Archives for posts with tag: academia

arrival

Arrival is a more intimate alien visitation story than most owing to its sensitive lead performance from Amy Adams (Man of Steel’s Lois Lane playing another lover of extraterrestrials) as a distinguished linguist drafted by the U.S. government to communicate with the occupants of one of twelve alien spaceships that land around the world. Kill the Messenger’s Jeremy Renner appears as the physicist who assists her. Arrival features some highly stressful and fascinating sequences, but loses a little steam as its bankrupt moralism becomes evident.

[WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS]

4 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Arrival is:

5. Green. The extraterrestrials’ craft demonstrates that highly sophisticated technology can be developed to travel at high speeds without producing an ecological footprint.

4. Feminist. It is women with brains and feelings, not men with guns, who will win peace for the world, the film suggests. The protagonist’s daughter plays at being a sheriff, her mother having empowered her to believe that girls can fill traditionally masculine roles.

3. Neoconservative. Russia and China, not the U.S., threaten global security with their idiosyncratic saber-rattling. Mention is also made of the Amy Adams character having helped the military translate a recording of Farsi-speaking “insurgents”, connecting Iran with terrorism in audiences’ minds.

2. Pro-immigration. Arrival functions partly as an allegory about western anxieties of demographic displacement. This subtext is made explicit when the viewer is treated to an excerpt of a blowhard conservative talk show host complaining about the alien presence. Lucky for Earth, the undocumented ones come bearing the gift of advanced parapsychological technology.

1. Globalist. Renner’s physicist feels – correctly, as it turns out – that the earth’s safety depends on his work with Adams rather than anything the military can do. It is sensitive, scholarly anti-racist academics to whom the world must look in order to understand immigrants’ needs and desires and the ways in which all beings’ interests are intertwined. The appropriately octopus-like Heptapods – reminiscent of the Twelve Tribes of Israel – visit the planet in twelve massive ships in order to gift humanity with their nonlinear, brain-reconfiguring language, a sort of intergalactic Esperanto through which a one-world order will be brought about. Something vague is said about how the Heptapods will collect on the debt in 3,000 years, at which point something akin to a horrible plague will develop. Screenwriter Eric Heisserer thereby seems to acknowledge that the “gift” of globalism will ultimately result in decay and death of the host, but seems to expect the viewer to feel that the joy of experiencing nation-erasing Jew World Order parasitism will somehow be worth the price.

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

The Rewrite

Hugh Grant, never an actor this critic particularly liked, has become more palatable with age – tarnished, less handsome, and hence more accessible. These qualities are on fine display in The Rewrite, which reunites the leading man with Music and Lyrics writer-director Marc Lawrence. Grant is Keith Michaels, a has-been screenwriter who, failing to find new work, takes a job as a writer-in-residence at an unglamorous public university.

Irreverent and a womanizer, Keith finds a capable foil in snooty and arch Austen scholar Professor Weldon (sexy over-the-hill performer Allison Janney), who does what she can to bring his sojourn at the school to an end. Complicating Keith’s private life are amorous coed Karen (Bella Heathcote) and single mother Holly, the latter part enlivened by an astonishingly well-preserved Marisa Tomei, who exhibits wonderful chemistry with Grant.

Certain supporting characters, particularly among the students, may be too broadly drawn for all tastes, but each serves a purpose and is more or less amusing. Whiplash’s monstrous J.K. Simmons demonstrates his remarkable range here by essaying the instantly lovable role of Dr. Lerner, the avuncular head of the English department, while still-boyish Get a Life clown Chris Elliott turns in the expectedly funny turn as the university’s dweeby Shakespeare specialist.

A touching and sharp romantic comedy that transcends the ghetto of its genre, The Rewrite ought to appeal with equal charm to discriminating men and women moviegoers alike. Consistently interesting and rewatch-worthy, this one is highly recommended.

Keith Michaels (Hugh Grant) regales Dr. Weldon (Allison Janney) and Dr. Lerner (J.K. Simmons) with his unorthodox take on the merits of Jane Austen's body of work, drawing the scandalized glares of bystanders in the process.

Keith Michaels (Hugh Grant) regales Dr. Weldon (Allison Janney) and Dr. Lerner (J.K. Simmons) with his unorthodox take on the merits of Jane Austen’s body of work, drawing the scandalized glares of bystanders in the process.

5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that The Rewrite is:

10. Drug-ambivalent. Weed seems to be okay – with Keith, if not with Dr. Lerner – but the film’s attitude toward alcohol is more nuanced. Proving true the adage “in vino veritas”, Keith is overly frank in unfriendly company, and Holly feels obligated to drive him home in another instance. He is described as “trying to fill a spiritual vacancy with alcohol.” Fraternity hazing leads to the hospitalization of sci-fi nerd Billy Frazier (Andrew Keenan-Bolger). Notwithstanding all of this, a tipsy Hugh Grant remains very charming.

9. Pro-gay. “Are you a lesbian?” Keith asks Holly. “I wish,” she responds.

8. Anti-gun. “I was hoping you were pro gun control,” Keith says to Dr. Lerner.

7. Irreligious. Heaven is “a fairy tale designed to make a five-year-old boy go to sleep.”

6. Anti-slut. Keith’s brief fling with sexually experienced student Karen leads to disaster.

5. Anti-Semitic! 9/11 criminal Michael Chertoff’s body scanners, Keith suggests, are merely “cancer-causing cash conduits”.

4. Family-ambivalent. His wife, Keith says, was “smart enough to divorce me”. Karen hates her father. Balancing the story’s failed relationships, however, is Dr. Lerner’s lachrymose domestic bliss with his wife and several daughters.

3. Egalitarian. At stake is Keith’s initial conviction that talent cannot be taught – an assertion that the people-loving Holly intends to challenge. Falling on the side of nurture as opposed to nature, The Rewrite to this extent lends itself to the programs of leftist social engineers.

2. Pro-miscegenation. Keith, tasked with selecting his students based on the strength of their screenplay submissions, instead looks at their online profiles and stocks his roster with a bevy of multicolored cuties including an Asian, two negresses, and a Jewess. The viewer is given to understand at the end that an unexpected Jew-congoid hookup is imminent.

1. Sexist! Dr. Lerner diagnoses icy bitch Professor Weldon as “elitist, lonely, [and] miserable.” Keith, meanwhile, earns major Nazi shitlord points with this drunken faculty cocktail party rant:

Forgive me, but I’m just a little bit tired of female empowerment. […] Well, just, honestly, though, everything seems to be about female empowerment nowadays, you know. Any meeting I go to in Hollywood, someone says, “You know what we need? A kick-ass girl, that’d be a great twist.” Except every movie has a kick-ass girl, you know, some martial arts CGI slow motion woman who kicks the crap out of every man in her path. Can I tell you what would be truly innovative? A movie without a kick-ass girl, or better yet, a movie where a woman gets her ass kicked.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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Carney

Boston University Film Professor Ray Carney

Independent-minded film critic Ray Carney is famous – or notorious – for his iconoclastic views on the cinematic canon and what he considers the true cultural and psychological significance of the movies. He has found himself opposed, however, not simply by critical orthodoxy, but by an academic establishment he paints as disturbingly authoritarian, ideologically regimented, and increasingly Orwellian in its capacities for surveillance – all contributing to what Carney characterizes as an intellectually “chilling” effect on the academic environment. Particularly corrosive to intellectual integrity, of course, are the ubiquitous demands and appalling crudities of cultural Marxism, now the de facto religion of the western intelligentsia and consequently de rigueur in university programs. In the following blog post, Professor Carney responds with well-reasoned indignation to the robotic calls for increased “diversity” and posits the existence of two kinds of diversity: superficial racial and sexual diversity of the type trumpeted by the professional victimological shakedown artists; and, naturally dearer to Professor Carney’s heart, an intellectual diversity and tolerance for the minority viewpoint that he would expect to find held sacred in a healthier, less unimaginatively degenerate academia.

http://insidebostonuniversity.blogspot.com/2013/03/real-diversityfostering-and-protecting.html

Buckley

Master of conservative English prose, William F. Buckley, Jr.*

Conservative bloggers frequently will invoke “culture” and “civilization” in the midst of griping about the ravages being done to the West by the Left and the teeming hordes of the Untermenschen. Unfortunately, too many of these putative traditionalists express their arguments in such a slipshod fashion as to make only too painfully obvious in what base regard they actually hold their much-vaunted culture and civilization. Could any component be more central to a culture than the language in which its standard-bearers speak and write the books and laws that fix and transmit its essence from one generation to the next?

Why, then, do the writers for Stuff Black People Don’t Like and the Daily Kenn, men who perform a valuable service by making much neglected information available to order-oriented citizens, issue their thoughts in such disorderly sentences, demonstrating so little care for craft and for proofreading, a true mark of a writer’s respect for the culture and civilization he both expresses and hopefully bolsters with each of his public formulations? These two gentlemen, however, are hardly alone in a negligence that is particularly puzzling among those who worry that government-orchestrated Reconquista threatens to overrun and uproot America’s English-speaking heritage.

Conservatives already must bear the brunt of a popular impression, fostered largely by academia and a radical media consensus, and particularly current among the flippant Daily Show cohort, that they are brutish, intellectually backward, and so woefully incapable of matching or even understanding the subtle revolutions of the leftist thought collective. This being the case, it becomes the special responsibility of the rightist voice of dissent to express itself as carefully and purposefully as possible. As liberty-minded citizenship requires constant vigilance, so does the conservation of the European cultural inheritance necessitate a compositional discipline sadly lacking as one surveys the rakish-right blogosphere of today.

* UPDATE. After publishing this post with accompanying picture of William F. Buckley, a friend of your humble reviewer sent him this link to an unfavorable profile of Chairman Bill, presumably with the intention of chiding your humble reviewer for his poor choice of exemplars of “conservative English prose”:
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/bill_buckley128.html

To clarify, Ideological Content Analysis, being in sympathy with political incorrectness, with libertarianism, and with race realism, does not endorse the policy positions of Mr. Buckley, which tended in what came to be known as the neoconservative direction. Your humble reviewer does, however, feel that, at least in terms of his presentation, gravitas, and eloquent calculation of expression, he is the breed of charismatic figure conservatism arguably needs at this point.

Buckley, his shortcomings notwithstanding, was as charming a figure as any who ever appeared on television. It is the position of Ideological Content Analysis that even the ragged, self-consciously alternative Right ought to aspire to Buckley’s combination of catchiness and dignity of image. Admittedly, Buckley is a somewhat sinister illustration of how even previously exotic movements of ideas can attain popular currency through exceptional public relations – which is precisely why, at least with an eye to the superficial aspects of the Chairman Bill persona, the marginalized Right might benefit from emulating him.

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