Cinema Dispatch: The Matrix Resurrections

The Matrix Resurrections and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Lana Wachowski

Making another sequel to the Matrix is simply a bad idea from the word go.  Sure, it’s tempting given that the original trilogy grossed over a billion dollars and became a cultural touchstone for a generation, but there’s no way to play of it as anything than a cynical cash grab, and there’s no guarantee that the audience will come back for another one; especially since a lot of them are approaching middle age at this point and this new generation is more enamored with Marvel films than anything else.  Even getting one of the original directors to come back isn’t gonna turn many heads since the stagnation of the series occurred under their watch, and they’ve been heavily involved with all the various media made the franchise since the beginning.  Now all that said, perhaps this IS the right time for it to be tried again.  The themes and messages of the original movie have become all the more relevant since its, and the co-opting of some of its imagery among certain reactionary circles has been one of the more unfortunate developments in the story of The Matrix as a pop-culture staple.  With so many people having so many different ideas about what The Matrix should be, is there any way that this can please even a fraction of the original fans and perhaps get new fans in the process, or is this just another soulless cash grab to further cement this as the worst of all possible timelines?  Let’s find out!!

Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) finds himself in a comfortable life that he built for himself, but not much more.  He made his fortune creating a trilogy of video games called The Matrix with his business partner (Jonathan Groff), but each day feels like an endless drudgery as he searches for meaning.  His therapist (Neil Patrick Harris) has been helping him through these feelings, especially after he nearly jumped off of a roof a few years back, but nothing seems to get through to him until he starts seeing this woman at the coffee shop.  Her name is Tiffany (Carrie-Anne Moss) and there’s something about her that seems familiar but also brings him quite a bit of peace; a peace he will need as the studio is forcing him to make a new Matrix game and it’s just not going very well.  That’s when things start to really unravel as he starts seeing things that may not be there and people start talking to him like he’s someone else entirely.  How did Mr. Anderson find himself in such a miserable state, and can he trust his own mind to tell him the truth?  Who are these people that are showing up to tell him that reality isn’t what it seems, and are they looking out for his best interest or for their own selfish goals?  Is it just me, or does this sound less like The Matrix and more like Birdman?

“So I’m the one that will save humanity?”     “If by ‘humanity’ you mean Warner Bros quarterly finical report, then yes!  Well, maybe.  Let’s see how it does overseas.”
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Cinema Dispatch: The Bye Bye Man

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The Bye Bye Man and all the images you see in this review are owned by STX Entertainment

Directed by Stacy Title

See, I thought I wouldn’t have to talk about STX Entertainment again until that damn Mars YA movie finally came out (ENOUGH WITH THE TRAILER ALREADY!) but it looks like they’re here to fill the January Horror Movie quota which was met in previous years by gems such as The Forest, The Devil Inside, and Texas Chainsaw 3D.  Then again, The Boy came out in January of last year, and that was ALSO a film from STX Entertainment, so maybe there’s just a TINY bit of hope here.  Can STX pull off the impossible yet again and give us a January horror film that won’t embarrass the genre, or is this movie just as stupid as its title suggests?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins in the late sixties where a guy (Jonathan Penner) shoots a bunch of people because they had heard of THE BYE BYE MAN, which I’m sure was the most sensible solution to that problem.  Jump ahead five decades and we find ourselves in modern times where three college students, Elliot, John, and Sasha (Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, and Cressida Bonas), just moved into a new house off of campus and are cleaning up all the crappy furniture that the landlord left them.  Of course, one of the tables has something crudely etched on it that Elliot ends up reading.  Of course it’s the words THE BYE BYE MAN, and in doing so he… I guess invites The Bye Bye man to take permanent residence in his brain.  You know, at least when they summoned the deadites in Evil Dead, they had to read a WHOLE passage from an ancient Sumerian text instead of just a dumb name!  Anyway, the name eventually reaches his two roommates as well as some sort of psychic who is obvious slasher fodder (Jenna Kanell) and so The Bye Bye Man just starts messing with all their heads; making them see things that aren’t there and driving them more and more insane in the process.  Will the three of them find a way to get past this monster’s illusions before it makes them do something they’ll regret?  Why did that dude in the sixties end up shooting everyone who had heard of this… ghost, I guess?  Did anyone stop to read the script before filming this, or were they winging it the whole time?

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“Just watch it, don’t question it.  I wonder what that means…”

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Living on Netflix: Silent Hill Revelation

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Video games have always had a hard time making the jump to movies; yet one genre that’s had some decent success with its adaptations is horror.  The Resident Evil movies are reliably fun zombie flicks, and the original Silent Hill was pretty well received at the time.  So we now get a sequel several years after the original came out that no one was really expecting or even asking for.  Will it follow the trend and be another decently made horror film based off a world-renowned video game series?  No.  No it’s not.  Keep reading if you really want to find out why.

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