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'Matrix' Sequels In Trouble? 237

jopasm writes "The Matrix sequels may be in trouble. They've had one of the major actors pull out due to scheduling conflicts and Keanu is rumored to have broken his ankle while in training. Scifi.com is carrying the rumour/style. " Yes, Michelle Yeoh [?] (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) has pulled out - but the other part to remember is that SAG [?] will almost be certainly going on strike, delaying production in any case.
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Matrix Sequels In Trouble?

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  • by xtal ( 49134 ) on Monday January 15, 2001 @06:04AM (#506831)

    I won't be too sad if there's no sequel. The matrix is one of the best movies I've ever seen, and the number of movies that hollywood will leave alone to enjoy their limelight are few and far between - look at what happened to Highlander *whince*. I don't believe a sequel was ever made to Bladerunner, either, and it hasn't hurt it's cult following.

  • film around a dead actor, (Brandon Lee in the Crow) why can't they film around one with a broken ankle? If they are in fact filming both sequels at the same time, then they should have plenty of scenes to shoot.

    And as for a leading lady, somebody will step in. There are a ton of great acresses out there that kick ass (It seems everyone is either taking Tae-bo or kickboxing now).

  • Please, do NOT introduce the Battlestar Galactica "Balthazar" traitor-to-the-human-race concept.

    If you do, make it clever, like they are hackers in a 2199 virtual world, with computers duplicating reality, who think they are trying to stop some kind of robot intruders, like role-reversed.
  • What? Nero Burning Rom is not good enough?
  • CGI = computer generated images or computer generated inference (were you take several shots and make up (infer) the ones in between)

    but usualy it's the first


  • If the plot is sufficently well thought out, and the acting good enough then people will overlook the loose ends in the plot because they are simply entertained by the movie.
    I feel sorry for someone who goes to see a film, and then complains about "gaping plot holes" that are in reality insignificant.


    Oh, now I understand why people use Windows! ;-)

  • This comment is marked funny, but it's undoubtable that in time, computers will be used to creat actors. If you trace the history of CGI you can see that it's gone from non-realistic non-interacting stationary objects, to moving objects, to interacting characters, to photorealistic non-human characters, to humanoids. Humans are the next step. I'd expect that due to the SAG & other unions, it will probably be first seen with the likeness of a dead actor or actors, in an advert, probably for a superbowl Sunday. Quite possibly Marilyn Monroe or James Dean.
  • Umm... I hate to break it to you, but They Live pretty much blew. It was a good concept, yes, but beyond that an absolutely worthless movie.

    "Put on the glasses!"
    "No! I don't wanna put on the glasses!"

    Really, what the hell was his objection to trying on a pair of shades? Was it worth the most drawn out, boring fight scene in the history of film?

    I'm all out of bubblegum.
  • He is the One, and he is supposed to be able to move in and out of the Matrix at will. Of course, at the end of the movie, it's much more dramatic if he needs to get to the proper telephone in time, rather than just "moving out at will."

    Rest assured, the plot of the first movie can be broken enough to permit Neo to not be able to do the things he is able to do.

    --
  • by Tim Macinta ( 1052 ) <twm@alum.mit.edu> on Monday January 15, 2001 @07:55AM (#506840) Homepage
    BTW, if Keanu had become the One in Matrix1, I believe they had to invent something incredible if they still want him to fight in its sequel. Has he or not become a God which could just destroy his opponents in less than 2 seconds ?

    He's only "The One" inside the Matrix. He's still very vulnerable in the real world - hence the whole rush at the end of the movie to get him out of the Matrix. Here's what I would do if I were the machine in charge of the Matrix and wanted to elimate Keanu:

    • Wait until he enters the Matrix again (or lure him in, maybe by taking the Oracle hostage).
    • Pull all of the agents out of the Matrix.
    • Switch all of the phone lines within the Matrix to Verizon so that phone service goes down the toilet, thereby blocking all of the exits from the Matrix (they wouldn't be able to use the phone lines to get out at that point).
    • Erect an OpenBSD firewall so that hacking another way out of the Matrix will be beyond even Keanu's abilities.
    • Now the machines would be free to take their jolly old time hunting down Keanu in the real world. Once they find the ship they simply destroy it and eliminate the threat.
  • But then why do a sci fi movie at all? If it really does not matter that the explanation of the Matrix is such a lame-assed contrivance, then why bother explaining it at all? Why not just say "you can jump high becasue it's magic", and have Agent Smith be some kind of Demonic force, rather than a computer-generated one?

    Instead of wasting ten minutes telling us all about how humans are now batteries, how "your body cannot survive without your brain", and shit like that, they could have had Morpheous say a couple criptic things while playing with his pill-box, and then go straight to the ass-whooping.

    Personally, I thought The Matrix was one of the best Kung-Fu action movies ever made, but it was not a good example of science fiction. What separates science fiction from outright fantasy is not the presense of computers or space-ships or robots... it is that the story follows its own rules, based on a theoretically possible speculation.

    1. In The Matrix, we are told that man blotted out the sunlight, because the AI's got their energy from the sun. (Where the hell did they thing we got our energy from!?)

    2. The AI's decided to imprison people to harvest their energy (People make horribly inefficient energy generators. You would need to consume more energy to collect it in those quantities than you would get out. Also, with no solar energy, life on earth dies unless you replicate it, which again costs more energy than you will get out of the people.

    3. The dead are fed to the living. (One corpse has enough calories to feed one person for what, a month? You would run out of people very quickly with this system.)

    4. The AI's have control over the Matrix and everything in it. (Ahem... ps -ef | grep neo. Then "kill -9" the little bastard and go back to torturing Morpheus. Movie over.)

