Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Monday, June 09, 2003
The Matrix: Reloaded

Almost every even vaguely film-related blog out there has had something to say about The Matrix: Reloaded. I won't bother with a major review here since you all know the basics by now: very pretty, good soundtrack, in desperate need of a good editor (cut 30 minutes or thereabouts), a bit convoluted, really needs the end of the trilogy for audiences to gauge whether this was an okay middle-film the first of two increasingly bad ones. I must admit, though, that I enjoyed it more on a second screening because some things that seemed like contradictions weren't (I get how Zion-the human city-could have been destroyed 5 times before, whereas I thought the script originally said that all humans had been eradicated 5 times before), and I stopped comparing its originality since you can't really make an original sequel (both a grammatical and technical oxymoron, after all!).

The Animatrix

One of the reasons I'm sure that The Matrix: Reloaded could have been better is because the Animatrix is better. These shorts are much tighter, in many cases just as pretty as the film itself, and often have more intricate plots which you can both follow and feed into the meta-matrix-narrative. 'The Final Flight of the Osiris' is obviously the best eye-candy made by the same director that did the visually stunning by d-grade scripted Final Fantasy film. The historical 'The Second Renaissance', parts one and two bookmark the collection (on DVD at least) and are quite interesting little stories. They also complicate the human/machine relationship further in that these two suggest that it was humanity treating the machines as a slave-race which caused their rebellion in the first place. 'Kid's Story' and 'Detective Story' are interesting to watch, quite interesting visually (especially the film noir-ish animation for 'Detective Story') and also contain dialogue by the stars of the Matrix. Best, to my mind, though, was the inventive 'Beyond' which looked at a bit of the Matrix where the rules don't quite work and felt a bit like the recent anime Spirited Away (which is brilliant, incidentally). The Animatrix DVD is definitely worth watching if you enjoy animation on any level and contains nine interesting stories which do more for The Matrix franchise than the new film!

Matrices of Comments

I mentioned all the online copy about the Matrix: Reloaded, so where is it all. Here's a quick summary of the more interesting stuff:
Matrix Theories: A blog full of interesting theories about how the first two Matrix films work, what's 'really' going on and so forth. Breaks down in character studies, cinematics, plot analysis and intra-film themes. A lot of detail and well worth a look. I was quite amused by the quite feasible explanation Neo's seeming 'real world' powers at the end of Reloaded: someone off-camera shot an EM pulse which took down the squiddies and Neo!
Matrix Essays: This blog has some amazing essays and some really, really silly ones. Definitely worth checking in on now and then to see what's being proposed and sometimes the comments are funnier and/or more insightful than the posts themselves!
Philosophy and The Matrix: Part of the official Matrix website, this section has various philosophical takes on the original film by academic philosophers. Some are insightful. One or two are even sillier than the worst fan comments! Again, worth a look, though.

Enough Matrix for one day, methinks ...

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