Wednesday, April 1, 2009

10 years later and there's still a splinter in my mind

Way back in 1999, two relatively unknown brothers-turned-directors brought us one of the most groundbreaking, imaginative sci-fi/action movies of all time. I know people say that about shit all the time, but IMO, this time it's for realz.

The Matrix was a pioneer in special effects, throwing enough bullets and fire at the camera to take on Ted Nugent while, at the same time, introducing the mainstream movie-viewing audiences to bullet time (whether or not they actually invented bullet time is still debated). and beyond that, under all of that spit and polish, there was something more. For one of the first times, I saw a film that not only kept me entertained on a glorious, action-packed level, but also on a deep, intellectual level as well. To this day, I can still throw in the Wachowski Brothers' masterpiece (and I do believe it to be a masterpiece) and be completely enthralled in the world(s) they have created. The effects still, for the most part, hold up, and the story is still as engaging and thought-provoking as ever.

Keanu is still clueless--but in this role it works--and Laurence "I am Morpheus" Fishburn is kicking ass in all his bald glory; Carrie-Anne Moss, who, until this movie, was unknown to me, pulls her weight as the ass-kicking dominatrix love interest; and finally, this is where Joey Pants and Hugo "Agent Elrond" Weaving were first brought to my attention. What I'm trying to say is that this cast is solid without being an ensamble of grade-A pretty boys and girls.

The plot, for those not in the know, is about a computer generated dream world that is actually the world we live in every day. Keanu is Neo who wants to know what the Matrix is. Morpheus is the guy who can enlighten him. I'd tell you more but, as Morpheus says, "No one can tell you what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself." Regardless, its name kicking and ass taking to the max times infinity. Alright, I may be exaggerating a bit. Seriously though, there's enough action and explosions to make any Die Hard fan happy; enough effects to amaze you and make you hate George Lucas for making us overdose on Jar-Jar; and enough philosophical depth holding it all together to make you wonder why geeks and nerds aren't getting laid more.

Am I gushing? Maybe, but so what. I'm a fanboy. There, I said it. But it's not without reason. The Matrix is a damn fine film. One of my top 5, actually. It may not be that way for everyone, but I still suggest you give it a chance.

And what better way than the newly released 10th Anniversary Blu-ray edition of The Matrix. Go. Now.

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