Monday, March 28, 2016

Tyrants & Heroes: Batman vs Superman Dawn Of Justice

Perhaps the most confusing aspect of the film will be that both Superman and Batman have mothers named Martha; why? Women symbolize the "motherland," so the two radically different heroes have the same mother--Bruce Wayne from the upper 1% of society and Clark Kent from the simple farm in Kansas--they come from the same place, America, in spite of their differences, and they both have to work to save her. Why is one of the biggest films of the year getting such bad reviews? Christianity. The film is not only loaded with Christian symbols and theology, but also evil, which doesn't get discussed much (I will explain why this is so daring). With all this Christian discussion, does Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice attempt to make Superman out to be God? No, it's doing something far more radical, and I love it.
It's important to remember that the reason why super-hero films are so popular--and lucrative--is because the genre and themes of leadership preserve and remind us of distinctly of American values. Comic books, like cinema, were popularized in America and are an art form that, while international, still speak most directly to Americans' hearts and cultural values. Batman vs Superman continues this tradition, and it's why so many liberal film critics got upset with the film: Christianity and the desire to preserve America, not turn it into a socialist hell, and there are plenty of clues to back this up to even the most casual viewers.
There are three important keys to understanding the film: first, a painting hanging in Luthor's den depicting the battle between St. Michael and Satan; secondly, The Wizard Of Oz and, thirdly, the two mothers both being named "Martha." The film could easily be likened to a book of philosophy because it goes pretty deep, especially for a "super hero flick," but the film not only wants us to think about the events and why they are happening, but also to interpret what is going on so, speaking of interpretation, let's start with the painting hanging in the Luthor study.
In the image above, the painting is still right-side up (the large white figure towards the top are the wings of St Michael looking down on Satan). There is another Henry Cavill film where an important image gets turned upside-down: The Man From UNCLE. In the beginning of the film, Illya and his KGB handler are going over Napoleon Solo's profile, and the man operating the slide machine puts Solo's mug shot in upside-down, then apologizes and puts it right-side up; why does this happen? We could call it a Freudian slip: Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, "In America, they would rather let ten guilty men go then to prosecute one innocent man. In Russia, we would rather condemn ten innocent men than to let one guilty man go." The man operating the slide machine, hearing the KGB handler explaining Solo's criminal background, sees Solo has being "upside-down" because criminals should be prosecuted and condemned, not given a plea bargain and allowed to go to work for the government in exchange for their prison sentence (for more, please see Only My Mother Calls Me Napoleon: The Man From UNCLE). The truth is, America is the land of second chances, which is what we saw in Christopher Nolan's film The Dark Knight Rises (with Anne Hatheway's character wanting her background erased) and in the Fast and Furious films with Dominic (Vin Diesel) and his team of criminals-turned-government-aides. Why is any of this important and related to Batman vs Superman? MERCY (please see below in the caption under Sen Finch and Mercy Graves for more on this discussion). 
When we first see the painting (pictured above) it's hanging right-side up, with the archangel St Michael damning Satan and his dark angels into hell; by the end of the film, however, photographers are gathered around (is this supposed to invoke Citizen Kane, with the painting being the opposite of "Rosebud?" There are so many film references, this might be a possibility) it and it's been turned upside-down, so that Satan appears to be damning St Michael to heaven. I think this is a rather good way of illustrating what is happening in America today: conservatives want to cast out all those responsible for the damage they have caused to the country, and liberals want the hell they have created in the country all to themselves. In the film, both Superman and Batman take turns at being God and the devil, but it means something different for each of them when they are placed in that role, and it means something very different for us, the viewers, in the final analysis.
This is Bruce Wayne, in one of three dream sequences he has in the film. Wayne Manor (we aren't told how it came to be so dilapidated) is in the background and he walks towards it. The opening scenes of the film of dead leaves flying around slowly, softly, and a voice over of Wayne remembering how his childhood was a time of love, a time of perfection, and we can compare that to all of us Americans looking back at 1981, the Reagan years, when "everyone was rich" (and, since Excalibur is playing at the theater where the Wayne family is, we can even say that the Reagan years are being compared to Camelot and the hope and promise of King Arthur and his knights). As the murder scene of Mr and Mrs Wayne plays out, there is also the scene of their funeral taking place, and young Bruce running away into the woods and falling into a deep hole. This scene is important because it reveals an existential exchange between Bruce who falls into the ground at the beginning of the film, and Clark who is placed into the ground at the end of the film; the bats lift Bruce up into the light, the bits of dirt begin levitating off Clark's coffin. What is so interesting is, Bruce says that he thought the bats were lifting him up towards the light, but it was a lie. Why? In one of his dream sequences, he goes to visit the graves of his parents and notices a thick, black liquid (like tar) coming out of the monument; he touches it, and then his own bat suit comes out of the wall to attack him. Because the bat suit is black, and black is the color of death, Bruce Wayne is buried with hsi parents, and dead to what he should really be doing in life. Because the bat suit attacking him is obviously hostile, Bruce is realizing that he is hurting himself by being the bat: he doesn't trust people, he doesn't let himself get close to anyone, and he takes on roles (being policeman, for example) that he isn't qualified to do. This dream is interesting because it mirrors one from Excalibur, the film they watched before his parents died: Lancelot sleeps in the forest, and is supposed to go defend the honor of Queen Guinevere the next day, but a knight comes and attacks him and Lancelot realizes it was his own self, that even though he and Guinevere hadn't actually committed sin physically, they have in their hearts; Lancelot awakens to find that he has stabbed himself in his side with his own sword. Regarding Batman vs Superman,  Bruce probably thinks he wishes his parents were still alive, but the bat suit attack reveals that Bruce really wishes he was dead, and this understanding of the dream reveals why Bruce is so determined to wage war against Superman: Superman is the only one who can defeat Batman (Alfred tells Bruce it's suicide because it is). When Superman tells Batman that he's giving him a warning and this is Superman's act of mercy to him, Batman is really thinking, no, you killing me would be an act of mercy. By the end of the film, when Superman is dead, Bruce is alive because the assembling of the "other" meta-humans gives him a new purpose.
On one hand, Superman is called a god because he seems to have unlimited powers and can do whatever he wants; on the other hand, he is also called a devil because it's assumed he's going to use that power only for himself and his own ends. What's the problem? The film points out two: first, because we have been lied to so many times, about so much, and because people like Lex Luthor (read: George Soros) spend money to make good guys look like villains, we don't trust anyone. Case in point: Wallie, the security guard. Wallie looses his legs when Wayne Enterprises collapses during Man Of Steel and he blames Superman for it (Wallie is the one who spray paints "FALSE GOD" onto the statue of Superman in Heroes Park). We know the legs symbolize our "standing" in society, and--to Wallie--he lost everything "because of Superman" fighting Zod, so he blames Superman; the question is, did Wallie really lose his "standing" in society? Wayne Enterprises continued paying Wallie his salary, but Wallie returned the checks with angry (written in red) accusations against Wayne and didn't want his checks from his job, but Wallie was willing to take a free wheelchair from someone else,...
