Thanks for the wander down memory lane - I have fond memories of Usenet.
I recall, back when The Matrix was coming out, I had a long-weekend holiday to New York planned that coincided with its opening and meant I was going to get to see it some time before it's UK release date.
I came so close to seeing the movie without knowing the nature of the matrix in advance, but then read one preview a few days before the trip that gave it away.
I completely understand. One of my good friends at the time convinced a group of us to go see The Matrix on opening night ... and, yeah, it was an experience in all senses of the word.
The other movies like that? There was Fight Club, also seen on opening night. It didn't have the ... baggage ... it does today. Anyway, from a purely cinema perspective, I remember thinking that it was a masterpiece, a satiric takedown of fascism and consumer culture of a type you rarely see (like Starship Troopers). And being baffled that it underperformed at the Box Office so poorly.
The other one was, of course, Memento. Such a very good movie. Hey- did that director end up doing anything else?