    5. The EMP is "the only weapon we have" in meatspace. (They can carry an EMP generator on their ship, and hack into the Matrix, but could not figure out how to mount a gun turret!?)

    The bottom line here is: crappy story, cool fight scenes and stunts. The same is true for just about any Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee flick, and if you watch The Matrix with the same expectations, you will have a fun time.

    People looking for a good version of this same story should watch Dark City, from two years earlier. No Kung Fu, but the plot works better.

    Also, Cronenberg's eXistenZ was better a better sci fi VR story, but damn weird, and a little predictable in spots.

  • >My main problem with the original is the same problem I have with all cyberspace-neuromancer type clones: why in the world would your brain kill your body if you 'thought' you died in some VR-type world? It makes no sense.

    Are you familar with shock. If your brain believes that you have lost an arm it changes the way blood flows in your body to preserves as much as possible for the brain to survive as long as possible, shutting off blood flow to many sections of the body.

    If there was a way to tell someone's brain that their heart had stoped beating or that it was no longer recieving oxygen who knows what the effect might be.

  • absolutely, I'm no scientist, and I thought it was absurd.

    It would've been better, and even more disturbing, if the machines thought of themselves as "taking care" of humans by enslaving them ...

    --
  • I doubt there are any statements left to be made, or that they were really trying to make any to begin with.

    I read a few interviews with the Wachowskis after The Matrix was released, and they said that they wanted to make a series (trilogy, I think) of superhero movies, but felt they needed a new way (at least in terms of superhero movies) to capture the audience... By setting them in another (believable) world, they didn't have to require the audience to set aside quite as much disbelief as they would if these superhero movies were set in the real world. It's an age-old sci-fi trick... it's much easier to make the action occur in a world that you can manipulate to your purposes as a writer than it is to adapt the action to the world we all live in.

    That said, The Matrix was the set-up movie... it established the new world, the origin of the superhero (Neo), and the arch-villain (the machines). Now we get to sit back and just have some comic-book superhero action.

    Cool. Not everything has to be an intellectual pursuit to be worthwhile and entertaining.
  • Dude, that busted ankle is totally not righteous!
    Bill, dude man, your stepmom's a babe!

    --
  • Computer generated imagery.
  • last I read (eyecandy.ucsc.edu)... I doubt that strike will occur.
  • "Worst Episode Ever!"
    "Worst Convention Ever!"
    "The Collector!"

    I don't remember the guy's name either but he's funny when they use him, I think their selective use of him is a good idea though, he won't make a spin-off show alone.

    As for the Matrix, it just didn't seem original, in general it followed the standard style over substance. It wasn't a bad movie, it just felt too rushed with almost didly character development, IMO.
  • I fail to see the importance of the Matrix and it's so called problems. I can understand /. ers facination with Star wars and their desire for Star wars news, but does this really deserve to be reported? I guess if it's a slow news day (it is a Monday) you want to put some story up.

    Did anyone ever see Dark City? Compared to the Matrix I think it is a magnatude better. I can't remember when it came out, 93-95? It didn't have the special effects or the big name actors, but it asked the question about "what is reality" in a much more realistic sense. Almost every idea in the Matrix it seems was copied from that movie.

    Back to my point. Do you really think this is worthy news for nerds? If so, hey, I'm outvoted, that's fine, I'm just curious if others feel the same way.
  • except it's not directed by a Japanese woman, it's directed by a Taiwaneese/American named Shu Lea Chuang.
    Don't you read the link before posting it? Guess that's typical for Slashdot ^_^;;
  • the ideas that lay the foundation for the Matrix are so hoary that they were ancient when philosophy was new. i'm not going to look up the actual dialogue, but even plato, when presented with the concept of world-as-elaborate-illusion, wondered aloud why anyone would want to dredge up "such old matters" and moved on to more interesting topics. finding yourself intellectually stimulated by the matrix is kind of like getting wasted on one beer right after giving blood.
  • "A computer-generated Keanu Reeves would almost certainly be a better actor than the real thing"

    whoah();

    Jamie McCarthy

  • A little late for this thread, true, but consider this:

    There is a medical condition called anencephaly [dictionary.com], which essentially means to be born with most of the brain missing. Children born like this are still technically alive.


  • First Whining Matrix-Fanboy Reply to Obvious Troll:

    Wah!! Matrix had a plot! It wasn't all CGI! Wah! The Matrix will go down in history along with Star Wars and <insert name of obscure japanimation here> as one of the greatest movies of all time!!! You don't know what you are talking about!!

  • Neither of them is.

    You'll find the following in many of the promotional sites for the movie:

    The title 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' draws upon an ancient Chinese saying, a proverb used to characterize situations wherein there dwell hidden heroes and the fact that nothing is ever what it seems.

  • The plot wasn't just simplistic, it was outright boneheaded. Robots have creating an incredibly complex and rich VR environment just to harvest the electricity from our bodies? Why not just kill the humans and burn the food in a reactor? Or, if you need the humans for something (what?), give them all lobotomies so you can shut off your main power drain: the Matrix.

    I will admit the special effects were well done. But like the OP said, they've been done to death now (even before the Matrix was out, I note).
    --
    MailOne [openone.com]
  • I've seen the movie both ways.

    Dubbed in english, in my home country. Subtitled in english, in the US.

    I have to say whoever did the english dubbing did a damn good job. The subtitles suffered in comparison. I usually prefer subs, but this time I found them distracting.

    Parenthetical note: you might be wondering, why dubbed? Because most people here understand spoken english better than written. Why english? There are multiple native languages spoken in this country. English is at least understoond (to varying extent) everywhere.

  • you're about two or three years too late. you've never seen fred astaire dance with the red devil vaccuum cleaner? or john wayne in the coors commercials?

    complex
  • Matrix was so hard to understand, even for a average geek, like myself. Was I the only one that really doesn't understand the story behind it? I know there in a computer related world, that computers have taken over (Most likely ran by Microsoft) and they have to beat the computer? Something along those lines. Even though the movie is very confusing -- it's still a great movie, with the special effects, and so on. So, yeah! Lets make another one..
  • by kyz ( 225372 ) on Monday January 15, 2001 @06:07AM (#506860) Homepage
    What surprises me is how the geek community has embraced this film, even though most reviewers (as did I) didn't think it was a good film at all. Was it just because of the high-tech content?

    I think the essense of it was that it made being a geek doing geek things seem cool. It appealed to the "hack-ethic" of geeks, essentially telling them that Planet Earth is a computer program they can just hack to become superheroes, and they can win against The Man(TM). The fighting and action went towards the excitement too, but I think geeks connect better with Keanu than Bruce Willis or Arnie.

    Ghost in the Shell did a better job of selling virtuality over reality, IMHO, but that's another story.
  • "Second Variety" was an amazing story from an amazing writer.

    Screamers was a piece of shit that gave the finger to Dick's amazing story, and I get down on my knees every night and pray for God to smite me so I don't have to remember that awful movie anymore.

    But back to the Matrix: it was a great movie. The CGI was integrated extremely well with the live action, and even if the acting mostly sucked (Keanu, I'm looking in your direction), the story was good (rehashed, but good) and the mood was compelling. The sequels might suck, but who knows?

    -Legion

  • Granted, the whole 'bleeding' in the real world thing is nonsense.

    "Your mind makes it real." - Morpheus.

  • ... philosophy professors were impressed enough with it to mention it on their courses.

    It's not just philosophy professors. I met an Episcopal Priest at a bar the other day who told me that the other priests on her priest mailing list talked about it all the time.

  • Well, maybe there are new & improved agents designed to go up against The One?
  • The reason that people are willing to overlook these gapping plot holes is beacause it's a god damn movie!

    People watch a movie so that they are entertained for a couple of hours. That's all. If the plot is sufficently well thought out, and the acting good enough then people will overlook the loose ends in the plot because they are simply entertained by the movie.

    I feel sorry for someone who goes to see a film, and then complains about "gaping plot holes" that are in reality insignificant (Like the internal wounds and blood coughing). That sort of thing adds a little to the overall scene, but as it isn't used at all after that one scene, and certainly isn't used as a pivitol plot point in the film, whats the harm in it?

    Just lighten up, please. It's only a movie!
  • OK, I know I'm begging for flames here, but...

    what was the last movie to come out that really had a bullet proof plot?

    12 Monkeys. Fight Club. The Usual Suspects. Seven. (Hmmm...all movies with either Brad Pitt (sucker has a great agent, obviously) or Kevin Spacey.)

    Yes, most movies have gaping holes in their plots, but quite a few have come out with surprisingly tight plots, considering Hollywood's usual "let's overexplain this so even the most retarded chimp in the audience will understand it. And get rid of that philosophical implication" attitude.

    -Legion

  • >> My main problem with the original is the same
    >> problem I have with all cyberspace-neuromancer
    >> type clones: why in the world would your brain
    >> kill your body if you 'thought' you died in
    >> some VR-type world? It makes no sense.

    It makes sense to me if you consider the following (yes, yes, off-topic). The brain implants are put in by Matrix AIs, for their own purposes. If the implant gets the message "this person is dead", it seems like a simple matter to shut off the autonomic nervous system, or overload it - this "the body cannot live without the mind" stuff isn't necessary.
  • And as for a leading lady, somebody will step in. There are a ton of great acresses out there that kick ass (It seems everyone is either taking Tae-bo or kickboxing now).

    Errgh... Suggesting "somebody" that "is either taking Tae-bo or kickboxing" step in for Michelle Yeoh is quite possibly the most insulting thing you could say about Ms. Yeoh's formidable abilities, both as an actress and a martial artist.

    ...it's like saying that you could just as easily throw Burt Ward in the role of Kato in The Green Hornet instead of Bruce Lee. I mean, after all, Ward had a black belt in karate, as well as sidekick experience. He'd have worked just fine!

    (Hint: Bruce Lee made The Green Hornet the success that it was, and he could have soundly kicked Burt Ward's candy-ass up and down the street.)

    information wants to be expensive...nothing is so valuable as the right information at the right time.

  • I'm not entirely sure about the way the brain receives and processes the shock response, but I do know that there is no way to 'tell' your brain that it is no longer receiving oxygen - either it is or it isn't! The body doesn't have an oxygen-o-meter, so the only oxygen deprivation sensor it has is *brain damage*.

    Let me give an example. Imagine someone was in a VR world, underwater, drowning. If the interface intercepts the nerve signaling (i.e., moving an arm in VR does not move the arm in reality) then the interface intercepts any conscious control of the autonomic system, and he breathes normally, regardless of what his brain is telling the rest of his body to do! If it does not, then he might hold his breath until he falls unconscious, at which point the autonomic system kicks in again. Either way - he wouldn't die. The only way you could die from drowning is to not have air available. Basically the same goes for other forms of death as well.
  • Actually, the Matrix did not insist that "if your brain thinks you died, your body dies." That is ridiculous. I myself have died many times in dreams.

    Matrix-bred humans have their vital functions run by the Matrix - at least within the Matrix. Their brains have co-developed with the machinery this way. So if the matrix decides that you have been struck with bullets, it does bad things to your body via brainstem implants.

    Notice that the free-range humans can't even enter the Matrix.

    The logic does closely resemble the common stupid device you mention on the outside, but on the inside it's totally different.

    Now if they were smart, the sequel will have Neo struggling to alert Matrix humans to the Matrix - maybe they don't care, maybe they turn against his warnings.

