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Matrix Reloaded
buzzed, B&W
I went and saw Matrix Reloaded this afternoon. Quite a nice escapist film. Before I get into my thoughts, I'm confused why people like to go to movies together? Is this just because people don't like doing things by themselves, even if it is sitting in a dark room, silently, for about two hours? I can see some benefit in having someone to chat with during the previews, or talk about your impressions after the movie, but is it really that critical? People are always surprised why I say I don't mind going to movies by myself, and sometimes enjoy it, since it allows for some introspection and good alone time.

Anyway . . .

The movie was fun.

The car chase seen was cool, and I understand product placement and the like, but really, having the 5752 pound Cadillac EXT chase the 3,509 pound CTS was a bit much. Looking on the web, I found these acceleration numbers:
Speed (mph) CTS EXT
0-30 2.50 s 3.08 s
0-40 3.80 s 4.42 s
0-50 5.40 s 6.24 s
0-60 7.05 s 8.00 s
0-70 9.50 s 11.24 s
0-80 12.30 s 14.51 s
0-90 15.40 s 20.52 s
0-100 19.70 s 27.10 s

Looking at those numbers, the car chase scene just seems to suggest that Trinity should have been able to easily outpace the twin ghosts and just driven away. And let's not forget the agent somehow getting a semi to do a u-turn without jack-knifing the truck. The Ducati 996 is a beautiful bike, but again, that superbike, even with two riders, should have easily outpaced any chase cars.

I did like how mythology and folk tales (vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc) were mentioned and explained as "programs." The overall geek factor of the movie seemed higher, as the model of the Matrix as a large virtual universe running on a computer was referred to much more often, with many of the key players actually being "programs" who were trying to avoid deletion. Also, the scene where Trinity hacks into the computer is pretty realistic.

I had heard that the movie was much more action than the head-trip the first one was, but I found this movie again blended the two well. The action scenes were great, with cool coreography and effects that remained stylistically similar to the original. The psychological aspects of the movie seemed significant, with them constantly questioning whether they had choices or the characters were just pawns. The role of the Architect and his explaining how Neo was the penultimate bug, with the other free humans being bugs as well was pretty psychological as well. Being the sixth iteration suggests that this was sort of like garbage cleanup, with the machines coming to purge out the garbage, and having to do this every so often.

I do wonder what Smith's motivation was. He's a rogue program now, separate from the Matrix, but why does he feel the need to constantly assimilate others? And to stop Neo? Since he's no longer an agent, what's his driving force? In the melee battle where he attacks Neo, I was reminded of Micheal Crichton's Prey (which I just read) and thinking about swarm behavior, and emergent behavior as well from adaptive programs.

So, I know some people said they didn't want to see this movie since Neo is too god-like, he doesn't have a weakness. I think the movie does a decent job of portraying him as super-human, but also having weaknesses. His love for Trinity is of course his ultimate weakness. The limits are somewhat arbritray though. He resurrects Trinity, but unlike in the first movie where one might argue it's the power of love that brings Neo back from the grave, in this case, he "hacks" the Matrix and rebuilds her from the inside out. This bugs me a bit as what's to keep him from resurrecting everyone he feels like bringing back? But I'm nit-picking. The movie was entertaining, and sucked me into the fantasy world of the Matrix for 2.5 hours, and in that regard, it's a success.

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I would have to agree with you, on it being a good movie, and a good blend of the head trip stuff and action.

I really liked it.

I need to post about it.

Yea, I don't mind going to the theatre alone either, and didn't realize people were so self-conscious about it.

Then again, it may not be the self-conscious thing. Social interaction energizes some and enervates others, they say.

Why go in groups? I remember reading an essay in high school that talked about movies as a "consensual illusion". (doesn't seem to be online, but it was far earlier than Gibson.)

Interesting analysis of the vehicular speeds. The second time I watched MR, I tried computing Neo's flight speed (500 miles, between 18 and 36 minutes or so) and guesstimated between Mach 1 and 2...

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