Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's Mandatory: Mockingjay Part 1 District Voices (#1-3)

This is actually a big deal: director James Wan (The Conjuring, Fast and Furious 7) has been signed to do The Conjuring II: The Enfield Poltergeist, with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga returning in their roles as Ed and Lorraine Warren. New Line Cinema was so desperate to get Wan back as the director, they changed the release date from October 2015 to sometime in 2016. Further, Wan has signed a deal with the studio and Warner Brothers to continue making low-budget films (in the neighborhood of $20 million) for release, The Conjuring was made on that same budget and grossed over $320 million worldwide which is what Hollywood calls, "success."
Once again, I am impressed with what The Hunger Games franchise has done with both its advertising push and its push for a clear, anti-socialist agenda. Two new "District Voices" videos have been released (and one will be released for the next three days) and, if this doesn't remind you of the Soviet Union, you probably don't know anything about communism. Now, remember, they don't make any money off these videos--which probably don't cost the studios that much to produce--but these are like gifts (and, of course, the more cynical writers would instead call it free publicity, but I don't look at it that way at all) and Hollywood is getting the hang of it. We had an extra video with Prometheus with Guy Pierce in character giving a kind of future pep talk, and, given how little we interacted with his character, that proved invaluable. Likewise, for X-Men Days Of Future Past, a rather extensive Magneto and the "Bent Bullet Theory" that played right into the plot. So, here's the first video:
To demonstrate how cool this is, the actors in these videos are Youtube stars who each have their own channels and subscribers; why is this important? I would call it the American Dream: putting in what you have with what you have access to, hard work, and being discovered. Each of the people in these videos are using their real-life talents to contribute to the film, so I am quite pleased with this advertising campaign:
And here is the third; yes, it will remind you of Divergent, and no, I'm not sure if The Hunger Games film makers are being influenced by Divergent or if Divergent was influenced by THG books, but the important aspect here is, they are obviously sharing a dialogue, and we need to find a way to tap into it (which won't be difficult at all):
With the third video, comparing this to Divergent, the Dauntless (the brave warriors) are there to protect the people from whatever it is lurking outside of the city walls (even though they are drugged and turned into something else, that's their founding purpose); in THG, the peacekeepers are there to make sure people don't revolt, it's a police state and the peacekeepers work for the Capitol, not the people. Why then, in all three videos, is part of the salutation, "Our future is in your hands," keep getting repeated? The people have to agree to keep going along with this system; if they revolt (and we know these "announcements" are being made to discourage that because this is taking place in the post-Katniss-blew-up-the-arena-episode) Panem falls apart and is dissolved, so the Capitol wants people to believe that everyone else is happy with the system, and if you revolt against the Capitol, you are taking away the lives of the people in these videos. This is a dependency-enabling system, which is what we see in America with the Democrats and illegal aliens, Obamaphones and food stamps.
Isn't this odd? Not so much, if you know anything about socialism. As we have stated previously, socialists don't want strict lines between what is feminine and what is masculine, they want women to become men and for men to become women because  then the State controls morality and by taking away "nature" (and how nature has pre-determined what we will be) the State can then do things like mandatory abortions and sterilizations without a second thought. The face of the person in the poster above looks more masculine to me, but this person has breasts, so it must be a female, unless, this being the technology district, they have started changing sexuality (like trans-gender people now) so they can account for population deficits and abundance. For example, please look at the "3" in the upper-right hand corner;turn it to the left and it becomes an "M," which is exactly what socialists do: you might be a male now, but we need you to be female, so start taking this hormone to develop breasts so that then you can fulfill your tasks to the Capitol. This scenario actually plays out in the book World War Z, when one woman who survived the "zombie infestation" (or their being normal people in the world who were all murdered) and she went from being a member of the Russian military to being a "breeder," a woman who does nothing but has babies; when she can't have babies anymore, her usefulness will be over with and so will she. 
These videos embody the primary functions of propaganda; why? So we get used to hearing what propaganda is and we can recognize it and reject it (if THG were still being pro-socialist the way they started out, we wouldn't have any of these videos and the films would take a radically different view than what is presented). What does each video say at the end? "Register, it's mandatory." Why? Because if you aren't receiving propaganda, you might start thinking for yourself. The main formula of a work of the "state" is to take a simple truth and keep repeating it and repeating it and repeating it and repeating it because then, it wears down your senses and you eventually start to believe it. That's why propaganda is so simplistic in how it operates: it has to reach and grab the greatest number of people. so it can't be too intellectually advanced (socialist states always want dumb citizens so they can't think for themselves, or become smart enough to find a way to overthrow the system).
This is a really incredible poster because it gets to the heart of how socialism makes citizens dependent upon the system. This poor man lost his leg; what job is he going to do if the government doesn't hire him to cut wood? Just as he is dependent upon his "wooden leg," he becomes dependent upon the task of chopping wood and the hand that pays him to do it. On a different note, however, are his tattoos: losing his leg wasn't his choice, but getting the tattoos were. Now NO OFFENCE to anyone who has tattoos, but you know this is a concern: when someone has tattoos all over them, like this man, what are the chances a company is going to hire him for a business position? The Capitol likes citizens like him because no one else will hire him but the Capitol, so he's as dependent upon the Capitol as the Capitol is upon him to keep them in power. Again, look at the "7" in the upper-right hand corner; it looks like a right angle, or one of those things I used in geometry class that I barely passed. By employing these means of taking one thing, in this case, the number seven, and making it to where it potentially fills another role as well, the film makers are inviting us to see everything about the film in this same light, so we have increased our engagement with the narrative and we are better understanding what they are saying, which is the exact opposite of what propaganda does: make it seem like they understand, but make sure they are totally confused about everything.
Sometimes, however, a piece of propaganda can become so simple, it actually deconstructs itself (or backfires). Note how people in the videos talk about the Capitol's generosity (and the next three will probably do the same, if not more so) and that's to make it seem like the Capitol only keeps what it needs and is necessary, the people are the ones really benefiting from the system, but it's the Capitol that decides it doesn't need the scraps anymore, you don't get to make that--or any other--decision yourself. Everyone to the Capitol is, like the woman modeling the outfit, nothing but a "live form model," not a model, not a woman, but a "live form" model, who looks dead. This is linguistic control, what we call in the US, "political correctness," because one a political group can control your language, it controls you, and can force you to say exactly what they do or do not want to hear. Again, this woman modeling isn't a woman, or a human, but a "live form model." We need to seriously think about the implications being introduced and, since we have been promised more, we'll have the chance to do so.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
Here is the first poster out for the newest Jurassic Park film, due out next year: The Park Is Open. I'm sure they spared no expense.

Monday, October 20, 2014

TRAILERS & NEWS: John Wick, Unbroken, Black Hat, In the Heart Of the Sea, The Theory Of Everything

Opening this weekend is Keanu Reeves' John Wick, which I am quite looking forward to. What is so surprising is, even my sister is looking forward to this. Please see below for the discussion on the trailer and why this is going to be such a great film! 
There has been significant discussion--and even more false reporting--regarding Pope Francis changing the Church's official position on homosexual and divorced families and everyone I know is asking about what is happening. The liberal media, as always, is doing everything it can to make the Church look cold and heartless, but I would like to take a moment and discuss this, because it's the same device being used politically with illegal immigrants. In the Church, any homosexual or divorced person is welcomed, the only condition is, as with any sinner coming into the Church (and we all know we are all sinners), you have to be committed to turning away from your sin. Again, any homosexual can enter into the Church, as long as they do their best to not act upon their homosexuality in engaging in sexual acts; the exact same condition is true of myself, a single heterosexual female, I vow not to act on sexual temptations in exchange for the Sacraments of the Church. What the supposed measures suggest is that homosexuals be allowed into the Church without repenting of their sins. This is severely problematic because it basically wipes out the Suffering and Sacrifice Christ endured to pay for our sins and His Commandment, "Go and sin no more." Families where the parents aren't married, just have to go to confession, and get married! If they don't want to get married, they are intentionally choosing to live in sin over living in Christ, and that's their choice. With divorced families, it's the same situation: all they have to do is get an annulment from their first marriage, even if they are all ready in their second marriage, and they can receive Communion again. If the person chooses not to get an annulment, that is that person's decision, but the point, for both divorced families and homosexuals is this: the Church has made concessions for you and wants you to come back, but you have to choose Christ over the world; if you choose the world, you cannot also choose Christ, He made it clear, it's Him or the world, but not both. God gave us free will so we can freely choose to love Him, not be forced to love Him. Pope Francis, like Obama granting amnesty even though there are laws in place to allow immigrants all ready here to legally become citizens, is undoing the law by pretending that there is no law (or accessible means) and that's not the case at all. Every Christian wants as many people to be saved as possible, we ALL want people to leave their sins and come to Christ, but it's their choice to do so, they have to choose Christ. To suggest that people aren't capable of making decisions for themselves, is--like socialists--to deny that we are human, rather, nothing more than animals with no soul.
Thank you for permitting me that rant, moving on,....
Is it true? Warwick Davis (Willow) has officially signed on for Star Wars VII and, since he originally played the loveable Ewok, everyone is speculating that JJ Abrams may be bringing them back to Star Wars VII; there's a lot of rumors going around, most of which I don't even bother to circulate here, but it would be interesting. Pacific Rim is getting a second and third film, in spite of what most people said was a less-than-expected box office debut (I really liked the film personally).  
