In 1999, the Wachowskis released a game-changer of a science fiction movie called The Matrix. The film was ahead of its time, with amazing visual effects, story design, and action sequences. It brought the Wachowskis into the mainstream, and spawned countless copycats in the years that followed. Four years later, the Wachowskis would release two sequel films, The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions, which built upon the mythology of the original. Sadly, the sequel films were just shells of their predecessor’s greatness.
When combined with the global outlet that is the Internet, passion for our favorite movies and TV shows can inspire people to translate that passion into a thousand different, unexpected creations. We here at GFR regularly feature fan-created artwork and short films that can rival Hollywood when it comes to creativity and unique vision. But this one, this is one of those things where trying to figure out how they came up with the idea is enough to give a guy a headache. The left half of the image above is obviously pulled from Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. But before we spoil the how or why, you’re just going to have to take our word for it when we tell you that the right half of the image? That’s Blade Runner too.
That multi-colored barcode comes from the MovieBarcode Tumblr blog. It was created by taking frames from the film, squeezing them down into digital strips, and then assembling them in sequence to create…well, barcodes. And while these images don’t tell you much about the story or characters of your favorite films, they do simply demonstrate one visual quality of films that it sometimes overlooked: the color palate, and how it changes over the course of the movie. Knowing that and looking back at the Blade Runner image up top, it makes sense. You can see the film’s mixture of dark imagery peppered with bright neon flashes, a concise summary of the visual world Ridley Scott created.
Who’s got time to watch an entire movie these days? Especially in the theater, with all of those damn ads. If you want to catch up on your classic science fiction but don’t have a lot of time, 1A4Studio has the perfect solution—60-second condensed versions of must-see movies. The latest studio speedrun is Blade Runner, but they have a ton of other sci-fi greats to choose from.
While it lacks the gritty futurism of the original, as well as Harrison Ford’s compelling “is he or isn’t he a replicant?” performance, this video has a certain charm all its own. My favorite part is definitely the unicorn bursting through the television. In a strange way, that kind of sums up what Blade Runner is all about. Speedrun sex is also pretty funny, as are the gymnastics involved in gunfights.
If you’ve got a few more minutes, and I do mean minutes, you should brush up on more genre favorites. Their version of Aliens features surprisingly adorable killer extraterrestrials. As with the previous video, the characters take an elevator to transport from one “scene” to another, which functions as a nifty metaphor and way to break up the visual frames. Also, even drawn as what looks like a cross between a marshmallow and a stick figure with pigtails, Sigourney Weaver still kicks a whole lot of ass.
Cinema can often be a reflection of society. It can inform audiences of the troubles, pitfalls, and social issues in contemporary history in an entertaining and thoughtful way. Cinema can also be a vision of the future. Well-made science fiction movies can offer audiences both conceits. Films like The Matrix and Avatar can serve as warnings to humanity that we may become too dependent on technology, whereas movies like Star Trek can expand the role of technology in society.
Co-founder of PayPal, Facebook early investor, and billionaire Peter Thiel has denounced Hollywood for making movies that subscribe to the idea of technology as evil and dangerous. As reported in THR, Thiel told a sold-out audience at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills that sci-fi movies like The Matrix and Avatar contribute to the high-tech industry’s “deceleration” and make technological innovation seem “destructive and dysfunctional.” He added that it will be a “very good sign” when Hollywood stops making movies about horrifying and alarming new technologies.
Thiel praised Star Trek for the role of technology in its vision of the future, stating that “communicators and tablets used by the characters in that old show about the distant future are already a reality.” But The Matrix didn’t hamper technological innovation, but rather embodies it. The filmmaking technology the Wachowskis used in 1999 to make The Matrix was used in countless films thereafter. Ten years later, James Cameron revolutionized science fiction again with Avatar in 2009. In fact, most of Cameron’s films have pushed technological boundaries forward, especially his films in the last two decades or so.
Where movies like The Matrix or Avatar portray the dangers of unchecked technological innovation, it’s because those issues are complex and do have a negative potential as well as a positive one. Thiel’s comments just seem like a cheap shot.
When it comes to science fiction fans, we tend to be a little obsessive about our favorite things. We know every episode of Star Trek by name, we can quote Star Wars from front to back. Hell, we may even have memorized all the nicknames John Crichton called other characters in Farscape. So sometimes to make our beloved movies and shows and books and whatnot seem fresh again, all we need is a new set of eyes. Sometimes, however, that doesn’t always work out the way you’d expect. Cast in point, the video above, wherein some dude’s mother attempts to retell the events of the first Matrix movie, wherein Neo becomes Leo, who may or may not be bisexual, and there’s somebody named Moshimo. Or possibly Mustache.
If you enjoy the first video, you should also check out their Star Wars version. YouTuber Pixelpersecond’s friend Amanda had never seen a Star Wars movie all the way through, but she claimed she still knew what happened in them. Here’s her version:
The Matrix has been a pop culture touchstone since its initial release in 1999. The film was a revolutionary piece of science fiction that examined the meaning of life, existence, and humanity’s relationship with machines, while also delivering mind-bending action sequences and special effects. A few years later the visionaries behind The Matrix release two sequel films – The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions – that fell extremely short in quality to the greatness of the original film. 10 years later, it seems like The Matrix is making a small comeback in pop culture.
The commercial above features Hugo Weaving reprising his iconic role as the villain in The Matrix movies – Agent Smith. Although The Wachowskis didn’t direct the commercial, director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, George Washington) took the helm to re-create the look and feel of The Matrix.