Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Trailers: Captain America the Winter Soldier, The Black Hole, 300 Rise Of An Empire, GallowWalkers, Elysium, Rush, Turbo, Noah

It has finally started filming.
Captain America: the Winter Soldier, has started filming and aims for as April 2014 release date. The film is not only important because Captain America (Chris Evans) has stronger links to The Avengers films than other Marvel characters, but because of two important plot points: one, it has been confirmed that Cap has to save Washington DC from attack (so we have Resident Evil Retribution, GI Joe Retaliation, Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down, all contributing to the destruction of the nation's capital and the cause) and his former friend Bucky has become a Soviet assassin so, we know now to what the subtitle "The Winter Soldier" refers. When did America have "winter soldiers?" During the Cold War, so it's safe to say that the thesis of the film is the return of the Cold War.
Disney is set to remake The Black Hole, originally released in 1979, securing one of the writers for Prometheus to update the story. Why is this important? First, significant advances have been made in theoretical physics since the 70s, when black holes were still only theories (if I had been able to do math better, I would have gone into theoretical physics, instead, I went into Art History), but we have recently heard the word "black hole" in the second trailer for World War Z describing Russia and the vast number of zombies in it. Of course, nothing can survive a black hole, so the most incredible natural phenomena in the universe has now become a political metaphor for utter-devastation.
Luke Evans. An important detail to the updated storyline is that Vlad's family is being threatened by a "bloody sultan." In real life, Vlad and his army stopped the advance of forces that would have tried to destroy the Catholic Church and hence Christianity, so this important angle--whether or not it's exploited--could set the course for an anti-Christian basis.
In other important news, there is another vampire film. I know, I know, but the role of a vampire has become imperative in today's artistic vocabulary because of how it's been used in describing capitalists. Luke Evans (Immortals, The Three Musketeers, The Raven, Fast and Furious 6) is set to play Dracula, which will begin production later this year. It focuses on the original, real-life Vlad who gives up his soul to save his family, thus becoming the first vampire (capitalists "sell their souls to the devil"), so--at this point--it appears to be anti-capitalist. How can we say that? Consider all the films which have used vampires as a symbol for capitalists, and the films who condemn capitalists because work takes them away from their family (the strategy is to undermine the conservative monopoly on protection of the family against gay marriage, gay adoption, and abortion by making capitalists look like they never spend time with their families).
On the other hand,...
There had been rumors of a 300 pre-quel; indeed, 300: Rise Of An Empire, set for an August release date this year, is about the blockbuster film starring Gerard Butler, but (and history buffs will love this!) it takes place at the same time as the few Spartans are battling their Alamo against Xerxes. The Greeks launched a land battle (led by Leonides) and a sea battle organized and led by Themistokles portrayed by Sullivan Stapelton, and that battle on sea was going on simultaneously. A big surprise is that Eva Green (Casino Royale, Dark Shadows) plays the leader of the Persians, Xerxes second-in-command (and Rodrigo Santoro is reprising his role of Xerxes for the film, as well as Lena Heady playing Queen Gorko, but Butler is not returning). It's not being advertised as "another" 300 rather, that it will have a totally different look and feel from the film that expanded film's visual vocabulary so much. 
Stapelton. What's intriguing about his character is that Themistocles was not a member of the aristocracy, but he rose to power through his hard works and skills; this will make an interesting match against the mortal-turned-god Xerxes.
Hopefully, by now for you loyal readers who are so dear to me, what I am going to say won't offend your reason too terribly: a movie doesn't have to be "good" to be good.
GallowWalkers isn't an A film, but the values and scenarios going into it make it an educational and valuable film as a reflection of our cultural identity because of (at least) two aspects: zombies and cowboys. We have all ready seen Cowboys and Aliens, which I argued was a re-establishing of the vow of friendship between US and Great Britain because we fought the Nazis together (please see Cowboys & Aliens: the US-British Alliance for complete analysis); if the Nazis were "aliens" because socialism is "alien" to the way of life for British and Americans, where does that leave the zombies of this film? What about the rest of the plot?
"Vengeance lives forever."
Aman's (Wesley Snipes) mother was a nun who broke her vow to God to save her unborn son (for some reason, the summaries aren't mentioning the broken vow of celibacy in getting pregnant) so her son is cursed to be a gunman and all who die by his gun come back to try and kill him, meaning that his enemies multiply (we should not neglect the echoes of Constantine from 2005).  This would probably make a good metaphor for the international politics of America, that anytime we try to carry out justice, we make enemies and they keep coming back to kill us. Just like the zombies in the film, socialism can't be killed (Captain America the Winter Soldier is bringing back the Cold War),... what? You think I am over-estimating the socialism-capitalism debate? Watch this, and tell me this isn't about class-warfare and advancing Obamacare:
Starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, Elysium--due out in August--is comparable to Upside-Down in taking on the capitalist myth of "class mobility" and advancing wealth re-distribution. If you will notice the poster below, you will notice the computer attached to the back of Damon's head; why? That's what socialists/communists do (it might also be trying to create an alternative to billionaire Tony Stark). There is no "sanctity of the body," in socialism because everyone belongs to the government to do the government's will. Remember in Rocky IV the way Ivan Drago was trained, vs. the way Rocky trained?  Recall the kind of medical treatment Aaron Cross received in the recent The Bourne Legacy ("5? I'm number 5?"). It would be nice to know how big Damon's and Foster's houses are, what kind of neighborhoods they live in, where they vacation, how often, oh, but wait, that doesn't matter, does it?
On the same note, is the newest Chris Hemsworth flick due out in September, Rush, also set in the 1970s, about the real-life rivalry of Formula-1 racers:
Invoking that fabulous 1966 film Grand Prix starring Yves Montand. Why make this film? Knowing that director Ron Howard is a Obama supporter, he probably did the film to emphasize how "fatal" running the "rat race" of capitalism is and how deadly competition is. With Fast and Furious 6 coming out, we shouldn't be surprised to see an animated film about racing, Turbo, which looks like the exact opposite of Rush:
Turbo appears to be about making your dreams come true and being your own greatest competition, but that is what it appears to be about, we'll have to see. What we should note is, as usual, how all these racing films are invoking the same theme of racing, but each will state their own position (we have to add the Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper film, A Place Beyond the Pines to this list, because Gosling's character was a motorcycle racer). Now, on to something entirely different,...
About his Noah film set for release in March next year, Aronofsky did this interview: "Revealing that his version of Noah would not be the same as thought at Sunday school classes, Aronofsky described the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth as "the first person to plant vineyards, drink wine and get drunk." He added, "I was stunned going back and realizing how dirty some of those stories are. They're not PG in any way. They're all about sleeping with your brother's sister who gives you a child who you don't know. That kind of stuff got censored out of our religious upbringing."
The Bible mini-series on The History Channel has been immensely popular, which has speculation growing on the number of Bible-based films that will be made. An example of this is Darren Aronofsky's Noah starring Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson and Jennifer Connolly. Just because the subject matter is biblical, doesn't mean it's going to be a good, Christian film. My point? Aronofsky tweeted this message: "I dreamt about this since I was 13. And now it's a reality. Genesis 6:14 #noah."  What does Genesis 6:14 say?

And after that men began to be multiplied upon the earth, and daughters were born to them. 2The sons of God seeing the daughters of men, that they were fair, took themselves wives of all which they chose. 3And God said: My spirit shall not remain in man for ever, because he is flesh, and his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. 4Now giants were upon the earth in those days. For after the sons of God went in to the daughters of men and they brought forth children, these are the mighty men of old, men of renown.
5And God seeing that the wickedness of men was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at all times, 6It repented him that he had made man on the earth. And being touched inwardly with sorrow of heart, 7He said: I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth, from man even to beasts, from the creeping thing even to the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them.
Noah's Favor with God
8But Noe found grace before the Lord.
9These are the generations of Noe: Noe was a just and perfect man in his generations, he walked with God. 10And he begot three sons, Sem, Cham, and Japheth.\
11And the earth was corrupted before God, and was filled with iniquity. 12And when God had seen that the earth was corrupted (for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth,)

Why should we be concerned about this?
Like the re-make of Carrie which will probably be blatantly anti-Christian in support of feminists, Aronofsky's Noah will attempt to undermine the "moral standing" of Christians who argue against the de-moralizing effects of socialism. Why do I say this? Apart from the obvious quote beneath the Russell Crowe image, this passage invokes the "giants," and where did we just see giants? Jack the Giant Slayer, so what I see for the film (and this is just my projection) is Noah, the good environmentalist, living amidst the wretched wealth of the capitalists, and he being the only one doing God's will, so if you want to do God's will, go socialist. Speaking of Carrie, here is the theatrical trailer released several months ago:
Last note, I just saw Mama last night and sadly, I was right about it, very pro-socialist. I also saw Warm Bodies and I am thrilled to say I was totally wrong about that! A most complex script and get structure, this film expands the zombie genre in ways I wasn't expecting! One of the trailers for Mama was Project Blue Book, rumored to come out May 3rd (the same weekend as Iron Man 3) or October 13th. I am having problems finding info on it, I can't even find the trailer shown for Mama, but it looks interesting.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner