Saturday, June 16, 2007


It is said that we all bring parts of ourselves into the viewing of any form of art. Our ideals, beliefs, and other assorted bits of intelligent thinking that we have picked up over the years form the glasses that we watch and feel about what we are seeing. The artist might have a certain topic or idea for what he is trying to say but that just combines into our personal mind to give the complete view. You can never be sure what the rest of the world will or won't see when they look at your artwork but it will never be a one-sided experience.

When EPISODE III was originally released, one of the first things that viewers mentioned about was how the film felt like it was being taken right from the news of the day. Along with all of the mentions of empires and such, there were moments like when Anakin tells Obi-Wan that he is either with him or against him. Taking what felt like a lift from a Bush Jr. state of the union speech and transposing it to a far off world seemed to point to the idea that George Lucas was trying to make a statement about today's world and that doesn't even include Padme's statement of how liberty ends with thunderous applause.

The trick about this belief is that it is being made by looking at the film in just this moment in time. By going back through history, the evidence of death of the ideal republic is shown time and again. There are all kinds of examples, from the Romans to the Ottoman Empire to the collapse of what had been Soviet Russia. All of these different points in the timeline illustrate the same ideas that Lucas seemed to want to bring up. Republics always start to fall from the inside out. There could be wars and other strife but the republic will hold together as long as the people are working toward the common good. As soon as the treachery works it's way inside, it will eat away at the foundations and bring the whole of the republic down around it.

I'm not sure if this just proves that either men are not able to handle governing a republic or if this form of governement is just unstable to begin with but it does seem to me to be a constantly repeating event throughout the history of man. Personally, I tend to be a person that believes that form of governement is something to strive for if for no other reason that it is one of the only governemental structures that allows every person to live their lives as they see fit. This idea that we all need to be free to believe in what we choose runs in the face of most every regimental society that has ever been. From the strict ideas of Communism to devout religious societies like the Muslims that want the world to be run by the word of their God alone, it is this freedom to choose that makes a republic the kind of government that functions for the betterment of all while allowing them to speak and believe what they will so long as it doesn't cause harm or injury to their fellows.

It would seem that I'm taking a large chunck of seriousness out of what most people think of as a space adventure style of movie but this film seems to be asking questions that you don't see in the standard space epic. You could say that all I'm doing is continuing to do exactly the thing that I brought up in the opening paragraphs and I guess you could say that you're right. That also says that I have the right to view a film and take out of it the ideas of beliefs that I have a feeling about. You can see it your way and I can see it mine. Neither of us is right or wrong.

It did kind of strike me to think of Dick Cheany's resemblance to the Emperor once he turns all old and wrinkly though. All Cheany needs is that forehead divit and the look would be complete. But that's just me being silly, I guess.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Unemployment Theatre Day 1: LORD OF WAR

Who knew arms dealing could seem this exciting even with the extreme bodycount... moral ambiguity... questionable sexual practices... and so on and so forth?

I have to admit that I wasn't really looking forward to this one though it did come with a mighty strong pedigree. The NetFlix DVD has been sitting on my living room coffee table for many a month but I just didn't feel the urge to pop it in. Perhaps the dark subject matter left me a little whoosy but that disc just did not want to go into the player. The thought had crossed my mind to just send it back without watching but it felt like the movie deserved to be viewed just for the fact that I've had it for so long.

The first part of the film was intriguing to say the least. Watching the vaguely simple way that the lead character gets into the arms dealing business made me think about maybe needing a change of possible employment for me but that wouldn't work out because I think that I wouldn't want to buy a gun from someone who chews his fingernails like I do. That would just be the clue that something might be up. Either that or the buyer would think that I'd squeal the first time that I was arrested. Gun running is not a job that you get and work like your standard sales person job. It takes those of us with nerves of iron and sadly I think I might lack in those.

There were two things in the film that kind of struck me as odd. The first is how it would seem that Ethan Hawke is slowly turning into a skeleton or, at the very least, one of those figures made out of cornhusks that you find in those little knick-knack stores on the main street of the local quaint vacation town near you. I remember back when he started and he looked like every normal guy but now it seems like someone is slowly deflating him from the head down. My other odd thought came every time that Jared Leto was on screen. Unlike his costars who all sported normal makeup, it appeared that Mr. Leto had someone apply extra eyeliner on him at all times. There is a chance that the look might be the normal way his eyes appear but it was kind of odd to note that he looked like the entire eyeliner budget went to him alone.

To make a long story short, the movie was interesting. You got your standard wander through the world of illegal arms merchants and they mentioned a lot of the finer points about what happened during those times. The narration kind of fiddled with the film a little due to the fact that it made the viewer believe that person survived the film which tends to decrease the excitement at possible outcomes. All in all, a good solid movie for those days that you want a little thought provoking with your Nicolas Cage.