Everything that has a beginning

Monday, 10 November 2003 — 6:49pm | Animation, Debate, Film, Star Wars, Television

If you have noticed the conspicuous absence of any entries in the past week – and if you are one of the handful of people who lurk here without telling me – three things: a) I know you’re out there by way of third-party information, b) the “Annotate” link is there for a reason, and 3) you are probably wondering what I thought of The Matrix Revolutions.

Regarding the film, I have drawn the conclusion that I cannot formulate an adequate assessment until a second viewing. My initial impression is one that lacks fulfilment. This is a movie that needed to provide both plot resolution and thematic resolution, and save for the best exchange of dialogue in the entire trilogy during the final fight, the second was distractingly incomplete. Plot-wise, there was the appropriate balance of denouement and ambiguity. Theme-wise, some ideas were swatted away rather than provided with appropriately soft landings.

The film was enjoyable nonetheless, though the intelligence and visual audacity exhibited by The Matrix Reloaded was not improved upon. The biggest problem with Revolutions is that next to the first two films, it feels all too conventional.

The laziness-business dialectic axis prevents me from elaborating any further at this time, so do not take this as a full review.

Another release that deserves some comment is the debut of Cartoon Network’s Clone Wars series of shorts by Genndy Tartakovsky, perhaps the flag-bearer of this generation of expressionistic animation, a generation without a Friz Freleng or Chuck Jones at the helm. The first episode is on the Cartoon Network website, but is inaccessible for anyone outside the United States. File-sharing is a Canadian’s best friend – except hockey, that is.

Chapter 1 is, more than anything, a tease of what’s to come. So far, it looks good. The best part about it is that it does not yet show any signs of falling victim to the stock conventions that make the Expanded Universe so unbearable. It’s slick, it’s stylish, and even though it isn’t at all like the style of the films, it possesses a dynamism that somehow feels right. Chapter 2 is due out tonight, so we will see how this develops.

As for what occupied me all weekend: I was debating in the University of Alberta’s home tournament, the Hugill Cup, Friday through Sunday. That’s right – Sunday. For a variety of reasons, among which was the ineligibility of a rubber duck named Bismarck, I made it into one of the two semi-final rooms and won an exquisite set of coasters. Unfortunately, I botched my secret mission from uncharted space to break into public speaking finals right in the very first round. Next time, Gadget, next time.

Check out the results. And if you see one of Misters Crossman or Tse, buy him a well-deserved drink, and ask him to show you that snappy champions’ pocketwatch.

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