The second trailer for Angelina Jolie's film Unbroken has been released (it comes out December 25) and, I have to tell you, this is the kind of story I want to see, not Fury; again, this is based on a true story, the man whose life is being re-told just recently past away:
What is the difference between Unbroken and Fury? There is a clear since of victory in Unbroken and no sense of anything but despair in Fury. Christopher Nolan's Interstellar comes out in just a few weeks and Matthew McConnaughey's character saying, "We've always found a way," could be echoed in Unbroken (the script having been written by the Coen Brothers who did Fargo, Raising Arizona and, most recently, Inside Llweyn Davis). Why is a film like Unbroken important? For Americans, it's a lot like what we saw in Emperor with Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox: it's not the equipment Americans have, or our engineering or resources, it's our spirit that keeps us going, and Unbroken promises to deliver complete validation of that. Opening February 2015 is the newest Chris Hemsworth film, Black Hat, and I think I am going to like this:
One of the recurring themes in films as of late, such as Fast and Furious 6 and The Dark Knight Rises, is that America is the land of second chances: you mess up, you get a second chance, this isn't (at least, not yet, a police state). If "it's not about money, it's not about politics," then what is it about? Being God. If nearly everything in the world and to the individual is put online, and someone can manipulate that, you have the greatest power in the world, it's really that simple. So what's the point of Hemsworth's character? Conversion. This is kind of a missionary story, you could say, because anyone out there who could (and there are people who can) need to realize what the consequences of their actions will lead to and how, in spite of that kind of power, it's still more important to have friends (the people he's working with) and trust, a sense of self and purpose, then to yield that kind of inconceivable power. On the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe I will like this "Moby Dick" tale and maybe I won't, but this seems more like Fury to me than Unbroken:
Now, I would like to pick a bone, and this is going to make it seem like I am in a really bad mood, but I'm not: Stephen Hawking did not invent the Big Bang Theory, Mon. Georges Lemaitre,  a Catholic priest and scientist, did, Hawking just proved what Lemaitre came up with, but this trailer is highly misleading. You should be aware that Mr. Eddie Redmayne is indeed all ready coming out strong with accolades (including Oscar baiting) for The Theory Of Everything:
Part of the reason I have a problem with this is it divorces the religious origins of the Big Bang (which is compatible with Christian teaching) and makes it look like science came up with it, so therefore, that must disprove God's existence. On a different note entirely, let's revisit John Wick, opening this weekend along with Ouija:
By 0:22, four things should be sticking out in your mind: first, he was asleep and then he woke up, the dog, the Rock music and the Mustang. John Wick (Reeves) has retired from his hitman lifestyle (in this sense, it's like the Clint Eastwood film Unforgiven).  But us seeing him being "asleep," (which is symbolic for death or even a part of a person being in "hibernation" until the right time for it to awaken) is a sign that he's been dormant. Secondly, the dog, which was a gift from his wife, symbolizes loyalty; so why do the thugs kill the dog (remember Kevin Spacey's character burying the dog at the end of Margin Call)? Because, in America, thugs (as in, politicians) have killed the loyalty of many Americans and stolen our vehicle (the Mustang)--the force of the economy and our own, independent free will ("free will" as in both not pre-fated by God, nor governed by a police state). On a deeper level, the Mustang reminds us of, anyone? Anyone?.... Hidalgo, when Viggo Mortenson's character rode a Mustang and everyone else had fancy horses. The car is a symbol of the economy and American will power, while the brand of the car, Mustang, symbolizes the Wild West and a part of us that is "unbroken."
At one part in the trailer, Wick asks the hotel manager, "How good is your laundry?" to which he replies, looking at his dirty, bloody shirt, "Nobody is that good." His blood-stained clothes, of course, symbolizes the sin of murder on his soul, and in asking about the laundry, we will probably be at a point in the film when Wick realizes how much blood he has shed and how he's going to do penance for it (because what goes around, comes around). The woman in the trailer, the "I just thought I would let myself in" chick, is the wild card, she might end up being a figure of conversion herself (if she ends up helping John instead of trying to kill him), but we don't really know.
What about the Rock music? In Rock Of Ages (Tom Cruise), the film makers made it clear that Rock-n-Roll was a genre of music symbolizing rebellion that was acceptable in the US but would not be allowed in the USSR, so listening to Rock music is also a form of rebellion. The dying wife is a traditional symbol you are well-familiar with: women are the passive principle of the motherland, men are the active principle of production, so the "dying wife" is a dying America and her last gift of the dog was loyalty to the country, in spite of what the politicians' are doing; Wick, then, is the active force of the economy, the driving will (capitalism) that is coming back, and with a vengeance. The part of the trailer when the guy says, "It's not what you took, it's who you took it from," is a reminder to America of what we once were before Obama turned us into a hashtag-sign holding country of wimps.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Friday, October 17, 2014

Best Job I Ever Had: Fury

The acting is really incredible, especially for Mr. Logan Lehrman, the true degree of his talent genuinely shines in this film; I would not be the least bit surprised to see anyone of the actors nominated for Oscars; additionally, the directing and cinematography was superb; it's a technical masterpiece, it's done incredibly well. However, we always reveal what it is we believe because we act (we express our will) in the morality we uphold and the choices we make; art is no exception. An American soldier named Grady "Coon-Ass" Travis (Jon Bernthal), who has harshly hazed Norman (Logan Lehrman) up to that point, lights a cigarette and tells Norman, "I think you're a good man. Maybe we aren't, but you are" referring to the rest of the men in the tank. This is an important moment in the film because "Coon-Ass" is a character the character you like least, so for the dumbest character to deliver the film's thesis is a direct message to the audience: only the boy who falls in love with the German girl is good, all the rest of the Americans are bad, and this is from the very start of the film to the very last scene.
The film follows two important rules that all other films follow: first, history films are never ever ever about history; they are always about the here and the now. Secondly, anyone who dies in a film, dies because they are all ready "dead." Fury is essentially a Saving Private Ryan that isn't nearly as likable. There are five Americans in this group, and only one of them lives, Norman, who is a border-line Nazi sympathizer. the Americans in this film are portrayed as ignorant and murderous. At the end of the film, even though the war will be over in just 2-3 weeks, the film chooses to make the sacrifice of the men appear totally in vain and that the war was never won and they didn't do any good because there were no concentration camps to deliver, political criminals were not brought to justice, and no one under German rule was actually being oppressed. Fury is a totally different film from Valkyrie (Tom Cruise) or The Book Thief, or Schindler's List: these films aren't about making Germany continue to pay a never-ending debt of public shame for World War II, those films are explorations of the Third Reich and how it happened and why, and what was being done about it; Fury, though, absolves the Nazis and essentially DENIES THAT THE HOLOCAUST TOOK PLACE because there are no concentration camps, there is not even a mention of that, or of the horrors that had taken place, EVEN THOUGH the film specifies that it takes place at the exact same time the camps were being liberated. This is the second film Brad Pitt has been in that has publicly spit in the face of Jews and Israel, the other was World War Z, when--in spite of their intelligent for-planning--Jerusalem was singled out for destruction so we could see the zombies attacking the ancient city and start getting used to the idea of Israel not existing. Someone really needs to publicly call him out on this and make him answer for the films he is making because this is absolutely unacceptable (after all, the press did it to Mel Gibson when he denied the Holocaust took place, and that seems to be exactly what Pitt is doing). 
When the film first opens, we hear noise: conflicting radio signals and static block out what anyone might be able to communicate; everyone is talking, but no one is listening. Noise is an effective artistic device meant to convey conflicting signals: in the case of Fury, even though the main characters are all Americans, they are anti-heroes (with the exception of Norman) because, like the noise at the start of the film, it's difficult to hear and understand what they are saying, because of their accents, their mutterings, their slang, etc. In other words, Americans are just full of noise. There are a number of countries that would agree with this. Just as noise is important, so silence is important as well: there is no talk about what the Nazis have done to drag the Americans across Africa, France, Belgium and into Germany; by the accounting of the film, the Nazis are completely innocent, never having a single one of their crimes articulated, which makes it look like America just invited herself over there for the sole purpose of murder.
Throughout the film, we learn how much Dan Collier (Pitt) hates the Nazis and especially the SS (Hitler's elite battalion of body guard and soldiers) but he never says why he hates them, he never enumerates the horrors socialism has brought to the world, or the concentration camps--in spite of the film taking place during April 1945 when the US army began liberating the concentration camps, the film makers made a conscious decision to ignore this and leave it out of the film--or that war was inflicted upon the US; Collier hates Nazis because he hates them, and that simple-mindedness extends to every American in the film. The US was in Germany because, according to the film, we like killing and that's what we are good at. In the scene depicted above, a German SS POW is being led through the camp because he's going to be questioned, and, seeing the SS German, Collier goes crazy and wants to kill him in cold blood, so his men have to hold him back to keep Collier from killing the German POW; Collier, "like all Americans," just wants to kill the man because he's a German and that's the only reason why America came across the Atlantic, was to kill people who were not Americans.
Several typed-out notations come up on the screen after the noisy radio communications, including the information that German military tanks were superior to American tanks; that's fine, we hadn't prepared for war the way the German state had, so sure, our tanks weren't ready for war; that's not the point the film is making, however, it wants you to know that the Germans were superior to Americans, and it spells this out in a number of scenes. To begin with, with Dan Collier (Brad Pitt) has to teach Norman how to kill, he explains it in the simplistic terms of, "They are Nazis and you are here to kill Nazis." There is no explanation, or reminder, of what Nazism and socialism were doing to the world, of the Jews and others who were dying in concentration camps, or the death and destruction the Nazis had caused throughout all Europe; kill them because they are Nazis.
But it gets worse.
Norman (Lehrman) failed to fire upon a teenager in the trees who attacked a tank, causing an American soldier, burning to death, to put his gun to his head and commit suicide as his body flamed. Collier blames Norman directly for the destroyed tank and dead soldier, so he's going to force Norman to kill a German soldier (the man on his knees in the bottom, right corner of the image above), with everyone watching. Norman refuses, Collier forces him by wrestling him to the ground and forcing his finger to pull the trigger, thereby killing the German (who was unarmed, pleading for mercy and not to be killed,) in the back just to do it. Norman is, of course, terribly upset; moments later, Collier says, "I haven't seen you eat all day, be sure to get something," which initially sounds as if Collier cares about Norman, but that's not what is being communicated: moments after killing a man, Collier now expects him to eat, because he wants killing to become as common to Norman as eating is.
The opening scene shows us a rider on a white horse, coming out of the fog, the smoke, and slowly walking across a barren field, then through the carnage and decay of a battlefield; out of nowhere, Collier springs out from behind his tank and attacks the German soldier and kills him with a knife. Collier takes the bridle off the horse and, after petting the horse, sets it free. Why is this important? The first scene is always the most important scene of a film, because good film makers are going to use it to foreshadow (they will fill the role of prophet) what happens later. Quite briefly, for perhaps a second, at the end, all the Americans are dead except Norman who escaped through the tank floor hatch and he fell asleep in the mud; when the light comes, we see the hooves of a white horse walk past the tank and then Norman is saved by the American ground troops arriving.
What does this mean?
