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Reloaded Revisited



Link to funny item: http://ter.air0day.com/index.php?script=matrixreloaded



I saw the Matrix: Reloaded in the theater back in May when it was first released. At the time, I didn’t like it and posted a review to that effect:

http://kmo.livejournal.com/2003/05/17/

I thought that I might have just caught the movie under unfavorable psychological circumstances and that I might have liked it better on a different day. Specifically, I thought I would like it better on DVD where I could take it in manageable servings and take a break when I’d had enough.

Recently, I rented the DVD. I very much enjoyed the “making of” feature that came on a bonus disc. Technically, I give the thousands of film-makers who collaborated on the project much-deserved respect for bringing such a huge undertaking together. Bravo.

I loved seeing the preliminary artistic work that went into the film’s conception. I’ve been a fan of Geoff Darrow’s work for many years.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0201685/

That said, the actual movie still annoyed me more than it entertained. All the same criticisms sprang to mind as I watched it. I rented the movie for five days, and that was a good thing because it took Lara and me almost that long to get thru it. As with most rental DVDs, our player had trouble reading the disc and as a result we could not access the scene in which Neo fights a bunch of the Merovingian’s henchmen on twin marble staircases. No loss there.

Then, my old friend Z-Man sent me a link to a send-up faux script for Reloaded:

http://ter.air0day.com/index.php?script=matrixreloaded

I read it and agreed with Z-Man who wrote, “It's funny because it's true...”

Me:
Yep. I did not enjoy this movie when I saw it in the theater. I thought I would like Reloaded better on DVD because I could take a break from all the hyper-fu when I got fed up. Nope. I think the W brothers got so caught up in creating effects that couldn't be duplicated by makers of commercials and 2-bit Matrix rip-offs that they lost sight of what really worked in the first film. Hint: It wasn't the fu.


Z-Man:
I was very disappointed in Reloaded - so much so that I'm not sure I'll be dropping $8 to see Revolutions. I totally agree - they focused on the fu and the effects and seemed to forget to put together a coherent script (what I call the "Lucas Syndrome" (except for the fu part)). The contrast between the first and second film is telling. The first film spent more time on storytelling and background than on fu. The fu existed as a part of the story, rather than as the focus.

Considering that Reloaded and Revolutions were shot at the same time, I don't have a lot of hope for part 3.

On the plus side, Return of the King is only about 6 weeks away... :)

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
prester_scott
Nov. 3rd, 2003 08:15 am (UTC)
It is funny. Because it is true.
tragemorph
Nov. 4th, 2003 10:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, I remember the conversation we had back when Reloaded came out. I recall I was totally blown away by it, but I had never been too stoked on the original Matrix, and thus didn't come with any massive expectational baggage.

Now number 3 is coming out, and I'm a bit nervous just because my expectations are already so high, despite any attempt to subvert that...

Still, though, I a lot of parts in Reloaded (like the Architect scene) do a very good job of working with some very, well, Bob-like stuff- such as, in chapter 1 of Prometheus Rising, "The thinker thinks what the prover proves," is it easier to find a quarter on the street when you beleive that your focused attention is causing you to notice one sooner, or that your willful act of looking for one causes one to manifest in the universe?

BTW, have you seen the Animatrix? If you're disappointed in the sequels for lack of plot and depth of story, that's definitely what to check out.
kmo
Nov. 5th, 2003 05:51 am (UTC)
BTW, have you seen the Animatrix?
I saw it last night, and I had planned to mention something about it in my LJ because I loved it. Four segments, "Last Flight of the Osiris," "The Second Renaissance Pts I & II," and the one about the haunted house I watched twice.

If the W brothers do an Animatrix: Reloaded, I'll be first in line.
zman1972
Nov. 5th, 2003 09:05 am (UTC)
The Animatrix is another reason I was pissed at Reloaded.

Why?

Because (as I understand it - let me preface by saying I have not seen it) the Animatrix and the "Enter the Matrix" video game tell a large portion of the story that SHOULD have been in Reloaded.

In the movie, they casually mention destroying an installation and Niobe volunteers for the job. This is about the only mention of this mission in the movie, because that story is told in the friggin video game.

Now, don't get me wrong - I LOVE video games.

What I don't love is finding a subtle advertisement for a video game IN a movie. You want the whole story? You gotta buy the extra DVD and the video game.

Merchandising and marketing at their worst.

Screw that.

kmo
Nov. 6th, 2003 05:53 am (UTC)
Animatrix
I highly recommend Animatrix. It didn't do anything to improve my opinion of Reloaded, but it did restore my faith in the W brothers' vision. The first episode in the Animatrix was made by the folks who did Final Fantasy: The Spirit Within, and they've improved on their technology since then. Of all the shorts in the animatrix, it looked most like the live action Matrix films, but for me, visually, it worked much better than Reloaded. In reloaded, I could still see a stylistic shift when they switched from real actors to their virtual stunt doubles, but in "Last Flight of the Osiris" it was virtual actors in the "acting" shots as well as the hyper-fu shots, so rather than a distracting disconnect, the action merges seemlessly with the "acting." Watching it, I didn't have to re-secure my suspension of disbelief every time a new action sequence kicked in.

And "The Second Rennisance Parts I&II" blew me away. It looked like a comic book illustrated by Otomo Katsuhiro and Mobieus working tag team set in motion.
zman1972
Nov. 5th, 2003 09:13 am (UTC)
Reviews coming in...
FYI - the reviews of "Revolutions" are starting to arrive.

My fave so far:

"So disappointing they may as well have bussed in Ewoks to save Zion."
-- Christopher Null, FILMCRITIC.COM

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/TheMatrixRevolutions-1127201/
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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