Keanu Reeves

The Matrix Movie 1999

Want to feel old? Then consider the fact that The Matrix is 15 years old this month. This film was made before the turn of the century, before digital projection, before the 3D craze, and before any of the Star Wars prequels were released. It was a groundbreaking film, not just for its innovative action sequences but also for its brainy nature compared to many contemporary action films. One of the early releases on DVD, The Matrix was loaded with special features, including multiple commentary tracks. The original concept by The Wachowskis was to have two separate commentary tracks: one with philosophers who liked the movie, and one with film critics who did not. After wrangling with Warner Bros. a bit on this decision, those commentaries did not appear on the original release (though they are available on the Blu-ray and more recent DVDs for your listening pleasure). Two commentaries were recorded, including a music-only track commentary by composer Don Davis, and a traditional cast commentary, which has the most production information and trivia rather than analysis. This is what we’ll be covering here. However, I encourage fans of The Matrix to check out the additional commentaries on the Blu-ray for the philosophical and critical analysis that the Wachowskis originally intended.

read more...

bill_and_teds_excellent_scenes

This month, the brilliant time travel slacker comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure turns 25. While all the other responsible guys out there might be trying to choose a Nicholas Sparks movie to watch with their beloved, I will always lean towards this endearing classic. (As I learned then from my 1989 girlfriend, this was not an ideal choice for a Valentine’s Day movie.) Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure managed to help define the ’80s in film, even though it came out in the last year of the decade. Even more miraculous, the film had nothing to do with John Hughes, who seemed to almost single-handedly build the ’80s cinema playlist. It also helped make Keanu Reeves a household name before The Matrix galvanized him as an action star 10 years later. With rumors of a possible Bill & Ted 3 continuously swirling around the interwebs, it’s a great time to look back at the time travel exploits of these two metalheads. Even with all the elements that seem to date it in the past (like pudding cups from a tin can, tape recorders, CDs from the future and phone booths), it’s still a watchable film with some seriously excellent moments in it, as we highlight below. Party on, dudes!

read more...

matrixtruth-1

Want to feel old? Consider that The Wachowskis‘ groundbreaking science fiction action film turns 15 years old this year. That’s old enough to start shaving and testing for a learner’s permit. Forget what you think about the polarizing sequels, The Matrix helped bridge the sometimes cheesy science fiction films of the 80s and 90s with the more modern, computer-dominated films of the 21st century. It wasn’t necessarily a new idea, but it was rather stunning how the Wachowskis presented it. It’s a staple of cyberpunk plots: man against machine. Still, as often as this device is used, watching the movie 15 years later got me thinking: Was the Matrix system even necessary?

read more...

47 Ronin

At first glance, 47 Ronin appears to be one weird movie. It’s a mega expensive Christmas release starring only one white guy, has a shape-shifting witch, and a predetermined unhappy ending. It all sounds ballsy on paper, but those balls are rarely ever flashed onscreen in this all too safe wannabe blockbuster. That one white guy, Kai (Keanu Reeves), is an outcast in his own home. As the son of an English sailor and Japanese peasant, Kai is dismissed as a “half-breed.” He’s stronger, smarter, and faster than any of his master’s samurai, but they’ll never accept him as a true samurai. His master is murdered by Mizuki (Rinko Kikichu) the witch and Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano), but when Kai tries to warn the samurai’s leader, Kuranosuke Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), of the witch’s presence his claim is dismissed. When he realizes his mistake, Oishi asks Kai to join him and the rest of his team of “ronin” for revenge. They all go on a dangerous journey together that is structured like a videogame: go here, then there, and then over there to the boss level. The clunky set up, which is front-loaded with exposition, sets up a world and plan full of danger, a risk that is never truly capitalized on. Their journey mostly goes according to plan, with a few mishaps. Some of the men die, but none of them do we actually get to know.

read more...

Deep in the farthest reaches of the galaxy, a transport vessel stocked with cryogenically preserved humans suffers a minor malfunction: Keanu Reeves is unfrozen ninety years too early. Now, we’re all familiar with the urban legend that Reeves is actually an immortal being from a time long ago (and if not, please educate yourself at Keanuisimmortal.com), but the upcoming Passengers is science fiction, and thus allows for a fictional Reeves that will die of natural causes within nine decades or so. So what’s a space-Keanu Reeves to do? Well, according to Deadline, he’ll be defrosting Rachel McAdams for a strange new kind of science fiction-y love story. Passengers has the potential to be truly fascinating: the screenplay was written by Jon Spaihts, who wrote the original, Damon Lindelof-free draft of Prometheus, and will be helmed by Brian Kirk, who’s cut his teeth on a long list of TV shows including Game of Thrones, Luther and Boardwalk Empire. And while McAdams may have an endless stream of tattered romantic comedies in her wake, her roles in Midnight in Paris and To the Wonder should be proof enough that she can handle something a little headier. Now, the only thing left to question is whether Reeves can emote well enough to simulate love.

read more...

ff man of tai chi

Expectations are a funny thing, but while it’s never fun to go into a movie excited only to leave it a disappointed and broken man (I’m looking at you Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut) it’s an absolute delight to enter a theater anticipating very little and then exit it smiling, happy, and already excited to see the film again. Enter Keanu Reeves‘ directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi. Yeah, I was surprised too. Chen Lin-hu (Tiger Hu Chen) is a blue collar delivery man who spends his free time training his tai chi skills at a remote temple alongside his master, Yang (Yu Hai). Chen is participating in a national televised tournament, and while Master Yang doesn’t approve of tai chi being used for fighting Chen sees it as an opportunity to spread the word on a dying form of martial arts. It works, albeit not quite how Chen envisions it, and he soon receives an offer to join Donaka Mark’s (Reeves) corporation as a fighter. The wins and big payouts start almost immediately, but when the truth of Donaka’s business model is revealed Chen is forced to re-evaluate his position with the company.

read more...

As depressing as it may be, dogs are often the first casualties of a movie trying to drum up a little emotional involvement. As a dog lover (and as someone who conveniently gets dust in my eyes every single time a dog buys it in a film), I’d prefer one joint contract, signed by the entire film industry, making all pooches, past and present, fictional and non-fictional, off limits. It’ll never happen. Proof of this comes from John Wick (and from common sense), an upcoming thriller that, according to Deadline Hollywood, just cast Willem Dafoe in one of its leading roles. Dafoe will play Marcus opposite Keanu Reeves’ eponymous character, both hit men forced to combat each other due to circumstances that all began with dog death. Reeves’ dog is murdered. Reeves murders dog murderer. The dog murderer (as is usually the case in crime thrillers) turns out to be the son of a seriously well-connected mobster, who sends Dafoe after Reeves. But of course, the two men are close friends, leading to the kind of conflicts that normally crop up when one friend is paid a handsome sum to shoot the other in the face.

read more...

Man of Tai Chi

Just when we were already reveling in the trailer for  Keanu Reeves’ latest venture on the big screen, 47 Ronin, Reeves is gifting us with an even bigger project to sink our teeth into. Feast your eyes on the trailer for Man of Tai Chi, Reeves’ directorial debut and what looks like an even bigger and better fight movie than Ronin.

read more...

ronin

It would stand to reason that 47 Ronin could be something of a hard sell in Japan, seeing as it takes a story that’s been an important part of Japanese history and culture and co-opts it into being a glossy starring vehicle for an American actor (Keanu Reeves) who gets painted as being its hero. Heck, 47 Ronin could even be a hard sell in the States, because if the first trailer proved anything to us, it’s that the notoriously surfer-voiced Reeves looks and sounds kind of ridiculous when he’s playing a character who exists anywhere other than in modern times. There is one thing that always sells pretty well no matter where you are in the world though, and that’s big spectacle action. So this new Japanese trailer for 47 Ronin shuts its characters up, doesn’t do too much to mention any historical tales, and focuses instead on all of the big sword fights with various mythical creatures that it contains. And, you know what, at least when it’s presented in the short clips we’ve seen so for, it looks like this movie could be a brainless good time at the cinema for fans of sword fighting, monsters, and loud noises. Which is basically anybody sane.

read more...

Man of Tai Chi

There are many film festivals on the long, slow path to awards season (a march that begins a mere five months after this year’s Oscars), yet in a season full of festivals all touting potential awards winners, Fantastic Fest stands out from the crowd. Austin’s own beloved festival, with its focus on genre flicks and cult films, is a few steps off the beaten path. Today comes the initial lineup for Fantastic Fest, which offers a hearty blend of Bollywood, gooey horror, and crime stories from all over the world. Keanu Reeves‘ directorial debut – Man of Tai Chi - will also be making an appearance, along with Reeves himself. The film stars Tiger Chen as a martial artist competing in an underground fight club run by Reeves’ character. Robert Rodriguez‘s Machete Kills will open the festival. The newly announced list of films can be seen after the break.

read more...

47 Ronin

Yesterday, the internet was graced with new character posters for the Keanu Reeves-starring 47 Ronin. Today, the ante gets significantly upped with the film’s first trailer. This first trailer builds up some decent atmosphere in its initial 45 seconds. The film displays its vision of feudal Japan, along with plenty of rich color (plus a giant who looks like he wandered in from 300). Reeves’ protagonist seems like a man of few words and fewer smiles – a beaten-down warrior who will rise to greatness. Then Reeves opens his mouth. With that single, wooden utterance of “why did you come for me,” the entire trailer comes crashing down. From here, we’re introduced to a cackling, one-note villain and a bevy of middling CGI. Worse still is Reeves, who with every line and every silent stare is less a stony hero and more a version of Neo who seems trapped in the wrong genre. The one aspect that shows real promise is the trailer’s featured creatures. It’s rare to find a monster that’s not at least slightly entertaining; even more so if those monsters are based off of Japanese myth. Although there is an unpleasant resemblance to the most recent Mummy feature, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, that’s a little hard to shake. Take a look for yourself:

read more...

47R_Tsr1Sheet_Keanu_RGB_0722_1-610x965

We haven’t heard a whole lot about Keanu Reeves‘ upcoming 47 Ronin (other than a series of delays knocking it back from last November to this Christmas). Now, thanks to IGN, we’ve finally got our first real look at the film, via four character posters. The 47 Ronin were real people – a group of samurai who set off down a path of vengeance after their leader was forced into committing suicide. Reeves’ take (or, more accurately, director Carl Rinsch‘s take) seems to have taken a detour towards the sensationalism of the RZA’s The Man with the Iron Fists. This 47 Ronin is clear fantasy, “set in a world of witches and giants” and featuring Reeves as a new character created for the film – one who leads the Ronin on their quest for justice. These posters do go a little overboard on the fantastic elements, and in the end they look a little more like banners for superhero characters than for the cast of a martial-arts epic. But at least they assure that 47 Ronin is about as far as you can get from a whitewashed historical epic. Hopefully the final product will have some of the same flair of the RZA’s kung fu epic. Check out the other three posters after the break.

read more...

scott

What is Casting Couch? It’s back to give you another healthy dose of casting news. If you don’t like spoilers, then don’t continue forward, because we’ve got some big time spoilers concerning a couple of Anchorman 2 cameos. Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, and Clark Duke are all ready to don their swimsuits to go for another soak in the Hot Tub Time Machine, but they have a problem. It turns out that the star of the first film, John Cusack, doesn’t want to join them. Never fear though, because The Wrap is reporting that Party Down and Parks and Recreation star Adam Scott has agreed to step into the role of the straight man for Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and he’s generally way more likable than Cusack these days anyway. What will this sequel have in store for Scott and the original crew? Will they perhaps, this time, go back in time to the 90s, so that we can get a host of jokes about slap bracelets and Zubaz pants? The head spins with possibilities.

read more...

generation-um-adelaide-clemens-bojana-novakovic-keanu-reeves-2

Mark L. Mann‘s narrative feature debut, Generation Um…, shows the fun and terror that evolves out of someone getting his first camera. In the movie, John (Keanu Reeves) steals a video camera, turning him into a guy who enjoys filming squirrels and his two friends falling apart. Basically, he’s the worst indie filmmaker walking the streets of New York, which is saying a lot. It’s a movie that relies more on mood, a feeling that Mann created on 16mm running around New York streets and a claustrophobic apartment. He wasn’t the only one in control of the camera, though. Within the film we John’s own footage, which Reeves shot himself. According to Mann, that footage allows the introverted John to express himself. We spoke with Reeves and Mann about the character’s internalization, filming on 16mm and more:

read more...

Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 10.13.50 AM

When used properly, Keanu Reeves can be quite effective. Perhaps his California slacker-voiced persona doesn’t fly in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but it certainly works in Point Break or Speed. Unfortunately, in Mark L. Mann’s Generation Um…, nary a thing is “used properly.” Reeves is perhaps marginally the best thing in this film, since he merely exists in front of the camera. Though he is amidst a sea of overacting, a preponderance of static, boring footage, and bad attempts at non-linear storytelling. In fact, it’s almost difficult to pinpoint a plot in this film at all. John (Reeves) is a Lower East Side-based driver for two young callgirls, Violet (Bojana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide Clemens), though he seems to hang out with them recreationally as well. It’s John’s birthday, and after stealing a large handheld camera from a group of hula hooping cowboys (yes, you read that correctly), he starts filming everything, from the water coming out of a drinking fountain, to Violet and Mia snorting coke, drinking red wine, and spilling the details of their sexual histories.

read more...

Generation Um

More like Generation Uh, What? In Mark L. Mann‘s Generation Um…, Keanu Reeves apparently reaches the nexus of his career as he plays John, a shiftless New Yorker who spends his time as a driver for an escort service. Perhaps all you need to know about John’s career is that he drives his “party girls” around in an old station wagon; you see, things aren’t going so well for either John or his main hangs, Violet (Bojana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide Clemens), but everything takes a sharp left turn when John steals a camcorder and sets about recording his dismal life. It looks depressing as hell. Check out the first ennui- and crime-filled trailer for Generation Um… after the break.

read more...

point break skydive

“90 seconds Johnny. That’s all I ask for, just 90 seconds of your life, Johnny, that’s it. This is our tactic, is we strike fear. Once you get them peeing down their leg, they submit. Also about fear, fear causes hesitation, and hesitation causes your worst fears to come true.” – Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) As Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty is about to be released (limited opening this Wednesday) and is already getting lauded as a masterpiece, it is difficult not to take pause and think of her past works. Sure, The Hurt Locker won a Best Picture Oscar, but, it is hard to argue that any of her films have struck such a resonant chord in the hearts of film nerds and pop culture at large as Point Break. The movie features Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves at the peak of their physical beauty. It has dozens of quotable quotes, ranging from “Vaya con dios, brah” to “Little hand says it’s time to rock ‘n roll.” There are also not one, but TWO skydiving sequences. More important than anything else, though, Point Break is a legitimately great film. Bigelow’s action sequences are shot to perfection and the grandiosity of testosterone-infused bromance and is downright awe-inspiring. Also, poor Keanu Reeves gets a lot of flack for being a bad actor, yet as Point Break more than proves, when used properly, Keanu can be very effective. His Johnny Utah can emote with the best of them, perform the hell out of any action […]

read more...

Gabriele Muccino

Gabriele Muccino is one of Italy’s few exports, and his mainstream US work is a toss up between the tearful Pursuit of Happyness and the equally-tearful-but-for-different-reasons Seven Pounds. One further cemented Will Smith as a serious acting talent, and the other one called it into question. We’ll see Muccino’s latest mainstream attempt when Playing For Keeps – starring Gerard Butler as a former soccer star trying to get his family life together – hits theaters on December 7th. It could be a chance at redemption for Butler’s character and for Muccino. After that, he’s got a few Italian productions lined up, including the thriller Il Colpo (The Blow), he’ll be directing a segment for the anthology Shanghai, I Love You, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, he’s prepping a science fiction movie that he’d like Keanu Reeves to star in. This is really interesting, considering that in 2010, he was set up with Reeves for the sci-fi Passengers, where Reeves would play an astronaut who wakes up way too early from hyper-sleep and wakes up a female astronaut so he doesn’t go crazy. However, screenwriter Jon Spaihts recently told us Muccino was out and a new director was in the hot seat. Could Muccino be back on board just a few months after that statement? It sounds likely. The other option, of course, is that Muccino has a different sci-fi project in mind and still wants to work with Reeves. Either way, it seems plausible that we’ll see a genre […]

read more...

So far all of the news we’ve gotten about the development of a third Bill & Ted film has come from the franchise’s Bill S. Preston, Esquire, Alex Winter, so it’s about time that the other half of the equation, its Ted Theodore Logan, Keanu Reeves, got into the beans spilling game. The last we heard about the potential project, Galaxy Quest director Dean Parisot had been attached to helm, but the film, which was written on spec, still hadn’t found funding. Well, that’s still where we’re at as far as development goes, but recently Reeves talked to GQ (via Movies.com) about the project, and he managed to give us a better idea of what the script Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson wrote is all about. We already knew that the film would involve an aging Bill and Ted who are still trying to get their Wyld Stallyns thing together, but Reeves explains exactly where the duo is at as far as their music career is concerned: “One of the plot points is that these two people have been crushed by the responsibility of having to write the greatest song ever written and to change the world. And they haven’t done it. So everybody is kind of like: ‘Where is the song?’ The guys have just drifted off into esoterica and lost their rock. And we go on this expedition, go into the future to find out if we wrote the song, and one future ‘us’ refuses to tell us, […]

read more...

The last time we checked in on the progress of Bill & Ted 3, the screen’s Bill S. Preston, Esq., Alex Winter, informed us that both he and the actor who portrayed “Ted” Theodore Logan, Keanu Reeves, were very much on board to make another sequel, a script for the film had been completed, and everybody was very happy with how it read. Unfortunately, the movie still wasn’t officially green lit by anyone, and wasn’t guaranteed to ever actually happen. Happily, there’s some new movement regarding the project that suggests we may be one step closer to the glorious fantasy of Bill & Ted 3 getting financed becoming a reality. Vulture is reporting that Bill & Ted creators Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson (who wrote this third Bill & Ted movie on spec) have attached director Dean Parisot to their script, joining both principal actors in a tidy little package that’s likely to look fairly attractive to studios. Parisot mostly busies himself with TV work, but he did also direct the well-liked satire Galaxy Quest back in 1999, so he’s no stranger to big screen comedy.

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
SXSW 2014
Game of Thrones reviews
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3