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Awake In The Dark
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Old June 5th, 2004, 07:01 AM   #1
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and Matrix 2 and 3 could have pulled in much much more if they had been as good as the first one
Personally I don't think this is possible. How could a sequel to
something like the original Matrix ever be as good as the first one.
I understand that everyone who went with that high expectation
to see the movies was very very dissapointed. I personally liked
the sequels for the ideas it put in my mind and the more questions
it put up then it answered.

I personally just don't believe the Matrix sequels could be as
great as the original was. You know why? Because it was new
and mind blowing. There are movies where a sequel might be
better as the first one (Godfather 2?) but that just means that
part 1 was perhaps not as great.

With the Matrix (and personally I would add Fight Club and The
Sixth Sense for example as well) the "first" movie was so great,
so mind shattering that any sequel was doomed to begin with.

Personally I thought the sequels nicely added to the world that
is the Matrix. Could they have been better? Perhaps. Do they
have flaws: certainly.

I just wanted to describe how someone did enjoy the sequels
by perhaps having a bit more realistic expectation of them.
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Old June 5th, 2004, 08:20 AM   #2
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Yes. It has to do with expectations. I thought the three Matrix films were brilliant because I could follow the story line from beginning to end. Most movie goers want visual entertainment only and don't want to have to think about the story.

This is what Hollywood picks up on. Many people will talk about how great a movie is due to its sfx, for example, but sfx are only part of the visual entertainment, not the story. But it sells tickets. So movies get loaded up with unnecessary cg, sometimes poorly done, and sell millions of dollars in tickets.

In the meantime, a wonderful film like "In America", drifts around the indie circuit deeply affecting those who see it while dopey "Scobby-Do" makes millions...but the first week only as those who were sucked into going the first week tell others what a waste of time it is.

The point is people forget Hollywood is a business to make money, not create great works of art. The best films are from the indies because they don't need to make hundreds of millions to make a profit where Hollywood does.

Films like "In America" are rarely made by the studios because they know it won't bring in all the kids and there's no Al Pacino, a blonde bombshell, multiple explosions and cgi monsters. If the studios did it, then all those would be inserted to "sexy it up" and ruin the story. But the studio story would make millions.

BTW, I consider this off topic to film theory.
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Old August 18th, 2004, 04:00 PM   #3
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rob&rob, i think matrix2&3 were really really good. i liked revolutions better than matrix+reloaded. once i get home i can post an essay i did on it.
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Old August 19th, 2004, 12:21 AM   #4
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Matrix 1 was good because it was visually revolutionary and got people to question conventions in film (why the hero can dodge bullets) and real life (what if somebody else was controlling your world and you didn't even know it [US government?]. Matrix Reloaded was good because it expanded the story and the universe so much further than I thought it could be, especially with the revelation that the everything you thought you knew about the real world was wrong (Matrix being repeated over and over again, multi-generational reincarnated programs, etc...). Matrix Revolutions, however, felt like the Wachowskis handed the franchise to another writer and said, "see what you can do with it". It didn't fit in pacing or depth, and brought the trilogy down for me. Everybody I have said that to has replied that each film should be judged on its own, but they were advertised to have been written together, and the last 2 were produced together, so I don't know why there would be such a great discrepancy in the films. I wouldn't call Revolutions a total bust...at least now I know they can pull of DragonBall Z...
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Old August 19th, 2004, 03:09 AM   #5
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I've split this of from another thread.
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Old August 19th, 2004, 11:35 AM   #6
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I was a bit dissapointed by Revolutions. I felt the effects just became so overblown, I found myself laughing with disbelief which dittracted from the story for me.

After seing the first film in '99 they said there would be two sequels and I was like, woah! and having to wait for over two years for them they better be good. The original Matrix had a kind of underground feel to it, and when it became hugley successful I think the sequels were destined to lose some of that raw originality and impact the first film created.

I also think there just wasn't enough actual time spent in the Matrix by Neo and co in Revolutions. The whole fighting to save Zion thing took too long.

