The Poppy-Fields Movie Couch Of Fame: The Matrix Trilogy
I know poppy-fu.
Today's submission comes from Crabcakes:
I own it on DVD (full trilogy and Animatrix) but the original will always stop me in my tracks on TV. I remember when it came out, and how it represented a major shift in timing (action sequences particularly) and style. The second of the trilogy, to a point, but not as reliably as the original. Two to three stopping points; if it's near the end, it never fails to amuse to hear the portentous "I am the Architect."
Terrific music choices throughout; Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson were the well-knowns on the album but the others are great too. The slowing of time to show the movement of bullets is now commonplace but at the time was revolutionary. Likewise the use of wires in the action scenes; I remember it being mentioned at the time and shown in making-of docs as a Major Thing that they imported from Eastern movies. Chicago Easter eggs in location references and the beginning at the Heart O' the City motel.
- lengthy? 136 minutes, so just over two hours — usually pads out to three with commercials.
- familiar/frequent? On TNT/TBS very very frequently.
- classic/award-winner? Oscars for sound/editing. Acting…well, MTV award for Keanu is on the fringe of actual. Some sci-fi awards for directing/writing although I think there's some controversy about how original to the Wachowskis it is.
- "Greetings, Professor Falken" (big payoff/long-shot victory a la WarGames)? Neo's eventual realization that he is The One and kicking agent ass, after rescuing Morpheus in an awesome action sequence that includes the suiting/gearing up ("What do you need?" "Guns. Lots of guns."), the shooting up of the elevator lobby ("I need back-up!") and a helicopter smashing into a building.
- "Wanna have a catch?" (Pavlovian tear-jerk; anything with dads opens the ducts for this guy)? Well, if you count Neo restarting Trinity's heart? Yeah, not really.
- red pill/blue pill
- white rabbit
- "Wow, that's sounds like a really good deal. How about…I give you the finger [pause] and you give me my phone call."
- "There is no spoon."
- "I can see why she likes you… Not too bright."
- "…I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes"
- "good for degreasing engines or killing brain cells"
- "Only human"
- "Dodge this"
- coppertop as metaphor for humans in the Matrix
- caper-ish or -adjacent camaraderie? To a point, I guess, between Trinity/Morpheus/Neo but only in small parts.
- "forget you, melon farmer" (you own it, but will still watch bowdlerized TV verzh) They always cut the showing of the finger in the interrogation scene or blur it; major boring "stuff" etc. Not that much swearing in this movie, actually.
I'm interested to see what the readers think here; I never watched the other two, because I found the original Matrix stultifying and self-satisfied, and have never watched it again. I wanted to like it, because of the fantastic cast (with the exception of Carrie-Anne Moss, whom I always hate, but I don't think I'm alone in thinking Trinity is a snippy pill); I probably should have seen it in the theater; it's on a list with Fight Club and Raging Bull for me of films I acknowledge the power of for other people while finding them seriously overrated myself.
But I suspect that's a minority opinion, and I don't wish to influence the readership. I do wonder how well this one has held up; just looking at the art again, on the poster, it feels so 1999. The COF is roomy, so let's see how we do. Crabcakes, thanks for a thought-provoking submish. Readers: discuss!
[Updated 4/24/15: Looks like the original film squeaks in if we leave the lesser-regarded sequels at the door. Congrats, Keanu! You may just be the poster child for the PFM experience.]
The Poppy-Fields Movie Couch Of Fame is here. To nominate your own PFM, email bunting at tomatonation dot com with a rundown of the criteria and your argument for why it deserves a cushion. If I use your entry, free loot shall be thine.
Tags: Andy Wachowski Carrie-Anne Moss Hugo Weaving Keanu Reeves Laurence Fishburne Marilyn Manson movies poppy-fields movies Rob Zombie The Matrix you can't spell "readers" without "rad"