Movie Review: The Matrix (1999)

Emotional fuel for world liberation ___ 10/10
Review by Brian Wright

“As long as the Matrix exists, the human race will never be free.”
— Morpheus

This review is the third of four commentaries that suggest a general approach to healing our world.  The book I just reviewed, The Secret behind Secret Societies, discusses the conspiracy of power that underlies the current machinery of the Western global-corporate empire.

Written and Directed by
Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski

Keanu Reeves … Neo
Laurence Fishburne … Morpheus
Carrie-Anne Moss … Trinity
Hugo Weaving …  Agent Smith
Gloria Foster … Oracle
Joe Pantoliano … Cypher

This controlling central power (let’s call it the Beast) is the fundamental ailment we are in sore need of healing from. The movie The Matrix is a metaphor of our own heroic struggle for liberty against the Beast, and provides a hopeful message that vigorously stirs the blood of freedom people.

The time is approximately 200 years from now, planet Earth.  Early in the 21st century, humans achieve functional artificial intelligence (AI) which instead of leading to a comfortable human-machine Singularity[1] results in an earth-razing cataclysm.  Machines (computers) 1: Humans 0.

The machine uber-intelligence (MUI) that takes over is analogous to our “Beast.” Continue reading

Movie Review: The Replacements (2000)

Football movie in the “guilty secret” category (7/10)

the_replacementsThe football season approaches and I searched around for football movies that “make a difference.”  The most notable high-impact, philosophy-of-life football movie made recently is probably Oliver Stone’s gritty, dizzying Any Given Sunday (1999), starring Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, and Dennis Quaid.  Well worth seeing, especially for the unsubtle symbolism that the brutality of professional football is emblematic of the dog-eat-dog politics that give rise to it.

Going back further in time, no doubt the classic football movie of all time is the 1979 North Dallas Forty, probably Nick Nolte’s finest hour.  What’s particularly great about North Dallas is they give you the magnitude of the pain these players live with, both physical and mental, again in a similarly politically harsh world.

Other football movies on the lighter side, such as Michael Ritchie’s Semi-Tough (1977) and a couple of other Burt Reynold’s vehicles, Longest Yard I (1974) and Longest Yard II (2005), are supremely entertaining.  And who can forget Knute Rockne: All American (1940) where our greatest actor-president (or is it the other way around?) Ronald Reagan plays the immortal George “the Gipper” Gipp.  And I just thought of Jerry MaGuire the quintessential jock/chick flick. Continue reading

Movie Review: The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

Light sci-fi yarn with fine actors all around
but parsecs away from quality of the original _ 5/10

The Day the Earth Stood StillProfessor Barnhardt: There must be alternatives. You must have some technology that could solve our problem.
Klaatu: Your problem is not technology. The problem is you. You lack the will to change.
Professor Barnhardt: Then help us change.
Klaatu: I cannot change your nature. You treat the world as you treat each other.
Professor Barnhardt: But every civilization reaches a crisis point eventually.
Klaatu: Most of them don’t make it.
Professor Barnhardt: Yours did. How?
Klaatu: Our sun was dying. We had to evolve in order to survive.
Professor Barnhardt: So it was only when your world was threatened with destruction that you became what you are now.
Klaatu: Yes.
Professor Barnhardt: Well that’s where we are. You say we’re on the brink of destruction and you’re right. But it’s only on the brink that people find the will to change. Only at the precipice do we evolve. This is our moment. Don’t take it from us, we are close to an answer. Continue reading