I guess the story could have gone in many directions from the first film, and I'd hoped it had been a bit different.
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Old August 19th, 2004, 12:09 PM   #7
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in defense of the Matrix Trilogy.

hi guys, here is an essay written about the matrix trilogy for my philosophy class when i first took a while back. i haven't read it in a while, there may be spelling errors and stuff in there. i'm no writer, i don't write well, heck it's one of the things i hate when trying to begin my own production of making movies but... i tried my best. twas for a grade.

also, i don't want to toot my own horn and say that i'm the "be all and end all" of all knowledge. i actually know very little! the reason i relayed this is because so many just look at the surfaces of the matrix trilogy but miss the overwhelming life-affirming messages beneath. just wanted to share that with everyone! enjoy!

btw the essay is too long so i split it up into a few posts, and plus the paragraph breaks didn't come out correctly, forgive me i have no time to correct it:


Matrix Decoded

Prerequisites: You must have seen the Matrix Trilogy (The Matrix, Matrix Reloaded, Matrix Revolutions) movies before you read this article. This article will be full of spoilers.

Rabbit Hole

You are reading this article because you want answers. You have watched three movies that have asked profound questions and now you need profound answers. Morpheus said, “I told you I can only show you the door. You have to walk through it.” (Matrix 1:10:34). To decipher the Matrix I can only give you the tools, you must learn how to use it. What are those tools? You are already using one of them. Curiosity. Humans are blessed with an intellect to question everything.
There are two subjects that you need to have a brief introductory knowledge on before diving into the Matrix. These are the tool boxes that the tools will be stored in. You will need both to understand the Matrix. The first tool box is computer programming and the second is philosophy.

Construct

Computer programming is a relatively simple concept. Machines will perform actions based on what you command it to do, but machines do not understand any of the human languages. They only understand on and off. So how do you command a machine on what to do? The first step is you write a program in English codes. These lines of codes tell machines what they can or cannot do. These codes exist so that humans can understand what it is they are telling the machines to do. These codes also exist so that you can work with other humans to create more complex programs that in turn control machines to perform more complex actions. The second step is that these lines of code are run through a compiler, which is what translates English codes into a language computers can understand. The compiler takes lines of codes and turns them into a series of on and off instructions that the computer obeys. After you run codes through the compiler the result is what is called a binary file. Binary because the instructions are only on and off, two types of actions. The third step is the time you command the machine to execute the binary file so that the machine follows the file and performs the actions stored in the file. That, in a nutshell, is the basic concepts of computer programming! It sounds complex but if you read this paragraph through a few times you will grasp the concept.

Love of Wisdom

Unlike computer programming philosophy is an extensive subject that is beyond the scope of this article. If computer programming is a tool box then philosophy must be a tool shed.
What is philosophy? Philosophy is asking questions about yourself and how you relate to the people and the world around you. Through the act of answering those questions you will gain a greater understanding of yourself and others. This article will concentrate only on one aspect of philosophy in relations to The Matrix, determinism vs. free will.
Determinism means that every action you take is based on a cause, that your choices cannot be freely arrived at. All of your actions are based on a cause that you then act out in effect. There are many philosophers throughout the ages arguing determinism, but none as prominent as from the last century. B.F. Skinner and Sigmund Freud. They have turned to science for alleged proof of causality. These two are also the founders of modern psychology.
In Skinner’s pursuit for the study of human behavior he believes that your “choices” do no result from “free” choice, but are predictable responses to stimuli. A cause and effect (causality). An example would be when you go to work in the morning and you say, “Good Morning.” to your co workers. You will repeat the action again to the ones that respond warmly on the following day. Your “Good Morning” is the stimulus and your co-worker’s reception is the response. Same stimulus always evokes the same response. Skinner believes that humans are controlled by consequences of reinforcement. If your co-workers are positively reinforced into responding warmly to your good mornings then they will tend to repeat the response every time you stimulate them. The only problem is that Skinner does not take into account human emotions, which can take on unpredictable choices and cannot be empirically measured.
Sigmund Freud believes that all human behavior is controlled by the Unconscious. That below what you cognitively realize there is another level of consciousness. An example would be “Freudian slips”. If you are talking to a very attractive person and you want to say Hi to them but what came out of your mouth was Hi Sexy. It is your unconscious surfacing and reminding you of your physical desires. Freud believed that you have three parts of a personality; Id, Ego and Superego. Ego is you yourself. Id is the carnal physical drives of your body (typically encompassing sex and aggression). Superego are pressures from your friends, family, media, anything that did not originate from yourself. Freud believed that you did not choose to be who you are because you are made up of childhood experiences. These childhood experiences are what the Superego is made of. Both Superego and Id are pulling and tugging at the Ego. It is your parents telling you to be in a certain career, it is the media telling how you should look or talk, it is your friends telling you how to live your life, it is your hormones driving your need for sex. The problem with Freud’s idea is responsibility. There is no way of accounting for criminals that say it was their Id that killed someone or their Superego that robbed a bank. Society would run amok.
Free will is the antithesis of determinism. Every choice that you make are not under the influence of others or causality. You are reading this article because you have chosen to enlighten yourself of new knowledge… or at least that is the hope of the author. The following three philosophers defend free will.
Aristotle tackles Freud’s problem of responsibility directly by dividing it up into voluntary and involuntary actions. Voluntary actions are choices that you knowingly take, therefore you are entirely responsible for those actions regardless of the time you made it. Let’s say you are miserable because you are reading this article right now. You voluntarily made the choice to read my article from the beginning. You still have a choice to stop reading, yet you continue to read. You are responsible for your own misery. Involuntary action is when a person, such as the author of this article, holds a gun to your head and demands you to read through this article. You are NOT responsible for those actions. Aristotle believes that through these choices humans define their personality.
William James’s pragmatism claims that free will gives humans a more satisfying and rational explanation of experience than determinism does. James believes that when you are presented with choices, you will regret the choice you did not make. That very feeling is why we have free will, it is because there is more than one choice at any given time.
Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialism believes that you are totally and entirely bound to freedom that every choice that you make determines you very essence, your nature.
The problem with James’s “feelings” are that it is too unscientific. Sartre’s interpretation is too strict on making choices that define the make up of a person that he leaves nothing to external forces, such as Freud’s Superego.
The key to philosophy is a balance of ideas. Take the parts that you think makes sense to you and come up with your own philosophy.
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Old August 19th, 2004, 12:10 PM   #8
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Determined Freedom

“It’s the question that drives us, Neo. It’s the question that brought you here. You know the question just as I did.” Trinity said to Neo (Matrix 11:30). Now that you have a primer on both programming and philosophy you can begin by taking a look at determinism in the Matrix Trilogy. “The time has come to make a choice, Mr. Anderson,” Manager (Matrix 12:45). Very early on in the first movie we are presented with a choice. The Manager’s comment regarding Neo’s tardiness to work is within the Matrix but the Manager is really asking Neo to make a choice to knowing the truth of the Matrix. He is also asking the audience of the movie to answer that question. He is asking you to make a choice. What choice? The choice to understand philosophy, to apply it to your life and to gain understanding of the truth. That is also why the window washers are there in the same scene. The glass represents a view into life. The Warchowski Brothers only made one cameo appearance in all three movies. They are the window washers in this scene because they believe they are cleaning your mind’s eye into your own life. They are the philosophers that will take you on this journey of “choice”.
After Neo wakes up in the real world Morpheus apologizes to Neo for waking him out of the Matrix at such an old age. Morpheus then questioned Neo about going back to the Matrix. “But if you could would you really want to?” Morpheus (44:45). These attenuating circumstances would suggest that Morpheus is what Aristotle would refer to as an involuntary action from Neo’s point of view. Is Morpheus an agent of causality? Does his blind faith depend on an empty foundation? Is his belief in the Oracle logical? No, as we find out in Matrix Reloaded:
“Causality. Action, reaction. Cause and effect, “ said Merovingian.
“Everything begins with choice,” said Morpheus.
“No. Wrong. Choice is an illusion created between those with power and those without,” said Merovingian (Matrix Reloaded 1:06:03-1:06:22). Here we have an interesting contrast between Merovingian the determinist and Morpheus the freedom fighter. Merovingian is both B.F. Skinner and Freud combined through the illustration he uses. He attributes programming the cake as the cause and the effect is that woman getting very aroused. The Merovingian believes in this so much that he says, “Causality. There is no escape from it. We are forever slaves to it.” (Matrix Reloaded 1:08:07). Freud’s Id also plays into the picture as the Merovingian is able to physically satisfy his carnal lust without giving heed to his emotional consequences. That is why Persephone, Merovingian’s wife, helps Neo. In Matrix Reloaded Neo later meets the Architect that is even more deterministic than Merovingian. He notes that the Oracle “stumbled upon a solution whereby 99 percent of subjects accepted the program as long as they were given a choice even if they were only aware of the choice at a near unconscious level.” Architect(Matrix Reloaded 1:53:50). As Neo puts it, “Choice. The problem is choice.” (Matrix Reloaded 1:52:20). William James would have approved Neo’s statement for choice. The Architect represents the harsh cold reality of determinism. It is a series of mathematical precision, devoid of emotion, only logic and rationality. To the Architect humans are merely numbers and equations to be solved, balanced and manipulated. The problem with that approach is that human emotions do not quantify merely as stimulus and responses as Skinner puts it nor is it just Id or Superego at work. Warchowski specifically put the themes of love throughout the Matrix trilogy just for the purpose of explaining the irrational nature of human emotions. The Merovingian compares love to insanity in Matrix Revolutions. Love is what saved Neo from dying in Matrix, love is what saved Trinity in Matrix Reloaded and love is what saved Zion AND the machine world.
The Oracle is a neutral program inside of the Matrix that wants to survive the future. She could be deterministic or free will if that is the ticket to survive. “So it’s really up to you. Just have to make up your own damn mind to either accept what I’m going to tell you or reject it.” Oracle (Matrix Reloaded 45:36). “But if you already know, how can I make a choice?” Neo (Matrix Reloaded 45:53). So what is the Oracle? How can she see the future? Is she is manipulating it? “Now, since the real test for any choice is having to make the same choice again knowing full well what it might cost…” Oracle(Matrix Revolutions 5:55).
Is the Matrix Trilogy more determinism or free will? It appears from the above evidence that the Warchowski Brothers may have led you into determinism, that all of your life you have been controlled by the Matrix. Every choice that you make is a mirage of hope. As Mr. Smith says, “It is inevitable.” Smith(Matrix Reloaded 58:47). Nearly every character that Neo meets wants Neo to perform and action for them. In the beginning of the Matrix the Manager wants Neo to be on time. Agent Smith wants Neo to come clean of his cyber crimes. Morpheus leads him to the door but wants him to open it. Oracle wants Neo to save Morpheus. The crew of the Nebuchadnezzar wants Neo to save Zion. All of the Agents want Neo to die. In Matrix Reloaded all of Zion wants Neo to save them. The council of Zion wants Neo to save them. Merovingian wants to Neo to be locked up in a Train station. Architect wants Neo’s code to reboot the Matrix. In Matrix Revolutions the machines want Neo to kill Smith the Virus. Through the entire story Neo is being herded into a destiny that does not appear to be of his own choice. But that is not the end of it. The reason why the Matrix Trilogy are the most philosophical movies of all time is because for every side of an argument it provides the opposite view with equal footing.
Although every character commands Neo to perform an action, he still has a choice to make. Even though the Manager tells him to be on time, we know it is not the first time that Neo is late for work. Just like he flips off the Agents, he doesn’t care about the Matrix world. Morpheus gives Neo a blue pill and a red pill, Neo can make a choice. He can choose what to do. Although the Oracle gives Neo information the final choice is still Neo’s to make. Neo must make up his own mind. The Oracle gives information to the human characters so they can make their own choices. She does not impose her will upon them. In the Architect’s room Neo chooses to save Trinity and not Zion. There is a difference between what the people of Zion want, to save themselves, and what Neo wants. To save Trinity. He is so free that he is almost condemned to be free as Sartre says. The existential ideas are prevalent especially in Matrix Reloaded. You can argue that the Matrix Trilogy is entirely for free will because at the end of the Trilogy Neo chooses to sacrifice himself for the survival of both the machine world and Zion.
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Old August 19th, 2004, 12:12 PM   #9
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The Revolution

