The Matrix Revolutions (2003)


It Ends Tonight

The time has come to finish another movie series.  As is typically the case, this movie is generally regarded as the worst in the series.  The first movie in the series was regarded as innovative and awesome, and the second one was less innovative but included some pretty spectacular action.  The third one … ties up the series.  But you aren’t coming here for me to regurgitate Rotten Tomatoes scores into your faces with a couple of dick jokes; you’re here to find out my opinion on these movies … with a couple of dick jokes.  So let’s penis this up with my review of The Matrix Revolutions, written and directed by Andy and Larry (Lana) Wachowski, and starring Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mary Alice, Sing Ngai, Bruce Spence, Lambert Wilson, Nathaniel Lees, Harry J. Lennix, Clayton Watson, Harold Perrineau Jr., Nona Gaye, Helmut Bakaitis, and Monica Bellucci.

At the end of the last movie, Neo (Keanu Reeves) held up his hand and made some robots fall down.  Then he also fell down.  So he’s in a coma, his mind being stuck in the matrix somehow, even though he’s not plugged into it.  He finds himself trapped in a train station with a family that probably owns a couple 7-11’s.  It’s controlled by The Trainman (Bruce Spence) and the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson).  Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) go to the Merovingian to negotiate for Neo’s release, but Trinity decides the best negotiating technique she has is to pull a gun on the Merovingian.  With Neo out, he sets out to go to the machine city with Trinity while Morpheus, Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith), and the rest of the crew to participate in a gigantic battle against the machines in Zion.  And then some more CG nonsense and the end.

Much as with Reloaded, this movie has a weaker story and must attempt to stand alone on its action.  But where Reloaded had a couple of epic, practical action scenes, this movie had two CG guys bumping into each other as thousands of other CG guys watched.  The story mostly seems like a desperate attempt to tie up the story they had started at whatever the cost, and then throw in some vaguely biblical imagery because, as we all know, Keanu Reeves is computer Jesus.  I still have no idea what would motivate the computers to reach a treaty with the humans, but it happened so we’ll just have to deal with it.  The dialogue continued to not impress, especially when Neo was talking to the Oracle.  Every question he asked was met with, “You already know the answer to that question.”  Well thanks for wasting our fucking time, Oracle/Wachowski’s.

Story had already been a bit of a problem in Reloaded, but the freeway scene was worth the price of admission all by itself.  In this movie, the action scenes were all pretty disappointing.  One action scene was when Morpheus, Trinity, and Seraph fought their way in to see the Merovingian.  The CG used in this scene was much more disappointing than it should have been with how much money I imagine they had at their disposal.  They also should just give up on using guns.  If I had an accuracy rating as low as they have in Call of Duty I would kill myself, but I’d probably miss my shot with my gun in my mouth.  I don’t even know why the Merovingian was intimidated with Trinity holding a gun against his head.  There was at least a 75% chance that she’d miss.  But then she’d just kick him into a wall with the jumping crane kick that she has in her contract that she must do at least once per film.  I also felt like the outcome of the fight between Neo and Bane would have been different if Neo didn’t just assume that being awesome in the matrix meant that he didn’t need to work out in the real world.  I would say that I didn’t mind the battle for Zion near the end of the movie.  Yeah, it was a lot of CG nonsense, and mostly involved some giant robots shooting at a hole in the ceiling, but it was pretty epic in scale and got the greater majority of the small characters the opportunity to be a hero.  The little wormy guy that loved Neo got to kick some ammo into a robot, Link’s pussy (Zee) got to shoot a giant robot with a bazooka, and Link and the crew of the Hammer got to sit in chairs and pint at things with joysticks.  Okay, that last part was boring.  They were having this epic scene where they were flying the Hammer through some narrow tunnels with Sentinels in pursuit being barely held off by turrets on the ship, and a couple of times they decided to show the excitement of that scene by showing the guys controlling the turrets in what could best be described as playing Xbox.  I admit to wanting to see an ending with some hand to hand combat, but what I didn’t want is a big CG mess of two collections of pixels smashing together in the rain.  They interrupt this occasionally with two real people kicking and punching at each other, but let’s not waste lot of time on that.  Look what computers can do now!

Someone came up with an interesting idea in this movie: “Let’s give Keanu Reeves some room to stretch his acting chops.”  Interesting, but not intelligent.  He sucks.  Trinity gets a new piece of jewelry through her chest and he has to try to cry over her.  It didn’t work out well for him.  Someone must’ve realized it wouldn’t work out so they burned out his eyes and covered half of his face with a scarf over his icky eye goo.  Carrie-Anne Moss?  Still a lezzie.  But her acting looks pretty amazing next to Keanu.  I think the star of this movie when it comes to performances is Ian Bliss as Bane.  That guy does a really good impression of Hugo Weaving.

Now we’ve finished the Matrix trilogy, and the Wachowski’s made good and sure that nobody would be asking for them to ruin a fourth one.  The story was a rushed attempt to tie up loose ends, the action was 90% CG, and they tried to get Keanu Reeves to act.  Bad decision, guys/guy and girl.  It’s not the worst movie ever, but it does kill all of the enjoyable parts of the previous two movies.  I don’t really recommend it … unless it’s cheaper to buy the movies in a trilogy.  I own it, but only out of my obsessive-compulsive completionism.  The Matrix Revolutions gets “Why do you persist?” out of “It is done.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

The Matrix Reloaded (2003)


You Always Told Me to Stay Off the Freeway

By now, I think most people have the feeling that the first Matrix movie was fantastic.  And, as with most fantastic things, the studio tried to capitalize on its popularity by cranking out a couple of sequels that sucked.  Going into today’s movie, I remember only that the series deflated me in the sequels, but I don’t really remember which one was the greater cause of it or why.  Because it was requested by Samrizon, because it continues the series, and because I can’t remember if I liked it or not, let’s check out my review of The Matrix Reloaded, written and directed by Andy and Larry (Lana) Wachowski, and starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Harry J. Lennix, Anthony Zerbe, Jada Pinkett Smith, Gloria Foster, Randall Duk Kim, Lambert Wilson, Helmut Bakaitis, Harold Perrineau Jr., Nona Gaye, Daniel Bernhardt, and Monica Bellucci.

Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) has come across some information that a group of robotic Sentinels are tunneling towards the last remaining human city, Zion.  Commander Lock (Harry J. Lennix), commander of Zion’s military, orders all ships to return to Zion to defend it.  Morpheus asks another ship to wait around to get a message from the Oracle (Gloria Foster).  They do, and Morpheus takes his ship, the Nebuchadnezzar (which I only include because I like typing that word), back into the matrix so that Neo (Keanu Reeves) can contact her.  He does, but is immediately attacked by Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), who was freed from the control of the matrix and is now trying to replicate himself into everyone in the matrix.  With the information received from the Oracle, Neo must battle his way through hordes of enemies, risk his life and the lives of his loved ones, and cost people their lives, all in order to get into a big room full of televisions and talk to a bearded jerk with a superiority complex.

By the time this movie came out, it suffered from the same problem that the first Matrix movie suffers from when watching it today: when it’s no longer innovative and impressive, it must rely too heavily on a story that’s not super impressive.  It’s fine enough, but it had the tendency to get a little talkie, which was a problem since about half of the dialogue was made terribly annoying by the fact that the Wachowski Brothers used the check from the first Matrix money to invest in a Thesaurus.  Especially the Architect.  The vernacular utilized by that gentleman was quite feasibly the most irksome and befuddling thing to attempt to cognize.  You had to virtually pick and choose the word you could fathom and try to formulate something comprehensible out of it.  Thank you, Thesaurus.  There was a little bit of love story in the first movie, but it was a lot heavier in this one, and I don’t really think it’s the Wachowski’s strong point.  For an example of this, I would harken back to the scene when Link was returning home to his wife Zee and was apparently about to enter the house and yell, “Where’s my pussy?!” until he realized that there were kids in the room.  Seriously, he walks in and gets out, “Where’s my puss…” before he sees them.  Is this how we’re supposed to do it, Ladies?  I’m going to get a girlfriend so I can introduce her as “the irrelevant skin and tissue that connects the boobs and the vag.”  They’re much better when it comes to scenes like the dialogue between Morpheus and Commander Lock.  That dialogue was thick with “Fuck you, I’m smarter than you” from Morpheus.  The Wachowski’s also begin to show themselves to be a little pervy, like the part where the Merovingian has randomly put the programming equivalent of Spanish Fly into a girl’s cake so that the Wachowski’s can vaguely mask their desire to zoom in on a computer code version of a lady’s vagina with some nonsense dialogue about causality.  But then perversion and the Merovingian came together for a good line that Persephone dropped about the lipstick that wasn’t on his face.  It’s so hard to tell where to stand with these Wachowski’s.

The action was sublime in this movie.  If they were going to teach a class about action sequences, they would show the freeway battle scene.  It’s spectacle at its best, and mostly done practically if I remember correctly.  There was some CG, but mostly it was just cars getting fucked up.  The movie also jumps right into some decent action, although it turns out to be a bit of a fuck you because it’s a dream sequence.  It also adds to my idea that people suck at shooting in the matrix.  Trinity’s falling out of a window and an Agent is falling right after her.  She’s unloading uzi’s at him and he probably can’t dodge very much in midair, but neither one of them can hit anything.  A single bullet out of the entire barrage connects.  They also had some pretty good hand to hand combat scenes, like Neo and the Merovingian’s henchmen.  The movie still looks pretty amazing, but it has a couple of faults with some of the CG.  I remember there being some pretty awful face replacement and fakey looking computer generated people, mostly surrounding the multiple Agent Smiths in the big fight on the playground.  There’s also an icky, sweaty-looking dance/Neo and Trinity fucking sequence that goes on a little long, but at least everyone in the dance sequence has their nipples out.  I also want to believe that the one guy that jumps really high out of the crowd was just doing that so he could be on camera.  I also liked the idea, and the execution, of the Keymaker’s skillset, turning a broom closet into a mansion foyer.  And the best thing about the look of the movie was that epic urinal in the Merovingian’s restaurant.  It was a waterfall!  I’d pee all over that!

The performances were roughly unchanged from the previous movie.  I think I might’ve liked Keanu Reeves a little less in this movie.  He still seems like a mixture of Ted from Bill & Ted and Johnny Utah from Point Break.  But this time around, he’s the savior of the world from the first moment.  He wasn’t all cocky about it, but you’d like to think the world was not in his hands.  Carrie-Anne Moss still looks lezzie and Laurence Fishburne is still spooky, but he pulls out a lot more rousing speeches this time around.  We’re also introduced to Jada Pinkett Smith’s Niobe character, which made little to no impact on me.  I found myself slightly irritated with Hugo Weaving in this movie, but it was more the fault of the writing that he kept saying stupid things when talking with his clones.  And thank the good lord up above for the inclusion of Monica Bellucci.  She didn’t do very much in the movie, but Gundamn is she good looking.  I like to think that Keanu slipped a chunk of change to the Wachowski’s to add a random scene where she wanted him to kiss her for no good reason, just so he could stop kissing the lezzie for a while.  And it was fun for me that they added Daniel Bernhardt to the movie as one of the Agents.  I think we all remember his debut performance in Future War (MST3k movie.  Check it out).

Not nearly as impressive and innovative as its predecessor, but still an enjoyable watch in its own right.  The Matrix Reloaded can spend a little too much time talking for my taste, but the action that the dialogue is filling the space between is worth the wait, especially in the freeway scene.  I definitely think Reloaded does a passable job of holding a candle for The Matrix, even though it has a cliffhanger on a movie that’s kept separate from its resolution by almost a year.  But I won’t have to wait that long because I’m reviewing it tomorrow.  For now, The Matrix Reloaded gets “This is Zion, and we are not afraid!” out of “I just love you too damn much.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

The Matrix (1999)


I Know Kung Fu

I don’t really know what lead to Samrizon requesting today’s movie, but I also don’t care.  The first part of this trilogy was one of the most badass memories from my high school days.  I can’t imagine I’ll ever complain too much about having to watch this movie.  Can the same be said about both of the ensuing movies?  Probably not.  But we’ll worry about that little problem tomorrow.  Today, we have to see how the movie that started it all holds up, 12 years after its release.  And with that we jump into my review of The Matrix, written and directed by Andy and Larry (or Lana) Wachowski, and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss, Gloria Foster, Joe Pantoliano, Marcus Chong, Anthony Ray Parker, Julian Arahanga, Belinda McClory, Matt Doran, Paul Goddard, and Robert Taylor.

First, a girl named Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) beats up some dudes.  Then, a dude named Thomas Anderson, aka Neo (Keanu Reeves), talks to his computer.  He follows a lady’s tattoo until he meets Trinity, who tells him that a man named Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) can help him.  But first, he’s gotta get some robot squid put into his stomach by the Agents – Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), Agent Brown (Paul Goddard), and Agent Jones (Robert Taylor).  Trinity, Apoc (Julian Arahanga), and Switch (Belinda McClory) help him abort his squid baby and take him to meet Morpheus, who offers him a red Roofie and a blue Roofie.  He picks one and wakes up in an egg of red Jell-O similar to that one from Lady GaGa’s nonsense.  He’s retrieved by the Nebuchadnezzar, a hovercraft captained by Morpheus, and is told that he was saved from the Matrix because he is “the one”.  Neo says “Whoa” and tries to figure out what it means to be “the one”.

My opinion of this movie has not changed very much from my first viewing.  I still think it’s a badass movie.  It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s cool and a lot of fun.  But the sad thing about this movie is that it’s not nearly as impressive when watched today.  You have to really try to remember the state of movies back when this one came out to really appreciate this one.  The bullet time things and other slo-mo things have been jacked by so many video games and movies since this one that watching it now feels nowhere near as impressive.  If you realize that this movie was the first to really do those things in a mainstream way, then you can appreciate it.  The premise of the story is good, but there are plenty of things that come up as funny to me while watching it now.  The basic story of the machines that we built taking over could easily be tied to the Terminator movies, but this movie takes it in a new and innovative direction by having them turn us into batteries and creating the world as we know it to keep us pacified.  Of course, this whole battery thing led to a part that annoyed me when Switch calls Neo “Copper Top” well before he – and the audience – had been let in on the fact that people were batteries.  At that point, unless Keanu Reeves is a ginger, that joke doesn’t make any sense.  And it doesn’t seem like good comedy for you to only be able to get a joke 20 minutes after it was told.  But I think the reason this movie was as popular with nerdy people like myself is because of the nerd superhero complex.  Who wouldn’t want to be “The One”?  And to be able to turn into a master of every martial art just by moving your eyes around when they’re closed?  I’m in!  Problem with that whole thing is when Morpheus beats the shit out of Neo for a while before telling him what he needs to hear to make him stop playing by the rules of physics.  Dick move, Morpheus.  Earlier in the movie, I had a bit of a problem brought about by the Agents.  While they’re interviewing Neo, he demands his one phone call.  Agent Smith responds, “What good is a phone call if you’re unable to speak?”  At this point, his mouth disappears.  I know that this would be frightening if it happened in real life, but the way it was presented made me think Agent Smith was about to show Neo a magic trick.  I wanted him to say, “How are you going to make a phone call when all of your quarters are behind your ear?!”

Though I like the story of this movie, I think we can all agree that the look and the fights are what really make it stand out.  At least at the time, this was probably as good as it gets for American martial arts movies.  The movie itself generally has a green haze over everything.  I don’t know why I wrote that because I have nothing to add on to it.  And I don’t know why I don’t just delete that.  …Moving on.  I feel like, watching the movie today, some of the slo-mo stuff doesn’t really hold up its end of the bargain as it once did.  Trinity’s little crane jump kick in the beginning looked a little goofy to me, as did Neo’s first attempt at dodging bullets.  I also laughed during the big gun battle in the lobby on their way to save Morpheus.  The scene itself was badass.  What made me laugh was the fact that Neo and Trinity were such terrible shots that they were only able to kill one security guard with a full clip from each weapon before discarding them.  The technology in the movie went back and forth between impressive and not.  Looking at green numbers and letters because the Matrix was too vast to show in picture form is funny to me now that we live in today’s world … of Warcraft.  They should probably make a Matrix MMORPG.  Not only that, but they should do it AND give me a lot of money for thinking of it.  The Nebuchadnezzar looked pretty sweet though.  I also laughed looking at the cell phones they used in this movie.  They weren’t quite Saved by the Bell phones, but I remember thinking how cool those phones were back when this movie came out.  Today, no one would be caught dead using those slider phones.

The performances were hit and miss.  I’d say they were mostly hit … and then there was Keanu Reeves.  In all seriousness, I don’t actually think he was that bad for this movie.  He seemed as dumb as a sack of hammers, but his role was mainly punching people in the face.  Every time I see him turn to Morpheus and proclaim, “I know Kung Fu,” I break into laughter.  When Morpheus tells Neo that you die in real life if you die in the matrix because, “the body cannot live without the mind,” I realized that Neo could survive death in the matrix because he has so much practice living without a mind.  The Oracle was also fine in the movie, but you don’t have to be able to see the future to decide that Keanu Reeves isn’t that bright.  Alright, that’s all of the “Keanu Reeves is dumb” jokes I thought of for this movie.  Laurence Fishburne was really good in this movie as the often spooky mastermind Morpheus.  Carrie-Anne Moss was pretty believable as a good tough lady character, but she also looked like a lezzie.  It’s probably not the best message for women that they can only be strong and stand up to men if they munch carpet.  Hugo Weaving was also fantastic as Agent Smith.  And Joe Pantoliano plays a fantastic asshole.  Matt Doran creeped me out as Mouse though.

The Matrix still definitely holds up as a great movie, but it’s nowhere near as spectacular when watched today because of how much other movies have borrowed from it.  The story’s still cool, the look is pretty great, and the action is still very much enjoyable.  Also, all of the performances are enjoyable, so long as you go into the movie knowing exactly how Keanu Reeves acts in every movie.  There should be no way that any of you have not seen the Matrix by now, but I definitely recommend it if you haven’t.  I have the trilogy on BluRay, and I’ll be making use of it over the next two days when I finish the trilogy.  But, for now, The Matrix gets “No one can be told what the Matrix is” out of “It’s good for two things: degreasing engines and killing brain cells.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

Speed (1994)


Pop Quiz, Hot Shot

This is another in the long list of classic, action movies that I just never got around to seeing.  I’ve heard all about the movie and pretty much knew exactly where it was headed because of all the things I had heard about it, but I don’t think I had ever seen it all the way through.  I had just seen parts of it on TV.  So today became the day for me to sit down and watch Speed, written by Graham Yost and Joss Whedon, directed by Jan de Bont and Alan Ruck, and starring Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Daniels, Joe Morton, Alan Ruck, Beth Grant, Hawthorne James, Richard Lineback, and Glenn Plummer.

A man with a fucked up hand has installed a series of bombs on an elevator filled with high-powered business people in an attempt to ransom them.  SWAT members Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) and Harry Temple (Jeff Daniels) are called in.  They manage to get the people out of the elevator, and even find the bomber (Dennis Hopper), who promptly grabs Harry to hold Jack at bay.  Jack reacts by shooting Harry in the leg, causing the bomber to run and set off the explosion, killing the bomber.  Jack and Harry get awards, and Harry gets promoted to a desk job because of his injury.  The next day, Jack witnesses an explosion on a bus and gets a call from the bomber, who is not as dead as originally thought.  The bomber informs Jack that he has put a bomb on another bus.  Once this bus exceeds 50mph, the bomb will activate.  If the bus then goes below 50mph, it will go off.  Jack jumps into action, getting himself onto the bus.  His presence on the bus agitates a passenger with a gun, who then accidentally shoots the driver (Hawthorne James).  Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock) is then tasked with driving the bus as Jack tries to find a way to get them off the bus, and Harry tries to find out who this bomber really is.

Most of you have probably already seen Speed and have figured out your opinions already, but now I have one.  I liked it!  Sure, it’s a little cliche, a lot absurd, and most of the lines are cheesy one-liners, but it’s still a fun movie.  When the evil genius falls for the old “surveillance tape on a loop” thing, that was rookie stuff.  I was also never entirely sure about Hopper’s motivations to begin with.  He was a retired policeman, but I really don’t know what made him decide to kill people for money.  If it was only money that motivated him, it seems out of character for a police officer, and a little easy in the writing department.  Also, they go to the “road/track is under construction and not completed” thing twice, and that’s extra lazy.  The same goes for Hopper taking a hostage in the exact same way at the end of the movie.  A lot of the lines uttered in the movie are a little cheesy, but I thought some of them were pretty clever.  My favorite was the line delivered after Reeves kills Hopper.  ::SPOILER::  While fighting on top of the subway, Hopper is going off, saying “I’m smarter than you, Jack!  I’m smarter!  I’m smarter!” and then Reeves pushes Hopper’s head up into a passing light, decapitating him.  Reeves tops it off with “Yeah?  Well, I’m taller!”  I think we all saw the decapitation coming, but that is a solid line.  Granted, they kind of fuck it up afterwards when they use the way too obvious “He lost his head” line.  ::END SPOILER::  The movie is a solid action movie, through and through.  It starts out with solid action and doesn’t really waste very much time on story at all.  But the action is well done, interesting, and usually pretty spectacular.  They jump a bus, take it up on two wheels, and drag Keanu beneath the bus.  But it keeps the movie exciting, and that’s what I came for.

Generally speaking, I wouldn’t say I regard Keanu Reeves as much of an actor.  This movie doesn’t really change my perceptions, but it is the type of movie he works best in.  He can’t really seem to escape the fact that he always sounds like Ted “Theodore” Logan, no matter what setting he’s in.  But he works well in a big dumb action movie.  He can deliver one-liners with the best of ’em.  I felt like Dennis Hopper may have been a bit over the top in his performance in this movie, but he had a couple good lines as well, and it worked well in the movie.  I especially liked when Keanu was calling him crazy and he said “No!  Poor people are crazy.  I’m eccentric.”  That’s another good quality line.  This was one of the movies that introduced the world to Sandra Bullock, and that is always a good thing.  I wouldn’t say she was “hot”, per se, but she does cute exceedingly well.  I really liked when she hugged Keanu at the end of the movie with her hands cuffed.  I just wanted to protect her…and maybe have a relationship based on sex with her.  I was happy to see Jeff Daniels in the movie as well, but he was perhaps a bit underutilized.  The parts that he was in made me feel like he was every bit aware of how ridiculous parts of the movie were, and he probably was.

It took me a while to get around to it, but I’m pretty glad I did.  I probably would’ve liked this movie much more had I seen it closer to when it came out, but I feel it still holds up today.  The story itself is pretty ridiculous and occasionally feels lazy, but the action keeps the movie above 50mph all the way through.  It included a handful of the best cheesy one liners I’ve ever heard, and they were delivered by characters that were mostly over the top, but totally worked for the movie.  I dig this movie, and it will probably be making it into my collection pretty soon.  If you don’t keep a huge collection of DVD’s as I do, it’s available for streaming on Netflix.  Even if you’ve already seen it, you may want to rewatch it, and I don’t think you’d be very disappointed … unless (from what I hear) you watch Speed 2 instead.  Speed gets “Don’t get dead” out of “We’re leaking gas?”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)


My roommate Richard approached me today to find out if I owned Bram Stoker’s Dracula because some friends of his had been talking about it and he wanted to watch it. Thankfully, I did own the movie even though I don’t think I’d seen it since shortly after it became available to rent on VHS. So we decided to sit down and give it a peep and, as I do with every movie I watch nowadays, I wrote this here review. Bram Stoker’s Dracula stars Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, and Cary Elwes.

The basic premise of Dracula should hardly be one that needs to be recounted, but here’s the gist of it. Vlad Dracul (Gary Oldman) was once a great warrior for God. While away at war, news gets back to his wife, Elisabeta (Winona Ryder), that he has died in the battle. Grief-stricken, she throws herself off a tower and plummets to her death. When Dracul returns to find his wife dead, he renounces God, stabbing a cross, making it bleed, and drinking the blood. So now he’s all immortal like. Much later in time, probably around the late 1800’s, Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) has to go see Dracula to help him refinance his mortgage. I actually have no idea why he went to see him. Something about Renfield (Tom Waits, but looks a whole lot like Ron Pearlman) going crazy and then Reeves replaces him. Perhaps Dracula was in need of a horrible amalgam of surfer and Englishman accents. So Reeves goes out there, drives through some blue flames, meets crazy old buttheaded Oldman, ignores that Oldman’s shadow is on about a 10 second delay from the rest of Oldman, doesn’t notice that Dracula can close doors without touching them and walk without taking steps, and Dracula even draws a sword on him at one point. Reeves is either so dense or so committed to his job that he doesn’t pay these things any mind, and I could believe either. Well Reeves starts to catch on and tries to escape, but is greeted by 3 hot naked ladies (one of which is Monica Bellucci) and proceeds to get eaten by them, but not all the way, just enough to keep him weak. Well turns out Dracula’s taking a trip to London to make moves on Reeves’ lady friend (also Winona Ryder) because of her resemblance to his dead wife. But I’ve always said that the way I wanna go is being eaten alive by a naked Monica Bellucci, so I feel no remorse for him.

Dracula goes to London, turns into a werewolf looking creature, and proceeds to sex up and then partially eat Winona Ryder’s friend Lucy (Sadie Frost). Lucy starts to turn vampire on us which she indicates by popping a boob out periodically and moaning erotically a lot. In the meantime, Dracula, now young again and with much less posterior on the back of his head, sets to work romancing Winona.

So this movie is a classic in most people’s eyes, but I found myself very surprised that it was made in 1992. I thought the movie was much older for some reason. It does have an old fashioned feel to it. It seemed like the movie was paying homage to 50’s movies in some of the editing choices. But since it seemed like a choice, much like Indiana Jones was going for a 50’s movie feel, I can’t blame it. Parts of it were entirely fascinating to watch, and certainly had enough sexy time to keep me interested, but the movie left me closer to confused than to contented.

The acting was great except for the miscasting so obvious it almost needn’t be named, but I shall anyway. Keanu Reeves bogged the movie down. Reeves can be fine in the right role. I liked him as Neo, for instance. I liked him as Ted Theodore Logan. I don’t like seeing him attempt an English accent. He was completely out of place here. Oldman took Dracula way over the top, as Oldman tends to do, but it works for Dracula. This is quite possibly the definitive performance of a vampire and I’m really trying to think of one that even comes close. Anthony Hopkins plays Hugh Jackman when he gets on in years. His Van Helsing was pretty entertaining; playing it as the vampire expert/hunter but also seemingly a little out of his element when dealing with the living. And I like it every time I see Winona Ryder. I don’t think I’ve ever disliked one of her performances either, but I’m not sure how much of that is based on the fact that I’m in love with her. Seriously, age difference be damned. If she calls on me, I will follow.

Altogether, I’m pretty conflicted about this movie. I like the acting, but I don’t follow the story. I like the visual effects, but I don’t like being beaten over the head with them. And I didn’t like Keanu Reeves. This is a thoroughly decent movie that doesn’t entirely stand the test of time, at least not for me. I give it a “Certainly watchable” out of “Whoa”.

And, as always, please rate, comment, and/or like this post and others. It may help me get better.