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Best Shot Season Finale: The Matrix (1999)

I'm not proud to say so but I'd probably take the blue pill. 


It's not that I reject reality so much as that I keep misplacing it. It's easy to forget about it you're drawn to the fantasy. My spirit animal is Cecilia in The Purple Rose of Cairo, what can I say?

So here we are completing another season of Hit Me With Your Best Shot and again I've scheduled the final episode for the very moment I'm about to leave the country giving me no time whatsoever to produce anything like a suitable Season Finale with enough pomp and circumstance. [Note to self: Season Six must end before the suitcase has come down from the shelf for the Toronto International Film Festival.] So I'll make it up to you with a little look back at Season 5 in a couple of days.

But that image above, more than any other... apart from the cascading green symbols as visual motif (remember when that screensaver was all the rage?), is what I think of when I think of The Matrix. It needs us to embrace utter fabrication and complicated fantasy for the film to work and yet, as its narrative throughline it demands that Neo completely reject the same for cold hard wet and slimy truth. Is this what the dystopian genre is inherently for, to present dark truths about humanity and our future in the comforting garb of the unreal while screaming "REALITY!" as it pretzels itself back into fantasy like the greatest of contortionists?

I think so. 

Here's what the 12 other Best Shot Participants chose as their defining image. 

click on the image for the corresponding article 

The Film's The ThingAntagony & EcstasyFilm ActuallyEntertainment JunkieSorta That GuyLam Chop ChopPop Culture CrazyVideo ValhallaCinematic CornerDancin' Dan on Film
Allison TooeyBest Shot in the DarkTeo Bugbee

What image defines The Matrix for you? Do you see it here?


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Reader Comments (13) here's my entry, tweeted this to you yesterday :)

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersati

I posted mine in the Keanu thread earlier but here it is:

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

Guns. We need guns. .....and whoosh........NRA wet dream.

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Sorry I'm late! I wasn't about to miss this, though, so you can find my shot over at my journal under the groan inducing title of "Stop! Bullet Time."

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterallison tooey

I'm so happy that the cat found it's way in. THANKS CINEMATIC CORNER.

September 3, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

No 180-degree, mid-air Trinity crane kick? I feel like that's pretty undeniable.

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTim

I'm of the view that the movie is almost really good in the first half hour or so, and it doesn't get grossly hypocritical and dishearteningly toothless until they decide to end it with them charging in guns blazing. If nearly anyone is viewed as a potential convert, why would you EVER use lethal tactics? Oh, right, because this is a movie that asks us to both use our brain AND shut it off.

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

so, i'm the only idiot that picked something with bullet time?!? oh, well. I stand by my choice - it's by far the most memorable thing about the film and even 15 years later is still pretty cool.

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterabstew

If Morpheus had told me that I have to deal with this for two more sequels, with increasingly diminishing returns (upon a first installment that left me rather tepid, I must say), I would have gladly taken the blue pill and called it a day. I can always go back to my false life and just rent Dark City if I ever want to go there...assuming films still exist in the Matrix.

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Pretentious Know it All

I know this is incredibly late, but my entry is here:

I couldn't miss this one!

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Love all of the shot picks! Though I'm glad to able to represent the "Trinity Rocks!" portion of the audience. ;)

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Denny -- that url is just our index page silly ;)

Ryan --- had i chose another shot she probably would have been THE ONE.

Henry & Volvagia -- yeah, the pro-lethal violence is a real narrative problem. One that doesn't make a lot of sense if you can manipulate the unreality of it all anyway.

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

HA! It's been a long week... I forgot what I had last copied and then didn't proof my comment! Oh well... At least the picture link in the article is correct!

I expected there to be more Trinity love here, given the actressexuality!

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

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