Friday, November 29, 2013
Everything That Has A Beginning...Has An End...And A Ranking. The Matrix Ranked
I learned something this retrospective. That I, along with plenty of others, severely underrated this film franchise and trilogy. While it has some problems, I'd like to know another franchise that is without fault. With the sequels, I think many people mistook confusion and their inability to comprehend some plot points and devices for anger and dislike. Sometimes you don't get a movie on the first view. Sometimes we have expectations that aren't met and don't open the door and allow ourselves to appreciate what it is they are giving us. The Wachowskis gave us a pretty damn good trilogy that I think really deserves more respect beyond the praise of the first movie. Its also a franchise that sort of pioneered and incorporated outside sources or expanded universe material in a way that was pretty effective. I'm excited for the next time I sit down to watch this franchise through. This retrospective was a both a reminder and eye opener for the quality of The Matrix series. For the first time, I'm incorporating into this, everything I've covered for the franchise as canon.
Now...let's rank then I tease what's upcoming for December.
5. Enter The Matrix
Like I said before, you can skip it. If its not 2003, there's no need to go pick this up. Just go on YouTube and watch all the cutscenes if your'e interested in this one's story. You'll find a lot repetition from The Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions storypoints revisited much more poorly here. Its interesting, slightly fun, but ultimately forgettable and skippable. This was pretty cool back in 2003, but today there's almost no need to have this, it was a product for hype and that's pretty much it.
4. The Matrix Revolutions
This is toward the bottom and is going to be beat out by a collection of animated shorts, but its by no means a slouch. There's some great ideas and storytelling here. It starts fantastic and ends that way too. Its biggest crime is the middle portion where I just can't find myself caring. Among the rest, its just merely a "good" movie. And as I've tried my best to preach on this site and on Why So Blu, its perfect fine and all right if a movie is just good. I tire of there no longer being a middle ground in entertainment anymore. Too many perfectly fine and enjoyable movies, television shows and records get unfairly shat upon and disrespected in this day and age because they were just good and not life changing. Stop adding to it, go into a movie hoping to enjoy it instead of trying to figure out how you can be that "cool guy" who's "above the rest" because you can tear it down. Its easy to pick apart even the best movies, there's no challenge in that.
Sorry for that little rant. Back to ranking
3. The Animatrix
This collection of shorts is an incredible look at all the potential this franchise has at going other places and spinning off. You could have a serialized or even procedural style live action show. You could do a Tales From The Darkside or Twilight Zone type anthology with it. Hell, you could just volumes upon volumes of animated shorts like we have here. There's the beginning, there's earlier versions of the Matrix. Its crazy. The fact that these were done so damn well is even better. While the animation styles vary greatly, every one of them manages to capture the spirit and essence of the films and what makes them tick. Like I said before, this is high recommendation to anyone who hasn't seen them before.
2. The Matrix Reloaded
Had I done this ranking prior to the retrospective, this film would have placed 3rd with The Animatrix in this spot. This film continues to grow on me with each viewing. Its a complete action spectacle. Its also a fine kung fu movie. Its got a devastating twist. Some great drama and metaphors. And like every sequel its everything you loved about the first movie taken up a notch and done bigger. This film picks up and moves for over two hours, never letting up. The Zion portion is easily the least interesting but its nothing throwaway, plus its the first look at it and other people. I was guilty of being down on this one after the first time I saw it, but have warmed to it ever since. Its a fine sequel and really should be held up under better light when discussing great all-time sequels.
1. The Matrix
Like a broken record, you just can't beat the original. While my love for Reloaded grew more with this retrospective, it was no match for how much enjoyment I had going back and revisiting the first movie. While I think the action sets are better in Reloaded, they are pretty damn good here too (love that lobby shootout). What I think does it for me here is the sense of mystery and the very noir aspect that has my dork meter peaking. There's kind of a crummier look to this one that I dig as well. The film provides an atmosphere that is untrusting and keeps you on the edge of your seat with wonder. No matter how bright a day in the Matrix is, you know something dark could pop up right out of thin air. Also, I love Joey Pants. I really like the actor and the character of Cypher. When I first saw this movie, there was nothing like it. And while it has many imitators now, none of them have been able to match.
That's it for November and with a day to spare even! I had originally planned to do all the Jack Ryan movies in December, but then they moved it to January 17. So that won't work out. Why do the Lord Of The Rings films when it clearly ends next year? So, I decided to try and go holiday themed. There's Silent Night, Deadly Night...and I know you guys like the horror ones, but I just watched all of them last year and the majority of those are a chore to get through. So, no "Garbage Day" this year (maybe next year, if you're not "naughty!"). I've thought about it and thought about it and ultimately the answer was clear as can be and I'm pretty excited about the many places we're going.