FIRST day show

IT HAS finally happened - we are part of a global release!! Come November 5 and we can claim our place in the cinematic sun with the worldwide release of the concluding part of The Matrix franchise - The Matrix Revolutions. The film is being released to coincide with its US release down to the minute with the first show being screened at 7.30 on Wednesday evening according to Akshat Misra of Sangeet Cinema.

In the good old days movies used to take forever to come to India. Those were the days of glory for the posh NRI relatives and friends who would know what would happen to Hans Solo and company (Star Wars), Indiana Jones or Marty McFly (Back to the Future).

With globalisation, the release dates were narrowed much to the dismay of the friendly neighbourhood video store. Cable television ensured one knew about the latest, latest in Hollywood. There was a time when one saw the Oscar nominees and winners a year after the awards were announced. Not anymore - now we can all turn into armchair critics and root for our favourite best picture or actor/actress categories.

Last year, Spider-Man set a precedent with a three-week difference with its US release. A follow up to the Tobey Mcguire film about the web-slinging super hero was Charlie's Angels - II Full Throttle this July. The film, a sequel to the 2000 smash featuring some glorious eye candy in the form of Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Demi Moore was released precisely a week after its US release and the movie buff's cup runneth over. And now we are looking at a simultaneous global release.

When The Matrix was released in 1999, it went against all predictions to become the biggest hit of the year. Even though Hyderabad is not particularly fond of science fiction, (we love creature features — the bigger the better) the film ran to packed houses. Elements of the film have crept into our lives. We have Rahul Dravid dodging bullets in stop motion a la Keanu Reeves in the Castrol ad and Chiranjeevi's Tagore poster is in green and black with what looks suspiciously like lines of code.

The Matrix managed to fuse elements of pop culture with some of the coolest kung fu to create a techno-tale of the geek's ultimate paranoia - of machines taking over the world.

FIRST day show

There is Neo, (Keanu Reeves uses his expressionless face to advantage) who is the chosen one, Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne full of import) the leader of the resistance movement, Trinity (taut and tight Carrie Ann Moss) Neo's love interest and wicked Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving)

Written and directed by the Wachowski brothers, the making of The Matrix has become an urban legend of sorts.

In the beginning, movie moghuls found the story too complicated and asked the Wachowskis to simplify it. All changed once the film became a box office phenomenon. The Wachowskis conceived the story as a trilogy and shot the second and third part simultaneously.

The second part, Matrix Reloaded, opened in Cannes in May and was released in India in June. Reloaded pushed the envelope in expected ways (hundreds of agent Smiths instead of one and absolutely silly introductions like the dreadlocked twins) and was not as much fun as the original.

Reloaded ends with Neo lying comatose aboard a rebel hovercraft after destroying hoards of sentinels single-handed.

Revolutions finds Zion - the last human city as well as Machine city in trouble, Neo learning the truth about his powers, Morpheus coming to terms with Neo's destiny and Agent Smith going totally berserk and beyond the control of even the machines - the whole deal is of course packaged in super cool stunts, music and costumes.

Even though Sean Connery pulled out of the premiere of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen at the absolute last minute because of the serial blasts in Mumbai, the day is not far off when perhaps we would have Angelina Jolie of the glorious pout zooming into Sangeet for the premier of Tomb Raider 3 or Pierce Brosnan with some lissom lovelies on his arm at the premiere of Bond 21!

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