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Another trilogy that lost something along the way...

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  • Another trilogy that lost something along the way...

    I saw the Matrix when it first came out and must say I was rather impressed. But then I saw Dark City, and my opinion of the Matrix suffered greatly. Dark City must have been a huge influence, for there are too many startling similarities to ignore. Also, I think the second and third movies were definately lacking... The second was enjoyable in as much as the action was engrossing, but the third was simply underwhelming. The only scene of worth I think, was the mech-human battle, which admittedly, was very good. The ending of the third is what got me--it makes no sense!! There is apparently some peace treaty struck, but who's to say how long it will take for the machines to realize again that they can control the weak humans? And how will the ones who "want to get out" be notified? Will fliers within the matrix be passed out door-to-door explaining the situation and polling who wants to get out and who wants to stay? Ridiculous.

    Also, the acting in Dark City was superior, I think--many don't realize that the acting had to be so wooden because it represented the fact that these people were broken people, with no memory beyong a day's worth, and no real personalities--and when characters such as Rufus Sewell's and William Hurt's began to realize that something wasn't right, colour and vitality washed into the mood and outcome of the acting--the same could also be said of the directing... And the child stranger was creeeppyyy!!

  • #2
    i also think ghost in a shell was a major influnce of the matrix movies. some of the story seems as if it is the same.

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    • #3
      I've always held Dark City to be one of the best sf films made and far superior to Matrix, though with fewer car chases...
      Both films probably derive from a certain kind of sf, of which Philip K. Dick was one of the chief purveyors. All the talk of philosophers influencing the Matrix struck me as balderdash because any sf story
      of the 50s appearing in, say, Galaxy magazine or Carnell's New Worlds, could have contained those elements. The Dark City was true to itself in a way, I believe, that The Matrix was not. What made The Matrix so popular was style, prolonged fights and special effects. What was interesting about Dark City, too, was that it did not fall back on Hollywood sf endings to achieve its resolution. Its resolution was, in my view, perfect and deriving totally from the material. Does anyone know more about its director ?

      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
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      • #4
        Come to think of it The Deep Fix is sort of an example of what I'm talking about, as a kind of fiction which speculated on what 'reality' was -- and was in that sense of its day. Around the same time all Dick's fiction about layered realities was coming out, too. Hallucinogenic drugs had just started to come into common use and contributed to that riff, to some extent. I wonder, too, who wrote the script of Dark City. Whoever put that movie together really had a clear idea of what they wanted to do. I even liked the slightly self-indulgent Nosferatu theme!

        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
        The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
        Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
        The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
        Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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        • #5
          I have to disagree, Hunter. Matrix III was the best of the lot, if only because it maps out some of Milton's theology.

          The machine city is very much Heaven as "God" would have it. Perfect, mechanical, without error. And--here's the rub--without choice, without life, without change, and without love.

          Neo is the Son, in that he bridges the gap between the "perfection" of God/Heaven and the real world of living beings.

          Read according to this allegory, Agent Smith is the first son of Heaven, Lucifer, God's first favorite, a tyrant who seeks to establish perfection throughout all realms of being.

          Neo defeats the Smith program, thus "God" (the perfect machine city) is persuaded to cut humanity some slack, and give humanity a second chance.

          It's all in Milton. Milton, I think, does it a bit better:

          Lucifer--a maintype represeniting the principle of egocentric authority and glory--was the Father's favorite. But then the Son--a maintype representing a new principle, the principle of love--supplants Lucifer, leading to some unpleasant political difficulties that result in Lucifer's ejection. He and his rebel crew fall to hell and he re-names himself Satan. Meantime, a new world with a new type of creature is being formed. The new creature--the human race--is flawed, and is destined to be seduced by Satan, the principle of egocentric authrity and glory. As a punishment for thir lack of perfection, God will wipe out humanity. But the Son (the principle of forgiveness and love) intervenes, offers himself in place of the human race, so that the human race gets a second chance. The son is thus the gnosis--a principle of not only love and forgiveness, but also of inspiration and reason, for it is through inspiration and reason that the truth of love and forgivness are revealed to us.

          For Milton, the Son (Milton doesn't use "Christ," as annonting implies royalty and Milton thinks the paraphenalia of royalty is rubbish) is the hero of the cosmos. God is portrayed in different ways, sometimes he is the principle of love that is represented more clearly for humaity by the Son, and sometimes God is a brute authoritarian figure like Satan. In any of his incarnations, however, he is rather distant from humanity. Milton describes God looking down on the Son and seeing a sacrificial lamb. But when people look up at the Son we see love. God isn't entirly clued in as to the Son's full significance. And of course at the end of the drama the Son replaces the Father, and the universe is set to rights--finally, and thank goodness. And you can thank your lucky stars that the Greeks (and Milton) got in there and sorted out all those horrid Near-Eastern demons. What a lot of unpleasant bores they were. Goodness!

          Aye, it's a war amongst the angels! Got some angel shot? Pass it forward. Lock and load. Mind now, don't fire until you see the kaleidoscopes in their eyes!

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          • #6
            I agree with both of you. As for the director of Dark City, I think it's Alex Proyas who also directed The Crow. Much of the directing was born from a symbolic interpretaion of the characters' psyches. The first scene where you see Rufus Sewell, for example, is comprised of short, quick shots that more or less disorient the watcher. It's very unconventional but absolutely fits because as much as the viewer doesn't konw what's going on, so too is the character in the dark. What's more, the directing style changes as the characters begin to trully grasp the world around them.

            As for the third matrix, let it be said that I can understand the religiosity of it all, but at the same time, can't help but think that they just didn't pull the strength of the first one through to the end. Its as if the movies should have been made into two, and not three.

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            • #7
              Dark City!

              Dark City?! I LOVE Dark City.

              In the states you can pick up a DVD copy for around $5 at BestBuy (or whatever it's called).

              Strangely, while I credit his acting ability to a certain extent elsewhere - the halting speech technique used by Kiefer Sutherland was ultimately kinda annoying. He's still good in the role and everyone else is very good. That's also when Jennifer Connelly was unbelievably hot because she wasn't yet so slender.

              Anita Kelsey sings "Sway." Goosebumps, Baby!

              Anyway, I think Dark City is hugely underrated. The DVD seems to anticipate that with the comparison to Metropolis - and let's admit it takes some balls to compare one's own film to the single greatest SciFi film of all time. Everybody steals from Metropolis - which is to say little more than that everyone steals from Fritz Lang.

              ::whispered voice:: Mabuse...

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              • #8
                Being able to compare Matrix to Milton's work does not
                make it a good movie.
                The W. brothers clearly don't know how to write.
                The first movie was alright.
                The 2nd and 3rd movies is movie making at
                it's finest... if you are talking about total garbage.
                Neo is the son. Wow. Also impressive that the
                mysterious Zion turns out to be a big giant Rave/ after-hours
                party. Too bad they didn't reveal what kind of drugs they
                use. :(
                Love how in part 2 they have all these characters and you
                don't know who they are, there is no development, and so
                who the hell cares. They could start showing anal rape and child
                killing and it wouldn't matter. Why are they fighting? To save themselves?
                I really didn't care. If you're supposed to follow the website and watch the all the cartoons to understand, that's stupid and i don't care. ;D
                Also loved the seemingly "intelligent" diatribe of The Architect. What is he supposed to be? God? The court jester perhaps. Maybe your dad.
                If only politicians could sound so articulate when dishing out compelete B.S.
                The message behind the diatribe? NOTHING. It might be interesting to hear what Matrixophiles think it all means. (more like amusing) I guess the Architect speech has a lot of significance just like the mention of silverbullets alludes to vampires and werewolves!! Wow!

                Even though some people may not be able to articulate why the Matrix ended up sucking badly, it was reflected at the box office where obviously a lot of people weren't showing up.
                I only regret that I didn't take drugs when watching part 2 and 3, then perhaps I would have seen the light, and understood what the point was, or maybe the usual would happen to me when I'm high-- I fall asleep. And if i did, that's just fine with me! I actually was falling asleep during part 2. Whatever the title was. :: :twisted:

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                • #9
                  Oh yeah. I think Jesus using Kung Fu would be
                  more interesting than Neo. :lol:

                  Neo: "Whoa!... Dude!"

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                  • #10
                    Oh yeah.

                    Neo: "Morpheus! What happened?
                    Couldn't keep away from the
                    croissants and doughnuts, eh?
                    I guess just because Kung Fu
                    can be downloaded into our nervous
                    system, we shouldn't stop practicing...
                    lest gravity will have a greater effect on us.
                    Unless we're in the Matrix?
                    Dude!... I don't know. For sure though.
                    You can't fly like Superman like me, can you?"

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                    • #11
                      :lol: That's all I can say. Oh, and maybe - Flame on!
                      When they had advanced together to meet on common
                      ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
                      and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
                      each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
                      mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
                      killing, and the ground ran with blood.

                      Homer, The Illiad

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                      • #12
                        Regarding Matrix. It reminded me a great deal of Logan's Run and Planet of the Apes. Smith was starting to remind me of Jar Jar after a while. The mood of the Matriices was I'm bored, instead of I'm bad.

                        I dug Ghost in the Shell. My opinion of it on my second, recent viewing, was much lower. But it remains visually beautiful. I think Anime ages well. The Speed Racer stuff still looks fun. The reason GITS was lower is because Final Fantasy is a much better movie. Might be apples and oranges, but tonight I would defintely watch Final Fantasy. Heck, I'd even watch a copy of High Plains Drifter.
                        The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

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                        • #13
                          I wanted to say that...

                          Lord of Entropy said: "Being able to compare Matrix to Milton's work does not make it a good movie."

                          I wanted to say that...but it seemed sorta harsh. I can see parallels with Milton's work as a semi-interesting synchronous event, but I agree that it does nothing for one in terms of enjoying the movie. Do we need parallels with Milton; don't we already have Milton as a primary source?

                          The problem with The Matrix was that it ultimately gave us nothing new, although its trite content was presented "oh-so-stylishly." Does that content stretch out to 6-7 hours or so of film and spin-off products and maintain a significant level of quality? Nope.

                          I stopped at film 2 because of the fight scenes. While I loved the fight scenes in the first movie (right up until the whole of The Matrix reality was hacked as code, and which was something I easily anticipated) they made absolutely no sense in the sequel. Just as Moorcock has pointed out the utility and trilogy destroying possibility of flying a giant eagle into Mt. Doom for LOTR, one has to wonder why Neo has to fight anyone any longer - he already hacked the code in movie #1. Yeah, yeah - there are "upgrades," but the concept has already been exhausted in the first film. After Neo figures out why there is "no spoon" it's really hard to imagine that anything within the matrix really gives him any problems.

                          Why isn't Neo just busy showing us a world without machines? Right - because that doesn't give you an anime-style release, two other movies, and hundreds of millions of dollars for the makers of this crap.

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                          • #14
                            When I said...

                            Matrix III was the best of the lot, if only because it maps out some of Milton's theology.

                            ...I neglected to fully contextualize my comment. Allow me to corret this omission:

                            I neglected to say that I thought the entire series is actually crap. The acting was flat, the philosophy was ridiculous, the special effects were hard to see or unispired, the violence was overblown, the story dragged and was boring, and as I sat there through all three episodes I reflected that such "entertainment" was indicative of a civilization in decline. Indeed, a civilization that had gone to shit.

                            Of course, I think the same thing about most movies. What I was trying to do above was emphasize the good points, and in the Matrix I thought the only good point was the Milton connection I saw in Part III. Otherwise, as I think I said, I believe the series is fit for nothing else but to slowly dribble down the sewer of the American imagination and rest, at last, in a steaming pile of rotting monkey guano.

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                            • #15
                              By the way. What's Naked City all about? Somehow this one slipped under my radar??

                              Thanks.

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