Oh for Christ sake! Yes, Lana used to be Larry, get over it you stupid, stupid newswire reading hacks!

This isn’t news, even if it was news, it’s old news. Her transitioning started years ago. John Hurt spoke about it while filming V for Vendetta in 2008.

While I think it’s a great thing to have a transgender role model like Lana, it annoys the fuck out of me that the new media thinks this is news when they were scooped by Rolling Stone years ago! It annoys the fuck out of me that everything was focused on Larry becoming Lana as opposed to the work they were trying to get across.

… okay… rant done… I think…

What all of these people missed is the bigger news.

The Wachowskis have made a new film.

And it has to be good. Or a critical success. If you’re the film company, you’re hoping for both.

The film is called Cloud Atlas. Based on the 2004 novel of the same name, Cloud Atlas is a time spanning story about how lives and actions have consequences that can reverberate through the centuries. Judging by the trailer, the film looks to do the same.

The Washowskis are risking big with this film. It’s a huge tale, a very distinguished cast and they’ve also got a third director in Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). It is historical, it is contemporary and it is futuristic.

When The Washowskis arrived with Bound, it was a great sign of good things to come. Bound was smartly written, tightly directed and showed a great deal of potential for their future careers.

Then came The Matrix.

While deconstructed, The Matrix contained a lot of ideas and film concepts we had seen before. Machines taking over the Earth, wire kung fu, virtual reality, etc. But it was how The Washowskis packaged all of these ideas that we had grown up with into this incredibly accessible action film. It spawned imitators in many ways including the use of wires in Hollywood action scenes. Some good, some bad (X-Men wire-fu scenes, I’m looking in your direction).

While The Matrix itself wasn’t really new in someways, overall it was a breath of fresh air in sci-fi. Think about it. It was a sci-fi film not based onĀ  a single novel or comic book. It wasn’t a remake or a reboot. It was a new film.

And then came the other two.

I saw The Matrix Reloaded opening night. I went in with decent expectations. I didn’t think it was going to be the most amazing film ever made but I thought it’d be at least a step or two below the first film.

What I was handed was a half-assed philosophy class with a decent fight or two but a total lack of balls.

It is a film version of a cock tease.

Every time they promised something, it got pulled back or never delivered on. Remember when Persephone mentions that all of The Merovingian’s henchmen are all programs that were hard to kill? That they were the basis of werewolves, ghosts and other nasties in the matrix?

What did we get?

Two albino guys who were sort of ghost-like and a ton of run of the mill kung fu thugs.

I left the theater disappointed and annoyed.

I waited for the third round and while the half-ass philosophy was still there and the idea behind The One and The Matrix itself was a little confusing if not downright silly, it did have huge mechs with big guns, so The Matrix Revolutions ended up having a few more points then Reloaded in my review book. The film also proved to me that you could do an awesome fight scene with Superman. That huge battle between Mr. Smith and Neo was proof of concept that technology would now allow the Man of Steel to realize his full film potential. Just take another look at the scene but change Neo into Superman and Mr. Smith into Zod or Brainiac. Awesome, right?

Unfortunately, Bryan Singer must have skipped going to see it.

To this day, I do not own either sequel.

And I own the Star Wars prequels on blu-ray.

Some people do like them. For the life of me I can’t think of one but the films made enough box office and sold enough DVDs and blu-rays to prove that.

Maybe the Matrix sequels are like Nickleback. No one will admit to liking them but someone has to. Look at how many concert tickets and albums they sell.

But I digress.

Taking a break from directing, The Wachowskis wrote and produced the film adaptation of V for Vendetta. While some don’t like it, I love V. I think it’s a solid flick on a number of levels. Rumor even had it the second unit directed some pieces of the film.

And then came Speed Racer.

I was never a huge Speed Racer fan to begin with but I did think the casting sounded pretty solid.

Then someone went and vomited a crap ton of CGI onto the screen. Seriously, here’s a screen grab.

It’s like ILM’s server farm just took a big dump on the screen.

To be blunt, Speed Racer was pretty to look at but one of the worst movies I’ve ever sat through. Oddly, I can’t really put my finger on why I don’t like it. The casting is good and it really doesn’t deviate from the cartoon much in terms of story. I just don’t think it was very enjoyable.

And I wasn’t alone in the dislike department. If the numbers I’ve seen are correct, the film may have broken even after DVD but it wasn’t the hit everyone thought it would be.

After Speed Racer, things went quiet. We heard stories of various projects the press shy Wachowskis were working on. A Plastic Man film. CN-9 – a film supposedly set in the current Iraq conflict that involved gay love and conspiracy. Another sci-fi film of their own pen called Jupiter Ascending. They produced Ninja Assassin, a film I like a lot but not great by any stretch.

I began to think that the film makers that I had thought had such promise might not exist anymore. Maybe they had been scared off by too much too soon. Maybe they were never there in the first place.

Then Cloud Atlas began to surface.

It’s huge in scope and concept and the trailer makes it look like it could be brilliant… or a huge bloated film. Hell, the trailer is gorgeous but clocks in at nearly six minutes long, not including the introduction by the film makers. (By the way, Wachowskis, do more interviews. You’ve obviously got a great sense of humor and the skills to pull it off.)

I’m really pulling for the first option. I want film makers who take risks and work with new properties. I love comic book based films but as I’ve said over and over again, I really want to watch something new. I hope that Cloud Atlas is everything the trailer promises. I hope that it allows the Wachowskis to bring more original concepts to the screen.

I hope they are everything I had hoped they would be.

(I couldn’t use a joke about being “The One” as there are two of them)

Take a gander below and tell me what you think.


If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!

Last Week’s Column: Fear and Loathing in Geekdom #31 – T-U-R-T-L-E Power!