'The Matrix' Trilogy

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'The Matrix' Trilogy

Post  Apologist Puncher on Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:12 pm

James Stocks wrote:Hmm, I'd let them get a crack, despite the bad rep they got over THE MATRIX sequels. Besides, it was just supposed to be one sequel and one prequel, before Silver demanded they make the sequel into two films instead (which explains why there's so much filler in them).

The sequels are ok, if you don't think about the wasted potential.

At the end of 'The Matrix, Neo gives a "speech" to the machines. What does he say?

I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid. You’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world … without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.

Except he does NONE of that. In fact, like in 'Alien 3', they took Neo back to square one. He's basically the "bodyguard" for the Nebuchadnezzar crew. He is reactive and not proactive, which is completely opposite of what he said he was going to be above.

If I was working with the Siblings, I would have had them turn the sequel into their own comic book film. Have the Agents be portrayed as "heroes", fighting against the leather-clad villains, i.e Neo & Co. You could have aerial battles between Neo and jet-planed Agents. Street shoot-outs with Morpheus and his crew. Anti-Neo propoganda to make their efforts to "free" the people that much harder. And you could even keep the Smith sub-plot in, leading up to the same "Super Burly Brawl" we saw at the end of 'Revolutions'!

Instead, we got a film heavy on the exposition, and light on everything that made the first film good. Oh, and every time they showed Zion, my eyes glazed-over.

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Re: 'The Matrix' Trilogy

Post  James Stocks on Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:29 pm

I agree about the portrayal of Neo. He sort of devolved as a character. Not that he was compelling in the first but he worked as a cypher for audiences to follow through the flick and that ending showed his potential as becoming something more. Instead in the sequels it's like he became some one-note borefest that had superpowers. He no longer seemed human. And Keanu Reeves, it's like he stopped giving a shit after the 90s. He was never great but at least once in awhile he played characters that had pulse. Maybe it was intentional to make Neo robotic, I dunno, it just doesn't work as a protagonist.

It's pretty amazing how the sequels really stooped. I enjoyed RELOADED as a spectacle with some really cool sequences, despite the pointless expositions between them. Still a big step down from the first. But with REVOLUTIONS, that just bored me to tears. By that point I no longer cared for the characters so whatever happened didn't mean much for me. RELOADED had some watch-ability to it, at least for certain sequences. I only saw REVOLUTIONS twice. The second time only because I watched the first two recently, so I wanted to see how that held up.

In the end, I think THE ANIMATRIX was about a hundred times more interesting than what the sequels churned up. I do like the idea of Neo's role as "the one" actually being a cycle program and how that completely rocks everyone's perception, but it should have been one film and Neo should have been not only proactive but more reactive. When the revelation happens where's the shock? Where's the utter disbelief? I think it was only Morpheus that looked like a man who lost everything he ever believed and fought for.

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Re: 'The Matrix' Trilogy

Post  Apologist Puncher on Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:13 am

James Stocks wrote:I agree about the portrayal of Neo. He sort of devolved as a character. Not that he was compelling in the first but he worked as a cypher for audiences to follow through the flick and that ending showed his potential as becoming something more. Instead in the sequels it's like he became some one-note borefest that had superpowers. He no longer seemed human. And Keanu Reeves, it's like he stopped giving a shit after the 90s. He was never great but at least once in awhile he played characters that had pulse. Maybe it was intentional to make Neo robotic, I dunno, it just doesn't work as a protagonist.

Keanu is an enigma. I think he seriously believes he is an "artist", and tries to act like one at all times. The only problem is, he hasn't consistently shown the kind of talent an "artist" is supposed to possess.

But yes, mono-syllabic Neo was a strange choice after everything that happened in the first film. I mean, the whole flight-scene at the end, at least to ME, represented Neo finally able to "spread his wings". If they actually planned for him to be what he became in the sequels, I think him walking away in the rain, head down, would have made far more sense.

It's pretty amazing how the sequels really stooped. I enjoyed RELOADED as a spectacle with some really cool sequences, despite the pointless expositions between them. Still a big step down from the first. But with REVOLUTIONS, that just bored me to tears. By that point I no longer cared for the characters so whatever happened didn't mean much for me. RELOADED had some watch-ability to it, at least for certain sequences. I only saw REVOLUTIONS twice. The second time only because I watched the first two recently, so I wanted to see how that held up.

Like I said, if you ignore the wasted potential, there are things to like about them. Unfortunately, not enough to get me to WANT to watch them again.

The "Super Burly Brawl" WAS the closest thing we have had to a Superman-ish fight scene in a big budget motion picture though. Tell me at the part where Neo flies in a big semi-circle before hitting Smith that you couldn't see Superman substituted for him?

I know I can.

In the end, I think THE ANIMATRIX was about a hundred times more interesting than what the sequels churned up.


I dig the 'Animatrix'. Lots of good stuff in there that SHOULD have been in the sequels. Especially the history of how the sky was blackened, and why.

I do like the idea of Neo's role as "the one" actually being a cycle program and how that completely rocks everyone's perception, but it should have been one film and Neo should have been not only proactive but more reactive. When the revelation happens where's the shock? Where's the utter disbelief? I think it was only Morpheus that looked like a man who lost everything he ever believed and fought for.

I just think the rapid-fire, monotone interaction between Neo and the Architect lost a lot of people. So much so, that that big revelation just didn't have the impact it needed.

This pretty much sums it up:


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Re: 'The Matrix' Trilogy

Post  James Stocks on Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:26 am

Apologist Puncher wrote:The "Super Burly Brawl" WAS the closest thing we have had to a Superman-ish fight scene in a big budget motion picture though. Tell me at the part where Neo flies in a big semi-circle before hitting Smith that you couldn't see Superman substituted for him?

I know I can.
The one part that struck me as very Superman-ish was when he swooped in the freeway chase grabbing Morpheus and the Key Maker just as the trucks explode.

I just think the rapid-fire, monotone interaction between Neo and the Architect lost a lot of people. So much so, that that big revelation just didn't have the impact it needed.
I admit when I saw it in theaters I didn't truly realize the scope of what was being said, because I couldn't tell if this was all just bullshit talk or not. It's just flat all the way through. Like when he chooses to save Trinity there's ZERO urgency in his posture as he leisurely walks to the door. Again, this choice of portrayal is just mind boggling.

This pretty much sums it up:


That was great. MTV used to make some worthwhile parody shorts on those movie award programs.

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Re: 'The Matrix' Trilogy

Post  thecolorsblend on Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:46 am

I rather like the Matrix trilogy. The Wachowskis set up a fairly simple black and white scenario in the first movie (superficially at least) and then blew that away in the sequels. In the first one, it's "human good, machine bad", "real world good, Matrix bad", etc. The sequels show us that, like anything, things are a lot more complicated than that. Simply being human doesn't mean being onboard with Neo, Morpheus and the rest (Lock, Niobe, Roy Jones, Jr, Haman). And simply being a machine doesn't make someone loyal to the system (Oracle, Merovingian, Smith, etc).

And the fact that Neo shows a transcendental power at the conclusion of the first film that we don't see again... I don't see a problem with that. The entire point of the sequels is that Neo isn't quite as badass as he thinks he is. The Matrix upgraded the Agents and as a result they were slightly more successful in battling Neo. They still got taken down but Neo couldn't tear them apart as he did Smith. When he fought Smith to a standstill in the Burly Brawl, again, you'd think the guy that we saw at the end of the first movie would've wiped the parking lot with all 5 billion of those Smiths. The fact that Neo couldn't is the point of that scene (apart from an action sequence), the tea house scuffle (Ibid) and others.

I do have some problems with the sequels. The evolution of bullet time effects... look, you go back and watch the first movie and what people responded to with bullet time was the static-but-3D image. In most cases it's just slow-mo CGI in the sequels. You can put the camera anywhere and move it any way you want with CGI. People recognize it as being CGI and the thing just loses the impact the original effect technique had. The still image/live action stuff is what people lost their minds over in 1999.

There's a key line that gets missed in the Neo/Architect discussion that, if ignored, obfuscates the back story of the Matrix and one of the big themes. In the first movie, Agent Smith says that the version of the Matrix that introduced imperfection, poverty, suffering, famine, droughts, disease, etc is what worked. However, the Architect himself says those elements were introduced but "I was again frustrated by failure". He then says that the realization came that the majority of people would accept the programming as long as they were given the choice to reject it. There's a lot to unpack in the Neo/Architect scene but it's worth doing. Puncher, I think, said the scene lost people by being too talky. I agree.

It felt like the Wachowskis left a lot of shit on the table. They want us to think this stuff over and come to our own conclusions. They've said so. The impression you get from watching the movies though is that they just didn't care to develop some characters. The Merovingian is a good example. His agenda seems to be power for power's sake but is he human? A program? You could argue it either way. I don't mind having to assemble the pieces of the puzzle myself but I shouldn't have to work off an incomplete set.

Entertaining as the movies may be, I ultimately find them to be a critique (not an endorsement) of religious faith. Neo, Morpheus, Niobe, Trinity, Link and other characters are only really able to move forward when they put aside dogma, prophecies, messiahs and all that other stuff and just work for the common good of humanity. If this thing was religious (good vs. evil) in nature, the movies would've ended with Neo somehow kicking the fuck out of the machines. That the rebels instead sue for peace should tell you something. It really blows my mind when people say "this is the perfect Christ/Buddha/Muhammad/whatever allegory". Makes me wonder if we're watching the same fucking trilogy, actually.

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Re: 'The Matrix' Trilogy

Post  James Stocks on Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:16 am

thecolorsblend wrote:I do have some problems with the sequels. The evolution of bullet time effects... look, you go back and watch the first movie and what people responded to with bullet time was the static-but-3D image. In most cases it's just slow-mo CGI in the sequels. You can put the camera anywhere and move it any way you want with CGI. People recognize it as being CGI and the thing just loses the impact the original effect technique had. The still image/live action stuff is what people lost their minds over in 1999.
Absolutely. It was a breakthrough in motion picture cinematography. As much as the Camerons and the Lucases want to blow people away with computer graphics, nothing packs a punch quite like capturing something done for real and seeing it on the big screen.

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Re: 'The Matrix' Trilogy

Post  Apologist Puncher on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:16 pm

thecolorsblend wrote:And the fact that Neo shows a transcendental power at the conclusion of the first film that we don't see again... I don't see a problem with that. The entire point of the sequels is that Neo isn't quite as badass as he thinks he is. The Matrix upgraded the Agents and as a result they were slightly more successful in battling Neo. They still got taken down but Neo couldn't tear them apart as he did Smith. When he fought Smith to a standstill in the Burly Brawl, again, you'd think the guy that we saw at the end of the first movie would've wiped the parking lot with all 5 billion of those Smiths. The fact that Neo couldn't is the point of that scene (apart from an action sequence), the tea house scuffle (Ibid) and others.

But I already pointed out the problem with it?

At the end of 'The Matrix', Neo says this:

I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid. You’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world … without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.

And then he doesn't do any of it? Sorry colors, they miffed big time with this.

We never once saw them even trying to wake anyone. No scenes of Neo showing off what he can do to regular people. In fact, there is a SERIOUS lack of regular people in both the sequels period. And since "The One" is supposed to be able to shape the Matrix any way he sees fit, the machines shouldn't have been able to "upgrade" anything. Neo should have been able to de-grade them with a simple thought. It would be like a Superman movie showing him taking to the skies with ease, but the sequels relegating him to just jumping reeealllyy far. Wouldn't make any sense, would it?

And like I said, they could have kept the Smith sub-plot. I don't have any issue with that. It's the total lack of forethought and continuity that I have issues with.

I do have some problems with the sequels. The evolution of bullet time effects... look, you go back and watch the first movie and what people responded to with bullet time was the static-but-3D image. In most cases it's just slow-mo CGI in the sequels. You can put the camera anywhere and move it any way you want with CGI. People recognize it as being CGI and the thing just loses the impact the original effect technique had. The still image/live action stuff is what people lost their minds over in 1999.

I hated the club scene in the 3rd film, where Trinity jumps to recreate the bullet-time kick from the first film, and you can almost SEE the wires holding her up. No bullet-time either made it even more laughable.

There's a key line that gets missed in the Neo/Architect discussion that, if ignored, obfuscates the back story of the Matrix and one of the big themes. In the first movie, Agent Smith says that the version of the Matrix that introduced imperfection, poverty, suffering, famine, droughts, disease, etc is what worked. However, the Architect himself says those elements were introduced but "I was again frustrated by failure". He then says that the realization came that the majority of people would accept the programming as long as they were given the choice to reject it. There's a lot to unpack in the Neo/Architect scene but it's worth doing. Puncher, I think, said the scene lost people by being too talky. I agree.

Exactly. It was just too much monotone back-and-forth too fast. People tuned-out.

It felt like the Wachowskis left a lot of shit on the table. They want us to think this stuff over and come to our own conclusions. They've said so. The impression you get from watching the movies though is that they just didn't care to develop some characters. The Merovingian is a good example. His agenda seems to be power for power's sake but is he human? A program? You could argue it either way. I don't mind having to assemble the pieces of the puzzle myself but I shouldn't have to work off an incomplete set.

They should have built towards a Merovingian/Neo fight half-way thru part 3 like it seemed they were going to. Him stating he "survived your predecessors" seemed like a challenge to me. And what do they do? Turn him into a weak S&M freak/Bond villain wannabe?

No thanks.

Entertaining as the movies may be, I ultimately find them to be a critique (not an endorsement) of religious faith. Neo, Morpheus, Niobe, Trinity, Link and other characters are only really able to move forward when they put aside dogma, prophecies, messiahs and all that other stuff and just work for the common good of humanity. If this thing was religious (good vs. evil) in nature, the movies would've ended with Neo somehow kicking the fuck out of the machines. That the rebels instead sue for peace should tell you something. It really blows my mind when people say "this is the perfect Christ/Buddha/Muhammad/whatever allegory". Makes me wonder if we're watching the same fucking trilogy, actually.

Well, you did catch that Neo "Died for Mankind", complete with the Crucifixion pose, right?



So you can't really blame them for making these statements. When ever did Jesus "kick the fuck" out of anyone in the Bible?

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Re: 'The Matrix' Trilogy

Post  thecolorsblend on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:23 pm

Apologist Puncher wrote:But I already pointed out the problem with it?

At the end of 'The Matrix', Neo says this:

I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid. You’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world … without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.

And then he doesn't do any of it? Sorry colors, they miffed big time with this.

We never once saw them even trying to wake anyone. No scenes of Neo showing off what he can do to regular people. In fact, there is a SERIOUS lack of regular people in both the sequels period. And since "The One" is supposed to be able to shape the Matrix any way he sees fit, the machines shouldn't have been able to "upgrade" anything. Neo should have been able to de-grade them with a simple thought. It would be like a Superman movie showing him taking to the skies with ease, but the sequels relegating him to just jumping reeealllyy far. Wouldn't make any sense, would it?
I think there's a two fold answer here. The main part of is an in-universe explanation. Morpheus tells Lock that the rebels have freed more minds in the past six months to that point than in entire years prior. Granted, we don't SEE that but it is there in the text. The other part of the answer could be that the Wachowskis didn't think they would get to make the sequels and so wanted to end the Matrix in a cool way... and then found out that they'd be able to do their sequels after all.

Also, the prophecy about The One was part of the system of controlling the guy who refused the programming. The Oracle and the Architect invented some bullshit about a prophecy for whoever that person is to keep him busy while they calibrated and re-calibrated the Matrix to account for the problem of choice. It was a means of buying them time. Therefore I don't think all aspects of the prophecy about The One are necessarily binding.

Apologist Puncher wrote:They should have built towards a Merovingian/Neo fight half-way thru part 3 like it seemed they were going to. Him stating he "survived your predecessors" seemed like a challenge to me. And what do they do? Turn him into a weak S&M freak/Bond villain wannabe?

No thanks.
That didn't bother me. You could make a drinking game out of people telling Neo and/or the rebels that they have been expected. "I've been waiting for you", "he's been expecting you", etc. Exiled though he may be, The Merovingian plays a part in that. Plus, his philosophy is causality. Understanding the cause of something is to have some amount of control over it. It would be in his nature to find other people to fight his battles while he avoids combat. The fact that he doesn't throw with anybody works okay for me.

Apologist Puncher wrote:Well, you did catch that Neo "Died for Mankind", complete with the Crucifixion pose, right?



So you can't really blame them for making these statements. When ever did Jesus "kick the fuck" out of anyone in the Bible?
I don't dispute the many and varied religious allusions made in the movie. Only an idiot would. But I never got the idea that they were endorsing religious faith. Quite the opposite, I got a lot of humanistic vibes. It's most clearly apparent in Matrix Revolutions because that's when the chickens came home to roost. That's not a criticism, you understand. My point is that the people who see some sort of religious allegory here... as I say, I wonder if they've paid attention to the details rather than superficial stuff.

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Re: 'The Matrix' Trilogy

Post  Apologist Puncher on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:37 pm

thecolorsblend wrote:I think there's a two fold answer here. The main part of is an in-universe explanation. Morpheus tells Lock that the rebels have freed more minds in the past six months to that point than in entire years prior. Granted, we don't SEE that but it is there in the text.

It's a movie. Show, don't tell.

The other part of the answer could be that the Wachowskis didn't think they would get to make the sequels and so wanted to end the Matrix in a cool way... and then found out that they'd be able to do their sequels after all.

Still not an excuse for them to ignore the ending of the previous film. What if 'Star Wars' had General Tarkin whole and healthy at the beginning of 'Empire'? Would that have been ok if the answer was that George Lucas didn't think he'd get a sequel, and decided he wanted to use Grand Moff again?

No. It wouldn't have been.

Also, the prophecy about The One was part of the system of controlling the guy who refused the programming. The Oracle and the Architect invented some bullshit about a prophecy for whoever that person is to keep him busy while they calibrated and re-calibrated the Matrix to account for the problem of choice. It was a means of buying them time. Therefore I don't think all aspects of the prophecy about The One are necessarily binding.

Maybe not. But his ability to manipulate the Matrix was already proven by then. So no Prophecy need apply.

That didn't bother me. You could make a drinking game out of people telling Neo and/or the rebels that they have been expected. "I've been waiting for you", "he's been expecting you", etc. Exiled though he may be, The Merovingian plays a part in that. Plus, his philosophy is causality. Understanding the cause of something is to have some amount of control over it. It would be in his nature to find other people to fight his battles while he avoids combat. The fact that he doesn't throw with anybody works okay for me.

I think you stand in the minority here my friend. Merovingian is a useless character in 'Revolutions', who was built up to be something MORE in 'Reloaded'.

I'm sensing a pattern in the sequels....

I don't dispute the many and varied religious allusions made in the movie. Only an idiot would. But I never got the idea that they were endorsing religious faith. Quite the opposite, I got a lot of humanistic vibes. It's most clearly apparent in Matrix Revolutions because that's when the chickens came home to roost. That's not a criticism, you understand. My point is that the people who see some sort of religious allegory here... as I say, I wonder if they've paid attention to the details rather than superficial stuff.

Movies are a visual medium. Superficiality is what the whole industry is based on.

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