Something was pointed out by Sean in the comments from yesterday’s post about The Matrix trilogy that I felt I should clear up: I realise that most people really don’t like the second and third Matrix films, and cinematically I think that the Wachowski brothers made a lot of mistakes. Things went on too long, there was a lot of politics that no-one really is that interested in, there are some very distinct crunching gear changes, and the orchestral soundtrack could have been more inspired… But I still like them. I like action movies, and I like people at least attempting to do something more intelligent than your average film. I think most people went to see the second and third films wanting action but instead they got a load of philosophy. I was fine with that, because that was what I was looking for, but for many the strands of action and talking just didn’t meld.
There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing! It’s a shame that a great first film couldn’t be followed with the same melding of action, energy, and narrative that it had achieved but I still enjoyed them. I think the choice of commentaries in the box-set is brave (after all, what other official film has a commentary by people who don’t like it?) but also very telling: the philosophers like it, the people who are approaching it as purely a cinematic experience don’t. That was the problem, it’s just down to whether you are prepared to look at what the films do manage or not, but still whether you choose to do that or not is in no way a reflection of you ‘intelligence’, just what your tastes are in life. I know that I have some obscure interests, so don’t expect everyone to share them, and it is those that make me like the films, not some ‘greater understanding’, just a different one.
There is a risk of real snobbishness when it comes to taste, but that’s just daft. I personally find ‘The Shining’ rather dull, and I think that ‘Gladiator’ is one of the most cold and boring pieces of cinema I’ve seen. That’s just taste for you, what floats one boat won’t work for another. It’s all part of the grand pattern of life, not a sign of one person having ‘better taste’ in regards to art.