Fun with Franchises: The Matrix (1999), Part III — “What Is This Fuck Doing?”
We continue with another entry in our Fun with Franchises series. This week’s film is The Matrix.
Fun with Franchises is a series born out of my friend Colin and I realizing how much fun it was for the two of us to watch the same movie separately and then share our reactions. We started by watching all of the James Bond movies, for the purposes of ranking them for the blog. I brought him in because he was much more of a Bond expert than I was at the time, and I felt his perspective would liven things up. He would be the color commentator to my play-by-play man.
We soon discovered that, by watching the movies separately and then putting everything we said together in the same place, hilarity ensued. We each brought in our own observations, not knowing what the other would say, and then reacted to what the other said. And we loved every minute of it.
We had so much fun, we figured we had to do it again. So we graduated from a single franchise, to all franchises. If you’re gonna have fun with franchises, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t franchise it. Season 1 included the Harry Potter movies, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Twilight (which neither of us had seen before we watched them for the articles) and Pirates of the Caribbean. All of those articles can be read on the Fun with Franchises page.
Also, just so we’re clear, this is all for parody. We’re just messing with them because we love them. (Well… Twilight…) We’re watching movies we enjoy and are simply having some fun with them.
Right now, we’re doing the Matrix franchise, and today is the third part of The Matrix.
We begin Part III with:
“This is a sparring program.”
“Similar to the programmed reality of the Matrix.”
Similar rules. Like gravity, and no Jews.
What he must learn is that some of them can be bent. Others, broken.
This will never not be funny to me.
“Then hit me. If you can.”
So you learn kung fu in ten hours and all of a sudden you’re Mr. fucking showboat?
Right here, you should know how this is going to go.
This fucking shot.
This is gonna be hard to talk about, because it’s just badass action.
But we get to enjoy it, nonetheless.
What a great scene this is. Neo’s all cocky, and Morpheus is like, “Yeah, I’m laid back. I kick asses.”
I read that in a Tracy Morgan voice.
You hopping fuck.
All of these faces.
What, big con on Lonnegan now? We’re in the middle of kung fu!
How does Neo not know he’s about to get his ass handed to him?
All of these faces.
Maybe don’t kick where his hand is and aim for the part where the hand isn’t.
This place is a huge fire hazard.
Also this reminds me of that place where they randomly have the shootout in the middle of Tokyo Drifter.
Weird how similar sparring pants and hospital pants are.
Is there a Japanese movie where a guy beats the shit out of a bunch of thugs in one room, then slides the paper door open and in the next room, it’s a hospital, and he goes back to surgery? Because that would be a great scene.
I wonder what’s outside that door.
I imagine a lot of Tastee Wheat and blowjobs.
(Tastee Wheat and Blowjobs.)
I love fight scenes because of the great faces you get on pause.
Have we pointed out yet how color-coded they are?
All we need is Trinity to show up and she’d be wearing pink.
Spin yo dumb ass.
You should keep spinning. Or better yet, turn it into a breakdance move.
Are you dizzy right now?
Or are you thinking, “Did that motherfucker just spin me?”
Is this what Fifty Shades of Grey is?
“Adaptation improvisation. But your weakness is not your technique.”
After fighting like a beast, to say something like ‘good’ and then to start offering notes…that’s the sign of a true badass.
Look at his little tuft of chest hair.
“Uh huh, uh huh good note good note.”
Oh, NOW it’s on.
White people don’t like notes.
Look at that white ass foot.
I do like that they’re clearly in a Japanese dojo. That’s sexy.
Do something about that neck.
“Morpheus is fightin’ Neo.”
You look like John Malkovich with AIDS.
Seriously, you guys ever see Shadow of the Vampire?
That’s the kind of reaction you get when you hear “Free nachos.”
FOOT KICKING FIGHT!
Imagine if them just trying to kick each other in the shin was what the fight scene in Die Another Day actually was.
I like that. He kicks him three feet back and he just runs back up to try to kick him in the face some more.
SWEEP THE LEG!
How does kung fu work? Are there points? Does someone say uncle? Or is it like fencing, you just sort of stop whenever an agreed-upon kill shot is able to be struck?
Well that was unnecessary, but okay.
Seriously, you’re just getting thrown all over this place.
What kind of carpeting is that?
Well that seems risky.
Well that’s a new floor.
Tuck and roll.
Maybe you shouldn’t have skipped those operations programs.
Pantoliano approves of this beating.
Carrie Anne Moss does not.
That’s a great moment, too. Like, “This is great, right? Right? No, okay, fine, I’ll enjoy it on my own.”
I can’t feel my legs!
This is how we all should approach any form of combat.
Or just the day.
Look at that footwork.
Are you supposed to make fists in kung fu?
Doing too much, buddy.
Way too much.
Why is this motherfucker running up a pole? Ain’t you ever heard of splinters?
This pole is FABULOUS!
See? That’s just death right there. If there were katanas out, you’d be fucking dead in four seconds.
You know what’s fucking cool? Gun laws in Japan are so strict that violence among gang members is often carried out with katana. If they get caught with one, it’s not nearly as bad as if they’re caught with a gun.
The only way to get out of it is to pull a Zhang Ziyi from Hero and magically go back up in mid air.
That was one thing that I never liked about those movies. Even Crouching Tiger. I wasn’t into the more questionable flying, like when they’re in the trees. Can’t do that.
I kind of want Morpheus to reach up and just grab him and slam him to the ground right now.
This is great. “What is this fuck doing? All these acrobatics, and I’m still just gonna kick you in the chest.”
“What Is This Fuck Doing?”
Also, Morpheus got some razor burn going on.
His residual self-image shaved this morning.
Now, I’m no structural engineer, but… shouldn’t that building come down now?
At least the hole from his knee is still there.
“How did I beat you?”
Like a government mule?
“You’re too fast.”
I don’t think that’s quite what he’s asking.
Though also, I’m pretty sure there answer isn’t “a kick to the chest that sent me flying through the pillar.”
“Do you believe that my being stronger or faster has anything to do with my muscles in this place?”
That’s beside the point. Too fast is too fast, whatever the reason.
“You think that’s air you’re breathing now?”
Great thing to say to your girlfriend when you fart under the covers.
This is a nice mind-opening exercise.
His reaction shots make me laugh every time.
That’s the best way to make any point.
I love a nice “Hm.” When it’s meant to mean, “So THAT’S what you think. That’s amusing.”
The building should fall down on his head right now.
(That’s what the 2014 version of this movie would do.)
Those walls are made of paper. Japan. My grandfather once asked me if I had to go to Japanese Staples to get a new ream every time my wall ripped. He likes to pretend he’s senile, but we all know he isn’t.
How come their monitors have perfect video feed of whatever program they’re plugged into now, but in the Matrix, they have to read everything as code? You’re telling me you can’t program something that can turn code into images?
Also, the graphics on that monitor look exactly like some Sega Genesis shit.
Hey, what happened to those cops from the beginning who saw the agent make the jump? They were killed later, right?
Man, if they ever rerelease this in 3D…
Hey, hey. Use those katana there. That’d be better. We have to wait another movie to watch that.
This is actually what watching a VHS looks like now.
That’s a pretty shitty computer screen for 2199. Do they only have this for the simulation? Cause we never see this for the Matrix itself. Cypher says later that there’s just too much code, but it seems like they’re only looking at a bit at a time anyway. Even this shitty little simulation is too heavy to stream solid video. Netflix does a better job than dedicated hackers can do in 2199.
“Jesus Christ he’s fast.”
It’s really not subtle when you’re looking for it.
It looks like Tank’s blindfolded for this.
Why’s he got his headseat on? Who is calling at this hour?
And apparently his neurokinetics are way above normal.
Science and religion.
Shut the fuck up, Mouse.
And really, Switch, can you never smile?
How can she smile… if she’s DEAD?!
I bet that’s like, super embarrassing in kung fu.
“What are you waiting for? You’re faster than this.”
I’m not really sure what the whole “you’re not breathing air right now” exercise clicked it into his head that he has to not be fast. I’m not really sure what any of this is meaning to Keanu right now, actually. Or for the film. I think it’s just an excuse for a badass fight scene interlude.
“Don’t think you are. Know you are.”
This is one of those franchises (like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, for me) where Mike puts the lines in the articles, and I know the intonation and delivery of every line. Except for Revolutions. But that’s two other very long franchises where I’m confident that if you show me an image and a line, I could read it close to the way it was delivered.
I want to say “Oogah boogah!” during this.
That’s a hell of a frowny face.
Really though, look at that scowl.
I bet he’s used that on his daughter once or twice.
Lot of defensive maneuvering in this one.
“Come on, stop trying to hit me and hit me!”
A lot of pretty iconic lines in this scene. In this movie. But in this scene.
This is basically what Yoda was saying, but in regular person speak.
He actually looks like if John Malkovich and a character from Fargo had a child that was Sling Blade-y.
Mmmhmm. Kinda funny looking, you betcha.
Arms don’t go that way.
Not sure what the lack of air is contributing to this.
Maybe he should have drank some of Mike’s Secret Stuff.
“Goddamn, motherfucker, I didn’t say you could do that.”
His face looks like the surface of the moon.
Her panties are soaked.
Which sucks, because they’re probably like, the only ones.
Who has to do laundry on this ship?
Why do I feel like it’s Dozer?
“I know what you’re trying to do.”
What is he trying to do, exactly?
“I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.”
See, I would like if they did something like this later, after Neo becomes Jesus. In the same way Lucas screwed up by not showing any significant training with Anakin and Obi Wan, I feel like they dropped the ball with Morpheus after this. He becomes less of a person we respect and more of a sadly devoted leader who plays second fiddle to the One. We respect him in this movie because he frees Neo’s mind — oddly, he’s the one who seems most obstinate in the following films.
If they had written in a second scene somewhere for them to spar again, we might see that Morpheus is clever or resourceful. Or able to deal with Neo’s speed and strength advantages in some way that we hadn’t anticipated. Anyway, they just make Neo Jesus at the end of this, and he has very little left to learn from Morpheus, which is sad, because he’s still a moron and Morpheus is one of the cool characters from the first movie that we would look to for guidance. But Neo is a religious figure, and Morpheus is a religious zealot.
“Tank, load the jump program.”
Why does he look up? Tank is not ‘up.’ And they can hear everything he’s saying. There’s no need to look up when you talk to him, other than to make it look like you’re fighting in a diorama and that they’re god.
That shit was always so cool to me. The idea that you could just be zapped into a new location just like that.
That’s a cool shot. Down down down UP up up.
“You have to let it all go, Neo.”
Doesn’t look like he’s letting it all go.
“Fear, doubt, disbelief. Free your mind.”
I wanna say some shit and then jump off a building.
I don’t know what’s so difficult about this. You know it’s a program, and you already got the “no air” lesson. So just be like, “Fuck it” and take off running.
Doesn’t look like he’s gonna do that.
“What if he makes it?”
“No one’s ever made their first jump.”
“I know, I know. But what if he does?”
Apoc looks like a low rent Cliff Curtis.
