound Effects Editing. The wirework, unusual in North American films (though popular in Japan), lent a distinct sense of unreality to many scenes. Special Effects innovations, such as "Bullet Time", were copied repeatedly for movies, TV shows, and commercials. The impact of The Matrix on filmmaking was growing, and continues to grow with the release of the 2 sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
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