Like the first film, this one ended up bombing at the box office, even though it’s ranked at #1 for the weekend (well thank fuck not that many dumbass kids and fucking bronies are giving My Little Pony that much fucking money). Will it gain as much of a cult following and reach the same level of fame as its predecessor? Or will it just be remembered as a meh movie? Only time will tell. Until then, here’s my opinion.
So I was going to be very disappointed in this film if it didn’t at the very least provide a visual treat that is pure ecstasy for the eyes. Not only because the first film was also that, with intense attention to detail, but also because it provided a way to make both things that are pleasant and/or horrible (death, pollution) beautiful to look at. There is beauty even amidst suffering and a toxic environment. Not only because of that, but also because the first film had a theme that was all about the eyes. That film opened with a visual shot that ended up being a first person perspective of the city of Los Angeles 2 years from now (hey, it could still happen), and showcased this by switching from a view of the city, to a view of the eye that reflects the city. This film opens in a similar way, minus the fire and smoke. It opens with an eye. I’m honestly not sure why, because if it’s supposed to be the main protagonist’s eye, which was my assumption, then it shouldn’t have started with Gosling asleep at the wheel, with his eyes closed. Fuck advertisements against drinking and driving, they need advertisements about not sleeping at the wheel!
“But the flying vehicle is on auto-pi–“
I don’t care!
Anyway, the first film had a lot of instances with regards to “eyes,” which is a central theme/symbol in that film. Not just with the showing and highlighting of the eyes, but also the discussing of them.
Blade Runner 2049, on the other hand, only uses “eyes” as a brief callback to the first film, in only 2 scenes. I didn’t catch anything particularly re-ocurring objects throughout the film in that way, at least not on this watch.
That being said, as I had hoped, this film is fantastic from a visual perspective. The special effects, set designs, all fantastic. One of the best-looking sci-fi films since Tron: Legacy. And aside from some scenes in the city, the film largely carries a different color scheme to it, a different atmospheric film, than the first one. That’s not a bad thing, because it looks great in any case. Plus we actually get a look outside Los Angeles in this film. Usually foggy, sometimes an orange color. Both films use atmosphere and visuals as their primary strength, becoming a mood-piece, leaving the plot and characters secondary, and this works to their advantage since both films have their own share of plot holes (more on that in a moment). It makes it easier to overlook those flaws in that way. How scenes drag on and let the music carry you, how the sound effects carry you, how the pleasant visuals allow you to settle into and take in all that there is in each well-crafted sequence. Letting the colors dominate to create a particular mood, almost making things dream-like. This is when both films are at their best. In the case of the previous film, the mood of it is dream-like, but slowly becomes more and more like a nightmare (with less music to lighten the mood I might add), before rising back up to its dream-like quality, and then having the final sequence take place in silence as if the dream is over, we are awake, and on edge, wondering what will happen next.
The 2049 film follows this aspect for the first half of its runtime, but becomes more plot/character driven during its latter half (with a couple scenes here and there that return back to the welcoming atmospheric style), which ends up being to its detriment because then one has to consider the problems with the plot if there’s going to be heavier focus on it.
But make no mistake, the previous film has some plot holes (or at least some leaps in logic) as well. It may be a masterpiece, but it’s a flawed masterpiece. For starters, why the fuck would they be designing androids to look exactly like humans? Pleasure models I can understand, but models made for work and labor, why? Not to mention why the fuck they would program them to act real and have emotions? Seems to me like a lot of the problems brought up in these films would be solved if they stopped making robots look and act human, since it brings no logical benefit. I mean seriously, how are they profiting off of these things if they’re going to make this many? Does the robot labor force make so much profit that the Tyrell Corporation have no problem putting the entire workforce at risk by giving them emotions and making them all look and act human, giving all of them unique looks and personalities in the process? Granted, this film mentions the aftermath of all that and how it lead to Tyrell going bankrupt and being bought out by some other company, that would continue to make the exact same fucking mistakes that Tyrell did before going under!
Another problem with both films is the security issue. Not just in the city air, but also inside actual security buildings! In both films, an employee/employer of importance within the company gets blasted/knifed/thumbed into oblivion, while inside the security building, and the perpetrator gets away each fucking time in each fucking movie! That’s just insane! Did Los Angeles turn into Mega City One or something?
As for the flaw unique to this film, it’s more of a storyline and thematic issue. As a sequel, it is mandatory to compare this to the first film, and consider how it’s going to develop the story/world/lore/character(s). In terms of developing the theme, it honestly doesn’t. The theme of the first film is if artificially created beings are capable of being human, of being alive, of feeling/giving love, etc. This film is basically the same thing, except limited to Ford’s and Gosling’s characters. Any other (supposed) replicants don’t count because they’re not given enough screen time to matter, even if it happens in one scene for the sake of sequel-baiting. It doesn’t take the theme in any other meaningful direction that expands from the first film, except that it ignores the religious aspect of fallen angels from heaven, and implies robots will eventually fight back and threaten to take over the world. That’s bullshit, and that only belongs in Terminator, Battlestar Galactica, and Planet of the Apes films.
Also it relies too heavily on the existence of the first film. I’m not talking about building off of established plot/world/characters; I’m talking about the last scene ending not only on a character of the past film, but also not ending on any note that is thought-provoking and/or conversation-starting like the first film did, let alone making you view the film differently on a second viewing knowing what you know after a first view. Speaking of that, if you’re wondering whether or not this film answers the question definitively if Deckard’s a replicant or not, to my surprise, it doesn’t. It actually handles Deckard’s character in such a way it would be the same whether he was a human or replicant. So viewers can look at this movie with either conclusion they arrived at after seeing the first film.
That aside, the pacing was well-done in the 2049 film. It starts at a crawl, but starts to kick into gear about 30-40 minutes in when Gosling’s character arrives at a junkyard.
Back to the visuals for a moment. In this film, there’s a (kind of) sex scene that I’m sure people will talk about afterwards. It’s not explicit or anything (if it was that would be legendary, us guys would get to see 2 smoking hot females in the nude, and the girls and gay guys would get to see Ryan Gosling’s six-pack and incredibly tight muscular ass; fair trade), but it’s an interesting stylistic scene with a digital girl trying to “sync” with a physical human during sexual intercourse. If that scene was cut down to to MPAA censors, then I want to see a goddamn director’s cut! This honestly wouldn’t surprise me, since the sex scene in the original film was also cut down, I shit you not.
Like the first film, this film succeeds as an atmospheric visual film, with everything else taking second priority at best. The scenes in both films are top notch. The 2049 version even manages to succeed the original in terms of visuals for a brief duration when Gosling visits the corporation (and after he leaves it) that took over the Tyrell Corporation. The lighting, the rooms, the sounds. It’s glorious.
Anyway, I’ve discussed the flaws of the film, but there’s one other thing I personally consider a major fault, but only on a personal level. I felt it played it too safe and strayed too close to reliance on the original in a way different than mentioned above. It’s that this took place on Earth. In both films it is mentioned that there are colonies established on other planets, some of which are used for replicant slave labor. I’d like to see a film take place on one or more of those, to see what life is like there. This would expand the world building (a lot), and potentially the lore and themes in this way. Plus there wasn’t any good reason to continue a story arc for Ford’s character. This film didn’t take it in a direction any more interesting than Gosling’s character, and it was wrapped up in a satisfying way in the first film.
And, well, there it is. The first film is better, but this film is worth seeing just for the visuals alone. And the story, despite my gripes, is still worth going through even if just to experience the visuals.
Oh, right, and the villains didn’t have as much depth as those in the previous film. They came off as cookie-cutter villains compared to those from the first film who had a sympathetic plight. It wasn’t enough to make them out to be good guys, but it made them more relate-able, even if they were machines. And in my opinion, that’s the whole point/purpose of films that focus on artificial intelligence. Using robots as a metaphor for some aspect or element to humanity, so that humans can know more about themselves, what it’s like to be alive, what it’s like to be human.
So, 16th anniversary of 9/11. Last year, I thought I had it all covered, with my reviews of United 93, World Trade Center, The Path to 9/11, and even Path to Paradise. There were a few others that I’ve seen that I won’t review (because they’re not worth seeing, much less reviewing), and there’s that fucking Charlie Sheen one done a few days ago that I refuse to watch. But him (Charlie) being a 9/11 truther and all that, the memories of the past. It got on my tits. I feel the urge to review something that doesn’t beat around the bush. Time to attack the 9/11 truthers directly. That’s right, I’m going down into the depths of troll/conspiracy hell, and taking on Loose Change.
Now in the past I watched the earlier 2nd edition of the film, and bought into it. I was more gullible back then. Plus they have some decent arguments and raise some intriguing questions. Nowadays, I’m less gullible and more pissed towards those who deceive gullible people, or people who themselves are fucking idiots who can also influence gullible people. I used to be a 9/11 truther, but that was years ago.
