Saturday, February 16, 2013

Out On Video & Trailers: Olympus Has Fallen, The Host, Man Of Steel, Jack the Giant Slayer

On February 18, I made adjustments to my position on Jack the Giant Slayer to include a potential pro-capitalist reading which the film might decide to take as well as including a new clip from Oz the Great and Powerful.
Out on video the week of February 18 is Argo, the "new" darling of critics and award shows. When award season first started, if you will recall, it was Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty that couldn't be stopped but in a bizarre twist--or maybe not so bizarre--it's Ben Affleck's Argo which is unstoppable while Zero Dark Thirty has been regulated to the sidelines, as if being punished for not giving President Obama a bigger role in the film,... also out this coming week is Keira Knightley's and Jude Law's Anna Karenina, Fun Size, Sinister (the Ethan Hawke demon movie which I am now confident is pro-socialist because Hawke's character, a writer, has to move his family into a house where murders have taken place so he can finish his next book; if the state were funding him, he wouldn't have had to move his family into a possessed house, where they all die, therefore, capitalism is bad,...)...
This could be revolutionary:
There are two details: first, the president is white, and secondly the terrorists are North Koreans. If this film intended to support socialism and Obama, the president would be black and the terrorists would not be socialists; think I am exaggerating? The upcoming White House Down, starring Channing Tatum as the secret service agent, and Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) as the president (June release date), is nearly identical to Olympus Has Fallen (coming out in March) but White House Down has the president being kidnapped by paramilitary (possibly US troops trying to take back the country). That the first lady (Ashly Judd) in Olympus Has Fallen, dies in a "crash" (how many times have we seen crashes in the last year, invoking the 2008 crash?) and she dies going under icy water (housing markets under water) clearly stays in line with traditional symbols of a woman symbolizing the "mother land."
The tagline reads, "When our flag falls, our nation will rise," and, quite frankly, that might be the premise of White House Down: by implementing his plans to make America socialist, and thus end our identity as a capitalist nation which has always fought to end socialism wherever it rears its ugly head, Americans rise up against the president in White House Down and politicians fight to keep his plans in place; this is speculation at this point, but something to consider when we see the first trailer. 
Why is this important?
From GI Joe Retaliation, to Resident Evil: Retribution, we have started questioning the identity of the president. As with Red Dawn, it's the communist North Koreans who are threatening the US, but it's not their military threatening us, it's their political system. We can't doubt, further, that seeing the wing of a plane knocking out part of the Washington Monument intentionally references airplanes crashing into the World Trace Center Towers and the endless "attacks" America has suffered since in varying degrees. What the tagline for OHF suggests, "When our flag falls, our nation will rise," is that we will fight these changes taking place; will we?  By the way, the Supreme Court is finally talking a conference about Obama's eligibility to be president (they heard arguments yesterday).
This is going to be interesting:
Yes, it's from the author of The Twilight Saga, and that makes me leery, however, it's easy for film makers to make minor adjustments; what makes me think of socialism with this is that, in socialism, people "live off" the government (like a host) and people are no longer human, but animals the government herds (we clearly saw this in Resident Evil). It's quite possible for it to go anti-capitalist, but we will have to see.
Trailers for Man Of Steel, being released in June, have been out for awhile, but let's look at some of these elements again:
Like in Olympus Has Fallen, The Bourne Legacy, Bond in his last fight scene in the icy pong in Skyfall, and even Carrie Ann in The House At the End Of the Street, there is the question of being "under water." What is it that Clark does in the film? He goes into outer space, and where have we seen that recently? Men In Black III, so when Clark asks himself who he is and where he came from (recall, please, that men symbolize the economy because they are the "active" principle, and that seems to be re-enforced by changing the name from Superman to Man Of Steel because of what the steel industry did for the US economy), "going into space" is a part of that, because winning the space race helped define who Americans were (and this is what Men In Black III is about). There is yet another, surprising element that really shouldn't surprise us,...
The man of steel under arrest,...
Clark is criticized by Mr. Kent (Kevin Costner) for letting his powers show when saving the bus with children; in The Incredibles of 2004, which came out post-9/11, Mr. Incredible was criticized for saving someone trying to jump from a building to commit suicide, and they had to stop being super-heroes because everyone got upset with them (a metaphor for America's super-power status, which was also examined in the 2006 Night At the Museum with Ben Stiller's character "giant" status over historical figures symbolizing the US and power). The Man of Steel being seen in handcuffs, and what looks like American soldiers escorting him, suggests the same anti-greatness, pro-mediocrity stance other films have taken up.  After a long delay, Jack the Giant Slayer (formerly, Jack the Giant Killer) will open March 1; please read what director Bryan Singer had to say:

It’s a very traditional fairytale, probably the most traditional thing I’ve ever done. But it’ll also be a fun twist on the notion of how these tales are told... Fairytales are often borne of socio-political commentary and translated into stories for children. But what if they were based on something that really happened?.. What if we look back at the story that inspired the story that you read to your kids? That’s kind of what this movie’s about. (Wikipedia, emphasis added)

I could be wrong, however, the "seeds" getting wet probably symbolize the "seeds of revolt" while the giants symbolize those giants in our society, the 1% of business owners and the rich. On the other hand, the giants are "unnatural," one of them has two heads and they are of abnormal stature, which might play into them symbolizing socialism (or that will caricaturize them as being capitalists). Further, Jack--a farmer--marries the princess, so class mobility takes place; likewise, the "climbing of the beanstalk" MIGHT be likened to the climbing of the corporate ladder or the social ladder. In Oz: the Great and Powerful, as well as Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman, there is a throne that is being "taken back," and that will be an important angle to consider in Jack the Giant Slayer.
We don't have much longer to wait before we find out,... appearing on Jimmy Kimmel, Rachel Weisz previewed this clip for Oz the Great and Powerful which should not come as a surprise to you:
Why should you not be surprised?
Please recall that, in our discussion, we noted that since Theodora wore red, her anger would likely be the cause of her "turning evil," and Evanora says, at the end, "That temper has been wasted on you." The fireball, of course, harkens back to the original and the fireballs the Wicked Witch throws because of someone "burning" with rage.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
Please note, first, the chandelier between the two sisters, meaning something has been "illuminated," in this case, Theodora's real nature and her tendency to "flare up" when provoked. Secondly, please note the way the wall is done: large sections divided with lines, reflecting the discussion of "whose side are you on?" because the issues are issues that are divided just as parts of the wall are divided. As we were able to deduce about Theodora's anger from her costume, perhaps we can deduce about Evanora from her costume. Green is both the color of hope and the color of decay, that something has gone rotten; because of this, the popular phrase, "green with envy" holds true because a person rots when they envy another. We might see Evanora start as a sign of hope--for example, when she introduces Oscar to the treasure, he hopes he has found what he's been looking for--but then it will probably be some twinge of jealously causing her to turn bad, either jealous of someone else's powers or their relationship, etc.