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Turing Board Game Review

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× Talk abut Movies & TV here. Just tell us what you have been watching. Have hyper-academic discussions on visual semiotics. Whatever, it's all good.

Matrix 4: The Search for More Money

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02 Aug 2021 00:13 #325102 by DarthJoJo

Michael Barnes wrote: The second was almost like that plus willfully pretentious, cerebral 1970s sci-fi, also opening up the concept of The Matrix to accommodate ghosts and vampires. It also sticks one of the greatest chase scenes in film history (better than those we saw in the 70s) right in the middle of it like it’s no big thing.

I hate the action pieces in Reloaded so much. Neo demonstrates quite forcefully that he’s way past them by the end of the first, but Matrix is at least nominally an action franchise. It still needs fights and Neo to fight them. So we get “upgraded” agents. There’s a bowling ball and pins sound effect in the Smith brawl.

It’s stupid and lazy, but the greater problem is that the fights don’t matter and have no consequences. Neo doesn’t need to fight anymore, so they need to work overtime to keep him out of the action. No one even gets dirty. One Smith loses his sunglasses in the brawl. That’s it for a fight that includes multiple men getting clocked by concrete.

Morpheus and Smith in the bathroom in the first was amazing. No one talks about it, but it was amazing. There was a purpose. There were consequences. It told a story in miniature. Neo and Seraph? Just needed a fight to bookend a bad a Oracle talk.

It was an embarrassment from a team that had already proven they knew better.
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02 Aug 2021 00:38 #325105 by Jackwraith
MB brings up some good points, but I suspect the (ahem) reality was that they came up with a complete vision in the first film and then had an unexpected success, which forced them to go back to the plotting board and extend what was a complete vision into a completer vision and that's almost never a good idea. You can do it if your follow-up to Second Foundation comes 29 years later like Asmiov's, where he had plenty of time to create something that could continue to carry the massive heft of the first trilogy. The Wachowskis didn't have that time, so what ended up on the screen in the subsequent films were supporting ideas that didn't have sufficient story to make them work in a proper narrative sense. Thus, things like the oft-complained about "cave rave" that was mostly about killing time, rather than actually telling a story.

I don't mind the subsequent films because I can see what they were trying to do, but they lack the menace, tension, and rhythm of the first film almost entirely. The Animatrix has some good stuff that could have been explored further, but nothing that truly departs from the first film's vision in a way that would have been enough to carry a feature film. I own DVDs/Blu-rays of all of them, because I like their stuff, but I rarely go back to watch them, as I've seen the first one many times and the others don't really motivate me.
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02 Aug 2021 03:25 #325106 by Michael Barnes
That’s actually not the case. I might be misremembering exact details, but I believe they pitched The Matrix with something like a 400 page script with storyboards and had pretty much everything in place from the beginning. This is why Reloaded/Revolutions were shot practically at the same time. I’m sure things were changed after the first film and it’s success but it definitely was not a JJ Abrams make it up as you go along thing.

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02 Aug 2021 04:51 #325107 by Nodens
- Wachowski movies always have amazing visuals
- content-wise, everything interesting is taken from somewhere else, like PK Dick or Hong Kong Cinema (or a trip to a Berlin club)
- the first Matrix was part of a series of 'Jesus movies' compiled by a theology professor in Germany
- I love Speed Racer

(posted from the high seas)
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02 Aug 2021 09:44 #325114 by Jackwraith

Michael Barnes wrote: That’s actually not the case. I might be misremembering exact details, but I believe they pitched The Matrix with something like a 400 page script with storyboards and had pretty much everything in place from the beginning. This is why Reloaded/Revolutions were shot practically at the same time. I’m sure things were changed after the first film and it’s success but it definitely was not a JJ Abrams make it up as you go along thing.


Right. I didn't mean to imply that it was an on-the-spot thing. I know they had a background set up. But the first film was a complete story; beginning, middle, end. It could easily have stood alone with no sequels required. The story was told and the message was delivered. But then it was a blockbuster hit, so the story had to be extended. As good DMs will know, here's a difference between setting/background and actual storytelling. They told their first story in a succinct fashion. It was done. Then they had to crack it open and tell some more, which is where the later two films broke down, IMO.
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02 Aug 2021 09:59 #325118 by RobertB
You're best off if you stop after The Matrix. If you watch Reloaded, you're going to have to watch Revolutions, and you're going to be disappointed in both.

I still watch Reloaded. I end up toughing it out to get to the car chase scene, then since I only have about 30 minutes left in the movie I end up watching it to the end. I just skip Revolutions.

I'll watch Matrix:4, but I'm not stoked to see it.
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02 Aug 2021 10:17 #325122 by Michael Barnes
Marc that kind of leads up to the fatal flaw in the whole series. Part of their pitch was that The Marrix was a transmedia franchise, which was a hot idea at the time- an IP with mutually supportive films, comics, video games, etc. This didn’t impact the first film but it really did the other two because there are huge bits of background, story, and concepts that actually are not in the last two films. It’s in the video games and other tie-in stuff. So what you say about the first movie being complete checks out because the other two are, on screen, missing things that probably should have been there.
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02 Aug 2021 10:37 #325125 by Gary Sax
I remember thinking reloaded was boring but fine. It was revolutions that was agonizingly bad. The fights were absolutely terrible due to the no stakes problem pointed above and they dragged so bad.
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02 Aug 2021 10:47 #325126 by Jexik
I saw the first movie when I was thirteen with next to no expectations and was totally blown away. It’s like how I think 8 year olds felt when they saw the first Star Wars in theaters. My friends and I used to quote it like crazy. Was kinda let down by the sequels.

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02 Aug 2021 12:20 #325137 by Jackwraith
Yeah, that's the difference between world-building and storytelling sometimes. It's cool to have all that tied-in stuff but the centerpiece has to pay off. (I remember more than one DM as a kid where the player characters were kind of a sideshow to the grand tale that the DM was spinning around them.) If people play the games or watch the other stuff and get the Easter eggs, awesome. But the films have to be complete stories or otherwise your whole structure breaks down because people aren't as interested in what's supposed to be the main effort.
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02 Aug 2021 12:30 #325139 by Michael Barnes
Yep. Like the whole poky of the Merovingian is that he’s like a vampire count and his minions are ghosts and werewolves. That is -barely- hinted at in the film. Mostly where two of his henchmen are watching Brides of Dracula. This was expanded upon in In the Matrix but without that outside info...it’s just two weird albino dudes and wondering what their deal was.
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02 Aug 2021 14:21 - 02 Aug 2021 14:22 #325148 by jason10mm
I liked the matrix game where you could make out with Monica Bellici (twice!). Ultimately I think the ideas were too out there. After the first one they were given carte-Blanche and it was just too much. Instead of the concise "there is no spoon" scene we got like 5 philosophical monologues.

Reloaded was in the summer of chase scenes. IIRC Terminator 3 came out that year as well and at least one other car chase heavy film, Bad Boys 2 maybe?
Last edit: 02 Aug 2021 14:22 by jason10mm.
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02 Aug 2021 18:12 #325155 by mc
I lived in Sydney when the Matrix came out and it is impossible to describe how cool it was to see it on screen in a big blockbuster like that. So many familiar scenes. I don't think it had ever been seen like that before. There's just a thrill in that. Dark City was filmed here too but you wouldn't know; in the Matrix everything is out there front and centre, the city scenes, the warehouses, the railway bridges, the lot. It was a real trip.

Aside from that though I loved the film and what it did, the look of it, the ideas. But I remember bouncing off the messiah thing hard; it almost ruined the rest of it for me - to the extent that I went to see the next one only under great sufferance and felt completely justified afterwards. I don't think I saw the third or any of the other material. I've watched the original again a few times and still enjoy it on the whole, although I still just wish it wasn't a stupid chosen one narrative. I suppose to watch the 4th I'll have to watch the others too, not sure if that will happen.
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09 Sep 2021 14:18 - 09 Sep 2021 14:50 #326382 by Ah_Pook
The trailer for this looks pretty cool.



Edit: getting Force Awakens vibes, since this trailer is basically "hey we remade the first one, you liked that movie right?" Remains to be seen how much of the movie is actually that and how much they lean into the garbage from the sequels, but if nothing else it looks like some fun fan service to be had.

Edit edit: if this entire movie is an elaborate setup to deliver a huge middle finger to the human garbage who coopted the red pill thing in recent years I'm okay with that too.
Last edit: 09 Sep 2021 14:50 by Ah_Pook.
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09 Sep 2021 20:15 #326390 by jason10mm
I'm just keeping my expectations low. I generally like Wachowski stuff but Jupiter Ascending.....damn that one really hurt. This trailer seems REALLY derivative as well, I can only hope it is deliberately deceptive.

At least I can expect some well shot action scenes, hopefully not full on CGI cartoons.
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