Sunday, January 15, 2017

FINALE: Sherlock, S4, E2 & the Play Of "Miss Me?"

Scientists are rather arrogant, you know? During a "scientific experiment," the scientist is always all ready a part of the experiment being conducted, from their footsteps walking across the room, to the dirty lens of the microscope they use, or their preference for the blue dye which may, in some way, alter the findings, chaos theory revels to us how impossible a "scientific experiment" is, by scientists' own standards, because you can never remove the scientist from the experiment and still have an experiment. We can say the same of a narrator in a story, as in Sherlock: Sherlock is always a part of the story, and so we can't know what might have been different, what else there was to know, because his ignorance is our ignorance, his forgetfulness is our forgetfulness, and the impact of his psychotic, missing sister, is also the impact of our psychotic, missing sister:
To be perfectly honest, this is likely the last episode of Sherlock: "likely," not definitely, but we will probably know by the end of tonight if the show will be renewed or not, if there are more adventures down the Baker Street road. Why? Like the scientist being humbled by their realization of the inherent failure in their scientific experiments, so, too, Sherlock will realize that he is just as predictable as everyone else, and as easily read, as Mycroft tells us, everything you have ever done, has been because of Euros, just like Watson choosing a therapist because of the distance and time. So, how do we watch The Final Problem?
This is an incredible image. So much so, I have refrained from saying anything about it until I could know more about it. So, what do we have? I'm not quite sure, but here are a few things. First, we know water is typically a "feminine" symbol, and that the masculine residence of 221B Baker Street has been flooded with the feminine (masculine referring to 221 B as one of the most famous residences in the world, and that for a man). The water is clearly destructive, and threatening, not only Sherlock and Watson, but what they represent: the law. Please notice the violin floating in the front ground of the image; typically, the violin is associated with the woman's body (I previously linked it to Sherlock himself, since Sherlock does play a violin, but now, it appears, Sherlock has been "played upon" as if he were a violin). 
It's likely that "Miss Me?" the encrypted message reappearing since the end of Season 1, has been the inner-demon of Sherlock trying to bust through the restraints of his psyche, breaking the bonds of incarceration to accuse him of wrong-doing before the whole world,... just like the "ghost" of Emelia Ricoletti, because Sherlock was "recollecting" Euros in his dream sequence entitled, The Abominable Bride. Proof of this is when, at the end of Season 3, Episode 3, as Sherlock says good-bye to John, he mentions the "east wind" that is coming, signfiying to us that he is, somewhere in his mind palace, "missing" Euros. How can he miss someone we haven't been introduced to?
They certainly look different now, don't they? Knowing there is someone lurking behind the scenes who should be in the picture yet prefers murder to family.
Generally, we have been interpreting "Miss Me?" as, Are you wishing I was there? yet, we can also interpret "Miss Me?" as, I am a target and you have "missed me" again, haven't you? That which is "missing" from the picture was, for example, immediately picked up by Holmes during Episode 1, The Six Thatchers when he went to talk about the death of the son and noticed the "missing" bust of Margaret Thatcher. As Euros unmasked herself at the end of Episode 2, The Lying Detective, and talked to Watson about how easy it was to fool him, did we "miss" the other women who complained of the same things Euros did during the narrative of The Abominable Bride? How many women appearing in that episode would have taken the side of Euros as she listed her grievances against Watson and the Holmes brothers?
So, why is Moriarty the vehicle of "Miss Me?" Moriarty is just, as we saw at the end of Episode 3 of Season 3, a "talking head," a Pinocchio while it's likely Euros is Geppetto, or one more sinister, rather, pulling the strings. Why, then, has Sherlock been so obsessed with him? Because we become obsessed with what we can't control. Moriarty, as dead, could be controlled, but Sherlock knew there was someone behind Moriarty, and that's why he was "obsessing" over him, because he couldn't figure out how Euros was using Moriarty against him, or would use Moriarty. Before we speculate any further, we should just watch the episode. I have finished my post The Abominable Bride, and was going to post it last Sunday, but given the shock introduction of Euros, I decided it would be better to wait and get the whole scoop.
So, whenever we have seen, "Have you missed me?" (even on the disc Mary Watson left for Sherlock after her death) we can interpret that as, "Have you missed the feminist movement that has been brimming over in your psyche, and threatens you as a white male, but have had no idea that it's been coming to defeat you at your very core? Did you miss that?"
Eat Your Heart Out,
The Fine Art Diner
This moment, wherever it is taking place, and whenever it happens in the narrative, is basically happening to every single man in the world today, whether they have realized it or "missed" it. Their world is being blown to bits and pieces. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

UPDATED: Euros, the East Wind: Sherlock, S4, E2

So, this is the thing: Euros has established herself as an "unreliable narrator": by lying, she has compromised her credibility to tell the truth. When did she lie, in The Lying Detective? She lied to Watson after their bus ride about him "having nice eyes," because she wasn't interested in him for his eyes, but because of his relationship to Sherlock. She lied the entire evening with Shelock because she pretended to be Faith Smith when she wasn't, but also that she was on the verge of suicide. Then she lies about being a therapist, having killed the real therapist who lived at the residence where she was meeting Watson for his sessions. Then she lies about Watson having mentioned the "secret Holmes brother" and then says that maybe Sherlock told her about him, when in fact, we know he didn't. So, all these lies, and disguises, compouds to create Euros as someone who has a version of reality which shifts like the wind (after which she is named) and who may not have a grip on reality at all. So, taking a step back, the episode is called The Lying Detective: how does Holmes lying differ from Euros? Afterall, we can say that both Holmes and Euros incorporate "entrapment" to get what they want from someone else (Euros gets it from both Holmes and Watson, while Holmes gets it from Culverton Smith and Watson [intenionally inducing Holmes' drug addiction so Watson will save Holmes]); but first, we need to estalish the "lie" in The Lying Detective. On one hand, like Euros, Holmes puts on an act--wears a disguise--as a drug addict--to get Watson's attention just as Euros wears disguises; at this point, however, and I may change my mind after further reflection, I think the real "lie" of Sherlock revolves around what he tells Culverton Smith in the hospital room: "I want to die." I think that is the "lie" our attention is meant to be drawn to; why? Well, there is the "why" of why that is the lie, and then there is the "why" of why Sherlock doesn't want to die. First, while Sherlock may have bouts of genuine misery, Sherlock Holmes likes himself too much to want to die; although Holmes feels genuine guilt over Mary's death (partly because of his provoking Vivian by his unnecessary running of her into the ground, causing her to pull the trigger, and then because Mary sacrifices herself to save Sherlock) Holmes--as he tells Euros when she visits him disguised as Faith Smith--our lives are not our own, they have a value and our death affects others. When Culverton Smith asks Sherlock about dying, Smith assumes that Holmes' drug binge is a kind of inadvertent suicide, and Holmes really does want to die. Why is this the "lie" our attention is meant to be drawn to in the narrative? Well, this isn't the first time, is it, that a villain has tried to get Sherlock to die, right? Think of Moriarty trying to get Sherlock to jump to his death atop tha building, because this is a very close proximation to that. We also have the scene with Faith when Sherlock spirals out of control and nearly jumps off the bridge, then looks behind him, and "Faith" has disappeared, then Sherlock doesn't remember the police bringing him back to Baker Street. It's possible that at that point, Sherlock unconsciously realized that "Faith" was really Euros, and Euros' hatred of Sherlock is what prompoted Sherlock to want to kill himself, because killing Sherlock is what Euros wants to do. I think it's also possible that, as Mrs. Hudson points out, when Sherlock has something on his mind, he "stabs" it or shoots at it, because I think that's probably what Euros did to him at soime point. So, from The Abominable Bride, we know how deeply Sherlock can and will go into the mind of Sherlock Holmes, and because Euros has obviously been playing mind games with Holmes, Watson and now the audience, we shouldn't be surprised by anything we learn from Euros, but also not necessarily believe anything we learn from Euros. 
As Watson and Sherlock shook hands before Sherlock boarded the plane of certain death, Sherlock told Watson (a quote from Conan Doyle's His Last Bow):

There's an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it's God's own wind none the less and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.

Euros is, of course, that "east wind" that was hiding in plain sight the whole time. I will write more on this fabulous episode, but I want you to be thinking of something: is Euros THE other "brother" which the series has been leading us to believe they are going to introduce (Euros could easily be a transgendered twin, I mean, why not? and the fact that this is Sherlock's birthday in the episode means something or someone is being born, and Euros is certainly being born) or is Euros actually Sherrinford but still wearing a disguise even when all the "disguises" have been removed? In The Abominable Bride, Sherlock emphatically insisted "It's never twins," but, could it in fact, be twins in this case? Euros and Sherrinford could be twins, Euros and Sherlock could be twins, or, Euros could be Mycroft's twin, or it could be something else entirely,...
This is a particularly important moment because,... what do you see? You "see" Mycroft "seeing." In other words, Mycroft is "reflecting," note the reflection we see of him in the far right hand of this shot. We know that Mycroft might not be given to "outbursts" of "brotherly passion," but we do know there exists within Mycroft a steady stream of compassion for his brother, like the list of all the narcotics Mycroft made Sherlock write down before his doping; why? The list would be a kind of suicide note when Sherlock wouldn't write one anyway, and it's not that Mycroft would need to know how much Sherlock overdosed, rather, it would make Sherlock contemplate if he really wanted to die or not. This is brotherly compassion, but certainly not an outburst. 
Euros could be a stalker.
Someone who is lonely and has nothing else to do, and isn't a part of the Holmes family in any way (rather like the "Holmes" Culverton mentions who ran the hotel just so he could kill people, but Sherlock says they aren't related), rather, someone who wants to belong in some way, be a part of a case just to be a part of something. What's the point of doing an exercise like this? It expands our horizons and makes us engage with the art ever more deeply, which causes us to engage with ourselves evermore deeply. And speaking of looking into ourselves ever more deeply, we must be aware that Sherlock has been doing the same thing, which is where Euros may gave come, from within Holmes,... how can we say that? Shouldn't Sherlock Holmes have noticed when he went into the therapist's house, that the therapist was the same woman "Faith" who he had spent an entire evening with? Like by her earlobes, or nose? There is a subconscious reason Sherlock blocked that out, or refused to acknowledge it.
Ear Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Go To Hell, Sherlock: The Six Thatchers, S4, E1

Because my mother is such a big fan of Sherlock (she is the one who introduced me to it) I thought she would have loved the Season 4 premiere, but she wasn't particularly happy with it, especially the first half of the show (if you haven't seen the episode, you can watch it at the PBS website at this link; I do suggest you see it before reading this post as there are plenty of spoilers and I don't want to spoil it for you!). I think that's important for us to review, because it's an elegant demonstration of good writing when the beginning of a film is matched up with the very end of the film, and in case you missed it, that ending was the recording of Mary Watson telling Sherlock to "Go to hell."
So, how does it match up?
Why call this The Six Thatchers? I think this is actually going to be a pro-capitalist argument,... Yes, I would say that, wouldn't I? No, no, really,... Please recall when Sherlock talks to the hacker Tobey about tracing down the owners of the six Margaret Thatcher busts, and Tobey says there is a real market for that Cold War stuff, and how can there be anyone who wants to live under communism? Now, contrariwise, the character being portrayed by Toby Jones (there is a poster of him in the bus stop where Elizabeth waits for Watson to get off the bus, that image is below) is a business man that at least one other writer has compared to Donald Trump; I would like to point out that--before we even know anything about the character--George Soros is also a successful business man who could be the role model of the villain. Had the film makers wanted to take a critical look at capitalism, I am of the humble opinion that there would not have been a "shrine" dedicated to her (and don't forget, in The Hound Of the Baskervilles episode [although I don't think they called it that in Sherlock, but you know which one I am talking about] the general had a book on his desk about Margaret Thatcher and his password was "Maggie," or something like that). Of course, this is only the first of three episodes, but we will see how this ties in together, as always.
At the start of the film, Sherlock has just avoided certain death. "#ohwhatabeautifulmorning" is the tweet Sherlock sends out; ironically, he wants the world to read it, but he doesn't want his own brother Mycroft to read it out loud; why not? We were just reminded on the TV screen in the conference room where the scene takes place that Sherlock is a "high-functioning socio-path," and why is that? He can't express his emotions in a healthy, normal way; what emotions are Sherlock trying to express? Gratitude, relief, joy (the hashtag #ohwhatabeautifulmorning comes from the musical Oklahoma! by the way, when Curly sings how everything is going his way so, Sherlock's tweet about being back on "terra firma" is kind of like the cowboys singing how much they belong to the land in the musical, which makes sense that Sherlock would site a musical because that is what musicals are for: giving voice and expression to emotions we normally don't express; if you would like to watch the song, click here, and just imagine Benedict Cumberbatch singing instead). Sherlock was on a mission that would insure he died as punishment for murdering Charles Augustus Magnussen, and now Sherlock has, literally, been pulled from the grip of death. If Sherlock seems dis-genuine or even perhaps "fake" in this scene, it's because he really can't believe he's getting to eat gingernuts again, when--just a few hours before--he didn't think he would ever see a gingernut again for the rest of his (guaranteed short) life. This leads us to the very last scene filmed by Mary.
For those who didn't stick around until after the credits, this was the--mysterious--last scene they saw. "Sherrinford" was the name Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was originally going to give to his star detective, then decided against it; in a "non-Doyle story" (meaning it is not included in the official Sherlock Holmes canon) another writer created a third Holmes brother with the name of Sherrinford, who Mycroft calls in this scene. The "13th" on the post-it note under the menu has been suggested that the "menu" of Season 4 is that, in the 13th episode, The Final Problem, the third Holmes brother will appear (which would explain why, at the start of the film, they show Mycroft mournfully saying to someone, "You know what happened to the other brother," and then close out the episode with another reference to him. On a slightly different note, we see the interiors of Mycroft's dwellings twice in the show: first his office when he and Sherlock meet, and then, at the end, we can assume this is Mycroft's kitchen (nothing at all like what I expected). What do we notice? Well, to begin with, how very bare it is: there is nothing in either one. When Mycroft opens the fridge in the scene above, there is nothing on the inside shelves (I suppose Mycroft doesn't like Grey Poupon). I don't know how they are going to elaborate upon these details, but I do know they are important, and we should keep them in mind.
What does Mary say, over and over again, in her final message? "Save John Watson." So, if Mary trusts Sherlock to save John Watson, why, then, does she end her message by saying the seemingly contradictory, "Go to hell, Sherlock,"? Because, in order to save John, Sherlock will have to go to hell interiorly, on this spiritual journey to save John, himself, and England. That is why the opening and closing of the film are so ingeniously tied to each other: in the beginning, Sherlock believes he has just been saved from hell in being pulled from the "suicide mission" as a punishment for killing Magnussen; in the end, Sherlock is going to have to go to hell anyway, maybe even a worse hell, then he was saved from at the start of the film. So, why does Mary believe Sherlock will have to go to hell to save John?
Of course, Mary could be telling Sherlock to "Go to hell," because she hates him, but given that this was recorded before her death, and Mary sacrifices her life for Sherlock's, I don't think there is any reason to understand the statement as "Go to hell, you dirty bastard!" rather, it's a directive loaded with the metaphysical foreboding that Sherlock is, in fact, going to face his toughest case, just as Sherlock himself predicts at the start of the film, and a large part of that is going to be saving John Watson. The background behind Mary is interesting: there is a window covered with blinds. We know that windows mean "reflection" and meditation, and we can see easily that Mary would have been reflecting before this recording, but the blinds suggest that, literally, Mary is "blind" to exactly what she tells Sherlock (for example, why didn't she leave a message for Watson, telling him, for example, not to start having an affair with a vampire?); in other words, Mary has a "feeling," rather like Sherlock does when he is meant to tell the parents of the dead boy how their son died and, instead, "By the pricking of my thumbs," he knew the empty spot where the broken Margaret Thatcher bust had been was going to prove important; Mary has that same "thumb-pricking" urging her to make this video. The blinds in the background, however, probably tell us something about us, the audience, because we are also "blind" to what is really going on in this scene as well. Given that you and I are my prone to observing and studying than the average film-goer, our acknowledgement that we are "blind" is still a greater insight than those who doesn't even notice the blinds there are all, however, it is simply a realistic fact that there are aspects of this scene which we can't possibly know at this point but, we can say with confidence, that we know we will have to re-visit this scene at least once by the end of this season. I think a last note to make, at this point, on Mary's directive, is to remember what Sherlock told Moriarty in The Reichenbach Fall (Season 1) that "I am on the side of the angels, but don't think for one second that I am one of them." A lot has happened since Sherlock said that, and he has given up his life at least twice since then for those he loved: when Sherlock "dies" in a few moments in that same episode so Moriarty's henchmen don't kill those that Sherlock cares about, and again in accepting the consequences of certain death for killing Magnussen. These events and decisions which Sherlock has made have affected his soul, for the better, and while Sherlock went into a "shadow world" at the end of Season 1, when he was officially "dead" but just living in the shadows, now, Sherlock will have to actually go to hell, not only to save the life of his dear friend Watson, but Rosie and the others, and possibly his beloved England as well.
Even though Mary knows she must be dead if Sherlock is watching the video, she doesn't know the cause of her death and she, apparently, doesn't know that John has been texting "E." or Elizabeth (Sian Brooke). Just because we haven't seen Mary pick up John's phone and scroll through, or noticed him texting someone in the middle of the night while she tended baby Rosie, doesn't mean it hasn't happened in the narrative and we will be made aware of it later (for example, we never saw Mary sit down to record the video message she leaves for Sherlock); so it's entirely possible that Mary does know John has been "seeing"--to a greater or lesser degree--another woman. This woman, Elizabeth, is the "hell" Sherlock is going to have to go through to save John Watson.
How do we know?
Elizabeth tells us herself.
Do you recall how, in Season 1, Watson couldn't get a date? He would ask women to go out with him, and  usually they said no, or didn't even bother to say no. So, that they have introduced a woman suddenly so taken with John Watson, one must be suspicious. Given that we don't see what happens in this scene--I'm sure we will be treated to the event as a flashback--we have to make deductions now. For example, when we see Elizabeth, at the far right of the screen is a poster of a man with "BUSINESS" written underneath, and that is Tobey Jones plans Culverton Smith, so, it's clear as the plastic covering the poster that Elizabeth is doing "business" for Smith which involves Watson. Why would Watson fall for Elizabeth to begin with when he is all ready married? John feels "left out" of the marriage and, possibly, even emasculated by Mary's super-spy skill set that John obviously doesn't possess meaning that Mary is more of an asset to Sherlock than is Watson. So, what does Elizabeth mean to Watson? In this scene, we see her bright red lipstick, which rather resembles the "crimson wound" of Emelia Recoletti in The Abominable Bride. Red lips are meant to invoke the appetites, so Elizabeth is looking to Watson to fill her own "void" in her appetites (and don't forget, she referred to herself as a "vampire"). She wears a yellow dress, and as we know, "yellow" symbolizes kingship and dignity. So, I personally think, that when Watson looks at Elizabeth, he sees himself as being "re-instated" as a "king," and regaining his masculinity he has lost because of Mary; Elizabeth wears yellow because she is an ambassador of a "king," the business man who we see in the poster, Culverton Smith, and because Elizabeth--in intentionally leading Watson astray in his marriage--is acting beneath her dignity by playing a whore. On a different, but still similar note, just as we see the lingering image of Culverton Smith behind the poster glass in this scene, so we see "him" again in the scene at the aquarium: he's the sharks, also behind the glass. In other words, Culverton Smith is fully aware of every single thing going on, just like Big Brother. This would be a good time to mention some of the James Bond references, like Mary making a video recording of herself and it being watched after she dies, just as M (Judi Dench) does at the start of Spectre. Why reference Spectre? The New World Order. The new "M," played by Ralph Fiennes, calls it by name in Spectre, and Andrew Scott, who plays Moriarity in Sherlock, is the vehicle of the NWO implementation, so there are seriously close ties here Sherlock advances. Why? Because the two films will share this same theme and that's what we need to watch "in development" over the next two episodes. 
When it's really late, and Mary tends to Rosie while John texts Elizabeth, John asks her if she's a night owl, and Elizabeth texts back, "Vampire." Sure, it's a cute, if melodramatic reply (and the melodramatic is totally at home in Sherlock) but we are going to be seriously caught off guard if we don't take that as the clue it is (again, she's sitting by the poster of Toby Jones at the bus stop). Strangely enough, this leads us to Vivian, the secretary. When Sherlock interprets her "love life," i.e., reading the placement of her old wedding band and how she's likely widowed rather than divorced, because if she was divorced, she would want to fill "the void" quickly; what do Mary and John talk about in bed when they hear Rosie crying in the other room? "Is it to soon to get a divorce?" Then we see John taking a text from Elizabeth. THIS is the reason why John needs to be saved and THIS is the reason he is so upset with Sherlock when Mary dies,....
This is, absolutely, my favorite image of Mary Watson: they are in the church for Rosie's christening and Mary glows with pride, joy and love; why? Since Rosie is named after Mary (Mary's real name, that is), and baptism symbolizes the "new life" we are given, Mary herself is being "reborn" in her daughter (please note how the color of Mary's coat matches the color of Rosie's blanket and christening gown suggesting a "physical fusion" between mother and daughter, as well as the spiritual fusion in them sharing the name). I think it's important to also note how large the watch on Mary's wrist is, so that it's obviously noticeable; why? We don't realize it in this scene, but Mary's time is "running out." The wrists can symbolize what chains us, what binds us, and Mary is, at this point, a slave to her time remaining. The christening is an important scene because, without it, we can't discuss why Mary dies and, I can guarantee, that be the end of Season 4, we will be coming back to this scene (there are other aspects, like the godparents, Sherlock, Molly and Mrs. Hudson forming a "trinity" to protect Rosie and raise her in the Christian way of life, but we will wait to explore that meaning later).
Why does Mary Watson die? As long-time readers know, no one in a work of art dies unless they are all ready dead, meaning, that they have qualities, characteristics or actions they have taken which the artist (in this case, the film makers) have deemed "bad" and undesirable, and so need to purge their art and its message of what that character stands for. Please recall that the other AGRA agent, Ajay, tells Sherlock to tell Mary that she is a "dead woman walking," and this can perfectly fit in with the symbol of her death. So what is exactly "dead" in Mary Watson? Love and trust. It's not that Mary doesn't love, and it's not that Mary isn't trustworthy, but she doesn't believe others, i.e., John and Sherlock, love her enough to sacrifice themselves for her (even after the events of Sherlock killing Magnussen to free Mary of his blackmailing of her) nor does she trust them to tell them the truth about her or share her plans with them (when Watson accuses Mary of telling him "so many lies" and then has the flashback about receiving texts from Elizabeth in the middle of the night). So, that's why Mary is "dead," and she dies because she is all ready dead. HOWEVER, we know that Mary sacrifices herself to save Sherlock: Vivian's gun is clearly aimed at Sherlock and it's only by acting quickly and taking steps to intercept that bullet that Mary saves Sherlock. As she is dying, she reminds Sherlock, I am sorry for having shot you, I think this makes up for that. When this scene happens, Mary wears a gray shirt, because gray is the color of the pilgrim or the novice, hence, gray denotes penance (pilgrims and novices are pilgrims and novices because they undertake self-imposed penance, and penance is associated with gray because it was popular in ancient times to take ashes [which are gray] and cover one's self in them, as a reminder that, from dust you came and to dust you return). So, because Mary has these "sins" of not believing she is loved nor being able to trust others, her destiny is diminished (because our destiny is our ability to fulfill our capacity for virtue, and any sin which we have upon our soul diminishes that ability to fulfill that virtue so we can accomplish in life what we were meant to). As Jesus tells us, "No greater love hath a man than to lay down his life for his friend," and we can say that Mary loved Sherlock as her dear friend, and in understanding how Sherlock was willing to lay down his life for Mary, not to mention Sherlock murdering Magnussen so Mary would be free--in taking it upon himself to travel to wherever they meet in the Middle East so Sherlock could protect Mary from the danger she was confronting--Mary was than free (from the sin of doubting his love for her) to lay down her life for his. This is an act of great redemption for Mary. Unfortunately, Mary's sins means she isn't strong enough in virtue to be able to "go to hell" to save Watson herself, and that is what Sherlock has to do. I think, at this point, that Mary--realizing how Sherlock laid down his life for her (being sent away to certain death for killing Magnussen)--knows Sherlock is the only one who is strong enough in the virtue of love (despite being a high-functioning socio-path) to do for Watson what Sherlock did for Mary. 
John, in his heart, had all ready begun divorce proceedings from Mary and was "filling the void" with Elizabeth (it doesn't matter if he would have actually filed legal proceedings, in his heart, they have drifted apart); why? Sherlock tells us when he deduces Vivian's motive for setting up AGRA: jealousy. John is jealous of the relationship Mary and Sherlock have developed (which, ironically, is the exact opposite of Sherlock having been left out when John and Mary got married and Sherlock left the wedding early). When Mary dies, John knows he has committed a kind of "murder" to his marriage just as Vivian has murdered Mary, and in John's inability to face his own guilt for his adultery--whether he and Elizabeth have actually had sex at this point doesn't really matter, because Watson was dallying when he knew he was married and wrong to "intercourse" with Elizabeth in texts--is re-directed to Sherlock who basically acts as John's scapegoat for John's own sins at this point. This is why Sherlock has to "go to hell,..."
Now, I understand this next theory will probably make you think I am slicing the bologna awfully thin, however, this theory is exactly what I immediately thought of watching this scene. When Sherlock babysits little Rosie, we don't know it until we see the toy fly in Sherlock's face; when Sherlock looks at John Watson's chair, and addresses "Watson," (instead of "Rosie") we believe that Sherlock is speaking of John Watson, when in fact, I would like to suggest, this is actually what is happening. Just as Rosie throws the toy away from herself, so John Watson is doing the same thing by throwing Mary away to "be" with Elizabeth. Sigmund Freud had a rather famous chapter in his study Beyond the Pleasure Principle detailing his grandson's behavior very similar to baby Rosie in Sherlock. We can say that the traumatic event which Watson is enacting by throwing Mary away is Watson himself being "thrown away" by the Mary-Sherlock bond that has formed, making him feel like the "odd man out" (of course, Mary complains about the exact opposite of this in The Abominable Bride when she shows up at 221B Baker Street wrapped in her black dress and her face covered). I would like to draw careful attention to the obvious: "You see, but you don't observe," meaning, we the audience should in particular be observing what is happening in this scene and not let the humorous element distract us off of our course in understanding what is unfolding before us. 
Hell rules over our sins, and if John Watson is to be saved from his sin (which adultery is) then Sherlock will have to go to hell to save Watson. The "first step" of this was done in The Abominable Bride when Sherlock went to a "de-sanctified church" to confront the group committing the Emelia Ricoletti murders, because the church, which should have been sacred and thus, a gateway to heaven, had been de-sanctified and became, through the sin of murder, a gateway to hell.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
P.S.--when Sherlock and Mrs. Hudson talk at the end about Vivian, and Sherlock asks Mrs. Hudson to say her name, and Sherlock listens and responds, "As easy as that?" I believe the film makers intend to reference Cleopatra and the death of Mark Antony (Richard Burton); the scene starts in the video below at 5:55 (not that Sherlock thinks Vivian's name should be shouted from the corners of the universe, but that the name comes to bear a weight for Sherlock as it does for Octavian):

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Films Coming In 2017

Tom Hollande portrays the new Peter Parker in Spider Man: Homecoming. There have been three good things about the Obama Administration: first, we have learned how genuinely corrupt our government "leaders" really are. Had it not been for the OA, we might have continued allowing the same evil mediocrities to run the country for decades more. Secondly, we have learned more about our Constitution during this last eight years than many of us during our entire lives, including when we were studying it in school. We now understand why we have a Second Amendment, and what the First Amendment was really about. The third good thing to come out of the OA are all the incredible films protecting, elaborating upon, glorifying and reminding us of the values of our culture which we share with our neighbors and ancestors. There have been an incredible number of films coming out that are changing the way films are made for the better. Having said this, just because a mega-capitalist is now going to be president, doesn't mean we are going to stop seeing "pro-socialist" films; unfortunately, the exact opposite is probably closer to the truth. It takes about two years--as the rule of thumb in Hollywood--for a film to go from concept to completion and being shown on screen. This means that films being made pre-November 8, the day of the election results, will still be shown until 2018. Films being made post-November 8, probably won't have much of an impact until late 2018. The point is this: the majority of films we will be watching this year, won't know about the election results, so November 8 didn't happen, and these films will still be doing mostly of what they have been doing for the last six to seven years: either propping up socialism, or defending capitalism.
I spent Christmas Eve in the Emergency Room with my aunt who was having a stroke, then most of Christmas Day in the hospital or on stand-by to go to the hospital. Then she had to go again for another stroke. Fortunately, she's fine, however, as usual, the plans I had didn't go according to projected reality at all. As the poet wrote, "The plans of mice and men, often go astray,..." I do hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and a bright, happy New Year's celebration.
Hidden Figures, about the "hidden figures" of the black female engineers who helped NASA figure out the "hidden figures" of the math that didn't exist yet to win the space race, opens January 6, and I am very much looking forward to seeing it; why? It's not a victimization film, like Birth Of a Nation, or 12 Years a Slave, rather, I expect the film will display what TRUE racism is, its source(s) and how best to beat it. Additionally, I expect the film will show how the story of America's success, American Greatness, is also the story of personal greatness, including those who have bemoaned that "America was never great," or America being great means putting black people back in chains. We've seen examples of how liberals will re-write history to leave out things which are embarrassing to them or contradict their idea of what history was, as in the films Fury, The Monuments Men and Argo, so a film like Hidden Figures, I hope, will not only accurately reflect the historical record, but offer contemporary critiques on movements such as Black Lives Matter. While Hidden Figures certainly won't be a big money-maker, sadly, it won't be a critical success either: if it's not brainwashing everyone about victimhood and how bad white men are, no one in Hollywood is going to stand up for it. Sadly, even those in the film,...
I don't do this very often--and by "very often," I mean I may have done it once before, possibly twice, possibly--and that is, one, I am going to make a year-long prediction about films coming out in 2017, and, two, I am going to directly contradict this article from a Cinemablend writer who makes his own predictions and which I feel are seriously off, because of his liberal leanings; if you don't want to have to click on the article, that's fine, here is his list of the biggest grossing films he predicts for 2017:

1. Star Wars VIII
2. Beauty and the Beast
3. Guardians Of the Galaxy II
4. Despicable Me 3
5. Spider Man Homecoming
6. Justice League
7. Logan
8. Wonder Woman
9. Transformers: The Last Knight
10.Fate Of the Furious

So, what's my beef with this list? I think there are three films on this list which don't belong.
Beauty and the Beast might do much better than I anticipate, however, it's going to be terribly pro-socialist, and audience members may pick up on that. The special effects might be enough to pull people in, but given the terribleness of the character of the Beast, and his aristocratic standing, people might shun the film. There are some other family films coming out, for example, The Smurfs Lost Village, and that probably won't do poorly, but given the numbers of audiences attending films these past couple of years, families are going to want to see films together, so which films will those be? 
I don't think Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, is going to do very well. Why? Because of the exact same reason this Cinemablend writer thinks it will do well:

Most movie fans would have you believe that the DC Extended Universe needs a hit. Considering that Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad made a combined total of $1.68 billion at the box office last yea.r the DC Extended Universe's crisis isn't quite as bad as it seems. Still, it would help to quash a lot of nerves over at Warner Bros if Wonder Woman was the DC Extended Universe's first critical hit, as the first installment Man of Steel was divisive, too. It would also help to keep the Neanderthal misogynists that scuppered the success of Ghostbusters before it was even released quiet. With Gal Gadot leading the way after being one of the few bright sparks of Batman v Superman, as well as the trailer suggesting that Wonder Woman will be a whole host of fun from a unique point of view, there's a very good chance it will be the one to stem the tide. We'll find out when Wonder Woman is released on June 2

That "unique point of view" is that of a feminist, a gay feminist at that (yes, Wonder Woman is gay, it might not come out in this film, but it will), and that viewpoint, as a woman myself, was rejected November 8, 2016. There is a definite movement on the Left to dethrone men, especially white men (please see this shocking article about a new college course for "male identify" people to discuss masculinity openly and how they can construct a sense of security even though they are vulnerable). This isn't a question about misogyny, rather, it's about "wealth redistribution," and even though, obviously, Wonder Woman has always been played by a woman (so it's not taking a male character and making it a female character) Wonder Woman was heterosexual, and not a feminist, the intent of Wonder Woman in today's pop culture atmosphere is political, to take rights away from men by stripping them and adorning her, which isn't fair to anyone. I don't think Wonder Woman is going to do particularly well, so I'm taking it off the list. I'm also taking Spider Man: Homecoming off the list.
Transformers just keep getting bigger and better. Adding Anthony Hopkins and crossing with the first three films is a genius idea, and I think it's going to be an excellent film, it could likely do even better than I anticipate, which I hope is the case. The voice over which is done by Hopkins' character in the first trailer is pure beauty. There is something important which Transformers: the Last Knight and Fate Of the Furious share: betrayal. The leader has betrayed those who believed they could always depend upon the leader, and given the election results, and results from around the world, I think 
Just because it's a Marvel film, doesn't mean it's going to be a massive blockbuster--look at Ant-Man which landed like #14 for the year--but I think there are three reasons for this: first, I think people are tired of the Peter Parker origin story, not tired of Spider Man--Tom Hollande did a great job in Captain America: Civil War--but the willing suspension of disbelief of audience members can go only so far, and to have to hear the rigmarole again is putting us through too much. Secondly, there is no real talent connected to this film. Apart from Hollande himself, Downey Jr and Michael Keaton, there isn't a great director or screenwriter to bring something new to the table. Robert Downey Jr., having made the infamous PSA voting for Hillary Clinton, has earned the life-long boycott of many fans, and that is going to take out a chunk of profits there. Additionally, and no, this isn't racist of me, Zendaya, who portrays Michelle, the main female in the film, is half black, and I don't think audience members want inter-racial relationships pushed down their throats.
I'm also taking Logan off, and here is why: I have truly liked The Wolverine films, and I like the X-Men series, but I don't think that Logan will do as well financially as is being projected because it's Logan's end. Let's face it, Wolverine was Wolverine because he could always come back, and now he's "Old Man Logan" who is just barely hanging on. Basically, this is going to be a sad film, and I think with all the big blockbusters coming out, people will not want to see a sad film. The X-Men films in general, even the great ones, just haven't done as well the past couple of years, and without any of the others, I don't think Logan is going to be able to compete against all the amazing films coming out. This doesn't mean it won't be good, but right now, we are talking about who is going to bring home the biggest money-wins.
So, where is my list? Here it is. I keep making a lot of changes to it, but I have added three films the other writer didn't put on: Thor 3 or Thor: Ragnarok, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and I think there is an excellent chance that either Tom Cruise's The Mummy or Guy Ritchie's King Arthur could land number 10, and here is why.

1. Star Wars VIII
2. Guardians Of the Galaxy
3. Fate Of the Furious
4. Justice League
5. Thor: Ragnarok
6. Beauty and the Beast
7. Despicable Me 3
8. Pirates Of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
9. Transformers: The Last Knight
10. The Mummy or King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword

Tom Cruise is a proven box office performer. Mission Impossible Rogue Nation made it into the Top Ten and the reason the lucrative performer has been around so long is because he's lucrative. I think Alex Kurtzman and Universal have a winning picture with The Mummy. On the other hand, Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword has gotten a better release date. From March, it's been moved to Mothers' Day opening weekend, meaning, the suits at the studio are confident this is a great film that can bring in movie-going audiences. Pirates Of the Caribbean? In spite of his string of failures, Johnny Depp still has a lot of fans, and it's been a long time since the last Pirates film, all which have been huge block busters, so even though I don't think it will be particularly good (and I'm pretty confident it will be pro-socialist) I think there will be a huge draw, more so to Pirates than to Spider Man or to Wonder Woman.
So, what about Thor 3?
There are plenty of films that will do well, just not well enough to break into the Top Ten, like the sequel to The Kingsman, which I think will be an excellent film, not to mention John Wick 2, and Cars 3. Brad Pitt's zombie film World War Z has its sequel coming out, and Dwayne Johnson has Baywatch coming out, along with Pitch Perfect 3 scheduled, Christopher Nolan's massive World War II epic, DunkirkThe Lego-Batman film, Kong Island, Alien Covenant, Power Rangers, Fifty Shades Darker 😱 Triple X Return of Xander Cage, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, and many, many others. A bit of a problem with next year is the seemingly lack of animated films for families. It's very possible that Cars 3 will break into the Top Ten, just because families need something they feel they can all go see together, and without a Finding Dory or Zootopia to go watch, even sub-par animated films may get more money than any of us bet on. It's very possible that Beauty and the Beast will do far better than I imagine, and I am sure it will make it into the Top Ten, and maybe in lack of other "obvious" family films, it will do much better, but The Jungle Book seemed to be the exception to the rule (placing sixth on the Top Ten) while Cinderella barely made number 10. For as funny as I think the Minions and Despicable Me 2 has been, they have done well, but not as well as I would have thought. 
Unlike Spider Man and Wonder Woman, Thor has two-solid stand-alone films under his Asgardian belt, as well as Avengers and Age Of Ultron, not to mention a great stand-alone short with his room mate Darryl. This won't be the last time we see Thor, but this will be Loki's last film, and his fan base is considerable, not to mention that these events feed into The Infinity Wars. So, why am I putting Fate Of the Furious so high?
Why am I putting Guardians Of the Galaxy so high, at number 2? Because it's funny. People need humor in life, and while some films might have their funny moments, Guardians IS a funny moment. It has the action and excitement of other blockbuster films, but doesn't take itself seriously, so even if it doesn't come in second, we can expect it to be in the Top Five, and who doesn't want to be there? 
The F & F franchise has invested: characters, time, money, narrative, bonds and talent. There is incredible charisma between the characters and the audience, and chemistry between the characters. Each film sees them making incredible adjustments and bringing on more and more talent: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren. They just keep getting better and they keep giving audiences a reason to come see the films. The cast and crew poor all of themselves into these films, and I think audiences are going to respond.
What about Justice League? How can I say those things about Wonder Woman and then think Justice League is going to do so well? The narrative won't be focused on Diana Prince and her living on the Isle of Lesbos, and I think enough people saw how good Batman vs Superman was that they will be willing to go out and see Justice League, which is far bigger than any one of the characters. Again, my theory of why Batman vs Superman didn't score as lucratively as what the studio hoped is two fold: first, a large portion of politically conservative audience members decided not to go see it the moment Ben Affleck was announced as Batman; why would conservatives refuse to watch Affleck? Because of the huge, massive snub Affleck made to Ronald Reagan at the closing of Argo in intentionally not reminding audiences that the Iranian hostages were released the day of Reagan's inauguration. That was a huge deal, and add Affleck's affair with his kids' nanny on top of that, then Affleck is a pretty rotten guy to conservatives. So, that's why it didn't do well with conservatives, who would have made up the massive backbone of people going to see the film. THEN, opening weekend, all the liberals went and saw it, and understood that it had been made for a politically conservative audience--that wasn't there because of Affleck--and when the liberals started complaining that it "wasn't any good" because it was politically conservative, then conservatives who boycotted felt justified in not having attended. That's my theory, anyway.
This leaves just Star Wars VIII. There is a possibility that Star Wars won't even be in the top five, however: you may recall a nasty rumor started by Mark Hamill that Luke Skywalker is gay. IF the franchise writes this into the story line, there will be a consumer backlash. It will still do well, but it won't be the top grosser of the year. People do not go out to support gay actors/characters, but they will stay in to boycott them. IF they don't mess up the story line, Star Wars is likely, again, to be the top grosser next year.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Robotic Questions: Passengers & Socialist Utopias

The company which made the Avalon spaceship looks really bad in the film, and the film takes several opportunities to make the business look bad, as well as those of us who had ancestors who immigrated her from other countries. Basically, if you are an American, you are an idiot. The is a hologram of a flight attendant who congratulates the people aboard (Pratt's character is the only one there, though) for leaving earth because it was overpopulated, over-polluted and overpriced. There was also a scene which was "quoting" The Magnificent Seven, another pro-socialist Chris Pratt film.
Complete socialist drivel.
I am so angry about this film because I have been lied to. There was information in the trailer which was NOT in the film, like, "The ship was meant to fail," and that's important. There are spoilers ahead, but please, don't bother wasting your time or money on this: if you have seen Groundhog Day, if you have seen The Shining, Cast Away and The Martian, you have seen Passengers (there as a scene "stolen" from Swiss Family Robinson, too). This isn't about a genre film where the story line is the same, or even "copying" a scene to invoke another film; this is about "lifting" scenes from other movies because you can't tell your own story, you have to re-write the stories others have written about you.
So, in the roughly 80 years that Aurora and Jim live together on board, they don't have a child, not a single one, who lives on after them, but they did grow a massive garden, because to socialists, the environment is far more important than overpopulating the ship.The purpose of the film is to re-write Ridley Scott's The Martian, where Matt Damon's character is accidentally stranded on Mars, and manages to survive until he can be rescued; Passengers, which is a denial of free will in the last scene that we see (Aurora's voice over from her book at the end) wants us to believe that we aren't strong enough to survive by ourselves, we are dependent upon others, upon the "government" (the ship's resources, the "ship of state") and that, we, as Americans, just need to "go to sleep" while Obama and Hillary enact socialism, and when we wake up, it's going to be great. Chris Pratt walking down the hallway, fresh out of the shower, with his naked behind showing, was taken from The Martian when Damon's character, emaciated from his extreme rationing, is shown in the same posture; there isn't a comparison between the two films, however, because The Martian wants us to understand how great humans are, how strong we are and how we can inspire others through our courage and resilience; Passengers wants you to believe that you are weak and, if life isn't worth living, pull someone else down with you to drown. 
My biggest complaint is this: Jim (Chris Pratt) wakes up because of a malfunction which causes his pod to open; after being on the ship alone for a year, he becomes suicidal and decides to wake up Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) and tell her she had a malfunction, which she believes; they fall in love, then she realizes the truth, that he "murdered her" intentionally by waking her up 90 years too soon. Then, Jim dies saving the ship, so she has him resuscitated so she isn't alone on the ship by herself. What's wrong with this? Instead of Aurora "forgiving" Jim, she minimizes what he did wrong (waking her up too soon) by doing it herself to him. In other words, his appetite for human interaction is justified because her appetite for human interaction is justified, they don't "grow" and say, "What you did was wrong, but I am going to be a better person and forgive you, even though I could hold a grudge. I will forgive you." That doesn't happen. Why? Because socialists don't believe in Love, and they don't believe in Love because they don't believe in God. Why not? Because God is the Law, too, and none of them want to be held accountable to the Law so they just pretend it doesn't exist. This is so disappointing.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Monday, December 19, 2016

TRAILERS: John Wick Chapter 2, #2; Blade Runner Teaser, Pirates Of the Caribbean News

Some surprise news for everyone regarding Pirates Of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales: Keira Knightley secretly filmed scenes over the summer to revive her role as Elizabeth Swann. Beatles member Paul McCartney is also listed as being among the cast, but no word yet on his role. There is a bit more information on the story line: Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) leads his ghostly pirates out of the Devil's Triangle to kill every pirate at sea, including Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). In order to save himself, Jack must find the Trident of Poseidon to have complete control over the seas. The film comes out May 26, just at the start of the 2017 summer season. On another note, Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword has been moved up to Mother's Day weekend, May 12, a sign of it's competitive power against other films opening that lucrative weekend, which increases the odds that the film will indeed become the first in (at least) a trilogy based on King Arthur and his life.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was amazing! I am nearly done with the post, really, I just have to finish up the captions. Please, if you haven't seen it, do NOT read the post, as there are spoilers and really, truly, you need to see it before someone gives it away to you. This week, several big films are opening, including Passengers (Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt), which I expect will be very good, Sing, the animated film about the theater holding a singing competition, which I have been looking forward to for months; Mark Wahlberg's Patriot's Day, about the Boston Marathon bombing opens as well (we know that will be good) and Assassins' Creed with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. I am going to try and see all these films, but don't count on it; I need a break and grandma's sick, but I do want to see all four of them. I will be posting over the Christmas break, so if you have down time, check in and you will surely find a new post waiting for you. So, the second trailer for John Wick Chapter 2 has arrived, and yea, this is going to be really good:
A teaser trailer for Blade Runner has landed, but no word on when the official, bull-length trailer comes out; it's been a really long time since I've seen Blade Runner, so I have to re-watch it before making any comments, but Ridley Scott has not disappointed, and I don't expect him to start now:
Yea, there's a lot to discuss in that short teaser, but we'll at least wait until the full trailer comes out. Underworld Blood Wars comes out soon (and I am too lazy to look up when) and I have been unsure about it, but I had to watch a clip a week ago that I think gives it away: Selene has to go up north to find answers, and in this new clip, it was called the "Nordic Coven," which suggests the Nordic countries, which are largely socialist. I could be wrong, I will always admit when I am wrong, but I think that's a significant clue. Here is a different clip that gives us pretty much the entire plot:
Just because Donald Trump won, and populist movements around the world are also winning, does not mean we are going to see the end of the battle of socialism vs capitalism; why not? For at least two reasons. First, it takes about two years to get a film made, so the films coming out in 2017 were just beginning to be made in 2015; some of those films, like Magnificent 7 knew Trump was running for president, other films didn't, but still have to push socialism, which leads to the second point. Hollywood and the Left have too much invested to stop now, especially with so much of their power gone, so the only weapon they really have left, besides the "shadow government" Obama is going to set up, is cinema and music, as well as the celebrities they can control, so the narratives are likely to become even stronger in terms of socialist or capitalist.  Here is a perfect example:
This is wealth re-distribution. Just as Democrats and the Left have tried to change the electoral college to make it fit what they want, so these men in the film are willing to change the law (rob a bank and feel morally justified doing it) to avenge themselves and what they think is right. We saw this in The Tower, with Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick and Eddie Murphy robbing Alan Alda's character. Here is the second trailer for Alec Baldwin's The Boss Baby, and if this doesn't reek of socialists interpreting capitalism, I don't know what does:
The Boss Baby and Going Out In Style looks fun and silly compared to what we are going to see in the next trailer.
What's going on in this bizarre trailer? Katherine Heigl's character is being framed as "obsessive" and "crazy" for wanting to keep what she feels is hers; why? Because it's a sly propaganda piece that all white people who want to "keep what belongs to them" are crazy and it never belonged to them anyway. Don't believe me? The non-white snowflakes at MTV came up with resolutions for "white guys" for 2017, because 2016 was so bad.White people are being forced out because they are whiteThe University of Wisconsin Madison is offering a class on "The Problem Of Whiteness" so students can better address the inherent problem of white supremacy. Bill Clinton just gave an informal interview saying that Trump doesn't know anything, "Except how to get angry white men to vote for him." This isn't going away, this isn't going to be healed, at least not anytime soon because if the Left doesn't keep insisting that white people are what is wrong with this country, they will be utterly irrelevant, which is their greatest fear. Watch this terrible trailer for War For the Planet Of the Apes, which insists that animals are better than people:
I don't like to end posts on a negative note, so let's end with this brave, inspiring trailer for Alone In Berlin because, ultimately, this is what each and everyone of us has to do, TELL THE TRUTH:
This beautiful trailer was just released for Patiot's Day:
I am nearly done with Rogue One and will get that up asap!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

TRAILERS: Dunkirk, Despicable Me 3, The Wall, Patriot's Day, Transformers 5, Spider Man, Guardians Of the Galaxy

The Hollywood artist Sabo is known for taking popular Hollywood culture (i.e., liberal propaganda) and giving it a conservative twist. In this image, Sabo has taken the posters for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and replaced the title with "Rogue Won" and the image of Jen Erso (Felicity Jones) with Donald Trump, suggesting that Trump's victory against Hillary Clinton (also pictured on the poster where Darth Vader is on the original) is akin to Erso defeating the Death Star and Imperial Force. Along with Trump on the poster are people who "helped" win Trump the election, including Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter. 
Opening this week is the highly anticipated Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that could shatter box office records this week. I don't know for sure, however, looking at the seriously mixed-bag of reviews, it looks like the liberal critics hate it, and the (relatively more so) conservative critics love it; one critic who loved it said it was the best Star Wars film since Empire Strikes Back, so I am expecting to see a very good movie when I go Friday afternoon. Here is one of the latest trailers from the film:
This is going to be a super quick post, I'm not going into details on these trailers, but there have been so many that have come out, we need to get caught up (I am nearly done with a post, but I keep getting lost in details so that's why it's not up; sorry). Released just today is the second trailer for Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, and I can hardly wait!
As amazing as that trailer looks, it is depressing. This second trailer for Fist Fight should make you smile:
I think this is actually going to be a pro-socialist film: it's better for kids to dis-respect school and have no sense of personal responsibility or consequences of their actions rather than to beat up on the nice, wuss. I could be wrong, but I think Ice Cube, being a Republican, has been cast as the villain in this film; it should at least be funny, though. The first trailer for Despicable Me 3 should perk you right up, too:
I said I wasn't going to say anything, but I'm going to say something: why a villain from the 1980s? Because the Liberal Left has villified everything Americans like myself loved about the 1980s; no, not the shoulder pads or Rubics' Cubes or music, but Ronald Reagan. By making the 1980s seem idiotic, the Left has tried brought out everything about the 1980s to cloud over the glory of the Reagan Administration, and so the Bratt villain we see in the trailer is a sign of the Left's propaganda about that time in American history. Speaking of re-writing history, I have been fairly confident regarding the direction which the upcoming Assassins' Creed is going to take; this third trailer that has been released has made me cast some doubt on that:
What I think is going to happen is that "any impulse towards independence or rebellion is going to be crushed" is the way the Left wants the Right to be interpreted, that is, Trump is the one who wants to cruse individuality and personal liberties, and by twisting the history of the Church and Christian teachings, the Right and the Church is going to be made to be villains. I could be very wrong about this, and I will readily admit it if I am, but I have uneasy feelings about this film. This next film, The Wall, looks amazing:
We could really dive deep into this trailer, but we are going to move on for the moment. I don't get a chance to promote TV shows very often, but this looks particularly good:
Here is the second trailer for Patriots' Day, about the Boston Marathon bombing:
Speaking of Mark Wahlberg, here is the first amazing trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight; please listen carefully to the amazing monologue delivered by Anthony Hopkins:
This epic trailer shares with Fate Of the Furious the hero (Dom in F8 and Optimus Prime in Transformers) supposedly turning to the "dark side" and turning on all those they love and who love them. Optimus Prime killing Bumblee--the yellow Autobot we see on the ground when Optimus says, "Forgive me,"--is like Optimus killing his own son. We have seen this before in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Maggie, when his daughter turns into a zombie and he faces having to potentially kill her. Again, we aren't looking for "originality," rather, repeating patterns in stories which validate one another in the public square of discourse because it re-establishes the values being supported and why they are being supported. In this next trailer, a surveillance program called "The Circle" looks an awful lot like the "satanic" symbol we saw in Independence Day: Resurgence:
According to a synopsis for the film, The Circle is an internet monopoly company who hires Emma Watson's character that wants to sync your entire life together so you have only one identity on all your devices, across all of your social media, visible to the entire world at all times. If Tom Hanks' character reminded you of Steve Jobs, and the interview and company atmosphere of The Circle reminded you of Google or Facebook, that's because,... it's meant to. It's based on a book of the same name but books rarely have the same interpretation between author and film maker; I have no idea which way this film is going to go, but we will stay posted.
On the far left is the poster for Devil's Due, and the circle symbol on the floor of the cult who targeted the woman sitting in the circle; in the center, from Independence Day: Resurgence, is a drawing I made of the image of a "friendly space craft" that was coming to help earthlings from the return of the aliens wanting to destroy them and then, here is an example of the logo from the film The Circle (but this logo isn't as good as the solid red cicle in the film). In my post on Independence Day, I argued about the Satanic links being advocated by Independence Day in using this symbol, that the liberals who made the film want people to embrace Satan to help liberals overcome Christianity and conservatives. Given the "After School Satan" program that has been started in schoold, as well as the massive revelations by Wikileaks of Hillary Clinton being a satanic high priestess, spirit cookings and "pizza parties," we shouldn't be surprised to see this symbol coming up again. The question is, is The Circle promoting Satanism or is it warning against it? 
Up next is the long awaited Spider Man Homecoming where Spider Man has actually made it home to Marvel Studios. We first saw Tom Holland as Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War and now, he's on his own.
I actually like Holland in this role, I think he fits it quite well, so I'm not sure what it is about this trailer that I don't like,... Oh, maybe its RDJ. Well, apart from that, there is something I don't like about it, I just haven't had time, or maybe enough material, to put my finger on it. But, speaking of Marvel, let's check out the hilarious second trailer for Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol 2:
Speaking of Chris Pratt, I am HIGHLY anticipating Passengers, which comes out Dec 21, so it's one of the last big films of 2016:
Again, a "ship" usually refers to a "ship of state," and that these people have been put on a ship for a "new destination" that is self-destructing, refers to our current political situation. Last but not least, we have the spectacular capitalist extravaganza that I can't wait to see opening Christmas Day:
I'm getting more posts up!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cipher & Ciphertext: Fate Of the Furious

"Family no more" very much describes the atmosphere in the US since 2008, especially as Obama continues to glorify his legacy by furiously fanning the flames of division as he prepares to leave office (hopefully). Let's talk about betrayal for a moment. In the analysis of the trailer for The Mummy with Tom Cruise, we know that Princess Ammunet feels she was betrayed out of her destiny; that kind of "betrayal" is more enttitlement, that she felt she deserved something and it was held out away from her (please see The Mummy & Entitlement for more). The F8 family have a bond together and know one another, so for Dom to abandon them is a genuine betrayal. Why would the issue of a man betraying his family be the subject of a major motion picture? What man has betrayed those who thought they knew him and trusted him to take care of them? Maybe black people trusting Obama would take care of them and he let them down, maybe?
I was expecting a good trailer, and I hoped for something that would get me excited, but this is actually incredible. The woman's voice you hear at the start is Cipher's (Charlize Theron) and she is the main villain of the film (or at least one of them):
"You were only supposed to create a diversion. That was complete destruction," and this idea of "diversion" is something which has become prevalent--even an "epidemic"--in American society today as "red flag events" have been going on for several years, meaning to divert our attention away from the global takeover countries around the world have been protesting with recent elections (Brexit, Trump's election, Hollande's defeat, Italy's No vote, Iceland, Greece, etc.) while, in reality, the diversion of Obama's administration has actually caused complete destruction of the American political system, just as we see in the opening sequence. So what's the yellow wrecking ball?
This is an odd hairstyle. The ends of her hair, hanging over her shoulder, are like dread locks,... but they aren't,... but they are like them. The hair on her scalp that is pulled back is bumpy and uneven, suggesting that she tries to dicipline her thoughts (her hair being pulled back) but she isn't very successful at it, she has something uncontrollable about her mental processes. As I discuss below, color appears to be important in this film, and the "yellow" wrecking ball we see in the opening sequence may stand in for Cipher's yellow hair and the "wreckage" she causes in coming between Dom and his family.
A "code" has meaning, but a cipher is an algorithm which lacks meaning, it's a pattern. Instead of saying, "a shaggy, four-legged canine," I can use the code "dog" and you know what I am saying without going into greater detail. But if I write "GRJ," that doesn't mean anything, in and of itself, but if you have the cyphertext, i.e., a deciphering mechanism, than you know that I have written "dog" again, but each letter had been replaced by the third letter away from the original letter in the alphabet. Charlize Theron's character named Cipher is also a cipher we will have to decipher, or, perhaps, that is the journey of conversion Dom (Vin Diesel) will have to make in this narrative. Why is it important that she says, "you're a genuine outlaw?" It's not important, it's imperative.
Ah, the color orange. For long time readers, you may remember the diaolgue of the infamous orange scarg of Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows with Robert Downey Jr. When we see a character wearing orange, or something orange, it communicates that the character is really alive in whatever capacity they find themselves in that scene. Given that so many characters wear black or white in this trailer, seeing Hobbs wearing orange is quite dramatic. Orange is the combination of yellow--symbolizing dignity--and red, which invokes our red blood and that which keeps us alive, but that we are willing to spend either for love or revenge. We don't know how or why Hobbs gets in prison, but that doesn't have him down: he's fully up to the challenge, and it may be that something which happens in this scene is the most important part of the film for Hobbs'.
"Play" appears to be a big part of the theory field, as Dom says it when the others drive spear hooks into his care to try and catch him, and then Hobbs says "Let's play" whe he warns Dom that he's coming after him. This is important for at least two reasons: first, with games there are rules, but with play there are no rules, and it's "play" that is being talked about in the film. Secondly, in both The Dark Knight Rises with Bane (Tom Hardy) and in Dracula Untold with the Master Vampire (starring Luke Evans, also of Fast and Furious 7), both films have villains saying, "Let the games begin," and it's very possible that we are meant to link Hobbs, Dom and these two other films together. 
In the first trailer for King Arthur and the Legend Of the Sword, Vortigern (Jude Law) tells Arthur (Charlie Hunnam), "I know what kind of man you are," and that's because the devil knows who we are, but God knows who we can become. Cipher thinks she has determined the pattern of Dominic Toretto because she thinks everyone is a pattern, just like the globalists who are trying to take over the world and tap into your pattern of behavior. Cipher (the character), however is pattern, and that is what we are being told in this first trailer, and what we will need to look for in the film.
So, what about Dom?
Color is going to be an imperative additional layer of commentary throughout the film, like the big deal they make with Roman driving an orange Lamborghini; why? We discussed orange above with Hobbs and his orange prison suit, but we know that Roman is the "joker" of the family, and it's probably not a coincidence that The Joker (Jared Leto) in Suicide Squad had a purple Lamborghini and part of the film's sowndtrack was called Purple Lamborghini, too. Part of this referencing network by the film makers is to show that they are a smart batch of cookies, they aren't just putting together an adventure-action flick, they have something to say (which they have been building up to) and making references such as this to other films demonstrates, not how smart the film makers are, but that we have reason to believe there is more just beneath the surface, if we care to look. Again, just as the prison scene might be the most important part of the film for Hobbs because he wears the "alive" color of orange, so this arctic car chase might be the most important for Roman since his vehicle is "alive."
"I don't know if the old Dom is in there," Hobbs says, and we have actually heard this line before (please remember, we aren't looking for "originality," rather, patterns of repeated ideology so we can identify the currents of social thought; yea, sure, we are "deciphering," but we are deciphering art, not human beings) in Warcraft when Lothar (Travis Fimmel) says the same to the deeply entranced Medivh (Ben Foster; please see To Kill a Demon: Warcraft for more); why is this important? Because F8 wants us to think about Lothar and Medivh because that is where F8 is taking Dom; why? I think The Conjuring II may have the answer.
This scene of "fire and ice" may very well be a reference to Game Of Thrones, which I don't watch, so I can't get. However, in the trailer below, when the submarine comes up and Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) says, "We're going to need a bigger truck," that references Jaws, Steven Spielberg's classic 1975 shark horror film. The submarine lurking beneath the surface, is meant to trigger us to "look beneath the surface" of the film for other "vehicles" of meaning, which we should have no problems in doing once we finally get to see the film. 
In The Enfield Poltergeist, the second chapter to The Conjuring, there is a spirit named Bill Watkins who terrorizes Janet Hodgson and her family; it ends up, however, that Bill was just a pawn of a far more powerful spirit, a demon, named Valak; what does this have to do with the cars of Fast and Furious? Cipher, as we described the process of ciphering above, is likely a "cipher" villain for another villain, just as Bill Watkins was; why?
Helen Mirren's character.
This photo of Diesel and Mirren was taken behind-the-scenes, but it's likely this is at least an accurate costume for the two of their characters in at least one scene they share. So, what does it tell us? Death. Mirren's white shirt denotes death (IF she is a villain, and everything I have heard attests to that) because a corpse turns white in death (with modern embalming techniques, we rarely see white corpses nowadays, unless it's on TV, but this was far more common in ancient days). The positive connotations of the color white is that a soul is alive when it has faith, hope, chairity and innocence; when these virtues are dead in a person, that person is dead, which would probably accurately reflect Mirren's character. Her white hair--because hair symbolizes our thoughts--suggests her thoughts are "dead" too, i.e., she thinks, but she can't reflect or medidate upon herself and what she does, she can't see that she has right or wrong decisions to make, she makes decisions based on what she wants and her worldly ambitions. What about Diesel? Black also denotes death, but in a different way. One is either dead to things of this world, and alive to things of the next world (which is why priests wear black) or one is dead to things of the next world and alive to things of this world. Dom has spiritually advanced through the films and adventures, using his skills, talents and resources for causes greater than himself and for people other than just himself (he has benefitted, too, but he's also helped others). Diesel's bare arms are an important detail because arms symbolize strength, the kind of strength a character has for good or ill, to be converted to a higher level or drag themselves down in the mire of sin. It's possible that Dom decides he doesn't like being a good boy, that he is a criminal and he doesn't want anything to do with his family anymore, however, Dom is a hero figure, and it's highly unlikely that Vin Diesel would permit his character to go permanenly bad. 
Mirren was cast rather late for the role, and her character is unnamed in the film credits; at one point, it was rumored that she was portraying Owen (Luke Evans) and Deckard (Jason Statham) Shaw's mother, which is still possible, and given that Fast and Furious 9 and 10 are slated in dates all ready, she may be a returning character in the next film. At this point, it's my theory that Cipher is just a pawn for Mirren's character, and Dom is basically chasing Cipher only to discover who is ultimately behind the Shaw boys (technically, Owen Shaw is still alive, although Luke Evans isn't showing up on the film credits for F8) which may prove to be mummy dearest; why does it matter to Dom? Remember, the Shaws are killing his family off, Dom isn't going to stand for that. I'm guessing Dom gets a lead on Cipher in Cuba and he "abandons" his family so he can chase the white rabbit down the hole. But this is just a theory for now,...
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