Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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I just watched the film "Two Popes" on Netflix. I liked it a lot and give Thumbs Up. I'm not a Catholic, and I have many problems with the papacy as an institution and with the Vatican as a force of exploitation in the world. But I viewed the film based on the disclaimer that comes at the end that even though there are names of real people, it is a fictionalization and should not be taken as history. You will see many stories "fact checking" the historical tidbits in the film, but I say that is entirely beside the point.
The film should be seen from the archetypal perspective, like Star Wars or Hamlet, a work of fiction that tells us something about ourselves, not about history or other people.
Here, is a story of mutually assured redemption between two all too human men who are changing with the times, not compromising with them. The titular characters, Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins 82) and Jorge Bergoglio/Pope Francis (Johathan Pryce 72) are played by two of the best actors of our generation. The writing is well crafted and dips from painful drama to light comedy and tears of joy. This is not a story about a church or a religion, but about two men confronting the causes and conditions that led them to their positions and how their mutual vulnerability to each other opens the door to their mutual redemption of spirit.
I give it Ten Stars on IMDB and Five Tomatoes Rotten Tomatoes. Maybe later I will have second thoughts about rating it so high, but this is my honest emotional response to the film, not to the history, whatever that might be.
Yes, that was virtually completely rotten with no plot, no dialogue, no character development, and just an overall big waste of time.
I'm surprised but not entirely by the audience reaction. This is a thinking pereson's film and I'd bet the audience reviews here are from people wanting simple answers if they can't get car chases and explosions. Yes the film has some flaws, which is why I give it a 4 out of 5 stars. However, the film gets directly to the heart of our dysfunctional society. I suppose that makes many viewers deeply uncomfortable because this film doesn't scapegoat like the Democrats and Republicans do and it does not blame anyone but ourselves, the American citizen, for the state of our nation. Three cheers for Michael Moore for holding up a great big mirror to our country..
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. What I liked most about Avengers: Infinity War was the moral ambiguity. It is a variation of the lifeboat story: In an over crowded life boat becoming swamped, do you throw some people overboard in order to save the others, or does everyone drown together? Most reviews I have seen ignore this central plot of the film and instead focus on the characters (including which live and which die), roller-coaster action, computer graphics, etc. .
Thanos, the putative villain, is the one with his eye on the real problem facing sentient beings throughout the universe. Thanos is the only one who seems to see that the problem is rampant suicidal greed and exploitation of the environment of every planet that sentience beings occupy, or at least he is the only one who acknowledges that something must be done about it sooner rather than later. Yes, his final solution is terrible and drastic, but who else is offering any kind of solution? In the absence of any other actual solutions, the purely logical solution of culling the herds to manageable sustainable size makes rational sense. And Thanos knows that such decisions are usually made by the political elites who control the planets (as in the classic film Soylent Green), so Thanos enforces the only fair process of strict random selection for which half lives and which is culled.
On the other hand, the one not wearing the Infinity Glove, the so-called heroes, the Avengers, don't have any solution, if they even see or acknowledge the problem. The Avengers are the enforcers of planetary capitalism and protectors of the status quo of the elite's greed creating climate change, ecological disaster, and species destruction. Instead of addressing and answering the question that Thanos is asking, by offering an alternative strategy, the Avengers just assert Thanos is wrong and fight back to stop him.
This is a delicious plot twist wherein the Avengers and Thanos are playing on a morally level playing field with each having good and bad arguments in their favor or against them.
With so many killed by the end of the film, we expect some kind of time twist to undo what has been done, and that leaves the cryptic teaser at the end where we are wondering who Fury's SOS signal went to?
But also, we are left wondering if the Avengers will even understand that Thanos has as least crafted "a" solution to suicidal extinction by his forced sustainability through population reduction. Because isn't that the argument made by capitalism, which claims that any force or argument for sustainability is inherently evil because it prevents the "freedom' of capitalists to exploit and extract as many natural resources as they can before irredeemably fouling the nest of our spaceship earth? As Michelle West reminded us at the White House Correspondent's Dinner, Flint still does not have clean water! And the oil pipelines are already spilling. .
The writers of he Avengers have written themselves into a most difficult dilemma. What better solution to the problem of sustainability than that created by Thanos can the Avengers offer? If the Avengers merely restore the status quo ante supporting rapacious capitalism, then the series will have been a tremendous exercise in futility, and Thanos will be proven to have been the real hero.
This is a surprising film that conveys a Korean perspective on unification much different than what we get from the US media. In an action packed spy thriller, the story is the humanity of two agents from the North and South learning to trust and even like each other as the symbol that against all odds, unification of Korea is not just a pipe dream. There are subtle and not so subtle digs and critique of the USA's role in the Korean problem. The theme of the film is that the bad guys on both sides are the people who are using the division of Korea for their own personal power and profit and that is much worse than the division itself.