Thursday, March 23, 2017

Film Criticism vs Rotten Tomatoes

Why wouldn't we see this today, or even, be a part of this today (wearing paper 3D glasses with one red lens and one blue lens?)? Technology. When a film does or does not effectively employ modern technology to tell it's story, then the audience factors that into the overall level of satisfaction they have found in viewing it. Too many special effects can, however, be just as bad as bad special effects: "The special effects were good, but there wasn't much of a story line," for example, and then, when the computer generated images are bad, it destroys the entire film. Is technological expertise a part of film criticism? Honestly, that's a difficult one to answer. We know good effects when we see them, but sometimes, what one person considers to be "good" effects, and another person considers to be good effects, are two different standards; then again, one person might actually be disappointed in some other aspect of the film, but not being able to articulate it, might instead blame the effects even though that wasn't really the source of the viewer's disappointment. 
There has been an interesting article posted on the Drudge Report, a producer/director complaining that "true" film criticism is dead, with the Rotten Tomato score being the only standard by which a potential audience judges a film's worth. What we do here, at this blog, is film criticism: we enter into the film's vocabulary, we analyze, we test and interpret, articulating our experience so that we aren't just looking at an "aesthetic experience" (based on emotions and some ambiguous feeling of "delight" we receive from our viewing time). All of us here--myself included--understand the language of art better now than we did a year ago, and that makes us better viewers, who, therefore, enjoy the films even more.
Power Rangers has opened and, surprisingly, to good reviews. Everyone is a bit startled at how much they enjoyed the film, but it's been consistent that critics who don't like giving good reviews--we'll call them snobs, and since these are the types of critics who just give people their opinions, I'm fine with this--are giving this film good reviews when they were prepared to trash it. So, if you are thinking about, go see it. I would like to see it, but I want to finish John Wick Chapter 2 (still) and I am thinking about going to see Kong: Skull Island because I think the (white) director makes a very bad racial mistake in the film, and I'm interested to see if he actually did it,... and I think he did. Anyway,...
JUST BEFORE I was ready to post this, I checked YouTube one more time, and this glorious gem for Fast and Furious 8 had been released: it's part of the amazing race we are going to see take place in Cuba; ready?
Yea, that's a hot rod, all right. The cheating is an easy decipherment: socialism is itself a cheat, because when you can't cut it, the government steps in to help you (like the guy on the motorcycle), so you don't have to learn survival skills, or how to do things the right way; Dom has had to learn the hard way, and he's had to learn more and more so he could become better and better, and that knowledge pays off in this scene because he knows that he can use the wrecked motorcycle to his advantage, and being one to push the envelope, he has learned that he can drive backwards better than most of us can drive facing right. That film is going to be totally awesome.
I will get the post up for Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol 1 before May 5 (famous words, right?) no, really. This villain, however, is quite interesting and a possible link to Rita Rupulsa (Elizabeth Banks) in Power Rangers who unleashes the gold monster ("That's a lot of gold,") and possibly also a link to communist extravagance we see in this gold statue of Chinese leader Mao. Then again, it could easily be a reference to Donald Trump and all the gold decor in Trump Tower. I am afraid that we are going to see a huge reversal with Marvel Studios: I am starting to think that it was Marvel itself that was behind the PSA of Avengers stars telling people to vote for Hillary Clinton, and Robert Downey Jr was actually strong-armed by the studio into appearing in it, despite his previous (major) attempts at staying out of politics. I could be very wrong, but I am afraid we are going to start seeing Marvel showing a liberal face. Guardians may not be the first, but I am fairly confident that Thor will be (at least) more socialist than any Marvel film we have seen heretofore. Now, just looking at this image above, and knowing there is a plethora of women who all look exactly like this, in my gut, I have to say it's a socialist villain because socialism (today) elevates the woman above man, isn't interested in humanity and human values or emotions (the gold is artificial) and the drive to suppress human emotions (fear, for example); those are signposts of socialism. On the other hand, we can say that gold is a currency, so it speaks more of capitalism, and there are women because women actually do better in capitalist systems than under socialism, (but I don't think socialism would want to admit this). Anyway, we'll see, but there is a lot to see, and I am rather dreading what there is to see.  
Important announcement: Justice League is dropping a trailer this Saturday. I'm grateful they do this, even though they will make us (fellow bloggers and news sites) wait until late Saturday, because that's where the hype is, the waiting-game, it's good to know to be looking for something, so here is the announcement teaser:
This film is at least the third time--maybe more that I am not aware of--in which a trident (such as Aquaman--Jason Momoa--carries) is being used: I believe the first was for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 when Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) carried the trident as weapon of choice in the final "games" that took Katniss and crew through the Capitol. The second is of course the Trident of Poseidon which Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) searches to save himself from Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and then, Aquaman in Justice League. We can also add a fourth, Percy Jackson and the Sea Of Monsters, because I think we see a trident in the film, even though Percy and Tyson--both sons of Poseidon--didn't actually carry a trident or use one. I haven't the faintest idea of what this pattern of tridents means, however, it means something, that I do know: so, what do we do with it?
Beat around the bush.
So how is this coming? Are you doing well analyzing it? I promise, as soon as I get done with John Wick Chapter 2 to go over the second trailer for King Arthur, including this poster, and the seven things I have learned about the film; I am really excited about it! Permit me to give you a little help on this image, just in case you haven't caught it: please look at where "HEART" is written; this is the place where Vortigern's neck should be, but it's not, it's blackened out, so what does black symbolize? Death. Death, then, is what leads Vortigern., rather than his heart, which is what should be leading him (which is why HEART is written over where his neck should be). This, then, takes us into erasure, as with Guy Ritchie's last film, The Man From UNCLE and all the vast examples of erasure used therein (please see Only My Mother Calls Me Napoleon: The Man From UNCLE for more). Okay, one more hint: Temptation Blackens The Heart. This is actually false, but it's false intentionally. We are going through Lent currently, when we have voluntarily given up something as a sacrifice for our sins, and the temptation to cheat is driving me insane. It's not being tempted that blackens my heart; being tempted and resisting the temptation makes my heart stronger and rids my heart of the blackness of sin because I am choosing a greater, higher good rather than my appetites, which is the whole purpose of Lent. If I were tempted and gave into the temptation, than yes, that would blacken my heart. With Arthur, however, that doesn't happen, and we will discuss that in the post, but what this reveals about Vortigern is that he doesn't believe in free will: my free will allows me to choose to give into the temptation, but my free will also gives me the strength to resist temptation. Vortigern (and socialists) believe that, if we are tempted, we are not strong enough to deny our appetites because they control us, we do not control them, and this is one of the many reasons why socialism and Christianity are incompatible. 
We know that a trident is a phallic symbol, that is, it's a sign of power carried by males to communicate their power, their potency, their strength. We know water is a female symbol: while water symbolizes many things, it doesn't symbolize women, per se, but in its nature as a symbol, it's feminine where the trident--made of metal--is a masculine symbol (at this point, we could say that the sword Excalibur from King Arthur Legend Of the Sword fits into this category since the sword is swallowed up by water and then "reveals itself" as we have seen in the second trailer) so, we see traditional masculinity emerging from and separating itself against the tidal wave of feminism (not femininity, but the feminist movement) that threatens to drown it (like "The future is female" kind of drowning). Then, however, we have Gamora (Zoe Saldana) in Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol 2 who uses swords, but has now switched to guns,... so that's an interesting development, but we also know Gamora is in a state of conversion, as are all the heroes of that film. So we will play around with it some more later.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner