Over the years, you have probably noticed a cynicism from me about the film industry. It is the only media art form which I am defensive about. Even though the industry is not producing movies as well received as the eras of the late 60s/late 70s or mid 90s/mid 2000s, I was always hoping for a creative rebound. Well if 2022 is any indication, films are going to continue their decline for the foreseeable future. For this analysis, I will discuss three factors that have led to this decline. After that short summary, I will go over each movie one at a time. For me, many of these films are not necessarily bad. They are even solid and enjoyable. But when you talk about a Best Picture movie, these films except for one honest exception based on my personal standards of quality do not meet this description.
Not wanting to dive into the complexities of the problems surrounding the industry, there are three significant factors that have noticeably changed which have impacted the industry for the negative.
NUMBER 1: END THE POLITICAL INDOCTRINATION AND “WOKENESS’ IDEOLOGY
Remember when Hollywood made films that left you reeling with their powerful messages whether it involved identity, politics, or systemic discrimination? The dark message and themes of APOCALYPSE NOW. The incredible upbringing of Loretta Lynn in the COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER. Or the futuristic prediction and omnipotence of a movie like NETWORK which seems to have successfully predicted the current state of our news media 40 years early. Yeah, I do. Hollywood still tries to make political movies, but they never create the emotional attachment that many of these 20th Century films did. Inspirational movies all seem to be made with the same formula. Good luck looking for a film that challenges American foreign policy or shows government corruption. Those days are over. Now, any movie involving a controversial topic feels like it was made with a filter. A popular film can bring about political change. They can make you aware of the terror at your doorstep. Yet, Hollywood has lost the ability to bring about this inspiration. The reason it happened in the first place is because studios trusted creators and producers with their passions which helped lead to these unforgettable films. Oliver Stone is probably Example A for this type of filmmaking. Would PLATOON be a classic film without his own personal experience inside Vietnam? In addition, the Oscar quota system is also a factor in this decline. Instead of focusing on the quality of the work, too much effort is being put into creating a socially acceptable system. When the system is the priority over the creative work, the quality of the art is going to decline.
NUMBER 2: MOVIES ARE TOO LONG
According to Statista, films have increased in length pretty significantly. In 1990, the top 10 highest grossing films averaged 1 hour and 51 minutes. In 2021, this average increased to 2 hours and 10 minutes. Can you realistically admit this extra 19 minutes has been beneficial for the industry? Many of these movies feel bloated and over long with scenes included that should have been edited out. Despite this extra time, the movie’s plots seem even more scattered and less focused than the tightly edited era that preceded it. So films are almost 20 minutes longer with stories that feel more chaotic and lack direction. The 2022 Best Picture films definitely are Example A of this particular problem.
NUMBER 3: BREAK UP THE MONOPOLIES
Other than A24, how many independent film studios have made incredible films over the last decade? Most of these studios are usually wholly owned subsidiaries of the large studios. When the studios started snatching these independent studios up in the late 20th/early 21st Century, they were at the apex of their creative output. Now, these studios just feel like another arm of the mass media. This is why we have not had the revolution of a new generation of filmmaking voices (Millennial and Gen Z except for a handful of exceptions) because there is no system in place to bring this talent out of the darkness. Many of these unknown talents end up making solid short films on YouTube or release them online on a personal website. This is going to lead to stagnation as the same well-known individuals make the same type of movies. This stagnation is a primary reasons why 2022 is going to be one of the worst years for Hollywood from a financial perspective.
NOW FOR THE FILMS!
Here are the Best Picture nominees. Before beginning, I want to discuss two specific films. I have not seen Spielberg’s latest spectacle THE FABLEMANS or Sarah Polley’s WOMEN TALKING. Out of fairness for these films, I have excluded them from this analysis. There is a part of me that thinks THE FABLEMANS will be my favorite of these ten films. When I watch both these movies, this post will be updated.
TRIANGLE OF SADNESS
I am still in a state of shock about how this film got nominated. It is a mediocre film at best. The film analyzes power dynamics and how people often slip into their identities when put into a position of survival. In this film’s case, the power dynamics flip in the 3rd act. Whatever this film’s message was trying to convey, the film is sloppy. It feels like it was written in segments that the screenwriter returned to every other year. Of these ten films, this is the one I would recommend skipping.
AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER
Many film lovers have always felt rightfully upset that incredible big budget action films (Like the DARK KNIGHT) did not get Academy Awards nominations for Best Picture. Now that more films get
nominated, this problem has not recurred as much. But giving a nomination to the AVATAR sequel seems like a stretch. Is it a good and enjoyable movie? Yes, even if it is too long. Does it feel very similar to the first film? Absolutely. It is made with the incredible level of detail that James Cameron is known for. So why did it leave me feeling empty? Why did the story feel like a retread? It left me with more questions than answers. This is not a great film other than from a technological perspective.
I really did not like this film. I think Austin Butler nailed his performance as Elvis Presley. I also think Tom Hanks was awful as Colonel Tom Parker. The movie was 30 minutes too long and often skipped very significant moments of Elvis’s career despite its length. I wanted to like this movie. I have always like Baz Luhrmann. But this film had no soul. It felt empty and not the dedication to this once in a lifetime talent that it should have been.
I do like this movie. Cate Blanchett (Unless Michelle Yeoh pulls the upset) has given the best performance of the year. This film is a hardcore character study of passion, talent and intellect about a composer and her life that begins to unravel for unknown reasons. The movie makes some great points about our present-day culture. It has some wonderful Easter Eggs in scene which make the film better. Despite this, it mostly bored the hell out of me. I found myself wandering off on multiple occasions and forcing myself into a rewind to watch parts I missed. I even watched the film again to see if my mindset was not in the right place during my initial viewing. It happened again on my second watch. I can only recommend this to see the greatest actress of our era perform at the top of her game. But as a whole, the film is boring through large sections and somewhat disappointing.
THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
This movie is very Irish. I found it enjoyable. I watched it with a smile on my face from beginning to end. But the film left me wanting much more. Who is this film for? Why would the character resort to such desperate tactics to remove an individual from his life? The film was very cruel and “Irish”. Also, this film is absolutely not for everyone. In fact, I think only a small majority of people will ever enjoy it.
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
It is hard to root against this movie. It is such a good time. Michelle Yeoh has been one of my favorite actresses for decades. This film is the comeback for the actor that played Short Round in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. The movie is a story about the dynamics surrounding an Asian family. My problem with this movie was on the creative side. I enjoyed the idea behind the movie. Or what needed to be accomplished to jump through the multiverse. The movie failed for me during its late second half and conclusion. The jokes got repetitive, and the film jumped the shark. It just became too ridiculous despite the powerful message at its core. This falls into my most overrated film of the year.
TOP GUN: MAVERICK
This is my favorite film of the year without question. Is it flawed? Hell yes. What country could make “fifth generation” fighters that are better than the United States without our country likely providing them? Thinking about the story for two seconds will take you out of the experience. But unlike the above movies where the story was the key to the experience, this film does not suffer this burden. TOP GUN: MAVERICK is an experience. It is also a highly enjoyable one. The film knows what lane it picked and it settled inside perfectly. Never try to be more than what you are. This film takes that premise and runs with it.
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
Finally a German adaptation to one of the best anti-war novels of all-time. An adaptation of this book has already won Best Picture all the way back in 1930. A highly regarded TV film was also made in the late 70s that was also very good. This film is my second favorite of the year. It is more dedicated to the book than any of the previous versions. My biggest issue is that like 99% of the people who have seen it, the movie is exclusive to Netflix. This movie would have been much better if it was able to be experienced on the big screen. Despite this, it is almost a perfect film.
So there you go. Ten films nominated, only two worthy of that nomination (With my notable exceptions included above). There have been years where I often dislike or am unimpressed with a chunk of the Best Picture nominees. But never at a percentage like this year. If 2022 is the image of what Hollywood has in store for us (And keep in mind that TOP GUN: MAVERICK was made last decade when our culture was a little different), than the future is indeed bleak.
I recently watched the latest MARVEL extravaganza, BLACK PANTHER 2: WAKANDA FOREVER. My expectations for this film were non-existent. Marvel films and many of the Disney Plus TV shows have been disappointing. The films seem to be trying to regain the luster that was lost after Thanos was thwarted in the process of trying to implement the WEF/United Nations Agenda of depopulation. Other than the nostalgic impact brought about by SPIDERMAN: NO WAY HOME, the quality of the films during Stage 4 have been mostly mediocre. So going into watching the latest BLACK PANTHER movie, I prepared for the worst. So after completing this over 160-minute marathon, let me tell you what I think. BLACK PANTHER 2: WAKANDA FOREVER is one of my favorite Marvel films.
Before diving into this evaluation, I have to make two key points. First, I was not a fan of the first BLACK PANTHER film. Despite being told that it was the first movie to reflect African culture, it felt more like a bastardized Hollywood version of it. The movie had an interesting premise and the villain, Killmonger played by Michael B. Jordan, was a complex and fascinating character. But despite getting a Best Picture nomination (Which the second BLACK PANTHER movie actually deserves), the film was flawed. Unlike many of the elitists writing about this film and the revolutionaries on Reddit using the film as an example for a future rebellion, the villain was a terribly flawed character because the basis of his motivation was revenge. It made the Wakandans sympathetic because their philosophy on how to evolve the world was through technology and education, not force. Hence Killmonger dying at the end was a fitting resolution for that character. Besides this, the movie also had a terrible final section that ruined anything good that occurred during its initial two-thirds. Second, you have to accept the universe that was created by Disney and Marvel for these films. Killmonger believed that black people were being repressed and forced into second class citizenship. This led to his motivation for violence to “balance’ the scales. For most of history, I would agree with aspects of this thought. But you would also have to overlook the slavery that non-whites force onto their own populations inside their own countries. In the present day, it is much harder to make this argument in the United States. So understanding that Disney has created a universe with an advanced culture leading the world from Africa and all of world history is about oppressing minorities is the creative jump that needs to be taken to embrace the ideas of the film. In actuality, most of human history is about conquest. Every culture on this planet on every continent fought wars and created empires. The first few thousand years of human history was various different groups of people fighting over land and conquering different tribes of individuals. During the heyday of the British Empire, conquest was replaced by colonization. Canada and the United States started out as colonies of the British. There are examples of this throughout modern-day history. So understanding that the ideas behind the BLACK PANTHER universe are as fictional as the ideas behind the ongoing and real “woke” revolution is important before taking the leap into those films.
SPOILERS: IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE, STOP HERE.
BLACK PANTHER 2 starts with the Wakandans mourning T’Challa. As everyone knows, Chadwick Boseman, who played the character in four films, died at 43 years old in 2020 from colon cancer. The movie pays him a wonderful tribute during the opening funeral scene. In all honesty, I was not sure what direction they were going to take this film after this emotional opening scene. But the film ends up having a deep, vibrant story that puts the ideas from the first film into the dustbin of history. Due to the Americans’ curiosity about the element vibranium that is the key to the technological advances of Wakanda, they find an outcropping of the mineral in the middle of the ocean. After trying to obtain the mineral, the Americans are attacked and killed by a race of blue people that depend on the vibranium for their own culture. No, these are not extras from the latest AVATAR movie. This is a thriving civilization named the Talokan that has evolved from the Mayan civilizations of the 15th and 16th centuries. This is a wonderful beginning but is not even close to being the best part of the film. The leader of the Talokan, Namor (Played by the wonderful Tenoch Huerta), approaches Queen Ramonda about the American’s interference with their source of energy. This opening leads to probably the best middle section of a Marvel film ever.
Before going on, I want to make this observation. Our present-day United States is an empire. So understanding again that this film is a work of fiction, if a country like Wakanda existed which surpassed the United States technologically, our country would likely be on a war footing with it. The actions of the United States trying to clandestinely capture some vibranium is a very accurate description of a policy that we would practice. The one thing that is unbelievable is that if an American vessel was attacked and our citizens were killed (And the Americans blamed the attack on Wakanda), our country would be at war with them. The dovish response by our intelligence services does not make sense in comparison to the reality of the nation in which we live. So this leads directly into my main analysis of this film. THE VILLAIN NAMOR IS RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING. Plus, Wakanda’s own actions against him is a pre-cursor to a tragedy that they deserve.
After capturing Shuri, Namor explains to her the details of how a tribe of Mayans ended up living deep underwater in the ocean (HINT: It has to do with the vibranium they discover). His hostility towards the surface world is enforced when after his people come back onto the land to bury his mother, they are witnesses to the Spanish conquistador’s oppression of the Native Tribes of Central and South America during the 17th Century. Namor gets his revenge and wipes out the plantation but also makes a vow to his people that they will live in peace underwater separately from the humans on the surface. But once this vow of neutrality is broken, he would declare war on the surface world. So why would this philosophy lead to his antagonism towards Wakanda?
First, Namor blames Wakanda for making the world aware of their technological paradise and the innovations it has created with vibranium which would naturally lead other countries to seek out solutions to obtain the mineral and balance the geo-political scales. This led to the discovery of vibranium in the ocean which violated the peace that the Talokans were trying to maintain.
Second, after Shuri is captured, Queen Ramonda sends Nakia underwater to free her daughter and the MIT scientist from Namor’s captivity. At this point in the story, the two sides were still peaceful. During the captivity, Namor exposed Shuri to the culture that was thriving in his underwater paradise for the past 500 years. This clandestine action leads to two dead Talokan soldiers which leads to Namor swearing revenge against Wakanda. This leads to their attack on Wakanda where a good portion of the city is wiped out in a mass casualty event and Namor, who swore revenge against Queen Ramonda, ends up killing her. Every single one of his actions makes complete sense when contemplating human behavior and our psychologies when we feel under threat of attack. After this, the movie evolves into a full-scale battle film and a new Black Panther comes into existence. At the end when the Wakandans inevitably win, Namor makes a political decision with his life on the line that makes total sense and is consistent with the ideals that he has promoted throughout the movie. So as you can tell, this movie really caught me off guard with its intelligent storytelling and incredible character and world building. I highly recommend this movie. And if your kids want to learn more, teach them about the history of South America. Until next week when I publish the last section of my “conspiracy theory” posts.
Nicole Kidman on Stanley Kubrick back in 2019.
“Stanley told me the world is run by pedophiles,” Nicole Kidman said while promoting HBO’s Big Little Lies, in Los Angeles. “He studied secret societies his whole life, he was fascinated by them, and he said the elite, the top secret societies, they are full of men with a certain predilection. They are tied together, sort of bonded, by pedophilia.
“They all know each other’s dark secrets. There is no way out for any of them. It’s a lifetime bond. Even if one of them wanted to go straight, repent, so to speak, he can’t. His peers will bring him down. They are in it until death, driving the world to ruin. That’s kind of how Stanley explained it but it was all very complex. I’m probably not doing it justice.”
I recently re-watched EYES WIDE SHUT. As an older and more intelligent, wiser individual, the movie's clarity impacted me more than it did when it was originally released in 1999. The movie has gained a following on Reddit among conspiracy theorists worldwide when it was discovered that over 20 minutes of the film was removed after Kubrick passed away. Plus, there have been questions about whether Kubrick was actually murdered for getting too close to revealing the truth about secret societies. But looking at that quote above and finding out that a person named Jeffrey Epstein would be arrested and exposed many years later, does that quote spoken by Kidman seem all that shocking anymore? Now, watch this Alex Jones clip from 2002. Sure sounds like he got some of these predictions right (Cashless society, Open Borders, Centralizing Health Care, Releasing Diseases and Viruses, Depopulation).
Let’s look at these predictions about what Jones believes is being set up for humanity.
Cashless society/CBDCs: Check
Open Borders: Check
Universal Health Care: Check
Released Virus: Check
Depopulation: Possible but Often Discussed by “Elites” and the UNITED NATIONS
So why do I bring this up?
As someone recently told me, “I NEED NEW CONSPIRACY THEORIES BECAUSE ALL MY OLD ONES HAVE COME TRUE.”
But even using this term “conspiracy theorist” is questionable. Because if you believe the researchers featured in Ron Unz’s article, “conspiracy theorist” was a term created by our own intelligence agencies as one of many possible solutions of discrediting any individual who questions the government’s narrative. So keeping this in mind, this blog (Broken into two sections) will feature three things that seem so unbelievable, that most people would think they were conspiracy theories. But all three of these topics have been proven true (Or at least factual even if the underlying motive is unknown).
The first will revolve around a recent Twitter Files release and an organization called Hamilton 68. The existence of this organization and what it accomplished is so incredible, it actually feels like bullshit. But internal emails and private conversations prove that everything this organization did actually happened. The second will be a Tucker Carlson segment about the egg shortages. Right-wing websites have been broadcasting the inevitability of food shortages since the COVID-19 lockdowns hit. Other than the occasional item going out of stock, this prediction seemed a little over-reactionary. Then, 2021/2022 happened and a rash of devastating fires has wiped out food processing plants all over the country. There have been so many in one year, it is hard to call the discussion around this topic a ‘conspiracy.’ Plus, a new bird flu conveniently emerges leading to the culling and slaughter of millions of chickens. So what is going on here?
Finally, is it time for us to have a global debate about COVID-19? Many articles are starting to appear in the mainstream media about the mistakes made by public health officials and governments concerning masking, lockdowns, and mandates. If there is justice in the world, a new Nuremberg type trial will be initiated against these genocidal criminals who created a health crisis through lockdowns and then vaccines which have been proven to be ineffective and dangerous. Since this topic is complicated, evaluating this topic will likely be pushed back till next week.
Back in 2017 and 2018, there were at least a dozen “liberal” leaning friends who showed incredulous behavior towards me when I expressed my doubt about Trump being a Russian agent. First of all, the narrative on the entire episode was a red flag from the beginning. You have to assume that Trump was this individual with genius intellect who put together this plan with the support of his buddy Vlad in Russia. Trump does not seem to have the capability of thinking five seconds ahead let alone planning to steal an election with foreign support months in advance. The whole thing seemed ridiculous from the Russian bots down to the “golden showers” being thrown at hookers in Russian hotels. This week, Matt Taibbi not only debunked this entire embarrassing history of media incompetence but showed that the whole episode was more complicated than anyone thought. For people who believed that proving Trump to be a Russian agent was an intelligence operation, you can pat yourself on the back.
Part 1 is here.
Part 2 is here.
The Final Addendum is here.
Hamilton 68 finally responded to his reporting in the final addendum. Taibbi discovered that Hamilton 68 was a “computerized dashboard” of fake news stories that was easily accessible to all the major media organizations. A short list includes ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, PBS, MSNBC, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST and websites like MOTHER JONES. Even fact checking sites SNOPES and POLITIFACT sited the stories as “truthful.” The stories that were created from this “dashboard” were also used in university research and government policy documents. Inside the Twitter Files, the company quickly came to realize that Hamilton 68 was a massive fraud. Because in their quest to prove the overwhelming number of “Russian” bots that existed online, the program seemed to arbitrarily pick random American citizens who opposed the narrative that the government had created. Many of the “Russian” bots were just average people with a Twitter account and an opinion. While Sputnik News and RT were included, an incredibly large majority of the “Russian” accounts were actually harmless. The geniuses behind this program are names that have haunted this country for decades (Neo-liberals and neo-conservatives alike). People like CIA Chief Michael Morell, Russian Ambassador and Intelligence Agent Michael McFaul, troublemaking government official John Podesta, and probably one of the worst people in the world, neo-conservative and WEEKLY STANDARD editor Bill Kristol. It is hard to believe that this is true. But this Hamilton 68 generated “fake news” story after “fake news” story which were quickly picked up by the mainstream media and dispersed worldwide. The entire operation was a gigantic con. As I have said multiple times on this blogs and have informed a few of my friends, “There is no better creator of “fake news” or “misinformation” in this country than our intelligence services and government.” Twitter understood the purpose of Hamilton 68 and actually opposed the actions of the government to defend the users under attack for false accusations. But like so many of these Twitter files have shown, they really did not force the government to change anything. Their behavior is kind of like bitching about the bully who continues to abuse you but doing nothing but whining about it to everyone you know. Like so many of these Twitter files, the company proved once again to be filled with weak-willed cowards.
Since this blog is getting long, I want to point out another conspiracy that can not be disproven just by using basic common sense. 100 food processing plants have burned to the ground, half of them under suspicious circumstances, since the beginning of 2021. That data stops at the end of June 2022. Since then, there have been at least two dozen more including one in Connecticut this week that killed over 100,000 chickens. This segment two days ago by Tucker Carlson is incredible. He doesn’t have proof of any suspicious behavior (That is the scary thing about these fires). But he wants to let Americans know that these blazes are going to cause massive food shortages very soon. There are evil forces at work here and no one seems to understand what is occurring.
Next week will be my conspiracy blog regarding COVID-19. I will also try to piece together what is going on inside the United States with our culture, politics, and economy. It is hard to ignore the fact that mysterious forces seem to be guiding us towards an unknown goal. What that is will be determined in time. Until then, have a good week!
EXPERT OF SOME