This was really clever casting by the film makers. Shia LaBeouf plays Boyd "Bible" Swan, and his nickname (or "war name") is "Bible" because he is always asking men if they have been saved by Jesus Christ and going over to dying men and reciting the Lord's Prayer with them, as well as randomly quoting Scripture verse. Why is this clever casting? Shia has achieved the reputation for himself in Hollywood of being crazy. In this article, "The Many Faces Of Shia LaBeouf," the author recognizes how "dangerously close" the actor has come to wrecking his career for good because of his off-screen craziness and arrest-record (I am not arguing with the quality of Shia's performance, which is, I will say, exceptional acting and, again, is also a definite credit to the director); but I am arguing that they wanted someone that everyone would associate with "being crazy" to play the Christian so the film could cast a ugly light on anyone practicing the religion, especially as the Obama Administration is trying to squeeze our Christianity in the military completely, while making all member of the military take Islam-sensitivity courses and participate in their holidays and fasts. There are two important scenes involving Boyd: first, the scene where one of the guys wants to touch his mustache and Boyd won't let him. Hair on the upper-lip like this indicates animal appetites, and we see him killing Nazis with gusto (he's the tank's gunner) and is grateful for being able to kill them. As Americans, we are grateful to his character as well, however, the film ends with no victory, no purpose, no moral, everything they have done is just a speck in a giant void; in other words, there was no end to the war, and the Allies and America, according to the film makers, certainly didn't win the war. So Boyd's mustache is a symbol of his hypocrisy, that if God loves everyone, even Hitler, then why is Boyd killing them? The second incident involving Boyd is his quoting of both 1 John 2:16 ("Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father but is from the world. The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever") and Isaiah 6 ("Who shall we send? Here am I Lord, I come to do your will"). Boyd quoting the Bible is meant, just as we saw in The Conjuring, to challenge Christians that, if you actually believe what you say you believe, then why are you fighting wars? What is the difference between doing what your invisible, non-proven God tells you to do, and what the State tells you to do? Everything is passing away in the world, you shouldn't own or have anything (which is the same argument form The Conjuring; please see The Devil's Hour: The Conjuring for more). The way Boyd dies verifies that this is how the film makers feel about Christianity: Boyd gets shot in the back of the head and it goes through his eye, symbolizing that Boyd "didn't see correctly," he was seeing the Scripture's backwards (the bullet going in through the back of his head and coming out the front) because Jesus Christ didn't intend for people to worship God, but to serve Cesar and the State (sot he film makers are arguing). When Boyd quotes Isaiah 6, Collier knows the Book and verse number and says so; this knowledge, is ultimately the reason Collier dies: it's not his slavery (symbolized by his whipped back, discussed below), nor is it even his harsh treatment of Norman because he tries to make up for it and at the dinner with the two German women, tries to show that he is better than other Americans because he speaks German. No, Collier could have been spared death but Collier knew the verse of the Bible, suggesting that he has some belief in God and anyone who believes in God, according to the socialist film makers, has to die. We saw this, again, in World War Z: the only reason why that androgynous girl Seneg survives is because she sublimates her identity and she doesn't talk about her Jewish identity or God. This is political propaganda in its purest and most raw form.
Horses usually symbolize "spirit" (usually the Holy Spirit but, in spite of the Biblical references in the film, I really don't think that's what it symbolizes because there is nothing religious that happens, this is discussed in the caption above) and that spirit (the horse) wandering over the barren field, is supposed to symbolize the spirit of socialism that was spreading across Europe; had America (symbolized by Collier jumping out and killing the German) not become involved in the conflict and killed all the Germans, the Germans would have spread socialism "peaceably" and then the whole world would be socialist all ready.
The Americans have taken over a German town and Collier and Norman entered an apartment with two German women hiding. Instead of raping and looting, as the other Americans are clearly doing below in the town, Collier hands Emma (in the blue dress) some eggs he has wrapped up in the box so they will fix them for him). In not raping, looting and vandalizing, like the other Americans, and because Collier can speak German, he forms a bond with the two women as they bring him hot water and Norman plays the piano. The eggs, very importantly, symbolize "new life," and Collier's ability to speak German suggests that he knows the language of the "enemy" (I know German as well, there's nothing wrong with German, but the film makes such a big deal about "killing Nazis" that, as Guardo asks, "How did you learn German before you got here?" which is never explained). Anyway, Collier is in a supreme position to be "baptized" into socialism, because he's sharing the eggs with everyone there (spreading new life); Collier also takes a sponge bath and shaves, so this symbolizes Baptism (Norman had been asked earlier if he was saved and he mentions that he had been baptized; the film, however, isn't interested in spiritual cleansing, but in political cleansing, so Collier, in being in the German apartment, with the German women and speaking German, is being initiated into socialism). Collier also shaves, so the removing of the beard suggests he's going to overcome his "animal appetites" to kill for the sake of killing (as opposed to the other tank members who, when they join Collier and Norman, make it clear they are very much living out their appetites by the way they treat the women, Norman and behave in general). As Collier washes himself, Norma plays the piano and Emma sings, but then stops when she sees Collier's bare back in the mirror: it's covered in terrible scar tissue. What happened to Collier we don't know but it almost looks as if he had been severely whipped like an escaped slave; these scars are the indications of why Collier is not "allowed" to live by the film makers: he is a slave to his way of life and he won't give it up
Norman still being alive, and the hooves waking him up, is a metaphor that the "gentle one" (Norman, who didn't want to kill Nazis just to kill them) who survived is now "awake" to the spirit that is coming and that's why he survived. There was a part of Norman that did die, that's why he covered himself in dirt and fell asleep in the cold mud, as an act of death and maybe even penance, but just the bad, American part of Norman died. An American Red Cross worker checks Norman over and tells him, "You're a hero," and it's not because they held the cross-road, it's because Norman has overcome his lesser-self and will become a socialist,.... no, it doesn't make any sense, but that's what they want the audience to believe. Remember, a character lives because they are the film makers' ideal type, and Coon-Ass told Norman that they aren't good men, and the reason is because they are Americans but Norman hates everything they are, even if that is within himself.
Collier threatens Norman that, if Norman doesn't take Emma into the bedroom (to have sex with her), then he himself will, so Norman and Emma go into the bedroom and make out; before that, however, Norman reads her palm, which his grandmother taught him, and points out that Emma has the "Ring of Solomon" sign on her hand, which is rare, but he has it, too.  "You like to help people," he tells her; this ties in with Germany being superior because it was socialist: in America, "you're on your own," as Pitt's character says in Killing Them Softly, but in Nazi Germany, you can have someone like Emma help you. Most people would consider Palmistry to be superstitious because there is no science to it, whereas Christianity has endured for 20 years; the film makers, on the other hand, appear to be arguing that because you can physically see and touch the Ring Of Solomon on someone's hand, that is not superstition but, because Christianity cannot be touched, that is superstition and must be done away with. When Collier and Norman first entered the apartment, Emma was under the bed hiding for fear they would rape her (her skirt was hiked up on her leg, though, and her blouse wasn't tied up at the top, so she looked loose anyway). Just as Emma was under the bed hiding from the Americans, so Norman will be under the tank hiding from the Germans. 
At one point in the film, Collier tells Norman, "Ideas are peaceful, history is violent." This makes no sense at all. He's suggesting, again, like in the opening sequence with the white horse and German soldier, that the Nazis were doing nothing but spreading the Gospel of Socialism, and the Allied Forces violently attacked them simply for "spreading an idea." AGAIN, there is NEVER mention of the horrors of what the Nazis were doing, and err by omission is tantamount to lying. Someone might say though, what about the children that were hung for not fighting for Germany?
Collier, Norman and the two women in the picture were going to have dinner together and then the other three men from the tank found them and, without being invited, joined them (because that is what Americans do, and America, the film makers would argue, wasn't even invited to join the war, they just came over and started murdering everyone). This dinner is a very painful scene, with Coon-Ass licking Emma's egg then putting it back on her plate and acting like nothing was wrong. Guardo, who is drunk, tells Norman the story of when they got past the beaches on D-Day and had to get over all the hedge-rows (I can't believe they got that part right, so they know the history, they just intentionally changed it) and after the fighting, there were all these horses. "Do you like horses, Norman?" Guardo asks, because for days, they did nothing but kill horses because there were so many of them. Instantly, your mind is going to think of Steven Spielberg's World War I film, War Horse, and you are probably going to ask why the horses couldn't be put to some use. The horses couldn't be used because Americans like to murder things (this is another argument why Collier might have escaped death had he not known the verse for Isaiah 6, because in the opening scene, he could have killed the horse, but he let the horse go instead). Guardo describes how you have to pet the horse on the head and then put a bullet in its spine, and then ends by telling Norman that he wasn't there with them when they went through that, so it's not fair that Collier is having dinner with him, when Norman hasn't earned the right because Norman ins't a ignorant butcher the way the other three are. This is the "logic" of the film.
When Collier's group reaches the town they are supposed to siege, they see young people and even children who are hanging (as in dead) publicly with signs written in German saying, I refused to fight for the motherland of Germany. A group of kids surrenders, and Collier sees an SS officer among them; he asks a teacher if that officer was responsible for what happened to the kids and the teacher responds yes, so Collier shoots the SS officer. This is the thing though: what Collier does, is what an American would do, and the film makers disagree with it because children don't belong to their parents, children don't even belong to themselves: everyone belongs to the State. You have no will of your own, you have to do whatever it is the State tells you. So, in being socialists, the film makers believe the SS officer was right to hang the children for "treason," and if you are an American who is happy that Collier shot the SS officer, that just proves that you are a blood-thirsty American who was an aggressor. If you are an American, however, the exact opposite is true.
Often in art, a tangible object will become a character in the narrative, like the Ring in The Hobbit, or the landscape, or the tank Fury in the film. Special attention is given to the tracks of the tank and there are three specific scenes when the director focuses our attention there: the first scene is Norman's first time in the tank, just before the ambush, and the tank is rolling over trees and small forest brush; the second scene is when there has been a dead body in a very muddy road for a long time, flattened, and the tank tracks go right over it without even noticing; the third is when the tank goes over a mine and the tracks fall off. As a vehicle, the tank symbolizes the American will and will power: the first two examples, the tank is crushing into the ground whatever it wants to crush (the earth and a dead person); in the third instance, the ground rebels against the tank and the ground (the mine) pushes and crushes the tank instead of letting the tank crush it; this is supposed to symbolize what a rebellion against American "imperialism" should be like. Collier calls the tank "home" and that's probably another reason why he dies, Collier identifies with the American attitude the film makers want to vilify so the villains have to die, all of them, including the tank.
At the end, Collier (severely wounded) and Norman are the only ones still alive; Norman tells Collier he wants to surrender, he doesn't want to die, and Collier asks him not to surrender because they will treat him badly and he will die a bad death; Norman wants to surrender so he escapes through the hatch and survives. Had Norman been a German wanting to surrender, his officer probably would have shot him dead; but since Norman is an American wanting to surrender, that's a different issue entirely; why? Socialism is intent on the "wussification" (the degrading and erosion) of the white, American male; in wussing out on his brothers-in-arms who died, Norman is supporting the socialists by not doing the macho thing and dying like a man, so he's allowed to live because an American like Norman is never going to be a threat to the socialist world order. To support this, there is one last detail: the ending.
When Logan first meets the tank crew, they tell him to clean up the mess in the gunner's seat (their gunner had just been killed), so Norman is in the tank, cleaning up the human carnage inside and, to his horror, he sees the entire side of the gunner's face laying on the floor of the tank. What does this mean? The face symbolizes our most basic form of identity, so the scene is a foreshadowing that, if Norman stays in the tank (instead of surrendering), he will lose his face, i.e., his identity, as "Norman," which is a symbol for the "Normal Man." So Norman will cease to be Norman and, instead, become like Coon-Ass, Bible and Wardaddy Collier. This is just about to happen when, in the scene before the fighting begins, Coon-Ass tells Norman he's a "drinking and killing machine," and the crew decides that Norman's "war name" is "Machine," and that's supposed to be a sign that he's one of them. The blown-off face refers to Norman being a machine--i.e., the tank itself--instead of a human, a "normal man." 
Collier has died and Norman has slipped out through the hatch and hides under the tank in the mud (this is his metaphorical death and burial scene) but a German soldier looks under the tank with his flashlight and Norman looks up at him, shaking his head "No," pleading not to be turned in; after several tense moments, the German turns his flashlight off and marches off, Norman not being turned in. Why does the German soldier not turn Norman in? This scene is the exact opposite of the scene at the beginning when Collier forced Norman to shoot the German who was begging for mercy because he had a wife and family (Norman does not) so Norman not being turned in is to show how merciful the Nazis were compared to the Americans.
Under immense pressure to do something "respectable" about ISIS, at least pretend as if he has a strategy, Obama responded in part that he would "degrade" ISIS. America has never "degraded" our enemies in the past, because we never had anyone using Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals in place of the Constitution; Alinsky, however, calls for enemies to be degraded, and that's what we see happening to America by the film makers.  The film makers hate America so much, they show a painful sequence of total incompetence where 4 American tanks are incapable of taking out 1 German tank. (the scene depicted above). A scene like this exists solely to degrade the vets of all the Allied forces, but specifically America. This was the opposite situation in Battleship where the veterans were celebrated and honored (please see In God We Trust, All Others We Track: Battleship for more). 
Fury is just one of several liberal films attempting to re-write history: War Horse, Gangster Squad, The Monuments Men, The Lone Ranger and even The Conjuring with our understanding of the Salem Witch Trials; however, they weren't nearly as bold as Fury is. Please remember the example provided to us by the Tom Cruise film Edge Of Tomorrow: every time his character re-sets the day, it's because he got the skill from the alpha male he killed (who symbolizes a liberal) because that's what liberals do, they re-set history every time they can't answer for something, so they are never accountable for the historical record proving what a disaster socialism is (please see Beneath the Louvre: Edge Of Tomorrow & Mimicry for more).
One small bright spot in the film: Scott Eastwood, son of Clint, has a small part.
The men in Collier's group often joke that, being in the tank during the war is "The best job I've ever had." It might seem like a desperate attempt to make light of a black situation, but because the film so consistently criticizes these Americans, they actually mean it, because, again, THE ONLY REASON Collier gives for them being there is, "They are Nazis and either you kill them or they kill you," that's all there is, so being able to murder people as they please, is the best job Americans can have because that's what we do. I am ashamed this film was made, and my deepest sorrow and regret goes out to every veteran and their family from England, France, Australia, Canada, the US and every other country that so valiantly fought to stop the spread of this evil; no apology could be sufficient for the lie this film wants to spread for a political agenda of Hollywood elites.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Thursday, October 16, 2014

TRAILERS: Mr. Turner, Mockingjay Part 1 #2, New Images From The Hobbit

This is the most interesting poster I have seen in years: why? Painting over the imaginary boundary between the film and the audience watching the film, indicates how important the audience is in the film creation process, as important as paint to a painter. The orange, red and yellow mix suggests vibrancy, which is what makes the artistic process: without a vibrant audience interacting with the art, the art is, essentially, dead, because it doesn't say anything to anyone. 
Well, there is good news and bad news: the bad news is, Dear White People has a very limited opening this weekend, and that does not include my theater; the good news is, Fury opens this evening, so I will be able to catch that tonight, post a quick response and hopefully, get the full review done between tonight and tomorrow, depending on how the film is. Determined to make the Oscars a liberal platform, it has been announced that Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting the 2015 Oscars, so I guess I am boycotting again this year (homosexuals and transgender "individuals" make up less than 3% of the country's population, however, Hollywood's promotion of homosexuality acts as a propaganda tool to encourage more people to identify with homosexuality in an attempt to destroy marriage and the family; as a Christian, I can't accept the promotion of mortal sin into a state of "normalcy"). An interesting new trailer has been released for Mr. Turner, about the famous English artist J. M. W. Turner:
To be perfectly honest, I consider Turner to be quite the cad: he had a mistress, with whom he had an affair and probably two daughters, that no one knew about until after his death; his father worked as his assistant studio manager and was poorly treated. As an artist, he was exceedingly difficult to get along with, but he did produce some of the most important paintings--not only of his day--but into today as well, including The Fighting Temeraire which was voted to be the Most Important British Work Of Art in a British museum and, those with a close eye for detail will remember that the painting (image below) was featured in Skyfall (when 007 meets Q in the museum and Q talks about what the painting means, it's a foreshadowing of M being replaced).
The question is, why doesn't Mr. Turner say anything in the trailer? His painting says everything for him. In art criticism, once an artist makes their art public, they aren't supposed to say anything about, or attempt to guide discourse in anyway, because if they do, they are admitting that they didn't do a good job on the art and the art doesn't say what they hoped it would say, so the artist has to intervene and insert their self into the public dialogue that the art itself was supposed to accomplish. The film makers appear to understand this concept quite well. On a different note, the second trailer for Mockingjay Part 1 was released today; it's not long, however, it does reveal important motivations of three important people:
We first see Katniss "going down" in an industrial-style elevator: that's key because it symbolizes that she's going deep into her psyche, her soul (whenever we descend, it demonstrates the metaphor of going deep within ourselves); this is like in The Hunger Games when she kicked the wasp nest and she got stung herself and we witnessed a montage of her buried emotions; what Katniss will see in District 12 is going to be put on par with that scene from the first film and we can validate this because of the photo of her father that she takes from the table and puts in her bag. What's important about that moment is, the photo of her father on one side, and the white roses symbolizing President Snow on the other side: two conflicting father figures who could not be more different. Katniss resents that her real father is dead and absent, and she resents the symbolic father is alive and all-too-present. The song in the trailer is Yellow Flicker Beat by Lorde, who also sings the Dracula Untold song Everybody Wants To Rule the World.
The two newest poster images for The Hobbit, which we will discuss later.
Warner Brothers Studio has announced ten DC comic films to be released from 2016 through 2020, including a film for Aquaman. What's interesting about this is, Warner Brothers has hired two different writers, the screenwriter for 300: Rise Of an Empire (that was very pro-capitalist), and the writer of Gangster Squad (that was very pro-socialist) to each pen the script and whichever script they like the best is the one Warner Brothers will go with. You probably know which writer I am pulling for. I will be posting on Fury tonight!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TRAILERS: Dear White People, Fury, Woman In Black, Penguins Of Madagascar & News

The star of the newest Terminator: Genesys, Jai Courtney (Divergent, Jack Reacher), has revealed that the film is not a sequel nor a prequel; it builds off the previous films and makes the way for future sequels, however, " we start in a place we're familiar with from the early films and then, you know, circumstances change." From the way the interview goes, you might almost think the film occupies a place in an alternative universe. He clearly states that it's not a re-make of the original, but "we don't necessarily start where the last one left off." How is that for ambiguous? Terminator: Genesys is typical of the films made in the 1980s to fight off socialism and all its evils (by showing us a future where socialism had taken root and destroyed everything and everyone) and is being "resurrected" today in order to fight off socialism again, like Evil Dead, Red Dawn, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, etc.
First of all, permit me to apologize to everyone who has emailed: thank you so much for taking the time to write, and I am sorry I haven't responded. I hope to get to them later this week, but know that I have a lot to get to and I try to take as much time as necessary to answer them fully. There is a significant amount of news to report on: Bond 24 has found its villain (even though it still hasn't found a title) and that is Drax from Guardians Of the Galaxy. Dave Bautista will be the "physically imposing" villain that James Bond (Daniel Craig) will fight off in the newest film, and insiders (whoever those suspicious people are) have claimed that the film makers are wanting to deliver a villain who will become an instant icon in the Bond History. The other piece of news is that filming will finally begin in December (it was supposed to have started in October). I can't wait. This is the film I am personally most excited about, even more so than The Avengers.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman for the upcoming Batman vs Superman Dawn Of Justice. Where on earth is she? She looks like she's in that volcano place where Spock was dropped at the start of Star Trek Into Darkness
In perhaps the most bizarre news of the week, it has been confirmed (???) that the character of Wonder Woman in the upcoming Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice is a demi-god: her father is Zeus,... well, I guess it's pretty common in the comic books for this to happen. So, the Superman world is not just one with aliens, but one with pagan gods as well. Um. I don't know yet, but my gut is telling me that I don't like this, not very much, at all. Speaking of things I don't like,....
Even though none of the original cast has been approached, Hansel and Gretel 2 appears to be happening. Danny Wirkola, who directed and penned the original script, won't be back to direct, but has finished the script for the second installment and has revealed that it centers on a voodoo theme.
There have been considerable rumors swirling around The Avengers and Captain America 3, and it appears that they are being substantiated. The Avengers 3 is going to be ditching the super-heroes we know and love for an entirely new cast of heroes that Captain America will be assembling at the end of The Avengers 2: Age Of Ultron; because of events taking place in Captain America 3 (the original Avengers being killed, defeated and dispersed), specifically what appears to be a civil war brewing with Tony Stark and Iron Man--I know, right? What? But RDJ is doing it--the original Avengers will have to be replaced for The Avengers 3. Am I a party pooper, or does this not even sound good?
Javier Bardem (Skyfall, No Country For Old Men) is now cast as the villain of the next Pirates of the Caribbean film, Dead Men Tell No Tales opposite Johnny Depp. The fifth pirates film--and there are two more scheduled after this one, supposedly the three of them are going to be shot simultaneously--will feature Bardem as a ghost pirate who tries to foil Jack's plan. The film has (finally) begun pre-production in Australia where it will be filmed. 
This is the month of spooks and thrills. In 2012, we highlighted a film that went straight to disc, but my sister just watched it over the weekend on Netflix (streaming) and told me how much she enjoyed it. I hope to be able to watch The Awakening by the end of the month and post on it, as it looks pretty good: it's never just one person being haunted in a story, a haunting is always a metaphor for an entire generation being haunted by something; the question is, what?
On the same note, The Woman In Black 2 has released its first trailer. Originally, the sequel was going to take place during World War I, when Eel Marsh House was being used as a temporary hospital for British airmen, and the Woman in Black was haunting a nurse there. They then scrapped that and started filming a modern day film, with some young adults looking for a sibling who had gone missing near Eel Marsh House, and encountered the Woman In Black. Now, the film takes place in 1941, when the Blitz is taking place and children have been re-located to the house to save them from the bombings:
It's still about a month away from opening, but Penguins Of Madagascar has released a nearly 5 minute clip of the start of the film, and, let me tell you, I feel sorry for the people who will be in the theater with me watching it because I am going to be laughing to hard.
Before the film opens, I will be making a post about what to look for, but in the clip, the documentary that's being made is a spoof of Werner Herzog's Encounters At the End Of the World of 2007, so I need to watch that before November. Also opening in November is a thriller that I just stumbled upon, starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong:
Obviously this has close ties to the Christopher Nolan film Memento (2000) but the question is, why make a film like this today? Anytime there is a character who suffers a loss of their memory, it's because we, as a culture, have suffered a lack of memory, about our identity, our history; in other words, we have to search for who we are and that which was buried in history, has to become new again. In the same vein, sometimes we don't forget the history, but it is buried, and that has to be woken up, as in this Millennial horror story. A group of young people call on a spirit they think is going to help them, but it hurts them instead:
Two films open this weekend, one of them being the newest Brad Pitt film, Fury. I don't know what to make of it, so I'm not going to say anything until I have seen it, and I will go see it this Friday:
Also opening this weekend, and I think this is actually going to be the bigger--more controversial--film is Dear White People. The film is a satire, which Wikipedia defines as:

          [A] genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing
          arts, in which vices, follies, abuses and shortcomings are held
          up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals,
          corporations, government or society itself, into improvement.
          Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater
          purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a
          weapon and as a tool to dram attention to both particular and
          wider issues in society.

Having defined that, the story follows four black students at an ivy league college; one of the (white) fraternities decides to throw a "hip-hop" themed party which causes the campus black student population to riot. Let's watch two of the trailers and, remember, this is a satire, so each of the people you see are meant to be a stereotype of some kind of behavior:
I hope the film succeeds in offering constructive social criticism, that would be a real challenge. The film has set itself a high goal and, Friday, when I go to see it, we'll see how well it meets the standard. In the meantime, I am finally on my way to pick up my copy of Season 1 of Penny Dreadful (yea, I was patient and opted to get the disc set), so, I will be watching them and then we are going to take a bit of a break and do the Penny Dreadful thing, because we aren't going to do politics with it, so I am looking forward to it!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Let the Games Begin: Dracula Untold

"They have brought war to our land and they will pay dearly for it," Vlad (Luke Evans) tells the people he is bound to protect. If all I had to go on was a clip of the film, like the trailers and the one above, I would--again--feel this was going to be a pro-socialist film, however, I assure you, there could be nothing further from the truth. As ISIS massacres innocent people in the Middle East (especially Christians) as they try to re-establish the caliphate, Dracula Untold makes it clear that the history that has gone "untold" is that of how Vlad the Impaler stopped the marching of Islam from spreading throughout Europe and, at least twice, the film insinuates the importance of this, which is just one of two reasons why the film is so important; the second reason is a massive spoiler, so if you haven't seen the film, I do urge you to do so before reading this review because it is worth it. Ultimately, as we watch the narrative play out, the film serves as a warning for Americans about to launch our own revolution to take back our country that, once we get a taste of blood, we will be consumed by it.
There are some critics I have read who have complained about holes in the narrative, but reading their reviews, I think it's safe to say they didn't like the film and were inventing excuses as to why; granted, you look at any two-hour film long enough and you can poke holes in the story-line, however, the story line isn't the point, it's the questions and morality raised by the story line that is the point, and critics overlooking these imperative and timely questions just aren't doing their job. There are two important characteristics about the Ottomans that make them Vlad's enemy: first, they are intent on spreading and enforcing Islam throughout the whole world, just as we are seeing today with ISIS and the massacre of Christians in the Middle East (and the numerous threats that have been aimed at the US and West in general) and it is quite clear that Vlad and his family are celebrating Easter when the Turks appear and the Turks are not celebrating Easter; there is, then, a clash between Christianity and Islam that has been started, again, by Islam, in refusing to allow other religions to exist in peace. Secondly, the lack of respect and value for individuality and life. As a young slave, Vlad was taught to kill without conscience and die without complaint, which is what socialist governments (like China and North Korea and the former Soviet Union) teach their people. Additionally, when the sultan (Dominic Cooper) orders Vlad to give up his only child to be a royal hostage and go through what Vlad went through, the sultan tells Vlad, that he is virile and can have more sons to replace the one, showing a disregard for family values and the priority that parents place upon their children. 
It is near the end, the nightmare scene that Vlad so desperately tries to keep from happening, happens anyway, and the three threads of the plot come together to demonstrate the true purpose of the film's message. Very simply, as we are used to it, Vlad the father symbolizes the active force of the economy and also the traditions of the government since he is not only a father and husband, but also the prince and government of his country; Mirena, likewise, is the passive principle of the motherland since she is mother and wife, but also, as Vlad's queen, she symbolizes the traditions and culture of the motherland since she is the "first lady." Ingeras, their son, symbolizes the future, as children always do (since his name is feminine, it doesn't mean that the boy himself is feminine, rather that Ingeras will embody tradition as of both his father and mother when he rules and will continue what he has seen his parents do). When Ingeras is taken by the Turks, it's not just Vlad's son that is taken, but America's future is taken by the Muslims; when Mirena falls over the edge, it's America being intentionally pushed "over the fiscal cliff" and the strength and power of the economy (Vlad) can't save it because the fall is too fast (like with the fall of Gwen [Emma Stone] in The Amazing Spider Man 2). The entire future of America is spelled out in this simple, but accurate scene, and it validates the stakes of the dire situation(s) we are now facing.
Young Ingeras is really the hero of the film because he's the one that has the greatest faith and the willing heart to put God before anything else. Since Ingeras grows up in the Church, and apparently dies when a normal mortal should, I don't think there is a Son of Dracula on the horizon for this newest franchise.
It is probably in the opening lines that the film establishes where it wants to go and what values it has chosen to uphold. We learn that young Vlad was a royal hostage in the Ottoman court, and that he was a slave. Having grown into the perfect, dehumanized soldier for the Ottomans, Vlad earned his freedom and returned to his homeland of Transylvania where he became the prince of his people and maintained peace for twenty years. There are two important values to be gleaned from this background information: first, that's really the American Dream, isn't it? You put in your hard labor, then you attain that which you want, having advanced from slave to ruler. The second aspect is twenty years of peace. What do we know about historical films?
They are never, ever about history.
Mirena (Sarah Gadon) is Vlad's wife and queen, here at the Easter celebration. Christianity is very much associated with Mirena, why? As usual, she symbolizes "the motherland," and not just that of Transylvania, but of America as well. Even though Vlad grew up in the court of the Turks, Vlad did not become a Muslim, nor, as a subject of the Caliphate, did Vlad impose Islam upon his people when he returned to them, rather, he married a Christian woman, Mirena, and the people practiced Christianity; why is this important? It re-establishes a theme we saw in 300 when the Persian king Xerxes tells King Leonides (Gerard Butler) that he would gladly sacrifice any of his men for victory, to which Leonides replies, "And I would gladly die for any one of mine." As is established in the opening monologue of the film, the Turks only value humans for the amount of killing and fear they can inspire for their victories, and nothing else, just like the Xerxes of 300. Vlad, like Leonides, is willing numerous times to give himself up, for his family and his people, because he values life, liberty and his homeland. In this image, we have a faithful portrait of Mirena: her hair is pulled back, referring to her discipline (she is emotional, but she doesn't let her emotions run away with her) and her headpiece is decorative and detailed, symbolizing her thought processes (just as there are lots of tiny "pockets" of the design of her headpiece/crown, so she is able to be very detail-oriented in her thought process and see, not just the big picture, but what goes into making the big picture).  There is a fur collar around her neck, symbolizing the animal appetites (the animal from which the fur was taken, and our neck symbolizes what it is that leads us or enslaves us). Closer to her neck, however, are the small pearls of her necklace: Mirena loves her family and her husband (her animal appetites) but wisdom (the pearls) are more important since they are closer to her neck: for example, in the scene when we first meet her, she is playing with Ingeras, and wants her family to be together, but will not allow Vlad and their son to go riding the next day because it's Easter, and Easter is more important. Throughout the film, we associate the dragon symbol with Vlad, who informs the Master Vampire that "Dracul" means "protector of the innocents" (and the Master Vampire tells him it means son of the devil). We see, however, the dragon symbol at the top of Mirena's chair, and that draws subtle attention to how she, too, protects the innocents, not only her own son, but Vlad as well (more on this below). 
We know the film takes place in 1442, and Vlad's presence had meant peace for 20 years, and, at the Easter celebration, one of his men adds, "May there be another 20 years" of peace, after which the Turks enter. A film about an historical topic has to balance the historical record and the modern audience, because we the viewers are not interested in history unless it applies to us; so, does the narrative apply to us? Yes. The film has been released in 2014; twenty years from 2014 is 1994 when the last vestiges of the former Soviet Union were laid to rest and the communist country no longer posed a threat to America's freedom, the Cold War being finally over. That is the twenty years of peace to which Dracula Untold refers, but which can't continue because of three enemies in the film: the Turks, the socialists (which the demeanor and practices of the Turks embody) and the threat of the Master Vampire wearing the business suit at the end of the film.
We're skipping a bit ahead with this image, however, it's a decent place to do it. This is perhaps one of the most important images in the film, Vlad climbing up the sheer side of Broken Tooth Mountain with his red cape flying in the wind. Why? Visually, it's supposed to remind the viewers of when in, 300, King Leonides climbs up the side of the mountain to consult with the Ephors about his plan for defeating the Persian army. Even though 300 came out in 2006, we are still fighting the same enemy and they are definitely winning. Which leads us to a running theme in films of the last several years: leadership. As we have discussed, with the person publicly known as Barak Hussein Obama always being on the golf course, or always denying that he knew anything about anything, but is one of the smartest people in the world, films such as Iron Man, Thor, Star Trek, 300: Rise of an Empire and even Dracula Untold make Obama look like a treasonous viper, or at least nothing above a "community organizer." These are direct and intentional underminings of Obama's time in office, reminding Americans what true leadership is and what it is not. Even though Vlad makes a terrible mistake in bargaining with the Master Vampire for his soul, he is rather like Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), when he told Spock, "I don't know what I should do, only what I can do." There is an important difference between Leonides and Vlad: Leonides has an army, and Vlad does not.  The film makers make it quite clear that Vlad is at a disadvantage over this, and that, since he cannot protect himself, that is part of what drives him to make this terrible deal.
So, just as we saw Taken 2 being prophetic with its narrative of Muslims still attacking the US, and opening on the weekend of the Benghazi attacks, so Dracula Untold, with his untold history of how he kept back the Muslim invasion into Europe, is also prophetic (and a sign of the artistry that went into making it) as it foresaw militant Muslims rise up again (more than a year before ISIS starting its sweep of the Middle East when it went into production) and the need we have now of a strong leader who would stop them, but also how the threat of the Muslims would also contain the threat of socialism in its very worst aspects. What kind of a leader is Mehmed II and what kind of a leader is Vlad?
There is another important film reference, that to William Wallace (Mel Gibson) in Braveheart. Before he leaves her, Mirena gives Vlad her necklace that he tucks in the sleeve of his armor, like Wallace did with his wife's handkerchief she made for him and he kept on himself; why reference this? Anytime any film references another film, it's to expand the film's vocabulary, to remind us of the important cinematic moments that we all share, and to help build-up the characters, to insure that we the audience are going to see the characters the way the film makers see the characters, and a way to do that is by quoting/referencing those films in ways that viewers like you and me will catch and process so we are making those connections (this is part of what literary theorists call Reader Response theory: artists know what it's like to live in the world, we watch TV shows, eat fast food, stay on the computer way too long and on our cell phones even longer; they also know what books we read, moves we watch and music we listen to, so they will reference it in their art to further their connection with the audience and deepen the audience's connection to their art). Like Wallace and Leonides, Vlad is facing impossible odds against him, and by comparing their character to these other two cinematic and historical figures, the film makers invite a wider discussion on the similarities, differences and problems facing each of these heroes in their struggles.
Mehmed the Conqueror, or Mehmed II, was caliphate of the Muslim world when Vlad was a prince in his homeland. On one hand, we can say that Mehmed is a good leader, in the sense that he knows how to get his men to fight: when Medmed gets news of Vlad's incredible strength and speed in defeating his forces, he blindfolds all his army, thinking that, if they can't see Vlad, they won't be afraid of him, and the technique actually seems to work. On the other hand, we can clearly deduce that Mehmed is a vicious barbarian because of his cheap estimation of fatherhood, individuality and even spirituality (he's marching in the name of Islam, but we never see him do anything "devout").
Another aspect of Mehmed which embodies socialism is that, Vlad was better at everything than Mehmed was. Vlad had to work harder than the royal Mehmed, so he became stronger and better because of the threats against his life, whereas Mehmed would have been more protected being the heir to the throne; since they didn't care if Vlad lived or died (and we may see this same thing in Ridley Scott's upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings between Ramses and Moses) Vlad had to fight for his life every day and that suffering made him stronger. Having suffered, and knowing what that is like, means that Vlad also doesn't want others to suffer needlessly, whereas not having really been through suffering himself, Mehmed doesn't care about the life or quality of life of anyone but himself.
We know Mehmed doesn't value fatherhood--again, an attack on men that is the real gender war raging in America, not the so-called "war on women"--not only because he tells Vlad that he can sire more sons if he is virile, but also because Mehmed's own father had abolished the practice of collecting 1,000 boys for his army, but Mehmed, instead of honoring his father, goes back on his father's word, showing a lack of respect for both. Ingeras, however, in honoring his father Vlad (because Vlad is a good, protective father concerned about how his son grows up) will honor his father by being willing to be taken as a hostage so his father will be proud of him; that is the greatest testament to a good father that there can be, because essentially, this is exactly what Jesus did: just as Ingeras offered himself as ransom for his family and homeland, so Jesus offered Himself as ransom for us and our sins (which is why Ingeras comes to his father with the loaf of bread later in the film). What kind of a leader is Vlad?
We can see echoes of the Clint Eastwood film Unforgiven in Vlad's character development. Bill Munny (Eastwood) had been a notorious killer, then met his wife and reformed; an opportunity to make money off the whores' bounty turned him into a killer again, so, like Vlad, we can see the monster reformed resurrecting himself. This is a genuine question the film poses:  does Vlad ever truly reform and put his murderous ways behind him, or has his blood thirst always been with him, waiting for a chance to come out again? To some degree, that is not a fair question, we are all human, and we are constantly facing temptations to commit any kind of sin the demons can get us to commit. What is fair, however, is that Vlad chooses to act on his temptations, and that is an abuse of his free will: we must always use our free will to choose Him Who has given us the gift of free will.
Vlad was a monster.
The atmosphere and purpose for his being in the Turkish court were so that he would become a monster; everything was tuned to bring out the very worst in him for the advantage of the Turks. Once he returned to his homeland, his wife, son and responsibilities as a ruler were meant to insure that the very best was brought out in him, so he could bring out the best in others; it appears that it worked. So, when Mehmed's envoy comes, like the Persian envoy in 300 asking for "Earth and water" as a sign of Leonides' allegiance to Xerxes, Mehmed asks for 1,000 boys along with the silver tribute. This scene introduces us to the problem that will almost be the death of Vlad towards the end: silver.
When Vlad tells his son, "Run to your mother, now!" he isn't saying it just to his son, he's saying it to us, the audience. Why? At the end, when Vlad fights Mehmed, Vlad tells him that he's going to wipe Mehmed's name from the history books (which is what Xerxes tells Leonides he is going to do to Leonides and the 300, that no one will ever know what they did in sacrificing themselves) and I think Vlad's real plan at that point is to use his powers to completely rid the world of Turks. In telling Ingeras to go to his mother, he is telling us to cling to the motherland, do not meet and appease the enemy the way he has done up to this point, because if we do, we are apt to make the same mistake he is going to make.
How does Mehmet know to use the silver to weaken Vlad when he had to fight Vlad in single combat? Traditionally, silver does not weaken a vampire at all (please see caption in image below for further details) even though Mehmet know to use a wooden spike through Vlad's heart, which is a traditional method for killing vampires (the wood of the stake is a reminder that Jesus died upon the Wood of the Cross for your sins and you owe your heart to Him Who died for it); so, why have the film makers introduced this device? When the Turkish envoy comes to collect the "tribute," they are actually collecting the dhimmi or jizyah, a tax levied upon all non-Muslims by Muslims for not being Muslim. This does two things: first, it builds up the treasury of the Muslim government so they can stay armed and well-funded, and it depletes the treasury of the one's paying the tax so they cannot arm themselves or wage war. So how does this play into silver hurting a vampire?
His name is confusing, and he isn't really referred to by any proper name, or history, in the film, except the power on Broken Tooth Mountain and as a vampire (this may change in later films, however). Why Broken Tooth Mountain? It refers to self-destruction. When we eat something, and it breaks our tooth, we have hurt ourselves in the act of having an appetite for something that we were unable to take in. The Master Vampire, likewise, committed an act of self-destruction in being turned to a vampire and being forced to inhabit that cave. On a slightly different note, let's discuss the folklore and tradition of vampires. There is a folklore and a tradition because vampires exist as an archetype of evil in the collective unconscious (as an embodiment of the devil) so everything the collective unconscious attributes to them helps society and people to understand what this evil is and how we can best protect ourselves. When Vlad goes to see the Master Vampire (as we shall call him from this point forward, or MV), the MV tells Vlad to take off his silver ring because it offends him, so Vlad hides it; silver hurting vampires has never been a part of vampire lore before (unless it's in one of the new TV shows I haven't seen) silver is what wards off werewolves because in Hebrew, the word "silver" sounds like the word for "Word," which Jesus is, so had the person listened to the Word of God, they would not have lived by their appetites and ransomed their inheritance as a child of God. Vald's ring, probably his wedding ring, is a sign of a covenant with God; Vlad didn't make his covenant with Mirena when they married, he made it with God, so that God would use her to help Vlad become a better Christian and attain heaven, and God would use Vlad in Mirena's life to help her become a better Christian and help her attain heaven; that's not quite what worked out, is it? But that they entered into this covenant is evidenced by the holy ring (which was most likely blessed) and the MV knows Vlad can't enter into a covenant with him if he's conscious of his covenant with God, so the MV makes Vlad put it out of sight so Vlad won't think of God. Later, when Mirena wakes Vlad up and the silver ring is burning a hole through his flesh over his heart, it's because his soul knows that he has betrayed God and his wife and the blessing of the ring and what it means in their marriage and as a sign of his covenant with God, is burning through Vlad's heart in an attempt to get him to pray and cast off the MV.
Politically, Vlad is weakened by the silver he pays Mehmed because it allowed Mehmed to grow strong and kept Vlad from being able to create his own army to protect his people from the Turks, so Vlad is reminded of this when he fights Mehmed and the silver he paid is everywhere. Secondly, and more importantly, the word "silver" in Hebrew sounds like the Hebrew word for "Word," which is what Jesus Christ is, the Word of God (and why His Body is usually depicted in silver upon Crucifixes). Traditionally, silver is used against werewolves, because they failed to heed the "Word Of God" (the examples and teachings of Christ) so they permitted themselves to be consumed by their lust and they live like an animal, so they turn into an animal, instead of living like a child of God, and the silver reminds them of their crime of free will. So Vlad gave that (the money and the problems he faced) which should have been given to Christ, to the Muslims instead, and this is Vlad's fatal error because it almost kills him in the end. Vlad is a Christian but not a devout Christian, which leads us to our next point.
Mehmed wears the gold armor because earthly gold is what he values, not spiritual riches and wisdom; again, we will probably see this dichotomy in Exodus with Ramses. 
On the second day of carrying his vampire power, Vlad knows he is weak and could possibly succumb to drinking blood, so he goes to the chapel and prays, earnestly asking God: "If you have not abandoned me, please grant me your strength to resist" and then Ingeras comes in with the loaf of bread. What happens in this scene? Vlad prays to God and God answers his prayer: Vlad is given the strength not to succumb to drinking blood (Mirena has to tell him several times to do it at the end and he won't, until he does). Vlad, however, has all ready lost because he failed to go to God in the beginning: had Vlad gone to God and prayed for his negotiations with Mehmed to go well, they probably would have, and some other arrangement could have been reached; but Vlad, instead of going to God, goes to the devil and this is bad for at least two reasons.
Just last week, we saw the horror film Annabelle and what was the conflict about in that film? Because the mother Mia considered her baby to be her baby, and not God's baby, the devil tried to get the baby's soul; in Dracula Untold, the devil Mehmed wants to take Vlad's son, but because Vlad won't give his son to God, but is keeping him for himself, Vlad--like Mia nearly does in Annabelle--gives his soul to the devil to save his child, instead of letting God protect the child. Why would two such different films have nearly identical themes? Socialists believe children belong to the government because when they grow up, they will serve the government, therefore, the government knows best how to raise them; Christians believe that children belong to God, because God is the bestower of life, and we are all called to serve Him, so we are to be taught His Ways so we can fulfill our destiny in Him. When Vlad finally goes to the Church and prays, his son comes in and says that he knows Vlad is sick and offers him bread, which is symbolic of the offering of the Eucharist--Jesus is the Divine Physician who knows all of our ills and how to heal us--but Vlad doesn't take any; this incredible lesson that even Ingeras understands has completely escaped Vlad's understanding to the ruin of him. 
First, you can never win a deal with the devil unless you are divinely saved (I believe it's in The Glories Of Mary that Saint Alphonsus Ligguori wrote of the man who had literally sold his soul to the devil and, later, became extremely repentant; he prayed, and Mary interceded on his behalf so he would be forgiven, even commanding the devil to bring her the document the man had signed so she could destroy it). Secondly, if you do not go to God in faith with your problems what, then, is the difference between the Christians and the Muslims? We might as well be Muslims, too, if we are not going to live out the teachings of God. This leads us to the next two questions: what is the nature of the power Vlad gets (and the agreement he enters into) and why is it Mirena, the image of Christianity in the film, who tells Vlad to drink her blood?
First, the power.
Again, this scene is invoking 300 when Leonides visits the Ephors but they have sold him out to the Persians, forcing Leonides to march to his death. In this scene, Vlad wears a red cape like Leonides and the Spartans; why? Because for Spartans, they prove their love of Sparta in their willingness to shed their red blood for their homeland; Vlad is cloaked in his love for his family and homeland, but also in his anger at Mehmed for putting him in this position, so much so, that Vlad is willing to shed Mehmed's red blood to appease his anger (we saw another "angry" character wearing red, and that was Mila Kunis' character in Oz the Great and Powerful).  This "temple entrance" we see reminds us Christians that we and Vlad are temples, and we are meant to stay pure and holy so God will enter into us, not so we can go and enter into some forsaken place like what Vlad is about to do which he is doing because he has not allowed God to enter him, but Vlad will let the MV (or the devil, as the case maybe). The facade is designed like a church to emphasize, again, where Vlad is not going.
In the film, the vampire is referred to as only that, "the vampire," there is no name or history given, even though there is identification in the screenplay that has gotten out in reports. For whatever reason, the film makers chose not to align the identity of the Master Vampire with the Roman Emperor Caligula, whom the screenplay describes him as being. This is probably a master stroke, because making the identity ambiguous expands his evil deed from being limited to the realm of politics (if they made him be the emperor) to him being any one of us that, in our own mundane lives, might enter into the same, fatal mistake to get ahead ourselves.
When Vlad enters the vampire's lair, the MV tells Vlad that most men smell like fear, but Vlad smells like hope, and he doesn't understand why Vlad climbed out of his coffin with hope? This might be a reminder of Van Helsing, when Dracula tells Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) that he can hear men's heart beating so fast he could dance to it, but Van Helsing's heart beat is slow and steady. Why does the MV drag his nails across the sword like this? First of all, because Vlad has only the sword, but MV has ten nails, so just like with Mehmed, the MV outnumbers/out-weapons Vlad, The long, pointed nails are unnatural. Hands symbolize strength, and since the unnaturally long and sharp nails are a part of the hand, we can characterize the MV's power also as unnatural, which isn't that big of a deal, until the end when we see him tapping them on the table and he wears a business suit, suggesting that the MV still retains at least some degree of his unnatural powers (besides the fact that he is still alive). After Vlad drinks the blood and dies, when he has woken up in the stream, Vlad sees the spider wrapping up an insect that has flown into its web, and this is prophetic of Vlad, because we see spiders in the MV lair, so he's associated with them, and Vlad is but a bug to the MV who, like the spider, has Vlad all ready wrapped up in his web of power (this is like Bilbo Baggins who is wrapped up like a spider in The Hobbit and Frodo in The Lord Of the Rings). When Vlad wakes up, he's in the running water. According to legend, vampires cannot go near running water because running water is the purest water and is like the Sacrament of Baptism, so Vlad waking up here means that he is not yet a vampire. It may also be a play on his wife's name: Mirena sounds like "marina," or water, and she is supposed to be like the cleansing waters of Baptism for her husband but, once she can no longer keep her eyes on God, she instead washes her husband with her blood instead of her cleansing water (the amniotic sac that breaks when the child is being born, she should help Vlad be re-born in Christ, rather than giving him her blood so he can be born into darkness). 
What is the power Vlad receives? The power of darkness. It's possible, with all the vampire TV shows, that I am going to miss a reference here, and if that be the case, I do apologize. In film, there really isn't any reference to a mortal drinking a vampire's blood unless it is to turn someone into a vampire immediately, as in Interview With the Vampire (Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt); being able to "temporarily" turn someone into a vampire isn't something I have encountered previously, unless it's from Vampire Academy, or something like that. Anyway, we have to ask, exactly what is it about this bargain that appeals to Vlad more than going to Church and receiving the Body and Blood of Christ and being invested with the powers of Christ, the power of light? Why drink the blood of a dirty old vampire, when you can drink the Blood of God?
Original Sin.
In this scene, the MV takes a cup out of the floor filled with blood for Vlad to drink from, but that's not how it happens in the film, but it does remind us of the Holy Grail, and the cup filled with Christ's Blood that we are called to drink from. Why do vampires bite their wrist to give their blood to another? Again, the hand--which the wrist is considered to be part of--symbolizes strength, so the vampire feeds another from their strength/darkness, which is the opposite of Christ, who gave us His Body and Blood in His weakness upon the Cross. 
None of us like this, but we have to advance in our spirituality or we won't get to heaven, and the only way for us to advance is by becoming more like God. This is Vlad's test to choose God over evil, and he fails. Again, we have all ready seen that Vlad prayed and that prayer was answered, God had not abandoned him nor allowed Vlad to drink human blood (due to the power of the thirst) but Vald didn't trust Him to put the entire situation in His hands; why not? Vlad might not have liked the Lord's answer.
In this scene, Ingeras was with his mother but, seeing his father and worried about what was going to happen, he has run up to him and confidently told his father that he will go with the Turks and be their hostage. Why would Ingeras do this? Grace. Only Grace can prompt us to lay down our lives for another, and Ingeras' faith in God is strong, because Ingeras knows that if God took care of his father when his father was forced to go through his slavery, God will take care of Ingeras, and Ingeras doesn't know what it is that God wants of him, but Ingeras has said, "Here am I, Lord, I come to do your will," not my own will. Vlad and Mirena, however, are stopping God's Grace. Let me pause for a moment. This is art, so it's absolute, I do not have children myself, but if I did, I would fight tooth and nail for them to not have to go either, regardless of whether that is right or wrong. Having said that, Mirena and Vlad refuse to let God do His Work so this is the moment Vlad tells Ingeras to go back to his mother, in other words, Vlad tells Ingeras, go back to your earthly mother, not on to your heavenly father, and I will go and become the son of the devil so you don't have to go. This is a hard lesson, I don't remember the last time I heard such difficult sermons in Church, but because so few people go to Church anymore, films like Annabelle and Dracula Untold have to teach us the lessons we would be learning--and even know by heart--otherwise.
In the scene above, two important events happen, Ingeras volunteers to go with the Turks (discussed above) and, secondly, Vlad kills all the envoys with their sword. Having dropped his sword on the road behind him (and we should definitely read this symbolically that Vlad intentionally wanted to leave "the sword" and its way of life behind him on his life's journey) Vlad then takes the sword of the envoy and kills several men with it, meaning that, Vlad is going to use their own weapons against them, literally. They have conquered by becoming monsters so he will conquer them by becoming a monster, the problem is, that's not a successful equation. Great evil can only be overcome by great good or we will be overcome by that great evil as well: Vlad cannot be the "protector of innocents" if he has lost his own innocence; if we deal with the devil then, like Vlad, we become the son of the devil, which leads us to the next point.
That's quite a bit of blood to drink, especially the blood of a vampire, but he doesn't spit it out, nor does he stop drinking it. This suggests that Vlad is all ready a vampire, and that's one of the reasons why he went to Broken Tooth Mountain, instead of to the monastery to pray. We saw this concept, again, in Annabelle from last week with the little girl Annabelle Higgins when she appears to Mia (in her Satanic wedding gown), suggesting that--for whatever reason or circumstance--little Annabelle was all ready on the road to becoming a Satanist and we can see it in Vlad, as well that, he who would impale others might become impaleable himself (when Mehmet tries to stab him with the wooden stake in the heart). A second aspect of this scene is that Vlad drinks from the crushed skull of one of the Master Vampire's victims. It's not as if Vlad is making an educated guess that, perhaps he will be able to overcome the Master Vampire's game and come out on top, the evidence of the Master Vampire's strength, cunning and perfect record of defeating any and all who come against him is lying all around on the floor in the form of crushed bones and skulls. After drinking the blood, Vlad asks, "Now what?" and the Master Vampire replies, "You die." This truly is tragic because we are supposed to die to the world and live in Christ, so really, there is no difference at all in the bargain that Vlad is willing to make except who he makes it with and how much he's going to regret it.
As we said at the beginning of the post, this isn't a historical film: we are being invited to watch what Vlad did when he was faced with the problem that America is being faced with today (and England, and France, Russia and pretty much the entire world) specifically, that the world's Muslim population has become hostile to every human being and intends on taking us over. We see this expressed in two ways in the film: first, when Vlad goes to negotiate and Mehmet and he refuses Vlad's offer of his own self, one of Vlad's men says that someday, the Muslim tents will be everywhere; the second time is when, towards the end, the "old goat" wise man that had been Vlad's teacher but is now a vampire, answers Vlad, "I used to think there were too many of them," but now that he wants to drink there blood, there is not enough.
The curtain was a favored symbolic device during the medieval era: whenever there was one in an illuminated manuscript, for example, it meant that some darkness was being pushed aside and light was coming in (it was very common for the Hand of the Holy Spirit to be the one pushing the curtain allowing Light to come in). This is exactly what has happened in this scene: Mirena has asked Vlad what is wrong with him, and to demonstrate what he has done, he pushes the curtain aside, so she can see with the "Divine Light of Illumination" what it is exactly that Vlad has done. If this is what is happening to Vlad's physical body--disintegration--what terror is happening to his soul? Mirena, however, is really no more advanced than Vlad, and fearing for her husband, but even more for their son, she goes along with what he has done. 
Were the people right in wanting to kill Vlad?
To begin with, Vlad's agreement to pay tribute to Mehmet was the "first step" towards making the deal with the devil (the Master Vampire) because, again, it kept Vlad from being able to raise an army to defend his people (and make no mistake about it, the film is clear that, because they cannot protect themselves, they are at the mercy of Mehmet, so this is strongly supporting the 2nd Amendment) but also because Vlad turned to the devil instead of God for help; in making his deal with the devil, he risked the souls of the entire community--as we see this clearly when Vlad turns his people who are dying into vampires to help him defeat Mehmet after drinking Merina's blood because they would not have been damned had it not been for him bringing them that power--so Vlad has spread the devil among them. What choice was really left for Vlad?
Father Lucien (which is Latin for "light" as opposed to the darkness to which Vlad sells himself), the priest holding Ingeras, has bravely taken a Crucifix and waded into a circle of vampires getting ready to feast on Ingeras and Vlad; Vlad has told Ingeras to go with Father Lucien and to stay by his side always, so that Lucien will grow up in the Church, and not on the wayward path he himself has taken. If you will notice, Ingeras' and Lucien's hairstyles are almost exactly alike, light hair that's kind of long and wavy: the light hair means they are not burdened by dark thoughts, like Vlad the Lord Impaler; the longer hair signifies that they think things through (like Lucien noticing that Vlad was avoiding daylight and realizing he had turned into a vampire; or Ingeras offering himself as the royal hostage) and the waves in their hair symbolize the understanding they have of the repercussions of their actions, (Lucien that Vlad must be killed or he will bring the devil's curse upon them all, which is what happens, and Ingeras that by offering himself as a royal hostage, he will be following in the Will of God because he would be following in God's own footsteps when Jesus offered Himself as a hostage). 
Again, he should not have appeased the Turks with "tribute" payments, and he should have gone to God for help, and Vlad validates that when, towards the end, he tells Ingeras to go with Father Lucien, not only to save his soul immediately, but also so his son doesn't make the same mistake he did, which is why he allows his son to see him being disintegrated by the sun and die (please see the caption above for more on this topic). The future, in other words, belongs with the one who initially tried to kill Vlad, Father Lucien, and it is from his wisdom that Ingeras "drinks" and not his father's. So, given all the bad things that happen, why did Mirena press Vlad to drink her blood and why did he do it?
THIS IS IMPORTANT: as stated at the beginning, the Turks force Mirena over the edge of the cliff (force America over the edge of the fiscal cliff) and take Ingeras (take control of America's future). Vlad sees her fall but his powers go just as she hits the ground; in spite of her fall, she is still alive along enough to argue with him about drinking her blood. Again, this is another example of how Mirena is all ready dead when she hits the rocks, because she is dead in her faith. She doesn't believe that God will have mercy on them, she doesn't put her faith in God's Promise, but her husband's promise when they married. Instead of husband and wife supporting each other and being an encouragement to one another, they have appeased evil all their lives and now it has caught up with them and there is not sufficient light for them to find their way.
Mirena was wrong to press Vlad to drink her blood; why? Because she symbolizes the motherland, and we sacrifice our blood for the motherland, to keep and preserve it, it doesn't sacrifice it's blood for us; her pressing Vlad to drink her blood, means that he is eternally cursed, instead of Vlad drinking the blood of Christ and being eternally blessed; in her dying moment, she thinks only of her son, not the Son, so now her own sin has spread to Vlad and Ingeras and those seven or eight people who are dying, but are turned into vampires by Vlad so that they die in sin rather than going to heaven. Mirena's Christianity started to waver the moment Vlad revealed to her what he had done because then her focus shifted to him and his power to do, rather than trusting in God to save and protect; as such, she was unable to be a source of encouragement for her husband and instead became the instrument of his damnation.
Like Vlad disappearing in this cinemagraph, so Vlad's legacy has disappeared as well. All we remember about Count Dracula is "son of the devil," and blood drinking, not his heroic act of holding off the Turkish invasion and saving us all from having to become Muslim. His wearing the armor of the dragon, a relic from his past that he told his son he hoped he would "never need again," but he has put on instead of putting on "the armor of Christ," to protect him and show him the path to take.
Vlad drinking the blood of his wife is, again, taking the blood of the motherland, rather than sacrificing his blood for the motherland which is why the vampires at the end turn on him: one act of violence, one allowance, sets a chain of other allowances in motion that could back-fire and destroy the whole system. Once you start feeding on "the motherland," you are always corrupt, instead of those who give to the motherland, and they are pure. The mutiny of the other vampires demonstrates the evil of the power Vlad has given himself to and the danger he faces, not just in his death by incineration which he causes, but after he has been "resurrected" by his servile servant--had Vlad been the servant of God, he would not have this evil little servant for himself--he faces an even greater evil, which leads us to the final point: the game.
There is a popular story of Gaius Popillius Laenas, a Roman senator who was sent on behalf of Rome to keep war from breaking out in Egypt. The old man, all by himself, walked out in front of the advancing enemy army and, with his staff, drew a line in the sand and told the enemy commander, if you cross this line, you are at war with Rome. After careful thought for a few moments, the commander turned his army around and went back home, demonstrating the might and power of Rome in just one old man being able to turn back an entire army with nothing but a stick (the actual account is slightly different, popular culture embellishing it) but in this scene, and a few other scenes where Vlad goes out to meet the overwhelming Turkish force on his own, I kept thinking of this story. In this scene, it's supposed to be noon, with full daylight, but Vlad has completely blocked out the light of day, demonstrating how dark his own soul has become by how dark he has made the sky.
Before Vlad drinks the Master Vampire's blood, the MV takes time to explain to Vlad exactly what he is going to do: "I will call upon you," and use you against him who turned me, the MV tells Vlad, who refuses to play the game. "Light versus darkness, hope versus despair," all of the world's fate hangs in the balance; Vlad drinks and then the MV says, "Let the games begin," because he knows he has all ready won. He says the same when, at the end, Vlad "finds" Mirena again; why? Vlad is repeating his mistake by getting involved with the woman who went against God's Grace (in answer to Vlad's prayer not to drink blood) and pushed Vlad into damnation. Their sin is that they put earthly love above Divine Love, which is why they are the puppets of the Master Vampire, and they will make the same mistakes again.
Here is the great question: is it power to be able to crush your enemies, or is it power to be able to discipline yourself? The wise always vote in favor of disciplining yourself because you are then in control in every situation. Why does Vlad run into "Mirena" again at the end of the film? This isn't re-incarnation, rather, this is how they are demonstrating to the audience that HISTORY IS REPEATING ITSELF, and that we have to pay attention to what is happening, because if we don't, we are going to make the exact same mistake that Vlad has made. If, by trying to save the US and we enter into a revolution, whatever we do that may break the law, will make it that much more difficult to re-establish the government and people's faith in government. 
So, in conclusion, the mistakes made in the history of the narrative are being re-enacted for us so we don't make the mistakes they made, we don't sell our souls to the devil for the kind of illusory power Vlad took for himself, but we also realize that everything in this world belongs to God: from our very self, to everything we have, and to those we love the most, and that He loves what He has created more than we ever could, so He always does that which is best, especially when it doesn't seem like it. As reported earlier this week, Dracula Untold is the first of the Universal Studios' re-creating of their classic monsters; the next film they are working on is The Mummy, slated for release in 2016, for which they have recruited the screenwriters from Fast and Furious 6 and Star Trek Into Darkness; there is also Van Helsing that the Universal is remaking, slated for 2016 as well, with the writers of Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness writing and directing; in other words, it should be pretty amazing and very pro-capitalist!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
Without a doubt, at the end, when he wears a business suit, he definitely reminded me of George Soros, and I think we can expect that kind of a "unifying" villain in the rest of the films, after all, he's no different than Lex Luthor of Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice.