RETRO REVIEW: The Matrix (1999)

Carrie-Anne Moss as ‘Trinity’ and Keanu Reeves as ‘Neo’ in THE MATRIX — Photo: Warner Bros.

Directed by Lana & Lilly Wachowski — Screenplay by Lana & Lilly Wachowski.

Sometimes you need a good excuse to rewatch something that was released decades earlier. It could be a re-release, it could be a remake, it could be an anniversary, but, as was the case with The Matrix for me, it could also be a fresh trailer for a new chapter in its franchise. In a couple of months, Lana Wachowski and Warner Bros. will release the fourth film in the Matrix-film series, and, to be perfectly honest, its first trailer got its hooks into me. After watching it, I felt compelled to rewatch the 1999 modern classic, The Matrix, and, let me tell you, I’m glad I did. This movie was much better than I remembered it being, and I think the film, its central ideas, the action, and the overwhelming world-building holds up.

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RETRO REVIEW: The Ninth Gate (1999)

Theatrical Release Poster – Artisan Entertainment

The following is a retro review of The Ninth Gate (the review includes some story spoilers) — Directed by Roman Polanski.

Based on Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s novel The Club Dumas, Roman Polanski’s The Ninth Gate tells the story of an unscrupulous book dealer, Dean Corso (played by Johnny Depp), and his attempt to authenticate a mysterious book for a wealthy collector, Boris Balkan (played by Frank Langella). To properly authenticate the book, Corso has to bring it with him to Europe to compare it with the other two known editions of the book, but this isn’t just any book. Balkan’s book can supposedly summon the Devil, and, as Dean Corso soon finds out, crazed individuals are willing to go to great lengths to acquire it. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: The Ninth Gate (1999)”

RETRO REVIEW: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)

Drew Struzan’s Release Poster – 20th Century Fox

The following is a retro review of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, a George Lucas film.

The first return of Star Wars didn’t go as well as planned. Way back in 1999, George Lucas resurrected the greatest movie franchise of all-time with The Phantom Menace. It included politics, fan-service, and a very young Darth Vader. Fans were certain that this franchise reboot was going to work, but, unfortunately, the end result did not live up to most fans’ expectations. To this day, the end result is remembered as one of the worst examples of prequel films, but, while I can’t say that I like the film, I don’t think it is as catastrophic as its sequel. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)”