Saturday, May 23, 2015

Tomorrowland Movie Review

                                     Looking into Future World with Hope.

George Clooney, Brad Bird, Britt Robertonson, & Hugh Laurie.
In this Walt Disney motion picture, hope, magic and fantasy come to life as a young inventor (George Clooney) travels to the Worlds Fair. During his adventure, he meets a girl and becomes infatuated with her. Clooney's character, Frank Walker brings a makeshift Electrolux-hacked jet pack to a famous inventor played by Hugh Laurie and Walker is told to buzz-off.  Likewise, the whiz-kid listens to the older adult, and discovers a secret way into this future world.     

Photos by: Walt Disney Pictures
In contrast, the movie goer is taken back to 2015, and is introduced to Casey (Britt Robertson), teenage daughter of a NASA engineer soon to be laid-off. Cunning, cute and clever, Casey receives a nifty little pin, and with one touch she in a huge golden wheat field. Beyond the horizon, awaits Tomorrowland while young Casey embarks on her own journey.  Lies and secrets consume the plot in this Brad Bird movie with a Wizard of Oz backdrop that meets Star Wars. It's a good thing that Disney was able to hold the copyrights from George Lucas.  Otherwise, those pimps and hyenas in the courtroom would be bitching and squabbling over intellectual property.

The movie zips by rather quickly with convincing characters and good dialog. Special effects hold good pacing as future robots try to hunt down Frank and Casey. Sure, there may have been a few holes in Bird's storyline. However, it's a movie and critical thinking is not allowed when you are enjoying a good film like Tomorrowland.  Afterward, the viewer infers a fable about feeding their inner wolves of desire. We learn that there is a good and bad wolf in each of us, and that which ever one is fed more, will be come stronger.
Tomorrow Land

In this final analysis, jet packs soar, hope is regained and a message of  social responsibility is revealed. This movie paradox may teach all of us a little something in our lives, and that it's okay to be a dreamer. As Willy Wonka once stated, " We are the music makers, and we are the dreamer of dreams."   With that in mind, we should keep dreaming for a better tomorrow land.


Friday, May 8, 2015

The Blues Brothers

Elwood & Jake Blues
In “The Blues Brothers,” crime, comedy and chaos will be carried out by Jake and Elwood Blues.  Set in a Chicago backdrop, the two brothers are on a quest to bring “The Band” back together after discovering that Saint Hellen’s of the Blessed Shroud Orphanage will be forced to close its doors, due to unpaid taxes. Jake and Elwood Blues break down racial barriers by revisiting the era of blues in music in this 1980 film with help of Animal House director John Landis. “The Blues Brothers” reveals a connection between spiritualty, music and the greater good of God.
Based on two Saturday Night Live characters, played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, viewers infer a symbol of hope as the lifeless gray iron gates open for Joliet Jake. Angels begin to sing as the light peeks more and more from the cold portal of incarceration to the warm light of freedom on his back.  The irony is the police car that recuses Jake to salvation. The golden sun is behind Jake Blues. He is greeted with love by his brother Elwood and now the director refers to the shining light as a metaphorical symbol of power, warmth and love.  According to Romans 7:8 “We know that the laws are spiritual and that sin we rule us as slaves.”  But what we do not know is that Jake is about to become free from sin once and for all.
Following The Blues Brothers to the south side of Chicago, they visit St. Hellen’s Orphanage and meet with The Penguin.  The nun’s real name is Sister Mary Stigmata and she is disturbed to lean that the Blues Brothers have become degenerates. After Sister Mary smashes a ruler over Elwood’s head she states, “You are such a disappointing pair and I prayed so hard for you.  It saddens and hurts me that the two young men whom I’ve raised to believe in the Ten Commandments have returned to me as two thieves with filthy mouths and bad attitudes.” Sister Mary heeds warning to The Blues Brothers and for them not to comeback until they redeem themselves.
Subsequently, Jake and Elwood travel to a church called the Triple Rock. Some negative reviews may scoff at the brilliance of this movie magic. For example, New York Times writer Janet Maslin, argues that there were too many movie extras and that this “hollowness” did not “come cheap” while making this $30 million motion picture. After reviewing the facts, the cost of this movie brought joy and laughter.  On the other hand, Raytheon Corp has invested over $150 million to develop the Patriot missile system. Once this War Drum rolls out, there will be the hollowness of greed and bombs do not make people laugh.  

Steven Spielburg as: Cook County Assessor (1980)
This motion picture uses the musicians in cameo roles and devotes itself otherwise to a conventional, poorly rendered plot. The whole movie supposedly hinges on Jake and Elwood Blues's efforts to raise money to pay taxes on a church orphanage. However, without those cameos by Frank Oz,Steven Speilburg, Chaka Khan, and Mr. T, they may never have been 1980’s icons in the first place.  For example, if we look at The Bodyguard (1992) starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, Gary Kemp’s character Sy Spector portrayed himself as a seedy, envious manager. Kemp’s personae worked for this role and is a perfect example of casting smaller roles for a larger pictures. And what about the Cook County Treasurer’s  Department, Mr. Arthur T. Bourne, played by Stephen Spielberg? This powerful director who made Jaws performs a small role at the end of the film. Just like Jaws, the big shark (Spielberg) is saved for the end. Metaphorically we could say Stephen Spielberg was the shark that was brought out at the end of the movie to suggest the Big vs. Small factor in this film. 

Every character had point and the characters played their roles well. This was excellent storytelling, making the movie work!  For example, we learned about freedom’s light once Jake is released from prison. Next, is God’s light from Triple Rock. This type of light can only be seen in the hearts of those who believe in the higher power.  In contrast, in “Blues, Love and Politics,” Cornell West mentions the distinction between Blues and Jazz music as being childlike. With that same approach we should examine The Blues Brothers in the same childlike fashion. We know that cars can’t fly, blind people cannot use fire arms and vehicles definitely cannot fall apart after completing a mission.
The conflict starts once Elwood Blues sees his light in Park Ridge, Illinois. Everything is fine until Elwood Blues ignores the red traffic signal and the ripple effect begins. Brilliantly written, the red light is the last metaphor before the mission of God can continue. We learn that The Blues Mobile is a 1974 Dodge police car. According to Elwood, “It’s got cop tires, cop shocks and cop motor” (Blues).  However, looking at the engineering prospective for this unleaded fuel beast is a black and white 4-door sedan body type. Weight, 3600 pounds. Speed, zero to 60 in 15.7 seconds on a quarter mile race track.  The automobiles, staged accidents and onscreen destruction have been adapted from the silent Keystone Cop shorts.   (Newland) These screen car crashes kept the pacing and demonstrate the hand of God at work.  In real life, Jake and Elwood Blues would have died in these accidents.

In contrast, there are realistic attributes in this motion picture. Next we have Carry Fisher (an ex-girlfriend) trying to hunt Jake down and blow him away to kingdom come.   Let’s review the traffic stop located in Park Ridge (Nelson Funeral Home). Research shows this chase to be approximately 40 miles away. Calculations show that traveling at 120 mph down Interstate 294 would only take 3 minutes to reach the Harvey Mall.  This in theory is possible with no traffic or construction. Elwood demonstrates his superior skills as a driver. Next is the parking skills when they go see Mr. Fabulous who works at  the Schale Paul restaurant.  
Observing the cast for this 30 million dollar motion picture,   The resolution is easy to explain.  The band is paid and offered a recording contract w/ Pollygram Records, but let’s not spoil the ending just yet. The move goer sees that it all worked out and that mission was successful. In the long run, nothing is great than the power of God. Sure, this may have been just a movie. However, you do not need to be a Blues Brother to perform a miracle. The random acts of kindness can created a ripple effect of small blessing that will tune into miracle tsunami.

This motion picture is a great example of Big vs Small as the two blues musicians escape with hijinks with major conflict throughout the this film.  this was a fun movie to watch, with great music. They just do not make great pictures like this anymore.