Thursday, August 17, 2017

NEWS: Bond #25 & Thor 3 #3

Daniel Craig has confirmed that he is returning as James Bond for Bond #25, but has also confirmed it's the last time he will portray Bond, which means--according to contracts--Christoph Waltz will not be back as Blofeld (because that was going to take three films to follow that lead) and no word as of yet if Lea Seydoux, who portrayed Madeline Swann will return; so, if we want to know what is going on, those are the two casting announcements we should be listening for, which means, IF they are going to happen, they will probably be the last ones announced,.... On a different note, I don't understand why they decided to do this in Japanese, but they did: the Thor 3: Ragnarok trailer has been released (in Japanese) but we have our first look at Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in the film.
I have an apology to make: I was in great error over a detail, specifically, the end credits scene for Dr. Strange, where we see Thor visiting Strange inquiring where Odin is. I thought at the time, that "Thor" was actually Loki, and Loki was there to collect the Infinity Stone in Strange's keeping, as it turns out, however, "Thor" was actually Thor, so, we have the bridge from Darryl to Strange. I am getting back to posting again, so I promise I will have something up tomorrow, hopefully, The Dark Tower. Thank you so much for your patience, as always!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Monday, August 14, 2017

Removing Statues=Rewriting History

Is the flag of the Confederacy really offensive? No, nothing is really offensive, because "offensive" is a reaction. I am a Christian, I could easily be offended by Andreas Serrano's Piss Christ but I'm not offended: this piece reflects Serrano's spiritual state, because he can't insult God, he only demonstrates what is within his own soul, not how God actually is; likewise, the Left, in being "offended" by every single thing, demonstrates that they have no backbone or priorities, that they don't believe in free speech or the right of others to have any freedom; they only believe in their own weakness and want everyone else to suffer for it. So there is nothing offensive about any of these statues or symbols, there is only the power grab being waged by the Left, and unfortunately, they are winning it. For example, they want the names of presidents removed from a memorial because they owned slaves and in Brooklyn, there is a push to rename streets at a army base named after Civil War generals.. Civil War-era monuments are being torn down in a Hollywood cemetery because "some" activists are offended by them. So far, The Trump Administration's Interior Department seems to have the right, balanced idea and is refusing to remove the monuments. In Baltimore, however, the female black mayor had crews remove four statues overnight; no one knew it was going to happen, so how about that for democracy?
The Left has undertaken what appears on the surface to be an exceedingly popular and sympathetic gesture to blacks: the removal of Confederate symbols (such as the Confederate flag, above, or statues of the famous Dixie General, Robert E. Lee, below). The Left argues the Civil War was a period in history that is offensive and any symbol of the Confederacy is a sign of white supremacy and a desire, in the words of former Vice President Biden, to put blacks back in chains. The removal of these symbols, however, accomplish two important tasks for the Left, and the veneer of self-righteousness does wear thin indeed when we realize the advantages (there is an interesting poll I have posted towards the end of this).
The statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, which was recently gratified with Black Lives Matter. A further advantage for the Left in removing such statues is, they are mostly white men, who were immortalized by white male artists, so when a invasion of conquest takes place, the conqueror will eradicate the art and cultural symbols of the conquered so they forget who they are and what their history is (for example, the English did this with the Welsh and Scottish). This is exactly what the Left is doing with American (capitalist) culture and identity: the capitalists proudly remember that we fought against slavery and for the Union, whereas the Democrats fought to keep slaves and for dissolution. They realize that looks bad, since they want to get blacks to support them, so they are doing away with the "cult of white men" by getting rid of these statues, as well as showing signs of their power by achieving whatever they want. It is difficult to take Black Lives Matter seriously when they are obviously so ignorant of such an important era of their own history, and if they argue that the Democratic Party of the Civil War was in the past, then so, too, was slavery, and the idea of "modern day reparations" is just as ludicrous. 
It was the Left that was responsible for slavery. It was the Left that was responsible for the Civil War. The Republican North wanted freedom for slaves and wanted to keep the Union as one. Removing the public monuments begins the necessary steps the Left obviously wants to take in erasing from their history their role in enslaving black people and attempting to destroy the country through war (they are determined to destroy America, always, that just doesn't change).
And this is from NPR and PBS.
So the first advantage is the first step to erasing unsavory aspects of their personal history so it can't be used against them: no record of the Left's involvement, then no crime (just like Hillary's hundreds of thousands of deleted emails). The second advantage is power: if they can get these monuments removed, then that gives them power to censor and rewrite history the way they see fit. Anyone resisting this can easily be labeled a bigot, racist, a "Reb," and white supremacist, and who wants to be called names by the Left? That has been the massive push to power and bulldozing of policy which they have managed to accomplish since Obama took office, and they are trying to hold onto it.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Saturday, August 12, 2017

UPDATED: Trailers: It, The Kingsmen & Death Of Stalin

UPDATE: IF you have a moment, check out this article from the New York Times; yea, I know, The Times, but the turns and twists this guy takes, are interesting, and as he himself (seems to be) fully aware of his tight-rope balance, makes it an interesting article for those of us, like myself, who have come to abhor "identity politics."
I have no idea which way this film is going to go (pro-socialist or pro-capitalist) however, that it's a comedy and depicts chaos, and everyone constantly being afraid that they are going to be killed, I think the October 20 release (in honor of the October Revolution which took place October 25, 1917) is going to be at least mildly anti-socialist because no one wants to live in such paranoia:
This is quite an impressive cast, and I am thrilled to see Rupert Friend (Agent 47 in Hitman: Agent 47) as Stalin's son, and Penny Dreadful fans may have spotted Simon Russell Beale who portrayed the aesthete Ferdinand Lyle (and portrays Beria in The Death Of Stalin).  Steve Buscemi, who is good in whatever he does--is there a better compliment for an actor?--portrays Khrushchev, Michael Palin is Molotov. It will be interesting to see if the film takes the path of assassination by Beria and Khrushchev (for fear of being swept away in Stalin's most recent purge of Party members) or if it takes the path that he died from stroke and other conditions caused by stress. Anyway, I'm looking forward to it and think it will be interesting. And we have a new trailer for The Kingsmen:
Remember, Julianne Moore's character, Poppy, is the leader of the world's largest drug cartel, and in order to continue selling drugs, she kills off the Kingsmen. Also note that Mark Strong's character (Blackwood in Sherlock Holmes and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) is named Merlin, providing us with yet another link to the legend of King Arthur; why? Because Arthur still means something today, and those wanting to embrace nationality and masculinity are ones calling to mind the greatness of Arthur and his court. Last but not least is a new trailer/clip for It which looks terrifying.
We will do a detailed post on It before it comes out, I just need a bit more material; I have a theory, but I don't have much proof for it. Since Blade Runner 2049 comes out this year, a Final Cut version of the original Ridley Scott Blade Runner has been released in anticipation of the sequel. That would probably be the version to watch, rather than the theatrical version; I don't say that often,... okay, I never say that at all, because the theatrical version is the one (the most) people are going to be able to relate to and call upon for a frame of reference (so, if there is a scene in Blade Runner 2049, for example, which utilizes information from the Final Cut version, how many people will be able to get it?) however, I think Blade Runner 2049 will be different; why? Scott likes debate about his films, and I can absolutely see him putting in references for Blade Runner 2049 that weren't in the theatrical version of Blade Runner so a few elite film critics can say, "Ah, I have the Final Cut, and this scene no one understands regards this extra footage interview only available on Final Cut version." I will also (promise) get a detailed post of Blade Runner up before Blade Runner 2049 comes out.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. They are going to take Grandma off life support Sunday night at 10 pm and I am utterly heart-broken. Thank you for your prayers, for her and us.
God bless!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Blu-Ray: King Arthur Legend Of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword is out on Blu-Ray and DVD!!!! This is the only good thing that has happened this week, but I am glad for this at least. If you didn't get a chance to see it, or can't wait to see it again (me) this is a great film! I just picked up my Blu-Ray today, so I haven't gotten a chance to review it, however, I can't wait to watch it.
This is going to be a very difficult weekend/week for me: the decision has been made that, Saturday or Sunday night, my grandma will no longer be receiving life-sustaining medicines; she might rally and pull through--I certainly believe in miracles with all my heart and soul--however, it's likely she will only survive a few hours. Please keep her, and the rest of my family, in your prayers. Taking care of Grandma has been a big part of my life for the last five years and this is incredibly difficult and soul-wrenching. I will be with her tonight, and depending on how she is doing, I will be working on The Dark Tower post to finally get that up. Thank you so much, for you prayers and patience!
God bless!

Luke & Rey: Star Wars The Last Jedi

It's anticipated to be the biggest film of 2017, so no details are being released--and hardly any images--so when something like this still is released, it's basically being treated like a golden nugget. Is the image that good? It's pretty good, there is certainly information there we can pan to get to the good stuff, so let's put our noses to the grindstones and see what we come up with.
Rey wears a gray, formless cloak; why? Gray is the color of ashes, so it symbolizes both penance (from dust we came, to dust we shall return, let me do penance for my sins by pouring dust and ashes all over myself as a sign of humility) and the color of the pilgrim, because pilgrims would often go on a journey in penance and to seek after greater holiness. The site they are at, Skellig Michael (which we discuss more below) is a holy site--in reality and the Jedi universe--so the idea of a pilgrimage is suiting. Why is it so formless? What do we really know about Rey? Costumes are meant to communicate to the viewer about the character, but the film makers are keeping Rey "under wraps" (like the wrap she wears) so we aren't going to be allowed to know much about her, at least at this point.
What about her staff? The staff, or rod, is a sign of strength: not only strength because she has been disciplined by the rod--think of how hard life was for her at the junkyard settlement on Jakku; so life has disciplined her, but that discipline has become her strength, it makes her less vulnerable and less afraid ("less afraid" is carefully chosen, in spite of what you may think of my writing skills :)  she's still afraid, quite afraid, but she's all ready been through so much, she knows she is also tough). Unlike Kylo Ren (Han and Leia's son) Rey hasn't been pampered and given ego boosts, telling her she's going to be a great Jedi someday, knowing that her uncle and mother are galactic royalty and her father and his wookie heroes of the Resistance,... Rey has grown up, literally, in the desert, so the desert we see in the image above (rocks and salt water) is a comfortable and familiar surrounding; she isn't going to need a babysitter the way Kylo Ren obviously did.
Rey's hairstyle is quite interesting,... even bizarre. Completely pulled back, that suggests discipline, again, she is disciplining herself in her thoughts: she's not going to gush to Luke, "You are my hero! You are the greatest legend EVER! Can I have your autograph?!!? What about a selfie?!!" There are three "pony tails" (in spite of a better description) and, given that this is such a holy site, I would suggest the hair being parted into threes is a sign of her thoughts of God (Holy Trinity) and she realizes how important this temple is and she wants to make the most of it. In other words, she's not just her for the Resistance, for the galaxy, but she's also here for Rey. Now, look behind Rey: it's like a stone bench, which is probably what it is, but it also looks like a bridge, very much like the stone bridge we see The Mage on when she and Arthur discuss what he holds back and why he can't use Excalibur in King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword and, given that the lightsaber is also a sword, this connection isn't out of the question In other words, Rey acts as a bridge for Luke to go from exile to the forefront of the Resistance once more. The problem with bridges, people walk over them, and this suggests that Rey's relationship with Han is going to look cozy and warm compared to her relationship with Luke.
Look to Rey's left and, from our perspective, behind her: on our left there is green and growth (life and new hope) and on our right there is rocks and barrenness; this is utilizing the landscape to illustrate what we find in these two characters. Rey is young and full of hope, but Luke is old, craggy and barren. Whereas Ben Kenobi had stayed on Tatooine to watch the progress of Luke, and made use of the desert for his own personal growth and advancement as the years passed, Luke choose this barren planet to escape responsibility and probably even blame, so Luke's heart has hardened, however, with Rey, she is what Luke needs to become that Jedi hero once more: hope.
Perhaps the most important, fundamental element of this image is that Rey (Daisy Ridley) stands opposite of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). This is the first time in approximately 30 years that Luke has encountered another human (there are some aliens on the island, we'll look at them in a moment). So, for Luke, we can say that looking at Rey is like looking in a mirror: in Martin Buber's theory of I and Thou, we require other humans, not only to know ourselves, but God as well. So what do we see Luke doing? He's standing at the threshold. While we know events in the film progress, understanding this moment, and the moment at the closing of Star Wars: the Force Awakens when Rey approaches Luke and holds out his lightsaber to him, we also don't know what has happened to the galactic hero in those 30 years, and these few moments of intense communication--verbally and physically--is what the film makers will use to describe a character we know, but don't know who he has become.
Skellig Michael is dedicated to the Archangel St. Michael, whose name means, "Who can compare to God?" It's fitting, therefore, that Luke would retreat to such a place, as he is, very much, like St. Michael and his nephew, Kylo Ren, like Satan: so favored but who fell so low. Why was this such a good place for monks dedicating their lives to holiness? This is one of the great paradoxes in Christianity: we are meant to become "living stones," but we can also let our hearts become "hardened" with sin to where our hearts are no longer natural, but like stone... so how do we manage to become the living stones? To be a living stone means you are rock solid in your foundation of beliefs: you are solid in believing in the importance of love, for example, and you are advanced in practicing patience. A "living stone" is not going to chip easily when the world turns hard on you and makes your journey difficult. On the other hand, we harden our hearts against love and relationships when we have been hurt, and don't want to suffer anymore; then our hearts slowly become filled with poison which causes our hearts to die. Rocks also have a tendency to symbolize sin for this very reason of "hardening our hearts" against God and our fellow man. For someone training in holiness, however, the rocks can become a symbol of how to be tough, dedicated and purge yourself of softness which might cause an aversion to discipline (like sleeping in, or skipping prayers, not fasting or staying comfortable instead of mortifying the flesh). So, just as the Force symbolizes balance in the universe, we can see how delicate the balance within our own souls can be. 
We do know, however, that it could not have been a very pleasant journey: Luke is surrounded by stones, and this suggests that, the son of Anakin Skywalker, has let his heart turn to stone as well. Why? We're probably not going to find that out, or just get a tasting of it, but the giant rock we have seen as Luke's home is a reversal of "wise and healthy living": Luke should have been there to be Leia's rock in her times of hardship, and Luke should have let Leia be a rock for him in his own times of trouble; in other words, instead of running away when Kylo Ren turned, Luke should have stood and either fought his nephew, or at least been there to help Leia lead the Resistance against the First Order. Instead, Luke has become a rock, and this is likely going to be very difficult for Rey to manage.
This has been released as the "nuns" who care for the Jedi Temples on the island where Luke resides; according to sources, they don't really like Luke being there. They can communicate with him to some degree, but they wish he would go away. This seems utterly bizarre to me, and I simply don't know what to make of this.
Skellig Michael was a monastery, but it was also a community, so even though the monks there lived in a kind of hermitage, they had the socialization of others, they weren't alone, and this is true even today of the religious life; why? Because being cut-off from you fellow man mangles your outlook. As we have said before, it's good to go into the desert to fight your demons, because there is no place for the demons to hide; sometimes, however, the demons win, especially if the person is going through depression (like the loss of his nephew to the Dark Side) or is prone to depression: you can't see reality properly without guidance, and if this has happened to Luke, it will be difficult for him to come back to the Resistance and fight.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Analysis & Symbols: Annabelle Creation

