So after the first viewing, we were wandering out of the theater. Some guy, not an employee of the place based on outfit, was slumped over the Star Wars arcade terminal. angryjonny commented, ``We've all been there.'' It was a hilarious sight - after one in the morning, this prone body draped over the dead machine.
Tonight redvector, windexcowboy, and I saw it a second time. Instead of physicsninja, angryjonny, and crew we had caniswolfie and his woman meeting us there. I invited periol, runstaverun, kikibird, johnstevensaul, and carrisse but none made it. After this viewing (and more people stayed after the credits), there was another amusing sight. A row of annoying chatty morons were situated behind us for this viewing, and they all had bottles of Powerade. Not just any, but the special Matrix Powerade. So there was a complete row of finished advertisement sitting in the cup holders for that annoying row. Fred Norris' sister and khephra did their jobs, and more money was milked.
So, anyway, spoiler time. redvector, windexcowboy, and I had a nice little chat after the movie, piecing everything together. I realized after seeing it the first time how much plot was shoved in this one. Less set up, less explaining, but plenty of plot. I disagree with redvector and his nemesis noelr about the sex scene. I personally thought it fit that point in the movie quite well (disagreeing with the latter), and belonged in the movie complete instead of just either Planet Soul Train (thank you shmivejournal) or monkey sex (disagreeing with the former). Yeah, I'm sorry, but I've read far too much cyberpunk literature, played far too many cyberpunk RPGs, and listened to Obsolete too many times to be able to resist such an obvious display of humanity. Show the movie patrons what they're fighting for. Give a few blatant tugs at the strings. We've seen into the eyes of the machine, we've seen the worlds of the machine (more on that later), we've seen the desolate ruins of what remains of the world of man (so we think), so let's give the audience a display of Zion. Not just Zion, but the Zion Tank described for us. The mass of flesh and humanity, the organic throbbing beat. While shmivejournal's joke about Planet Soul Train is hilarious if you watch that scene again thinking that, it's quite appropriate. Obvious? Yes. A bit too corny? Yes. But fitting. What would Star Ship Troopers be without seeing beautiful Buenos Aires? Ok, bad example, but you get my point.
Major nitpick that redvector has: they make a big deal about taking every single jack out of Neo except the one on the left arm and the base of the skull. Plop them into water. Every person has them taken out, we see enough of the other characters to know this, not just the ones born in Zion. Yet there are Morpheus, Neo, and Trinity... with a full array of jacks that were taken out, back. Why? Did they realize the removal of the extra jacks was like Microsoft Windows Update 811493, and not necessary? Certainly not so they can plug extra things in, based on Morpheus treating Trinity before she dies and Neo lying on the bed at the end. They don't demonstrate a use for them, yet they are clearly back. Must be a glitch in the... Yeah. Just like the denting of the truck when the agent first lands on it, that vanishes in the next shot.
Clearly, the Oracle has set things up for a fall. She engineers this reiteration of The One to fall in love with Neo, giving Neo a reason to break the cycle, ensuring that something different occurs and the Architect doesn't see him again. Appropriate, as Neo is Jesus, that Trinity acts as his last temptation. So The Oracle... Acting as Satan, as in Last Temptation, looking forward to humanity being wiped out? Or a benevolent program, a good witch, breaking the cycle for humanity's eventual freedom? Yeah, everything is different this time, all thanks to The Oracle, based on her obvious comments. No wonder The Matrix has these problems. As Uatu's race found, just watching changes everything. I like the whole bit about The One being a gateway between the end and the rebirth, just another part of the system of control. Reminds me of Ultima 6, the False Prophet. The Avatar thinks s/he is a brave warrior vanquishing the horrible gargoyle menace, not even noticing that he's completing the prophecy by desecrating the noble civilization's graves and slaughtering their warriors bent on saving their dying race which are all but destroyed thanks to the Avatar's actions. That game so nicely tricks you into acting out the part they've laid out for you, despite a million hints that you're just being the devil in your attempt to be hero. Unless you really like horses, that is. Sorry daylami.
The Merovingian was a cute touch. Let's take a look at yet another obvious naming here. Neo = One, the Merovingians (including Thomas Jefferson) being that secret Holy Grail protecting Knights Templar/Freemason affiliated group. So let's take an ancient program that protects exiled programs. Clearly the Agents wanted The Keymaker, and had been unable to get him until now (maybe until now in this iteration, whatever). So the Merovingian was capable of protecting him from deletion and being reabsorbed. And, of course, it's the Merovingians who believe in a sacred bloodline of Jesus, and those descended of Jesus taking the thrones and ruling the world. So that fits back nicely into Neo getting The Holy Grail/Keymaker from the Merovingian. Nice.
Plenty of other flaws and cute things that we picked out, that I'm too tired to remember. So instead, I'll let redvector post his own independent thoughts and skip ahead to spoilers for the next movie. So stop reading now unless you want to hear some ideas for the next one, like how the fuck Neo affected those SQUIDs.
So, The Oracle as Satan? redvector believes that the humans will attack The Oracle, believing her to be an element of the control. Hence the scenes of fighting with the Seraph, until she can explain that she was breaking the cycle. Possibly. Or, as he theorized, Agent Smith is really The One. He's the one that ends up breaking the cycle.
Agent Smith wants to be free. Neo wants to be free. They have different ideas of free, and Agent Smith wants to absorb the rest of The One to get a sense of identity. If we are to believe that Neo demonstrated some amazing powers in the real world, maybe Agent Smith wants to absorb these powers so that he can have some power in the real world so as to be free. He's already extended his reach into the real world through that one crew member. Amusing that he, who accuses humanity of being a virus, becomes a virus himself (thanks to redvector for first pointing that out). He extends his reach into the real world and takes out five ships with one EMP. He has The One, the supposed savior, on the run and fleeing the famous Burly Brawl. He's looking like pretty much the main enemy of the final installment. Maybe the virus infects all non-saved humans, and Neo must battle to pull humanity out of the grip of the Smith virus. Maybe Smith overthrows the dominant paradigm, and Neo must battle him instead. Maybe the main players of the control system (The Architect, The Oracle, etc) realize Smith is the more terrifying enemy, and trick Neo into beating him for them. It sure didn't seem like Smith was acting out of the good of the Matrix through his actions, despite turning that tunnel fight into a massacre of five ships.
Neo demonstrates some power over the SQUIDs. Woah. redvector hopes to fucking hell that's an EMP from the ship that saves them. We didn't see the pretty SFX from the EMP in the first movie, so probably not. So does Neo have some power in the real world? Some power over things in general like the WoD Mage he is in the Matrix, or just a power over machines? That code that's embedded in him that The Architect referred to, right? That somehow extends to the real world? How? Why do I have a sense of dread that I'm going to hate the answer as much as midichlorians. That is, unless the answer is...
Another layer. Yeah, they've talked about multiple matrices. Neo said it felt different before he turned to face the SQUIDs. Was that because he realized he wasn't truly out of the Matrix, and was still in it? And was that another layer that he's fallen into since the ``attempted'' infection by Smith, since that last jacking out, or has there been another layer all along? Do a percentage live in Zion, thinking they've escaped (except for the ``original'' 23 and those born there, did the counsel number sixteen women and seven men?), when really they're just in a different Matrix? The ``real world'' which exists to catch those who can't handle the inner Matrix as reality? As Ted Byrne said, ``A program, within a program. What strange new world was this?'' Most of us have taken Philosophy 1. It's a pretty obvious possible way to take things. The moment Neo said something about it feeling different and turning on the SQUIDs, I flashed through a million sci-fi stories. Fuck, my favorite book, Neuromancer. Case just woke up in the alley, and just got smokes from Linda Lee before the SQUIDs blasted his ass... err, Wintermute had a glitch. I've pulled that same layers within layers shit on cybersphere on zeek, Laura, corrosive, and Lily. Obvious, but it'd fuck with people. Then again, it looks like most people didn't ``get it'' already. Something like that would just alienate the fuckers drinking Powerade and weeping for The Keymaker twice even more. Seriously, they fucking expressed a loud concern for The Keymaker twice. No ``awwwww'' at any other moment of the whole fucking movie.
So yeah, I'll shut the fuck up before I just make even more obvious mistakes and say things that people will rip apart. So please, contribute, comment your own theories.
Tonight redvector, windexcowboy, and I had Quizno's yet again. It's growing on me. Got to get up early for graduation.