Friday, July 25, 2014

NEWS: Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Hobbit, Mockingjay

Pirates Of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales is now set for a July 8, 2017 release; even though the fourth film, At World's End grossed over a $1 billion dollars, Disney has been slow to re-vamp the franchise; probably for the exact same reasons that I liked At World's End so much, the producers don't want to make another film like that (little things like, "Parents should die for their kids, not kids dying for their parents," and Sparrow's hope of getting into heaven with the "goodie-goodies," were some poignant tales of morality some audience members--maybe Planned Parenthood--complained about). Regardless, Johnny Depp is supposedly helping to re-write the script (the same actor who, while in China, said, ""I could live here easily"). The newest film was supposed to start shooting,... last month? Needless to say, they have granted themselves another year to come up with the script and schedule all the actors.
I am getting Transformers IV up, tonight, so I can go see Hercules tomorrow; I just needed to take a break from it and get some fresh air. Besides, even though this isn't a "film news" blog--there are much better sites that do that kind of important service--it helps us to know the trends and what is coming out; this weekend is Comi-Con in San Diego, so lots of news and information is being released, although the "big day" won't be until Saturday. So, what has been discussed so far thus?
The summer viewing season will officially "end" soon and not pick back up until November; September is seen as a rather "dead" month for the box office, because people are tied up with back to school and changing family schedules, so studios don't release their great films during this time, rather, they wait until closer to the holidays when people will be visiting friends and family and want to catch a flick. So, after Expendables 3 comes out in mid-August, that's really the last new release that's important that we will be seeing for quite awhile (and many would argue that Expendables 3 isn't even a "big film" but is picking up on the last days of summer). Penguins of Madagascar is one of the films I am highly anticipating for the remainder of the 2014 viewing season: not only am I confident it will be an over-overwhelmingly pro-capitalist, pro-American film,... I expect it to be seriously witty to boot. Just because it's animated, do NOT assume it's just for kids: when jokes are made about "Bolsheviks" and the French having only a 4 day work week, that's not something kids will understand (as was the case in Madagascar 3 Europe's Most Wanted). It has just been released through Comi-Con that there is an important cameo made in Penguins and I want you to know so you can be the "implied viewer" when this important part of the film comes up: Werner Herzog! We're all pretty excited about this; if you don't know who he is, you might drop these films into your Netflix queue, preferably in this order: The Enigma Of Kaspar HauserAguirre, the Wrath Of God and Fitzcarraldo; if you want to be taken seriously for your knowledge of films, yes, you need to see all three of these. Now, the film Penguins references is the documentary Encounters At the End of the World from 2007; according to Comi-Con participants, there is a significant scene involving Herzog and why the Penguins become the team they become (I have seen this one yet, so it's on my watch list). 
While The Hobbit: the Battle Of Five Armies director Peter Jackson has submitted a full-length trailer for the "defining chapter" (as the poster below calls the film), he has all but confirmed that the trailer won't be released until October (the film will be released December 17). A new poster (below) featuring Smaug and the back of Luke Evans' hero Bard is quite revealing in terms of the character development we will see for Bard and what he faces  in that film--which will be epic. Truly. It will be epic.
Bard, on a bridge, in the middle, is stuck between fire from Smaug, and the ice of Lake Town (the floating bits on top of the water). In The Desolation Of Smaug, the ice first appears when Bard takes the group towards Lake Town. Does this remind you of another film we have seen? Well, like the Disney film Frozen, Lake Town seems to be frozen from a lack of trade (including industry, food, restrictive tariffs--as we see when Bard tries to get past the toll gate with the barrels of fish--and a corrupt government that is self-serving; sound like America today?). So Bard who has seen better days himself, is stuck between the "frozen" state of his home Lake Town, and the fiery, destructive force of Smaug who will kill them all; what is Bard going to do? Fulfill his destiny. When I FINALLY get the post up on Smaug, we will discuss the critical importance of why Gideon was able to loosen the scale and why he couldn't kill Smaug, but Bard must.
