Archives for posts with tag: Charlize Theron

The Ideological Content Analysis 30 Days Putsch:

30 Reviews in [almost] 30 Days

DAY TWENTY-NINE

Mad Max Fury Road

This might be the new punk on the block and so not pack the nostalgic wallop of a Road Warrior, an Escape from New York, or even a Hell Comes to Frogtown; but technically and in terms of its crazed epic scope and its grandiosity, Mad Max: Fury Road is the greatest post-apocalyptic action movie ever made. Viewers able to hold their noses through the feminist rubbish gauntlet will enjoy the wildest ride of their lives, with Bane himself, Tom Hardy, stepping capably into the boots and onto the gas pedal where the great Mel Gibson left off.

5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that this frenetic and insanely brutal movie is:

3. Green. Charlize Theron hopes to escape with a harem to the “green place” where she grew up, but finds it hopelessly polluted when she gets there. Anthropogenic climate change, an opening montage suggests, is to blame for the sorry state of the world.

2. Anti-white. In the “war boys”, Fury Road offers viewers a cartoon version of identitarians: unhealthy, exaggeratedly pale skinheads whose unprovoked berserker raids, they hope, will earn them a throne of honor in Valhalla. The continued casting of race traitoress Charlize Theron in this or any movie, furthermore, must be considered anti-white.

1. Misandrist. In this adventure, everybody’s favorite road-ripping desert nomad gets mixed up with a bunch of escaped concubines hoping to find a better life for themselves in the wilderness with a tribe of (presumably lesbian) Amazons. Previously, their entire existence has been a degrading matter of subservient boredom, sex slavery, and serial pregnancies. This is the future to which all women are doomed if they fail to rise up and revolutionarily expropriate the means of reproduction!

[Readers might also be interested in Germanicus Fink’s reflections on Mad Max: Fury Road.]

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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A Million Ways to Die in the West

 

Central to Post-American Hollywood’s hate affair with European-American heritage is its especial loathing for the rugged, expansive tradition of the masculine Old West, a tired spite that found expression in Brokeback Mountain (2005), Django Unchained (2012), and last year’s flop Lone Ranger remake, and now throws a new shovelful of Marxist manure onto the pile with A Million Ways to Die in the West, the latest directorial effort of Family Guy auteur Seth MacFarlane, whose last foray into feature filmmaking was the less heartless and more palatable Ted (2012).

The western spoof was never a genre that held much interest for this reviewer. After Wild Gals of the Naked West (1962), Little Big Man (1970), Thank You Mask Man (1971), Blazing Saddles (1974), and so many others, was there really such high demand for another one of these things? Worst is that A Million Ways to Die in the West misses even the broad target of this underachieving subgenre and fails to elicit a single laugh – with, perhaps, the brief exception of the absurd sight of Gilbert Gottfried dressed up to look like Abraham Lincoln.

MacFarlane, who stars as an Arizona sheep farmer, lacks the charisma and color to carry a gonzo film of this sort, and might have done better to cast Seth Rogen or some other funny Jew in the lead. Monument Valley, at least, was never more gorgeous, and sets off race traitoress Charlize Theron’s earthy beauty to nice effect. Liam Neeson, too, is adequate as the principal villain, while Sarah Silverman is convincing as (what a stretch!) a brainless whore. No coup of casting, however, could offset the fact that A Million Ways to Die in the West is too explicitly nasty, self-aware, and mean-spirited to evoke any genuine mirth.

2 out of 5 stars. ICA’s advice: watch Shane (1953) again instead. That is, unless the viewer is absolutely determined to see a sheep urinating in Seth MacFarlane’s face or Doogie Howser, M.D., dumping noisy splats of diarrhea into a Stetson.

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that A Million Ways to Die in the West is:

13. Pro-miscegenation. Giovanni Ribisi dirties himself with Jewish floozy Sarah Silverman.

12. Anti-capitalistic. Merchants receive unfavorable depictions in an arrogant mustache cosmetics salesman (Doogie Howser) and a quack medicine hawker (Dennis Haskins). Other representative forms of commerce and industry are prostitution and mining, which leads to health problems.

11. Anti-tobacco. MacFarlane has a coughing fit when he tries his first cigarette.

10. Anti-Arab. Theron, after hearing him do a mock rendition of an Islamic prayer, is relieved to learn that MacFarlane has no Arabian ancestry.

9. Anti-slavery (i.e., pro-yawn). Django himself, Jamie Foxx, shows up in a cameo to murder the proprietor of a “runaway slave” shooting game at a fair.

8. Anti-human. Among the sights MacFarlane expects the viewer to find hilarious are a family catching on fire and men being shot, gored by a bull, and smashed into bloody bits by a falling block of ice.

7. Pro-slut. Sarah Silverman with a gob of semen stuck to her cheek. How charming.

6. Anti-Christian. Parkinson’s disease is sarcastically described as one of the ways God shows His love. A pastor and his son are murderers. Silverman plays a prostitute who bangs ten customers “on a slow day” but refuses to compromise her Christian beliefs by having premarital sex with her fiance.

5. Pro-castration. MacFarlane’s girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) dumps him, mainly because the guy is such a wimpy, needy schmuck with no potential. The movie’s somewhat ambivalent solution to his woes, however, is not for the hero to turn himself into a stud and a macho gunslinger, but for him to become more open-minded, study under the tutelage of a feminist, take drugs, and embrace diversity. Sissy, progressive, ethnomasochistic men like MacFarlane and Ribisi are the characters the viewer is supposed to like, while traditionally masculine types are antagonists, with rough-loving outlaw Liam Neeson getting a daisy stuffed in his ass. Men, the message seems to be, ought not to toughen up so much as opt for moderation in wimpiness.

4. Gun-ambivalent. A Million Ways to Die in the West is naturally eager to depict the typical gun owner as a rowdy Caucasian who likes nothing better than to find an excuse to put a bullet through a stranger. The film finds itself in a bit of a quandary, however, in that it is difficult to tell an entertaining story about the Wild West without making use of heroic gunplay. As a compromise, the film features an unlikely, reluctant hero in MacFarlane, a man with no natural talent for shooting and who avoids confrontation when possible, but does learn (from a woman) how to handle a gun in order to protect himself from all of the horrible, unprogressive white men in town. A Million Ways to Die in the West appears to suggest that firearms are best left as a monopoly of responsible feminists like Charlize Theron.

3. Pro-drug. MacFarlane and Theron share a marijuana cookie. The hero later attains “true courage” by drinking a psychedelic concoction given to him by an Indian tribe. Group freakout sessions, explains their wise chief (Wes Studi), constitute the way to “true happiness”.

2. Feminist, anti-marriage, and anti-family. Theron heroically liberates herself from bossy, abusive husband Liam Neeson. MacFarlane’s parents are lifeless sourpusses who never show him any affection. Ribisi, meanwhile, mentions being molested by an uncle. (cf. nos. 5 and 8)

1. Anti-American. “The West fuckin’ sucks.”

Essential viewing for any fan of Alien, Ridley Scott’s new exploration of classic themes alludes to the director’s earlier film in both explicit and subtle ways, beginning with the slow appearance onscreen of the title, starting with two bars where Alien began with one, signaling that this comprises a second installment of a vision and a set of ideas with continuity.  As in Alien, a vessel on a commercial voyage runs afoul not only of unexpected surprises and evidences of life on arrival at a distant destination, but also the secrets being kept from the crew by their employers.  Prometheus is visually captivating and philosophically rich from start to finish, definitely a thinking person’s alien creature flick, and rewards repeated viewings.  Momentum builds irresistibly throughout, with unanswered questions maintaining constant tension and finally leaving the audience yearning for Prometheus 2: The New Batch.  Noomi Rapace’s presence greatly enhances the pleasantness factor of this effectively frightening and often highly revolting film.  Charlize Theron is also unnerving in her icy supporting role.  5 stars.  Highly recommended.

Ideological Content Analysis, meanwhile, indicates Prometheus is:

3. Pro-miscegenation.  The pungency of this aspect is mitigated somewhat by the observation that, from the standpoint of one interpretation, both of those who partake are punished in one way or another.  I also noticed a slyly mischievous segue that hadn’t occurred to me on the first viewing. Immediately after the scene of suggested miscegenation, one of the scientists, seeing menacing slime oozing out of alien canisters, wonders aloud, “What’s all this black stuff?”  Actually surprising that got left in.

2. Pro-choice, making a thrilling medical emergency out of a zany abortion.  (This is actually my favorite set piece and has to be seen.)

1. Antiwar.

Not a genre of film I usually enjoy, this fantasy outing is still nicely realized for what it is: an atmospheric, visually impressive, and sometimes humorous dose of high escapism.  A few too many fairies and computer-generated monsters for my taste, but the pacing, action, and attractive cast make it an easy piece of pixie dander to swallow.  The dwarves are pretty tough, actually.  I was thinking during the movie, gee, a couple of these dwarves could be midget twins of Bob Hoskins and Ray Winstone – and then, when the credits came up, lo and behold, it really was Bob Hoskins and Ray Winstone, turned into dwarves by the magic of computerized Hollywood hooliganism!  There’s more quality scary Charlize Theron (cf. Prometheus) to be had here, as well, but this time way over the top and looking gross for much of her screen time, though always exquisitely (if outlandishly) costumed.  To the film’s credit, however, the evil queen character is allowed some human sympathy and emotional vulnerability.  4 swashbuckling stars out of 5 for the big screen experience, though I don’t expect to return to this film very often.

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Snow White and the Huntsman is:

3. Feminist.  The villain is a woman with self-defeating cosmetic preoccupations (and by implication an unhealthy desire to please men to her own detriment), while the heroine self-actualizes by donning a man’s armor and fighting and killing, thus redeeming this otherwise hateful hunk of Eurocentric sludge.

2. Discriminatory, hiring overgrown actors to portray little people.

1. Racist, promoting the reactionary aesthetic delusion of pale Caucasian beauty, with no beauty of color as counterpoint.

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