Monday, May 13, 2013

Trailers: Man Of Steel, After Earth, Inside Llewyn Davis, Despicable Me 2, As I Lay Dying, Ender's Game, Gravity, Captain Phillips

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Charles Dickens' famous opening lines of  A Tale Of Two Cities clearly summarizes the mysterious way in which the worst circumstances brings out the very best in us; for example, who sits around telling stories to their grand kids about all the days spent on the front porch, swinging in the chair, not bothered by a thing in the world? No one. While that's the kind of relaxation we all want, it's the times of war and hardship that bring out the best in us because we have to make hard decisions and making those decisions reveals who we are to ourselves (who would go see a film where thee wasn't any kind of conflict? They just aren't made that way) and in the newest TV spot for Man Of Steel, we see this theme of strength and potential being expounded:
The newest Will Smith film, After Earth, with his son Jaden, contains numerous elements peaking my interest. First off, Jaden's character generally exhibits the kind of "American swagger" we see in heroes like Tony Stark and Captain James Kirk. We know, from previous trailers, that their space shuttle is hit by a meteor shower and is torn apart, with Will's character being sucked out the opening (we see this in Iron Man 3 and the upcoming World War Z, so this repetitive nature is important, and I am writing about it in the Iron Man 3 review). Like Oblivion, After Earth shows the world in a state of total desolation after some catastrophic event. Because we have also seen Jaden's character fighting for his life against the animals left on earth which reminds me of what has been released of the upcoming Riddick film (Vin Diesel), it's also an affirmation of the hardship--that no one likes or enjoys but is necessary--of building character and wisdom. What we have also seen in the young boy bearing the burden of their rescue is the "torch" being passed to the younger generation as in Red Dawn, Expendables II and Battleship. In this brief clip, there is quite a bit of symbolic information:
Why is the beacon in the tail?
The tail is usually the part aiding in the steering of the plan; what do we generally think of when we hear "beacon?" A "beacon of hope." Several years ago, someone came selling America "hope and change," so if that has worked out, why is earth in a state of desolation so that the beacon has to be retrieved by the younger generation? We have also seen a beacon in Wreck-It Ralph which was used to attract all the cy-bugs and preserve Sugar Rush. Back to After Earth, it will be interesting exactly how Will Smith's character is wounded because that wound--obviously keeping him from being able to go and retrieve the beacon himself--will provide great character development for him. I don't know how this is going to go, but we have been monitoring the dialogue in films regarding which economic model best suits art and the Coen brothers now seem ready to weigh in on the discussion
This film could go either way, so Llewyn's conversion into a better person and his meeting of some goal or getting to a better state in life (whether in terms of his personal relationships or interiorly or financially) could seal this as a pro-capitalist film. Here is the newest trailer for Despicable Me 2:
Is it because Agnes doesn't have a mother that she acts like a zombie? This doesn't have anything to do with single parents, this is art and it's symbolic representations of the future generation (Agnes) and there not being a "motherland" for her to identify herself with in the future. Let us compare the trailer for James Franco's As I Lay Dying (based on the William Faulkner novel) of brothers going to bury their dead mother:
In After Earth, we know there is a mother, she's just not present when the ship crashes; likewise, Clark has two mothers in Man Of Steel and we know both are important to him. The absence of the mother being highlighted in Despicable Me 2 is intriguing because it suggests Gru will be actively trying to fill that void for the girls and himself. Having said what we have said (and we could do more of a build-up but I will eave that to you to fill in), let's take a look at the newest Harrison Ford film, Ender's Game:
I'm not going to say a whole lot about it, I will wait until the second trailer is released to comment further; however, all we need is this synopsis to know what George Clooney's newest film is saying: Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone-tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth...and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space. All we really need to know is that the shuttle is the vehicle symbolizing the economy or possibly the "ship of state" as is usually the case:
See, if you had "government support" to keep you "connected," you wouldn't lose control like that... On a similar note, here is the latest from Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips:
The ship is the ship of state and the pirates are the capitalists. Why can't it be the other way around? That's a good point, I'm glad you brought it up, and my primary reason is not a very good one: how do pirates make their living (think of Pirates Of the Caribbean) They loot and steal from others. When I think of someone who lives off the work and earnings of others as pirates do, I think of socialists and their redistribution of wealth policies, but socialists think of business owners. Obama has been in control of the "ship of state" for five years now, so its reasonable to see Tom Hanks' Captain Phillips as an Obama figure. As always, I could be wrong, and I will be the first to admit that any time I hear Tom Hanks employing an accent in his character, he comes off as mocking those who have that type of accent and that makes me mad.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner