RTHReviews: The Matrix Resurrections

RTHReviews: The Matrix Resurrections

Whether you’ve seen the original Matrix trilogy or not, everyone has heard of the franchise or at least seen the memes everywhere on the Internet. Even though the two sequels weren’t as good as the first one, what made the trilogy great and successful is the concept they introduced with the film, the meaning of it, how it relates to the reality we live, and the questions that popped up after watching it. Not to mention the spiraling storyline where your mind just spun with everything that was to be absorbed and the fantastic performances from the original trio, Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne).

So, when after all these years, there were talks of a fourth film in the franchise, a continuation and not a reboot of some kind, I was super excited for this one and that excitement only peaked when the trailer was launched. Now that it’s here, did it deliver?

(Here’s the official synopsis of the film: To find out if his reality is a physical or mental construct, Mr. Anderson, aka Neo, will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more. If he’s learned anything, it’s that choice, while an illusion, is still the only way out of — or into — the Matrix. Neo already knows what he has to do, but what he doesn’t yet know is that the Matrix is stronger, more secure, and far more dangerous than ever before.)

The fans were curious about The Matrix Resurrections, released after 18 years since the last one came out, and how are they going to continue the storyline after everything that unfolded in the third part, The Matrix Revolutions. But, alas, this one plays heavily on nostalgia and that’s it. It felt more of the repackaging of the first one, other than unpacking a few elements that explain why this is the fourth part, but other than that, there’s nothing new.

The thing about the Matrix is, people complained a lot when the second and third ones were out, and over time there was acceptance with the flaws of it, and there’s a chance the same could happen with this one too. This conclusion isn’t the same for all, who are quite delighted with what The Matrix Resurrections turned out to be.

Sure, there are some really cool moments in the film, which makes you realize why you love this franchise so much. Another aspect that I really appreciated was the meta-ness of the film and the entire approach towards it. While the new cast members, in particular, Jessica Henwick and Jonathan Groff were excellent to watch, and Groff’s take on the iconic Agent Smith role was fabulous to watch, I felt the performances of all others was kind of a let-down.

Maybe it was the heavy expectations with how we approached the film, and maybe with another watch, there could be more to appreciate, but right now, apart from some of the cool moments, and the meta approach, there was nothing more to like in this. Talking about those cool moments, there was definite nostalgia with some of the iconic moves and dialogues and moments in general, and it was great to watch them, after all these years, but that still doesn’t make it the only factor to like this one. Hopefully, if there’s ever a fifth one, we can actually move ahead with the storyline, if there’s ever a way to do so.

My first-time experience of buying an NFT

My first-time experience of buying an NFT

There’s no denying that Web3, Crypto, Blockchain, and NFTs (to name a few) are the future we’re going to be a part of (and the glimpses of that reality are already being seen for a while now).

Those sectors and what’s being built have been quite intriguing to me, for a while now. Whilst I haven’t dabbled into any of it, I have been closely watching everything that has been happening, and trying to learn and understand it all.

Anyone who has some knowledge about the space knows how much it has skyrocketed in the last 12 months, especially the NFT space (there’s such a massive difference to what the space was in 2020 or even 2019).

While I missed out on a few projects, and a few that were just out of my reach, I definitely wanted to get into something that personally excited me (apart from just sorting out what’s authentic and what’s not), and something that was maybe different than the rest.

I’ve been a massive Matrix fan, and a Keanu Reeves fan, so when I heard an official NFT project is coming out based on that, it got me all juiced up and I knew it’s going to be my first foray into the NFT world.

Powered by Epic Games, and with Warner Bros officially into the picture, this project seemed bigger right from the start. A 100,000 avatar drop, with the user being given the option to choose the red pill vs the blue pill (at a later date), and henceforth the journey would begin. (a journey with missions that would unlock points, more NFTs, and of course, more has to be unveiled, with this being a multi-year experience project.)

30th November’21 was to be the minting date; with initially 25 avatars that could possibly be minted per user per day. 100,000 seemed like a big number, where the demand for it was questionable at first, and whether the project would be that big or not (something that wasn’t just on my mind, but on the minds of other community members too).

Jump to getting the wallet ready, with all the setup done and it’s the D-day. Around 10 to 20 thousand people on Discord, everyone wondering how the project is going to turn out.

Only did we know, that the before-scenario and the after-scenario were going to be totally different. As the time was getting nearer, more and more people started getting in the community chat. By the time users had to check-in for the queue, there were more than 60,000 people waiting to get in as well.

Now the thought of the moment was, if the first 4,000 people mint 25 avatars each, then the 100,000 drops are done there, and then, and the rest of us are saying goodbye. Just during those moments, I get my queue position at 27,885th place (a number I’ll remember for a long time because I ended up seeing it for a long, long time).

As people start buying, there’s such a server load with the number of people queueing up, that the whole process is apparently paused for a few hours (until they sort things out from their end). Amongst all of this, and as time passes by, their Discord has jumped up to 50,000+ users and the queue is up 100,000+ people. (let’s not forget that the total drop is 100,000 avatars).

People start getting frustrated and complain about the buy-in per person, and ultimately they reduce the per-person buy-in from 25 avatars each to 5. But, the queue is still on pause. They try to resume, but another issue pops up, and thus, put back on pause.

Being in India, this is a late-night for us here, so all of this is happening from 12 am – 1 am here. One tab has the queue on pause, another tab has discord open, and another tab has their Twitter Spaces live session going on. (there was a lot of excitement about the project)

The queue is still on pause, and even when it opens, let’s not forget, my queue position is 27,885 (the number stuck on my screen for hours now), so it was going to take a lot of time. Now, I’m just pondering what should I even do, at this time? Should I even stay awake?

So, it’s decided… The laptop’s on beside me, while I take quick naps in-between and keep checking the progress. I may have slept for 15 minutes, then immediately checked the progress, checked Discord for updates, and then back to a quick nap again, and that was what the whole night looked like for me.

I wake up around 6 am in the morning, to check that the queue is halfway there… Around 15 to 20 thousand people have minted their avatars, and after 7,000 more people (roughly), I’d be up for my turn. And while my position is 27,885, there are about 100,000 more people behind me waiting for their turn, with the last queue position updated at about 140,000th spot.

Now, as time passes by, seconds turn into minutes, and quickly two hours have passed, but I’m closer than ever, and there’s no time to take a breather.

Around 9.15 AM IST, my turn is up. While people complained a lot about the process all night long, regarding payment issues, transaction issues, and whilst all of that worried me, it took me a minute to complete my process, and there, the transaction was done.

My first (bought) NFT!

My first Matrix NFT!

It was supposed to take some time for the avatars to show up in my wallet, but the main part was done. I could finally get on with my day (something the others couldn’t say, as they still awaited their turn all day long).

That queue had crossed 200,000 people, and after a while, they had paused the process for the whole night (their time) to then resume the next day, and while that happened, eventually, it was all sold out.

Simultaneously, while I kept checking, my avatars had dropped.

probably nothing.

Now, the actual process begins.

To either take the red pill or the blue pill, on December 16.

And the missions they have planned after that.