The news has been circulating lately, and I’ve been mulling over it. A Matrix reboot or remake. Huh.
It seems definitely like – while remake might be what we would expect with everything Hollywood has been doing these days – reboot is the more likely route they will go. So not restarting the franchise, but simply dipping back into it. Here’s several articles on the news:
I am unapologetic in the fact that I really like the Matrix trilogy. I think in part I felt a strong connection between the films and the Dune book series, and it felt like the Wachowskis trying to work their way through the themes of the books – much like I was doing myself at the time. I think it was with these films that I coined my often-used phrase, “Just Like Dune.”
But that means the films felt like, for lack of a better term, fandom to me. Fellow travelers in a Dune fandom. But somewhere along the line, I also picked up some Matrix aesthetic (I still love my long black coat), and in writing this post I now have “Mona Lisa Overdrive” stuck in my head – I absolutely loved the music.
The Matrix Reloaded is still one of my go-to pop-in-and-watch movies, though I typically start it roughly when they head back into the Matrix to find the Oracle, and often stop it before reaching the Architect. This skips some of the stronger like-Dune aspects but is just action and effects fun.
All of which is to say… returning to this world? Possibly without the Wachowskis? Disconnected from the plot and characters we know? How do you build a new movie in the Matrix universe? There are only a couple of really big reveals, and it seems like those are already covered. So let’s consider a few things.
I feel like reviewing the movie is pretty quick and easy for me. I did not find it as bad as some did. I definitely feel like the ideas – both story/world ideas and visual ideas – were much better than the character interaction and dialog. And maybe their biggest problem is how easy it is to compare to Guardians of the Galaxy – a movie which they could have come out before, but instead came out after. So Channing Tatum comes across as a poor-man’s Star Lord, rocket-skates and all.
So I want to look more at two aspects of the film. One is the comparison to other science fiction, where I have found people comparing it to all sorts of other movies – but for me, there’s really only one main comparison. The other aspect I want to look at is the thing that I think could have made the film better – more characters! Maybe some spoilers to follow for Jupiter Ascending.
Our plan for this weekend was to go see the new movie by the Wachowskis, Jupiter Ascending. This movie was originally slated for last summer, and got bumped back to this weekend, in a hum-drum time in February. Not generally the best sign.
But some of it is that they seem to have increased the special effects, which for a science fiction movie like this is probably a good thing, and they’ve made the movie look pretty good, at least visually. Like in this trailer:
That looks much better than, say, one of the earlier ones: http://youtu.be/ftaFUoSFYwI Like it needed more post-production, and got more post-production. That’s good, right?
Well, apparently it’s not enough. Here’s where it’s sitting on Rotten Tomatoes: