The Matrix : 20th Anniversary

Yesterday I took an evening trip to see The Matrix at the Cineworld cinema in Rochester. I had spent a good portion of the day already aware of the tides as I visited the Redsand Forts and while it was high-ish tide when the trip started it was half tide on the way out when we returned to port. The tide at Rochester was about half again I think when I got to the cinema.

The showing was at 20:00 and I got there about twenty minutes before then. I went for a walk along the wharf. It’s that or buy sweets to eat and so I opted for the healthy option. I’m in a bit of a healthy phase and hoping, once again, to adjust my routines to be more healthy. I’ll probably write stuff here someday about that, I’ll see how it goes first. At the other end of the wharf there was a new development of houses along the river’s edge. They look nice and had lovely balconies and views but I couldn’t help thinking that in less than one hundred years they will either have been destroyed in the Water Wars or flooded by rising ocean levels. I am not optimistic about anthropogenic global climate change.

After seeing a movie at the cinema I rate it on IMDB and I was looking forward to rating this film until I watched it. There will be more about my battle with memory below the embedded tweet. If you read through the movie reviews on this site you will be able to spot the time I learnt how to embed tweets!

Hmmm, WordPress, my website editing software had a update about a month ago and I am learning the new features. I’m not sure if that embedding will work. I’ll wait and see once this page is published. [It worked fine, no need to edit anything]

The scoring of this film as a SEVEN is controversial, I know. Especially if you read my guidance communication on the rating system but I guess I’m trying to break the Matrix [ha fucking ha]. The thing is I was hoping I would love this film. The 27 year old me loved this movie, I bought it on DVD and I’m sure I watched it a few times, I even went to see the sequels and they were fucking terrible films, really terrible. I mean they were really really bad. I went with friends to see them at the Odeon in Maidstone.

Right, here we go.

I wanted this movie to be amazing, I wanted it to blow my mind and when I was 27 it did. Bullet-time was a filming style invented for this movie. The whole look and feel of this film was ground-breaking. It was an amazing action film along with the philosophical grandness of wondering what if we are in a dreamworld or the product of other people’s dreams or in a computer simulation – each of those is equivalent I think.

The things I remembered about this film were:

  • Trinity being amazing at the beginning
  • “I know Kung Fu”
  • The lobby scene
  • Dodging bullets

The things I had clearly forgotten were how fucking dull some of the philosophical bullshit scenes were. God, there were times in this movie when I just wanted it to finish. I think that’s the problem with nearly every genre now taking lessons from the Matrix and how to make films, the Grandmaster gets killed by those he trains.

Looking at the film now there were lots of things that don’t work in the plot and timing. I will admit though that 1999 was a pretty good time to be alive, just think:

  • No 9/11
  • No Iraq war
  • No Afghan war
  • No GW Bush
  • No 7/7
  • No Brexit
  • No Trump

To get around the “dying in the Matrix” problem the writers just said that if you die there your mind dies and your body can’t live without a mind. Which is bullshit. They could have just used another excuse, they could have said that you become metally unstable and we kill your body. Similarly getting injured in the Matrix means that you get the same injuries in real life, this is poor writing but I guess you need to have some form of risk involved once you are in the Matrix. I think that just entering a different world would be managed perfectly well by the mind, we do it every night. Unplugging the link into the Matrix shouldn’t kill you either.

The action scenes were pretty good but the Lobby scene seemed much shorter than I remember. I wasn’t that impressed. This is mostly to do with me having watched another twenty years worth of films in an age of computer graphics and near photorealistic graphics. It isn’t really a problem with the Matrix but it just looked slow and I was unimpressed. This is a shame and more a problem with me than the movie.

Fuuuck films with an oracle or wise old woman or man. What a lazy crock of shit those plot devices are. I hate it. Of course, that person needs to be black or they wouldn’t have the same credibility. What I sugest you do is look through all movies with wise old people and see what their current role in society is.

More fuuuck films which use a prophecy. I’ve been reading books recently that have a theme of a prophecy and it’s lazy fucking bullshit. Our species seems to live with the idea that we can predict the future and so some wanker somewhere will have written down what is going to happen. We love the concept of agency and we can’t cope as individuals if we understand that the shit is just random. Nope, we have to have prophecy. We have to have a way of explaining the world and how some people become the heroes or gods. Fuck that shit. It annoys me so much.

“Neo – you are the one”. Fuck you.

How about just Neo being a hacker and then considered someone who can cope with being out of the Matrix. Then he could just develop into an amazing leader. All this destiny bollocks makes me want to cry. It’s a throw back to the days when we didn’t understand how stuff works. It’s a way of giving the human race hope for a future that won’t happen. It’s calming to the global psyche. It’s fucking bullshit that’s what it is.

I hope that now I’ve alerted you to this prophecy shit you will spot it in future and start to downgrade those stories. I do know they are popular. I do know that most of the world relies on that shit but it’s time for reality. All this pophecy shit does is reinforce the idea that some people are born better than others. It keeps the poor poor and the rich/powerful wankers. Our entire societal structure is formed so that only some will be in charge and they will do all they can to stay there. They love this prophecy chosen-one bullshit. Just look at Boris Johnson and tell me he doesn’t believe he should run this country. You see what these stories do to people?

I do note that the Matrix had many scenes without music and I admire that. It was nice to have the stark contrast so that when the action happened the music worked pretty well. I was struck by the idea that people who dress in black and look “alternative” are the dangerous ones. As someone who lives in that world I don’t think it’s right for society to cast those people aside and see them as dangerous but things will change slowly. At least I hope they will, it seems that the world is getting more intolerant recently due to the leading politicians of our time.

I don’t know whether it was the soundtrack or the cinema or where I was sitting in the cinema but some of the scenes’ sound seemed balanced poorly. There were a couple of times I couldn’t hear the speech because of the music and I couldn’t hear the music at the beginning of the Lobby scene. This was a shame because those are important parts in my memory of this film. Along with sound issues fuck the person who seemed to be wrestling with a loud plastic bag during all the quiet bits of the film. Obviously they have no empathy or they would have waited before making that much noise.

Overall this film left me slightly sad that it didn’t meet my memories of it. I saw it as a tired slow film full of philosophical-bull. I understand that it was mind-blowing and ground breaking when it was released but not all groundbreaking films remain amazing, some slowly go away and get remembered for their effects rather than their plot.

On the way out I overheard someone mention they might watch the two sequels. Jesus, that’s beyond the call of duty. I will NOT be seeing them. They were worse than shit.