Movie Monday: The Matrix 1999

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The Matrix Image One
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Twenty years ago, today, the #1 film at the box office was The Matrix, a science-fiction action film starringKeanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Gloria Foster and Joe Pantoliano. Produced by Joel Silver, it was written and directed by The Wachowskis.

From Wikipedia:

[The movie] depicts a dystopian future in which humanity is unknowingly trapped inside a simulated reality called the Matrix, created by thought-capable machines (artificial beings) to control humans while using their bodies as an energy source. Hacker and computer programmer, Neo, learns this truth and “is drawn into a rebellion against the machines”, which involves other people who have been freed from the Matrix.

The film is an example of the cyberpunk subgenre. The Wachowskis’ approach to action scenes drew upon their admiration for Japanese animation and martial arts films and, the film’s use of fight choreographers and wire fu techniques from Hong Kong action cinema, influenced subsequent Hollywood action film productions. The Matrix is known for popularizing a visual effect known as “bullet time“, in which the heightened perception of certain characters is represented by allowing the action within a shot to progress in slow-motion while the camera’s viewpoint appears to move through the scene at normal speed. The film contains numerous allusions to philosophical and religious ideas, including existentialism, Marxism, feminism, Buddhism, nihilism and postmodernism.

The Matrix Image Two
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From Roger Ebert:

“The Matrix” is a visually dazzling cyberadventure, full of kinetic excitement but, it retreats to formula just when it’s getting interesting. It’s kind of a letdown when a movie begins by redefining the nature of reality and ends with a shoot-out. We want a leap of the imagination, not one of those obligatory climaxes with automatic weapons fire.

I’ve seen dozens if not hundreds of these exercises in violence, which recycle the same tired ideas: Bad guys fire thousands of rounds but, are unable to hit the good guy. Then, it’s down to the final showdown between good and evil…a martial arts battle in which the good guy gets pounded until he’s almost dead, before he finds the inner will to fight back. Been there, seen that (although rarely done this well).

“The Matrix” did not bore me. It interested me so much, indeed, that I wanted to be challenged even more. I wanted it to follow its material to audacious conclusions, to arrive not simply at victory but, at revelation.

From Darren Aronofsky:

“I walked out of The Matrix with Jared and I was thinking, ‘What kind of science fiction movie can people make now?'” Aronofsky says. “The Wachowskis basically took all the great sci-fi ideas of the 20th century and rolled them into a delicious pop culture sandwich that everyone on the planet devoured. Suddenly Philip K. Dick‘s ideas no longer seemed that fresh. Cyberpunk? Done.”

From M. Night Shyamalan:

[…] Mr. Shyamalan is not much of a cinema historian. Among the directors he admires are Peter Weir, Cameron Crowe, Alfred Hitchcock and the Wachowski Brothers. “Whatever you think of ‘The Matrix,’ every shot is there because of the passion they have! You can see they argued it out!”

Trivia Bits:
♦ For the cell phone conversation scene between Neo and Morpheus in the MetaCortex office, Keanu Reeves actually climbed up the window without a stuntman, which was 34 floors up.
Will Smith was approached to play Neo but, turned down the offer in order to star in Wild Wild West (1999). He later admitted that, at the time, he was “not mature enough as an actor” and that, if given the role, he “would have messed it up”. He had no regrets, saying that “Keanu was brilliant as Neo.”
♦ In an online interview when the film was first released, the Wachowskis revealed that they’d both take the Blue Pill when given Neo’s choice.

Four Academy Awards & Others
More Awards & Nominations


23 thoughts on “Movie Monday: The Matrix 1999

    nostaligicitalian said:
    April 9, 2019 at 12:18 AM

    You know those people who have never seen Star Wars or Harry Potter or really famous movies and you think “How have you not seen that?!”

    … Yeah, I have never seen any of the Matrix films. Not sure why, just never have.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 9, 2019 at 12:51 AM

      LOL! Sounds like a good time for a binge watch…

    talesfromthemindofkristian said:
    April 9, 2019 at 8:45 AM

    I can’t believe it has been 20 years! I remember seeing this film at the cinema and it changing the way I looked at the world. I spent a week feeling like nothing was real anymore!

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 9, 2019 at 2:32 PM

      A lot of people had that reaction. Which pill would you take?

    Kenneth T. said:
    April 9, 2019 at 9:10 AM

    The Truth shall set you free

    bereavedandbeingasingleparent said:
    April 10, 2019 at 6:16 PM

    I loved the Matrix.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 10, 2019 at 11:51 PM

      So did I. Mind-bending.

    badfinger20 said:
    April 10, 2019 at 10:17 PM

    I watched it once a long time ago. It’s time for a re-viewing. I’ve forgotten most of it.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 10, 2019 at 11:54 PM

      I need to watch it and the other two, again.

        badfinger20 said:
        April 10, 2019 at 11:56 PM

        lol I’m watching it right now… he is eating a cookie with the Oracle.

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          April 11, 2019 at 12:36 AM

          Good boy!

          I just caught the tail end of Ouija (2014).

    badfinger20 said:
    April 11, 2019 at 5:20 PM

    I forgot how good it was…it was a fun watch. I have never seen the sequels.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 12, 2019 at 12:36 AM

      It follows thru with the Neo/Trinity love story and the end of human bondage. It’s deep.

        badfinger20 said:
        April 12, 2019 at 12:39 AM

        I just finished the second one tonight… I’ve read where the third one isn’t great

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          April 12, 2019 at 12:47 AM

          Well, like Ebert said, he wanted a revelation. I think he thought he was going to get the meaning of life out of this trilogy and the orgasm didn’t happen.

          I liked all three but, I can see how some folks would be disappointed.

            badfinger20 said:
            April 12, 2019 at 12:51 AM

            I will see the other. Critics are just that… plus I am the kind of person that just has to finish something. I have to watch all of them…even if it was bad I have to watch them all. I’ve invested too much lol.

              The Hinoeuma responded:
              April 12, 2019 at 2:01 AM

              I hear ya’! LOL!

    Auntysocial said:
    April 15, 2019 at 3:16 AM

    It’s always difficult to say this without sounding like a complete airhead whose misspent youth dabbling in drugs and clearly left its mark but The Matrix was as close as I can think to describing what LSD feels like and how it gives you this entirely different window to another place you’ll only understand if you’ve been there too.

    If you haven’t – you’re likely to think I’m a drug-fuelled idiot which is fair shout.
    If you have – you’ll understand exactly what I mean.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      April 15, 2019 at 3:21 PM

      I’ve never done LSD. I learned in my teens that I have strange body chemistry. I smoked a grand total of three joints in my entire life, one of which was laced with PCP…and I wasn’t told. Pot makes me paranoid…like hide-in-the-closet freak out. The PCP trip balanced out the pot, apparently, and I fell asleep on my friend’s couch feeling like a statue. 🤨

      Alcohol doesn’t make me happy & want to party. It makes me mellow, then sleepy. That same funky body chemistry keeps me from being addicted to nicotine. I’ve smoked on & off since I was 14…38 year span and I STILL don’t know what a ‘nicotine fit’ is.

      I’ve read and listened to Alan Watts’ accounts of taking LSD. I can see how The Matrix would resemble a trip. I’m pretty sure that LSD or acid (assuming they are two different things) is what inspired Dali quite a bit.

      I’d be curious about LSD. Knowing my chemistry, either nothing would happen or I’d just die. 😆

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