Okay, he did it. I refused to call down the thunder, I kept my calm, but NO, people had to push it. Like a Clint Eastwood movie, someone took the placid, quiet guy who just wants to live his life and mind his own business and pushed him over the edge, like Humpty Dumpty on a day trip to the Grand Canyon. See, he KNOWS I have issues with certain films, which I mentioned in my last post. He knows this. I thought he respected it. And yet, there I am, turning on my computer, and what faces me?
THIS faces me:
This is a grotesque act of provocation. I tried to mitigate it. I sprayed ‘NO SUCH THING’ over it. But it didn’t work, and the collatoral damage is growing. Heck, take Indiana Potato Head. He’s normally a happy, chilled out kinda guy:
But he sees that Terminator 3 thing and what happens?
Because Terminator 3 SUCKS. It’s a sequel to a film that spends a good couple of hours telling us that the future can be changed, so it’s a bit of a disappointment to find that T3 states that no, things can’t really be changed, just tweaked a bit. Well, I say ‘disappointment’. More like eye-popping disgust at its nihilistic rewriting of what has to be one of the best action movies ever made. And you know, I could handle that, really I could, if the film was GOOD, but it’s NOT, it has the scene with Arnie, playing possibly his most iconic, wearing pink sunglasses. It has the scene where the female Terminator inflates her cleavage to distract a cop. It has a great final five minutes, but considering those five minutes widdle all over the previous movie it rings kinda hollow. I mean, that’s what Terminator 2 is all about! Things can be changed! Arnie’s character becomes a metaphor for the whole plot! And yes, I KNOW that technically T2 doesn’t work within the context of it’s own model of time travel. I DON’T CARE. It doesn’t involve Arnie wearing sunglasses that Elton John would reject as BEING TOO STUPID.
Oh, and then they do Terminator: Salvation, which involves Christian Bale vs Terminators, but everyone knows a REALLY good film would involve Christian Bale as BATMAN vs Terminators. That would be AWESOME. What I can absolutely guarantee is that, unlike Terminator 3: Rise of the Pointless Sequels it wouldn’t force me to pull my jumper over my head so I didn’t have to watch great chunks of it. Unfortunately I was in a dolby stereo-enabled cinema, so I could still hear it, but I figured it wasn’t worth cutting off my ears over. It was close though.
However, it doesn’t bring me to rage like another movie trilogy. Yes, I’m talking about The Matrix, and not just The Matrix: Recycled and The Matrix: Regurgitated, which everyone accepts are utter gibberish, including the death scene that lasts approximately 14 months and the bit with the rave which makes the post-apocalyptic future of humanity look like the Burning Man Festival with added death robots and the fact that the script sounds like someone cut-and-pasted the Wikipedia article on Descartes into Ghost in the Shell. No, I have a problem with the first Matrix, mainly because of one scene. "Ooo, ooo, we’re cool and played by Bill and/or Ted and we have long flappity jackets and have superpowers, so OBVIOUSLY we need lots of guns because guns are soooooooo coooooool, especially when we use our superpowers to break into a police station and mercilessly gun down a bunch of cops but that’s FINE because they could TURN INTO HUGO WEAVING AT ANY MOMENT! And now I’ll run up a wall and shoot another innocent person! Whoa! Look at me! I’m so cool and existential! Flappity Jacket! Flappity Jacket!" When Arnie shot a bunch of cops in the original Terminator, it was an atrocity. When Keanu does it, it’s kewl. Someone pass the blue pill before I puke.
But who cares about human life, because in the last film, which may or may not be called The Matrix: Reprehensible, it looks to me like all the humans stuck in the Matrix do indeed turn into Hugo Weaving. But that’s okay, because in a nice sunsetty scene we see that the nice anthropomorphic computer programs are okay to live their life free from being over-written by Elrond. Never mind that the majority of humanity is apparently dead, and the survivors are a bunch of raving hippies who are probably too stoned to rebuild civilisation anyway, THE COMPUTER PROGRAMS ARE SAFE! LET JOY BE UNCONFINED!
Ganga-smoking crusties. I’d’ve told them all to get jobs, but I was really kinda hoping that the robots would obliterate them first.
I may have misread the ending of course, there may have been dialogue to suggest that a viable human population was not, actually, extinct. However, as the dialogue in the films either a) wasn’t technically English, or b) able to go more than three words without referring to a new noun ("I am the Keymaker, but to escape the Matrix you must traverse the Corridor to meet the Architect, who lives in the Office, which lies behind the Third Door On The Right, located equidistant between the Fire Extinguisher and the Decorative Yukka Plant."), I was utterly unable to understand what was going on. In fact, I was sitting there thinking how much better the virtual-world-called-the-Matrix was when Doctor Who did it back in the Tom Baker years. Now, Tom Baker vs Hugo Weaving, I’d pay to see that. At least I wouldn’t have to sit through the only love affair in cinema history that generates so little heat that the Kelvin Scale should be revised and a death scene that, for all I know, may still be going on as we speak.
OH! And you know what else I learned today? Jordan now has four autobiographies available. This got me thinking – name another relatively young person who has four best selling life stories readily available. That’s right: Jesus of Nazareth. Sometimes I hate this country.
However, I realise all this is pointless, especially as I’m now experiencing shooting pains in my left arm. Instead I’ll leave this post with three examples of pop culture I like. In tribute to the ending of the original Matrix, they all involve Superman, and act as a necessary counter-balance to the above rant – necessary because there’s a strange red mist descending and I have easy access to a range of kitchen implements and a strimmer. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you three pop culture antidotes to the nihilism I’ve tried to eviscerate here:
- All Star Superman #3: Superman kisses Lois on the moon, Earth rising in the background. One panel – ONE PANEL – is hotter and more romantic than ANYTHING in any of The Matrix films (artwork by Frank Quietly, story by Grant Morrison, copyright DC Comics):
- The climax to The Iron Giant. In which a robotic instrument of death and destruction learns to overcome its programming and instead save the world from nuclear devastation. It’s basically Terminator 2, only with added comic-book references. I cried.
- All Star Superman #10. "It’s never as bad as it seems. You’re much stronger than you think you are. Trust me." Cliches? Maybe. But also, in context, somehow beautiful
I think I’m calm now.