movies comments edit

I went to see the latest (and presumedly final) installation of the Matrix series today. Work had a little outing and rented out the theater down the street, so I figured it’d be as good a time as any to see how they finished off the series.

I always say, you get what you pay for.

If you saw The Matrix Reloaded, you’ll kind of know what I’m talking about. In that, you see the first Matrix slowly crumble, and I don’t mean in the movie - I mean quality-wise. The first one, we came to expect certain things. We came to enjoy the visual style and the original effects combined with an easy to swallow philosophy lesson hinting of religious symbolism. In the second one… where’d that great style go? Why’d the subtle lesson and symbolism get thrown out the window for an in-your-face lesson a la the “special” episodes of sitcoms?

To really understand why this was so bad, you don’t have a choice but to look at the first two movies. I mean, they’re a part of the trilogy, and as the conclusion of that trilogy, you need to keep that in mind, so I’m going to continue going back to them.

This, however, is not a review of the first or second Matrix films. It’s a review of the third. I just needed to throw some context in there so you understand it when I say: How could they do this to me?

In the first movie, we spent most of the time in the imaginary “Matrix” world that the story revolves around. We saw the “real world,” but the action took place in the Matrix, fighting the powers that be from within. In the second movie, we got a lot more “real world” and less Matrix. Still about half-and-half, but more “real world” than I was liking.

The majority of this latest takes place in the “real world,” and I’ve gotta say - the real world is a drag. It’s bland, it’s boring, it’s not even interesting to look at. Why are we stranded there? Let’s see some more of the stuff we came to see!

Instead, we get things like Keanu Reeves attempting to be emotional. We get an ever-thinning Carrie-Anne Moss. We get not nearly enough Monica Bellucci. And we get random scenes that have no real discernable meaning to the plot - total filler.

Bah. As my friend Kristen says, “ridiculous emotional claptrap.” I went on a ten minute rant about how many things were wrong with the end of the movie alone. There were so many other ways to end it. How about this:

Neo, after fighting his way through the Matrix, finally defeats Agent Smith. As Agent Smith dies, Neo wakes up in a white room to find out the whole thing was a medical experiment being done by the machines to see if humans would be able to accept a Matrix in lieu of a real world.

Or how about this:

Neo fights Agent Smith and prevails, only to find out that the “real world” is a second Matrix and now he has to bust out of that, too.

I’d even accept:

Neo fights Agent Smith and prevails, then wakes up in a pink harvesting pod just like he did in the first movie.

But no. Instead you get utter insanity. No cohesion. No follow-through. Nothing that resembles the first movie aside from some peripheral references to events in the past. Don’t we, as the audience, deserve more than that? It doesn’t have to be a happy ending even, as long as justice is served.

I feel betrayed. Betrayed by the Wachowski brothers for having seen such promise in the first movie and to have that thrown entirely away by commercialism and overproduction.

My only hope now is the success of the Harry Potter series. Sigh.

blog comments edit

I’m going to call this the official move announcement for paraesthesia. I’m running pMachine as my blog now, and will no longer be maintaining the Greymatter blog I was using. If you’ve found me and you’re reading this message, this is the place. Welcome. I’ll be continuing to tweak the template and fix things as I find them, but it’s functional and I need to get things moving on this.

You’ll notice I now have an RSS feed that you can subscribe to, and if you register as a user you can also be notified of things as they happen (like the paraesthesia mailing list, right?). Plus, if you want to leave a comment and you’ve logged in, you won’t have to type in all of your vitals - it’ll just know you.

And who knows? Maybe soon I’ll have some “members only” stuff (not like the jackets, more like stuff that only members can get to). I suppose it depends on how many folks I can get to register. We’ll see.

In the meantime, like I said, I’ll keep working on this thing and we’ll see if we can get something good done. I know there’s some work I need to do on the administrative interface to get the macro keys to work closer to Greymatter (I had that totally customized, man, and now… primitive).

blog comments edit

I’ve almost got my implementation of pMachine ready to go. I worked a bit on the templates and such and think I’ve just about got it set for prime time. I just need to figure out how to import my Greymatter entries in there and I’ll be set. After that, it’ll be a matter of importing things in, then messing around getting the uploaded images and whatnot to show up correctly.

This weekend was supposed to be relaxing, but I’m feeling pretty wiped out right now. Saturday we did our usual chores, but Sunday we actively did nothing. Jenn got kind of bored and ended up going grocery shopping, but I got a chance to watch a couple of the DVDs I’ve recently purchased and catch up on my Playstation time.

At the time, I thought it was kind of nice and rather interesting to be bored - I’m usually going so much or have so much on my mind that I don’t just get to sit down and relax. Looking back on it now, I realize that having nothing to do stresses me out. I can’t just sit and relax because I always have this nagging feeling that there’s something that has to be done.

To that effect, I woke up this morning totally wiped out, and I’m still dragging. I find that it takes me the two days of the weekend to get ready to unwind, then by the time the weekend is over, I’m finally getting decent sleep and would love to take the time to actually, truly unwind but it’s already time for work again. It’s a losing proposition.

I really need to replace the battery in my camera. Wouldn’t you know it, but as soon as the battery runs out on the damn thing, I end up finding buttloads of candidates for Traffic Asshole of the Week.

Speaking of cameras, I tried out this other camera that we have, the SiPix StyleCam Blink. It’s this tiny camera, similar to the camera that I use to take the Traffic Asshole pictures, the Che-ez Splash. I like the quality (if you can call it that) of the Che-ez camera better than the SiPix - the SiPix is really grainy while the Che-ez is smooth. I guess we’re talking the least of two evils, but for those in the market for an affordable, portable digital camera, I’d go with the Splash.

I got my new modem today, so I think I’ll go home and try installing that bad boy into my new computer. I still need to put the SCSI controller in, too, so I’ll do it all at the same time.

blog comments edit

This is the first entry I’ve actually personally made in pMachine. I’ve finally gotten around to updating the templates on everything, and while there are several color-related CSS things I need to finish, I think I’ve got things pretty well taken care of. Now I just have to figure out how to import my stuff from Greymatter, and I’ll be good to go.

personal comments edit

Today’s a hurry-up-and-wait sort of day. I’m supposed to get my product demo all compiled up and burned onto CDs for everyone, but I have one piece that I’m waiting to get from another guy and he’s having Visual SourceSafe problems, so I don’t think I’m going to make my 11:30a deadline.

Oh, just got another email. I guess it’s back up. Maybe I’ll make it after all.

In the meantime, I’ve got everything set to go, ready to burn the CDs and distribute this thing once all the pieces are in place. A nice close to a good project. At least I’m not running around frantically trying to get things to work.

At 12:30p I’ll be heading down to the semi-yearly coding “competition” they refer to as “Boot Camp” around here. Each time they have a different problem to solve and you get assigned to a team and your team has to come up with a program that solves it. Previous problems have included creating an online auction system and solving a business problem of your choice (your app had to be the “most used” at the end of two weeks to be the winner). This year it’s the “Puzzle Challenge” where we have to write an app that will solve… a puzzle of some nature. It’s a surprise, so I don’t know what it is yet. We’ll have eight hours to solve whatever it is. Should be fun.

Plus, you can win prizes for good coding. I plan on winning.

So I’m waiting. Waiting for the other guy to finish his part of the demo project. Waiting for 12:30 to roll around so I can go kick some coding ass. Generally waiting.

I think that’s hella better than scrambling around madly, don’t you?