There are at least 4 versions of Loose Change, but I’m going to go with this one. In the end, they pretty much cover the same subject matter. Let’s get this shit over with.
Introduction (Part 2)
“The 9/11 truth movement includes academics, engineers, physicists, firefighters, intelligence officials, and some of the very people whose lives have been shattered since 9/11.”
Yeah, and a good portion of other academics, engineers, physicists, firefighters, intelligence officials, and citizens who have had their lives shattered say that the 9/11 truth movement can blow it out their ass.
Executive Producer: Alex Jones. As in of the Alex Jones channel? I knew there was a reason I was skeptical of his youtube channel.
Act 1: Chapter 1: Hijackers
Alright, to this documentary’s credit, they do bring up a good point about Osama bin Laden, about how he praised, but didn’t take credit for the attacks on the twin towers and the pentagon. They also mention how this video that came up that supposedly has bin Laden in it taking credit for the attacks was likely faked, which is probably true from what I’ve gathered. That being said, he is responsible for the funding Al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization from which the 19 hijackers are a part of. The real mastermind behind 9/11 is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who definitely has ties with bin Laden. This information didn’t become known definitively until March 2007, the same year this edition of the documentary came out.
The documentary also brings up Mohammed Atta, one of the Flight 11 hijackers. The issue here is that two of his three bags didn’t make it on the flight (his carry-on did). Inside one of the bags is a will. The documentary raises the question as to why he would bring his will with him if he was going to go out in a blaze of supposed glory? The implication from the speculation is that this evidence was planted, for some reason. Well then, here’s some issues with that. Why was the will dated April 11, 1996? If it was planted and made up, why would they choose that date as opposed to anytime in 2001? More importantly, why aren’t the “witnesses” listed on the will not among the 18 other hijackers, much less the ones that were on his flight? And here’s my speculation, considering that he wasn’t going to have a body left to identify, why would he give a shit about where/how he was buried, as gave instructions for in the will? Perhaps he didn’t really give a shit about the will anymore, that he just wanted to take it to “paradise” along with the other belongings that were in the luggage. But that luggage didn’t make it on the plane, so afterlife Atta can suck it! In any case, it’s pure speculation with shaky ground at best to rely on the idea that the evidence was planted as opposed to it just being there the way the official story goes, which has much more firm ground to stand on.
Other sources of note: http://www.wnd.com/2002/09/15172/
And then there’s the whole passport thing, which was recovered at ground zero.
“How does a passport fly out of a man’s pocket through a 400 mile per hour airplane crash, survive 9000 gallons of jet fuel, and land intact on a sidewalk 1000 feet below?”
Oh I don’t know, how did all those other fucking papers and business cards and wallets fly out of the towers upon impact rather than getting burned to smithereens for the same fucking reason? And how do you know it was in his pocket as opposed to his carry-on? I think the better question is what are the odds of carry-on baggages survive such a crash? Probably about the same odds as the effects of the passengers from flight 93. But even better, assuming that was fucking planted too, then why even bother when there’s records of everyone at the airport? Why even bother when everyone’s names are logged into the system for which passengers made it, which didn’t, etc.? I’ve just gotta picture this conversation:
“Our conspiracy plan is solid. Their names are logged in, so everyone is going to know they’re on the plane.”
“But sir, what if there’s some doubters? What if they think the airport is in on the whole thing?”
“Good point. Let’s grab a passport that we just so happen to have lying around that shows this cocksucker’s face and burn on it a little bit, get some dumb schmuck to carry it to ground zero, and just chuck it there. Someone will find it eventually.”
“But what if they don’t find it?”
“They’ll find it!”
“Sir, when should the schmuck drop the passport?”
“After we blow up the towers with thermite of course!”
“Well won’t it be almost impossible to find at that point?”
“You’re right, let’s get the schmuck to drop it while everyone is running back and forth to and from the building. Someone is bound to notice it then, and not notice Mr. Schmuck dropping it.”
But thankfully, the documentary does point out a very good point about how Mohammed Atta was wired $100,000 from General Mahmoud Ahmed, head of Pakistan ISI. Something omitted from the 9/11 Commission Report (that report tends to omit a lot of stuff that’s financial-related). Similar questions can be raised about Saudi Arabia, maybe not of the government as a whole, but certainly in regards to significant individuals who are Saudi.
