We don’t use that word in here.
September 9, 2021 6:09 AM   Subscribe

 
feeling confident that it can’t possibly be a more disappointing revival twenty years after a revolutionary movie trilogy than Star Wars got
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:14 AM on September 9 [27 favorites]


To what extent, if any, will it be necessary to rewatch the latter two films of the initial trilogy for this new one to make sense? I did not enjoy them at the time and they have left my memory entirely since.

I acknowledge that: one, there is a growing contingent that says the sequels are underrated and deserve reappraisal; and two, a Wachowski joint may not make sense in any conventional way anyhow.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:19 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


DirtyOldTown, I don't know about watching but reading a synopsis of the third movie would probably be helpful. I think a lot of this will hinge on understanding that the Matrix got rebooted at the end of Revolutions, and this Neo isn't the same Neo who was alive during those movies (probably? Maybe?) and nobody else remembers what happened.

I imagine it will all be explained within this movie, but if you want that deeper understanding it's worth going back so you can pick up all the little references and narrative Easter eggs.
posted by fight or flight at 6:21 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


I am stupidly excited. I feel as though I should not be, given the misguided cultural effects the Matrix originally had, and the slog the later Matrix films were.

But. I am anyway. I would be a liar if I didn’t acknowledge the mark that the first Matrix left on my soul.

I have found the Wachowski siblings works are at times uneven. But always beautiful, ambitious, and thought provoking.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 6:23 AM on September 9 [23 favorites]


My enjoyment of Wachowski movies has increased with age as my ability to hold multiple conflicting thoughts has improved - this is so stupid, this makes so sense, this is also dumb, this looks weird this is so cool oh my god this is so cool
posted by Think_Long at 6:24 AM on September 9 [39 favorites]


Has anyone made an abridged edition of the Matrix trilogy that includes all the world-building and plot development but skips over those interminable snoozefest action sequences?
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:25 AM on September 9 [10 favorites]


DirtyOldTown, if you're coming to any Wachowski movie looking for it to make sense, well...

I dunno. I'd really like this not to be a nostalgia retread, and for a movie to finally deliver on the philosophical promise of the first Matrix installment, but the glaringly obvious music cue and groovy funky (channel twenty seven) bullet time business really shouts "NERDS GIVE US YOUR MONEY".

So.
posted by prismatic7 at 6:27 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Interesting.

I really need to rewatch the first Matrix, especially with the additional perspective of my gender transition. The trailer definitely looks compelling in a way the other Matrix sequels didn't.
posted by SansPoint at 6:29 AM on September 9 [8 favorites]


Why did Lana ghost Laurence Fishburne? No one seems to know.
posted by gwint at 6:29 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


I'm fond of these two essays about Revolutions and Reloaded, which redeemed those movies for me. I really did not like them when I first saw them and then again on rewatching; they still feel like they don't deliver the way they want to but at least I can see more of an appeal.
posted by kokaku at 6:30 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


It always sort of feels like a shame that there weren't proper 4-hour director's cut releases of the sequels that maybe did a better job of stringing things together than the theatric releases did. A full top to bottom rewatch has been on my to-do list for a while and yet it hasn't happened because ehhh (gestures at the world).

I haven't gone looking, have any of the Big Name Youtube Film Theorists (Mikey, Foldable Human, Sarah Z, etc) had a swing at expanding on the sequels?

But yeah, the original matrix was such a deep mark on my 20-something soul in 1999, it's hard to deny that this feels like it wants to scratch some of the same itches for my 40-something soul in 2021.
posted by Kyol at 6:30 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


HOW I MET YOUR MATRIX
posted by chavenet at 6:31 AM on September 9 [56 favorites]


If this movie were nothing more than Lana Wachowski spending 2+ hours semiologically berating the alt-right internet chuds for appropriating she and her sister's "red pill" metaphor, it would be worth it. I recently rewatched Matrix Reloaded and found it a great deal more engaging and relevant than I did almost 20 years ago, and am planning to rewatch Revolutions sometime in the next month or two so I'm semi-fresh before the new one; I'm excited to see one of our more interesting (if not always consistent) filmmakers try to redefine their previous work for a new generation while also clarifying it for the fanboy dullards who misunderstood it the first time out.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:34 AM on September 9 [36 favorites]


Interesting how both the trailer and the teaser poster seem to be making such a big deal about red pill/blue pill given how much cultural baggage that has now.
posted by gwint at 6:34 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


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posted by lalochezia at 6:37 AM on September 9 [29 favorites]


The first half of the trailer was intriguingly portentous. The second half with the fight scenes was much less interesting, though with some good visual bits.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 6:41 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


Interesting how both the trailer and the teaser poster seem to be making such a big deal about red pill/blue pill given how much cultural baggage that has now.

I don't think that's an accident, considering how the Wachowskis have engaged with far-right figures co-opting that symbolism for their own awful, dehumanizing ends.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:46 AM on September 9 [12 favorites]


If this movie were nothing more than Lana Wachowski spending 2+ hours semiologically berating the alt-right internet chuds for appropriating she and her sister's "red pill" metaphor, it would be worth it

Time to revisit a classic.
posted by fight or flight at 6:48 AM on September 9 [22 favorites]


It kind of looks like they just re-made the first movie, except with better effects?
posted by PercussivePaul at 6:49 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Yeah this trailer struck me as "remember The Matrix? Y'all liked that movie! I'm gonna remake it for you. Here's a white rabbit tattoo. Here's the red pill. Here's Keanu Reeves learning kung fu by VR fighting not-Laurence-Fishburne. Weren't all those iconic scenes great?!" Maybe that's a fake-out though. I sure hope so. The Wachowskis have done such creative work and I love them all, even Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending.

The not-Laurence-Fishburne thing is a bit of drama. "I am not in the next ‘Matrix’ movie, and you’d have to ask Lana Wachowski why, because I don’t have an answer for that.". We get Yahya Abdul-Mateen as the young Morpheus though, that works for me. He was great in Watchmen. I wonder if they replaced Fishburne just because they wanted someone who looked young for some plot reason. Keanu looks deliberately old in a lot of scenes in this trailer, I'm guessing they make age a thing in the story.

Lilly Wachowski says she's not involved because "coming out and just being completely exhausted, my world was like, falling apart to some extent even while I was like, you know, cracking out of my egg. So I needed this time away from this industry."
posted by Nelson at 6:50 AM on September 9 [10 favorites]


feeling confident that it can’t possibly be a more disappointing revival twenty years after a revolutionary movie trilogy than Star Wars got

"You hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability. That is the sound of your death. Goodbye, Mr. Anderson."

"My name... is Neo Skywalker."
posted by Groundhog Week at 6:57 AM on September 9 [15 favorites]


Maybe that's a fake-out though.

I sure hope so! One of my armchair-writing druthers is that everything being a simulation nearly goes without saying: of course everyone's in the matrix! The real problem is that the simulation is breaking down with an accelerating rate of bad-weirdness. Everyone knows it's happening, the agents who deny that it's happening are clearly operating in bad faith, everything feels hopeless and so it seems that no one can do anything about it. (You are helpless, Mr. Anderson. Give up.)

Alternately, I'd enjoy the comedy of inevitable audience howling if it turns out that all the action and 'memberberry scenes that are in the movie are in the trailer, as very brief flash-to sequences Neo's having in therapy, and it really is just a long conversation piece about the cathartic release of power fantasy, but violence tends not to work out so neatly in the desert of the real even when you get really good at it.
posted by Drastic at 7:05 AM on September 9 [14 favorites]


The not-Laurence-Fishburne thing is a bit of drama. "I am not in the next ‘Matrix’ movie, and you’d have to ask Lana Wachowski why, because I don’t have an answer for that."