“Is it freedom or truth?” Smith (Matrix Revolutions 1:49:11)
Mr. Smith represents determinism and Neo represents free will. Smith is so bent on carrying out the course of causality that even if he destroys both the Matrix and the real world it does not matter because his philosophy is that what is coming is “inevitable”. Yet Neo prevails to rebel against that idea “Because I choose to.” Neo (Matrix Revolutions 1:49:57). Neo’s version of inevitability lies not in cause and effect but in a choice. “You were right, Smith. You were always right. It was inevitable.” Neo (Matrix Revolutions 1:52:35). His choice to sacrifice himself defies all logic and explanation, yet it is exactly this freedom to do this action that saves the world. Even with the Oracle’s eyes (to see the future) Smith could not see his own end because he is locked in the tower of causality. Even if Smith was told what Neo would do ahead of time Smith would not believe it because he is so deterministic.
The Matrix Trilogy has every branch of Philosophy explored. Simulacra & Simulation, a green book (Matrix 8:28) appeared in the first movie and Morpheus says, “Welcome to the desert of the real.” (Matrix 41:16) lifted directly out of Baudrillard’s first essay. Warchowski had most of the cast read this work before production of the movies. Neo says, “You ever have that feeling where you’re not sure if you’re awake or still dreaming?” it is a reference to Descartes’ Lucid Dreams. Neo references Buddhist and Judeo-Christian ideas in regards to God’s proof/existence, there is a heavy spiritual undertone throughout the Matrix.
Remember computer programming? Well inside a computer code there is a concept named “for loop”. A loop is needed sometimes when a program requires choices that need to be presented to the user. A for loop consists of initialization all of the components needed for the program to continue, a check in the condition, execute statements that is within the body of the for loop and finally it ends with commands that run after the loop happens. That piece of code from programming generally looks like this:

for(initialization;condition;postloop)
{
body;
};

You would use this when writing programs that call for a machine to perform an action for finite or infinite amount of times. An example would be the ATMs when you enter in your password. Let’s say your password was only 1 digit and it was the number 5. The ATM program might check to see if what you entered was 5 and then let’s you take out cash. This is where the for loop can come in handy. The code might look something like this:

for(insert_ATM_card;if_password=5;eject_ATM_card)
{
Withdrawl_money_allowed;
}

The computer checks to see if you inserted your ATM card, which is the initialization part, then it checks the condition of your password to see if it 5, if it is then the computer executes the body of the loop where the ATM is allowed to give you money. After that the computer executes the post loop that ejects your ATM card. If your password is incorrect it would just eject your ATM card and NOT allow you to withdraw money. Here is the for loop for the Matrix Trilogy:

for(matrix=wake_neo;reloaded=neo_chooses_trinity||reloaded=neo_chooses_zion;revolutions++)
{
Destroy Zion;
}

Matrix is Neo’s awakening and his initialization into the real world from the Matrix. Reloaded is the condition that Neo choosing Trinity or, the two vertical lines represent OR, Neo choosing Zion. Either way Zion is destroyed, which then leads us to Revolutions rebooting the Matrix with Neo’s code by another iteration of 1. Revolutions++ means Revolutions=Revolutions+1.
What does all of this mean? At the end of Revolutions Oracle says that Neo may return, this means that the sequel to Revolutions is The first Matrix where everything starts over again. The Matrix Trilogy is an infinite loop full of endless and exhaustive examination of philosophical ideas unbounded by time. “Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. Temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose!” Smith (Matrix Revolutions 1:49:16). This line of dialogue from the Warchowski Brothers is directed at you, the audience, to live life with a purpose or meaning. The original intent of the Matrix Trilogy is not only to entertain the physical, emotional senses but also the intellect, to stir your curiosity enough that you may start to seek out articles like this one. Philosophy works by probing deep into the most fundamental questions of life. Your journey has just begun. Calvin said to Hobbes at the very last panel of their existence as comics, “Let’s go exploring.”