    And they will have to work hard to avoid the biblical-derived sci-fi plot device (a lot bad sci-fi cribs from biblical sources) which they dangerously stirred up with Neo being a little too messianic (died, but is reborn, etc).

    I'm interested to see where they go with the future matrix films, but they have some severe challenges that could be glossed over somewhat in the first one - sequels are MORE difficult to do well.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • Screenplays and stories do not a good movie make. I'm not into a lot of old / poorly produced films (innovative or not), because if I just want a good story, I can pick up a good book and have my mind supply the intermediaries. YMMV, of course.

    The Matrix kicked ass because of the flawless integration of the special effects into the story, and it's the only film I can say I've watched more than a dozen times.

    I go to the movies for eye candy. I read books for depth. I'm sure you have a different opinion.

  • No, I just don't shut off my brain during a sci-fi movie - just like I don't shut off my brain during any other movie. Non-sci-fi movies have to justify major plot points - why are sci-fi movies exempt?

    Granted, the Matrix did try to justify this as best they could - by stating it. At least they didn't just 'assume' it was true. But I just really didn't enjoy the movie at all - they explained far too many things poorly (the need for humans to be around... should've just been left as either unknown, or should've been more creative) - and simply neglected other things(like the AI's driving intention - what were they trying to do, besides being at war with humans? why were they at war with humans?) All the viewer knew was that 'they were the enemy', but they had no drive, no justification for their actions.
  • by Frosty*Jedi ( 210150 ) on Monday January 15, 2001 @05:51AM (#506883)
    Why not use computers to create actors, George Lucas would?
  • by bdavenport ( 78697 ) <spam@sellthekids.com> on Monday January 15, 2001 @06:14AM (#506886) Homepage
    in the day and age when first run stories cost upwards of $100mil and the original ranks in at #55 all-time [yahoo.com] with $177mil world wide, have no fear.

    they will make this film - without Yeoh, with Keanu, and as quickly as possible (even if SAG strikes.)

    what you SHOULD worry about is whether the Wachowski boys were a one hit wonder with the original or will they come through. sequels generally suck....

    INHO, of course!
  • The biggest reason the sequels will be in trouble is that they are based on such a shitty original. Sure, the movie had some great visuals, but the plot was ill conceived.

    The Matrix is a classic example of Hollywood style over substance. Seems that all the effort went into this new vision of live anime. In that effort they may have succeeded, but the concept of The Matrix is just an excuse for a second-rate TV cop show plot. If you are willing to put you brain on pause, maybe this movie works for you. I suspect the sequels will just devolve into a series of virtual car chases, ending with a spectacular crash into a virtual street vendor's fresh fruit stand.

    I hope Hollywood surprises us by investing some more creativity into this franchise. I'm not holding my breath on this one.
  • According to this [guerilla-film.com] (the site linked to from sci-fi), most of the rumours are wrong.
  • Uhm.. wouldn't it be rather easy, then, for the Matrix AI's to say "this person is dead" as soon as they connect?

    --
  • Wow. Weak, but passable. I'm impressed.

    After all, the Agents were conscious AIs - there's no reason to suppose that the Matrix itself also wasn't sentient. In this case, its intentions could have been separate from the Agents. (This was my interpretation of what the Oracle was, after all) This would explain why it didn't indiscriminately kill the rebels at any chance - it had stepped back, and decided not to interfere, and see who is the more resilient of the two.

    Neo's superpowers wouldn't have to be an incorrectly wired up interface - his autonomic system just might not work exactly the same way in exactly the same *place* as other humans. Thus, when he died, and his body didn't really die, his brain realized something was strange, and essentially concluded he was in a dream-state, or something like that. Not out of the question.

    OK, so that's one problem I had with the movie that's not entirely fully resolved (they would need to use that explanation) but is at least possible to resolve.

    (The rebels also might not understand the hardware at all... this is also possible.)
  • Just what makes you think that "the real world" is really "the real world?" Ever seen Thirteenth Floor?

    Given the abilities of the Matrix to fabricate a convincing reality, how difficult would it be for it to one-up Neo and shunt him off into a sandbox where he can waste his time fighting phantom Agents?

    What of the human bad guy hackers who really run the Matrix and whose abilities inside the Matrix far exceed Neo's? (think: Planet of the Apes XII or whatever it was).

    Sequels call for bigger, badder, trickier villains,and I'm sure Matrix 2 and 3 won't dissapoint.

  • Did ANYONE else see the fat white guy with sunglasses in the crowd of ruffians in the desert/hair-comb scene? He also appeared in the background of another scene, but I forget which.

    Anyone?

    Beuler?

  • Actually, when the bad guys assume someone else's body, they person is lost and therefore "flushed" from the system. So each time you see them assume someone's "body" they are killing that person.
    -
    The IHA Forums [ihateapple.com]
  • Technically, there *was* another movie set in the same universe, or at least (loosely) based on a short story by PKD that was (according to his agent) supposed to be in the same universe as DADoES... The movie was entitled "Screamers", and the short was entitled "Second Variety". Having read the short, I could (sort of) see the possible colocation... having seen the movie, I'd say "Cr*p".

    The only other author that writes short stories with that level of gut-wrench in such a short space, suitable for movie conversion, is Brian W. Aldis (only one so far that became a movie was his novel "Frankenstein Unbound", but his 8-page short "Super-Toys last all Summer Long" is soon to be a movie directed by Speilberg, originally under the direction of Stanley Kubric, entitled "AI"... I've got a bad feeling about this one. Kubric could have made it work. I've got fears of too much early "Third Kind" in it, and they've already spoiled the point of the short in the tag line alone...
  • The wire work in Crouching Tiger was used more to enhance and underline the fairy tale nature of the story. I don't think it was intended to look 'real' at all.


  • ....no wonder they're in trouble! [bbspot.com]

    ----------------------------
  • by SuiteSisterMary ( 123932 ) <slebrun.gmail@com> on Monday January 15, 2001 @06:22AM (#506916) Journal
    why can't they film around one with a broken ankle?
    They did; see Jackie Chan in 'Rumble in the Bronx' for a broken ankle, and any of his other movies for various broken bits. Watch the credits; they show him breaking the ankle, getting the cast, putting a thingy over the cast to look like his sock/shoe, and getting on with things.
  • I know this is slightly off topic but a link on that rumors page
    http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/art-main.html?200 1- 01/11/11.30.rumors
    has Bill Clinton playing the role of president in a 007 Bond movie.
    Why stop their Bill you can play Neo. Imagine Clinton in a Kung Fu fight seen running up walls. Or maybe he can play the part of an Agent.

    "there is no blue dress... um spoon"
  • ... there's no reason to suppose that the Matrix itself also wasn't sentient. ... This would explain why it didn't indiscriminately kill the rebels at any chance - it had stepped back, and decided not to interfere, and see who is the more resilient of the two.

    Sounds like a pretty good description of God to me. And I'm not even a religious zealot or anything. :)
  • Pictures of Keauneau with a cast on here [corona.bc.ca]. Also, at the same place are some rumors that Yeun Woo Ping, the awesome Hong Kong kung fu choreographer who did the wire work for both the original Matrix, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, might not work on the Matrix sequels.

    Rumor has it that the American stars are sucking up all the money from the production, leaving Woo Ping out in the cold. That is also rumored to be the reason that Jet Li bowed out of the movie, to be replaced by Michelle Yeoh, who is now bowing out. If they want to get a world class kung fu actor, they should pay him what he's worth. Hell, The Matrix was really just an appropriation of the Hong Kong action movie, with a bigger budget and better special effects. First they rip of the concept, then they won't pay the originators of the idea what they are worth.
  • Yeah, that element of the plot was dumb as a rock: if you want electricity, then rather burn the food that you would have fed to the humans.

    If you really need some kinda nonsensical "bio-electricy" thingymajig from living beings, then rather farm cows, they are more docile & have simpler dietary requirements.

    If you really need some even-more-nonsensical thingy from the brainwaves of intelligent beings, then use cloning + genetic engineering/selective breeding to get lots of the most docile & productive ones. I mean, why run the risk of the smart & restless humans breaking out when you could have really dumb ones, like say, Keanu Reaves. Oh, wait....

    OK leaving that detail aside, the central plot element is a deep pilosophical question that has been around for centuries. Decartes wanted to know: how do you know if all you percieve actually exisits, or is the machinations of some powerfull demon? In the end he decided that he thought, therefor he knew that he was, if nothing else.

    How do you know that you aren't a brain in a vat wired into a VR is the more modern and common formulation of the same question, as used by the Matrix.

    After that, sit back, disengage the brain and watch the stunts.
  • by Enoch Root ( 57473 ) on Monday January 15, 2001 @06:55AM (#506941)
    Actually, there is a sequel to Bladerunner, but it's an arthouse porn flick directed by a Japanese woman.

    I am NOT [uplink.co.jp] making this up. Honest.

  • Actually, you should check out Bound if you want to see another Wachowski flick. Excellent movie, and no CGI. You can see how they try to push film into doing "anime style" stuff before they had big budgets. I think they pulled it off very nicely.

    Plus, Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly. Nuf said.

  • It wasn't the tech, it was the ideas. My favorite line in the movie was "There is no spoon.". Very Zen. IMHO, Zen, and Taoism fit the hacker mindset very well. Especially if you're one of those who believes machine consciousness is achievable.

    Not only that, but every single incredible thing that was done in that movie was a result of mental discipline. It takes an amazing amount of mental discipline to program well. Watching the feats that these people pulled off was reminiscent of what it's like to create an incredibly good hack.

    It doesn't surprise me that mainstream critics didn't like it. They don't understand at all.

  • by kzinti ( 9651 )
    Sequels are rarely as good as the original, and in the case of a truly unique movie like The Matrix, the sequel is almost certain to disappoint. So the sequels are now in trouble? Fine - let them die, and we'll keep the Matrix as top flick in a category of one.

    --Jim
  • by tjwhaynes ( 114792 ) on Monday January 15, 2001 @07:04AM (#506947)

    Actually, there IS another major motion picture set in the Blade Runner UNIVERSE (though not technically a "sequel"): Soldier , starring Kurt Russel and written by David Webb Peoples, the writer of Blade Runner. See this info at the IMDB (also quoted below): Writer David Peoples has said that Solider is a "side-quel" to Blade Runner (which he also wrote) because it takes place in the same universe and in fact the vehicles used by the Blade Runners, spinners, are also used in Solider. All of this is not, of course, to negate your point, which is that Hollywood has a habit of screwing up perfectly wonderful movies with sequels-that-never-should-have-been.

    Are you suggesting that David Peoples wrote Bladerunner? Thats a little strong. He co-wrote the screenplay with Hampton Fancher, which in turn is based on the book 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' by Philip K. Dick.

    Similarly, while there are references to Blade Runner in the scenary and the script, there are references to a whole host of other movies as well such as Aliens, Star Trek II and others. I'd hardly class that as a sequel to BladeRunner. I know David Peoples is quoted as calling it a 'side-quel' but I personally find that a bit rich - simply associating your own screenplay with another one you co-wrote based on someone elses novel does not give you automatic kudos.

