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The Matrix Media Movies

First Matrix Reloaded Review 776

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the get-in-line dept.
EpsCylonB writes "The IMDB is reporting that the London Daily mirror has the first review of the Matrix Reloaded. Sounds like the Wachowski borthers have gone for an all out action movie which is a shame if true. What I liked most about the original was the way it blended stunning action with a subtle philosphical theme about how we percieve reality." I'll hold judgement until the closing credits myself.
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First Matrix Reloaded Review

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  • Destiny (Score:2, Informative)

    by mao che minh (611166) *
    I believe it is our fate to read the review.

    It is our destiny.

    I believe this review holds, for each and everyone of us, the greatest spoiler of our lives.

    ** By the way **, the site was already running a bit slow when I previewed this article, so just in case, the article text:

    FIRST REVIEW OF STUNNING NEW MATRIX MOVIE
    May 7 2003
    WORLD EXCLUSIVE
    From Jackie Winter In Los Angeles

    AT THE start of The Matrix Reloaded, Laurence Fishburne turns to Keanu Reeves and says: "This is going to be difficul

  • by dvk (118711) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:12PM (#5906904) Homepage
    Your impression that the first Matrix had any philosophical content was just a glitch in the program.

    -DVK
    • by Goonie (8651) * <robert.merkel@be ... ra.org minus bsd> on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:23PM (#5906983) Homepage
      The first Matrix did have some ideas that were distinctly philosophical in nature - to (poorly) summarise "how do I know what is real, and what does 'real' mean anyway"? However, the questions have been asked, and answered, pretty much the same way in a great deal of other fiction. It's philosophical, sure, but it's well-trodden ground.
      • by kamikazichaser (670854) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:36PM (#5907066)
        but that question was simply there to set up the action, not enlighten or challenge you. I loved the first one, but it was pure escapism, nothing more. if this movie is 10 times the action and 10 times the SFX, as the mirror reviewer states, then it will be 10 times the movie (ideally speaking of course). Hell, I want people to be passing out in the theater due to the action!
      • by Thing 1 (178996) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @11:44PM (#5907772) Journal
        My favorite "reality anecdote" is from The Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. There's a (minor) character in this trilogy who at one point says something like, "I've determined that we're living in a book, and I think I've figured a way out of it."

        He's never heard from again.

        Those guys did a lot of acid. ;-)

      • by mozumder (178398) on Thursday May 08, 2003 @02:00AM (#5908248)
        There are movies with better studies of existential philosphy of man and machine:

        1. Dark City - Complete mind fuck of reality.
        2. Total Recall - Can Reality be a figment of our imagination?
        3. Bladerunner - Is humanity different from machine? What is God?
        4. Ghost in the Shell - See Bladerunner
        5. Tron - Man entering a computer generated universe. This is the movie that is most similiar to The Matrix.

        And so many more... such as any Philip K. Dick based movie, any Twilight Zone episode, or even any movie with a dream sequence... (Wizard of Oz?)

        The Matrix philosophy was there, but really isn't the focus of the movie where it isn't designed so that the viewer would actually question their existence. All these other movies would, though.
    • by cryptochrome (303529) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @10:19PM (#5907284) Journal
      If by subtle you mean beating you over the head with an existential truism, based on a idea going at least as far back as Plato and covered in countless SF stories, while violating the 2nd law of thermodynamics in a particularly egregious way, then yeah, subtle and philosophical.
  • Not this first (Score:5, Informative)

    by Yusaku Godai (546058) <hyuga@g[ ]dian-hyuga.net ['uar' in gap]> on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:14PM (#5906910) Homepage
    Ain't it Cool News [aintitcool.com] has had a number of reviews up for a couple of days, not so much professional reviews, but mostly from fans who were lucky enough to see advance screenings (mostly one held by MTV).
    • Re:Not this first (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:37PM (#5907076)
      RELOAD YOUR EXPECTATIONS - A MATRIX RELOADED REVIEW [or not]

      The Matrix Reloaded is upon us and I felt it necessary to really comment on the nature of what is going on in the fan base and give you my NON-SPOILER review of the film. To preface let me say that I have seen X2: X Men United. I was amazed at that film and how much I was persuaded to care for every character in that film. Brian Singer not only improved upon the first film, he blew it out of the water.

      That said I think that there has been some unnecessary comparisons between the world of the Matrix and the Xmen franchise. These universes definitely have similarities between them, but they operate on two completely different levels. An orange is great and so is an apple, but they serve different purposes and have different tastes. Perhaps by now you are skimming through this thinking "he's not telling me anything I don't already know." Perhaps this is true but I implore you to continue to read.

      The world of the Matrix is perhaps one of the most ambitious science fiction projects to come from any studio since 2001. If these films were produced and released only dealing with the philosophy and the ideology they presented then I strongly believe that they would have flopped on impact. Instead the Wachowski Brothers opted to not only present one of the smartest and intriguing stories written for the screen but the most visually stunning works ever imagined to date. Yes there have been copy-cats but in these past 4 years nothing has come out that is nearly as well produced or finessed as the first film.

      Now, I saw Reloaded out here in LA last week at a private screening. Unlike others I really want to keep the story and the spoilers under wraps. However I must say how satisfied I am with what I have experienced thus far. When I had heard talk of 2 sequels in the making I was very excited, not because I wanted to see what new effects [admittedly that was also a desire as well] but I wanted to see how this story ends. I was and am intrigued by the storyline that has been presented to me in the first and second installment. I discussed the first Matrix film from people aged 8 to aged 68. I have yet to meet anyone who liked the film [or not] that has not been willing to discuss these movies in depth. Now granted I have the upper hand these past few days with Reloaded under my belt.

      My review is a bit unorthodox because in it I do not want to discuss the movie per se. Rather I would like to, with my knowledge hit on point for point these rather interesting criticisms that I have been hearing and reading on this site and others. First I'll answer some questions.

      Was I blown away?

      Answer: No, not in the way that you would suppose.

      Is the bar raised again?

      Answer: Yes but it's not because of the effects.

      Are the effects amazing?

      Answer: Absolutely one hundred percent amazing.

      Is the story as intriguing as it was in the first film?

      Answer: Yes and No.

      The answers I will attempt to explain. For starters I was not blown away because frankly I've seen this world before. The first film blew me away because I had at that point never experienced anything like it before. When Reloaded began I expected to see what I saw. Anyone going to this film expecting to have the same feelings they had for the first film are setting themselves up for disappointment. Just like in a marriage 15 years after the wedding won't feel like that wedding night, that experience is singular and special for it's time. Like a marriage Reloaded has it's moments of "Whoa".

      A criticism that I have read based solely from the trailers is "It looks like more of the same". I'm sorry to burst your bubble boys and girls but Reloaded is indeed more of the same. But why is more of the same a bad thing? After all I fell in love with the first film because of its feel and philosophy. I became anxious about Reloaded and Revolutions because I desired more of the same. Yes there is still bullet time, it's
  • by valis (947) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:14PM (#5906912) Homepage
    From the article:

    """ ...Reloaded is crammed full of the cod philosophy that fans of the original loved...

    The plot is even more convoluted than before and flits between everything from religion to quantum physics and mathematics.
    """

    I am unconcerned =]
  • Oh come on (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:14PM (#5906913)
    Subtle philosophy? More like blatantly obvious and hackneyed oversimplification of philosophy.

    If by philosophy you mean the sort of thoughts you have when you get stoned and are fascinated by the Winamp visualization plugins, then I'll agree. But if by philosophy you mean anything vaguely legitimate on an academic level (I'm talking about old dead Greek and European guys here), then you're sorely mistaken.

    The "message" of the Matrix, if it can be called that, is sort of like Plato's Allegory of the cave, minus any actual intellectualism and plus a lot of guns. Don't get me wrong, it's a helluva lot of fun to watch, but you'd be hard pressed to sell it (or the vaunted "Fight Club") as a "philosophical" movie. The Matrix is philosophy in the same sense that pop music is music.

    Or maybe that's just my arrogant elitist opinion. Mod down if you really want to, I suppose.
    • Matrix Philosophy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dpilot (134227) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:25PM (#5906993) Homepage Journal
      Two catch-phrases stuck with me from the movie. The first one was, "There is no spoon," because it was quoted here on /., and on second thought it was kind of amusing.

      But the one that really stuck was, "Guns, lots of guns." The lobby scene was one of the most poetic sequences of violent overkill I've ever seen, right up there with the Diva/Lulu music/fight scene near the end of Fifth Element.

      I am purposely avoiding reviews until I see the movie, so I haven't read the link, and skipped the earlier quote. But the action is OK if it has the poetry in motion of the first one. Hopefully they've broken some new ground, if they want my money on the third movie before it gets to second-run cheap seats.
    • Re:Oh come on (Score:5, Informative)

      by still_sick (585332) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:32PM (#5907047)
      It's odd that you chose to mention Plato's Cave in your rant, rather than the "Mad Scientist" / "Evil Demon" / or "Brain in a Jar" problem, each of which being essentially the actual premise of the movie.

      A very very very quick summary for those who didn't waste time in Philosophy classes (like me :) :
      - Plato's Cave poses the idea of some people being bound in a cave in such a way that the only things they can see are shadows on the back of the wall. These people are in this situation for their whole lives, and so to them, the entire world consists of shadows on a wall. Anyone who tried to tell them that the shadows are being created by 3D beings in a whole big bright world out there would be immediately dismissed by them as a lunatic.
      - The "Mad Scientist" / "Evil Demon" / "Brain in a Jar" problem are all the same question - how do you know "reality" as you know it really exists? How do you know you're not imagining everything? The "Mad Scientist" and "Brain in a Jar" are two names for the same variant - what if you're nothing but a brain in a jar being poked/prodded by a Mad Scientist such that he's making you THINK that your reality exists. The "Evil Demon" is the exact same idea, but posed way back in Plato's time - what if the entire world the way you know it is nothing but a trick being played on you by an Evil Demon?
      • Re:Oh come on (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ieshan (409693)
        I'd also like to point out a few things you missed:

        1) The people who are gifted enough to leave the "cave" first poorly adjust - see Neo in new environment. The people who return, in order to "liberate" the caged are laughed at, and told that the true light has blinded them, as they are unable to identify the objects on the wall.

        2) The "Philosophers", the ones who see the true light, are reluctant but feel obligated to return to the cave in order to free them, much like the characters in the matrix, who f
    • Re:Oh come on (Score:5, Interesting)

      by spoonboy42 (146048) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:33PM (#5907051)
      Funny, I always thought the Matrix was more like Descartes' "Malicious Demon", who has conspired to decieve an individual from birth into believing in an utterly false conception of reality. Starting by assuming that the existence of said demon is possible, Descartes began to reason that only his own internal thoughts were not suspect (and even then, his thoughts must have been colored by perception. Who is to say that 2 + 2 = 4 is not itself a deception?). This led to his eventual famous formulation: I think, therefore I am.

      I could go on at length about his "ghost in the machine" concept here, but I'll hold my tongue, as I don't feel like typing all that. Suffice to say, the Matrix has a good number of Cartesian themes.

      Anyway, the Matrix isn't meant to introduce genuinely revolutionary concepts in Philosophy. It does, however, serve as an excellent vehicle for conveying Philosophical concepts in an entertaining, easily accesible way. Plato himself did this by writing dialogues: Sure, he expoused all sorts of interesting ideas in works like the Republic, but he related them much more fluidly in the dialogues (except for Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito, which were really about his teacher Socrates). No, the Wachowskis aren't possessed of Socratic wisdom, but they are much like the great poets whom Socrates questioned: they have an intuitive knowledge of their art, and through their work they introduce the masses to ideas that they wouldn't ordinarily come across, and this is definately a *good thing*.
    • by BTWR (540147) <americangibor3@y ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @10:12PM (#5907253) Homepage Journal
      I'm talking about old dead Greek and European guys here

      Last time I checked, Greeks were Europeans too...
    • Re:Oh come on (Score:5, Insightful)

      by theLOUDroom (556455) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @10:13PM (#5907258)
      Or maybe that's just my arrogant elitist opinion. Mod down if you really want to, I suppose.

      It is. "The Truman Show" is Plato's allegory of the cave. "The Matrix" is a different concept.

      But if by philosophy you mean anything vaguely legitimate on an academic level (I'm talking about old dead Greek and European guys here), then you're sorely mistaken.

      Wow. I wasn't aware that you had to be a dead greek or european to have "legitimate" ideas about philosophy. Holy ethnocentrism batman! I suppose you're willing to just ignore any sort of eastern philosophy? Or is it just that you have to be dead before your ideas are worth anything?

      While "The Matrix" wasn't an old, dusty book, it sure was a legitimate discussion of certain philosophical ideas. Maybe you're just too easily distracted by action sequences.
      It didn't contain any truly revolutionay ideas, but I don't think Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" did either. Both were a good story, that people can actually grasp. Who do you think they're both so popular?

      I suppose you're so eager to belittle "The Matrix" since it means people can get access to certain ideas that you had to learn in a more painful manner. No one could ever learn anything worthwhile except from a book that was written by a dead white guy. Geez. Who educated you?
    • Re:Oh come on (Score:5, Interesting)

      by weston (16146) <westonsd@can n c e n t r a l.org> on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @10:29PM (#5907319) Homepage
      Subtle philosophy? More like blatantly obvious and hackneyed oversimplification of philosophy.

      Oversimplified? Maybe. Muted? You bet. But:

      1. This is a story told in film. The premise isn't a vehicle for detailed philosophical discussion, it's for the story.
      2. The premise, however, is one of the first full illustrations of the "brain in jar"/"shadows on the wall"/"evil demon" philosophical themes that some people are going to encounter. Philosophy students are going to find only very well-trodden ground -- but wasn't it terribly interesting to even them before familiarity bred contempt?
      3. Furthermore, there's some interesting angles that most people totally ignore. Why would a demon keep your brain in a jar and torment you? There's evilness/enmity and that's a possibility. But in the Matrix, there's utility derived from doing so -- supposedly energy, maybe computational work. The former premise is so ridiculous to anyone who knows what's going on you wonder why they made it. I wonder if they did it to draw attention to a potential analogue: in this world, in 2003, you are plugged into a system. It's not a evil AI made VR, it's society. And it may be there are forces at work in that society that exist to keep you working as little other than a happy cog... you could use the analogy as an examination for socio/political commentary, if you like.
      4. Buit the movie doesn't seem to, really, and in fact, the movie's peripheral treatment of philosophical elements may have been one of the wisest possible moves. And akin to what Lewis and Williams and especially Tolkien liked to do: don't work with analogy so much as archetype, and not even archetype so much as simply story. It's not about creating a symbolic tapestry that the initiated can have a field day swimming in and decoding. It's about creating a compelling experience that people can taste and draw meaning out of.


    • Re:Oh come on (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sparkz (146432)
      Heard of Google?

      You can find Buddhism [nisargadatta.net], Christianity [metaphilm.com], both Buddhism and Christianity [unomaha.edu], and tons more.

      Last time I google'd, which was a year or two ago, many more (and, might I say, better) articles were found by Google on the first few pages.

      The obvious stuff: Zion, Trinity, NeoOne, even more at Raiders News [raidersnewsupdate.com]. It may be news to some at /., but "Oracle" isn't only a database, too...

      Basically, the film (great as it is) has borrowed from just about everything it can find. Its great achievement is combining

  • They must have taken the blue pill.

    • The whole "Philosophy of the Matrix" thing has certainly gone too far. Even on the official website there's a section containing articles specifically about the Matrix and philosophy. Sure it borrows certain philosophical ideas, especially metaphysical ones, but it in no way takes those ideas to any depth. I wouldn't say that there isn't a lot you could say about The Matrix from a philosophical perspective, but anyone looking for "depth" in the movie itself should come back to the real world and maybe go
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:18PM (#5906940)
    All the premises were set in the original Matrix. Morpheus explained the Matrix to Neo, we had the whole debate of reality vs. perception. Now it's time to kick ass - same as Matrix #1, but with better effects. I look to see a sort of "expanded" set of powers and abilities in Neo (ability to fly, etc.), but its not going to be the same kind of brain-twist that the first one was.
  • I'm sorry... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:19PM (#5906946)
    but I'm not overly hyped to see this movie. I might not even go see it at the theatres, but rather wait until it hits DVD.

    Yeah yeah call me whatever. I think the first one was so ground breaking and that, it can't be matched. No matter HOW many Agent Smiths Neo gives a beat down too. Those new white "thingermabobs" that can go invincible and do that sword kung fu-- they don't really appeal to me either.

    I think the first Matrix was in and of itself worthy on its own. I understand that some people want to learn about Zion though and the resistance. Oh well. I don't expect a huge amount of "revolutionary" in this, just more special effects.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:19PM (#5906952)
    ...Instead, you must only realize the truth.

    What truth?

    There is no review. It has been slashdotted.
  • by moosesocks (264553) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:20PM (#5906955) Homepage
    I just hope that the sequel doesn't turn out like Mission Impossible II did. The first movie had a good (confusing, but definitely intrigueing) plot with a few short (but good) action sequences.

    Seeing that the action sequences in the first movie were moderately successful, they capitalized upon them, and as a result, the second movie had a horrible story, a dumbed down plot, and way too much senseless action.

    Lets hope the matrix sequel doesn't end up the same way.
  • by spoonboy42 (146048) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:22PM (#5906972)
    As I recall, the Wachowski brothers have specifically said that Reloaded will be the most action-focused element in the Matrix trilogy. Given that the three pictures were planned well in advance of the first one being produced, it makes sense that the middle chapter is the rising-tension action piece. Revolutions, on the other hand, is intended to contain the genuine philosophical mindfuckery in the final confrontation with the machines. Furthermore, Reloaded takes place mostly in the Matrix (where lax rules of physics make for all kinds of kung-fu fun), whereas Revolutions will be set mostly in the real world.

    Anyway, enjoy this movie for what it is: An exciting flick in an excellently developed sci-fi universe. And also, wait around for the finale to blow the doors off that universe.
  • by Wind_Walker (83965) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:26PM (#5907003) Homepage Journal
    The Matrix was really not a philosophical movie. It was an action movie that throws in a few pseudo-philosophical concepts without actually delving into the subject fully. I don't fault the creators for this, but I'm still mad at people who are upset by this "divergence" from the original.

    The first time I watched The Matrix I was impressed by the philosopical aspect of it, and wowed by the action. The second time I saw how thin the plot was and how shallow the characters were, but was still impressed by the action. The third time I used my Chapter button on the DVD to skip ahead to the action, because I grew tired of the one-line philosophy.

    "Have you ever had a dream that you were so sure was real?" Please. Read fscking Decartes, he does a much better analysis of reality than Morpheus ever could. "Would you still have broken the vase if I hadn't said anything?" Christ, get that woman some Herodotus or St. Augustine. "Fate is not without a certain sense of irony." Give me a gun. I can't take it anymore.

    It's pseudo-philosophy, just like Contact is pseudo-scientific. Fine for the mainstream audience, but if you've studied the subject they're touching on it's just plain insulting. So I'm glad to see that they've stopped trying to be philosophical and just stuck with what really made The Matrix successful - mind-blowing action.

    • by MourningBlade (182180) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @10:23PM (#5907298) Homepage

      The message must be appropriate to the medium.

      Movies affect the senses in order to affect the mind. Books turn that around.

      Therefore, for a movie to be a "philosophical" movie, it is more important that it show the results of its motivation in a sensual manner (sensuous is acceptable as well, depending on your motivation ;-) and allow the audience to create its own framework for analysis than to spell it out for them.

      The point of the questioning in The Matrix was to provide an easily-graspable starting point for anyone to start thinking about what he had seen and felt from the movie. The action sequences were there --- at least in part --- for us to entertain ourselves with the construct so created.

      Fiction lies within the realm of "what if." It is the responsibility of the fiction writer to produce an entertaining read for his audience (even if that audience is just himself). We ask a bit more of science fiction, in that the what if must also consider philosophical ramifications, but we often balk if said philosophy bits are presented in the raw and not worked into the story.

      The point is that exposition and essay such as Descart and Herodotus wrote is completely inappropriate to a science fiction movie, and more suited to the medium in which they wrote. Otherwise they would have been writing plays or poems and songs such as their artistic bretheren were doing.

      The dialogues of Plato also are ill-suited to the movie medium. The closest good (by which I mean literary or otherwise of artistic merit) movie to the dialogues would be Waking Life --- and even that is half-baked if considered as a philosophical essay.

      The mistake is not in the creation, it is in the analysis of the critic: we do not analyse poems as we do philosophical journal articles, so why insist that movies serve as such?

      Another thing that bugs me about the above post: the author is only considering what is actually said in the movie. In a visual and auditory medium, that is insipid: would Apocalypse Now play so well as a radio show?

      Also, it is considered of higher intellectual integrity to kindly consider a piece's arguments and fill them out as you would if you were the person proposing them in opposition to your own arguments. Knocking a work because it does not address what you are arguing is of very low class. Perhaps you should read Aquinas, or talk to any Ancient Philosophy 101 teacher.

      The point of philosophy is not to bash another's views, but to discover Truth and the constructs towards Truth. That's why we call it philosophy.

      All the same, I thank you for your post because it was one of the first in its vein cogent enough to respond to.

      PS: Yes, I feel the same way towards people who consider The Matrix to be the be-all-end-all of solipsistic philosophy. Then again, it's not the worst introduction to it, and I've been shocked by how few people are familiar with solipsistic arguments.

    • It's pseudo-philosophy, just like Contact is pseudo-scientific.

      To be fair to Carl Sagan, the book version of Contact (preceding the movie by many years) was IMHO much superior to the movie. In a book, one has the time and space to much more thoroughly explore both science and philosphy--which Sagan did.

    • by sparkz (146432) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @11:33PM (#5907713) Homepage
      If you got all the philosophical stuff out of The Matrix in the first viewing, you obviously know your Judeo-Christian history and Buddhist philosophy intimately. I'd guess it'd put you in the top 2-5% of such knowledge.

      Hang on though, such experts would either ignore it as not their problem, or investigate it further as such.
      I suspect you're more the "Philosophy 101" type who says "Trinity - I've heard that word; Zion - I've heard that word, too" without any actual understanding.

      The Matrix is a strange, and inconsistent film (not least - why, in a simulated world, do simulated telephones have such significance?!) but to dismiss the entire thing in a single viewing is a sign either of an incredible life experience, or of an incredible ignorance.

      It's only a film, that is true, but there is more to it than Independance Day, which, to be fair, a Media Studies student could hopefully be able to get /something/ out of after a 3rd viewing.

  • right (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mojowantshappy (605815) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:29PM (#5907028)
    I can hardly say that the first movie had a stunning, subtle philosophical theme. Our perception of reality is false, instead we are a battery for robot overlords. Very subtle.
  • by Shant3030 (414048) * on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:31PM (#5907037)
    Time magazine put a review on their website, that supposedly spoils the ending.

    DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK IF YOU DO WANT THE ENDING SPOILED

    Matrix spoiler [time.com]

  • by Kappelmeister (464986) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:34PM (#5907059)
    I'd also be disappointed in an all-out action sequel, because of the philosophical underpinnings [google.com] of the original.

    I'm writing a movie about the psychology of VR worlds (applied to MMORPGs) and thought it would be a neat exercise to make a list of the ways the Matrix premise could been pushed. These are straight from my notes:
    • An RL (real life) character takes on several MV (metaverse) characters, or at least, someone who doesn't look exactly the same.
    • RL characters continue to kill with impunity in the MV, but discuss the ethics -- isn't it as bad as killing an RL person, since it essentially is? (Why is Neo less than a serial murderer for what he did in the lobby, since those policemen thought they were pretty real?)
    • Neo alters MV world history by materializing at key places at key times, as opposed to just hanging around downtown.
    • The Matrix history is recorded and characters use the records to uncover key revelations about the world and each other. (This world would be very different if there were absolute records of every physical event.)
    • A futher exploration of the mind/body problem. This movie "enforces" the notion that all physicality is part of the mind -- they are not parallel or intertwined. Neo's ability to reform the Matrix is a great device for this -- "there is no spoon" indeed. But is the spoon, then, bent just for him, or for everyone? How might the computer resolve divergent internalizations, interpretations, and mental images? Surely there is a large piece of perception that lies well outside the computer's reach of sensory input -- can't people get out of sync?

    But then again... it's hard to sell tickets when you make movies out of musings like those.
    • by lkaos (187507)
      A futher exploration of the mind/body problem. This movie "enforces" the notion that all physicality is part of the mind -- they are not parallel or intertwined. Neo's ability to reform the Matrix is a great device for this -- "there is no spoon" indeed. But is the spoon, then, bent just for him, or for everyone? How might the computer resolve divergent internalizations, interpretations, and mental images? Surely there is a large piece of perception that lies well outside the computer's reach of sensory inp
  • Strange... (Score:5, Informative)

    by 11223 (201561) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:38PM (#5907090)
    Now, this flatly contradicts what this week's Time Magazine claimed - namely, that the first hour of the new movie was all plot and little action, and only in the second hour does it begin to heat up.

    Who do you believe? I'll wait and see myself.

  • by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:44PM (#5907109) Homepage Journal
    They give far too much of it away, not the plot necessarily, but the action sequences and 'new characters'. I don't see they why they are pimping it so badly. People are going to want to see it anyway. The adverts should have been complete teasers. I'm tired of walking into a movie only to discover I know whats coming because of what I've seen on the adverts.
  • by supun (613105) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:48PM (#5907133)
    where Neo is finds the buffer overflow error in the Matrix and installs Linux over the existing OS, forcing Mr. Smith to live inside VMWare session?
  • by bobwoodard (92257) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @09:54PM (#5907172)
    I'm guessing you just skimmed it, since the reviewer actually complains that there is too much of the philisophical mumbo-jumbo.
  • Subtle? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anita Coney (648748) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @10:00PM (#5907195) Homepage
    The Matrix had the subtlety of a Gwar concert!
  • by Quantum Jim (610382) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .42tscfj.> on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @10:01PM (#5907201) Homepage Journal
    And Persephone, a sexy bad-girl-turned-good who hooks Neo up with the all-important Keymaker.

    NO NO NO! That's wrong! He's not the Keymaker, he's the Keymaster. And he gets it on with the Gatekeeper before turning into a giant dog - pet of Gozer! Jeeze!

  • by f00zbll (526151) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @10:02PM (#5907204)
    was decent, but I would hardley call it mind blowing. It definitely did a better of using philosophy than other films, but it doesn't come close to reading the I-ching or the birth of trajedy.

    There's nothing wrong with Pop philosophy, but people need read the original works. Hopefully, the movie inspired some people to go read the original text and really get a mind altering experience.

  • Subtle? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gondola (189182) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @10:18PM (#5907280)
    If you thought that theme was subtle, you don't get out much.

    I've seen numerous movies with more subtle themes. The Matrix is about kicking ass and wearing leather.

  • by Little Grey (571460) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @10:23PM (#5907299)
    The whole story was written from the beginning as a trilogy, so the 2nd part was the setup for the huge war. So whether it's an all-out action movie or not, it's exactly what the brothers intended it to be from the start.
  • by bloosqr (33593) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @10:24PM (#5907304) Homepage
    The Matrix is has philosophical overtones in the same way Philip K Dick has philosophical overtones. Admittedly, I am a HUGE PKD fan but in sheer entertainment/fictional value the pulp-sensibilities of reality and perception (aka practically any pkd novel or movies like the matrix/existenz etc etc) still win me over, over say plowing through "kierkegaard/descartes/sartre etc etc" or pynchon/delillo and their ilk :)

    -bloosqr
  • by GodWasAnAlien (206300) on Wednesday May 07, 2003 @10:38PM (#5907376)
    You mean subtle, like holding a Duracell(tm) battery to explain an energy cell to the audience?
    Or subtle like Oracle(tm) pointing the audience to a chicken/egg circumstance that will "bake our noodle"?
  • har har har (Score:5, Insightful)

    by falsification (644190) on Thursday May 08, 2003 @12:22AM (#5907925) Journal
    a subtle philosphical theme about how we percieve reality.

    ROTFLMAO.

    Oh yes, The Matrix, a movie, was so very, very subtle. And philosophic. It practically put Plato to shame. Oh, we are so sophisticated here. Hmmm. Could we build on this deep, deep insight and discuss how Biodome compares with Kierkegaard? "No! I will not be limited by your limited metaphysical world!"

  • by greck (79578) on Thursday May 08, 2003 @01:28AM (#5908166) Homepage
    In one of the key scenes, Neo battles it out with first just one Smith, then eight, then 24 and finally 100.

    1, 8, 24, 100? That's not a very apropos way for a computer-generated anything to replicate.

    Yes, please shoot me already.
  • by Snafoo (38566) on Thursday May 08, 2003 @02:16AM (#5908309) Homepage
    Okay, so it isn't 'subtle', but I think that the philosophical content of the Matrix resembles a late twentieth-century Marxist retort to postmodern/anarchist ethics, rather than a disembodied echo of Plato or Descartes. (In reply to apologists for the former reading: The 'real world' is far too dirty, and requires a revolution of consciousness in order to attain, rather than death, a la Plato. Plato suggests that the best we can hope for as mortals is _knowledge_ of forms, which is quite different from perception. And as for Descartes --- well, if you're painting with strokes that thick, we might as well say that any ontology which clearly distinguishes between perception and reality is Cartesian; ie, almost all philosophy ever written.) Consider the indicators: The antagonist is a 'Mr Smith' (get it? As in 'Adam'?). The object of Neo is to 'awaken' the citizens from the fripperies and consolations of decadence to the reality of tje exploitation of their energies (labour). Sure, the task will require complete subordination to those leading the revolution, but, as ugsome as such a prospect might be to senses of personal dignity and liberty, it is certainly to be favoured over the false liberty of cosmopolitan capitalism.

    Or maybe it's just a movie.

  • honestly folks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by salmo (224137) <mikesalmo&hotmail,com> on Thursday May 08, 2003 @03:28AM (#5908516) Homepage Journal
    I'm sorry, I enjoy The Matrix as much as the next geek, but please. Philisophical content??? The basic idea of the mind/reality seperation has been around longer than Descartes' subjectivist turn in his Meditations. Let's not put too much value in these films. They throw a mild technology element into an idea thats existed for a long time. I think the production and mythological element should be much more valued. Maybe I've just spent too much of my life buried in books (yes the ones with paper pages and ink type) but I didn't find the "world isn't real" aspect of the film(s) to be that shocking or original. It was mildly interesting at best. But the way it was presented in combination with the way that their (semi)religion was presented in the context played out in a very interesting manner.

    The X-Men saga is about as interesting philisophically with the alagory (that whole civil rights thing). Then again, I'm excited about these flicks as well.

    Both, I think fall in the good movies as opposed to good films category (call me snobby! please!). Apocalypse Now was a great film. Fritz Lang's catalogue were great films. The Matrix and The Matrix:Reloaded, must see? YES! Great film? eeehhhhh.... Derivative, but well presented? Probably. Only time will tell what people really think of these.
  • Oh for fuck's sake. (Score:3, Informative)

    by mad_clown (207335) on Friday May 09, 2003 @06:53PM (#5922778)
    This is for those of you who're sitting in front of your computer screens waxing eloquent about the profound subtleties (or lack thereof) that may or may not, according to the hallowed body of work left behind by such intellectual titans as Nitschze, Kierkegaard, Descartes, and Plato (hint: namedropping "The Cave" doesn't make you sound cool or particularly educated) be embodied in The Matrix: please, for the love of God, get over yourselves. It's a fucking movie. If The Matrix is so intellectually beneath you, then don't see it. Go read "The Birth of Tragedy" or something in a coffeehouse, smoke some cloves, and wear a beret or something. Because, and I can't stress this enough:

    THE MATRIX IS JUST A MOVIE.

    Thank you and good night.

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