Bibliography
-White, Thomas I. Discovering Philosophy Brief Edition. NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996.

-Irwin, William, eds. The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real. IL: Carus Publishing Co., 2002.

- Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. Trans. Sheila Faria Glaser. MI: University of Michigan, 1994.

-The Matrix Trilogy. Dir. Warchowski Brothers. Perfs. Keanu Reeves, Joseph Cotton. Film/DVD. Warner Brothers, 1999 for the Matrix, 2003 for Matrix Reloaded, 2003 for Matrix Revolutions.

-Warner Brothers. “Philosophy & The Matrix”. The Matrix Trilogy Official Site. http://whatisthematrix.warnerbros.com/rl_cmp/phi.html (Nov 20th, 2002, March 20th, 2002, December 19th, 2003)

-Honderich, Ted, ed. THE DETERMINISM AND FREEDOM PHILOSOPHY WEBSITE. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/dfwIntroIndex.htm.
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Old August 20th, 2004, 01:10 AM   #10
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As a whole it was a decent article, and while the writing could have used a little polishing, it certainly was not bad, like you said. While you brought attention to the numerous purposeful insertions of philosophical issues and theoretical contradictions by the Wachowskis, some of the determinism vs. free will interpretations were a stretch. You could make the same argument for any stories' characters, be they real or fictional, because that is an inherent issue in all human life.

I disagree with the idea that Neo could come back, creating a loop whereby "The Matrix" becomes both a beginning and an ending. Although the Matrix had been Reloaded many times prior, Neo's (6th version?) final sacrifice taught the machines that human life was more than just another piece of information to be manipulated.

I am surprised you didn't touch on one of the most important factors of the entire trilogy. There was a plaque on the bench that the Oracle was sitting on at the very end of "Revolutions", that said something that noted that "Mr. Anderson" was a hero. The fact that they used his name from the Matrix, relates that just because you live in a world with restrained control, you are not devoid of freedom of choice, or more importantly, your humanity.
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Old August 20th, 2004, 02:15 PM   #11
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jesse, can you cite specific examples where the interepation was a stretch or (in a philosophical sense) which fallacy (or fallacies) i am committing?

as for writing, i wrote most it from midnight-3AM in the morning =). a bit of slacker sometimes heheheeh.

and your point about the same argument is right on the money given the complexity of the trilogy. it is so much deeper than people initially approach it. yesh it is true that it can be applied to many aspects of life. that's the point of this whole thing! =). the point of the movie, the point of philosophy.

well the idea behind the infinite loop completes warchowski bros's propagation of buddhism and reincarnation, especially in the beginning of revolution. "love is a word". so neo is merely a symbol of a process of a cycle. the next neo won't be "NEO HIMSELF" but retain many of the characteristics of the 'saviour mode' that neo possessed. it's purely speculation though, which is why the trilogy is awesome. it gives way to these ideas with a lot of evidence inside of the trilogy and not a lot of hoopla like those m night shyamalan movies that actually have very little substance in his movies but forces viewers to think there is. to ponder on existential questions without providing a lot of leads. a bit an intellectual masturbation if you will.

as for the plaque, i don't see how that relates to the topic at hand of free will vs determinism.
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Old August 21st, 2004, 11:39 AM   #12
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Your examples of free will vs. determinism weren't a stretch in the sense that they were wrong, just that the application of the idea of free will vs. determinism is always applicable in all situations, and I find over-philosophizing those points can quickly be fruitless. I should have been more clear, that I meant the Wachowsis were more guilty of just inserting a ton of D vs FW points in the screenplay that didn't propel the story, but just served to ask the question over and over again. I understood it in the first film, and while their propagating of the discussion is laudable, at some point the constsant reiteration of the theme over and again should have led somewhere, and it just didn't for me. "The Matrix" was the equivalent of sitting around and getting stoned with my friends and philosophizing, "Reloaded" was the same on acid, and then "Revolutions" was like sobering up and realizing that everyhting you talked about for 10 hours really had no point. In this way, I felt that The Matrix Trilogy, while philosophically deeper than most other films, was still mostly a form of philosophical maturbation, as well. If it opened doors for people, good, but other than that it didn't add anything much to the equation. The philosophers you quoted did, the Matrix trilogoy just reiterated the thoughts of others. That's just my take.

Again, I understood your argument on the cyclical nature of the Matrix and Neo, and it was applicable to the first 6(?) iterations of the him and the system. I just don't agree with your theory of the possible upcoming cycle. If all the Neos, previous to ours, had reloaded the matrix and then ours did not, and then eventually made the ultimate sacrifice of his being, I believe Neo had attained his Nirvana, and was released from the cycle. I believe the idea that he could return was more relatable to the idea of the Buddha, who freed himself from the constraints of space and time. Reincarnation is not supposed to be endless. There is a goal, and I believe Neo finally achieved his.

The plaque was important because it might have been the only moment that the D vs FW point hit home really hard. The Matrix was a system of Determinism. Human beings had human characteristics, but the path of their lives were predetermined by the machines (the biggest example of which is machines inserting beings into famlial structures, which were gentically false). The plaque chose to honor the memory of Mr. Anderson, instead of Neo. Neo, The One, was a slave to the machines' system just as Mr. Anderson was to the program that was the Matrix. Anderson, though, was the person. He had a personality, emotions, and for lack of a better word, a human soul. Neo was just another construct of the system, forced to recycle over and over again. Anderson used his humaness (the emotion of love) to overcome the cycle; the cycle of reloading the matrix, of being counted on by Zion, morpheus, etc... It was most fitting that in the end, the machines chose to recognize this quality of choice in humans as well, through the plaque. They who tried to control and remove free will, honored Mr. Anderson who grew up in the system, was destined to be Neo, another of their "agents", and broke free, through choice, to Nirvana. The plaque may have been the only point where the Wachowskis took a side in the debate, and that's why I felt it was so important.

Now don't even get me going on the issues over how Anderson attained Nirvana through Christ-like sacrifice, and the implications it has over inter-religion beliefs.
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Old August 21st, 2004, 04:08 PM   #13
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Not to rain on anyone here...

I think the Matrix films are so overhyped and cant see how they have become a phenomenon. I loved the first film but 2 and 3 did nothing for me (I liked 3 over 2 though). The original was very cool and something entirely new and fresh but after that I think its just marketing hype. Is it just me that doesnt like the Matrix? I dont hate it, I just dont love it.

As far as what sequels may or may not be better than the first?

The Road Warrior and The Godfather 2 jump out at me. I can guarantee the NEW BATMAN will blow the lid off the others that have been made. Romero's DEAD films have gotten better each time. KILL BILL 2 is better than Volume One. I think ALIENS is better than Ridley's original. The Empire Strikes Back is pretty close to being better than the original. Evil Dead 2 is better than one I think. I hear Spiderman 2 is better. Terminator 2 is a better. The Lord of the Rings films seemed to get better and better. Rocky 2 was a great attempt. Scream 3 was better than Scream 2. Beverly Hills Cop 2 was better. The new Anancondas film looks to be better than the first.

IMHO
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Old August 21st, 2004, 05:26 PM   #14
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I don't LOVE the Matrix films either, but the films are one of the few true discussion pieces out there, recently, that are also enjoyable on lower levels (e.g. you can't just sit down and watch PTA's stuff without examining and thinking, but with the Matrix you could just enjoy the action and visuals).

Kill Bill 2, and the Lord of the Rings films were only sequels in terms of release. They were really continuations of a single story, and were also produced together. I think Alien was far better than Aliens. Spider-Man 2 really is better in terms of story telling, pacing, effects, etc...I have high hopes and expectations for Batman Begins. And almost everything that's come out since Anaconda is better than Anaconda. ;)
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Old August 21st, 2004, 05:52 PM   #15
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So the Star Wars films are not really sequels you are saying.
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