The Matrix (1999)

New Warhorn Media post by Nathan Alberson:

Interesting selection. I will be listening to this one. When this movie came out I was studying matrices in Algebra 1 and not getting it. My brother told me this movie would be fun and simultaneously explain it. I was skeptical, but I watched it. It was fun. (That lobby scene with Trinity and Neo…)

After this movie I spent years looking for “the next Matrix” without ever finding it. Even when the next Matrix came out, that wasn’t it. All that to say, this movie did weird things to my brain and imagination, things that I still don’t understand. In some ways, I could only compare it to pornography.

I read somewhere about a publisher who read Narnia (I think) as a child and spent years looking for that same feeling he got from it. I think that was The Matrix for me, except I was a little older - in high school I guess.

I’m interested to hear other takes on this movie. Was it just a ho-hum action piece for others or it hit some deeper chord?

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I think all three of us experienced something like what you said, in different ways. As you’ll hear.

Inception felt like the spiritual successor to the Matrix, to me. In some ways, at least.

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Looking forward to listening. I screened The Matrix for my wife last year–she hadn’t seen it–and I was surprised how relatively little action was in it in contrast to my memories. It’s really committed to examining the ideas of bodily and mental negation and turning inward.

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Yeah it doesn’t really heat up until the very end.

Definitely struck a deep chord with me. The only other movie I watched and felt somehow irrevocably altered was the much more perverse Fight Club, which is also from 1999. I don’t know if it was the particular moment of late adolescents/coming of age (I think you are more permeable at that stage), or if there was something unique in the philosophy, aesthetics and symbolism of those films, but they stuck with me.

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No question about it, the Matrix blew my mind as a high school junior when it came out. The world was different when I walked out of that theater.

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A friend of mine said that while in high school, a friend of his said he had seen the matrix a week before it came out in theaters. When pressed by my friend, he admitted he had downloaded the spanish bootleg “el matrixo”.

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Pretty sure I watched a bootleg version repeatedly, and didn’t see it in the theatre (cuz not allowed).

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I was in college when the Matrix came out, ironically the class that occupied most of my time was ancient and classical political philosophy. And yes I was reading Plato when I watched the Matrix. Lol. What a trip.

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So does this episode answer how Neo knows he actually escaped the Matrix post-red pill or will I still be stuck in epistemological insanity?

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We’d have to do the sequels for that.

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I felt so let down by the sequels. I remember folks theorizing that we would learn in the end that the people in the “real world” were just in another layer of the dream world. But nooo.

Alas, I have found it to be a rule that every time there is an interesting story universe that gets a sequel, the plot theories that fans come up with are always, always more interesting than the product that actually gets produced.

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For me the Matrix was sort of ho hum. I was too young to see when it came out; I watched it later on. The special effects were cool and the premise was interesting, but it did not make much of an impression on me.

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What I hated so much about the sequels was just how much they emasculated the Moses figure, rendering his belief irrelevant, and went on to neuter the whole premise of salvation with their eastern mysticism. It was like the worse kind of bate and switch.

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It did feel that way, but in retrospect, given the bait, should we have really wondered about the switch?

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