Also, fun fact – the guy playing Mouse is also the guy who tried to sell Obi-Wan Death Sticks.
And apparently he DID go home and rethink his life, cause he’s been in nothing else I’ve seen. Not a bad actor, though.
Why do you need to say, “Come on,” under your breath? Ever hear of facial acting?
Like when he’s about to finish and she looks up and OH oh nevermind.
Yeah, this looks like it’s gonna work out well.
You look like you’re doing a Paul Reiser routine.
The Wile E. Coyote shot.
Man didn’t take enough mescaline.
This feels straight out of a 90s sitcom opening credits.
I bet at least one person out there got hurt trying this.
I’m guessing more people got hurt doing the dodging bullets thing.
Sidewalks don’t do that.
Squishy roads. It’s genius.
Ah, it’s the Mr. Bean pose.
I like how they could have made it so he didn’t get hurt at all, but no… just enough to make it hurt.
They can make the ground all bouncy when he hits it the first time — why does it have to be solid the second time?
Because fuck him, that’s why. He’s supposed to make that.
He should come up with meatball face.
“What does that mean?”
“It doesn’t mean anything.”
It means don’t drop anything in the shower, because Switch is right on top of that.
“Everybody falls the first time. Right, Trin?”
Bad writing. I’ve never heard anyone use the “Right, ____?” line unless they’re being shitty about something. Right, Mike?
Somebody get Trin. Does she know… oh, that’s supposed to be the point of the… oh, okay, never mind. I get it now.
“I fucked that up didn’t I?”
“Yeah, you fucked that up right good, motherfucker.”
“I thought it wasn’t real.”
“Your mind makes it real.”
And… the concrete too, I imagine.
How does your BRAIN tell your body, “Oh, I guess just make a hole in that blood vessel now,” when something goes wrong in the Matrix? Just cause your brain tells you so doesn’t mean you start bleeding from the mouth.
“If you’re killed in the Matrix, do you die here?”
I believe this question should also apply to Vegas.
“The body cannot live without the mind.”
I don’t know. I’ve watched C-Span.
I’ve never been more concerned with myself than when I watched C-Span and found it enjoyable. It was a filibuster.
I feel like every explanation or story gets better when it ends with, “It was a filibuster.”
I want that to be the way to open my door.
Oh good, water and goopy shit.
People are always real nice to you when you’re unconscious.
Aren’t we necky?
“I don’t remember you ever bringing me dinner.”
Bad guy reveal. You know he’s bad news. He stands behind open doors.
She’s actually more attractive in the real world than she is in the Matrix.
How can you have better skin outside the Matrix than in it?
What is she exfoliating with? The stuff Dozer makes?
“There’s something about him, isn’t there?”
He makes the best faces.
“Don’t tell me you’re a believer now?”
“I just wonder if Morpheus is so sure, why doesn’t he take him to see the Oracle?’
“Morpheus will take him when he’s ready.”
Lines that get way better out of context.
Okay, I know you all caught Joe Pantoliano’s eye twitch and look at her ass. And that’s why we love him.
Great song choice.
And yet I feel like it gets snubbed to death.
And great shot. Why do I like this shot so much?
The Don’t Walk man? He represents control. That’s a brilliant shot choice. It’s a digital man telling all these people what they can and can’t do.
The Don’t Walk Man is a great name for a band.
“The Matrix is a system, Neo.”
What’s with that raincoat on the left?
Also, the two chicks on the right are talking. I feel like that’s not allowed in the Matrix.
“That system is our enemy.”
All the people are the ones they’re trying to save. Only until they do, they’re still a part of the system, which makes them dangerous.
Hah. That’s a nun.
Are they still trying to save the nun? I wonder how that one went.
I really hope Mouse programmed this so that all the people on the street are hitting Neo on purpose and going around Morpheus. It’s a really great way to add to the awesomeness of the character and to show how with it he is. Nothing phases this guy.
This is like Inception when they start fucking with the dream.
And most of them are so dependent on the system that they’ll fight to protect it.
See what I mean about the Inception thing?
Also, love how they’re hiding a lack of set with a giant curtain, and no one gives a shit.
I never noticed that. I figured it was construction. Or — to tell the truth — I didn’t figure anything.
For the first time ever, I’m looking at the couple BEHIND her, and they look like the worst people I’ve ever seen. Just intolerable people. He’s like if Adrien Brody was fermented in goose shit, and she’s like something else unpleasant.
This is what would have happened if Snape married Lily.
Let me see yo plug holes.
Woman in the red dress. I’d be looking more because, what the fuck are you wearing? I guess I’ve never been one for blondes. I’m no gentleman.
Them titties is bountiful.
“Were you listening to me, Neo?”
“Or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?”
See, but how do we know that’s really doo doo? And not oatmeal, or tunafish?
Also, that Devil Wears Prada chick was passing him in the opposite direction before. These people are spawning again.
He says, to the building.
So how can they create a program simulation of Agent Smith that has nothing to do with the real Agent Smith?
I get if it’s a generic agent. But that’s Smith.
Good point. Also, what happens if he doesn’t freeze it? Or if he unfreezes it? Does Neo get shot and that terminates the exercise? Or does the Smith just stop and laugh at you and say, “You’re dead,” or something? I want it to be that.
That would be awesome. “HA HA! Made you flinch! *pistol whip*”
And then he says, “What a bitch,” as he walks away.
