tenpastmidnight blog

Making hay while the sun shines

Film update...

Kill Bill (vol 1) - thumbs up. Bit slow at the start, but a good action film overall. The Watchowski Brothers, makers of the Matrix films, should really watch this, then work out how the fight scenes in Kill Bill give suspense and a feeling of drama, whereas the ones in Matrix Reloaded tend to be flat and boring. Both are very stylised and choreographed, both quite ludicrous in an action-film-over-the-top way, but the ones in Kill Bill work. I think it might be that you feel the characters in KB are more vulnerable than the ones in Reloaded, but then given KB's trademark Quentin Tarantino timeline-fiddling you should know someone is going to be OK when you're sitting there, rooting for her to survive a massive fight.

Matrix Revolutions is a thumb-waggling-in-the-air-then-drifting-slowly-downwards. It's fine. It's better than Reloaded, less full of very iffy philosophical hand-waving. It still suffers from some of the problems Reloaded had, e.g. only two characters in a room talking to each other rather than more than two and severely stunted acting. the fight scenes looked slightly better, perhaps because the only big Neo fight was with Smith and was completely mad, rather than trying to look in any way realistic. The point of the film where I realised lots of people weren't finding it very involving was when one of the characters dies, pinned by wreckage in to the seat of her craft in front of her lover. This should have been a very sad, emotional scene, but as the camera pulled back to reveal her damaged body a small giggle ran around parts of the cinema. It was just so obvious and handled in such a ham-fisted way, you just knew she was going to be pinned there, but that he'd have to struggle on to save the world.

I was never really taken by The Matrix as much as some people seemed to be. It was a fine action film for it's time, it bought us the now much abused 'bullet time' and a new sense of style for films involving lots of guns. But the whole 'we're living in a virtual reality' has always seemed a bit of a naff story-line in films, maybe because I read too many short stories about it when I was young which handled it in a much better, more thoughtful way. But still, it's finished, at least for the moment, and there's plenty of inconsistencies and unresolved parts to give the fans material to chew over for years, which is always good.

Belleville Rendez-vous still has no serious contender for best film of the year.
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