Wednesday, December 25, 2013

47 Ronin Pre-Review; I, Frankenstein, Expendables 3, Transcendence & Her

This character doesn't get much screen time, but adds an important morsel of commentary.
Of all the films opening that I could have gone to go see, why did I choose 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves? It's the only one that is pro-capitalist (unless you consider The Hobbit, which opened a couple of weeks ago). This has anti-Obama written all over it, and in a number of important ways, including why Kai (Reeves) is a half-breed. Did you ever see that film The Deer Hunter with Robert DeNiro and Christopher Walken (1978; it's on the AFI 100 Best Movies Of All Time list)? There is a remarkably well-done reference to that in the film not to mention some of the spectacular special effects. Sadly, I saw it in 3D and, in spite of the great special effects, the 3D didn't seem to be really worth it (it was all done well, it just didn't seem there was enough of a 3D experience to bother seeing it in 3D again). In short, 47 Ronin did not disappoint: it is full of patriotism and--like what we saw in Thor the Dark World--a call to commit treason against injustice.
Let's take a moment to consider a film coming out in February that I am exceedingly interested in:
So, what's the key to understanding this film?
200 years ago.
Since the film will be released in 2014, what happened in 1814? The War of 1812 officially ends with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent (even though there was still the Battle Of New Orleans to fight) and, even though this is America's "forgotten war," it was the second time America won independence from Great Britain which is why Frankenstein (Aaron Eckhardt) says, "I was given life," because--if America had lost the War of 1812--we would have gone back to being a British colony and would have ceased to be the United States of America; more importantly, however, since we just saw Aaron Eckhardt in Olympus Has Fallen, it might be the Burning of Washington we are supposed to be considering during the film, and how Washington is being burned today. The qualities of Frankenstein could be said to be true of the American economy (at least before 2008) and, when Frankenstein says, "This ends tonight," that echoes what we hear in 47 Ronin, just before the attack on the enemy's city.
Now, let's see if you know what famous film the teaser for Expendables 3 references:
Congratulations! The Bridge On the River Kwai (1957) is correct (well, no, technically, The Breakfast Club isn't correct: while it was referenced in that film, The Breakfast Club, too, was referencing The Bridge On the River Kwai, so you only get a half point for that one, but at least you remembered it!). Why reference that film? It's about a vicious captor trying to break the will of military men who have extraordinary virtue, and why self-sacrifice is so virtuous (which we see also in 47 Ronin and The Hobbit: the Desolation Of Smaug).
If you like the super controversial, and philosophical and "dangerous," you might find this interesting:
I don't think it's just that Morgan Freeman is in this that makes me think of Oblivion: the Tet was consuming resources the way (it appears) the intellect starts consuming knowledge and technological power in Transcendence. BUT, there is a larger issue being communicated with this, and it is conveyed even more aptly in this trailer:
It's not just the "animation" of technology, but the dehumanization of humanity. We all know what a liberal Joaquin Phoenix is, and we should keep this in mind since he is being seriously rumored to play Lex Luthor in Superman vs Batman (with Ben Affleck). In some other films news, Clash Of the Titans 3 appears to have been cancelled (I thoroughly enjoyed Wrath Of the Titans, so that's disappointing). There appears to be a Western in the making: the Magnificent 7 which originally starred Yul Brenner and Steve McQueen; Tom Cruise has reportedly dropped out of filming for that project.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner