Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Captain America: Civil War First Trailer

This is an excellent question; is the film going to posit both Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, and Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, evenly? Are they, in other words, both holding legitimate and equally valid positions, Rogers as being against "registration," and Stark being for "registration"? No. Captain America is the hero of this film, which is why it is called, Captain America: Civil War; this is Rogers' story. If Civil War were taking place in an Iron Man film, then Stark would be the hero and his position of registration would be upheld and championed, but that is not what we will be getting. Further, due to the events we saw in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, we know Stark makes mistakes (creating Ultron, for example) and is not a team player, willing to make decisions on his own which could endanger the lives of others, even millions of others, so Avengers 2 was setting the stage for Stark as a "pseudo-villain," not a villain like Ultron, but someone holding a viewpoint/belief that is not contingent with the rest of the heroes' views (which makes Black Widow, Black Panther, The Vision, etc., also "pseudo-villains in this film). "Sorry, Tony, I hate to do this, but he's my friend," "So was I." The polar oppositions between our emotions and our thoughts, the law and the human heart, as well as the easy way or the noble way will be the basis of this film and every single person in America is the intended audience.
Why would Captain America: Civil War release the first trailer for the highly anticipated film today? Because it wants to be the only thing you are talking about over the holiday!
"Your mom's name is Sarah. You used to wear newspapers in your shoes." Why would these two details be the ones which Bucky chooses to relate to Steve as proof of remembering him? The name "Sarah" invokes the wife of Abraham, the father of the people of Israel. "Sarah" means noble woman, or princess, because she was the mother of Isaac, the son born of the "free woman," whereas her slave woman, Hagar, was the mother of Ishmael, those born into slavery. So, Rogers' mother being the mother of those who are "free" and of "noble" birth, means that Rogers' is the leader of freedom and noble ideas. What about the newspapers in his shoes?
I imagine that Hawkeye, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) is going to have a much more important role in the Civil War; we have met his family and they are going to be a serious reason he doesn't want to be "registered." That's the point of us having met his family in The Avengers 2: so we know how personal his stakes are. But because we met them, and we know he's on Rogers' side, we also know that adds to Rogers being right about not registering. What about Ant Man (perched on the right shoulder of Hawkeye)? If you haven't seen it, you need to (it comes out on December 8)? Towards the end of the film, we see him having dinner with his ex-wife's new husband who happens to be a cop, so this might have been cause to have Ant Man be more "government friendly," however, he has a criminal record for theft, so we'll have to see exactly how Ant Man is introduced. There is also Scarlet Witch, described as a wild card, and the all new Spider Man straight out of high school. This film has been years in the planning, so I know they have come up with a phenomenal story that will be the basis of the rest of the Marvel universe for films to come. 
We know that shoes symbolize the will, because our feet, upon which shoes are worn, take us places the way our will directs where we want to go in life. If Rogers was wearing newspaper in his shoes, it was because the shoes were too big for his slender and smaller frame, but he had a "big will." The newspapers also indicates that he was "informed" about issues and not just wanting to be famous or popular, but genuinely wanted to make a difference and save people. In other words, when Rogers asks Bucky, "Do you remember me?" Bucky replies by not just demonstrating he remembers Rogers, but knows who Rogers is on a most intimate scale and being: the woman (the "motherland" of America Sarah represents) and his will to be an important, helping person in the world. This is how we, too, should be viewing. What is going to happen in Civil War?
This is the whole purpose of everything happening in the Marvel Universe (that Stan Lee has control over). Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet he's putting together is the ultimate power threatening the entire universe, and in order to meet with the threat, each of the heroes--from Captain America to whoever Chris Pratt plays in Guardians Of the Galaxy--must be at their very strongest and most pure so it will be easier for them to unite and put up a good front to ward off the absolute worst of the universe's incredible power going against them. The stakes just don't get any higher than this. 
"Sometimes I want to punch you in your perfect teeth," Stark tells Rogers, and those perfect teeth are indicators that, unlike Stark (please remember back to the first Iron Man and the playboy Stark was) Rogers has appetites that are only good appetites, not appetites that are destructive or can be manipulated (remember in Avengers 2, Scarlet Witch tries to use Peggy Carter against him, but Rogers overcomes the temptation to accept what has happened to him). When Stark, dressed in the Iron Man outfit, says to Rogers, "You seem a little on the defensive," and Rogers says, "It's been a long day," Stark has a black eye, which means that his ability to see and see properly has been "bruised" and wounded so the perspective which Stark has--that millions of Americans probably share without having properly thought through--is not valid, but false. The purpose, then, of Civil War is going to parallel the purpose of Thor: Ragnarok: every hero has to be mercilessly purged of even the slightest sin/fault so they will be as powerful as possible to unite and fight off Thanos.
A happy, blessed and joyous Thanksgiving to each and everyone of you!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Trailers: The Huntsman Winter's War & Now You See Me 2

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 was as revolutionary and inspiring as liberals would fear it could be against Obama and his tyranny. No wonder Jennifer Lawrence is hoping conservatives won't go and see it! It was quite good and I am thankful I saw Mockingjay Part 1 (part of a double feature special) before Part 2 as Part 2 immediately begins after Katniss has been brutally strangled by Peeta and the neck brace is being taken off, a important symbol and opening statement. Had I not just seen Part 1, I probably would have been lost. So, if you don't have it or haven't seen Part 1 in awhile, rent it on Amazon Instant or something because it will be worth your time and, trust me, this is the stuff that starts off revolutions. Not saying that this weekend, people are going to march on Washington--we should--but I am saying this is highly inspiring and very traditional in terms of American values of freedom and what that means. By the way, don't miss the previews waiting to get popcorn: Gods of Egypt plays very well on the big screen, as well as the first trailer for Now You See Me 2, which is Michael Caine's last film (so he says):
Yea, Isla Fisher isn't in this one due to her being pregnant. Anyway, the full trailer for The Huntsman: Winter's War is here:
Word has been released from the horse's mouth that the first X-Men Apocalypse trailer will be attached to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We can also be expecting the first trailer for the newest Resident Evil: the Final Chapter soonish. Okay, I'm getting the Mockingjay post up because that should be quick, and then I am finishing Spectre if it kills me!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

TRAILERS: Gods Of Egypt, The Huntsman, The Finest Hour

Uh, yea, I am STILL working on the Spectre post. I am sorry, life happens. Thank you for your patience. I am going to see Mockingjay Part 2 tomorrow night, so I will get up the actual trailer for The Huntsman: Winter's War that debuts tomorrow along with my impression of Mockingjay Part 2. In the meantime, a teaser has been released, and, I have to tell you, the synopsis is quite confusing from what I have read so far thus. Ravenna, Charlize Theron, is going to be resurrected by her sister (Emily Blunt) through the power of the mirror; you may recall in Snow White and the Huntsman, The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) made the deal with Ravenna to go into the forbidden forest to hunt Snow White on the condition that Ravenna would bring back his wife from the dead (I am guessing this is Sara, played by Jessica Chastain); now, Ravenna's sister is going to bring Ravenna back for a war, from what I can understand. No, Kristen Stewart was finally not invited back; again, this is a teaser, the trailer comes tomorrow:
This new film for Gods Of Egypt, opening February 26, looks interesting for a number of reasons:
This is the official trailer number 2 for The Finest Hour with Chris Pine:
Just a note to let you know I am still working and working hard. AND BY THE WAY, The Man From UNCLE was released today on home video so you should definitely check it out if you haven't seen it and, I am guessing, you haven't seen it because like no one saw it. :( but I loved it.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Monday, November 16, 2015

Penny Dreadful Season 3

The first image has been released for Season 3 of Penny Dreadful, ten episodes of which will air in 2016. Uh, yea, that's Patti LuPone holding Vanessa 's head in her lap; LuPone portrayed Joan Clayton, aka, "the Cut-Wife," aka, the abortionist, in Season 2 for an episode and was burned alive for being a witch, which she was. Returning as a regular member for Season 3, she is now playing Dr. Seward, an American psychologist employing an "unusual method" in helping Vanessa overcome that which she battles. Now, we know there is an actor who has been cast as Dr. Henry Jeckyll, yes, that Dr. Jeckyll of Robert Louis Stevenson fame. Why is that important? Duality. One character becoming two different people, like Jeckyll becoming Hyde, or Brona becoming Lily, or The Creature becoming John Clare, etc., means that we can still look at Dr. Seward as being a (literary) incarnation of the Cut-Wife, to whom Vanessa became quite close; but this is literary, not religiously, as the show is firmly rooted in the universe of Vanessa's Roman Catholicism, re-incarnation as some religions view it isn't going to be a metaphysical option, however, because the name "Vanessa" itself means "butterfly" in the Greek--which is part of the opening credits of the film with all the insects--as well as referring to a "brotherhood," which the group led by Sir Malcolm could certainly be described as being; but the English origin of "Vanessa" means "literary invention," so the film celebrates the literary inventions of all the authors of both penny dreadful novels and the great writers like Wilde and  Stevenson. So, Vanessa's head on Seward's/Joan's lap could be seen as an act of birth since Joan was an abortionist (she killed babies rather than being a mid-wife who helped with the delivery) and now, in this "literary incarnation" she is more the mid-wife. Note that Vanessa is in a fetal position. There are really only two colors in the image: white and black. Since both colors have a connotation of death, but their body language suggests birth, an "old" Vanessa is dying, and a new Vanessa is being born, or the weak parts of Vanessa have died and the virtues are being resurrected in an even stronger stage of her spiritual development. Fans of the series may recall that, when we last saw Vanessa, she burned the Crucifix and turned out all the lights in Grandage Place, slipping into darkness after looking out of her window. It's not so much that Vanessa is sending Jesus to the burning flames of Hell, rather, that's an expression of what Jesus Christ has just done to her, rather literally, as she confronted the devil and overcame her foe. But once a level of spiritual development has been completed, the next one awaits us. The darkness into which she slips isn't the darkness of hell, but it is the "dark night of the soul," however, we can and probably should expect that at least some rest will be granted to Vanessa, just as we first saw her peacefully walking through the snowy park at the start of Season 2 before encountering Helen McCrory's verbis diablo. There is more we could discuss with this image, but I have to finish Spectre, so enough of this for now. 
I am still working on Spectre. When there is a film this great, and this in-depth, it's overwhelming to try and get a post of this magnitude up, so I deeply apologize for the delay but I will get Spectre up, I will. I all ready have tickets to the Wednesday night double-feature of Mockingjay Part 1 and the debut of Mockingjay Part 2, so that will take at least a day for me to get up after I have seen it, but this will be worth the time to invest in it. I also saw The Peanuts Movie and it was perfectly enjoyable! I hated the little Scratosphere,.. propaganda thing at the start, but it was surprisingly deep and, as always for those of us who grew up with The Peanuts gang and the music, much needed nostalgia that was deeply appreciated on my part.  
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
P.S.--Have you figured out yet why Blofeld/Oberhauser isn't wearing socks?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Patterns From the Left: Emily Blunt, Daniel Craig, Jennifer Lawrence, Quentin Tarantino, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson

To begin with, for all of our friends and readers in France, and those affected by the acts of terror, you are in our thoughts, prayers and hearts; may God bless you and keep you in this time of darkness, and may we all draw together, supporting one another in this time of such great sorrow.
Amen.
When, Ms. Lawrence, did the Republican party keep you from getting food or water? When did the Republican party keep you from getting shelter? When did the Republican party prohibit you from getting a free, public education, or pursuing a higher education at the college level? When did the Republican party order you to quite acting? When did the Republican party take away your health insurance? When did the Republican party pass laws dictating what clothes you wear, or your hair styles? When has the Republican party forbidden you from speaking your mind? Ms. Lawrence needs to decide what she means by "basic rights," and then provide specific examples of when Republicans actually did this, and did this as a political platform instead of just making up reality like the eunuch and cross-dresser Bruce Jenner. It must be difficult when you are a multi-millionaire, Academy Award winner and white, to convince other liberals that you are a victim the way they are, but this is her lame attempt that has been wholly embraced by her fellow-victim-liberals. We have also seen the exact opposite of this trend of liberals sabotaging their pro-conservative films: liberals sabotaging the pro-conservative films of conservatives. Days before Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days Of Future Past came out, Singer was accused, falsely, of homosexual rape and molestation; again, the accusations were proven false, but they were made just before the exceedingly pro-capitalist film came out and I know many people who decided not to go see it because of the allegations even though Singer was innocent.
Luckily, a pattern has emerged that is too much of a coincidence to be purely coincidental. In the last couple of days, Jennifer Lawrence has pulled an incredible stunt before the opening of, perhaps. the biggest film of her career (Mockingjay Part 2 being the conclusion to The Hunger Games films which made her famous) as Emily Blunt did with the critically acclaimed Sicario and Daniel Craig with Spectre. Lawrence, like Blunt, has not just criticized Republicans, but demeaned them as well, as if,... as if,... she doesn't want Republicans to go see her film. This would sound like a conspiracy theory, I know, but that the same happened with Emily Blunt, and both actresses are in films which support the politically conservative, rather than the Leftist Liberals, it's as if she would rather the film suffer massive financial loss than for the swelling numbers of American conservatives to see the conclusion to The Hunger Games because,... the film will support conservatives, not liberals, and liberals do not want conservatives to be championed or validated in any of their political views.
Let's consider the other examples.
Just before Spectre was released, Daniel Craig went around in interviews saying he would rather slit his wrists than play Bond again, and acting like a big baby over playing this super-role that other actors would kill to get. Why would Craig, who has always put on such a professional face before in interviews, suddenly act so childish and unbecoming? Liberals stand a lot to lose from people seeing Spectre: it's all about the New World Order, on both an intimate scale, and the international scale. Sadly, the horrible bombings in Paris is calling to mind the very terror-planned activities discussed in  Spectre so if people did NOT see Spectre, then people would be so scared, they would beg their governments to monitor every single thing they do and say or, in the words of the film, create Orwell's worst nightmare; people who have seen Spectre, on the other hand, are less likely to give into excessive surveillance because we have been warned about what such a move could lead to and the power it will give a tiny, un-elected elite; in other words, seeing Spectre could create a resistance movement or give strength to the resistance movements that all ready exist. A liberal like Craig would just need a call from another liberal like Jane Fonda saying, Look, do something or say something so people won't go see this film; you have a contract to play Bond again for so much money, you aren't going to suffer anything, but the goal of the New World Order could suffer if too many people see this film. It wouldn't even take a phone call, just Craig deciding to keep people from seeing it and millions of people would not have the slightest clue about an imperative message of what is happening to us right now, literally, as the bombings in Paris demonstrate. 
People like to know that an actor enjoys portraying a hero, especially a hero whose films makes hundreds of millions  of dollars and a hero dearly loved by the populace. Imagine, if you will, if Chris Evans began cursing Steve Rogers and stating he would rather slit his wrists than play Captain America again. This is what Spectre star Daniel Craig did just days before the film's international release, and I know of more than one person who has avoided the film because of Craig's expressed attitude. Given that Spectre directly targets and battles the New World Order, which Republicans and conservatives in America fear is actually happening, a liberal like Craig might want to give people a reason not to see a film which articulates what they have feared all along. Why would Craig do this?
Just before Taken 3 came out, leading actor Liam Neeson came out condemning gun ownership in America and linking private gun ownership with all the school shootings. In response, conservatives boycotted what should have been a highly lucrative opening to the best film in the closing series but conservatives stayed home and refused to support Neeson's position. As of September 19, 2016, we see star of The Magnificent Seven remake, Ethan Hawke, stating that the film is about people banning together to fight Donald Trump; regardless of whether you support Trump or not, the fact that Hawke has obviously decided to stand against the millions and millions of people who do support Trump--again, this is irrelevant if you do or not--and lose their patronage at this film, is a sign of a "controlled dive," to borrow the phrase from the pro-socialist Independence Day: Resurgence. Hawke wants the film to do poorly at the box office, just like all these other stars and their films discussed herein; the difference is, The Magnificent Seven is actually pro-socialist, whereas most of the other films in the pattern being examined are pro-capitalist; so, why doesn't Hawke want Trump supporters to see the film? In this article, Hawke states that he thinks Trump would actually like the film, even though it's about people banning together to fight against him. It's a bit risky for me to say this, but I think I'm going to, because I do think actors are this dumb: I think they have finally decided to turn against the studios and are trying to destroy the studios with continuously low-returns at the box office. Personally, the actors are usually all multi-millionaires, so they are taken care of, but because studios can make films like Captain America and Batman vs Superman, I think actors are deliberately turning against the studios to undermine the way films have supported and re-enforced traditional American values; if you saw Hail Caesar! by the Cohen Brothers, you know that Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is ready to go against the studio just to make a little cash off his own kidnapping. If you are a capitalist, you are probably thinking, "Why on earth would they do that?" Because after the studios fail, the government will have to take care of them, and that's what they want. 
With all these stars in this pattern, the financial loss is minimal because mostly, they have all ready been paid (they usually receive some percentage of the gross, but their big payday has all ready been cashed in) and it's more important to them that their liberal friends in Hollywood--who might have given them the idea to bad-mouth the film/their role anyway--still like them and will offer them roles because they have been "brave" in spitting in the face of the evil enemy, the middle-class American conservative.
The most important thing for liberals is to be a victim; that is the driving goal of liberals, to become a victim, hopefully, of a white heterosexual male, or a business, but to be a victim is the greatest achievement for liberals, because then and only then is their perverse distortion of reality  finding some kind of basis which they think solidifies their positions. Remember, in Man Of Steel, young Clark is in the school bus and it's sinking, and all the kids are going to die unless Clark saves them; then his dad, Kevin Costner, gets upset with him, and Clark says, What was I supposed to do, let them die (what any conservative would say)? And Mr. Kent responds, "Maybe," and then we see him stop Clark from saving him when the tornado comes and kills him, because liberals want to be victims, of Hurricane Katrina, of feces smeared on the wall of a college building, of being called a slut, of school shootings (which are done by liberals),... conservatives can't understand this because we are self-sufficient and we are accountable, we respect ourselves and we respect others; you can't say any of these things about liberals. If they are victims, they aren't responsible for what they do and if they aren't responsible, they can't be held accountable, this is why, in spite of the massive corruption of the Obamas and Clintons, people still support them, because they don't want to be accountable for their actions, either, and if you have corrupt people running the country, you can be corrupt, too! Liberals don't value life, which is why they support abortion, and they don't value life because they don't want to be human, they want to be animals. They don't want to have a soul, they want to be controlled by their appetites for food, sex, drugs. The civil war in the US today isn't about political parties or legislation, it's about the most basic and fundamental understanding of what is reality and what is a human being. Again, for Republicans to boycott their films provides a two-fold "advantage" for a liberal: first, they have publicly insulted the conservatives, so they are held in esteem by other liberals and, two, since they have been boycotted, they are not "victims" of the Republicans because the Republicans have victimized them by an act of boycott; no, it doesn't matter that it was their own fault, because liberals aren't responsible for anything they do, but by "hurting" liberals, the destruction of the Republican party--and its individual members--is validated because of all the cruelty Republicans inflict upon poor, defenseless liberals. 
With Emily Blunt, the case might even be more serious: having watched the Republican debate, and knowing Republican front-runner Donald Trump's view on immigration, and that her film Sicario provides ample ammunition for anti-amnesty politics, if enough people saw the film, the events in the narrative might bolster Trump's standing in the Presidential election even more and the Left certainly doesn't want that, do they? To conservatives, the position of slandering the very people who would, otherwise, financially support your film, doesn't make any sense, so why would liberals be engaging in it?
Supposedly, Tarantino said that he would only make eight films and then stop; so Hateful Eight is his last film. Why would he want police officers, and those who support police officers, to boycott his film? Self-righteous superiority. I will say this: Tarantino knows how to make films, he has a very high standard for himself and he understands movies; I won't say that he hasn't made his fair-share of bad films, however, he's a solid film maker. Unfortunately, he's using his films, like Django Unchained, to incite riots and the very activities which would unravel the culture which makes creating his art possible. This is part of the never-ending, self-destructive phase of liberalism: they want to destroy society and create some kind of utopia in its place, the problem is, the enemies they choose--middle-class Americans--are far better adjusted than they are and prove to have far more skills at self-preservation, so they win. Given the liberals most dangerous weapon is that of mocking anyone who disagrees with them, they reveal how dumb and uneducated they are, so those who might have stayed around to support them, end up jumping ship so as not to get dragged down with them. Again, Tarantino is delighted that police will boycott because now he, too, can claim that he has been a victim of "police brutality" like Trayvon Martin, and this makes him "one of the blacks" he hopes will identify with him, even though the men in the photograph have no more in common with Tarantino than Tarantino's black clothing makes him a black person. Tarantino's cult status as a victim is his own grandiose apotheosis as a revolutionary, and that means more to him than anymore millions of dollars he has all ready made. 
Film is art, and when there is an occupying force trying to subjugate a people into slavery and oblivion, one of the first acts the aggressors will take is that of destroying the culture's art because it holds their values and their identity, their art is what brings them together and defines them as a particular people and the rules of their society. By taking away our heroes, the Left has tried to make us forget what leadership is (Thor sacrificing himself to save his people is leadership, not a speech made beside a golf cart in Martha's Vineyard), or what white heterosexual men have contributed to our society rather than making them out to be the 1% of society's most evil power-holders (did the Left celebrate Charles Koch's coming out as a liberal? I didn't hear about people surrounding him and saying how "brave" he was for announcing that he's a Democrat).
Apart from The Martian, Matt Damon's film career has seriously been lagging, so badly, he's having to go back to the Bourne franchise to get a new hit; unfortunately, it's probably DOA. In a recent interview, Damon, like Neeson, also dissed gun owners, so I don't expect Jason Bourne will have the kind of opening they have been hoping for. 
In short, there is a pattern of liberals who appear to be intentionally initiating boycotts of their films so as not to support the conservative outlook, and that suggests we should see the films in spite of such petty strategies because we will gain far more from the experience and be strengthened in our positions and beliefs, which is the last thing they want.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
Just a few weeks before the 50th anniversary release of Star Trek Beyond, film makers went on record bragging about the character Sulu being depicted as gay. It's quite possible that this, too, is a sabotage attempt at diverting people away from seeing films that would support the conservative cause. At the release of The Secret Lives Of  Pets, a decidedly anti-socialist film, Dr. Jason Johnson of Ohio took to his blog and ranted about the "white privilege and black pain" the movie mocks, in hopes that people would boycott; why would he do this? Because the film is so anti-Obama, he doesn't want people to see it, which is really the point of all these liberal shenanigans in turning-off conservative audience members from their films. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi, London Has Fallen, Sherlock Teaser, Mystery Science Theater 3000 Revival

Thank you for your patience. I am nearly done with the Spectre post, there were a few tidbits floating around, so I wanted to get something fresh up for you to enjoy as you wait. I'm really looking forward to Creed, the Sylvester Stallone film about training Apollo Creed's son to box:
A second trailer for 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi has been released, and I think this film is going to be huge, and I mean HUGE:
Additionally, the film makers have released a short yet potent featurette about working with the soldiers to make the film:
If you recall the surprising box office hit Olympus Has Fallen, this is the sequel:
What does Speaker of the House (Morgan Freeman) say? We will find you. We will destroy you,. He doesn't say, "We will degrade our enemies," why not? Because that's what liberals say. Americans go out and destroy their enemies, not degrade them like school yard sissies like Obama. A film like this is truly one more slap in his face about what real leadership is, and what Americans value in our culture. Liberals hate this. And I'm glad. Also, a new little teaser for Sherlock has been released, supposedly, when Sherlock and Dr Watson are meeting for the first time:
The surprises just keep rolling in with this "special," proving it is, indeed, special: it's going to be released simultaneously in the US and UK on Jan 1, as was all ready announced; additionally, however, it will be released in about 500 theaters in the US and UK Jan 5 and 6. So, when does something get its debut on TV first and then the theaters? Well, as long as they keep the episodes coming, let them do what they want. Last, but certainly not least,...
Cult classic TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 is being revived. You may read the complete story here,but suffice to say, with Joel Hodgson on board helping, it will hopefully be a revival that is an "A," and not of "B" quality. New host, new bots, new mads, new B films to destroy and enjoy, that's what it's all about!
Again, after my aunt, my #1 priority is getting Spectre up, so I won't fail you.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Monday, November 9, 2015

Delay

I am so sorry. My poor aunt broke her hip in February and she fell and broke it again. I had to take her to the hospital, delaying getting the post up. Please, if you will, remember Debbie and her recovery in your prayers. Her birthday is Wednesday, and it's terrible for her when she has to spend her birthday in the hospital. I have a couple of hours left to go on the Spectre post, but I will get this up! Thank you so much, as always, for your kind patience. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

SPECTRE Is Amazing

It was amazing.
I don't know how they kept those secrets so locked down for so long, but it was amazing. DO NOT read my post before you have seen the film. I am going to literally burn the midnight oil to get this post up, but please, do yourself a favor, go see it before reading what I have to say. Don't think too much about it--that's my job--but, there are two things you can look for, just keep them tucked away in the back  of your head:
1). Reference to a famous Steven Spielberg film
2). Why is Blofeld not wearing socks?
And by the way, we haven't really discussed it, but the new Charlie Brown film looks good and it is getting sold out quickly. If you are going to see either film this weekend, get your tickets in advance if you are picky about which show you want to see. Have a great time, movies this good don't happen often!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Spectre: What To Look For When You See It

Even as it's shattering the British box office, critics insist on being critical of the 24th Bond film; why? I think there are at least two reasons. First, critics are simply snobs. They really are. If everyone likes it, then they have to find some elevated criticism or else they are just a part of the masses. Sadly, this is true, and excellence in film making has nothing to do with it; contrariwise, obscure films can also be elevated by them when no one else likes the piece. Secondly, James Bond is still,... James Bond, and critics reveal their own political leanings in throwing out lynching words like "misogynist," and "killing machine,"; whereas director Sam Mendes wants to invoke the history of Bond, illustrating that Bond has always been a hero against the socialism of the Cold War era and a pillar of democracy and freedom, critics,... how to put this? Hate democracy, they hate freedom and they hate individuality. As inconceivable as that is to me, because of the comments I am consistently reading about the film, that must be the lens through which they see the world, and causes them to despise those who don't want the government snooping around in their business. Now, having said that, as we watch the film, references to past Bond films will be important--I know I won't catch even a fraction of them--but Mendes and company have chosen to take this route because it's the identity of Bond, regardless of who is portraying the hero, the hero stands for and against something, and Mendes wants to remind us what EXACTLY that is and WHY. Ultimately, liberal critics will have the same problem swallowing conservative films that I, a conservative, have in swallowing liberal films, and that's just the way the world turns. Now, please remember, the poster of the Aston Martin was released before the first poster of Craig as Bond was released; why? Because special focus will be placed on the car; why? Because when you have a car maker that has a demanding clientele, such as the secret service, they are able to do things with a car they wouldn't be able to do for the general population (the general population of Aston Martin drivers, that is). We saw this in Fast and Furious 7 with the cars they were driving; remember what Paul Walker's character told his son when his son threw the car out the window? "Cars don't fly, son," but they certainly make them fly in that film, because that is what is demanded of them and so they can do it. In Skyfall, it was the extra fire power the vintage Aston Martin carried with it that allowed Bond to even the playing field with their lack of  available guns, and that was an important statement about how Bond has helped shape popular culture, the way Star Trek has.  
Last week, I mentioned that we should probably watch Skyfall again before Spectre is released; for once, I actually took my own advice and have been richly rewarded. There are not any spoilers in this post, but I am going to mention a plot device at the start of the film which doesn't give anything away, but knowing it's coming will help us bridge the events between Skyfall and Spectre in such a way that we are not accidental tourists. So, the purpose of this post is to point out elements in Skyfall which we will hear echoing throughout Spectre, as well as narrative elements which will be resolved or at least more fully exploited. So, let's take yet another look at the Spectre trailer before starting:
Why does Bond go to Mexico City?
This is the closest thing to a plot spoiler in this post: M (Judi Dench) left Bond a taped message telling Bond that Silva--born Tiago Rodriguez--(Javier Bardem) was in a plot to blow up an arena there and Bond needed to stop it (something to this effect, anyway). Watching Skyfall again, I realized all the imagery Silva had incorporated into his messages and, at some point during the events of Skyfall, M must have figured out what Silva was plotting and, figuring there was a good chance she wouldn't make it out of the debacle alive--and, even if she did, she was being forced into retirement by the Prime Minister because of her mis-handling of the stolen computer disc of NATO agents in terrorist organizations--M leaves Bond with one last mission.
This isn't the exact image Silva uses in Skyfall, but it's close enough. Throughout the film, Silva sends messages via computers and incorporates Day of the Dead imagery such as this. When Skyfall came out, it was puzzling why this would be in there, however, with a terrorist attack being planned for the festivities, it now makes perfect sense. Silva, in a sense, is celebrating the Day of the Dead by creating more dead, whereas Bond would celebrate the Day of the Dead--his "overdue holiday" he mentions to Mallory, because of Bond's hobby of "resurrection," and all the times he has narrowly avoided becoming dead. One reviewer said the opening scene of the Day of the Dead was a ode to one of the earlier Bond films which showed an elaborate funeral taking place in New Orleans; well, that's possible, however, had he re-watched Skyfall, he would have realized the trip to Mexico City was, basically, inevitable and it's because of Silva and the on-going events from Skyfall, not a lack of creativity or originality on the part of director Sam Mendes and company, which is what he accused Spectre of being: a mausoleum of old Bond films. They didn't have to choose the Day of the Dead, they could have done a Finnish ice festival or an Aboriginal walk-about, but the Day of the Dead was chosen for a reason, and that is something we have to look for, for example, there is the festival of death in Mexico, but the funeral of the dead in Rome, and this theme (apart from the dead body being of the same man in both cities) will somehow be connected as a kind of polar opposition.
Kincade (Albert Finney), the game keeper of Skyfall estate, tells M of the house, like all great ladies she still has some secrets left, and--because of the taped message M leaves for Bond, we know Kincade's statement applies to the "great lady" of M herself. Part of the vehicle of Skyfall is M trusting Bond to "get the job done," which is why M urged Moneypenny to "take the bloody shot" of Bond struggling with Patrice on top of the train, because M "should have trusted me to get the job done," and ultimately, this is why M dies: she didn't trust Bond to come and save her, taking a shot instead that got her the wound leading her to bleeding out. Why mention trust? Because trust is all through the trailers for Spectre.
Another brief mention in Skyfall which might have far greater significance in Spectre is in this image: the names of those who served their country with distinction. When M goes to talk to Silva, Silva wants M to use his real name, Tiago Rodriguez, and M mentions that his real name was struck off the wall of the MI6 building he blew up and it would be buried, never to be known again. Here, we have James Bond's name put on the wall, before he has died, and there is obviously a larger context to this we will need to know, however, it is, most likely, being linked back to Rodriguez and Skyfall
When Madeline Swann (Lea Seydoux) is saved by Bond, she asks him, "Why should I trust you?" and he says, "Because I'm your best chance of staying alive," then, when he's romancing Lucia (Monica Belluci) she says, "I don't trust you," and Bond replies, "That's because you have impeccable instincts." It's not going to just be those who do or don't trust Bond, there is also who Bond has trusted (like Blofeld when he was growing up) and who he should not have trusted.
Q (Ben Whishaw) has a greatly expanded role in Spectre, and yet, Bond asks the same thing of him in both films: "Make me disappear." In Skyfall, Bond needs Q to make him and M disappear as they go to Scotland to get a step ahead of Silva, and in Spectre, he's wanting to disappear again. This reveals another Skyfall theme continuing in Spectre: the shadows. In Skyfall, M and Mallory discuss why it's so difficult to combat the threats around them and that's because their enemies exist in the shadows, and M mentions this again in the Committee Hearing panel she's brought up before. In the trailer for Spectre, Madeline asks Bond, "Is this really what you want? Living in the shadows, hunting and being hunted?" Bond is a part of those shadows, and so we will need to keep our minds open for how--IF at all--the shadows have crept into Bond's soul or how he has managed to keep the shadows from creeping into his soul. When he asks Q to make him disappear, is Bond asking Q to make him become even more of a shadow, or to disappear even to those who themselves have disappeared into the shadows? On a slightly different note, in Skyfall, when speaking of leaving the trail of bread crumbs for Silva to find so Silva will know that Bond is going to Skyfall and fall into the trap, Q tells Bill Tanner, "Make the crumb too small, and you risk that he won't see it. Make it too big and he'll smell a rat." The "rat" reference goes back to the story Silva told Bond of his grandmother's island and how she got rid of the rats, by "changing their nature so they no longer eat coconut, now, they just eat rat." Q, in realizing the game he is playing, demonstrates that Silva was right: Q's nature has changed, but that doesn't mean he's a rat. There is a possibility in Spectre, however, that someone is dying from poison, and that is a poison used in killing rats, if so, that will be a direct link back to Skyfall and Silva's rat story. 
"007,what took you so long?" M asks.
"Well, I got into some deep water," Bond replies, referring to the under ice-water battle from which he just emerged and still managed to save M from being shot in the head by Silva. The "deep water" is a pun, and one of the many we get to enjoy in Skyfall (like when Moneypenny tells Bond, "I'm sure we'll have one or two close shaves," referring to when she gave him a shave in Macau). The reason puns and innuendos are important is because they have to be interpreted in order to be understood (please recall, if you will, in Guardians of the Galaxy when Rocket the raccoon explains that Drax comes from a planet where everything is taking literally, he doesn't know how to interpret something "going over his head" because his reflexes are much too fast for something to go over his head,.... we don't want to be like Drax!). So, when there is one aspect of a narrative which begs interpreting, that means there are other invitations as well, we just have to look a bit harder for it.
We have previously discussed the symbolism of white, however, there is a little,... organic part of the symbol I have not had cause to mention until (possibly) now. In this image is Mr. White, whom we first met in both Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace. His name, "White," details an aspect of his character, and these are the possibilities. First, the virtuous interpretation of white is that of the purity and innocence of the soul in faith: even if a soul has led a sinful life, but has done penance, they can regain the innocence of their soul through grace and white symbolizes this innocence because it is the absence of the dark stains of sin., so the soul is "alive" to the virtues of faith, hope and charity, and dead to the temptations of the world. On the other hand, white can negatively symbolize a person who is dead to faith, hope and charity because a corpse turns white as rigor mortis sets in, so this application of white means a soul which is alive to the ways of the world--ambition, greed, wealth and fame, etc.--but dead to the virtues of heaven. This latter interpretation would generally apply to Mr. White, since he is a villain. Now, and element of the symbolism of white which enhances our understanding is that, when a body is burnt by flames, it turns ashen white (like a corpse) so white can also symbolize a person who has been "burned." A good person (hero) being "burned" would be burned by the purging fire of the Holy Spirit, whereas a bad person being (villain) burned would be burned by the fires of damnation and hell. There is a detail I have picked up which may or may not play out, so we will see.  Additionally, White is living an ascetic existence at this point, or at least, it appears so from the trailer, and he's wearing a gray shirt, which is usually the color of the penitent or the pilgrim, so White might be in a state of conversion/penance, and such a state might be the reason he decides to help Bond in spite of Bond having thrown him in the trunk of his car for one crazy ride at the start of Quantum Of Solace. We will have to see. Again, please remember, that at the beginning of Quantum Of Solace, Mr. White is being interrogated by M and he begins with, "We have people everywhere, isn't that right, Mitchell?" and M's body guard shoots at M; in the Spectre trailer, when Bond asks White, "Where is he?" White replies, "He's everywhere!" so there is a connection between these two scenes we will have to figure out.
Bond's "personal issues" are important in Skyfall: when he's held prisoner by Silva, Silva tries to convince Bond that M has used them and distorted them for her own ends, and Bond quickly replies, "I've made my own decisions." This debate on free will or programming is an important one, and as the narrative progresses, this very issue for Bond--did I make my own choices?--is what drives Bond to, as he explains to M, "go back in time" to Skyfall and determine whether or not he's been in charge of his life all this time. As the last fight takes place, water and ice are important, they reveal to us the stages of Bond's intimate meditation and progress in his meditation and this is going to be imperative in Spectre as well because, the very man who took care of him as an orphan is now saying, "I was the author of all your pain." But there is another means of understanding what Bond is thinking: glass. Please pay attention to the scene when Blofeld leads Bond and Madeline down the glass hallway:
Glass, as we know, is a symbol of "reflection" because, as it reflects exterior reality, it also reflects symbolically the interior reality. In other words, where there is glass/reflections, it means one or more characters are actually reflecting on events, and the action they are taking or will take is a result of what they have reflected upon. So, in the scene above, as they walk through this hallway, Bond is reflecting, and perhaps--we don't know what has happened to lead up to this scene--Bond has decided that stopping Blofeld is worth the ultimate price: his own life. The "bridge" that a hallway symbolizes is the leaving of one area or way of thinking, and journeying into another area or way of thinking (a hallway or bridge just acts as a metaphor of interior shifting or change of direction).
All three water elements are in this scene, as Bond goes to see Mr. White. The water upon which his boat sails, the fog in the air and the snow on the landscape. So what do we make of this? The snow tells us that there is something(s) Bond has all ready figured out but he's just now starting to think about something else (the water) and there is a confusion (the fog) about how, if at all, they are related. In other words, this is an incredible scene set-up and one we will need to pay particular attention to. If you will recall, as Bond enters, there is a black bird that comes flying out from the house as he goes through looking for Mr. White: the black bird is the opposite of the Holy Spirit, which appeared at Christ's baptism as the white dove. The black bird, then, is a sign of death, both physical--that Mr. White is dying--and spiritual. That doesn't mean, however, that Mr. White lacks an opportunity for conversion, or that Bond will provide him with it. Then again, Mr. White may be a completely lost cause. 
There is another means of communicating that a character is thinking/meditating without telling us exactly what they are thinking about: water. In its three stages, water (liquid), fog (vapor) and snow (solid) conveys to a viewer the mindset of the character. When a character is in contact with water (except when it is water as a beverage, to be consumed, then it means something different; or a shower/bath, it generally means something different then, too) a thought has just taken a hold of a character's attention, like the character is looking into water and seeing their own reflection, they are thinking through whatever conflict or tension has been introduced to them. When a character experiences fog, clouds, mist, or steam, this lets us know they have progressed to the second level of the thought process: the boundaries of the problem or situation are causing them problems or the problems are dissolving, depending on how the vapor is present. Third is snow: when there is snow in some fashion, that means the character has solidified their thoughts on the subject and they are ready to act or not act, as the narrative warrants. James Bond films are action films; why am I dwelling on the meditative processes?
From Austria to the Sahara, the snow to the desert. Such landscapes contribute to, or even become, characterization. Not knowing what part of the film this scene plays out in, we do know that the drama of change will have something to do with Bond's inner-self. For example, when Blofeld tells Bond, "I was the author of all your pain," that is more than likely going to have some overtures to the death of Vespers in Casino Royale because of Mr. White's involvement with that whole affair, and we know that Quantum is a subsidiary of Spectre. The change in landscape might mean he's becoming more attached to Madeline, who is there with him, but Bond doesn't have the interior resources to nurture nor sustain a healthy relationship (the desert of the heart, so to speak). Regarding "Madeline," we know it is a form of "magnificent," which is what Q calls the Aston Martin, but others have also linked her name to an episode in Volume One Swann's Way by Marcel Proust, an epic work about memory and involuntary memory; given that Dr. Madeline Swann is a psychologist, she is going to have something to do with an important memory, or, indeed, may be a metaphor of Bond's memory. 
We have all ready seen how Bond was meditating on his free will in Skyfall, and going to Skyfall was going "back in time." When Moneypenny presents the box of effects forensics released from Skyfall, that, too, is going back in time, and the experience of someone Bond trusted intimately who is now claiming, "I was the author of all your pain." Bond will be reflecting upon this throughout the film; even up until this scene takes place, whenever it does, in some way or another, this is the statement the film will be about. Now, what about Mallory?
Why have the character of Mallory? He symbolizes and legitimates Bond's opposition. In other words, we need someone who can go out and pull a trigger if we need that done, but we also need someone at home making that decision and being held accountable. If you will,think of the story of the Wind In the Willows, and how Toad wants you to "Come with me! I'll show you the world!" and what happens? Because of Toad's follies, the weasels take over Toad Hall, a metaphor for British colonization and corrupt politicians taken advantage of the real leaders being spread out all over the British empire and the corrupt are ruining the country. With someone like Mallory still at home, they keep the weasels at bay, and I think we are going to see exactly that happening in the film. 
Mallory seems to be terribly stern with Bond, but the last shot of Skyfall leaves us with a different impression: the row of battle ships in the painting of the background suggests that they are men of one mind and action and they will make a formidable team. There are always bumps in any relationship, especially one where there is a 007 involved, but we shouldn't be too hard on Mallory: remember, he took a bullet meant for M in the committee hearing which Silva aimed at her.
Please note the collar on this shirt. Why do communists always wear this type of shirt? That's easy: you can't wear a tie with it, so it's not a professional shirt, it's the shirt of a workman, it's a shirt of "equality," whereas a tie puts other men above others, the "professional, white collar class" instead of the "servant, blue collar class." Another important reason is because the lack of a collar is supposed to mean that they are being led or tied to someone or something other than their ideology and loyalty for the Party. Let's see if I am right about this.
Lastly, please remember the Catholic theme running through three films: Casino Royale, his love interest is named Vespers; Skyfall, there is a priest hole wherein young James hid for three days upon the death of his parents and, Spectre, we have seen the clip of Madeline asking Bond why he does what he does and Bond replies, "It was this or the priesthood," so the spiritual element is one we need to keep in mind as well. Because there is a continuity between Skyfall and Spectre, I think we will also hear echoes of the poem Ulysses by Lord Alfred Tennyson which M read at the hearing:

We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

If we see the bulldog wrapped in the Union Jack, that will be an echo of this poem. I am going to see the first showing Friday afternoon, I was going to go to the late Thursday showing, but I will be too tired to concentrate, so I will work like the Dickens to get that post done and up asap!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
This poster is slightly different than the earlier released one: it has two spots of orange in it; why? Well, technically, it's because orange and yellow marigold flowers are popular during the Day of the Dead celebrations, but in terms of the film, we know that orange symbolizes life and virbrancy: in this scene, then, Bond is doing exactly what he is good at, this is not just a thrill for him, it's his life, it's what he was born to do and it's what he lives to do: protect and save others. Madeline being in her evening dress in this shot means we are supposed to tie the Day of the Dead scene with the scene of her asking Bond why he does what he does, two scenes we might not correlate otherwise if not for this poster and the way the symbols have been juxtaposed to communicate to us the viewers.