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  • hardie karges 10:23 am on July 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , movie, , , , YouTube   

    #Samadhi for non-#Buddhists and Children of the #Matrix: Turn it down!!! 

    It seems that the movie “The Matrix” has done for the current generation what “Plato’s Cave” did for one almost 2500 years ago, inspiring countless thinkers and wannabe prophets to poke beyond the edges of the common-sense world, just to see if there was anything there, knowing that there would be no sure answers, but an enduring love of the questions, and inspiring narratives that would make any Homer, Shakespeare, Hugo or Cervantes take notice… (More …)

  • hardie karges 3:18 pm on August 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Antonio Banderas, Automata, DVD, Melanie Griffith, movie, scienc fiction   

    DVD Review: Automata—Clunker with a Heart of Gold 

    I missed this movie when it came out a year ago, but that’s nothing new. I miss a lot. And foreign-made films don’t always rate first response from the American press. I suspect that’s why the reviews were not so good, either. Hollywood loves nothing so much as itself, even with Antonio Banderas in the lead role and Dylan McDermott and Melanie Griffith backing up. It’s just not a Hollywood flick and that speaks volumes. Even Robert Rodriguez rates better press than this from his Texas stronghold, but then he follows the bang-bang playbook to a ‘T’.

    Okay, so ‘Automata’ might not be ‘Birdman’ or even ‘Matrix’, but it’s not bad, not bad at all. It’s not easy making a good sci-fi film. It has to be ‘scientific’ enough for that crowd, yet realistic enough to be believable, and still satisfy the human need for narrative and sympathy—not easy. Apparently the main beef seems to be that it doesn’t live up to its promise. Geez! Give it credit for even having a promise! Most sci-fi flicks don’t, and action films don’t even pretend to..

    ‘The Matrix’ was great, but totally unbelievable. ‘Star Wars’ doesn’t even count. That’s just live-action animation based on the ‘Hero with a 1000 Faces’ mono-myth like 1000 other stories. And space-based tales like it and ‘Star Trek’ are largely a failed paradigm now—too bad—though ‘2001’ will never be surpassed in that genre. Space is dead—for now. Wait for the Mars space program—if we’re lucky. So we’re left with robots for our science fix, still relevant if kept up-to-date. (More …)

  • hardie karges 10:12 am on June 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Hungarian, movie, The Notebook   

    Movie Review: ‘The Notebook’, “A nagy füzet” (Love during wartime, baby…) 

    The Notebook (2013) PosterMost war movies recount battles like so many trips to the dentist, or play-offs to the World Series of War, but some fortunate few break down the horror into the individual traumas that constitute the one mass trauma that sometimes defines our existences, and if left unattended, our world. ‘The Notebook’ doesn’t do that—recount the battles, that is. ‘The Notebook’ is a war movie without battles, except the internal ones that end up making us into something different from what we were before it started.

    The worst thing about ‘The Notebook’ is the title, it so easily confused with the Ryan (‘Abs’) Gosling and Rachel (‘Dimples’) McAdams vehicle of a decade or so ago that attempted to expand the favorite American ‘Love is All/All is Love’ theme into maybe the one new direction it’d never gone—senility. That’s fine, of course, but this is not that. This is war, and you could be excused for concluding that maybe the overriding theme here is ‘War is All/All is War’—close, but no cigarette.

    Or if you were to conclude that ‘Sex is All/All is Sex’ then you might be even closer, but you’d still miss the point of the movie. Now, I’m not hung up on themes, but I am annoyed at reviewers who insist that this must be all symbolism and metaphor. Have you ever gone out of the house? Have you seen the world of hate and cruelty that passes for post-religion ‘secular humanism’? Have you ever seen someone killed right before your eyes for the crime of—nothing? Welcome to the 21st century.

    Spoiler alert: The deal is that two male Hungarian twins are sent to live with Grandma during WWII, who turns out to not only have never met the strapping youngsters, but who is also a real b*tch, known locally as the w*tch. Life’s tough in the WWII Hungarian countryside, and dignity is at a premium, especially when Granny refers to you as the ‘Bastards’, not too surprising considering she went decades with no word from your mother/her daughter (and will meet another before the war—and movie—is over).

    There is a basic love to be found in people, though, if you look hard enough, even though it may be hidden under layers of basic sex and humiliation, but let’s not chastise ourselves too badly for the basic reproductive fact of existence, and any reasonable facsimiles, and the ridiculous things we do to get there, but rather rejoice in the moments of transcendence. Eventually the boys steel themselves to hardship, even bonding with their captor granny w*itch, and manage some coming of age lessons in the process, like frolicking in the tub with a rocking knockout maid. Hey, poverty has its perks! You get to clean up in hot steamy tubs with cute steamy girls!

    But that’s not the point. The point is almost Buddhist—life is what it is and it’s up to us to make it better one act of kindness at the time. There you go. You wanted a theme. I recommend.  Directed by Janos Szasz.  Available on Netflix and elsewhere.

  • hardie karges 2:48 pm on May 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Force Majeure, movie, Sweden   

    Movie Review: ‘Force Majeure’ gets all Metafizzical… 

    Swedish movies are known for their brooding interiors, but brooding exteriors? Now there’s fresh food for thought, thought experiment, that is, which best describes this little peach of a movie from Swedish director Ruben Ostlund. The premise is simple enough: a ‘controlled avalanche’ in the French Alps goes a little bit out of control, giving tourists dining on the view and crepes a good scare, and their split-second reactions a good lesson in metaphysics. Spoiler alert: get your popcorn before the movie starts, because the climax comes within the first ten minutes. Everything else is denouement. Alternative title suggestion: ‘Premature Extrapolation’….

    The French title (better than the Swedish title ‘Turist’ btw), of course translates most obviously to ‘Major Force’, but that sounds like a Charles Bronson movie, so ‘Act of God’ is probably the better rendition, referring as it does to the clause in most contracts that allows a way out for everyone, much harm but no foul; i.e. ‘sh*t happens’, responsibility must be shared, if the concept even applies. And that’s the plot: when the ‘little avalanche’ comes, people revert to basic instincts for survival. The wife and mother immediately protects her kids. The husband and father pulls a George Costanza and makes for the exit, reappearing only long after the fog of disaster has cleared. Food for thought? You bet… (More …)

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