Very strange that, at least to my eyes, the new actor/character looks and acts so much like Fishburne as Morpheus: bald, glasses, race, costume choices, etc. Not quite to the level of replacing Crispin Glover in Back to the Future 2 (for which Glover successfully sued; they really tried to make it seem like Glover was in the movie when he wasn't), but still.
posted by msbrauer at 7:11 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I'm very, very excited - if only because I belong to an extremely small subset of theology nerds who desperately leaned on the third matrix film as a visual representation of the Ransom Theory of Atonement and failed to convince any of our seminarians to actually sit down and watch the damned thing.
There is a doctoral thesis sitting in a digital library somewhere that ties together the film with Christus Victor and trans/queer theology and I hope whoever wrote it is having a good day.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:15 AM on September 9 [9 favorites]


Found a goofy theory on Reddit: "Keanu Reeves is playing Keanu Reeves, and discovers while filming a fourth Matrix movie that he's actually Neo"

I'd be up for that.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:26 AM on September 9 [48 favorites]


I'm in team Unapologetically Stupidly Excited.

The reason The Matrix has so much baggage is because it is such a profoundly important cultural artifact! I often think about how hard it is now to remember how incredibly groundbreaking the first movie was. For that reason alone, I'll always be excited to have another opportunity to think about it and watch a new iteration.

The special effects were so new, and so utterly amazing. The effects were copied and parodied to death because they were so innovative, but that ubiquity afterwards is also what makes it really difficult to remember what it was like to see those scenes for the first time.

Also, one thing that has changed since the first movie, which I suspect will have an impact on my viewing, is that I have more respect for Keanu Reeves now: as a genuinely kind hearted celebrity and as an actor.
posted by EllaEm at 7:34 AM on September 9 [19 favorites]


I hope the whole thing is an exploration of the end of the second film, where we discover that Neo can interact directly with the machines without needing to be inside the Matrix.

Or that it’s just a Neo/Trinity romcom. That would be fine too.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:37 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


The second and third films kinda plodded along unlike the first. More tight editing would have gotten them much closer to the first without sacrificing the message. The other issue with them is that explaining the mystery is never as much fun (in a film) as setting it up and giving hints about what's really happening. Still, they weren't by any means bad films. At no point in them was I sitting there thinking "this is a bad film and I'm not sure why I'm still watching it." That happens to me sometimes, though I usually end up hatewatching to the end anyway.

Will definitely watch the new one, but I'm expecting mediocre and hoping for better, like how I handled the RoboCop reboot. That one wasn't a terrible film on its own, it was just that it paled in comparison to the original. In that way it was similar to Reloaded and Revolutions.
posted by wierdo at 7:37 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I'm in! I remember absolutely being blown away by the first one, and lukewarm on the next two. Maybe I should schedule a rewatch at some point.
posted by Kitteh at 7:40 AM on September 9


This trailer has the feeling of discovery and wonder, like the first Matrix.
The second Matrix thought if Agent Smith is good, let's make a hundred Agent Smiths. That was so inherently bad because there was no sense of danger. Neo could fight a hundred Agent Smiths. Neo was Superman punching down.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:44 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Given that Lilly has been pretty outspoken about the movies being a transgender metaphor, I'm hoping that the movie will have a few prominent trans cast members who maybe haven't been revealed yet. It would be a little disappointing to have the fourth movie coming out with an all cis cast at a time when trans stories are especially vital and better understood.
posted by fight or flight at 7:45 AM on September 9 [12 favorites]


Where they messed up is that the second move should have centered Trinity. That could have been a worthy sequel. Maybe they’ll fix that now.
posted by sjswitzer at 7:45 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


I'm totally in, I'll watch whatever either one of the Wachowskis makes, because even when their projects fall short, they are beautifully creatively ambitious, and I respect the reach almost as much as the grasp.

Fishburne, very respectful despite having to constantly answer questions about a project he's not involved in: “I have not been asked to join them, which is fine. I am hopeful that it will be wonderful and it will satisfy audiences and that people will love it.” I'll miss him in this movie (and wonder if Lana Wachowski can't comment on why his version of Morpheus can't be in the movie without revealing important story info? or if maybe there's a personal thing there that both parties are too respectful to comment on publicly?).

The other issue with them is that explaining the mystery is never as much fun (in a film) as setting it up and giving hints about what's really happening.

That's kind of the problems with the second and third films in a nutshell, they did too much telling and not enough showing.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:46 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


I'm in! I remember absolutely being blown away by the first one

When I saw the original for a second time in theaters, I brought friends with me to show them how off the charts it was. I have a very concrete memory of walking out of the theater and having to just sit down in the hallway to babble and grin like a maniac. I imagine I'm not the only one to have that kind of reaction.

So count me as cautiously optimistic. Also, is there a more obvious needle drop in the history of trailers than that one?
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:48 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


Interesting how both the trailer and the teaser poster seem to be making such a big deal about red pill/blue pill given how much cultural baggage that has now.

There's a site for the teaser trailers that makes an even more explicit use of that choice, but while it does a cute thing with your clock it doesn't otherwise appear to make much difference which you choose. I would hope that Lana can manage to fuck up the dinguses appropriating her work for their dingusy ends.

Yeah this trailer struck me as "remember The Matrix? Y'all liked that movie! I'm gonna remake it for you. Here's a white rabbit tattoo. Here's the red pill. Here's Keanu Reeves learning kung fu by VR fighting not-Laurence-Fishburne. Weren't all those iconic scenes great?!" Maybe that's a fake-out though. I sure hope so. The Wachowskis have done such creative work and I love them all, even Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending.

I agree on all counts: a fake-out would be welcome as there were too many "this is the exact same scene but with 22 more years of CGI experience added" in the trailer to look like an original film. But I'll choose to believe in her ability to make this great until I'm proven wrong.

I would also say that I unironically love Revoltutions, I cry every damn time at the ending when they break through the clouds, and I highly recommend you watch it if you avoided it after the clunkiness of Reloaded. It's fun, it's full of heart and the final battle is brill.
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 7:49 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


Also, as emphasized by the shot in the middle of the trailer there is an incredibly rich vein to be mined around what smartphones have done to social interactions since the original movie came out. We’re all running around with our own little projected reality in front of us, no Matrix required.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:51 AM on September 9 [12 favorites]


Just here to point out that David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon co-wrote this with Lana, so I'm comfortable putting considerable money on this being significantly deeper than the trailer might imply.
posted by minervous at 7:51 AM on September 9 [21 favorites]


I imagine it will all be explained within this movie...

AHHHHAHAHAHA, HAAAA, Heh...Good one.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:52 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


I shouldn't get my hopes up for this, but somehow my hopes are high, despite Jupiter Ascending. I find Wachowski movies are always fun while you're watching them, though how you feel an hour later varies.

I haven't watched the Matrix sequels since they came out but I remember from Reloaded an amazing car chase and Juno Reactor on the soundtrack which was enough for me.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:56 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


So it's either Meta-rix or Meh-trix from the looks of the trailer. Or both. Probably both.
posted by lawrencium at 7:57 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Yeah this trailer struck me as "remember The Matrix? Y'all liked that movie! I'm gonna remake it for you.

From the trailer it looks like they are taking the same approach as James Cameron did for Aliens: do a remake of the original that maintains a lot of the same narrative arc and plot points, just with better VFX and mostly younger actors other than the star.

Also: I do hope that the action sequences don't rely on Bullet Time as much as it seems in the trailer. That shit was gobsmackingly cool in 1999 but it was already kinda played out by the time the sequels rolled around.
posted by googly at 8:00 AM on September 9


"Neo: [looking at red pill] so is this still the one to make me….

Trinity: …become a tiresome heap of body soil who uses sophomoric pseudo-philosophy to make being a douche some kind of heroic virtue?

Neo: . . . .

Trinity: Sorry. They get on my nerves a little."

-- Popehat on twitter
posted by valkane at 8:01 AM on September 9 [16 favorites]


Morpheus permadied in the (canon) Matrix Online MMO, so I figured that plus the whole "reboot/resurrection" theme was a plausible reason for the cast change.
posted by CrystalDave at 8:01 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


The reason The Matrix has so much baggage is because it is such a profoundly important cultural artifact! I often think about how hard it is now to remember how incredibly groundbreaking the first movie was.

Yah this is one of those movies where I had a meta-experience all the way through. I got dragged to it knowing nothing about it. I assumed it was another Johnny Neumonic and was going to be fucking terrible.

When it started I remember thinking the muted colors and the production values were good. Then they pulled Neo out of the Matrix and I thought "oh, this is kind of fun." And then during the martial arts fight with Morpheus I distinctly remember thinking "oh damn, these guys actually learned kung fu for this. That never happens."

By the time the bank shootout in all its insane slo-mo glory got underway I was like "wtf this is actually really well done" and then the bullet time bit happened and I knew I was watching something I hadn't seen in a film before and I had seen A LOT of films.

So yah, the original film has an okay story but man oh man the Wachowskis literally re-wrote the book on how to tell a story. And for that they should be lauded. I would say that I don't know that lightning can strike twice, but they did seem to do it again with Speed Racer (again, not a great story but hoo buddy do they understand how to use tech to tell a story in new visual ways) so who knows? Maybe this will get hype.
posted by nushustu at 8:07 AM on September 9 [16 favorites]


Sidebar: what hold does Magnum Research have on Hollywood? Every damn movie for the past 20 years features a stupid Desert Eagle as a synecdoche for "gun wielded by total badass". They are ugly and boring and awful to shoot; find another gun, firearm wranglers.
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 8:10 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Does every movie trailer have to have a cover of a classic song? At least this one wasn't slowed down and moody, which seems to be the trend.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 8:12 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


I went into this feeling "meh" and came out feeling excited. The first film is a genuine modern classic that still holds up. The sequels have individual scenes and moments that stand out but are ultimately unnecessary in my mind.

I do hope the first half of this trailer represents more like 30 minutes of the film rather than 5.

Also, just as a small aside, I respect a trailer that doesn't give you the entire plot but acts more of a mood piece and sets out the themes of a film. This maybe dipped a bit too much into the plot side but is far from some of the really egregious examples I've seen. Nolan, for whatever you think of his films, generally has excellent trailers. The original Matrix trailer was an incredible example of teasing and not telling.

A good trailer let's you know what the film is about, not necessarily what happens in the film.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:13 AM on September 9


Keanu looks deliberately old in a lot of scenes in this trailer, I'm guessing they make age a thing in the story.


I'm not sure that's a deliberate thing, I think that's just how Keanu looks today and he doesn't seem to change his look at all anymore. Almost seems like he won't do movies where he has to cut his hair and shave, except the last Bill & Ted movie in which he shaved and was probably a real compromise for him.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:15 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Nelson thank you for answering what was going to be my question about why it was only Lana no Lilly.
My enjoyment of Wachowski movies has increased with age as my ability to hold multiple conflicting thoughts has improved - this is so stupid, this makes so sense, this is also dumb, this looks weird this is so cool oh my god this is so cool
posted by Think_Long
This is exactly my approach to Jupiter Ascending. An incredibly stupid film I just loved.
posted by Wretch729 at 8:17 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


At the end of Reloaded I was absolutely convinced that the third movie was going to start with the premise that the apparent "real world" was actually another level of simulation. This seemed totally obvious, because Neo has the magical power to interact with machines and Smith could possess someone. So they go back to Zion and the leadership is like "okay Neo how are we going to fight the machines" and Neo is like "actually we have a much larger problem, this world isn't real".

The power of the One is to recognize when he's in a simulation, and Smith's motivation becomes to escape to being an agent in the next level of simulation. But maybe the next level of simulation has its own agents? Maybe late in the movie they escape another level of simulation and now have to figure out if this level is the real world or not?

I was horribly disappointed by Revolutions.
posted by allegedly at 8:18 AM on September 9 [19 favorites]


Does every movie trailer have to have a cover of a classic song?

Uh, I'm pretty sure that's the original version. Jefferson Airplane. Grace Slick.
posted by goatdog at 8:22 AM on September 9 [19 favorites]


The only two things I liked about The Matrix were Morpheus and Agent Smith. Neither are in this sequel. Boo!
posted by Beholder at 8:27 AM on September 9


At the end of Reloaded I was absolutely convinced that the third movie was going to start with the premise that the apparent "real world" was actually another level of simulation.

I came out of Reloaded raving about it, because I thought this was the case, which would've been awesome. It's a lot like The Last Jedi in that way - maybe a little uneven and with some unnecessary parts, but expanding the world and opening up new questions. Then snuffed out in part III.
posted by condour75 at 8:27 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


This looks amazing and I am super excited for it. The original Matrix is one of my all-time favorite movies, having first seen it two days after it was released in a large movie theater in NYC without knowing a damn thing going into it. I remember being disappointed by the sequels at the time (particularly the third one), but Jupiter Ascending has taught me to just let Wachowski pictures flow by without requiring them to make too much sense, so I think I'll watch them again with that attitude.

And... AND... somehow I missed that David Mitchell cowrote the script. He is just about my favorite author, and I absolutely loved the Wachowskis' (admittedly imperfect) movie of Cloud Atlas.

I will watch the hell out of this. Also, fuck the right wingers who have coopted the red pill philosophy. They can eat a bag of dicks. I hope every character in the new Matrix is some form of gay or trans and explicitly speaks in support of universal healthcare at some point during the movie.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 8:27 AM on September 9 [8 favorites]


I saw the 1st one alone because I couldn't wait, I was really intrigued by the trailer, and then proceeded to drag as many friends as I could to see it the next day, because it was SO AWESOME! The reveal, the FXs, the coolness! You can't really ever top that, that's a bit of the issue with the sequels, bar was way too high, and the 1st one ends with a fully levelled up Neo so there isn't much progression for him left.

Plus they went to the sequels with "infinite" money + the firm intention of topping whatever FXs they did in the 1st one and that's probably why a lot of sequences kinda fall flat, designed to use FXs that were impossible before, but not really designed to be fun. I was working for a company that contracted directly for their FX coordinators at the time, they did some really complicated things nobody did before on those 2 movies, but technical difficulty doesn't always translate to screen and it's only a mater of time until other movies can copy you, they were still pissed everybody was doing bullet time avec the 1st one. Plus it was too much too soon for CG Neo/AgentSmith, just looked really bad.

I have kind of a "The Force Awakens" vibe from that trailer, since it evokes so many scenes from the 1st one, but then again that's the good one. Youngpheus doesn't work for me, its missing the LF voice, but lets see how it plays out. I'm not really hopeful, since I was never really super entertained by anything the Wachowskis released after The Matrix, but maybe this is the one.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 8:30 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


I need for at least 45 minutes of this movie to be NPH shopping for those blue frames.
posted by mittens at 8:30 AM on September 9 [14 favorites]


The trailer made me go from completely uninterested in a sequel to hyped for December 22 to get here already.
posted by simmering octagon at 8:39 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


We're all still plugged into capitalism today, is a fourth movie really going to wake people up, or is the soma just too good now.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:41 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I'm excited. To me, the first movie was an amazing movie, the second movie was an amazing action movie, and the third movie...was a movie. I will rewatch them all.

It looks like they are pulling out all the stops for action set pieces for these movies, and well, given that reloaded still has one of the best chase set pieces of all time...I'm ok with that. I'd love for it also to be generally good, but like...have you seen speed racer? I'm ok with just letting them do what they want.
posted by wooh at 8:42 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Every damn movie for the past 20 years features a stupid Desert Eagle

God yes.

There is a certain kind of young male who aspires to owning a DEagle. They're universally terrible people who want to own a terrible gun because they think it will make them cool and intimidating and it is just so fucking tiresome and could we just stop fucking encouraging them?

...like, shiiiit, if we gotta do the fucking gun thing still then couldn't we at least glamorize something fascinating? Like an engraved gilt-laden geared wheel-lock dueling pistol or something? Not another goddamn DEagle.
posted by aramaic at 8:43 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


I loved Speed Racer! I'll admit the movie has its flaws but visually it's astonishing. And totally novel, much in the same way The Matrix was. Folks don't give it the respect it deserves. Maybe because of all the flaws.
posted by Nelson at 8:43 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


I loved Speed Racer!

I would really like to watch Speed Racer, but I am genuinely concerned that it will trigger a seizure.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:49 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


— And when White Rabbit comes to that fantastic note where the rabbit bites its own head off, I want you to throw that fuckin' radio into the tub with me!

— Fuck, man. You've gone completely sideways! That'll blast you right through the wall. You'll be stone dead in ten seconds. Fuck, they'll make me explain things. Shit.
posted by Tom-B at 8:49 AM on September 9 [15 favorites]


Every damn movie for the past 20 years features a stupid Desert Eagle

Reviewing the Internet Movie Firearms Database, it looks like the 1990s were peak Desert Eagle, so more like 30 years. Also Arnold had one in Commando in 1985!
posted by paper chromatographologist at 8:50 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Every damn movie for the past 20 years features a stupid Desert Eagle

Could be worse.
posted by me & my monkey at 8:52 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


The only way possible for this to be good is if it SUBVERTS the red pill stolen by the puas/incels.

A good way to do it would be multiple layers of illusion, just like Lem's Futurological Congress.

This was a fan theory from before 2 and 3 came out, the Red Matrix. Neo's powers working in the 'real world' seemed like a huge hint pointing to this.

But alas, it was not to be.
posted by Tom-B at 8:54 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]



Every damn movie for the past 20 years features a stupid Desert Eagle


More like 35+ years, that gun debuted in Robocop! I remember it being new in that film. And yeah, I hate gun glamorization too btw.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:55 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


prismatic7, allegedly, you're looking for eXistenZ.
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 8:57 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


I'm having a hard time not seeing Keanu as John Wick in this trailer and it's kind of breaking my brain. I mean you could totally retcon John Wick into the Matrix universe and it would still make just about as much sense.

Though the bit where he's in the bathtub with the rubber duck made me laugh.
posted by loquacious at 9:01 AM on September 9 [9 favorites]


Huh. Didn’t expect much going into it, but it’s more interesting than I thought it would be. Agree that this is a great chance to right the wrongs of the past and show how the Red Pill only takes you to another layer of illusion/delusion. Take that, Elon.

But more importantly: is the psychologist Neil Patrick Harris?
posted by saturday_morning at 9:03 AM on September 9


saturday_morning yes! this looks so exciting, I cannot wait and have scheduled a rewatch of the first Matrix.
posted by ellieBOA at 9:06 AM on September 9


I like Yahya Abdul-Mateen, I think he's an excellent actor, but I don't love the feeling I got from the trailer that they felt like they could just replace one bald black guy with another bald black guy and nobody would notice the difference. Finding out that it's not "we wanted Laurence Fishburne but he had unavoidable conflicts so we had to work out around it as best we could" and instead he doesn't even know why he's not in the movie makes that feeling even worse.

That said, if this can successfully rewrite or destroy the cultural baggage attached to "red pill/blue pill", I'll forgive the movie for that and more. Gonna be an uphill battle, though, given how resistant the red-pill crowd is to facts that don't fit their narrative.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:09 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


There is a certain kind of young male who aspires to owning a DEagle. They're universally terrible people who want to own a terrible gun because they think it will make them cool and intimidating and it is just so fucking tiresome and could we just stop fucking encouraging them?

I'm not sure switching to another gun will really change anything, but my personal take on guns is that if you own any handgun you're a terrible person and it's on you to prove me you aren't. Also Matrix movies are about guns & kung fu, might as well be all in.

To the average person I guess it's a big gun that looks mean, that makes it a good prop for a movie, albeit not that original. Also I only learned what a DE was because of Snatch ("Desert Eagle Point Five O"), despite having watched so many movies they're in.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 9:10 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


I like Yahya Abdul-Mateen, I think he's an excellent actor, but I don't love the feeling I got from the trailer that they felt like they could just replace one bald black guy with another bald black guy and nobody would notice the difference

Don't get too worked up, there's a chance he might be a young Morpheus bu that's not confirmed yet apparently.
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:13 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I really hope that if the movie doesn't do anything about the cultural baggage of the red pill, it doesn't get lambasted for something it's not even the original matrix's fault.
posted by simmering octagon at 9:17 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who finds this boring? Just dropping a bunch of references to the original movie doesn't do much for me. Seems like a "Force Awakens" move.

It's not even visually distinctive in the way the previous Matrix films were. They've gotten rid of the greenish color grading, which was one of the most unique aspects of the original movies. This looks much more like a generic contemporary sci-fi/action movie.

The only thing about it that seems at all interesting is that they've returned to having the protagonist genuinely uncertain about what's real and what's not, which gave the first movie its energy. I thought the second and third films were pretty bland, because that foundational question had been basically settled after the first film.

The sequels would have been more interesting if, for example, we'd had new point-of-view characters who were still trapped in the Matrix and only beginning to awaken to the higher reality, with help from Neo, Morpheus, and friends.

But after Neo was liberated, it seemed like nobody really cared about liberating the rest of the plugged-in folks. They were just treated as disposable NPCs. It kind of undermined the moral logic of the whole story for me.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 9:23 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Are there dogs in the Matrix? Specifically puppies?
posted by El Curioso at 9:26 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


it's not a matrix without a nokia 8110 banana phone. it's like they forgot everything that made matrix good.
posted by logicpunk at 9:28 AM on September 9 [11 favorites]


Are there dogs in the Matrix? Specifically puppies?

Can you, as the audience, pet them?
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:29 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


I'm having a hard time not seeing Keanu as Johnny Silverhand ....
posted by mfoight at 9:30 AM on September 9


if we gotta do the fucking gun thing still then couldn't we at least glamorize something fascinating

How about the ER doctors who try to repair the damage. Never hear much about those folks.

Still, disappointed to hear Agent Smith is not in this, as a heroic tale is ultimately only as interesting as the villain that must be overcome. Lame villains might be good for laughs, like that guy on the skateboard on Hackers, but if you want heroics then it needs to be quality. So that may be quite a loss, unless the filmmakers have managed to find another baddie of the same level of menace or better.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:31 AM on September 9


HOW I MET YOUR MATRIX

Only if they retain the nonsensical conceit of Bob Saget voicing the adult version of Keanu Reeves, as if he would just randomly morpheus into some other person with a totally different voice when he's already an adult. (cf. Family Guy skit about said conceit)
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:32 AM on September 9


I'm ready for this to be nostalgic retread rubbish, but I will also admit watching the trailer made the following Ao3 tags flash through my mind: 'The Lake House AU, Neo/Trinity, angst, soulmates, reincarnation, Author Chose Not To Use Warnings, 34/?'
posted by cendawanita at 9:39 AM on September 9 [8 favorites]


There are no more land lines anywhere, they must be stuck in the Matrix.
posted by sammyo at 9:51 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


Uh, I'm pretty sure that's the original version. Jefferson Airplane. Grace Slick.

it's the original, albeit with some new sounds added and a rather MASSIVE reimagining of the original mastering. I have to say I quite liked it in the context of the trailer -- psychedelic grandeur writ LARGE.

I'll be pleasantly surprised if the actual movie is as good.
posted by philip-random at 9:52 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


I was underwhelmed by the action in this trailer, but I don't blame it so much as Hollywood progressing and the the bar for visual magic going higher and higher. The original had a lot of memorable CGI imagery, the sequels not as much but still a treat, the scenes from this one look pretty standard because probably any film in its budget range can pull it off with the right team. Even Christopher Nolan's elaborate action set pieces are looking stale nowadays, over a decade after Inception. I'm not sure if this Matrix will have any as iconic scenes as the wire-fu subway jump, the dodging bullets, scenes like that. That said, I'm gonna watch and not judge until after.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:57 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


100% less Hugo Weaving, as others have pointed out.. disappointing.. my brain has spun a highly plausible return of Agent Smith and I'm sorry the film makers did not consult me on this project
posted by elkevelvet at 9:58 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


it's the original, albeit with some new sounds added and a rather MASSIVE reimagining of the original mastering. I have to say I quite liked it in the context of the trailer -- psychedelic grandeur writ LARGE.

Totally agree -- I got chills when the Matrix-y 16th-note strings came in over Grace Slick's voice near the end of the trailer. Excellent use of that tune.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:58 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


If this is nothing more than 90m of dunking on the alt-right gamergate 'redpilled' assholes for getting The Matrix so wrong, dayenu.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:05 AM on September 9 [14 favorites]


Hugo Weaving was apparently offered the role but they couldn't make the scheduling work. Details here (mild spoilers): note it's from Jan 2020. Those mild spoilers led me to this more spoilery article about an actor no one's mentioned yet in the trailer. I should add these are all very mild spoilers, some unsourced speculation about what the plot of the movie will be.
posted by Nelson at 10:10 AM on September 9


Was not expecting a Doogie Howser crossover
posted by one for the books at 10:16 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


From the trailer it looks like they are taking the same approach as James Cameron did for Aliens: do a remake of the original that maintains a lot of the same narrative arc and plot points, just with better VFX and mostly younger actors other than the star.

Is that even accurate, though? Aliens is a very different movie from Alien, other than the series' defining formula of "people investigate xenomorphs, hubris and corporate meddling leads to slaughter, Ripley fixes it and is heroic."
posted by Apocryphon at 10:17 AM on September 9 [12 favorites]


Was thinking about the iconic green color grading mentioned upthread so went to rewatch the trailer - there is more emphasis on yellows this time (perhaps in reference to Sati's new dawn at the end of Revolutions?) and there's something weird about the descending green code at the end... there is rising yellow code interspersed...
posted by Molesome at 10:20 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


It looks digital. The original Matrix was shot on film and while I'm by no means a snob regarding the "film vs digital" argument, the feel from the bits in the trailer is very different from the previous movies. I'm wondering if/how that might be paid off.
posted by jscalzi at 10:21 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


it's the original, albeit with some new sounds added and a rather MASSIVE reimagining of the original mastering.

I like it more than the original - Grace Slick was always poorly served by her mediocre backing band. That amazing angry-laser-beam of a voice deserves a suitable setting
posted by thatwhichfalls at 10:21 AM on September 9 [8 favorites]


Was not expecting a Doogie Howser crossover

Doogie Howser, LCSW-C.

Was thinking about the iconic green color grading mentioned upthread so went to rewatch the trailer - there is more emphasis on yellows this time (perhaps in reference to Sati's new dawn at the end of Revolutions?) and there's something weird about the descending green code at the end... there is rising yellow code interspersed...

I thought about that too. I assume it has something to do with this being a reboot/update of the Matrix itself, and they've fixed or changed the color issues.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 10:26 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Maybe Neil Patrick Harris is the new Agent Smith. It was the therapist, all along!
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:27 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I'm also liking Chuck Tingle's theory that NPH is Thomas Andersen's film agent, & he's Keanu playing Thomas playing Neo (who turns out to be actually Neo). (courtesy of Cipher's monologue from the first film about being reincarnated as Ronald Reagan)

Is it likely? Probably not.
Is it fun? Sure.
posted by CrystalDave at 10:35 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Maybe Neil Patrick Harris is the new Agent Smith. It was the therapist, all along!

Given that he's likely the one pushing the blue pills, I suspect he's part of whatever plan/strategy the Architect has implemented to keep Neo under control. Given that the prior version of Neo did the unexpected and chose Trinity over founding new Zion, this trailer looks to me like whatever happened with the redesign/reboot of the Matrix involved a plan to keep the two of them apart.
posted by nubs at 10:46 AM on September 9


I was trying to figure out which character Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was playing in the Watchmen movie and was coming up blank.... and then I realized I was not thinking about the right thing! He's in the excellent TV serie, which I had somehow managed to forget about.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 10:52 AM on September 9


The heavy emphasis on pills is because the Architect sold the Matrix to Libria meaning John Preston will make an appearance and he and Neo will do gun kata.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:52 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Well I'm just excited to find out how King George fits into all this
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:54 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


There is a certain kind of young male who aspires to owning a DEagle

“Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the
right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I
moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years.
if my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to
revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping
out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.
Hiro used to feel that way, too, but then he ran into Raven.”
― Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

Am thinking there is some overlap...
posted by rozcakj at 10:59 AM on September 9 [14 favorites]


This trailer has the feeling of discovery and wonder, like the first Matrix.

The first Matrix worked so well because it was essentially a story of discovering something wondrous. Because it was released before everyone was on the interwebs and Twitter, they managed to make and release a massive blockbuster about completely new characters in an unknown universe, which everyone went to see on opening weekend despite having no idea what it was actually about. Twenty years later, I don't think you could do that if you wanted to, which means the discovery part will have to work differently. I'm really hoping they don't play it like a campy amnesia story, where Neo has to relearn and re-level up from Level 1 to Level 20 before he can fight the big bad.

The second Matrix thought if Agent Smith is good, let's make a hundred Agent Smiths. That was so inherently bad because there was no sense of danger. Neo could fight a hundred Agent Smiths. Neo was Superman punching down.

I always got the sense that the Wachowskis had no intention of making a second movie, and when the first one made a zillion dollars and the studio contracted them for two more, they hit some plot problems that they just couldn't overcome. Chiefly, the first Matrix ended with Neo being a functional god, able to bend reality to his will. Much like Superman writers must have learned, you can't have an omnipotent protagonist and still tell any sort of heroic story. You either have to nerf your protagonist's powers, scale the opposition up to a similar level, or tell the story of the protagonist prevailing against himself. Reloaded opted for #2, and kind of tried to lampshade it by having Neo exclaim on Smith's newfound abilities early in the movie ("Upgrades!"), but it always rang hollow because Agents are just parts of the Matrix, and Neo nominally has total control over the Matrix, so the danger never felt real. Even the climactic fight between Neo and uber-Smith felt inadequate to me when I first saw it, because there was no way Hugo Weaving was going to win that fight. To this day, I still don't know why they didn't take another approach to creating bad guys who were an actual threat.
posted by Mayor West at 11:00 AM on September 9 [9 favorites]


he's likely the one pushing the blue pills

Your choice of violence in different simulations can come in pill or bullet flavor.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:03 AM on September 9


Phantom Menace came out the same year, The Matrix was the perfect antidote for its meh-ness. For the original, the Wachowskis hired comic book artists to illustrate a page for each $100K in the $60M budget -- I've got to think that made it more focused. The original has this great pacing and tension, there's always an ambush or a visit to the matrix to anticipate.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:04 AM on September 9


I also saw the first Matrix in a second-run theater with no expectations, never saw a trailer, had no idea what it was about. That's the best way.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:07 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


I always got the sense that the Wachowskis had no intention of making a second movie, and when the first one made a zillion dollars and the studio contracted them for two more, they hit some plot problems that they just couldn't overcome.

I think they clearly had more ideas for this world they've created, but much like George Lucas, they were consumed by their own brilliance or cleverness and had no one to tell them to dial it back a little in order to tell something coherent. So the sequels are steeped in cryptic symbols and references, hints of off-screen lore. A mythic saga undone by half-baked philosophy and lack of payoffs. The sequels sort of forecasted how modern high concept prestige TV shows from Lost or Battlestar Galactica onwards were unable to pull together all of their intriguing plot threads and teases that went nowhere.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:07 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


For the original, the Wachowskis hired comic book artists to illustrate a page for each $100K in the $60M budget -- I've got to think that made it more focused. The original has this great pacing and tension, there's always an ambush or a visit to the matrix to anticipate.

The original also got the chance to pull a Tarantino and mine a ton of things from other, at the time, less known sources like anime, HK movies, cyberpunk and other influences to give it its fresh feel. It was still well made and innovative but you only get to play this card once.

There's a rumour that they intended the human farming to be about building a massive neural-net an the studio made then cut that out since it's too "technical", but OMG it would have made everything make so much more sense, because humans as a power source is a dumb as it gets.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 11:15 AM on September 9 [14 favorites]


Phantom Menace came out the same year

I ended up seeing the Phantom Menace twice in the theatres and the Matrix only once. For the last 20+ years I've thought it should have been the other way around but even still I haven't seen either movie again and only ended up watching Matrix Reloaded out of both trilogies. This looks fun and I'll probably see it, what are the odds on going to a movie theatre being a good idea this winter in Ontario?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:19 AM on September 9


Reloaded opted for #2, and kind of tried to lampshade it by having Neo exclaim on Smith's newfound abilities early in the movie ("Upgrades!"), but it always rang hollow because Agents are just parts of the Matrix, and Neo nominally has total control over the Matrix, so the danger never felt real.

Which is why the Burly Brawl never worked for me; the far superior sequence is the highway chase because it is Morpheus and Trinity - both human, without Neo's abilities - against agents and the twins. The stakes are there because we know they are in over their heads, in a location that is tactically a disadvantage. To use the Superman analogy, they had to take Superman off the board and put Lois and Perry White* in jeopardy for it to work.

*I felt that comparing Morpheus to Jimmy Olsen was a bit disrespectful to the role Morpheus plays, as well as Mr. Fishburne.
posted by nubs at 11:44 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Well I'm just excited to find out how King George fits into all this

In Neo's climactic rap battle against both King George and Dr. Horrible.
posted by otherchaz at 11:46 AM on September 9 [8 favorites]


Was thinking about the iconic green color grading mentioned upthread so went to rewatch the trailer - there is more emphasis on yellows this time ...

Watching it again, I'm even more disappointed -- it looks like this movie is another victim of the dreaded teal and orange color palette.

Considering that the original film arguably kicked off the trend of distinctive, highly aesthetic color grading, to see this one apparently surrender to the bland, mindless standard that has dominated Hollywood for well over a decade is pretty dismaying.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 11:54 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne had a great scene in John Wick: Chapter 2 that almost seemed like a Matrix reunion. They had a lot of chemistry and clearly enjoyed doing the scene together. They are both in the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 4, so Laurence Fishburne being replaced in the new Matrix movie isn't a total loss.
posted by eye of newt at 11:58 AM on September 9


I've seen it suggested elsewhere that the reason Morpheus isn't in this is because he was killed in the Matrix MMPORG (The Matrix Online).
posted by Chrysopoeia at 12:01 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I almost died in John Wick 3 when Reeves says "Guns. Lots of guns."
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:06 PM on September 9 [5 favorites]


It remains one of my regrets that I didn't go on public record anywhere when John Wick was just John Wick 1, about how the whole thing was clearly a what-if of the machines sticking Neo in his own simulation space after he took the blue pill. It's why he was the most important infamous person anywhere with superhuman gunfu but which pained him (to keep him occupied but also to control him ever going beyond the governor limits), and why basically the rest of the population was either enemy programs, or were loosely-scripted NPCs that you just knew disappeared the moment they were out of frame. It's basically Hitmanworld.

I was expounding on that the first time I was watching then-new John Wick 2 with a friend, having no conscious memory of knowing anyone was in it beyond Keanu of course, and then Laurence Fishburne showed up and I'm all "See! See?! They put Morpheus in the same situation!" but now it's too late. You have to strike fast on trademarking things!
posted by Drastic at 12:22 PM on September 9 [16 favorites]


it would have made everything make so much more sense, because humans as a power source is a dumb as it gets.

lol that explains why Morpheus literally holds up a Duracell to the camera, it definitely smells of studio notes. But a long spiel about neural nets and activation functions wouldn't help drive the plot along any better. And later in the movie Agent Smith reveals the true motivation behind the Matrix, is that they just don't like humans very much because we suck.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:24 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I've seen it suggested elsewhere that the reason Morpheus isn't in this is because he was killed in the Matrix MMPORG (The Matrix Online).

If Morpheus isn't back because of that train wreck of a game, that's a real shame and a real "own goal", that game made no impact, they can safely ignore it.

The Matrix should have been an ideal setting for an MMO (if you forget about bullet time, because that doesn't fly in multiplayer), but they really flubbed it. The Wachowskis were also really involved in that project, and from what I heard from people directly involved, not for the best. I mean it's their IP, they should have the right to wreck it if they want, but liking video games doesn't make you a game designer.

lol that explains why Morpheus literally holds up a Duracell to the camera, it definitely smells of studio notes. But a long spiel about neural nets and activation functions wouldn't help drive the plot along any better. And later in the movie Agent Smith reveals the true motivation behind the Matrix, is that they just don't like humans very much because we suck.

I agree that you'd have to wrap it up in some way to make it dramatic and understandable, but they managed the battery thing without mentioning the Krebs cycle so I'm sure there's a way.... then again the architect scene in reloaded.... maybe it was for the best.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 12:29 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I also saw the first Matrix in a second-run theater with no expectations, never saw a trailer, had no idea what it was about. That's the best way.

Especially compared with seeing The Matrix after having read a review, as I did, that was like, "This is a really good movie about Keanu Reeves breaking out of a virtual reality." WHY WOULD YOU TELL ME THAT?!?

(BTW spoilers.)
posted by The Tensor at 12:31 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


I mean you could totally retcon John Wick into the Matrix universe and it would still make just about as much sense.

No, no, no. John Wick is the version of Ted "Theodore" Logan whose dad ended up sending him to an Alaskan military academy.
posted by hanov3r at 12:32 PM on September 9 [21 favorites]


But a long spiel about neural nets and activation functions wouldn't help drive the plot along any better.

"Have you ever heard that we only use 10% of our brains? That's true for most of humanity—but only because the machines have enslaved humanity by linking them into a single, gigantic supercomputer and stolen the other 90%. When you escape from the Matrix—when you "free your mind", as we like to say—you suddenly have ten times the cognitive capacity you're used to. That has...unexpected consequences." [teaches him kung fu]
posted by The Tensor at 12:36 PM on September 9 [18 favorites]


Tangentially, the woman responsible for the Duracell moment in The Matrix is apparently an industry legend in the product placement field. This was a strangely compelling interview with her about her firm and career.
posted by helloimjennsco at 12:39 PM on September 9 [6 favorites]


It would feel very in-character for the Wachowskis to incorporate the lore from an MMO tie-in game which the majority of the movie audience wasn't aware of.
posted by RobotHero at 12:51 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


I thought the whole "battery" thing was intentionally so stupid as to make you sit down later and think "everything else was so smart but that was so dumb .... I wonder what they were really saying" and then you'd realize it was about capitalism and authoritarianism and the slavishness of modern society and shit. Batteries, sure. How else are you going to get a hundred million dollars to tell a story about blowing up the ultra-rich.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:10 PM on September 9 [7 favorites]


Maybe Neil Patrick Harris is the new Agent Smith.

"SUIT UP, Neo! You're going to be de-rezzed, or logged-out, what do they call it here? Anyway, it's going to be LEGEND ... wait for it ... and i hope you're not lactose intolerant because the next word is ... DAIRY!"
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:24 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I'm totally in, I'll watch whatever either one of the Wachowskis makes, because even when their projects fall short, they are beautifully creatively ambitious, and I respect the reach almost as much as the grasp.

Yeah they have a lot of work that is flawed but far from dull so if somebody is going to revive a huge franchise from two decades ago it might as well be them. I only just learned that there’s only one Wachowski sister on this one, though. Don’t think I’ve seen anything they’ve done apart?
posted by atoxyl at 1:55 PM on September 9


But a long spiel about neural nets and activation functions wouldn't help drive the plot along any better.

