1.The movie alludes to both Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. Trinity tells Neo to “follow the white rabbit,” as Alice did, and he does.Morpheus tells Neo that he has fallen down the rabbit hole and he may find out how deep the hole goes. Neo is given a choice between the blue pill and the red pill, as Alice was enticed to “Eat Me” and ” Drink Me. ” Another cybernaut tells Neo, “Fasten your seat belt, Dorothy, ’cause Kansas is goin’ bye bye.” . How do these references to other psychic journey stories help us understand and appreciate The Matrix? In what ways are the three stories alike?2. Names are used very deliberately in The Matrix. How do the characters? names help us understand and appreciate the events?
3. How did the visual designer and cinematographer make the real world seem more real than the world in The Matrix? Describe the different looks of the two worlds. What are the qualities of the two worlds that set them apart and make one seem real, the other constructed?
4. Computer graphics were used to create the reality shifts when the Agents and Neo were dodging bullets. We could see blurred lines to suggest the speed of their movements. We could see the ripples in the air created by the bullets. When Neo pokes the video screen, it ripples like water, sticks to him and begins to grow. How do these effects help us to see the surrealistic nature of The Matrix and the constructed world? How are they similar to some of Dorothy’s (The Wizard of Oz) and Alice’s ( Alice in Wonderland )experiences in their stories?
5. Great care went into the sound of The Matrix, utilizing stereo, sound effects, and sub woofers. The sound design is especially powerful during the fight scenes. When Neo and Trinity invade the military building to rescue Morpheus, the entire soundtrack was supplied by computer-generated sounds. Did you hear the gunfire? Did you hear the bullets whizzing by your ears? Did you feel the rumble of the cannons? What is the effect of hearing rock music during the gunfight? Why do you think the sound designers included the rock music in an already noisy scene?
6. When viewers have such a powerful audio and visual experience as they did during the fight scenes, their rational minds tell them it’s a story, but their eyes and ears tell them it’s real. Can people become confused by these mixed messages? When sounds get so real that they actually shake you, does it become hard not to believe in the reality of the fantasy? Can you understand how Neo might have felt in The Matrix?
7. Morpheus believed in Neo totally. He trained him and even sacrificed his life for Neo. Yet Neo could not summon the courage to defeat the matrix from Morpheus’ faith. When Trinity kisses Neo and tells him that she loves him, he not only comes back to life, but defeats the matrix.. What does Trinity’s kiss give Neo that allows him to defy the matrix? Why wasn’t Morpheus’ faith enough?
8. Agent Smith accuses humankind of being a virus, of being an uncontrollable disease on earth. He suggests that he is the cure for the virus that Neo represents. Is there some truth to this point of view? What steps can people take to limit their use and abuse of the earth? What natural limits have occurred to control human activity?
9. What are some other possible views of the ?human virus?? For example, might some people think that the melting of polar ice could control the ?human virus?? Might some people view war as a way of controlling the ?human virus?? Might some people view famine as a way of controlling the ?human virus??? Might some people view diseases such as HIV as a way of controlling the ?human virus??
10. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) has enslaved humans in pods and raises them only to harvest their embryos for food. The AI supplies the matrix to trick humans into thinking they have meaningful lives while they are cultivated. This is clearly unethical. Morpheus has awakened Neo from this fantasy and groomed him to free all of humankind from the AI by destroying the matrix. Is Morpheus being ethical? Is it OK to destroy Trinity’s or Neo’s fantasies without consulting them? At the end of the movie, Neo warns the AI of his intentions, then steps out of a phone booth to begin the liberation. Is this an ethical act? Explain.
11. When Morpheus was tutoring Neo on the true reality, he showed him the real world. It was a wasteland where sunlight was prevented from reaching the earth by violent storm clouds. If the humans were successfully freed from their pods, where would they go? How would they survive? Had the AI created the best way to preserve human life?
12. Why didn’t the Oracle tell Neo he was “the one?” Morpheus says, “She told him what he needed to know.” She said that Neo didn’t need to ask her because he already knew. He had to become “the one” on his own. Why? How does this compare to Dorothy and the ruby slippers as her way back home?
13. Which special effects did you like? Why? When Neo dove into and shattered agent Smith’s body? When Neo stopped the bullets? When Neo learned kung fu from Morpheus? Neo’s birth? The morphing of people into agents? The machines harvesting human embryos? The agents pursuing Trinity?
14. How important were the special effects in The Matrix? Someone once observed that special effects have become the new stars of movies. Does that statement apply to The Matrix? Why?
15. Describe a scene from The Matrix that was created by a combination of real and computer-generated images. How can you tell? Which parts were real and which were computer-generated? How can you tell? Can you be sure, or are you left uncertain? Name some of your favorite movies. Do they fit the description of a constructed matrix? Are these movies good for you, or dangerous? When might fantasies be healthy, and when might they be unhealthy? ?
1. The Wachowski brothers referenced Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland to help the viewer understand the underlying message of the movie in that the world perceived as reality is an image is under control by some power. The mission of Neo, Dorothy and Alice is to set their people free.
2. The names used in the Matrix have religious/spiritual connotation. Trinity refers to Christian belief of three persons in one God. Neo, meaning new, is the One who will save mankind from control of the machines. This is a representation of Jesus Christ. These and many others helps us see the movie from many angles according to our worldview.
3. The cinematographers were successful in making a distinction between the real world and simulated reality of the matrix by showing the limits of human ability in the real world versus the superhuman ability of the characters inside the Matrix. Still, death in one will result in death in both worlds.
4. One of the famous scenes is the battle of Trinity against the sentient agents this is in direct parallel to Dorothy and Alice battle against the evil forces that control their world. There is a real sense of empowerment of women in all three literatures.
5. The use of music during fight scenes is a homage to Hongkong action cinema which developed this technique. The use of grinding rock music served to not only excite the audience but also uncannily produced order out of chaos in that it was like a symphony of violence.
6. There is a possibility of the movie causing someone to be confused in differentiating reality and imagery. It might even cause one to be desensitized with violence thus accepting it as the norm. This is like mind conditioning. At first it can overwhelm but later one get used to it. This is the same with Neo who was like a neophyte at first but discovered his own power as he grew accustomed to the Matrix.
7. Morpheus faith led him to sacrifice himself but Trinity?s love is what gave life to Neo. Faith will lead one to give up his life to a cause he believes in but love is a greater force in that while one may die for it, love will give birth to life as in a mother dying in childbirth. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
8. Agent Smith?s point of view is the same view of totalitarian governments that humans are putting too much a burden on the earth?s resources and should therefore be ?controlled?. In a way, there is truth to this since we live in a throw-away society. We need to reduce, re-use and recycle to reduce our impact on the environment. Drought, plagues and the resultant death and famine has served to limit human activity.
9. In the movie ?Outbreak? one encounters the theory that a secretive group can hatch a plot to release an incurable strain of virus to decimate the human population thereby managing the ?human virus?.
10. When can individual?s rights be morally suppressed? Usually for the good of the many. Though it may seem the Morpheus violated Neo and Trinity?s right to self-determination but if one would look at the whole picture there is a bigger issue at stake and that is the freedom of multitudes. There is also the question if Neo?s action was right. Definitely, since it is the individual?s right to rebel if the controlling power is no longer acting in the interest of the populace but for self-preservation like the AI.
11. The blotting out of the sun was a failed attempt by man to cut-off power to the artificially intelligent machines. The AI created the power plant powered by humans to sustain itself. Though the living condition of rebel group may seem wretched, it is far more preferable than being relegated to slaves or machines without any freedom whatsoever.
12. It is true that in life one does becomes something solely with the help of others. There are some things that one must experience for oneself in order to be transformed. It is the journey of life. This is what Neo had to discover for himself ? his life mission, the purpose of his existence.
13. I particularly liked the effects when Neo dodged the bullets which showed the relative speed of each moving body. It is very scientific and technologically advanced.
14. The Matrix was brought the concept that special effects could be front and center of a whole movie plot. It vividly depicted the world of the matrix which is crucial to its believability.
15. During the chase and/or battle scenes with the agents pursuing Neo?s party, the agents had the power to take over a human. The actors were are real but it was through computer graphics that the transformation took place since both characters are digital images. One of my favorite movies of all time is Blade Runner which has some striking parallels with the Matrix such as futuristic society, the rise of the intelligent machines and the use of low key black and white visual style. Movies afford us a sense of catharsis where we are able to live out a fantasy and release. The best part of this is when we are inspired to become better persons.