This is an interesting poster: whenever a face is hidden or covered, or we don't have access to it, it's a sign of mystery, that we cannot have access to that part of the person/character/thing, even though we know it's there (for example, in a portrait when someone stands in profile, the artist wants to communicate that there is something inaccessible about this person, mysterious and unknowable). We see this with the doll in the poster above and the left side of the face; again, as we have had opportunities to note, the "left" side of something has always been considered evil (the left hand of Dr Jeckyll (Russell Crowe) in The Mummy, Strickland's left hand (Michael Shannon) in The Shape Of Water, and Solo and Illya looking to their left in the poster for The Man From UNCLE, among other examples). The wooden lid to the box is very interesting and introduces and element of "play" into the poster which--given that this is a doll and dolls are meant to be "played" with--is entirely appropriate. On one hand, we see the wooden box as the packaging of the doll but because it's a wooden box, and it was created to be a reminder of the little girl who died, the box also becomes a coffin. Deconstruction tells us that such "play" with words, images and ideas, where you can't really decide on what something is (is it a box or a coffin?) is inherent in all words, sometimes it's just easier for us to pick out than other times. I suspect we will see this "ambiguity" (not being able to decide between "A" or "B" what something is or means) throughout the film: for example, we see the "ghost" of Bee, the little girl who died, with her back to the door when Bee's mother enters and wants to know if it's Annabelle or not; the "girl" sets at a child's tea party set and pretends to be having a party with her animals. Food and beverages in a scene always mean that it is us, the viewers, who are being "served" something to digest: in other words, we are the stuffed animals sitting at the table, the film is the party, and the tea and other refreshments are the meaning and purpose of the film you and I are being asked to "digest," to engage and really understand (like everything here at the Fine Art Diner). Another good example of this is Clary (Lily Collins) in The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, when she keeps making this symbol, and then she "draws it" in the foam of her coffee with the sugar and she doesn't want to drink the coffee; why not? Clary doesn't really want the symbol "clarified" and she doesn't want to digest what it means to her that she keeps making it.
The reason this "play" on words is so important is because of something Janice says in the trailer we examine: the evil one is haunting her because she is the "weakest." "Weak" is a generally negative connotation, at least in America, because being "weak" implies that you can't take care of yourself, you are helpless, a victim; in Christianity, however, we are supposed to brag about being "weak" because it is the weak that God chooses so people will know it is God doing great and mighty deeds and not the person who is merely God's instrument, so what is the difference? Janice uses "weak" in the social, political and economic context of today to describe herself, and this is exactly what the devil and socialists want: look at yourself as being weak, crippled and helpless; Janice is probably also the weakest in her faith (or one of the virtues, like hope--even though we see her wearing green--humility, Christian love, etc., and it is likely we will see the same type of weakness in the Mullins). God wants us to become weak along the path of humility: I don't do anything; I am not the one writing this blog, for example, it's God. I can't come up with a single idea on my own if it is not for God granting me the Grace and gifts to see and properly use this knowledge to glorify Him (I am not bragging that I am a perfect example of Christian humility and weakness, but just trying to use an example). When we realize that we are mere humans and can do nothing on our own, then we are weak, and when we are weak, then God is happy to work in us and through us, because we glorify Him rather than glorifying ourselves (or even some other person or thing). There seems to be a dramatic lack of prayer in these trailers which have been released so far, and even though we see people holding the Crucifix, it's almost like they cover the Body of Jesus--which is what gives a Crucifix its power--rather than revealing it, which might be the whole answer as to the sin Samuel and Esther Mullins commit. 
Annabelle: Creation opens this weekend and the reviews are unusually strong: while The Conjuring universe based on upon the investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren serve as the basis of the stories, this quick featurette trailer points us to something imperative we can't forget about these stories: reality.
The reason it's important to remember that these are actual case histories that involved the supernatural (literally, that above the explanations of science and natural phenomena) is because of the spiritual battle each of us is called to fight everyday; what I think Annabelle: Creation is going to examine, is how we each fail in that battle. Before we discuss that, let's look at the teaser Warner Brothers released, featuring how the Annabelle doll was created:
Why is it that the first thing we see is an eye? "Eyes" symbolize our spiritual sight, our ability to see "beyond" the mere surface, deeper into the matter or the person/character, to understand (motivations, for example), so the first thing the teaser tells us is to "see what we are trying to tell you, what we want to warn you about." The second thing we see is the back of a man, wearing a light brown/tan shirt, and we don't notice much else about him because of his back; this is important, trust me. Next--and this shot really is genius--we see the eyeball held under a magnifying glass. So, what do we have with these three shots? We, the audience, are being called to examine closely what we will see, because we see God as the master craftsman (the man's back is to us so this is a male figure we cannot know very much about, but he's a craftsman, hence, a God figure/metaphor) but we also have to examine how and why we see what we see (the eye under the magnifying glass) because we are apt to see things that are only beneficial to us, and not the critique that we ourselves need to experience (how we are likely guilty of the same sins we will see in the film).
Originally when I saw this teaser, I was very concerned about a certain element of the doll's characteristic: the limited edition. Why? That means it's more valuable, and if a socialist were making this film, the "value" (as in monetary value) of the doll would be a sign of "possession" and someone wanting the doll because it's valuable, so they are "possessed" with "possessing material goods," we saw this in The Conjuring and the mother's desire to have their own home. (While the first film, The Conjuring, was pro-socialist, Annabelle was pro-capitalist, as was The Conjuring II: The Enfield Poltergeist, and I expect Annabelle: Creation to be pro-capitalist as well.
How do I arrive at Mr. Mullins being a "god figure" in this clip? There is a lot of light, coming from the right side of the screen; light, especially natural light--but it doesn't have to be--indicates illumination from within. His back is to us, so we can't know who this is, although we have some idea; we know it's a craftsman because we see all the parts, pieces and tools; there might also be the idea that in heaven, we are like the dolls which God puts together. Unlike the doll maker we see above, however, God gives us a heart, a soul, and a mind along with free will, so we are not empty. Socialists, on the other hand, contend that we are created empty because we are animals, not the children of God. I am guessing, but I could be wrong, that the Mullins' sin is idolatry: they worship their little girl over worshiping God who created her. This would be an apt sin to examine because people who worship their material goods (and we aren't talking about building an alter and offering incense to a car or a great set of gold clubs) because they have an unhealthy amount of love/desire for those material goods, are easy fodder for socialists who claim that getting rid of material goods will make society a better place. No, it won't, only worshiping God and giving Him the credit due Him will make society better, because our hearts will then be balanced and natural instead of loving things in an unnatural way.
On a different note, we know that Mr. Mullins' name is "Samuel," which invokes the prophet who anointed both Saul and David; Samuel was an only child of his mother, Hannah, and his name means, "God has heard," because God heard Hannah's prayer asking for a son,... Mrs. Mullins' name is Esther, after the queen. Esther was originally born "Myrtle," because she was meant to bear fruit, like the trees we will discuss below; "Esther" means "star" but can also mean "hidden one," which we certainly see when she puts on her fake face piece. Both of these names we will need to keep in mind so we can "mull over them" and understand why the film makers chose these two Biblical names for their characters. 
The next shots are of the dis-embodied doll parts: an arm here, a torso over there, etc. Why is this so creepy? The body parts are de-contextualized and, even though they belong to a doll, it's creepy because those parts resemble human parts closely enough that it makes us think, "That could be my arm. That could be my torso." We actually saw this way back in Resident Evil: Retribution and the clone factory: we could even say this is the place where "golems" are made (those clay figures into who the name of God is breathed and so they take on life, since "Bee" the little girl who dies asks to be allowed to live in Annabelle the doll and give the doll "life." This scene, however, becomes more "sinister" when we see "the empty face," the face with no eyes, mouth or mind behind it; why? It's like a zombie.
We will probably have to watch this film several times to even begin to capture the majority of details being offered for our "intellectual consumption" in Annabelle: Creation. Let's take a look at this seemingly unimportant transition scene. First, in the top image, we see the bus pulling onto the Mullins' property; so? Notice how dusty it is? That's a sign of the desert, where nothing grows, there is no Grace (it seems the Mullins are good people who wanted to do penance for their sins, however, there is something they have held back or won't let go of which continues to separate them from God). Please notice, on the right side of the top image, the dead trees: dead trees symbolize sin, because where God is, good things grow (You know a tree by the fruit it bears, and every tree is supposed to bear some sort of fruit, even if just shade, so trees which bear no fruit are dead because of the root of sin). However, on the left side of the house, the trees are alive because there is some sin nurturing them to grow. Again, notice how dusty it is and the "desert conditions" which are the opposite of the Garden of Eden.
Janice's bad leg is her left leg. Legs symbolize our "standing" in society, so either Janice feels she doesn't have any standing in society, and that cripples her, or she let's her bad leg keep her from having a standing in society (or, of course, something else entirely the film will introduce). But watch for how she got her bad leg and how she responds to it.
In the bottom image, we see her dress is green, and the bus is green, too. This is important because the Mullins' truck we see--just as their daughter gets run-over--is green and Esther Mullins wears a green dress just as Janice wears a green dress in this image above. "Green" symbolizes new life, and hope, or that something has gone rotten and is no good. Is Janice a metaphor of Esther Mullins and the sin Esther has harbored in her heart all these years? There is a very good chance of that, but it's not necessary.
Now, on a different note, Janice's best friend, Linda, portrayed by Lulu Wilson, was recently in another horror film, Ouija: Origin of Evil, which I am confident is a pro-socialist film, unlike the first Ouija, which was pro-capitalist. If you have time to watch Origin of Evil, I would suggest you do before Annabelle Creation because the casting of Lulu is likely meant to invoke that film (when the demon-as-Bee stands at the window, and Janice comes up behind it and the girl says, "You help me, I'll help you," and then it turns to show Janice its real face, that looks nearly identical to the demon we see in Origin of Evil, meaning, the Annabelle creators wanted to make commentary on Origin of Evil and did so by creating a bridge of reference with the casting of Lulu. 
This is likely the "eye beneath the magnifying glass" part the trailer warned us about: are you a zombie, or are you going to see and understand what we are telling you? Well, what is it telling us? You are one of a kind (the limited edition). There is no one else like you. God made you with love, to be loved and to receive love. If, however, you abuse love and the life you have been given, you become a curse, not only to yourself, but to all others as well. We see the exact opposite of this with the appearance of the armadillo on the island in Wonder Woman, because armadillos have young that are all genetically identical, so the makers of Wonder Woman are saying, you might think you are special and unique, but you aren't (please see God-Killer: Wonder Woman for more). People who are not filled with the dignity of love and individuality are empty, like the dislocated limbs we see hanging up in the shop, and they are zombies, because they do not recognize the love God has for them (we get a good sense of this when Janice--the little girl with the bad leg--tells the nun about feeling God's presence vs feeling the presence of the "evil one"). Let's watch the second trailer for the film:
As Ed and Lorraine Warren taught us in The Conjuring, and we see carried out even in this trailer: evil requires our consent. Little Janice--whose bad leg just happens to be her left leg--will somehow acquiesce to the demon which takes the form of little Bee (the dead daughter). The parents agree to let Bee live in the doll; why? Because their daughter has become an idol to them, and the Annabelle doll becomes a "golden calf," which they can see and enjoy her presence. At 1:55, we have the most important line of the film: It's coming after me because I'm the weakest. What have we seen in the real world that goes after the "weakest" in society?
Socialism.
This film is going to be loaded with symbols. Let's start with the image above, seeing as this is a "fateful moment" in the film. Their truck is green, so that means their "natural vehicle" as a family unit is hope (vehicles symbolize the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit is the Will of God, and we go where God wills and then green symbolizes hope and new life); there is a problem though: they have a flat tire. This means, and I am sure the narrative will supply it, that there is something within the lives of the Mullins family which causes them all ready to be depressed (even before their daughter dies) or not completely cooperating with the will of God. In the foreground is a mailbox; why? Mailboxes hold messages, and in this scene, we are being given a "message" from the film makers if we are smart enough to collect it. I will pick up on this theme in the body of the post, however, we need to point this out here: is it the oncoming truck that kills the little girl, or is it the little girl running out in front of the truck that kills her? Do you blame inanimate objects--like the truck--for taking the girl's life, or that the girl made a mistake and went on the road that is meant for trucks, not little girls, and was accidentally killed as a result? Socialists will say, "It's the truck's fault: if there were no trucks, then the little girl would still be alive," because socialists want to do away with the personal freedom vehicles provide; capitalists, on the other hand, who believe in free will, will argue that the fault lies with the little girl because roads are made for vehicles not for playing, so she was somewhere she wasn't supposed to be. In America, we have seen this argument with guns and gun control. Later on, we will discuss the line of Linda (Lulu Wilson) who says, "This doll is hurting Janice!" and drops it into the well; can the doll hurt Janice, or is it the presence haunting the doll?
In the second image down, when Esther Mullins sees "Annabelle" being transformed into the demon and she drops the Crucifix, we briefly see the shoes she wears: red. This should have sent off alarms, dear reader. We know the color red symbolizes the appetites, because our blood (which is red) is the most valuable thing we have, so we are only going to spend our blood on what we crave most in life: either we will spill our blood (red) for someone we love, or we will spill their blood to appease the wrath we have against them. Shoes symbolize our will, because our feet take us in life where we want to go the way our will decides where it is we want to go. So, as we watch the film, we will have to decide, did Esther Mullins agree to let the demon enter the doll because she loved her daughter so much, or because she was mad at God for taking their daughter away (remember, in the trailer, she says their daughter was "taken" from them)?
In the bottom image, we see what will surely be an excellent device in the film: the face mask of Esther Mullins. Besides indicating that she has become a "doll zombie" like our discussion above (because the face symbolizes our identity, and part of her identity is fake) it's also on the left side of her face, like Janice's bad leg, and the flat tire on their truck in the image at the top. Just as Esther has lost a part of herself in the battle against the Annabelle doll, so, too, has Samuel, even though his "sacrifice" might not be so obvious (like he quits making dolls, so he loses his professional identity, for example; I don't know if he does quit making dolls, this is just an example of a possibility).
Socialism wants everyone to believe they are weak and victims. Socialism doesn't want anyone to believe they are strong and self-sufficient. Here is another trailer. Let me point out, that Linda (Lulu Wilson, the one who ditches the doll into the well) is Janice's best friend:
So, what is the "mistake" that each character makes that we can see all ready in this trailer? They entertain evil. They do what the evil wants them to do; why? Because they can't "see" that it is going to lead to evil. For example, Mr and Mrs Mullins let the demon move into the doll; Janice follows the notes--who in their right mind would follow notes from someone they can't see?--and then we see Linda going back to peer into the well after she has thrown the doll down into. Each character interacts with evil because they are not interacting with God. Rather than praying to God to deliver her, the one girl simply covers her eyes and says, "It's not real, it's not real!" but she knows the devil is real, and pretending he is not won't do anything to save her.
This is the real Annabelle doll (on the left) of which the real Lorraine Warren speaks in the opening featurette of this post; on the right is the Annabelle doll created for The Conjuring, when we were first introduced to her. For analysis on the differences between the two dolls, and why the one of the right is so incredibly different from the one on the left, please see The Devil's Hour: The Conjuring, at the very bottom of the post.
On a different note, thank you, dear readers, for your patience: my grandma is still battling sepsis, it's a terrible infection, and she's in horrible pain; she is not expected to survive. Thank you so much for remembering her, my aunt and dad in your prayers. She might pull through, I am praying for that, I know her life isn't over yet, but when the Lord calls, He calls, so if this is her time, we will have the funeral, family planning, packing of personal belongings, etc., which will have to be done; she may pass tonight, it might be in a couple of days. I don't particularly feel like seeing a horror film this weekend--the past week has been a horror film--but I do want to see Annabelle Creation, but because of events beyond my control, it might not be this weekend. I am still working on The Dark Tower and will probably get that up before the review for Annabelle. Thank you so very much for your patience!
God bless!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Monday, August 7, 2017

Delay

I am so sorry: my Grandma has sepsis, so we have been in the hospital all weekend. Please remember her in your prayers, as this is a very serious infection, she's 85 and not in very good health to begin with. I have the body of The Dark Tower post complete, I'm just wrapping up some captions, so I will get that up asap, as always.
Thank you so much for your patience!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Dark Tower Is Excellent!

It has been an absolutely horrible week; one of the worst weeks in quite awhile; as I was waiting for the film to begin, someone asked me if I am a Stephen King fan, and as you know, I had to admit that I have never read any of his books, but we had a pleasant conversation, which was actually a gift from God, because it helped to lighten my heart from the burdens of the week so I could be prepared to watch the film and enjoy it, not just on a theoretical level, but a personal and spiritual one as well. It was a great film, and in addition to confirming everything we have been talking about for months--there is an AWESOME King Arthur reference--it also goes beyond that as well, which is what great films do: they see where other films are going, they join them, but they also add their own voice, their own observations and philosophy.
In short, I can't wait to watch it again.
Fire plays out on several levels of the film, so an image like this, when we see The Man In Black reflecting fire in his eyes, looks for a "companion," a symbol linking itself to something apparently different, but sharing a common thread of meaning. Jake's psychologist, during the meeting they have, does this with the drawings Jake makes and the night Jake's father died, so when this has been done at least once for us, we know it's an invitation to continue doing it throughout the rest of the film.
I will get this post up asap, and probably go see Detroit on Monday, and try to get that up asap, but you know what always happens to my plans (and, by the way, if Detroit is in your area this weekend, it might be a good idea to see it; since it's a limited release, it might not still be in your area next weekend and the reviews are all coming in at the highest possible marks, so you will want this one under your belt). If you are going to see The Dark Tower--and I highly recommend that you do--I can assure you that every symbol we have ever discussed at this blog, is in full-maximum over-drive mode, so when you see someone pulling a piece of glass out of their hand with their mouth, there are four symbols at play all at once: the blood, the hand, the glass and the mouth; how are those four symbols being pieced together as a whole? There are a ton of windows in the film, so each time you see a window, think, "That character is reflecting on something, what?" As usual, The Dark Tower post will contain spoilers, so please see it before reading the post. Also, the new Bruce Willis film, Death Wish, has some great hidden nuggets of wisdom and symbolic depth we will examine next week in greater detail.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Thursday, August 3, 2017

TRAILER: Death Wish vs Leftist Ideology

So, if you haven't heard, the Left is melting over the new Bruce Willis trailer for the remake of Death Wish. Why? We've seen films like this before, like Law Abiding Citizen with Gerard Butler, and any number of other vigilante films, like The Brave One with Jodie Foster; the problem is, the Left's ideology is being tested in its hometown of Chicago:
The first problem with this trailer is when the man says, "If a man really wants to protect what's his, he has to do it for himself," and there are three problems with this statement; correction, there are three "aberrations" to acceptable Leftist ideology, with this statement. First, "his," that's a binary gender word, and anything binary is inherently logocentric, which means it glorifies Western civilization and thought, which has been dictated to us by white men; second, "what's his," is the threshold of Leftist hell, because to the Left, nothing is "yours," or "mine," everything belongs to the State, so it's up to the State to protect us, or else,.... and here is the great glory of being a Liberal,... YOU ARE A VICTIM. Nothing is better, or greater in life, than being a victim, because that proves you CANNOT PROTECT YOURSELF and you need the State organizing every single second of your life to prevent chaos from ruining the world. This leads to the third aberration: "do it for himself." We are animals, the Left insists, and we have no free will, we don't know anything accept how to eat, do drugs and have sex; anything beyond that is impossible for us to manage without the State coming to save us. And then, we can add in the bonus material: the hero is male and white and a known Trump supporter. Had the "hero" actually been a heroine (and if she is addicted to heroine, that makes her even better) or a non-binary gender orientation being, who was black (or at least not white, please, anything but a white person) then the Left would be slamming conservatives' faces into this exact same trailer (because yes, they would suspend all other ideological agendas for the sake of seeing a black woman transitioning to becoming a black man killing white people). So, why is the Left upset with this trailer? They don't want to draw attention to Donald Trump today, because the the governor of West Virginia has switched from being a Democrat to a Republican,giving the "alternative right" (as Liberals are calling Republicans) complete control of 26 states. Yea, this is a bad day for them, but I don't feel sorry for them at all.
Eat Your Art Out
The Fine Art Diner

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Appendix: The Mummy (2017)

There was so much in The Mummy that I was easily overwhelmed: an incredible amount of work went into that film, so it shouldn't be a surprise that I just now figured something out, something kind of big that was the obvious elephant in the room I kept overlooking, so instead of making you go back through the post to look for it, I'm just putting up an appendix (in addition to including it in the main post for the film).
Again, Nick will later tell Jenny that he thought there was another parachute, but we never see him look for another one, which is pretty odd, isn't it? And as Jenny says, Nick doesn't hesitate to give her the only parachute, because he wants to get as far away from her as possible. Just another little note, as there are several references to other Tom Cruise films in The Mummy (so we can compare Nick Morton's lack of heroism to the kinds of heroes Cruise typically portrays) so we should be mindful of Annabelle Wallis (Jenny Halsey) and where we have seen her: as Jane Seymour in The Tudors (Henry VIII is the perfect example of the adulterer)  and as the mother in Annabelle, which was very much about chastity and adultery, marriage and purity (please see I Like Your Doll: Annabelle and the Charles Manson Family for more). 
When Nick and Jenny are at Waverly Abby, and Ahmanet has had Nick on the alter, ready to stab him with the Knife of Set, Nick escapes in the yellow ambulance, and Jenny runs after him, accusing him of "Just leaving" her there,... We discussed that Nick is possibly leaving her there because Nick's reply is, "Did you see that?" referring to what happened on the alter, because it's obvious that this was a re-enactment of what Jenny and Nick did in her Baghdad hotel room, and Nick wants to get away from Jenny because he doesn't want any of that to happen. What I have just realized is, in the scene pictured above (the zero gravity scene when Nick gives Jenny the parachute) it's possible, even likely that Nick is "getting rid of Jenny" to get her as far away from himself as he possibly can even this early in the film. Seeing what happened to Vale, the camel spiders, the dust storm and Greenway being shot, as well as the massive attack by the black birds on the plane, Nick probably all ready realizes that this is happening because of Ahmanet-Jenny and just as Vale died, it would be better for Nick to die, too (remember, his last name, "Morton," means "death"). This imperative detail (if I am right, and I think this is spot-on) heightens the spiritual dimension of the film significantly, especially with the King Arthur reference the film provides,....
What is one of the details we see at Waverly Abbey? When Nick tries getting away from Ahmanet and he drives the ambulance right back to the Abbey; Nick can't get away from her. The same could be said of Jenny. Even after Nick has died in a plane crash, Jenny is there, outside, waiting to see Nick, and then there she is. After Nick leaves the pub and is in the alleyway, he suddenly finds himself in front of Jenny again, just as he finds himself in front of Ahmanet again at the Abbey. 
Since Jenny is a form of "Jennifer" (which is how Jeckyll addresses her, her "alter ego") and "Jennifer" is a form of Guinevere," then Nick is being called upon to be a "King Arthur," a knight in shining armor; why? As Jeckyll tells him, "A sacrifice for the greater good," and if Nick is willing to die to get away from Jenny, as he appears to be in the zero-gravity scene, then that's a pretty significant sacrifice. "But wait," you oh-so-keen-reader remind me, "Jeckyll wanted to kill Nick and Nick wouldn't have anything to do with it, which is why Nick is still in the room when Jeckyll turns into Hyde," and that is a most excellent point, dear reader, however, I think--and I leave it to you to decide--that it's actually one, being willing to be murdered by someone, instead of just taking advantage of a plane crashing with you in it anyway, but two, and more importantly, that Jeckyll wants to complete the ritual, so he's not only suggesting to murder Nick, but allow Nick to become possessed by the devil, and then kill Nick, and what are the chances of that ritual going all as planned? About nil. This is, of course, exactly what Nick ends up doing himself, however, all the events of the film have prepared him to make that decision.
What decision?
To become a knight.
Another little detail I forgot to add was the shirt Nick wears. Supposedly, this isn't one of his shirts, since he woke up at the morgue naked, this was somehow supplied to him. If you notice throughout the film, he doesn't button the sleeves, and there seems to be some tears, especially in the area of the arms; why? Is it a cheap shirt? Possibly, however, the unbuttoned shirt sleeves suggests that Nick has something "up his sleeve," and stealing the Knife of Set from Ahmanet, the way he stole the map from Jenny, would certainly validate that interpretation. What about the holes in the shirt? It's almost as if the shirt is ripping at the seams, like Nick's The Hulk, about to transform, and in the scenes when we notice it most, especially the underwater scene when Nick tries to save Jenny from drowning, Nick is transforming, he's risking everything to save her, rather than just save himself by getting away from her and hoping the catastrophic events don't take place. In other words, the film makers, like those of Transformers and King Arthur, are calling upon men to once again become the protectors of women, rather than just the joe she spent the night with. 
It's not simply enough, the film makers argue, for Nick to say "No," to having sex with Jenny (and only saying "No," after he has seen the devastating consequences for himself that engaging in sex with her has in store for him), for Nick to become a hero, he has to become a knight who doesn't engage in sex at all. We see this in, for example, Transformers: The Last Knight, with an explicit discussion regarding the last time Cade (Mark Wahlberg) had engaged in sex, as well as the lack of sex--even romance--in King Arthur: Legend Of  the Sword. Why is this important? Actually, it's earth-shattering! Liberal culture has taught that men are promiscuous and that's just how they are, so that then they could argue women have the right to be promiscuous as well, so that's how we get the "Jennys" of the world. The Mummy argues that men have to be chaste and pure, it's not enough to just not have sex once with a certain woman, but men have to rise up and become the knights of old, or men are going to be completely wiped out of the history books, just like ancient Egyptian society tried to do to Ahmanet. (If you haven't read the full post on The Mummyyou can find the complete analysis of the film here at this link).
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Opening This Week: The Dark Tower, Detroit, Wind River & What Happened To Monday?

A shot like this is nearly always a good idea; why? It provides us with a tangible expression of what is happening to the character, and yet, it's still abstract, so we are able to "feed it" with our own emotions, our own experiences and use a shot like this to strengthen our bond to the character(s). Obviously, it's a barren desert, there is nothing but rocks and mountains. The hero of the film, young Jake Chambers, has unknowingly entered this desolation. As a young man, Jake symbolizes the future (youth) of the economy (male, the active member of society), and it's bleak. Understanding Jake as the future of the economy is re-enforced by part of the story taking place in New York City, which is the financial capital of the world. I hope, but I am in no way certain, that the film makers will want to pose the question to audience members: would you rather live in this world (pictured above) where the progressives do away with technology and the free market, or the world of capitalism, where there is the free market and technology?
Staying on this same note, but a different key, any kind of desert or wasteland scene, including snowy wastelands (which we will address in a moment with Wind River) also operate on a spiritual level: there are demons in the wasteland, yes, but it's impossible for them to hide here. You have been stripped of everything you love and hold dear to your heart, so they can't mimic being a part of you, they show their ugly face and you battle them until they win or you do; it isn't a fight to the death, it's a fight to eternal death. Every rock you see in the image above is a sin; every hill is a sin, every mountain is sin. That is why the holy life is a life dedicated to overcoming all of our imperfections, so we don't multiply our sins because the image we see above, is a soul devoid of God's Grace, there is none of God's own Life in this wasteland. When saints "go into the desert to do battle," their desert looks much like this one, however, they have the angel of the Lord protecting them and aiding them in discernment so they can be victorious; a sinner in a landscape such as this (an unrepentant sinner) is in the desolation of their very soul: their sins have destroyed the Grace of God within themselves and there is nothing but a barren wasteland. So, what does your soul look like?
On a different note, The Dark Tower weaves all of King's stories together, this being their place of origin, and so we are going to see the "birthplace" of Pennywise the Clown from It, and a photo of the Overlook Hotel from The Shining, among other references. I haven't read any of King's works, so I will not be able to pick up very many, if any at all. This is called the "informed reader," the film makers have targeted fans of King's because they are in the know and will be able to catch references that people like myself who are not "in the know" won't be able to.
Traditionally, August isn't that great of a month for films: with kids getting ready to go back to school, audiences are taking vacations or enjoying the last days outside by the pool instead of being in the dark theaters, so with August, the "summer block-buster season" is theoretically over. Three films open this week: The Dark Tower (the Stephen King adaptation), Detroit and Wind River. If it opens in my area, and I was only going to pick one of these three films to see this weekend, it would be Detroit. Why:
Two words: Kathryn Bigelow.
As usual, while Detroit takes place in 1967, it's not a historical film; they never are, because they can't be. Regardless of how many times you hear a film maker say, 'We really studied the history and tried to make it as authentic as possible," there is ALWAYS, ALWAYS artistic interpretations taking place; for example, the very "highlighting" of that topic/subject matter being brought into the public arena of discourse at this specific time (the very fact that Bigelow made a film about the Detroit riots is and of itself an artistic interpretation because she's taking a specific moment and event from the historical record and re-creating it in today's world; why? Because of all the rioting Liberals have been doing the past couple of years). Even if a film maker has an exactly accurate dialogue that took place between one or more real people, and incorporates that very same dialogue into the film, the director chooses how that dialogue is delivered and how the characters react to it, as well as the greater context around that dialogue.
So, how do I think this film will play out? Remember, if you will, that Zero Dark Thirty, we saw a news conference with Barack Hussein Obama, but he was no where to be seen or heard during the actual attack on the compound where bin Laden was hiding; this is probably what cost the film, and Bigelow, their deserved big wins at the Oscars. Had they given Obama "air time" and made him look like an active participant, rather than just taking credit for it the morning after, Bigelow would have won the second Oscar for Best Director and the movie Best Film. So, Detroit: the film will probably start where, historically, it is said to have started: a blind pig. "Blind pig" is slang for an illegal bar, and that "blind pig" was the basis for a large party being raided by the Detroit police. That's it. Some people were having a welcome home party for their returning Vietnam War veterans, and they had an illegal bar at this party; and they were black. As the officers were arresting party-goers, more black people became upset,.... because the hosts did something illegal? No, because the police did their job in carrying out the law, so that's when the riots broke out, because the hosts of the party didn't have to have an illegal bar, but they chose to have an illegal bar, and rather than face the consequences of their terrible decisions that broke the law, they blamed society and began looting and setting fires, which ended with several dead people and even more seriously wounded. Riots, accomplish nothing. Sure, bad things happened after that, but had the riots never started--because there was no just cause for them to have started--none of the other bad things would have happened, so they really brought it down on themselves. What is so sad is, while many people learned a valuable lesson, so, too, did Democratic leaders: make them riot, and then they will really feel like victims, and they will really depend upon us to save them, because that kind of thing is still going on today.
When Bigelow does something, she goes all in: The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty are not only to her credit, but all of cinema has been enhanced because of the work she did on those two films. I am confident that an exceedingly controversial topic like the riots of 1967 will be expertly handled and most likely from a conservative standpoint to remind audiences why Detroit of today is the way it is: because of how it was in 1967 and because things haven't changed. By the trailers that have been released, it is likely to turn off conservatives, however, but will probably draw in Liberals, like what we saw with the Ghostbusters reboot (Melissa McCarthy).
At first glance, you probably don't see the figure of Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) on the left side of the screen dressed in his white hunting suit. Sure, there are trees, but there is also a ton of snow, and it would be very difficult for anyone to survive on their own in this wilderness without help, just like the desert at the top, even though this is a different type of wilderness, a different type of desert. How? In the desert scene above, there is no water; water is necessary for reflection because we cannot properly see ourselves unless God grants us the Grace to do so; snow is water solidified, so the reflections we have (water) have gone from being observations to something we have acted upon or can act upon. As we said above, devils can't hide in the desert, there is nowhere for them to hide, and Lambert is a hunter, literally, so he's hunting down these demons. If you notice, there is a really cloudy sky, and clouds, being made of vapor, are also water, and when there are clouds or fog, it suggests that things have become blurry and uncertain, the character(s) being doubtful about what to think or how to follow up on what they have learned. What about the trees? Trees symbolize the cross, and because these are evergreens, we know that Lambert has made many sacrifices in his life, so he's going to be painted as being a good guy who has been through a lot, and his virtues are going to be what gets him through the murder investigation he has in this film. "Lambert" is an interesting name, for one, because it reminds me of the cartoon, Lambert the Sheepish Lion (you can both watch the original cartoon at this link, as well as get my analysis). Even without the reference to Lambert, the "lamb" parts suggests that Cory is a "lamb at his core." What about Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen)? "Banner" invokes Dr. Bruce Banner, aka, The Hulk, from The Avengers, and because both Renner and Olsen also portray Avenger characters, it's not a leap of the imagination to see that the rookie FBI agent starts out as a "Plain Jane," but transforms into The Hunk (Banner) by the end of the film, undergoing the necessary evolution to protect herself and carry out justice; the question is, how will "justice" be defined? That' also the question Detroit will be asking of us. 
I'm quite interested to see Wind River, but it appears the film will have a slightly more limited release than The Dark Tower or Detroit (which is limited release as well, so if it's not playing at your local theater this week, check back with them over the next month, because there is a good chance it will make its way there). It's highly likely--although not definite--that the film will be on the liberal side; Taylor Sheridan, writer of Sicario and Hell Or High Water, makes his directorial debut with Wind River,.... it's likely that Wind River is going to be liberal (they wanted Chris Pine to play the lead, but after he dropped out, it went to Jeremy Renner; Pine has become Hollywood's biggest pantie-waists, next to Armie Hammer), but,... we'll see. Earlier, we looked at the first trailer for What Happened to Monday? and the Netflix drama has added a second trailer, with the announcement that it will be released on Netflix on August 18; I might just have to subscribe to Netflix again to watch this one!
Of course, the point is, what is the point in population control, when the population remaining lives in fear and slavery? "What happens to one of you, happens to you all," and if that isn't a case for lack of individuality, I don't know what is. Can you imagine that what happens to your co-workers, with the bad decisions that they make, also happens to you, and you have to adjust your life based on their bad decisions? Or they get to enjoy the promotion you earned because of your good decisions? Yea, socialism: I hate it.  So, to make a long story even longer, I know I will be posting this weekend, I just have no idea what I am going to be seeing.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner

Monday, July 31, 2017

Darryl & Thor: Ragnarok

When the first poster for Thor 2: The Dark World was released, I made a brilliant observation: Thor wasn't missing anything. Hammer, check; red cape, check; battle armor, check; Jane, check; hair, check,... Okay, I didn't actually notice that his hair was still there, because it never occurred to me that Thor wouldn't have his hair, however, I did know that other things could happen, but that The Dark World wasn't going to be that part of the Thor story when it did. Now, however, we see some important identity elements missing: his hair, his hammer, and Jane. Please note, Thor stands in profile, and whenever this is done, by a character, or even a real person in a portrait, the profile-stance enhances the mystery of the person, not just what we the outsider don't know about the person, but also what cannot be known about the person, maybe even what they will never know about themselves. Given that Thor is the god of thunder, this is possible, however, it's also possible that something we haven't known about Thor heretofore will be revealed, a part of him (like why he's the god of thunder) will finally be revealed and he won't be so mysterious anymore.
Let's start with the red cape. We know that red symbolizes the appetites because red is the color of blood, and whatever is most valuable to us is what we are willing to spend our blood upon (if love is most important to us, we are willing to die for the beloved, if our anger/wrath is most important, we are willing to spill someone else's blood to appease our appetite for their destruction); Thor is a hero,and he is a hero because, way back in the first Thor film, he was put in his place by Odin (Anthony Hopkins) so he would take his role as a god seriously and not just run around, reeking havoc, kind of like what he's doing in the Darryl video. We know that Thor loves earth, he was willing to die for it in the first Thor film, and has battled significant enemies to save earth, so we can deduce that the red of the cape attests to Thor's love, so that hasn't changed. What about the cape itself? A cape rests upon someone's back, so our back symbolizes either the burdens we are forced to take upon ourselves, or the burdens we willingly take upon ourselves, and in Thor's case, that includes saving others and the earth.
Why has Thor lost his hammer? We know that in the first Thor film, Thor also lost his hammer because he wasn't worthy to wield it, and it's possible that is what happens again; how? The cycle of conversion is continuous: the battles and obstacles that you overcame yesterday, set you up so that you can overcome new obstacles today, and still more obstacles tomorrow; in other words, Thor is unworthy of a deeper level in Thor: Ragnarok than he was in Thor. He is far stronger now, emotionally, spiritually and in terms of his maturity (he has saved many planets and people from destruction and proven he is ready and willing to sacrifice himself for a greater cause, which is what a good leader does), but the thing about conversion is, you are never, ever good enough; there is always room for improvement because, as long as you are still alive, there is room for ever greater virtue in your soul (which is as infinite as God Himself because He gave you the soul you have to resemble Him as closely as possible). So the more a character is called to conversion, it's because they are capable of that degree of perfection, they are overcoming all that weakness within themselves to replace it with strength and virtue. In battling the goddess of death herself, Hela (Cate Blanchett) the film makers are demonstrating that it's because Thor is such a great guy that he is capable of battling this evil presence. In the second video below, where Thor acts like a jerk about getting a job, it's important to keep this in mind, because that video makes Thor look bad, however, the film makers are making an important point. So, Thor loses his hammer, because Thor has been using Mjolnir as a crutch; now that the crutch has been removed, Thor can dig deeper within himself to call upon power that he has never used before, hence why we really see Thor as the "god of thunder" for the first time in the second trailer below. Remember, in the first introduction to Darryl, we see Thor's "board of clues" and he shows us Mjolnir who is holding a little Thor; that's what is going to happen in Thor 3 (I think), that Thor will become the hammer (Mjolnnir) as the god of thunder while the "old Thor" will be merely an illustration of the limitations Thor allowed himself.
What about his hair? We know that the head symbolizes our thoughts because our thoughts originate within our head, so hair, hats, or messy hair, anything pertaining to the head, reflects the kind of thoughts the character is having. Thor's hair is cut off; why? We have just seen the same happen to another character, young Arthur in King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword, when Arthur has been found by the three prostitutes and they have his long, blonde locks cut off. Blonde is the color of gold, and gold denotes a king--quite fitting for both Thor and Arthur, eh?--so having their hair cut off translates to they are being forced to stop thinking of themselves as kings; yes, they are both political kings in their respective realms, however, there is also the reality that (you knew this was coming) as white, heterosexual men, they are also the "kings" of American society, because white men are considered by minorities to be the dominant power holders. So, like other white, heterosexual males in Western Civilization (it's okay if you are gay, according to minorities) Arthur and Thor are being demoted in their social and political standing. This leads us to Thor's left arm.
In The Mummy, Dr. Jeckyll (Russell Crowe) keeps a black glove on his left hand, in which he frequently injects himself with a green medicine to keep his Edward Hyde persona from coming out; in The Shape Of Water trailer, we see Michael Shannon's Strickland with a bandaged left hand; why: "the Left" has traditionally been associated with evil, and in America, recently, we can certainly attribute evil to the Left's doing (not least of which are actual Satanic invocations against President Trump), so these two characters (Jeckyll and Strickland) have a relationship with the Left and that evil (and please don't forget the poster release for The Man From UNCLE about the Nazis: both Solo and Illya look off to their Left; why? That's likely going to be where the next threat comes from). So, on Thor's left arm, we see his bulging muscles--he hasn't been physically weakened in any way--and we see the black strap he has wrapped around his left arm (we don't see his right arm). Our hands symbolize our honor, we shake hands when we give our word about something (so someone who has a weakened or debilitated hand, has debilitated honor, too) while our arms symbolize strength. In Thor's left hand, he holds the helmet we see him put on in the stadium scene where he fights Hulk. So, a translation for Thor's left arm could be something like this: Thor intends on keeping the Left (symbolized by his left forearm wrapped in the strap) contained (the black straps) by defeating Hela/death (the goddess of death, because black is her color, the same as the black straps) through his ability to fight (the helmet) and his sheer strength (his biceps). Is that all? Well, no.
If you look at Thor, then look above him, in the upper-center of the poster, there is a bright light shining on him; I don't know if that is supposed to be a spaceship, or some alien being, however, light (especially bright light such as this) is a symbol of illumination (remember in Age Of Ultron when Thor went into that pool to interpret his dream/vision and he realized they needed Vision to help them defeat Ultron? Thor seems to know how to channel the mystical, and this may come into play in this third Thor film.
Last, but certainly not least, the green color over most of the poster. Like all of the colors, green has a positive and a negative interpretation: green, usually associated with spring, means hope and new life, but it can also mean the opposite of that, like something has gone bad--really bad, like Hela herself, she has some green highlights on her costume--and we have certainly seen that in association with the Left: they promised hope (Obama, "Hope and change,") but all they delivered was a bunch of rotten policies they benefited themselves (we have seen green used politically in both Kong: Skull Island and Warcraft, and don't forget Loki himself wears a green costume) so we can perform a simple deduction (we don't know any real plot points of the narrative at this time) that since so much of the stadium is colored green, that the stadium functions somehow in a socialist manner (we certainly saw that in The Hunger Games).
I have actually been waiting a long time to do this post; nearly a year, in fact, when the first "Thor on vacation" trailer dropped,.... was it a joke? Just a little morsel to tide us over for a year until we got another taste of Asgardian lore and culture? I don't think it was. As humorous as the trailer below is, it establishes an important pattern we see in the next three trailers. So, to refresh your memory, here is the first, Darryl Jacobson and Thor Odinson video:
First of all, Thor talks about everyday "average," and there isn't anything about Thor that is average. Darryl is average, but Thor isn't. Why not? Equality, not everyone is created equal, socialists would like to make everyone equal, but that is simply one more way in which Liberals ignore reality. For example, there is simply no way that I can do what Michael Jordan can do, however, Mr. Jordan probably can't do what I can do, either, so we both have our unique talents, but that's not what liberals want: they want to force everyone to be the same, and if you are not same, you are going to be purged.
Seeing Hulk and Thor in the video above was supposed to answer the question: why wasn't Thor and Hulk in Captain America: Civil War? We see what they are doing, but this still doesn't really answer the question, why? Captain America: Civil War was a metaphor about gun registration in America: each super-hero was being targeted to "register" with the government so the government could decide when, where and how their powers would be used, or even, if they would be given a chance to help at all (please see Perfect Teeth: Captain America: Civil War for more). Hulk and Thor obviously didn't have any opinion about either side being right or wrong (Thor wanted to fight just to fight and be needed, whereas Hulk just wanted to stay out of it altogether). Thor: Ragnork presents the consequences of not being awake about what is going on and taking a side on the issue, because Hela will clearly embody the socialist threat to the whole universe and try to destroy everything, so anyone--like Thor and Hulk--who failed to be interested or take notice, will not have to pay the consequences of ending up in a stadium-fight-to-the-death because they didn't take a side when they could have. 
The truth is, there are average people, like myself, who help to keep the world running in our day-to-day lives, while exceptional people like Thor occasionally save the world from extraordinary threats which ordinary people are not capable of doing. So, when we see Darryl typing an email for Thor, and Thor not understanding some of the basic rudiments of civilization in our modern world, it only heightens the specialized need we have for Thor, and the average need for Darryl. Later, there was an update on the roommates, and Marvel released this video, displaying some culture clash between the two:
This little video is probably the best way to piss off a Marxist known to man. I love it!
Don't think about "the rent" as actually being "rent" that people like you and I have to pay, rather, think of "rent" as being existential, and more like "purpose," I have to pay for my purpose now, I have to justify why I am here and that I deserve to have the life that I have,... Darryl can't use Asgardian coins to pay his rent, because is an average guy (like myself), he has to have an average means of paying his rent, like cash. Thor, on the other hand, is a hero, and as thus, he has to have heroic deeds to pay his existential rent, that is, without heroic deeds, he ceases to be a hero. Darryl would look absurd in Thor's battle armor, for example, because he doesn't "fit the bill," but Thor also looks really out of place in Darryl's workplace, because what Thor can do isn't required as a "necessary skill set" in Darryl's place of employment. So, Thor is right: those coins are worth a "gazillion" dollars, but they aren't helping Darryl because Darryl's rent is more mundane; without Thor's rent, however, there would not be an earth for Darryl to live in. Not too long after the rent debacle, the first trailer for Thor: Ragnarok was released:
Thor basically ends up like a lake perch in a net, but we have the establishment of an important pattern: Hela has to kill Thor in order to recreate everything in her image (sound like Hillary Clinton? Remember, she was expected to be president now when they were making this). Remember, too, that the last time Thor saw Loki, Loki died in his arms when they were trying to save Jane from the Aether; we know Loki used his powers to get Thor to believe that, even though Loki went back to Asgard and tricked Odin; if you saw Dr. Strange's end credit scenes, you know "Thor" supposedly sought out Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to help him find Odin, but it was actually Loki looking to get the Infinity Stone Strange was guardian of. So, Strange will be appearing in this video at some point, too. And, now that this second trailer has been released, just a few days ago, I knew it was time to make some comments and predictions:
Either a). Everything is being set up to destroy Thor's identity and make Thor look really bad because he can't send an email or answer a smart phone, OR, Thor's necessity is going to be proven and he's going to have to kill Hela and everything she represents. It's going to be a tough battle, because it's ain't called "ragnarok" for nothing. But if it weren't for Thor, and Hulk, it probably would be the end of all things.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner