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