Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises







I am very much aware of the recent events that occurred in Aurora, Colorado. However, there is a point that I would like to make concerning that tragedy and the central themes of the film as a whole.

We're going to start off with the basics, the film is really great. Not really good but really great. The screenwriters and Nolan really captured the tension, the atmosphere and the drama of the recent events that have occurred in the last 4 years in the United States and around the world.

The acting is nothing short of spectacular and Anne Hathaway is an amazing Catwoman. Her portrayal of the character is appropriate for this arc of the Batman Franchise and I can safely say that she is on the same level as Ertha Kitt and Michelle Pfeiffer in terms of portrayal.

Aside from Hathaway's performance, Michael Caine's performance was the best that I have seen from him in recent years and the viewer could easily sympathize with Alfred and feel his pain and frustration. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Caine got an Oscar Nod for this performance alone.

Another standout is Tom Hardy as Bane who really played the role in such a manner that was unexpected. Bane was seen as an anarchist revolutionary as opposed to the luchador wrestler in the comics and this was a nice change.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's performance was also wonderful and the film showed that he has range as an actor. I wouldn't be surprised to see him in another Nolan film or any other film with a prestigious director attached.

As for the central themes of the film, there are many interpretations that one could take away from it. I have a few that I took away from The Dark Knight Rises.

One of the recurring motifs in the film is the fear of failure. All of the characters (except for Bane) fear failure and they fear failing in Batman's case, Gotham City. Alfred is afraid of failing Bruce and the Wayne Family Legacy as Selina Kyle is also afraid of failing herself and her roommate. Bane is the only person that does not fear failure because he strongly believes that he will succeed with his plans and it is that belief that keeps him going.

Another parallel that I have noticed is how the events of the film and the ideas so closely represent the Occupy Movement and the Police State. The film shows the two extremes of both movements as it shows Bane and his revolution as the extreme of the Occupy Movement and the Harvey Dent Act and its repercussions as another extreme of the Police State and even the Patriot Act. Commissioner Gordon, Detective Blake and Batman are the ones that are needed to restore balance and neutrality. One of the most complicated things about Batman as a whole is that in this case, Bane has a good point, as does the passing of the Harvey Dent Act. However, when these ideas are taken to its extremes, it becomes chaos and a nightmare for the people involved. Each side has a good point but taken to its extreme and the idea that the ends justify the needs is when the central message gets muddled and lost into the chaos.

There is one more motif that I picked up on that maybe other film analysts and critics haven't picked up on is hope. Throughout the film, you hope that everything turns out and that everything turns out better. In the film it has been 8 years since the Harvey Dent Act was passed and Batman retired. However, when Officer Blake goes to visit the orphanage to talk to the father and the little boy, the little boy kept drawing the bat signal, asking the officer, "When is he coming back?"

It's apparent that Blake is also asking that question. The bat signal and the motif that lays throughout the film, is also asking the question "When is Batman coming back?"

The people in the film that were awaiting for his return where asking this question throughout this film. Gordon, Blake, Fox and even Kyle were all asking when he would return and where is he.

It is also that hope is needed for the recent tragedy that befell Colorado. The people of Aurora are hurting and its no question that the media is going to turn this into a sadistic circus for the next two weeks and then the rest of the country and perhaps the world may forget about that town. The problem is, the people of Colorado, the people of Aurora and the families and friends of the victims will never forget what happened. How can they? It's a cruel thing to ask of them. This moment, this tragedy will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

This is why I hate and despise the current state of Journalism.

If anything that this tragedy has taught me is that life is a fleeting moment and that it is precious. I have hope that Batman will come and save the day. But Batman also believes that everyone can be a hero.

We can all use a hero. That is why people believe in superheroes. And we need them now more than ever. Our world is a mess and it is chaotic right now. It would be nice to have the Avengers and the Justice League, among many others to make things right and bring balance again.

But in the end its up to us, but is a good thing to have hope and faith that everything will turn out better. The people in The Dark Knight Rises had hope that Batman would come back and save Gotham, but they also had faith that he would as well.

We all have and need heroes in our lives and not all of them wear masks, uniforms and capes.

I still believe in Superheroes and I still believe in Batman. I have hope and faith that everything will come back to its formal conclusion.

The people of Aurora, Colorado need the hope and faith. Sadly, they are not going to get it from the Media anytime soon.

-The Meta Fatale

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tom Green Got Fingered By Criterion

I can't believe that I live in a world in which this film...

Yes...this movie.

Is now being considered by some critics and film students as a brilliant piece of Avant-Garde Cinema. The question I have to ask is...

WHY?!

No really, somebody please explain this to me! I am honestly dying to know. I will take a stab at it but in all fairness, it's going to be really difficult to do so.

When Tom Green rose to prominence in the late 90's largely thanks to MTV, Green's humor was well received by the 12-14 demographic (including me and my older brother).  Green thrived on annoying everyone in his path by shocking and grossing people out for his amusement and pleasure. Why, I have no idea and people thought it was funny. Then again, this is the same network that launched shit like Road Rules, The Real World and Jersey Shore, so your guess is as good as mine.

Pretty soon Tom Green became a star in Hollywood and the studios decided, why not give him $15 million to write, star, produce and direct this piece of shit. The result of this action would be, well, let's just say, "chaotic."

I can only imagine this is how the meeting went with the Studio Heads.
I'm also assuming after the agreement was made, everyone put their hands in the air in celebratory fashion and shouted "Great! Pass the cocaine!"

I saw this film when I was 15 or 16 and I hated it, mainly because it was purely stupid and it almost made my brain explode. I re-watched again recently (thanks to these wonderful folks) and now I need to give my take and analysis on this film.

First of all, the main plot centers around Gord (Green) and his aspirations to be an animator and his really fucked up relationship with his dad (Rip Torn, who is really better than this). Gord and his dad have a very bad relationship and its easy to see why, Gord is still stuck in the infantile state.

One of the main motifs that recurs in this film are phallic symbols, mainly, sausages and penises. In feminist and psychological theory, the penis is often interpreted as the symbol and sign of masculinity and even Sigmund Freud talks about this in great length too. Freddy Got Fingered  is filled with phallic symbols throughout the entire movie. It's almost as if I was watching an entire movie about dongs. 

There is also a lot of food involved too. Mainly sausages. This is the scene in which I remember from the commercials...

SAUSAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gord, is playing on his keyboard, with sausages tied to him, singing "Daddy, would you like some sausage? Daddy would you like a sausage?"

Yeah.

Where do I even begin with this scene. 

Rip Torn understandably loses his shit in the scene and gets tangled in the sausages and even rips them away from Gord and destroys them. This could be interpreted as the father taking away the son's masculinity and identity as a man in the patriarchal sense, or I can ascribe to Freud's belief in that "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

Let's not forget Gord's handicapped girlfriend who is a rocket scientist and is obsessed with giving him a blowjob. Good luck with that one film theorists.

The rest of the movie is a series of Tom Green's antics that are gross, shocking, tasteless and just batshit insane. 

This is the face of a sociopathic mad man.

Let's not forget the other scenes in which he swings a newborn around by its umbilical cord (I am not making this one up) and jacks off an elephant and has the elephant jiz sprayed in Rip Torn's face. So much psychological film theory involved there.

Yeah.

I think I have said all that you need to know about this film. Eventually Gord gets his show green lit, leaves the US with his dad and then they come back as heroes. What?

A film of this type is its own special brand of crazy. The kind of crazy that I can't even top. This movie is on the same level as The Room is in the sense that, it's so awful, yet you can't look away. I may be able to understand what Tom Green was trying to do with his show and with this film. Feel free to disagree with me all you like. I am going to have to take the Nostalgia Chick and Oancitizen's position in this film and Tom Green in general as an elaborate "fuck you," to Hollywood and the comedies that were coming out during that time period.

If you really take the time to analyze the film (god help you if you do), the gross out, shock, tasteless humor in this film, was also being used in other comedy films of the late 90's and early to mid 00's. I can see how this film is mocking the kind of films that the Scary Movie crew, the Farrelly Brothers (which reminds me, I have to do The Three Stooges), American Pie, National Lampoon and Adam Sandler movies were doing at the time but to a much higher and disgusting degree. 

It's also to see how this film can be considered a bit of a cult film because of how bizarrely surreal it really is in the grand scheme of things. You can't even believe half of the things that are happening on screen. 

I can also see how Tom Green's humor and antics have also influenced and paved the way for such weird and surreal comedy such as Tim and Eric's Awesome Show Great Job and Steve Brule's Check It Out.

Tom Green was a comedy troll at best. His style was trolling. It's also the same style that Tim and Eric have as well.


In retrospect, this film is still a piece of shit, but in a strange way, I have to admire a man who made a film like this that basically shits on Hollywood and their idea of comedies and manages to make it "surrealist art" if anything else. That's only kind of "art" I could kindly classify it as anyway. It's not brilliant, but the recurring motif with the phallic symbols (sausages and penises), destructive father-son relationships and bodily fluids (sperm) does deserve some sort of examination under the basis of psychological and film theory if anything.

Or I can simply take Freud's position and say, "Sometimes a piece of shit film, is just a piece of shit film."

I'm Maricruz Gonzalez and I'm the Meta Fatale. At war with popular culture since 1987.

Stay Sassy Planet Earth!

P.S. Check out Nostalgia Chick and Oancitizen's review of Freddy Got Fingered.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Year, New Format, New Design

I know I have been on hiatus for the last several months. Graduate School and Full Time Work takes a huge chunk of your time so that's why this blog has been vacant.

However, I have done a lot of thinking and deliberation and I have decided to take this blog into a new direction. I will still do movie reviews, but I have decided to also include feminist and gender analysis of video games and even do video game reviews as well. It was not an easy decision but I figured that if I can combine my love for film and video games, then this is the best place to do it. I hope t...his works out well because, I am going to take on a lot more than I have imagined.


I will also change my name of the blog to Meta Fatale (a play on MetaCritic and Femme Fatale) since I will be covering video games and movies.

I understand if the lot of you will not stick with this, but this decision did not come easy.

My name is Maricruz Gonzalez and I'm the Meta Fatale, because somebody has to be.

Stay Sassy Planet Earth!