Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Expendables & American Super-Power-ism

Jean-claude Van Damme as Vilain (for "villain," of course) holding up Barney's (Sylvester Stallone) own knife he then uses to kill Billy (Liam Hemsworth). That's an excellent point: the knife symbolizes the power and technology America developed to keep law and order in the world that, in American hands, kept socialism from spreading; today, that very same weapon which safeguarded the world then is now being used against us (think, for example, of Iron Man and Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr.) dismay seeing the weapons developed by Stark Industries killing the American soldiers they were built to protect).
The Expendables 2 is excellent.
I assure you, it is a far more complex film than you might think, and takes pains at exhibiting "self-awareness" of, as the film itself puts it, "making a statement," which it does loud and clear. For example, in Lawless, just released, the town believes the Bondurant brothers, especially Forrest (Tom Hardy) to be invincible and even immortal; that is Lawless criticizing the American belief that the American Empire will persevere and endure through the symbol of what the Bondurant brothers' moonshine enterprise symbolizes (capitalism); while this is mocked in Lawless, American superiority and Empire is upheld completely by Expendables, and don't be fooled: as I watched the film, I was having difficulty keeping up with how current it is in employing common symbols and issues we're seeing in all the films being released. Even the humor is as deadly as the knives, bullets and punches! In short, if you haven't made plans for Labor Day, going to the movies would be well worth your while!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lawless Is Flawless But Socialist

The highest compliment I can possibly give to director John Hillcoat and the cast of today's opening Lawless is that every aspect of every scene is perfectly and completely realized, leaving absolutely nothing to be desired; symbols and polar oppositions are well constructed and placed throughout the narrative and visuals that are perfectly constructed (a few people have thought the pacing to be off, but I thought it was exquisite). The cast of course, were all perfect fulfillments of their roles and so aptly directed by Hillcoat with their natural abilities in conjunction with his own vision for the film and characters that there could easily be Oscar nominations for himsrlf and any one of the actors.
It is, however, definitely an anti-capitalist and pro-socialist film. I do encourage you to go and see it because it's just amazing to see a perfect film such as this one, with such a perfectly harmonized cast (no one stealing the spotlight but each transformed into the time and the purpose of their roles, never overstepping nor underplaying their purpose) and these types of films don't come along often, not to mention, it's a great treat for the Wednesday hump. I am also going to see Expendables tonight (no, really, I all ready bought the ticket and have it in my pocket for the 10:15 show, really). Since Lawless opens this weekend, I am getting that up by tomorrow afternoon (probably a little late because there's a lot to write on it) and I want to just think on Paranorman a few more days...

Monday, August 27, 2012

2016 Obama's America & the Questions of Socialism

It has all ready set records for the year. The question poised by conservative political philosopher Dinesh D'Souza in his documentary 2016: Obama's America is: if Obama wins a second presidential term, where will America be in 2016? 
It's not a pretty picture of the future. 
D'Souza, born in India and immigrated to America to fulfill his dreams, does the first thing he should do: he tries to anticipate the liberal media's number one play in today's field of political rhetoric and he demonstrates that he's not a racist: he shows how--unlike myself, for example--he has an identity very similar to Obama's, how they both lived in poor (very poor) countries, they both went to Ivy League colleges, they got into politics (D'Souza was courted by the Reagan Administration) and how America permitted both of them to fulfill the "American Dream." Why is this important?
D'Souza's constructing a well-articulated argument about how he and Obama have so much in common, and yet, have chosen such dramatically different ideologies to embrace, and why the communists Obama grew up with are the ones who have influenced him, and why the liberal media's intentional failure to "vet" or report on Obama's past made it so easy for a communist to get into the White House and is making it so easy to ruin America for the rest of us.
Because the liberal media has made the field that way. (Permit me to insert that, at the end of the film, the audience--very diverse in age and ethnicity--applauded loudly!). Because I am white and Roman Catholic, if I say anything about the president, I am a racist; it doesn't matter that I am female, and the Democrats are supposed to be the party for women (as they say) I can't criticize the president because of my religion and my skin color because the liberal media has gagged me with a sticker over my mouth that says "RACIST."  D'Souza, however, can say things I can't according to the First Amendment as interpreted by the media (who does more to censor Americans than the KGB ever did to Russians); yet D'Souza doesn't stop there; he even has Obama's own brother--still living in Kenya in a tiny hut--articulate why he disagrees with the socialist and anti-capitalist policies of his presidential brother and why he doesn't hold it against the resident in the White House for not helping him out more (this is an actual clip from the film):
George and Barak have the same father, but not the same ideological fathers, and that's the real expose which D'Souza accomplishes so well with his documentary. D'Souza speaks the names of those communists which Obama's grandfather sought out to link his grandson with so Obama would have "role models" in place of his absent father (who was quite the bigamist). There really wasn't any dirt thrown in this film (for example, D'Souza clearly states that Obama was born in Hawaii, not Kenya) but what he does do is a research project into who shaped the mind and beliefs of the young radical Obama and the environment in which he grew up (Hawaii's anti-American government occupation and resentment over what America did to make Hawaii a state).
D'Souza goes to both Indonesia and Kenya to explore Obama's relationship with his mother, step-father, and the environment in which he grew, commenting that it would have been very similar to his own fate had he not been able to leave India and come to America. D'Souza, interestingly, talks about his college days and joining a international students' group, and how white-American students would come and talk dreamily about going to India and who amazing India was, to which D'Souza would reply, "What's so amazing about it? The caste system? The arranged marriages? The dowry? What is it you like about India?" and they wouldn't have anything to say in reply, which is usually the case. D'Souza acknowledges that, had he stayed in India, his life would have been spent within a one mile radius of where he had been born, his marriage arranged and his profession chosen for him. This is a man grateful for the opportunity of the American Dream and that he was able to work for it and make it real for himself.
After a brief glimpse back at the 2008 election, and Obama's acceptance speech, D'Souza makes a big claim: "Even Republicans would have been applauding that speech," because it reminded us what we thought Obama was promising (no, I didn't vote for him) but D'Souza goes through, point by point, act by act of Obama's first term in office, demonstrating how the "hope" and "change" hasn't been for Americans--the upper or lower class--but for socialists and communists who have been actively working to undermine America and Obama was their man and that was their night, not ours.
D'Souza had secured an interview with one of the matriarchs of the Obama's tribe in Kenya, Granny Sarah, and her "speaking fee" was a goat; so D'Souza plays it safe and brings her three goats. They start out with an interpreter, a member of the extended family, who then gets nervous and calls for Obama's half-sister who promptly shows up and tells D'Souza he has to go. Guards/cops in the area (there to protect Obama's family) also tell them they have to go so there is no interview...
Why would critics at Rotten Tomatoes give the film only a 53% approval rating? One, because they have a tendency to be liberal themselves and supporters of socialism. One critic, however, made a note that the film failed to interview anyone who supports Obama; so? The question isn't about whether socialism is good for America, and we need to hear Nancy Pelosi tell us that downsizing and collectivizing is really best for our future, because a supporter of Obama would only be doing that; D'Souza wants to open our eyes--actually, validate what we think our eyes have been seeing, but just couldn't believe it--and make sure that we understand what Obama wants for America and for the world. Using the facts of Obama's actions and his spiraling the debt out of control intentionally to use as a weapon against the future of capitalism in the country, this is a film everyone needs to see.
Please contact your local theater and request the film come to your area; because there are still some capitalists in the world, the big reception it received this weekend may make your theater want to show it if they know they have local support! Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What I've Seen--

Dear Readers,
Things have been completely beyond my control for more than a week, and I deeply apologize for the silence; I did not take a sudden, unannounced vacation, but have been helping someone. Again, I do apologize, but I have gotten in some good film viewing and can't wait to get those reviews up!
First off, I am THRILLED to admit that I was wrong about Paranorman: it's not anti-Catholic, it's pro-Catholic! Hurray! (I just couldn't imagine a film being pro-Catholic! However, there were several children in the audience, and there were places in the film where kids started crying, so I wouldn't advise taking kids to see it). The Odd Life Of Timothy Green is pro-capitalist and pro-American Dream, taking great pains to really butt heads with The Hunger Games and it's a very touching, family film! I also saw 2012: Obama's America: the premise is, if Obama is elected to a second term, there won't be an America. It was very informative and educational and extremely conservative, so I loved it! All the shows have sold out at my theater, and I'm not surprised! If you can make it to see this, take someone with you because you will want to discuss it with someone afterwards.
Via Redbox, I also saw Witchslayer Gretl which was so bad, they didn't even get the title right. It was, however, anti-feminist, which I deeply appreciate, and one of three films involving the story of Hansel and Gretl due out within a year's time (the big one coming out in January with Jeremy Renner and at least one animated version due out soon) so, having seen it, I will be able to use it as a basis for comparison.
Clive Owen in Intruders.
Another film I rented was Clive Owen's Intruders, which I was very pleased with. Smart script and very self-aware, it was intensely psychological; I don't know if any average viewer who watches films for the sake of entertainment would enjoy it, however, if you enjoy busting through narratives like I do, this was enjoyable and I will be getting a review of it up!
Oh, yes, I knew there was something else I had seen: The Apparition. Of course, an easy pun would be, "It was an apparition of a film!" It seems that about 30 minutes of character development is missing and it has a 0% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Apart from that, I can say with confidence that it is anti-capitalist, but--as it makes this anti-energy and anti-material statement--it leaves itself open to a moral critique that is crippling and I think that moral critique is what most reviewers pick up on and have downgraded it so dramatically for! I have not yet gotten to see Premium Rush, but hope to Monday or Tuesday. Again, dear readers, I am terribly sorry about the prolonged silence, but everything was beyond my control. Thank you so much for continuing to check back and I will have The Apparition review up shortly!
I have not yet gotten to see Premium Rush, but hope to Monday or Tuesday. Why? I can say with confidence that recent films have done something not particularly exercised in the past, i.e., employed the male body as a symbol or metaphor for the economy. In Premium Rush (full synopsis here), Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a cyclist in Manhattan, the financial capital of the world, and the mysterious envelope contains money for a family to enter America from China. Does the family symbolize communism entering America, or a family escaping communism in hopes of attaining the American Dream? Yea, I'll be catching this one!
Still haven't seen this one but plan to!
Again, dear readers, I am terribly sorry about the prolonged silence, but everything was beyond my control. Thank you so much for continuing to check back and I will have The Apparition review up shortly!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Opening This Weekend: Paranorman, The Expendables 2 & Timothy Green

I usually post immediately after seeing a film and having seen it only once, so it helps after some time to contemplate aspects of a film and re-visit it, especially after having seen some other films employing similar imagery. These are three films which I have added substantial observations in case one of these was a film you particularly liked and was interested in additional commentary; just click the link to go to the post and scroll down to the bottom in the comments section where I have just tacked on the ideas:
War & Revolution: The Dark Knight Rises & the Great Socialist Lie
Magic Mike & the Three Faces Of Capitalism
Moonrise Kingdom & Communications Technology
I'm very curious to see this. Timothy "comes to life" on a stormy night, just like all the other storms which have been so prevalent in films lately, and a couple not being able to have a child may be a symbol of America and the new economy of "socialist structures" not "bearing fruit." As always, I am only speculating without having yet seen the film; so why do I do it? It helps me to get my thoughts straight going in and keep track of various devices the story uses, as well as--I hope--help you as you watch and engage the film.
Well, fans of The Avengers, the third highest grossing film of all time, will have to wait for the sequel, which has been given the green light and an opening date of May 2015,... director Joss Whedon will be returning, and I am sure the long delay has quite a bit to do with the releases of Iron Man 3, Captain America 2 (Captain America the Winter Soldier) and Thor 2 (Thor The Dark World), which will assuredly be woven into The Avengers 2 story line,...
Opening this weekend is Paranorman which I am highly concerned about.
The premise of the story is that there is a witch who is going to raise the dead and take over the world and Norman has to stop her; on the grave stone where she is buried, is the date 1712 when the Protestant Reformation was going on against the Catholic Church and Christendom was breaking apart. What's  "unusual" about this witch is that she was "hung," not burned at the stake: usually, witches were burned for two reasons, first to give them a taste of the hell fire that were about to experience eternally if they didn't repent (even as they were burning they could still repent in their hearts) and secondly because fire burns away anomalies and impurities, so the heat and pain of the fire would "aid" the accused to repent of their mortal sins. Not this witch
Signs, Signs, everywhere there are signs,... this sign reads, "The Blithe Hollow Witch Hanged 1712." The sign invokes two things: first, what was happening in 1712 (discussed above and below) and The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow because of the name of the place "Hollow."  As I articulate in my post The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow and the Battle For America, the purpose of the story is to steer the future America (symbolized by Katrina) away from the superstitious past culminating in the Salem Witch Trials (symbolized by Ichabod Crane) and towards a healthy, balanced future symbolized by Brom Bones ("Brom" is a nickname for "Abraham," which means father of the people).  
This witch was hanged The head symbolizes the governing function, so for a noose to separate the head from body illustrates how the "head of the Church" was separated from the flock of Christ (I realize that, technically, the neck breaks, when the hanging goes correctly and I am only guessing about the film at this point). Nevertheless, this is an important aspect of the film to consider as we watch; as usual, this may be totally out in left field, however, it appears that this is the case the film makers seek to build. This line of thought, then, makes Catholics "the dead" that are being raised and terrorizing civilization. Substantiating this is when, in the above trailer (at the very end), Norman is in a pilgrim's costume, and he announces that the dead are coming. The pilgrims, of course, fled Europe to have religious freedom, so it's possible, that it's religious freedom--to groups such as Catholics, of which I myself am a devout one--are the reason why society is in such a wreck (the HMS mandate in Obamacare).
Who is the famous "Norman" that Paranorman invokes? Norman Bates from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Once again, we haven't covered Hitchcock as of yet, however, it's clear that Psycho is about matricide, the killing of the "mother," and it's possible that it was Holy Mother Church (Hitchcock was a devout Catholic) because Vatican II was going on at the same time as well as dramatic social change.
What film does this immediately call to mind? The Sixth Sense, the "I see dead people" film. M. Night Shymalan's film was essentially about a child who could see how the "adult world" was killing adults because of their bad values and self-destructive choices, and it could only be seen through the eyes of a child because children haven't become calloused to the un-truths and non-commendable behavior patterns adults accustom themselves to in order to "get by" in the world. Is this what Paranorman is trying to do? Probably not. Here's a clip of a car crash that takes place; how many "crashes" have we seen the last year, symbolic of the Wall Street Crash in 2008?:
I hope you have a great weekend for film watching; I am diligently working on the Hollywood scorecard post to help us organize everything that has taken place so we can get a grip on where we're going (I'll post a third one in November just before elections because Skyfall is being released November 9 and I'll want to get that in!).  I will be posting throughout the weekend, enjoy the beautiful weather!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Trailers: Iron Man 3 News, Great Expectations, Twixt, General Education Diana Vreeland

THIS JUST IN: Kristen Stewart has been dropped from future sequels to Snow White and the Huntsman; at this point, Universal is planning solo sequels with Chris Hemsworth, only.
It appears that the hugely anticipated--but still filming--Iron Man 3 starring, yes, Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Sir Ben Kingsley as had some of the trailer info leaked from the Comic Con convention. It appears that Tony Stark, because of the events during The Avengers, has suffered a nervous breakdown/moral breakdown and even though he works at new armor and tech for his Iron Man weapon, he has to start seeing a shrink (there also appears to be an argument between he and Pepper). At some point in the film, Stark gets thrown into the ocean and has to watch as his Malibu mansion sinks into the water. Rather sounds like Wayne Manor from The Dark Knight Rises going "under water" like the rest of the mortgages in the country.
Concept art for the Mandarin, being portrayed by Sir Ben Kingsley. Like we have been seeing in other films, Mandarin makes his own Iron Man suit and uses it, not for good as Tony Stark has mostly done, but for evil, and this appropriation has significant repercussions for understanding our political climate today.
What is most important about the trailer, is the voice over done by the Mandarin saying that "there are no heroes" and he's going to teach Tony Stark and everyone "a lesson." There have been some speculations that the trailer could be released as early as this weekend, but it's not likely since it has a scheduled release date of May 2013. When the film is shown to audiences, director Shane Black has said he's "stripping Stark of all his comforts, bringing him back to the days of the cave, when he had to fight to survive" and that's probably the best thing that can happen to him, and to us.
On to other news,...
This week, The Hunger Games is available on DVD/Blu-Ray; if you haven't seen it, you really should. It's not a spectacular summer blockbuster like The Avengers, but it's one of those ambiguous films that begs interpretation and it's pretty certain that it's being turned into a trilogy.  Additionally, The Raid: Redemption comes out on video this week; it's one of the best action films I have ever seen and, while I feel it's about the Muslim take over of the West, I do encourage you to see it if you haven't because it's incredibly well made. Lastly, the 1915 silent sensation les Vampires is also being released. No, it's not about blood-suckers literally, but about a group of ruthless anarchists and it has a 100% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Given that Francis Ford Coppola directed it, I am surprised that Val Kilmer's Twixt appears to be going straight to video:
Anyone knowing the history of cinema knows that the great Bruce Dern usually plays the villain; does that mean he's the serial killer, wanting Val Kilmer's character to write a book about him? It's possible. A most interesting clip from Great Expectations (opening in November in Ireland; sorry about the German subtitles, and, by the way, please pay attention to the background music; where have you heard it before?):
Miss Havisham is, arguably, one of the greatest and most memorable of characters to ever grace English literature; her "resurrection" at this particular time will make quite a splash in how we understand economic politics in the English arena today. Why black and white? It invokes history, the past (because, in spite of the historical setting of the film, it's still going to be about today), and it's questionable if it's the past of capitalism or socialism in the country. This is where that screeching background music comes into play (about 1:04) which we heard in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, a decidedly anti-socialist film; Great Expectations either wants to challenge the anti-socialist stance of that film, or invoke it to validate and substantiate its own anti-socialist stance. Just because we know a story from literature and past films, doesn't mean that it's going to be the same for the current generation (there were subtle yet important changes made in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy which altered the meaning for today's political battles from both the book and the first film adaptation). In something of a similar vein, although more obviously political, is A Royal Affair with Casino Royale's Mads Mikkelsen:
The synopsis for General Education is that Levi is set to go to college on a tennis scholarship but he didn't graduate high school; why would this be important? Two reasons, one Levi's from a long line of tennis players (think of game theory and how it's been applied to capitalism) and, secondly, he dresses as a raccoon, and where was the last place we saw a raccoon? In John Cusack's The Raven (the coon was named Karl after Karl Marx).
It's probably not going to be that great of a film (I couldn't even establish a release date for it at this time) but this biography and it's correlation to fashion and history really looks good: Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel which will be released in the UK in September:
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Saturday, August 11, 2012

All Points Of Convergence: The Bourne Legacy & Programmable Behavior

Just as the black bars in the poster "blocks our view" of all the information in the poster (all the visual elements) so we as a culture/society are having all the elements of the information about the state of the country blocked from our view, especially as it relates to the economy, which Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) symbolizes like so many of the leading men in recent films (more on this next week in Hollywood Scorecard #2). But Cross is also being "erased" by his own government basically because of the files which Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) passed onto Pam Landy at the end of The Bourne Ultimatum and the government trying to protect itself.
There is only one reason the film is getting reviews like, "Enjoyable but disappointing," and that's because it's anti-socialist and liberal reviewers don't like that one bit. I hate to do this, but this post, regrettably, will probably seemed very unorganized, because it is. The vastness of the story line and its points (and everything I would like to cover) makes it exceedingly difficult to be coherent, but I promise to do my best, and hope you will bear with me. This was the very first trailer released for Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy; not all the dialogue in the trailer takes place in the actual film, and it's not necessarily in this order, and it occurs only as a flashback:
Why is the overall "style" of the trailer--with the black bars coming in and out of the picture, covering the image partially, then going out again--important? Two reasons. One, it's a form of "censorship" we are familiar with (black bars over exposed body parts, for example) and two, it's a method of "erasure," of removing something, and in a film about nine secret agents being killed (read, "erased") by their own country, that's an important statement. Why would the film use this device now? Next week I will be posting Hollywood Scorecard #2 and comparing the method in The Bourne Legacy to The Dark Knight Rises, but for now, suffice to say the film wants audience members to understand that it understands that information and even people are being "censored" and "erased" from our country by the current government. This is partially where the film takes on so much complexity, because five years after the Matt Damon mega-hit The Bourne Ultimatum, we live in a totally different country, and The Bourne Legacy is literally going back and re-interpreting what happened in the "old USA" by what has happened in "today's USA" (and more on this in just a moment).
On one hand, this is the "light at the end of the tunnel"; in this scene in the film, Cross is fully enhanced, so the highlighting of this scene as one of the main film posters particularly stands out as being important: when Cross is fully enhanced, that will be the light at the end of our tunnel, too, as a country. The tall, narrow walls emphasize Cross' choice: this is between a rock and a hard spot, but Cross chose to get down into that position (he jumped down to where we see him in this image from above) and those tall narrow walls accentuate that there is no escape from this predicament, but to go towards the light, which he does. Even though there might be questions of free will at different times, Cross chose to become a part of the program and he has made his own choices along the way; the theme of free will is an important one because it establishes the identity of the individual as separate from a mob or horde, and Cross--even though he's part of the Treadstone Program and is continually likened to Jason Bourne--is his own man. 
We have to remember, The Bourne Legacy is being released today and taking place now even as it is converging with The Bourne Ultimatum of 2007. At about :20 into the trailer above, please stop it and take a good look--through the censoring bars--at how Kenneth Keitsom looks in this shot. We have no idea how he got into this state (even in the film) but the right-side of his face is "pock marked" with blood, his hair is balding (it's imperative to know that he's wearing a plastic "net" atop his head) and his left eye is filled with blood and swelling shut. Why are these details important? It symbolizes the state of the economy. The right-side blood marks look like disease, and the blood in the eye means something like our judgment and ability to discern has been impaired by suffering.
She's not creating something, she's manipulating it. The film has to walk a tight wire to make a point yet keep the audience sympathetic to Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz). Socialism is basically the government of animals and that's why George Orwell's parody Animal Farm succeeds to this day in bringing out the true nature of what it is to live in a socialist "experiment." The doctors in the lab experiment on the agents like lab rats, and this has devastating consequences to them. One lab tech, Dr. Fiote, is given the okay to do a experiment by Shearing and then the next time we see him, he shoots everyone in the lab except Shearing (with whom it's suspected he's in love). While Shearing thinks he took some of the behavioral modification drugs, we are also led to the possibility that he was turned by Byer to kill the doctors so there wouldn't be any leaks about the failed Black Ops programs, but there's no evidence in the film to support either presupposition. Rather, because he starts treating the agents like animals, he starts treating everyone like an animal to be exterminated at his will; he doesn't let Shearing live, he tries to kill her, but he's wounded by a cop and then kills himself. Animals breed animals. In a socialist government which has no respect for human life and individual dignity, everyone starts treating everyone that way, which is the reason why Aaron Cross is so human and tries to desperately to connect with others at every chance, to fight that socialist influence. Experiments as socialist experiments and the non-reality of their schedules the pills used as "leashes" to hold them back, just like the plane in The Dark Knight Rises. Two keys to understanding who Marta Shearing is: first, she does the work she does for the sake of the science and, two, her house. Like the references to the Nazi war crimes in Cowboys and Aliens, science for science's sake is the trap of a socialist government that has no respect for its people and abandons all morality. The house which Shearing lives in, an abandoned fixer-up in derelict condition, symbolizes the soul (houses house the body the way the body houses the soul) and its run-down condition illustrates how she herself has "bought into" socialism to "fix it up" the way many are fashionably becoming socialists today with the idea that they will apply the lessons of capitalism to socialism and make it better so it will work this time (that's not why the government is doing it, just mis-led lay voter sheep).
Because the head is the "governing function," it controls the rest of the body, Kenneth's head symbolizes what the government has done to him (and hair symbolizes/reveals our thoughts and thinking/reveals our state of mind) which is covered by the plastic net as a metaphor for the "social net" the Obama administration using in its economic policies and the "propaganda" of what the government says it's doing when it's really doing something else.  (Of course, the re-make for the anti-communist film Red Dawn being shown as a  trailer before The Bourne Legacy certainly creates a context for the film as well).
Cross willingly taking the greater risk of going over the mountain meant he lost his pills but he arrived two days faster. Not seeing the Outcome agent in the tree? That prefigures that Cross won't see the Larx agent coming to get him or that the government will turn on him. Why do they put their "chems" in the little box they do? Because it looks like a sardine can which is exactly what human beings are to a socialist government (remember what happens at the end of The Chernobyl Diaries?). The pills he has to take, one blue and one green, symbolize collectively wisdom and hope, but the scientists have weaned the agents off the green pills (hope in the government) although they still have to take the blue ones to "leash them" so they can't get out of control. In the wilderness, Cross wears a red jacket, possibly denoting that he is a "communist" (red and black are the colors of the international socialist movement) but it's more likely that red is what he wears because red is the color of love (one is willing to die/shed your blood for the one you love) and so Cross' love for himself as a person and for others will help him fight socialism (the bad red).
How can we be definite that the film wants to make an anti-socialist statement? As always, there is always more than one way to read any work of art, but if someone wanted to make this an anti-capitalist film, these are facts of the narrative negatively reflecting socialism which they would have to deal with to prove their point. First, Keitsom says that he lived in a "state home" in Reno, Nevada (I haven't been able to determine if it's a veterans' hospital, psychiatric ward, mentally ill institution; if you are from the area and know, please drop me a line!) and granted, while there are "state homes" in a capitalist country, this has to be taken as a socialist run "state home" because we also find out that when Keitsom was in the army fighting in Iraq, his recruiter had to "fill his quota" for new recruits and that's how Keitsom got recruited for being in the Outcome program (I think Cross suggests that his IQ before he entered the program wouldn't have qualified him for it and from the lack of intelligence he displays when he has his flashback about not wanting to go back to the state home in Reno testifies to that).
Edward Norton playing Eric Byer, the head of the heads who decides that all the agents have to be killed. His role in the film perfectly illustrates what happens in a socialist government: the government does whatever it wants because there is no one there to oversee it. In a capitalist economy, corporations and individuals do bad things, but the government is there to enforce laws and maintain the social contract (regulating when necessary) but in a socialist government, there is no one there to stop/correct/oversee what the government does because the government is self-controlling, there are no "free elections" for the people to put in party members of their choice and so government kills and aborts at will. This is apparent with the Larx agent, that Turso (Stacy Keach) gets angry about having been an idea that was on the drawing board and up and running without him knowing about it and Byer coolly turns to him and says, "Consider yourself informed." That's a socialist government at work, no checks and balances anywhere.  
Why are the "quotas" important? Because that's how a "command economy" (socialist) works, the government deciding quotas regardless of the reality of the need or demand for something (the government might decide to make only 10,000 rolls of toilet paper, for example, but also make 10,000 pieces of glass that no one has any need of, whereas twenty times the number of toilet paper rolls are needed). So not only does The Bourne Legacy show us the very worst illustrations of socialism, but also the prevalence of injustice.
The dark blue Cross wears in this scene communicates to the audience that he's depressed, which isn't difficult to tell because of the conversation he has with the other Outcome agent, but it's consistent with the way his clothes reveal more about his state of mind then perhaps he himself does.  I am still working all the details out, but the opening "training sequence" with Cross in Alaska is a "chaos map" of the larger events that are going to be taking place in the film if we know how to read them (this was also done in Melancholia with Kirsten Dunst). Cross lying flat down in water invokes our memory of both how Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) was found floating in water (for not doing an assassination the way Cross doesn't want to do immoral things for Byer) and how the end of The Bourne Ultimatum happened. Water is a two-way symbol and can either refer to the sacrament of Baptism and the cleansing of sins, or to sexual intercourse and the cleansing of lust. Because nothing physical happens between Shearing and Cross, and because Cross is retrieving something from the bottom of this natural pool, I think it's safest to say that it refers to a soul cleansing and the "package" is what he's obtained from deep within himself (depths often invoke self/inner meditation). This probably refers to the four days that Cross "fell off the grid" and why he was sent to Alaska, but what he learned about himself in the process. When Cross gets to the cabin, he talks to the other agent about the wolves tracking him, and how wolves don't track people (this might be a reference to The Gray with Liam Neeson). We can say with confidence that the wolves symbolize other CIA agents and Byer's team of researchers because in a clip that didn't make it into the film, Cross, talking on the phone says, "You should have left me alone," just as he says to the wolf that he sets up in a trap and snares, infecting with the tracking device that he himself had been wearing. The female moose Cross sees being brought down by a pack of wolves foreshadows how Shearing will be attacked by the CIA agents in her house. The incredible jump he makes across the mountain, from one side to other, correlates to the jump across the rooftop after he gets viraled off the blue chems (that clip is below) and the climbing up the sheer face of the mountain, in between those rocks is how carefully he and Shearing make their way to Manila to get the meds. I want to say that Cross going back to the cabin after he's blown up the drone (the drone foreshadows the inhuman Larx agent that will chase him) and seeing all the blue and green chems dissolved in the snow, is his realization that Shearing doesn't have any chems at her house or the lab, and his hopes are "dissolved" likewise. The film is too well constructed for those all those actions not to be invested with meaning, but I have only seen it once and after thinking on it a bit more, I am sure I will be able to figure out the rest of the intended message.
We know, at the end of The Bourne Ultimatum, that what Pam Landy was doing was right in publicizing those documents and exposing the corruption in the Black Ops programs of the CIA. What The Bourne Legacy does is re-interpret the ending for what is happening in our world today: Pam Landy is accused of treason, not the ones who are actually guilty being accused of treason and there is a great monologue regarding Landy's guilt and her not doing what's in the best interest of the country, when in fact, it's her superiors who have committed the treason.
Obamacare, anyone?
What about Cross' body? How does performance enhancement play into the story? It's actually confusing, because the body being so enhanced makes me think of a well-oiled, lean capitalist business "working at peak performance," however, I think the film makers are actually invoking an old lesson that we knew in 1985 but have forgotten: Rocky IV was about the American Rocky going up against the Soviet, artificially enhanced body of Drago the communist at the height of the Cold War, and Drago's trainers emphasizing only the performance of Drago's body whereas Rocky trains his body and his mind/soul; it's not enough to be able to hit hard, but to think and reason, to have soul and love (for the dead Apollo) behind what you are doing as well as the differences (in the computer tracking) of Drago's physical performance and the "invisible hand" guiding Rocky in his training of where he knows he is weak and needs improvement:
The scientists in The Bourne Legacy use only periodic check-ups and blood tests to see how the agents are doing and have no relationship with them whatsoever or knowledge of what it is they do in the field (Cross even makes fun of Shearing for her thinking that they can just call a time out to send off their blood work because the lab needs it, and this is how inefficiently socialist governments run). Now, in light of this, the "number 5" conversation between Cross and Shearing makes even more sense than previously:
There is always a conflict in art, especially literature and film, between the hero's ability to be good and fight evil or himself/herself being tainted by evil tendencies; is Cross telling Shearing to lie about her name and what they are doing? As mentioned previously, I don't think this is a lie at all, rather, like a "chaos map," it gives us another perspective on a deeper reality of the film. "June Monroe" has "lost her wallet." How many of us have "lost our wallets" the last four years? It's not just that our financial worth has plummeted and the cost of living skyrocketed, but Dr. Shearing has lost her livelihood because she was a part of the Operation Outcome which was terminated. So in its way, it's not a lie at all, and that's how the unconscious works. The most important part, however, is that Aaron Cross is "Number 5," merely stats and data records, because, again, that's exactly how socialist governments and programs work (Obamacare). Where else have we seen blood work being done? The Hunger Games, when there is the drawing for the Games and Katniss and Primrose have their blood drawn to be registered. Why does he choose the name "June Monroe?" Because he finds her very attractive, like "Marilyn Monroe," (remember when she was examining him and she mentioned the cameras on them) but Cross also knows that she's a good person, and he has a kind of "angelic" understanding of her (we can't say he has any other positive females in his life) so this maternal interaction--as she takes care of him in a sense in being his doctor--leads him to identifying her with "June Cleaver," of Leave It To Beaver, the All-American Mother.
Cross has just been given the blue chem "live virus" to wean him off so he will be permanently enhanced and not have to worry about "chemming up" anymore. Earlier, when he was viraled out of the green chems, he got a "mystery flu" that nearly killed him; this symbolizes the false hope (the green pills he was viraled off of) of the government bail outs of the auto industry, wall street, Fannie and Freddie, the trillions of dollars in economic stimulus the government fed into the economy that nearly killed it instead of making it better, and the way the government artificially held back economic recovery (as The Dark Knight Rises suggests) because a weaker economy is easier to control. The Bourne Legacy reminds us, just as Cross gets really ill in being viraled off the blue chems so the economy will get sick in being viraled off the artificial support of the government, but if it's not, it will be forever leashed to it and never be free to grow.
There's another characteristic which would be easy for us to overlook: Cross' physical capabilities and mental problem solving. Before seeing the film, I noted that the differences between "play" and "game" would be important, and a clip such as this clearly demonstrates Cross' ability to be more creative with what is at hand than his "socialist" rival, the Larx agent:
In American films, heroes have unlimited free will, i.e., when Aaron Cross wills to jump an impossible length that the average person couldn't, they make it; when they will that they will know the exact spot a bad guy will cross so they can shoot them through a closed door, it works (trust me, it wouldn't work for me). But in the context the film creates, this isn't about the superhero aura (like Iron Man, for example), rather, how capitalism forces us to be more creative (like Rocky's training style in the clip above) and socialism relies on science. Why does this happen? Creativity is a part of our intellect, which is a part of our soul and our individuality; socialism can't exist if there is individuality, it holds that are all equal and there is no soul (hence, we are all animals). The whole character of Aaron Cross, all his emotions and feelings and struggles, are purposefully and skillfully woven together to manifest an anti-socialist statement.
Aaron knows you can't enhance the body without enhancing the soul and  providing for the soul. He knows intuitively that he has to balance his superior physical capabilities with a steady emotional life and he knows it so well that's how he knows the Outcome agent at the cabin "fell in love" and ended up being put on the sidelines, because that's what would happen to himself. Cross mentions to the other agent that he "fell off the grid for four days," but we never get an exact reason why. I think it's possible, at least, that after Byer tells Cross what a "sin eater" is, and Cross has to get his wounded leg stitched up, that's when Cross "escapes" and does some soul searching, prompting the CIA to send him to the Alaskan training ground as a "slap on the wrist" for dropping out of sight, but this is only a suggestion.
Later in The Bourne Legacy, after they have decided to go to the Philippines to "viral out" Cross' body off the blue chems, Shearing asks Cross why his physical enhancement is so important to him and he responds that it's not but he knows the misery he will go through being weaned off the chems and what it will do to him (death). The trip to the Philippines illustrates this because of the Philippines have transferred their economic approach from the time of the dictator Marcos to the market economy that is starting to grow there, hence, the call for America to undo the "dictatorship" of Obama and wean ourselves off the "chems" (the artificial enhancements/safety nets of the government) and go back to a capitalist state.
Cross has been viraled off the blue chems and is suffering the illness of the live virus; he's so sick, he thinks he's going to die and he gives Shearing last minute instructions on how to take care of herself, but he gets better and overcomes the illness to reap the benefits of his enhancement to save them both.
Quickly going back to the differences between Rocky and Drago in Rocky IV, we can see the emphasis on body vs body and mind also in Cross and Byer: Cross wants to do what is right and Byer wants to do what he thinks is right, the problem is, as discussed above, when there is a socialist government, there is no one to tell the government what it can't and shouldn't do, hence there are "sin eaters":
As this begins, please note that Byer wears dark sunglasses just as the robotic Larx agent will do later; the eyes are the windows of the soul, and Byer "blacking out" his soul in this scene means that he's blacking out the reality of what is taking place and just seeing what he wants to, namely, that sin can be eaten and forgotten, not that it has permanent effects on individuals and society (the phrase "wearing blinders" also is applicable). Cross' hand, at :08 seconds, is bandaged, because hands/arms symbolize our strength, that his is bandaged means his strength has been weakened by this whole "sinful" incident. To demonstrate this (and this came across better at the theater on the big screen) please notice how "dirty" Cross is, with all the dirt stuck on his face and mixing with the sweat. Why is this important?
Here, in the final chase scene, we see Cross wearing dark glasses just as I am accusing Byer and the Larx agent of wearing glasses (and the Larx agent is wearing dark glasses in this very scene); what, if any, is the difference? In the "sin eating" clip above, there is a play on whose eyes are being opened (Cross') and whose eyes are being closed to reality (Byer's even though he takes off the glasses); in the chase scene pictured above, the Larx agent is the last option for the CIA to take out Cross and he's the agent that doesn't have the "emotional complications" of Cross, he lacks empathy and doesn't have "moral hang-ups" the way Cross does. Larx, then, is a great example of the perfect "socialist" machine ready to do the government's bidding in any affair, regardless of how sordid, and the dark glasses he wears (covering his eyes, the windows of the soul) lets us know that his soul is dead (black is the color of death) and he's dead to his own will and pain (he gets shot several times after crashing into a vegetable stand--because he is a vegetable--then gets up and chases Cross more). Cross wears black glasses because he, too is dead in that he's not taking this chase "personally," because that's what capitalists do ("it's just business") like we learned in Moneyball when Peter (Jonah Hill) had to trade one of the players. What capitalists consider "death," (the Larx agent) is life to socialists and what socialists consider life is "death" to capitalists.
When the CIA decides--at Byer's insistence--to kill all their Outcome agents, they bleed from the face; why? The face is the seat of our identity, our face distinguishes us from others more than any other of our features (remember, please, The Skin I Live In); the blood coming from their face communicates to the audience how the life in Outcome has taken their life just as the dirt on Cross' face in the scene above demonstrates how his work for Byer is "soiling" his identity.
In Total Recall, the "vehicle" of capitalism was called The Fall, and in this "fall" between two walls, we can see a correlation because Cross is just now experiencing his full viral enhancement. I will discuss this further next week in Hollywood Scorecard #2, but for now, we can see how two different films utilize the same device to communicate different concepts although both of them are pro-capitalist.
Byer is typical of socialism in another way that has been demonstrated in films lately: thinking the patient is dead. Several people, in the beginning of the film, voice their concern over Byer's decision to kill all the agents but Byer insists the whole thing be wiped out, just like Obama talking about the big mess and problems he inherited from Bush; Obama is talking about what capitalists talk about in terms of interest rates and the stock market, Obama is talking about the mess of the capitalist framework in general that he inherited and how the whole thing has to go in order to get America "well" according to socialist standards.
Why does Cross re-name her June Monroe? I speculated earlier that it might be due to June Cleaver and Marilyn Monroe, and I am going to stick with that. June Cleaver was the caring, loving and dutiful mother and wife that was an icon and role model and Marilyn Monroe, the orphan with nothing, worked her way up the ladder to success and fame (let's not talk about what she allowed to happen to her though, those were bad moral decisions). The point being, Cross asks her in the exam room about his condition and she reminds him they are on camera and he replies, "Is that the reason why you always look so good?" and she tells him to count back from one hundred. This reference to looking good on camera not only reminds us of the blond bombshell's film career, but that he's attracted to her and needs to bond with her. Shearing asks Cross later if he knew June Monroe and he replies, "Not anymore," and while the meaning is ambiguous, symbolically it probably refers to the greater identity of America as being both the June Cleaver role-model for the world (moral and familial) as well as the place of outstanding success and fame (Monroe) and that part of America has died but it's up to Shearing to "be" that from now on, which she does in abandoning her socialist values and killing the Larx agent (more on that just below).
This is part of the reason why it has to be Marta Shearing who kills Larx, the symbol of the socialist police (in the final chase scene, Larx uses both cop cars and motorcycles to chase Cross and Shearing showing how he's a fake enforcer of the law). Cross has been shot but the Larx agent is still chasing them; Shearing pushing the Larx agent's bike away from them, causing it to crash into a pillar is her pushing socialism away from herself and choosing the "pillars" of society in its place (like Cross and another pillar of society, justice; remember, pillars play a big role in The Dark Knight Rises wherein catwoman has to kill Bane because what Bane symbolizes is what she would have become).
So what about the ending? As I said, the final "viraling out" of Aaron Cross in the Philippines is probably because of the transition the Philippine economy is making from the previous dictatorship of Marcos. As they sail away from the mainland, we see the man who helped Shearing and Cross wearing a gold watch Aaron stole from the shop keeper at the lab where he was viraled out. Did Cross steal the watch? No. The factory where the live viruss manufactured is America's solution to ourselves "viraling out" of the economic betrayal in which we have found ourselves. The watchman is like Cross in an important way so the factory watchman from whom Cross takes the watch is really a double for himself.
When Cross told Shearing her name was "June Monroe," he also said he name was James; his middle name is really James in the film, but James is also the name of the corporate gate keeper at the science lab where Shearing works, creating a dual role for Cross as himself being the gate keeper, not for the "science for science's sake" company, rather, for the capitalist way the company works and operates, so when he takes the watch, the watch symbolizes time and the gold something valuable, so it's the "valuable lessons from history" that Cross takes with him when he has "viraled out" of his dependence on the chems. This is the same watch he gives (in payment) to the boat owner they sail on in the end.
The name of the ship they sail on is Sabrina, probably invoking the film with Audrey Hepburn and William Holden about class mobility. What's important is how it symbolizes the"ship of state" and they are their own captains, charting their own course, not being told what to do by the government. That the captain wears the gold watch means that the "valuable lessons of history" is it's better to man your own boat than let the government do it for you.
While the world of The Bourne Ultimatum might appear more exciting, with a greater world stage and the high stakes of justice and treason in the balance, that was a world that Bourne film makers are telling us no longer exists: Pam Landy, the innocent CIA officer trying to bring corruption to transparency and accountability, has become the victim of corruption, and whereas, in 2007, audiences could finish the film with total trust that the machinery of government still protected the innocent and prosecuted the guilty, in The Bourne Legacy, film makers have made an incredible re-interpretation of their own faith and hope to show us how the blackest change has come over the country to the point that Aaron Cross can't fight for justice, only for persopnal survival, just like most of us today.
The "leap of faith," or, as Total Recall might call it, "the fall." Please note the expanse between the buildings which Aaron Cross jumps (as he did in the beginning of the film from one mountain ledge to another). This "gap" has been explored in the pro-socialist films Ice Age 4, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and Dark Shadows, as well as the pro-capitalist films Total Recall and The Dark Knight Rises. It's a simple device, yet effective: the leaving behind of the old and the leap of faith to something new; in terms of the pro-capitalist films, it's more about an "escape from," as we will discuss in Hollywood Scorecard #2 this week.
The film, based on a "chaos universe" and not a socialist's preferred Darwinist universe, strives to show audiences the devastation government intervention and policies cause us, not only economically, but personally as well. As in The Amazing Spider Man, both films seek to "find the formula" for decay rates and viraling out so there is no dependency but both heroes can still do what they need to do (e pluribus unum).  The question is, are we brave enough to "viral out" and save ourselves? Eat Your Art Out, The Fine Art Diner

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Bourne Legacy, Red Dawn & Sacrifice Trailers

I love Jeremy Renner, in fact, I would even say I prefer him far more than Matt Damon in the Jason Bourne series! I thought he was absolutely perfect for the role and did a fabulous job! If you go and see the film, and I can highly recommend that you do so (no foul language [I don't remember any, anyway], no sex scenes--not even a kiss!--and no nudity! Thank you!) the opening sequences with Aaron Cross in the wilderness is a chaos road map for what will happen later in the film, in other words, he's being chased by wolves in the beginning because he will be chased by "wolves" later! That's all for now, have a bit of research I want to do, but very impressed and wish I could watch it again!
P.S.--if there is anyone living in Reno, could you maybe drop me a line? Kenneth Kitsem (Jeremy Renner) mentions he was living in a state home in Reno, Irwin, or Erwin, or Erowynn? If you know of a mental hospital, veterans' home, or anything at all like that in Reno, could you kindly let me know? I am running into a dead end on that!
Welcome to the home of the brave...
The newest Chris Hemsworth film, a re-make of the 1984 Patrick Swayze action film Red Dawn and I am thrilled to see this! Back then, it was the communists we were so afraid of, now, we're afraid of the communists in our own government.
And I just found this trailer for Sacrifice which came out in 2010, but appears to just now be getting around to Western audiences.  It's possible that the reason for that is the Chinese film is highly subversive of the Communist Revolution which took place about a hundred years ago. If I get a chance, I will definitely be watching this!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Bourne Legacy & Trailers

To me, this is the last big picture of a big summer of blockbusters and heated films. Trust me, I will be heartbroken if this is anti-capitalist, and it very well could be. The official plot summary is: "In the wake of Jason Bourne's dismemberment of Operation Blackbriar, the CIA decides to dispose of their other black ops programs, which includes the termination of their field agents. However, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), an agent from Operation Outcome, escapes from being executed and, with the help of an Outcome scientist (Rachel Weisz), sets out to expose the crimes of his superiors." Why is this film important? It's about government corruption; which government? Since it's going back to the same timeline as The Bourne Ultimatum, it's possible that it will be a anti-Bush administration film, which is not a big deal, but the film is really about today, and recasting what was going on then, I am speculating, could be showing us why, in the poster above, Aaron Cross is "stuck between a rock and a hard spot," with two walls closing in on him. A hero isn't a hero unless the audience can identify with his plight and virtues, so if the film is to be successful, it will have to relate the struggle of Aaron Cross to what we the audience experience in our day to day lives.
These are two clips for tomorrow's release of The Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz, which I am highly anticipating. This is only a conversation, but a most revealing conversation:
What happens in this clip? A lie in a film is a very interesting device, because the audience usually knows it's a lie (I'm referring to the change in names and relationship between the two Aaron invents). In the clip above, I don't think it's a lie at all, rather, a interpretative re-telling of what is actually happening to them. Who is the most famous "June" we know? It's June Cleaver from Leave It to Beaver, which might give us an idea as to how virtuous and innocent Aaron is thinking the doctor is; Monroe has two possibilities. First, President James Monroe who created the famous Monroe Doctrine regarding American foreign policy which presidents have long followed. This is possible, but I don't think it's probable. I think, rather, it's a fourth reference in this film season to Marilyn Monroe (My Week With Marilyn was the first, then Magic Mike with Channing Tatum dressing as Marilyn from the Seven Year Itch and then Lori mentioning the Seven Year Itch in Total Recall). I can't go any further with it at this moment without greater context, but that's one of the things I will be looking for.
Part of the understanding of who Aaron Cross is will be how he "fights," and whether he "plays" or goes by traditional rules of fighting (i.e., does he just throw punches or does he think of creative ways in a fight to get an edge and advantage over his opponent?).  Another point is how Aaron moves, for example, when he's going up walls, he rather looks like Spider Man, who also has had a genetic modification performed on him so he's faster and stronger, like Aaron.
The next important detail is that "June Monroe" has "lost her wallet." How many of us have lost our wallets the last four years? It's not just that our financial worth has plummeted and the cost of living skyrocketed, but Dr. Marta Shearing (Weisz) has lost her livelihood because she was a part of the Operation Outcome which was terminated. So in its way, it's not a lie at all, and that's how the unconscious works. The most important part, however, is that Aaron Cross is "Number 5." Where else have we seen blood work being done? The Hunger Games, when there is the drawing for the Games and Katniss and Primrose have their blood drawn to be registered. But what is this exchange really about?
Is this how your doctor visits are going to be under Obamacare? One of the on-going battles of the last year has been that between a "Darwinist" or chaotic universe, and with The Bourne Legacy taking us to a series of events simultaneously happening (with the Matt Damon Jason Bourne character) and the events from those previous films being the "triggering" mechanisms setting the extermination of Aaron Cross into play, I think we have a chaotic universe at the foundation of this narrative.
You know I am Republican, and Catholic, and I hate Obamacare. In the conversation above, that kind of impersonal and dispassionate "relationship" between the doctor and her patient is,... a dispassionate and impersonal relationship, and it appears it is to Aaron as well because he has counted and remembers the exact number of times they have met. The juxtaposition between the extremely personal (remembering that he has seen her 13 times in four years) and the very impersonal (number "5") suggests a comparison between the face of capitalism and socialism. This is the clip is the "sin eater" conversation which will probably prove to be imperative to the film (there are several clips I could post, however, I really don't want to spoil the fun; sometimes it's important to be looking for things before they happen so we have a better contextual relationship with a scene before we get to it):
This is going to be the pivot point of the film (and usually is for most art): is morality relative or absolute? Can morality be compromised for a "greater good" or is a lie a lie a lie and always subject to justice, no matter how innocent? Where else have we seen the idea of "sin" recently? In the newest Skyfall trailer when a message comes up on M's computer screen that says, "Think on your sins." I am terribly excited to see The Bourne Legacy and will be tweeting my immediate reaction to it tomorrow afternoon when I get out of the theater (hopefully I will be able to get up at least a bit of a pre-review for you before getting my full review done so you know what to expect going in!).
Like The Amazing Spider Man, we also see another woman in the lab (Emma Stone's character in Spidey) and the subject is "new life" although not the traditional way women have brought new life into the world in the past, and this may prove to be an issue in the film, but maybe not, it's at least something to look for and be alert to.
Still trying to get to all the reader comments; sorry, taking them in order they were left! If you are wondering what films are still coming out this season, here is a list with the dates: August 10 (this weekend): The Bourne Legacy, The Campaign, Hope Springs, Sparkle August 15: The Odd Life Of Timothy Green August 17: Paranorman, The Expendables 2 August 22: Hit and Run August 24: Premium Rush, The Apparition August 29: Lawless August 31: The Possession. And, speaking of Lawless, here is the second trailer:
What exactly should we be looking for in this film? Presumably, the Bondurant brothers are selling alcohol during Prohibition, so they are giving people what they want at a time the law (the Constitution) prohibits it. We have to remember that alcohol is an appetite, very easy since Tom Hardy played Bane (with the strange mouthpiece) in The Dark Knight Rises and, as the bastion of socialism, "fed" people their appetites so they could get a foothold in Gotham; it's possible that we will see the same sort of set-up in Lawless and these are the issues and points we should be looking for,... but I don't think so. I am thinking that, on August 29 when this is released, it will be another anti-capitalist film because the authorities want a share of the profits and that's going to be a statement how there is no justice in a capitalist society. In a similar vein is Paperboy; a crime has been committed--specifically, the sheriff has been murdered--and if that is symbolic, I don't know what is. I also don't know if I will be able to bring myself to watch it:
Even though this seems off the topic, I don't think the next two are so very much; first, due out in October is The Big Wedding about a long-divorced couple who fake being married for a weekend (because a Catholic views divorce as a sin):
And here is The Bachlorette starring Kirsten Dunst and Rebel Wilson:
Like many of the films we have been seeing, The Big Wedding pits a character between two spouses/loves, in this case, Robert DeNiro's character is between his ex (possibly symbolic of capitalism) and his new life with his new wife Susan Sarandon (socialism?). What's so interesting is the role being played by Catholicism in the film. In The Bacholorette, Becky the bride (Rebel Wilson) used to be called "pig face" in high school by the three women asked to be her bridesmaids; where else have we been seeing pigs? Firstly, in Contagion (remember the pig that ate the bat poop?) and then the pig, being symbolic of the appetites, could easily symbolize capitalism because of greed. The question is, does Regan (Kirsten Dunst, and yes, I think we should be thinking in terms of Ronald and even The Exorcist because Regan was the name of the possessed girl) have eyes for Dale, the groom? The film will probably make us question, what is really desirable in a spouse, and it's possible that Becky symbolizes capitalism while the three "skinny girls" who one might think would be desirable, are really totally undesirable. Here is another example of a marriage/relationship being torn apart, someone being attracted to someone but being married (as in The Seven Year Itch):
Like Lawless above, Brad Pitt's newest Killing Them Softly, also due out in October, is probably anti-capitalist because of the line, "In America, you're on your own." The mob-sponsored poker game that gets robbed might be a reference to either the way the mob works in the Democrat party through the Unions, or how capitalism is rigged and only certain people are going to get their "winning hand" in capitalism, and it's not the little guys like the robbers in the trailer:
The idea of "killing them softly," might refer to the way socialists see capitalists conducting business. Because Paranormal Activity 3 broke records, they have all ready come out with Paranormal Activity 4:
If Sean Bean is in a film, you know he's going to die (ha ha, just joking, no, I'm not really, he's going to die). In Silent Hill, Sean Bean's character may represent a "founding father" and, of course, his daughter seeing an "alternate reality" might see that as socialism, aka, hell.
Will the film identify that "genuine reality" with socialism or capitalism? We'll have to wait until October to find out! And, with "alternate realities" is another take on the assassination of Ossama Bin Laden:
 It's always nice to get validation, and the snippet below validates my reading of not only Ice Age 4 as being a liberal film, but also The Dark Knight Rises as being capitalist. In this scene, Scrat the squirrel, symbolic of those of us chasing after the American Dream, pretends to be Batman:
Again, I will post my initial reactions to The Bourne Legacy via Twitter as I leave the theater tomorrow, then try to get the initial reactions up on the post by the afternoon!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner