Friday, October 21, 2016

Newest Trailers: Dunkirk, Logan, Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol 2, Arrival, Resident Evil, Assassin's Creed

Beards are fairly difficult to interpret, and it is important that Logan wears a full beard in this film because he has always just had the "mutton chops" heretofore. Beards are typically associated with barbarians, pagans, because the refined and civilized Romans shaved their facial hair while the uncivilized did not, leading to the symbolic investment of a beard symbolizing the appetites (but not all appetites are bad). On the other hand, hermits--men who retreat away from society to cleanse themselves of appetites--also have beards and in those situations, beards symbolize wisdom. On one hand, then, we have the very hairy Logan, with his full head of hair and full beard, and the very clean-shaven Professor X (Patrick Stewart) who has no hair and no beard; these are important character distinguishing features meant to draw our attention to how and why these two characters are so different. On his cheek, we also see that Logan has a scar going down his face; why? First, it's a sign that his healing properties have stopped, or at least slowed down considerably (remember, Logan is hundreds of years old and has fought in every major war) and his healing powers was what made Logan Wolverine, that was his mutant identity. The face is the seat of our identity, the place on us where people who know us distinguish us from others they know, (we are recognized for being who we are because of the features on our face). For Logan to have a scar there implies at least two things: first, that his identity as Wolverine--ever-healing and ever-young--has failed him, finally, and as he loses his ability to regenerate after a fight, so, too, does he lose his identity. Secondly, the facial scar suggests that he has a wound he has carried with him, and that wound is a part of his identity, i.e., the very mutant super-power he has to heal, has been a wound from which he cannot heal, and like other mutants who are known for what they can do (Cyclops, Iceman, Colossus, etc.) Wolverine's mutant power has been abused by Logan to draw him deeper into despair; even though he has helped others, he has not been able to help himself, and his own, innermost identity has finally caught up to him.
Opening this weekend are several films: Jack Reacher 2, Boo! A Madea Halloween, Ouija Origin of Evil, Keeping Up With the Joneses, American Pastoral and even some more. I am going to go see Ouija Origin of Evil first, and also make it a point to catch Jack Reacher; Ouija will definitely be pro-socialist, and here is why:
Ouija, a very pro-capitalist film, was written and directed by Stiles White, whereas Origin of Evil was done by the same writer/director who did Oculus, Mike Flanagan and both Oculus and Origin of Evil have Annalise Basso in them (the older sister with red hair, Pauline). I COULD BE WRONG, however, the Ouija board game symbolizes two things in Origin of Evil: first, competition: board games, and games of any kind, are made for two or more people to compete against each other and establish a winner (in the case of Ouija, people compete against a real or non-real entity to see if they can get their questions answered) and we all know that socialists hate competition. The second thing the Ouija board symbolizes in Origin Of Evil is business and capitalism: they are using the board game for work, a rather sketchy line of business, to put it mildly. We also know that the father, the head of the family, has died (so the white heterosexual male thing is definitely at work in this film) and the "Father," the priest, is a likely target (it might not be overtly anti-Catholic, because socialists would like Catholics to come on board with their agenda, but the priestly Father is replacing the family father, who symbolizes the economy--we'll discuss this with Logan below--so the Church and capitalism are being linked, which we just saw in the opening scenes of Magnificent 7). But there is something really obvious we need to be looking out for,...
1967.
Flanagan has changed the original date in Ouija, from 1953, to 1967; that's a huge difference. Why? In Ouija, we see a newspaper article entitles, Troops Return From Korea, or something like that, so we know Doris Zander is linked to socialism (I am not going into it here, but please see Mother's Coming: Ouija for more). In 1967, In 1967, the massive Tet Offensive happened for the communist Vietnamese, and even though it didn't win them the war, socialists like to brag about that because they think it was clever of the communists to use a cease-fire treaty for the New Year to catch Americans off guard; in other words, there was nothing whatsoever honorable about them taking advantage of the ceasefire, but that's another story. So, the re-writing which Flanagan has all ready done with the film's history is evidence that he--like socialists and communists in general--will be re-writing even more history in the film. Speaking of "anti-Catholic," here is the second trailer for Assassins' Creed:
"Welcome, to the Spanish Inquisition."
Why does this matter?
For at least two reasons.
First, unlike the Inquisition in general--which was led by the Catholic Church--the Spanish Inquisition was led by the state of Spain, so to have the film going back to a state-sponsored purification reflects (today's) conservatives wanting to, for example, build a wall to keep out dangerous immigrants (as many converts to Christianity during the medieval and Renaissance periods were to water down the faith and introduce dangerous new "ideas" into the teachings so as to lead people astray). The second reasons this matters, is because--as we saw in Tarzan--these film makers are taking a historical period which had its own societal norms and moral codes, and graft on to the period today's morality to highlight "barbarism" by today's standards. It looks like they have done a lot of work on the film, but it's definitely going pro-socialist. Here's one I'm not so sure about:
I am confident this will be one highly complex narrative: just as she is having to translate the language, so, too, are we. What do we know about the aliens? We can tell, from their alphabet, they are a matriarchal society, women dominate, because circles--the persistent basis of their written language--is shaped as   "o" whereas in our patriarchal system the alphabet is shaped with sharp lines and "phallic" symbols, as feminists like to point out. The "octopus like" features of the aliens we have seen invoke the octopus of the HYDRA symbol in the Marvel Universe, as well as SPECTRE and its logo in the James Bond film Spectre. I'm not going to call this film yet, with language being highlighted and translation being employed (because we, the audience, are being asked to "translate" the narrative we are seeing) I'm not going to make any other statements about Arrival yet. Here is another film championing the importance of language:
Yea, it IS a like like that Joaquin Phoenix film Her, maybe because we all need, even really need, the same things we aren't getting from each other: love. We need love so desperately, we are willing to try and program computers to make us feel like we are getting love. Now, let's take a look at Logan:
The little girl is X-23, from what I understand, she was a manufactured mutant, made to be like Wolverine: indestructible. Logan (Hugh Jackman) is nearly unrecognizable; why? In the absolutely amazing Wolverine 2, we saw how intricately Logan's identity as the American economy was crafted by film makers, and that identity is going to carry through to their final film with Jackman wearing the Wolverine claws, but just as the American economy has undergone dramatic transformation at the hands of a socialist for 8 years (Obama and his administration) so, too, has the amazing durable Wolverine. Men of child-bearing age typically symbolize the economy, while women of child-bearing age are typically associated with the "mother land." Older men and women--such as Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart)--symbolize the law, the Founding Fathers while older women (think of Judi Dench's character "M" in James Bond Skyfall) stand-in for the traditions and customs of a country, their identity as a collective. So how does this fit in with X-23?
The hair, beard, facial expression of Logan and dirty undershirt we see throughout the trailer remind me of Stephen Lang's The Blind Man character from Don't Breathe.  I don't know what it means yet, but I think we should keep that in mind when we finally get to see Logan
Logan will likely play a doubly-symbolic role in the film: the aging American economy, which has taken so many knocks it has lost the ability to heal itself, and a "Founding Father" figure, not only to X-23 (Professor X emphasizes how much the girl and Logan are alike, like father--Father Father--and daughter) as well as a (Founding) father figure for new mutants who are mysteriously "all gone" now (and that will undoubtedly have an impact on how we are to understand Logan in the film). Logan's health, or illness as may be the case, might also appear in this new film, A Cure For Wellness:
What does "a cure for wellness" sound like to you? A way to make someone sick. Why would someone want to be sick? To have someone there, like an institution, like the one we see in the trailer, so take care of you. Dane DeHaan's character is in a car wreck, like the wreck we see Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in for Doctor Strange; the eels we see at the end of the trailer are a lot like socialism, an artificial means of "stimulating" the health (as socialism will artificially dump money into an economy to try and resuscitate it, so the eels are trying to help DeHaan's character get his health back). Now, let's look at another film where the father figure is going to have a dramatic role on the outcome of events. I actually thought this Rogue One trailer was going to be attached to Doctor Strange and we wouldn't be seeing it until November, but I guess they decided to release it early (Doctor Strange will be getting its own, independent post, since there is so much to write about it):
I am immense excited about this film and its story line. If you are confused about its "time frame" don't feel bad: it's set in-between Star Wars III: Revenge Of the Sith and the original Star Wars that found Luke Skywalker (Luke Hamill) on the planet of Tatooine wanting to go join the Rebellion himself. There are two father figures in this (that we have seen): first, Mads Mikkelson's character and Darth Vadar. The question is, which father figure wins the day? Rogue One's rebellion isn't the only rebellion we are going to be seeing:
The galaxy won't save itself; why not? Because, maybe, as in A Cure For Wellness, the galaxy wants to be sick, and only some heroes who know what it is like to be sick, can save the galaxy from wanting to become sicker. Why do we have heroes who have suffered, like Logan? Because when we have been through suffering, we have our priorities straight, we know what the most important things are in life, and we know they are worth fighting for. In Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, we certainly see that thesis come to life and face death:
The microcosm of our individual lives played out against the macrocosm of massive death in World War II is a ready comparison to the Rebellion of Rogue One, and even the drive to find a mate for Star Lord (Chris Pratt) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and a driving force for Alice in Resident Evil:
At 0:36, that tower we see should remind you of the tower for Vortigern (Jude Law) in the trailer for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword at 0:55 (and even the "tower" of water we see at the start of the trailer for A Cure For Wellness); why? You know the saying about living in "an ivory tower" where the toils and hardships of daily life don't effect someone, and we can see that at work in these trailers, each in its own way; what's important, once more, is an emerging pattern of this tower we are seeing. (The "Umbrella" corporation Alice fights against is like SPECTRE in the Bond film because all the organizations which Bond had fought leading up to Spectre were "arms of the octopus" but SPECTRE was the umbrella organization for all the others, like the Umbrella Corporation in Resident Evil; in other words, it's just a disguise, or a cover, for more sinister, international agendas).
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