31- “The Matrix” #52PickUp

For this #52PickUp, I decided to take the red pill and delve deep into the world of:

matrix_ver1

The Matrix is a groundbreaking sci-fi film from 1999, co-written and co-directed by the Wachowski Sisters, Lana and Lilly. It focuses on a duplicitous man named Thomas Anderson, software engineer by day, hacker by night; constantly feels like something is off.

He quickly learns that the people he’s been tracking, Morpheus and Trinity, have also been searching for him. They claim him to be “The One,” and offer a chance to escape his diminutive reality.

He takes the red pill and realizes the whole metaphysical world around him is an illusion created by machines to keep us complacent so that they can harvest our life force as energy.

Who am I kidding, you know the story by now; it’s been parodied myriad times, and there are even real theories out there that posit we are indeed living in this type of world.

At any rate, it makes a fantastic film (if we just ignore the two sequels).

Where/ when did I first see it?

I watched this at home on VHS when it was released in 2000. I remember thinking to myself (but probably out loud) This is amazing! I could feel how different it was in the landscape of action films at the time.

How does it hold up?

After the theories bolstering its narrative as a possible answer to life on Earth, it’s even more compelling now than it has ever been.

The special effects in the first one are way better than the two sequels – who took their modest budget and shot a syringe full of speed into it – ended up looking like a bad video game.

66200-Enter_The_Matrix-1

Oh yeah…

Not to mention the script is still solid, filled with sometimes cheesy lines that only Keanu Reeves himself could deliver to justice.

What did I like about it and why?

The Matrix was a film that took a super high concept premise and ran with it, allowinf the director siblings some freedom to make it the way they needed, while keeping a consistent budget the entire time.

The budget no doubt had some help thanks to the practical effects they utilized whenever they could. That opening shot where the camera whips around Trinity? That’s a set of 18 or so cameras that were strategically placed around her.

The lobby shot was ENTIRELY REAL. No CGI, just actors, stunts, real explosions, etc.

The actors were some that I had been following for quite some time, even though their older efforts were fun at best, to God awful at worst. Again, for the record, I liked all of these following films: I first saw Joe Pantoliano in Baby’s Day Out; Keanu of course in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey; and Laurence Fishburne in PeeWee’s Playhouse and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

Lessons Learned?

  1. Practical effects-driven films will ALWAYS hold up better.
  2. They should have stopped at one.
  3. Baby’s Day Out is proof that The Matrix Theory CAN’T be real.

Where can you see it?

Check out The Matrix on CanIStream.It?

-Jamie (@GuyOnAWire)


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One thought on “31- “The Matrix” #52PickUp

  1. Pingback: #52PickUp Retrospective | GuyOnAWire

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