Sunday, July 22, 2012

ONE IN 20,000 MOVIES - #2

I take nearly 20,000 movie titles and I have a computer choose a random title, and then I seek that movie out and watch it. Why? No reason.

Drum roll, please ...

                                                      The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
                                                         A Warner Brothers Picture
                                                   Directed by The Wachowski Brothers
                                                Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne

The Matrix Revolutions, the third film in The Wachowski Brothers' Matrix trilogy was critically slashed, bashed and run out of town upon its release in 2003. It's outrageous $110 million budget yielded a slow and dismal return. Film critic Leonard Maltin smugly said of it: "BILL AND TED'S BOGUS JOURNEY should not be the better sequel on Keanu Reeves resume.".

Being unfamiliar with the first two Matrix films - The Matrix (1999) and The Matrix Reloaded (2003) - I sort of enjoyed this third Matrix entry, a futuristic sci-fi thriller about a race of humans at war with a mechanized world (the "Machines"), for the rule of sacred but never clearly defined Zion. Apparently Zion is like the bar at the end of the universe where all the humanoids hang out.

While the good vs. evil simplicity is overly complicated by a league of sci-fi clutter, it's best to just go with a Flash Gordon mode of mind and enjoy this ride. The special effects are magnificent. The "war" in the second half of the film is dazzling in its claustrophobic vista of biological, mechanical and human warfare battling in a struggle for dominance.

Keanu Reeves as Neo sends this "man" to apparent fiery Hell with little more than a sucker punch in The Matrix Revolutions.

Elsewhere there are intriguing stark, mundane images of an abandoned subway station in glaring porcelain white, earthbound domesticated and hollow suburban homes with rooms that look like something David Lynch might feel comfortable lounging in, and a dormant industrialized nighttime world of skyscraper human design void of human existence.

As a visual palette it's like a good modern art gallery. As science fiction it's like Buck Rogers re-booted.

The eye-popping Monica Bellucci and some French guy prepare for battle in "The Matrix Revolutions".

There is an army of look-a-like clones dressed in business suit and tie savvy, who may or may not be the "Machines" posing as humans. I was a bit confused by who exactly they were, but certainly the "bad guys" given their habit of draining blood from a person with a single squeeze of their fist. I think you may have to be eight years old and big on Transformers to understand what is going on at any given point of the film.

There is an all-knowing mystical human known as "Oracle", a black woman who can be found smoking cigarettes in her ridiculously earthbound suburban kitchen baking cookies, as space travelers pop in to ask her vital "meaning of life" questions. Actress Gloria Foster played Oracle in the first two Matrix films but died before completion of The Matrix Revolutions and is replaced here by Mary Alice.

An army of clones gather to watch one of their own dancing in the rain in "The Matrix Revolutions".

My favorite quote of the movie comes from the evil leader of the look-a-like clone men who approaches Oracle in her strange kitchen and takes a plate of freshly baked cookies and smashes them against the wall. He then says: "Maybe you knew I was going to do that, maybe you didn't. If you did, that means you baked those cookies and set that plate deliberately, purposely, which means that you're sitting there also deliberately, purposely. Cookies need love like everything does."