November 25th, 2003

Dark Tower


Way back here, I suggested that Matrix Revolutions delivered more for people who were into the entire experience -- the Animatrix, watching previous movies multiple times, etc. I no longer think that's the case, and from what I have heard, it seems that the more you were into the 'Matrix mythology', the less you liked the movie.

I guess this could turn into a spiel about the corrosive horrors of fandom, but it's not. My friend D. suggested to me that the trouble with the resolution was that they had set up a great puzzle in the first movie, and then gave people years to try to figure out the nature of the Matrix. By the time Revolutions came around, a lot of those people had come up with ideas that were actually more interesting than what turned up on the screen. That didn't worry me any -- I don't try to second guess fiction most of the time, and was smply not into the trilogy enough to follow any of the theories. I thought the ending was quite good (if a tad generic), and the various character arcs for the minor characters passable if not profound. Thus the people who really liked the third movie seem to be those who were more into the grand scenes of mechs shooting several tons worth of ammo each.

I was thinking of this again as we go through the Lord of the Rings docos on the extended DVD of Two Towers. I'm not a great fan of these movies, and I found some of the plot twists a little strange in T2T -- but they pretty much convinced me about the reason for those changes in the documentary on 'book to script'. It does seem a bit odd that I appreciate many aspects of these movies more by hearing about how they were achieved, rather than watching the result on screen.

Yet this trilogy is one that I do think will end up awarding those who are keen on the whole expeience. Maybe it's just that most people know how it's going to turn out, and so can better appreciate the details on the way.

So, quasily-related to all that, did I like the extended mix? Yes, although it was nowhere near the improvement the the extended Fellowship was. Most of the extra bits were somewhat fluffy, and although Faramir's backstory improved his motivation, it still seemed somewhat contrived. By the time we got to Gollum at the end, I thought it had gone on too long.

But like Fellowship, we'll probably watch most of the docos and the Directors commentary, and marvel at the effort involved. I found the actors commentary of Fellowship really starting to strain the relationship, but Kyla has more tolerance for such (and indeed approaches the whole thing more favourably than I).
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