by Paislee House, Film Critic
August was a slow month for Netflix but there were a few gems added to the streaming platform. All gems aside, the best movie added in August was the sci-fi classic “The Matrix.”
All three “Matrix” films were added but the first is by far the best. Though the trilogy holds its ground against the best of the sci-fi world, the original “Matrix” blew audiences out of the water in 1999. Written and directed by the Wachowski sisters, “The Matrix” is an amalgamation of philosophy, mythology and various other cultural works and sciences. In light of recent news involving the Wachowskis— the siblings both identify as transgender— there is also an argument to be made that “The Matrix” is a reflection on gender, perceived reality and social construction. Regardless of your interpretation, the influence of the cyberpunk sci-fi is indisputable.
In addition to the multitude of messages in “The Matrix,” it is one of the most influential films to ever be made. The use of “wire fu” and “bullet time” have since become mainstays in the action genre. Yuen Woo-ping was the film’s main fight choreographer, and Woo-ping’s experience in Hong Kong action cinema gave “The Matrix” its unique and Eastern sense of style. Not only did the film breathe new life into Hollywood action choreography, it also birthed the spinning camera/slow motion/bullet time effects. “Bullet time” refers to the effect where a character’s senses are so heightened that their surroundings slow down. It’s insane to think about how revolutionary “The Matrix” was. When was the last time you saw it? Because you need to watch it again.
A sci-fi classic and a major influence in the world of film, “The Matrix” still holds up 18 years later. If you haven’t seen the movie in awhile, it definitely deserves a rewatch.
August runner-ups: “Jackie Brown,” “Holes,” “The Founder”