Hello, one and all—and welcome to my page of things only I seem to notice, in movies. . . .

Batman Returns

      In Batman Returns, the Penguin (played incomparably, by the incomparable Danny Devito) is placed in a basket, by his parents, to drift downstream, subsequently to be taken in by his new family (albeit penguins).  Then, he subsequently proceeds to take the firstborn, of families, in Gotham [City].

      The Penguin, has become a sort of "dark Moses."

Forrest Gump

      In the inestimable treasure, that is Forrest Gump—most everything is right on the surface, however. . . .

      Symbolically, it sometimes seems, as though Forrest in being represented as a "fully secular" Christ figure—even leaving a sort of "[Veil of] Veronica"—showing the face of, a part of the very culture of, America.  However, like in Blade Runner the allegory (Roy Batty), is flawed—in leaving his followers, in the desert—with no message: "I'm really tired.  I'm going home now."

      I think this reflects the writer's ambivalence towards Christianity—and a sort of "nostalgia worship," of earlier times. . . .

Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald!

      The 1997 Japanese film, Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald!, is almost an exact clone of Episode 60 of "Are You Being Served?"—"Calling All Customers," which aired on 13 May 1983.  The plots are virtually identical.

      The "Are You Being Served?" episode, featured the very early voice of Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), and. . . .

      Wow. That's Ken Watanabe, driving the truck, in Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald!.

       :) :)

Mortal Engines

      In Mortal Engines (which, for reasons . . . totally unfathomably to me, is one of the greatest box office bombs of all time), there is this airship, that looks–for all the world–like a giant, flying pink brassiere (once "seen," one cannot unsee that)—called, the Jenny Haniver.

      This in an INCREDIBLY subtle nod, to a 1978 Film, The Bermuda Depths—where this mysterious, supernatural woman character is named. . . .

Jennie Haniver

      Good Lord, is Carl Weathers *HUGE* in that film.  (!!)

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

      In Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, one of the Tuskagee Airmen, spontaneously calls out: "It's in the blood!"

      This is a reference, to the Tuskegee Syphillis Study—where a group of black men, were told they were receiving treatment(s) for syphillis (readily available); however, in truth, the government, was just studying the advance of the disease, in Afro-Americans.

      If you think that's an awfully potent . . . message, to be burying, in a comedy, well . . . I agree with you.

      And at the end of the movie, Robin Williams' character, places his thumb and forefinger over his eye, and says–quite clearly–"Be seeing you."

      This is the signature catch phrase–and gesture–in The Village, from The Prisoner—an absolute classic, of sci-fi.

      If I ever met Robin Williams, I planned on actively asking him about this—but then, he . . . died.  Something I've learned about life: Death sucks.

Okay. And a "Minor One. . . ."

      In Phase IV. . . .

      Although the movie is supposed to take place in Arizona (actually filmed in Kenya (Wikipedia))—both trucks can be seen, clearly, to be driving on the left side of the road. . . .

An Obsession

      "An Obsession" is a film directed by Shinji Aoyama. It is a remarkable film; and he is a remarkable director—neither, however, is an easy pill to swallow.

      The film is a (heavy) nod, to Akira Kurosawa's 1949 film, Stray Dog. But only in the beginning. After that, it takes off, in its own (unique) direction. (Devices like this, are common in Japanese cinema.)

      There's this one scene, where white-radiation suited "death squads" (I've heard them called.)—are rounding up undesireables. Well, like the "Sinister Mimes" in "An American Hippie in Israel," (*Mike chuckling*), I never read anywhere, where these were adequately explained. (In fact, I doubt such a site exists (at least in English (. . . .).)

      Once you read this—you won't every be able to get this, out of your head. Fair warning.

      These white suited . . . beings, are (allegorically) "white blood cells"—keeping the "organism," of Japan, healthy. This is why, our protagonist, looks at them, nervously–and one of them hesitates, before moving on–the director is telling us, in unbelievably clever and complicated allegory, that he's marginal.

      There's just no equivalent for this, in (modern, at least) American cinema.


      Okay, I'm going to state–right up front–that I was really quite surprised, with "Antlers"—that is, surprised, at it's quality. I found it good in many ways—but particularly its cinematography—and its portrayal, of the "ubiquitous economic despair," of the [American] Northwest. (. . .)

      Some of the criticisms, from critics—are that the symbolism, is "over-stated," "too simple." Well, I can think of least one case—where it isn't.

      Okay. Stop and think about this, a bit: There's a scene, in the hospital, where a nurse comes down the hall, stands there for a minute, and them moves into a room, "stage left." The scene, doesn't make sense. This, was what first put me on to this. When a director of the calliber of Scott Cooper does soemthing like this—it means something. Note that this is NOT always a valid line of thinking. For instance, when Michael Bay does . . . pretty much anything, don't take it seriously. He's admitted, he's got ADHD—and it SHOWS. (!) (And there is a fair whack, of . . . positively pointless camera work, in "Marvel" movies. Interesting . . . but ultimately, pointless. Hey---at least they're tryin'. (!) :) ;) ) So . . . whenever one sees a director of his calliber (or higher) do something like this—start thinking. . . .

      Okay . . . why are all the teachers, portrayed, as emaciated? Why (perhaps beyond "realism"—blows my mind, that the actor who plays the sheriff, was born, after I was slated, to get my high school diploma. . . .) is the sheriff, very clearly, portrayed as pot-bellied—and all the medical professionals . . . as downright corpulent? (Seriously—the doctor looks like a giant egg, on ankles. (!))

      Why? Because they are portraying–allegorically–the systemic economic inequality, of modern day America.

      Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs. (!)


      Something else, about the film, that struck me very strongly . . . was, the camera work, didn't manage to hide, just how much, Graham Greene's hands shook.

       :( :( :( :(

      I absolutely ADORE Graham Greene—whether as Kicking Bird, in "Dances with Wolves," Edgar K. B. Montrose, in the–inestimable–"The Red Green Show," or even the surreal, "Transamerica." (My vocablualary, on the subject, doubled upon watching that one. Seriously.)

      I hope he's okay. . . .