Documentary then mentions the hijackers, where they lived for a while, and how they attended clubs with strippers, and got a hold of pornos, which for some reason leads to the assumption that they aren’t potential hijackers. I don’t know how it leads to that assumption. I guess that implies because they weren’t so strict with their religious teachings and ways of living (noooooooo, going against the Koran for the sake of a fanatic’s own personal jihadist agenda? you don’t say?) that they couldn’t be fanatical muslims who would kill a bunch of people for a religious cause, because horniness and religion don’t mix. On that note, breaking news, all that news of the past about preachers being pedophiles was all a conspiracy by atheists in an attempt to kill Catholicism.
But then it goes back on itself and says, “Oh wait a minute, this guy Anthony Shaffer states that he and his intelligence unit learned of four of the hijackers (one of which is Atta), and his meeting requests to tell the higher ups about it were denied, and his story wasn’t mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report.” Well which is it Loose Change!? Is it pinning the blame on guys who had nothing to do with it, or incompetence on part of the FBI/CIA? You can’t have it both ways!
“Can we be certain that the hijackers were radical muslims on a suicide mission? Or is there a possibility that they were trained, funded, and protected in our own country?”
Why not both? Just because they were trained/funded/protected in our country doesn’t mean it was the government, the FBI, or the CIA that did it. Hence the Saudi individual(s), Osama bin Laden, and that one Pakistani asshole that you brought up only 10 fucking minutes ago!
Act 1: Chapter II: Wargames
Now here’s another pretty good segment. It mentions how ABC News covered a story on how the military wanted to conduct training exercises on how to respond to terrorists flying a plane into the Pentagon (5 months prior to 9/11) and the world trade centers (2 years before 9/11), tested as a wargame. Senior Pentagon officials rejected the wargame idea, saying it was too unrealistic. One of these wargame concept proposals is known as AMALGAM VIRGO. 4 wargames were going on on 9/11. This segment is also quite intriguing.
But when the documentary concludes that this is too much of a coincidence to ignore, in that some 2-4 jet fighters are flown away from the states the whole 9/11 incidents took place in, indicating that some high up government officials wanted them out of the area so that the hijackings and crashes could happen as they did, that’s when I become skeptical again. How often are wargames conducted? How often do they involve fighter jets? How often do they fly to different states? If the documentary cited that wargames were conducted more often around that time period (or better yet, on that day) than on previous times in history, and cited sources to back up that statement, then I’d say they might be on to something. Otherwise, one could assume that the wargames going on on 9/11 were just like any other time in the past, with some coincidences that can be ignored. That being said, it does raise suspicion seeing people being silenced for asking that question during a 9/11 Commission hearing.
Act II: Chapter 1: Pentagon
FBI confiscated all video related to the aircraft impacting the Pentagon. Well, yeah, that’s protocol for any incident like this.
Mentions that the flights were at around 30% capacity, without mentioning that on average flights back then tended to be at around 71-75% capacity, give or take a percentage or two. I’m not sure what point he’s trying to make here, but it’s mentioned by varioussources, including The Cell: Inside the 9/11 Plot and Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It that the terrorists probably took their time determining which flights to hijack, which ones would be freshly fueled, which ones would have the least amount of passengers, and on which days planes would have the least amount of passengers at the airports they would go to (Tuesday ended up being the day that had the least number of passengers on average). What’s the implication here?
Mentions that at the time of the hijacking, there’s no sudden maneuvering by the plane to indicate a struggle for the controls. I wonder if he’s ever heard of autopilot?
And then the whole Pentagon thing. Unlike previous versions, the documentary implies the possibility for a missile to have hit it rather than a plane, as opposed to just outright saying it. I’m not sure which is worse. In any case, it’s mentioned that the plane circles the pentagon first before finally going in to hit it. First it says that such a maneuver requires expert piloting skills, which the terrorist didn’t have. Then it states there’s not much left to identify a plane, making it questionable if a plane hit. Then it mentions that the impact was at an armored section of the pentagon that was undergoing construction at the time, and if it hit anywhere else it would’ve done more damage, implying that it was intentional to hit there, to reduce casualties I guess. Though the documentary shoots itself in the foot again (what is that, 3 blasts to the foot now?) by implying that Dick Cheney was behind it because he didn’t order the Pentagon to be evacuated, which kind of defeats the purpose of setting up the idea that this was planned, don’t you think?
Anyway, I can’t say for certain why the plane circled. Perhaps the terrorist was calculating, or determined he wasn’t at the right speed/altitude/angle to go in for the hit, or was trying to determine the best spot to hit, or realized that is the right target to hit as opposed to something else like the White House (which could be why they didn’t evacuate the Pentagon in the first place because they thought the plane was heading for the White House)? There’s a number of explanations, all of which are just as plausible, likely more-so, than what this documentary implies.
As for not much debris left, have you seen how much was left from the two flights that hit the trade centers? Not much of an excuse when it’s been demonstrated that much of a plane can pretty much incinerate itself if it goes fast enough and hits a solid object hard enough. In any case, there are morephotos than what the documentary lets on.
Terrorist didn’t have great piloting skills? The majority of piloting skills comes from landing and take-off, the rest isn’t that difficult for the most part. All he had to do was aim it right. Plus, he did bounce off the helipad before impacting the pentagon.
So, the towers couldn’t have fallen from the impact of a plane or from the fires, or both. Evidence? Instances in the past when skyscrapers in the past (including one of the towers) were on fire on a few floors for hours, and didn’t fall. Well that’s because in those examples in the past they didn’t have a motherfucking 767 hit them! They didn’t have their protective shielding around the fucking steel beams shredded off by a fucking plane in those cases!
And then the documentary goes back in time to a quote:
“In 1966, Robertson designed the structural elements of the WTC towers to withstand the impact of the largest airliner then in service, the Boeing 707.”
Yeah, but that’s also leaving out an important part of the context. Aside from the fact that a 757 is a bit larger and a bit heavier and can hold more fuel than a 707 from the 70s, they leave out the fact that the building was designed to withstand impact from a plane that was coming in for a landing, at stall speed, as opposed to high speed (Source).
Oh, yeah, and the whole melting point of steel being at nearly 3000 degree fahrenheit while the fires could only burn up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit tops (more or less), that’s true, but the steel doesn’t have to fucking melt in order for it to fucking bend to cause the fucking building to fucking fall, motherfucker!
You know what, rather than waste time typing a bunch of text on this, I’ll just refer you to this excellent educational youtube video series for all you dumb fucks out there who still buy into this conspiracy. It explains the collapse, and explains away the bullshit thermite theory (paint and inefficiency and why not the bottom floors):
“…controlled demolition. Where would people get an idea like that?”
From you asshole! From motherfuckers like you! From conspiratorial cocksuckers like you that make a demand for others to try and inject expert science to explain something that should be common fucking sense! Where’s some Japanese science lady who spent 2 years in the UK at who can call these people a bunch of twats?
You know what, I’m going off on another hypothetical conversation:
“Sir, we need to stage a terrorist attack so that we can get the people behind us to invade the middle east. What should we do?”
“Let’s get some middle eastern fucks who look like that arab in Aladdin to go onto some planes and ram them into the towers. People will be scared shitless after that.”
“But what if the towers don’t fall?”
“Sir, I think people would be more scared of terrorists if we made sure the towers fell so that we can be double sure they’ll be behind us for invading the middle east.”
“By Jove, you’re right! Let’s hire a team of professionals to get some explosives and plant them throughout the floors of both those towers.”
“Won’t they be spotted sir?”
“Fuck no! We’ll hire ninjas to do it. They did all sorts of shit in the 80s, and even more dumb shit in the 90s! Surely they can pull this off!”
“But sir, they will need hammers and tools to expose the pillars and supports to plant the devices on? Won’t that make some noise and bring attention to them?”
“Again, fuck no! We’ve got silent drills and noise cancelling hammers straight from the technologically advanced nation of Japan! They’ve got ninjas and silent hammers! They’ve got everything we’ll need for this!”
“But sir, the plane crash, won’t that disrupt the bombs somehow once it crashes? Especially when the fuel from the plane ignites and pours all over the building and pours down the elevator shafts? Also, are these bombs going to be on a timer or remote detonated? And how much time would it take to set this up? How many men will we need to pull this off?”
“Aren’t you forgetting which country those bombs and ninjas came from?”
“Oh, of course. Brilliant!”
Alright, what else does this cunthole of a documentary have? Christ, it’s got another fucking hour to go? The Able Danger bit is not enough to redeem this shit.
“Despite the air quality, the public was allowed back in.”
Christine Whitman of the EPA only recently decided that she and the EPA were probably wrong in letting people back into the city, saying it was safe. And the fucking White House of course doesn’t really seem to know any better or just doesn’t really give a shit about the people at ground zero. Fuckers. This was one of the better segments this documentary covers. Makes me even more pissed at the incompetence and arguably criminal negligence of both the government and EPA with how they handled post-9/11 (much less pre 9/11, and just the 9/11 event itself).
