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Matrix Revolutions
Entered on: November 5, 2003 7:51 AM by Ross
As we all know, it comes out today. Bone, are you going to take in an early viewing? I just caught part of the review on Good Morning America while selectively muting anything that might give something away - it wasn't a very good review. In fact RottenTomatoes is in the rotten territory, somewhere around 40%, I think. I can't wait to see it but I think I might not make it tonight.

NEWS 139 - 70 Comments
From: The Bone Entered on: November 5, 2003 10:47 AM
I've hatched a plan to leave work early and catch a noon or 1pm viewing. We'll see if my Boss falls for it. I'm completely undeterred by the reviews. Most critics originally shat on Matrix and Reloaded and I loved them both. The only thing that has me worried is some reviews state that Revolutions doesn't provide all the answers. That's ok becuase it's great to speculate about shit however I hope it answers shit like Smith transferring himself to Bane and Neo's powers in the real world. At any rate, I'm sure some of that shit should be explained. Once again, I completely shit upon reviewers (except Swerb). What the hell makes them experts - film class in college? I studied International Relations and I wouldn't know the first thing about brokering a peace treaty between Isreal and Palestine. Ross, I implore you to see it tonight so I can compare notes.
From: Ross Entered on: November 5, 2003 1:41 PM
Bone, I am complying with your wishes. I have secured tickets for a 4:30PM viewing (while Heather is slaving away at a 12 hour work day). Give me a call when you get out (you're 5 hours behind me, right?) and we can discuss.  
"Matrix Revolutions was neither a matrix nor a relovution. Discuss."
From: Swerb Entered on: November 5, 2003 3:55 PM
Bert, I'm not sure what a "relovution" is. Perhaps it's in the dictionary next to "conradulantions."  
Well, I saw "Revolutions" this morning, and I'm a bit underwhelmed. Some of it was cool, but some of the really heavy, dramatic shit urged me toward unintentional laughter, or Mystery Science Theater-type commentary. I'm not sure whether you guys will find all sorts of hidden meanings or insightful philosophical B.S. in it, and it does house a few interesting implications, but I think it lacks the depth (and "wow" action sequences) of the previous two films. Bottom line, it's the worst of the three, and I'd be interested in further exploring the aforementioned implications, but "Revolutions" isn't really worth the effort, in my opinion. HOWEVER, that isn't going to stop me from seeing it again, and giving it another chance; it deserves that, at least.  
And Bone, as for your crack against film critics, I'm convinced that anybody with writing skills and a knack for insight can do it. Taking the perspective of somebody with a lot of technical or hands-on experience in film is good, as is someone who's seen a lot of movies and has a lot of passion for film - but the opinion of a more Joe Blow-type guy looking for quality entertainment is equally valid. Personally, I try to be a combination of the latter two, having no experience in the industry. Truth of the matter is, the only difference between you logging onto this site and posting your opinion and a film critic for a newspaper (or whatever) is whether the review is formally "published" or not.
From: Ross Entered on: November 5, 2003 8:34 PM
I just got back from seeing it. I actually had no intention of seeing it today as I wasn't really chomping at the bit to see it for some reason, but the opportunity presented itself so I took it.  
No, this is not an Emperor Has No Clothes scenario - I was fully prepared to be disappointed after glancing at the reviews. Swerb, you are way off base in my opinion, this movie stomped all over Reloaded, chewed it up, and spit it out and still made it better than it was before.  
I cannot recall ever being so enthralled while watching a movie. I kept sitting there thinking "were the reviewers seeing the same movie I'm seeing?" I was hanging on every word, parsing as quickly as I could the implications of what everyone said, and trying to see how each new character fit into the grand scheme. Perhaps it requires a bit of faith (a strange word for me to be using, yes, I'm aware) that it's not just a bunch bullshit mumbo jumbo and that the brothers weren't flying by the seat of their pants. But I'm pretty sure they knew what they were doing, even if they didn't answer every question quite to my satisfaction. In a way, I'm kind of glad they didn't because it's fun to speculate.  
Which is why I can't believe, Swerb, that you think that this film isn't worth speculating on. Good god, I couldn't disagree more with you.  
The film was not without its problems. But I was very pleasantly suprised in that I had no lingering stink from any part of the movie. That said, here are the problems I had:  
- There was not a sufficiently technical explanation of Neo's real-world interface with the machines. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that most audiences probably don't even care enough to make it cost effective, in a narrative sense. I believe that my original interpretation in another discussion on this site was close, though.  
- Persephone went nowhere. I expected her to have a purpose. As near as I can tell, her purpose was mostly falling out of her dress. Not that I didn't love that, though.  
- We didn't see those ghost twins. I didn't get the impression they were killed by Morpheus in Reloaded. I would have at least liked to have known what they were.  
- The end fight between Neo and Smith was the only part of the movie that I felt dragged somewhat. Not because it wasn't visually entertaining, but it was the only part of the movie that didn't smoothly advance the plot. The ending did, of course, but it took a while to get there and as near as I could tell, didn't have to drag on at all.  
What did NOT bother me, that undoubtedly bothers many people is the lessened amount of Matrix-style action. The opening intrusion into the Merovingian's club was very cool, but short, and not on par with the government lobby scene in the first movie. However, this is probably why I enjoyed the movie so much: I wasn't watching it for any of that. All that shit is just gravy at this point. Reloaded taught me that the value of these two movies is not to be found on the visceral level. I was watching it solely to see how the plot advances and resolves, and I feel very rewarded. However, I will say that as far as visuals goes, the invasion of Zion was very entertaining and easily on par with any of the other action scenes in the other two films, even if it was of dubious logical value (why not automate the defenses? Answer: drama).  
Overall: big thumbs up. I cannot wait to see it again. On IMAX, even.  

