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

Of the Greatest Generation

He never wanted to talk about what he had seen.

He was typical of his generation, they just didn’t talk about it.

That is strange because he made a good living by talking. Or more accurately, reporting what he thought. He was a writer above all else. He was probably the most famous curmudgeon of all time.

He would complain. Like clockwork. For nigh thirty three years, every week, for a few minutes. Probably the best and funniest complainer on American TV.

Continue reading Of the Greatest Generation

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

Risky Business

A Golden Boy of business and politics, until now. He was a darling of his political party, for he was generous with his money. He was a man of influence, until now. Now, I doubt the party wants to take his call.

Bold and daring at heart, and ever-optimistic that things will go their way, Promoters will take tremendous risks to get what they want, and seem exhilarated by walking close to the edge of disaster.” Please Understand Me II

He has taken risks all his life. Starting as a bond trader in Goldman Sachs, he rose through the ranks to become co-CEO. With his help the company went public, he became worth $400 million. Losing to Hank Paulson, for the CEO job of Goldman, he switched to politics. He wasn’t shy in using some of that money he gotten to get elected as first as a US Senator and then Governor of New Jersey. He spent over $62 million of his own money on his campaign, the most expensive Senate campaign in U.S. History.

Continue reading Risky Business

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)

I’m over my head, but it sure feels nice.

They had this mega-watt attraction, they could be charming as hell, and cold as ice.

“You just wanted to be around them,” she said to Oprah.

But, she had been angry.  She had been pissed off, too many times.  So she ended it.  No more games.

The second time, she had seen enough.

She was tough: a Crafter Artisan, very observant but not very self-reflective, and she was over her head.  She left him, she cut him off.  She didn’t want to think about, she couldn’t without going crazy.  She finally moved on.  She forgot.

Continue reading I’m over my head, but it sure feels nice.

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)

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