REVIEW: THE MATRIX REVISITED

CAST

Keanu Reeves (Speed)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones)
Hugo Weaving (The Hobbit)

The documentary mainly revolves around interviews with those involved: directors The Wachowski Brothers, ace cinematographer Bill Pope, editor Zach Staenberg, legendary (rightly so) fight choreographer Yuen Wo Ping, producer Joel Silver, actors Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie Anne-Moss and other members of the film’s cast and crew. The documentary mainly revolves around the first picture – for those who are hoping to see some sneak peeks of the second picture, there really aren’t many. “Revisited” revolves almost entirely around the production of the first picture, as we hear from many of the crew members, who discuss their roles in the film’s production – such as costumes, sets, visual effects and other elements. Most of the detailed production interviews are quite informative and interesting; yet, there are moments that talk about the story (Reeves often discusses it in his interviews) or how great everyone was that offer less insight. These moments are brief and mainly at the begining of the documentary.

While much of the documentary offers interviews from around the set and in offices, there are also some terrific behind-the-scenes clips, showing the actors in serious physical preparation for their fight sequences and some clips of the production at work in Australia. The documentary gets more enjoyable in the second half, as we see more about the making of the film and some of the obstacles that had to be faced (Reeves’ physical problems as the production began) and in-depth footage of how some of the film’s biggest stunts were achieved.

II didn’t feel this was just some “promotional” piece, but a well-crafted and often very informative two-hour documentary about the film’s journey from pre-production to final film.

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REVIEW: THE ANIMATRIX

CAST (VOICES)

Hedy Burress (Valentine)
James Arnold Taylor (Batman: TBATB)
Clayton Watson (Under The Radar)
Julia Fletcher (Dragon Slayer)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Pamela Adlon (King of The Hill)
Keanu Reeves (Speed)
Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones)
Melinda Clarke (Gotham)
Olivia d’Abo (Conan The Destroyer)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Tom Kenny (The Super Hero Squad)
Tress Macneille (The SImpsons)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Tara Strong (Sabrina Down Under)

Directors Larry and Andy Wachowski have said in their few interviews that they are big fans of Japanese animation (or, “Anime”). Watching “The Matrix”, one can sense the influences from Anime style. Given the fact that the story of “The Matrix: Reloaded” was too big to tell in one nearly 150-minute movie, elements of the story are being told both in the video game “Enter the Matrix” and this set of animated features, the “Animatrix”.

Given their desire to expand the side and back-stories, the Wachowski brothers had several famed animation directors go to work on 9 short films that further enrich the “Matrix” tale. The first feature is the “Final Flight of the Osiris”, a fully CGI tale constructed by some of the same artists who were involved with “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within”. However, as remarkable as “Final Fantasy” was, the animation technology seems to have improved even further, as the kind of detail present here is extraordinary.


“The Second Resistance: Parts I and II” are dark and fascinating shorts that are essential to the understanding of the “Matrix” story. Both stories cover how the machines developed under the eye of man and how they eventually rose up and defeated mankind. As with the rest of the shorts, the imagery throughout these stories is dark, haunting and remarkably imaginative. Sound designer Dane Davis (“The Matrix”, “The Matrix: Reloaded”) has a voice cameo. Directors Larry and Andy Wachowski were also responsible for the writing of these first three segments, which deal the closest with the stories of the two films.

Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves also offer voice cameos in “Kid’s Story”, a tale of a young student who finds out the truth, and must run from agents. “Program” features a samurai battle between a male and female warrior, who debate existence while waging a tense battle. “World Record”, a rather odd feature, involves a track star whose extraordinary talent and drive leads him to find out about the existence of the Matrix. “Beyond” focuses on a young woman who stumbles upon an abandoned building full of children with strange powers while she was searching for her lost cat. “A Detective Story” is a noir-ish piece that has an investigator trying to track down Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss. The piece has a fascinating black-and-white look. Finally, “Matriculated” has members of the human resistance attempting to reprogram a machine to fight on their side.

 

REVIEW: THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS

CAST

Keanu Reeves (Speed)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones)
Hugo Weaving (The Hobbit)
Monica Bellucci (The Brothers Grimm)
Essie Davis (Game of Thrones)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Harry Lennix (Man of Steel)
Rene Naufahu (Power Rangers Samurai)
Harrold Perrineau (Lost)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Bruce Spence (Mad Max 2 & 3)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Anthony Wong (Haywire)
Anthony Zerbe (American Hustle)
Clayton Watson (Under The Radar)Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Bane (Ian Bliss) lie unconscious in the medical bay of the ship Hammer. Meanwhile, Neo finds his digital self trapped in a virtual subway station named “Mobil Ave.”, a transition zone between the Matrix and the Machine City. In that subway station, he meets a family of programs, including a girl named Sati (Tanveer K. Atwal), whose father tells Neo the subway is controlled by the Trainman (Bruce Spence), an exiled program loyal to the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson). When Neo tries to board a train with the family, the Trainman refuses and overpowers him.

Seraph (Collin Chou) contacts Morpheus and Trinity on behalf of the Oracle, who informs them of Neo’s confinement. Seraph, Morpheus and Trinity enter Club Hel, where they confront the Merovingian and force him to release Neo. Troubled by visions of the Machine City, Neo visits the Oracle, who reveals that Smith (Hugo Weaving) intends to destroy both the Matrix and the real world. She states that “everything that has a beginning has an end”, and that the war will conclude. After Neo leaves, a large group of Smiths assimilates Sati, Seraph and the unresisting Oracle, gaining her powers of precognition.

In the real world, the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar and the Hammer find and reactivate Niobe’s ship, the Logos. They interrogate Bane, who says that he has no recollection of the earlier massacre. As the captains plan their defense of Zion, Neo requests a ship to travel to the Machine City. Motivated by her encounter with the Oracle, Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) offers him the Logos. Neo departs, accompanied by Trinity. Bane, who has stowed away on the Logos, takes Trinity hostage. Neo realizes that Bane has been assimilated by Smith. Bane cauterizes Neo’s eyes with a power cable, blinding him; however, Neo discovers an ability to perceive the world as golden light. Neo kills Bane, and Trinity pilots them to the Machine City.
Niobe and Morpheus set out for Zion with the Hammer to aid the human defenses against the Sentinels. In Zion, the fatally wounded Captain Mifune (Nathaniel Lees) instructs Kid (Clayton Watson) to open the gate for the Hammer. When it arrives, it discharges its EMP, disabling the Sentinels but also the remaining defenses. The humans are forced to retreat and wait for the next attack, thinking that it will be their last stand. Near the Machine City, Neo and Trinity are greeted by thousands of missiles which Neo attempts to destroy, but is overwhelmed by their numbers. The Logos is attacked by the Sentinels forcing them to fly above the missiles for a few seconds. They breach the cloud layer and see Earth’s real sky, to which Trinity whispers the word “Beautiful”. Upon descent, they lose control causing them to crash the Logos into the Machine City. The crash kills Trinity. Neo enters the Machine City and encounters “Deus Ex Machina”, the machine leader. Neo, warning that Smith plans to conquer both the Matrix and will soon conquer the Machine City, offers to stop Smith in exchange for peace with Zion. The machine leader agrees, and the Sentinels stop attacking Zion.
The Machines provide a connection for Neo to enter the Matrix. Inside, Neo finds that Smith has assimilated all its inhabitants. The Smith with the Oracle’s powers steps forth, saying that he has foreseen his victory against Neo. After a protracted battle, Neo is weakened and Smith recognizes this as his moment of success. Smith repeats the Oracle’s message to Neo, “Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo”, Smith immediately becomes confused and senses something wrong (throughout all three movies up to this point Smith has only addressed Neo as “Mr Anderson”). Neo hearing the words realizes he cannot defeat Smith by fighting and allows himself to be assimilated. An energy surge causes the Neo-Smith clone and all other Smith clones in the Matrix to be destroyed and revert to their previous forms; the Smith clone that fought Neo transforms back into the Oracle. The Sentinels withdraw from Zion, Morpheus and Niobe embrace, and Neo is carried away by the machines. The Matrix reboots, and the Architect encounters the Oracle in a park. They agree that the peace will last “as long as it can”, and that all humans will be offered the opportunity to leave the Matrix. The Oracle tells Sati that she thinks they will see Neo again. Seraph asks the Oracle if she knew this would happen; she replies that she did not know, but that she believed.

Definitely a flawed film and not a worthy conclusion. But don’t worry if you didn’t get it – you are not stupid it’s just not that good

 

REVIEW: THE MATRIX RELOADED

 

CAST

Keanu Reeves (Speed)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones)
Hugo Weaving (The Hobbit)
Monica Bellucci (The Brothers Grimm)
Gloria Foster (City of Hope)
Steve Bastoni (Suburban Mayhem)
Essie Davis (Game of Thrones)
David Franklin (Xena)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Harry Lennix (Man of Steel)
Rene Naufahu (Power Rangers Samurai)
Harrold Perrineau (Lost)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Anthony Wong (Haywire)
Clayton Watson (Under The Radar)
Anthony Zerbe (American Hustle)Six months after the events of the first film, Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) are now a couple. Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) receives a message from Captain Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) of the Logos calling an emergency meeting of all of Zion’s ships. Zion has confirmed the last transmission of the Osiris: an army of Sentinels is tunneling towards Zion and will reach it within 72 hours. Commander Lock (Harry Lennix) orders all ships to return to Zion to prepare for the onslaught, but Morpheus asks one ship to remain in order to contact the Oracle (Gloria Foster). The Caduceus receives a message from the Oracle, and the Nebuchadnezzar ventures out so Neo can contact her. One of the Caduceus crew, Bane (Ian Bliss), encounters Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), who takes over Bane’s avatar. Smith then uses this avatar to leave the Matrix, gaining control of Bane’s real body.

In Zion, Morpheus announces the news of the advancing machines to the people. Neo receives a message from the Oracle and returns to the Matrix to meet her bodyguard Seraph (Collin Chou), who then leads him to her. After realizing that the Oracle is part of the Matrix, Neo asks how he can trust her; she replies that it is his decision. The Oracle instructs Neo to reach the Source of the Matrix by finding the Keymaker (Randall Duk Kim), a prisoner of the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson). As the Oracle departs, Smith appears, telling Neo that after being defeated, he refused to be deleted, and is now a rogue program. He demonstrates his ability to clone himself using other inhabitants of the Matrix, including other Agents, as hosts. He then tries to absorb Neo as a host, but fails, prompting a battle between Smith’s clones and Neo. Neo manages to defend himself, but is forced to retreat from the increasingly overwhelming numbers.

Neo, Morpheus, and Trinity visit the Merovingian and ask for the Keymaker, but the Merovingian refuses. His wife Persephone (Monica Bellucci), seeking revenge on her husband for his infidelity, betrays him and leads the trio to the Keymaker. The Merovingian soon arrives with his men. Morpheus, Trinity and the Keymaker escape, while Neo holds off the Merovingian’s servants. Morpheus and Trinity try to escape with the Keymaker on the freeway, facing several Agents and the Twins, the Merovingian’s chief henchmen. Morpheus defeats the Twins, Trinity escapes, and Neo flies in to save Morpheus and the Keymaker from Agent Johnson. In the real world, Zion’s remaining ships prepare to battle the machines. Within the Matrix, the crews of the Nebuchadnezzar, Vigilant and Logos help the Keymaker and Neo reach the door to the Source.

The crew of the Logos must destroy a power plant to prevent a security system from being triggered, and the crew of the Vigilant must destroy a back-up power station. The Logos succeeds, while the Vigilant is bombed by a Sentinel in the real world, killing everyone on board. Although Neo asked Trinity to remain on the Nebuchadnezzar, she enters the Matrix to replace the Vigilant crew and complete their mission. However, her escape is compromised by an Agent, and they fight. As Neo, Morpheus, and the Keymaker try to reach the Source, the Smiths appear and try to kill them. The Keymaker unlocks the door to the Source, allowing Neo and Morpheus to enter and escape from the Smiths, but the Smiths kill the Keymaker while he tries to close the door to the Source. Neo enters a door and meets a program called the Architect, the Matrix’s creator.

The Architect explains that Neo is part of the design of the sixth iteration of Matrix, designed to stop the fatal system crash that naturally occurs due to the concept of human choice. As with the five previous Ones, Neo can choose either to return to the Source with his unique code to reboot the Matrix and pick survivors to begin to repopulate the soon-to-be-destroyed Zion, or cause the Matrix to crash and kill everyone connected to it; combined with Zion’s destruction, this would mean mankind’s extinction. Neo learns of Trinity’s situation and chooses to save her instead. As she falls off a building, he flies in and catches her, then by somehow phasing his hand into her body he removes a bullet from her body and restarts her heart. Back in the real world, Sentinels destroy the Nebuchadnezzar. Neo displays a new ability to disable the machines with his thoughts, but falls into a coma from the effort. The crew are picked up by another ship, the Hammer. Its captain, Roland, reveals the other ships were wiped out by the machines after someone activated an EMP too early, and that they found only one survivor afterwards—revealed to be the Smith-possessed Bane.Four years after its brilliant predecessor this sequel appeared, expanding the Wachowski’s dystopian vision of a future Earth.his nightmare representation of a future dominated by artificial intelligence is still disturbing with CGI effectively used in both the real world and in the dreamworld of the Matrix. The fight for the existence of humankind is effectively presented, but even more intriguing is the struggle between the Oracle and the Architect, powerful computer programmes with opposing aims. Despite lacking the impact of the first movie, this is nevertheless an entertaining adrenaline-filled followup to The Matrix.

REVIEW: THE MATRIX

 

CAST

Keanu Reeves (Speed)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones)
Hugo Weaving (The Hobbit)
Gloria Foster (City of Hope)
Joe Pantoliano (Memento)
Anthony Ray Parker (The Frighteners)

Trinity, an infamous hacker, is cornered by police in an abandoned hotel. She overpowers them with superhuman abilities and escapes, but a group of sinister and superhuman black-suited Agents lead the police in a rooftop pursuit. She answers a ringing public telephone and vanishes.

Thomas Anderson is a computer programmer living a double life under the hacker alias “Neo”. He believes something is wrong with the world and is puzzled by repeated online encounters with the cryptic phrase “the Matrix”. Trinity contacts him, saying that a man named Morpheus can explain its meaning; however, the Agents, led by Agent Smith, apprehend Neo at his office. Undeterred, Neo meets Morpheus, who offers him a choice between a red pill that will allow him to learn the truth about the Matrix, and a blue pill that will return him to his old life. Swallowing the red pill, Neo’s reality disintegrates and he awakens, naked and weak, in a liquid-filled pod, finding himself one of countless people connected by cables to an elaborate electrical system. He is rescued and brought aboard Morpheus’s hovercraft, the Nebuchadnezzar.

Morpheus explains that, in the 21st century, humans waged a war against intelligent machines that they had created. When humans blocked the machines’ access to solar energy, the machines began to harvest the humans’ bioelectricity for power. The Matrix is a shared simulation of the world as it was in 1999 in which the minds of the harvested humans are trapped and pacified; Neo has been living in it since birth. Morpheus and his crew belong to a group of rebels who hack into the Matrix and “unplug” enslaved humans, recruiting them as rebels. The rebels’ understanding of the true nature of the simulated reality allows them to bend its physical laws, granting them superhuman abilities. Neo is warned that fatal injuries within the Matrix will also kill one’s physical body, and that the Agents he encountered are powerful sentient programs that eliminate threats to the system. Neo’s skill during virtual combat training lends credence to Morpheus’s belief that Neo is “the One”, a man prophesied to lead the insurrection of enslaved humans against the machines.

The group enters the Matrix to visit the Oracle, a prophet who predicted the emergence of the One. She implies that Neo is not the One, and warns Neo that he will soon have to choose between his life and the life of Morpheus. Before they can leave the Matrix, the group is ambushed by Agents and tactical police. Morpheus allows himself to be captured so that Neo and the crew can escape. However, their getaway is hindered by Cypher, a crew member who betrayed Morpheus to Agent Smith in exchange for a blissful, comfortable life within the Matrix. Cypher disconnects and murders several crew members as they lie defenseless in the real world, before he is killed by Tank, a crewman whom he had left for dead.

In the Matrix, the Agents interrogate Morpheus in an attempt to learn his access codes to the mainframe computer in Zion, the rebel humans’ last refuge in the real world. Tank proposes killing Morpheus to prevent this, but Neo, who believes that he is not the One, instead resolves to return to the Matrix to rescue Morpheus, and Trinity insists to accompany him. They succeed in rescuing Morpheus, and in doing so Neo gains confidence in his abilities, performing feats on par with those of the Agents. Morpheus and Trinity exit the Matrix, but Smith ambushes and kills Neo before he can leave. In the real world, “sentinel” machines attack the Nebuchadnezzar, while Trinity stands over Neo and whispers to him that the Oracle told her that she would fall in love with the One. She kisses Neo, and he revives with the power to perceive and control the Matrix. He effortlessly destroys Smith and leaves the Matrix in time for the ship’s electromagnetic pulse weapon to disable the attacking sentinels. Some time later, Neo makes a telephone call in the Matrix, promising the machines that he will show their prisoners “a world where anything is possible”. He hangs up and flies into the sky.I still love this movie, and it’s getting pretty old now. But somehow it still holds up. Keanu, Lawrence, Hugo and Carrie-Anne are all superb in it. The Matrix is still an ultimate classic.