Episode #342 - ‘The Matrix’ - Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Oct 15, 2021, 02:07 PM

ReWatchable is back in action with a series of specials for the remainder of 2021. In honor of our Sense8 round, we’ll be covering the Wachowskis’ Matrix trilogy in advance of the 4th instalment this December. Today we bring you a ReWatchable deep dive into the original, iconic, philosophical and plain legendary 1999 classic that is The Matrix. Looking back at The Matrix after 20 years, how does it hold up? Join us as we follow baby Keanu Reeves out of the simulation and discover just how deep the rabbit hole goes. 

Fun Facts

  • We are no longer found on Hypable - we are now on Subjectify Media! Read all about it in our relaunch article: Reintroducing ReWatchable: And our next round is... - Subjectify Media
  • Karen is making her grand return to ReWatchable after 2 years away and the move couldn’t be more fitting!
  • Natalie informs the group that Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) from Ted Lasso can perform the Muppet Christmas Carol in approximately 6 minutes. Watch it now, if not for the Ted or the Muppets, then for the dedication.
  • Kendra watched the entire Matrix trilogy for the first time in the past few months to celebrate her anniversary, however her partner cannot watch a movie or read a book without spoiling it.
  • But Kendra’s real fun fact is that she is about to embark on a Halloween cookbook review spree for Subjectify so stay tuned if you want some spooky treats (and of course she is going all out to have her friends sample her cooking!)
  • With the closing of Hypable, Brittany uncovered some deeply locked away memories from her time covering a few shows that should never be named.
The Matrix

  • Superfans: how many times have you seen this movie? What has stuck with you? What has changed?
  • Newbies: In thinking about the movie as a pop culture classic, what were you aware of going in?
  • The world building is very intricately designed thanks to the work put in off screen.
  • Trinity opens the series to establish the premise that there is another layer to this environment where an us versus them battle is happening outside the parameters of the world we know.
  • Do the special effects hold up today? A lot of effects were either invented or honed specifically for this movie. It truly changed the game for Hollywood, we had not seen ANYTHING like this in Western cinema. More reading: (link) (link - slight spoilers for Reloaded)
  • Practical effects helped the movie's action feel real. The Wachowskis drew from Hong Kong action movies with lots of martial arts and they hired fight choreographers from those movies to get it, so there’s lots of wire work and practical stuff. The lobby shootout is ALL practical VFX except painting out the wires that let them do the stunts.
  • “There is the world that people think is real and the reality beneath that” -- the Wachowskis speak to gender transition throughout the film. The Matrix, according to them, has always been a trans allegory. More reading: (link) (link) (link) (thread) (thread)
  • The imagery of meeting Neo for the first time when he is detached from reality (sleeping) is quite fitting.
  • Let’s discuss Neo’s character development, specifically: is it good? Does the Matrix affect this? Are we meant to interpret him through that lens?
  • If you ever visit Natalie she can take you on a Matrix tour of Sydney.
  • Is there a better Chosen One story where the appointed one has a choice? Is there even another one that offers a choice?
  • The first moment that the rules of reality do not apply and we get a glimpse of Neo figuring something out about the world he's in is when he asks for his phone call.
  • Neo is apparently not put off by the whole bug removal thing and decides to follow Trinity to Morpheus.
  • Would you take the red pill or the blue pill? Also, fuck right-wing co-opting of this reference. Did everyone see Lilly Wachowski dunking on Ivanka Trump over this?
  • Morpheus and the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar save the flushed dead goldfish Neo from the AI overlords, we witness a (sometimes gross) rebirth.
  • Let’s go through the ship and meet our friends (and one enemy)! Tank is the MVP of the secondary character crew, but in true Brittany fashion, she likes Cypher.
  • Trinity gets her moment in the spotlight thanks to Karen.
  • [pause for white room orientation and kung fu training montage]
  • Cypher’s intentions are sympathetic though executed poorly.
  • The Oracle scene and the Chosen One narrative the Matrix uses needs plenty of unpacking - this is really the crux of the movie.
  • These are not your standard action movie deaths. The psychology of this movie hits hard.
  • The conversation between Morpheus and Smith had a twist that changed the motivations for the final moments of the movie.
  • And now we finally get to it! The action! Neo is The One! And now his story really begins
  • Favorite Scenes
  • Favorite Lines
  • Brittany’s Brainstorms: She may or may not have seen this movie!
This episode’s superfans are: Karen Rought and Natalie Fisher.
This episode’s newbies are: Brittany Lovely and (kind of) Kendra Cleary.

ReWatchable: A TV Re-Watch Podcast is dedicated to rewatching completed cult classic or unjustly cancelled TV shows with a team of both superfans and newbies. Join us for analysis, commentaries, character discussions, and more for each show we choose to tackle.

During our rewatches, we stay spoiler-free for our discussions on an episode-to-episode base, to give our newbie hosts and listeners a chance to discover things fresh! We ask that listeners also don’t discuss any spoilers for the shows we’re watching ahead of that episode’s discussion in their feedback to us or on our social media.

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