Tag Archives: the matrix

Movie Review – The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

Jesus Fucking Christ, this movie makes The Room look like Citizen Kane.

BQB here with the horrid poopy stinkfest that is the fourth installment of the Matrix franchise.

Let me begin by saying please support your local movie theater. If you’re (understandably) afraid to take in a show due to Covid concerns, maybe just buy a gift certificate and throw it in a drawer to spend on tickets on that long-awaited day when the rona becomes about as dangerous as a bad case of gas. Or what the heck? Just buy a seat online and don’t go.

I know. I’ll never do such things and you won’t either. Neither of us has the money to waste.

My point is this movie is the type of schlock you get when streaming services reign supreme and theaters go bye bye. As long as they meet their subscriber quota and have enough people paying monthly fees to keep the service going, they don’t give a shit if you actually like the movie. They can make it as dumb or stupid or preachy or lame as they want.

Meanwhile, the latest Spiderman flick is breaking box office records and doing the unthinkable, putting butts in theater seats, the moviegoing masses uncaring they might catch a debilitating illness because apparently the movie is that awesome and therein lies the rub – for a movie to make it at the theater level, it must be good, like, really good…so good that Hollywood suits might put in actual effort.

But I digress.

Way back in 1999, The Matrix was a surprise hit, a new twist on the sci-fi genre about a world where the machines have won a war and turned the defeated humans into batteries, placating their minds with a false simulation. Those smart enough to figure out the world is an illusion gain superhuman like abilities, which they’ll need to fight the system’s evil agents designed to keep free thinkers down.

The underlying message and/or food for thought? Life is a game and if you figure out how to hack it, you can break all the rules and do whatever you want.

I don’t think any of us fans blamed the Wachowskis for making the shitty 2003 back to back sequels. They stunk big time though the second had a few cool moments, the fight scene on the big rig in particular. The then brothers (now sisters because apparently they took their own message about hacking the life game’s code quite literally) had wowed us with a pretty awesome flick so who could begrudge them a 2 sequel cash grab?

But this latest one? It is truly an unmitigated pile of horse manure, covered with pig manure, drenched in pigeon poop, and then like, a dozen syphilitic hobos peed all over it and then the whole thing was left out in the hot sun to rot and fester and grow mold and mushrooms on it and then a bunch of rats and mice and assorted vermin burrowed into it and called it home and that’s before a bunch of drunk frat boys puked all over it.

No, really. It’s that bad.

The plot? It’s a super meta Matrix movie about the other Matrix movies. The main villains are Neal Patrick Harris and the literal Warner Brothers Corporation. (You read that right, as in the studio that gave us Bugs Bunny. No one thought it was funny when WB made itself a central plot point in Space Jam this summer so I don’t know why they thought it would work this go around.)


NPH is an evil psychiatrist who seeks to keep Neo (Keanu Reeves) under control by convincing him none of the stuff from the first three films ever happened and that it was all dreamed up by Neo’s real life identity Thomas Anderson, a video game designer who put elements of his life into a super realistic video game, ranging from his controlling boss (Agent Smith) to the soccer mom he likes to oggle at his favorite coffee shop (Trinity.)

When Warner Brothers, the parent company of Anderson’s gaming company, orders an unnecessary sequel (the studio only gets so many points for making fun of itself), Anderson goes into a deep state of depression over having to return to a bunch of stories he’d grown tired of until a plucky band of cyber warriors led by Bugs (Jessica Henwick in a dual reference to the rabbit that leads Alice down the rabbit hole and WB’s perennial carrot chomping mascot and seriously, whoever it is at WB who thinks it is a good idea to make WB a key part of movie plots needs to be both fired and publicly shamed, preferably at the same time)….

….where was I? Oh, right. They break Neo out of his funk and into a whole new world of data driven conspiracies.

Fan favorite characters Agent Smith and Morpheus return, but in different digital bodies played by Jonathan Groff and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. They try but they don’t hold a candle to Hugo Weaving and Laurence Fishburne who, I like to think (or hope) they turned down this crap because there wasn’t enough money in the world to make them lower themselves enough to be associated with it.

Meanwhile, Carrie-Ann Moss reprises her iconic role as the leather clad biker babe Trinity and the gang must save her from the life the Matrix has cruelly assigned to her, that of a suburban soccer mom, because apparently, she would be better off getting sucked out of a pod full of goo and forced to live as an underground freedom fighter aboard a stank ass, dank, dark tunnel dwelling ship than, God forbid, raise children and be the important matriarch figure in their lives.

STATUS: To quote John Lovitz’ the Critic, “it stinks.” I watched it so I could tell you that you shouldn’t. To be fair, the final 20 minutes is a fun special effects bonanza, so if you want to put up your HBO MAX app and fast forward to the last 20, I wouldn’t blame you. You certainly shouldn’t sit through the first 40 where very little action happens and NPH and Keanu just pontificate over Mr. Anderson’s depressed state as a video game designer forced to make an undesired sequel. What about us fans who were forced to watch an undesired sequel? Will WB pay our therapy bills?

Oh wait. Now that I think of it, no one forced us to watch it and if we’d stop watching them, the studios would stop making them. Perhaps the system really can be hacked after all.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – The Matrix (1999)

You have a choice, 3.5 readers.  You can take the blue pill and wake up, forget that you ever read this pitiful blog, or you can take the red pill and see how far down the rabbit hole this terrible blog goes.

What?  You took the red pill?  What the hell is wrong with you?

I first saw this movie in the theater when it came out in the summer of 1999.  At the time, everyone I knew who saw it thought it was the dumbest movie they’d ever seen.  I, on the other hand, thought it was special, unique, different – a science fiction film that didn’t involve space, or clichés, or wasn’t derivative, something that was brand spanking new.  The Wachowski (then brothers, now sisters) had invented a whole new world that built off itself and it was intriguing.

Plus, the special effects alone made it worth watching.  The slowed down, 360 kicks, spins, the “bullet time” slow motion where characters dodge bullets, all set the standard for other flicks to follow.  It holds up today, and looks like something that Hollywood’s best FX gurus could have made yesterday.

The plot for the uninitiated – Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) lives a lonely, forlorn life as an office drone for a tech company, hopelessly searching for meaning and finding none, even while he stays up all night exercising his hacking skills and surfing the Internet.  It was 1999, so people still thought they might find meaning on the Internet, rather than just the giant reserve of pornography and cat videos it is today (and to be honest, was kind of back then too, just a lot grainier and slower…still if you were willing to wait 12 hours, you might get ten seconds of exceptionally slow, grainy, not worth watching cat footage.)

Impressed with his hacking skills, Thomas, who takes the name “Neo,” is recruited by Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne in perhaps the most memorable role of his career) and his band of rebels, including Trinity (Carrie Ann Moss), Cipher (Joe Pantagliano) and some others who weren’t that famous so, you know, moving on…

Neo is let in on a big secret.  The world as we know it is not a world at all.  It is a computer program, dubbed “The Matrix.”  The machines have won, they have enslaved humanity by putting them to sleep and hooking up to an array of cords that turn them into living batteries that give the machines energy.  To keep the humans docile, their minds are hooked up to an alternate reality program that makes them believe they are living actual lives in an artificial world.

Those, like Morpheus et. al., who realize the world is fake, know that the world’s rules can be broken.  They can load their brains up with all kinds of survival training, i.e. kung fu, weapons training, etc.  They can run up walls, fire guns with great precision and do incredible kicks where they launch into the air and time stops as they connect their foot to an opponent’s face.

The villain of the film is Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), a cold, calculating computer program who takes the appearance of a stern Federal agent.  I think Agent Smith is one of the more underrated baddies of sci fi film history.  Darth Vader might come at you like a honey badger on crack, but Agent Smith will, with his monotone, almost school marmish style, lecture you into believing that all hope is lost and that the best option is to give in, and frankly, he is very convincing.  He’s every mean adult you met when you were growing up who told you the rules matter and you better drop your pie in the sky dreams this instant.

It’s funny how you learn as you get older and can watch movies and understand them more.  At 20, I thought this was a fun movie.  At almost 40, I realize it’s double meaning.  Life is “the Matrix” and we often find ourselves weighed down by all these rules that keep us from doing what we want.  “You can’t do this because of XYZ.”

“The Matrix” can mean a lot of different things to different people.  “Taking the red pill” has become part of the cultural language now.  I’ve heard people use that phrase in a variety of contexts, including people on both sides of the political aisle trying to convert others to their way of thinking.

Basically, there’s who you are and who you would like to be and if you stick with the life that makes you unhappy, you’re like Cipher, who decides “ignorance is bliss” and wants to stay in the Matrix because living under the imposed rules is better than going it alone.  And in truth, to break the rules will lead to a period of suffering.  Morpheus and company, by freeing their minds from the Matrix, do enjoy special powers when they return to the Matrix, but when they are out of it, they live in a harsh reality, one where the few surviving humans live in underground tunnels, eat gruel, and are constantly hunted by the machines.

Thus, if you stop following the rules, your life will be hard for awhile.  People will make fun of you, not want to talk to you, you might suffer in a variety of ways, but eventually (hopefully) you’ll master your new life and become the sunglass wearing, black coat wearing kung fu master you were meant to be.

Again, “The Matrix” could be an allegory for whatever it is in your life that is standing between you and what you want.  And it’s entirely possible that you might try to break out of the Matrix and fail.  In the film, the rule is that if you die in the Matrix, you die in real life, because the body can’t live without the mind….and thus, if we think about real life, it is entirely possible that we might break the rules, suffer, and then succumb to suffering.  Maybe Morpheus is right and it is better to live free and suffer than to live a lie.  Maybe Cipher is right and it is better to live as a dupe and follow the rules rather than live in a cave and eat gruel.

Ironically, I assume that the Wachowskis broke out of their own personal Matrix by becoming sisters instead of brothers.  But again, the Matrix can be adapted to whatever beliefs you have and whatever you think is standing between you and becoming who you want to be.

The film holds up.  Although there are some late 1990s things that aren’t around today (the rebels in the Matrix talk to their friends in reality via big cell phones and must seek out a hard line or a telephone booth to get back to reality), the key is that the machines made the Matrix so that the world perpetually remains 1999 forever, even though in reality, it is 2199.

So technically, Hollywood could remake this and set it in 1999 and it would hold up with the film’s rules, though I hope they don’t.  To be honest, this film was unique unto itself.  The sequels that came out almost back to back in 2003 felt like cash grabs and to me, aren’t that memorable.  The second is better than the third though.

STATUS:  Worth a rental, or sometimes I even see it playing on cable so you might find it for free.

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