Philosophy

The Matrix

This content series is in partnership with smartwater. smartwater, good taste travels well. Click here to learn more.     We still haven’t figured it out yet. You know, all of this. Existence. Why we’re here, what we’re meant for and whether that top ever stopped spinning. Good thing we have movies to help us wade through to find the answers. And to give us more questions. With so many films over the years attempting to deliver a life lesson or an insight into the fundamental secret to our humanity, this is just a brief history which hopefully ends in the ultimate meaning. After all, at least one movie must have gotten right. The first question is where to begin.

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Due to an overwhelming need to embrace my inner hermit the last few weeks I have forgone my usual weekend gallivanting in favor of staying home with movies. It might seem as if I’m turning into a cat lady (I prefer dogs) who hopes to find solace in the virtual arms of Tom Hardy or Gerard Butler while I contemplate my Bridget Jones-esque death at the mangled jowls of a wild pack of voracious coyotes, but in all honestly there is just something comforting in spending Friday nights with a lover who is always in bed next to you – the remote control. I like to call my endless supply of romance, sex comedies, erotic thrillers, and documentaries “research” for this column, and that’s why it’s completely acceptable for me to leave my desk Friday at 5PM to watch whatever is inside that little red envelope. But this week I needed something different. Instead of a film about French sexploitation or sex in the Australian outback, I wanted a more mainstream offering. I desired a pretty film with the hint of romance but the full adrenaline rush of a psychological thriller. I also wanted to indulge my blazing Emily Blunt crush. Again, in the name of research.

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This editorial contains spoilers for Source Code. Consider yourself warned, and consider yourself given another excuse to go see the movie. You’re waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you don’t know for sure. But it doesn’t matter. How can it not matter to you where that train will take you? Because that train is going to explode, killing everyone on it. In fact, that train has already exploded, but you’re waiting to board it in a very peculiar way. You’re Colter Stevens from Source Code, and you have a ticket in your pocket because a man who was on the train earlier in the day (when it blew sky high) has a ticket in his pocket. Your mind is inside the short term memory of a dead man. Source Code plays around with identity philosophy in at least three key ways, and it seems directly influenced by the story of a man who loses his head in order to play hero. Hold on tight to your brain, and let’s try to find Colter.

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as Dontwannamissathang and AffleckFan23 in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the pair tries to envision a movie world where Armageddon was never made. How would people survive that? As a result, the merits of the film’s acting, philosophy and subtext are brought to light. Comparisons to Ingmar Bergman are made. Lives are changed. Spoilers for The Sixth Sense and Armageddon are revealed. Fortunately, this nightmarish landscape is only imaginary, because Armageddon did get made, and it’s available to watch whenever we feel like it.

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