In the Wachowskis’ original 1999 film The Matrix, Neo’s heroic journey centered on his growing understanding of the nature of his manufactured reality, and how to exploit and alter it using only his will and the realization that “there is no spoon.” His trek from curious doofus to online messianic superhero could have been a lot trickier if the Matrix were constructed differently. Or if, say, it was running on Windows XP…
Growing up, I spent hours exploring my dad’s collection of old science fiction paperbacks from the ’50s and ’60s. My youth was spent amongst the stars of my imagination, with names like Robert Heinlein, Andre Norton, and Isaac Asimov as my guides. To this day, that unmistakable scent of old paper will knock me flat with nostalgia, and as much as I love reading new books on my iPad, that experience is missing a certain primal something. And one of the things I miss most? The artwork. I loved those faded, cracked book covers, each one presenting some new, amazing sight that shaped my imagination and creativity for decades to come. Sure, they were often cheesy, and they’re nowhere as slick as the professional SF covers you’ll see lining the shelves at Barnes and Noble, but that was part of their charm.
That’s why I’m kind of in love with this image posted by illustrator Timothy Anderson over at his blog. In case you’ve ever wondered what the Wachowskis’ Matrix might have looked like as a 1950s pulp paperback, wonder no more:
Science fiction film and television has provided no shortage of jaw-dropping battle scenes over the years. We’ve watched ships stalk each other through thick nebula haze, sleek starfighters dancing through fields of debris, and burning dreadnoughts make one final, defiant suicide charge against the enemy. But while some of the genre’s most memorable moments were played out on a huge scale, there are plenty of smaller, more personal battles that were just as intense and dramatic. After all, it’s easy to go to war when you’ve got a fleet of the galaxy’s finest behind you, but what about when it’s just you against the person/thing across from you, and only one of you is walking away alive?
In honor of The Hunger Games hitting theaters tomorrow, we here at GFR decided to look back at our favorite mano-a-mano SF fights over the years. These dustups are one-on-one and to-the-death. No one has to actually die, but the intent to kill has to be there, on one side or both. Let’s step into the ring and meet our first contenders… (Note: You can click the images to watch video of the fights.)
Any time anyone comes up with something new and successful, the world rushes to carve out a piece of what they’ve done, whether it’s deserved or not. Take The Matrix, which pretty much changed science fiction filmmaking forever, and was instantly accused of ripping off everything from Neuromancer to Hong Kong martial arts films. Or maybe the film’s directors, the Wachowskis, were simply huge fans of KISS.
That’s the latest theory on the source of their brilliance, this time being pushed around by the boys over at Geeks of Doom. They’ve come up with some odd evidence, mostly by actually listening to KISS albums, which I wasn’t aware people actually did. Haven’t we all agreed they’re a colossal joke which should be ignored? No? Ok.
Read the entire explanation over there, but the short version is that thirty-years ago KISS released an album called “Music from the Elder”. It was a concept album which told the story of “The One” as he’s guided by a guy named “Morpheus”. There’s a prophecy too and a very thin connection between someone who was once involved in a KISS project and was also in The Matrix. Oh and there’s the KISS album’s cover, which looks like this…