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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Default Why The Matrix Should Have Been A Stand-Alone Movie [opinion]

    I guess it's essay time.

    I think the title of this thread is a commonly held opinion, but the reasons for holding it are at first obscure. After all, in Matrix:Reloaded, the audience is pummeled with even more awesome fighting, stunts and sci-fi effects, more bullet-time and bullet-stopping, more powerful agents (although they are mostly duplicates of one agent), more Trinity, and more mysterious beings (i.e., programs) such as the Merovingian and his servants.

    But we are also given more Zion. In the first movie, we are not given much reason to care about Zion, just enough to make Zion's continuing existence a MacGuffin, a 'Maltese Falcon' as it were. The real conflict was not Zion vs. the Machines, but (externally) Neo vs. the agents; and, on a internal level, Neo vs. believing in himself and his own power, believing in love, and no longer believing in the matrix itself which is represented in the movie as being nothing more than green script crawling down a computer screen black background.

    In Matrix:Reloaded, using Zion as a MacGuffin would have been pointless because Neo has attained his goal. So we are given more scenes in the real world, more scenes involving Zion and its collective struggle, represented by wet people dancing and something to do with orphans or whatever. SAVE ZION. Save the whales. Whatever. The conflicts are all externalized, there is nothing left to move the audience internally except for a love story and some well-done, intense action sequences many of which have been replicated in other action movies containing fight scenes.

    Still, the Matrix:Reloaded possesses some meaningful symbolism, especially in contrast to that gory ultra-violent blood-fest called Kill Bill. There isn't a lot of bleeding in Matrix:Reloaded, but when it does happen it has meaning. When Neo is cut on the hand by the blade, all fighting comes to an abrupt halt. Then, when a minuscule drop of blood drips down from his hand, this is considered phenomenal because it means Neo is still human, thus giving the Merovingian a little hope that Neo can be defeated. This also perhaps gives the audience a little hope that Matrix:Reloaded has some deeper meaning to it than those benefits mentioned above. But it was not to be.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  2. #2
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Neo meeting the Architect was a memorable scene, though pretty much everything else was very forgettable. Original Matrix was epic.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    Neo meeting the Architect was a memorable scene, though pretty much everything else was very forgettable. Original Matrix was epic.
    The fact that you forgot details from a movie created 11 years ago doesn't make the movie forgettable.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  4. #4
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal12345 View Post
    The fact that you forgot details from a movie created 11 years ago doesn't make the movie forgettable.
    I never said so.

  5. #5
    Sheep pill, broster asynartetic's Avatar
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    The freeway scene was badass. The battle against the sentinels inside Zion was cool. Otherwise, the sequels are pretty lame. Oh, and of course the Animatrix is awesome. I think it's better than the live action sequels.

  6. #6
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    The two sequels were flawed. I do see things of value in both -- more in Reloaded, but was disappointed with Revolutions where they pretty much phoned in the script.

    I've already posted a lot of stuff on this before.... how we basically have a birth/Spring hero origin movie, then a adulthood/Summer movie (Reloaded) where we see Neo at the height of his power, and then the decline/Winter movie in Revolutions. And of course, the big twist at the end of Movie #2 where Neo's understanding of prior events is deconstructed and framed clearly; it was a great twist. The Matrix itself can stand on its own, but if they were going to expand it, at least they did try to create a birth-life-death arc.

    As a movie philosophically exploring cause/effect, it's appropriate for Reloaded to be a long linear action sequence. But I had more interest in the whole Merovingian scene (along with Persephone stealing a kiss from Neo in the bathroom) than in most other areas of the movie. The Wachowskis also were interested in exploring "Superman" but in their own property, and Neo was kind of the Superman we never got to see in a movie in terms of fighting. There was a lot of interesting stuff visually and action-wise in that movie, some things that hadn't really been done before (including the Burly Brawl scene) and then of course the entire highway sequence which keeps ratcheting up a step every time you think it's done.

    I also think the analogy between Neo and Smith was very organic, in terms of their being antithetical to each other in their very nature, not just their plot-generated animosity for each other... just starting with Neo = The One vs Smith = The Many. And I love the foreshadowing that has been mentioned during the foyer fight -- where Neo is cut and starts to bleed after seeming unstoppable... and the Merovingian says, "See? He's just a man." Neo finishes the fight without much trouble (which was a very well-choreographed fight, I have to add, with all the interwoven attack sequences), but... we've kind of caught a glimpse of the inevitable. What is inevitable about humans? Yup.

    It was a shame Gloria Foster died before the entire sequence was filmed; she was my favorite performance in the first two movies.

    The scripting especially for the Zion battle pretty much sucked in Revolutions, dialogue was choppy and thin, and then all the "clipped segues" -- it was like they took a page out of the George Lucas scene-transition guide aside from the rolling visual panel shift. Everything was too neatly packaged in the dialogue, it felt pat and fake rather than real. The concept of Neo losing everything he loved as the lone hero journeying into the land of the dead (Machine World), however, was very resonant for me; if only it had been handled better. But you're watching the hero in his decline, and everything that he finds valuable or powerful about himself is stripped away... and finally the only thing he has left is that he thinks he can beat Smith... and then that goes away too. From a mythic perspective, it's the "hero's decline" shown in excruciating detail. I think the resolution of the Smith/Neo affair was perfect and while inevitable still rather heartbreaking. But... so much disappointment otherwise in that movie, and even the ending seemed truncated. (Then again, I think at least one of the Wachowski's was pretty distracted during that time in her life.)

    The story thread continued into the MMO, but looks like it totally lost its way at that point. The movies are pretty "high concept" and the MMO was all kind of extensive minutia from what I can tell.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #7
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I like how the audience is being manipulated in thinking that there is any meaning at all, only to have 'the real world' (zion's world) end up being the matrix as well and neo's existance being yet another form of control until the matrix is being reset for a new cycle.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    I like how the audience is being manipulated in thinking that there is any meaning at all, only to have 'the real world' (zion's world) end up being the matrix as well and neo's existance being yet another form of control until the matrix is being reset for a new cycle.
    I like how the audience is manipulated into believing it was a new and original idea.

    TRON pulled it off much better. The 1982 version. Not the 2010 sequel that the audience is brainwashed into thinking was either (A) a remake or (B) an original movie.

  9. #9
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I tried to watch the original TRON last year and was bored to tears... almost couldn't finish it.
    It was successful because of the "Cool factor" of the Disc and Lightcycle games and had a video-game tie-in.

    If you're going to compare movies on that broad of a scale, pretty much any 'quest' or 'rebel against the system' movie is a charlatan rehash. The matrix/hack/computer world concept itself is there for anyone to borrow; you could say they were ripping stuff off Gibson's Neuromancer etc, if you cared to.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #10
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I think the first movie alone can serve as a sort of Cliff Notes for all three- but the thing about Cliff Notes, obviously, is that a great deal of nuance gets left out. How relevant those nuances are will be a matter of taste. If I remember correctly, the W siblings had to make the first one a success before getting the green light for the other two (I *think* I remember reading that they didn't want to make it a stand-alone story, but they didn't have a choice).

    I wouldn’t say the sequels were redundant. I thought there was a lot of worthwhile dialogue in the latter ones about ‘choices’ and whatnot (how much choice we have, the importance of figuring out why we make the choices we make, etc), and expounding on the ‘authentic vs. simulacra’ differences in meaning.
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