Wednesday, November 29, 2017

TRAILER: The Avengers Infinity War Part 1

Marvel has released the first, official trailer for Infinity War which will be released in two parts. I have been trying to get one simple post up all week, and haven't managed, so I might just keep "adding onto" this one as I have the energy: the poster, for example, is surprisingly complex, I just don't have the physical strength to write about it, so here is the trailer:
Several of the Avengers look different: Captain America and Winter Soldier, for example, have aged, while The Vision has turned more "human looking," having lost the Infinity Stone which gave him materialization (actually, I'm not sure "materialization" is the proper existential state to describe Vis, but you know what I mean, when he went from being a digital AI assistant to Tony Stark to being his own "entity") while Thor now has the Odin-eye-patch and Black Widow is blonde (we don't see Hawkeye or Ant Man at all, yet, but rumors suggest Hawkeye has the most dramatic transformation of any of the other Avengers, which will probably be introduced in a separate trailer). Why has Black Widow gone blonde?
Here at the outpost of Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) we see the former neurosurgeon, Wong, Dr. Bruce Banner and Tony Stark, as well as a huge hole in the staircase. Stairs, we know, symbolize ascending or descending, we either attain a higher level of thought about something, or we descend in our ability to recognize a greater meaning (however, descending can also mean going "deeper" into a situation, as in the case of John Wick [Keanu Reeves] when Wick goes "down" into his basement to retrieve or bury his hitman supplies). What's important about the image above is the hole preventing any ascending or descending upon the stairs at all. It's possible Banner himself created the hole: when we first see him at the start of the trailer, he's lying on his back amongst debris and Strange and Wong appear to be looking down at him, so it's possible he feel into Strange's, but we just don't know until we know, but we can say there is now a problem with "knowledge" and accessing knowledge as a result of what happens in this scene.
The blonde color is close to white, like it's been "bleached," (and I don't mean she's bleached her hair in a literal sense) rather, the red hair--"red" symbolizing the thoughts of love of fellow men, Avenger, country and Banner which provided her motivations for doing what she did--has now been "lost," the red, the love, has faded, due to events which have transpired and she's "dead" in her understanding of why she is still fighting, and for what she's fighting. I will be expanding this post, I just don't have strength to do more at this moment, but please, watch the trailer again, and note your own observations.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Justice League Opens This Weekend,....

If you haven't noticed, Affleck's picture is on the cover of People this week, reminding everyone how horrible he was to ex-wife Jennifer Garner. This might be a reason for Justice League not doing well--reminding people why they don't like Affleck and he doesn't deserve to play a super-hero--but also his own bad press for having criticized Harvey Weintstein and then Affleck had at least two groping accusations brought against him, then there was the press conference where someone asked the cast what they thought about Supergirl being brought into JL and Affleck replied, "Are you kidding? Have you read the news lately?" referring to the sexual harassment charges plaguing Hollywood, Affleck obviously assuming that if a woman was brought in, she would start making accusations,... regardless of what you and I think about what is going on, Affleck supports whole-heartedly this ideology and mode of operation, so it's possible fans will do what they did with Batman vs Superman and wait until it appears on cable.
I still have not made it to the theater. I am so sorry, I have just been so sick. Please, forgive me. Justice League opens this weekend and is on track to do about a $110 million opening, which will be good if it meets that (even a $100 million opening weekend would be good, considering how Batman vs Superman "under performed" according to expectations). First of all, I think a lot of people watched B vs S on disc and cable and realized they liked it, so they are more open to seeing Justice League in the theater and ignore reviews panning it; however, the reviews seem to be generally positive, which actually scares me. I just have a bad feeling, a really bad feeling, that--given the direction Wonder Woman went--JL is going to be liberal.  I don't know that for sure, it just seems that Warner Brothers has done everything it can to court liberals and craft a liberal persona to the public, and it's certainly working on me. If you go--and I am going to really try myself, again--but if you do, please note that several cities are reporting tickets being sold out for days, so get your tickets now. Secondly, there are two end credit scenes for the film, so stay until the very end. If you don't mind a potential spoiler regarding the way Superman "comes back from the dead," then keep reading; if you would rather not know, then stop now.
It seriously bothers me that Aquaman (Jason Momoa, far left) holds that trident upside-down. We just saw the Trident of Poseidon being broken in the pro-socialist Pirates of the Caribbean, and Aquaman holding it upside-down suggests he's basically doing the same thing by disrespecting the power and authority with which he has been entrusted, rather like in King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword when Uther Pendragon is about to go kill Mordred and he hands his crown to Vortigern (Jude Law) and Vortigern casually handles the crown, to which Uther commands him, "Hold it steady!" Of course, I hated Wonder Woman, and I fear that, like Steve (Chris Pine) Superman is going to be castrated and turned into a feminist toy.
Word on the street is, Bruce Wayne (Batman, Ben Affleck) studies Lex Luthor's (Jesse Eisenberg) notes on how he brought back Doomsday (Michael Shannon) to life in B vs S and uses the same technology to resurrect Superman (Henry Cavill). We have seen this before in Iron Man 3, when technology symbolizing socialism emplyed by Guy Pierce's character is used to save Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) from her plunge to death, and then again to save Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) himself from having to have that think on his chest so he can be normal again. We could even recall the "magic" used in Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters: what these Iron Man and Hansel and Gretel were definitely saying is, "It's not the technology in and of itself that is bad, rather, how it is being used," and then we can even add the staff of Merlin to this and the last Transformers film. There was also resurrecting Bond in Skyfall; so what am I worried about? The conversion of Superman: that now he's no longer an American icon and hero, he's a liberal ideological mouthpiece. I sincerely hope I am wrong, as always, but I am guessing that there is going to be a smattering of both capitalism (from before Zach Snyder exited) and grated liberalism (when Joss Whedon was brought in to make it a watch-able film). Really, I am going to try and see it this weekend.
Really.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Friday, November 10, 2017

Murder On the Orient Express Trailer #2

Details are imperative in this film, and there is a particular detail we must note, because we have to remember, when there is a character looking for clues, that is an invitation for us, the viewers, to also "look for clues" regarding what the film is really saying. Please notice, as you watch the film, the costumes involved: we have all ready analyzed some of the costumes in detail, but one aspect we haven't considered in this image of Hercule Poirot above: his coat. Because his arms are not in the sleeves of the coat, we may suspect that Poirot all ready has a clue about the play on the last name of "Armstrong," and I won't say anything else about that here, however, it also does something else to Poirot's coat: it turns it from a coat into a cape. A cape, like what Thor or Superman wears, is a sign of a burden willingly taken upon one's self, and their capes are red because they are willing to spill their (red) blood for those they love and the just cause. In the image above, I can't tell if Poirot's coat is blue--like his suit--or black, but Poirot has taken upon himself the burden of the case. 
Opening this weekend is a film I have greatly anticipated since the release of the first trailer: Kenneth Branagh's Murder On the Orient Express. The Agatha Christie story has been remade successfully numerous times for cinema so we have to ask, why again? The answer is never, ever, that someone thinks, "I can make a better film," rather, it's because this is such a good story, I want to make sure that cinema audiences today get to enjoy it (because few bother to watch films older than 2000, and certainly not films from the 50s, 60s or 70s). So, Branagh believes that something in this murder mystery is applicable to the world we live in today; how are we going to watch this film to deduce what his thesis is? (Don't worry, I'm not giving away any spoilers in this post, I would let you know if I were; the second trailer is at the end of this post if you need to see it again).
This is actually genius, doing it this way. Please note, that both hero (Poirot on the left) and villain (Ratchett on the right, Depp) have a scar on their left eye (Ratchett's isn't as visible in this shot, but you've noticed it in the trailers); why? To begin with, we know that a character's eye symbolizes their ability to see "beneath the surface," their "spiritual eyesight," because the eyes are the windows of the soul, so their ability for spiritual perceptions reflects how advanced or decimated their soul is. A wound suggests that one isn't able to properly see, but with Branagh having villain and hero share this trait, he's teasing us to "see" something else, specifically, that the wounds which have caused Poirot's eye to look strange have caused him to have deeper spiritual sight--he's the one who notices everything--whereas Ratchett's wound has caused him to ignore everything, giving him, at best, a shallow soul and one filled with crime and sin. In other words, the same (type of) misfortunes happened to both men, but they chose to handle it differently, Poirot growing wise and Ratchett becoming small and selfish (or worse). So, what about their mustaches? The mouth symbolizes our appetites, be they for food, sex, power, etc., and a man's facial hair (usually) accentuates that he has particular appetites (facial hair is associated with not shaving, and not shaving--no offense gentlemen, this is a broad historical portrait we are painting--was a sign to the well-groomed Romans of a barbarian who didn't shave, hence, facial hair has always had a negative connotation to it). So, what appetites can we deduce about Ratchett and Poirot? We actually see Ratchett eating when he joins Poirot at his table, while Poirot, who should be eating, reads instead (an appetite for knowledge). Poirot's mustache is intricately fixed and maintained, meaning he has an appetite for precision, and--because it's so obnoxiously big, like, really obnoxiously big--it means that Hercule (Hercules) Poirot has a "godly" appetite for justice, for avenging the innocent, for truth. Poirot also has some hair on his chin (sorry, don't know the proper grooming term for this, but I'll find out): the chin--being part of our jaws--suggests how we deal with justice towards ourselves: do we "take it on the chin" when someone insults us, or do we develop an appetite for revenge and resentment? Last, but not least, the gentlemen's neckties: Poirot's is a delicate, intricate knot, whereas Ratchett's is just flipped over, as if it's hiding something; what? We know the neck symbolizes or reveals that which leads us in life, so for Poirot, it's order, it's social norms and expectations (his tie is a traditional knot) whereas with Ratchett, it's something he can hide, something shady (and until we know more, we can't be specific, but as you watch the film, be looking for a thesis of "what leads him"). When we see Poirot with his tie slightly askew, that's a brilliant means of communicating to us that Poirot himself is askew in what guides him: either--depending on the place in the narrative--he has difficulties tracing down what clues should be leading him, or he sees exactly where the clues lead and that disturbs him, even to the point that he wants to avoid the proper conclusion to the case.
To begin, we know the film takes place in the 1930s; why? No, because Agatha Christie set the story in the 1930s is never a legitimate answer because that's a detail which can easily be changed to make something present day; what was happening in the 1930s? The Great Depression and the rise of socialism and fascism across Europe, which is exactly what is happening again today (although, since Trump took office, the economy has finally started booming, but during the Obama "Administration," it looked like the economy was going to completely die). So, we have the same "historical ingredients" in place in America which were historically in place in the 1930s.
What else?
These sweeping landscapes we will see are probably similar to our viewing of the sublime scenes in Dunkirk, in which Branagh also starred.Why? First of all, there is a symbolic significance in the landscape, especially the snow: either people have conquered their sins, so now they can reach up, closer to God (because the "hardness of heart" is symbolized by a mountain) or people have so hardened their hearts by sin that their heart has become a wilderness. Notice the vastness of this mountain range, then the small track of railroad upon which the world-famous luxury Express runs. That is civilization. That is progress. That is capitalism. We have seen a similar shot to this, in fact, in Fast and Furious 7 when the Toretto family drive their amazing cars through a winding road of desert and camel herders; which world would you rather live in, both film makers ask us, the world where nature enslaves us to our surroundings, or the world where we have mastered our surroundings and we can exert our will and do as we please?
This is where it gets a bit tricky, but we all ready have the tricky part figured out. The "snow" and the vapor from the train is really water, and we know that water symbolizes the different stages of reflection (we'll go in-depth in the post for those who don't remember/know). Snow is the third and final stage, meaning the person(s) has accepted what has happened but now they have to heal,... or they refuse to heal, which is why I'm stopping at this point, because when we first see snow appear is going to be critical to understanding the trauma the film explores and how that trauma relates to our own events in today's world. There is an avalanche which stops the train, and that avalanche is a "collision of reality and meditation," in that the train is reality and the snow is the meditation, the spiritual awakening or insight. When the avalanche stops the train, it's going to be a massive symbol of how to "dig out" of the larger trauma being exposed in the film.
The train itself will be a "character" in the film, and we will discuss this further after we have seen it, however, keep in mind, that a "vehicle" is a "vehicle" of the Holy Spirit, and as such, will symbolize the "movement" of the soul(s) of those aboard it. In other words, how do the people aboard the Orient Express change over the course of the film's events? Are those changes for good or bad regarding that character's soul?
The film begins in Jerusalem, the Holy City, the Old City. Why? There is a "religious nature" to Poirot's mission (Kenneth Branagh). Jerusalem is sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians, so it's a location which binds and unites us--and trust me, "united" is the last thing anyone can say about the United States today.From Jerusalem, Poirot travels to Istanbul,... and now we have an interesting detail: at least three films that I can think of from the past couple of years have featured Istanbul, specifically The Blue Mosque which was featured in Taken 2, Skyfall and Argo. In both Taken 2 and Skyfall, the white heterosexual men are seen pursuing the enemies with courage and determination; in Ben Affleck's Argo, his Canadian hero (socialism) is seen sneaking around, terrified and impotent. We'll see how Poirot makes out when he's in Istanbul (which used to be Constantinople). Lastly, pay attention to class dynamics: which social/economic class is each character from, and how do they interact with other characters from different classes? I plan on seeing Murder On the Orient Express Friday afternoon, and will do my very best to get a post up this weekend,.... really, my very best.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Blessed All Saints Day To You

There is a lot we can discuss with this poster, however, let's just consider the tagline, "Terror is building." I have to admit, that's a good one, very witty, clever. People who are about the future want to build the future, people who are self-sufficient want to build for themselves, and it's through the act of "building" that America and the West in general has become great civilizations (cultures who are not considered "great" are not considered so due to a general lack of "buildings" in their countries: where there are no buildings, there is no other signs of greatness, such as learning, discovery, finance, leadership, resources, trade, etc.). So the very act of constructing is going to be part of the villany of the film.
Dear Readers,
As always, I can't begin to thank you sufficiently for your continued presence at The Fine Art Diner. I have every intention of returning to posting regularly, however, I am still quite sick. Thor: Ragnarok opens this weekend, it's expected to do quite well, and while I am looking forward to it, I simply don't know if I will be able to make it or not. In case you want some prepared material going in, here is our analysis of the Thor trailers, especially featuring Darryl, Thor's Australian roommate. In the meantime, just about every major film coming out has released a trailer, and I simply don't have the energy and focus necessary to post them. Here is one (obviously pro-socialist) but it's likely you have seen the others, but this has some interesting features.
If you remember The Woman In Black, you are seeing "echoes" of the film: the way Helen Mirren's Sarah walks and dresses, sits in an abandoned room, etc. There are also the echoes of The Conjuring: the face of a ghost behind the mirror when it's turned, for example (I know this post isn't up to par and what you expect, I am sorry, I am trying). Anyway, the most important aspect is this note: Sarah believes she is cursed by every single person ever killed by a Winchester rifle. She was fantastically wealthy, making approximately $25,000 a day in today's economy, adding to the nearly $500,000,000 fortune her husband left her. So, we have gun rights and gun control being targeted (hauntings by the victims) and a "lunatic" who is the 1% of the 1%. So, I am trying to get well as quickly as possible, and I thank you with all my heart for your continued presence here in spite of my absence. Just because I haven't posted on Annabelle, The Dark Tower (which is now out on video, excellent, I loved it!!!), IT and Blade Runner: 2049 doesn't mean I don't want to. I hope to get caught up on those films, as they are highly important and will have impacts on future films coming out. So, a happy and blessed All Saints' Day to you and your beloved, and I will do my best to see Thor this weekend!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner