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05-15-2003, 03:06 AM
I just wrote a journal entry about the Matrix, and decided to put it on the board anyway just in case anyone feels like discussing the martial aspects of it. I'll quote my journal entry to start this off.
I was hoping that there might be some Aikido in this one, as I'd heard that one of the supporting characters, named Ghost, was a Japanese martial arts expert. He was only in the movie for about 2 minutes total, and he didn't do anything; now that I think of it all the stuff I heard about him was for the upcoming video game. I was also excited about Morpheus using a Katana, as I'd seen a few pictures of him holding it. Anyway, the fighting was, as always, very very good. The only real problem is that it's all Kung Fu, and only like one kind of it to boot. Nothing wrong with that, I love Kung Fu movies, but it doesn't look right with a Katana. I was looking for some nice kenjutsu, but the swordwork was just more of the "swinging it around like a sharp object" variety. I guess it wasn't totally bad, I was just expecting a bit more from that scene. There was one part where Neo started to do a Kotegaeshi, but he only did the tenkan and holding down the wrist part. There were a couple other spots where it started to look like Aiki, but it was perhaps more a matter of similar techniques in many martial arts. Anyway, the smoothness of all the fighting was really something this time around. In the first movie, once in a while the people would "focus" and everything would slow down, allowing the individual to do something extra cool. In this, since Neo can do that better than anyone else, it's used almost constant when he's fighting. It makes for some very impressive moves, and the smoothness and economy of motion are very impressive. It's fun to watch, just don't expect to be as blown away as you may have been with the first one. I'd love to hear from people with some knowledge of other arts, in particular the style of Kung Fu that Yuen Wo Ping uses. It's very interesting to look at, but is it even a real style or just more movie stuff? Also, does anyone recognize the actor who plays Seraph? He was amazing...
Oh, don't forget to sit through all those credits, there's a teaser trailer for the next Matrix, dut out this Holiday season, that is actually pretty cool.
05-15-2003, 11:34 AM
I saw the movie last night and it was pretty good "eye candy".
Negatives, in my opinion, were: the acrobatic, wire-work, wushu theater stuff was over-the-top (sequences were too long and repetitive); there were way too many long sequences of nothing but mega-stunts with too little "story" that holds it together.
I enjoy watching the first installment every couple of months, however, this one would get old quickly for me.
05-20-2003, 08:16 AM
Here are my thoughts that I posted on another board:
SPOILERS COMING SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For starters, this movie does not deserve the luke-warm reviews it's getting. It is a well-done movie with a very tight plot, plenty of action, and a fair amount of tension at the end. My wife liked it too, and we've spent a lot of time during the past two days talking about the movie.
I thought the acting was fine, exept for Morpheus/Larry Fishburn. Egads that man talks slowly! Robin (my wife) and I just watched the first Matrix last night after seeing the second one the night before, and Fishburn plays Morpheus in a much more natural manner in the first compared to the second.
SPOILERS START HERE!
Okay, the movie is basically a seris of action scenes followed by a lot of dialogue. The dialogue is a major highlight of the movie. It is paced pretty well so the movie doesn't drag when people are talking.
The actions scenes are pretty good. I liked the car chase (almost as good as the Blues Brothers, *grin*) and the fight in the chateau, but the schoolyard fight (the burly brawl) got tiresome about a minute before it ended. Everyone has said that the computer generated Neo and Agent Smits look so lifelike that you won't notice they're not the real actors, but I did notice and it did bother me.
Some of the plotlines were a little weak. The whole thing between Locke and Morpheus was underexplained. Why in God's name was Locke so incredibly p.o.ed with Morpheus? What in God's name did Niobe see in Locke? Anyway, that's a fairly minor point. The annoying Frenchman/keeper of information/Persophone thing was odd too.
The scenes in Zion were handled very well, but the temple dance/orgy scene was simply gratuitous. Don't get me wrong, I typically like looking at attractive female bodies seen through white, wet, tight clothing, but there were really only a few shots of said bodies, and they were actually the same shot (or a very similar shot) and you don't actually see the women, just their various parts. It just seemed out of place. It would be one thing if these were characters you actually cared about, or if you even got to see their faces, but this was just anonymous body parts. I don't need to pay $7.50 to see that.
Conversely, the love scene between Neo and Trinity was just fine. In fact, their relationship is portrayed very well. I applaud the movie makers for resisting the temptation to add some sort of love triangle or relationship crisis between Neo and Trinity to the film.
This movie had the effect of making the Matrix smaller than it felt in the first one. I kept wondering why they ended up in the same city. When Neo ends up trapped in the chateau, he calls Link to pinpoint his location. Link says Neo is in the mountains. I'm thinking "which freaking mountains!?!" But just saying that Neo is in "the mountains" seems to be enough -- is there only one mountain range in the matrix?
Overall, this was an enjoyable movie. For every question it answers, two or three more are raised. There are some interesting philosophical questions at the root of these films, but no easy answers. The action is good, the acting is good, and the complaints are minor.
05-20-2003, 06:08 PM
Minor spoilers below...
Okay, first off I've got to say the rally/dance/sex scene was enough to keep me from going back to the theater to see it again. Pointless. Utterly useless.
On the bright side...oooh, the car chases...the car chases! I must say two eighteen-wheelers colliding at 80+ MPH in slow motion was one of the coolest things I've seen lately. The accordian-ish collapsing, the bolts popping out...perfect.
(pardon my acting like a gas molecule)
Neo+pole=awesome. I was getting tired of all the Mr. Smiths, but then he jerks the pole out of the ground and my intrest was revived.
It's funny how I've spent the last two weeks debating free will, choice, and fate on another forum...and then I go see the Matrix and BAM there it is again. I couldn't help but wonder what my debate opponents thought of it; where I agreed and disagreed.
So, is it merely (ha, yeah, "merely" ) a cycle, or is it some kind of matrix inside of a matrix? I think it's the former, but that's quite open to debate until the next movie comes out.
As for the other fighting, I liked the smaller fights...the one-on-ones and the three-on-ones and stuff. Morpheous' fight with the agent on top of the semi was cool, though he looked like he was going to hurt himself with the katana... And what was he thinking when he stabbed it into the top of the truck?! (not the side) You NEVER stick your weapon in something you can't get it out of easilly (aka, wood, walls, trucks). Pah, oh well.
06-15-2003, 12:50 PM
SERIOUS PLOT (what there is of it) SPOILER BELOW
Yeah, I thought it was fantastic eye morphine. I rejected the cliche' of the "you can't die, I love you" from the last movie, and was bummed that it was used in this one but I found such an act more palatable done by a cyber-messiah in the virtu-world than some random chick. Maybe she is the 'Other' and it'll come out in the next movie, maybe Darth Vader is Neo's father and Trinity is his sister. Still, just as fun as any cheesy Kung Fu flick but seriously awesome Fx.
My brother is a computer graphic artist working for Electronic Arts, and admitted that some of the effects brought a tear to his eyes.
I think the most interesting part of the plot though was the causality/choice discussion. It seemed appropriate that a software avatar would of course insist that it's all causality. My brother rejected the idea that 'the architect' would've told Neo the truth about which door represented which, but I think that if the premise of software is causality and not choice, then it would seem plausable that 'the architect' would tell him the truth, believing that Neo had no choice in the matter.
:ai: :) :ai:
06-15-2003, 03:51 PM
I thought it was a pretty cool film, even though it was sickeningly cheesy in places, and Neos powers a bit un realistic: ie, removing the bullet from Trinity. All the philosophy, grand, excellent brain food. The orgy thing, yeah, i think it was trying to show the kind of atmosphere in Zion/Sion and all the young people. THat scene with the agents.. just shows what you can do with a Jo!! :D Imaginge trying that runing round t thing. Superman... hmm.
Do any of you think theres the possibility of a Matrix within the MAtrix kinda thing, as Neo can 'feel' the sentinels, and becomes a walking EMP cannon.
One great comedy thing, which reminded me very much of James Bond was the agent scene, right at the end of it, where Neo jets off. Camera turns to the ammassed agents, none too pleased, and one of them in the second row , to the left, raisis an eyebrow. Hilarious (maybe you have to be british, i dunno). Cool film.
Does anyone know which particular styles and arts were used at all??
ps, the key holder was a cool dude.
oh, and what was the deal with that french guy and the chocolate cake?? its a 15 man, blimey
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