Archives for posts with tag: The Dark Knight Rises

Two Days One Night

Deux Jours, Une Nuit is a dreary and mundane French “art” film directed by Belgium’s Dardenne brothers. Marion Cotillard, whom American audiences may remember as the femme fatale Miranda in The Dark Knight Rises, stars as Sandra, a working mother whose poor psychological health has kept her at home and away from her job for some time. In her absence, her boss has given her coworkers an offer they find hard to refuse: either take Sandra back at their present wage rate, or agree to terminate her in exchange for a raise for everyone else. Due to irregularities in the circumstances of their initial decision, which has (unsurprisingly) gone against her, the workers are to be given a chance to hold a second vote. Sandra now has one weekend – the two days and one night of the title – to locate and approach each of her coworkers to convince them to take her back and forfeit the promised raise.

Nothing about Sandra, who suffers from depression and spends most of the movie moping, despairing, and gobbling Xanax tablets, is particularly interesting, and one suspects that this is intentional; she stands for the common person who is too often forgotten. Scenes of her intermittently breaking down and being encouraged by her sensitive husband (Fabrizio Rongione) to persevere and not to give up on her peers and their dormant capacity for selflessness are, unfortunately, somewhat repetitive, and not the strongest material to support an entire feature film. What ultimately saves and elevates Two Days, One Night above the level of tedium is the earnestness of the film’s key performances.

[WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS]

3.5 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Two Days, One Night is:

6. Anti-American. The selfish Julien (Laurent Caron), a collaborationist co-conspirator with the workplace management, wears a “USA” patch on his shirt, perhaps signifying his sympathy with neoliberalism.

5. Anti-marriage. Sandra’s coworker Anne (Christelle Cornil) determines to leave her husband after years of being bullied.

4. Anti-drug. Sandra’s abuse of Xanax is worrying to her husband, whose concerns are shown to be warranted when she attempts suicide with an overdose.

3. Pro-union. The filmmakers, in an interview featured on the Criterion Blu-ray, say that their intent was to illustrate the “savagery” of companies whose workforces are not unionized. “We thought that with a nonunion company, we’d be closer to the raw truth of the social situation people experience today.”

2. Ostensibly anti-capitalistic, with workers pitted against each other by capital.

1. Dysgenic, pro-immigration, and crypto-corporate. Two Days, One Night is fundamentally disingenuous and misleading in framing the plight of the western worker as an individual rather than a national-racial dilemma. People are, of course, individuals on one level of their experience; but the inundation of European and European-descended peoples with Third World undesirables is precisely what has suppressed the typical worker’s wages and standard of living. In the end, when the tables are turned, and Sandra has the option of taking her job back on the stipulation that Alphonse (Serge Koto), an African, will be terminated, viewers are expected to be inspired that Sandra, playing the good goy, makes the wrong decision and sacrifices her own livelihood to save the congoid. Two Days, One Night goes out of its way to depict non-white immigrants as gentle, helpful souls and credits to their new communities, and even includes an African doctor (Tom Adjibi) who saves Sandra’s life after her overdose. To this extent, then, the film promotes a de facto corporate-state agenda.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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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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Those following Ideological Content Analysis from its inception in 2012 may have noticed a quickening harshness and radicalization of the perspective of the author of these reviews, and a more aggressive willingness to confront the ugly. Looking back at some of those posts of two years ago in the light of subsequent revelations, he realizes with some embarrassment the inadequacy of several of his earlier analyses.

One case that particularly grieves him is his comparatively safe approach to discussing The Dark Knight Rises (2012), a film which – he is now convinced – is of the utmost significance to those sensitive to the Jewish Question. The revaluation came as the result of watching – yes, he is not afraid to confess – a YouTube video by conspiracy hound MrGeorgeJettison (also known as Jim How and Pmtmr). Jettison’s asides and embellishments are admittedly somewhat silly, but his central insight – that billionaire Batman (Christian Bale) stands for Jewish power, and that Bane (Tom Hardy), rather than merely being a socialist demagogue, represents the resistance to this power – is entirely convincing.

Bane is a paranoid Jewish money master’s idea of a populist, a man of the people bent on breaking the internationalist financial power that has its capital in New York (depicted as Gotham in the film). He represents a conflation of leftist class warfare politics and the threat of a National Socialist awakening, falling somewhere between Zuccotti Park and Nuremberg. His cult of fanatical followers, furthermore, looks forward to a spiritual experience they significantly call “the fire”, no doubt with reference to the “Holocaust“.

Bane’s revolution is the Gentile Spring, an impertinence prompting the bat-like avenger, a vampiric profiteer of the military-industrial complex, to swoop to the rescue of his fellow financial predators on Wall Street when Bane essays a program that can be interpreted as a monetary reform. Batman, who suffers the loss of his fortune as a result of Bane’s activities, is a formidable creature of the night who relies on secrecy for his effectiveness, so that Bane’s discovery of his identity and nocturnal nature poses a very real threat to Batman’s existence and that of his parasitic kind.

Also significant is Miranda (Marion Cotillard), a character later revealed to be one of Bane’s collaborators. She is Middle Eastern in origin, grew up in appallingly harrowing prison conditions – much like Palestinians since the Nakba – and can be seen to personify the righteous vengeance of militant Islam. Actress Marion Cotillard was almost certainly cast in this role because of the mole she sports in the center of her forehead, a feature bearing some resemblance to the zabiba, or “prayer bump” on the foreheads of pious Muslims resulting from repeated bowing to the ground.

Marion Cotillard in The Dark Knight Rises

Marion Cotillard, terrorist temptress

What becomes apparent from The Dark Knight Rises is that the Jews fear a united front against Talmudic supremacy – a coalition of western man and Arab against the vampire power that dictates policies from Gotham. This being the case, one question remains.

Bane, where art thou?

In Shoot ‘Em Up, Hollywood gave audiences a new, health-conscious kind of action hero in Clive Owen’s gunman who chooses to gnaw on carrots rather than Clint Eastwood’s cigars.  Now Premium Rush continues and develops the healthy hero trend, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s courier Wilee riding a bike instead of tooling around in a pollution-and-noise-producing auto like the Batmobile or Mad Max‘s Main Force Patrol Interceptor.  The bicycle messengers of New York City, it turns out, actually lead perilously exciting lives and emerge as unsung heroes of sport and private enterprise while also menacing mainstream traffic.

Gordon-Levitt, who against the odds has left behind TV sitcom cutedom to break into mature, masculine lead roles in a major way this summer, stands a chance to become one of the action heroes of Generation Y based on his likeable turns in Premium Rush, The Dark Knight Rises, and – we’re hoping – in his upcoming pairing with Bruce Willis in Looper, hitting screens in September.  Gordon-Levitt’s Wilee is a new kind of hero, a far cry from the Stallones and Schwarzeneggers of yesteryear; he’s philosophical, triumphing through (mostly) non-violent athleticism, split-second risk-taking, and hypothetical physics-informed bicycling strategy.

He needs everything in his physical and mental arsenal when he finds himself pursued across NYC by a bike cop and a crooked police detective villainously named Monday (Michael Shannon, who resembles a young Malcolm McDowell both facially and in intensity) in a feature-length chase setup that recalls Night of the Juggler‘s use of the city’s streets.  Like that film, Premium Rush never lets up and, in short, delivers what the title advertises.  5 stars.  Highly recommended entertainment.

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Premium Rush is:

5. Multiculturalist.  Wilee receives much-needed aid from a multiracial horde of his bike messenger colleagues.

4. Pro-immigration.  Wilee’s “premium rush” delivery will help a Chinese mother bring her son to the U.S.

3. Multiply pro-miscegenation.

2. Anti-police.  Detective Monday is a vicious, corrupt murderer who abuses his authority.  Other police, even while well-meaning and simply trying to do their jobs, act as pesky antagonists toward the hero throughout the film.

1. Green.  Apart from the glorification of Wilee’s choice of transportation, NYC’s hybrid mass transit system also puts in a cameo.

The Dark Knight Rises is flawed, but can hardly be faulted for not giving its all.  If anything, it feels like too much movie squeezed into too little time, so that nearly every scene in this long but fast-moving film feels abbreviated.  It probably would have needed to be at least twice its length to develop all of its ideas and tangents satisfactorily, and I wouldn’t have minded at all if that had been the case.  A gloomy, brooding opus with adult themes, this is by no means a superhero film for the kiddies, and it may not leave you with a smile on your face; it will, however, give you a lot to consider.  I give it 4.5 of 5 stars for its ambition, atmosphere, and awesomeness of vision.  So much power has never before been generated by the simple sight of an underdog climbing a wall in combination with rousing music.

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that The Dark Knight Rises is:

7. Mildly pro-green.  Bruce Wayne looks forward to the day when a clean energy source can be safely unveiled for public consumption.

6. Feminist.  Catwoman repeatedly allows men to underestimate her and then takes advantage of them.

5. State-skeptical.  Authorities are too often given to self-aggrandizement and poor judgments.  The sinister Dent Act, meanwhile, has ushered in draconian measures to fight crime.

4. Pro-police.  Despite the above note, police are depicted as mostly admirable and self-sacrificing heroes.  They are, however, human, and some are prone to terrible errors.

3. Pro-vigilante.  Police aren’t always enough.

2. Persistent in perpetuating the idea that angry white males pose our scariest terrorist threat – with which many, after the recent massacre, would probably concur.

1. Capitalist.  Despite Michael Savage’s ignorant assertion that responsibility for the Aurora massacre belongs to this film and to Hollywood, “the ones who gave us Obama”, The Dark Knight Rises is actually a cautionary tale about the bankruptcy of class warfare politics and where it leads a society.  Despite the initial, naive flirtation of some characters with wealth redistribution of one sort or another – burglaress Catwoman has no sympathy for the rich, and some police are even reluctant to intervene when Bane targets Gotham’s stock exchange – the romantic illusions crumble when socialism shows its true colors in practice.

Bane, an eloquent fraud who poses as a messianic revolutionary but is actually a former mercenary and nihilistic madman, promises “hope” (with a capital H, perhaps?) to the people of Gotham while leading them over the brink and into moral anarchy and authoritarian red terror with his unquestioning lynch mob of slavish occupiers (capital O, perhaps?).  The only thing missing is the guillotine, with a punitive stretch of (metaphorically?) thin ice substituting.  The Dark Knight Rises favors redistribution, but only of the strictly voluntary variety.  Bruce Wayne, the film’s representative billionaire, is not only a hero and a formidable philanthropist, but also demonstrates the fluid membership of the 1% when his fortune is dashed in one fell swoop.  There are other hues and complexities to the class question as treated in this story, but the general tendency of the film’s sympathies is clear.

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