November 04, 2003

The Revolutions begin today

Well, here it is, November 5. The Matrix Revolutions simultaneous worldwide premiere is just a few hours away. More than a few of us have been waiting for this day with a simmering passion we used to reserve for Christmas morning. Unfortunately, I won't be seeing the film until January, when I make a business trip to Lisbon (believe me, I'd have scheduled the trip sooner if I thought I could get away with it). But if living on a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic has taught me anything, it's patience.

For those of you who are also practicing that virtue, there's a slew of Revolutions reviews available out there, most of them more or less spoiler-free. Here's the take from CNN, and here's Salon's thoughts. (Salon's offering, by Andrew O'Hehir, editor of Salon Arts & Entertainment, manages to be the most intelligent--calling the trilogy a "vast cultural-mythical core dump that encompasses the New Testament, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, 'The Wizard of Oz,' contemporary critical theory, left-wing politics and 'Tristan und Isolde'"-- and the most positive of the bunch I read this morning. Be warned, though: it also spoils the most plot points. If you're as hyper about avoiding spoilers as I am, don't go there. I wish I hadn't.)

MSNBC.com's Living and Entertainment section has three different pieces about the film, apparently seeking to make a couple more hamburgers out of the Wachowski brothers' cash cow. Besides the obligatory review, there's an interview with Keanu Reeves that manages to paint him in a very positive light, both as an actor and a person (much appreciated by NeoTheologue, who feels Reeves is perhaps the most underrated actor in Hollywood).

Also at MSNBC.com: my favorite piece of all the Revolutions-related material I read this morning was Tara Ariano's tribute to Hugo Weaving and his brooding, melodramatic portrayal of Agent Smith: Agent Smith, My One and only. It's a must-read. Here's a quote of note:
Only one cast member looks like he’s having any fun with “The Matrix”: Hugo Weaving. What makes him so memorable and refreshing in “The Matrix” sequels is that he alone recognizes that he’s in a B-movie . . . . The dialogue may not be much on paper, but Weaving digs into the scene with such gusto — exaggerating every pause and consonant — that you can’t help laughing. Here he is, smack in the middle of this dull philosophy lecture, gnawing through the scenery like he’s William Shatner’s illegitimate son.  Agent Smith even gets a whole cheesy monologue about the way Neo “destroyed” him in the first “Matrix” movie — “I was compelled to stay, compelled to disobey. And now, here I stand because of you, Mr. Anderson,” and so forth — that’s straight out of “Star Trek”; all that’s missing is someone screaming “KHAN!” at the end of it.
Thanks, Tara, for reminding us what genre films are all about. =)

A final note to mark the day: Please, please, please don't spoil this movie for me! I'll be assiduously avoiding most of my fave genre news sites until I see it, but I'm not above avoiding the Internet entirely. Do not test me on this.

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