Neural nets were kinda passé in 1999 though --- we were gliding into the kernel-methods-and-bayes-nets days by then. Boosting was big too. The N in the conference now known as NeurIPS was sometimes seen as a bit funny.

But I always retconned the borrowing-brains-for-computation explanation into the plot myself. Glad to learn that this could have been the kind of thing they actually had in mind.
posted by tss at 1:58 PM on September 9


Considering that the original film arguably kicked off the trend of distinctive, highly aesthetic color grading

Interestingly, people on Twitter have been saying that the green color grading was not actually present in the original theatrical release of the original movie, but rather added starting with the first home video release.
posted by atoxyl at 1:59 PM on September 9


I finally watched the trailer and I think as long as I maintain low expectations this will be an enjoyable movie to watch. Hopefully covid is gone and I can go to the theater and watch it.
posted by interogative mood at 2:14 PM on September 9


A better explanation would have been that the Architect is really just a sub-sub-subsystem of an AI conducting encrypted communications with aliens, for which it needs the galaxy's biggest hardware random number generator powered by the best source of entropy available: human thought. Not as dumb as batteries but still pretty dumb, and you could have included a 15 minute seminar from Lawrence Fishburne on cryptography and RNGs.
posted by axiom at 2:48 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Reviewing the Internet Movie Firearms Database, it looks like the 1990s were peak Desert Eagle, so more like 30 years. Also Arnold had one in Commando in 1985!

And I just remembered this: the name of Arnold's character in Commando was John Matrix.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 2:50 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Interestingly, people on Twitter have been saying that the green color grading was not actually present in the original theatrical release of the original movie, but rather added starting with the first home video release.

I think it was a ton more subtle in the original movie, and in the 1st DVD release (which is really not that green). Also I guess you'd have to look at that DVD release on an NTSC tv to get the actual intent, LCDs have a different color response and that might also be what the DVD was color corrected for.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 2:50 PM on September 9


Obviously going to watch this as it's a Matrix movie but really all this area of YouTube did was remind me that I need a PlayStation 5.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:51 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Woah.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:52 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


They missed an opportunity with the name, though. Should have been The Matrix Rebooted.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:00 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Wikipedia told me that the original release date would have had this and John Wick 4 released at the same time. I'm almost certainly going to rewatch the original trilogy before this comes out, but should I also watch all John Wicks??
posted by TwoWordReview at 3:23 PM on September 9


The Matrix 2.0: Electric Reboot-a-loo
posted by mazola at 3:31 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I’m cautiously hopeful. I’m one of those weirdos who liked Reloaded and Revolutions even though they aren’t perfect. They tried to tell a story, and parts of those stories were well done enough that I can forgive the parts that weren’t. I enjoyed the ideas behind myths and legends explored in Reloaded, though I thought it was a little anticlimactic to have the werewolves killed off just like that. I loved the highway set piece, for the Lois and Jimmy tension mentioned above. I’m a sucker for live action power armor, so I enjoyed the APCs. And yeah, the moment where they breach the cloud cover, and Trinity (and the audience) sees the sky for the first time in the whole series. It’s not part of the machine world, so Neo, blind, can’t see it, leaving it for Trinity alone to experience it, took my breath away in the theater.

I’m interested in NPHs character. Maybe it’s a tonal shift, where the Architect (again, one of the subversions of Revolutions was that the bad guy wasn’t killed at the end of the movie), which, no matter what else, is written, not programmed (because he is one) to find methods of control, has realized that The One cannot be controlled through physical means (violence, etc), so it has resorted to other methods of control.

The only thing that worries me, then, is if the film will be directly embracing the “psychology is bad for you” theme that, well, Scientology promotes, or, if it doesn’t explicitly do so, that, like the red pill shit, people will cite this film as “proof” that it’s bad. I mean, if this movie ends up being about a psychologist preventing someone from being the hero they truly are… oof. That can go pretty wrong, pretty fast.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:34 PM on September 9 [6 favorites]


should I also watch all John Wicks??

Welcome to the desert of the real The Continental.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:35 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


but should I also watch all John Wicks??

The John Wick movies are gorgeous, hyper-hyper violent, and (to me) a lot of fun. There is animal endangerment, however.
posted by hanov3r at 3:36 PM on September 9


Can't imagine they bring in NPH and put him in those blue frames & sweater and not have him be the big bad.
posted by sapere aude at 3:44 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


They missed an opportunity with the name, though. Should have been The Matrix Rebooted

I would have really loved …

The Matrix 4: Identity

| 1 0 0 0 |
| 0 1 0 0 |
| 0 0 1 0 |
| 0 0 0 1 |
posted by WaterAndPixels at 3:47 PM on September 9 [21 favorites]


The Ma Trix R 4 Kidz
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:54 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


I for one was really impressed with Sense8, so unlike the more mainstream skepticism of a new Matrix movie, I'm actually looking forward to it. But then, I'm also someone who actually liked Cloud Atlas.
posted by polymodus at 3:55 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Interestingly, people on Twitter have been saying that the green color grading was not actually present in the original theatrical release of the original movie, but rather added starting with the first home video release.

Yeah, but there are also people who insist they went to see Star Wars in a theater in 1977 and it said "Episode IV: A New Hope."
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 3:55 PM on September 9 [13 favorites]


I think it was a ton more subtle in the original movie, and in the 1st DVD release (which is really not that green).

Yeah, but there are also people who insist they went to see Star Wars in a theater in 1977 and it said "Episode IV: A New Hope."

When I try to dive into this it sounds like maybe the change people are talking about as “the familiar green tint” is actually from the 2008 HD releases? Which is definitely not my familiar version (that would be the original DVD releases, of course). So yeah I’m not actually completely sure what’s going on here but it sounds like there may be a generation gap in how green people expect Matrix movies to be.
posted by atoxyl at 4:09 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


And I just remembered this: the name of Arnold's character in Commando was John Matrix.

Colonel John Matrix, no less
posted by cubeb at 4:10 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Who knows if the movie is any good, but that's an excellent trailer. And it looks like the production on this one is big. Like, big. Like, this movie is a thing, an event.

Too bad Larry Fishburne isn't in it. Sad that apparently he was never even contacted about it. I guess they wanted to replace him with a young and sexy Orpheus-type.

Which is another point: a whole generation has passed since the first movie. Plenty of teens have probably never seen it, so I imagine when they write the script for this kind of thing they deliberately make it more of a reboot/reimagining than an actual sequel. See Fury Road. (No, really, see it!)

Looks like a fair amount of good practical effects. The sequels got bogged down by too much CGI (and questionable writing), so hopefully they held back with this one.

When I see Cloud Atlas being discussed I just have to chime in that it's good, people. An ambitious movie that doesn't quite hit the landing but is fascinating all the same.

As for the battery plot point: in the original script, humans are used by the aliens for their brains as computer processors. But the studio thought audiences would be confused by this, so they made the Wachowskis change it to batteries. Doesn't make any sense, as entropy is the same for humans as it is for aliens, but I guess physics wasn't a strong point among WB executives.
posted by zardoz at 4:11 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


I really hope that if the movie doesn't do anything about the cultural baggage of the red pill, it doesn't get lambasted for something it's not even the original matrix's fault.

There’s already a pwn-the-libs “What if Neo took the blue pill?” video making the rounds.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:14 PM on September 9


if the movie doesn't do anything about the cultural baggage of the red pill

I think that's fairly unlikely.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:19 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


The Matrix didn't even invent the red pill! It was introduced in Total Recall, and it wasn't a good thing there!
posted by Apocryphon at 5:05 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


I’m old enough to remember that the original movie had a promotional html-style website with comics that teased at the question “what is the matrix?” in an abstract way that told you nothing about the movie. The scrolling-character screensavers that fans made after the movie came out were dope.

I have an original-release DVD somewhere and I’m fairly certain it had a green tint. If I recall they only used the tint in scenes that took place in the matrix, similar to how The Wizard of Oz used technicolor to denote otherworldliness. I find the original to be kinda cringey now, to say nothing of the sequels, but man was it cool at the time.

The use of White Rabbit in the trailer is clever but also feels symbolic, in that it’s a call-back to a movie referencing a song referencing a book. At this point Neo should just break the fourth wall and realize he’s trapped in an endless chain of derivative material. Free your head, Neo!
posted by dephlogisticated at 5:45 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but there are also people who insist they went to see Star Wars in a theater in 1977 and it said "Episode IV: A New Hope."

But…it did? It wasn’t on the posters, sure, but the crawl at the beginning absolutely said Episode IV / A New Hope because Lucas was throwing back to the Flash Gordon serials that used a similar crawl. Did Lucas plan back then to go make the first three chapters? Probably not! The whole point was this was just one chapter in a larger story.
posted by thecaddy at 5:51 PM on September 9


the crawl at the beginning absolutely said Episode IV / A New Hope

In 1977 it did not. The way I’ve heard it is that Lucas wanted it to say “Episode IV” from the beginning but the studio thought it was too confusing. I believe the original release of the second movie did say “Episode V” and then when the first returned to theaters shortly thereafter it had the full subtitle.
posted by atoxyl at 6:13 PM on September 9 [7 favorites]


Also, echoing the reminiscinization above: first time I saw The Matrix was in 1999 at the old cinemas on George Street in Sydney, which is smack-bang in the heart of where they filmed the thing. I think I watched it there three or four times, with it increasingly dawning on me that: "Hey, that is just outside." The cinemas were a brisk walk from Martin Place, where the infamous "red dress" scene was filmed, and catching the bus in from Leichhardt, on the left you'll see the underpass where Neo had his tummy-squid extracted. Coincidentally I was a primordial goth and used to always borrow my brother's ankle-length black coat. So that was fun.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:33 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


The Matrix 4: Identity

The Matrix: uWu
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:35 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


2Matrix4u
posted by dephlogisticated at 6:40 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


For those who thought the 2nd and 3rd films would have made one one pretty good movie, there's The Matrix Dezionized (all scenes related to Zion are gone, & I can't remember what else). It looks like there are still torrents to be had in the usual places.
posted by sneebler at 7:04 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


(Ah, crap, Atoxyl. Prima facie evidence that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Thanks for setting me straight!)
posted by thecaddy at 7:17 PM on September 9


Okay, this is a long thread, but here it is: White Rabbit (Full Epic Trailer Version)
posted by hippybear at 7:24 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Interestingly, people on Twitter have been saying that the green color grading was not actually present in the original theatrical release of the original movie, but rather added starting with the first home video release.

It most definitely was in the original theatrical release of the original movie -- I remember being struck by it. I don't know whether it's been intensified in subsequent home video versions, but that wouldn't surprise me. Hollywood's gone a little overboard with digital color grading.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 8:18 PM on September 9


I liked all three, and understood the whole thing better after watching the Animatrix. Not very hopeful 4 will be anything all that good.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:23 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Old Neo, heh heh
posted by Slackermagee at 8:43 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Yeah the color grading thing is kind of legendary, where in-Matrix scenes were tinted green in the original theatrical release, but removed (“““corrected”””) for the initial home video release. At this point, so many people have seen it so many more times on the home video release that when they did a remaster not long ago that did have the intended green tint, a lot of people thought it looked “wrong” based on their memories of the color grading of the DVD they’d watched a hundred times.
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:14 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


The Matrix: UDV

M: "What I'm telling you, Neo, is that everything you think you know is a sum of eigenvectors. And if you come with me... I can show you the world in diagonal form. Simple. Elegant."

N: "Whoa."

M: "Well, not always. Sometimes we can only get nearly diagonal, with a Jordan canonical form."
posted by kaibutsu at 10:16 PM on September 9 [5 favorites]


I was horribly disappointed by Revolutions.

There was a LOT of fan speculation after Reloaded. Almost all of it was better than what we got in Revolutions.

I take some solace in that Return didn't ruin Empire retroactively.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:21 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


At this point, so many people have seen it so many more times on the home video release that when they did a remaster not long ago that did have the intended green tint, a lot of people thought it looked “wrong” based on their memories of the color grading of the DVD they’d watched a hundred times.

Okay now I’m really confused. I didn’t see the original in its initial theatrical run so I can’t account for that. But I think:

- it was a little green on the original DVD.

- I’m pretty sure it was always green in the sequels

- they apparently made the original more green for the Blu-ray. Changes to the coloring of the original may have been intended to bring it in line with the sequels.

- they then made it less green again in the latest remaster because people complained about the previous versions.
posted by atoxyl at 10:33 PM on September 9


> I'm hoping that the movie will have a few prominent trans cast members who maybe haven't been revealed yet.

inception resurrections with elliot page
posted by kliuless at 10:49 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Just hopped in to point out that Keanu is the same age that Connery was when he made 'The Last Crusade'.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:33 AM on September 10 [3 favorites]




I remember learning about the green tinting in the bonus features of the original DVD release, which I watched multiple times in 2000. I hadn't picked up on it consciously in the theater, but it's definitely in that initial DVD.

When I see Cloud Atlas being discussed I just have to chime in that it's good, people. An ambitious movie that doesn't quite hit the landing but is fascinating all the same.

This, again. I would always rather watch something ambitious and risky that misses the mark than something safe that doesn't push the envelope. Cloud Atlas actually improves on the book in a few key ways (e.g. interspersing the stories and changing some details strengthens the narrative links), and the scope and visuals are stunning.

IMO, too much emphasis was placed on the whole "yellowface" thing, while ignoring that it was necessary to the plot to have actors play multiple characters over multiple centuries and locations, and also ignoring that there were also Asian actors playing white and Latino characters. My only real complaint is that Tom Hanks isn't really right for some of the characters he plays, but he's still Tom Hanks so I can't really complain that much.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 6:19 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


That Advocate article annoyingly doesn't actually name the queer faces. Neil Patrick Harris and Jonathan Groff. Anyone else?

For a transgender actor Jamie Clayton (from Sense8) would be a natural choice. I can't find any hint at all about her being in the movie or not. She's definitely not in the trailer or any credits for the movie. She's been doing the L Word reboot so maybe she wouldn't have been available.
posted by Nelson at 8:45 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


I remember learning about the green tinting in the bonus features of the original DVD release, which I watched multiple times in 2000. I hadn't picked up on it consciously in the theater, but it's definitely in that initial DVD.

I wonder if that's kind of down to just how good the eye / brain is at ignoring those sorts of color shifts in isolation. In a darkened theater with no other sources of white light, I'm sure most people just sorta went "yup, that looks normal" but once you get to home video it jumps out more. Because, yeah, same.
posted by Kyol at 9:01 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


Grace Slick was always poorly served by her mediocre backing band. That amazing angry-laser-beam of a voice deserves a suitable setting.

Dead Can Dance? Nurse With Wound? Perhaps a duet with Diamanda Galas?

Please don't say Tool.
posted by loquacious at 5:46 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


As long as there's a scene where everyone in the world with hotbody syndrome gets together and has a dance party to the soundtrack to Stomp it'll be a perfect Matrix movie...

/sarcasm
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:03 PM on September 10


I love that scene.

It didn't have a single queer moment in it, but I still love that scene.
posted by mediareport at 3:07 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Also, for folks who haven't rewatched the muddled, bloated, sort-of-fun-anyways sequels in a while, the "But they're really good and here's three hours of explanation why!" crowd is wrong. The sequels are still just ok, and their many flaws have not improved with age.
posted by mediareport at 3:12 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


At one point I hunted down a fan edit called The Matrix Revolutions Decoded, which sounds like some new-age talking heads documentary, but instead it’s actually the two Matrix sequels edited down into a single fairly coherent movie, which involved the removal of over two hours(!) of unnecessary scenes and subplots. Definitely recommended.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:46 PM on September 11


Neo Patrick Harris
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 5:39 PM on September 11


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