Archives for posts with tag: The Terminator

Richard Spencer and Mark Brahmin discuss James Cameron’s films The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). Readers may want to compare this pair’s very insightful commentary with my remarks on Terminator: Genisys (2015).

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

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buzz-aldrin

Buzz Aldrin with Mickey Rooney

In 2002, Buzz Aldrin made the news again when he punched moon landing skeptic Bart Sibrel in front of Café Rodeo at the Luxe Hotel in Beverly Hills. Sibrel, making a nuisance of himself, had planted himself in Aldrin’s path and demanded that the astronaut swear on a Bible that he had landed on the moon in 1969. Aldrin’s reaction was that of a self-important and temperamental actor rather than that of a disciplined man of science. Aldrin discusses the episode in his 2009 autobiography, Magnificent Desolation.

Like most Americans, I’m quite skeptical about conspiracy theories. I’m someone who has dealt with the exact science of space rendezvous and orbital mechanics, so to have someone approach me and seriously suggest that Neil, Mike, and I never actually went to the moon – that the entire trip had been staged in a sound studio someplace – has to rank among the most ludicrous ideas I’ve ever heard. Yet somehow the media has given credence to some of the kooky people espousing such theories, and my fellow astronauts and I have had to put up with the consequences.1

Hollywood, indeed, alluded to the possibility of a faked lunar landing as early as the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, and the 1977 thriller Capricorn One concerns the cover-up of a faked Mars mission.

The media treated Aldrin like a hero again, however, after assaulting conspiracy theorist Sibrel – and it is interesting to note that the story received news coverage coinciding with the first anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Here is Aldrin’s account of the “Blow Heard ‘Round the World” in his book Magnificent Desolation:

Because of the publicity the hoax theorists have garnered, occasionally even in a serious interview a reporter will broach the subject. One September morning in 2002, I was in Beverly Hills at the Luxe Hotel, filming a television interview for a Far Eastern TV network, when the interview began going in a direction that I knew was out of bounds. At first I tried to be cordial, adroitly answering the question, assuming the interviewer would recognize my reluctance to talk about inanity, and bring the focus back to a bona fide space subject. Instead the interviewer began playing a television segment that had aired in the United States on the subject of hoaxes, including a section suggesting that the Apollo 11 moon landing never happened. I was aware of the piece and had been livid when it originally aired. I did not appreciate the interviewer’s attempts to lure me into commenting on it. Lisa [Cannon, Aldrin’s stepdaughter] had accompanied me to the interview following her early morning triathlon training in the Santa Monica Bay, and she immediately recognized that this was a flagrant violation of our willingness to conduct the interview in good faith, so she called a halt to the production. We weren’t belligerent, but we did not linger long over our good-byes, either.

lisa-cannon

Lisa Cannon

We left the hotel room and walked down the hall to catch the elevator, only a matter of seconds away. I pressed the button for the ground level, and Lisa and I looked at each other and smiled. It had been a strange morning already. When the elevator doors opened on the ground level, it got worse.

As we stepped out into the hotel foyer, a large man who looked to be in his mid-thirties approached me, attempting to engage me in conversation. “Hey, Buzz, how are you?” He had his own film crew along, with the camera already rolling to document the encounter.

I greeted him briefly, acknowledging his presence, and kept moving – standard procedure for life in Hollywood. As Lisa and I walked through the foyer toward the front door of the hotel, however, the man kept getting in my way, peppering me with questions, none of which I answered. Lisa took my arm and glared at the man. “That’s enough,” she said, as I could feel her pressure on my arm guiding me toward the door. “Please let us alone; we’re leaving now.”

We stepped outside under the hotel awning, and the film crew continued right along with us. Lisa’s car was parked across the street on Rodeo Drive, but there was no crosswalk nearby, and the traffic was brisk.

Meanwhile, the “interviewer” had taken out a very large Bible and was shaking it in my face, his voice becoming more animated. “Will you swear on this Bible that you really walked on the moon?”

I looked back at the man and gave him a look as if to say, Will you swear on that Bible that you are an idiot? The man was becoming more virulent, inflammatory, and personally accusatory in his outbursts. I tried not to pay any attention, but he was saying things like, “Your life is a complete lie! And here you are making money by giving interviews about things you never did!”

astronauts-gone-wild

Mardi Gras will never be the same after this.

Lisa approached the cameraman and insisted, “Please turn off that camera! We’re just trying to get across the street to our car.”

I’m a patient man, but this situation was silly. “You conspiracy people don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said.

Lisa spied a break in the traffic, so she grabbed me by the arm again, and said, “Buzz, let’s go.” We started walking across the street, but the large man kept getting right out in front of us, standing in the middle of Rodeo Drive, blocking our path as his cameraman kept rolling film. Lisa seemed nervous about trying to go around him, while searching for her keys to unlock the car with the man in such close proximity, so we turned around and walked back to the bellman’s station outside the hotel.

“Okay, this is ridiculous,” I said to Lisa and to the bellman. “Call the police. This guy is not letting us get to our car.”

I was under the awning, and Lisa turned away from me to approach the cameraman again. “Please turn that camera off,” she said. Meanwhile the large man was nearly screaming at me, “You’re a coward, Buzz Aldrin! You’re a liar; you’re a thief!”

Maybe it was the West Point cadet in me, or perhaps it was the Air Force fighter pilot, or maybe I’d just had enough of his belligerent character assassination, but whatever it was, as the man continued to excoriate me, I suddenly let loose with a right hook that would have made George Foreman proud. WHAAP! I belted the guy squarely in the jaw.

While I prided myself on staying in relatively good shape, it was doubtful that my septuagenarian punch did much damage to the follow, except perhaps to his ego. But he was not at all concerned about the punch, anyhow. It was obvious that he had been goading me in that direction, and he seemed ecstatically happy that I had finally grown exasperated and hit him.

“Hey, did you catch that on tape?” he called out to his cameraman. That was all he cared about.

Lisa turned around and walked back to me. She cocked her head slightly, looked up at me, and asked quietly, “Buzz, what happened?”

I looked back at my stepdaughter rather sheepishly, and said, “I punched the guy.”

“You what?” Lisa’s hand instinctively flew to her mouth in disbelief, as though already postulating in her mind any potential legal ramifications.

The film crew and “interviewer” hastily packed up and headed for their vehicle. They had gotten what they were hoping for – and more. Before the night was over, the film of me punching the guy was on the news and all over the Internet. The interviewer went to the police, threatening to file assault charges against me.

In the meantime, Lisa contacted our legal representative, Robert O’Brien, and told him everything that had happened. Robert suggested that we hire a criminal lawyer, just in case the encounter actually led to charges.

On the following Tonight Show, Jay Leno included the incident in his standup routine, cheering, “Way to go, Buzz!” They doctored up the video of my punch, and edited it to make it appear as though I had given the guy about twenty rapid-fire punches instead of the one.

David Letterman also came to my defense in his opening remarks for The Late Show, and threw in a double feature on the story the next night, since they had “dug up” some old archival footage of a reporter accosting Christopher Columbus, accusing him, “You didn’t really cross the ocean and land in the New World. You’re a liar!” And of course, Columbus decked the guy.

By then, television networks and evening entertainment news programs were calling, suddenly wanting me to appear on their shows. Ordinarily I would have been delighted, but our legal advisers said, “No interviews.” Eventually the matter died down. The city of Beverly Hills did not bring charges against me, and there were witnesses to the harassing behavior that provoked my response. It still cost me money to hire a lawyer to defend myself, and the hoax advocate received the publicity he sought, so I suppose, in the end, he won. But the punch provided me with some satisfaction, at least, and I was gratified by the calls and notes of support. CNN Crossfire commentator Paul Begala gave me a thumbs-up, and many others sent encouraging messages. Ironically, some of the most supportive words came from my fellow astronauts, to the effect of, “Hey, Buzz, I wish I’d punched the guy! Finally, somebody has responded to these hoax theory perpetrators.” More than my knowledge of rendezvous techniques, more than my actions under pressure during the initial lunar landing, more than anything in my career as an astronaut – it seemed as if nothing elevated me more in their estimation than “the punch.” From that day on, I was a hero to them.2

Some have alleged that the scene was staged and cite, for instance, the fact that Aldrin and Sibrel went on to collaborate on the 2004 documentary Astronauts Gone Wild. It is strange, too, to note that Sibrel, in publicizing a theory that ought to hinge on forensic examination and logic, instead decides to interject religion into the showdown, obnoxiously brandishing his Bible and thereby setting himself up for ridicule by progressives. The cameraman is also careful to get a clear shot of the restaurant’s sign and street address, which – if, indeed, this confrontation was a hoax – might have been a condition set by the Luxe Hotel for permission to use the Café Rodeo as a location. Begala’s response, not the typical one for commentary on an assault, was to give the “thumbs-up”, the gesture made synonymous with film criticism by Siskel and Ebert. Lisa Cannon, the woman seen with Aldrin in the video, has been credited with a “significant role” in “developing Buzz Aldrin’s brand”.

Regardless of whether the “Blow Heard ‘Round the World” was a planned event, it served as an object lesson for the public during the politically crucial period following 9/11. As Aldrin’s account makes clear, the media treated him like a hero for punching Sibrel. Aldrin also makes a very deliberate reference to his military service in describing his thought process leading to the moment of violence. The takeaway for the audience is that hitting “conspiracy people” is the laudable thing to do in these turbulent times following the destruction of the World Trade Center. Laugh at them if possible, but punch them if they become too insistent. This was before the advent of YouTube, when critical analysis of the 9/11 matrix was in its comparative infancy. Connecting “conspiracy people” with superstition, socially awkward behavior, and lack of patriotic reverence would pay off in preconditioned public responses as inconvenient scrutiny of these events would become much more common over the years.

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Destination Moon

Notwithstanding his touchiness about the reality of the Apollo mission, Aldrin is eager to emphasize his connection with the entertainment industry, and one of the chapters in Magnificent Desolation is titled “Pop Goes Space Culture”. He boasts of his friendship with science-fiction illusionists like James Cameron, the director of The Terminator, Aliens, and The Abyss. “For several years, Lois and I had been spending a lot of time driving up to L.A. on business and to attend a variety of Hollywood events in the evenings,” he writes, adding that they eventually moved into “a luxury high-rise condo along the Wilshire Corridor of Los Angeles, just west of Beverly Hills, because so much of our business was now connected to the entertainment industry.”3

“A little-known Hollywood fact is that my name had already been firmly ensconced in Hollywood lore long before Lois and I moved there,” he continues. “On the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, at the corners of Hollywood and Vine, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and I have not one star but four, one on each corner of the intersection. Actually, our ‘stars’ are in the shape of moons.”4 Recognition on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame is a rather unexpected tribute for a veteran of NASA’s Apollo 11 program – either that or a tellingly fitting one.

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

Endnotes

  1. Aldrin, Buzz; and Ken Abraham. Magnificent Desolation. New York, NY: Harmony Books, 2009, p. 281.
  2. Ibid., pp. 282-285.
  3. Ibid., p. 256.
  4. Ibid.

The Ideological Content Analysis 30 Days Putsch:

30 Reviews in 30 Days

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT

Terminator Genisys

In a series of events with which the fans of the original Terminator will already be familiar, futuristic human resistance leader John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends his own father (Jai Courtney) back through time to 1984 to save his mother before a Terminator cyborg (CG-rejuvenated Schwarzenegger) can kill her before she conceives the destined savior. Terminator Genisys then proceeds to overturn the audience’s expectations by having Reese arrive not in the 1984 of the first film, but in an alternate, already altered reality in which Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) has already been toughened by years of tutelage from “Pops” (geriatric Schwarzenegger), her own personal cyborg sidekick and father figure. Genisys, an Orwellian app to be launched in 2017, turns out to be the catalyst for the rise of the machines. The plot gets a lot more convoluted than this, and none of the time travel gobbledygook makes any sense; but fans of the franchise ought to enjoy it, its sinister purposes notwithstanding.

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

3. Feminist. Sarah Connor in this movie is already a battle-hardened warrior woman. She resents Reese’s presumption that she is in need of his protection; and, in fact, it is she, not Reese, who utters the famous line, “Come with me if you want to live.”

2. Zionist. In the bleak future sampled in the exposition, humanity is confined in camps, given arm-barcodes, and exterminated. The term “final solution” even occurs in the script, so that human resistance in Terminator Genisys is understood subtextually to serve as the avatar of holocaust-fearing organized Jewry. Awakening European racial consciousness is equated with the quest of a totalitarian order of genocidal robot supremacy. This is the future that must at all costs be prevented. (Skydance Productions, which made the film, is run by Jews David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Jesse Sisgold.)

1. Pro-choice and anti-white. Jew-killing robot armies of whites will never be able to serve their purpose as long as they are never born. Terminator Genisys, consequently, is greatly concerned with promoting Euro-American childlessness. Thirty years of cultural collapse spanning the first film and this one can be read between the lines. Whereas, in the first entry in the series (made in the decade following the Roe v. Wade decision), the Terminator is an antagonist – an abortionist sent from an inhuman future to preemptively terminate Sarah’s pregnancy – this same soulless, robotic abortionist (or one with identical facial features) has, in Terminator Genisys, become a perverse father figure to Sarah, who enlists his help in killing her son, John Connor, who, Sarah discovers in this installment, has become a corrupted collaborator of Skynet in the yet-to-be. One of the major action sequences in Terminator Genisys features Sarah driving a symbolically passengerless school bus – signifying the white race’s decadent demographic decline – in her desperate rush to evade and/or destroy her own posterity. Once freed from the horror of her son’s bleak destiny, Sarah can enjoy sexual freedom and happiness with Reese because, as she puts it, “Now I can choose.” Additionally, the necessity in the film of preemptively assassinating a future savior can be read as expressing a Jewish wish that Christ had been aborted.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

Zombinator

The filming of a fashion documentary furnishes the pretext for a film crew to follow a group of college students around Youngstown, Ohio, on what turns out to be night the city is hit by a zombie plague. Unfortunately, those lured by the inviting sight of the zombie cyborg featured on the cover of The Zombinator are bound to be a bit disappointed, as no such creature actually appears in the film.

The title character (Joseph Aviel) is an Afghanistan veteran trying to save Youngstown and the United States from a military-industrial undead plot being executed on the ground by “war hero” the Colonel (Patrick Kilpatrick) and his team of greedy mercenaries. The young people, meanwhile, spend most of the movie whimpering, cowering, running, and trying not to get bitten.

The film crew’s presence in the story suggests a postmodern self-awareness on the part of The Zombinator‘s makers, but it also presents some puzzling questions. They seem to be an unusually caddish lot, even for movie industry professionals, considering that they continue to shoot with apparent indifference as their associates are attacked, neither lifting a finger to help during combat nor even alerting a group of sleeping girls as the zombies sneak up on them.

The Zombinator achieves an adequate level of suspense, even if the zombies and story are nothing new or particularly special; and occasionally bathetic humor offers a welcome break from the scenes of horror and mediocre action with CGI blood and fake gunfire. Shame on The Zombinator, though, for baiting the audience with the tasty prospect of a zombie-Terminator hybrid and instead delivering a regular old hungry carcass flick.

3 out of 5 stars.

[WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS]

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that The Zombinator is:

9. Anti-tobacco. A cigarette is a “cancer stick”.

8. Racist! A horny black dude stupidly opens a door for some zombie sluts. Paranoid and self-absorbed congoids are apt to assume that even the basement of a Catholic school might be a secret hideout for the KKK. End credits feature a vicious ghetto zombie in a hoodie.

7. Anti-family. Marcus (Justin Brown) was abused by his father.

6. Class-conscious. The 1% gets name-dropped, as does the gentrification neighborhoods of Youngstown are said to be experiencing. “It’s more like civilized murder now.”

5. Anti-Christian. The Zombinator is generally irreverent toward Christianity. A rotten-faced rock singer wears a clerical collar; one Youngstowner recalls seeing a bullet hole in a church bathroom; and priests (one of whom smokes) are ineffective at thwarting zombies. God, meanwhile, is “the one who’s got the biggest dividends.”

4. Anti-Y. Generation Y appears as a wimpy, idiotic, and superficial lot, the Colonel’s suggestion that they are truly “the greatest generation” coming across as masked sarcasm.

3. Anti-cronyism/anti-Obama. “But what about change?” cries a stupid liberal on learning that she and her friends are guinea pigs in a government bio-terror scheme. “What about what everybody voted for, against big corporations?”

2. Antiwar. America’s rulers preside over an empire, not a progressive wonderland, and ignorant young people’s mindless mouthing of patriotic admiration for soldiers rings unmistakably hollow. Afghanistan is a testing ground for biological agents, with soldiers used for deadly experiments.

1. Anti-state and N.W.O.-alarmist, promoting those darned conspiracy theories. “This is government shit, dude,” suspects one of the filmmakers. “If the world doesn’t see this, this is gonna happen everywhere else, too.” Later, the Zombinator explains that, “They have a cure, but they will not use it until it gets so big, after Youngstown is gone, and then they’ll present it on the market and make billions . . . billions and billions on your corpses.” So forget that crap in Contagion (2011) and World War Z (2013) about the valiant public servants over at the CDC and the WHO. This is the real deal.

 

 

 

 

 

Rippedpublicans: Where the Action Is!

 Randbo

Rand Paul is

PAUL RANDBO

“Do we get to wonk this time?”

“You don’t seem to want to accept the fact you’re dealing with an expert in political warfare, with a man who’s the best, with guns, with knives, with his bare hands. A man who’s been trained to ignore polls, ignore weather, to live off the land, to eat things that would make a Democrat puke.” – Campaign Manager Col. Trautman

 

Scarf Face

Chris Christie is

SCARF FACE

“You wanna fuck with me? Okay. You wanna play rough? Okay. Say hello to my little fork!”

“What makes you so much better than me? What do you do? Kill people? Shut down bridges? Real contribution to human history, Christie! What makes you think you can be a president? You don’t even know how to be a good governor!” – Mrs. Scarf Face, Elvira Hancock

 

The Tedinator

Ted Cruz is

THE TEDINATOR

“I’ll roll back.”

“All right, listen. The Tedinator’s an infiltration unit: part man, part machine. Underneath, it’s a hyper-alloy combat chassis, microprocessor-controlled. Fully armored; very tough. But outside, it’s living human tissue: flesh, skin, hair, blood – grown for the cyborgs.” – Future Pundit Kyle Reese

Assassin

An intriguing feature of Assassin (1986), an enjoyable TV movie written and directed by Amityville Horror screenwriter Sandor Stern, is that it may, in some aspects, serve as a metaphor for Zionist-controlled news and entertainment media, whether this is the film’s intention or not.

Stern, who in recent years has written unimaginative liberal diatribes (“Dear Republican Friends . . .”) at SuicideGirlsBlog, is no friend of gentiles and not likely to have designed his film as a cautionary allegory about Zionist disinformation for the benefit of his audience of action fans; but is it not possible that, perhaps from some sense of arrogant mischief, veteran television writer Stern has facetiously encrypted his film with insights into his medium’s motives?

Sandor Stern

Sandor Stern

Assassin‘s Terminator-inspired plot has CIA operative Henry Stanton (Konrad Robert Falkowski, alias Robert Conrad) coming out of retirement and teaming up with a feminist cybernetics specialist, Mary Casallas (Night Court alumnus Karen Brammer, alias Karen Austin) to stop a renegade government android, Robert Golem (Richard Young), from living up to the title by assassinating all of the figures on its secret hit list.

“The ‘Robert’ I can understand; it’s close to ‘robot’,” Stanton observes. “But who dug up the ‘Golem’?” “Folklore,” Casallas explains. “There was a zealot rabbi in sixteenth century Prague. He created a clay creature, called it ‘Golem’. Brought it to life to protect the Jews from persecution. Ironically, it turned on its creators.” Is Assassin a model of entertainment-media-as-Golem, and has it, too, playfully turned against its masters by giving away something of their game?

assassin2

Robert Golem’s creator is Philip Dewberry, described as an impersonal cipher of a man. “He had no sense of humor,” Casallas recounts, and lived only for experimentation. “How can you work with a man six or seven years and not know him any better than the inside of a television set?” Stanton asks her. “It was three years and he was the inside of a television set,” Casallas answers enigmatically.

Robert Golem, like a walking, talking, CIA-approved television set, is programmed with an agenda and even has a plug that it can stick into a socket to power itself. Though a soulless, inhuman murderer, Golem is charming, seductive, and furtive – silently invading an apartment as a lonely, oblivious woman (Nancy Lenehan) drinks herself into a stupor and watches a romance-oriented game show. As to how something as seemingly harmless as television plays at assassination, just consider the mainstream media’s treatment of “tinfoil hat” (i.e., antiwar) candidate Ron Paul. Robert Golem’s targets, like those of the Zionist news media, are opponents of the military-industrial complex.

The android-Golem, despite being monstrously powerful and virtually impervious, does, fortunately for Agent Stanton, have one physical weakness – its belly. And fortunately for those who abhor what the Zionist-controlled television networks have done and are doing to western civilization on a nightly and unrelenting basis, TV, too, also has a weakness at the center of its nourishment – in that it can be switched off.

With a reach that far exceeds its grasp, this science fiction cheapie from Andrew Bellware suffers from grandiose ambitions notwithstanding its frequent mocking self-aware campiness.  Android Insurrection opens with an informational spiel about the wonders of robotic labor-saving devices which have supposedly ended war and other human struggles, but then follows this with a matter-of-fact but ominous litany of caveats about robotics safety that sound like the scary side effects at the end of a prescription drug commercial.  Set in the twenty-third century, after North America has been reduced to desert and artificial intelligence has turned against humanity, the plot concerns a mission to retrieve a set of pretty, pink-haired androids from an underground research facility guarded by spider-like killer robots.

Based on an “original” story by Nat Cassidy, Android Insurrection bears obvious resemblances at various moments to such films as The Terminator, Alien, Hardware, Crash and Burn, and even Star Wars with the inclusion of light-sabers.  These comparisons, alas, do Android Insurrection no favors and only serve to highlight its pitiful poverty by contrast.  The effects, while often better than amateurish, seldom interact convincingly with the living performers and thus minimize the intended impact of the action sequences.

Momentary suspense is accomplished with the suggestion that one character on the team of robot-fighters may be a robot herself; no serious attempt is made to capitalize on this potential interest-hook, however, and the remainder of the story meanders with little sense of purpose or worthwhile stakes for the viewer.  The acting, too, is inconsistent, and occasionally detracts from what might have been a more seriously committed and convincing film instead of a video document of paradoxically over-ambitious Generation X underachievement.

2 of 5 possible stars.  ICA’s advice: see Cherry 2000 again instead.

[WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS]

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Android Insurrection is:

5. Antiwar.  Nuclear weapons appear to have lain waste to the planet.

4. Feminist/pro-slut.  Approximating slasher “final girl” structure, Android Insurrection provides one noteworthy survivor in Foxwell (Virginia Logan), a tough, nosering-sporting, midriff-bearing Generation-X chick who wields a phallic EMP grenade with panache.

3. Racist!  Fulfilling wacko survivalist and paintballer fantasies of a vanilla dawn, Android Insurrection, contrary to evident demographic trends of today, depicts a future America populated almost entirely by young, attractive, gun-toting white people, with only one light-skinned Hispanic cutie (Juanita Arias) to complement the otherwise pure, creamy uniformity of the gene pool.  A Hitler-mustached, German-accented nerd named Bellware (after the director, but played by David Ian Lee) gives the combat team its orders.  Undesirables, we can only assume, have been eradicated through a perfection of the AIDS virus or some other nefarious eugenics coup.  Android fifth-columnist agents among the city-dwelling humans (see no. 2), meanwhile, are to be granted “special protections” – clearly an insensitive reference to the necessary progress of affirmative action in the present “post-racial” age.

2. NWO-alarmist.  The most interesting portion of the film may be the epilogue in which an artificial intelligence informs citizens that it is now in control and that, moving among them, undetected, are sleeper agents, secret robots, who could even be their friends and family members, and who at the proper time will move to implement the policies of the new order.  Among the robot commandments are that humans of “subnormal” and “supernormal” capacity are, Procrustes-wise, to be sent to a state facility “for modification”.

