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Non-Review Review: The Matrix Reloaded

Today I’m taking a look at the Matrix trilogy. All three films, all watched and reviewed in one day. Join us for the fun! All three reviews will be going on-line today.

No, what happened happened and couldn’t have happened any other way.

How do you know?

We are still alive.

– Morpheus and Neo have one of the least obtuse conversations in the film

The reaction to the second and third films in The Matrix series has always somewhat surprised me. I don’t mean that I can’t see the criticism typically levelled at the films – I can see it and I agree with most of it. I mean that most viewers regard the second film as stronger than the third, while I always considered it the other way around. Rewatching all three films in one day just cemented that opinion – but I’m still curious about why cinema fans tend to favour the middle instalment over the last. Neither is as efficient or effective as the first film, but while I appreciate the sense of closure (and action) of the third film, I find myself regarding a significant portion of the second film as just idle padding – the franchise positioning itself for a final film, which would then go on to ignore a lot of what was suggested here.

Blade of glory?

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Non-Review Review: The Matrix

Today I’m taking a look at the Matrix trilogy. All three films, all watched and reviewed in one day. Join us for the fun! All three reviews will be going on-line today.

Part of me wonders if The Matrix has been somewhat tarnished by its two sequels and countless spin-offs, video-games, tie-ins and “expanded universe” material. I mean, you can pick any number of iconic pop culture moments from the original film (from “I know kung-fu” to “whoa” to “stop trying to hit me and hit me”), but you’re left with a third film in the trilogy that ultimately grossed less than the original. Watching the entire trilogy back-to-back helps the later films seem much stronger, but it also perhaps helps illuminate what was missing from the following two films that made the original such a classic.

Bending over backwards to make a good movie...

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Absolute Sandman: Volume IV

It’s over. Wow. It has been a long haul, but an impressive and richly rewarding one. Having read the entire collection again over the space of about a month, I have even more appreciation for the wonder of Neil Gaiman’s writing. The volume is pretty much perfect, featuring (in my opinion) the most consistently brilliant artwork of the four volumes and a fitting conclusion to a saga that has run for 1,500 pages already. It’s hard enough to write a fitting conclusion to a two-hour movie or a novella. How does Gaiman manage to tie up everything so ridiculously well?

An empty throne? Foreshadowing, you say?

An empty throne? Foreshadowing, you say?

Warning: This review contains spoilers (as any review of the collection will). They’re minor, they’ve been foreshadowed throughout the collection and pretty much made explicit at the climax of the Volume 3. Still, consider yourself appropriately warned.

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Absolute Sandman: Volume III

All things must end. I have to admit appreciating this volume a lot more reading through it again. It’s odd that the penultimate volume in a collection should reward repeated reading more than the early editions, but so it is. All-in-all, the collection is possibly the weakest of the four, but only barely. It’s still a damn good read and an excellent chapter in a compelling saga.

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

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Absolute Sandman: Volume II

I finished the second Absolutevolume last night at about 1am. It’s a little disappointing to think I’m already halfway through the epic, but that’s life. I can always read it again. And – for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on – I think that the second collection might be my favourite of the four. I don’t know what makes it slightly better and more compelling than the other three, but I can hazard some guesses.

Dream at the Helm...

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Absolute Sandman: Volume I

I’m supposed to say that Sandman is a comic for people who don’t like comics. It’s not. It’s a comic for people who like stories.

Neil Gaiman created a series that ran for the bones of a decade following the resurrection and revival of Morpheus, the King of Dreams. DC Comics cleverly repackaged the entire collection as four slipcase Absolute Editions. I own all four and have read them cover-to-cover once (and occasionally going back and revisiting particular threads from time-to-time). I’ve decided to re-read the entire collection again from the very beginning. So, how does the first volume hold up?

"Mister Sandman, bring me a dream..."

"Mister Sandman, bring me a dream..."

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