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Friday, October 12, 2012

Movie Memories 04 | Donald Conrad

The Red Pill

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Trinity puts her hand on the phone booth’s glass wall as her face is lit but by the headlights of the garbage truck speeding at her. This is the moment that defines the Matrix for me. I remember this moment like it happened yesterday. I sat in a darkened theater with my mouth hanging open. She was not in the wreckage of the phone booth, the strange guys in the suits were stating that she “Got out”

WHAT? How do you get out of being run over while standing in a phone booth? I went into The Matrix with no knowledge of what it was. I had to pull myself away from video games long enough to see this movie my brother refused to stop talking about.

I looked over at him and by the flicker of the screen light I could see he was looking at me, grinning. He knew the ride I was in for, I on the other hand, had no clue. Little did I know that I was about to witness the movie I would come to compare all others to.

The Matrix did something I had never seen in a movie before. It fully transported me into it’s fiction. Lovingly crafted to weave the story with the visual effects in a way that made them a bold feature and an important story telling device.

The impact the Bullet Time effect had on me still occupies me to this day. I wait for Hollywood to bring that feeling back up. It was more than a visual effect. It was a total bending of reality. I sat in the theater watching the world in a way I never thought would be possible. Reality was slowed and I had a front row seat by a camera that defied everything. It was showing me a movie set in ways that could easily be called “impossible” at the time.

Beyond at the mind bending visuals the story held it’s own weight. If I may be totally honest with you for a moment, I did not really absorb the story the first time I saw the movie. I went back to the theater seven times. It was insane how every moment seemed deliberate. Every shot was expertly crafted to give you, the viewer, the best seat in the house.

I remember watching the entire credits roll as I sat stunned. I wanted to see all the names go by. I owed each and every one of those people that.

I am still waiting for a film to give me the rush that The Matrix did so long ago. To be honest, I really don’t think it’s going to happen. I am grateful that I was there for that moment in movie making history. That I got to enjoy it on the big screen in all it’s glory. To this day I will go out of my way to see it in a theater that is having a late night showing. Every time I sit in a darkened theater watching I am transported back to that first time. The movie asked me to “Dodge this.” I failed. The Matix hit me hard.

Now If you'll excuse me, I have a blu-ray to go watch.

Donald Conrad is an artist, writer, and blogger who writes about video games, family, and many other things. He is a devoted husband and loving father of four. You can find his hilarious and well written posts over at his website Donald is also the co-host of a podcast with me called Pen Fights Gamepad. We talk video games, writing, movies, being dads and so much more. Donald posts regularly on his site, his posts are great and you can follow him on Twitter.

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