Real Thoughts on Nostalgia Critic Reviews: The Matrix

Welcome to a new series of videos where we (Doug and Rob) give our real thoughts on films that the Nostalgia Critic has reviewed. First up, The Matrix

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. Awesome idea! Please keep on doing it!

    Also, can you do a ‘Disneycember’ version for other movies like Terminator, Alien, and a lot of other ‘non-Disney’ movies?

  2. The Matrix, I still really enjoy the original film. Part of it is nostalgia, but I like the pacing. I like that it addresses psychological questions without becoming *really* up its own ass (RELOADED) while keeping them directly related to the story. I really like the fight scenes too–only one or two feel out of place or completely unnecessary, and they serve a point to the film. Plus, they’re exaggerated wire-fu without being cartoonish.

    That said, the criticisms are valid. The plot is rather nonsensical at times, the acting wooden, and the script has major problems. I think it’s mostly nostalgia why I forgive the movie, but I still think it holds up. However, this was a childhood favorite. I’m REALLY biased.

    The sequels…oh man no… I just joke with people that the Matrix was a fun standalone film. XD

  3. When they were trying to find Neo at the beginning, they didn’t know that he was The One yet. They just knew that he had had contact with Morpheus, so they “bugged” him and tried to use him to catch Morpheus.

  4. I enjoyed the Matrix, but it was one of those films that seemed clever at first but didn’t hold up under examination, still fun though. Reloaded was ok, revolution was anticlimactic.
    Do honest looks as some Arnie films you did please.

  5. As far as Morpheus being the main character, yes, Morpheus is the most active character to progress the plot. You “could” have made the movie like that and it’d function just fine, plausibly better.

    The film portrays Neo as the main character despite the fact that Morpheus could. The plot of the “story” has Morpheus doing more (save for the last movie), and the story isn’t the “film”. That’s probably the most discerning aspect of this franchise’s failure.

    • Also, bullet-time is an effect that was started by Max Payne, which was already done in movies by John Woo. John Woo was the signature author of slow-mo FX for characterizing the bullet.

    • As far as the emotions for characters, you get more emotion for the guy that says, “just hold’m off for a few seconds”, after you’ve seen the movie 30 times. You watch these movies maybe nearly as much by that point, but they’re not going to capture you as much as the classics did, especially in a time where SFx were highly dependent on practical innovation instead of a non-mastered technology.

      Technically, Jurassic Park in 1994 had some of the most flawless CGI, while The Matrix pushed the limits with it the most while not distracting you from story. Matrix probably was the SFx pinnacle since T2 for a blend of practical and fantastical at the same time. Digression.

      Nostalgia is an important aspect to consider.

    • “The film portrays Neo as the main character despite the fact that Morpheus could. The plot of the “story” has Morpheus doing more (save for the last movie), and the story isn’t the “film”. That’s probably the most discerning aspect of this franchise’s failure.”
      Wrong haha.

  6. Much as I love The Matrix, I agree with a lot of the criticism.

  7. Neo wasn’t human it was stated that NEO was in fact an A.I simply placed within a human body. And as you stated the jacks in their heads might be what allows this connection. Also remember the machines are purposefully allowing zion to exist. The explanation is that the human bodies would just die without putting them in the virtual world. the first matrix was perfect but the human minds rejected it. The second was based on the late 20th century but without the ability to choose the minds still rejected it. Only by creating a rebellion that passively gave the humans the chance of freeing themselves from the matrix could the human minds finally accept the matrix, also why they created the one aka neo and why he was key to restart the cycle. Zion was destroyed several times neo was the sixth or seventh version of the one so zion was destroyed 7 times. then afterwards it would start again. The war is far older than anyone knows because the machines won and rest the war several times.

    • “Neo wasn’t human it was stated that NEO was in fact an A.I simply placed within a human body.”
      Where’s that stated?? It’s a fan theory I think.

  8. About the reason why machines in Matrix cannot have like brianless “batteries”-see, Wahowsky are not particularly smart, on contrary to what they think about themselves. So when studio came and made their executive meddling with initial idea, they left everything intact despite the fact that it didn’t made sense. See, originally the reason why there was Matrix, why people lived there and why they weren’t killed by Machines, why Machines did not build like nuclear reactors or something to power themsleves up was…wait for it…waaaiiit foor iit… because they are able to exist thanks to human brains. Thats right, they need human brains to run their empire-their internet and software. So Matrix is small distraction, because human brain needs to have its own “life”. Majority of brain processing power in the meantime is used by machines. See? It works. And explains a lot. and it plays nicely into your theory that programs are more emotional and human-like than humans. No wonder why-since they are effectively lobotomized. Thats no brainer! sorry for the pun. But, Wachovskis are stupid, so they did not amended original idea in any way, and we have this bizzare “battery” bullshit.

  9. I still really think that either the first movie or the sequels should have gone along the lines of the Matrix not existing. As I said, the following movies make it so that they’re just geeky sci-fi fimls with a somewhat cool lore that it betrays constantly, with the Matrtix being real and the “awakened” using cheats… but look at the first movie and try asking yourselves not why that was the machine’s energy plan or why keep the batteries entertained but instead… why does it look like a 20th/21st Century American city? Oh, sure, it’s a cheaper way of making a film. I personally am a fan of cheaper (but good) cyberpunk films like Code 46 or Strage Days in which they don’t make a fully realised cyberpunk world with cyborgs and flying cars and instead make it 20 minutes into the future by taking current locations and adding little, non invasive, non flashy bits of technology. I know again that the Animatrix and other make it so that we see actual glitches in the Matrix, but why did they choose to make pretty much the only glitch in the first movie be a Deja Vu, something we can experience in real life? Because the movie was either telling its audience that either they live in the Matrix or that Morpheus’s gang don’t.
    I’m not saying that’s in the movies’ final script, I’m not one hundred percent sure that that’s what the Wachowski’s were going after, but it probably was, it just was dumbed down because if what I propose was the original message (a charismatic leader knows there’s something wrong with the system and riles up a bunch of paranoids on which it exerts some kind of suggestion using psychotropic drugs and telling them wildly exagerated, non-honest criticisms of a system that could be honestly criticised, making a terrorist/freedom fighter army under the pretence that they’re fighting machines) was quite dark and antiestablishment.
    If they hadn’t made multiple agent Smiths, they could just be a shady anti-insurrection secret government agency. If they hadn’t shown us Zion, it could have just been a utopia in the characters’ minds that they would never get to see, and the interior of the Nebuchadnezzar and other hovercrafts could just be the basement/sweatshops from were Morpheus had his goldfarming hacktivists work.
    If you want to stick to the “lore that actually is in the movies”, or the one with which it decided to stick, I will try to explain my vision on them:
    1) Why can they hack people? Answer: the Matrix borrows a lot from other better works of what is called cyberpunk. In GITS people can jack into the net using wires connected to jacks implanted into their spines. The world of GITS, in a nutshell and for all we care now is one in which the soul or ghost of a person is a scientific fact that in some aspects mirror the religious experience and it’s in a way analogous to software as much as the physical body and brain is hardware. This means it can interact with the informatic world. If the natural brain and mind in the Matrix can interface with technology as we can see (it can be stimulated to perceive a virtual reality and interact with it), in theory it could be contaminated. It’s software and hardware, even if the natural organic kind.

    2) Why does Neo get Matrix powers out of the Matrix assuming he’s out? Answer: again, borrowing from other better works. In William Gibson’s Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive (sequels to Neuromancer) we meet Angie Mitchel. Angie Mitchel is a lab experiment, a woman with strange nerve tissue (which look like tumors) which grant her the ability to manifest herself in the Matrix (that’s how they called the internet and where the title of these movies came from) while she sleeps. She is an anomaly. The books don’t go into too much detail on how the infrastructure of the Matrix works, although now we can assume that there’s quite a lot of wireless going on. Don’t beat yourselves too much in the head trying to find the science in it, it’s a romanticised version of what they thought the Internet was going to be like, with a dose of psychedelia thrown in (it’s a sensual world of neon and high speed to which hackers crave to go back when they’re not connected, it’s addictive). Cyberpunk doesn’t care that much about the realism of it as it does about the place of technology in a believable world in which the social gap is enormous. Okay, so some groups like for example these Jamaicans who have seen Angie appear in the Matrix believe, or want to believe that she’s kinda like “the Virgin”, as much as they refer to the AIs as Loa, Voodoo Spirits.
    In Serial Experiments Lain, which is as close as it gets to “Donnie Darko, the cyberpunk anime”, the series throws at us confusing conspiranoid information such as the one an impressionable girl like the protagonist Lain could find in the net. Some of it talks about experiments to make the net so ubiquitous that everyone would be connected at any moment without the need for devices, probably through experiments on children who show psychic capabilities. It is also suggested that Lain may be an experiment in giving a human body to an AI administrator of the “Wired”, and she seems to be able to alter reality with the same ease as if it were cyberspace. The reason? Simply that the line that separates the two has become blurred of not broken, look no further.

    • Sorry, I didn’t finish (would you believe that?) and I don’t know if I can edit it.
      2) (we’re still answering this question) We could still agree that it doesn’t make sense, that it’s just style over substance, but if you add to the mix the obvious appreciation for “oriental mysticism” that the creators obviously had, you could say that New just transcended and learned how to act in the real world as he does in the Matrix and use cheats in it. You could say it’s meditation or whatever. A lot of media including Star Wars, Daredevil, Warcraft… make use of this trope of the “mystical blind man”. Someone that in some way, by rejecting “the mundane use of vision which can be deceived” has become a more perceptive person than any person that uses sight. His other superpowers? Maybe again some kind of enlightening meditation has revealed to him that the real world is much more similar to the world of computers and that with a strong enough will he can conquer it that way. You needn’t look for the scientific explanation of it. It just helps make a point of “how similar both worlds are”.

  10. How can you say “Commando” isn’t a thinking man’s movie? You are dead to me.

  11. Firstly, there is one flawless movie and it’s called The Professional. Secondly, he share’s a spark with the machines… so what you’re trying to say Doug is that Neo is a Prime….hm….hm….mhm…no, not buying it.

  12. My initial impression is that the NC just realized while writing the episode that he would piss a lot of people off and needed to give his more detailed opinion of the Matrix to keep his credibility in tact. But, since this series is already here, might as well take advantage of the idea.

    Hope Doug keeps making these.

  13. Rock-A-Doodle. Please do Rock-A-Doodle. I’ve always wanted to know what your real opinion on that movie is

  14. Actually, the Matrix-within-the-Matrix thing would have also worked because if Neo had realized it, it would have allowed him to do something actually Messianic, breaking through the Matrix that NOBODY KNEW ABOUT and freeing people for real.

    • Sounds exciting! Would’ve set it apart from 13th Floor, too, kinda hadn’t considered that… also, unlike there, they make a point of making the two worlds look and function entirely alien from each other – what the third one would’ve looked like?


  16. I still don’t believe you Doug, I want a video commentary about this video which was a commentary on your Matrix video! A trilogy if you will!

    It is a shame Will Smith wasn’t in the Matrix, mostly because he would have written a kick ass song to the movie, like he did for Men in Black.

  17. I liked your review of “Reloaded” the most of the 3. For whatever reason I just found your, “It is insane and I like it for that bombastic-ness, but good god the dialogue is awful.”

  18. The last airbender

  19. BeingLucioFulci

    Doug, your skin tones are horrible in this video. Way too red. Can no one on channel awesome operate a camera? Brad’s last Snob video was over exposed and now Rob and you look like you’re spawned from cooked lobsters. How intense is the sun in Chicago these days?

  20. I just recently saw the Ender’s game review and how you mentioned that you wanted to have Rob around to talk about ti and that you didnt read the book.
    How about a second try on that ? A scifi classic like this should certainly given apropriate credit.

  21. Personally, I thought that the most believable character in “The Matrix” (and the trilogy as a whole, though he’s only in the first one) was Cypher. The question of “Would you prefer fake happiness to actual reality?” was perhaps the most interesting but they never address the fact that bringing down the Matrix is going to piss a lot of people off. In fact, I don’t think they even mention him again. Wouldn’t it have been awesome to have a human civil war alongside the machine (Matrix v Smith) one?

  22. Ozzie Scribbler

    I’d be interested in hearing your honest thoughts about The Lorax.
    That movie was such a forcibly crowd-pleasy mess… To this day I’m still amazed how all its attempts at “updating” and “expanding” Seuss’s story ended up with basically abandoning the original’s very point and tone.

  23. I want to see your honest feelings about Independence Day… at least twice you have taken your anger out on it, but I am curious if you really hate it that much.

  24. To what extent do these reviews match their real opinions? Was it the usual NC, basically just the visceral, exaggerated version of the person behind it making legitimate complaints with maybe like 5% of petty? Or one from the alternate universe where he’s essentially a contrarian hipster iconoclast version of Cinema Snob making inept digs at hits and classics? I tried to figure out when watching the reviews. Tried to figure out while watching this follow-up. Guess I’ll try again!

    7:09 That’s from the ending of Dark City; best to compare it to the ending of the Matrix, isn’t it? Which judz happens to be much more ambiguous and much more open than DC – actually, I was surprised at the Matrix’ abrupt, frivolous ending when I saw it, and remember thinking how both City and Equilibrium (which I saw later) ended exactly in the sort of good, round, airtight “down with the system” fashion I had assumed Matrix would do. Based on the snippets I saw in some trailer, I thought the lobby scene was them protruding into the center of the Matrix, Neo catching Morpheus was them doing something in a white void server trying to destablize the program, and the subway fight was against some program, well, “guarding the door”.
    So yea, Dark City more vague? Don’t think so How do the Machines receive the message? What happens after he flies up? How is he planning to achieve his goal, and what is this goal exactly? Teach the people to be like him (DCUO haha)? Crushing the system, peace with the agents? And, seeing how the sequels all but retconned that ending (or precede it, according to a particularly cool fan theory), no one technically knows to this day. In fact, much more of a Trek ending in a sense – having made some crucial step towards improvement, the ship (or the camera, in this case) just takes off into space and leaves them to “take it from there”.

