Category Archives: Entertainment

Ancient Conflict

 

Tarsem Singh‘s visually spectacular Greek mythology epic Immortals opened last Friday to mixed reviews and a $32 million box office weekend opening.  Some call it a “living, breathing, work of art” while others ask “doesn’t Greece have enough problems already?”  The film is an artistic depiction of several classic Greek myths including that of Theseus, the Minotaur, and the Titanomachy.  While the film does succeed in being an impressive visual spectacle, the story ultimately falls short and those looking for an emotional connection to the characters will likely be disappointed.  Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 37%  aggregate with its Top Critics giving it a 22%, while Metacritic gave it a 47 out of 100.  In other words when a movie gets “mixed reviews” it usually just means the movie sucks.  Most of the films issues lie in the screenplay, but if you are a movie fan or Greek mythology buff you should definitely check it out.  Regardless of Singh‘s artistic direction or perhaps lack-there-of let’s take a look at Immortals’ four main characters with limited spoilers.

A father-less peasant named Theseus played by the new Superman Henry Cavill serves as the Artisan in the film, being highly skilled in martial arts and utterly fearless.  Indeed it is Thesseus’ fearlessness that prompted Zeus to train him and provide guidance for him in the disguise of an old man.

An oracle priestess named Phaedra played by Freida Pinto serves as the Idealist in the film, being highly spiritual and gifted with visions and premonitions of the future.  Indeed it is Phaedra who took notice of Thesseus’ destiny and affinity to the gods, and helped guide him along his path.

A ruthless and bloodthirsty mobilizer named King Hyperion played by Mickey Rourke serves as the Rational in the film, who rose from an unwanted peasant to the most powerful man in Greece.  Hyperion is a mercilessly efficient leader and does whatever needs to be done to fulfill his aim of de-throning the tryanny of the Olympians.

The King of the Gods Zeus played by Luke Evans serves as the Guardian in the film, as the one who must enforce the rules of the Gods at all costs, while also protecting his Olympian family from the threat of the Titans.  Indeed Zeus is forced to execute martial law when one of his fellow Olympians breaks the rule of not interfering in human affairs.  He is also ultimately forced to defend his family’s right to the throne of Mount Olympus, which is probably the coolest part of the film.

Quote1.png If there was one human who could lead them against Hyperion, it would be Theseus.  But it has to be his choice. Quote2.png

Zeus (Immortals)

Imperious Logistics

Filmmakers are reportedly looking to cast an unknown actress for the lead role of Artemesia in the 300 sequel titled 300: Battle of Artmesia, with screen testing to happen soon.  The films events will be concurrent with the first film (which was a fictionalized account of the battle of Thermopylae), and will be told from the point of view of the Persian King Xerxes. A synopsis tell us that ‘Artemesia’ entices Xerxes to go to war using her “vindictive charm”.  While the idiots in Hollywood that made 300 and that are going to make its sequel are rampant morons and are giving us a highly inaccurate account of what are actually pretty dope historical events (the Greco-Persian wars), let’s not dampen the mood and proceed by taking a look at the son of Darius the Great: mighty King Xerxes I of Persia.

King Xerxes son of Darius and Atossa of the Persian Empire was dubbed the ‘chosen king’ of Persia being a descendent of both Darius the Great and Cyrus the Great.  Naturally he came to be called what?  You guessed it.  Xerxes the Great.  Xerxes was crowned and succeeded his father in October 486 BC at the age of 36.  Xerxes’ ascension to the throne was a smooth transition, as he immediately quelled active revolts in Egypt and Babylon.  Xerxes’ first major undertaking as King of Persia of course was the second Persian invasion of Greece, an immense campaign that his father had made preparations for but could not lead due to his failing health.  Xerxes then finished preparations and led his highly regimented and extremely diverse Persian army of more than two million strong across the Hellespont.  Moving two million soldiers across a continent being a supreme logistical feat in and of itself, Xerxes topped such an accomplishment by bridging the Hellespont, an engineering and organizational triumph.  The first attempt to bridge the Hellespont was not successful and in classic Guardian fashion Xerxes had the Hellespont Sea literally whipped for its impudence.  Supremely authoritative, strictly commanding, extremely directive, and a logistical genius King Xerxes is undoubtedly a Supervisor Guardian.  Indeed Xerxes led the Achaemenid Empire with an iron fist.  Disobeying orders, rank, or command was fatal as Xerxes like many Supervisors was extremely ‘eager to enforce rules and procedures’.  Supervisors however do ‘have a tendency to jump to conclusions too quickly’ as evidenced by Xerxes ordering a body of water to be whipped.  Xerxes makes another brash decision after besting the Greek forces with some resistance (at Thermopylae as portrayed in 300), he reportedly had Athens burned out of spite.  Realizing that his anger may have gotten the best of him, Xerxes ordered the city rebuilt the next day.  The Battle of Thermopylae took place simultaneously with the naval Battle of Artemisium, the events of which the upcoming film will no doubt portray in typical moronic Hollywood fashion.  300: Battle of Artemisia is slated for a 2013 release.

Quote1.png There’s no turning back for either side of this conflict, only the question of who strikes first and who gets struck.  Either our land will be theirs, or theirs will be ours; our mutual hatred allows no compromise.Quote2.png

Xerxes I of Persia

Enterprising Tactics

As some of you may unfortunately be aware of, rampant fame whore Kim Kardashian has decided that 72 days was a long enough time period to end her fake marriage to borderline-retard Kris Humphries.  Which is definitely a good thing because let’s be honest, these two probably shouldn’t reproduce.  The young reality star has since met with considerable public backlash having profited in the form of 18 million dollars from the wedding alone.  Some think that given such a ridiculous profit margin for such a sacred ceremony and only such a short time of honoring that sacred ceremony that the whole thing was just a publicity stunt.  No sh*t guys.  You think?  I honestly don’t even know why it was ever even up for debate, as this girls entire life is a publicity stunt courtesy of her morally bankrupt and shameless pageant mother Kris Jenner.  Kris lives not vicariously but ENTIRELY through her daughter’s fame, and is laughing all the way to the bank as a result.  Kim has subsequently spent time in Minnesota (where her ex-husband lives) pretending to fight for her sham marriage.  Gee, I wonder how that’s gonna turn out.  Mild cynicism aside, let’s take a closer look at Kardashian family matriarch Kris Jenner and her protege/puppet Kim Kardashian.

The Kardashian family is most known for it’s reality television show Keeping Up With The Kardashians which airs on the E! Network.  The show chronicles the personal and professional lives of the Kardashian and Jenner families, with family matriarch Kris Jenner essentially running the show as the ‘family manager’. Under Kris’ leadership the family managed to clear 65$ million in revenue last year through reality TV, twitter, endorsements, paid appearances and fragrances.  Extremely enterprising, creatively bold, highly glamorous, and a marketing genius Kris Jenner is undoubtedly a Promoter Artisan.  Indeed Kris likely brainstorms much of the ‘family drama’ that is seen on-screen, as to make for better and more accessible television.  While some of the shows events might indeed be pre-meditated Kris is a smart woman and does in-fact do a good job of bringing solid, wholesome, realistic and family-oriented messages to the table.

Kris’ daughter Kim of course is an equally shameless Promoter Artisan and basically just follows the lead of her mother.  Kim Kardashian rose to fame essentially through the “unwanted” release of a sex tape, and is constantly referred to as the poster-girl for the concept of ‘being famous just for being famous’.  Indeed Kris and Kim have made quite a bit of money entirely from Promoting as Kim reportedly gets paid roughly $25,000 to simply endorse a product on Twitter and collects anywhere from $100,000 to $1,000,000 for personal appearances.  Which is god damn ridiculous.  The families reality show Keeping Up With The Kardashians not only provides a solid paycheck but is indeed a marketing platform for their endorsements and best-selling products which include book, clothing, and fragrance lines.

While some argue that Kris is immorally shoving her family in the spotlight for money: one could also argue that none of them seem too discontent with their situations, considering they all now live in ridiculous Malibu mansions.  Regardless of the morality of Kris’ enterprising, the woman is a marketing genius and media mogul and her and her family are definitely laughing all the way to the bank.  Kourtney and Kim Take New York season 2 premieres Sunday November 27th 10/9c on the E! Network.

Quote1.png Who knew it would be this profitable?  I should have had more kids.Quote2.png

Kris Mary Jenner

Extraordinary Diplomacy

X-men First Class 2 is now officially in development, with writer Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes) brought aboard to pen the script.  The plotline will reportedly continue telling the story of friends-turned-enemies Charles Xavier and Max Eisenhardt, who parted ways at the conclusion of the first film.  First Class director Matthew Vaughn has said that the incorporation of real world events will continue into the second installment: hinting that Magneto’s magnetism might be responsible for the infamous “magic bullet” involved in JFK’s assassination.  Given such thoroughly delightful movie-nerd news let’s take a look at the smartest motherf*cker in the room with 5 Ph.D’s: Professor X.

Charles Francis Xavier is a paraplegic telepath and the founder of the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters, a safe-haven for troubled and misunderstood young mutants.  A man who has devoted his entire life to mediating a peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants: Charles Xavier puts all of his powerful intellectual efforts into protecting humanity from evil mutants and safeguarding innocent mutants from human oppression.  Extraordinarily intuitive, highly diplomatic, exceptionally empathic, and an extremely powerful psychic Professor X is undoubtedly a Counselor Idealist.  Indeed Xavier frequently uses his telepathic abilities to link into the minds of others, share their pains and attempt to alleviate them.  Charles like many Counselors has spent most of his life empathizing the agonies of those closest to him, as his passion for nurturing the personal development of others is unmatched.  Certainly, the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters is a place where troubled mutants can go to seek guidance and realize their full potential.  Of course, Charles ultimately uses his powerful diplomatic talents to create the X-Men: an elite task force formed to keep the peace between humans and mutants.  Xavier’s diplomatic powers however do have limits, as he failed to calm the mind of his profoundly troubled friend holocaust survivor Max Eisenhardtwho subsequently evolves into the powerful Supervillain Magneto.

Quote1.png Any dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for.Quote2.png

Charles Xavier (Earth-616)

Debonair Tactics

‘Skyfall’ is now the official title of the 23rd James Bond film that will be shot in Shanghai, Istanbul, Scotland and London starting Monday.  Academy Award winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) will helm the film with Daniel Craig reprising his role as the titular character.  Yet another Oscar winner is on board as Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) has been confirmed as the primary villain, alongside oscar nominees Ralph Phiennes and Albert Finney in unspecified roles.  The world’s longest running movie franchise is finally back on track after emerging from a debaucle involving MGM Studios’ filing for bankruptcy.  The full press conference can be accessed here.  Given such smashing good news let’s take a look at the world’s greatest secret agent.

James Bond code number 007 is a British Secret Service agent known for being a charming, confident and popular go-getter and womanizer.  Though his charm is unmatched, Bond indeed can be a cold and ruthless killer if need be, doing whatever it takes to get the job done.  Bold, daring, charismatic and action-oriented with a thick skin, James Bond is the quintessential Promoter Artisan.  Indeed Bond like all Promoters lives with a ‘theatrical flourish’, and has ‘a knack for knowing where the action is’.  ‘Socially sophisticated’, ‘suave and polished’, and a ‘master manipulator’ James Bond seemingly has it all.  However, James knows as many Promoters do, that “he who travels fast, travels alone”.  Skyfall is slated for a November 2012 release.

Quote1.png Miss Anders….. I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on. Quote2.png

James Bond (Moonraker)

Feline Diplomacy

The Dark Knight Rises is now in it’s final filming stages as it takes its talents to Manhattan, New York.  Naturally, more eyewitness videos and photos have popped up online, this time showing a chase sequence with motorcycles, GCPD patrol cars, the Batwing, and Bane’s ‘earthquake device’.  Though we know where Bane and Batman stand (on opposing sides) many wonder what role new character Catwoman will ultimately play in the film.  While Anne Hathaway has received criticism for the above picture, she assures us that ‘we’ve only seen a tenth of what the suit can do’.  Let’s then ignore the slight goofy-lookingness of the above picture and proceed with analyzing the Feline Femme Fatalle.

A young orphan who grew tired of being abused, Selina Kyle opted to take her chances surviving on the streets of Gotham.  Kyle became a talented thief, gymnast, and martial artist, but practiced her own unique brand of justice, and always gave back to the slum that raised her.  Fiercely independent, unabashedly shy, highly intuitive, and infamously ambiguous Catwoman is undoubtedly a Healer Idealist.  Indeed Selina Kyle’s status as a hero or villain is up in the air, as she possesses her own unique moral code.  Kyle often has romantic encounters with Batman and is always pursuing her own identity in Gotham City.  While Selina often fights against Batman, she also has a tendency to display deep affections towards him in times of need.  In true Idealist fashion, Selina Kyle eventually gives birth to a daughter, and quits her vigilantism for good.  An event, however, we will not likely get to witness in Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster conclusion.  The Dark Knight Rises is now starting to wrap up shooting and can be seen in all it’s glory July 20, 2012.

Quote1.png My world is all just shades of grey, Batman. That’s why you’ll never really understand me. Quote2.png

Selina Kyle (New Earth)

Magnetic Strategy

James Macavoy talked recently about reprising his role as Professor Xavier in X-Men First Class 2, given the second installment gets the greenlight.  While highly critically acclaimed, X-Men First Class pulled in an underwhelming box-office sum, living in the wake of a dwindling X-men franchise (X3, X-men origins:Wolverine).  Hence the studios hesitance.  While ‘X-men’ is of course the intellectual property of Marvel, they had licensed the property rights to 20th Century Fox long ago.  Though First Class only hauled in a meager box-office return, many think that the ‘prequel reboot’ is definitely a step in the right direction for the X-men franchise, and director Matthew Vaughn says he will continue to incorporate historical American events into the stories in order to bring a sense of realism.

Some think that the studio is waiting to see how well Wolverine 2 (which HAS been greenlit) will pan out.  Meanwhile, First Class director Matthew Vaughn has stated “We will only have one more new character [in an X-Men: First Class sequel]. I won’t say who he…I won’t say who he or she is! …As Professor X is in a wheelchair, Magneto needs to have a nemesis he can fight with. Someone that will be his equal. I know who it is. It would be nice if I could say something, but I can’t.”  Given such delightfully encouraging news let’s hope for the best and proceed with analyzing the temperament of the Master of Magnetism.

A German Jewish holocaust survivor, Max Eisenhardt spent a good deal of his childhood as a Sonderkommando: the squad of Jewish men who were forced to help their Nazi masters run the gas chambers, ovens, and fire pits.  The only member of his extended family to survive the holocaust, Max witnessed first hand the atrocities that humanity was capable of, and how brutally they treat those that are deemed ‘different’.  After discovering his mutant powers, Eisenhardt developed an aggressive superiority complex, and vowed to never again be at the mercy of humans.  As the conflict between Mutants and Humans escalated: Magneto founded the Brotherhood of Mutants in order to advance his cause.  Powerfully commanding, strategically brilliant, decisively resolute, and an extremely efficient mobilizer: Magneto is undoubtedly a Fieldmarshal Rational.  Indeed Magneto has a very ‘directive character‘, and has an uncanny ability to ‘commandeer whatever human (or mutant) capabilities and material resources are available and use them to execute a complex strategy‘.  Magneto’s ‘complex strategy’ of course, becomes the subordination of the human race.  With a sense of tragic irony, Magneto ultimately matures into exactly the kind of thing that took his family away from him.  Hoping X-Men First Class 2 will get the go-ahead, we will soon see Michael Fassbender portray the supreme villain‘s ascension into madness.

Quote1.png The X-Men … The Avengers … and soon the world — All WITHIN MY GRASP! Quote2.png

Max Eisenhardt (Earth-616)

Visceral Tactics

Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege talked recently about the future of Marvel and the Avengers 2, saying that the roster in the next avengers films will be decidedly different from that of the first Avengers.  “Absolutely, that’s the fun of it — introducing new characters.”  Of course what Kevin does NOT know is that the current line up is of course optimal, seeing as that it has all four temperaments and therefore is at a perfect equilibrium.  Someone should really contact him and let him know.  Let’s however hope for the best and proceed with analyzing the Avengers ‘go-to’ green monster the incredible Hulk.

Doctor Robert Bruce Banner had a tough childhood as his father hated him, was an alcoholic, and murdered his mother.  His father did however do one good thing, in giving his son a pre-disposition to gamma radiation, which saved his life, and created the big green monster that we all know and love.  Bruce Banner after being caught in a gamma radiation explosion turns into an emotional and impulsive humanoid monster known as the Hulk when angered.  Instinctive, fearless, and exploding with brute strength, the not-so-jolly green giant is undoubtedly a Crafter Artisan.  Inspired by the classic tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Hulk is a representation of our primal instincts and animal nature.  Indeed the Hulk is a ferocious and savage creature, with a visceral mentality that any Artisan can relate to.  Certainly the Hulk does much of the heavy lifting for the Avengers, and is an irreplaceable asset, as are all Artisans within any successful organization.  In Avengers footage shown at NYCC, Loki brags “I have an army,” to which Stark replies “We have a Hulk.”

Quote1.png … You won’t like me when I’m angry! Quote2.png

Robert Bruce Banner (Earth-616)

Solid Steel Logistics

Russel Crowe and Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire) allegedly will go toe-to-toe in Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel.  Russel Crowe is playing Jor-El (Superman’s father) and Michael Shannon is playing Kryptonian villain General Zod.  And apparently, Supermans dad smokes cigarettes.  Crowe tweeted about the fight saying Michael Shannon “is very hard to put down”.  While the above picture looks pretty decent, I fear that the film most certainly will not be, seeing as that it is being directed by Zack Snyder.  Zack Snyder has indeed botched several other films, and is clearly out of his league here.  Let’s however give the poor man the benefit of the doubt, and proceed with analyzing the Last Son of Krypton’s temperament.

Superman is the quintessential comic book hero and a dearly beloved cultural icon.  Super-dependable, outstandingly dutiful, and extremely persevering, the Big Blue Boyscout is undoubtedly an Inspector Guardian.  Characterized by his indestructible physicality and strict code of ethicsSuperman knows that with great power comes great responsibility.  Indeed Superman adheres to the idea that actions speak louder than words, and takes the responsibility of defending Earth and its inhabitants very seriously.

Man of Steel will reportedly NOT BE connected with a Justice League Universe, despite Warner Bros. saying that a JLA film is the studios top priority.  Some ‘in the bizz’ of course say that this is because the studio thinks Snyder helming the project is a huge risk, after the god-awful job he did on Sucker Punch.  Snyder, who has directed other comic-book adaptations like 300, is an idiot, and has an aggregate rottentomatoes score of 54%.  Meaning that if directing movies is like taking a class, he failed.  Clearly Warner Bros. figured out that they hired a moron to reboot the most iconic superhero of all time and tried to damage control by disconnecting the project from their future aspirations (a JLA film).  Who knows, this imbecile could get REALLY lucky and turn out a DECENT film, in which case Warner Bros. would probably change their mind and use the film as solid footing for a JLA movie.  Solid footing that they desperately need.  Man of Steel‘s release date has been pushed back to Summer 2013.

Thunderous Diplomacy

The Avengers Trailer (released last week) was downloaded over 10 million times in a 24 hour period, smashing previous records for trailers.apple.com.  The Marvel Team followed up such exciting fan-fare with a strong presence at New York Comic Con, where they discussed filming and shot some never-before-seen footage.  If you’re a closet nerd like I am, or just a straight-up nerd, you can watch the full NYCC Avengers panel here.
Tom Hiddleston somewhat dominates the panel as people seem to really love his portrayal of supervillain Loki.  The panel ends with Kevin Fiege (Marvel’s President) talking about Marvel moving into what he refers to as ‘phase two‘.
While a DC/Warner Bros. Justice League of America film is a looming threat for Marvel, The Dark Knight rises is an immediate one, as many predict that it will beat out the Avengers at the summer box office.  Many argue that Chris Nolan’s ‘rooted-in-reality‘ darker, more gritty tone is much more accessible to audiences than the sci-fi otherworldly aspects of the Avengers.
If this be true, Marvel’s woes with DC/Warner Bros. would seemingly be over after The Dark Knight Rises seeing as Batman is the only ‘superhero’ without any actual superpowers.  Indeed it would be difficult to make a gritty, ‘rooted-in-reality’ film about Superman.  DC/Warner Bros. however, is trying.
Christopher Nolan is undoubtedly the biggest power player that DC/Warner Bros. has access to, and although he’s done with Batman after TDKR, he is artistically and financially attached to other DC/Warner Bros. projects, including Man of Steel.  It seems obvious that if DC/Warner Bros. wants to actually beat out Marvel in Hollywood it is absolutely paramount that they stick to the realistic tone that has been wildly successful for Christopher Nolan and The Dark Knight franchise.
That being said, let’s take a look at Marvel’s most otherworldly superhero, the Asgardian God of Thunder: Thor.
Thor Odinson is the Crown Prince of the mystical realm of Asgard.  Our dear friend Thor is based off of the Norse God of Thunder, and acts accordingly.  A brave and mighty warrior Thor won many battles as a child, growing headstrong and proud.  In his arrogance, Thor put his realm and people on the brink of war after breaking a truce with Asgard’s enemies the Frost Giants.  Teaching his son a lesson in humility, Thor’s father Odin banished him to earth, and stripped him of his powers.  Thor came back humble, gentle, empathetic, and sympathetic to his fellow man.  Altruistic, enthusiastic, inspirational, and yet fiercely independent, Thor is undoubtedly a Champion Idealist.  Indeed Thor’s high-spirited attitude and warm enthusiasm for defending his realm is often mistaken for arrogance, a typical problem with most Champions.  In true Idealist fashion, Thor was only able to wield his hammer Mjolnir ‘the day that great deeds of selfless valor had proved him worthy of it’.  Indeed only those ‘pure of heart‘ are able to wield Thor’s mystical hammer.  A hopeless romantic, Thor fell deeply in love with the Goddess Sif before the age of 20.  Certainly Thor has several deep love interests over his Godly life span (including that of Jane Foster seen in the film) Sif however being his main squeeze.  Thor has undoubtedly proven himself as self-sacrificing over the years, most notably in the subject of his mischievous kid-brother Loki.  Indeed Loki has made countless attempts at Thor’s life, but Thor however always spares Loki, hoping (to no avail) that Loki has learned his lesson.  Indeed Thor has tireless faith in his fellow man, and time and time again Thor is sacrificing himself to save innocent people from Loki or any other dangers for that matter, as he will no doubt do in The Avengers.
Quote1.png Even the life of a Thunder God can offer no greater satisfaction than this! For I have helped a fellow man! Quote2.png

Thor Odinson (Earth-616)
Quote1.png We are gods, ’tis our purpose to set aright the path of lesser beings. Quote2.png

Thor Odinson (Earth-616)
Spoilerish: Marvel head honcho Kevin Fiege discussed Loki’s purported ‘alien army‘ saying that “it’ll be extremely extremely large and something that links not only into the movies we’ve made but the movies we’re going to make.  So it’s a big play that we’re not quite ready to talk about.”
This hint/suggestion of course goes hand-in-hand with theories that Loki’s army will indeed be the Skrull army from the comics.  If you don’t know what that is, then you’re probably normal.  Anyway this goes hand-in-hand with the ‘otherworldiness‘ described above.
The question is will such ‘alien army’, otherwordly concepts ultimately win over audiences or disconnect them?  Which would you rather see, a team of superheroes battling alien armies?  Or a vigilante billionaire fight a bad-ass prison-escapee on drugs?  Stay tuned as the Marvel/Disney vs. DC/Warner Bros. battle for Hollywood dominance rages on.