Fans in festival frenzy
by Nadia Brooks
Fans went wild as the biggest movie of the year, The Matrix Reloaded, was given its international premiere yesterday.
Star Keanu Reeves was so overwhelmed by the cheering crowds in Cannes on the French Riviera that he applauded them back.
And the movie hunk put his hand to his heart to let the fans know how much he appreciated their support.
Despite sporting a stubbly chin and a hairstyle reminiscent of his character Ted in Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure, he still looked "bodacious".
Keanu's fellow stars turned up in their best gothic gear for the glitzy screening at the French film festival.
Sexy Italian actress Monica Bellucci dazzled the crowd in a plum satin dress with haphazard stitching that made her look like a super-glam bride of Frankenstein.
Fellow star Carrie-Anne Moss also went for the vampish look in a full-length black lace dress that left plenty to the imagination.
Laurence Fishburne duplicated his on-screen role by looking super-cool in a green suit and shades.
The crowds grappling for a glimpse of their idols gave a huge cheer as the stars lined-up at the top of the stairs of the Palais des Festivals.
Also there were Men In Black star Will Smith's missus Jada Pinkett Smith and the movie's two most unlikely stars, Brits Neil and Adrian Rayment.
The twins were the handymen from telly DIY show Better Homes with Carol Vorderman. They are also black belts in karate and were signed up after producers spotted their potential.
Many celebrity Matrix fans turned up, too - included Kevin Costner. With his blonde highlights, it looked as if he'd been enjoying the sunshine.
He sported shades as he strolled in, but girlfriend Christine Baumgarter gave the photographers and fans what they wanted and whipped them off him.
Former Miss World and top Indian actress Aishwarya Rai, who is tipped to star alongside Pierce Brosnan in the next Bond movie, was also there. She wore a striking dress that seemed to be made up of a corset, lots of floaty ribbon and a couple of porcupine spikes.
Andie MacDowell was also keen to get a first viewing of the eagerly-awaited Matrix sequel.
After the premiere, the stars were whisked to a £2million private party in the nearby hills.
The Matrix Reloaded may not be part of the festival competition, but the premiere will go down as one of the glitziest events even glam Cannes has seen. Brit fans will have to wait a little longer to find out what the fuss is about - the flick premieres here next week
It's a virtual masterpiece
THE MATRIX RELOADED
by Drew MacKenzie
It has taken 35 years, but Hollywood has finally come up with a scene to top the car chase in 1968 Steve McQueen classic Bullitt.
The 14-minute pursuit in The Matrix Reloaded includes stars leaping in the air as vehicles speed underneath them.
It's one of three amazing scenes that make this sci-fi movie a must-see.
In 1999's The Matrix, the world humans think they live in is actually a computer simulation called The Matrix.
The machines who made it now rule the real world and siphon power from humans so they can stay in charge. In this sequel Keanu Reeves is back as Neo, the computer hacker who battles the machines. Around 250,000 humans have now escaped the Matrix and built a haven, Zion, near the earth's core.
Neo, helped by resistance leader Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) must stop the machines advancing on Zion.
Keanu spent six months training for this flick - and it shows in his gripping martial arts fight scenes.
He even gets a love scene with Carrie-Anne Moss, who plays fellow freedom fighter Trinity. And to whet fans' appetites even more, a third movie, The Matrix Revolutions, is out in November. Can't wait.