In [2013], the Matrix [Still] Has [Me]

In 1999, the Matrix Has You
Tagline from the original movie trailer hosted on

I find it very depressing that my children will never fully appreciate the Matrix for the amazing futuristic movie that it was is.

Even by re-watching the trailer, it still seems set in the far off future, it seems like cinematic sci-fi that’s fresh and tantalizing, the way the music of the Doors, despite being from the 70s, still astoundingly has a nouveau vibe to it. The Matrix has me, but I’ll never be able to impress on the next generation why it’s so amazing.

The depth of the story–probably largely evading me to this day–evidenced by the singluarly focused book comparing The Matrix with The Bible, even drawing inferences from the use of swearing in the movie: when the curse words Jesus Christ are used, they’re only used in reference to Neo, the protagonist of the film(s). (I’m unable to find a link to the book, unfortunately, but I digress, I’m talking about material that’s 1.3 decades old).

About a year ago I was sitting in my office lunch room and around the table were a number of teenagers (we hire the children of our employees for summer employment to help them pay for college). I was curious, so I asked the table: “what’s the best movie you’ve seen?” The overarching response was: Batman: The Dark Knight. OK, fair enough, it’s a great movie, so I followed up the question more poignantly: “what do you think of The Matrix?” The response in that case was: it was a good movie… for it’s time. For it’s time?! The Matrix is beyond the realm of time! (Well, except maybe for the gaudy Nokia phone–which I always wanted to own).

While I have difficulty with this, I have witnessed it from the other side. My father-in-law, with as much excitement as I’m sure I’ll convey to my children when they’re of-age to see The Matrix, sat me down to show me The Big Chill. It didn’t do anything for me then (I was in my early 20s at the time), although I might appreciate it more now. It was clear that my blasé response to the film was disappointing to him, much as I’m sure I’ll be disappointed when I finally show the then-nearly-three-decades-old Matrix to my daughters.

In the words of the title of the poem, I guess its: The Way of All Flesh.

How disappointing.