    Cheers,

    Toby Haynes

  • In both those cases, the advert was made from using existing stock, digitially modified to remove & insert objects. In the Fred Astaire case, a hat stand was replaced with the vaccum cleaner. The actor wasn't CGI.
  • Conversely, I've noticed that some of the martial arts/stunt work going on in two of my favorite "switch off your brain and drool" shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Xena - the first couple of seasons, the stuntwork was pretty obviously stupid, but in the later seasons, both Lucy Lawless, and Sarah Michelle Gellar have vastly improved (at least in the scenes where they aren't using a stunt double). Not to mention, the fight choreographers are starting to think more lately - I guess even they get sick of doing the same old fight scenes over and over, and occasionally have been pretty imaginative lately. . .
    (Who else thinks they should cancel Angel, and give Oz his own show?)
  • Not only that, but every single incredible thing that was done in that movie was a result of mental discipline.

    On the whole it would have been better it the Wachowski brothers had summoned the mental discipline at the outset to concoct a premise that made even a smidgeon of sense.

    I was prepared to like the movie, I really wanted to like the movie, but its unvarnished stupidity kept interfering. There were bits and pieces that were inspired, to be sure -- I liked the ideas that people cannot adapt to a perfect world -- but these only made me wish the rest of the movie wasn't so dumb. The basic premise that the matrix needed people as organic batteries is so inane (how many synonyms for dumb do I need here?) that I just couldn't get over it. Naturally this lead to questioning the other things that in the normal course of a sci-fi movie I could take for granted. Why do people die when the die in the Matrix? Why does figuring out that it's all a program allow people to bend the rules of physical reality without destroying them altogether? Why should I care when Neo fights the agent once I know he's invulnerable?

    My favorite line in the movie was "There is no spoon.". Very Zen. IMHO, Zen, and Taoism fit the hacker mindset very well.

    It is self-consciously meant to evoke a kind of faux hollywood "zennishness" without really getting anywhere near the whole point of Zen. If anything, the movie's outlook is more platonic than eastern.

    But then, they got the hacking part of it wrong too.

  • Actually, there IS another major motion picture set in the Blade Runner UNIVERSE (though not technically a "sequel"): Soldier , starring Kurt Russel and written by David Webb Peoples, the writer of Blade Runner. See this info at the IMDB [imdb.com] (also quoted below): Writer David Peoples has said that Solider is a "side-quel" to Blade Runner (which he also wrote) because it takes place in the same universe and in fact the vehicles used by the Blade Runners, spinners, are also used in Solider. All of this is not, of course, to negate your point, which is that Hollywood has a habit of screwing up perfectly wonderful movies with sequels-that-never-should-have-been.
  • One thing that I really liked about the film is that a lot of the martial arts looked like the actors knew what they were doing; even if they were assisted by wires. Seeing the 'making of' videos afterward, I saw that the actors trained for four months to get ready for their roles...that kind of dedication is rare in Hollywood films. Rarely do actors get the time to get good at what they are supposed to be doing. Anyway, I have heard that Matrix II is really Matrix 0; the story of the loss of the earth. thad
  • by sql*kitten ( 1359 ) on Monday January 15, 2001 @06:37AM (#506969)
    Because the Matrix isn't about plot or characterisation, its always been about making its audience slack-jawed with amazement at the quality of the effects, and has been very enjoyable for doing so.

    I disagree. At the risk of offending assorted slashbots, if you make a film with lots of special effects without worrying about plot or characters, you get rubbish like The Phantom Menace. I went to the Premiere and left feeling I'd just sat through a 2 hours SGI showreel.

    The Matrix, OTOH, was an intelligent film (I remember /. posts on how philosophy professors were impressed enough with it to mention it on their courses). It bears repeated watchings, and leaves the audience thinking.

    The abscence of the actors is no big deal

    Again, I disagree. Keanu isn't a great actor, but he was perfectly suited to the role of Neo. And the film wouldn't have been nearly as good without Morpheus' charisma, etc.

  • Bound was good; yes it was a rental, but enjoyed.

    Assassins should have left the "ins" off the end of the title - then it would have been titled Double "Ass" - describing how a crappy film it was. of course, coming from the director (Donner) who then went on to direct Conspiracy Theory and Lethal Weapon 4....can't fault the boys - sometimes you write a good script and it still gets turned into drivel.

    But no, i don't think either of these two films leads to the assumption that The Matrix 2 will be a winner. if anything, Bound shows how easy it is to make an OK film, but for something to top the draw and reach of The Matrix.... their work is cut out for them.

  • by barawn ( 25691 ) on Monday January 15, 2001 @07:06AM (#506972) Homepage
    My main problem with the original is the same problem I have with all cyberspace-neuromancer type clones: why in the world would your brain kill your body if you 'thought' you died in some VR-type world? It makes no sense.

    I mean, honestly, think about it. Most of your body which is devoted to survival is autonomic - heart, respiration, all take serious conscious effort to control, and quite a bit of training. It's extremely unlikely that your mind, thinking that you died, would cut off the *autonomic* response of breathing/heartbeat. That's idiotic. How does your brain know that you honestly died? All those bullets could've passed straight through, and not harmed anything.

    Consider reality: several people wake up in hospitals thinking that they have died. If your body doesn't die if your brain thinks you died in reality, you wouldn't die from dying in VR!

    Of course, the better analogy comes from dreams: if you die in a dream, do you die in reality? No... so why in the world does anyone think VR is any different?

    Granted, the Matrix wouldn't exactly have any 'punch' if they didn't really die, but that's another example of Hollywood sacrificing common sense for theatrical effect. It'd be really nice to see someone who's very very smart come up with a good, scientifically sound plot that's still good cinema.

  • I hate to be a source of dissent, but I thought some of the fight scenes in CTHD were poorly done. The flying was comical, some of the wire work was very obvious and some of the action was so blatantly just fast-forwarded that it detracted from the work as a whole.

