Friday, October 9, 2015

Pan & Hail, Caesar!

Hugh Jackman stars as the pirate Blackbeard.
Pan was so bad, I nearly fell asleep during the film. Granted, I went into the film with a bad attitude; by the time the trailers were over, I actually couldn't remember what film I was there to see. However, I'm not the only one: it has only a 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so I'm actually in the majority this time. Hugh Jackman was good; the boy playing Pan was a good actor; Rooney Mara was not properly cast as Tiger Lily: she's a good actress, but this wasn't a role for her and she shouldn't have been in it. Garret Hudland plays Hook and he was awful (which probably isn't his fault, but the director's). There was a significant portion of the film--especially in the first twenty minutes--that I couldn't understand a single word being said; it got better as the film went on, or, I should say, it wasn't as bad as the film went on. There were some special effects which were good; the fight choreography between Tiger Lily and Blackbeard, however, was so bad, it looked like the actors were filmed independently, on two different sets and then it was spliced together, it was so awkward. And I'm just getting started. Ugh. Okay, here is the first trailer for Hail, Caesar! Normally, I wouldn't be particularly interested in a film like this, however, this is from the Coen Brothers, and they know exactly what they are doing: Josh Brolin portrays Eddie Mannix, a vice president of MGM who was known as a "fixer" of problems stars were having so their sordid private lives didn't smudge their on-screen personas:
Tilda Swinton portrays gossip columnist Hedda Harper (if you don't know who she actually was, but you have seen Sunset Boulevard, she's the newspaper woman at the end, calling in her story from Norma's bedroom). It's easy to spot Scarlett Johanssen as Esther Williams and Gene Kelly being played by Channing Tatum; David Krumholtz is being credited for playing "communist screenwriter" who may or may not be based on Dalton Trumbo (my guess is that it is: knowing Hollywood was making a movie about him, which the Coen Brothers surely did, they would have wanted to get in their perspective on his career as well). The film comes out February 6, 2016. Oh, by the way, if you haven't seen Ant-Man yet, Marvel has announced the sequel will be Ant-Man and the Wasp, so that means, when you do see it (because I know you are going to see it,... right?) there are 2 (two) end credit scenes, one with Captain America, and the other with Hank Pym and that's where you find out who "The Wasp" is,... will be. So, to make a long story even longer, don't waste your money seeing Pan, it was terribly anti-capitalist and anti-Catholic to boot,
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Thursday, October 8, 2015

SHERLOCK: Victorian Special First Trailer, LexCorp Commerical For Batman vs Superman, Mockingjay Propaganda Poster

Please watch the second trailer first, which is just below, then pop back up here to consider these notations. Thank you. In the modern Sherlock episodes, it's important to note that Holmes stopped smoking, and would use the patches when he needed the nicotine; so why does he smoke a pipe in this Victorian special? If you will recall, his co-star, Martin Freeman, smoked a pipe in The Hobbit series (not that The Hobbit has any bearing on Sherlock, this is just for comparison's sake) and in The Hobbit, we noted that Bilbo and Gandalf smoked their pipes because it illustrated how they were "taking it all in," so to speak, everything that has happened exteriorly to the character; one inhales and that "taking in" of the tobacco in a leisurely sort of manner indicates the deep thinking, the meditation and study of a problem for its own sake (as opposed to self-meditation which is necessary for our survival). In Sherlock, the smoking of cigarettes is more of a modern vice rather than the prolonged enjoyment of a good pipe and the constant turning-over of the particulars of a problem. There is another point in the new trailer, and that is the wearing of the hat Watson makes a point of. You're Sherlock Holmes, wear the hat! What are we to make of this? As noted below, Holmes will be more of a gentleman in this episode, rather than his bratty, usual arrogant self, and Holmes' typical keeping of information and clue-interpretation to himself is a part of his,... anti-social disorder, whereas that is not acceptable behavior for a gentleman. As we know, hats symbolize our thoughts, and a Deerstalker, the hat typically associated with Holmes, is a functional cap used in hunting and fishing, symbolizing that--it's not so much, "The game is afoot!" as--"The hunt is afoot!" Holmes has to hunt down the animals threatening the law, order and moral structure of Victorian society. So, in the Victorian special, Holmes will be keeping his theories "under wraps," the ear flaps of the deerstalker, because that is the gentlemanly thing to do.
Ghost stories work better in a Victorian setting, writer/producer and actor of Mycroft in Sherlock Steven Moffat explains. While he claims he hasn't starting writing season 4 (which contradicts what I had read when Season 3 came to an end, that he had several seasons all ready written out, and it was just a matter of everyone finding time to film the episodes that kept them from coming out more often) he has promised there will be a Season 4 with 3 episodes, just as fans are used to; in the meantime, the makers of the series put their creative juices together and came up with this "Victorian Special" which will probably air in December in the UK and January for the States. Just to remind us what is going on, here is the first trailer they released:
It looks like the same set design (or computer software program) Guy Ritchie used for Sherlock and Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows. Oh, well, here is the new trailer that has just been released:
The details of the plot are being kept tightly under wraps, so there isn't much point in speculation, however, we can say this is something of a ghost story and Holmes will appear much more of a gentleman in this episode than a "highly-functioning socio-path" that he does in the modern Sherlock episodes we know and love. Let's, however, venture this much: "You're Sherlock Holmes. Wear the damn hat." We know this is a "ghost story," or at least there is the presence of a "ghost" of some kind, and in Watson saying what he does about wearing the hat to Holmes, he's citing the myth of Sherlock Holmes, the "living legend" status Holmes achieves which makes Holmes something of a "ghost" himself. We can see him puffing on his pipe, strumming his violin, tormenting Watson or hiding in shadows, but as we see at 0:48 when Holmes says, "I made me," Holmes' face is "under erasure," there is the shadow which is blotting out the physical identity we know as Sherlock Holmes and suggesting, rightly, that Holmes is "more," and this might be placing Holmes on equal footing with whatever ghost might be haunting the detective.
This new poster for Mockingjay Part 2 has been released (this is a huge file, so please, feel free to click on it for enlargement for closer study). The purpose of the poster, besides advertising to see the film in IMAX, is also as a propaganda poster in the Districts for Katniss. There are several things about this poster of interest; first of all, there is color. In earlier posters (please see the last poster below for an example), there is only white, and because white is the color corpse turns as it decomposes, white is the color of death (the virtuous interpretation is that white denotes faith, purity, innocence, but when a person has died to these qualities, then they are "white as a corpse"). In this poster above, this is a tremendous delicacy of blending shades of gray and black, as well as the red; OR is that silver, rather than gray? It looks like silver in the logo at the bottom, left-corner, which would totally change the meaning. Why? As Katniss says in the final trailer for the film, Snow corrupts everyone and every thing, and that includes the people of Panem as well. So even a heroine like Katniss has become corrupt (loosely interpreted) because Snow is in power. Now, Katniss being "corrupt" isn't like Snow being corrupt: Katniss has had to do things she normally wouldn't do, like kill someone in the Hunger Games, or lie, or threaten someone's life, marry someone she doesn't love, put on a fake act, be friends/allies with people she normally wouldn't want anything to do with, etc., and those are elements of corruption; the games or, rather, the trials of getting through the Capitol, are the final "purgation" Katniss must pass through in order to be morally superior enough to kill Snow,... if that is what is going to happen. The poster is mingling blood: the blood Snow has spilled to stay in power, and the blood Katniss is willing to spill in order to get him out of power. There is Snow's personal symbol of the white rose against Katniss' personal symbol of the Mockingjay, but we can also deduce that the symbols are going to be forever intimately tied together: in becoming THE Mockingjay, as everyone is encouraging her to do, Katniss will fulfill her symbolic role, but in so doing, she will also cleanse the symbol of the White Rose; Katniss however, can't become the Mockingjay if there isn't a President Snow to oppose, and so his symbol is going to make possible the "flight of the Mockingjay" to victory. Why do they have Katniss' lips red? That's a rather bold statement, as we know that the mouth symbolizes the appetites, and red symbolizes blood: either you love someone enough to shed your own red blood for them, or you hate someone enough to shed their red blood for your wrath; Katniss has an appetite for blood, in other words, and it's probably the blood of Snow and to appease the blood of those of her friends that have died (such as Rue and Cenna) as well as those who will die in this trial (names I won't drop now).  The rose in front of Katniss' eye suggests two things at once: both that she has her eye on her target, Snow, and that Snow is going to somehow control what it is that she will see and doesn't see. The most interesting element of the piece, in my estimation, are the row of peace keepers: are they supporting the Mockingjay, or tearing it down?
News has dropped this week about Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice's Lex Luthor, portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg; Eisenberg isn't portraying Lex Luthor, rather Lex Luthor Jr. The studio has also released this video as an example of LexCorp and what it is doing, and this is genius:
Are you thinking of Valentine (Samuel L Jackson) in The Kingsman: Secret Service and his offer of free internet for everyone so he could blow them up? You should, because that is exactly what this is invoking. We have seen these extra-topical videos with Prometheus, RoboCop, The East, The Hunger Games, X-Men, Terminator: Genisys and Wolverine, and I LOVE them! This "commercial" is as generic as it can be, key words that are tired like, "imagination" and phrases like, "tomorrow, today." There isn't any real imagination or creativity going into this commercial, is there? Rather, what we are seeing, is a company that is copying and mimicking what it has seen other companies do because it isn't smart enough to come up with a commercial on its own, and that's a sign of socialism because socialism will repeat rather than innovate. The "free charging device" is meant to control those who are dumb enough to take it and use it.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Trailers: Mockingjay Part 2 FINAL, Crimson Peak, Burnt

If you think you're good,... like, you've been reading these blogs for a while now, and you think you've got what it takes to  really bust out some interpretation,.... Crimson Peak will be a great place for you to go and really prove yourself. They have spared nothing in creating this to be the ultimate, quintessential Gothic horror film, and it's going to be amazing. Amazing. Really. I mean this from the depths of my heart. I can't wait. 
So, they have released the final trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and, I will say, now I'm kind of excited about it. Tickets are on sale, so I am getting mine this week:
"He corrupts everyone, and evety thing." That seriously sounds like Obama. Well, this isn't exactly a trailer, however, it's short, and I would like for you to watch this behind-the-scenes look at the scullery for Crimson Peak because it provides you with an idea of how detailed they have been in creating this film, so that, when I go off about what things are symbolizing, etc., as I am apt to do, there will be a basis upon which you can rest my theories because they have gone to so much work:
I really want to like this film. I think Bradley Cooper is a talented actor and this is the kind of story that I love; however, and this is just a reservation, he has a tendency to make pro-socialist films AND this is produced by the Weinstein Company which is very pro-socialist, but they also made the very pro-capitalist film The Artist. So, there it is:
Seriously, this has all the themes I am most fond of, so I hope it's good. Opening this week is The Walk, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and I am just not going to be able to watch that; sorry. Pan with Hugh Jackman is probably going to be the big opener, and I don't want to have to go watch that, but I will. Ugh. It's going to be totally pro-socialist. I just know it.  Crimson Peak opens Oct 16 and then Burnt on Oct 23, so that's something to look forward to.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Project Elrond: The Martian

In a way, this is a truly brilliant poster: it's his face, the face of a singular individual, and we all know that face. Knowing an individual, as opposed to an American astronaut, or a Chinese explorer, a British physicist, etc., touches the intensely human within us all. Why make this film? I think there are at least three reasons. First, the Obama administration has castrated NASA and the American space exploration initiative, intentionally, because he doesn't want us achieving great things, working out problems that bring us closer together (no where in the film is the president called upon to make a statement or express "grave concern" over the situation, it's just Teddy, the head of NASA, who invokes President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt who was a champion of the American spirit). A film such as The Martian draws attention to what we are NOT doing as a country that we have always done in the past: explore and break boundaries. Secondly, the film demonstrates the intense resiliency of a single person, who has no help, but only his wits, and manages to survive without a government welfare check or a FEMA tent. Granted, he had the Aries III equipment, but he's the one who figures out how to find the Pathfinder satellite so he can reach NASA and get further instructions, no one does that for him, he did that himself, just like pulling out that antenna from his stomach (an important symbol we will discuss below). Thirdly, when socialist political theory is still trying to dominant the world, Scott produces a film which demonstrates how special, unique and utterly important the individual human being is, all concepts totally alien to socialists who believe humans are merely animals with no soul nor singularity. The world rallying to the ultimate fate of Watney demonstrates that we all believe in one another and are, on our deepest levels within our souls, for one another, even when politics and history says otherwise. Now, on an entirely different note, let's discuss an important question: why Matt Damon? Plenty of actors could have played this role, and Damon really hasn't had a hit in many years (in spite of being labeled Hollywood's "Best Value" for return investment). One, we just saw Damon and Chastain in another space film, Interstellar by Chris Nolan, in which Damon portrayed a scientist who was the exact opposite of Watney: ready to give up and just die, as well as sacrifice others for his own survival. Scott, in his film, wants us to be mindful of that so we can compare and contrast Damon's two characters. Secondly, Damon is an active and vocal liberal,who hasn't been quite so liberal as of late, and seems to be finding a more center stance for himself on political issues, and seeing a liberal in such a dire atmosphere of self-sufficiency and survival sends conservative audiences a message about the real subtext of the film (and we shouldn't be surprised by this because both of Scott's last films, Prometheus and Exodus: Gods and Kings, contain important political messages as well). 
Another massive achievement for Ridley Scott. The Martian enters a public debate in cinema that sides with films such as Interstellar and Star Trek Into Darkness, while taking issue with a film like Gravity and it's anti-exploration theme.  If you haven't seen the film, any spoilers contained in this post aren't really going to give anything away, because this is a film about pacing, the human spirit, acting, bringing the world together, cinematography and our deepest inner resources that we can call upon which, not only lift up ourselves, but all of humanity with us when we face epic odds and impossible obstacles.
There are lots of "little things" that go into making this a great film: for example, in the opening scene, when they are all out doing what they are supposed to be doing, and making fun of each other for doing it, the sense of what a team is establishes the sense of duty, dependability and friendship; it's great to be a part of a team where you get to do what you are great at, and others are doing what they are great at. When the storm comes, and this is still in the first 10 minutes of the film, it's a massive storm and Lewis (Jessica Chastain) who is the commander in charge, has to make the decision of whether to abort their station or stay; Mark Watney (Matt Damon) suggests they ride the storm out but she opts for aborting the plan to keep them all safe. There are two important elements of their names we should take into consideration briefly.
Jeff Daniels' "Teddy" isn't a particularly likable character in the film,  he is the one making the tough decisions and, as an audience member, we agree with Sean Bean's character Mitch Henderson when he calls Teddy a "coward." We can't really say that Teddy IS Teddy Roosevelt because the types of decisions that Teddy makes, Roosevelt would NOT have made, but we can say that the name "Teddy," meant to invoke the president, is also meant to invoke the standard of how Teddy, as the head of NASA, should be acting, and isn't. 
"Lewis" is likely a reference to the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition: it's not so much comparing her and her decisions to the actual Expedition across America, rather, an invocation of the American spirit. Mark Watney's name yields two important clues about him: first, he will leave his "mark" on Mars, not only in the note he leaves behind in the Rover that saved his life, but as well, that he was the first to cultivate crops on the planet and, therefore, colonized it, according to textbook definitions. Secondly, the "watts" of bright ideas Watney has in overcoming countless problems and obstacles is a part of his being, his identity that shows in his name. There is also Rich Purnell, the astrophysicist who has the "rich" ingenuity to create the gravity assist plan that will jettison the Hermes space craft back to Mars to pick up Watney (for Teddy's name, please see caption above). What about this little, seemingly unimportant detail of the film: disco music?
Why do bad things happen in the world? God has promised us that He will never allow us to go through something bad without Him bringing a greater good from it, and in this film, that "greater good" is Rich Purnell. In the image above, when we first meet Rich, he's asleep, and we should take that metaphorically because Rich hasn't had the great challenge presented to him in life that will "wake him up" from the slumber of his laziness to rise and meet the challenge of doing something for a greater good; Watney being stranded on Mars does that. In this image, we can see Rich's mind just like the black board above his couch where he's sleeping: full of numbers and ideas that haven't expressed themselves yet because there hasn't been an opportunity to do so (imagine the black board to be like the dialogue bubble for characters in comic strips). When one of the other physicists enters and wakes him up, Rich is literally woken up when he absently mentions, "They would have a better chance of,..." and Rich realizes that he's right, they would have a better chance of doing a gravity assist rather than another launch. Everyone, including Watney himself, is rising to the challenge and re-defining what is possible because of the tragedy of Watney being stranded and, while none of us wants this kind of thing to happen to anyone, the good which comes from such circumstances positively benefits the entire world as well as the individuals directly involved. 
After Watney's alone, he goes through everything the crew left behind (rather like Tom Hanks' character going through FedEx packages in Cast Away) and the only music Watney can find is Lewis' disco music; why?
There are at least two reasons.
This is one of the most difficult moments in the film (from my perspective, anyway) and it's one we recently saw in Prometheus: a character has to perform a surgery on themselves. With Watney, the antenna from the communications satellite lodged in his stomach, so he had to break the rod while he was still outside, because the rod was connected to the satellite by a cord; this "cord" should symbolically be interpreted as a "umbilical cord," rather like the one we saw holding Spock in the volcano in Star Trek Into Darkness. For Watney, and for the general audience, our need to communicate with others is a kind of "umbilical cord" which feeds and sustains us, but it also stunts us. Watney has to "break" himself loose of the cord, i.e, his umbilical cord making him (like us all) dependent upon others for interaction and companionship, and then he has to remove the antenna lodged within his stomach. The stomach is the place of the appetites, but it's also the place where we "digest" what has happened to us and make it a part of ourselves. When Watney pulls out the antenna, he is establishing himself as a truly independent human being (we will go over this in more details below in the image of Watney setting up his greenhouse). Being "free" of the need to interact with humans is not an end of itself; it's being able to not need interacting with others, being able to retreat from the world and into your deepest self that is the goal, and then being able to "re-connect" with humans on a deeper, more authentic level, which is why Lewis is hooked up to another umbilical cord towards the end when she goes out to "grab" Watney. The tether is an umbilical cord to the "mother ship" that has what Watney needs to survive, but because he has been through the struggles of isolation, he is now willing to take a great risk and chance on 1). traveling through space "in a convertible" (after he has to largely take the shuttle apart so it will be light enough to reach orbit) and 2). be willing to puncture his suit to use as a thruster to reach Lewis in space so she can intercept him and bring him on board. As Soren Kirkegaard suggested, we have to go through purgation so we can re-experience anew the things which we were originally cut off from and have a deeper experience of them; this is true of Watney and his communication with others. We can compare, for example, the way Watney communicates with his team mates at the start of the film (and his radio is turned off) and Watney communicating with the future astronauts he's put in charge of at the end of the film. where they are hanging on his every word. Another detail of this is the staple he uses to seal the wound. When Rich is explaining his plan to Teddy to use the gravity assist, Rich uses a stapler to demonstrate his proposed plan for the Hermes shuttle; why? Of all the things he could have used, Rich grabbed a stapler (which probably would not have been in the NASA conference room they were in, rather, on the desks in private offices) but the stapler Watney uses to stitch up his stomach (and later comes out while he's working so he starts bleeding) is being directly related to the scene of Rich and Teddy. We have, in these two scenes, a dramatic comparison of polar opposites: the most basic need to survive and not bleed to death (Watney stapling his stomach) and the highest technological advances by humanity with the Hermes inter-planetary space ship on the other (Rich using the stapler in his metaphor). This is what great film makers do: give the audience clues to tracing similarities between two-seemingly non-similar scenes so the vocabulary of the film can be enriched and the engagement level of the viewer enhanced. 
First, the disco genre was a largely minority art form: women, homosexuals Latinos and blacks were the ones predominantly patronizing disco music and clubs (until the release of the John Travolta film, Saturday Night Live, during which time it spread in influence). Mark Watney is a white male, who would normally not be associated with disco, however, as he goes on, day-to-day, more of the music begins to illustrate his battles and what he is going through; in other words, the musical art form creates a public platform where there is a meeting of the majority (Watney as a white male and dominant power holder in America) and the minority (Lewis as a female in command and a minority and a first time female commander of a planetary mission), where they can both discuss their problems and find that common ground politicians would like to deny (in today's world) exists. By the end of the film when I Will Survive plays, we know that even though the song is about a woman letting a man back into her life, we can understand more about the dangers she is facing in this situation, and even though Watney is a white male who seemingly has all the power and privilege in the world, he, too, has suffered greatly, and both retain psychological scars and victories. Then, there is the second reason,...
Mindy, the blonde, and Vincent on the right, present an interesting situation for the viewer. To begin with, Mindy is the very first one to realize Watney is still alive; how? By interpreting the photographs. She examines photos of the solar panels and the rover and realize the panels have been cleaned and the rover moved, meaning, to Mindy, that someone had to have done that, in spite of Teddy throwing out other suggestions. This brings us to a later scene between Vincent and Watney, when Vincent tells Watney he's going to have to be launched into space in a seriously stripped-down shuttle and Watney responds via email, "What the f---?" and Vincent and Mindy talk to each other, trying to interpret the way in which Watney means that statement. These two scenes, of interpreting the photographs and Watney's emotions in the email, are the invitation to the viewers that we, too, should be interpreting what we are seeing and hearing. Two other important scenes in the film are when Watney's first making contact with Mars--the signs he has created--and the "noise" distorts the images; "Are you receiving my message?" but that message isn't just to NASA, it's also to us, the viewers, because Ridley Scott is sending us a message as do every film maker/artist when they produce a work. What is Scott's message? We can make it, and regardless of the odds against us, we will make it and thrive. Another important scene is when Watney receives and email and one second, the camera is in the rover with him, and the next second the camera is outside the rover, watching him; we can't hear anything, but we see him mouth the word "F---!" and some other choice words; in this case, silence is acting as the "noise" because we hear the silence, but know that more is being said "beneath" the silence Scott is giving us in this scene, and we have to interpret what is happening rather than just passively accepting what we see on the screen.
The 1970s were a turbulent time in American history, and several films have commented upon them as of late, from American Hustle ("Hustle" being a term frequently employed in disco circles) and X-Men Days Of Future Past when Wolverine goes back in time to the 1970s. Bringing in an art form, in this case, disco, that was particular to a certain time-frame, the late 1960's-the mid 1970s, adds the political, social and cultural commentary of that era to the margins of the present. In other words, it's like director Ridley Scott is saying through the incorporation of the disco music that, in spite of the trauma the  country suffered with the Watergate Scandals and the riots, "apocalyptic" by many people's standards at the time, a type of storm like the storm on Mars in the film, we the people didn't abandon the country; we made it work, just like Watney on Mars, and even though it looks as if we're never going to get to see our home the way it was before 2008 again, we are going to keep fighting because that is what we do and that is who we are, which brings us to an imperative point of the film: who are Watney's parents?
This is a great scene because it shows how we, the viewer, should also be viewing the film: not in a static, one-dimensional manner, but really turning it around and trying to understand what is going on. Camera angles like these aren't common, they aren't the angles film makers automatically think of when they are trying to decide what to film and how to film it in order to make the greatest amount of communication possible so the viewer has access to the greatest amount of information in the scene--the characters, the situation, the plot, etc--possible. Like the noise and silence incorporated by Scott in other scenes, unusual camera angles also serve to expand the audience's ability to interact and engage with the deeper sub-text of the film. In this particular scene, we are supposed to put ourselves in the crew's unusual position of having their ship come so close to home, and then not go home, but go back to Mars and the crew mate they were certain was dead, now be still alive.
Watney isn't married nor does he have kids, and we see the very public funeral for him before NASA realizes he is still alive, but Watney's parents are suspiciously absent; there is no tear-jerker scene of Teddy or Vincent calling his parents and delivering the news that they made a mistake and their son is actually alive, or of the mother and father pleading Teddy to bring their son home; Watney does ask Lewis, at one point, to go talk to his parents and tell them that Watney said he died doing what he loved and for something greater than himself. So, who are these people that are never seen in the film? His mother is the "motherland," America, and his father, the "Founding Fathers." Americans have the same parents that Watney does, meaning, we come from the same great spirit of adventure and resourcefulness that we are watching on the screen in the guise of Mark Watney, and this is an image of an important part of our character and purpose in the world. There are three last topics I would like to address in the film: the Christian theme, the Chinese and Project Elrond.
This is one of the last scenes of Watney on Mars as he travels to the destination point. When he gets there, he looks at himself in a mirror: he examines the sores on his body from not being able to shower for a year, the emaciated body he has and he shaves his beard and starts cutting his hair; why? On a superficial level, we could make one of two deductions: first, that he wants to look good for the crew that "abandoned" him on Mars, so they will think that he must not have suffered too much since he looks so good when they finally meet up with him again; the exact opposite, however, would be for Watney to meet the crew with uncut hair and beard, so they would know how much he did suffer and feel sorry and admiration for his incredible feat of will power and stamina. I think, though, that neither of these options, while possible, aren't really probable, because of one gesture Watney makes: he looks in the mirror. Mirrors and glass symbolize deep inner-reflection and meditation; Watney sees "himself" in the mirror and realizes everything he has done to survive up to this point. Why cut his hair? Hair, as we know, symbolizes our thoughts, because our thoughts originate in our heads and our hair is closest to our thoughts; cutting his hair, then, demonstrates that, while he has had to think "long term" on Mars (his longer hair, deeper thoughts) now, if he thinks too much on what NASA and his crew mates are asking of him to accomplish, he will realize that it's all going to "go south on him" and he probably won't make it off Mars alive, which leads us to Watney cutting his beard. Facial hair symbolizes the appetites, because it was the uncivilized barbarians who didn't cut off their beards, and so the appetites Watney has are being cut-off; no, not the appetites for food other than potatoes, or to take a shower again, rather, the appetite to get home. He cuts his beard because he realizes now that he might not make it after all and he has to face that possible scenario as a real fact. He has done everything he can do, he has fought and suffered, but now, there are too many elements and factors beyond his control and it might just not work out, so he is disciplining himself interiorly to accept what may come in the next twenty-four hours. We wouldn't know that Watney was going through this without the subtle gestures of him looking in the mirror, cutting his hair and beard, but this is what great film makers know and use to communicate to their audiences. 
After scavenging the abandoned personal effects of his crew members, we see Watney lying in his bunk holding a Crucifix; we discover that, because NASA doesn't like flames, everything left behind is flame retardant so he can't burn anything to make water for his greenhouse; taking a knife, Watney shaves away the bottom of the Crucifix to make wood chips to produce fire to produce water. Looking at Jesus upon the Cross, Watney says to Him, "I'm counting on you to get me out of this"; when NASA attempts to launch the IRIS rocket, Mitch asks Vincent if he believes in God and Vincent replies affirmatively; why is this important? For at least two reasons. First, Ridley Scott is (publicly) an atheist, even though his last film, Exodus: Gods and Kings, was a deeply pro-Christian film and even the lead character of Prometheus, played by Naoomi Rapace, was a Christian. In the midst of all this incredibly advanced science, God still has a place, which is a completely counter-cultural position to take, especially for someone who claims not to believe in God. This leads us to the role of the Chinese in the film.
