Bring Back HBOs Carnivale

 

Sofie : You know, the people in these towns, they’re asleep. All day, at work, at home. They’re sleepwalkers. We wake them up.

 

Enter the world of Carnivale. A down trodden melancholy look at life for a group of mysterious outsiders belonging to no other but the travelling circus in the dust bowl era. They are hardened hustlers that support one another through the events and strange encounters they’re faced with while on the road.

Ben Hawkins is the newcomer who is swooped up after being caught in the middle of an economic dispute dealing with his family’s land and the banks that want it. His last known kin being his abusive mother suddenly passes away and he’s left with no one. The Carnivale troop is reluctant at first to pick him up because they notice the chains around his ankle signifying he’s an escaped convict. But they take the chance and hide him while on their way to their next show. Thus the story of Ben Hawkins and the characters of Carnivale unravels.

I believe that Carnivale is one of the most important shows HBO has ever produced as far as amazing storytelling goes. Daniel Knauf had the gift of weaving old Americana folklore with the realism of a generations need for escapism during the depression. I was a fan of the shows slow pace which isn’t something many people can appreciate now a days. A mere 2 seasons didn’t grant the show enough justice.

For we are the carnivale audience left shrouded in mystery. Our questions are looming as we’re strangely drawn to the freak shows, waiting in line to see the world’s strongest man, and drifting past the eerie backdrops of props and stages.

Is it possible for the world of Carnivale to be revisited? If Chris Carter can successfully revive the X-Files, then I have hope for Daniel Knauff. I remember the web rumours going around about there being a Carnivale movie to give fans some kind of closure, but nothing came about. Although it’s been a lifetime since the show last aired I still believe that the cult of Carnivale will never die and will continue to grow. It will be revived in one form or another and there will be new tales wrapped in mysticism waiting to envelop us.

 

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High Rise(2015)

 

***Spoilers***

Dr. Laing sees the blueprint and says it’s like  “An unconscious diagram of some kind of psychic event”

 

Meet Dr. Robert Laing, a psychiatrist who has just moved into a luxury high rise experimental community building trying to start over and trying to find the place where he belongs in society. He’s a fluid man who sways and flirts with the tenants from different socioeconomic backgrounds. But they know better. The tumultuous and never ending argument between the tenants on the top floors versus the tenants on the lower floors does not deter him from the everyday and seemingly rigorous task of living his life. The architect is played by Jeremy Irons, a seemingly intelligent figure who reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. He’s the man behind the dream, the man who envisions and brings his idea of the perfect living environment to life but like the Wizard, once the curtain is pulled you find out he has no real idea of how to really construct a full functioning and decent habitat for the different social classes.

I didn’t see much difference within the social classes that resided in the high rise. To me they were both barbaric, heathens, selfish, and greedy in their own ways. They had their own agendas. The building itself didn’t seem like the type of place you would consider a luxurious place you’d want to start over. It was drab and gray with high balcony walls that didn’t offer a picturesque view at all, almost prison-like. Reminds me of living conditions in our society. Gates and bars to keep the riff raff out. Gates and bars to imprison ourselves. But in this case the riff raff resided behind the walls. The tenants were sheltered from the outside against the very ugly things that hid within them all along.

Dr. Laing couldn’t find it in himself to settle down because he wasn’t really home. He wasn’t comfortable. There were too many life expectations. Boxes remained unpacked. He couldn’t decide on a paint colour. He was an outsider gathering mental commentary on the different people and groups he spent time with only to experience madness in his day to day grind.The use of metaphors was so delightful and intriguing. We are given a vision of fruit rotting as the architect explains how certain things about his building are falling apart or settling in. All unravels, as the architect becomes unhinged. His marriage falls apart, his building, the quality of life for his tenants. He even states that, “I am the architect of my own accident”. There is also the theme of going over the edge. There are some important scenes that take place on the balcony and in the movie they are recurring.

There is violence, lust, voyeurism, celebration, and death. There is a thin line between being civil vs going over the edge. But for how many? It forced me to ask the question, under what circumstances would I break? Would I riot? Would I hurt an innocent? Would I steal? This film would be a perfect topic of discussion for a sociology or psychology class. Are we all susceptible to being stripped down to our inner most animalistic urges? According to Freud and Pavlov it depends on the psyche. According to me, it’s all a matter of our environment, psyche, and influences all mixed up together creating a concoction of who we really are. But do we really have control over what or who we really want or aim to be? Dr. Laing had a career. He made money. He was handsome. He got sex. He had what he needed but he still had desires that weren’t being met, and it drove him mad. At the end of the movie when all those things were stripped from him and he didn’t have a social class to gravel to he was at peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Film Review – Goat (2016)

Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)

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Title – Goat (2016)

Director – Andrew Neel (King Kelly)

Cast – Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas, Gus Halper, Danny Flaherty, James Franco

Plot – Still struggling after living through a horrific assault, new college student Brad (Schnetzer) finds himself enduring a new kind of terror in a fraternity hazing period that his brother Brett (Jonas) is a proud member of.

“Pledges gotta go through hell, otherwise, what’s the point?”

Review by Eddie on 08/03/2017

The tradition of college pledges and hazing has seemingly been around as long as the hills themselves and in a movie sense has been a part of almost every college film we’ve laid eyes upon, often portrayed as hilarious and laughter inducing events that are a rite of passage for college teens looking to establish themselves in a fraternity or “brotherhood/sisterhood” of lifelong friends and accomplices. That Andrew Neel’s Goat therefore feels like the horror version…

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The Prophecy (1995)

 

The Prophecy is one of my all-time favorite movies about the war in heaven between angels, God, and Lucifer over man. It stars Christopher Walken as Archangel Gabriel, an angel who served as the right hand of God, but who has felt betrayed because of God’s decision to favor man over angels. To him the hierarchy doesn’t make sense so he decides to take matters into his own hands by trying to start a war between the angels who remain loyal vs the fallen. Angel Simon (Eric Stoltz) is one of the protagonists who is loyal and just. He tries to protect the sanctity of heaven and God’s rule by talking sense into Gabriel but is saddened at his failed attempt to convince him otherwise. Simon is prepared to go up against his brother Gabriel’s plans to find the wickedest soul in existence to aid him in his war. There is also a detective/ex-priest named Thomas Dagget (Elias Koteas) who accidentally gets caught up in this war. He wants no part of it, but is drawn in when the life of a child is at risk.

The Prophecy was released in 1995 and for the time of its release it was a pretty good thriller with impressive special effects when compared to other movies that came out during that time. The story was well written with colorful quotes and unforgettable dialogue. Don’t forget the all-star cast that gave amazing performances, especially Walken as Gabriel. He expressed envy, greed, and maliciousness in a way that really had me thinking about the stories in the scriptures and what a creature like an angel might really think about man. I feel pretty old calling this one a classic but it is classic and I do believe that if you’re a fan of Christopher Walken this is a must see.