Action Movie Memory: The Matrix


Austin over at TheBishopReview has a great blog full of reviews, articles and guest posts. You may recall the Classic Movie Week he hosted in which I, along with several other great bloggers, was invited to spotlight a classic movie. I focused on a personal b&w favorite entitled Captain’s Courageous. (check out the article HERE) I enjoy Austin’s page and that’s why I jumped at the offer to be a part of another endeavor.

I was asked to share a memory of watching an action movie. When the request came through, I already knew what I needed to write about: The Matrix!


Back in 1999, my favorite NFL team was not a part of the Superbowl, so I didn’t really care to watch it…I mean, who’s a Denver Broncos or Atlanta Falcons fan anyways? I certainly wasn’t (sorry, Uncle Chris) so I wasn’t stuck to the television when it aired live. Instead, I recorded it and my father and I watched it with finger on the fastforward button later that evening. While skipping through several parts of a rather so-so Superbowl recording and KISS’ halftime show I saw something that I had never seen before and made me press rewind:


I had no idea, but I rewound it and quickly saw a trailer for a movie I knew I just HAD to see. And my question, the same as everyone else’s, was on everyone’s lips the next day in homeroom at highschool: “What is The Matrix?” (Nobody even cared to talk about the Wild Wild West trailer starring Will Smith…nobody cares to talk about it even now!)matrix

Knowing that I wouldn’t be at the theaters to see this one on March 31, 1999 (the theaters and I didn’t begin our mutual relationship until after highschool in the summer of 2000) I couldn’t wait for my chance to watch it. It came out on video later that year and quickly became an action movie that I will never forget enjoying.

  • The place: my friend’s living room
  • The time: 10pm on a school night after studying
  • The problem: Midnight curfew

From the very beginning, I knew I was hooked. I mean, the special effects alone were heart-stoppingly amazing on that VHS copy playing on my friend’s state of the art 25″ tube tv! The Wachowskis put something together full of style and scenes never before seen that just captured my attention. I and my two fellow senior class compadres closed our schoolbooks and opened our mouths in amazement at Carrie-Anne Moss in that tight black leather suit kicking butt in slow motion in the opening sequence. We all sounded like Keanu Reeves himself: “Whoa!”

So many questions: What is going on? Who is on the phone? What is the Matrix? What type of hair gel does Keanu use? (just kidding) What does a white rabbit have to do with anything? Can I learn Kung Fu like that? What if you have a bad gag reflex and can’t swallow the red OR the blue pill? Does it come in a bottle like Nyquil? What types of drugs are they on? Spoons don’t move like that! 😀red vs blue

And then, as we continued watching (sleepiness now being a foreign stranger to us), this amazing action flick turned it up another notch and gave us one of the BEST R-rated movie action sequences ever made…making our already funny-looking wide-eyed open-mouthed faces even more disfigured as you could’ve swept our jaws off of the floor when the scene began. Yes. I’m talking about the lobby scene! You know it! Watch:

This movie immediately went from 0 to 100 for my friends and I. (As a matter of fact, I now watch this scene at my house on blu-ray when I have friends over and want to show off my pretty amazing sound setup…or just to make the neighbors mad. Whichever!) The Matrix continued to bring on the action with more fights, bullets, helicopters and more. I will never forget watching this with friends on a small 25″ tube tv late that night…the-matrix-1999-600x337

…Nor will I ever forget the trouble I got in when I rolled up to my house at 12:30am to see my dad standing at the door waiting for me (see the aforementioned curfew time). I had two choices:Morpheus-Red-or-Blue-Pill-the-matrix-1957140-500-568

  • red pill- get back in my car and prepare to spend the next day…week…month at my friend’s house
  • OR
  • blue pill– go inside and act all hard like Neo and Trinity in the lobby scene and, if necessary, prepare to use some of the amazing kung fu skills I all of a sudden learned from being “matrix-cized.”

Yeah…neither one of those things happened as I swiftly heard those two words I knew were coming. You guessed it: “You’re grounded.” (Thanks for teaching me NOTHING, Neo and Morpheus!)matrixdojo6006ad

…that wouldn’t be the first and only time that The Matrix got me in trouble either as I may or may not have been late to a few classes after watching the movie in 1 or 2 abandoned classrooms during downtime at school in my senior year. Just saying! It was probably the movie’s fault if something like that did really happen during school (I plead the 5th)! The Rock was another movie that got me in trouble, but that’s another story for another time. Thanks for letting me share my Action Movie Memory with you. 🙂

(be sure to visit Austin’s page for more articles from other fantastic movie bloggers sharing their favorite action movie memory…and tell me yours in the comments below)

Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!

T, The Focused Filmographer

oh, and I love you, Dad! 🙂


    • 🙂 Mistylane, thanks for reading and leaving the comment. Poor Wild Wild West. Interestingly enough, Will Smith passed up on the offer to be Neo and regrets it to this day. Wild Wild West also remains one of his biggest regrets…1999 just wasn’t a good year for him.


  1. Hi, Terrence and company:

    I still prefer ‘Equilibrium’. Though the instantly imagined fruits of a massive arsenal’s response to “Guns… Lots of them!” remains superbly executed. The ensuing firefight in the office building’s rotunda has a few flaws you need to pay attention to find.

    A great introduction to a franchise that should have ended after its great introduction.


  2. This indeed was a great film. And i think i told you this before, but after recently rewatching the sequels i think they got a undeserved bad rep(Although i will admit the whole Neo vs 100 Smiths fight still came off pointless). I think they just fell under the weight of huge expectations they couldn’t quite meet.

    Also, i noticed that the franchise as a whole is a lot more feminist minded than most sci-fi these days(Niobe’s character is probably the best example of this)


  3. Good flashback there T., The Matrix is one of those films that I still feel it came out a month ago. I also remember well the first time I saw it, unfortunately it wasn’t a good memory. The film came out during the time when cell phones were becoming popular and there was this one a-hole who sat in front of me, his cell phone kept ringing and he kept answering his calls. What’s worst was that he didn’t even bother to turn the damn thing off after a couple of calls he got. I was wondering why the hell was he in the theater if someone constantly needed to get a hold of him? So it was a bad memory for me, fortunately I still enjoyed the film tremendously.

    The Matrix was also the first state of art DVD when it came out in that format in late 1999. I was still working at Best Buy store at the time and the film helped DVD became the preferred format around that time. Although many DVD players had trouble playing the disc because it was so advanced, thankfully my old Panasonic DVD player didn’t have any issues with it. I must’ve played that lobby shootout scene many times to show off my then cool AIWA surround sound system that I bought from BB. You remember AIWA? LOL.


    • oh, good ol’ AIWA! hahahaha. yes I do remember. and, yep, you’re right The Matrix DID help sell DVD format. true story.

      such a bad experience with that guy and his cell phone. man, everyone was attached to their phones then…oh, wait…they still are. ha

      Thanks for reading, Ted! enjoyed your comment.


  4. That was a really enjoyable story to read. I can’t remember where I saw this the first time, but like everyone I remember being extremely impressed by it.


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