Saturday, May 24, 2003

The Matrix Reloaded has gotten a lot of shit from people, but I have to say that in spite of its shortcomings, it is a very well done movie. As my very wise brother said, "It's a filler movie." And he's exactly right, for it is just the 2nd movie of a trilogy. I particulary enjoyed the philosophy in it, but I have observed that it is basically a rehash of the same "Fate vs. Free Will" motif. Despite this, new revelations are revealed, especially about Neo's purpose; purpose, that is, one's meaning is, I have to admit, a new aspect of the philosophical dimension of the movie, which, in contrast to the first one, is more layered. In addition, the visual effects in The Matrix Reloaded are abso-fucking-lutely incredible, just utterly amazing. I must say that there are a few shots, especially in the "Burly Brawl" scene (that is, the one where Neo fights 100 Agent Smiths, who's really no longer an Agent), in which it is quite obvious that it is digital.* In summary, the movie has a lot of philosophy, a lot of amazing action and visual effects, and a great plot to drive it along (albeit a few slow moments). The only negative is the somewhat cheesy dialogue at some points in the movie. All in all, a very good movie, though not as great as the first, which still remains my favorite movie of all time.

*In the "Burly Brawl" scene, Neo and the Smiths were not completely rendered digitally. The Wachoski Brothers, with John Gaeta and his team, created a visual effects company specifically for the film (ESC). The Wachoskis and Gaeta pioneered a groundbreaking new visual effect that they, especially Gaeta, dubbed "Visual Cinematography." In this new technique, a subtechnique called "Universal Capture" ("U-Cap") employed 5 high-definition digital video cameras (capable of recording even the most subtle, barely perceptible facial movements) that recorded the performances of Hugo Weaving and Keanu Reeves from multiple angles (the supercomputers used would later fill in the rest). Then, all of the data was fed to the supercomputers at a throughput of 1 GB/sec, where the faces could be literally pasted onto computer-generated bodies (in full detail, including skin, clothes, etc.). Meanwhile, extensive motion capture would be done with Keanu and a team of stunt doubles. From there, all of the information (a massive amount) would be put together. The net result would be one of the greatest visual effects moments in cinematic history, not likely to be paralleled for several years.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

I wonder what backlash will follow that . . .
MILHOUSE: I guess this shows that war's not the answer.
BART: Except for all of America's problems.

Thank you Simpsons!

Thursday, May 08, 2003