Episode #135 for Cloud Atlas, in which our protagonist has a “Scanners” moment while trying to give a synopsis, gives a huge bonus for sheer ambition and scope, and wants to go break the living shit out of some plates. Also: hemorrhaging!
Written by: The Brothers Wachowski, based on the series by Tatsuo Yoshida
Directed by: The Brothers Wachowski
Starring: Emile Hirsch, John Goodman, Matthew Fox, Christina Ricci, Susan Sarandon
Released by: Warner Brothers
My Advice: Rent it.
Speed Racer (Hirsch) is the bright and upcoming race car driver of the Racer family. He’s got so much racing in his blood, you would think he had been grown in a vat with the express purpose of putting the pedal to the metal and the thing to the floor. Of course, he’s got something to prove, since he’s racing in the shadow of his older and now deceased brother, Rex (Scott Porter). There’s also the fact that Racer Motors is an indie race car company when everybody else is owned by supamegacorporations. So when Speed starts to rise a little too high and gets offered a deal by one of these supamegas, what is he going to do? And what if they don’t like his answer?
Milka Duno, who apparently is a real-life racer (but who drives the #23 CITGO Honda Dallara IndyCar instead of, say, something like the Mach 5), is headed to Berlin to play the role of Gearbox in the live action Speed Racer movie. The Brothers Wachowski are writing and directing, with Joel Silver producing.
It would be uncommonly cruel of me to remind all Speed fans that those three folks were the same people that crushed the hopes of a generation with The Matrix Revolutions, so I will refrain from mentioning that.
Anyway, I have no idea who Gearbox is in the whole pantheon of characters. Maybe a more savvy Speed fan can let me know. It must not be too big a part, though, because she’ll be shooting for a week and then returning to the States.
Written by: The Wachowski brothers, based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd
Directed by: James McTeigue
Starring: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, John Hurt, Tim Pigott-Smith, and Rupert Graves
Review: I, like most people, thought this was going to be an insipid piece of trash. But I was delightfully surprised. The film presents a good combination of political ideaology, and mass explosions set to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. BOOM! Haha–ahem… Anyway, Hugo Weaving rocks yet again. That is all.
Time: 16 seconds.
Written & Directed by The Brothers Wachowski
Starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Mary Alice
My Advice: Rent the DVD when it comes out for the FX, otherwise skip it.
We’re right where we left off in the last film: Neo (Reeves) is in a coma, Bane (Ian Bliss) has somehow gotten Agent Smith (Weaving) inside of him, Zion is about to get its tits shot off, and Morpheus (Fishburne) is feeling like a dumbass because, seemingly, the Oracle (now played by Alice after the untimely death of Gloria Foster) lied. Now Neo’s lost somewhere between worlds and if he doesn’t get back soon, then the human race is toast.
Congratulations, Brothers Wachowski! You’ve given us the worst third movie in a series since Superman III. Or, since you’re comic fans, I’ll put it another way: you’ve given us the cinematic equivalent of Secret Wars II. After the completely brilliant setup of the second film, the brothers manage to fumble the ball in a spectacular, tragic way. The first film set up everything, the second debunked the first film and the third film manages to disappoint almost from jump: after a completely pointless opening sequence, the highlight of which is people running upside down and shooting, we’re treated to an endless series of missed opportunities. All of those neat questions you conceived from the enigmas in the second film? None of them are answered. And they’re not even not-answered in that, “Ooh, we’re being mysterious and mystical and cheerily obtuse” way–you know, the one that can be endearing and thought-provoking. No, no. They’re just not addressed. At all. Which is amazing, considering that this film is even “talkier” than the second–the difference being the second film’s dialogue had meat to it. This time around, we’re given nothing but third-rate overwrought “heart felt” garbage, with none of the philosophy or banter that makes the series function.
Written and Directed by: The Brothers Wachowski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Harold Perrineau
My Advice: Don’t Miss It.
In the latest installment, Neo (Reeves), having recently found out that he’s the savior of the human race (no pressure!), is having troubles sleeping. He keeps having dreams that his girlfriend and fellow asskicker, Trinity (Moss), is meeting her demise at the hands of Agents. Still with Morpheus (Fishburne) and now new crew member, Link (Perrineau), they’re all waiting for word from the Oracle (Gloria Foster) as to what the hell it is they’re supposed to do next. However, they’re going to be given some trouble by a rival captain in the human resistance (Harry Lennix) and also the return of Agent Smith (Weaving), who’s learned some new and deadly tricks.
I was afraid of this film; I admit it. I was afraid mostly because so much time had elapsed since the first film and so much had changed in the cinema, that the Wachowskis would miss their window of opportunity. Instead, I’m pleased to report, they pulled it off. One half of it, anyway. And the testicular fortitude required to pull off the film I’ve just seen boggles the mind. They knew the standard had been raised and they met it and leapt right over it.
Written & Directed by: The Brothers Wachowski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Ann Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Hugo Weaving
My Advice: Matinee.
Meet Thomas Anderson (Reeves), by day mild-mannered software programmer, by night “Neo,” a hacker extraordinaire. His life seems to be going fairly well, until he meets someone he was never expecting to: the uberhacker to end all uberhackers, the legendary Morpheus (Fishburne), and the man has a secret which will change Neo’s world forever. But the change is a hard choice that once made is nothing you can walk away from and potentially quite lethal.
Okay, here’s the few items of bad news I can impart. First of all, Reeves’ acting prowess hasn’t increased any. Second, the setup of Reeves’ character before the fit starts hitting the shan is measured in nanoseconds. Third, parts of the ending struck me as hurried and cheese-ridden.