REVIEW: “The Matrix Resurrections”

I can’t believe The Matrix Resurrections exists. And I mean that in the best way possible. I mean, how often do we see blockbusters that are in direct conversation with themselves about whether or not they should even exist? Sure, you’ve got the Deadpools of the world that make snide, ironic comments about the derivative nature of Hollywood. But it’s exceedingly rare to see a multi-hundred-million-dollar film directly questions its very existence. Yet that’s exactly what Lana Wachowski does with The Matrix Resurrections. At times, it feels less like a sequel to The Matrix and more like a criticism about the need for sequels at all. And it’s fascinating to see the way that Wachowski weaves this idea alongside a film that, for all intents and purposes, acts exactly like most reboots/sequels do. It’s a dichotomy that shouldn’t work at all. And yet it does work. Brilliantly, in fact. (4.5 out of 5 wands.) 

NOTE: Mild spoilers for The Matrix Resurrections follow.

The Matrix Resurrections
Directed by Lana Wachowski
Written by Lana Wachowski, David Mitchell, and Aleksandar Hemon
To find out if his reality is a physical or mental construct, to truly know himself, Mr. Anderson will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more. And if Thomas…Neo…has learned anything, it’s that choice, while an illusion, is still the only way out of—or into—the Matrix. Of course, Neo already knows what he has to do. But what he doesn’t yet know is the Matrix is stronger, more secure and more dangerous than ever before. Déjà vu.

Continue reading

REVIEW: “Hamilton” on Disney+

Anyone who knows me knows that I went through a pretty hardcore Hamilton phase when that musical first hit Broadway. I played the album all the time, I knew the vast majority of the lyrics. I adored that show. And I still do, even if I think In the Heights is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s superior show. So, naturally, when the news broke that Disney+ would be debuting the live capture of the show, recorded just before the original cast departed, over a year earlier than expected, I was devilishly excited. I’d only seen bits and pieces of the show, having never had a chance to see it in person, and I was so ready to finally see this show that I loved. Well, now that I’ve seen the film, how do I feel? I mean, it’s Hamilton and I love Hamilton. But, to be honest, this capture is a bit of a mixed bag. (4 out of 5 wands.)

Hamilton (directed by Thomas Kail, written and composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda)
An unforgettable cinematic stage performance, the filmed version of the original Broadway production of “Hamilton” combines the best elements of live theater, film and streaming to bring the cultural phenomenon to homes around the world for a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime experience. “Hamilton” is the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, “Hamilton” has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre—a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education. Filmed at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016, the film transports its audience into the world of the Broadway show in a uniquely intimate way.

Continue reading