Monday, August 10, 2015

944. The Matrix (1999)

Running Time: 136 minutes
Directed By: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
Written By: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
Main Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano
Click here to view the trailer


Yes, that's right - with the watching of The Matrix, I've officially tackled all of the BOOK movies from the 90s. We're officially getting down to the nitty gritty and next week, I'll post a list of the final 50 movies. This is getting exciting...

However, before I get too excited, let me tell you a bit about The Wachowski brothers' 1999 blockbuster, The Matrix. What is the matrix? The matrix is a computer program. Look around, you're living inside the matrix right now, so am I. The matrix is the world that you and I live in and like I said, it's all a computer program. In reality, Earth is a smoldering, destroyed, black nothingness. Due to a war that raged on between man and machines, many years prior to the events of the matrix, the world was desecrated. In order to get enough energy, the machines are now harvesting the body heat & natural energy emitted by human beings, keeping all humans in incubator like sarcophagus's, tied to umbilical chords, running the computer program, making them think everything is still peachy keen. However, there is a small band of rebels and one last city where humans still live, Zion. The leader of the rebels is Morpheus (Fishburne), followed by his recruits, including Trinity (Moss) and Cypher (Pantoliano). The prophecy of the remaining humans states that a man will one day come and end the war between man and machines, freeing the humans from their dreamlike state. This man is known as the One and now Morpheus thinks he's found him in computer hacker Neo (Reeves). Is Neo the One?


Okay, I have a few bullet points to hit and we'll try to keep this on the short & sweet side.

First of all, lets talk cast. Let's rundown the checklist:

Laurence Fishburne - Always been a fan of the guy and he nails it here as the bad ass Morpheus, wearing sunglasses with no temples. I'd say he was my favorite character in the whole thing, next to Trinity.

Carrie-Ann Moss - What happened to this girl? She was really good here and I kept thinking throughout the movie - "Why isn't she in more stuff?". I guess I could just look it up, but call me lazy. She was B.A. here as well and super sexy.

Keanu Reeves - You can't even imagine how much I dislike Reeves as an actor and here, I thought he was pretty awful. Before I talk about Reeves some more, however, let me talk about the Neo character. I felt like the character was just too bold. I didn't buy that someone who as just plucked out of the matrix and told all this crazy stuff, would, within a matter of days, be all gung ho to save the world. I felt like they should've beefed up the character development a little bit and make me believe that this guy would actually want to go back into the matrix to save Morpheus, after just escaping with his life. I just didn't buy his motivations, if that makes sense.

But back to Reeves. Man, I'm torn, because I really did think he wasn't that good, however, I just can't picture ANYONE else in the role of Neo. There was something about his look that just fit into this world. Plus, he wasn't a mega star at the time, so it added to the grittiness of the movie. If you look at some of the other choices of men who were actually approached for the role, it would've turned The Matrix into a completely different film. Will Smith, Nicholas Cage, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt - can't picture any of these guys pulling off Neo and like I said, any of these guys would have changed the whole picture. There were talks of Val Kilmer being discussed for the role and that I actually can kinda picture.

Otherwise, I think I'd have to call this my favorite sci fi film, off the top of my head. Not that that's saying much, since I generally hate sci fi. It's just such an original story to me and it's almost non-stop action for the entire last hour and it never gets to a point where you say, "Okay, I've seen enough". It's just one thing after another as the rebels battle the agents and it's all too bad ass for me to blow off as drivel.

The one thing I will say against the film, however, is this: There's no end game. Okay so all the humans (except these few) are living in the matrix and now we have Neo out of the matrix and we're going to go see if he's "the One". Okay, so what? There's a beginning and a middle, but where's the end? Actually there is an end, but it hinges on things that happen within the middle. Ask yourself this: If Neo and company, on their way back from meeting the Oracle had made it back to the pay phone and safely out of the Matrix, then what? The movie would've been over at like the fifty minute mark. It's because they are stopped by agents, that the movie continues and even then, it's just a bunch of action sequences, it's not really them coming to any resolutions. This film was BOUND to have sequels and I know everybody rips on those, but they were coming whether we wanted them or not. I've seen them both, but I barely remember either.

Anyway, this was good fun and I recommend it and yes, that statement even surprises me. I actually didn't expect to like it. It had been long enough since I'd seen it before that I didn't remember whether I liked it or not. According to my old IMDB rating, I had given it a '5' before, so I was obviously indifferent on it prior to last night's viewing. I hated Reeves and his acting, but I defy you to think of another actor who would've fit into the role and remember, this was way before Hollywood started giving big time movies to no name actors, like nowadays. Other than dopey Reeves, the rest of the cast is an A+, looking like action stars and cranking out homers, sending audiences home with a boost of adrenaline. Also, big thumbs up to Hugo Weaving, who I've learned to love a little bit more with help from THE BOOK. How versatile is this guy? He played an elf, an agent and a drag queen and all pretty close to perfection.

RATING: 7.5/10  Add this to the list of TOP 20 candidates and I'm starting to feel a little better about the next TOP 20. I was worrying there for a minute...


August 10, 2015  11:18pm


  1. I bet ... that after disagreeing with you over 'Blade Runner', and defending it as a great film.. I'd be up for this one eh?
    Boy, was I bored. So much so, I actuall needed your run through to tell me what was going on... I just lost all involvement, interest, or giving anysort of a damn about .. any of it.
    Hey dude, like look how KOOOOOOOOOL I am, I, like, wear shades, and long black coats, and move in slow motion. How KOOOL is that man.
    So this is my equivelant to your 'Blade Runner'. I will no doubt will loose any cool street cred that I don't have for not liking this..and attract a lot of flack, but.. sorry .. I really, really just didn't care.

    1. I know it's not accurate, but I never really expect you to like anything that's newer. You seem to lean toward classics a lot more than modern stuff.

      I get what you're saying about everyone acting TOO COOL...that could've been toned down a notch.

  2. Good review, I'm kinda surprised you liked this one.
    By the way, what happened to your 1001/290 movies list on iMDB? I can't find it.

    1. Here's the link M. and thanks for the comment!


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