    7:30 What answers, aside from who the Oracle is, did the sequels provide, and what answers did they provide in general that didn’t lead to several more questions even more confusing than the open bits from the previous movie??
    Seen this all throughout the review as well, you just can’t make up your mind whether it’s “really on the nose and spells out everything”, or “so vague and get used to that”. Well, it’s both isn’t it.

    8:20 Isn’t the longwindedness supposed to be part of the APPEAL? Why did they draw out that first Morpheus scene so long if not for impact, atmosphere and build-up? And in the Smith interrogation, obviously it’s constantly escalating tension with Smith getting more and more angry and the rescue being prepared.
    I don’t know how anyone can look at those, miss all those tonal and structural facets and just conclude that “eh, movie stops dead in its tracks to give a long speech, but hey, they kinda had to sell that idea that action movies could be thoughtful”. In Reloaded, yea, I can kind of see how one could think that with some of those scenes (not the Architect one, though), but the first one?

    8:40 Why does this sound like a bandwagon opinion to me, rather than one based on actual observation and visceral reaction? Whenever people say stuff like “Keanu Reeves is boring”, “Keanu Reeves is bland”, “Keanu Reeves can’t act”, it’s always treated as this foregone conclusion, like, “we all know Keanu Reeves is wooden, right?” – whenever critics actually take a look at his successful performances, this one being one of them, they always somehow end up coming to a positive conclusion.
    And this ain’t no exception.

    Moss is occasionally a bit wooden in this, though mostly she’s cool and sexy – Reeves, on the other hand, delivers the exact kind of transcendent screen presence and performance that got him praised as “the ultimate messianic stone face” in Constantine, and cast and badly directed in Earth Stood Still (well, from what I’ve seen). He’s one of the major reasons this movie took off and sort of became this pop religion.

    Now, with all that in mind, is you repeating “we all know he’s bland and boring” throughout this video gonna suceed in making me consider or empathize with an alternate sentiment? Well, I’ve looked ahead, and no.

    8:58 No it’s not – that’s just the standard skills, he still has to put effort into the whole psychic stuff. And learns everything about the world and his supposed place in it along with the audience, as it standard. And, since you’re comparing, when did we ever see Luke training to fly a space ship? How did he learn telekinesis inbetween the first two movies? Of course, while this film acknowledges that those skills have to be learned and provides a shortcut, Star Wars is even more magical and escapist and basically just takes that for granted.

    9:10 Plenty of stuff. Go through the whole movie, take any scene where he talks to Morpheus or someone else, he gains new perspectives all the fucking time.

    9:20 He’s supposed to have a hidden talent. Has shown some promise in the training, too.

    9:45 Pointless argument. The fantasy that’s being played out here is about being discovered, learning that fate has great plans for you, and being trained and led through the initiation process. Essentially the exact fantasy that makes people join cults.
    Morpheus is the proactive one… there’s only Father, and he knows what to do. You’re supposed to reach within yourself and discover the hidden awesome, until then you’re in the secure hands of a wise leader and supportive friends. Pretty fucking clear what the concept is – the first four Harry Potter books/films are a close cousin in that regard, even though the kids are “disobedient”, and “figure out stuff on their own”, at the end of the day Dumbledore guides the way, saves the day and knows what to do and what’s best. Then it gets deconstructed, same as here.
    Star Wars is a bit different because Luke is already enthusiastic and arrogant, and has a personal motivation driving him that sets in after he meets Ben, and another that sets in earlier.

    10:35 No, it’s how you join this new “tribe”, all of them superior to you, and how they all react to *you*. This one’s friendly and supportive, that one more of a demanding mentor, this amazon warrior you want to impress is proudly waiting for you to do so, and then theere’s that other guy who’s a bit skeptical and sort of motivates you to get better and win them over. Typical fucking primal fantasy going on here, nothing really deceptive about it – secondary layers, sure I guess, but there’s no confusion about what the primary concept is.

    11:01 And the whole notion that Luke is “bland”, even in the sense that Neo is, is another popular myth that doesn’t really hold up at all if you watch Star Wars. He’s the energetic, youthful swashbuckling hero type, not the “tabula rasa vessel for the viewer”. Ironically, he does morph into somewhat of a sequel Neo by the third one 😉

    11:15 Cause that’s what has to happen, not just one of the really common things that happen. Also, he does get incapacitated forcing him to take initiative, so a version of the same thing still occurs all the same.

    11:30 It’s the second example everyone thinks of right after Star Wars (with Frodo hovering sort of next to all that – he’s not quite as iconic a protagonist as the story he’s in), fits the structure and hits all the beats, and was apparently good enough to make the franchise catch on the way it did.

    12:28 He’s the one who inists on rescuing Morpheus, who makes the leap of faith, and convinces his crewmembers; Trinity just pulls rank in order to join him, and sort of prevents him from losing the ground under his feet too much. She seems to provide the experience, charges the bomb, and leads the way to the helicopter, but Neo does all the “manly heavylifting” and is clearly the main action hero during that whole act; and that’s before he “tames” her after the helicopter crash 😉
    And after that, it’s all him on his own. Enough with the sophistry and just watch the friggin’ movie.

    12:40-13:10 Fucking wrong on all accounts. Someone’s been thinking about forced jokes and smartass things to say too much while watching the film it seems 🙂

    12:35 As someone who thinks there’s too much Tolkien in the Hobbit, Rob definitely should read more Tolkien 😉
    What nonsense is this, Sam is the POV character after the 1st book, but it’s made clear there (changed in the movie version, though) that he doesn’t even understand much of the quest, and is mainly focused on helping his master. Frodo goes through all the intense trials and emotions expected of a solid protagonist in the first book, and then he continues to do so in the next ones… but as he’s slowly sliding off into the dark spirit world, the perspective changes to Sam and he becomes sort of more detached and enigmatic. (Not quite unlike Neo or even Luke, actually. Or Buffy on occasion…)

    In the context of the Fellowship, he’s just the dude carrying the ring, that’s the only true bit of Rob’s observation. All the big men are in charge of the fighting, organization and knowledge, Frodo’s not the leader but just the “ring bearer”. Doesn’t even really decide to go to Moria from what I remember. The disbanding of the fellowship is his actual “death of the mentor” moment – till then he’s still got Aragorn and the others to an extent, it’s only after that that he takes charge.

    13:43-13:50 That’s the “literary analysis” equivalent of quote-mining 😉
    Yea, and after Sam gets attacked by Gollum, Frodo suddenly jumps up and runs towards the crack (hey, who wouldn’t right).

    13:54 Yea that happens a little more assertively in both versions. And no, that’s not any sign of him not being the hero, that’s the hero’s failure.

    13:58 “Favorite” has nothing to do with anything. Rachel is my favorite NC character and she’s not the main one 😉

    Generally speaking, I think a lot of confusion would dissipate if a distinction between “protagonist” and “main character” was made. Why use different terms for the same thing, really, especially if it’s confusing? So let’s say, the main character is the main mover and shaker, the central character is the one everything revolves around, and the protagonist is the one whose perspective it’s told from and sorts of represents the angle/premise of the whole work.
    Or not, whatever.

    15:10 Think of the Zorro film, and observe the difference 🙂

    16:00-16:30 Addressed that under the actual review – it’s a more than acceptable genre feature, may not be entirely consistent between the different acts of the movie.
    I wonder, would it have been an improvement if the deplugging sequence had been a race against time before the Agents found them? Well, that meditative atmosphere would be gone, and it’s one of the great “emotional” anchors of the movie, but would that have been more, I dunno, structural in the end?

    Anyway, there seem to be artificial limitations (nerfs) placed on not just the agents but the whole “enforcement system” of the Matrix. Otherwise, why no have invisible spectres and virtual cameras join in? Just a different movie, you know 🙂

    Take two video games, the first one has you succumb to the first bullet that hits you, and the second has a health bar. What the second one gives you what the first one doesn’t, is the ability to sort of spend lots of time in the danger zone while just manging to get through it.
    The thrill of hiding just out of the agents’ sight, or the relief at them leaving you alone for a while in the context of the over present risk, is ultimately what results from the way things work in this movie. Anyway, repeating myself already, so there.

    16:55-17 What do you mean by “emotion”? If you mean “romantic” interhuman emotions, it’s pretty thin in the first movie – a subtle sexual tension with Trinity, a subdued cordial relationship with the crew, and so on. Tank is the only character with the intense, expressive emotions, but being a supporting character he sort just “colors” all those dark moments in the 2nd half. The love stuff towards the end is unapologetic kitsch more than genuine “emotion”.

    It’s only in Reloaded that this sort of thing starts being attempted at a grand scale, and only in the last act that it actually succeeds, and Revolutions is essentially nothing but sad farewelles and depressing losses, with varying success. Anyone coming up to me and saying Revolutions isn’t a fucking sweeping emotinoal rollercoaster gets no pizza rolls from me if that’s perfectly clear!

    However, once you move away from the sort of ’emotions’ expressed in 19th century romanticism, and move towards the uncanny, surreal and alienating emotions found in Grieg, Scriabin or modernity, it’s a whole different story: the sense of doubt and paranoia accompanying the whole first act, coupled with the luminous yet haunting “truth” waiting around the corner, the shock and awe at thousands of people lying in slimy pods arranged in imposingly huge towers are every bit as intense and captivating as one would expect of a movie that could hijack public sentiments about “false reality” and “denial vs. truth” and become a popular mythology 😉

    Then I guess I was a bit too pretentious with my music analogies, cause the whole “once a man was born who could change anything” would be right at home next to Lohengrin or something – but regardless, the whole “chosen one” arc is achieved with all the glimmer, exhiliration, fun, COOLNESS and spiritual transcendence that would land, um, well you know where this path ends don’t you.
    Above, I said that the whole crew decimation sequence wasn’t done with much emotion save for Tank’s reactions – however, while that aspect is relatively modest, the sense of being lost and the ground hovering down into a dark abyss beneath your boots (even though there are “other ships”, this one is the only familiar one and basically all the people who know the truth, or have found the One at least, are getting killed) is the main actor here and that one, along with Cypher’s creepiness and the appeal of his viewpoint, more than delivers.
    It continues to go through a whole spectrum of different moods and sensations, all as intense as the next one, and eventually concludes in probably one of the most inspiring “enlightenment”/mind over matter sequences in public osmosis.

    Neo’s final message almost seems to reach out to the audience and fill it with hope for something grand and luminous down the road, probably with about the same impact as the return of Arthur (which no one believes in, either).

    Everyone agrees there’s no emotions and just kung fu and cool ideas? Spare me.
    (Johnny Mnemonic would fit your descripion if it was less corny 😀 Well, still does overall – when that disease is cured / the whale sends out that signal / the lady in the interwebz achieves whatever, been a while sorry, it feels really “cool”, and somewhat “inspiring” in a “cool” way, but with none of the “emotions” as just described.)

    17:10-17:13 Even die-hard fans? Yea, at least those seem to disagree, don’t they. But, since the masses are all emotionally driven and the Matrix has become a mainstream icon… not sure if it’s limited to those 🙂

    17:15-17:25 Um, yea, that’s the gist of it. How the heck is “well that’s the only emotion that there sort of is to it” when it’s ONE OF THE MOST BASIC AND COMMON WAYS OF TELLING AN ENGAGING FANTASTICAL STORY, though?!

    18:10 I’m sure if you’d made a convincing case for it that was visibly coming from a genuine, visceral place rather than this dismissive contrarian bandwagon shite the reviews ended up being, people would’ve had much more understanding 🙂
    Partially because there’d be something to understand 😉

    18:23 Another comparison to illustrate my point – take Inception; like the Matrix at its average, it has a love story that is intense and compelling in certain ways (well, that more than the Matrix), but not particularly eomantically engaging. And that’s the ONLY emotional core of the movie as far as main characters are concerned.
    The children in the dream are more of a surreal, cryptic image, and no transcendence or victory over existence is strived for or achieved in the end, and the characters have the enjoyably thin personality of an IMF team. It’s only the whole concept of protruding into subconscious dreamscapes and how all of that looks and feels that stimulates the “emotional centers” at the end of day. Now go back to the Matrix, and compare 🙂
    And then of course, Dark City organically combines the transcendence of the Matrix with equally enthralling romance, which the Matrix really only achieves in the last third of Reloaded.

    18:45 Uh, no, that’s actually kind of a thing in Dark City, and REALLY A THING in Welt am Draht, but the Matrix doesn’t do that at all. It’s only been this way for Neo, and maybe all the other “doubters”, the other people there seem to be just fine.

    18:50 Computer programs are inherently “intriguing”, because they look like humans, they mimick human behavior, yet their experience is incomprehensibly alien and different, and they’re up to whatever in thos limbos, hallways and backdoors. There’s a reason for them to be particularly interesting in general, and some other movie could make the humans bland and the programs colorful using that exact rationale.
    With that said, that’s clearly not what the Matrix does, whether in intent or in action. For instance, Morpheus is more colorful and interesting than the Architect (not a diss against the Architect btw), and Seraph is blander than Mouse.

    22:10 What’s up with this kind of checklist / box mentality where something that doesn’t fit into some particular named trope is therefore off?
    The Matrix characters aren’t supposed to be “the silent trenchcoat gunslinger”, only on occasions. Them talking much isn’t anyone’s mistake to do Clint Eastwood in space, and them not being hip and subcultural isn’t a failure to imitate Tarantino. They’ve got their own thing going on; their longwinded, cryptic speeches are compelling, and a central feature of the style and design.
    And you know what tropes those fit? The cult leader; the smug interrogator; the Bond villain; the villain drunk on newly acquired power; the serious, lecturing elite snob (anyone seeing resemblances between him and Asriel from HDM?); all of those enjoy talking, so I don’t see the problem.

    24:25 Which…. isn’t the case with these movies.
    24:55 Not the case at all – the “mystery” aspect is what drives all of these “details” you’re referring to. Even when the Architect gives a 10 minute history lecture, which Damon Lindeloff mistook for mythology dump but is actually primarily there to create suspense and intrigue. ESPECIALLY when the Architect gives the 10 minute history lecture 🙂

    25:38 Nolan’s Batman was never supposed to be logically airtight edifice – just “grounded” in familiar reality in terms of the originally outlandish, bizarre, larger-than-life characters from the comics getting nerfed.
    The Matrix never fucking claimed to be Hard SF and hence opened itself up to being held to that standard – which is THE ONLY WAY THAT QUESTION WOULD BE RELEVANT. Hell, Morpheus is the one who tells the whole battery story, he doesn’t necessarily know that much about how the Machines work himself, and even admits that openly.

    26:00 About that “deactivating that brain part that does this and that”, that already didn’t work quite well did it. 🙂
    Hey, what if it’s like The Island, and people would simply die without living out a human life? Not medically realistic, but a familiar romantic sort of trope innit.

    26:25 That would’ve actually been a great thing to have done in the movie, having a bunch of characters argue about that! Seeing as how every other piece of Morpheus’ dogma gets refuted later on, why not that as well.

    26:39 It doesn’t need to explain it, all it needs is establish an unreliable lecturer (Morpheus; rebels in general, and Morpheus additionally so, and bam, plot hole / scientific absurdity avoided.
    Also, if it wants to prevent a plot hole from mattering, all it needs to do is be so immersive that the viewer starts imagining explanations/justifications automatically – and, if something seems plausible, then the illusion isn’t broken 🙂

    This whole notion that if the movie doesn’t explain some dodgy plot circumstance then it’s a “failure on the part of the movie” and made-up theories don’t count, is only sometimes valid, not as a universal truth, or even general principle.
    Much less ammunition for the rebellious youngster who wants to show his professors how all their beloved masterpieces are riddled with holes, but hey, that’s a good thing isn’t it :p

    27:18 There’s no difference really. It’s soft sci with little bits of stylistic / immersion serving technobabble, don’t let that fool you.

    27:25 They want to find human individuality that transcends the brain stuff that they can manipulate (memories, personality traits too). That bit is obvious; why they need that for survival is unexplained, and the whole magic vs. science line is pretty blurry. If they’re gnuinely psychic, oh wait, I think I sorta get it. But then why does Murdock say ah fackit.

    27:45 The idea of people being “kept compliant in an illusion to be harvested for their body energy” was provided as an explanation because of its specific emotional impact and specific symbolic implications that were desired for this particular movie. Not to “explain” something that “could’ve remained vague”.
    The Strangers are “studying humans to find that elusive something”, which is a different concept, different branch of philosophy and different mood altogether. There are many other concepts that can be explored, which is why there’s so many stories and movies!!

    27:50 Lol dudes are completely confused… it explains so much, but then it explains so litle, but it explains aal in the first movie but I like the first movie because it just leaves you enough room for thought but the first movie is so concise while the sequels completely lose you but what I find so okay abou the first one is that it doesn’t beat you over the head with explanations, HEY I’VE GOT AN IDEA – how about you stop this disorganized back-and-forth, have a nice sleep, take a step back, and then make sense of what you think of either movie/segment/franchise explaining too much in this respect and too little in that area, organize your thoughts and then maybe put the fear of God into all those pretentious fanboys as you’re convinced you’re doing right now?
    You’re tearing me apart. Just kidding, not really.

    29:40 As already said… he’s considered by many authorities to completely smash in messianic roles. Keanu Reeves as the Messiah… wow, just let that sink in, KEANU REEVES AS THE MESSIAH, well sorry am I supposed to react a certain way? He got cast as a messiah at least 5 times in his career – one of them was a camp movie, one sort of failed because he wasn’t Keanu Reeves enough (according to Kermode a.o.), 2 became cult favorites, and 1 is now a pop religion.
    I’d say the track record ain’t half bad 🙂

    Seriously, look at his face. Look at his long face, look at the eyes filled with existential doubt. Aside from David Duchovny, who else would you wanna cast as a guy seeing conspiratorial creepy shadow governments behind every wall and every creepy TOR link? Craig Bierko was an abject failure; DiCaprio and Löwitsch did “hard boiled”, and Murdock was compelling as a possible serial killer / fugitive / noir hero / Jennifer Connelly’s hot lover / man trying to piece together his identity, a different vibe that movie was going for.
    Hm, Joaquin Phoenix maybe? 🙂

    31:20-33:25 And that’s how you slowly piece together obvious plot points 🙂
    There’s obviously some hardware built into the brain. Everybody’s got a consistent digital appearence, and Smith could download himself into a brain. He has a connection to the central machine computer when he’s unplugged, according to the Oracle, and some central command commands the Sentinels as seen at the end.
    All of this creates an environment in which him having a wireless connection to the robots may seem like a weird plot point to introduce and then pussyfoot around, but certainly not the ridiculous pull-raised-hairs-out-of-the-skull-how-does-it-compute-without-matrix-inside-matrix charade the detractors have blown it up to.

    On the other hand, the fact that the story has been playing out like mythological messianic fantasy so far, or that the Matrix seems to run like one, gives just about enough plausiblity to the idea that the Machines have either achieved spirituality or something resembling it, for the magic/spirit explanation to have just this much more traction than “a wizard did it”.

    The Machines being unable to pick him out can very much said to be the part that’s not thought through if either of those explanations are correct (weeell, let’s ditch the second one will we).
    However, fun clue there – when they’re about to pick him up after saving him from the limbo, the operator says that they couldn’t identify him – and while he was lying in the coma, his signals were those of being plugged in.
    So, what if his wireless connection was to the Matrix, and then from there to the source and then from there to the robots? It arose after a Matrix session – then was “activated” after Link couldn’t see anything suspicious – Bane, though his coma was unexplained, woke up right after Neo got out – and then it took some time for that squid to figure out the connection and do whatever counterattack that was during the charge through those jellyfish bombs cause it was indirect and not obvious.

    So, at the very least, there are very obvious CLUES in the movie that lead to several sensible explanations – which isn’t good enough to shield from criticism regarding sloppy plot consdtruction or clue placing, but more than good enough to put it beyond this whole shocked indignation you tend to see around.

    Oh, and how would Matrix within Matrix not have created that very problem you’ve just brought up? If you think Agents should be able to see through walls and just insta-find anyone they liked, then why couldn’t Sentinels force-choke Neo and find him or Zion in an instant?
    Neo being able to control robots is a game changer; them being able to sense him back is another game changer, and to sense all other humans even another. But it all being a Matrix would mean ALL bets were off… minus, of course, aritificlal constraints put on this virtual word that you dislike when it’s done to the actual Matrix 😉

    30:50 Ironically, the “it’s all a video game” rather than “it’s a conspiracy of shape shifters” explanation creates all of those problems for the stuff that’s been going on before the reveal. So, be thankful they went with an actual conspiracy this time 🙂

    33:40 “At all”? You sure that not “quite”? There’s a consistent determinism / fate / free will theme going on there, along with concepts of coexistence, balance and mutual dependence — both setting up the climactic parts of the movies. Can you point out any dialogue or speech in the movies that doesn’t revolve around that?

    34:10 Has anyone tried that, btw? If you start watching Revolutions somewhere around the transition between the 1st act and 2nd act and pretend you didn’t know the rest, the Zion stuff suddenly becomes much more emotionally compelling because you’re not frustrated with the fact that we’re wasting all this time at the wrong place instead of developing the mythology or something, and how that “intriguing puzzle” has been “reduced” to a “big dumb good vs. evil apocalypse”, and start seeing it for what it is – Return of the King redressed in a cyberpunk setting, with a bit of kitsch thrown in but basically almost on par.

    However, the Zion segment in Reloaded is genuinely lame, with a few exceptions. I think if you just quickly turned that on while it’s on TV, you’d quickly just turn it off.

    39:15 Cause Keanu is boring and Smith is expressive, right? Well, Smith begs to differ – in an interview after the fact, he said he was glad they didn’t cast him cause he would’ve ruined the movie and destroyed the ‘magic’ that Keanu Reeves put on the screen… oops!

    39:38-41:02 Trigger warning for socjus horsecrap.

    41:38 And that’s the most valid point you’ve made so far – the soap opera shite is pretty much the single thing that decisively drags Reloaded down, incl. below the first one. Also contributes to making Revolutions somewhat uneven, though what really really sucks about that one are the cheesy permagrin scenes at the very end.
    However, it’s really specifically Zion that is deadening (well, half of it anyway), and there’s a certain “CTU mundaneness” going on in most of the ship scenes though that’s perfectly fine. However, everything that’s got to do with the machine city, the fields, or even the environment the ships fly in, it’s every bit as compelling, mystical and aesthetical as anything inside the Matrix.

    So yea… this seems somewhat smarter than the actual reviews, however not by much – and, accounting for the release interval, I’d say that difference is about proportional to the difference between the beginning of this video and the ending, between which they’ve figured out the one or other obvious thing as well 😉

    Bunch of largely worthless sophistry that struggles to describe the movies accurately, and certainly doesn’t make any sensible case fpr *anything* in them being less than very good, aside from “those Zion scenes” and one or two plot holes that aren’t anywhere enough to turn good entertainment into mediocre entertainment.
    So in summation, worst TGWTG ever, what a shaiiimful facking parfohmance! Better luck next time 😀

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