Saturday, November 3, 2012

Opening This Week & Newest Trailers: GI Joe Retaliation, Despicable Me 2, John Dies At the End, Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters

Dear Readers,
Perhaps you have noticed: this blog is dedicated to the glory of Jesus Christ. I often have to remind myself of that, usually during weeks such as this past one, when others have been in need and I helped them because those are the acts of love which give glory to God and please Him; during those moments of stress, when I fret that I haven't gotten a new post up all week, I have to remind myself that it's in love that Jesus is served, not posting on movies, which I would much rather be doing. He brings you here to this site, not me. So, I ask your pardon, and your trust, that I was doing something of great importance for others, and I thank you for continually checking back to see if I had finally gotten a new post up and seeing that I hadn't, then coming back again to check, etc. Thank you. Really, I am nearly done with Cloud Atlas; I saw Silent Hill: Revelation and was very pleased with how that was structured (not necessarily that it was a good film, but the psychology and spiritual emphasis were important in the film).
Opening this week is Denzel Washington's Flight, and I am now anxious to see it, having found out the end which has dismayed a great number of people but is definitely a politically conservative film meant to influence voters who favor Obama and his handling of the economy. I don't want to give away the ending, however, I am confident of the political message and the timed release of the film so close to Tuesday's elections, that Flight intends to sway voters away from Obama.
And speaking of Obama, the newest trailer for GI Joe Retaliation has been released; rescheduled from debut this past summer to March 2013, this new trailer only has three words not contained in previous trailers but they are three important words:
"Redistribution of power."
Like Red Dawn being released this month, GI Joe Retaliation seemingly relies upon the invention of a new weapon; in the case of both films, I don't foresee a "new weapon" as much as a new means for socialism to reach people (please remember, in Red Dawn, it's the socialist country of North Korea invading America and in GI Joe Retaliation, the "redistribution of power" away from the world's capitals is the socialist goal of a one-government world where everyone is controlled like cattle by an agency like the KGB). What about the "president not being the president?"  That may be encoded language for the suggestion that Obama is not a legitimate president, but only "appears" to be legitimate.
Redistribution of power may or may not be a part of this week's opener, but even after reading the synopsis, I am still not sure which way this film goes.
I am truly impressed with Disney's Wreck It Ralph, and it appears everyone else is as well, since it's on its way to a $48 million opening weekend. There is a key element swaying this as an anti-Republican, anti-capitalist film: for 30 years, Ralph has been the bad guy. What was 30 years ago? 1982, when Ronald Reagan--the darling of Republicans and capitalists--was president. I had made the comment that Ralph dresses in red, which is the Republican party's color whereas both Fix-It Felix and Sonic (the blue cat thing being in the race car in the trailer above) wear blue, the primary color of the Democrats. While Felix is the hero of the film, Ralph is the focus, and we have to ask, going into the film, if it's meant to sway us to abandon our game as the "wreckers of socialism" and accept being the bad guy no one likes. I could be totally wrong, and I hope I am, but if I only see one film this weekend, I think it will be this one.
I have not, as of yet, seen the original, but here is the trailer for Despicable Me 2 (July 2013):
What should we be picking out in this trailer?
First, the "minions," because that is a "class term," used to describe people very low to lowest on the social ladder in terms of class, education and responsibility. We see three "classes" of minions in this trailer: the one wearing overalls (a hard laborer), the one dressed in gaudy golf gear (the minion with aspirations of breaking out of the class of minion because golf is a leisure game) and the maid minion. These three workers have been kid napped by an "alien ship," i.e., something "alien" to them. Note also the kind of vacuum the maid minion uses (towards the end of the trailer) which looks like post-World War II. The outdated vacuum "employed" by the maid in the big house (where the maid's employers don't buy updated equipment for the staff to use) might be a sign of class warfare/discrimination. 
Also important in the trailer is the theme song from Halloween, while meant to offer atmosphere to the "fright scene" of hearing a bump in the night, it also reminds us of the plot of Halloween and how it was a family member who went on a killing rampage. That the one-eyed minion dressed in golf clothes let's the other minion be sucked up by the ship signals a willingness to abandon your friend; the one-eyed minion "employing" his golf club to use as a possible weapon literally means that his aspirations to a life of leisure (the American Dream?) is his weapon against whatever has been "thrown out with the garbage." As always, this is only a trailer and we won't really know anything until we see the film.
The Chinese restaurant in John Dies At the End.
This is the first I have heard of the film, and having the synopsis will help you make sense of the trailer: It's a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. On the street they call it Soy Sauce, and users drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Suddenly a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity? No. No, they can't.  
It reminds me of Men In Black III.
It hits theaters January 25; also due out the 25th is Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters and I can't even tell you how excited I am about this. Here is the red-band trailer (foul language and gore and blood):
Why am I so excited about this film?
I have all ready spoken at length on the first trailer released for this film, and I will be building upon that in this post. Without a doubt, this film achieves a high level of political motivation; the question is, which way does it turn, towards the capitalists or the socialists? Again, as with Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, the nightmare that was the McCarthy 'Witch Hunts' for communists, makes the main plot line of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters to remind us of history's past attacks on America and how we have fought it off in the past, or (like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter) Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters will start a witch hunt for capitalists; this is mentioned in the trailer above when Hansel tells Gretel, I don't think we're hunting witches, I think they're hunting us; again, the question is, which side of the economic debate does the film support and are Hansel and Gretel being hunted because they are capitalists (they are bounty hunters in the film, but that is ambiguous) or because they are socialists being hunted by the witches who are capitalists (like myself)?
Have we seen a background similar to this anywhere? Mirror, Mirror, with Julia Roberts as the evil step-mother queen of the re-vamped Snow White fairy tale (a step-mother also figures in the original Hansel and Gretel legend, so it will be interesting to see if . The kingdom in ice is in a perpetual winter, i.e., nothing can grow, as in "the economy can't grow." Winter, as a symbol, always means death, although death is not always a negative symbol, for example, without the "slumber" of winter, the land isn't rejuvenated for the growth of spring (this is often a symbol employed in the spiritual life for the dormant time God allows a soul). However, when the kingdom is frozen, as in the background above, that means that, literally, the kingdom is frozen, and nothing can/has been done and it's in a state of decay. In fairy tales such as Hansel and Gretel, the symbol of winter over a castle (as in the background in the poster above) substantiates corrupt power. Looking at the credits list, we know there is a corrupt sheriff; the question is, is he corrupt because he's a socialist, or corrupt because he's a capitalist?
There is at least one more political element to this trailer: the war on women. As a female myself, and a ultra-conservative (just so you know my biases), I deeply resent Democrats using a "war on women" against Romney because of birth control and abortion. In Hansel and Gretel, all the witches are female, which might be a reference to the role women play in shaping political platforms between the two parties and the vehemence with which Democrat/liberal feminists protect their "right" to abortion and birth control because, literally, the children are being killed in the trailer (and children always symbolize the future). Hansel, being very masculine and aggressive, obviously doesn't like the witches and wants to put them in "their place" with cutting off their head (the head symbolizes the governing function, so not letting women rule anymore the way they do in the Democratic party).
There are lots of forests in the film, and forests suggest the dark struggles of the soul, not only of culture and whatever it is the witches will come to represent, but also the personal spiritual struggles of Hansel and Gretel so they can be strengthened to fight the witches.
This leads us to the last point I will make about the film at this time, but it's such an important point, I will be bringing it up time and again. Gretel is Hansel's sister. Brilliant point, eh? What I mean to say is, more films create this sibling relationship between leading man and lady, rather than a romantic lead. Consider, for example, Shame, with Michael Fassbender, and the physical attack he makes upon his sister; that upset a lot of people. In The Cold Light Of Day (which, like, no one saw but me,...) the lead male and female are half-brother and sister (not even knowing it until later in the plot); there is no romantic relationship whatsoever between the rookie and Judge in Dredd, no romance in Resident Evil and in Expendables 2 there is no acting upon a possible relationship; Taken 2 is about father and daughter just like The Possession
What's my point?
A growing number of films seem to be exploring a greater role for women in cinema outside of the sexual, i.e., as a relationship for the leading man. Why is this important? I'm not a feminist, never have been and never will be, I promise, and that's why I like this direction: every man should treat every woman as his sister or his daughter; what he does to one woman, he might as well do to his sister, his daughter, his mother, his grandmother. To me, as a Catholic, this elevates women beyond any political arena or civil rights issues and I love it. Hansel is responsible for protecting his sister, but the witches get his sister, so he has failed to protect her,... why? That's easy.
It's rather odd that HGWH has witches flying on brooms,... or is it? The broom might be symbolic of a false phallus, a false political presence and power. What will be interesting is to discover who is the head or leader of the witches; is it a female or a male, and are they ever called the "brides of Satan" or something similar? Also interesting will be the explanation for why children are to be sacrificed.
At 1:40 in the trailer above, it appears that Hansel is in a "sexual situation" with the blonde, and that (whether they have sex or not, and they probably do) is what allows Gretel to be taken, her brother has weakened his moral strength by treating a woman as a sex object and that fuels the evil strength of the witches so that they become strong enough to take Gretel, whereas they were not previously. Women know their self-worth and value because of the protection their fathers and brothers provide for them (consider in Shame how Brandon lacks the "moral authority" to protect Sissy from having sex with his boss, then she slits her wrists towards the end). When a woman lacks a sense of self-worth, she Of course, I haven't seen Hansel and Gretel, but these elements appear in the trailer; that doesn't mean that's how they will appear in the film.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner