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This list includes movies with similar themes that the Matrix movies explore, some of these movies did it before the matrix, some the same year, just a month or two after. These themes include virtual realities, realities that, although are tangible or “real”, aren’t what we think it really is, and man killing death machines.

 


 

existenz

Existenz (1999)

  • How is it like the Matrix?
    • Virtual Reality
      • A game world
  • What is it about?
    •  Weird, weird things. Especially the game pods that remind me of a collection of yogert, gak, and silly puddy.
    • Exestenz is about a brand new game that you plug your brain into and experience a completely virtual world. This world is written as a role playing game in which there are goals, targets, and NPC (none player characters). There are even parts of dialogue that get stuck because the players haven’t said the right things, so they have to go back and say something again to trigger the NPC to continue the conversation.
    •  If you’ve never seen this movie, and you’re a gamer, then you might want to check it out. This movie is fun because it plays off of our knowledge about how role playing games work, and what might that do to us if we got so lost in that game that we no longer could tell what is real and what isn’t.
  • Anyone famous in it or make it?
    • Yes
      • David Ronenberg. He wrote and directed it. He also did The Fly, Scanners, the original Dead Zone, Naked Lunch, History of Violence, and Eastern Promises.(but don’t worry, this one isn’t nearly as violent as those last two).
      • Also starring Jude Law, Ian Holm and Willem Dafoe.
  • Is it good?
    • Sure, if you like that type of thing. It’s definitely weird and if you’re not a gamer, you probably won’t enjoy it.

 


 

thirteenthfloorThe Thirteenth Floor (1999)

  •  Why is it like the Matrix?
    • Virtual Reality
      • But not a game, more of an open ended, on going virtual world. Think the halo deck on Star Trek Next Gen.
  • What’s it about?
    • A hardware and software company developing a virtual reality system. As they are testing it out, someone discovers a murder has taken place in the virtual world, and one of the developers is implicated. Uh oh...
  • Anyone famous in it or make it?
    • If Vincent D’Onofrio counts, then yes.
  • Was it good?
    • I thought so, but it is a bit slow. It is not much about action, and more about character development and story.



 darkcityDark City (1998)

 

  • Why is it like the Matrix?
    • Un-Reailty. Not virtual, but what you think is your reality, really isn’t. Now the question is, where’s the beach!
  • What’s it about?
    • A dude wakes up, naked. (Man, if only more movies started like this). He has a tiny hole in his fore head and finds a needle on the floor. A dead girl in the corner, but he doesn’t remember killing her. He doesn’t remember anything, he can’t even remember his own name.
    • As our main character tries to figure out what the heck is going on, he begins to discover that not only is his own life not what it seems, but the whole city and everyone in it may not be who they all think they are. (Ooooow, cryptic.)
  • Anyone famous in it or make it?
    •  Yep. William Hurt, Rufus Sewell (ok, you might not know him, but he’s int a butt ton of movies), Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly (remember her from Labrynth?), and oh yeah, that hunch back from Rockey Horror Picture Show, Richard O’Brien.
  •  Is it good?
    • Uh, yeah. Yes, it’s freekin’ awesome. If you haven’t seen it, then you should. It’s probably one of the best sci-fi, film noir movies since Blade Runner.

 


 

tronTron (1982)

  • Why is it like the Matrix?
    • Virtual reality
      • All about the games.
  • What’s it about?
    • Tron was the First movie to ever attempt to show us what it might be like to crawl inside a computer game. For this reason, it sucked at the box office ‘cus no one really cared then. But, because computers run the world now, it became a cult classic. And ‘cus Jeff Bridges is in it, he reprised his role in the new one as Obi Won Lebowski. (I can’t take credit on that one).
  • Anyone famous in it or make it?
    • Obi Won Lebowski himself, Jeff Bridges.
  • Is it good?   
    •  Shut up, yes it’s freekin’ fantastic. But the new one is way cooler.



 


 

totalrecallTotal Recall (1990)

  •  Why is it like Matrix?
    • Un-Reality, or virtual, or altered memories,... or something.
  • What’s it about?
    • Um. Arnold Schwarzenegger killing people, mutants on Mars, air shortages, a woman with three breasts for some reason. (oh right, they’re mutants).
    • (Ok, side note. Women are mammals and only have two breasts. Other mammals, like cats, have multiple nipples. Think about how they are arranged on in cats. In two lines, on either side of center of the body. This is how it would be if women had multiple mammary glands, not three in a row on their chests, but if there were more than two, there would be an even number, so like, four, and they would be on either side of center on her body, and only if women had litters and not just 2 or 3 children. Well, I guess some women have litters, but still. If you’re thinking I thought too much about this, you’re right).
    • The basic idea here is that you can go on vacation without ever leaving your home by going to a Recall company and having them implant those memories. The big problem is that Arnold is a double agent, with implanted memories to gain the trust of the mutants. But, he forgot who he was and is now a nice guy, fighting for the rights of the mutants on Mars.
  • Anyone famous in it or make it?
    •  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone
  •  Is it good?
    • Well, it’s a classic. Good? kinda. Just don’t “Open your mind” to a weird little guy stuck on another guys stomach is all I’m saying.”

 


 

terminatorTerminator (1984)

  • Why is it like Matrix?
    • Man killing death machines, taking over the world.
  • What’s it about?
    •  Arnold Schwarzenegger killing Sarah Conner, a lot.  And, trucks, shot guns, home made pipe bombs. All the kind of stuff you want in an action movie. And the only Terminator movie with a love scene (but it was “needed” to show us how John Conner was made, of course).
    • This is the first movie that the words “I’ll be back.” was made famous. It’s also one of the first movies where it became cool to rip out your own eye ball and wear sun glasses to hide the fact you are a serial killing robot.
  •  Anyone famous in it or make it?
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger starred as the bad guy, James Cameron wrote and directed because he liked trucks, and Linda Hamilton played Sarah Conner because she was married to James Cameron at the time (until he left her for a younger chick).
  •  Is it good?   
    •  Eh, it’s a classic. Like the Alien series, the first one is the most violent and “scary.” (though, it isn’t all that scary, but much more serious than the rest up until the new one with Christian Bale as John Conner).
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