We may have just found the outer edge of the Hollywood taste envelope, all thanks to Andy and Larry Wachowski, the creators of The Matrix
. Formerly known as the Wachowski Brothers – that is, until Larry decided after making zillions of dollars and gaining millions of slobbering fans that the only thing standing between him and true happiness was his penis – this pair’s latest project, Cobalt Neural 9
, appears to be repelling even the jaded mandarins of Hollywood.
Oh, it's not because the content of CN9
will be vacuous, foul and outright evil, though it is. It's because no one in Tinseltown thinks the movie will make any money.
So what is CN9
about? Well, it appears to mix condemnation of the Iraq War, a healthy dose of gay sex, naturally, a plot to assassinate George W. Bush. Sounds less like a hit movie than the agenda for a Daily Kos
According to New York Magazine
, which apparently got a copy of the script, a future archeologist finds video that tells the story of – get this – “Butch,” a studly, kill-crazy Army soldier in Iraq who falls in love with an Iraqi dude and then consummates said love in graphic fashion. Butch and his special friend then decide to kill President Bush for some reason.
I think smell an Oscar.
Now, if a council of renowned idiots had gathered together with a mandate to conceive a project of the least possible interest to the American movie-going public they could not have come up with a more potent combination of box office poison. Well, maybe if it starred Ashton Kutcher. But CN9
, with its apparent advocacy of murdering the President because the Wachowskis don’t like his politics, is simply vile, and we are not going to simply pretend that's A-okay.
Perhaps the Wachowski Siblings are trying to make a point instead of a buck, though it’s not clear what that point is. They are known for their, um, unique sensibilities. Larry, who now goes by “Lana,” fell in with a dominatrix named – wait for it – Ilsa Strix and apparently decided that being a dude wasn’t quite cutting it anymore. There’s some controversy about how far s/he’s gone in s/his quest, but from the available photos of the reclusive artist it certainly seems that s/he’s gone from being an ugly straight man to an ugly lesbian.
Let’s explore the Wachowski oeuvre
for a moment. They first worked on – shock! – comic books then made a movie, Bound
. This deadly dull lesbian-themed crime flick is vastly over-praised, mostly by lonely dudes who think that stumbling onto a late-night Cinemax nudie flick after their mom goes to bed qualifies as “getting some.”
Of course, they are best known for The Matrix
, which was terrible but watchable if you turn the sound off so the inane, portentous dialogue couldn’t ruin all the pretty gunfights. Look, The Matrix
is about the dumbest movie ever made, but it’s sure fun to watch, not least for the unbelievable seriousness with which it takes itself. They get props for making a flick that you gotta finish watching if you come across it on AMC on a Sunday afternoon and are too hung-over to stretch out and grab the remote.
Then they made the sequel, The Matrix Reloaded
is pretty bad, and less fun than the original, but it’s not the cinematic war crime that is The Matrix: Revolutions
. How bad is Revolutions
? Just behold the unspeakable rave scene – “Hey, the alien monsters are coming! Quick, turn up the techno and let’s dance! Badly!”
[youtube cqx01bwiM10 nolink]
With V For Vendetta
, they took the next step in indulging in their delusions of oppression by an all-powerful society that just doesn’t “get” the hip non-conformist heroes. You know, like the Wachowski’s themselves, who have suffered unendurable repression by a society that, well, gives them all the fame and money anyone could ever ask for.
, their solution is to blow up Parliament. In CN9
, it’s to kill President Bush. It’s a wonder that in their Speed Racer
movie the climax didn’t feature Dick Cheney being run over. Or Chim Chim getting it on with Racer X.
According to NYMag.com, “One rep we spoke to tells us that the Iraq movie will ‘never, ever’ be made by a studio — but points out that with the money the Wachowskis pocketed from the Matrix
films, they could easily self- or co-finance CN9
independently.” Maybe they should contact the NEA
about a grant, since apparently no one in Hollywood wants to put up a chunk of the $20 million estimated budget for what promises to be the Ishtar
for a new generation.
Regardless, you can be sure that it’s not because the Hollywoodoids don’t want to be associated with a movie that trashes American troops as violent, horny lunatics and sanctions the murder of the Commander-in-Chief. That's all fine and dandy. No, they won’t fund it because they know that we
– the people who buy the tickets – don't want to be associated with that kind of movie.
In liberal Hollywood, that's what passes for principle.