Wow. 20 years. I had no idea we were 20 years into The Matrix’s release until I started noticing an unusually high number of articles talking about it last year. I wasn’t going to write about the film at all until I noticed something that irritated me about what I was reading. I hate to be “that guy” (or “that girl”, in my case), but it really does seem to me that the younger generation is completely out of its depths analyzing older movies. Most if not all fail to even grasp them on even a fundamental level, and yet there’s this incredible amount of arrogance when they try to “break movies down.”
Category: Science Fiction
Like everyone else, every so often I have this urge to revisit a movie I enjoyed on first viewing to see if it holds up. One film I wanted to see again was Cloverfield (2008). Looking back, I remembered how impressed I was with the film in terms of special effects and location shots. 99% of the time, Hollywood either never gets NYC geography right or has a Canadian city stand in for it. As a New Yorker, I was pleased as punch to finally see a movie that more or less nailed the geography and had locations I actually recognized.
When I finally saw Cloverfield again in 2019, I expected to be just as dazzled as I was the first time. Instead, the bloom couldn’t have come off the rose any harder. Rather than being delighted, I felt myself turned off inside of 20 minutes and by the end of the film, resolved to never see it again. Why? I’m going to explain as best I can why Cloverfield no longer holds up for me. Keep in mind that I’m not just posting these thoughts to vent about the film but to also explore what it is that makes a disaster movie a true disaster movie, as opposed to something like Cloverfield, which is only pretending to be one.
Two years ago, I posted a long ass diatribe attacking James Cameron’s detractors after they came after him for comments about Wonder Woman. I thought I was done with this topic, but then recently stumbled across this: Motherhood in Film & Television: Is Terminator’s Sarah Connor an Allegory for Single Mothers? It’s an old essay, yes, and it’s not even really negative. However, it seems that in trying to provide balance towards Sarah Connor in the form of criticism, it did it by using fauxminist talking points. Before I explain why this was a huge problem for me, I have to explain what fauxminism is in the first place.
Sighing. I am literally sighing right now as I type this. This is what I always do whenever I think about a groundbreaking movie that for no good reason at all, has been fobbed off as “overrated.” The Godfather (1972) is one of those films. Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is another.