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                   photo:W Magazine, 2017      

 

    

 

Dawghouse Review of:                                                                                                                  

Jim Carrey Interview by Pidge Jobst                       

     "I wanted to find the most meaningless

    thing I could come to." —Jim Carrey

                                                                                                                                                                 I think Jim is fine... quite fine! His mention that events such as these are "meaningless" shouldn't be tossed aside or dubbed otherworldly so quickly.

 

     Carrey seems to be pointing to something we could all gain a great deal from and something that has everything to do with our world. Given more consideration instead of judgment (instant rendering of his meaning), I believe he is alluding to a more evolved understanding that we do not live in an effectual world, where some outer life or separate extraneous force tosses us about. We are not powerless but have the power to choose the meaning we assign to everything we see and feel. If we designate an event as “negative,” we need only become causal and choose again to see differently; we need not change the outer person or situation, but only shift how we perceive and gain an entirely different experience—a “positive” one, instantly, if we choose.

 

One of the hardest things for us humans to hear is what Jim is trying to say—that we are not really having ups and downs in life. There are no random experiences, nor even positive or negative energies. Our minds determine all of this for us. In reality, the Universe has bestowed upon humankind its greatest gift—an innocuous and inherently neutral ("meaningless") world that we get to fashion with our thoughts in any configuration we choose. What a gift, indeed! 

         

    When confronted in the interview by ENews reporter Catt Sadler about the meaning of the event they were attending, Sadler chose her meaning to be "celebrating icons." Carrey retorted back, "Boy, that is just the absolute lowest aiming possibility (aka "meaning") we could come up with." While Carrey might consider extending Sadler an apology for being condescending to her chosen meaning, he is far from being uniformed and unwise. Jim 's type of mentions are usually reserved for behind-door conversations... I'm glad he has decided to put these things out there for everyone to mull and ponder over.

 

                           

                    Content Creator / Screenwriter 

              Hollywood Commentary

 Movie & TV blog 

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Dawghouse Review of:                                                                                                                     photo: Gal Godat, 2017 Warner Bros

"Wonder Woman", The Movie by Pidge Jobst

     Woman defender of peace provides a tender but firm superhero and wins audiences —

                                                                                                                                                

 

     Moviegoers' doting favor over actress Gal Godat of Warner Bros. and DC Comic’s “Wonder Woman” in the movie of the same is only surpassed by the camera’s obvious love for the actress. Godat doesn’t seem to have a bad moment onscreen. In fact, the film’s initial worldwide blockbuster box office success of $652,911,468 worldwide ($318,111,400, domestic) can be greatly attributed to Gadot’s star appeal. Her screen presence grabs so much attention in fact, that her supporting actor band of goodwill vigilantes, including Ewen Bremmer (a not-so-sniping sniper), Saïd Taghmaoui (a multi-lingual rebel) and Eugene Brave Rock (a Native American smuggler), are sometimes left vying for eyeballs while delivering lines near the femme fatale wonder.

     The movie begins with the mythical backstory of an Amazonian training camp for warrior women on the peaceful Utopian island of Themyscira, created within a cloaking bubble by the Greek God Zeus and hidden from the warmonger God of War, Ares. Ares is explained in the story narration as being responsible for mankind’s insatiable desire for war as leader of the period piece's pernicious army of mankind, not to mention our current day state of affiairs. Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman, is raised in a sheltered landscape by her mother and island Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielson) and secretly trained in a ludus-like warrior camp by lanista Antiope (Robin Wright) who provides a convincing be-a-warrior-to-keep-the-peace performance. Yet, whilst Rome’s lanistas trained their male gladiators to kill and create carnage, General Antiope and her Amazon crew fight to uphold the peace. Perhaps this is why, in part, the film is successful and has become so endearing to audiences and DC fans alike, answering the long sought after query of: What would it be like for countries and the world at large to be led by women ethics and female persuasion? Directed also by female director Patty Jenkins (“Monster”), the film carves out for itself an underlining sensitivity that has been orphaned from previous Marvel and DC action films.

 

    Actor Danny Huston is a formidable antagonist and opponent, while David Thewlis makes for an even bigger mother-“Alien” villain as the Greek God Ares. The writers could have introduced Thewlis earlier as the eventual thwarter of peace to make me want to see him doornail dead, but writers Allan Heinberg (screenplay & story by) Jason Fuchs (story by), and Zack Snyder (story by) had their hands full with the film’s profoundly wonderful spine theme: What would it mean for humans—if not humans, then another race—to be tender towards their inhabitance and to love all of humankind—the writers delivering the message that we as humans are all alike in our makeup of good and evil via our commonality—we have “choice” in the matter of which we shall be. This is indeed a superb message that continues to please audiences in favor of upward spiraling positive content. Lucy Davis (Etta Candy) should be mentioned and commended for pulling off some good comic relief moments during writer poised rest periods before more action building. No doubt she'll get a well-deserved upcoming lead part in a comedy.

    

     While the Dawghouse did hear a few “he’s hot” remarks from audience females for blue-eyed crowd pleaser and actor Chris Pine (Steve Trevor), a World War 1 pilot and spy who may single-handedly be responsible for more future romances in upcoming superhero movies, this wasn’t the case or reason Dawghouse found Gal Godat performance so alluring. Godat demands you believe what she’s fighting for. This includes her conflicted, but resolving humanistic decision to save the male-human infiltrate pilot Trevor in drowning waters when his plane crashes through the Amazon force field and into open ocean. Godat’s sometimes empathetic lines are far-reaching for a fantasy superhero, but the actress was up for the task and pulls them of seamlessly and convincingly. Her internal emotions behind her mission prowess of saving the world from its wayward war fanfare are splashed onscreen curtain to curtain somehow, being intensely believable. So much so, that they often take a bite out of theatregoers who can be seen spellbound-hushed and holding their breath during the character's emotional moments, whether they be tender, sympathetic, confused or angry. The ability of a leading actress to captivate and cause organ visceral responses among audiences is what makes a budding actress like Godat a potential iconic film star, and the film, “Wonder Woman”, so riveting and worth watching. We’ve seen a lot of superhero movies in recent years, but I can’t remember one that left the audience wiping eyes and reaching for tissues during a lost love moment. The only criticism is that the superhero’s fighting expertise could’ve begun a bit earlier, as the fight scenes were well-written and severely entertaining. 

 

     While the actress and forward-thinking savant Godat is heralded in the U.S. for her performance and will no doubt receive accolades and Oscar awards for her performance onscreen, along with the adoration and respect for her "love conquers all" carrying message, the film has been banned in Lebanon for reasons that Wonder Woman's Gadot was an Israeli who served in the country's defense forces. It would seem the story’s premise of woman being a “defender of peace, instead of war” is either too weak a reality, or too strong and threatening a force.

 

     The DCEU’s Wonder Woman continues in theatres with a subsequent cinematic release of Justice League starring Wonder Woman opening in theatres on November 17, 2017.

The "Beast of No (nomi)Nation"

   

  - by Pidge Jobst

  Why Wasn't It Nominated?                            

 

        Who knows why the more-than-worthy film, "Beast of No Nation", wasn’t

nominated this year for a single Oscar? 

 

        Maybe the scenes were too graphic, with children chopping off human body

parts on-screen a bit too hefty a reality for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and

Sciences. But then there is “Blood Diamond" and "Apocalypse Now.” Maybe the

reason it was denied even so much as a nomination was because it first ran the

festival circuit or that there was not a single Caucasian found in the entire film.

Or maybe The Academy didn’t want to be a part of elevating Netflix to notable film

distributor status. Who really knows? Of course, there is the racial disparity version,

best expressed by Spike Lee  --

  

       "This industry is so far behind sports, it's ridiculous. It's easier to be president

               of the United States as a black person than to be head of a studio. Honest."    -Spike Lee 

 

          If “The Revenant” was excessively raw, “Beast of No Nation” was too real. But just how does a filmmaker go about portraying children who have been trained to be beasts? Beast of No Nation is a brutal tale based on Uzodinma Iweala’s harrowing book about the lives of child soldiers. Agu, a troubled boy has lost his family and his way in a forest in West Africa. 

He's desperately searcning for himself and a sense of belonging amidst a waging civil war not unlike Vietnam: You don’t

know  who the enemy is or what you’re fighting for. Abraham Attah gives an explosive performance for which the young actor should've been nominated for Best Actor. He never breaks character, making him intensely believable as he stumbles across a rebel army fighting against an unknown (or unspecified) regime led by the Commandant (Idris Elba). The Commandant, himself, 

is a pawn in a war he has no control over and cannot win. Initially portrayed as a surrogate father and caring role model for this band of “Pan's” Lost Boys turned recruits, the Commandant is quickly revealed to be just another casualty of war -- a whacked predator whose rank and bigger-than-life character is reduced right before our eyes like wine in a bubbling sauce pan. But not before he leaves us with the riveting message that there is no greater war crime than the exploitation of children. Slaves to a war the youths did not start, they discover their superiors have betrayed them and their nation has abandoned them in all but “Rambo, First Blood” style. Thus, we are enlightened by its title, “Beast of No Nation.

 

       The film left behind no prisoners and no compromises. It certainly did not lend itself to restful viewing. In my case, I walked out feeling severely depressed, but it was an intense feeling nonetheless. Yes, the director-writer, Cary Joji Fukunaga, could've SMASHED TO BLACK and not had audiences wince during a scene where Agu takes a machete to a man’s face and skull who is pleading for mercy. And yes, the scene where a woman is shot in the head by the seeming “Lord of the Flies” boy while another tries to copulate inside her could had been left on the cutting room floor. But then, these things really do happen in our world, don't they? Maybe the writer was simply telling a story that truly happened in an Oliver Stone fashion, leaving no stone unturned? To leave these scenes out might be considered a shrouded lie of omission, leaving audiences with a docudrama and more palatable film, but not one that has them take action or do something about the atrocities in our world which this film depicts. After all, we’re talking about our kids.

 

       In the end, “The Beast of No Nation” did what all good movies do – it made you leave the theatre questioning the world you live in. It spawned within you a whirling unmistakable feeling that you didn'’t carry in with you. The truth is, the world exploits children during times of war. We have used children as message carriers and mules and as human shields. We've attached bombs to their ribbed chests and sent them on suicide missions. If portraying these children of war in a real fashion that upsets

us or the Academy, maybe it's a forehead sign that we shouldn't silence or censor this type of filmmaking via depriving it a well-deserved award. Maybe we should change our world instead.  

Abraham Attah provides a riveting performance in

"Beast of No Nation" where he seamlessly never

breaks character. Both Attah and Elba should've

been nominated.

  - by Pidge Jobst

© 2017 by Leroy, Jobst & Curley  All Rights Reserved 

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