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X2 Ė Evolution

Description: A month plus after the events of the first movie, a mysterious attack on the president sets in motion plots by mutants, plots by non-mutants, plots within plots and hey look Peter Wingfield in a really minor role. Ahem.

I liked the first X-men movie. It was good fun. And now, as if in a dream I can see that it was but the first chapter. The prelude that sets the action in motion.

X2 accomplishes that rare thing, it is better than the first. There isnít a single scene that doesnít move things along. Set things in motion. 

Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman, as in the first movie is, well, Wolverine stepped from the pages. Plus, this time out he gets to kill people. Cuz, come on, heís Wolverine.

Although, this time out, the scene stealing character for me was Nightcrawler, a wonderful addition played by Alan Cumings. One of the most differentiated of all the mutants and yet he still has faith. I loved the reason for the ritual scaring. The opening scene of the movie managed to articulate just why a teleporting mutant would be so effective. Scary. Cool. And oh, so thatís what Bamf sounds like. Huh.

Actually, this could be a list of every character and how they were cool. Jeanís growth from the first movie. That flash of a plot point that thrills every fan boy and girlís hearts. Professor X, who Iíve decided is very scary and maybe shouldnít have Cerebro. Magneto getting his magnificent moment. To see such a proud person so jessed grates. The way that every time Mystique changes, the person she becomes subtly moves and acts like Mystique. Her relationship with Magneto, so very old married. Old friends. And. And. and.

I liked the movie.

Moreover, I enjoyed thinking about it. Beyond the hidden cameos and tidbits, itís interesting to think about this movie in a post 9-11 world. That the basic premise of the first movie was a terrorist attack. That the events in this movie are in many ways a military reaction to that attack. 

That Magneto is not without reason for his plans. Mutants are feared and persecuted. That Commander Stryker isnít without reason, the mutants are dangerous. That itís all about fear with the majority of the mutants middle caught.

Itís all about choice. Power. How you choose to use it. Wield it. Shape the world around you. 

Accepting yourself as you are. The curiosity of shape changing Mystique being the one to say that she shouldnít have to be anyone other than who she is. Thus though she could fit in, she chooses so often to walk in her own skin.

Matrix Reloaded

Description: Follow Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus further down the rabbit hole.

Karen left this movie feeling powered and bouncy. I left afraid to drive my car. All I could think was that everything is Maya. Set adrift to question the very nature of reality is all very well and good. But not the best attitude for driving concentration. 

Following our theme of the month, itís all about choice. What does choice mean? Is it a biological subroutine written into our internal matrices? The contrast between love of humanity in the abstract and love of a woman. The moving of the mass of humanity in celebration. The intimate touch in a safe womb, candles gleaming in the dark. 

Look. There are chase scenes. Battles and gleaming swords. They even drove through the Alameda tunnel, which was cool. And as Seraphim says, to know someone you must fight them. Interact. Deal. Contact. Explore.

I could write an essay on the significance of the names. The Merovingian. Morpheus, god of dreams. But through which gate do these dreams come, the Gate of Ivory or the Gate of Horn. The cold Architect. The warm Oracle. Mother. Father. That Neo is in his way is the seventh son. Trinity bound in plastic. Neo flowing in cloth. 

I could write an essay on the philosophy. The artistry. How every single aspect of the movie signifies. Stands. Points deeper into the rabbit hole. 

And as Anya from BtVS would say, rabbits can be scary things. 

All I can really say is that I canít wait to see how all layers on layers are resolved. Except of course I can wait. The nature of reality may be a dream and time is but an illusion within which I construct my feeble conception. But it is the only conception, the only dream of reference that I have to work within. 


Description:A troubled young woman discovers her self, love, and alternative lifestyles when she applies for a job as a lawyer's secretary.

Secretary is a facinating, and visually stimulating, movie. Our main character is Lee, who has recently been released from a mental institution. She was hospitalized because of her unhealthly methods of coping with her troubled family life - drunken, abusive father and passive, dependent mother. That all changes when Lee answers a want-ad for a secretarial position. Through her interactions with her very strange boss, Lee becomes a strong, independent woman and learns to embrace who she is and what she wants - a sadomasochistic relationship. 

This is a wonderful coming of age story as well as a love story. It's also gorgeous. The sets (particularly the lawyer's office) are rich in color and texture that highlight the emotions of the story. I love the director's style - the way he comments on how we choose to hide from people or reveal ourselves when speaking to them which he shows in some lovely shots of people speaking with their backs to others.

We loved it. We rented it, watched it the first night, rewatched it the next morning with the director's commentary, and bought it the day after that.

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