September 23, 2012

The Thrill of Mystery - The Master, Prometheus, & The Appeal Of The Difficult

"The Master" is all the rage in theaters right now and everyone from your wanna be filmmaker nephew to your ultra preppy neighbor has seen it, wants to see it, or is getting ready to pretend like they have seen it. The film, like it's central protagonist Freddy Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is wildly unpredictable, insanely well acted, beautifully shot, and incredibly hard to understand. When I walked out of the film I couldn't tell if it was a bad movie or I wasn't smart enough to understand it. My enjoyment of the film didn't really kick in until I had engaged in a numerous amount of discussion on what the whole was really about or..."what it all"

The film is deliberately set up to be difficult. There is no strong narrative and the finale involves a bizarre song not some bowling alley beat down or frog monsoon. No, the film wants you to be perplexed, because it wants you to figure it out, sorry, this is no buckle up "ride" experience, this is cinema that taxes your brain and demands your to think! This concept that some entertainment demands to be dissected into little pieces is not a new one, but recently our entertainment is starting to really challenge us more and more.

Think about this summer's films. We had the much hyped alien thrill ride "Prometheus," which sparked lengthy discussion about our relationship with the heavens (both literally and figuratively) and where the original alien monster came from. Even "The Avengers" factored in a random villain at the end that needed some moderate level comic book nerd explanation. And let's not forget the "The Bourne Legacy" which almost drowned out it's motorcycle chases and hallway beat-downs with characters actively engaged in theorizing about shadow programs, chemical supplements, and the implications of an unseen character & the plotlines of three other movies. It's hip to be convoluted, the audience can figure it, hell, the audience wants to figure it out. One of the biggest groans of the whole summer, was in "The Dark Knight Rises,"when heroic cop John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) reveals his old name is "Robin" induced not yelps of joy, but rather groans of "Why you have to tell us that."

Why is this theorizing so popular these days? I think it's because we want to feel like we're figuring something out. It's so easy to figure out simple problems that onced vexed us. Google provides us to literally the answer to everyone of our questions from "what is the boiling point of water," to "what do Snake Eyes mean in Monopoly." Gone are the days of working it out for ourselves, so when a film or a TV openly challenges us to engage it, it's open season for everyone to come up with their own take. In a world of constantly given answers, sometimes the thrill is having someone actually make it difficult to unravel it all. "The Master" is the apex of this wild "just try to understand it" story-telling that' we've found ourselves in, so just be warned, you don't have to bring a pencil and paper into to take notes to get it, but prepare, as you've now been accustomed to, to have your brain/soul/past life challenged.

September 19, 2012

New Trailer For The Hobbit. Cool I Guess

Why does this trailer not excite me? As a kid my Dad used to read this book a loud to me and I remember loving every second of it. Now, I'm just like, dayumm, that looks exactly like LORD OF THE RINGS. That is exactly what they're going for, but the problem is The Return Of The King was almost 10 years ago and y'know, things have changed. What has changed? GAME OF THRONES.

Nobody is doing medieval fantasy better than Thrones right now and with the next series promising more "R" rated insanity, this just comes across as kind of a cartoon, and this is coming from someone who watches Aragorn kill the evil dreadlocked Rasta Orc at least once a month. What do you guys think?

September 6, 2012

With My Giant Machine Gun Part 1 - Getting Ready For The Showdown

I'm going to keep this shit real simple for y'all, Walter wanted Hank to find that book. It's no different than his drunken dinner boasts or his "You got me" moment from season 4. Walter has always hated Hank for thinking his police officer tough guy act was better than his science teacher nerd act. He takes great pleasure from manipulating Hank and now he knows that rather than let Hank dictate how he connects the Heisenberg machinations, he will. If this sounds crazy, well, dayuum son, Walter is crazy and logic has never slowed him down before. 

This is a man that was planning on murdering Lydia in broad daylight, makes drug dealers say his name just because he's the bawsss, and dominated everyone and everything that has stood in his path, including...umm cancer. You think he's scared of the DEA, hell no, he's been right under their noses for years, he bugged their office! Let's go! Bring that shit! He's the man who killed Gus Fring! You wanna play rough? Okaayyy I'm reloaded (with my gigantic machine gun!)

Frankly, we all should be grateful because this is going to be the showdown we've been waiting ever since tighty whity Walter first heard those sirens in the distance. It's easily the biggest showdown on TV ever, well maybe not ever, maybe some older Westerns had showdowns, but I didn't watch them, but this, HANK VS HEISENBERG is going to be the most incredible thing we've seen on TV.

Of course it does raise some interesting questions though. Check out some of them below.
  1. The big theory on the information super-highway right now proposes that Hank is really the central protagonist and hero on the show. I could see this working as a satisfying ending only if the action stays on Walt throughout, if we suddenly switch over to heroic Hank, ehhh, will be cool, but not that cool.
  2. How Jesse factors into things? Tough question, ultimately I think Jesse is going turn on Walt and break good (?) and side with the DEA once he learns about Brock, Jane, and Mike. He's knows that Walt is hyper dangerous and is a nervous and emotional wreck. The DEA will offer him an out and he'll take it...but Walter will probably kill him for it in the most emotional scene in TV history.
  3. What about Todd? Toast?
  4. Skylar? Smoking a Ricin cigarette
  5. Walter Jr? Might become a meth addict or get killed by Neo Nazis/Declan/Czechs/Madrigal.
  6. Saul? He'll live on for his spin-off series.
  7. Gigantic Machine Gun in the Car - It will be used, oh sweet Chekhov, it will be used.