Blade runner

Soooo, did I ever talk about Blade Runner on this blog?

I’ve always had a lot of opinions about the film, but it seems like every film buff has wrote a dissertation on it. So what’s the point of clogging up the internet with one more, ya know?

But after ripping off it’s ending in my latest short story, I can’t stop thinking about it.

For the record, and I’ve been very open about this, Blade Runner 2049 is the superior film. By a fucking mile too. Ridley Scott is an interesting visual filmmaker, but all of his movies lack heart. This is true for not only Blade Runner, but Alien, Gladiator, The Martian, etc, as well.

Additionally, I find the script to be underwhelming. Even the film’s most memorable moment (the Tears in Rain monologue) was largely the result of actor Rutger Hauer’s ingenuity and not so much the writer’s. I don’t blame Hampton Fancher and David Peoples for this (the latter would later write Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven). The final script was probably the result of compromise during a troubled production.

Nevertheless, Blade Runner works because everyone else behind the scenes CRUSHED their role, from F/X artist Douglas Trumbull, DP Jordan Cronenweth, composer Vangelis, concept artist Syd Mead, production designer Lawrence G. Paull, and everyone in between.

In Scott’s defense, I believe he sees himself as more of a “CEO”-type filmmaker, or one that brings together highly talented people to do their thing, as opposed to being an auteur himself. So in that respect, he did his job really well. Nevertheless, likely because of this approach, there is an “it” factor that’s lacking in Blade Runner which prevents it from becoming one of the great classics in cinema.

Strangely, I think MOST cinephiles agree with this: Blade Runner is visually and conceptually one of the most influential films of all time. But is it a great movie?

Personally, I think that question is more interesting than the film itself.

But where I disagree with most other fans of the Blade Runner universe are on the Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) scenes. Hauer feels like he’s acting on an island in this film. While that’s a deliberate choice, his scenes drag the movie down. And to be completely honest, the movie is not nearly as interesting without Harrison Ford on the screen.

Now Ford’s performance is somewhat controversial. It’s noted for being his first “mature” role, and a lot of people don’t like it. He often comes across as detached, grouchy, and needlessly aggressive in some parts. Ford’s performance is a bit dialed back, as opposed to Hauer, who isn’t afraid to be hammy and childish. Unfortunately, Ford acting choices were better suited to the Blade Runner universe and, despite being the leading man, he doesn’t feel like he’s in the film enough.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got to say 🤷‍♂️

Breaking bad on Wall Street

Yeah, like everyone else in the early 2010s, I was addicted to Breaking Bad. It came at a turning point when we started evaluating the male ego in art and storytelling. Many bitch about this paradigm shift, but honestly it’s given me a fuckton of creative fuel to write my dumbass stories.

Without it, I wouldn’t have a writing career at all! So thanks Breaking Bad for all the digital trees I’ve wasted on the internet.

But as time has passed, it’s obvious that there were problems with the show. Now I try to evaluate art by the intentions of the artist. So what were the showrunners trying to do here?

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/breaking-bad-creator-vince-gilligan-231701266.html

https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/breaking-bad-skyler-hate-vince-gilligan-1235347122/amp/

Apparently, creator Vince Gilligan didn’t know either. While I think everyone involved did their jobs in the most competent and effective way possible, in my opinion, there was a fundamental difference between Gilligan’s vision and Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of Walter White/Heisenberg.

I base this opinion on zero research, but hear me out…

I’m assuming, when the show was pitched, that the thrust behind the story was to watch the protagonist turn into the villain. At least this is what drew me into the show. But if that’s the case, we run into an age old Clark Kent/Superman problem.

Philosopher and film theorist Slavoj Zizek, while discussing The Joker, claimed that the real identity of a superhero IS the mask and the person beneath it is the alter ego. Or, in other words, the MASK is what permits us to be our true selves.

In that sense, Heisenberg-the “MASK”- is really what Walter White is. If Heisenberg was ever wearing a mask for a disguise, that mask was the man Walter White. Therefore, Walter White…or, more accurately, Heisenberg…was ALWAYS evil.

I’m glad all of that makes sense.

But the problem is Walter White doesn’t always ACT like the bad guy. In fact, he’s usually shown being a loving father and Jesse’s guardian. Sure, he poisons a child, watches a woman choke to death, etc etc. but Walter White…probably due to Cranston’s acting choices…seems to signal horror at some of his decisions. In fact, if memory serves, he shows a sigh of relief when he learns that the child WON’T die from the poisoning attempt.

He even begs for Hank’s life for fuck’s sake!

Would Gus Fring, Walter White’s arch nemesis, have done that?

Fuck no!

And therein lies the fundamental problem with Breaking Bad: the audience never severs its sympathy with Walter White. Nor, I would argue, were they ever encouraged to do so.

Was this a deliberate choice by the showrunners? Was Cranston too damn competent at his job? Did anyone think any of this through?

I don’t suppose that this undermines the quality of the show. It’s just annoying to consider while re-watching it. The show seems to fail at meeting its own objective.

In fact, this concept…displaying a totally deplorable character in the most engaging way possible…has been successfully done before. Perhaps you remember it: The Wolf of Wall Street.

To be fair though, Martin Scorsese has a knack for this kind of thing. In fact, the movie that put him on the map, Taxi Driver, does something similar. The audience is exposed to a deranged world of a protagonist, we even empathize with him to a certain degree, but we can’t ever imagine coming to his defense (as fans of Breaking Bad have done many times before with Walter White).

With the Wolf of Wall Street, Scorsese “let’s you in on the joke.” Jordan Belfort is an over-the-top nutcase, and Scorsese allows you to indulge in his depravity, but you know that the end will come crashing down at any moment.

Scorsese isn’t afraid to “pull the trigger”…or show you the moment when a protagonist looses his grip on reality.

While Walter White certainly had his over-the-top moments, the audience is never encouraged to lose sympathy for him. This is reinforced through the writing. White should have never of begged for Hank’s life, his relationship with Jesse should have been established as being purely manipulative and nothing more, his role as a father should have deteriorated, etc etc.

Perhaps that’s the limits of television. When you spend five or more seasons with a character, it’s hard NOT to have sympathy for them.

But it always felt as though Walter White never quite broke bad.

klaus Kinski in your crawl space

I’m starting to really scrape the barrel of Tubi. I’ve probably seen every horror film from the 80s offered. So I might have to dip into some 90s and 2000s stuff soon.

This goes against my longstanding theory that it takes at least 30 years after the movie’s release before we can actually appreciate and judge its merits. Clearly I violated that policy by reviewing We Are The Flesh last week, but I only did that because I’m a disgusting pervert.

Yet, I have a duty to perform. And that duty is to find terrible and/or forgotten movies. I have to do what must be done.

The only thing of note I watched this week was a Dario Argento-produced joint called The Church. Really the only part that stuck out was it’s Philip Glass-inspired soundtrack. At one point, a woman is smashed to bits by a train to that inspiring score. If you’re a fan of Argento or Italian horror, this might be up your alley. Otherwise, fuck it.

The other film is Crawlspace starring Klaus Kinski.

Apparently this film has some notoriety, which I was unaware of when I started watching it. There’s even a short film called Please Kill Mr. Kinski that discusses the making of this movie.

Allegedly, Kinski was so disruptive on the set that the filmmakers tried to have him fired. Supposedly, a producer tried to have him killed (which wouldn’t be the first time someone tried to kill Kinski on a film set). The actor himself caught wind of this and became more disruptive.

But what about the movie itself? Is it any good?

Eh. It’s well made, I’ll say that much. Russian Roulette plays a big part in the story. And I give it bonus points for being really short.

But despite Kinski’s antics behind the scenes, he’s kinda subdued in a role about a Nazi doctor that rents out apartment rooms to unsuspecting women. Maybe I’m just used to watching Kinski be so insane that I forget that he was also an actor.

Anyways. That’s all I’ve got to say. Bye ✌️

Jack hardcock: Christian detective- a quick aside

My motivation for completing this story about a right-wing, ex(and now anti)FBI agent in Ohio has been depleted after some presumed MAGA dude was killed after trying to infiltrate the Cincinnati FBI field office.

It kinda sucks the fun that I was trying to have with this.

I know you don’t give a shit, but I need to say this to get it off my chest: I am not trying to make a statement with this story. My position with this blog has always been anti-political. In fact, I will continue to argue that our current political environment is indistinguishable from religious dogma and I want no part of it.

Furthermore, if you champion people getting killed to make a political statement, you are a part of the problem. You can waste your life arguing about some imaginary supernatural or metaphysical force that you want imposed on the world, OR you can live your life, create art, fall in love, and make the best of the short time we have on this extraordinary planet.

As an aside, my two biggest influences for much of my writing is Paul Verhoeven and some guy in rehab that tried to explain the plot of Momma Mia! Verhoeven’s schtick, particularly with Starship Troopers, was to tell the story from a fascistic perspective while simultaneously letting the audience in on the joke.

That concept blew my mind, so I picked it up and ran with it.

I’m intrigued by the idea of giving an audience the illusion of truth, but in actuality there’s nothing behind the curtain. It’s all dick jokes and insanity.

This is probably why I was so taken with the film We Are The Flesh. The review that I linked to in my last post called the film “anti-art.” And that’s essentially what I’m doing here. And that’s the motivation behind all of my writing.

There’s nothing behind the curtain. So embrace the madness while you can.

Jack Hardcock will return…

“We are the flesh” broke my mind

So what if you came across some information about an alleged “horror” movie which featured unsimulated sex between two adult actors who were, by the way, playing siblings…AND this film happens to be on Tubi?

Would you go “nah I’m good?”

OR

Would you say “yup, that sounds right up my ally”?

Be honest now, God’s watching.

Unfortunately this movie hit me at the right time. Not because of the sibling fucking and rock hard penises (and some vagina) throughout, but because the film’s subject matter appears to be “truth” itself.

http://www.audienceseverywhere.net/we-are-the-flesh-is-a-work-of-near-brilliant-anti-art-depravity/

What’s We Are The Flesh about? I honestly don’t know. Click the link above if want to find out more. It’s a Mexican film. I didn’t watch it with subtitles on. And I don’t speak Spanish. 🤷‍♂️ Plus I’ve got a terrible memory.

Nevertheless, I think it got its point across, which makes it a success in my book.

As the review above stated, it will draw comparisons to other movies in the “shock film” genre, but it lacks a little less punch. That might come as a disappointment to horror film buffs, but I think this was done deliberately.

In fact, the movie concludes (if my memory is correct) with someone getting up from a completed orgy, leaving the set, and walking out onto a normal busy street.

I’m assuming that person was meant to be “us”…the audience…just getting up and leaving the theater then going about our normal day after watching an hour and 15 minutes worth of people fucking and occasionally killing/raping on a very claustrophobic set.

I don’t recall the violence being particularly brutal, at least compared to other films in this genre, but the sex, of course, was. At one point, we’re just staring at a bare vagina and anus and then a penis and ballsack.

Why?

I dunno.

But as the review pointed out, we’re being forced to ask ourselves if there’s any artistic merit to any of this.

“Sounds pretentious,” you might say. And I agree. But the film is slapping you across the face with this question…because you’re staring at a penis and vagina for a GOOD 30 seconds each…almost as if it’s a commentary on filmmaking itself!

When it comes to the finer philosophical points to the film, I’ll defer to the review, as it explains them in far better detail than I ever could. But this movie really did break my mind.

I’ve never seen any film…or any piece of art PERIOD (except for a piece of long fiction that I recently completed, which I might go into detail about at a later time)….say SO much while simultaneously saying absolutely NOTHING.

…much like how TRUTH itself operates.

who wrote the rules?!

I don’t know if I’m just bored sitting in class for the last two weeks, but something’s crawled up my ass and I just feel like arguing with people. On Instagram no less!

This time I’m arguing with stuck up Christians trying to present their arguments as some sort of academic debate because they think atheists are too dumb to understand their beliefs. Now don’t get your panties in a wad, these are just the people who are pissing me off RIGHT NOW. There’s no telling who I’ll argue with next week.

I’m a sophist at heart.

But if there’s one type of person I can’t stand, it’s the stuck up “I’m smarter than you cuz I read academic shit” guy. Fuck those people.

In fact, I say it’s your DUTY to pointlessly argue with these folks. They expect everything to be a structured debate and demand strangers online follow the rules.

But I will not. If I want to “straw man” you, use “non-sequiturs”, create false dichotomies, etc. I am well within my right to do so and there’s nothing you can do about it.

So Who the fuck are you? The “logical fallacies” police?

hittin the bars

I remember working the bars in 2011 when some Rick Moranis-lookin drunk stumbled in with a briefcase. He went up to the bartender and began whispering something in his ear.

“Get the fuck out!” the bartender yelled as he pointed towards the door.

I never learned what that man said. But I think about him often.

The End

Luther the geek

Boy times have changed.

Back in the 80s, people thought that sexual assault and tormenting families was hilarious. But that was life in Reagan’s America. It was a disgusting time and I’m glad it’s over.

A nice little relic from this era is Luther the Geek. The best part about it is it’s short run time: 80 minutes 👍

The plot is simple: some lunatic is inexplicably granted parole and he instantly begins a reign of terror. He grabs ahold of some poor woman and proceeds to terrorize her and her daughter, who is somehow older than than her mother. The movie doesn’t know if it takes place in Iowa or Illinois, but really, who cares? They’re basically the same state.

The film epically concludes with the hero and villain clucking at each other like chickens.

The gore? It’s pretty good.

I wouldn’t say I’d “recommend” it. But hell, it’s only 80 minutes of your life.

good news

I’m a proud employee at the toilet factory. They think so highly of me that they’re sending me to Toilet College for a week where I will learn how to make toilets for the rest of my life.

I’m illiterate because I dropped out of school in the second grade. So needless to say I’ll have my hands full.

Good news is that you can expect more shitposts over the next week.

Because Shit is my game, and shit’s what I care about. 🥰

lol

Nothing makes me happier than watching the slow agonizing death of college football.

Maybe I’m just petty.

But when you grow up in flyover territory, college football is only a step or two away from being a full blown religion. Now major college towns across America are facing a sad reality that their football team will never see another title. That is, unless you’re living in Tuscaloosa, Athens, College Station, Austin, Baton Rouge, Clemson, Ann Arbor, Columbus, and maybe Eugene…or in other words…if your school has the money they’re willing to throw around.

But poor Oklahoma and Florida State fans. You guys had the world in your hands, but now you will both be doormats in the SEC once you inevitably join that conference. Smh

At least college basketball is still competitive tho