Tuesday, January 24, 2012

MARQUEE SHOWDOWN #1: Equilibrium vs The Matrix

  • The Matrix: Keanue Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Joey Pants, Hugo Weaving, Carrie Ann Moss. Reeves was the only "Name" in there back in '99, and as mono-faced as he can be he still was a pretty big name. Joey Pants is as solid as they come but never was nor is a box-office draw. Fishburne was a respected actor but became an actual star thanks to this film, and so did Weaving and Moss. Where the hell is she these days anyway? Today though, that would be a powerhouse cast.
  • Equilibrium: Christian Bale, Angus MacFadyen, Taye Diggs, Sean Bean, Emily Watson, William Fichtner. Bale has been around and praised since childhood but only got big after American Psycho, and still wasn't as big as Reeves even if a better actor in spades he'll always be. Bean, Watson and Fichtner make no more than cameos, and Bean is the only star of the lot. As for MacFadyen and Diggs, although both of them great additions to any movie, neither ever reached stardom before or since.
  • ADVANTAGE: THE MATRIX (If only for Weaving - a much more memorable villain than MacFadyen, at least in this)

  • The Matrix: Budgeted at $63M, made $171M domestic plus $292M international with a per theatre average of $9,7k, for a total theatrical take o f$463M or a 252% return on the initial investment. 
  • Equilibrium: Budget estimated at $20M, made $1.2M domestic plus $4.1M international with a per theatre average of $1,8k. But then again, Miramax Weinstein-era distributed...

  • The Matrix: Box-Office Mojo=B+, Rotten Tomatoes=86% Fresh, IMDb=8.7, Roger Ebert=3/5
  • Equilibrium: Box-Office Mojo=B, Rotten Tomatoes=36% Fresh, IMDb=7.8, Roger Ebert=3/5

  • The Matrix took us all by storm and changed the landscape for action movies, not to mention the philosophical ramifications of man versus the technology he created. The two-part shitty sequel aside, it was and still is one of the best sci-fi action films ever made with a high rewatchability factor.
  • Equilibrium looked and felt like an independent film, but a kick-ass one. It did however suffer froma lack of pace, and borrowed a little too much from 1984 and BRAVE NEW WORLD. The gun-kata scenes do however constitue some of the most impressive practical-effect fight scenes ever brought to the big screen.
 WINNERThe Matrix, by way of big-budget push.

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