Watney spends about two days healing and recovering from the shock of what has happened to him; after two days, he announces to himself that he isn't going to die, and he begins taking steps and working towards his future there, figuring how what it's going to take to keep him alive and fed. When Watney goes outside to begin his plan, that is the first time in the film that we see the American flag, hanging on a wall behind him as he works; why? Because at that moment, that intention to survive and overcome the dire straits he is in, is when Watney expresses what is American about Americans: determination and stubborn courage. What Watney does in this scene is take what is uniquely him--that he is a botanist--and figures out how to create a food source for himself. There was another recent film with a botanist, Savages, where the botanist figured out how to engineer a purer strand of marijuana for his monetary gain. Comparing the two scientists, we can say that one does for himself while the other does for his country (and in planting crops on Mars, Watney is doing for America and, indeed, all of humanity). 
So, they invoke God, send the IRIS missile into space as a supply ship for Watney but because of the protein cubes loaded in the missile, it exploded; how can we see this being the Hand of God or a miracle? IRIS exploding was the prompt needed for the Chinese to offer to help. When the Chinese helped with their booster rocket, that brought people together who are otherwise not on particularly friendly terms (we saw this being discussed with why sports are so important in Trainwreck, it brings people together). This is a major reason to continue with the space program: it unites humanity. When Watney discusses Mars being subjected to "international waters" treaties, he reveals that it doesn't matter if the advances are Chinese, Indian, Russian or British, but human, for all of us, and we all benefit when a brave group of individuals go "where no man has gone before." This is a dramatically different thesis than what we saw in Gravity, when Bullock's character finally lands back on earth, and she walks to a Chinese village that obviously has no technology of any kind (read: technology and space exploration are bad, we need to stay primitive and on the ground). This brings us to our last point: The Lord of the Rings and Iron Man.
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts, can be counted," said Albert Einstein, and that is certainly true of the human spirit. In this image, we see all the computer power and engineering genius that has gone into making NASA and the Aries Mars exploration program. What we don't see is the determination, the creativity and ingenuity of each of these people and those in space. The creative solutions offered in the film, like Rich's solution of the gravity assist, and Watney using his space suit like Iron Man, introduce an important value in the film which (most) Americans hold dear: play. "Game" is defined by a set of rules which helps one team to develop strategies in order to win (like how to make a basket in basketball, and the team with the tallest players closet to the basket will "likely" win). "Play" takes a more creative approach and figures out ways in which the underdog--the basketball team with the shorter players--can manage to win the game, like taking advantage of fouls to increase their free-throw percentage. Throughout The Martian, we see the amassing of scientific data and crunching of numbers, but in the end, it's creativity that defies the science and the numbers that gets Watney home (remember all the math they did to make sure the Hermes would be able to intercept Watney's shuttle, and then it didn't work out after all?). Why is this important? For at least two reasons. First, it demonstrates the singularity of the individual and of humanity: our intelligence is greater than any machine and it can't be replicated, it is unique to each of us and we are able to understand greater forces than just those that can be measured by numbers. Secondly, it espouses chaos theory, that--in spite of what the numbers say--things can still go wrong and they most likely will. Chaos theory, while not necessarily advocating the existence of God, also doesn't preclude the existence of God the way Darwin's evolution does (or more modern evolutionary theories insist upon also).
When Rich gets Vincent to set a meeting with Teddy, they call it Project Elrond, and discuss that it's from The Lord Of the Rings and that was the council held deciding what to do with the One Ring and who would do it. What does this have to do with anything? It actually has everything to do with everything. In TLOR, Frodo Baggins is a hobbit, basically like a kid, but he has been chosen to carry the most powerful weapon in all of Middle Earth and to take it to the most perilous place in the whole universe and he will have to do most of it with no one by Sam who is basically a kid, too. Like The Martian, we see people not equipped to do an impossible task, but doing it anyway, taking on an incredible burden and defying all the odds which have been set against them and defining themselves in ways no one thought possible: in a word, fulfilling their destiny, and creating new standards of courage, sacrifice and brilliance. So, how does Tony Stark fit into this?
In this clip, Watney has an idea and goes out to find The Pathfinder satellite he knows landed on Mars in hopes that he can use the satellite to transmit a message to NASA. The "Pathfinder" is a part of the human spirit, that where there is a need, a way will be found. We should also understand this as a metaphor of Watney himself: what was buried in the sand (within Watney), is now being unburied and he will use it whereas it would have remained buried within him if not for him being in such a terrible state. The argument, "Who cares? I would much rather go through life not being stranded on Mars and being happy then to find something buried within me that I didn't know I had" is really not a valid argument--I know because I make that same argument every single day, wishing instead for a simple, no-stressing existence. Humanity is interwoven together, every single one of us, tied to every single other person; the good one does, all benefit from; if we fail to develop our abilities to the utmost, we not only fail ourselves, but all humanity as well. 
Towards the end, when Mark's shuttle hasn't reached a high enough altitude for the Hermes to intercept him, he gets the idea of puncturing his suit so the released oxygen will create a engine in his hand that he can "control" and somewhat direct, "Like Iron Man." If you will recall the first Iron Man film, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) had been captured and was held hostage; because of that, he built Iron Man to escape and that changed the world and changed Tony Stark; likewise, Watney has done the same and so have the countless engineers and experts who have "done the numbers" but, more importantly, they have seen the situation with their heart: knowledge is important, but the heart is more important. Watney doesn't survive because of what he knows, he survives because he's determined to.
Towards the end, when Watney eats his last meal on Mars, he is writing down a note on a piece of paper which begins, "To Whom It May Concern," and my first thought was a final will or note to his parents; then he keeps writing and we see, "Take good care of this rover, she saved my life. Mark Watney." This note tells us three important things. First, even though Watney had prepared himself for the possibility of dying (shaving his beard and cutting his hair) we know he plans on living because he didn't write a note to his parents or a last will. Secondly, Watney knows there will be future missions to Mars, that the US isn't going to stop space exploration and others will come after him because only cowards shy away from challenge. Thirdly, the rover is a vehicle. This might not seem important, but at a time when our ability to invent and dream has been seriously discouraged by the Obama administration, and we are under a constant threat of him imposing martial law and restricting our ability to freely move and travel, that a rover saved Watney's life is an important political statement about the necessity of personal vehicles in our lives: the features of the rover come from advances made in the car industry (they could not have come up with a design like this in the 1960s, for example, this rover is a result of the free market meeting increasing demands from consumers). Watney never would have been able to make the trip to the launch site without the rover and NASA might not have even realized he was still alive except for the rover being parked in a different spot in photographs of the station. Far from being just a sign of material consumption, endangerment to the environment and unnecessary signs of social status socialists would like to brainwash us into thinking cars and vehicles are, like we have seen in Fast and Furious 7, cars are important and versatile machines that can actually save our lives and even our country. On an entirely different note, what are we to make of Watney talking about himself being a pirate? I have a feeling this is a pre-emptive argument regarding Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales. We saw X-Men Days Of Future Past supporting the film Whiplash before it was released, and Iron Man 3 making an early argument against The Lone Ranger and the Sand Creek Massacre which is acted out in The Lone Ranger (and, of course, Watney references Iron Man when he's in space). Film makers talk to other film makers and know what is going on behind-the-scenes long before we do, and I am confident that we will understand what is really meant by "Captain Blonde Beard" when the film is released in July 2017.
In conclusion, The Martian will go down in cinematic history as one of the great films released when so many other great films have been released as well: it is not only teaching us, but inspiring us in our daily lives, giving us courage and hope, reminding us who we are and the greatness that lies just ahead of us. Nothing can overcome us, if we don't overcome ourselves.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Friday, October 2, 2015

Trailers: Spectre #3, Mockingjay Part 2, Crimson Peak & The Martian

This was a surprisingly emotional film to watch; Scott's pacing is perfection, and even though I haven't been a fan of Matt Damon's for many years now, I believe in giving credit where credit is due and it's due at his doorstep; he was fantastic. 
Ridley Scott's The Martian is phenomenal. I absolutely loved it. I saw it in 3D and it was definitely worth it; 3D technology was made for films like this. It was excellent, on every level. I can't recommend it highly enough. If you go to a movie this weekend, catch it. This is one of those that, even with big-budget home entertainment theaters, you are going to miss a lot if you don't catch it on the big screen because this is a film when the landscape and environment is definitely one of the main characters of the narrative. Allow me to put it to you this way: when I look back on 2015, I will be naming The Martian as one of the best films of the year. On a different note, Spectre has released their third and final trailer before the release, and it's exceptionally good.
I'm not going to spend time on this trailer now because I want to get the post on The Martian up; this clip was also released today for Mockingjay: Part 2:
I'm not particularly excited about the whole Hunger Games story line, and I DO apologize to those of you who are fans of it that I don't give it more time. I am, however, wildly ready to see Crimson Peak and a little new trailer has been released for that as well:
On a last note before closing, while waiting for The Martian to come on, I saw Star Wars VII trailer in 3D; please, please, if you are going to see the film--and I will post as soon as tickets are available--please see it in 3D; it will be WORTH IT.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Thursday, October 1, 2015

TRAILERS: The Forest, Goosebumps,

Tidbits hither and thither: tickets are now on sale for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, the conclusion of THG book trilogy that was turned into a cinematic quadruple. The Martian, Ridley Scott's latest film, opens tomorrow; I am going to see the 3D version at the first showing just after noon, so I will be tweeting my initial reactions, but I am confident I will enjoy it (The Walk with Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also opening, however, I just don't think I can sit through that film). I went and saw Hotel Transylvania 2. If you will recall, Hotel Transylvania was decidedly pro-socialist and anti-capitalist; it appears, however, that Adam Sandler and company have experienced a bit of a change in their ideology because HT2 is far more to the right, in several important ways, than I would have been willing to bet money on, and that's always a good thing! For those of you who are also fans, Penny Dreadful Season 2 is coming out on disc October 6.
Earlier this week, our post was on Spectre and rumors of Daniel Craig bowing out after this Bond film; Craig's most recent interview, published today, reaffirms his contractual obligations and that he wants to play Bond for as long as (physically) possible. Skyfall was the first Bond film to cross the $1 billion dollar international mark. 
Now, just to keep you up on what is still to come this year, here is a quick calendar for you:
9: Steve Jobs, Pan
16: Crimson Peak, Bridge of Spies, Goosebumps
23: Last Witch Hunter, Burnt
6: Spectre, The Peanuts Movie, Trumbo
20: Mockingjay Part 2
25: Creed, Victor Frankenstein
4: Krampus, MacBeth
11: Heart of the Sea
18: Star Wars VII
25: The Hateful 8, Joy, Point Break
Now, here is a trailer for Goosebumps that I think looks pretty good:
If you will recall, a couple of years ago, we saw something similar to this in the Evil Dead, when a dumb kid opened a book and basically released the devil on him and his friends; we could also mention The Raven (John Cusack) when a real life crime has to become a masterpiece of Edgar Allan Poe; not being familiar with the Goosebumps books, I'm not going to say anything else at the moment, but I am interested in what they do with this. The second trailer for the day does look pretty scary:
I like this trailer because it appears that it's fully exploring the symbolic significance of a forest as a place of sin, being lost and the soul as a garden taken over by a wild nature rather than discipline. Likewise, with Jess and Sarah being identical twins, we have a building up of the theme that every narrative has a main character and the rest of the characters are just parts or versions of the main character which have to be 1). overcome, 2). converted or, 3). destroyed in order for the main hero to live on victorious.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Monday, September 28, 2015

SPECTRE: Newest James Bond "Day Of the Dead" Poster

If you need a refresher on the trailer, you may find it at the end of this post. The skeleton figure behind the dinner jacket is Bond, dressed for the Day Of the Dead celebration in Mexico City, so it's a very specific moment in the calendar year within the film. From the trailer, we know Bond wears that white dinner jacket when he is on the train with Madeleine Swann, so the poster is juxtaposing two different but absolute points in Bond's narrative that, otherwise, we might not connect together, so this is, in effect, a poster that is designed as a kind of "love note" to the audience: if we have cared enough about the film to keep tabs on posters like these being released, we are going to be rewarded when the film comes out because, like Bond in the film, we will be looking for what connects all of them (the scenes) together. So, what is it? First of all, we don't know if Bond, dressed in "dead" costume is on his way to assassinate someone, or is escaping from it; what we can say is that Bond has, literally, been stripped of his total being: he is a walking skeleton. This might have something to do with the conversation Bond and Q had in the British Museum in Skyfall: "Once in awhile, a trigger has to be pulled," Q condescendingly says, and Bond retorts, "Or not pulled. It's difficult to know in your pajamas." In this sequence, however, we know Bond has taken it upon himself to pull a trigger and there are definite consequences to it. Now, back to the skeleton suit and being a "walking skeleton." This possibly means three things: either Bond is the "face of death" in the film (as Mr. White points out, "I always knew death would wear a familiar face, but it's not yours,"), Bond himself has experienced the face of death (like when he's looking through his personal effects from Skyfall brought by Moneypenny) or both, and I rather think it's this last option, because that's beautifully more complicated and why on earth would Sam Mendes NOT want to do that? So, what this poster presents are the two personas Bond will be wearing throughout the film; why? Spectre itself is a persona for Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) and Oberhauser has spent years creating layers of deceit to protect Spectre and himself; the skeleton suit Bond wears reveals how Bond is ripping away his own layers of deceit and identity because, if he doesn't, he won't survive. There is another important facet to the skeleton suit: when we see Bond walking down the road, he glances backwards (0:06 in the trailer below), as he is doing in the poster; why? We saw Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) do the same gesture in The Man From UNCLE as he approaches the Berlin Wall. In both instances, there is the feeling of being watched by Big Brother, and given that both films center upon an international organization trying to take over the world, we shouldn't be surprised that such a casual gesture can hold such grand significance. 
Some new stills of Spectre have been released, along with this tantalizing new poster for the film and they deserve some attention. To begin with, there is a report of an interview with Daniel Craig suggesting that he might not be back for the next Bond film; I think this is publicity, because Mr. Craig is contractually obligated to do five films: Casino Royale, Quantum Of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre leave Craig one film short of his sign-on agreement. Why would he say this? Well, Spectre is getting free publicity with all the talk of "Who will be the next James Bond?" without specifically over-selling the film, or spilling any of its plot secrets. One might think it would undermine Craig's performance, and make people wish there were all ready a new Bond, however, Craig has been so successful (with the help of incredible screen writers and directors) as Bond that instead, it's making me dread the day there is another Bond; in other words, it's solidifying Craig as Bond even more. I don't know about you, however, but I actually think this might be a Oscar ploy to instill in the industry's mind just how amazing Craig has been as Bond and that he is, indeed, Oscar worthy. I certainly think so, and wouldn't have hesitated to give him the gold statue upon leaving the theater in November a few years ago, having watched Skyfall.
"Magnificent, isn't she? A few little tricks up her sleeve," Q says,... of the car, not Madeleine Swann (Lew Seydoux), however, this stunning evening gown begs comparison with the bespoke Aston Martin Bond drives in the film. How? To begin with, one of the meanings of the name "Madeline" is "magnificent"; both are/wear silver, and secondly, both are the "vehicles" of the narrative: the Aston Martin because Bond will be driving it and it symbolizes his own abilities in the film, but also Swann because, without her, Bond won't be able to access Spectre.  The gown she wears is at least a little bit computer generated: note how the fabric hugs her right hip and her inner thighs, especially around the knees; fabric doesn't do that, but that's okay, because the gown makes an important statement: Madeline has the curves that Bond will have to handle as if he were driving the Aston Martin, and that relates a bit of danger that we might not expect coming from her since her dialogue with Bond (what has been released) echoes that he must be tired of hunting and being hunted. Is it true that Bond "doesn't stop to think about it, really,"? Yes and no. Bond couldn't be a hero if he didn't meditate on his own self, because it's only through his self-awareness that Bond remains a "good guy" and is able to understand who the villains are and why they are the villains. What Bond doesn't stop to think about are the possible consequences of such a high-stakes game because the stakes are too high if he doesn't hunt and be hunted: he will lose his soul, and a reference to, "It was this or become a priest," enforces this concept: he has become a spy and a priest, because without his soul to guide him in the direction he needs to take, he would end up being just another Silva (Javier Bardem, Skyfall). 
This brings us to director Sam Mendes who did Skyfall and also Spectre, stating that he's pretty confident he's done with the Bond franchise. This is actually possible. Sadly, Mr. Mendes might be out but I certainly hope that isn't the case. Like Joss Whedon under the stress of making The Avengers 2: Age Of Ultron, and pressure to deliver the highest-grossing film of all time, Mendes is under financial and artistic pressure to elevate the Bond franchise even more than did with Skyfall, and after all, he is only human,... from what I've heard.
We've all ready discussed the importance of how water (snow, fog, rivers) will be symbolic in the film (please see Bond's Secret: Spectre Trailer for more); glass will most likely be utilized in the same manner. The building at the top is the clinic where Madeline is a doctor (some kind of mental health institute) and then we see Bond, in the pilot's chair of a helicopter with the windshield smashed out, and the logo of the film, the bullet hole in glass, crackling to form the SPECTRE logo of the octopus.  Glass and mirrors symbolize reflection, the deep, meditative type that we do in order to mentally, psychologically and spiritually advance in life and get through our obstacles. As noted in the earlier post linked above, water in all three forms--liquid water, fog/clouds and snow--symbolize three stages of the meditative process: water is reflective, so we first see the problem or issue that arises when a character is in/around water, but it's only a surface understanding of what is happening to them. The second phase, fog, signifies a deeper approach to the problem, but there are blurs and ghosts, difficulties arise as the character tries to delve deeper into the murkiness and discover what is really there. Finally, snow symbolizes that the problem has materialized and is solved, but healing has still to take place--just like the earth in winter under snow, when it rests from the summer crops it produced. The character isn't well at this point, but the wound and trauma is ready to be healed so the character can move on. At Madeline's clinic in the top image, it's not only a completely glass hospital, but it's surrounded by snow: either this means Madeline herself has experienced the cleansing of her troubles, or, at this point in the film, Bond has a part of his troubles figured out, with more still to come. Likewise, with the second image, Bond's shattered windshield suggests that his own understanding of what was happening or would happen has been interiorly undermined--perhaps he thought he was more capable than what he proves to be, or his enemy is stronger than he thought--but this will be one of many trying moments for Bond since the whole film will be pointed towards the interior life (the glass the logo consists of) and the death that will be introduced to it (the bullet).
A bit more of the plot synopsis has been released and it puts the film in a bit more of a timeline, although that is still sufficiently confusing (but in a good way):