    I much prefered the camera-work and effects in (e.g.) Crying Freeman (the live action, not the Manga), which had fabulous combat scenes.

    Having said that, even with those flaws I found CTHD to be a very good movie, which I'm planning to buy on DVD when it's released.

    ~Cederic
  • Heck, there've been studies where people have had their arms clamped to a table, then watched as a kettle was brought to boil... and then water from a COLD kettle was poured over the arm (there was a subtle switch the people couldn't see) - and in fact, they saw blistering and evidence of heat damage from same.

    Any simulation that for all intents and purposes is not discernible from reality would be realistic enough to cause the equivalent of a kernel panic in terms of brain function in the event of "you've been chewed up by machine gun bullets, bucko".
  • there've been studies

    Don't suppose you could provide a link [skeptic.com] to those studies, Bluedemon? Otherwise it's just your word against common sense.

    Thought not.
  • ... ankles will heal, strikes will be over, and replacement actors will be had.

    Hey, Neo DID take the... uh... which pill was it again?

    Akardam Out
  • I'll lighten up when they stop charging $8 to see it.

    I'll lighten up when they say it's okay for me to make a copy.


  • ...I was looking forward to new screensavers based on things that showed up in the Matrix sequel! Now where is all that creative energy going to come from?
    --
  • Whether you have to consiously control something doesn't mean it still isn't being driven, at least partially, by your brain. If someone had their brain just 100% shut off, what would that do to the person?

    Granted, the whole 'bleeding' in the real world thing is nonsense.
    ----
  • This seems to be on of two ways that SF is done in cinema these days: either superhero-style, or horror-style. I find it disappointing, but I guess nothing else is really likely to draw in the crowds.

    I was thinking the same thing yesterday, but it occurred to me that the explanation is probably just budget. Your setting, costumes, special effects (if any), etc. are closely tied to the story you're going to tell. Generally speaking, if you're going to do a superhero or horror movie, you need the money for all of those things anyway, and the sci-fi setting can help immensely. But if you're doing a drama or something more character-oriented than an action/horror flick, the setting is secondary, and it's cheaper and easier (in production terms) and less distracting (in story-telling terms) to set it in a contemporary "realistic" setting than on Mars a hundred years into the future.

  • 1-3) Maybe the second law of thermodynamics is something "they" teach you to hide the truth of the Matrix and how it works. Are you likely to accept this battery notion if you're holding onto the lie that is the 2nd law of thermodynamics? (for that to work though, we must REALLY be in the Matrix, right?)

    4) The AI's have control over the Matrix, but perhaps they didn't bother to engineer in a back door into the abstraction, or perhaps there's a level of complexity that's computationally too intense to deal with - without some trade offs (ie. interfere with data integrity "outside of the rules", and you run the risk of destroying the illusion for millions of humans, and therefore, lose some power generation; remember, they said that early on, they made the Matrix a perfect world, and humans rejected it, they lost entire crops, so obviously, the rules-structure is very important in maintaining the whole thing).

    5) EMP may have been the only EFFECTIVE weapon. Maybe they do have gun turrets, lasers, etc. but the AI's have good defenses against them - on the other hand, it's probably relatively trivial to shield against an EMP. . .

    I don't think that the story was all that crappy. It was okay. Definately overrated - mostly by people who weren't already familliar with existentialism. (ie. dropout philosophy majors). Personally, I didn't think Dark City was all that great - well mostly I was pissed off at the totally over the top crap acting job by Sutherland. (Get a life, you HACK!)


  • Coming soon!

    Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter's Absolutely Excellent Adventures ... IN THE MATRIX!

    --

  • Why not use computers to create actors, George Lucas would?

    A computer-generated Keanu Reeves would almost certainly be a better actor than the real thing, so this might not be a bad idea at all.

  • The Matrix, OTOH, was an intelligent film (I remember /. posts on how philosophy professors were impressed enough with it to mention it on their courses). It bears repeated watchings, and leaves the audience thinking.

    The matrix brought nothing to the table in the way of original thought, or even plot line for that matter. It was yet another of the dark-future saved by messianic figured who starts out the film thinking that "something is not quite right" and then goes through a process of realization only to come to the conclusion that he can beat the "master race" at their own game (for another of the same plot... see Dark City).

    The one thing that the Matrix did which I have seen no other film do yet, was make the movie truely beatiful and captivating. Their use of special effects to tell the story (remember that old quote from "The Making of Star Wars" a special effect without a story is very boring??!? Well that applies here big time). They used their special effects in such a wonderful and artistic manner that i (and many others) was completely captivated by it. There were many shots in that movie (such as the shot of the group off of a rear view window on a car) which were just unbeleivable (at least to my eye) and made it very easy to endure the same old plot yet again.

    The Matrix is an example of a movie doing what it meant to do. I don't beleive that the makers of this movie were trying to make some philosophical point that would enlighten the viewer. On the other hand, I think the Matrix was meant to entertain you sensually while giving you enough of a plot to keep you interested. Its more intelligent than your average action flick, but not much.

  • At Mrshowbiz [go.com]. They mention the sequels...
  • uh, now that I think about it, Brandon Lee would have made a MUCH better Neo than Keanu Reeves. . .
  • I understand that the ORIGINAL premise was that in order for the machines to replicate, and move forward, consciousness-wise, they needed to keep the humans alive and drain their essence or souls.

    The machines realized that they were finite, material beings, and somehow found a way to use the humans to trascend that state. . .

    It was deemed (by the investors) to be too complicated a concept for American audiences, so they simplified it to "electricity".

    -
    Of course, this was all party chit-chat by some pothead from LA. . .
  • The problem though, is that 90% of the Matrix's appeal to the shallow-thinking mass-market was "Bullet Time". Nothing more than that.

    Bullet Time has been ripped off since then in everything from Charlies Angels, to Batman Beyond, to Scary Movie, to the Simpsons. It has lost it's impact and it's uniqueness. The visual guys are going to have to come up with a better gimmick than that.
  • The Matrix knows about and wants to stop the movies so the truth doesn't get out. Michelle Yeoh was an agent and pulled out on purpose to damage the movie. Keanu is lucky that all he got was a broken ankle.
  • film around a dead actor, (Brandon Lee in the Crow) why can't they film around one with a broken ankle? If they are in fact filming both sequels at the same time, then they should have plenty of scenes to shoot.

    We don't know how much shooting got done before Keanu broke his ankle. Most of the shooting for the Crow was finished before Brandon got shot. It is possible to work some scenes around a missing actor, but it's not easy. If it were, studios wouldn't use highly-paid actors (using the term loosely in Keanu's case) in the first place.

    And as for a leading lady, somebody will step in. There are a ton of great acresses out there that kick ass (It seems everyone is either taking Tae-bo or kickboxing now).

    *cringe* Aerobic kickboxing and Tae-Bo(tm) produce some of the ugliest martial arts movements I've ever seen. There's lots of emphasis on repitition, but almost none on form. That means people develop and reinforce bad habits. I want to weep every time the camera pans over those firefighter guys...

  • Why not use computers to create actors, George Lucas would?

    Whassa isa Matrix? Meesuh can't decide take blue pill or red pill. Whassa with se gun? Oh... BANG! BANG!

  • I really think sorry for Keanu but these should be the perfect time for the WachBro to look like for either a stunt or for some special effects instead of some fights.
    BTW, if Keanu had become the One in Matrix1, I believe they had to invent something incredible if they still want him to fight in its sequel.
    Has he or not become a God which could just destroy his opponents in less than 2 seconds ?
    Hmmm... sounds interesting, let's see what it'll look like after all.
    --
  • Unfortunately, medical science disagrees with you. First, the heart is an automatic muscle - it beats on its own, with regulation from the sympathetic autonomic nervous system - located in the spinal column, not the brain. So, unless that Matrix implant was a lot more entangled than it looked, and actually stretched along your entire spinal column, it couldn't stop your heart from beating.

    Breathing is a different matter, as that's located in the brain stem - the lowest brain stem, the medulla oblongata. Note that neither of these locations are in the correct place for
    where the Matrix implant was, but I can forgive anatomy problems.

    The real problem, actually, is one you address- what about life support systems? In fact, screw life support systems. You need one thing - CPR. OK, so you die in the Matrix, big deal. Provided they don't actually fry your brain (and if they had the capability to do that, it begs the question - why not just do it in the first place?) all they could do would be to sever the autonomic response. Big deal. CPR. Now you've got blood flowing to the brain, air flowing in the blood, you don't need no stinking brain.
  • Other movies make sense (internally... I find it hard to believe some actors would ever get those women). Why does this one get to roam free? Sci-fi movies aren't exempt from plot hole criticisms, and this is one. It was a weak-as-hell argument, and they could've done much better without reverting to pseudo-mystical bull. Especially as they went to such trouble to try to justify the whole energy generation crap.
  • by VC ( 89143 ) on Monday January 15, 2001 @05:58AM (#507031)
    I went and saw this movie last night and highly recommend it.

    The same guy did the fight sequences as in the matrix and i think it would be fair to say the fight sequences in CTHD are way better than the matrix. (and more frequent.)

    Its also fun to compare the number of taoist quotes in CTHD to matrix:
    "all reality is an illusion" :: "there is no spoon"

    So if your salivating over Matrix 2 already, you really MUST go see this film.
  • Valid. But then you need to justify them not being able to remove that signal, or just leave it open. This seems to be a common failing of sci-fi : not to simply have the characters say "we don't know." It's a perfectly valid justification, no plot hole whatsoever, and it makes for a *better movie*, strangely enough! In this case it would make our heroes seem a bit more helpless to control the world around them, and thus, make their victory stronger. Imagine a scene with Trinity trying to give Neo CPR, or breaking down crying after she can't save him.

    Sometimes I wonder if movie writers give scripts out for people to proofread, then, when they get the suggestions, purposely ignore them so as to give people like me something to think about. Eh.
  • by msew ( 2056 ) on Monday January 15, 2001 @05:58AM (#507035) Homepage
    Go Go gadget sensationalism! this is why I really hate the media. Everything is blown out of proportion. So what! An actor left before they even started filming. Keanu busted his ankle. Shoot the scenes that Keanu is not in. And if worse comes to worse we just have to wait a bit longer for them to come out. The title should be: Sequels Might be delayed a bit. Not this sensationalism crap that we have to put up with day in and day out. msew
  • I suppose if this were the 1950's or somesuch, then this would be a disaster. But the simple fact is that the injury of these actors does not mean a thing.

    Why? Because the Matrix isn't about plot or characterisation, its always been about making its audience slack-jawed with amazement at the quality of the effects, and has been very enjoyable for doing so.

    The abscence of the actors is no big deal, the Matrix series is mostly done on computer anyway, and so they can easily be replaced. The Matrix is all about the unreality of reality, so I suppose this is an irony.

  • I understand that the ORIGINAL premise was that in order for the machines to replicate, and move forward, consciousness-wise, they needed to keep the humans alive and drain their essence or souls.

    That would have been cool. It also would have made the fight of the liberated humans more interesting, since they would literally be fighting for humanity's soul.
  • No Michelle Yeoh? That opens the door for Cynthia Rothrock [rothrockworldorder.com]. to take her place. She has more martial arts skill than Yeoh, she's beautiful, and she has an incredible HK film [imdb.com] background.

    D
    Mad Scientists with too much time on thier hands

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