The third part of the Matrix trilogy opens simultaneously in revolutionary manner:
- The Matrix Revolutions hit screens at 1400 GMT in London – which equates to 0600 in Los Angeles, 0900 in New York, 1700 in Moscow and 2300 in Tokyo.
It will be shown simultaneously in 65 countries in a campaign never before attempted with the release of a movie.
Distributors Warner Brothers say they want to capitalise on the trilogy’s popularity and deter potential pirates.
Keanu Reeves and Jada Pinkett Smith, who star in the film, will be in Tokyo to mark its unveiling.
At Beijing’s Oriental Plaza moviehouse, 600 filmgoers, including 200 journalists, watched the film showing simultaneously in the cinema’s six viewing rooms, while scores of others were turned away. [BBC]
Keanu Reeves is liberated from solemnity:
- For more than a decade, no matter the far-ranging roles and genres he tried, Reeves was inescapably identified as the most-excellent but nitwitted dude Ted of 1989’s “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and its sequel, “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.”
Now Reeves, 39, faces life after Neo, the most-solemn messiah of “The Matrix” trilogy. What does he do for an encore?
The same thing he’s done all along: Mix things up.
“I love doing supporting roles, different genres, different scales of moviemaking,” Reeves told The Associated Press during an interview at a soundstage at Warner Bros., the studio behind “The Matrix” franchise. “It’s important, it’s a wish of mine to be able to do that.”
In December, Reeves plays second fiddle to Jack Nicholson in the romantic comedy “Something’s Gotta Give,” as an emergency-room doctor wooing an older woman (Diane Keaton). Already completed is a role as an orthodontist in the low-budget comedy “Thumbsucker,” and Reeves is shooting the occult comic-book adaptation “Constantine.”
….In conversation, Reeves is highly articulate, though he peppers his speech with dude-like “yeah, mans” and the occasional “most certainly.” His demeanor is a mix of California casual and fidgety furtiveness.
His co-stars say Reeves is gracious and easygoing, but closer in spirit to the guarded Neo than the goofball Ted.
“I would never say he has the carefree Ted in him,” said Carrie-Anne Moss, who plays Neo’s soul mate, Trinity. “I would say he’s so funny and has a great sense of humor. He’s a very kind person.”
….Born in Lebanon, Reeves is the son of an English showgirl and a Chinese-Hawaiian father. After his parents divorced, Reeves moved with his mother and sister to New York City and later Toronto, where he excelled at hockey and took up acting in his teens.
Reeves appeared in such acclaimed teen dramas as “River’s Edge” and “Permanent Record” before “Dangerous Liaisons,” “Bill & Ted” and “Parenthood” put him on Hollywood’s rising-star list and “Speed” made him a box-office heavyweight. [AP]
I think it’s super cool the way Reeves has confounded his critics by just plugging away and being extremely successful.
If you didn’t see the first two Matrix flicks, here’s what you need to know going in to number 3 courtesy of the NY Post:
- How did “Reloaded” end again?
At the end of “Reloaded,” Neo (Keanu Reeves) was offered a choice by the Architect, the creator of the Matrix: Either start a new Zion (as his five predecessors had) or return to the existing Matrix and save Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), the love of his life.
By opting to save Trinity, Neo escalated the war with the Machines – and soon found himself under attack by a swarm of sentinels. That superhuman effort to defend himself separated his mind from his body, leaving him trapped between the Matrix and the real world.
The final image in “Reloaded” showed Neo lying comatose aboard one of Zion’s troop ships – alongside Bane (Ian Bliss), a fellow rebel whose mind has been taken over by Neo’s nemesis, Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving).
So where is Neo when “Revolutions” begins?
He’s still comatose, trapped between the two worlds. This limbo manifests itself as a suspiciously clean train station called Mobil Avenue.
His only hope for escape is to get aboard a train, but the trains are controlled by the filthy Trainman (Bruce Spence), who works for the Merovingian.
Who is the Merovingian, and what’s he got against Neo and co.?
The Merovingian (Lambert Wilson) is a power broker within the Matrix. In “Reloaded,” Neo, Trinity and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) stole from him the Keymaker, who helped the rebels in their war with the Machines.
The first big action scene in “Revolutions” comes when Trinity and Morpheus confront the Merovingian in his nightclub, Club Hell, demanding he show them how to free Neo.
What’s the deal with Agent Smith?
Agent Smith was once an agent of the Machines but is now a rogue program that started multiplying out of control. He’s now so powerful he poses a threat to the Machine world that created him as well as Zion.
“In ‘Revolutions,’ his ego runs rampant,” says Weaving. “He has evolved from wanting to be free of the Matrix to trying to take over the world.”
Why does the Oracle look different?
As explained in the companion video game, “Enter the Matrix,” the Oracle’s appearance has been “terminated” by the vindictive Merovingian, so she must take on a new form in “Revolutions.”
The change of actress became necessary when Gloria Foster died of complications from diabetes after filming “Reloaded.” Foster is replaced by Mary Alice (“Oz”) who, coincidentally, played Foster’s sister in the Broadway play “Having Our Say” in 1995.
Is there a knock-your-socks-off fight scene?
Is there ever. The cataclysmic showdown between Neo and Agent Smith toward the end of “Revolutions” makes the Burly Brawl in “Reloaded” look puny.
Dubbed the “Super Burly Brawl,” the do-or-die fight in “Revolutions” took eight weeks to film and months of preparation. Neo and Smith face off during a torrential downpour, rocketing from street level to 2,500 feet into the skies above the Matrix and back to Earth.
“The Super Burly Brawl is like the ultimate comic-book battle between two superheroes wreaking havoc on the world,” says producer Joel Silver.
And if you’re looking for action, there’s also the 14-minute, $40 million Siege of Zion, in which rebel soldiers fight against the Machines’ army. Silver calls it “the most complicated sequence ever put on film.”
Got it? There’s more if you click over.
Critics don’t seem to be exactly digging number 3 – here’s an example from USA Today:
- this come-down of a series capper is so arch and pompous amid its clanks and collisions that you can only snicker at the verbal wind that obscures the din of marauding machinery.
Among its casualties is the benefit of the doubt that a few deluded types (myself included) gave The Matrix Reloaded. Still, May’s opening sequel salvo had one of the decade’s niftier car chases and a restaurant scene rife with human tension unique to the series. About all Revolutions has is better spacing of its action scenes, though for intimidating hardware, we vote for RoboCop.
….Hugo Weaving’s maverick Agent Smith gets a knowing chuckle with his first appearance, but the sneer’s less dear the third time around. One scene late in the movie will remind almost anyone of Frank Morgan’s comeuppance as the fabled wizard in The Wizard of Oz, an unfortunate smoke-and-mirrors echo for filmmakers Larry and Andy Wachowski, who now appear to have pied-pipered our pockets into emptying.
Hmm, maybe I’ll wait for the DVD.