1. Neo-Luddite.  Technology is evil.  Your toaster hates you and will destroy you if you allow it.

With influences ranging from Scanners to The Terminator, Rian Johnson’s new film Looper nonetheless succeeds in being highly original and might best be described as a time travel western or sci-fi gangster film.  Crime organizations of the 2070s are in the habit of disposing of unwanted people by sending them back in time to be executed by “loopers” in the 2040s.  Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one such looper working in Kansas and finds himself in a terrible predicament when faced with the option of either assassinating his future self (Bruce Willis) or disobeying his boss (Jeff Daniels) by letting himself run free.  Complicating matters still further is the intention of the older Joe to assassinate a young boy, Cid (Pierce Gagnon), who will grow up to be the Rainmaker, the mass-murdering mutant mega-crimelord who wants Joe and all the other loopers erased.  The boy’s mother (Emily Blunt) naturally tries to prevent this from happening and wonders if young Joe, who shows up on her farm, is someone she can possibly trust.

Futuristic films rarely instil hope, and Looper‘s predictions for human society fit nicely into this tradition.  Looper keeps its forecasts relatively modest by movie standards, with a few technologies and other developments having changed dramatically, while other aspects of society – not to mention all of humanity’s failings – remain remarkably the same.  10% of humans do manifest a mild telekinetic mutation, however, which plays into the Rainmaker origin story.  The Great Recession appears to have settled into an ongoing American decline, with systemic unemployment creating vagrant gangs and making people with money intolerant of the poor.  China is the ascendant power, and with the dollar apparently having lost all value, gold, silver, and yuan are the preferred forms of payment.  Joe is planning to emigrate after saving enough money, and is learning French toward that end, but his boss, who has lived in the future, advises him to forgo France for China.

With a plot revolving around strategic child murder, Looper is strong stuff, not to be dismissed as fantastic escapism, and is arguably a meditation on the ethics of abortion.  The older and presumably wiser Joe wants Cid dead to save his own and his wife’s future life, while young Joe, a junkie and whoring materialist, is divided by his loyalty to himself and to his boss, his new knowledge of potentially preventable future horrors, and his revulsion at what he sees himself attempting to do to correct the situation.  If time travel allowed Abraham Lincoln, Lenin, or Hitler to be located and neutralized as children, would the future outcome of the action justify their preemptive murders?  This is the problem Looper addresses.

The story can be disorienting, and Looper may not make complete sense even according to its own logic, but the ideas are important, the vision compelling, the direction certain, and the acting almost uniformly accomplished and affecting.  Bruce Willis, after appearing in the excellent Twelve Monkeys, now has two very memorable time travel films to his credit, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt can add one more to his recent string of high-profile roles in action winners.  Pierce Gagnon turns in a remarkably intimidating child performance as the future Rainmaker, and writer-director Rian Johnson identifies himself as a talent to watch in the years to come, with Looper easily earning 5 of 5 possible future star outcomes.

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Looper is:

6. Anti-drug.  A psychedelic eye drop trip almost results in a young boy being run over.  Joe is an addict and more than once is depicted going through withdrawal sickness.  The film is cigarette-ambivalent, however.  In one scene, Emily Blunt sits on her porch and mimes the smoking of a cigarette, as if she’s given it up and misses the naughty ritual.  While cigarettes appear to be equated with hypodermic needles and eyedrops as an addiction, smoking is still, in the classic Hollywood tradition, also the mandatory film noir post-coitus convention.

5. Pro-miscegenation.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s flirtations with a black waitress are punctuated by lurid shots of cream billowing in his cup of coffee.  He leers lasciviously at Chinese women before marrying one of them as Bruce Willis.

4. Gun-ambivalent.  One particular murder is appalling, but gunplay can be horrific or thrilling depending upon the target.  In one montage of mob hits, machine gun fire actually provides the percussion to the accompanying music.

3. Arguably anti-capitalist and egalitarian.  The silver currency evokes the Judas story, with a montage alternating mob executions with shots of silver bricks being neatly stacked, seemingly equating the profit motive with treachery and murder.  The lives of the poor are increasingly worthless as income inequality has broadened.

2. Feminist/pro-slut.  Emily Blunt’s character is a single mother who also manages to run a farm by herself.  Her telekinetic ability is stronger than that of the men who have used that tactic to try to impress her, and she knows how to handle herself with a shotgun and even doctor a man after she’s shot him.  Who needs some presumptuous penis mucking up her life to be a good, protective, and affectionate mother?

1. Pro-life/pro-bastard.  Looper can leave the viewer in no doubt as to its attitude toward innocent human life.  Only after they grow up and join criminal organizations do humans become entertaining machine gun target galleries.

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