From: The Bone Entered on: November 5, 2003 9:01 PM
And now for my review.  
First off, I give it the "Bone stamp of approval". However, I am slightly heartbroken over the direction it went. Perhaps there was no other way but I wanted the same intrigue and Byzantine twists that Reloaded had. I also wanted it to examine more the mysteries and implications of the first film and explain them in an "A HA!" manner. I agree with Swerb that it lacked the depth of the previous two films. However, there were two notable "wow" scenes which I loved. The fight at the S/M club, and the invasion of Zion. Nearly blew my mind.  
The conclusion of the film was interesting though, and I felt it wrapped things up nicely. I just think the Bros could have gotten a little more philosophical and technical with the film. One thing's for sure, I'm going to need to see it again to be able to fully appreciate it.  
My opinion best to worst (but all super-sweet): Reloaded, Matrix, and Revolutions. There you have it.  
Swerb. As for my opinion of movie critics, I hope you didn't take it the wrong way, it's just that as a guide for me to pick a movie they tend to be useless as a whole. Sometimes it turns out they like the movie I like and sometimes not. It's such a crapshoot. Of course it's because everyone has their own opinion and perceives reality in slightly different ways. I do read movie reviews though because I'm interested in what they have to say, not neccessarily as a guide to whether or not I will like it.
From: The Bone Entered on: November 5, 2003 9:13 PM
Here's a like to a Revolutions discussion.
I tend to agree with the guy that says it makes Reloaded pointless. Kind of why I'm heartbroken.
From: Ross Entered on: November 5, 2003 10:07 PM
Yeah, I guess I have to agree too. I don't know how I feel about that quite yet. Doesn't change the fact that I loved this movie, though. Perhaps you'll bring me down yet, Bone...
From: Swerb Entered on: November 5, 2003 10:31 PM
You know, Bone, I totally agree with the guy on that forum. He almost perfectly explains why I'm disappointed. A couple more reasons:  
- The movie falls into the "no character is introduced without good reason" category. Link's girlfriend? Thought she was totally extraneous (remember "Wayne's World"?)? Wrong! And how coincidental that she would be the one to save the kid when he almost failed to open the gate... sure, you can explain it all away to predestination (just like plot holes in Star Wars movies can be explained away with The Force), but little plot contrivances like that bug the hell out of me.  
- Trinity's death scene was ridiculously long and drawn out. Silly, even. That's another thing about movies that bugs the hell out of me: People who die after pontificating about various profundities for 15 minutes. Jeez. And no good director would ever want Keanu Reeves to cry in their film.  
Bert, I know you think Ebert is sketchy, but I think his review is on the money:
Specifically, I totally agree with his statement, "The problem of "Matrix Reloaded" and "Matrix Revolutions" is that they are action pictures that are forced to exist in a world that undercuts the reality of the action."  
Also, Bone, I didn't mean to sound defensive for film critics (especially because I'm trying to be one), but you are right, it's a total crapshoot whether you're going to agree with a critic or not. Sometimes, reviews may push me one way or the other if I'm on the fence about whether or not to drop 8 bucks to see a movie, but bottom line, film reviews exist for the same reason literary criticism does, and that is, to provide insight and opinion. Fact of the matter is, good or bad reviews notwithstanding, I was going to see Revolutions regardless, and that's the way most people are for any movie, really. I know you weren't disregarding film critics in general as clueless or stuffy or uneducated or whatever, but too many people think that way because they do think they're being told what to like or dislike... personally, I like reading reviews simply because I like to hear other people's perceptions of a film. It entertains and informs me.  
Finally, Bone, I can't understand how all that computer-generated action (it's a cartoon! I can't get past it!) can be better than, say, the REAL creative filmmaking occuring during the fight scenes in Kill Bill. Sure, some of it is cool, but you know, in the end, it's just a frickin' video game. (And I also can't get past the fact that you bagged on Kill Bill so much. :) )
From: The Bone Entered on: November 5, 2003 10:51 PM
Swerb, in the end, you and I are really on the same page as far as movie reviews.  
As far as the CGI action is concerned, it may not be perfect yet but it takes you well beyond what is capable otherwise. The action in Kill Bill was creative no doubt, but the movie as a whole was pointless and unecessary unless to serve as a vehicle for Tarantino's homage to kung-fu B flicks.. I'll probably be the only person in the whole world who thinks that.
From: Ross Entered on: November 5, 2003 11:23 PM
Swerb, all I can say is that Ebert's review simply proves just how sketchy he really is. His understanding of simple issues in the Matrix films is so poor that I can't take a word he says seriously. The interesting part is that your perpetual claim - that he's good with language - is true, which makes it a little bit confusing when reading his take on things: could he be right? He sounds convincing at first glance. Answer: no. Ebert is simply a well-spoken simpleton. He's not able to grasp obvious cues as to what is "real" and what is "virtual" in the films. The rest is him playing with concepts that aren't even there: "But it's silly of me to think in this way, because neither the humans or Machines are really there, and what we're seeing are avatars in a computer program" - what gibberish is this? He's talking about the battle for Zion, man. He's not even grasping the obvious. Perhaps this might make sense after viewing Reloaded, but certainly not after Revolutions. And this isn't the first time - there are many, many times when Ebert misses the obvious when reviewing movies. Let's face it - you and I are not going to agree on this: holding Ebert up as an example of anything except an occasionally funny one-liner is folly. He's truly one of the least intelligent film reviewers in a sea of ignoramuses. I'm not kidding: I found it highly offensive when Ebert said he was able to appreciate the movie by "putting aside logic"! Ebert is the last fucking guy you want pontificating about logic. I'm sure that in his own head he has some internally consistent scheme for what constitutes "logical" storytelling, but I guess all I can say is that it's pretty goddamn far from mine. A cursory search on all his misunderstandings and irrelevant nitpicks (such as "why are they using machineguns?") is evidence enough for me to write that guy off for good.  
Also, as far as Link's girlfriend goes, now you're just getting cynical. There is no contrivance about her playing some heroic role. A real contrivance would be her jumping in the mech suit and opening the door herself. Why can't you just buy her wanting to do everything she could to help ensure her man came home? I really think you're grasping at straws on that one.
From: Swerb Entered on: November 6, 2003 12:24 AM
Geez, Ross, first Bone bags on film critics, now you've reduced 'em all to a "sea of ignoramuses." Good thing you're here to set us all straight. I think it's time to get rid of that angry-chipmunk mug shot of yours. :)  
The fact that you're nitpicking Ebert's irrelevant nitpicks (which I do contend aren't always worthwhile; I've never held him up to be the be-all-end-all of movie critics) shows me you didn't get the gist of the review. Admittedly, you have to sift through some of his off-base observations, but some of his commentary is on the money. He even owns up to the fact that he doesn't really understand the film at times: "I am sure my information is flawed. No doubt I will get countless e-mails explaining or demonstrating my ignorance in tiresome detail. But the thing is: A movie should not depend on the answers to questions like this for its effect." I think that last sentence is spot-on.  
What disappointed me most is that Reloaded pointed at some seriously mind-bending stuff - multiple matrices, the question that the "real world" might itself be an illusion, whether Neo is human or a program, etc. - but Revolutions dropped the ball on all counts; the film just doesn't lend itself to speculation like Reloaded. And Ebert is right on when he says, "When the dust has settled and we all look back on the trilogy from a hype-free zone, we'll realize that the first movie inspired its fans to imagine that astonishing philosophical revelations would be made, and the series hasn't been able to live up to those anticipations. Maybe that would have been impossible."  
Also, I think if such plot contrivances were in any other movie, you'd be quick to point them out. Link's girlfriend first existed in the film to lend the characters some sense of humanity in a movie filled with big ideas, action and chilly environments, but she has since been reduced to a mere plot device. I contend, it's not a major flaw, but like I said, little shit like that bugs me, especially when a plot point hinges on coincidence. And dammit, I deserve to be cynical, because I had high expectations for this movie.
From: Swerb Entered on: November 6, 2003 12:28 AM
And, out of curiosity, why *do* they use machine guns?
From: The Bone Entered on: November 6, 2003 1:15 AM
The exchange between you two on the last two posts are the funniest I've ever read. I actually fell backwards off my chair laughing. Points to you both.
From: Ross Entered on: November 6, 2003 8:11 AM
"A movie should not depend on the answers to questions like this for its effect." I think that last sentence is spot-on."  
I don't, and I'll tell you why: that's like saying a movie like the Usual Supsects or Memento is a failure because you didn't understand everything the first time. Whereas those movies used complex notions of perception and narration, this movie threw in a little bit of -gasp- science fiction or fantasy elements. Why could the ship bouce around and still survive? It's a fucking hovercraft! It's a ship that doesn't exist! In a Jerry Bruckheimer or John Woo movie, much more ridiculous feats of impossible physics take place and no one bats an eyelash. So yeah, Ebert doesn't get the obvious and he knows it. So what does that tell you? It tells me to stop reading him because he's just not very smart.  
As for machine guns: I have two things to say. First, those weren't bullets. They looked like at least 50mm cannon rounds. We're not talking about machine guns. The devastation from the impact of one of those things would be immense. Second, what else would you propose they use? Bombs are just going to fuck your own shit up, and those rockets didn't seem to be doing a better job than the "bullets" which I'm sure are much more easily produced. I'll grant that the whole concept of the APU suit was a bit on the unnecessary side - computer-controlled mounted turrets should have been all the defense they needed but would have been comparatively dull to watch, so I have no trouble granting them some dramatic license there and it's something every other sci fi movie in history is guilty of.  
I really think it's Ebert who doesn't "get it," not the other way around. I strongly disagree with the idea that the action in the Matrix has lessened impact because it's virtual. They were able to let audiences comfortably suspend disbelief using the virtual world, so they could pull off these phenomenal effects. What's truly tragic is a movie like Charlie's Angels 2 (a movie that Ebert gave only a 1/2 star less to, by the way) tries to copy these action pieces without the benefit of a virtual world, and no one seems to notice. That, my friends, is sloppiness. Sloppiness on the part of the filmmakers to be sure, but more importantly, sloppiness on the part of the audience - which allows bilge like this to continually be produced.  
So yes, I have reduced most of critics (not just film critics!) to a "sea of ignoramuses". Don't feel bad though, I think most people in general are ignoramuses. And Swerb, I would say that since I do think you're smarter than most of them, you have a shot at being a cut above, but I'd be lying: American audiences don't WANT a smart reviewer. It's that simple. So I fear that over time you may be facing yourself forced to bow to the overwhelming pressure to conform to run-of-the-mill reviews that are pre-packaged with the Joe Sixpack Seal of Approval.  
Finally Swerb, I believe you are being disingenuous with your true reasons for disappointment in this movie. When I read your review of Reloaded, I got the distinct impression that you liked it mostly based on technical merit. You yourself even said you enjoyed the film mainly on a visceral level. Perhaps you were just writing to your audience here, feeling that that's what we wanted to hear about. However, I did not feel that you were overly impressed by the philosophical implications presented in the film. I mean, you barely joined in with Bone and I in our speculations, but now you claim Revolutions doesn't warrant any. Didn't Reloaded, or were Bone and I just not saying anything interesting?  
No, if I had to guess, I'd say that your reason for disappointment is as follows. Feel free to correct me: there weren't any groundbreaking special effects (true), there was some wooden acting (true) and the movie took a fairly simple approach to resolving the film (true). That makes for a lackluster experience for you. I can live with that. But I happened to have found more in it than that. Given what Reloaded set up for us, I was interested in watching the resolution unfold. Granted, it happened in a relatively straighforward way (but not completely!) but when judged against competitors of this genre, it is still leaps and bounds above! I feel that expectations are just unrealistically high. Also, although there were some bad performances (actually, really only Neo's extended mourning of Trinity comes to mind), I thought Smith was awesome.  
In closing, I do have to conceed the point(s) that Revolutions renders Reloaded (and most of its more interesting premises and implications) moot. It would have been nice if it had explored these things.
From: Ross Entered on: November 6, 2003 9:12 AM
Also, I guess I'm the only one who felt anything at any point in the movie... I actually sympathized with the annoying kid at wanting to do his part and actually felt scared for him when he had to go on his ammo runs. Have I lost it? Am I simply drinking the Wachowski Jungle Juice? Perhaps. But I liked it. And call me a nut, but I was somewhat moved by Trinity's death, too. Yes, it went on too long and Keanu's acting was poor, but the spirit of what was going on was sad for me. Not like in Reloaded when she died. Maybe I was just in a weird mood, I dunno. Maybe when I see it next time I'll decide that everyone else is right and I'm an idiot. See? You bastards will bring me down yet...
From: Ross Entered on: November 6, 2003 10:02 AM
I'm sure posting this link will erase any credibility I may have established here (especially for you, Swerb), but Harry on Aint It Cool News raises many of the issues that I felt made the film worthwhile:
Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of nonsense in his review (like you said there is for Eberts, so call me a hypocrite). All his capitalism/communism allegory is utter gibberish. But his first few opening paragraphs sum up how I felt about the flick pretty well.  
Harry is kind of like my Ebert. He's the anti-Ebert (even though he loves Ebert and apparently vice-versa - fat guys gotta hang tight) - he has the writing skills of a 6 year old but I do find some value in his reviews in much the same way you find value in Ebert's. He's also an idiot sometimes too. But personally, I think Harry's take on the movie is much more relevant than Ebert's.
From: Swerb Entered on: November 6, 2003 10:18 AM
"Finally Swerb, I believe you are being disingenuous with your true reasons for disappointment in this movie."  
You callin' me a liar, bitch???? Kiss my black ass!  
Also, thanks for labeling my chosen profession worthless. I think you're just bitter that people actually get paid to watch movies while you're actually working for a living.  
Well, first of all, the reason I didn't contribute to you and Bone's (masturbatory?) discussions about Reloaded is because I, quite honestly, couldn't keep up with you two. I read them with interest, but had nothing noteworthy to add; they did, however, give me more appreciation for the film, even if the discussion went on and on (and on!). So pat yourselves on the back, fuckheads.  
No argument, Reloaded was a challenging film. I think I finally, truly grasped it after three viewings. But I wanted Revolutions to be even more challenging, and all I got was "Cookies need love, too" (which is totally gay). And the power of Trinity's love drove Neo to save Zion, and the power of love compelled Link's girlfriend to be Johnny-on-the-spot with the kid (who said to nobody in particular, "Neo, I believe in you!"). Gay! Gay! Gay!!!!  
I also concede your point on the machine guns. Also, that Hugo Weaving kicks ass. But I think saying "Revolutions is a notch above other sci-fi movies" is a complete copout. It should live up to the high standards set by the previous Matrix films, because even the shit I took this morning was far more compelling than Battlefield Earth, which can be lumped in the same genre.  
And it's not like I'm totally writing off the movie in general - I'm going to see it again this weekend because, like I said, it does deserve a second chance. Maybe it will be more revelatory than the first viewing, which, with the first two Matrix movies, is par for the course. But we'll see.  
Finally, Ross, it seems you have let your guard down, and your reasons for loving the movie may be illogical (even though you'll probably be pissed off at the accusation): "Maybe I was just in a weird mood." Were you on your period at the time? :)
From: Ross Entered on: November 6, 2003 10:43 AM
I have to be honest Swerb, I'm a fallible human being. As a rational person, I have to always be open to the possiblity that I'm wrong. For that reason, my guard is always going to be a bit lower than your average true believer. However, what I'm not wrong about (indeed, CANNOT be wrong about) is how great I felt while watching the movie the first time. Pure emotion. Granted, as I get pounded away at by reviewers and fans alike, my enthusiasm for the film is likely to taper. So no, I'm not pissed at all by anything you'd say about my reaction. You made a very valid observation. I don't know if my reasons for liking it are logical or not. But I think in the end, that hardly matters.  
Anyway, let me point out that I don't believe your profession to be worthless. True, I may see less worth in it than the average person does, but I also see zero worth in cigarettes, pro wrestling, or daytime TV programming, all of which are quite successful. At least with reviews, I see a potential (albeit usually a small one) to gain some insight into a work. In that respect, if you treat it as more of a one-way conversation on the piece, it can provide a worthwhile service (entertainment). But yeah, you guys already covered the basic idea: reviews are pointless for the purpose of telling you whether a movie is "good" or not, whatever that means. And yeah, I won't sugarcoat it: most reviewers are dumbfucks. Doesn't mean I think you are.  
Finally, yes, I am jealous that some people get paid to watch movies and talk about them. If I thought there was a good chance I could make a living at it, I might even try it myself even though I know I just said there isn't much worth in it (not like there's a lot of worth in what I do now, either, to be frank).
From: The Bone Entered on: November 6, 2003 10:56 AM
Revolutions would have been a very good movie had Reloaded never been filmed. The fact that Reloaded exits, Revolutions had the potential to be truly great. Possibly one of the greatest of all times. (In the genre) However, the Bros turned their back on Revolutions and came up with merely a satisfactory conclusion. My dissapointment lies with the lost potential, not with the movie itself. taken independent of my expectations. Harry knowles doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about much more than Ebert. This guy gets pretty close.

From: Ross Entered on: November 6, 2003 12:00 PM
I read that guys review as well, and while he makes a number of valid points (hence adding to my imminent downgrading of the movie) he also gets some easy shit messed up:

"*Even though "Revolutions" takes place only in the span of a few hours immediately following "Reloaded," some of our characters have taken, quite suddenly, to using informal nicknames with one another, such as "Merv" and "Trin.""

Okay, come on. Even in the first movie, Cypher refers to Trinity as "Trin." Sloppy. Besides, that's irrelevant since I know that I call people by made-up nicknames within minutes of meeting them (if I don't care about their reaction).

"*In "The Matrix" we were told that agents must obey the physical laws inherent in the matrix. Morpheus says, "Men have emptied entire clips at them and hit nothing but air, yet their strength and their speed are still based in a world that is built on rules. Because of that, they will never be as strong or as fast as you can be." Not anymore. In "Revolutions," Agent Smith can do everything Neo can. "

Yes, I thought this was fairly self-explanatory. He's not an agent anymore. They said this numerous times - "whatever it is, it's not reading like an agent." He is something much more. And the Oracle said he's basically the Anti-Neo. So why shouldn't he be able to do what Neo does? Sloppy.

"*In "Revolutions" we meet computer programs who feel love and appreciate karma, but later we're assured that machines always keep their word, since betrayal is a human trait. "

I fully grant him this one, and the thought occurred to me as well.

"*Neo survives being driven into concrete so forcefully that he creates a 30-foot crater. (The wonderful site Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics will have a field day with "Revolutions.") "

Oh good god. He's in the fucking MATRIX! You're not complaining that he was flying in the first place, are you?

"Yet what finally fells him is a punch to the gut. There may still be some rules in the matrix governing Neo, but they appear and disappear arbitrarily"

I just chalk that up to Smith being more powerful than concrete, that's all. Granted, the rules do seem a bit arbitrary, but we're known that since Movie 1.

"*When confronted with a single sentinel in "The Matrix," a frightened Trinity tells Neo that the electromagnetic pulse is mankind's only weapon against these devilish devices. In "Revolutions," simple machine guns prove quite effective and all ships seem to be equipped with them. Is this a small inconsistency? Yes, except that it makes the tension of the closing minutes in "The Matrix" a complete contrivance."

I almost conceeded his point on this one, until I realized that the machineguns really are only a stopgap measure against sentinels, not a true defense. Shooting one would alert countless others which would indeed destroy a ship, which is what happened in Revolutions. Instead, a EM pulse would render ALL of them defunct.

Anyway, I'm just pointing out that a lot of the plot nitpicks aren't very valid. However, the complaints that it throws out the cool ideas from #2 is an idea that is steadily gaining more cred with me. I do feel a bit let down in that sense. But I can't help it, I still enjoyed the movie anyway.

From: Swerb Entered on: November 6, 2003 2:14 PM
Gee, Ross, I like how you compare my job to cigarettes, pro wrestling and daytime TV. Thanks.  
Of course, I'm only saying that to fuck with you and/or further entertain Mista Bone...  
Also, I never said I wasn't entertained by the movie. Sure, it didn't break any new ground effects-wise, and the dialogue banalities referred to in the Weekly Standard article bugged me, but I was compelled to see how it all turned out, and the film moved along at a rapid clip with a fair amount of suspense.  
One major complaint, though, is that Revolutions just doesn't show Neo doing enough sweet, superhero-type stuff. The huge, epic battle sequence fails to directly include the story's hero. I dunno, one can argue the plot nitpicks even more... like, why didn't Neo and Trinity use the EMP when they flew into the machine city? Wouldn't that just royally fuck shit up?  
One more beef: When the Oracle said that Neo and Smith are opposite sides of the same equation ("he is you," she said), I had figured out that in order to kill Smith, Neo would have to sacrifice himself. So I kind of saw the ending coming, but hoped that the Wachowskis would add a twist, or pull the rug out from under me. The ending was too... basic, I guess.  
OK, I'm officially done kicking Revolutions. But Bone, you nailed it on the head when you used the phrase "lost potential." I can't help but be a bit disappointed.
From: Ross Entered on: November 6, 2003 2:33 PM
To be fair, I ranked your profession slightly above cigarettes, pro wrestling, and daytime television. Take what you can get, buddy. :) You'll notice that I didn't exactly sing the praises of my own profession either.  
And I share the same sentiment as your last paragraph. I guess my overall point is that while it could have been much sweeter if it had continued in Reloaded's footsteps, it still managed to be sweet by following in The Matrix's footsteps.  
For what it's worth, here's my take on the EMP/machine city (why do machines even need a city anyway?) - sure an EMP would probably cause a lot of damage to the city. However, EMPs do have limited range (dictated by the energy that goes into generating the pulse) and it could easily be argued that it wouldn't cause enough problems to be of much use. Certainly, it wouldn't free all the pod-born humans. However, EMPs do not necessarily destroy machines (I'm not sure that they made this clear in the movies, but this is how they work in real life) but render them incapacitated for a short time. Besides, Neo's goal was clearly not to stop the machines. He knew he had to actually go into the mainframe and do something that didn't involve fighting.
From: The Bone Entered on: November 6, 2003 9:18 PM
Ross, back to Harry's review on AICN. Here's what someguy named Slater on CHUD wrote and I agree.  
And I just read Harry's AICN take on the flick, where he spends most of the review comparing the machines to the United States and Neo to Osama bin Laden. The fat bastard has gone insane and political at the same time. It's one of the single worst reviews I've ever read. Highly recommended.  

From: Ross Entered on: November 6, 2003 9:23 PM
Yeah I agree with the insane part but the beginning is pretty good before he devolves into SPACE MADNESS!  
He's not walking anymore.... HE'S RIDING!  
Either way, I enjoyed reading it more than Ebert's review. :)
From: The Bone Entered on: November 6, 2003 9:38 PM
No shit. It actually does start out pretty good, then all of a fucking sudden he goes off the deep end. I find it pretty funny now, but when I first read it I was like, "What the fuck is he talking about?"
From: John Entered on: November 7, 2003 2:24 PM
Well let me start by saying I ejoyed Revolutions for the most part. This is where I may incur the wrath of the mighty chipmunk himself, this film answered few of the questions raised by Reloaded. It made me glad I didn't waste my time discussing the meaning of Reloaded. Few if any of the concepts Bert and Bone went on and on about appeared in this movie. I'm actually shocked Bert liked this movie so well as it was about as deep as my bathtub. I spoke with the Bone today and he admitted to feeling cheated. I myself was actually amused that after all the philosophical bullshit of Reloaded this movie seemed to avoid going down that road.  
On a more positive note I loved many of the actions scenes. As far as action movies go it was good, but only good. I agree with the Bone that this movie had the potential to be great but didn't go for it. Had the brothers made a better attempt their trilogy could have rivaled the original Star Wars but as it stands it falls short of that feat. To bad guy's, this movie is just okay in my book.
From: Ross Entered on: November 7, 2003 3:09 PM
Yeah, I can't fault your opinion on that, Johnny. I do realize that all my speculation has been rendered into the irrelevant bin now, and it does suck. The weird thing is, and this is what made the viewing experience different between Bone and I, I think, is that I didn't actually go into the movie with my checklist ready, trying to get all these answers. I don't know why - it wasn't a conscious decision. I simply passively digested what they fed me. I assimilated it all with enthusiasm, but for whatever reason I wasn't left wanting (at the time). Now, I feel a bit differently, though I still remember enjoying myself so much that it still dominates my feelings on the film. I am eager to see it again and see what changes.  
I still feel like I was watching something more in line with the first film. It's absolutely true what Bone said - had Reloaded never been filmed, this one would seem far sweeter (much like how I viewed it at first, in essence forgetting about Reloaded). It was a very straightforward sci/fi action movie, like the first one. And yeah, not as good as the first one, at that.
From: The Bone Entered on: November 7, 2003 11:34 PM
Ross, I know you are a big fan of AI shit so you probably have seen this site. If not it's got tons of intersting ideas.
From: Ross Entered on: November 8, 2003 8:42 AM
Actually I haven't seen his site, Bone, thanks. I have read a couple of his books though. I got "Age of Spiritual Machines" for my dad for Christmas one year in fact, because I liked it so much.
From: Ross Entered on: November 9, 2003 11:53 AM
Just found out that there's going to be a Matrix Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG). It will take place after Revolutions. Official website is here:
From: Ross Entered on: November 10, 2003 10:53 AM
Okay, I went to see Revolutions again last night. I am definitely now willing to concede that to some degree, I have been trapped in a fog of emotion. I was looking for deeper answers this time, and the film does come up short on many counts. Although the Oracle gives an attempt at an answer to Neo's question "how was I able to separate my body from my mind and stop those sentinels?", it was far too vague. It basically was a dumbed down version of a theory of mine from our Reloaded discussions, which in summary is that Neo has some kind of wireless link to the mainframe in the real world. This link exists because when he "reinserts the prime program" from the "code he carries," he does it at the machine mainframe, in the real world. Then again, why jacking in to re-insert wouldn't work, I don't know. Anyway, yeah, the Oracle's explanation of "the power of the One extends beyond the Matrix, all the way to the machine source" or whatever is a very flimsy explanation.  
I just went back and re-read much of the lengthy discussion on Reloaded, in fact. In doing so, it definitely soured me on the fact that I can't really have such interesting musings on this film. Swerb, I'll say it now, without shame: you were right. This movie doesn't warrant the in-depth analysis that the prior one did.  
I still enjoyed it for what it was, but I think I'm basically on par with Bone's feelings now. There is some heartbreak here - we were promised something we never got. Gotta hand it to you Bone: you reached the appropriate level of enthusiasm for both these movies almost instantly whereas it took me several days for each.
From: The Bone Entered on: November 10, 2003 1:03 PM
That's right asshole! :)
From: Swerb Entered on: November 10, 2003 8:49 PM
Well, my second viewing further cemented my previous feelings for it, and didn't satisfy me as much on a pure entertainment level as the first two did on repeated viewings. And, second time around, I was truly disturbed by how stretchy the "new" Oracle's ears are. She needs to wear lighter earrings! Euuwwwch!  
But here's a movie I can recommend: Master and Commander. It starts Friday. It's pretty fuckin' sweet. I also saw the director's cut of Alien today, and it blew me away. It's an awesome piece of filmmaking, and I didn't notice how well-directed it was until seeing it on a big screen. Speaking of which, have y'all seen this?
I think nine discs (!) is a bit absurd, yet compelling...
From: Ross Entered on: November 10, 2003 9:46 PM
Damn... but it's 100 bones. I really loved the first two. The third, I only saw once but was less than impressed. The fourth one I can barely remember but remember being irritated at the idea that a giant mother alien could be sucked out a window from a 1 inch hole blown in a window. Science lesson of the day, boys and girls: air pressure at sea level on our planet is 14.7 lbs/sq in. Presumably the cabin of a spacecraft would be very close to this. Now, if you blow a hole in a window that is roughly 1 inch square, yes, the air will filter out of the room and into the vacuum (which has no pressure, by definition) but at a pretty slow rate! Furthermore, if you plugged the hole with your body (or a book), would it get crushed and squeezed through the hole? Absolutely not! We're talking about 15 lbs of pressure! That's nothing! You could play little Dutch boy and stick your finger in the dike and only suffer from the extreme cold of the outside.  
Rant over.  
I read that review, and it's almost worth it for the first two films, but not quite. If I could pick it up used, I might consider it.
From: The Bone Entered on: November 15, 2003 12:18 AM
I just finished playing Enter the Matrix (beat Splinter Cell the day before) and got to say it's a pretty good supplement to the movies. In total there's about an hour of extra film footage. Interesting stuff if Revolutions hadn't ended the way it did. You get to kick a bunch of vampire ass at the Merovingian's crib, make out with Persephone, fight Seraph (in order to see the Oracle), and get chased by the Smiths (my ass was puckered the whole time). In all it's ok as a game goes but superb in it's creativity.
From: Ross Entered on: November 22, 2003 7:07 PM
I saw Master and Commander today. Roche apparently thought it was a bit on the dull side, but Heather and I both enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm not sure that it will warrant many repeat viewings but I definitely had a good time. I hear they're setting these up to be a franchise? I would also surely watch another one. I'll take an action movie like this one over a Bruckheimer shitfest any day.
From: Swerb Entered on: November 22, 2003 10:25 PM
I really liked Master and Commander because there's some actual character development, and it does a really good job of immersing you in the setting. It's really well-written, -directed and -acted. I'm surprised Roche found it dull, because it's pretty intelligent for what is essentially an action-adventure flick.
From: Ross Entered on: November 23, 2003 9:55 AM
We are in 100% agreement. Also, although this is so small as to almost not bear mentioning, I was impressed for some reason by the surround-sound of the creaking ship. It was very convincing that you were really on a ship with these guys.
From: BigFatty Entered on: November 24, 2003 10:27 AM
Another movie you might add to your "to see" list is The Station Agent. It is a movie about a dwarf who loves trains and inherits a station house in a small town.  
OK - I know that doesn't sell it. It is a well done movie along the lines of Lost in Translation - interesting, likable characters within a snapshot of their lives.  
I know there are a ton of good movies coming out shortly, so I doubt you will see this in a theater - but don't miss this as a rental!
From: Swerb Entered on: November 24, 2003 1:43 PM
Fatty: I, too saw The Station Agent, and liked it a lot. It's pretty refreshing - a quiet film that's not another tiresome "event" movie. It's pretty funny, too. I'd say go see it at the theater, because the photography is really good, quite beautiful, even if its intimate nature might work best at home.  
Bert: Yeah, I noticed the surround sound, too. I saw M&C at the AMC theater in downtown Chicago (I think it's a relatively new theater, no?), and the sound was incredible. I can't wait for it to come out on DVD so I can watch it/listen to it with my new speakers. Speaking of cool sound, if you haven't seen Identity yet, the sound is amazing, even if the movie isn't that great - the story is kind of silly, but fairly entertaining anyway. There's constant rain and thunder, and the mix is excellent. It actually sounded more dynamic on my home system than The Matrix Reloaded did.  
And am I alone, or does The Last Samurai look kind of sweet? I really want to see it for some reason.
From: Ross Entered on: November 24, 2003 2:27 PM
I do kind of want to see the Last Samurai, but in his review, Roeper brought up a good point: you can't completely buy Tom Cruise in a period piece. This was my fear as well. Everything about him screams "modern day". Plus, he's always Tom-Cruise-playing-so-and-so, and never really disappears into a role. That said, it's not enough to make me not want to see the movie, so I'm sure I'll be going. But I'd be lying if I said my expectations are very high (Master and Rochemander syndrome, as I like to call it).
From: BigFatty Entered on: November 24, 2003 9:47 PM
I'm looking foward to Samurai as well. I saw Roeper's review too, and agreed with him as well. The movie looks sweet and the story should be great too. Cruise will have to be ignored to a degree. I'm sure he will not blend into the movie - but he certainly will not wreck it.  
That My America looked like a great movie too. I got to get crackin to see all these flicks before I leave. Who knows what the French do to movies when they get over there.
From: Creeko Entered on: November 25, 2003 2:38 AM
Does the term lost in translation mean anything? I?m sure the French are as bad at translating as the Mexicans are in Spain. Although, on rare occasion, a mediocre film can be converted into a good one with a good voice over. I have seen some films in Spanish that I really liked and when I watched them for a second time in their original version I find them to be merely ordinary or down right bad. This happens with TV shows too. Unfortunately, if I want to enjoy a film as it was meant to be seen, I have to wait for it to come out on DVD. This sucks too because the ?good? sound track (DTS or Dolby 5.1EX) are reserved for Spanish and what?s worse, on occasion, I am forced to watch a movie I really wanted to see in Stereo when it was intended to be seen in surround sound.
From: John Entered on: December 6, 2003 2:55 PM
Swerb - I did not find Master and Commander to be dull overall just that some parts were a bit tedious. As a whole, I liked the film quite a bit better than a Bruckheimer shitfest to say the least. I liked but I didn't love it. In fact I like Gladiator better but hey, to each their own.
From: Swerb Entered on: December 13, 2003 5:21 PM
Did anyone ever see The Last Samurai? I haven't yet, and am awaiting an official opinion from a Jackassery contributor.  
By the way, I saw Return of the King on Friday, and it rules. You know how there's always one relatively bad movie in most trilogies (Revolutions, Return of the Jedi, Temple of Doom, Godfather III...)? Well, LOTR is just consistently good throughout. I love all three movies.
From: Ross Entered on: December 13, 2003 6:01 PM
The reviews on Rotten Tomatoes were pretty lackluster - I don't think I'll make it to the moviehouse for Last Samurai. However, I picked up my extended edition of Two Towers today, Heather must submit to indoctrination and we will be set to see RotK.
From: BigFatty Entered on: December 15, 2003 8:42 PM
ChicaBOOM and I are in the mist of The Fellowship and are planning a weeks worth of DVD watching thanks to Johnny. I do want to see Samurai. It will have to wait until after King.
From: Ross Entered on: December 16, 2003 7:55 AM
Heather and I are also taking in the extended edition of the Two Towers. So far we have not finished it after two nights but our progress was lessened the other night by virtue of my eyeball swelling up so big I could barely shut my eye and the resulting trip to the emergency room. Anyway, we've got about 1 hour left. From what I've been hearing, Return of the King is the best one of the 3!
From: Swerb Entered on: December 16, 2003 9:54 AM
I dunno if RotK is the best of the three... it's definitely as good as Two Towers, but maybe a hair better because there's actually a satisfying conclusion to the story. The giant battle sequence is fuggin' sweet, too. By the way, I'm going to the LotR marathon today, from 1 p.m.-1 a.m., so I'm sure I will have had my fill of Middle Earth by the time it's all over....  
So Bert, did Heather sock you in the eye, or something? What's up with that?
From: Ross Entered on: December 16, 2003 11:00 AM
I dunno what happened. I was watching the Two Towers, and my eye started bugging me. So I rubbed it a couple times, but the problem wouldn't go away. I figured something was in it, so I headed to the bathroom to check it out, and freaked out when I saw my eye was totally bloodshot and swollen up on the outside white area. I nearly had an anxiety attack, it was so damn frightening. So after a bit I decided to go get it checked out. After waiting about 1.5 hours in the ER, the doctor looks at it and seems totally unimpressed... though the worst of it had already passed. So he gave me some drops and sent me on my way. My eye is almost back to normal - not swollen, but still somewhat irritated.  
Anyway dude, I haven't seen the movie and you have, but Rotten Tomatoes is, as of this writing, scoring it a perfect 100:

From: Ross Entered on: December 16, 2003 12:29 PM
Speaking of movies, you guys need to check out the new Spider-Man 2 teaser trailer:
It doesn't show much in the way of plot, but in terms of special effects, it looks pretty damn good. More of Spidey swinging like a mofo.
From: BigFatty Entered on: December 16, 2003 12:52 PM
It got me hyped!! I was worried how Doc Oc would look and operate. I must admit, I was a bit sceptical on his choice based solely on the difficulty of his movie adaptation. Well, they showed me! Oc is sweet, has realism, and does the comic character some justice. He is far from the fake-looking, campy villian I was dreading.
From: The Bone Entered on: December 16, 2003 1:38 PM
I've had the same eye thing a couple of times myself. I sit there watching tv, my eye starts to itch, I scratch it, next thing you know it's bloodshot and swollen like a son of a bitch. It's happened twice and I just washed it with cold water and went to bed. By the next morning it was negligible.  
Having worked at a hospital and hanging with our Flight Surgeon, I reccomend never going to the ER unless you are missing a limb, fever above 104 degrees, or a projectile is lodged in your body.
From: Ross Entered on: December 16, 2003 3:51 PM
Why is that? Just because it's a pain in the ass and there's a bunch of sick people there?  
Fatty - Yeah, I think Ock looks sweet. I hope he's gonna try to get his groove on with Aunt May like he does in the comics.
From: BigFatty Entered on: December 16, 2003 4:46 PM
Tony - your eye problem is pretty easy to figure out. You have a habit of checking out 'the boys' when you are just sitting around. I'll bet after visiting boystown, your hand brought back a pube or another little nasty and you rubbed it into your eye. It stands to reason it happens to you occasionally.
From: The Bone Entered on: December 16, 2003 4:52 PM
Ross - Because you are delt with based on severity of injury and it's possible to sit for three hours even if you have a slashed yourself with a box-cutter (real life example of my friend).  
Second, most people assume doctors are so fucking competent because they went to medical school. Medical school weeds out the mentally lazy, however it only gives you a general idea of how to practise medicine. Certainly doctors are more qualified than you, however you can get a book like the Harvard Family Health Guide or even better Special Operations Force Medical Handbook which will allow you to take care of most any damned thing. At any rate, 9 times out of ten if you go to the hospital for anything other than serious trama or illness, you'll just spend a couple of hours and get at most a Motrin.  

From: The Bone Entered on: December 16, 2003 5:07 PM
Fatty - So are you saying Bert's been making his way down to Boystown too? I didn't even know there was a Boystown. I bet you have the directions and the fastest route. I reccomend you lay off the amateur guesswork. You're no good at it. You are better off dealing with your feelings of regret in regards to the missed opportunity to satisfy your crush for Carl Kiry back in the day.
From: BigFatty Entered on: December 17, 2003 1:30 AM
I'm not saying Ross went to Boystown - but it is worth examining after seeing your chronic stank-eye. Dude - you are so far off with my 'amateur guesswork'. I got all my information straight from the Special Operations Force Medical Handbook BEEYOCH!
From: Ross Entered on: December 17, 2003 4:22 PM
My old apartment was in Boystown - a pretty gay area. Hence all my gay pride parade pictures every year.  
As for doctors, Bone, I am well aware of their style. In fact I have shat on doctors for a while and even earned Melissa's scorn to some degree as a result. I'm of the opinion that I'm usually going to be the one to diagnose my problem, not a doctor. But I do tend to turn to a doctor when all else fails, just because he might have seen this shit before.  
Basically, I can think of myself as a doctor for some very specialized software type shit. People who use my company's software try to fix their own problems, and if they're smart, they usually do. But when things are really messed up, they call the software doctor, me. But I'm not a general medicine guy, I'm a specialist. Hence, no, I can't get rid of all the viruses on your computers, you farking arsehurls. But I am called in to fix a mess (like I'm going to do tomorrow) that reasonably bright people created, and my job is just to be a nut-hair brighter than them. When I'm lucky, that's the margin and I come out smelling like roses. I won't tell the times I came out with that not-so-fresh feeling.  
But the bottom line is, you're better off if you fix it yourself because you can't rely on anyone who doesn't know your system (or body) as well as the people who deal with it every day.
From: BigFatty Entered on: December 17, 2003 5:01 PM
I'm of the same feeling as you guys. Accept for diagnosing the bad news stuff, the medical system is pure crap. It is especially crappy for me right now. I have no insurance and I have potentially nasty problems. Case in point, my high blood pressure. I ran out of my meds. The only way for me to get a refill is to make an appointment. I give the doc my speil, they check my blood pressure - yep it is high you should watch that - and I tell them the dosage I need. They write it up and I'm out the door, except I'm $80 lighter in the wallet. It is even difficult for me to make an appointment because I have no insurance. Most don't even want to deal with me.  
Most of the minor stuff people jam the medical system with could be fixed working with a good pharmacist and a nurse.  
I too avoid the ER at all costs. I only go when things look dire for me - like when my intestines block up.  
I have many stories of crappy diagnosis from my ex-HMO. I did a much better job than they did. They did teach me to be more involved and outspoken with doctor and tell them when I disagree with them. Ross is right - they don't know everything. There are certain medical subjects that I know far more then most generalists. It is simply because I have studied the topic more than they have (high BP and Crohns). Now give me a specialist in his field and then I get impressed!
From: Swerb Entered on: December 17, 2003 10:43 PM
Ross - Your "specialist" analogy is right on the mark, if you ask me. Every time I visit a general practitioner, they stick a light in my ear, tell me to drink more fluids (or some such benign advice), and send me on my way with some ibuprofen. However, when I visited the ear/nose/throat specialist after I broky my schnozz, he really knew his shit, gave me good advice, and fixed my problem.  
Although that's not always the case, either; when I was dealing with carpal tunnel or tendonitis or whatever it is that's bothering me, I went to my employer's specified med center, saw three or four different doctors, most of whom gave me different analyses then just sent me to physical therapy. Then the therapists didn't really know how to treat my problem because the docs just poked me a couple times and slapped a diagnosis on me. After jumping through those bullshit hoops for two months, they sent me to a hand specialist, who read the diagnosis of the shitty med center docs, ran a few rudimentary tests... then told me I needed surgery! I walked out of there and basically said, "Fuck that," because I'm not convinced I was diagnosed correctly in the first place, and I'm sure that fuckhead specialist looked at me and saw dollar signs. Basically, I wasted a fuck of a lot of time (and my employer's money) for nothing; now, I just take advil when it hurts, rest my arms (which means no Xbox!), and it goes away.  
Also, that hand specialist was extraordinarily fat, too. I will never trust a medical professional who is obese, for obvious reasons...
From: Swerb Entered on: December 17, 2003 10:52 PM
Also, Bert, not to get back on subject or anything, but Rotten Tomatoes now has RotK at 98 percent... I was hoping it would stay at 100, because that's practically unheard-of on that site. I don't see how any critic could nitpick that movie enough to give it a bad review! It's not perfect, but what is???  
By the way, you have to see it ASAP. I saw it for the second time last night, and loved it even more. What a great series. I foresee an Oscar sweep... I'm almost to the point where I want to read the books, but I don't know if my attention span is hearty enough.
From: Ross Entered on: December 18, 2003 7:19 AM
Heather and I finished the Two Towers last night so we're cleared to see RotK. Only thing is, during the week, there is no way Heather can stay awake for the requisite 3.5 hours at the movies, so it will have to wait till the weekend. I can't wait, though. I picked up the Extended Edition of Fellowship yesterday after seeing how sweet the EE of TT was. It's a shame we can't just see the extended edition in theaters because those versions are so much better.
From: Swerb Entered on: December 18, 2003 7:16 PM
Celebration had the extended editions for the past two weeks here... I'm sure they're playing somewhere in Chicago, too. The EEs were what I saw during the marathon Tuesday.  
The EE of Two Towers is significantly better, too - the beginning with the elven rope, the Ents killing the orcs after they flee into the woods, Merry and Pippin finding the stash of pipe weed... For Fellowship, the changes aren't as significant, but it still explains a few things in more detail.
From: Ross Entered on: December 19, 2003 8:02 AM
Well Roche saw it and called me last night, I was hoping he'd add his input here. He says he doesn't know what you're talking about Swerb - it's by far the best one. But I'm seeing it on Sunday or Monday so by then we'll have the definitive answer. :)
From: Ross Entered on: December 22, 2003 12:04 PM
I seent it. It was fargin awesome. I am so into Lord of the Rings now, it's basically absurd. I've found maps online that I've printed, and I'm plotting the journeys thru middle earth on it. You guys realize that about 80-90% of the distance from The Shire to Mordor was covered in the first book, right? Anyway, I'm all about this shit now. I loved the movie, though I'm at a loss to say which are "better" than others, because they're all almost the same. Maybe in time I will be able to reach such meaningless conclusions. The point is, as a whole, this trilogy is amazing.  
There's also a good website with all kinds of info on Tolkien's world, at
From: Swerb Entered on: December 23, 2003 12:56 PM
So now you know what I mean when I don't jump to the ludicrous conclusion that one of the films is better than the others, right? They're all sweet!  
BTW, I finally saw The Last Samurai, and Tom Cruise was turdier than I expected... you get the feeling that he took the role only so he could look like a badass in that samurai armor. It's a beautifully photographed film, but the story was excruciatingly formulaic. Not awful, by any means, but not very good, either.
From: BigFatty Entered on: December 23, 2003 5:31 PM
Not to be a "ya, ya me too", but I felt lukewarm about the samurai too. Like Swerb said, well done, beautiful scenery, and even good battles and fights - but it really didn't do much for me. I can only say it was OK. Tom Cruise played what he always plays. If there is nothing else to watch - go see it.
From: Swerb Entered on: December 24, 2003 10:05 AM
Yeah, Fatty, the battles and fights were good... but I judge that kind of thing with whether or not I get goosebumps from watching it. Return of the King? Goosebump heaven. I got a few goosebumps during Kill Bill. Last Samurai? None. I was too distracted by how sweet Tom Cruise thinks he is.
From: Ross Entered on: December 25, 2003 11:14 AM
That seals it: no Last Ham-on-Rye for me.

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