But this makes me think — what does happen if this plays out? Does he get to fight Smith? Are the agents in this exercise as powerful as real agents? Or is it simply to teach him that anyone can be an agent? Because I feel like however they program the agents to be in this exercise, it wouldn’t be anywhere near as powerful as the agents would be in real life. Even though, theoretically, they have the ability to make them more powerful in this. Since this could be their version of the Kobayashi Maru. The unbeatable exercise. And could actually make them ready to fight agents. Or realize that they couldn’t beat them since they can respawn.
Or it could be just to make a point and we move on and never think about it again outside of how hot the chick in the red dress is.
(This is where I make the same face Morpheus made when he said Neo wasn’t breathing air.)
Also, how do they even know what Smith looks like? Later on, Morpheus is gonna say they all look the same to him.
It’s weird. They’re all different. But wouldn’t it be logical to make a program that just serves all the roles and then just have a LOT of it?
This isn’t the Matrix. It’s another training program. Designed to teach him one thing.
Pussy will kill you?
“If you are not one of us, you’re one of them.”
“What are they?”
“Sentient programs. They can move in and out of any hardwire still wired to their system. Which means that anyone we haven’t unplugged is potentially an agent.”
That confuses you from the start. We understand later that they can take over anyone who’s in the Matrix, but this makes it look like she was always an agent in disguise. So when he says that anyone is potentially an agent, it means that they’re all innocent people who can BECOME agents at any time. But based on this scene, that’s vague.
The fact that Priscilla, Queen of the Desert exists makes it even more vague.
“Inside the Matrix, they are everyone, and they are no one.”
That’s not a statement. You can’t just do that. Characters always say shit and then contradict it to sound cool. Like the Nazgul, neither living nor dead. Well, Eowyn killed one. And the definition of dead is ‘not alive,’ so I’m sorry, but they’re some kind of dead.
That chick has moved forward from where she was in the original freeze frame.
“We have survived by hiding from them, by running from them.”
“But they are the gatekeepers. They are guarding all the doors, they are holding all the keys, which means that sooner or later, someone is going to have to fight them.”
I’m seeing that reflections are a pretty powerful visual theme in this movie. We’re back to him in the glasses. Last time it was about how Morpheus can show him the path, but action will be Neo’s role. And now it’s the same thing. Neo’s gonna be the one to beat up agents.
“I won’t lie to you, Neo. Every single man or woman who has stood their ground, everyone who has fought an agent, has died. But where they have failed, you will succeed.”
How? I don’t know. Just… cause.
“I have seen an agent punch through a brick wall. Men have emptied entire clips at them and hit nothing but air. Yet their strength and their speed are still based in a world that’s built on rules. Because of that, they will never be as strong or as fast as you can be.”
Do the robots not understand infinity? Couldn’t you make the agents invincible and unstoppable?
I also like how he completely evaded the question the way the agents evaded all the bullets in that story, and then was like, “You can be better than that, and that’s why you’ll win.” Not because he will be, because he can be.
“What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets?”
“No, Neo. I’m trying to tell you that when you’re ready, you won’t have to.”
This scene does get me amped for what’s coming. Cause you’re like, “Oh, I wanna see him fight one of these dudes now.” And he DOES.
Motherfucker has cell service inside a simulation.
I forgot how CG that ship looked.
This is what happens every time. You make a movie that’s supposed to take place 200 years in the future, and in 15 years, the technology they use in it already looks outdated.
Which one is Lando and which is that racist Asian guy?
I’m not kidding, I was just about to bring up the Millennium Falcon imagery before I saw what Mike wrote. It’s uncanny.
“Did Zion send a warning?”
“No, another ship.”
I always thought that meant Zion sent another ship instead of a warning, which made me go, “So where the fuck are they?”
I at least thought we were going to meet them. Hollywood does demand on escalation, don’t they? We start small, and then by the second film, things need to be bigger. Like going from two jedi to two hundred, sometimes that doesn’t go well. Other times, like going from 100 uruk-hai to 10,000, things go pretty well. In this case we go from one crew to several, and it doesn’t give us much of a boost.
Sentinels. Which – what the fuck else would it be?
In Japan, ‘Squidy’ means something totally different.
A good time?
Simultaneous hunger and horniness.
They’re “a killing machine designed for one thing.” Which really gives away what the one thing is beforehand. Unless they’re designed for needlepoint, which would be strange.
“Search and destroy.”
He’s gonna pop!
“Trinity – you’re A team.”
Maybe if you’re being hunted you turn off all the lights. Maybe.
Major Millennium Falcon imagery.
So based on what we know in the future, they’re the ones that are under attack because they’re constantly at broadcast depth because they go to see the Oracle, while everyone else is just sort of… doing other things.
Actually, what does everyone do in the times when they don’t have Jesus yet? What kind of missions can they possibly get done? Try to free minds?
You look like a fucking rave on Zion.
How exactly do these sewers work? Do the sentinels just patrol shit and then whenever a ship sees them, they send out the squalay? And everyone disperses?
We never see another ship ever in their vicinity. And the sentinels only seem to show up at opportune plot moments. They don’t seem like a constant threat in this world.
What exactly are they watching? The Matrix? The sentinels aren’t in the Matrix.
“How we doin’ Tank?”
Ten hours straight? They’re a machine?
This is where it turns into Alien.
Zion – the Montana of the real world.
Aw. Sam Neill.
EMP is on.
Really? You don’t know EMP? That’s… unbelievable.
So they turn off everything and fire an EMP. Fine.
But of course Neo doesn’t know what an EMP is. So for the 99th time, he asks a single word question, and we get exposition from someone else. This ‘fish out of water protagonist’ trope is starting to feel really lazy with a lot of the dialogue.
“Disables any electrical system in the blast radius.”
Because the ship isn’t an electrical system. No.
