movie, movie review, Uncategorized

March 24th, 2016 Movie – Meet The Feebles

meet the feebles

There are a couple of memories that tie in to today’s movie but my favorite is something that didn’t involve me personally, but rather something I read. Every now and then, I would check out a website called Kindertrauma, which is where people talk about movies that scared them as a kid. One of the sections, called Name That Trauma, is where people can ask for help identifying a movie and one day, someone asked for help identifying today’s movie. The website’s host’s response was hysterical, to me at least, as he identified the movie and asked why the person was even watching this movie as a kid. Anyways, today’s movie, much like Bad Taste and Dead Alive, is proof positive that Peter Jackson is one sick, twisted individual. So prepare yourselves for Meet The Feebles.

The plot: A variety theater group known as The Feebles is rehearsing for a live, televised broadcast in 12 hours. When Heidi the hippo is insulted by Trevor, a pornography directing rat, she goes to see Bletch, the walrus that runs the theater and is also her lover. Bletch is in his office having sex with Samantha, a cat that is part of the chorus, when Heidi knocks on his door and he quickly hides her in his closet. Letting Heidi in, Bletch insincerely comforts her when she tells him about Trevor and then ushers her out of his office. After she leaves, Samantha asks Bletch when he is going to get rid of her and Bletch comments that Heidi brings in the crowds but when the television deal is finalized, he will get rid of her. Meanwhile, Robert the hedgehog has arrived at the theater for his first day working with the Feebles. Asking around for the stage manager, Robert is finally shown around by F.W. Fly, a tabloid reporter. who tells Robert he will pay him for any inside dirt on the Feebles. The stage manager, Arthur the worm, takes Robert and introduces him to the girls in the chorus line, and Robert falls in love with Lucille, a poodle who has also just started working there. Later, Robert is watching Lucille and the other chorus girls performing a number when he is chased off by Trevor, who is also watching Lucille. As Trevor comments to himself on what he would like to do to Lucille, he is approached by Wynyard the frog, who is trying to get some drugs from Trevor but Trevor tells him that the drugs have not arrived yet. Backstage, Arthur witness Robert try to work up the courage to ask out Lucille but when Robert’s shyness works against him, Arthur tries to help him. Meanwhile, Bletch and his assistant, Barry the bulldog, head out to an appointment on the golf course. While they are gone, Heidi comes back from her jog and encounters Samantha, who tells Heidi that Bletch loves her, not Heidi, and the two end up fighting before Heidi tosses Samantha into a box. Meanwhile, Robert, at Arthur’s urging, begins serenading Lucille, who brings him into her dressing room when he is done. On the golf course, Bletch is playing with Cedric, a warthog, who is also the person that Bletch buys drugs from. Back at the theater, Arthur is trying to console Sidney the elephant, after Arthur accidentally squashed Sidney’s pets that he used in his act. Suddenly, Sandy, a chicken that is part of the chorus, enters the room with a baby carriage, saying that a court date is set for a paternity hearing against Sidney and though Sidney claims the baby isn’t his, Arthur looks in the carriage and notices that the baby has Sidney’s face. In her dressing room, Heidi is drowning her sorrows by eating a chocolate cake and looking through a photo book, reminiscing about how she first met Bletch. Robert is working backstage when he hears a noise and goes to investigate. Seeing Daisy the cow being whipped by “the Masked Masochist”. Robert goes to save her, inadvertently ruining Trevor’s latest porno film. After Robert leaves, Daisy realizes that she accidentally killed the Masked Masochist and so Trevor gets rid of the body and gets Dennis the anteater, a perverted stagehand, to help make the movie. On stage, Robert messes up a number and as punishment, the theater director has Robert help with Wynyard’s knife throwing act after Wynyard accidentally killed his last assistant while suffering from withdrawal. Robert goes to see Wynyard, who asks Robert for drugs, telling him the horrors that he saw in Vietnam, and manages to trick Robert into give him $50 so he can buy drugs. Meanwhile, Bletch is watching Trevor’s latest film and says that people are bored with Daisy and they need someone new, and Trevor sets his eyes on Lucille. Harry the rabbit, collapses and is taken to see the doctor, who tells Harry he has “the Big One”and Harry asks the doctor not to tell anyone, but F.W. Fly is overhears and already prepares to write a story about it. With several acts ruined and the show becoming in shambles, Sebastian the fox, the theater director, goes to see Bletch and tries to convince him to let him do his own musical number but Bletch refuses and throws Sebastian out of his office. Lucille returns to her dressing room after spending the afternoon with Robert when Trevor walks in, offering to put Lucille into movies. Slipping her some drugged champagne, Trevor begins molesting Lucille while she is in a stupor but they are caught by Robert and Trevor leaves while Robert asks Lucille how she could do that to him before leaving as well. Heidi is on stage to practice one of her numbers when her over eating causes her to wreck the set, and Sebastian calls her out on it. Heidi goes crying to Bletch but finds Samantha giving him a blow job so she goes crying to her dressing room. Barry meets Cedric’s assistant, Louie, in the alley to receive the drugs but when Louie goes to leave, Barry and Trevor grab him and bring him inside. In his office, Bletch prepares a line of cocaine but when Dennis tries it, it kills him and Bletch realizes that Cedric gave him borax. Questioning Louie about where the drugs are, Bletch force feeds Louie some of the borax and kills him, then prepares to head out to the docks to confront Mr. Big. As Bletch, Barry, and Trevor are leaving, Sebastian approaches him and says the show is cancelled because Heidi refuses to perform so Bletch goes to her dressing room and makes love to her in order to get her to do the show. Heading to the docks, Barry, Trevor and Bletch take out Cedric and the crab guards, then load the drugs into their car. Before they can leave, a giant spider drops from the ceiling and bites Barry’s head off, then attacks the car, but Trevor manages to knock it off with a low hanging materials. Trying to leave the docks, Mr. Big, a whale, confronts them but Bletch has Trevor drive into Mr. Big’s mouth, and drive through his stomach, exiting out his rear. Heading back to the theater, Bletch grabs a copy of the paper with the story about Harry and ends up catching F.W. Fly and ripping his wings off before flushing him down the toilet. Inside, Trevor runs into Wynyard, who gives him the $50 dollars and is able to get some drugs, which he immediately uses. On stage, the show is going on without a hitch and Bletch learns that the networks have given him a syndicated show. Heading to his office, he finds Heidi there attempting to seduce him but Bletch tells her that he can’t stand her and that she will no longer be part of the show. Back on stage, Harry shows up on stage but immediately begins puking and Sebastian has him carried off. Sebastian sends Sidney out to stall for time while they prepare for Wynyard’s knife throwing routine but Sandy comes out on stage with Sidney and begins telling the audience what happened with her and Sidney. Meanwhile, Heidi tries to hang her self but her weight causes the chandelier to break so she goes in Bletch’s office and grabs his machine gun. As she is about to shoot herself, Samantha walks in and mocks her so Heidi turns the gun on Samantha and kills her. On stage, Wynyard is starting his act but has a drug induced flashback and tries to kill Robert before he accidentally kills himself. Believing the show is ruined, Sebastian decides to perform his number “Sodomy”, much to Bletch’s horror. Backstage, Harry receives a call from the doctor, saying that he just has a case of bunny pox  and Harry rushes out of his room to share the news and ends up getting killed  by Heidi. Heidi proceeds to kill everyone backstage then makes her way on stage during the closing number, shooting into the crowd and continuing to kill all of the Feebles cast. Robert manages to save Lucille before Heidi kills her and Lucille tells him that Trevor drugged her. Bletch tries to get Heidi to put the gun don but she shoots him and he falls out of his balcony seat. Distracted by Bletch, Heidi is shot by Trevor and Bletch tells him to kill her. Robert swings down from the rafters and knocks Trevor down, allowing Heidi to kill him, then she kills Bletch before finally dropping the gun. Only six people survived the massacre. Sidney had to have extensive surgery to repair his kneecaps after Heidi shot them and now works as a horticulturalist with his son Seymour. Arthur retired and moved to the country while Sebastian wrote a best selling book about the massacre and is negotiating the movie rights. Robert and Lucille got married and had two kids while Heidi, after serving 10 years in a women’s prison, now works under an assumed name as a cashier at a supermarket.

Meet The Feebles met with positive reviews from the critics, holding a 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that it is, “Dark and vulgar, Meet the Feebles is a backstage comedy featuring puppets that offers proof of Peter Jackson’s taste for sheer outrageousness, even if it often lapses into pure juvenilia.” The movie wasn’t a success as it only earned $750,000, managing to break even since that is what how much the budget was. The film developed a cult following after it’s initial relase but wound up getting more views after the success of Jackson’s The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

Definitely not your parent’s Muppets. As crass, crude, and immature as this movie may be, it is entertaining for those very same reasons. The voice acting and puppetry were pretty good, which couldn’t have been easy considering some of the scenes involved. The story was a bit of a mess, with about 6 or 7 different sub-plots going on, and all of the cutting away to those sub-plots kind of made the film a little hard to watch. Definitely not something that you should watch with the kids, but if it’s just the adults, it can be an entertaining dark comedy to watch.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

Standard
movie, movie review, Uncategorized

March 23rd, 2016 Movie – Medusa

medusa

I think it is too early in the day for today’s movie. What I mean is that today’s movie is from the Chilling Classics collection and those have always been kind of hit or miss. Today however, my mind just doesn’t seem to be able to focus this morning so unless this movie manages to catch my attention, I don’t know how well I will be able to pay attention to it. Well, guess we will have to find out as I watch today’s movie, Medusa.

The plot: Out in the Mediterranean, a fishing approaches a yacht that is drifitng in the water and one of the fisherman boards the yacht and discovers the bodies of two people. Some time earlier in Greece, a engagement celebration is interrupted by a drunk man dressed as Elvis, who attempts to perform a song and is promptly thrown out. Later, the engaged couple, Sarah and Nikos, are eating at a restaurant when the woman notices her brother Jeffrey come in with two women and when she tries catching up with him, he storms off. Later that night, a mobster named Angelo meets with some men, then heads off to see Jeffrey, who owes him a large debt, which Angelo had borrowed from the syndicate to give to him. The next day, Sarah speaks with a man named David after he disembarks from his arriving plane but he is unable to talk very long and gets into a cab and leaves. As the cab is driving along the mountain road, it is held up by some armed men and after they grab David, they use a bulldozer to push the cab off the road and down the mountain. David is brought to see Angelo, who explains that Jeffrey owes him $173,000, which he had borrowed from the syndicate to give to Jeffrey. Since Jeffrey was due to get a large inheritance, but Angelo is trying to get the new will from David, the family’s lawyer, in case Jeffrey was written out of it. Meanwhile, a police inspector is investigating the scene of the crash and is trying to figure out what might have happened to David. Sarah goes to see Jeffrey and tries to convince him to stop spending so much money but before she can get very far, Jeffrey receives a call from Angelo and has to leave. Heading to where Angelo is, Jeffrey is shocked to see that they killed David but Angelo tells him that the will is with a man named Mr. Wells at a hotel and Jeffrey has to go get it. Jeffrey goes to the hotel and speaks with Mr. Wells and ends up killing him. While this is going on, Sarah and Nikos show up at the hotel looking for David, but the concierge says he is not there and directs them to Mr. Wells, who he says might know something about David’s whereabouts. While Sarah waits in the lobby, Nikos goes up to Mr. Well’s room but finds him dead. Later that day, Nikos is called to the beach, where the Inspector asks him to identify David’s body. That evening, Jeffrey, Sarah, and Nikos are at a casino that Angelo runs and Jeffrey goes to see Angelo, who tells Jeffrey that he needs the rest of his money. Since Wells and David did not have the will, they figure the only person that could have it was a stewardess that was with Wells, so Angelo tells Jeffrey to find the stewardess and warns him to stay away from the roulette wheel. When Jeffrey tries making another bet before he leaves, Angelo has his men grab Jeffrey and take him to the bathroom, where Angelo beats him up. As Angelo’s men are escorting Jeffrey from the casino, Sarah and Nikos see him and help him leave. The next day, Nikos tries to pay off Nikos to stay away from Jeffrey but Nikos tells him that Jeffrey owes him almost $200,000 and says that if Nikos tries to go to the cops, then all three of them will wind up dead. Meanwhile, Jeffrey meets up with the stewardess and ends up following her back to her hotel room, where he attacks her to try and find out where the will is. The stewardess mentions another woman  and Jeffrey lets her go, but a shadowy figure kills her while Jeffrey watches. Sarah had gone looking for Jeffrey and finds him in the hotel room and, noticing the dead girl, tries to clean things up and get Jeffrey out of there. The next day, the Inspector goes to see Sarah and Nikos and questions them about all the strange deaths recently. Later, Jeffrey and Angelo go out on Jeffrey’s boat and Angelo goes for a swim. As Jeffrey is calling out to Angelo, a figure dressed in black appears behind Jeffrey and pushes the throttle to full forward, leaving Angelo to drown out in the sea. Jeffrey heads down into the ship’s cabin and the figure briefly strangles Jeffrey but doesn’t kill him as it’s revealed to be Sarah and the two laugh and hug at Angelo’s apparent death. Later, Jeffrey meets with Eleana, the woman that possibly has the new will, and spends the day with her, eventually killing her. Meanwhile, the Inspector goes to question Sarah, who lies to the Inspector, then tries calling Jeffrey. Sarah goes to the beach and finds Jeffrey returning from having killed Eleana and the two walk off, unaware that Nikos and the Inspector had followed them. The next day, Sarah goes to see Jeffrey and tells him that they have to leave or they will be caught but Jeffrey runs off. In the town, Jeffrey is chased by the police but after running for a while, he grabs a kid to use as a hostage and climbs a nearby tower. The Inspector is prepared to fire a warning shot but Sarah arrives and convinces him to let her try and talk to Jeffrey, which he does. Sarah goes up the tower and convinces Jeffrey to let the child go, but while everyone is distracted by the little girl, Jeffrey and Sarah manage to make their escape. They make their way to Jeffrey’s boat, where Nikos meets them and reluctantly helps Sarah board the boat, then stands on the dock and watches as they sail off. As they are making their way out in the ocean, Jeffrey heads below to fix some drinks, placing a powder in one of them but when they have their drinks, Jeffrey had drunk the one with the powder and ends up dying, with Sarah holding him and crying. Back on the shore, the Inspector approaches Nikos and speaks with him, while movie focus back on the boat, and the two bodies that the fishermen found.

This was one of the most confusing movies I have watched in a long time. I honestly don’t know where to begin. The acting was decent I guess, with everyone doing a good job with their roles. The plot seemed simple on paper but the final product just seemed overly convoluted and confusing. There wasn’t a whole lot of action or special effects and even the scenes that were supposed to be suspenseful just seemed to fall flat. If it wasn’s a part of a collection, I probably wouldn’t have willingly watched this movie.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Standard
movie, movie review, Uncategorized

March 22nd, 2016 Movie – Mean Guns

mean gunsYet another memory to make me feel old. So, almost 20 years ago, I shared an apartment with 2 of my friends (there was a fourth person there but he doesn’t count). Now I used to spend the weekends with my girlfriend/fiance and when I came back one weekend, my friend Doug was telling me about this movie he had rented. His selling point was that Christopher Lambert was in it and went all Highlander on people with a baseball bat. Well, since he still had the movie I wound up watching it and was pretty entertained by it. Flash forward to about 10 years ago, and I was feeling bored while perusing movies online and saw this movie so, feeling a bit nostalgic, I decided to get it. So that is the story behind today’s movie, Mean Guns.

The plot: Vincent Moon, a representative for a crime syndicate, is playing a game of chess with Commissioner Guildner inside the security office for a newly built prison, which the syndicate funded and is scheduled to open in the morning. When Guildner beats Vincent in the game, Vincent shoots him. Elsewhere, a woman named Cam is trying to catch a train out of town when her handler meets her at the subway platform and asks for the photos. After she gives him one, he asks for the negatives but she says she has them stashed so he turns her over to a syndicate hitman named Marcus, who shoots the agent and then leaves with Cam. Marcus, along with several other members of the syndicate head to the prison, where they see several other members of the syndicate entering the prison. As they make their way into the prison, the various syndicate members are frisked and disarmed, (except for Marcus) and meet in the main room of the prison. When they are all assembled, Vincent tells the group that they have all betrayed the syndicate at one point or another and that the syndicate wanted to kill them all but Vincent convinced them to make a game out of it. Inside the prison is a suitcase filled with $10 million dollars, to be split three ways between the last three men standing. But to determine who those three are, there will be a free for all, with survival of the fittest being the only rule. After asking if there are any questions, Vincent has his men drop two tubs full of guns into the room and the criminals all grab them but find they are unloaded. Vincent’s men then drop tubs full of ammo and baseball bats into the room and the people begin grabbing for what the can get and start killing each other. Marcus pulls out his gun and goes to kill another hitman named Lou but finds that he has disappeared. He then notices Cam running off and goes after her. As the killers begin killing each other, Marcus catches up to Cam and meets up with D, a female associate, and they agree to work together to make it out alive. Meanwhile, Lou makes it outside to his car to check on Lucy, a little girl he started taking care of and is waiting in the car, and he kills some men that came outside and try to attack him. Back inside the prison, Marcus, D, and Cam look out the window and witness someone trying to escape before he is shot by snipers on the roof and realize that escape is impossible. Suddenly, Lou appears, holding D hostage, and they end up deciding to work together to kill everyone else, hoping that one of their party dies before the end. After having a couple of run ins with some more killers, Marcus decides that they should set a trap and D announces that they found the money and that she will be in the main room where they first started to try and finish killing everyone. While they are waiting for the other killers to show up, D starts getting anxious and accidentally fires a shot in Lou’s direction, who threatens to kill her over it. When people start arriving, it turns into a massive firefight and Cam chooses that opportunity to run. D tries killing her but she is out of bullets and finds herself getting attacked. Marcus gets knocked out but Lou saves him and then goes after Cam. At the same time, Hoss and Crow have partnered up with a woman named Barbie and they wind up shooting Bob, Barbie’s boyfriend. D leaves the room looking for Cam but Lou sneaks up behind her and kills her with a garotte. Hoss, Crow, and Barbie enter the room and think they are the only ones still alive but Vincent announces that there are still some people alive and decides to tell them where the money is. Marcus had come to at that point and heading outside, sees Lucy and takes her with him. They find the briefcase with the money and then leave the room it is in. Hoss, Crow, and Barbie enter the room and see the briefcase but before they can grab it, they are attacked by Bob, who hadn’t died, and are forced to kill him again. Hoss and Crow get in an argument about whether to give Barbie a gun when Crow notices Barbie pulling a gun on him. He fires, hitting Hoss, and Barbie shoots and kills him, then kills Hoss before grabbing the briefcase. As she goes to leave, the briefcase explodes, catching her head on fire and she slams her head through a locker and dies. Marcus and Lucy go back inside the room and after he checks to make sure they are all dead, they head back to the car, where they meet Cam, and Marcus and Cam head back inside, where he has Cam wait for him to make sure it is all clear. Vincent announces over the PA that there are only three people left and tells them to meet in the main room. Lou goes to check on Lucy and tells her they can leave soon unaware that Marcus is hiding behind the car and after he leaves, Lucy tells Marcus to kill Lou. When they all arrive in the main room. Vincent shows up and passes out guns to them all and it becomes apparent that only one of them will walk out alive. As Vincent starts counting down, Marcus shoots Cam, then points his gun at Lou, who seems surprised that his gun isn’t loaded. Vincent explains that Lou had become too dangerous and Marcus shoots him. Vincent and Marcus then prepare to draw on each other and Marcus proves faster and shoots Vincent. Hearing Lou laughing, Marcus heads over to him and Lou questions why Marcus killed his daughter and Marcus says he didn’t know it was Lou’s kid as it was just a job, revealing that the syndicate had hired him to kill Lou’s daughter. Marcus then kills himself and Lucy walks in the building and goes over to Cam, who was only shot in the shoulder, explaining that Marcus told her he was going to shoot her in the shoulder so she would live. As Cam and Lucy get in Lou’s car to leave, Lucy shows her the briefcase with the money, saying that Marcus said it was hers, then asks if Cam is going to be her new mommy and Cam says that she guess she is and they drive off.

A little slow, a little confusing, but otherwise a fairly enjoyable movie to watch. Christopher Lambert (Lou), Ice T (Vincent), and Michael Halsey (Marcus) were all good in their roles but I found Deborah Van Valkenburgh (Cam) to be pretty annoying. The plot wasn’t completely original but it was pretty good and did have a couple of twists that made it interesting, although things did get a little confusing at times. The action scenes were pretty good but since this was a made for TV movie, they couldn’t really show that much so a lot of the violence was done off camera. If this was a feature length movie, it might have been a lot better but for what it was, it is still a good way to kill some time on a lazy day.

Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Standard
movie, movie review, Uncategorized

March 21st, 2016 Movie – Mean Girls

mean girls

Remember when Lindsay Lohan wasn’t a train wreck and had a promising future. She wasn’t the first Disney star to go completely out of control but she is probably the one that set the bar for Miley Cyrus to top. Anyways, back to the original train of thought. So Lindsey Lohan back when she was a “normal” and wound up getting cast in the first movie that Tina Fey wrote. Who would have thought that the movie would become totally Fetch (Yeh, I know. Stop trying to make Fetch happen). Anyways, another movie left from the ex-wife, here is today’s movie, Mean Girls.

The plot: After 12 years of being home-schooled in Africa, where her parents worked as research zoologists, Cady Heron is attending public school for the first time. After a disasterous first day at school, Janis and Damian take pity on her and decide to help show her the ropes of attending high-school and warn her to stay clear of “The Plastics”, a group of the most popular girls in school. At lunch, Cady is being pestered by a guy and Regina George, the leader of the Plastics, saves her and invites Cady to sit with them and after finding out that she was home-schooled and from Africa, invites Cady to sit with them for the rest of the week. When she hears about this, Janis tells Cady that she has to hang out with them and tell her what they say. The next day, Cady is sitting with the Plastics and learns the rules about being in their group. When Regina leaves the table for a second, Cady mentions that she likes a boy in her class named Aaron Samuels, the other Plastics, Gretchen and Karen, warn her that she can’t do anything with him because he was Regina’s ex. After school, the Plastics take Cady shopping at the mall, where Cady sees first hand how mean Regina can be. Afterwards, they go to Regina’s house and Cady is shown the Burn Book, a book the Plastics use to write comments about the people they hate. When Cady tells Janis about it, she wants Cady to steal it to use against Regina but Cady refuses. As the weeks go by, Cady starts talking to Aaron and he invites her to a Halloween party. However, the night of the party, Cady shows up and Regina chooses that moment to get back with Aaron. Heartbroken, Cady goes to see Janis and Damian and Janis comes up with a plan to destroy Regina. While trying some simple methods to sabotage Regina, Cady works on breaking Gretchen, who is the biggest gossip in school and would know Regina’s secrets. Around Christmas time, Cady succeeds in making Gretchen doubt Regina’s friendship and Gretchen tells Cady about how Regina cheats on Aaron with Shane Oman. Cady, Janis, and Damian try to find ways to secretly alert Aaron to what is going on in the hopes that it will break Aaron and Regina up. Meanwhile, Cady gives Regina some Swedish heath bars and says they help burn carbs but in reality, they help people gain weight. Meanwhile, Cady keeps trying to talk to Aaron, pretending to do poorly in math so that he will tutor her. During a tutoring session, Aaron and Cady kiss but when he stops and says it isn’t fair to Regina, Cady tells him that Regina is cheating on him and Aaron breaks up with her. As the weeks go by, Cady finds herself becoming more and more like Regina, culminating with her complaining about Ms. Norbury, her math teacher, and writing about her in the Burn Book. All of the schemes paid off as Regina finds her social standing and friends failing her. However, when Cady invites Aaron to a small gathering at her house, it ends up turning into a massive house party and all of Cady’s lies come crashing down on her. Aaron stops talking to her and calls her a clone of Regina. Janis and Damian drove by and Janis argues with Cady about missing her art show in order to throw a party. And Regina learns about the health bars and in a fit of rage, writes about herself in the Burn Book, then turns it over to Mr. Duvall, the school’s principal, the next day. When Mr. Duvall calls Cady, Gretchen, and Karen into his office to discuss the book, Regina starts passing out copies of the entries around the school, resulting in a riot when all the girls read the entries. Mr. Duvall calls all the girls into the gymnasium to try and get everything under control. After showing that all of the girls have said things behind people’s back, Ms. Norbury has the girls write out apologies to try and help everyone get along. When Cady tries to get out of apologizing, Janis goes up and apologizes for what she and Cady did to Regina. Regina storms off and Cady tries to apologize but Regina yells at Cady and ends up getting hit by a bus. That night, Cady’s mom worries about what Cady has turned into and her dad grounds her for failing Calculus. The next day, when Mr. Duvall and the police are questioning students about whether Ms. Norbury sold them drugs, as alleged in the Burn Book, Cady admits to writing it, as well as everything else since everyone in school hates her anyways. Cady apologizes to Ms. Norbury, who forgives her and has her sign up for the Mathletes as extra credit for her class. The night of the Spring Fling dance, everyone is getting ready to attend except Cady, who goes with the Mathletes to the state championship match. When the match ends in a tie, Cady is called on to represent her school in a sudden death question. While trying to solve the question, Cady has an epiphany about her life and manages to win the match after her opponent answers incorrectly. Returning to the school, Ms. Norbury and the other Mathletes convince Cady to attend the dance, getting there just in time to learn that Regina’s boyfrined Shane was elected King and Cady wins the election for Queen. Stepping on stage to receive the crown, Cady give a short speech saying that everyone there is wonderful in their own way, then breaks the crown and shares it with the other nominees as well as people in the crowd. As the dance winds down, Cady manages to patch things up with Aaron. The next year, things have changed in the high school. The Plastics have broken up; with Regina joining the girls lacrosse team as a way to vent her anger issues, Karen starts doing the school’s weather reports, and Gretchen joins the “cool Asian” group. Cady is still dating Aaron, who is going to Northwestern, and claims to be back to a normal girl while Janis is dating Kevin Gnapoor, a member of the Mathletes that she used to hate. When Damian points out some “Junior Plastics” walking by, Cady imagines them getting hit by a bus if they break the peace that exists in the school now.

Mean Girls met with a lot of praise form the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that it is, “Funnier and more smartly written than the average teen comedy.” A large part of the comedy’s popularity and cult status is due to Tina Fey’s writing, using elements from her own time in high school to help flesh out the story. Several lines and scenes were either cut or changed in order to keep the movie at a PG-13 rating instead of becoming an R-rated film. The movie was a box office hit, earning $129 million off a $17 million budget and is considered to be one of the top 50 teen comedies of all time.

Not my normal movie but I have to admit that this is a funny movie. Lindsay Lohan (Cady), Rachel McAdams (Regina), Lizzy Caplan (Janis), Jonathan Bennett (Aaron), and Tina Fey (Ms. Norbury) all did really well in their roles. The plot was fairly simple but the writing was really funny and definitely helped make the movie more enjoyable. Some of the funnier scenes to me were when Cady would imagine how the teenagers would act if it was back in Africa, and all the kids would start acting like various animals. A pretty funny teen movie that is surprisingly enough, relatively clean, so it is actually safe for young teens to watch with their parents.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Standard
movie, movie review, Uncategorized

Flashback Review: March 31st, 2014 Movie – Batman Forever

batman forever

Ahh, a new Batman movie with a new love interest and a new villain/s. Of course, we also get a new director and a new Batman as well. Yeh, Warner Brothers decided that the poor performance of Batman Returns was due to the dark and violent nature of the movie so they decided to make the new movie more family friendly. That honestly had no bearing to me, as I wanted to see it because it was Batman and because, at the time, I thought Jim Carrey was funny. Of course, it would be several years after the movie came out before I actually bought a copy of the movie, and that was only because there was a sale on Amazon which allowed me to pick up Batman Forever on the cheap.

The plot: In Gotham City, Batman heads to the 2nd National Bank of Gotham, where Two-Face has a hostage held in the vault on the upper level of the building. Arriving on the scene, Batman speaks with Commissioner Gordon and Dr. Chase Meridian, an abnormal psychologist that Gordon brought in to help deal with Two-Face. Inside the bank, Two-Face flips his coin and spares the captive guard’s life, but places him in the open vault to use as bait for a trap. When Batman arrives, he fights with Two-Face’s men and after dealing with them, goes to free the guard when the vault door closes. Two-Face uses a helicopter to lift the vault out of the bank, then releases acid inside in the hopes that it will kill Batman but Batman picks the vault lock, then uses his grapnel to swing the vault and the guard back into the bank when he cuts the chain holding it. Two-Face tries to shake Batman loose from the helicopter but when Batman is still there, Two-Face locks the steering wheel into place, with the helicopter heading towards the Statue of Liberty (don’t ask) and makes his escape while Batman manages to jump to safety before the helicopter crashes. The next day, Bruce Wayne is touring Wayne Enterprises when he meets Edward Nygma, an inventor working for Wayne Enterprises that created a device that can manipulate brainwaves to allow the user to have any television broadcast directly in their head but Bruce doesn’t approve the project as it raises too many questions. Seeing the Batsignal in the sky, Batman heads to police headquarters but finds a lingerie clad Chase Meridian there attempting to seduce him but he ends up leaving when Gordon arrives. Meanwhile, Nygma is working on his project when his boss sees him and goes to call security, prompting Nygma to knock him out. When his boss comes too, he finds himself strapped to a chair and Nygma uses his device on him, but when Nygma increases the power, he learns that he can absorb the intelligence from other people using his device. When Nygma turns off the device, his boss fires him but Nygma throws him out the window. The next day, as Bruce is watching a news story about how Harvey Dent was injured and became Two-Face, he receives news about the death at Wayne Enterprises and heads over to the building. Inside, the security footage and a note seem to point toward suicide but Bruce is not convinced. After the police leave, Bruce notices a strange envelope addressed to him and when he opens it, he finds a riddle, whose answer is a clock. Later, Nygma returns to his home, having quit Wayne Enterprises, and he fashions another riddle, which he takes to Wayne Manor and attaches to the entrance gate. The next day, Bruce takes the riddles to Chase, who believes the person writing them is obsessed with Bruce. After talking for a bit, Bruce invites Chase to accompany him to a charity circus event, where they witness an acrobatic family called the Flying Graysons in action. While watching the performance, Bruce tries asking Chase on another date but she tells him she met someone, referring to Batman. Suddenly, Two-Face shows up and activates a bomb which will detonate in two minutes unless Batman reveals his true identity, as Two-Face believes he might be in the room. Bruce shouts out that he is Batman but he isn’t heard over the crowd noise so he decides to try and attack Two-Face’s men. Meanwhile, the Flying Graysons try to help get the bomb out of the big top and the youngest member, Dick Grayson, manages to push it out of the tent and into the river but Two-Face shoots the cables supporting the high wire and sends the rest of his family falling to their deaths. Bruce, feelign responsible for Dick becoming an orphan, offers to take Dick in but as soon as Commissioner Gordon escorts him to Wayne Manor, Dick decides to leave and go looking for Two-Face and kill him but Bruce manages to convince him to stay. After another failed attempt to kill Batman, Two-Face returns to his hideout, where he is approached by Nygma, who has taken on the persona of the Riddler. Riddler says that if Two-Face will help him steal the start-up capital necessary to fund his invention, he will help Two-Face find out who Batman really is. After a flip of the coin, Two-Face agrees and the two go on a crime spree. Sometime later, Nygma opens his own company and starts selling the Box to every household in Gotham, which allows Riddler and Two-Face to absorb the intelligence from the people using the Box. Meanwhile, Dick is adjusting to life at Wayne Manor but is curious about one door that is always locked. When he sees Alfred go through the door, Dick manages to sneak in and accidentally discovers the Batcave. Meanwhile, Bruce goes to see Chase about some repressed memories he has been experiencing recently but noting all the articles about Batman on her desk, he starts talking about her interest in Batman and the two end up kissing before Alfred calls him and tells Bruce that Dick has taken the Batmobile. Driving the Batmobile, Dick sees a young girl being harassed by a gang and he goes to save her. When the gang goes after Dick, Batman arrives and chases the gang members away and Dick starts attacking Batman, blaming him for his parents death. After calming Dick down, they head back to the Batcave and Dick asks that Bruce trains him to be his partner but Bruce refuses, saying that Dick still has a chance to lead a normal life. That night, Bruce, Chase, and Dick attend a party at Nygma’s company, where Nygma is unveiling the latest edition of the Box and manages to get Bruce inside one of the chambers, where he is able to scan his mind. Suddenly, Two-Face shows up to rob the party, stating that he was tired of waiting on Nygma’s plan. Bruce ducks outside to change into his costume and begins fighting with Two-Face’s goons, at one point saving Chase, who kisses him and tells him to meet her at her apartment. When Two-Face leaves, Batman follows him and ends up in a trap but as Two-Face leaves, Batman is saved by Dick, who had donned his old acrobatic uniform and followed Batman. Back at the Batcave, Bruce and Dick have an argument about Dick going out with him and when Bruce talks to Alfred about encouraging Dick, Alfred says that Bruce should understand what Dick is going through. Batman goes to see Chase but after she kisses him, she pushes him away, saying that she met someone, and Batman leaves but has a smile on his face as he realizes she is talking about Bruce Wayne. Meanwhile, Riddler shows Two-Face the paper with the headline saying Batman survived the trap btu then shows him the recording from Bruce Wayne, and they realize that he is Batman. Back at the Batcave, Bruce is telling Dick how he plans on no longer being the Batman and Dick grows angry with him and ends up leaving. Chase comes over for dinner and Bruce ends up revealing that he is Batman but suddenly, they are attacked by Two-Face and his men. As Bruce and Chase fend off the gang, Riddler has made his way into the Batcave and proceeds to destroy everything inside. Back inside the manor, Two-Face fires his gun and grazes Bruce’s head, then his gang captures Chase and Riddler keeps Two-Face from killing Bruce and leaves another riddle for him to discover. When Bruce comes too, Alfred tells him what happened and shows him the riddle. Going over all of the riddles that were left him, he realizes that they point towards Nygma as the culprit. Going to the remains of the Batcave, Bruce dons the last remaining suit and then tries to decide on the best approach when Dick shows up, wearing a new costume and calling himself Robin, and Batman agrees to work as partners. The two head towards Nygma’s island fortress, but both the Batboat and Batwing are destroyed along the way. Finally reaching the island, Batman and Robin get separated and Robin ends up fighting with Two-Face but as Two-Face is dangling from the edge of the island, Robin realizes he can’t kill him and ends up rescuing him, after which Two-Face captures him. Meanwhile, Batman makes his way to the main chamber, where he finds Riddler and Two-Face have Chase and Robin dangled over a pit, forcing Batman to choose which one he will save. Batman distracts Riddler with a riddle, then throws a batarang at the main device, causing an explosion and the resulting feedback drives Riddler insane. When the chambers open up and drop Chase and Robin into the pit, Batman leaps down after them and manages to save them. As they reach some beams over the pit, Two-Face appears and plans to shoot them but when Batman asks that he flip the coin on it, he throws several coins in the air, causing Two-Face to lose his balance reaching for his coin and he falls to his death. Some time later, Chase is asked to visit Arkham Asylum, as Riddler is claiming to know who Batman is but when she questions him, Riddler says that he is Batman. Leaving Arkham, Chase tells Bruce that his secret is safe as Nygma is “a wacko” and she kisses him before telling him not to work and has Alfred drive her away while Batman and Robin head out to protect Gotham.

Batman Forever met with mixed to negative reviews, holding a 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. According to the site’s critical consensus, the movie was, “Loud, excessively busy, and often boring, Batman Forever nonetheless has the charisma of Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones to offer mild relief.” In spite of the reviews, the movie had an opening weekend of $52.8 million, beating out Jurassic Park for the highest weekend opening, though it would lose the title to The Lost World: Jurassic Park two years later. The movie would go on to earn over $336 million worldwide, which was more than it’s predecessor but still fell short of the original Batman‘s earnings. One funny aspect of the film is that U2’s Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, which was on the soundtrack, was nominated for Best Song at that year’s Golden Globes as well as Worst Song at that year’s Razzies.

Regarding this movie, there are parts I like and parts I hate. As far as the acting, the studio tried to get a lot of star power in this movie in order to help get a bigger audience. I liked Nicole Kidman and Chris O’Donnell’s performances but Val Kilmer just seemed to stiff half the time as both Bruce Wayne and Batman. And while I love Tommy Lee Jones and did enjoy his performance, I hated his character of Two-Face because they made it seem more like a second rate Joker instead of a more serious mob type character. As for Jim Carrey, well it was hard to get behind his character because it never seemed like the Riddler but always seemed like Jim Carrey being Jim Carrey. The story was ok and I did like the fact that they decided to introduce Robin in this movie. The settings were definitely brighter than the previous movies but the day-glo paint everywhere was a bit much. Honestly, my favorite thing about the movie was the soundtrack. So whether you like it better than the previous film is your choice but there is one thing we can probably all agree on, at least it isn’t as bad as Batman & Robin.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

Standard
movie, movie review, Uncategorized

March 20th, 2016 Movie – Max Payne

max payne

Today we have yet another video game that was turned into a movie. That didn’t necessarily go over so well with some of the movies from the 90’s but at the turn of the century, things seemed to change. Now I will admit that I never played any of the Max Payne games before, which is funny because it seems like the type of game I would have liked, but I was familiar enough about them to be curious about this movie. Still, there were a lot of things going on that prevented me from going to see it in theaters and I basically wound up picking up a cheap copy during the last days of Blockbuster. So that’s how I come to find myself watching today’s movie, Max Payne.

The plot [Unrated Director’s Cut]: Detective Max Payne finds himself thrown into a frozen river and as he sinks below the surface, he sees the bodies of people that have drowned before him and thinks back to what brought him here. One week earlier, Max is going through his files as a detective in the Cold Case Unit and thinking back to his wife Michelle and daughter Rose, who were killed but the crime was never solved. Receiving a tip from one of his informants, Max heads to a subway station, where he finds three drug addicts. When they follow him into the restroom to try and rob him, Max knocks out the one holding a gun and begins questioning the second one, Doug, about his wife’s murder. The third addict makes a run for it down the tracks  but he is attacked by shadowy, winged creatures and ends up getting hit by a train. Max goes to see Trevor, who is hosting a party, to try and get a new lead but Trevor says he has nothing else to give to Max. A woman named Natasha approaches Max and he notices the same tattoo on her arm that was on Doug’s. Before he can ask her about it, her sister Mona arrives and tries to get Natasha to leave the party with her. Max ends up intervening and convinces Mona to let Natasha stay, then he goes looking for Natasha. Max notices a room, where some strange things going on, and comes face to face with a man named Jack Lupino, who has more winged tattoos on his arms and face when Natasha appears and asks Max to take her away. Max takes her back to his place and tries to ask her some questions but she tries to seduce him and he kicks her out after she unknowingly insults Michelle. Unknown to Max, Lupino had followed them and is standing on a rooftop while Natasha is making a call as she is leaving. As she walks down an alley, she is attacked and killed by the shadowy, winged creatures. The next day, Max is heading to work when his former partner Alex Balder asks him to come with him to a crime scene. At the crime scene, Max sees that the victim is Natasha and Alex shows him his wallet, which was found at the crime scene. The two take off, unaware that Lupino is watching them from the rooftop. Alex tries talking to Max to get his side of what happened but the two end up arguing and Max walks off. Later, Alex is looking over the photos of Natasha and recognizes the her tattoo as the same on one of the men that had killed Michelle so he tries calling Max but when he gets no answer, he leaves a message and heads over to Max’s apartment. Meanwhile, Mona finds out about her sister’s death and pays off a cop, who gives her Max’s address as well as tells her who Natasha’s last calls were too. Max gets Alex’s message and heads to his apartment but when he finds the door forced open, he checks inside and finds his place has been trashed and Alex lying dead on the floor. Before Max can check on Alex, he is attacked by an unknown assailant but manages to fire his weapon at the man before he loses consciousness. When he comes too, Max finds himself in the hopsital, with his father’s old partner BB Hensley watching over him. BB tells Max that Alex died and Max decides to leave so he can pay his respects to his friend. BB takes Max by his office at Aesir Corporation, the pharmaceutical company that Michelle used to work for, and he runs into the company’s CEO, Nicole Horne. After changing clothes, Max heads to Alex’s house to pay his respects but his wife Christa slaps him and asks him to leave. As they are leaving, he is picked up by LT. Jim Bravura from Internal Affairs and brought to the station for questioning but Max gets pissed off with the questions and leaves, saying he wants his union lawyer. BB tries to talk to Max as they are leaving but Max gets off the elevator and heads towards Alex’s office in Homicide. Locking the door, Max starts going through Alex’s files and finds the last person Natasha spoke too, as well as the photo Alex had marked, then leaves out the window before the other detectives can break in. Later that night, Max runs into Mona, who plans on killing Max for Natasha’s death but Max manages to convince her that he is innocent and she agrees to help him find Owen Green, the last person Natasha called. They go to Owen’s apartment and try talking to him but he is hallucinating and ends up falling out a window to his death, though from the outside, it looks like a winged figure pulled him out. The pair then go to the tattoo parlor that Natasha got her work done at and ask the artist about the winged tattoo. He tells them that it is the symbol of the Valkyre from Norse mythology and meant as protection. Mona goes to see an arms dealer named Lincoln to asks what he knows about the tattoos, and he directs her to Lupino and his hideout, Ragna Rok. When she asks him about Max Payne, he warns her to stay away from him as Max is searching for something that nobody wants uncovered. Meanwhile, Max goes to his storage unit and starts going through Michelle’s old files from work when he notices some of them are missing. Getting the name of Michelle’s old supervisor from BB, Max goes to see Jason Colvin and begins interrogating him about the files. Jason tells him that Michelle was working on a government project trying to create a super soldier but the drug caused most of the subjects to go insane so it was cancelled. However, some of the subjects that did not go insane went after the scientists and killed them. Jason says he will agree to testify, pointing to an envelope that he says contains evidence, is Max will protect him from the man that kill Michelle. Max agrees and they leave the office but are confronted by a S.W.A.T. team, and Jason is shot almost immediately. Max fires back, killing the man that shot Jason, then grabs the envelope and manages to escape. Max shows the video to Mona, which explains the project’s use of a drug called Valkyr. Max says that Lupino, who is featured in the video, is the one that killed his wife and Natasha and he plans on going after him. Mona tells MAx where Lupino is hiding out and warns him not to go but he doesn’t listen. Making his way into Ragna Rok, Max kills Lupino’s men, then fights with Lupino but Lupino gets the upper hand and is about to kill Max when he is shot by BB. Max questions why BB is there but BB’s second in command, Joe, knocks Max unconscious. BB takes Max to the docks and explains how he killed Michelle because she discovered documents that showed Max was selling samples of Valkyr. BB and Joe plan to make it look like Max committed suicide and drowned but Max gets away and jumps in the river to escape. Almost succumbing to the freezing water, Max manages to make it to shore, then uses the vials of Valkyr that BB had placed on him to help fight off the effects of hypothermia, but he ends up experiencing some of the hallucinations. Meanwhile, Jim has called in the FBI to help investigate the events he witnessed at Aesir but one of the cops calls BB, who makes preparations to escape. BB and Joe make there way to the garage but Max shows up and kills the security guards and force BB and Joe to get back in the elevator. Heading back to their office, BB calls Nicole Horne and asks her to send the helicopter to the roof, saying the Michelle Payne thing has come back to haunt them. Meanwhile, Max continues to fight his way through the security guards but the hallucinations start to become too much and he is almost killed but Mona shows up and saves him. Trying to get Max to focus, she gives him a gun and tells him to finish the job, then goes after Joe, who is wiring the building to explode. She shoots Joe but when some more security guards show up, she gets into an elevator to escape. Meanwhile, Max burst into BB’s office but when he doesn’t see him, he again falls prey to the hallucinations. However, Joe manages to set off the explosives and the explosion manages to clear Max’s head. Max heads up to the roof, where he gets shot by BB but Max doesn’t die and he ends up killing BB. As Max drops to his knees on the roof, he sees a vision of Michelle and Rose but Michelle tells him “Not yet”, and he regains his senses and finds himself surrounded by a S.W.A.T. team. Some time later, Max walks into a bar and meets with Mona, who hands him a newspaper showing that Aesir’s stock is soaring, with Nicole Horne’s face on the paper, indicating that she is the one responsible for all of this.

Max Payne met with negative reviews from the critics, only earning a 16% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “While it boasts some stylish action, Max Payne suffers severely from an illogical plot and overdirection.” Fans of the video game were just as critical of the movie, with many commenting on how sad game-to-movie translations have become. In spite of all the negative reviews, the movie still opened at # 1 and was a modest success, earning over $85 million off a $35 million budget.

For an action/revenge movie, this thing just seemed to drag. I mean, it is only an hour 40 but it felt like twice that long after I finished watching it. Honestly, I felt like the acting was only so-so, with some of the better performances coming from the smaller roles, such as Ludacris (Jim Bravura) and Olga Kurylenko (Natasha) doing really good. The main stars just didn’t seem to put much into their roles. The story was pretty decent, though I don’t know how much was changed from the video game’s back story. The action scenes were pretty good, though the whole hallucinations with the Valkyries and everything was a bit much and, unless it was part of the game, could have been left out as it kept sending the movie in a weird, unnecessary tangent. As an action movie, it’s not terrible and it is definitely not the worst video game movie out there, but it’s not something I would quickly recommend.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Standard
movie, movie review, Uncategorized

March 19th, 2016 Movie – The Animatrix

the animatrix

2003 was definitely the year of The Matrix. You had both sequels to the original film, as well as a video game come out that year. Then you had today’s movie, a collection of anime short films that helped expand some of the backstory between The Matrix  and The Matrix Reloaded, as well as showing some of the events from the first war between man and machines. Animated anthology films are always interesting to watch because you have different people with different styles trying to all tell a story. So I thought it was pretty neat that they used it here. So let’s dive right in and get on with today’s movie, The Animatrix.

The plot: There are 9 short films making up the movie so here is the review for each part.
Final Flight Of The Osiris – Captain Thadeus and Jue are inside a virtual dojo participating in a blindfolded sword fight, where they manage to cut their opponents clothing off until they are each left in their underwear. Just as they are about to kiss, an alarm sounds and they leave the program. On the bridge of their ship, the Osiris, the crew is picking up images of thousands of sentinels massing right above them. Suddenly, a patrolling group of sentinels detects them and the Osiris is forced to flee, making their way to the surface to escape. On the surface, they see the drilling machines and the mass sentinel army and realize what the machines are planning. As they try to escape from the sentinels, Thadeus realizes that they need to warn Zion and Zue volunteers to go into the Matrix to warn Zion. JAs Thadeus is plugging Zue into the Matrix, they both admit to each other that they peeked during the duel, then Thadeus kisses Zue and plugs her in. As the crew tries to fight off the sentinels that are swarming the ship, Zue makes her way into the Matrix and delivers a package to a mailbox, then phones Thadeus to be brought back. However, The sentinels end up destroying the ship and inside the Matrix, Zue’s lifeless body collapses in an alley.
The Second Renaissance: Part 1 – Pulled from the Zion Archive, the data file tells the story of how mankind had become vain and built robots in their own image to do menial tasks for them. However, the robots had started to gain animosity towards their masters due to mankinds’ lack of respect towards them. This came to a point during the trial of B1-66ER, a robot that had killed it’s owners. The prosecutor stated that the owner had a right to destroy his own property but B1-66ER argued that it was self defense due to his not wanting to die. When B1-66ER is found guilty and destroyed, mass protests occur across the world and world leaders, fearing a revolt, decide that the machines should all be destroyed. However, some of the machines survived and built a city of their own, called Zero-One. The machines began building items that the humans still need, and created a stable economy for their nation. But mankind, with their nations’ economy tanking, meet at the UN and decide to enact sanctions on Zero-One. Zero-One sends two ambassadors to the UN to apply for membership and to try work out a civil end to the crisis but the UN denies their admission. However, the narrator says it wouldn’t be the last time they would step foot in the UN.
The Second Renaissance: Part 2 – When mankind began bombarding the city of Zero-One with bombs, the robots had little need to fear the radiation and spread out from Zero-One in all directions. Several countries surrendered to the robots and in a last ditch effort to stop the machines, mankind decides to use Operation Dark Storm. Mankind seeds the sky with nanites in order to block the sun from reaching the robots, thus depriving them of their main source of power. This is followed by a massive ground assault, but the robots, no longer looking human like in appearance, gain the upper hand against the humans. The machines also began using biological warfare to further decimate mankind. The machines then began harnessing the bioelectric, thermal, and kinetic energy from humans to use as a new power source. Facing extinction, the remaining world leaders meet at the UN to sign a peace treaty with the machines, but after signing the treaty, the robot detonates a nuke it was carrying, destroying New York City. Meanwhile, the robots choose to keep the remaining humans passive by plugging them into a virtual world, which is how the Matrix came to exist.
Kid’s Story – A teenage kid spends his nights on hacker chat rooms, while questioning what is real and what isn’t. While sitting in class, he is scribbling in his notebook when his phone suddenly rings, causing his teacher to call him out. When his phone rings again, he answers it and the voice on the other end tells him they know he knows and are coming for him. The kid sees some Agents entering the school and he makes a run for it. Finding himself trapped, he calls out to Neo then falls off the roof of the school. A funeral is held for him, with the teachers saying he is in another world now. However, it is shown that he had somehow broke free from the Matrix on his own, where Neo and the rest of the crew from the Nebuchadnezzar found him and brought him to Zion.
Program – Cis is inside her favorite battle simulation, pretending to be defending a castle from an invading samurai army. When Duo enters the simulation, the two begin to spar, and Duo begins talking about how he had been regretting taking the red pill. Duo tells Cis that he wants to go back into the Matrix and wants Cis to come with him. When Cis says they can’t because they know the truth, Duo says it has been taken care of and that they are on their way. Realizing that Duo betrayed them, Cis tries calling the operator to get her out of the simulation but Duo says he blocked her signal. When it appears that Cis has given up, Duo prepares to slash her with his sword but Cis catches the blade between her palms, then breaks off the tip and stabs Duo with it. Cis is brought out of the simulation and the commanding officer says that it was just part of the training program, which he says she passed. Cis decks the man and leaves the room.
World Record – Dan Davis, an American track star, sets a world record in the 100 meter dash of 8.99 seconds but his medal is revoked due to his drug test coming up positive. Wanting to reclaim his record, Dan wants to compete in the Summer Olympics but his trainer says he is physically unfit to run and refuses to help him. The night before the race, Dan is speaking with a young reporter, who wishes him luck as she is a fan. As the race is about to start, several Agents are at the arena to investigate a strange signal. When the race starts, Dan manages to take the lead but when the muscles in his leg rupture, he stumbles but manages to keep running on sheer willpower. The lead Agent tells the other Agents to stop Dan from crossing the finish line, as it might cause him to wake up, but though they possess the three runners near him, they are unable to catch him. Dan’s massive burst of speed causes him to wake up in the real world and start to detach from the Matrix but a sentinel restrains him so he can be reconnected, using burst of electricity to shock him back into the system. When Dan’s mind reenters the Matrix, he ends up collapsing while he was running at a high rate of speed, but managed to break his previous record with a new time of 8.72 seconds. Some time later, an Agent is observing Dan and comments that he will never walk again and is no longer an issue. However, Dan says the word “Free” and manages to get out of his wheelchair and take a few steps before collapsing to the ground, where his nurse helps him.
Beyond – Yoko is looking for her cat, Yuki, when some kids tell her that she is probably at the haunted house. The kids lead her to a strange house where weird things seem to happen, such as it raining inside even though it is sunny outside, and a strange wind that buffets Yoko with newspapers. Yoko finds Yuki as the kids find a spot that seems to defy gravity and proceed to jump from the building to see who can get the closest to the ground without touching it. When a horde of rats suddenly appear, Yuki runs off and Yoko chases after her. Meanwhile, Agents are aware of an area where the Matrix is unstable and, under the guise of exterminators, clear the kids and Yoko out of the building and seal off the area. The next day, Yoko returns to find the building has been demolished and the strange effects no longer occur in the area.
A Detective’s Story – A down on his luck detective named Ash receives an anonymous phone call asking him to track down a hacker named Trinity. Ash is about to refuse but the caller has him check his bank account, which shows a new balance of $800.000. While searching for Trinity, Ash learns that other detectives tried finding her, but only one of them was still alive and he had been driven insane. Ash decides to see the detective but is unable to make sense of the man’s ramblings. Ash eventually gets a lead on Trinity and arranges a meeting but the user sends the location in a code. Ash manages to figure out the code and catches a train, where he barely manages to board the train. Ash meets up with Trinity, who uses a device to remove a bug from Ash’s eye, which was placed there when Ash was “dreaming” about an eye exam. Meanwhile, Agents takeover other passengers on the train and begin making their way towards Ash and Trinity. As the two try to escape the Agents, an Agent tries to take over Ash, forcing Trinity to shoot him. Ash speaks with Trinity a bit longer, and says he doesn’t hold it against her, and Trinity says that she believes Ash could have handled the truth, before saying goodbye and jumping out the window of the train. When the Agents enter the car, they find Ash pointing a gun at them while lighting a cigarette and as Ash’s words, “a case to end all cases” echo out, the lighter goes out.
Matriculated – On the surface world, a group of human rebels are trying to combat the machines a different way, by trying to convert the machines into their way of thinking in order to erase their search and destroy programming. They manage to capture a “runner” robot and insert it into a Matrix of their own design and go inside as well to try and reprogram it. Inside the Matrix, the robot seems drawn to Alexa, who happened to be the human that lead him into the trap. However, sentinels have homed in on a beacon the runners had placed earlier and attack the rebel base. The humans try to defend themselves but are overwhelmed. Alexa tries to unhook the runner and get him to help but she ends up captured by a sentinel. However, the robot seems to have been successfully reprogrammed as it attacks the sentinel and frees her. The robot plugs her into the Matrix with himself and it tries to reach out to her but Alexa freaks out when she realizes she is trapped in the Matrix and ends up screaming as she clutches her head and disolves. The robot comes out of the Matrix to find a lifeless Alexa nearby and it is last seen staring out over the ocean.

The Animatrix met with positive reviews from the critics, holding an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most of the critics praised the animation but some of the detractors felt it did little to enhance the story but rather made it more confusing. 4 of the short films were shown on the series website while Final Flight Of The Osiris was shown in theaters with the film Dreamcatcher. The entire collection was released on DVD and VHS June 3rd, 2003, almost a month after the second movie came out in theaters.

The animation was pretty cool but I don’t think really added to much to the whole Matrix mythos. Personally, I liked the 2nd Renaissance stories as well as A Detective’s Story and Final Flight Of The Osiris. Watching Matriculated was kind of funny because since the animator was the same guy that did Aeon Flux, I knew all the people were going to die. The stories were all pretty neat in their own ways but only two really added anything to the movies, Final Flight Of The Osiris and Kid’s Story. For the most part, I liked all of the different animations styles, with some being better than others, but this honestly just seemed like it was made purely to cash in on the franchise and not really do much to further it. Still, there are some fun animated shorts to watch so it is worth the watch just for that.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Standard