Acting Styles of The Matrix

Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, and Carrie-Anne Moss are all wild card actors that star in the film The Matrix (1999).  I place them in both the wild card and character categories because they are famous, but have not yet reached star status.  I do not believe them to be personality actors in this film either, because although I think that they adapted to their roles well, they did not incorporate their own personalities into them.  Also they were not impersonating or interpreting anyone.  After eliminating those categories it only leaves the wild card and character categories to classify them.  Reeves did an excellent job of playing Neo; despite his less than star status he was able to portray himself as one of the most important people in the world.  I suppose because I cannot see any other actor playing the part now that I have seen him play it.  Moss is less familiar to me, I have not seen her in many films, but her role as Trinity in The Matrix is the only one of its kind that I have seen her play.

Some may classify Reeves as a personality actor dating back to his role as Ted in the Bill and Ted movies of the early 1990’s.  I actually disagree with that classification because of those movies.  Reeves is clearly not stupid, or naïve as his character portrays him to be in those films.  Image

 

Movies like Speed (1994) quickly showed the world that Reeves was a force to be reckoned with, and that he wasn’t limited to comedies, he did just as well, if not better, in action films.  Reeves has played in other genres such as drama and romance in A Walk in the Clouds (1995), but he seems to do best in action and science fiction films.  I suppose that some of his personality may be present in other action and sci-fi films, but the fact that he is able to play so many different roles in many different genres makes him a wild card in my book.

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Keanu Reeves – IMDb. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000206/

The Matrix (1999) – IMDb. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2011). FILM: FROM WATCHING TO SEEING. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Categories of Function and Sound- The Matrix

Aside

The three basic categories of sound in a film are dialogue, sound effects, and music. Dialogue is best described as talking, the conversations between the actors or narration. Sound effects are the sounds that are used to enhance the film. Some sound effects are used to enhance a natural element, such as a birds chirping in an outdoor scene. Walla is a popular “natural” sound effect, it is unintelligible background noises used to depict a crowd (Goodykoontz and Jacobs, 2011). Other sound effects are used to enhance unnatural events in the movie, such as an explosion. Music is the third basic category of sound used in films. This category contains the score, which is played during action scenes in a film. Then there is the soundtrack, which contains all the music in a film. The soundtrack sometimes also contains certain dialogue from the film as well.

The Matrix uses all three of these sound categories well. Obviously the characters converse with one another to create a dialogue. There is music that is played throughout the film as well, especially during action or fight scenes. There is also the use of walla, and other natural sound effects along with creative sound effects that enhance the film. Sound specialist Dane A. Davis, was responsible for the never before heard special effects sounds used during the fight scenes in the film. With the help of animal sounds and the sounds generated from hitting large pieces of meat, Davis created unique body-hit and whoosh sounds during these scenes (Isaza, 2009). These and other sounds in this film are characteristic of both science fiction and action films.

The following fight scene makes use of the unique sound effects that Davis spoke of, along with a score playing in the background. It also uses realistic sounds like the newspapers blowing in the wind, or the cement crumbling under the blows of the agent’s fists. The meat hitting sounds are prevalent as well, as Neo and the agent exchange blows. While a lot of these sounds are unrealistic, many are realistic but enhanced, such as the knuckle cracking at the beginning of the scene. Without these sounds the scene, and the film overall would lose the excitement and suspense that makes this film so great.

 

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2011). FILM: FROM WATCHING TO SEEING. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

The Matrix – Subway Fight. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zIJCpUqeb4

Isaza, M. (2009, August 6). Dane A. Davis Special: The Matrix [Part 1] | Designing Sound Designing Sound. Retrieved from http://designingsound.org/2009/08/dane-a-davis-special-the-matrix-part-1/