“It’s the only weapon we have against the machines.”
That’s not true. You have cookies.
Shut up, Trinity.
HA HA. That’s great! “Hang on, this isn’t right… there we go. Let me put on my beanie.”
Or is it a bandit hat?
Something about him putting that hat on is awesome.
So they’re in the machines’ old sewers. I guess they have new sewers. Which is weird. Since if they’re old sewers, why did they dump Keanu down one? And also, if they used to be cities that spanned hundreds of miles – well, first, whose cities?
Were these machine cities or human cities? I feel like that changes things.
Human cities, right? But who knows at this point. Franchises get away with murder just leaving stuff unexplained.
“Ay yo, shut the fuck up. Can’t you see I got my bandit hat on? This is real fucking life.”
Nice use of violin for suspense.
Violins are for suspense and oboes are for mischief.
Why are you so nervous? Aren’t these sorts of things routine?
So… sentinels know what ships are and look like. So it’s weird that it would encounter this one and not immediately think something was up. Because it’s not like these things are down here in the sewers often. Can you not sense heat signatures? Do you have to listen for sound and movement in order to know people are in it? Aren’t you a computer? Shouldn’t you remember what places looked like before? Wouldn’t you remember a crashed ship not being here the last time you did rounds? I’m not really sure how these things work. They should be smarter than this.
Thank god for that lucky bandit hat, huh?
Also, of course the black guy has to exhale.
“Motherfucker I told you the hat works.”
And now Cypher’s looking at porn in the middle of the night.
Joe Pantoliano. Yes.
“You scared the bejeesus out of me.”
I enjoy the word ‘bejesus.’ I have no idea where it comes from or why it’s funny, but it almost always is.
That’s not suspect at all. That’s the, “I was just looking at porn” move.
I never got this until just now. Not the porn. What he was actually doing.
What’s with all the bullet holes and jizz on that screen?
Nah, just my screensaver, homie.
“Do you always look at it encoded?”
“Well you have to. The image translators work for the construct program. But there’s way too much information to decode The Matrix.”
Oh, so this is why they had video for his sparring match with Morpheus but not for the Matrix itself.
“You get used to it. I don’t even see the code. All I see is blonde, brunette, redhead…”
Aw, he’s a womanizer. That’s cool.
What are they actually looking at there, though? They zoom in on certain parts of the Matrix? Cause that’s not a lot of code.
So basically, anyone else right know can see what he’s actually doing.
That’s kind of a risky move. He’s assuming not a single person is going to randomly be up at this hour.
“Hey, you uhh…”
Wanna buy some drugs?
“Want a drink?”
Did someone say, ‘Drink?’
In an old-fashioned jug. That’s proper moonshine.
“You know… I know what you’re thinking.”
Probably, “Imma get FUCKED UP!”
I mean, he is white.
“Because right now I’m thinking the same thing.”
You’re white too.
“Actually, I’ve been thinking it ever since I got here.”
Mike’s Puerto Rican.
“Why, oh why, didn’t I take the blue pill?”
Stoic Keanu is amused.
I love that. All dented and shit. You can see on the rim where they cut it. That’s some medieval shit right there.
Here’s the thing. Even if he drank in the Matrix, they weren’t putting real booze into his system, only misfiring his neurons and stuff. So he shouldn’t have lost brain cells, but he MIGHT still have the tolerance to alcohol that he built up in the Matrix, right? If it’s just how the brain cells were acting, that’s the same.
“Good shit, huh? Dozer makes it.”
“Good for two things: Degreasing engines and killing brain cells.”
It’s probably just turpentine. But I like that future humans fighting a resistance war make their own hooch. That’s what separates us from the machines. Appreciation of inebriation.
Keanu looks at the shitty cup of booze.
“So, can I ask you something?”
Just as long as I get to ask you what those stains are on your monitor.
“Did he tell you why he did it?”
How much effort do you put into that beard?
Nobody knows about that.
“No, man, I mean Morpheus. What the fuck were you thinking about?”
“Je-sus! What a mind job!”
“So you’re here to save the world. What do you say to something like that?”
I bet it’ll sound remarkably similar to what Bruce Willis had to say to Ruby Rhod.
“Little piece of advice – you see an agent, you do what we do… run. Run your ass off.”
That is correct.
“Thanks for the drink.”
Shifty booze drinking.
Seriously, look at all that jizz.
That is a glorious looking steak.
Whoever ordered that went, “Give me a pound and a half of meet. And don’t muddle up with with none of that side dish bullshit.”
This was always a really weird transition to me. Just to abruptly cut from one scene to another.
The idea being that Neo walked in on him setting up this rendezvous with the agents and that’s why he turned off all the screens. Which is why he was so surprised. And the only reason he wasn’t caught is because Neo can’t yet read the code. That all makes sense, having seen the movie a hundred times. But it still seems like a bizarre transition to just suddenly see him in here, without anyone helping him get in.
I mean, how’d he get the plug all the way around to the back of his head?
How does he do this without them knowing? He’s the only one who’s awake? How did he get here? Doesn’t he need an operator to load shit and get him out? What if someone walks in and sees him plugged in, having a conversation with an agent? What if they’re recording shit?
“Do we have a deal, Mr. Reagan?”
Yeah, bad guy.
But that doesn’t mean he’s bad GUY.
But I love Hugo Weaving.
“You know, I know this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, The Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy, and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize?”
“Ignorance is bliss.”
And steak. Also steak.
RANDOM HARP RIM SHOT
The most random shot in the movie.
No idea what it’s doing there, and honestly, because it’s so fucking random, I love it.
This restaurant looks much more plain and normal than anything we see in the successive movies. Which is really what the Matrix is supposed to be. So painfully normal as to look like real life. Designed to keep people doing through the motions of every day life. I guess that part never changes. It just gets more cartoonish in the future, with more flourishes.
“Then we have a deal.”
His last name is Reagan. The Gipper!
That’s actually how Ronnie became president.
“I don’t wanna remember nothing. NOTHING. You understand?”
See? Ronnie lost his shit toward the end.
This is a fantastic scene. I’ve found that I enjoy scenes that are about Pantoliano, Weaving, and Fishburne. Moss, Reeves, the rest of them…eh.
“And I wanna be rich.”
“You know… someone important. Like an actor.”
That’s an awesome line. Probably the best line of the movie. “Someone important…like an actor.”
Like a real important actor.
I love the amount of thought he’s giving to what he wants his life to be.
“Whatever you want.”
That is a pretty sweet deal for the machines. But they could just kill him no problem.
That’s my big question. Do we think, if the situation had actually gotten that far, that they’d have followed through on this?
“Okay. You get my body back in a power plant, reinsert me back into the Matrix. I’ll get you what you want.”
Why in a power plant? And how do they “get it back”? Oh, I see what he’s saying, he means real world. He means the pod fields. Or machine city or something. I go there, you get me back, you plug me in, and we cool.
Only problem — is Smith a part of the machines? Or is he a program that can’t make deals with them? Cypher’s taking a big chance here.
“Access codes to the Zion mainframe.”
“No, I told you, I don’t know them.”
That’s the kind of shit that can get you killed.
“I can get you the man who does.”
Oh, you mean it’s not Apoc?
Oh… I thought they were gonna end the scene there, on Smith. This is just unnecessary.
Look at that Fu Manchu.
He’s got a fucking landing strip on his chin.
That would be pretty great, to be able to eat from one tap and drink from another.
I need taps in my house.
I’d call my tap Dat Ass.
Yum. Jizz and corn.
So, this one time, Colin and I were in Chinatown…
Have we ever told that story? I feel like we haven’t. I’ll tell the basics and allow Mike to chime in wherever with the appropriate details. So, Mike and I were with our other friend in Manhattan, just after I’d finished freshman year of college. It was also right after I’d broken up with a long-term girlfriend, so I was content to spend a day walking around the city.
I feel like the original plan was to meet up, but Shiho also wanted to go to Coney Island and to the aquarium to see Flipsta the dolphin.
And then we all met up and, as tends to happen with us, none of us really had any ideas of what to do and then we just wandered around, talking for a while.
This is the same day when Mad Men was about to come on the air for its second season. And right after The Dark Knight came out. So, the week of the 21st to the 25th of July. I know for sure Dark Knight, because we talked about it a bunch, and it was when Shiho was admitting how wrong he was to doubt Heath Ledger’s casting choice as the Joker. Which I remember because it was one of the few times he was like, “No, Mike, you actually said that shit straight up at the time and I didn’t believe you.”
But it was definitely when Mad Men was coming out, and I know you remember this, Colin. We were outside Grand Central, and there were actors being paid to stand on the corner, dressed up in Mad Men era costumes and promote the show. And I knew of it but never watched it (and this was before it became the ‘best show on TV’ and all that. I feel like season one it was a critically acclaimed show that people liked, but it wasn’t yet the show), so I was aware of what they were doing. And then they stopped us at a light and were like, “You should check out this show. It’s premiering on Sunday.” And Shiho was like, “What show is that?” And they told him. And then he said, “That’s the worst show on TV. Why would you guys even bother promoting it?” And then we walk away and he was like, “I have no idea what show they were even talking about.”
Anyway, back to the story.
Afternoon rolls around, and by this point, we’d roamed randomly from Battery Park up past City Hall and made it to Chinatown. We definitely considered continuing on to Little Italy, but forget it, it was Chinatown.
I think the exact phrase spoken by Colin as we got to Chinatown was, “We’ve hit the motherlode.”
We wander around looking for somewhere to eat, and we’ve circled Chinatown like three times soaking up all the smells before finally going into some tiny nothing restaurant.
We had walked around for a while.
And all those smells we soaked up were exactly the kind Smith talks about.
I remember very specific bits and pieces of the conversation, too.
At one point we were talking about Samuel L. Jackson in Star Wars. And then we randomly saw a truck that had BAMF written on the side. Which was funny.
And then I remember Shiho seeing a billboard for Rockawear, but since it was partially obscured behind a building, the r was hidden, so he said, “Rockawea.” And that was a recurring joke for the day.
Oh, and we found this place:
Which pretty much speaks for itself.
But then I think, after like, four hours, we decided we were hungry. And the beauty of New York is, walk around one block and you’ll find a place to eat.
The second we went in, it was pretty clear we weren’t supposed to be there, like Pee Wee in the biker bar. They were DEEP Chinese, and it was a Chinese place that wasn’t trying to serve non-Chinese. We got shit service and the food wasn’t the kind of Chino you’re expecting. But whatever, we’re hungry.
Deep Chinese. Like Doctor Robert off the Revolver album. Not like, Taxman, or And Your Bird Can Sing. The deep kind.
And if you remember, we walked in and were like, “So do we order at the counter, or do we wait for them to come to us at the table?” And we had no idea. So we sat down and were watching for a while. Because it seemed like they were coming to the tables.
But since it was deep Chinese, they served all the non-white people first. So… everyone but us. There were actually people who walked in ten minutes after we did who got served first and had their food come to the table before we even got so much as a glance from them.
We must have been there a good 20 minutes before they walked over with menus and took our orders.
I had some kind of congee, which wasn’t good. But the point is, there were these people at the table next to us, and this old, toothless woman was mao-ing a bowl of cum soup. It looked exactly like cum. Maybe with coconut swirl. But definitely cum.
Seriously. It was cum soup. And she clearly didn’t speak any English, so we were just openly talking about the jizz soup and laughing about it, and we’re like five feet away from her.
But actually. That was cum.
And we couldn’t not look as this aged Chinese woman guzzled a bowl of cum. What were we talking about?
“Breakfast of champions.”
How the fuck is this guy all up on his cereal slogans?
“If you close your eyes, it almost feels like you’re eating runny eggs.”
“Or a bowl of snot.”
Seriously, this is reminding me of that old lady. And she didn’t have any teeth.
It was even runnier than this. It was probably cut with something else.
Probably the remains of unwanted girl children.
“Do you know what it really reminds me of?”
The fact that you’re clearly gonna die in the next fifteen minutes?
“Tastee Wheat. Did you ever eat Tastee Wheat?”
“No, but technically neither did you.”
“That’s exactly my point!”
Look at that spoon. They let the orphans in the pantry again.
Wait… is that a spork?
“Because you have to wonder – how do the machines really know what Tastee Wheat tasted like? Maybe they got it wrong.”
“Motherfucker, are you high?”
The fuck is Tastee Wheat?
“Maybe what I think Tastee Wheat tasted like actually tasted like oatmeal or tuna fish.”
He says tuna fish like an asshole.
Or like a boy about to read the Torah for his bar mitzvah.
Way to say tunafish like an asshole, Mouse.
“That makes you wonder about a lot of things.”
No, it really doesn’t. Only if you’re doing Fun with Franchises.
“You take chicken for example. Maybe they couldn’t figure out what to make chicken taste like, which is why chicken tastes like everything.”
Or maybe they just copied it from what it used to taste like 150 years ago. I kinda doubt they spent serious Matrix time figuring out what the fucking chicken tasted like.
“And on the eighth day, God said… ‘I think I’m gonna go with the Aquamarine’ … and then the oceans were such.”
“Shut up, Mouse.”
I don’t like Mouse, but I do appreciate that he’s asking some of the same questions that we ask in these articles. All the nitty gritty shit that goes unanswered. But also, shut up, Mouse.
You put a bandit hat on a white boy and he looks like he’s got AIDS.
“It’s a single cell protein combined with synthetic aminos, vitamins and minerals. Everything the body needs.”
Does Morpheus not eat with the crew?
How much would you pay for Sean Connery to come in right now and tell them that he’d dispatched a letter to the machines and that they were being hunted? “I give us…one chance in three.”
“It doesn’t have everything the body needs.”
No, but Dozer makes that.
Oh, you mean…
“So I understand you’ve run through the agent training program.”
The body needs combat?
Trinity is also really quiet right now.
Trinity likes cum soup.
“You know… I wrote that program.”
Oh, the body needs validation, I see.
The body has daddy issues.
“Here it comes.”
She’s just bitter cause she’s on the ship and Mouse still programmed a digital ho.
You mean to tell me she didn’t take a crack at her too?
Do these people have Matrix booty calls?
Don’t tell me not a single person has someone in the Matrix they bang.
Imagine that. The four AM Matrix text. “U up?” And then you plug in, head all the way over there, turn off the lights, praying they don’t turn into an agent while you’re inside them (does your dick get cut off?).
Imagine that call. “Operator.” “Yeah, Tank… I know.” The plug of shame.
You think they have training programs for that?
Maybe those are the ones Keanu skipped.
“So what did you think of her?”
Of who. The nun, obviously. She was banging.
“The woman in the red dress.”
That reminds me of last month, when we were talking about hot chicks, and someone mentioned the hot chick in Gone Girl. And I went, “Who’s that?” because they used her name. And as soon as I said it, I was like, “Oh, right. The really obviously smoking hot chick who gets her tits out.
That’s how Keanu should be feeling right now.
“You’ve run through the program designed to get you off your game with the one really obvious hot chick, what did you think of her.” “Who?”
“I designed her. She – well, she doesn’t talk very much but if you’d like to meet her, I could arrange a much more personalized milieu.”
“Agreed. I will require one pair of handcuffs and seven jelly doughnuts.”
I like how he says, “She doesn’t talk much, but if you want to fuck her, I can set that up.”
You guys seen The Miracle Worker?
“Digital pimp, hard at work.”
You say that like it isn’t the lord’s work.
“Pay no attention to these hypocrites, Neo. To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human.”
The interesting word there is the word hypocrites.
“Yeah, you say that, but you all fuck her too.”
Because otherwise, why would they be hypocrites?
Because that look isn’t creepy at all.
That’s weird. Cause he could fuck this computer program, but again, they could all watch on the screen.
How could they watch on the screen, if they’re DEAD?
But yeah, they could.
I bet his neurokinetics are way below normal.
Does he just get up earlier? How does that work?
“Dozer, when you’re done, bring the ship up to broadcast depth.”
Well that’s nice. When he finishes.
But does Morpheus take his breakfast in his room? Is that how that works?
Also, who was using the cabinet for target practice?
What’s in that cabinet? The plates and cups?
Do they have running water? What’s the plumbing system like on this ship?
“We’re going in. I’m taking Neo to see her.”
The woman in the red dress. Of course.
Gotta take your boy to his first prostitute. It’s a rite of real world passage.
Once again, the one or two word question, followed by exposition. God, this is lazy.
Tank has suspenders.
“Everyone observe – the fasten seatbelt and no smoking signs have been turned on.”
For someone born on Zion, he has a real first-hand knowledge of Matrix life.
Also… do cigarettes exist in this universe?
No way there are cigarettes in the real world. And why is he being so goofy and excited at this? They’re all going in, as is regular.
That’s how you make regular interesting.
He’s got a lot of free time while they’re doing their Matrix thing. Just gotta talk to himself. And Other Tank.
“I think we did a good job with those directions, Tank.” “I think so too, Other Tank.”
This has to be considered a top ten shot for the franchise. This was badass when we all first saw it.
This is a great shot. Revolving.
And look at that tie pin!
Wait, hotel? Are they going to the same place every time? That’s risky.
He’s the first one out. Okay.
What is his purpose, exactly?
Mouse is the programmer. Tank is the operator. Dozer is the mechanic and copilot. Trinity is the second in command. Apoc and Switch are bodyguards. Cypher has no purpose other than to be the rat. Unless he was a former potential Neo.
All in white. And after Labor Day, huh?
And no bra.
She looks like she pissed herself.
Is this him noticing how fake it is for the first time?
“We’ll be back in an hour.”
He says, staring at Switch’s… general, chest area. Thing.
So, how did this work? Did he hire them because he needed bodyguards? Or was he looking for The One? I’m really curious how he picks who his crew is. Did he unplug all these people? Or were they already unplugged and just joined his crew?
I like this alley way. I kind of want one of these outside my house. A big brick enclave with an opening to drive out of. I feel like they had one of these in Wanted, too. You also see a lot of this in Grand Theft Auto.
I’ve always wanted to throw phones into the garbage exactly like this.
I aim high.
Drop the phone. Is that a trace thing? You don’t want to be traced?
I think he does want to be traced. Is the reasoning.
Wouldn’t Tank be able to see this and be like, “Hey, so…why did he just trash his phone?”
I think it’s because you’re watching everything from above. So you’re not watching closely as someone drops their phone.
Think of it like watching a crowd shot, and trying to keep track of a couple of people. And you trust them. So you’re not exactly looking for someone to slip something like this.
I’m wondering why someone threw out what seems like a perfectly good pad lock.
“Unbelievable, isn’t it?”
Uhh, it’s awesome that there’s a Porsche 924 in the rear projection out the window as Morpheus says this.
Well that’s pretty narcissistic.
“I used to eat there.”
“Really good noodles.”
Really good noodles? Really good DEAD PEOPLE you mean.
I wonder what their soup options are.
I like how their flirty, “I wanna have sex with you” moment is centered around noodles.
Most of my flirty, “I wanna have sex with you” moments are centered around noodles. Or raw fish. Or booze.
“I have these memories from my life. None of them happened. What does that mean?”
But they did happen. The mind makes it real.
Do you not have family? Because it would be way more difficult if you had a family.
“That The Matrix cannot tell you who you are.”
“But an oracle can?”
Of course it is.
Oracles are bullshit. But I like what they ended up doing with this one in terms of her role.
“Don’t look at me, motherfucker.”
“Did you go to her?”
“What did she tell you?”
How do you know it’s a she?
“She toid me —”
This place is really green, huh? They just tinted all the Matrix shots green, is that it?
Why does she get away with not answering the question?
Is that what the Oracle told her? Nothing?
Wow. That really was just round the corner.
That was well-timed. Dodged a bullet there, huh, Trin? “She told me that The One would give me herpes.” “But I already knew this.”
Always have to have an old black man in the lobby. Adds character.
I like that The Matrix is taking cues from Men in Black. They’re more similar than some people might like to think.
That blind man knew to nod. Random blind people who sit places — what are you doing?
You don’t see people in places like this in the future.
Also, this guy should turn into an agent after having seen them.
Oh, I get it. He didn’t see them.
I was gonna ask if he was a program, or an early version of Seraph. But that makes sense. He didn’t see them, so he can’t become an agent.
“So is this the same Oracle that made the uhh…the prophecy?”
“Yes, she’s very old. She’s been with us since the beginning.”
“Of the resistance.”
Can we STOP IT WITH THE FUCKING ONE WORD QUESTIONS ALREADY?
How long has this resistance been happening? How old is Morpheus?
“And she knows what? Everything?”
“She would say she knows enough.”
What would you say? We’re asking you.
“And she’s never wrong?”
“Try not to think of it in terms of right and wrong. She is a guide, Neo. She can help you to find the path.”
What if the path is like, right outside, and you didn’t need the help? Then the Oracle is bullshit.
“She helped you?”
She lives on the ninth floor, by the way.
Gotta have something to pay attention to.
“What did she tell you?”
“That bitches ain’t shit.”
“One kickass chili recipe.”
“That I should wear more purple.”
“The location of every star in Super Mario 64.”
“That I would find the One.”
“Hmm… and he thinks I’m the One. I wonder if that’s a coincident… nah.”
Love this shot. Symmetry.
“I told you I could only show you the door. You have to walk through it.”
I think he meant a metaphorical door. You probably don’t need to put much emphasis into this one particular door.
“Hello, Neo. You’re right on time.”
Did they have an appointment? What if he wasn’t on time? Is there ever not an on time when you can just claim they are and know basically everything?
There’s just a cabinet of spoons there.
Rather than hang keys, they hang spoons.
Leave your spoon at the door, Orphans!
“These are the other potentials. You can wait here.”
These kids ain’t shit.
What’s the little white girl doing there?
What are they watching on TV?
Little white Buddhist kid.
Why is he messing up the spoons if he can put them back to normal?
I don’t want your bent ass spoon.