If We Could Turn Back Time

Mister D: This pic will be used as the “kiss my ass” award for certain posts…in the future it will be a smaller pic, but I can’t adjust right now…Got this from the Bette club…whomever posted it…thank you, thank you…I love this pic…

Keanu’s excellent Matrix adventure

The Jerusalem Post

Bette_MidlerKISSMYASS.jpg Thursday, January 23, 2003 — Imagine if we could all see the consequences of our every action before they took place. Think of it: You’d never ever have told your girlfriend those pants make her look fat; Bette Midler would have turned down that wretched comedy series; the Red Sox would’ve never traded the Babe, and maybe, just maybe, Bill Clinton would have taken to chewing gum instead of smoking cigars.

The ability to see what’s about to happen and know how it fits into the greater scheme of things and how we can adapt to it is what The Matrix, airing on The Movie Channel Saturday night at 9, is really all about. That power, given to a computer hacker turned freedom fighter, extends to almost anything, even the ability to handle a bullet headed directly his way.

That hacker, Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), who morphs into his Messiah- like other identity, Neo, in the real world of the Matrix, quickly learns that all he’s seen and experienced in his previous day-to- day existence is a charade, a screen put up to prevent him from understanding that humanity’s purpose has been subverted, and is now merely to provide power for a vast artificial intelligence known as The Matrix.

In other words, we exist to have our sustenance sucked out of us for the use of the greater power of evil – sort of the way we feel when picking up our sons’ clothes.

Indeed, we took one of those sons to see the film a few years back, despite all the violence. He loved it, we were impressed, but it’ s still difficult to pin down exactly what we saw. In fact, it may be hard to do so even half an hour after you turn off your TV.

Our advice: Don’t try. Just sit back and enjoy the absolutely incredible special effects, especially the really cool stop-action stuff. The multi-layered story line has bits of many previous similar works imbedded in it. There’s a twist of Alice in Wonderland, a jigger of Groundhog Day – that fun Bill Murray movie in which a reporter finds his day repeating and repeating until he makes one important alteration – and it even recalls a recent episode of The X Files, in which Mulder kept repeating a bad day.

Even some of the martial arts mayhem, for which the principal actors trained for several months, have been seen before. In fact, one crucial scene is heavily borrowed from the famous “wax on, wax off” instructions given to The Karate Kid.

Nonetheless, The Matrix stands alone for its brilliant merging of sci-fi, martial arts, and film noir. There are even some parallels with certain elements of Kabbala, like the idea that there are two parallel worlds with a cloak between them, and that every action in one world has an impact on the other. While the Wachowski brothers may have spread it all on a little too thick, that’s the whole idea: that our “ordinary” world is a finely tuned, infinitely woven sham designed to keep us wondering about what really lies beneath – not unlike some of those lingerie items that turn up on The Fashion Channel.

By the way, the Wachowskis certainly had a sense of humor. The traitor in the film is named Reagan, and confesses that he wants to be someone important, maybe an actor, and that he wants to “remember nothing.” Like him, you may find the plot hard to recall afterwards, but getting lost in The Matrix is half the fun.

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