Act II: Chapter III: Shanksville
You know what, forget it. I covered this part in my United 93 review, I don’t feel like going over the conspiracy bullshit about this again.
“Did they find a plane in Shanksville?”
You going to explain how any alternative theory accounts for a missing plane and its passengers and how the various radar services and airports account for it? No? Didn’t fucking think so. Next.
“Cards and identification survived without a scratch.”
Bullshit it survived without a scratch! Bullshit it did! You can clearly see the fucking scratches in the fucking pictures you just fucking showed! Jesus Christ, what a fucking weak documentary this is. You even have a foot left to shoot off? No? Well, start blasting away at the next one then, that’s why God decided to give you 2 feet as opposed to 2 more brain cells.
Act II: Chapter IV: WTC 7
Ah fuck! That’s right. There’s still this thing. Well I’m sick of this documentary. I refer you to the youtube video mentioned above that discusses the twin towers. There’s another video in that series that discusses WTC 7 (plus some other websites if you feel like digging that shit up), video 4 I think. I’m done researching and attacking the claims/implications of this “film”. They’ve fucked up enough already to pretty much make the rest unreliable.
Limitations of the 9/11 Commission, blah blah blah, none of it leading to the right questions that should be asked. Michael Moore was closer to that than this documentary was, and that’s not saying much.
Fuck what he says, here’s what I say. The questions that should be asked is this: who’s accountable? Aside from the fact that the Pakistanis and Saudis also seem to have some responsibility (not necessarily the country as a whole, but certainly some key individuals), this should also extend to U.S. officials. Not necessarily because they planned for this to happen (I mean, it’s possible, but not in the way this documentary implies), but because they’re covering their asses for their negligence, incompetence, and ignorance. People in both the Clinton and Bush administration. Similar to the whole 2012 Benghazi incident. Anybody held accountable for that who got properly punished for it? No? Similar situation with 9/11 as far as I’m concerned, except that that event was much more devastating, and as such the repercussions should be bigger, and thus more of a reason to have officials try to cover their own asses. That’s my belief.
The only thing that I gained that was worthwhile from this documentary is their brief section on Able Danger, something that should get its own movie in of itself. As for the rest of it, it’s pure shit. Pass on it. For all you truthers who won’t pass on it, go ahead and light it up, inject it into your veins, and fuck off to your Neverland bubble.
Oh God has it been too long since I’ve witnessed a film that gives me so much material to work with for my review. So eager to type down my thoughts. Oh, and if you’re wondering if there’s going to be spoilers, you bet your ass there’s going to be spoilers. I’m going to spoil the shit out of the 2017 film, the 1990 film, and the novel. Yep, I’ve been reading the novel too.
Oh, and by the way, I will be spoiling the shit out of this.
First off, let me get this out of the way, I have not seen every season of the show, nor have I read every book (only the first 2, and that’s as far as I’m going). I’ve seen the first season in its entirety, bits and pieces of seasons 2-5, and have seen season 6 and 7 in their entirety. Yeah, I know, that seems outrageous, just skipping over seasons where a lot of shit has happened (only catching glimpses of them) before getting back into it. Well, I have my reasons.
It’s my philosophy when it comes to television shows in general to not watch them until they have been completed, whether due to cancellation, or just being seen to the end properly. It’s a philosophy I have developed from my years of watching anime (did that much more often in the past than I do now). Most anime that I’ve seen either ends before it can be resolved (those motherfuckers, them making anime adaptations of ongoing manga; either write your own goddamn ending or adapt something that’s been fucking finished!), or it just has the shittiest ending imaginable that tends to go along the lines of, “Everyone dead, or fucked, or sad and depressed at the end.” You don’t have to go off of Shakespearean tragedy mantra that fucking often!
So yeah, it started as skepticism for anime in general, to where I refuse to watch ANY anime series until it’s finished, and only if I hear good things about it. That being said, it’s not a philosophy I follow 100%. The last anime I watched was Attack on Titan, and that was a while ago. Guess what? It ends on a cliffhanger and it’s not fucking finished! Granted, the chances of them picking it back up to finish it are much better than Highschool of the Dead (I loved every moment of that show, it was made for someone like me, and they won’t fucking finish it, especially since the manga may never get finished), but it still pisses me off that I have to wait. On top of that, I may be waiting on something that’s going to end shittily (that’s a real word because I say so!).