A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organization known as SPECTRE.
The exquisite monochromatic elegance of this scene has mesmerized me: I don't know what it is, but the limestone and total black of the funeral mourners, the cold air (Bond wears a coat) contrasted against the sunlight and the casting of shadows, entrances me with this scene. I am going to suggest, because I can't possibly have a real clue about what is going on, that the stone facades we see are meant to be for the viewer a kind of artistic interpretation of Lucia herself (remember, "Lucia" means "graceful light" but what we appear to see more of in this meting is her "graceful darkness exhibited by her dress of grieving: she will probably appear monochromatic herself, not giving much away (if, indeed, anything at all) but within her and her dialogue, there will be a play of the darkness of the shadows and the light of illumination Bond seeks in going to her for help. Lucia wears a dark hat covering most of her head, but not all of it, suggesting that she is keeping most of her thoughts, fears, suspicions and what she knows to herself. The netting over her face acts as a form of erasure for her identity because it obscures her features: there is far more to who she is than Bond will be able to first discern, which is why she's not only a "forbidden" widow, but her last name is "Sciarra" which means "argument" or "quarrel"; the stylized aesthetic of this scene is surely a set-up to what we will be seeing as the "rest" of her story. 
Madeline's character is not mentioned in the synopsis, causing part of the confusion, but another part will revolve around what is happening to M (Ralph Fiennes) as he works to restructure MI6 after M's death (Judi Dench) in Skyfall. It's a new beginning, in a sense, but not for Bond: whereas he dealt with M's ghost in Silva (Javier Bardem) in Skyfall, now he deals with his own ghosts, but it appears he has decided to become a ghost in order to chase them. "Do one other thing for me," he asks of Q; "What did you have in mind?" and he replies quietly, "Make me disappear." I will be perfectly honest with you: between Spectre, The Avengers Age of Ultron and Star Wars VII, 2015 may go down in history as one of cinema's best years in film ever.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Friday, September 25, 2015

News & Updates

So, Sam Smith has released the hotly anticipated Spectre theme song, Writing's On the Wall, and you can hear it at Spotify, iTunes, or wherever it is you go for digital music. I think it's one of the worst songs I have ever heard in my life. Not to mention a James Bond theme song. I guess there is a reason they always go with females singing the song; yea, they should go back to that. Adele's newest album, on the other hand, will be released October 30.
So, here is just a run-down of odds and ends that have been released: Star Wars VII tickets are being RUMORED to go on sale in November; its official release date is Friday, December 18, however, there are also plenty of speculations that there will be earlier shows opening, for example, perhaps Wednesday and Thursday night. There are also rumors, and I think this is more substantial though it won't apply to everyone's theater, that there will be numerous Star Wars Marathons with all 7 films being shown; it was also being rumored that the original, big 3 would start streaming on Netflix sometime before SW7 comes out. Other big news, this interesting short docu on Spectre's special effects scenes has been released, and it's rather impressive.
Thank goodness!
Henry Cavill has not been cast as Anastasia's boss in Fifty Shades of Grey something or other. Rumors had been circulating, however, it's been confirmed that the casting director hasn't even been hired yet and they are nowhere close to setting the cast. I think such a film would put a terrible cast over the Man of Steel's image,.... Ridley Scott has announced the title of his newest film, the follow up to Prometheus, but it's not Prometheus 2 even though it is the sequel to the film: Alien: Paradise Lost, will open in theaters in 2017 and does reference the title of John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost, but, according to Scott, that's where the similarities end. Michael Fassbinder has confirmed he is returning. Men In Black is re-booting the franchise without Will Smith: Men In Black 4 is being written without Smith who has been in all three previous films (no word on Tommy Lee Jones).
The big opener this weekend is Hotel Transylvania 2; I am going to try and see this because people think that, when a film is animated, it's automatically going to contain the values and morals and political positions they themselves hold, and as we saw in the first film, this is a blatantly "anti-capitalist franchise,"... hypocritical greed intended.
Last but not least, Fast and Furious 8 is having director problems,... as in, they can't get one....? James Wan, who did FF7 bowed out of the next installment to do The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist; when Justin Lin also bowed out to do Star Trek Beyond, Universal went back to Wan and offered him a "life changing sum of money" to direct the film; Wan replied, thanks, but no thanks. It appears that he is exhausted after the untimely death of actor Paul Walker, and the incredible stress that placed upon Wan and crew to finish the film without one of the main actors. F & F is slated for a total of 10 films, after which time, the franchise will end.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner