RETRO REVIEW: The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

Keanu Reeves as Neo and Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith — Photo: Warner Bros.

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

Filmed concurrently with Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions was met with a lot of disappointment when it was released. In the years since they were released, Reloaded and Revolutions have mostly been disregarded as underwhelming sequels to the original 1999 film. As you would know, if you had read my reviews of the previous two films, I think that Reloaded was a frustrating sequel to a near-masterpiece. So, how do I feel about the trilogy capper? Honestly, I kind of feel similarly, even though I have to say that I don’t think the ending itself is as disappointing as I’ve heard some remark. I quite like the ending, even if it is a little bit on the nose philosophically.

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RETRO REVIEW: The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

Keanu Reeves as Neo in THE MATRIX RELOADED — Photo: Warner Bros.

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

Released four years after the original science-fiction action modern classic, The Matrix, the Wachowskis returned to the story with which they had made their names in Hollywood. This continuation was filmed concurrently with the trilogy conclusion Revolutions, which was, incredibly, released in the very same year as Reloaded (half a year later). The Wachowskis tried to recapture the spirit of the original film and to continue its story in a way that would both up the ante narratively as well as with the inventiveness of the action. While I don’t think this first sequel is a complete miss, I must, however, say that I think Reloaded missed that mark. I think it is an underwhelming sequel with unexciting subplots and action that fails to be as breathtaking as in the original film. However, although it is a mixed bag, it is certainly not without some notable bright spots and some memorable sequences.

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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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REVIEW: Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)

Karen Gillan as Sam in ‘Gunpowder Milkshake.’ Photo: Reiner Bajo / Netflix / StudioCanal.

Directed by Navot Papushado — Screenplay by Navot Papushado & Ehud Lavski.

While the Chad Stahelski and David Leitch’s John Wick from 2014 was a fantastic and emotionally involving revenge action film, I didn’t initially like the idea of making it a franchise. Eventually, though, I warmed to the idea and grew to really appreciate the Keanu Reeves-led stylized action franchise, and I became invested in the films’ epic underworld which was surprisingly complex. With the success of Stahelski and Leitch’s action franchise, similar films were produced to varying results. Unfortunately, in spite of its impressive cast, Navot Papushado’s Gunpowder Mikshake feels more like an imitation of Stahelski and Leitch’s impressive world-building than a successful original film.

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Overview: November 2020

Overview provides my readers with a brief overview of the articles or reviews that I have written, as well as additional bite-sized thoughts on films or shows about which I do not intend to write thorough reviews. In November 2020, among other things, I wrote about Danish television and the highly anticipated Danish black-comedy Retfærdighedens Ryttere.

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REVIEW: Toy Story 4 (2019)

UK Theatrical Release Poster – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The following is a review of Toy Story 4 — Directed by Josh Cooley.

I once wrote that I am ‘a part of the Pixar-generation,’ i.e. I’ve grown up with their films and Toy Story was one of the first films I saw. I’ve loved almost all of the Pixar-films, and I love the Toy Story-films most of them all. The first film was a childhood favorite of mine. The second film was almost equally brilliant and becomes better the more I watch it. And, especially for my generation, the third film was a cathartic and nostalgic heartbreaker that had adults bawling their eyes out in crowded theaters or airplanes.

Toy Story is a special film series. The first three films are all some of the greatest animated films ever made and arguably include a couple of masterpieces among them. But it is also a film series that ended on the perfect note with Toy Story 3. So, I cannot say that I ever really wanted a fourth film. However, Toy Story 4 from feature film debut director Josh Cooley is another heartwarming and heartbreaking coming-of-age tale featuring childhood playthings. Though we didn’t need it, Pixar has, thankfully, brought us yet another great installment in this beloved film series, even though the fourth film isn’t as much of an instant classic as the first three films were. Continue reading “REVIEW: Toy Story 4 (2019)”

REVIEW: Replicas (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures

The following is a review of Replicas — Directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff.

Jeffrey Nachmanoff’s Replicas follows William Foster (played by Keanu Reeves), a research neuroscientist who experiments with the concept of transferring a human mind — even that of a deceased individual — into the body of an android. William and his colleague Ed Whittle (played by Thomas Middleditch), however, are not finding much success, seeing as their best experiment ended with an expensive android speaking and then ripping its own face off. But the success of their experiments becomes much more important to William when he loses his wife (played by Alice Eve) and his three kids in a violent accident. As a direct result of the accident, William decides to secretly attempt to transfer his family’s minds into new bodies using the technology that his employer has provided the research division with. But William is faced with a tough decision when he finds out that he can only transfer three members of his family into new bodies. William has to not only decide which family member to let go, but he also has to wipe their existence from his family’s memories. Continue reading “REVIEW: Replicas (2019)”

REVIEW: Always Be My Maybe (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a short review of Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe — Directed by Nahnatchka Khan.

Netflix has a pretty solid reputation when it comes to producing these hip romantic comedies. One of those films, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, received a lot of praise from both critics and audiences last year. Now, in 2019, Netflix has a new romantic comedy with a culturally diverse and thus modern cast. Always Be My Maybe is Fresh Off the Boat-creator Nahnatchka Khan’s feature film directorial debut.

Khan’s debut is a romantic comedy about two former best friends reuniting. Sasha (played by Ali Wong) and Marcus (played by Randall Park) were once childhood best friends, but their friendship eventually ended when a one-night fling went poorly. Now, they are living completely different lives. Sasha is a celebrity chef engaged to Brandon (played by Daniel Dae Kim), a successful restaurateur. Meanwhile, Marcus is stuck in a rut. This all changes when Sasha returns to their home city of San Francisco as Brandon has decided that they should ‘see other people.’ Sasha and Marcus eventually reconnect and soon sparks fly. Continue reading “REVIEW: Always Be My Maybe (2019)”

REVIEW: The Neon Demon (2016)

The Neon Demon Poster
Theatrical Release poster – Amazon Studios, et al.

The following is a review of The Neon Demon, a Nicolas Winding Refn film.

I like a lot of Nicolas Winding Refn’s films. I think he’s one of the most talented Danish directors out there. Drive is probably his most well known film, and definitely the film people praise the most. Drive is amazing, and I really like his Pusher-films too. Only God Forgives gets a lot of criticism, and I get where the criticism is coming from, but, ultimately, I thought the good outweighed the bad there. I really didn’t know what to expect from The Neon DemonContinue reading “REVIEW: The Neon Demon (2016)”