Sunday, June 27, 2004

Revolutions and more... 

So, Hollywood Video had their occational coupon for 3 videos cheap again. We ended up picking Matrix Revolutions, 28 Days Later, and the Returner. Stuff I passed over but will probably grab on the other coupon are Bubba-ho-tep, Adaptation, and Big Sky (err.. is that the name? The Tim Burton one..). Two annoyances were not having any of the original Spider-man, which Mom wanted to see (how can you not have any when the second movie will be out soon??) and only a VHS copy of Suicide Club, which I really really want to see. But I think people at work have Spider-Man and Adaptation, so I may just grab those from them.

Anyway, I watched Revolutions last night. Spoilers to follow:

I hadn't been in as much of a hurry to see it after the second movie, but I have to say that I really enjoyed it. It felt more like the first movie to me. While I liked a lot of the action scenes and designs and some of the questions raised in the second movie, some of it also felt a bit out of place (too much sex?) and overwrought (some of the mumbo-jumbo).

I was a bit disappointed that a lot of the stuff brought up in the second movie just seemed to be ignored or glossed over in this one, but I also liked a lot of what it did contain. The seige was pretty fun, with the mecha and Last Man Standing. You know, I think technology is finally at a point where live-action Gundam could be done without looking cheesy. Those mecha looked really impressive.

Super Brawl was fun in the Volcano High (fighting in the rain) meets DBZ way. Some of the flying scenes were really nice.

I'd say one of my favorite things was the design of the Machine City, as well as the God Machine. Those shots where you see Neo's point of view and everything is golden was beautiful. I wish we got to see more of the city, actually... The burning of Neo's eyes and death of Trinity also brings some measure of finality that I don't think the other movies managed..

The whole thing got me to thinking. I think the Matrix trilogy reminds me of the original Star Wars trilogy in a lot of ways. They were both on the cutting edge of technology, the both threw together a lot of influences into a melting pot. They had inconsistances and some hokey dialogue and mumbo jumbo at times. But they were fun, visually impressive and had some intereresting characters. They both reflect on the times they were made, one in space and one in cyberspace. I think if I had had seen the Matrix movies as a kid the same way I did the Star Wars, with nostalgia on my side, I think I might remember both as fondly...

Any thoughts on that?

I don't think they're as successful overall as the original SW trilogy, but then again much better than the newer SW movies..

Obviously there are huge plot holes in all the movies. People as batteries just can't be efficient. Why don't the machines drop bombs into Zion instead of bazillions of Sentinals which can't even shoot anything, having to rip stuff apart with tenticles? Still, if you ignore all that, I enjoyed the series more in the end than a lot of other people seem to have...

Also, I watched the making of specials, and wow, technology is getting scary. They have a technique for filming someone's face acting with 6 high-def cameras and using it to make a 3d model that looks totally photorealistic. A couple of the test shots gave me chills to see a perfect face moving in 3d on a white background.

It was pretty funny seeing how the bazillion Agent Smiths in the background of the super brawl were done as well. Doing it with computers would be too difficult, so it was a combination of dummies and stand-ins wearing silicon masks! The real people were in the back and had levers they could use to turn the heads of the dummies! Pretty funny stuff... It is also really interesting hearing the normal voice of Hugo Weaving, which sounds NOTHING like Smith.

I was also impressed seeing the rigs they used for the flying scenes, combinations of rotational belts that are used in circusing and special "tuning fork" machines. Also the amount of work that the actors had to do for the stunts. Weaving especially isn't the person you think of when you think action star.. :)

End spoilers

I also taped City of Lost Souls from Takashi Miike for a friend at work, watching the end again. What a fun odd movie this thing is. It really makes no sense on most levels, but there is so much style and craziness and an interesting mix of cultures (japan/brazil/china/some latin/american). This is a movie that heightens everything, making impossible things possible, but in a way that seems almost normal...

Saw a fun little short called The Chorus, about a guy who has a singing quartet that follows him around singing about his every experience. Really well done...

I also caught the second half of Cherry Falls, an interesting little indy horror film with some humor thrown in. A killer is stalking the town, going after virgin girls. While the police investigate, the kids decide to take matters into their own hand and stage a sex party to stop being virgins. However, this isn't a straight-out comedy, and there is some interesting characters, including the sheriff's daughter. Also, any horror movie in which a guy and lady are running from a killer and the GUY trips and falls is good in my book!

Today I had an amazing time at Forest Park, but more on that later. Right now it's time to watch the other two movies!

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