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So, we saw a 10pm showing of The Matrix: Reloaded on Wednesday. Kick ass. I thought the ideas were subtler, the effects and action were more outrageous, and the world that was presented in the first movie was blown wide open, giving us a whole new range of narrative possibilities. (See how the video game and the animated shors are not just cheap merchandising efforts - they supplement the main storyline presented in the movie, and are, in fact, necessary to fully grasp the big picture.)
I've been reading a lot of comments like this over the last couple of days, and they make me think one thing: "These people haven't watched the first Matrix movie recently, have they?" Pointless (but cool) fight scenes, meaningless hand-waving, and loooong stretches of exposition. Why weren't (most) people bitching about these things before? Because it was novel. New stuff gets a break.
The way I remember it, there wasn't a too terribly much hype surrounding the release of the first movie. Shortly afterwards, sure, but I try to keep up with these things, and I remember going into it for the first time, a while after it came out, and not knowing what to expect. And I was blown away.
Reloaded has had four years of hype. There is no way that it could stand up to people's expectations. But if you go in with a fresh mind, it's a fun, engaging movie, not much less "revoultionary" than the first one. It's just that we're comfortable with the settings, the characters, and the concepts, and the shock value isn't there, so all some people can see are the flaws.
Do me a favor. Go back and watch the first movie, with the same attitude you went into the new movie with. Notice how everything is dark, not only for mood, but to hide the imperfections of the effects. Watch Trinity mock Christopher Reeves while diving through that window, and pay attention to the flat, computer-generated backgrounds when they go into bullet time. See the rubber guns that don't rack their slides when fired. Time the rambling speeches that Morpheus makes about this and that. Turn to your friend and bitch about why that fight in the subway happened, if he was just going to run, after all. Then tell me that Reloaded was any worse.
If you listen carefully, you can hear Mark Hammill whining about power converters in the background.
So, really, what is it with you people? Has it not been out long enough for other people to find insightful bits in the film and point them out to you? Are you just trying to be cool by hating something that's going to be wildly popular? Are you subconsciously offended by the fact that the actors have actually aged in the four years since the first movie, and can't abide their haggard, familiar faces? Were you simply dropped on your soft heads as children?
Me, I try to enjoy a movie, despite its flaws. I have taken more than my share of guff for declaring, without irony or sarcasm, that Showgirls is one of my top three movies. (Here are the other two for comparison, lest you consider me a complete degenerate.) And let me tell you - I enjoyed Reloaded as much, if not more, than the Matrix. I fully expect that, as time passes, and I see it again and again, it will age as well as any other leering tribute to fanboy-dom. In a good way, of course.
I can't wait for November.(May 17, 2003 05:29 PM)