Seriously, you’ve gotta watch this video if you haven’t seen it already. It’s one of the most absurd, ridiculous, defying the laws of physics and human biology, stupid, dumb, perverted, and downright fucking hilarious things I’ve ever seen in my life. You will fall out of your seat.
Which brings me to Game of Thrones. When I first started watching the first season (at the time I was also in the middle of the first book), my thoughts were, meh. It was just ok. The production quality is fantastic, the acting top-notch, the plot intriguing. But there was something about the presentation that never got me fully into it, something I can’t put my (Little) finger on. There was also the fact that, and you’re probably not going to believe I’m saying this, there was too much sex in the show. Too much sex and nudity littered throughout that was only there for the sole purpose of attracting more perverted viewers and to ride off the back of the Spartacus series on Starz. Now look, I like sex and nudity just as much as anyone else (assuming I find them attractive). I also like porn just as much as the next guy. But when it comes to a film or show that aims to be serious and deep/complex, the perverted side of me shuts off and the analytical film/show connoisseur side takes over. I look at what makes it work as a whole for me, and what works against it. This isn’t a show that should have sex as it’s main feature, which it seemed like it was trying to for the first season, or 2, or 3. However, it seems as if the show has lightened up on that regard (at least as early as season 6, maybe earlier), now only showing that stuff when its integral to the plot or character development. As it should be.
Sex and nudity aside, and the fact that I just couldn’t get fully invested in the show, there’s also all the stuff I’ve heard from other sources about how downright depressing the whole thing gets at times. “People you love will die.” Especially when it got to the Red Wedding. It’s at that point that I resolved myself to not get into the franchise unless there was a light at the end of this bleak tunnel. The ending of season 5 sure as hell didn’t make me think there was.
But then comes season 6. I saw a preview of it from the Conan O’Brian show along with a couple interviews. They didn’t spoil exactly what would happen, but they sure implied it heavily enough to where I saw where they were going with this. So John Snow gets resurrected, which makes me think that Amanda Pete (wife of one of the screenwriters) is successful at swaying her husband in how the story is to progress (seemed even more apparent with the finale of season 6 pretty much having women in high positions of power everywhere, replacing men who once stood there). And that wasn’t a bad thing, in my opinion, at first. John Snow comes back, and they end up delivering one hell of an entertaining season. Especially that Battle of the Bastards episode. More optimistic than the previous seasons. A light appeared at the end of the tunnel which now appeared less bleak. And it felt earned after all the depressing bullshit that transpired previously.
Then in season 7, it seemed to me as if we were getting too much of a good thing. Too much optimism. Too many saves at the last minute. Some of that was in season 6, but it became bluntly apparent this season. John Snow surviving a few near-death experiences, getting dragged into the icy water, getting the strength to come out, only to be charged by the army of the dead, only for his long-lost uncle to show up at the last moment to save him and sacrifice himself to do so; all this after Daenerys swoops in with her dragons to also save everyone at the last minute. This is the most extreme of examples, all packed into a few minutes of one episode. Shit like this seems to happen too often not just in this episode, but in others throughout the season. Granted, this all ended up leading to a great plot twist that would make the threat of the army of the dead even greater than ever before, but it could have been pulled off in a less “oh so convenient” manner.
The show is becoming the one thing it should not have been, that it has never been since its inception until now (unless you read the books that the first few seasons are an adaptation of, before they went beyond the books). Predictable. Formulaic. Say what you will about the depressing shit, but at least it kept the viewer on edge and wondering if someone was going to get out of an encounter alive or not. Now everyone has gone from, “Oh don’t die! Please don’t die!” to, “Oh come on, there’s no way they’re going to kill him/her off now.” What has become a breath of fresh air has now become the normal air we breathe, and it’s too healthy. I don’t mind a dose of optimism to offset the pessimism, but it shouldn’t overwhelm the pessimism.
So now I have a pretty good idea on how the show is going to end, and at least 2 characters that are going to be alive by the end of it. Granted, I predicted this earlier on before season 7 even started, but now it seems set in stone. So after season 6, I predicted that John and Daenerys would get together and be king and queen of the realm. My reason for this is because of the name of the series. The book series isn’t called Game of Thrones, that’s just the title of the first book. The series is titled A Song of Fire and Ice. So fire and ice would get together. Daenerys is the fire, John is the Ice (hence his last name, despite what the plot twist at the end of season 7 says about his name). The end of season 7 only cemented my theory further. So if nothing else, those two will by alive once everything is over.
But that’s not the only predictable element. The other big one is with dickless Theon. They’re obviously setting up a redemption angle with him, where he’s going to encounter Euron Greyjoy and either kill him, or free his sister so she can kill him.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if Samwell Tarly ended up doing something heroic in the next season, maybe killing the Ice King (doubtful) or the undead dragon (also doubtful). He’s likely going to end up doing something along those lines, but I’m hoping he sacrifices his fat ass as a result. I’ve been waiting for his character to get killed off for a while. Him and the other Greyjoys, and maybe even Sansa Stark.
The newfound optimistic nature of this show that had arisen in season 6 and carried onto season 7 threatens to carry onto season 8. Make no mistake, I’m all for happy endings. But they need to be earned, and the only way they can truly be earned is if the threat of an alternate bad ending is real, just as the threat of death hanging over all the major characters was real up until last season. The series seems set on a path where everything is going to wrap up too conveniently. The only way I can see things ending on a satisfactory matter is if there’s mass murder on a wide scale. Major characters should get dropped left and right, villains and heroes alike. And for the love of God, get rid of those fucking last-minute saves. They can be useful, but not if they’re used often. There should only be two last-minute saves throughout one season of Game of Thrones tops, especially when the new seasons are only 7 fucking episodes in length.
PS: Oh, right. The other reason why I’ve actually gotten into this show, other than I think it’s gotten a bit better, is because it would be impossible to not watch it and avoid spoilers with how often they show up online, even in the form of episode leaks online (which I have not seen nor do I ever intend to see). Plus it’s nice to be capable of following along in conversations about this show with co-workers.
So I didn’t plan on making any sort of blog post like this. I saw some of what happened in Charlottesville, viewing some news bits here and there, sighing at the inevitability of all this, that violence was bound to strike with all these insane protests and demonstrations that have been going on, that fanatics and radicals from all sides are coming out of the woodwork, and were inevitably bound to clash (no thanks to the police and the mayor/governor). I wasn’t going to talk about it. But so many are making so much noise about it on the social media sites I hang out on, that it’s become an unavoidable subject. It’s not something I wanted to get into, but got into it I did.
“The whole thing could’ve been avoided. What brought this whole thing on was that they were going to remove the statue. […] If they didn’t move it, then there wouldn’t have been some Unite The Right march, what the fuck? But also I have an issue with removing stuff like this because it kinda sanitizes history. […] Having them exist is an opportunity for conversation.” — Cory Carr
“As an angry white man, they make me look bad.” — Cory Carr
“I really think that on both the Right and on the Left, our sensibilities and leanings are becoming more authoritarian.” — Forest Taylor
“If people would just sit the fuck down, and talk about things…” — Cory Carr
* = with caveats, especially with dialogue that self-references the year. “Helloooo? This is 1967! I can do whatever I want!”
Ok, so this movie. I had reservations going in. But there are times where I get sick and tired of being on edge, of having such a high amount of skepticism, of believing I’m in the minority of seeing things as they are and wondering if I’m wrong because of that. There are times I just want to be entirely wide open, entirely accepting, entirely trusting, putting my emotions on the line. Of watching a film and accepting what is given at face value. To not be so critical, because so many others aren’t. A part of me hates having my guard up against emotional manipulation so often for so many movies (especially of films made from around 2012 and onwards).
But I’ve been emotionally manipulated too many times in the past. I’ve seen that the things I’ve believed in and been taught to believe in are lies too many times. I fought on the wrong side for too long to risk going back so easily. It’s become a part of my nature now to watch any racially charged film like this (or any documentary for that matter) with a skeptical mind. I hate myself for doing this because it means I am usually unable to fully appreciate a good film containing subject matter like this upon first watch. But I would hate myself more if I did go into this blindly and putting my faith in the idea that it’s honest, that it’s made with honest intentions, has good lessons and/or entertainment within it, only to find out later on that it wasn’t.
Things weren’t always like this. Most films made from the late 60s to the early 2000s tended to be honest about these sorts of things, about their intentions, about their entertainment. Any mistakes made tended to be made in blissful ignorance rather than with intent. Like Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus film and how it portrays gladiators as nice family friendly guys when they weren’t slaughtering each other or Roman soldiers. Or those sword and sorcery films of the 70s and 80s which, well let’s face it all of them were pretty ridiculous in several ways. But there was a charm about it all, an innocence to it. Like how a child repeats what he hears and doesn’t consider the context of his words. But in this day and age, the child is grown up, and is fully aware of the context. We should likewise be aware, and act with wisdom.