Red Pill vs Blue Pill – What’s Your Flavor?

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The Matrix is a sci-fi adventure ride in “bullet time” and one of the most significant films in the realm of philosophy and religion. Questions about self, life, what is real? Totally worth the journey!



Ever get that nagging feeling that something’s not quite right but, you can’t put your finger on it? Well, welcome to Neo’s nightmare.

Thomas A. Anderson (Keanu Reeves) is a man living two lives. By day he is an average computer programmer and by night a hacker known as Neo.

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Keanu Reeves

The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowskis (credited as The Wachowski Brothers) and starring Keanu ReevesLaurence FishburneCarrie-Anne MossHugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano.

The film depicts a dystopian future in which reality, as perceived by most humans, is actually a simulated reality called the Matrix, created by sentient machines to subdue the human population, while their bodies’ heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source.

Neo has always questioned his reality, (yeh, and for me lately on a daily basis) but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Finding himself targeted by the police, he is contacted by Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government.

Morpheus awakens Neo to the “real world”, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines that live off of the humans’ body heat and electrochemical energy and who imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix. (Wikipedia)

The actors of the film were required to be able to understand and explain The Matrix. The book  Simulacra and Simulation was required reading for most of the principal cast and crew.

Reeves stated that the Wachowskis had him read Simulacra and SimulationOut of Control, and Dylan Evans’s Introducing Evolutionary Psychology even before they opened up the script, and eventually he was able to explain all the philosophical nuances involved. (Wikipedia)

What would you do if offered the choice of a red pill, which will show you the truth about the Matrix, or a blue pill, which will return you to your former life?

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Red Pill or Blue Pill?

In truth, I believe we’re presented with this choice every day. Do we attempt to affect the condition of our society, or do we prefer to believe it’s not our problem and you can’t fight the system anyway?


  • Prior to the pre-production, Reeves suffered a two-level fusion of his cervical spine which had begun to cause paralysis in his legs, requiring him to undergo neck surgery. He was still recovering by the time of pre-production, but he insisted on training,

  • Hugo Weaving had to undergo a hip surgery after he sustained an injury during the training process.

  • During the rehearsal of the lobby scene, in which Trinity runs on a wall, Carrie-Anne Moss injured her leg and was ultimately unable to film the shot in one take.

The Matrix is known for popularizing a visual effect known as “bullet time“, in which the heightened perception of certain characters is represented by allowing the action within a shot to progress in slow-motion while the camera’s viewpoint appears to move through the scene at normal speed. The film is an example of the cyberpunk subgenre.

“Bullet Time”

The Matrix received Academy Awards for film editing, sound effects editing, visual effects, and sound. The filmmakers were competing against other films with established franchises, like Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, yet they won all four of their nominations.

The Matrix also received BAFTA awards for Best Sound and Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects, in addition to nominations in the cinematography, production design and editing categories. In 1999, it won Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film and Best Direction.

The Matrix received acclaim from most critics and is widely regarded as one of the greatest science fiction films of all time.


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School Daze (1988)

This controversial 1988 musical comedy-drama was written and directed by Spike Lee and is based in part on Lee’s experiences at Atlanta’s Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Clark Atlanta University. (Spike Lee also has a role as “Half-Pint”, a pledge for Gamma Phi Gamma) It is a story about fraternity and sorority members clashing with other students at a historically black college during homecoming weekend and also touches upon issues of colorism (discrimination based on skin color) and hair texture bias within the African-American community. The film stars Larry Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tisha Campbell-Martin.

School Daze resonates with me for a couple of reasons, first, as a member of a sorority and second, because of my love of the musical genre, the well-produced dance sequences.

Spike went out on a limb challenging black colleges, politics, and internal racial relations. At the time, some people felt he was airing family business. Discussing subject matter usually not shared with the world at large. Good and bad hair, light skinned vs. dark skinned, social class. Spike touched a nerve on all these issues, garnering mixed revues from audiences.

As a black, sorority girl, I found that Spike was telling truths that I’ve experienced over the course of my life. Skin color, hair texture, and social standing. These are issues we still deal with today. As far as the politics, my college class was very political and our participation ranged from running for our dorm governing counsel to initiating the first black cheerleader. Because we grew up in the 60’s and the civil rights movement we understood that we benefited from the sacrifices of others and it was our responsibility to pay it forward.

But, the bottom line of my enjoyment of this movie is I absolutely loved the production numbers! When the film was made you didn’t see lots of musicals like in the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. More serious subjects were generally being portrayed due to the politics of the times. Remember, Nelson Mandela was still in prison and apartheid was full on in South Africa.

Now, let’s check out my very favorite performance – Gamma Rays!

These divas are working it in this dance piece! I can still perform this entire routine and it continues to make me smile. Absolutely fabulous!!

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times noted School Daze’s significance as a film with a “completely black orientation. “All of the characters, good and bad, are black, and all of the character’s references are to each other.” (Wikipedia)

School Daze is relevant, witty, and worth viewing. Two Thumbs Up!