Can it really be ten years since Keanu Reeves' Neo was offered the choice of the red and blue pills with the promise that, "Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself."
In the decade since Larry and Andy Wachowski unleashed their manga-influenced fantasy The Matrix upon an unsuspecting public, and in doing so pushed the boundaries of both mainstream action movies and special effects, very little has come close to achieving the same level of energy, excitement and cutting edge cool. Much like the character of Neo himself, The Matrix took us to a place that we, the audience, never knew existed. It wasn't just bullet-time, it was an attitude and style and a manner of filmmaking that hit a nerve with a world on the brink of a new millennium.
I remember seeing the trailer for it before a press screening at the old Warner Brothers' offices in London and felt my mind actually being blown. I saw the film itself a week or so later and didn't come down from it for an absolute age.
A couple of years later I found myself on a plane to Sydney, Australia to visit the set of the sequels, Reloaded and Revolutions, and I can't even begin to explain quite how excited I was. And while I never got to meet, much less speak to the Wachowskis despite spending four days on set, I felt incredibly privileged just to be there.
Alas the films themselves proved to be something of a disappointment — although I do like most of Reloaded — and it would be a while before I could revisit The Matrix again without thinking of the hideous dance sequence in part two or the majority of part three.
That said, The Matrix remains a modern classic and a favourite film of mine. I have so many "best bits", but here are just two.