The Christian symbols utilized throughout the film are prevalent and obvious; why? It's not because the film wants to make Superman to be God--Lex Luthor does that, so when the villain exhibits a certain thought process, you know it's totally wrong and not what the film supports--rather, the film makers want to make it clear to us the viewers that Superman is a man who is above nature because he chooses what is right, always. He doesn't choose himself, but the highest good, and that is to honor God and exactly what each of us should do in every situation of our lives; if we don't, then at best, we can hope to become a self-destructive and bitter Bruce Wayne; at worst, we will become Lex Luthors. The image at the top is the statue of Superman in Heroes Park; why is that important? It shows him bowed down because of the burden he took upon himself to defend us when we couldn't defend ourselves (the way Christ took it upon Himself to pay off the debt of Original Sin when we couldn't pay it off ourselves). Why is this important to the film? Because there is something that each one of us can do that no one else can: if you are a parent, only you can raise your children to become the people they are destined to become. If you are a student, only you can take your education into your hands and work as hard as you can, to not only make sure you fulfill all your talents, but you make every effort to be the best you can be. In the second image we see a close-up of the words FALSE GOD which Wallie painted on the statue; why did he do that? On one hand, Wallie saw people like Lex Luthor, who were equating Superman with God, and that is absolutely correct; but I think what Wallie really meant is that, in always trying to do the right thing, Superman has made himself God and that is what Wallie--and liberals in general--is upset about. To substantiate this interpretation of Wallie's actions, remember that Martha Kent, who wears a cross around her neck, is called a witch by Luthor--a bride of Satan--and is going to be burned to death like one; so, for being a Christian, she's considered Satanic by the villain who wants Satan to rule the world,... oh, real logical there, Lex. Wallie has spray-painted FALSE GOD over the "S", the sign of hope, because Superman doesn't offer Wallie any hope, because Superman hasn't offered Wallie anything,.... but Lex Luthor did, a new wheelchair, so Lex Luthor is really Wallie's God. What about image number three, with the Day Of the Dead celebration? The make-up they are wearing is supposed to make us see them as being spiritually dead, but seeing Superman rescue this girl, who cannot in any way pay him back for the kindness he has shown her, has brought their faith back to life and they are grateful for it, because it reminds us of the life Christ gives to us. Now, in the last image, this is basically a reversal of what happens with Batman: Batman's symbol is shown up in the air, and Batman speeds towards the scene on the ground; in this image, however, Superman's sign has been drawn on a roof in a flood and Superman appears in the air; why is this role reversal important? Bruce Wayne, at the start of the film, thought the bats were taking him towards the light, but that was a lie; Superman is the one who is in the light (in this bottom image) and this is the source of Batman's real feud with Superman: Superman is simply a better man than Batman and Batman knows it. By the end of the film, however, at the grave of Superman, Bruce Wayne has a conversion, and realizes that only Superman could have made the sacrifice (like Christ) that Superman made and Bruce Wayne is grateful because Superman saved Bruce Wayne's life, too. 
The point is imperative: those with evil agendas, like Luthor, are ready to buy those who harbor private grudges, can turn those private grudges into public policy (Wallie is the "vehicle" for Superman being forced to appear at the Capitol and then blew everyone up and framed it on Superman again) and thereby clear the way for their own truly evil agendas to take root. Case in point: Luthor successfully manages to frame Superman so people turn against him; when Superman is the only one who can save the people, they believe "God has turned against them" so they turn to the devil for help. How is this playing out in reality? Well, look at people like Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, who all want to save the country (regardless of what you may or may not think of them) and how the Left is adamantly trying to turn public opinion against all of them so preserve the hell they are still creating in this country. How does this relate to the painting in Luthor's study?
These scenes between Perry and Clark aren't filler, they are actually important, because real-life CNN anchors are in the film and, we could easily say, the idealistic words which Clark talks about The Daily Planet doing the right thing is what CNN should be doing by exposing Obama and all the corruption in his administration. Perry mentions that things were really different in 1938 when the paper was founded, like the cost of different items; one thing that has stayed the same, however, is that in 1938, Adolf Hitler was TIME's Man of the Year, and the liberal media still touts Obama has being their all-time favorite president. An example of the "new" role of the media today, after the explosion at the Senate building, Soledad O'Brien comments later that it had been a week since Superman had been seen, so did that mean he was in fact guilty? Oh, okay, thank you for that expert legal maneuvering, miss anchor. The news media has not done its job in America and we all know it, which is why shows keep getting cut off of CNN, no one watches them. Now, Perry has gotten upset with Clark because he assigned Clark to do a sports article on an underdog team and Clark didn't do it; this actually was an important piece, because being an underdog and having your dreams is part of the American dream of  success. For example, Senator Finch was raised on a farm in Kentucky; did you think she thought she would one day end up being a Senator? Clark and Lois are talking about what he should do regarding Superman, and he says, maybe it was just the dream of a farm boy from Kansas. Dreams are important because they help to guide our destiny. Last note: Perry also makes a reference to The Wizard Of Oz, when he asks where Clark is and says, it's like he clicks his heels three times and is back in Kansas. That's rather important because it establishes Metropolis as the land dominated by the Wicked Witch and her army of flying monkeys. 
At the start of the film, it's St Michael defeating Satan; by the end of the film, when Superman is dead, it's Satan defeating St Michael. Most of the characters in the film, government and press figures, as well as viewers in the audience, have been complicit with the Luthor agenda the entire film. When we, as a society, allow the Left to assassinate the characters and destroy the credibility of good people honestly trying to do the right thing, then we have become complicit with the forces of evil working against God in the world. This brings us to Batman's ambiguous role in the film.
This is an excellent example: Holly Hunter plays Senator June Finch, and in the trailer, it looks like she's going to be a corrupt politician and that's easy to believe because Americans have been so betrayed by elected leaders; the truth is, she stands against Lex Luthor, and refuses to let him create a weapon against Superman,... so Luthor destroys her and frames Superman for it. We know, with a name like Finch, that we are supposed to be thinking of Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird, one of American literature's most beloved characters. Lex Luthor provides us with how he sees the "rebellious" senator: her first name is "June," as in "June Cleaver" of Leave It To Beaver, but instead of admiring her for standing up for what she believes (like Superman himself does) Luthor nicknames her "June bug," a gross bug that everyone hates to deal with. The fate of Senator Finch is, sadly, the fate of most average Americans today who get "assassinated" by liberal trolls when they stand up to try and do the right thing because liberals can't stand dissension. So, who is the woman in the top image? That's Lex Luthor's personal assistant, Mercy Graves,... what a name, eh? Lex tells Mercy to go in and save his seat before the Senate Panel hearing begins, knowing there is a bomb inside Wallie's wheelchair and it will kill Mercy, along with every other person in there, except Superman, who is framed for it. There is an interesting part when Superman approaches Batman and tells him not to go when they flash his sign in the sky anymore, "Consider this mercy," Superman tells him, because if Batman doesn't accept it, Superman feels he's going to have to kill him. Lex was in a position to show mercy to Wallie by giving him the new wheelchair and helping him get a new life (the way, for example, billionaire Donald Trump reimbursed Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi for his lost personal savings after being jailed in Mexico for three months) ; just as "Mercy" is put in its "Grave" with the using of Wallie and his wheelchair as the vehicle of Lex's agenda to destroy Superman, so the truth and justice which Senator Finch represents is also laid to rest with mercy in the grave, as Superman will be at the end of the film.
At one point, police arrive to free a group of Asians in a cell and they refuse to come out, saying, "The devil saved us, but he's still here," referring to Batman who is trying to find out where he can get Kryptonite. Is Batman the devil? This is important: technically, no, but because he's playing into the hands of the devil (i.e., Luthor) then he's easily associated with the devil. How? Why? Batman doesn't wear a red cape, he wears a black cape. Bruce Wayne isn't bad, but because he hasn't loved and sacrificed for love, he doesn't trust that anyone can have love in their heart and as the motivation for doing what they do (this is probably close to the situation we will find Tony Stark in for Captain America: Civil War). Wayne believes there is a 1% possibility that Superman can destroy the world (rather like 100% of liberals believing that Bruce Wayne is the 1% of wealth in the country and he should be destroyed) and because Batman doesn't have faith in Superman, he sides with the devil, even if that is unknowingly; it's not until the funeral of Superman that Bruce Wayne realizes what he has done and refuses to ally himself with the wrong party again, even if only by accident. This leads us to the second question we have to ask about the film.
Let's talk about the symbolism of Superman's costume, and then we will discuss his death, because when Superman dies, everything his costume communicates to us is dead with him. We know the color blue (the dominate color of his suit) denotes both sadness and wisdom, because it is from our most difficult experiences in life that we gain wisdom. The arms are blue because Clark gets his strength from wisdom; his legs are blue because his standing amongst humans is based on his wisdom to keep a certain distance from them as well. He wears his emblem over his chest, where his heart and other vital organs are because that symbol of hope IS his heart and his ability to function. Red, we know, symbolizes blood, because you either love someone so much that you would shed your blood for them, or you hate someone so much you would be willing to shed their blood to appease your wrath against them. Superman's cape is red because it's his love for humanity that compels him to help and save humanity; a cape, which rests upon the shoulders, symbolizes our burdens in life, and Clark's love for humanity is his burden that he takes up for us (which is one of the religious symbols in the film, as Christ took up His Cross for us). When Sen. Finch visits Lex to tell her she's going to block the license for the Kryptonian, Lex says, "The red capes are coming, the red capes are coming," to imitate Paul Revere warning about the British invasion, but Luthor is hoping that Sen Finch hates good people just as much as Lex Luthor hates good people, which is why Luthor uses Superman's red cape to mock him, hwne that's a sign of his greatness and devotion to humanity. Batman's cape, on the other hand, is black, and black symbolizes death. There is good death (that you are dead to the appetites of the world but alive to the spirit and needs of your soul) and there is bad death (that you are dead in your spirit and to the needs of your soul, but alive to the appetites of worldly pleasures and sin). Batman is dead to worldly appetites, he lives a fairly modest life considering his huge fortune, but as his dream sequence of his parents' graves reveals, he is also dead to the needs of his soul and spirit, specifically, trusting others and believing in the good of humanity. Clark's boots are also red, like Dorothy's red slippers in The Wizard Of Oz, because our feet symbolize our will (our will takes us in life where we want to go and what we want to achieve the way our feet actually carry us to the places we want to go). There is actually a part in Batman vs Superman when Superman fights Doomsday and Doomsday uses one of the slaps of stone carved with the names of all those who died in the General Zod fight, and Doomsday uses it to smash Superman with: Superman's legs, with his red boots, stick out from under the slap like the Witch of the East's feet from under Dorothy's house; why? The names of those who were accidentally killed is more important to this generation than the lives of all the rest of the world that was saved, and it has been used against Superman to vilify him instead of honoring him with our gratitude. Why is the background of the "S" in gold? Because gold doesn't tarnish, and gold denotes kings and royalty (the only ones who can afford gold, and the only gift that is fit for royalty) so gold denotes our dignity as humans, that we are created in the image of God and no matter what we do we are still humans created in the likeness of God. This is part of the hope that the "S" symbolizes on Krypton, our dignity, and because of our dignity, there is hope that we will remember our dignity and act accordingly.  Why is he the "Man Of Steel?" because like steel, he won't bend or break when it comes to what he believes, unlike politicians and other public figures today always re-tracking statements that upset certain Leftist organizations who censor us. All of these things and characteristics are meant to inspire us, however, liberals don't want to be inspired, they take the worst of any person, and use that as an excuse for their own immoral behavior (George Washington wasn't a great man because he owned slaves, so we don't have to honor him or be inspired to serve our country, a liberal would think). All of these noble and honorable features is what dies with Superman when he dies because you can't have a noble and honorable culture if they doen't know what gratitude is.
Why are there so many references to The Wizard Of Oz? Like Dorothy Gale, Clark Kent is from Kansas, and like Glenda, people are asking Superman, "Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?"  (we'll discuss Martha Kent being called a witch below); as the Munchkins sings that, "There'll be a bust, in the hall of fame!" so there is a statue to Superman and, both Dorothy and Superman have "ruby red" shoes (there are still more references, like Lex singing, "Ding, dong, God is dead," when he's in jail) but you've caught them because they are so obvious. So, what do they all mean?
The Wizard Of Oz's Elvira Gulch owns "half the county" and because of that, she controls the local politicians, and that is neither capitalism nor democracy the way they are supposed to work in a Republic like ours, so Miss Gulch is easily a Hitler figure The Wizard Of Oz was warning against and trying to inspire people to want to stop because Hitler both started seizing many of the factories and means of production in Germany for the government to run, as well as murdering the politicians who didn't side with him so he could rule more easily. It's easily argued that Miss Gulch also was not a Christian (since it's through Baptism that Dorothy melts her; when the Wizard of Oz chimes in, 'Oh, you liquidated her," he refers to the selling off of her assets so no one will have that kind of financial control over the county again--that is, back in Kansas where Dorothy is trying to get back to).  We can then see, in the top image (the first part of the dream), how we get The Wizard Of Oz, which is largely filmed in the sepia tones we see in Batman vs Superman above, and then, in the second part of the dream, we get "Hitler" with his SS soldiers bowing to him. Okay, so how does this figure into this disturbing dream sequence Bruce Wayne has about Superman? In the top image, we see soldiers (they look more like insects) which are supposed to symbolize the Witch of the West's flying monkeys who attack Dorothy and her friends. Why are they attacking Bruce Wayne? On one level of Bruce Wayne's psyche, he's a conspiracy theorist trying to justify his intense dislike of Superman and that everyone seems to be working against Wayne in protecting themselves from this all-powerful alien. On a deeper level, Freud told us that "All dreams are fulfillments of a wish," so we might deduce that Bruce wants to be discovered by Superman so Superman will take over the job of defeating the bad guys (Superman tells Bruce the bat is dead). So, if this is true, then why doesn't Bruce Wayne stop being Batman when, in reality, Superman stops him and tells him not to go to his light in the sky anymore? Because Bruce Wayne genuinely cares, and you can't just stop caring about the land you love, and you can't just sign over the protection and well-being of it to someone you don't know or trust. There is, however, an important honorable note in Bruce's behavior towards Superman: when he sees the former security guard, Wallie, on Capitol Hill and wanting to testify against, Superman, Bruce is concerned that something bad is happening to Superman that shouldn't be happening; why? He senses that something, or someone, like Lex Luthor is using Wallie and Wallie is letting them. When Bruce sees Wallie's returned checks, he knows it's a bad situation; this doesn't change his intentions to destroy Superman, but it reveals that he only wants to destroy Superman because he believes Superman will (eventually) destroy them. That is, in essence, the same kind of love which Superman has humanity, but being human, Bruce Wayne is subject to making mistakes and, therefore, believing that everyone else will make the same mistakes. (For more on The Wizard Of Oz and the prophecy of World War II it brought to audiences, please see A Call To Arms: The Wizard Of Oz).
If you've read my analysis of The Wizard Of Oz, you know the beloved movie of 1939 was a prophecy of everything to happen the next ten years and a "call to arms," that--when Dorothy's house lands on the Witch of the East, and then the Witch of the West appears, Dorothy asks Glenda, "I thought you said she was dead?" and Glenda replies, "That was her sister, she's worst than the first," and that refers to Germany and World War I that America helped defeat; so why are they rising up again? Didn't we finish them? When the Witch of the West appears, she first wants to know who murdered her sister; that's because, Germany's first impulse under Hitler was revenge for the death of Germany under the Treaty of Versailles; when reminded about the slippers, the power grab becomes obvious, and the film makers want the audience to make a mental note: do we want the "Will to Power" (because feet, upon which the slippers are worn) to be worn by those who want revenge, or by ones who will be guided by love (consequently, we will see the same questions asked in Captain America: Civil War)? We see this formulated as well in one of the end-credit scenes of Ant-Man when Hank Pym presents Hope with her own suit, moralizing that we can't get rid of power, just control who has it. Okay, so again, why does any of this have to do with Superman and Batman?
There are three important things we need to discuss with Wonder Woman: first, her her clothes being so revealing, two, the gold "necklace" she wears about her neck (hopefully you have all ready figured out this one) and, three, Belgium, Nov 1918, She wears quite the revealing dresses in this film; why? She's going to be "exposed." She is exposed by Luthor in the file he has on her and the other meta-humans, as well as Bruce Wayne exposing her. The gold necklace she wears reveals her character to us: gold doesn't tarnish, and that which won't tarnish is what guides her and leads her on in her life and mission. At the grave of Superman, she tells Bruce, a hundred years ago, I turned my back on mankind, and that is because, we are tarnished, we don't shine so brightly and we have a lot of faults, but this leads us to the last detail about her: Belgium. It's purely coincidental, I'm sure, that the terrorist attack happened just before the film was released, and her photo was taken in the country, but what does it mean? In November 1918, the monarchy fought a decisive battle against the Nazis and the monarchy was restored, and she was there. So what does this mean? She fights against socialism, and will try to restore that which socialism has ruined.
The references to The Wizard Of Oz are reminding us that we fought a massive, costly war against socialism, and so installing a new socialist regime is the last thing we should be doing because "That's not who we are," i.e., socialists. By blurring the lines of "Who is a good witch and a bad witch," the film mirrors reality and how the press and the Left intentionally turns capitalists like Trump into a Hitler figure (regardless of what you think of Trump) when Trump is as far from Hitler as I am, but this is how reality--like the painting in Lex's study--gets turned "upside down": cinema is an art form, and like the comic books upon which Batman and Superman are based, they hold a unique and unsullied archive of our beginnings as a nation, the evolution of our cultural values and document our moral positions on various issues, just as a beloved and great classic like The Wizard Of Oz does; Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice, like the Coen Brothers' recent film, Hail Caesar!, wants us to appreciate that the film makers appreciate that they have a serious duty and responsibility with the film medium to preserve our identity as a nation through out art forms which best express who we truly are instead of some evil twit telling us who we are in propaganda.  Now, we can address the last question about the two Marthas in the film.
Something interesting happens in this scene that I can't fully explain. Whenever Lex speaks in the film, he becomes like Obama going off the teleprompter and starts saying things revealing his real character, his true intentions and agendas (however, Lex is not an Obama figure, Lex Luthor is a George Soros figure, Obama is represented by another character in the film). Likewise, in this scene when Lex threatens Superman to bring him the head of the bat or Martha dies, "the mother of god," Lex calls her and then he says, "six, nineteen, eighty two" (I'm pretty sure he says that) and then sets that cheap kitchen oven timer. Why? On June 19, 1982, "the banker of God," Roberto Calvi, was found dead of "apparent suicide" resulting from a massive fraud and breaking of Italy's financial laws; it was later ruled murder by a very interesting forensics investigation NCIS' Gibbs would be proud of. The Batman vs Superman film makers referring to Martha Kent as the "mother of god," then providing the date of the finding of the body of the man known as "God's banker," is a clue that we are on the right path; I'm just not quite sure where that path is leading, unless, it's a warning that the same kind of catastrophic collapse is imminent in the world again, and because of people like Lex Luthor.  Now, Secrets Of the Fed lists 125 scientists, 75 high-level bankers and 3 investigative-journalists who have all died within the last couple of years of highly suspicious circumstances (like one Denver banker who shot supposedly shot himself 8 times in the head and torso,... with a nail gun. There is an infectious disease scientist who was stabbed 196 times, and that was ruled suicide; the link gives a detailed account of each person and the events surrounding their death, not to mention a certain conservative Supreme Court judge found dead with a pillow over his face). It's possible that this slight detail in the film is meant to draw our attention to larger issues at work in the country through the long, shadowy arm of the Obama administration. 
Martha Wayne was utterly different from Martha Kent, yet we see the same violence effecting both women: murder. Why does Martha Wayne's pearl necklace get caught in the gun of the mugger just before he shoots her, and then the strand breaks, pearls dropping down into the sewer? Pearls, because of the way they are made, generally symbolize wisdom, and a pearl necklace is supposed to symbolize that the woman herself is lead by wisdom in her thoughts and actions. "Cast ye not pearls before swine," the New Testament tells us, and the pearls dropping into the sewer would be a sign that the pearls of wisdom have not been heeded,... what pearls of wisdom, exactly?
Excalibur.
Why the name "Martha?" In Hebrew, the root of the name means "bitter," and when Clark goes to talk to his mom, she tells him, "You don't owe this world a thing," and that isn't true, and by the sacrifice Clark makes, we know he knows it isn't true either: earth was the safe harbor when Krypton imploded; America was the country that gave him his values and cultural identity, and the good people of Kansas (of which I am one) gave him a strong work ethic (which generally exists in the US, but especially in my home state). What happens to Martha, exactly? She's taking out the trash, and then she's taken hostage. In other words, she is working--which is what Martha in the Bible was doing, instead of listening to Jesus teach--and as she is working (taking out the trash being part of her job) she is taken hostage,... like so many millions of  Americans who have been out of work for years.  Now, we have to break for a quick history lesson. From about 1950 to 1956, the US Senate was on, what was described as a "witch hunt" for communists and socialists in the country, specifically those working in television and Hollywood (and, as the Coen Brothers' recent film Hail, Caesar! testifies, the witch hunts were right all along: Hollywood was crawling with communists).   The number one strategy of socialists is to accuse conservatives and capitalists of the very crimes and sins which socialists commit: so a socialist will always try and get away with calling capitalists "witches," because they hope someone will be dumb enough to buy it. Look at this image of Martha above: she wears a cross around her neck, she's working, she lives in Kansas, and she is absolutely the quint-essential "witch" that socialists hate: she doesn't take government hand-outs and is as self-sufficient as she can be, therefore, according to the Gospel of Communism, she is a witch because she is holding up the socialist revolution. Now, why is it that witches are burned? Witches would be burned in hopes that, the experience of the flames as a foreshadowing of hell to which their evil sins had condemned them, would make them repent of their allegiance to the devil in the last moments of their life and they would ask God for forgiveness and they would be saved from hell. Martha Kent is going to be burned as a witch, not because she is a witch, but because Lex Luthor wants to turn the world upside-down, just like the painting in his study, and that means those who are good and righteous, must die because they don't belong in the fiery inferno the liberals are trying to turn the world into. 
The 1981 film was one of a bunker-crop of great films that year, and it's a personal favorite of my own, but how does it tie in with the film? Young Arthur, rather like Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, is chosen to yield power and protect society; as the king who holds the powerful sword Excalibur, he is virtually all-powerful,... people weren't clamoring about what a tyrant King Arthur was, were they? So, something has changed. There is, however, another aspect to this: on the marquee, as the Wayne family is leaving, it says WEDS Excalibur; Excalibur was released on Friday, April 10, 1981, so if it was Weds when the Waynes went to go see it, then there is a reason the film makers want to direct our attention to the date of that Weds which was April 15, and something quite pertinent to the film's narrative did happen.
It's certain the Lois Lane is pregnant. With the scene of Clark jumping into the bathtub and then his death and her wearing his engagement ring, it's certain that she is pregnant. Lois mentions to Clark that he's basically blind when it comes to her and they probably can't have a relationship; he jumps into the tub and she warns, you are going to flood the apartment, and we see water flooding over and his glasses fall to the floor (symbolizing that he has lost the ability to see). Later, when Clark has his own dream sequence, he's walking up the cold mountain and Jonathan Kent, his father, is piling rocks up and tells him the story of the flood he tried to stop and ended up shoving the flood waters upstream, causing the neighbors' horses to drown. What does this dream mean? A mountain generally symbolizes spiritual ascent, the desire to come close to God as possible (as when Moses ascends Mt. Sinai and sees the Burning Bush). Jonathan Kent is not a metaphor for God the father, but he is a metaphor of Krypton, and the socialism Jor-El and Lara (Clark's biological parents) wanted their son to be saved from. The pile of rocks Jonathan Kent stacks up on the mountain foreshadow the funeral pyre upon which Clark himself will be killed by the end of the film; when Jonathan says, I miss you, Son, he's warning Clark that Clark's going to die and join him in the cemetery in Smallville; when Clark says, I miss you, too, Dad, he's saying, I miss how simple my decisions became when you put them into context for me (please see my post Excellence vs Mediocrity: Man Of Steel for how Jonathan Kent embodies a socialist figure).  The story of the flood Jonathan tells Clark is meant to link our memory of Lois warning Clark about flooding the apartment when he gets into the tub with her, so it's Clark's relationship with Lois that he's thinking about up there on the mountain, which is how Clark interprets the "nightmares" his father is having. In other words, seeing all the trouble Lois gets into, and always having to dash off to save her, plus how she can be used against him, is a bit of a nightmare for Clark, but the real nightmare for him is living without her. This makes sense because it's his love for Lois which helps him to have his love for humanity; seeing what a good person Lois is helps him to believe there are other good people, too. Bruce Wayne doesn't have this in his life, he has only the mugger who killed his parents. Lastly, the reason it's so cold up on the mountain where Jonathan and Clark are is because Clark is contemplating, and the rational mind examines "cold" hard facts, not letting warm emotions come into the equation. 
FBI agents W. Mark Felt (known to the world better as "Deep Throat" in the Watergate Scandal) and Edward S. Miller were pardoned by President Ronald Reagan; what did they do? They had conducted searches in the homes of relatives of members of the radical Weather Underground. Reagan cited that they were acting on high principle to end terrorism that the country was facing, as they specifically believed the WU was planning a bombing. What does that have to do with Batman vs. Superman? These two men were trying to save the lives of others, and yet were held up as criminals, a lot like Superman (and, we will probably see the same happen to Captain America). The WU probably called this a violation of their rights, but these are the same people who want to do away with the Constitution protecting and guaranteeing those rights,... this is starting to sound very familiar to Americans because this is what the Left has been doing for years now, and it's part of the destruction of the country, which leads us to Doomsday and our last point of discussion.
What is the "Meta-Human" thesis? That there are people with extraordinary powers, people who are gods, walking around among the rest of us mere mortals, and we don't even recognize them. I agree with this completely. You yourself might be one of those "meta-humans," if you are willing to exhibit extraordinary courage and discipline in your daily life, so that you can stand up to evil threats just like Superman standing up to Doomsday. Only God knows what your power is: maybe it's patience, or bravery, or incredible compassion, love or patriotism, or a combination of these, but you have a gift that only you have, and you the obligation to exercise it and put it to the use of humanity to make the world a better place, just like Clark Kent did. There are plenty of "powers" more glamorous than others: some might think that being brave is better than being a good teacher, or being able to heal something is better than being a good parent, but where there are frail humans concerned, all of the gifts and talents are important because we are so unique and individualized. Remember, Zod was a military commander who didn't get to choose what he wanted to do; he was ordered by his socialist society what he was to become, and through various events, Zod became Doomsday. Let's at least try to avoid becoming this.
Who is Doomsday?
I don't mean Michael Shannon's General Zod, naked (that was so awkward) turned into a Kryptonian pot-roast-deformity, but in reality, who is Doomsday symbolizing? Well, who is it that takes power unto himself and becomes more powerful every time he takes more power? Obama. He is the most power-grabbing president this country has ever seen, even telling Congress that he will bypass them and sign into law those projects that Congress refuses to pass, not to mention the numerous acts of treason he has committed that, instead of making him weaker, makes him more defiant and the rats in Congress weaker. There is only one person who can defeat Doomsday, and that is the one who is the very best, the strongest, the "Man of Steel" who is like steel when it comes to standing up for the right thing and what he believes in, but that makes him the most hated man in the country, and that's why there is a Doomsday, the whole country--like the painting in Lex's study--has been turned upside-down.
This is an interesting image because of the T-shirt Lex wears: it has a monkey on it, and this might be a reference to his earlier, excellent film I thoroughly enjoyed, American Ultra (he has a monkey he draws and rights comics about in the film). Why would American Ultra be referenced? Like Batman vs Superman, abuse of power is examined, but so, too, is power being in the hands of the right people; people being willing to do the right thing, just because it's the right thing to do, like the drone operator who is supposed to kill Eisenberg's character, but he knows it's wrong and he knows he's going to be killed--or worse--for disobeying orders, but he disobeys anyway, because he simply wants to do the right thing (please see Mandelbrot Set Is In Motion: American Ultra for a more in-depth discussion). Why is this such an issue today, when this wasn't an issue in 1981 when Excalibur came out? Welcome to socialism. Because socialism denies the existence of God (the State replaces God), that people have free will and a soul, so people are animals who should be herded and told what to because they are too dumb to make up their minds for themselves. Luthor wearing the monkey T-Shirt in this scene validates that is what he believes, because God is only a notion, not a reality for him (given the plethora of Christian symbols throughout the film, we are definitely meant to see Lex Luthor as a anti-Christian villain). The T-shirt however summons another great American Easter time film featuring monkeys and lots of religious symbolism that doesn't cross most people's minds: Rebel Without a Cause. The film opens Easter weekend and Jim (James Dean) is drunk watching a toy monkey play; throughout the film, there is a battle between Jim wanting to believe in the Easter Resurrection, but feeling that he's no more than a toy monkey in a Darwinian universe (for more, please see James Dean vs Charles Darwin: Rebel Without A Cause).
Like Man Of Steel before it, Batman vs Superman is a complex political manifesto full of the metaphysical problems facing this country and a clear road on how to get them straightened out. Each one of us has to put aside the Batman within and embrace the Superman desperate to get out; like steel, we have to stand for what we believe and refuse to bend; we have to respect the law, our founding fathers and our motherland, but we also have to be who we really are and be that with everything we have within us. The film doesn't describe two super-heroes fighting it out between each other, rather, it depicts the very real internal struggle taking place within this country and within each individual trying to save our mother, our Martha, America.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Friday, March 25, 2016

Excellence vs Mediocrity: Man Of Steel

Christopher Nolan's Man Of Steel is a political masterpiece, and hardly a day goes by that I don't ponder its lessons regarding the state of liberalism and what it means to the world. While the death of General Zod seems to be confusing and unnecessary, if we ask three basic questions about Man Of Steel, we should be able to understand why Zod had to die and why Superman was upset about doing it: first, why did Superman's parents send their son to earth (no, not because the planet was exploding); secondly, why does Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) suggest to young Clark that he possibly should have allowed the kids on the bus to die, and then Jonathan himself not try to avoid being swept up in the tornado? Lastly, why does Clark Kent go in search of his real identity (no, that's not an obvious answer, either)?
Jor-El and Lara don't go with their son; it would have been easy for the three of them to escape, however, they too are of Krypton, so they would have held their son back in his life's journey. Young Kal-El had to deal with the hardships of not knowing who he was in order to grow and not become unstable in his core like the planet from which he came and, ultimately, like its inhabitants. 
Sending their son to another planet because their own world is exploding probably seems like a good idea, but there is a funny thing about the world of art: sometimes things get turned around, and because the vehicle of art is that of metaphors and symbols, it's easy to accomplish without confusing the audience. In this example, the planet Krypton isn't exploding because of an unstable core, because the culture is unstable itself, they have created an unstable core. What is happening while the planet is dying? Zod is launching a coup because the council has been irresponsible and decadent,... which is probably true, but it's also true that Zod was committing treason, and that mirrors how Krypton became a dying utopia to begin with: the elite in charge always take the most and best for themselves and the military is always ready to overthrow them and impose their own brand of justice, so rather than being a system of checks and balances, it's nearly always a state of revolution which is always unstable. Several characteristics of the society reveal this to be a socialist regime, for example,...
Isn't this a darling scene? Except, it isn't, it's quite serious. Because of the "dirty laundry hanging out to dry" earth will need Superman, we will need a sign of hope, we will need someone committed to excellence in everything they do (I'm not suggesting Mrs. Kent hung up dirty laundry, but the scene is meant to invoke the idea of the familiar saying). Notice where young Clark stands: in a field full of weeds; this isn't the family lawn, or s well-tended garden, rather, it's wild and left to its own nature, not discipline. This scene foreshadows two other scenes later in the film: first, after the truck driver dumps a drink all over Clark and then goes out to find his truck tangled up in the electric pole. Just as young Clark here rises above the weeds of the field, so Clark will have to rise above his own animal instincts and passions, "weeding out" his emotions and choosing virtue over vice; this is what "Superman" means, the man who is "super," or "above" humanity and his own human appetites. The second scene this laundry image foreshadows is after Clark rescues the workers on board the oil drill and takes some clothes out of the back of a truck. Did Superman steal? No, that's why there is this scene, it's to assist the audience in making the connection of how difficult it is for Clark to "disguise" himself as a human being: he's "stealing" our identity, not living his own identity. His good deed of helping to save those workers is rewarded because his next stop is where he gets his cape, just as we see foreshadowed in the image above, so a "loop" has been completed, rather like the 12 labors of Hercules. 
There hasn't been a natural birth in centuries; why not? Because socialists don't trust nature. Anything and everything that can be manipulated and engineered, will be by socialists because they have to control everything, including who is and who is not born. The people do not get to decide what to do with their lives, it is decided for them: in the name of efficiency, everyone has to be miserable. So, did Superman's parents send him to earth because the planet was exploding? No, they would have (eventually) sent him anyway (and probably left with him, too) because--even if Krypton wasn't exploding--there was only death and slavery to the system in that culture and they wouldn't have wanted their child, who was born free, to live as a slave. The problem is, however, once on earth, Clark is adopted by a liberal.
There are three things which Jonathan Kent does that upsets me: first, he suggests to Clark that he should have let his classmates die on the bus; second, he wants Clark to become a farmer, instead of discovering who he really is and using his abilities for good, and third, Jonathan allows himself to be killed by the tornado and sets up everyone else to be killed as well (because everyone in Tornado Alley knows the worst place to take cover is under a bridge/highway like he herded them under). First of all, some have deduced that Jonathan only wants to let the kids on the sinking bus drown so that Clark doesn't reveal himself and his power; I utterly disagree with this, and it took me awhile to arrive at what Nolan was explaining to us about liberalism, but it finally occurred to me what was happening.
Liberals want to be victims.
If a liberal is killed or hurt, if something catastrophic happens to them, they rejoice, because that validates their view of reality which is: they aren't capable of taking care of themselves and being self-sufficient, so they need the government to do it for them. If you are a conservative, this is completely counter-intuitive to you and nothing could be more alien,... like Superman being an alien (which is why he is an "alien": striving to be the best you can be and to take care of yourself and others has become "alien" to Americans since Obama and the socialists took over). Initially, during the scene of the tornado coming and Jonathan running out to save the dog from the car, I was tempted to interpret that as a metaphor of Superman saving us: we are like the dogs, helpless in the car and stuck, but he has the ability to free us and lay down his life to save us (there is a part when Clark goes to talk to an old school mate who became a priest because of how Clark's sacrifices witnessed to him, and Clark sits in front of an image of Jesus, linking Clark's identity to one of salvation as well). This interpretation, however, wasn't satisfying and didn't fit the rest of the film,... then, Interstellar came out.
This was the best shot I could find of Clark's costume in this scene, which is important. The grey shirt he wears is the sign of the pilgrim, because grey is the color of ashes. He's on  a journey to find himself, even if he hasn't "officially" started it yet. The white undershirt is a sign of his purity and faith in this quest, that is, he genuinely wants to know to know, not to gain power, wealth, fame, etc., his motives are true. The red shoes he wears--like Dorothy's ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz--symbolize his will (because our feet take us in life where our will directs us in our hopes and dreams) and red is the color of blood, so either you love someone enough to spill your own blood for them, or you hate someone enough to spill their blood to appease your anger. Clark is motivated by love. He wears blue jeans, because legs symbolize our standing in society. Blue is both the color of wisdom and the color of depression, because we cannot gain wisdom without the hard experiences in life that teach us. So Clark's "standing in society" (as an alien, as a "god," as a son of a farmer from Kansas) is also the source of his sadness, but also his wisdom.
Nolan's Interstellar pits Cooper (Matthew McConnaughey) in a similar circumstance to Clark Kent. While Cooper had been a NASA pilot and engineer, the socialist government in the US made him become a farmer, even though he obviously wasn't cut out for that and could have done more for the famine being an engineer, but the inefficiency of the government insisted he farm because they needed food (rather like the mis-handling of resources on the planet Krypton).
One can argue that Dr. Mann (Damon) doesn't want to die and doesn't want to be a victim which is why he sets his signal so they will come for him; I would argue, he just doesn't want to die alone. What does he want? To get back to earth, which is a dying planet, just like planet Krypton; he's going to die whether he stays on the ammonia-planet or if he goes back to earth, but he doesn't want to die alone. When Mann ignores Cooper to not open the airlock, we can call this a coincidental suicide: seeing Cooper, who he just tried to kill, Mann knows he won't get back to earth to die with the others, and being an astronaut, he knows the auto-docking system, but he goes ahead and opens it anyway, basically, not only committing suicide, but trying to kill Cooper (again) and Amelia so he doesn't die alone. What does he tell Cooper when he watches him die? Think of your kids, think of those who love you (so you're not dying alone, and I will even stay here with you so you won't die alone, even though I have just tried to murder you). In Man Of Steel, we see the exact same scenario unfolding with Jonathan Kent. UPDATE: In Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, there is a brief scene with Jonathan Kent (a dream or a hallucination, we're not sure, but it takes place on top of a mountain) and Jonathan relates the story of a bad flood and how saving his own farm caused the water to go to another farm and their horses drowned. This is a carbon-copy repeat of the situation with Jonathan saving the family dog from the car when the tornado is coming: he can't distinguish between humans and animals. Sure, it's sad when animals die, don't get me wrong, but in the flood story, he helped save his family, but he acted like he murdered people when the horses drowned, and that's because--to socialists--there is no difference between animals and humans, humans are animals, and that's why Jonathan can't understand why Clark won't become a farmer: Clark doesn't have a calling, he doesn't have a destiny, he's no different than the family dog, and if the family dog can be happy on the farm, Clark should be happy on the farm as well. Now, in a way, Clark does become a farmer because Clark is "farming" his soul, he's sowing the seeds of virtue and pulling the weeds of vice that he needs to control in order to become the person he was meant to become.
The "Plan B" of Interstellar is that Plan A--saving the people on earth--isn't viable, so the only solution is to have frozen embryos taken to a habitable planet and start a new colony there (again, like the "colonies" which had been established by the socialists on different planets by Krypton in Man Of Steel). In Interstellar, the socialist figures portrayed by Mann (Matt Damon) and Dr. Brandt (Michael Caine), don't want to fight for survival the way Cooper and his daughter Murphy do (Murph won't give up on the equation working out and she holds out hope that she can still succeed). So, where does this leave us with Jonathan Kent?
Clark's teacher in the classroom asks the class who were the first settlers in Kansas, as poor Clark experiences a break-down his powers are causing him. It's an important question because Kansas--and all the states in the Great Plains region of the central US--were called the "Great American Desert," not because of sand as in a typical desert, but because of the lack of sizeable bodies of water and trees to build homes. The plains, then, weren't a destination, it was part of the country that had to be crossed to get to the good land out in California and the West Coast, so those who settled in Kansas got, basically, the "left-overs" but were determined to live their dreams and have their own land, and they did. Why is that important? Those settlers are the "stock" from which Kansans come and the basis of the culture in which Clark grew up, so when he says, towards the end of the film, "I'm from Kansas. I'm as American as you can get," he is referring to those self-determined settlers that fought for their dreams and what they wanted out of life, to be free and not the victims or slaves of anyone or anything. During this part in the classroom, Clark runs out and we see Mrs. Kent telling Clark to focus; why? "Focus" is the reason why the US has succeeded: in capitalism, people focus on something to do, rather than trying to do everything, which is what socialist governments do and why they don't do anything well. Zod can't focus, because he wants to control everything, but capitalists focus on just creating pancakes, or just supplying gas to people, they don't try to serve pancakes and sell you fax and copy equipment at the same location. 
The detail of Jonathan directing everyone on the highway to get under the bridge is key, because everyone knows that is the worst place to be during a tornado because the air is channeled and intensified, making it even more dangerous than being out in the open, so Jonathan is, in essence, herding the flock together to have them all killed. Like Mann opening the air-lock chamber on the Endurance space craft in Interstellar, Jonathan Kent basically commits suicide in going to save the dog and he does so as a kind of socialist messiah: watch me sacrifice myself for the cause of victimization, now stay under the bridge and let the tornado take you, too, and sacrifice yourself for the cause of victimization. If you are a conservative, this makes no sense to you, but if you look at how this victimization attitude drives liberals in their decision-making process, then why they are intent on the government taking care of them makes more sense: they are the Jonathan Kents going into the storm and not wanting to be saved (this is the foundation of the death of Zod scene, so hold onto your thoughts just a few more minutes). This leads us to our last question: why does Clark Kent go in search of who he really is?
The neck is an important symbol because it reveals what guides and leads us in life; the way we put a leash on a dog to walk it where we want it to go, functions the same way as something a character will wear around their neck: it's leading them to where they want/need to go. The Krypton Codex Clark wears around his neck shows what guides him and what he needs most: his real, genuine, authentic self. When he has found that, he knows what he's meant to do and he can help others find their real, authentic self as well. Clark chooses this. Free will is an important issue in the film, even though it's never blatantly stated. Clark uses his free will to help others, whereas socialists like Zod and Jonathan would argue that free will doesn't exist, we are helpless in the world and the victims of events that we can't do anything to change or stop. Superman, on the other hand, believes he can and should stop Zod and try to save as many people as possible. 
Jonathan wants Clark to find out who he really is, "You owe it to yourself," but just before Jonathan dies, he and Clark argue in the car about who and what Clark is, with Jonathan wanting Clark to become a farmer (again, what we saw happening to Cooper in Interstellar; I myself want to become a farmer, I love farming and would love to be a farmer, so there is nothing being put down in farming, but it's obvious that Cooper and Clark aren't good at farming and don't want to do it, and that is the problem). It would be far easier for Clark to go on "pretending" to be Clark Kent, and "stealing" the identity of earthlings instead of being the Son of Krypton that he really is,... or would it? When Lois is at the cemetery, where Jonathan is buried, Clark stands in the background wearing a ball cap that covers most of his face and he seems like a zombie: like a shell. Why? Because he is still "in disguise" and, in essence, living a lie, so he is a zombie and that's why this scene takes place in the cemetery, is because if he had done what his dead father (Jonathan) had wanted, Clark would be the "walking dead." Before Clark can save the lives of others, he has to save his own life, and now, we can explore the controversial ending of the death of General Zod.
The eyes are the windows of the soul, and for Zod to use his laser eyes to try and kill the family, reveals that Zod, "at his core" (like the exploding Kyprton which had an unstable core) is bent on destruction of everything America holds dear to its way of life. It's important to realize this, because that is why Superman breaks Zod's neck: the neck symbolizes what leads us and guides us, and Superman realizes that, if Zod is willing to kill the family (like his own family on Krypton and the family that saved him and adopted him) Zod is unstable at his core because what leads him on is inherently at odds with what Clark loves about earth and being American; conversely, what led Clark on to finding out who he really was--symbolized by the Codex he wore around his neck (the opposite of Zod's neck he breaks)--is what forms the basis of America and our culture. We have seen nearly all these themes in other films as well: the  transforming of the world was in both Transformers IV and the Tom Cruise film Oblivion ,the Divergent series and we will see it in X-Men Apocalypse, as well as Aurora
Zod is a socialist figure, that is beyond dispute, and so he, like Jonathan Kent, subscribes to the same "theology of victimization." When Zod threatens the family just before Superman kills Zod, it's not just that Zod is going to kill these people, it's that Zod--and socialism--wants to destroy the family, the very basic concept of a mother, father and their children which these three people represent. Remember, Superman was the first natural birth on Krypton in centuries, and it's from the Codex that Zod wants to start a new race of Krptonians, not by mating with other Kryptonians. Superman isn't upset about killing Zod because he is one of the last Kryptonians, Superman is upset about killing Zod because he knows he has fueled the vicious cycle of victimization upon which liberals thrive: I am a victim and so I need a socialist regime to protect me, and because Superman is going to kill me, that proves that I am a victim and that justifies having a socialist regime, even though there are going to be more victims created by a socialist regime. In other words, Superman doesn't want to be the cause of death for Zod the way the tornado was for Jonathan, but if Superman didn't kill Zod, Zod would have killed those individuals as well as the family unit, and destroyed the earth. That Superman chooses to save the family and earth is a sign that the highest ideals of America and individuality are the foundations of the hope he which he stands.
This is really a great image. Behind Superman's left shoulder, is the American flag, a stop sign and a 7-Eleven sign, and we can argue that these are three things which make up America: the patriotism and history symbolized by the flag, the laws which govern us and maintain law and order throughout society, symbolized by the STOP sign, and the 7-Eleven reminds us of the opportunities which exists for every person. You might not want to own and operate a 7-Eleven, or a business like it (like the IHOP restaurant featuring in the last battle scenes of the film) but how many people have become successful because of franchises like 7-Eleven? These kinds of opportunities didn't exist on Krypton (or opportunities similar in nature) nor in socialist/communist societies.  We can also add that the building itself is a symbol of the very infrastructure of America; why? Remember another Christopher Nolan film, The Dark Knight Rises? The bat mark was left in chalk on various structures, because the 1% like Bruce Wayne had built those structures (not Obama or the government, but mostly private enterprises and individual Americans investing in their communities) and someone built that building just as individuals built America, and this one scene takes in all those factors demonstrating what it is that Superman is fighting for and defending as well as what it is that Zod fights against and wants to destroy.
In conclusion, Man Of Steel is a political masterpiece because it articulates so thoroughly how closely victimization and liberalism are tied together and how one is a vehicle for the other, as well as the slippery slope created by both. Like so many great films being produced in these last several years, it reminds us of our values as a culture and the importance of being individuals, that we should respect our own individuality, as well as that of others, because you can't have one without the other. Clark Kent has a choice to make in his life: he can either strive to be everything he has the capacity to be, or he can hide and try to be as mediocre as possible so he doesn't suffer the consequences of not blending in with the rest of society. His choice is meant to inspire us to make our own difficult choices and embrace our gifts and live a life based on our highest ideals.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

TRAILERS: The Huntsman, Now You See Me 2, Tarzan, Ben-Hur, X-Men

I have been working on posts and not a single one is done yet. Here are some trailers, but I am re-watching Man Of Steel--and being quite rewarded for it, so I highly suggest doing so before the big release this weekend, if you plan on going--and that is what I am getting up next; why?
One of the narrative points to look for in Man Of Steel are the religious ones; they are rather covered up in Man of Steel, and I think they will be more overt in Batman vs Superman, but I somewhat expect they will be denigrated which is why Nolan was asked to leave the project: Warner Bros has produced huge budget liberal films like Pan and Jupiter Ascending which didn't make any money, so now they are going to try and weave in the exact same liberal propaganda into a film they know people will go and see and try to get us to swallow it that way. Man Of Steel wasn't like that, but I bet Batman vs Superman will be; maybe not the whole thing, but there will be enough that it will be distasteful for me. 
Sadly, given that Christopher Nolan has been axed from the DC Comics universe, I think Man Of Steel will prove to be the superior of the two films; word that is leaking out suggests it's not very good (that shouldn't stop it from doing well financially) but they have tried packing in too much in too long of a film and there isn't enough back-story to link us into characters like Aquaman and Wonder Woman. I am also devastated to see Superman jumping into a bathtub with a naked Lois Land. Anyway, I have my ticket for this Friday (I'll be fasting for the day, so I'll be in a bad mood anyway, and I will keep that in mind) but I will let you know what I think of it as soon as I have seen it.
So, some trailers have dropped and here is the third trailer for The Huntsman: Winter's War; this deserves quite a bit of time, which I don't have at the moment, so we will re-visit this; stay tuned, you have seen the first bit of footage, but there is more to come.
I am excited for Now You See Me 2. This was a great first film, and I think this one will be even better; this is a great trailer:
Yes, there is always more than what is on the surface, I couldn't agree more. Which is why I am so dreading Tarzan, but hey, here it is:
Ugh.
Okay, so here is the first trailer for Ben-Hur. Now, if you are a fan of the original Ben-Hur, why, you are probably asking, would they go and re-make a perfectly good film? Because there is a message in it that we need to hear and re-learn for today:
When Morgan Freeman's character begins convincing Ben-Hur to take to the arena, we have heard that kind of talk before: 42, the Jackie Robinson story when Harrison Ford's character tells Jackie Robinson the difference he can make by being the only black player in the white baseball league; the same holds true in the chariot arena; why? Competition is the great leveler in the playing field of life, not socialism. I expect great things from this film, and at least the special effects are looking incredible! Now, the great X-Men; this is going to be pretty awesome too!
Okay, so, here we go and there should be a new post up late tomorrow evening. As always, thank you so much for your patience and for support!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Final Trailer: Captain America 3 Civil War

One critic who has seen the film has described it as an "emotional horror film"; I think that's going to be quite accurate:
This trailer has finally answered most critics' most pressing question (but not mine): which team will Spider Man join? I was fairly confident it would be Team Iron Man because Spider Man's a Millennial, and--like his peers--he doesn't have the experience with history that Captain America does (remember the movies Steve Rogers made of punching out Hitler? That's because he lived it) so Spidey will actually trust the government; that's a very different perspective from why Stark is going against Captain America: Stark knows not to trust himself.  After the Age Of Ultron, which was mostly Stark's fault--but Thor and The Vision helped save--Stark shouldn't trust himself, but that doesn't mean every other person is at fault because of Stark's mistakes,... does this sound like an argument over the 2nd Amendment that you have heard before? Without a doubt, Team Iron Man will utilize the same arguments about "government registration" which liberals utilize over seizing guns: because one person has abused guns, no one should have them; the same arguments which we will see Steve Rogers make--"The safest hands are still our own,"--reflects accurately what citizens affirming the 2nd Amendment argue. While other critics are drooling over Spider Man--and he is important, especially as a symbol of the Millennials--I am far more concerned about another character: the Winter Soldier.
Blue vs Red, the color of wisdom (blue) vs the color of the appetites (red) which is accentuated by Stark's facial hair (beards usually symbolize the animal instincts and appetites as opposed to the civilized and clean-shaven man who has overcome his appetites). Steve looks down, suggesting his inward meditations and reflections, whereas Stark looks at us, suggesting that it's because of us that he's taking the action he is going to take (that because he shouldn't be trusted, we the people shouldn't be trusted either). Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) supposedly plays an important role in the events of the film (she is listed in the credits); is it possible that she leaves Stark? That was planted in Iron Man 3 with the Downton Abbey scene that was played. 
Perhaps you recall in C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, how young Edmund betrayed his sisters and brother to the White Witch, and Aslan had to sacrifice himself to "redeem" Edmund. It's because Edmund had become familiar with the deceptions and stratagems of the White Witch that, when Peter had lost faith in Prince Caspian and was ready to enter an alliance with the White Witch, Edmund could save Peter because Edmund knew the terror and evil that would be released if Peter agreed to release her. That wisdom which comes from experience is going to be the main character outline of the Winter Soldier: because he has been through the brainwashing and dehumanization techniques of socialism/communism, the Winter Soldier will prove to be the staunchest enemy of the same system that created him. We might also be able to say this about Scarlet Witch (although we don't really know what will happen with her character yet, but this is a possibility). The second character I am most concerned about is Thaddeus Ross.
Look, I have got to tell you, if you still haven't seen Ant Man, you are seriously missing out on a great Marvel film. I know, I know; he's called "Ant Man," but for real, my mom and sister didn't want to see it either, and now they are like both in love with him,... that wasn't the purpose, however, they enjoyed the film that much and you absolutely have to know what is going on with Ant Man in order to understand the important role he's going to play in the film. Now, what is surprising, is what happens at 1:30, Tony tells Natasha, "They're coming for you," and she replies, "I'm not the one who has to watch my back." They are facing a window, meaning, they are "reflecting" on what has happened and what they are going to do. Tony's arm is wrapped like he has all ready been in a fight, so perhaps this is a sign that Natasha is going to switch sides. Something else that has caught my eye: stop the trailer at 1:39: where on earth is Steve? Whose apartment is that? We know Tony must be there with Steve, but,... what? Is that where Bucky has been staying? What is that place? At 1:55, we see Crossbones, who may be the one that "kills" Steve Rogers. It has been rumored that there are two separate endings that have been filmed and shown to audiences, however, if Captain America "dies," it is only temporary, which is why they "killed" Nick Fury in Captain America 2 and then resurrected him, so we could expect the same to happen to Steve Rogers (who all ready died at the end of Captain America and was then resurrected out of the ice). Consequently, we don't see Fury at all--he's not listed in the credits of the film--even though Agent 13 is supposed to be on Captain America's side and she is a SHIELD agent.
Ross (William Hurt) shows The Avengers the footage of destruction throughout various cities in which they were involved, and the way this is played by him is what's important (as you know, Superman will also be brought up on recklessness charges by a Senate committee in Batman vs Superman, so this is a topic worth exploring). How many in the audience are sitting there saying, "Yea, these Avengers are dangerous and they need to be stopped, Look at all those buildings they destroyed and people that got killed because of them?!?!?" and how many people are saying, "We would be enslaved or worse if it wasn't for the Avengers saving us and fighting the fights that we can't. They have protected us and saved the world." It's the former that socialists want to propagate: socialists want everything in the world, but they will never, ever be grateful for anything; they will just keep demanding more and more. Why is Ross doing this? Why is he directing dialogue away from the Avengers as saving the world to people's "fear" and limiting the Avengers' abilities? The answer is around 0:50.
This is a very interesting scene: notice how the light is shining through behind Bucky and Steve. Bucky and Steve stand right in front of two of the "pillars" holding up the structure, while light streams in on Iron Man, brought to his knees. In spite of "facing the light" which symbolizes truth, Stark is still fighting against the hero of the film. Because Bucky and Steve have aligned themselves with the truth--the pillars they stand in front of--they are able to overcome Iron Man (at least in this moment).  Even though the truth of the situation is right in front of Stark (again, the symbolism of the light in the background) he won't accept it. Now, let's talk about Tony's left arm: in the trailer, we see him employ an  Iron Man armored hand just as Bucky prepares to shoot him; towards the end of the trailer, when he speaks with Natasha, we see Tony's left arm in a sling, signifying that he has been injured. We know that hands and the arms symbolize a person's strength, specifically, strength that comes from honor and character. That Tony has been wounded in his arm (specifically, the same arm we saw the Iron Man hand armor applied to) suggests that his use of his armor has gone from being a source of strength, to a source of dishonor, in that he has turned it against his fellow Avenger (those supporting Captain America). Now, there is a part in this trailer when Cap says, wearily, "I could do this all day." I'm not positive, and in fact, I'm probably wrong about this, but I will watch Captain America the First Avenger again before CA3 comes out to verify either way: it seems he says this in the first film, so IF he does (again, I could be wrong about that), we are meant to link those two scenes together because they are being linked to form a statement. 
"I'm sorry, Tony. If I see a situation going south, I can't ignore it. Sometimes I wish I could." We have (basically) seen this same conversation take place before in Man Of Steel when Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) tells young Clark that maybe he should have let the kids on the bus drown instead of saving them. These two examples are the same instances of there being someone who can save another, but being encouraged not to do so: liberals, in both films, want victims, they don't want heroes. I can't think of anything more un-American than letting someone die when there is something you can do to save them. Socialists do NOT want people to believe they can take care of themselves or there is someone in the world who can take care of them besides the government and that is the purpose of both films, is to make people realize that we are stronger than the government wants us to know and the government will do everything it can to weaken us, for the purpose of enslaving us. There are some big films coming out this year: Batman vs Superman, The Huntsman Winter's War, Star Trek Beyond, Now You See Me 2, X-Men Apocalypse and others; Captain America Civil War is going to be THE FILM of the year.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner