Matrix makers declare war on pirates


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

Fiachra Gibbons, arts correspondent
Friday May 16, 2003
The Guardian

The Matrix Reloaded, the most eagerly awaited sequel of recent times, premiered at the Cannes film festival yesterday amid the kind of security that usually accompanies summits of world leaders.
With the GDP of several small countries riding on its box office success, just getting to see it involved negotiating five levels of security, metal detectors, electronic badge checks, bag searches and, for the unlucky few, full body frisks.
Once inside the Palais du Cinema, more guards scanned the seats for cameras or hidden recording equipment.
Warner Brothers was worried that pirates would use the premiere to grab the film using webcams. A bootlegged DVD version of the film, put together by Chinese triad gangs, is already on sale. Apart from calling Carrie-Anne Moss, who plays Trinity, "Keli Anmos", the cover is flawless. The DVD inside however contains Johnny Mnemonic, an earlier Keanu Reeves vehicle, badly dubbed into Chinese.
Having spent in excess of $300m so far, the Wachowski brothers, the directors who rewrote the Hollywood rulebook with their innovative original, had to pull out the stops not to disappoint their expectant army of fans. Some will be thrilled.
Like one of those "healthier option" fast food meals, you know The Matrix Reloaded is ultimately junk but, for a moment, it tastes good.
That has not been enough for many critics at Cannes, however. Although the film was generally well received, few embraced it as a work of genius. The Americans were the first to stick in the knife.
James Verniere of the Boston Herald said: "The Matrix Reloaded needs no introduction or, for that matter, reviews. But so many films have already copied the original, that the sequel seems dated. While the action sequences are outrageous, Reeves' performance is so affectless it is robotic, and too much of The Matrix Reloaded will appeal and make sense only to cult members."
His opposite number on the Boston Globe was more charitable. "The thrill isn't gone from the sequel, but the surprise is - and it hurts more than you think," said Ty Burr.
Elvis Mitchell of the New York Times was also underwhelmed. He said that as the middle episode of the trilogy, Reloaded had the feel of a "holding-pattern", and had not moved film-making on in the way the original did.
The older coterie of critics at Cannes agreed, many using the extremely long, involved fight sequences to take a nap.
But producer Joel Silver dismissed talk that the film was not up to the original: "People are always troubled by movies that are fresh and unique. The bottom line is not that it is review-proof, it is that it is a good movie."
The reclusive Wachowski brothers failed to show up, having been "buried on the set" in Sydney, according to Silver, trying to finish the final part, The Matrix Revolutions, in time for its release on November 5.
"There is a sequence at the end of Revolutions that involves the most technically ambitious piece of special effects ever attempted. It will be miracle-making if we do it for November," he said.
The trilogy is a battle of man against machine, good against evil, but it is its parallels with the war in Iraq that are causing most controversy. Journalists were cut short when they tried to ask the cast about the tension between France and the US over the war.
Outside, fans who screamed for Reeves and his co-stars Laurence Fishburne and Monica Bellucci on the red carpet were shouted down by demonstrators carrying placards against "governments of mass destruction", a joking reference to the US by French public sector workers, who paralysed the country with a strike against pension reforms on Monday.
Reeves, though, said he felt no tension in the air. "Cinema should be a special place come together to celebrate art and humanity and things," he said.
The actor, who plays a messiah figure called Neo, declined requests to help decode the trilogy's complex pseudo-religious imagery.
After Reeves, the biggest cheer was for the Anglo-French actor Lambert Wilson, who plays a new, debonair character called the Merovingian. His crowning moment is a hilarious sequence in which he curses profusely in language Molière would have been proud of.
Later he quipped that he hadn't been unduly bothered by all the computer-generated characters the actors had to play against. "It's a speciality of mine, human acting."

Affectless – bez uczucia
Bootlegged – illegally made or copied, nielegalny
To decline – nie przyjąć
Debonair – elegant and charming
Eagerly - niecierpliwie
Flawless – bez skazy
To Frisk – przeszukać (kogoś)
Outrageous – oburzający
Quip - amusing remark, dowcipna uwaga
Reclusive – izolujący się od ludzi
Underwhelmed – nie czujący się poruszonym


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