Friday, April 23, 2010

Flashback Fridays: "Guns. Lots of Guns."

Are you ready for your Friday dose of nostalgia? Because this week at GotYA, our "Flashback Fridays" topic is: movies that defined a generation.

So I don't really have a good grasp of my generation and how it's defined yet. But when I think about memorable movies from my youth, and even movies that continue to have influence now,The Matrix comes to mind.

Okay, first of all, this should surprise no one, coming from me.

Second of all, this movie was (and still is) cool as hell. This was the movie that made us forget that Keanu Reeves isn't a good actor. This was the movie that brought us bullet time. (You know-- when Neo does that arm flailing move that allows him to avoid all those bullets. That's the effect I'm referring to.) This was the movie that got parodied in a hundred different places. And if you say the words "there is no spoon," people (at least, people like me) will know exactly what you're referring to.

Oh, and let's not forget that some parents blamed the violence in this movie for violence among teens in the real world. You know, along with Marilyn Manson.

Because when I watch the Matrix and listen to Marilyn Manson, I suddenly get the urge to throw a rock at the mailman.

Makes total sense.

Anyway. This movie was my introduction to non-alien-related sci-fi. Before this, science fiction was pretty much restricted to Star Wars and Star Trek and maybe even the X-Files for me. And they were great and all, but aliens are something I naturally shy away from in my writing. Along with time travel. And chicks in bonnets.

After watching this, it occurred to me that science fiction can include many things, none of them alien-related. So at the very least, this movie freed my writing mind. ("Free your mind, Neo...") And now that I think about it, one of the things from this movie that stuck in my head was the idea that the reality you see doesn't necessarily have to be reality itself. And wouldn't it be terrifying if you were in a dream you couldn't escape from. And those ideas definitely seeped into my stories.

When my brother and sister first decided to watch it, I was at the computer in our basement, facing the opposite way and totally not interested, and then halfway through I was turned around in the computer chair with my mouth open, just staring. The next day I went out and bought it. ON VHS. What can I say? If you're going to shove a metal stick into a guy's brain to teach him Kung Fu, I'm in. With popcorn.

So: when you add up cool visual effects, pop culture references, and a TON of parent-related controversy, you get a movie worth mentioning. Ta daaa.


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