Call it fate, call it a quirk of scheduling, or simply face up to the fact that the movie was a pretty good movie pitched to an audience that tends to demand excellence. eXistenz premiered barely two weeks after The Matrix, which might have hurt it a little though the similarities are mostly cosmetic. Then again, The Thirteenth Floor premiered roughly six weeks later, and I liked it much better. eXistenz probably looked great on a punch-list for studio execs. Virtual reality? Check. Cute male and female leads? Check. Can we hire someone to help us pretend we know anything about technology? Check. How about a major plot twist to make people want to see it again? Check. The problem is, I bought both The Matrix and The Thirteenth Floor on DVD, but I didn't even watch eXistenz twice. I was tempted a little, but I resisted. It just wasn't that complex. It tried to be, but it wasn't. Instead, it was too clever by half.