What else? Well, as of this moment, there is not much else (the first day is a slow day), but we do know that Zack Snyder has skipped the event this year, not promoting Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, nor is Christopher Nolan there promoting Interstellar (before I finished this post, some news came in about Nolan showing up unannounced and debuting a new trailer; please see below for details). there are some trailers which have been released that we need to mention, because--I have to say--I have truly been impressed with not only the movies to which some of these trailers have been attached (Prometheus, X-Men Days Of Future Past) but the new developments in advertising (the expansion of capitalism in Hollywood, rather than the increasing dependence upon socialism) coming out, like this teaser for Mockingjay Part 1 (the official first trailer is scheduled to be released on Monday). They have spent considerable time, money and talent on releasing these "pre-trailers" to provide additional commentary and character analysis for the film and alert us to what's going on and why:
The female before Peeta is Johanna Mason, from District 7 (the timber district), who you might recall stripped in front of Peeta and Haymitch in the elevator in The Hunger Games Catching Fire, and was willing to sacrifice herself to save Katniss and aid the revolution against Panem; she was highly critical of the Capitol and openly vocal about it. It appears that, like Peeta, she, too, has been "highjacked" (brainwashed, like what happens to Bucky Barnes in Captain America: the Winter Soldier). How do we know this? Well, it's possible to say that President Snow (Donald Sutherland) has made Johanna a very lucrative promise, or given her something she really wants or, even, just flat out threatened her; if, however, you notice the scarf she wears tightly around her head, so that none of her hair shows, you know that's the symbol of her brainwashing; how?
Johanna's hair is not only piled up, it's piled forward, as in, it's right there for all to see. Just as her stripping in front of Haymitch and Peeta in the elevator suggests Johanna has "nothing to hide," and doesn't fear being "exposed," her bare right arm (in spite of all the rest of her being completely covered) suggests that her strength (what the right arm symbols) is exactly her lack of fear at being exposed and everyone seeing her as she truly is (you might contrast this with the "act" Katniss and Peeta keep up regarding their love and getting married). The problem is, her not being afraid of being exposed has exposed her as possibly dangerous so Snow has targeted her as needing to be silenced, which he has obviously successfully accomplished. In the image on the right, Johanna points to her throat, with her bare right arm; some might suggest this is supposed to be a provocative, sexy pose, however, we know that the throat symbolizes what leads us, what we are willing to be guided by; Johanna's dress is gold, so she has a definite gold "collar" on (a collar for a leash, what will guide her and reign her in) and that suggests a most noble idea, the very highest ideal will be what Johanna pledges her loyalty to, like bringing down the corrupt government, which Johanna tries to do in protecting Katniss. Her eyes, of course, have been accentuated, symbolic of "deeper sight," suggesting that she knows what the Capitol is capable of doing, and what it will mean for the revolution (her eye make-up is missing in the pre-trailer above, which also contributes to the idea that she has been brainwashed). Now, please contrast the left arm (in the image on the right): it's completely covered and resting on her hip. In the video above, this is the stance she assumes, however, her arms are bare; how is this, if at all, a change from this image? A hand--male or female--resting on the hip-- is a sign of sexuality (because the hand points towards the genitals), so Johanna seems to be suggesting her sexual power (again, she undressed in the elevator, was this the main reason Haymitch choose her as Kat's ally?) but a power she knows how to "expose" when it's going to benefit her (again, the arm is covered with the gold fabric).  In the video, both her arms are bare, including her back, and the skin from her navel up to her throat, but she still strikes the same pose with her hand on her hip. With her hair completely "under wraps" with that scarf, Johanna has, basically, become a mindless sex object on display. Both her and Peeta wear white, which we know, has two meanings: either someone is alive in their spirit with faith, hope, charity, purity and innocence or they are dead in the spirit because they lack these very qualities. Peeta and Johanna are "dead in the spirit," not necessarily because of any sin they have committed, but because they now lack the free will and individuality to be able to make the choices which acquiring virtue prerequisites: if Peeta and Johanna have are now just a step above zombies, they don't have free will, and without free will to exercise, there can be no acquiring of virtue. The Left wants us to believe that virtue doesn't exist, we are animals with no free will and no souls, so in this case, Snow having Peeta and Johanna dressed in all the white makes them look "untouchable," pristine and glamorous, which he hopes will make others want to look and be the same way; we can bet it doesn't work.
The head symbolizes that which governs us, but, specifically, our hair symbolizes our thoughts--because our hair is what is closet to our brain, which is where our thoughts originate. If you notice in the images of Johanna above (you may click on the images to enlarge them for viewing) her hair is piled on top of her head; her hair being "piled up" like that suggests that Johanna thinks she is better than everyone else, she is "higher up" than others; in the video-poster above, her hair is completely covered, meaning, she doesn't have any thoughts: the scarf acts as a barrier, preventing anything from getting in, or getting out (she can't take in what is happening to her and formulate a reaction to it, she just "is"). So what does this "trailer" mean? Well, we have actually all ready seen this in three different films.
What do you most notice about Effie Trinket in this picture? Her long, pink lashes, and maybe the gold in her hair? What about her incredibly sad expression? Have you seen Effie look so sad? Like Johanna's make-up that accentuated her eyes, the false eyelashes (and her deadpan gaze) suggests Effie is "seeing" something; the problem is, the eyelashes are false and even the fuchsia coloring of them is false, too, suggesting that Effie "sees in an unnatural way," she's not seeing things how they truly are and might make the wrong decision. Whereas Johanna's hair on top of her head piled up can be deduced that she places herself higher than everyone else, I don't know that feel comfortable with that regarding Effie, and this is why: Effie's thick hair is distributed fairly evenly all around and her bangs are cut unusually short, revealing her forehead:  I think Effie's hairstyle is more designed to show us that she tries to "block out" thoughts and her bangs are short because, as she starts to have a thought, maybe about something she has seen, she "cuts it short" and doesn't carry the thought out to its logical conclusion; the gold dust throughout her hair, then, is almost like sugar, sweetening and brightening the thoughts that she does have and, like the hair product keeping every strand in place, she forces herself to keep all her thoughts "in place," in the heart of the Capitol. If, however, we notice Effie's lips, that suggests there is hope for her: the lips/mouth have no color on them, suggesting that her appetites (which the mouth symbolizes [such as money, fame, luxury, etc.]) have died and she doesn't enjoy the rich foods and drinks, the fashions and parties anymore; it's possible, in other words, that Effie's soul has begun to detox. 
The Collection had human-monstrosities on display in glass cases (it's okay, I'm getting to it; remember, I was like the only person who saw this film, but you can read my review HERE). There was "the collector" (Benecio del Toro) in the end credits scene of Thor the Dark World, who had alien beings in glass cases as well; in the Amazing Spider Man 2, the bio-genetic weaponry is kept in a museum like space behind glass containers (I haven't seen Dawn Of the Planet of the Apes, so I don't know if there is anything comparable in that film or not); so, how does this relate to the video above? Increasingly, humans are becoming separated from ourselves (we are becoming an audience to watch our own species, perhaps even dying out or because we are dying out) but you can't deny the "perfection" of Johanna and Peeta who look impeccable and act impeccably obedient to Snow as well. These pre-trailers are promises that the film makers have gone to great lengths--and great depths--to insure a well-thought-out film and characters.
A scene from Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. For Nolan, when he was growing up, "every child" wanted to be an astronaut, and Matthew McConnaughey's character is a pilot wanting to go into space. Another trailer has been released at Comi-Com; because it's a Paramount film, it's possible that the trailer will be attached to another Paramount film opening this weekend, Hercules, but I wouldn't count on it. But maybe. 
Now, onto some trailers.
A third trailer has been released for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and there are four items I would like to discuss in this film: the line Donnie says at 0:18 (Donatello wears the purple mask/glasses), the song in the background, Splinter (their rat mentor) and Shredder (the villain) and,... the skateboard:
Why, at 0:18, does Donnie say, "Allow me to be the bad-ass for once?" Because things have gotten so bad, all of us who are usually the "good guys" and rather pedestrian, are ready to bust out a side of ourselves that maybe we didn't even know existed, which leads us to our next point: shell-shocked. The main theme of the film is a clever pun: it references the turtle shells of the ninjas, as well as ammunition shells and the psychological damage they can do. The turtles discovering they are bullet-proof is important (but I will wait to expound upon it further until after I have seen the film) but mostly "shell-shocked" references what we discussed two posts ago: turtles are a symbol of wisdom because of their "retreating" into their shells as a sign of meditation and self-searching. "Shell-shocked" suggests that this wisdom and self-knowledge the teenagers posses is their source of their strength and what their enemies should fear (especially if these enemies end up being against individuality, personal expression and freedom; now, where would I get ideas like that?).
Shredder, the villain, and Splinter, the master. "Shredder" obviously denotes destruction, but "splinter" is like,... how tiny is that? We could say, however, that "splinter" is an act of destruction just like "shredder": "to splinter off" and to "shred" aren't all that different, but we would expect a villain named Shredder would attempt to "shred" his enemies, hence, all the knives. What about Splinter? If he's a master, he must be wise, so we could deduce that Master Splinter wants to "shred" himself, because his greatest enemy will be his own self, and my shredding his self, over and over again, he's "splintering off" and all that remains is a tiny little "splinter," but it's a splinter that is fully concentrated with all his wisdom, love and virtue, so Shredder is doomed. The question is, though, why doesn't Splinter defeat Shredder? The Turtles have to learn for themselves who this enemy is and what is required to defeat him because this won't be their last enemy, and they--like the Millennials--will have the same foe return over and over again. 
Why is the skateboard important?
Do you remember the 1985 hit Back To the Future? Like the TMNT being from the 1980s, so, too is Back to the Future, in which Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) rode a skateboard, which were becoming increasingly popular during this time. It's not just that Americans invented skateboarding, but that it has grown from a past-time into a full-blown job, even producing millionaires and top-rate athletes (please recall, we saw this noted in the film Dredd with Karl Urban). So, yea, when we see the turtles skateboarding, they are teenagers and that's what teenagers do, but it's also a realization that skateboarding has become, today a $4.8 billion dollar industry and that's not just a "hobby" status.
Donnie, the one in purple on the far right, is named for Donatello, and Donnie wears glasses in addition to his mask; why him? It might be a reference to Donatello being the first of the Renaissance artists--the Renaissance was in full-swing when Michelangelo and Leonardo were artists, and giving way to the Baroque period during Raphael's--but Donatello "saw" how art could be changed from the stylizations of the Medieval era to the natural depictions that signaled the Renaissance. Symbolically, we know turtles represent meditation, but Donnie wearing glasses takes his "wisdom" even further because his eyes are being highlighted, which denote that he sees and we should try to see what he sees, or how he sees; it appears, further, that he is taken hostage, so whatever "sight" power he symbolizes, something has happened at that point in the narrative between the two remaining turtles that they have to amend something within themselves to get the other two back.
The next two trailers, we're going to compare. The first one is Get On Up, starring Chadwick Boseman, who you will remember portrayed Jackie Robinson in 42; his newest film is about the life of James Brown, who was born in poverty, went to jail and rose up, on his own merits and will-power--as he says in the trailer when his "mother" comes to see him:
The next video is from the most infamous 50 Shades of Gray film, yes, the sexual bondage and torture, etc., film. I had a terrible suspicion that the novel would be used for a specific purpose and, sadly, I think I am right:
"To what do you owe your success?" "I exercise control in all things, Ms. Steele," he replies. On the surface, this probably seems as if James Brown, in the trailer above, and Mr. Grey, are a lot alike; they are not. Anastasia (which means, "resurrection" in Greek) symbolizes the middle-class, being perversely screwed-over by the billionaire Grey; it's not a school newspaper interview that is being done, it's a "documentary" about the relationship between the 1% and the rest of us (contrast, if you will, the relationship between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts in Iron Man: Tony is the 1% and Pepper is like the rest of us, but they need each other and the other helps them to grow individually and as a couple; that's productivity, whereas 50 Shades Of Grey is perversity) and, if you don't believe me, then consider the answer to the question of why the film makers would have wanted Obama's BFF Beyonce to make the sound track?
Speaking of Robert Downey Jr:
Remember: men in child-bearing age symbolize the economy, the active principle of production; older men symbolize the founding father, the tradition; so, what do we have? Capitalism defending the Founding Fathers. What is the charge of "murder?" Well, if you have seen The Hunger Games, you know the Games are a metaphor for the free market, where a group of businesses compete for consumers (the viewing audience) and in order to get those sponsorships (customer loyalty) they have to defeat the other businesses, which has been translated as children killing children. The Founding Fathers, to socialists, have killed women (because women feel they have been victimized), all miniorities who are not white male (Black, like James Brown and Jackie Robinson, Hispanic, mixed, etc.) and anyone else who has ever not become a multi-millionaire, that's the fault of the Founding Fathers, according to socialists, which appears to be translated by The Judge as Robert Duvall's character killing someone with his car (cars are, after all, a evil of capitalism). So, to summarize, the real-life drama we see in our culture, especially among the liberal media, is putting the Founding Fathers on trial for all the people who got "run over" by capitalism and never made it in America; this film looks awesome! Last, but not least, a new film from Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch:
There are two things that concern me about this film. First, The Weinstein Company has helped create it; they also created the very pro-capitalist The Artist a couple of years ago, but the second thing that concerns me is Alan Turning (Cumberbatch) was gay, when homosexuality was still criminal and Prime Minister Brown made a public apology for how Mr. Turning was treated. Keira Knight's character certainly appears to take a dominant role in the film, but we'll have to see what way this goes. Okay, back to Transformers IV (it's not that long of a post, just one I am being very careful about) and then I am off to Hercules!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner