Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Frickin Holidaze =)

(Jump to the postscript for basic instructions and skip w the pleasantries. =)

Oh!—You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why:

It's just not a very good look for you. So, stop it already.


Season's Greetings, Programs!

Let's see…

I'm already getting annoyed with having to walk all careful-like on icy sidewalks…

My Tivo tells me there's a DOCTOR WHO special on BBC America next week…

And IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE is playing at the Brattle!

You lucky people—that must mean it's time for a computerized Santamaclaustic funtimeparty in a browser window! Mixed and baked by the weird quiet guy who doesn't write analog cards and has two thumbs!

Umm, you couldn't see it, but right then, I just sorta puffed out my chest, cheezily beamed at the monitor, and pointed at myself, thumbs-ily.

So, please point your look-at-the-internets-on-your-computer* here to collect your major award for failing to commit my email to your spam folder! That or for being my bestest friend in the whole wide world web. Whichever.

And in the spirit of that enigmatic uncertainty, I hope all is well-to-brilliant with you and yours and wish you a Happy Frickin Frackin Holidaze!

Keep on keepin on~

* The Claus-ness is Flash-y, so I'm afraid your iStuff and some mobile-oids won't play it properly. You will need a web browser with the Flash plug-in. Apologies from 2008.

P.S. Just the facts to get started w the 2013 Holidaze Santacular…

1. Point your webs browser here. Note that these Santa bits feature a music-ish-al component, so you'll want your speakers or 'phones ready to bleep. Also, this x-mas-perience is Flash driven, sorry iFolks.

2. CLICK to advance from the splash screen to the intro and instructions. Read the yadda yadda if you like.


4. At the top of the screen, Santa will drop explosive gifts from the rooftop. At the bottom of the screen, you have to catch the gifts in your stockings or suffer a gift-splosion. Position the stockings using your mouse (the stockings will follow your lead).

5. To win, you must complete four (4) rounds of Santa's gift droppings. Heh. Droppings. To play again, you have to refresh the page.

6. If you miss a gift-bomb, you lose a stocking and start the round over again. If you lose all your stockings, you lose, you loser. Click to try again. Loser.

7. Please direct any grievances or accolades to this address. Thank you, Merry Crystal Skulls, and Happy Twenty for Teens!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Update: The Marvel Universe after THOR: THE DARK WORLD…

Saw it again tonight. =)

I've got some SPOILER additional comments and corrections to my previous post… If you haven't seen THOR 2 yet, turn back now, for here there be SPOILERS!~

When Odin fills Thor and Jane in on the Aether, he mentions that there are relics that survived from before the creation of this universe, and the Aether is one of them. He mentions that the other relics all took the form of stone, but the Aether is fluid. He's flipping thru the Asgardian storybook while explaining, and the imagery might actually describe the stones. There is a rainbow of columns on one left-hand page, with items or runes maybe at the top of them. I'm sure someone must've gotten a screenshot out of a screening by now, but I'm guessing that they don't give anything significant up, or the Asgardians would already know it. Maybe a puzzle of some kind that reveals the locations of the stones? MAYbe? But I didn't notice anything that would obviously be that.

Would've been sweet to see a gilded animated GIF of the gauntlet on one of those Asgardian webpages. =)

Yeah, so I was wrong about the first epilogue. Maybe I was too distracted by the notion of The Collector that I didn't properly hear/listen to Volstagg's dialogue. He definitely says that Odin thinks it's too dangerous to keep TWO of the INFINITY STONES so close to each other and when he says that, he is referring to the Aether and the Tesseract. Cool, but also, Blerg.

This seems to mean that the gauntlet that we saw in the first THOR does not have anything to do with the Infinity Stones/Gems (seems like the movie universe may be calling them stones). Which is not to say that it isn't immensely powerful, cuz it *is* kept in Odin's weapons vault after all, but it probably doesn't give its wearer complete control over the existence the way the Infinity Gauntlet does.

Altho, I suppose at some point predating Bor's rule of Asgard, and the rebellion of the Dark Elves, someone might have possessed the Aether, the Tesseract, and the four other pre-existence relics/stones and fashioned the gauntlet to channel and combine their powers. Some great ancient powers must have defeated him and separated the actual relics from the gauntlet and gems (the gauntlet in the first THOR movies has gems embedded in it).

It really *shouldn't* be the Infinity Gauntlet in the vault. It *is* too dangerous to have two gems in close proximity, much less all six together in the gauntlet, so really, that thing we saw in the vault can't be the Infinity Gauntlet as we know it, because that would be just too plain irresponsible, right? But… Maybe the gems can't be removed from the Gauntlet?

Maybe it fell into this universe from a parallel one. Heh. The SPIDER-MAN, FF, and/or X-MEN movie universe! =)

Or, maybe it's a paradox and is never created or destroyed, but exists in a closed loop in time. Sometime in the future, someone—probably Thanos, perhaps Nebula? let's say Thanos—will don the gauntlet and it will draw the six relics (and/or their power) into its gems and make its wielder all-powerful. When he decides to remake the universe to his own liking, he goes back to the beginning, before the Big Bang, but is pursued by the universe's champions (or they are kept alive by him/his ego, to witness his righteous triumph and creation), and they defeat/outsmart him and remove the gauntlet. One of the champions (I'd say Cap, if we're looking for will and purity of heart) uses the power of the gauntlet to trigger the Big Bang as it was meant to occur, return the champions from whence they came, and then scatter the six relics across existence. depowering it in the process. And thusly do we learn that the Gauntlet (and Thanos) will be, and always will have been, instrumental in the creation of the universe in the first place! Done and done! =)

Keep on keepin on~

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Marvel Universe after THOR: THE DARK WORLD…

Saw THOR: THE DARK WORLD yesterday and enjoyed it mucho. A good story, a new/original (as far as my Marvel comics memory can recall) threat, and some great interaction between Thor and Loki. A very cool-looking and interesting movie-realization of the dark elves, particularly Malekith (a clever way to re-create the comic's version's harlequin appearance) and Kurse/Algrim, whom I first met under Simonson's watch. Better, funner writing than the first movie, and some great fun with wormholes. =)

That's as much as I'm gonna jot right now in the way of a "review." What I really want to get to before I forget anything are the epilogues…

Beware. What follows is a SPOILER-ful rambling on the epilogues of the second THOR film…

I was *really* hoping to get a tease of Coulson sucking down some mead and exchanging headbutts with Viking heroes in Valhalla, or haunting the wastes of Niffelheim, perhaps trying to get a message to one of the Asgardian warriors. Alas, no. But then, any Asgardian time of Coulson's should've been spent in the past compared to the timeline of this movie anyway. O well.


We see Volstagg and Sif meet The Collector, played by Benicio Del Toro (! =), to deliver to him one of the Infinity Gems. Apparently Odin has decided that it is too dangerous to keep the gems of the Infinity Gauntlet in the same vault as the Tesseract. On the surface, good thinking, as Asgard and Odin's weapons vault have been compromised or nearly so twice within two years.

The Collector is an Elder of the Universe, one of the I-can't-remember-how-many longest lived beings in the cosmos, each of whom in their old age has become unofficial patron alien of some aspect of existence or another. The Collector collects. He prizes endangered and one-of-a-kind items or beings of the cosmos. In the comic book universe he maintains a world of various artificial environments that are homes to samples or the last of thousands of species. In the comic book universe, the Elders for a time were the keepers of the Infinity Gems and the Collector possessed the yellow Reality gem.

In the THOR epilogue, the case that contains the gem glows red from the inside. The red stone was identified in the comics as the Power gem. The Collector accepts the gem and remarks on the wise decision to separate the gems, from each other and the Tesseract, apparently. Once his guests have gone, the Collector says to himself, "One down… Five to go."

The container for the gem is a little confusing to me. If I didn't know about the Infinity Gems and Gauntlet, the case for the gem would appear to be a miniature version of the containment device that once held the Aether (two black stones/boxes, with the red glowing Aether permitted to radiate from a tight space between them). In the movie universe, is the an Infinity Gem meant to be made of Aether? Since we've already seen the Gauntlet in the vault in the first THOR movie, that really doesn't work for me. I'm pretty certain that Sif or Volstagg called it an "Infinity Gem" ("Infinity Stone?"), too, and referred to there being more than one. So, I think the visual, for the un-Marvel-initiated, might be confusing.

It *would* be kind of interesting to have the gems created or materialize over the course of several Marvel movies, tho, but that would require making them separate and distinct from the Infinity Gauntlet that cameo'd in the first THOR. Why bother, right?

And… The Collector knows there are five more. So yeah. Screw the Aether-as-gem notion. Just a not-very-well-thought-out (or maybe too-overthought on my part) visual design coincidence, right?

Kind of a reach, tacking this on to the end of this movie. I mean, there's no real plot connection between what happens in the film and the events of this epilogue. That's kinda disappointing, but maybe I guess it's just practical, and good use of a now-established channel for tipping fans off about activities that happen behind the scenes, y'know?

Bringing the Collector in sets off my GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY alarm. And for me, it also puts some more movie-time/distance between the present and an ultimate confrontation with Thanos and that is a Good Thing as far as I'm concerned. Thanos is one of The Biggest Bads, and throwing the Avengers and Guardians at him will be awesome, but best done after they've gone a few rounds with other bads (Ultron and the Elders).


Thor beams in from Asgard to Jane Foster's apartment in London and they immediately smooch it up. Sorry, Sif.

Then, a cut to the abandoned shipping warehouse where the first Nine-Worlds-Conjunction wormholes appeared, shipping containers now stacked normally. A small flock of pigeons zips across the scene, followed by a bounding Asgardian beastie (I thought it came from Loki's homeland, the realm of the frost giants, Jotunheim, but not certain) chasing after them and trying to snap a few up in its jaw.

I suspect that the AGENTS OF SHIELD will end up being assigned clean-up on this little fella. Might be an opportunity to get more of the Coulson backstory if it is in fact entangled with an afterlife stay in Asgard.

Hrm… Another way to get the AGENTS more tightly woven to movie events would be to have them stumble upon one of the other Gems. Ohhh… The Soul Gem! That might be a final piece to a Coulson puzzle… OR a VISION puzzle! Wack!

How would they end up working a Gem case? An Asgardian delegation to one of the other Elders/Gem trustee might be intercepted or randomly attacked by enemies of Asgard, or perhaps the Centipede guys, or AIM or HYDRA. If they're capable of hacking SHIELD they might get some up-to-date intel that with some ESPer and Extremis help could give them the advantage of surprise in an attack on a couple of Asgardians in Midgard airspace, right? Anyhow, the Asgardians would smite them, but perhaps not without losing their package.

But to whom on Earth would Odin entrust such an object of power?

How about Doctor Strange? =)

Keep on keepin on~

* November 10, 2013. After a second screening, I found that I missed or misunderstood some of the dialogue in the first epilogue. For updated crazy talk based on a better understanding check out this post. The main of the error is that Volstagg (and the Marvel movie universe) take both the Aether and the Tesseract to be Infinity Stones. Note that it does not undo a lot of my more fun speculation here. =)

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Son of Coul

Just want to get my meandering thoughts on a Coulson-Asgard connection down in one place before I see THOR 2 sometime this weekend, especially in light of the latest AGENTS OF SHIELD episode. And now… some crazy talk =)

In THE AVENGERS Coulson was speared by Loki, an Asgardian god. He died heroically. In Norse tradition, what happens to a hero when he dies? He is taken to Valhalla! Otherwise, if a Norseman dies an unremarkable death, he might end up in Niflheim (I'm not certain if that's the same as Hel?) he becomes the subject of Hela, Norse goddess of the dead and daughter, somehow, of Loki.

I (want to) believe the Coulson did in fact die from Loki's attack, but because he was killed by an Asgardian, Asgardian death/afterlife protocols rule, and he—or perhaps his soul—is sent to Valhalla or Hel. As Asgardians are not meant to be worshipped as gods anymore by humans, this is something of an unnatural happening, an automatic exploitation of a kind of death loophole, an error that needs to be corrected. And it wouldn't be just Coulson, but any human whose life was taken by Loki (collateral damage in Germany and NYC, along w some SHIELD and Project Pegasus agents).

On Asgard, Odin would be the first to detect this. Actually, he might not need to notice a disturbance in the Asgardian force to know that this has occurred. Remember, Odin's ravens were on Midgard watching everything during THE AVENGERS.

Of course, Hela would no doubt hide/not mention it to any of the other Asgardians, as Coulson would be the first new humans she's welcomed in a long time. On their natural deaths, these humans should be consigned to the afterlives of their belief systems, and not pressed into Hela's service by circumstance beyond their control.

On Earth, Coulson might appear to those he was closest to, as a waking vision *ominous music*, or in dreams. Who that would be that we've already met… Fury? Hill? Pepper? The cellist? May from AGENTS? Or maybe Thor, as the Asgardian with the most quality time w the man.

Perhaps Odin has a way by which these human souls can be returned to Earth, alive (meaning that when they're back on earth, they'd be able to visit their own graves with their actual dead bodies). So, Odin would dispatch Thor to confront Hela and seek their return.

If she is not cooperative, Thor would storm Hel—I'd love to see Cap and Iron Man join him, maybe Loki would be pressed into service as well—and rescue Coulson, along with all of the other humans wrongly killed by Loki in his attacks upon Midgard. Odin should probably wave his hands and close the loophole that allowed for this misfiling of deceased humans, too.

An adjustment to my original thinking, which had Coulson trapped in Hel, providing us with a reason/excuse to have Avengers and SHIELD storm Hela's domain and battle all manner of undead beasties… Now, I think that Odin detects humans in Hel and Thor and the Avengers assume that Coulson must be among them. Once they kick Hel's ass and collect all the human souls there, they find that he's not among them. It's then that Odin talks them thru the rules of the Norse afterlife, specifically, the death of a hero. And then Odin summons a valkyrie (What's Valkyrie's name?) to bring Coulson to them. He offers him the choice of staying or returning to Earth. Coulson explains, "I'm no hero. I'm just a man with a job to do. I'd like to get back to it."

And so, Thor and company and the rescued humans return to Midgard. The humans' memory of their time in Asgard quickly fades, perhaps as a result of Odin's magicks, perhaps in obedience to Asgardian law or the self-preservation of human sanity. Y'know, the usual convenient reasons. Coulson remembers his time as "magical" and is hypnotically or psychically made to believe that it was spent in Tahiti. To shore that up with actual memory, perhaps part of his recuperation time was actually spent there.

I think that the first season of AGENTS OF SHIELD is going to revisit Coulson's post-death time in Asgard. Maybe someone/something hitched a ride back with him—maybe something bad, the Red Skull, maybe something good, Captain Marvel? Perhaps he unwittingly did something that ties him to Asgard, a la Persephone and the pomegranate seeds, requiring him to return so many days each year. Or maybe it was part of the spell or bargain that had to be struck to allow him to return to Midgard as a human, putting him in service of Odin, or Karnilla, or even Hela herself.

Anyhow, they'll encounter some Asgard-related threat that will bring Coulson's after-life misadventure in "Tahiti" to the forefront.

What does Coulson know? He knows that he's different. He's had a medical workup done to see if he's physiologically different. However, nothing seems inconsistent with his expectations. But what would those expectations be? Proper diagnostics for an enhanced LMD (based on Phineas Horton's Human Torch android tech), or the healthy test results of a human being? 

What does everyone else think? May, Fury, and the SHIELD doc all seem to believe that Coulson is somehow not-Coulson. Little jokey remarks from Coulson himself seem to worry May that he may be aware that he's not fully human. The thing is (and the great thing for writing it is) that we don't know if Coulson is consciously teasing his colleagues (and us) or not.

The Coulson-in-Valhalla/Hel scenario can allow for him to return to Earth in his body, cuz hey! Asgardian superscience! However, I'd really really like for that to have been impossible, and that his soul could only return to Earth in a vessel of some sort. I'm thinking an LMD modified with Coulson's DNA for the organic bits. How much would Coulson love taking up residence in the original Human Torch's body, right? =)

Oh, wait. Okay.

Coulson is speared on the helicarrier. He dies.

Fury has his body taken to a secret lab on the carrier where his brain/memories/engrams/whatnot are recorded and saved and saved.

SHIELD docs then use his DNA to create an LMD clone of Coulson at the age of his death (reproducing all of his scars along the way). They then program the LMD's brain with Coulson's recording, adding the magical Tahiti placeholder after his spearing and death.

This is who's running the Agents of SHIELD team. A copy of Coulson. Which is kind of amazing, considering how human, humanely, and compassionately he's been behaving. It is NOT Coulson.

However, a trip to Asgard might allow for this LMD to become the *complete* Coulson, by superscientifically adding the fallen Coulson's ghost to the machinery.

And this artificial LMD body could be capable of harnessing tech and powers and abilities that a normal human body could not, like, let's say, producing and storing energy from solar radiation, the control of the density of its molecules, which would allow for flight, enhanced strength, and intangibility. Doubt it? Hey, did you see this week's ep of AGENTS? Hel-LO! The Chitauri virus does exactly that! Sure in a HUMAN body it ends up killing the host, but how about an LMD and/or the Torch's body? They're giving us the pieces to this puzzle. Coulson would then be The Vision.

Or, wait. No.

Coulson does make it back from Asgard/Valhalla/Hel, in an Odin Force-restored human body. LMD Coulson becomes The Vision. LMD Coulson joins the Avengers roster and human Coulson takes his place as leader of the Agents.

Kinda weird for the Agents, I know, but I like that we get to have both Coulson and Vision at the end of this. Which probably means it's too good to be true/happen.


I hope you enjoyed my crazy talk. =)

If you're interested, check out some earlier, related crazy talk…

Post-AVENGERS crazy talk

Post-AVENGERS crazy talk 2

Setting up for the next AVENGERS…

Keep on keepin on~

Friday, October 18, 2013


ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW. (October 15, 2013 @Somerville Theatre).

A remarkable feat of filmmaking! It combines guerilla-style-shot footage on location in Disneyworld with some simple strategic effects work and an intrepid cast to tell the story of an average American family's fried crack-up of a misadventure in the happiest place on earth (tm). I'm pretty sure you can tell if you'll enjoy it by whether or not you like the trailer.

Spoilery brain dump follows…

The conceit that allows for the twisted weirdness of the film is a combination of the father's won't-quit libido (he insists on following a couple of French-speaking teen waifs around the park) and a CDC alert about the spread of something called the cat flu. Apparently, the father has it, and the things he sees and experiences are tainted by the fever and delirium it brings on.

I was hoping for an overarching conspiracy/master plan to connect everything, but while there are hints of more, the explanation of the weirdness experienced by the family really does seem to start and stop with the flu.

For a while I thought an "Owl Creek" scenario, with cat flu being the cause of demise might fit, but it doesn't quite account for everything. For instance, one of the extra tail endings involves an alternate version of Dad showing up at the hotel with a different family just as his body is being driven away. A nice tease of… something.

Altho, I suppose Dad could actually be Owl-Creeking seeing his own body taken away… Maybe it does cover everything. Hrm…

There's some weirdness with the father's behavior in regards to his relation to and responsibilities involving the kids. At first it seems like he might be a stepfather or mother's boyfriend, and during a flu trip (during "It's A Small World" I think), he sees/hears his wife tell him, "You're not his father, you know." But over the balance of the film, he seems to own the legit fatherhood role, if pretty irresponsibly.

Dad. He begins his last full day at Disney out on the balcony of his hotel room, talking to his boss on the phone. Just before (?) the boss informs Dad that he's been let go, he tells him that he absolutely has to try the "Soarin'!" ride. After the phone call, the Boy wakes up and locks his father out on the balcony then goes back to sleep next to his mom on the bed. Dad then calls Mom from the balcony, who wakes up and answers, "Where are you?"

Also while he's out there, he notices a van pulling up to the front of the hotel and some kind of jumpsuited technician or operator get out and look up in his direction. He sees the same thing the next day.

Hrm… I'm confused now about how many days pass in the course of the movie. I thought it was one full day, but maybe it's two.

On the monorail ride over to the park, the Dad notices the French-speaking waifs in their car. They seem to take a shine to the Boy, but one of them might be making eyes at him as well. In any case, he takes every opportunity throughout the day to follow them around the park, which isn't difficult, as they consistently cross paths even when it seems he's lost them. In a hotel gift shop, his wife even notices that he's looking at a "Learn Just Enough French" book, and at the hotel pool, he shamelessly swims over to the girls while ignoring his son (who's just fine).

Late in the day, after cleaning up his bloody sock in a public restroom (he cuts his foot on broken glass in the hotel room), one of the waifs actually approaches him and invites him to join her and her friends. She says something about only wanting to help him, or save him, I think, but tempted as Dad is, he rejects her offer. Her farewell response is a face-spraying spit-take, flashed back to later when Dad apparently connects it to his cat flu symptoms. Kinda thin. And weird, considering it's an intentional spit-take and delivered long after he starts suffering hallucinations. Maybe she was trying to immunize him?

Note that at the fireworks show that night, the waifs are holding hands with the two boys they meet at the pool. The combination of pose and shot had me thinking "ritual" somehow.

At one point in the day Mom asks Dad, "Did you have another blackout?" as if he's had blackouts before. In this case, when Mom asks, Dad has *not* actually had one. However, later, after he meets the Witch, he seems to lose time between talking with her on the bench and then having her pendant slap him in the face while having sex.

I like this actor. He reminds me of a mix of Ken Marino and Harrison Ford. Together with the kid who plays his son in this, I'd dig seeing them in another/other creepy movie scenarios.

The Boy. The Siemens scientist guy berates Dad for not following directions. Apparently his boss w the accent, who fired him over the phone that morning, was supposed to tell him to take the boy to a certain ride (Soarin'?), and the scientist guy had to work to manipulate things—shutting down the Buzz Lightyear ride—so that would work out. But it seems like it didn't, because Mom took the Boy and Dad took the Girl to Soarin'. The Siemens scientist's focus on the Boy seems like a Good Direction storywise.It's the Boy who locks him out on the balcony in the morning. It's the Boy's eyes that go completely black during Dad's first weirdout. It's the Boy who closes the bathroom door on his cat-flu-ridden Dad in the hotel room the next early morning. It's the Boy whom the Disney henchman focuses on when they arrive to remove Dad's cat-transmogrified body. I would have liked to have seen the Boy as some kind of chosen one. Maybe a reincarnation of W? Maybe the second generation result of an experiment performed on Dad when he visited Epcot as a child?

Cat Flu. Would have liked to have had this to be revealed as a product of the Siemens secret lab. Or Disney. Something that is released on the theme park's patrons to turn them into new theme park workers or attractions. Maybe it was a failed such thing, a prototype Tigger Flu? Dad was coughing hairballs into the toilet (but we never saw him lick his arms or anything : P) and when the Disney henchmen check his body in the morning, he has cat's eyes.

The Mom. By the end of the film, she seems to be succumbing to the flu as well. When she spots the Parisian girl passing by, the girl's face morphs into something demonic.

The Girl. She starts the movie afraid of witches but learns that they're not real. Then she gets abducted by the sex-princess-witch, but comes to no harm. Dad finds her pretending to be Sleeping Beauty, apparently happily engaged in a make-believe game w the Witch. She skins her knee when the Rascal's bully of a son knocks her down. Dad takes her to a Disney first aid station where a hot Disney nurse cleans and bandaids the Girl's knee while Dad does some unsubtle ogling. It's here where we learn that anyone might be a host for a new brand of flu. We see a CDC poster warning of "Cat Flu" on the wall behind her. When Dad and the Girl leave the infirmary, the nurse breaks down and cries, apparently broken up over their imminent doom.

Sex-Princess-Witch. A married woman who befriends Dad while they watch their kids playing in some little safe zone of the park. She wonders aloud at when/under what conditions it's okay and becomes not okay for a person to embrace a total stranger. This in light of seeing kids hugging make-believe princesses at the park. She claims that Japanese businessmen pay top dollar to see these princesses after hours. She then takes it back as a joke.

Later, she reveals that she used to be one of these princesses.

Yeah, see, there's a lot going on here. A lot of potentially great and fun stuff. Unfortunately (for me), they're all given equal weight and discredit in the end by the death of Dad by cat flu. I kinda wish that this had been three or four shorts in a possibly interconnected anthology about a family that meets its end at Disneyworld, with causes ranging from simple human nature to flu-induced delirium to social/bio-engineering conspiracy.

Still, it's a pretty awesome trip. If you're at all intrigued by the idea of this film or its making, you should see it. =)

Keep on keepin on~

P.S. As a lovely bonus, we got the most perfect trailer before the screening =)

P.P.S. Did any screening of this film actually bring the lights up for the Intermission? Didn't happen in mine, and I didn't register it as a demarcation point between a first, slightly fried part of the film, and a second, totally gonzo wackjob part of the film.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Please sponsor! The moviegoer you save might be you!

But it's probably me. =)

Donate/sponsor my 2013 Watch-A-Thon run!
For about two dollars, you can buy a soda, regular or diet…

For just two dollars a film at the Watch-A-Thon, you can help the Brattle Theatre keep thousands of moviegoers fed with buckets of popcorn, salt and butter optional…

For about two dollars, you can also buy a cup of coffee…

For just two dollars a film at the Watch-A-Thon, you can help the Brattle Theatre save moviegoers from salt-and-butter-induced dehydration by keeping drinks, soft and hard, hot and cold, pouring at their concessions counter…

For about two dollars, you can buy a couple of donuts, filled or frosted…

Mmmm… Frosted… Rarrr…

What? Huh? Was I saying something? Oh yes—


For just two dollars a film at the Watch-A-Thon, you can help the Brattle Theatre keep moviegoers illuminated by the digital and celluloid brilliance of the greatest, funniest, darkest, funnest, truest, smartest, coolest, and most fried films available. Films that open minds and punch hearts. Films that get you thinking, talking, laughing, and crying…*

Why don't you click this link right now and show your support? With just one not-too-complicated payment of $24**, you can start to change the life of a moviegoer forever. And if you join me at the Brattle sometime, you'll find that life could be your own.

Thanks for your support.

Keep on keepin on~

* What? Yeah, that's right, crying. What? I suppose you're gonna say you've never seen SHAUN OF THE DEAD or STAR TREK II?

** A suggested, not required, amount. Based on the number of films presented in this year's Watch-A-Thon and—"I want my two dollars!"

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Monday, October 07, 2013

2013 Watch-A-Thon: Security Alert (not! =)

Please support the Unofficial Film School of Boston, the Brattle Theater—

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Dearest Customer,

As part of security measures, we regularly screen activity in the internets mail system for the traffic connected to the Brattle Theatre. I am recently contacting you after noticing an issue on your account.

Our system detected unusual Brattle Theatre inactivity linked to your electronic mail account, please follow the world wide web hyperlink below to fill the Watch-A-Thon form and ensure that your account we will not require to suspend and operation of the theater to proceed:


Note: If you are not fill the application your account will be permanently undisenabled and we look forward to your benefit from added monies (in US Dollars currency) of continued picture motion services.

This is serious matters of securing your privates and funds for advantage to this community as well to your taxation and promotion of arts culture. Please do not disregard.

Much appreciations for timely action,
Saul Overman, Esq.
Watch-A-Thon Division, Brattle Theatre

* If you would to join yourself to our Watch-A-Thon team of 2013, please examine the instructions here:


** And also option so attend any or every Watch-A-Thon events of cinema as listed here for 12 and 13 October:


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Thanks! =)

Keep on keepin on~

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

THE WORLD'S END: the end is nigh (in Boston, at least)

UPDATE! October 3, 2013. THE WORLD'S END *CONTINUES* at the Capitol Theatre in Arlington!

Greetings, Programs!

"Urgent" "news"—It looks like this is the last week that THE WORLD'S END plays on the big screen in Bostonia. It's currently playing at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square and the Regal Fenway in Boston.

Fenway's got it at 6:40pm thru Thursday and 9:55pm thru Wednesday…

The Somerville is playing it at 4:45pm and 9:40pm thru Thursday…

I'm game for any of those showtimes (tonight's included), with a preference for the Davis Square location (alas, it's no longer playing in the main room). Anyone wanna join me for one night, five friends, twelve pubs, sixty pints, aka BARMAGEDDON? Let me know!

And, hey! Y'know what, forget me (difficult, I know) and just go see it! =)

And for those of you beyond the Boston movie zone, look up your local options and get out there and see THE WORLD'S END in a theater before it's gone!

Keep on keepin on~

P.S. If you can't remember why you should see it—my (no spoiler) pitch.

P.P.S. Also, check out IN A WORLD… It started a week or two later, so you've got more time, but no lollygagging!

P.P.P.S. Can you spare a buck or twenty to help secure the fortune of a Nigerian Prince of an independent movie theater?—please support my Watch-A-Thon madness =)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

BREAKING BAD: two finale plot-theories…

1. Walt surveils Camp Swastika and confirms that Jesse is alive and cooking, chained up, for the $hitkickers. He puts together a plan to rescue him. He's not gonna walk thru the gate blasting away w that M-60. No, he needs help, but who? Badger and Skinny Pete! He also needs some transpo, an RV he buys off a Native American (they're BB's deus exes, no?), and the magnet-o-truck he manages to steal from police impound (or gets Junkyard Joe to recreate)!

Walt decides to attack in the afternoon, when Jesse is in the lab w Todd. Skinny Pete leads the charge in the magnet-o-truck. He does a zig-zagging circuit that yank nuts, bolts, and whatnot out of the camp's buildings and machinery and most of the weapons right out of the (Walter?) white supremacist jackholes' hands. Walt follows in the RV, letting Badger out on the edge of camp w the M-60 to perforate everything in sight but the lab. Walt exits the RV and enters the lab to find Jesse. Todd has left him to join Uncle Jack and the goons to deal with the obvious threats. When Walt cuts the chains, Jesse knocks him to the ground and backs away, flabbergasted, frightened, and enraged, still PTSD broken and hysterical after witnessing Andrea's execution. When Walt tries to talk him down, he's struck w a coughing jag that wracks his body and sprays blood on some machinery and the floor. Jesse softens just a bit at this, realizing how sick Walt is now, like his aunt was. Which is just when Todd enters the lab and gets the drop on them. He calls Uncle Jack and whoever else is still around. A few of the scumbags are dead or injured. The magnet-o-truck drove off out of the camp and the machine gunner is probably dead (his firing stopped abruptly). Todd starts a convo w Walt w the intent of recruiting him as their new master cook. Uncle Jack starts to put his foot down on that notion when Jesse yells, "Mask up, Mr. White!" Walt grabs the mask nearest him as Jesse grabs a mask for himself in one hand, a beaker of something or other with the other, and chucks that beaker into a bubbling part of the lab works, triggering a flash band and creating a cloud of phosphene gas. We see Walt make it out of the lab, half dragging Uncle Jack. Walt begins to explain the ways that Jack screwed up, but hey, he's lucky he caught him on a good day, and Walt explains what will happen to him given his exposure to the phosphene and then turns away from the gagging mostly blind Jack to find Jesse. Still sputtering, but apparently more able than he made out, Uncle Jack draws a blade from his boot and readies to lunge from behind at Walt. He's stopped by a bullet in his chest, and dropped by a second one. Walt looks to the gunshots and a cloud of smoke blows away to reveal Todd, mouth and nose covered with a rag, bandit style. He uncovers his face, revealing his smiling human mask. "Are you okay, sir?" We see that he's carrying a duffel from the lab, full of the most recent batches of Blue. Soulless dead-eyed homunculus that he is, Todd's done the math and realizes that Walt is way more valuable than Uncle Jack, and by killing him, he's proven his loyalty and trustworthiness. Todd approaches Walt and begins to parley, to paint a picture of a rebuilt Heisenberg empire with Todd as his apprentice, and maybe, one day, partner. Walt will have none of that, but he plays a receptive Heisenberg, and waits for an opening of some kind. He fingers the pack of smokes in his jacket (we see him earlier in the ep, alone, re-hiding the ricin this way).

Which is the same moment that Jesse (who made his own way out of the choke-smokey lab a while ago) chooses to whack Todd's legs out from under him—with a shovel, or no, the chain!—crumpling him to the ground. Jesse might have the presence of mind to explain to Walt that he has some unfinished business with Todd as he kicks Todd's weapon away. Walt graciously steps back, giving Jesse room to tenderize Todd viciously, delivering a slightly early eulogy that highlights his merciless inhuman acts, his f'd up excuse for a life, and his laughable attachment to both Walt and Lydia.


Todd's skull now crushed, Jesse turns to Walt. Walt hands him Todd's gun. I feel like they should be sitting, side-by-side, when they have their final conversation, so maybe they make their way to the RV, maybe they sit inside, maybe they sit on the ground in the shade against the vehicle. No, make it inside, cuz this RV is a better model in better shape than their first lab, inspiring Walt and Jesse to walk halfheartedly down memory lane again. Walt takes this to be a softening on Jesse's part, and he turns to his other, adopted, son now, to tell his story, for confession, forgiveness, and maybe to sell Jesse on carrying on his legacy as Heisenberg. I don't have the wordsmithing for it, but I'd have Walt deliver a speech about Heisenberg and how people get his principle wrong and what it really means. Part of him is still Mr. White, so of course he makes of it a teaching moment as well as a metaphor for their relationship, history, transformations, survival, and loyalty.

JP: I. Don't. Care. I only want to know two things. You watched Jane die?
WW: Yes.
JP: You poisoned Brock?
WW: Yes.
Jesse raises the gun.
WW: Do it. Yes. I deserve it and you deserve to do it. I *want* you to ki—
JP: I don't give a $hit about what you want.

Jesse throws Walt's body out of the RV. We hear Walt groan—he's not dead, but bleeding and barely conscious. Jesse throws the duffel out after him.

Wouldn't want to forget your legacy…

From across the camp, we hear someone call Jesse's name. It's Skinny Pete, helping a limping Badger along. Jesse: "My boys! Yeah! Wait there, I'll pick you up!" And he gets back in the RV and helps get Badger inside. He gets Skinny Pete to follow him into one of the office buildings and they roll out and load the money barrels into the RV, then drive out of the camp and onto the road. Badger asks about the barrels, thinking that they're precursor so that Jesse will get back to cooking. Jesse ignores the question and asks the boys if they know anything about Belize.

Back to the blasted camp. All quiet and still except the wind… until a door swings open and out steps Lydia. She'd been at the camp to pick up the latest batch of 90-some percent. When the $hit started going down, Todd put her in a safe room and told her to wait. Sweet psychotic boy. Well, since the gunfire stopped, she's been watching what's been going on, and tracking the product. She apparently makes a bee line for Walt's body and finds his hands wrapped around the duffel. Walt might be conscious enough to say a few words, but Lydia cuts him short w some snarky pinched remark thanking Walt for taking care of loose ends for her. Walt blacks out and Lydia yanks the duffel bag out of his hands and shoulders it. She looks in the bag, assured by the baggies of Blue. She reaches in and pulls out a pack of cigarettes and smiles a tight little smile. She puts them in her pocket and begins walking to another building. We hear a garage door open, Lydia getting into her car, and then see her drive out of the garage, exit the camp, and get onto the dirt road. We then see her in the car as she puts on her music (I haven't figured out the perfect selection—opera? a broadway musical? learn-a-language? Andrew Carnegie?) pushes in the car's lighter, reaches over to the passenger side, where the duffel is, and pulls out the pack of smokes. She shakes out a cigarette and drops the pack back in the duffel. The car lighter pops.

Cut to black. Music continues. It should definitely be music. How about "Across The Sea?" (I *think* the show has already used "My Way," right? =)

Finish w a montage…

Flynn entertains Holly while Skylar takes her turn in front of Robert Forster's camera for their new IDs at the vacuum repair shop. Pan over to two money barrels in a corner of Forster's workspace.

Robert Forster is escorted into a bank vault. Once he's left alone w the unlocked safety deposit box, he transfers the contents of the carry-on bag he has with him into the box—a ton of cash, topped with an envelope that reads "To Kaylee on her 18th birthday - love, Grandpa."

Elliott and Gretchen fighting in Elliott's fancy library. On the screens of a couple of laptops are headlines about proof identifying Walter White as Heisenberg and open emails with attached legal docs with the word "patent" and "Walter White" and "Gray Matter" letter head.

Jesse in a Hawaiian shirt running on the wet sand, chased by Brock as waves lap their feet. Jesse stops and catches him and swings him around until they're both looking out at the water and waving. It's Skinny Pete at the controls of a motorboat, a girl at his side, with Badger yelling at him, being dragged on waterskis behind him.

Music fades down as voices come up and we see a hotel room. We don't see the two men in the room, but we hear a job interview wrapping up in a foreign language. Camera focuses on a painting of figures on a beach and a boat in the water a short way off. One of the men says, "You know, I'm certain I've seen that exact painting somewhere before… In another hotel room on the other side of the world. Who do you suppose paints these? Where do they come from? There must be a warehouse somewhere filled with the things, right? Oh, never mind. My mind does wander sometimes. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me." The interviewer explains that it's not final, but he's 95 percent certain that Madrigal will be calling him back later today, tomorrow at the latest. The camera slides from the painting across the room, passing the exit as the two men shake hands and the one departs, out of focus, and lands on the bed, at a black pork pie hat. The interviewer: "Oh, sir! Mr. Lambert? You've left your hat! Sir…?"

2. I'm unclear on the potency of the ricin, but hopefully there's enough in the vial to deliver a killing dose when mixed in with a batch of Blue. When Walt sneaks into the $hitkicker lab, without rescuing Jesse, he poisons the Blue, which ends up hitting all of his enemies where it hurts. The batch of lethal blue, which kills hundreds in the Southwest and Eastern Europe, is blamed on Heisenberg in the media. And, with a couple of emails with particular attachments sent to the right newspapers and stations, Walt leaks proof that he was *vital* to the foundation of Gray Matter Tech.

So, Elliott and Gretchen are undeniably tied to the drug dealer turned mass murderer known as Heisenberg. Gray Matter's stock plummets.

Lydia distributed the poison Blue, guaranteeing that she will either be outed or eliminated by upper management.

Todd, Uncle Jack, and the $hitkickers produced the deadly meth, ensuring their liquidation by some wetworks subdivision of Madrigal.

Walt manages to contact Skylar and get her to give him up (along with proof and the location of Hank and Gomez's bodies) in exchange for immunity and relocation for herself and her family. She does it, and the police find Walt, along with instructions and evidence, dead, sitting in a chair in a room at the Crossroads motor inn, facing a clone of that painting from the Hacienda motel where he contracted Uncle Jack to kill Mike's people.

Keep on keepin on~

Saturday, September 28, 2013

BREAKING BAD: pre-"Felina" brain dump…

Getting some of my thoughts, hopes, and dreams for the BrBa finale out of my head and into words here. Will identify items or issues that appear to be in play and discuss a bit.

If it remains in the vial, then Walt must mean to use it to poison someone. The telegraphed option I'm seeing is Lydia's Stevia. Walt was ready to do it once before—he brought the ricin with him to a coffee shop meet w her. Not sure if he would have seen her Stevia habit, but he's gotta know that she's a tea drinker.

Does anyone have any idea what would happen to someone who took a drag of a cigarette w a plastic vial of ricin in it? I have this finale fantasy of seeing Walt hide the ricin like that again, having the pack on him when he's killed or knocked out, and then having someone (I'm thinking Lydia—does she smoke?) take the pack off of his body and walk off into the sunset, believing her/himself to have escaped Lambert's revenge.

A really dark use of it, a nuclear option that would take a nice chunk of flesh out of all of Walt's enemies, would be to drop it into the works of the lab at Camp $hitkicker. One ricin-tainted batch, distributed in the Southwest and/or Eastern Europe. With crystal blue as the vehicle, his supposed signature product, that would level up his horrific criminal rep to mass murder levels, taking Gray Matter further down by association, and the poisoned product would take Lydia and her network down as distributors, and frame Todd, Uncle Jack, and the shooting swastikas as the incompetent suppliers/producers. Heck, if everyone's afraid that the best product out there might kill them, Walt might even put a dent in meth trafficking and use as a whole! That's a special legacy, no?

Maybe it could be a piece of (vicious) leverage that Walt leaves for Skylar to work an immunity/relocation deal for herself.

THE M-60.
Having Walt and Jr. watch SCARFACE in the early part of the season was conspicuous, right? I mean, it was fitting, not at all forced, but c'mon, "Say hello" coupled with the junk in Walt's trunk. I think we know what we're meant to think and anticipate and, frankly, twistedly hope for. But wouldn't it be just the sly move to set us up for that and then yank the rug out from under us? Cuz frankly, I have a lot of trouble seeing Walter Lambert staying on his feet for more than 5 seconds once he pulls the trigger on that machine gun. So, who's gonna be that perforates the scenery?

I think Jesse would love being able to cut loose in the middle of Camp Swastika. Maybe Walt makes it into the lab to free Jesse but they get discovered and pinned down. Walt's injured, or maybe they're separated, and Jesse finds himself near Walt's oversized duffel, and inside, the M-60. Jesse straps that sucker on, steps out from his lab table cover, and starts blowing away the $hitkickers.

That would be pretty awesome.

Funny how the scumbags are WHITE supremacists, no?

I know it's kind of goofy, and would be way too joyful a thing to see, given the hellish descent of these last episodes, but I would LOVE for Badger or Skinny Pete (I'm seeing Badger more =) get dropped off with the M-60 inside the NeoN camp gate as a machine gunning diversion, while Lambert goes after Jesse.

Even if they don't get to handle the machine gun, I do think that Badger and Skinny Pete would make for devoted, if not super-effective, agents and soldiers in Walt's action vs. the $hitkickers.

I'd love for Walt to get the magnet-o-truck out of police impound. Wouldn't it make for a wonderful, surreal, and disorienting first wave of an assault? Yanking nuts and bolts and weapons and all kinds of hardware out of hands, buildings, and vehicles.

And Joe, the junkyard wizard behind its creation. He could be enlisted to conjure something special for one attack or another.

Elliott and Gretchen. I dunno bout this. I mean, Walt turned his back on his Gray Matter legacy a long time ago. Having them publicly disown him, well, it sucks to get kicked when you're down, but is that really the switch flipper for him in that NH bar? I definitely wanted Gray Matter to make an appearance at the end here, but I think it's used as the story-bait to draw Walt's attention to what comes next: the revelation that blue meth is back on the market.

Having Walt go Scarface at Gray Matter technologies would definitely be cathartic and fun, but I just don't buy it.

What would hit them where it hurts would be the release of documents that prove that Walt was instrumental in the foundation of Gray Matter as well as the revelation of further proof of Heisenberg's most heinous crimes.

I've had it pointed out to me that somewhere along the line we learned that Walt abruptly and most unceremoniously left Gretchen. I'm unclear on the timeline of Walt professoring, dating Gretchen, leaving Gretchen, meeting and marrying Skylar, and the founding of Gray Matter. I feel like what would fit is that Walt met Skylar while he was seeing Gretchen, got Skylar pregnant, and decided to do the Right Thing and leave Gretchen and marry Skylar and commit to a family life and a work life that didn't involve the complication of partnering with a jilted ex. IS this a mystery? I honestly haven't tracked the details and timing well enough to know, but if it IS, I'd like to see it "solved" in a way that hurts the Schwartzes.

Uncle Jack & the $hitkickers. They killed Hank (Jack pulled the trigger). They took his money. They broke their contract to kill Jesse. They used Jesse to produce a knock-off of his product. In the immediate wake of Hank's murder, Walt is keen to have them killed. After a few months' exile in the Granite State, however, that was no longer a priority. The reemergence of crystal blue (and thusly, Jesse's survival) put them back in his crosshairs.

I'd like to see this happen… Walt confront Jack, and either they both draw at the same time or Jack gets the drop on him. Just as Jack seems ready to dispatch Walt, Jack gets plugged by… Todd. Dead-eyed Todd does this to demonstrate his loyalty to and respect for Mr. White. Uncle Jack should never have made light of his feelings for lovely Lydia, either.

Todd. I don't think that Walt's got him singled out for a bullet. I mean, as far as Walt's concerned, Todd's been a good student (he applies himself, and that's all Walt can ask of him, right?) and altho he's basically soulless homunculus, he seems to follow a code, a vicious, calculating one, but a code.

Altho… If Walt has any contact with Skylar and discovers the ski-masked home invasion he led to protect his lovely Lydia, Todd would shoot right to the top of the hit list.

Jesse. He's no longer on the list. Walt regrets ordering Jesse's death. When he hears of the blue meth returning to market, he's just as relieved to realize that Jesse's still alive, being exploited by Uncle Jack, as he is furious that the neo-Nazi scumbags who killed Hank are profiting from it.

With his cancer going un/home-treated, Walt is ready and willing to pay for what he's done to Jesse and will ask or manipulate Jesse into killing him. In Walt's mind:
  1. Death by execution will be faster than the cancer. 
  2. It'll be his adopted son and apprentice who pulls the trigger, not some $hitkicker or usurper looking to make his rep. 
  3. Jesse will get some justice, closure, and satisfaction. 
Thing is, I don't see Jesse letting Walt off that easy.

Walt. He let Jane die. He poisoned Brock (how the heck did that happen, exactly?). He killed Mike and had all of Mike's men killed. He manipulated Jesse with sickening natural ease throughout. Jesse doesn't want to just kill Mr. White, that would be too kind, a mercy. He wants to hurt him, badly. He's already taken a very effective swing along those lines by exposing Walt's money. Alas, more powerful in concept than execution.

Walt will ask Jesse to kill him, that he deserves it, that he wants it to happen—I want you to kill me, Jesse, I want *you* to kill m. Jesse will respond by incapacitating him, not killing him—I don't give a $hit what you want, bitch—and leaving him somewhere the authorities and/or rivals will find him.

Todd. This guy has got to go. Bad enough he tortured him, caged him, and extorted 92% purity out of him with the threat of hurting Andrea and Brock, the dead-eyed husk of a boy next door executed Andrea and orphaned Brock, right on their front porch! He has got to go. If Jesse doesn't get to hole punch him w the M-60 then I hope he can detonate him with a shard of fulminated mercury. Hrm… Maybe Walt brings a bag for Jesse to pass off as part of the latest cook batch and either uses it to destroy the lab and escape or lets Todd cart it off to be jostled in handling or transportation.

Uncle Jack & the $hitkickers. Well, sure. These guys are responsible for torturing, imprisoning, and basically enslaving him as their cook. Jesse will be more than pleased to see them die.

I'd be very happy to see JESSE do the Scarface routine on the Swastikas, but I'd *love* to see him drop some deadly chemistry on them in the lab. A flash bang and cloud of phosphene gas to knock out and kill as many of them as possible so that he can escape (perhaps together with a captured Walt). Alas, I doubt Jesse'd be able to create any fulminated mercury while chained under Todd's supervision.

It should all end up in Jesse's hands for redistribution. A sizable chunk set aside somewhere secure for orphaned Brock and Mike's granddaughter. A considerable contribution to the Wayfarer 515 Fund. Some arrangement for Walt's family if possible (regular donations via savewalterwhite.com, anyone?). And enough left over to get vacuum cleaner repaired to Hollywood with Skinny Pete and Badger. =)

Todd and the ski mask patrol have proven that they can get to Holly and fam in their new (temporary?) home. Sadly, the only roles I see for Skylar, Flynn, and Holly are as leverage for Walt's enemies against him, and hostages vs. the cops should the $hitkickers get caught there. A showdown/standoff would be pretty frickin prickly and intense, no?

Y'know, I totally believed that Walt taking proud credit for all of his Heisenbergian criminal activity was enough to save Skylar from prosecution, but Saul did a fine job of explaining the naivete of that.

Somewhere in the unfolding of his machinations, Walt needs to contact Skylar to present himself as a bargaining chip for Skylar's freedom. Once she gets an immunity agreement drawn up, she'll give up Walt's location, dead or alive, with a confession and/or hard physical evidence at the scene—Crossroads motel, anyone? Not sure if the cops will find him dead or alive, but he will have saved his wife from prison and his daughter from foster care.

Perhaps Walt will arrange to have his family vacuum cleaner repaired.

Longshot. And I don't really like it, cuz if it works, it gets Walt legally off the hook, but the bodies of Hank and Gomez haven't been found, right? MAYbe Walt can play his performance on the phone w Skylar as being delivered under duress, with madman Hank Heisenberg holding a gun to his head? Then Walt's DVD could still be in play, along with a story about Hank dumping Walt in some hole while he went to take care of business w Uncle Jack in the desert, never to be heard from again.

Or something…?
I'd love for the last thing Walt sees to be a clone of that painting from the wall of the hotel room where he contracts Uncle Jack for the deaths of Mike's men. I'm not sure what the subject was… There was a boat, several figures in robes/tunics, the water, and the shoreline—Jesus meets Peter? Any significance there?
Maybe… Maybe, after Jesse refuses to do him in, Walt ends up ricin-ing himself in a room at the Crossroads, and that painting hanging in it.
I feel like they (and their vehicles) have been major and minor deus exes in a few episodes and the finale may need one or two of those to wrap up the stuff what needs wrapping. A longshot wish, Walt encounters the fellow who helped tow the RV out of the ditch way back when and either hitches a ride or buys his vehicle.
All right, enough crazy talk. Let me know if I'm way off on any of this and/or missed some detail in the show itself that renders any of my wishful thinking impossible.
Keep on keepin on~
P.S. Some earlier finale crazy talk

Thursday, September 26, 2013

2013 Watch-A-Thon!

Please support the Unofficial Film School of Boston, the Brattle Theater—
Sponsor my 2013 Watch-A-Thon! Thanks!


Greetings and salutations, my wise, enchanting, dashing, spiffily dressed, aromatic, arts-loving friend! I write to you as a fan and supporter of the super-awesome-fantastic Brattle Theatre, the unofficial film school of Boston and my favorite venue for soaking in the vast spectrum of cinematic radiation.

This Columbus Day weekend, October 12th and 13th, I will participate in the Brattle Theatre's Movie Watch-A-Thon fundraiser and would very much appreciate your most charitable (and tax-deductible) help!

The Brattle has programmed an intense course of six films for each day. That's *twelve* hours of movieing per day! The Saturday leg is an uphill climb of cult films, while the Sunday finish is a scenic trail of hills and dales through classic selections.

But hey, that's only the surface of the thing, the numbers, the trappings. The important bit, the heart and cash soul of the event—that's YOU! It's only with *your* help that my Watch-A-Thon run can raise funds to keep the non-profit Brattle Theatre's doors open, seats filled, beer and wine pouring, and films screening! You can sponsor my run on a per-movie basis, or make a flat one-time (or two, or three =) donation of support via my crowdrise page:

My Watch-A-Thon page @crowdrise

Each day's movie marathon runs from noon to midnight, and I plan to complete both, dominating all twelve films—check out the line-up!

Watch-A-Thon 2013 Schedule

If you're interested in joining me for any part of the marathon madness, let me know! And if you'd like to run yourself, or you're curious about the rules and details, sign up/check them out at the Brattle site!

Brattle Theatre Watch-A-Thon 2013

Thanks mucho for your support!

Keep on keepin on,
brian out =)

p.s. Please feel free to pass this message on to any filmaniac or cinephile you know who'd be interested in participating or supporting this awesome little theater. Thanks!

* October 7, 2013. Read "Watch-A-Thon Security Alert."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

BREAKING BAD: finale ramble

SO glad they brought the Blue (Meth) and the Gray (Matter) back in to fan the waning embers of Walt's mania, just as I'd predict-o-hoped! =)

Also nice and horrible to see that Todd and Uncle Jack and co. continue to prove that they are soulless homunculi. Perfectly nuts that Todd is motivated by a crush on Lydia. And that Lydia recognizes (or perhaps instigated) it and works it. Y'know, it's funny… with all the Wrong that's going/gone on in the show recently, I actually find this weirdness to be sketchiest and creepiest. There's a teacher-student sex scandal smell to it, y'know?

No? Just me? Well, allrighty then!

Gotta say, tho, her goofy greedy Wile E. Coyote lip-smacking drooling-over-the-roadrunner look, her reaction to hearing "92%," is pretty frickin awesome. =)

In any case, the neo-Nazi posse is a pretty ingenious device, hell hounds unleashed upon the BREAKING BAD landscape to wipe it clean of every trace of Walt and Jesse's great works. Langoliers.

Someone should write that on a bit of pottery…or poetry, whichever.

With news of Blue Sky, Heisenberg's trademark product, being back on the market, Walt has yet another reason to want Uncle Jack dead. No one fecks with his legacy, right? And, if he cares anymore, the Blue means that Jesse's still alive (and cooking), probably at Nazi camp. So, I'd have Walt case the camp, realize he's going to need help, and given the observed chained state of Pinkman, figure out a way to turn him into an asset and maybe an inside man.

Who's left to help Walt? (Cuz I really do not want to see Walt even think of going in all Rambo'd up, right?)

I'll tell you who—Badger and Skinny Pete! Who else is gonna stand up for Jesse, and thusly, stand by Walt in an assault on Uncle Jack?

(Maybe on the way cross country he'll stop in Omaha to track down Cinnabon manager Saul Overman, too. If only for the name of a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who knows another guy who's got an M-60 for sale. =)

That would be a nice explanation for where/how Walt acquires his Big Frickin Gun, altho I suppose it wouldn't be THAT difficult, right? He did leave home with a $100,000 box of Ensure, right? So, he's got a machine gun, he's got a couple of foot soldiers. How about the return of the mega magnet? Oh! That would be SO much fun! If he can figure out how to break it out of police impound, it would be a great opening move in an attack, right? One of the boys could cut loose w the machine gun and the other could drive-by magnetize the place, yank apart the camp, and the lab, even take out a lot of their weapons in one electromagnetic stroke.

How much you wanna bet a Native American sells Walt an RV that he uses as part of his assault? =)

But before it all finally blows up, I'd like for something like the following to unfold…

Walt makes it into the Nazi's meth lab and starts to free/unchain Jesse. But they start getting into it, having words, and a quick getaway stops being a priority as anger and despair take over. I mean, if Jesse isn't too bloody a tortured pulp again, or completely paranoid after Walt left him to be tortured and killed, or completely cracked after Andrea's execution, he *might* find it in him to take a swing at Walt. And then he might have to pause when Walt doesn't get back up and starts coughing blood onto the floor. Then of course Todd gets the drop on them. Todd calls the other Nazi cowboys in to figure out what's going on, when Jesse notices some particular materials that happen to be within desperate reach. He drops some not-too-clever comment, "something something poison, bitch," cluing Walt in to grabbing a nearby gas mask just as Jesse simultaneously grabs the other mask and smashes a beaker of something into a jar of something else, creating a flash bang and filling the lab with phosphene gas.

Todd's quick, tho, and maybe he's been studying, (or paid close attention to Jesse's confession tape), and he's just able to cover his mouth and keep from breathing a debilitating lungful of poison. The rest of the crew choke and gasp and die or get most of the way there. With one hand, Walt grabs a duffel from the lab, full of ziplocs with latest blue cook product. With the other, he drags the twitching Uncle Jack into the open air. He delivers a few choice words to the blinded, gagging $hitkicker…
On top of selling my product—a knock-off of my product actually, you are using the young man that I contracted you to kill to do it. So, please, understand that this is business, and don't take this personally.
Then something about Jack being lucky that he caught him in a good mood. Jack then commences with the Nazi charm, which Walt then interrupts with the satisfying swing of a tire iron. Todd staggers out of the lab just in time to see this and calls out to Walt, gun pointed at him. He approaches Walt, and even tho he just saw him bludgeon his uncle, cold bastard that he is, sees this as an opportunity, to parley with the man he respects, discuss some business, perhaps improve his skills, the better to impress the lovely Lydia. Walt engages w Todd. Or rather, Heisenberg engages w him. In a play to impress his potential loyalty to Walt, Todd shoots his semi-conscious burbling Uncle Jack in the head. All the while responding to Walt's talk of setting up a new lab, perhaps relocating, pondering a new color for the product based on select impurities he's identified (Kryptonite, anyone? The inspiration for the Lex Luthor rumors? =). Walt finally engineers a moment that inspires Todd to lower his gun and offer his hand to Walt…

Which is the same moment that Jesse (who made his own way out of the choke-smokey lab a while ago) chooses to whack Todd's legs out from under him—with a shovel, or no, the chain!—crumpling him to the ground. Jesse might have the presence of mind to explain to Walt that he has some unfinished business with Todd as he kicks Todd's weapon away. Walt graciously steps back, giving Jesse room to tenderize Todd viciously, delivering a eulogy featuring his merciless inhuman acts, his f'd up excuse for a life, and his laughable attachment to both Walt and Lydia.


Todd's skull now crushed, Jesse turns to Walt. Walt hands him Todd's gun. I feel like they should be sitting, side-by-side, when they have their final conversation, so maybe they make their way to the RV, maybe they sit inside, maybe they sit on the ground in the shade against the vehicle. No, make it inside, cuz this RV is a better model in better shape than their first lab, inspiring Walt and Jesse to walk halfheartedly down memory lane for a short short way. Walt takes this to be a softening on Jesse's part, and he turns to his other, adopted, son now, to tell his story, for confession, forgiveness, and maybe to sell Jesse on carrying on his legacy as Heisenberg. I don't have the wordsmithing for it, but I'd have Walt deliver a speech about Heisenberg and how people get his principle wrong and what it really means. Part of him is still Mr. White, so of course he makes of it a teaching moment as well as a metaphor for their relationship, history, survival, and loyalty.
JP: I. Don't. Care. I only want to know two things. You watched Jane die?
WW: Yes.
JP: You poisoned Brock?
WW: Yes.
Jesse raises the gun.
WW: Do it. Yes. I deserve it and you deserve to do it. I *want* you to ki—
JP: I don't give a $hit about what you want.
Jesse throws Walt's body out of the RV. He throws the duffel out after him.
Wouldn't want to forget your legacy…
It hits Walt's body, knocking the cigarette pack w a new ricin cig (how else would he carry it, right?) out of his inside jacket pocket. Skinny Pete calls out to Jesse from across the compound. He's got Badger half-leaning on him, hopping on his now one good leg and attempting to use an M-60 as a crutch. They took some hits in the initial attack (which allowed Walt to sneak into the lab for Jesse) and then managed to hide out until the smoke cleared (maybe in the hole where Jesse was kept prisoner).
Badger! Pete! No f-in way! My boys! Wait there, I'll come get you!
Jesse gets back in the RV and starts it up. He guns it of course, and the ruckus shakes Walt's body, causing the cigarette pack to fall and flip down the front of his body and into the open duffel.
Jesse and Badger help Pete into the RV and Jesse tells Badger he needs a hand with a few things. They roll the money barrels out of an office over to the RV and load them in. Badger asks about the barrels and if they mean that he's gonna go back to cooking. Jesse drops himself into the driver's seat, takes the photo of Andrea and Brock out of his pocket and fixes it to the flip-down shade, and starts the RV up again…
A couple of those barrels are ours. The others I'm gonna have to hold for some people. But no, I'm never gonna cook again.
Back to the camp. Shots of the bodies, tire tracks and footprints, ammunition and debris. Quiet for a minute except for the wind. Then a building door swings open. It's Lydia. She was at the camp to pick up the latest mega batch of product and was told to stay put once the shooting started. She steps out and surveys the scene. She makes a beeline for Walt. She's been watching, and knows that her goods are in the duffel. She takes the time to put on an oversized work glove she carried with her from the office, then picks up the bag and proceeds directly to a garage. She gets into her car, puts the bag in the passenger seat, starts the car, and turns onto the road. Maybe she checks some messages on her phone, or is calling someone to update them on the situation, using her naively coded terms. She is rooting around the glove box and top of the dashboard for something. When she explains to someone via speakerphone—Yes, I've got the product—she glances at the duffel and sees the cigarette pack and looks just a little bit relieved. She extracts a cigarette, lights it, and takes a long draw, and continues w the convo. She takes another puff, and starts coughing, but continues. And we see her car drive away.

COULD the ricin, in its capsule, stuffed into a cigarette, actually poison someone who lit the cigarette and took a draw or three? Where it *really* belongs is in Lydia's tea, but I don't see an easy way to get there. Maybe Heisenberg gets an audience with her, but the best play would be to have Lydia poison herself, right? Walt doesn't know about Lydia's Stevia habit, tho, does he? Todd knows, tho. Hrm… Maybe he kills her when she does something to disrespect him, cuz the power of a crush only goes so far, right?

I dunno. I'll think on it. Cuz I kinda can't not. Blerg.

Keep on keepin on~

P.S. REALLY didn't mean for this to turn into a chunk of fan fic, but I couldn't stop. I think my BB finale/resolution ideas end up being better in the abstract than with too much detail. Honestly, the M-60 and the magnet seem like too much fun given the descent-into-hell tone so far. But maybe something like that happens to set us up for a horrific turn. Y'know, get our hopes up that this crazy assault could succeed, right up until the moment that the $hitkickers open fire and perforate the RV, the magnetruck, and their drivers. Until we hear Todd tell Lydia that the last batch, that came in at 90%, was one that he did without Jesse, so we don't need him anymore. And he escorts Lydia out of the lab and we hear a gunshot behind them. Lydia rides off w the duffel of product. Todd looks on after her. Sees Heisenberg's porkpie on the ground, blown out of the RV apparently, and just leaves it there. The Ricin capsule is cracked and the powder blows away in the desert wind.

Maybe I'll get around to pulling back and writing another post before Felina arrives.

Maybe. =)

Friday, September 13, 2013

THE WORLD'S END: the Cups of The Golden Mile

The short version: I think that meaningful imagery from the tarot has been skillfully woven into the fabric of THE WORLD'S END.

Here follows the long version…

The rendering of the sun used in the sign for The Rising Sun pub at the end of THE WORLD'S END called to mind the sunny artwork I've seen on tarot cards. I'd already made the deja vu comparison of the pub signs (and names) to tarot cards (as most Wright/Cornetto fans will have), each with its own significance…

And not by mistake. =)

But when I went looking for an image to represent that thirteenth pub in my previous rambling post, I got to thinking that there might be references in those signs to the actual "standard"—I guess?—tarot, used in games and the telling of fortunes. Clueless as to the meanings of tarot cards, I shall be leaning selectively on the interwebz for my (mis)readings. =)

Now, King James and Shakespeare might describe Gary and the Enablers as being "in their cups" on the Golden Mile, a rather classy way of saying drinking, drunk, sloshed, blotto. The suit of Cups in tarot is associated with the element water (aka, "f@cking rain" =), the west, and autumn. It deals with emotions, imagination, and following one's heart (rather than one's head), taken to both positive and negative extremes. If using a deck of playing cards for readings, Hearts takes the place of Cups.

Next, let's count the cups (where a pint = a cup) in the pubs and pub signs of The Golden Mile and read them as tarot cards.


We see two pints, clones of each other, ostensibly demonstrating the Starbucking of modern pubs. Two pints gets us the Two of Cups, which represents partnerships and unions, one-to-one connection, romance, and bonding. This seems to be a fair reference to the connections, mutual and not, between Samantha, Steve, and Gary.


The sign doesn't give us anything in the way of cups, but it's outside this pub that Gary downs the three unfinished pints. The Three of Cups. It represents celebration, community, and reunion, but reversed, it suggests isolation from others. This describes both sides of Gary's hopes for The Golden Mile. A happy reunion of old friends for which he plays the fearless (and oblivious) leader to the hilt, hiding his chronic depression and suicidal tendencies.


On the servant's tray, we directly see four pints, with a fifth obscured by those in the fore-tray. The Five of Cups gives us loss and regret. Hopelessness and farewells. That lines up with the fate of Reverend Green quite well and sadly. Not sure that those sentiments really jive with the Blankening of O-man, tho.

If we count the pints in the hands of the shadowy figures flanking the servant, that gets us to the Seven of Cups, which signifies wishful thinking, getting caught up in illusions, a belief in limitless possibilities, and overindulgence. Sounds like a fair description of Gary's behavior, no?


In this sign, we don't see any cups. Well, unless we count those strategically placed sea shells (we shan't). However, we do see three women, and three women are depicted in the tarot for the Three of Cups, which, along with everything described above for its association with The Famous Cock, can be interpreted as an experience that makes you feel like dancing.


Okay, *this* is where it all comes together. A hand, appearing out of nowhere, through a hole in the blue brick wall, offering the gift of a refreshing beverage. One pint. One cup. The Ace of Cups, a representation of love, forgiveness, and inner peace. All of which Gary is seeking, whether he will admit to it or not. The image is of a hand presenting a chalice overflowing in five streams that represent the senses.

Now, take a look at *this*. What do you think? Is that not Gary, contemplating the three pints outside the Famous Cock, momentarily oblivious to the affection and love of his friends? (As well as their talk of Newton Haven not being the heart of anything—"If there's a bright center to the universe, you're on the planet that it's farthest from." =)

And isn't that fourth pint presented as a gift offered by a mysterious hand, reaching thru a hole in the blue sky?

This is the Four of Cups, which positively represents meditation, but negatively represents self-absorption. Descriptions of the Four of Cups explain that the man in the scene is focused on the three cups before him, meaning he's distracted by personal, perhaps trivial, matters, and so, unaware of the opportunity offered in the fourth cup by fate.

Okay, I'm just gonna straight-up copy/paste from the wikipedia
The Four of Cups represents a period of self-reflection and inaction and/or quiet deliberation or contemplation. The querent is being pushed into a bad situation or forced to do something that seems undesirable to him. This card can also predict that the querent might have to undergo a time of tribulation and/or force him to self-reflect or self-sacrifice.
Also, the reader must acknowledge that the figure in meditation is staring intently at the cups before him. This shows a distraction with affairs already present, although not necessarily all that is pressing. He need only look in a new direction to find the gift he is ignoring.
Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, you sick monkeys! What an amazing and perfect connection/layer to embed in the fabric of your film! I may have been stretching to make the Two, Five, and Seven of Cups connect, but the Four (and the Ace and Three on their own and as elements of the Four) that's gotta be by crazy frickin evil mastermind design, right?

Umm… No? What's that you say? Just a coincidence? Sometimes a pint is just a pint? Oh. Well.

Cock it—works for me! =)

And I'll bet that it doesn't end there…

I'd really like to run this—and other elements from the film, like the gang's surnames (i.e. King, Knightley, Page), other tarot suits in the signs (i.e. Pentacles for The Cross Hands?) and possible cameos by the major arcana (i.e. Temperance, The Fool, The World, The Sun?)—by someone who's more well and truly versed in the reading of these cards. Anyone want to comment and illuminate me on where I've gone right / wrong / not far enough / crazy? Please do! After all, it's too easy for me to make things fit if I cherry pick from a pool of "learning tarot" resource online.

Keep on keepin on~

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


May the Force be with you wankers!

This is an update of a previous post, which I submitted as a comment about the signs from the twelve pubs of the Golden Mile at EdgarWrightHere a while back. Alas, after an aborted attempt to edit it, the comment has apparently been lost in the limbo of awaiting-moderation. I wrote that post sometime after my second screening of the film and have since seen it a third time and confirmed that I misremembered a couple of events as happening in pubs they did not in fact happen in.

Oh! Sorry, sorry. —and confirmed that I misremembered a couple of events as happening in pubs in which in fact they did not happen. Sorry. Thanks.

So, consider this updated rambling *SPOILER*-ful blogorrhea my Final Answer.

Y'know, until I see it again. =)

[ 130913. For some crazy talk that relates some elements/events of the Golden Mile to images from the tarot, check this out. ]

Now, let's get this antique on the roadshow!


After a third screening of the film, I've confirmed that I wrongly placed Basil at the Old Familiar and Trevor and the Shifty Twins at the Good Companions. D'oh! But hey, remember, to err is human, so… Errr…


First, a "rule" that applies to all the pub signs: any with blue paint spattered on them mark pubs where the gang dukes it out w the blue-blooded Simulants. So, that's THE CROSS HANDS, THE TWO HEADED DOG, THE BEEHIVE, and THE HOLE IN THE WALL. =)

1. THE FIRST POST (click the pub name to see the sign in a new window).

An appropriate name for the first stop (an anagram of "post") on the Golden Mile.

A pun on "First!" comments/posts online.

The story of The First Post is an example of what the Network does to people: If they're not cooperative and useful, they're replaced by soulless Blanks and mulched as Empties. The original post office was declared obsolete, replaced with a pub, and ultimately turned into a Barbucks (the "Starbucking" of pubs) clone.

The sign's image depicts a crossroads, a fair metaphor for the so-called mid-life of one's 40s.

The post has three signs, marking the three paths, perhaps signifying that of the original five Musketeers who begin this journey, only three will survive, just as Gary suggests at the start of their evening.


"Familiar" as in inspiring deja vu, as it looks just like THE FIRST POST inside (Barbucks syndrome).

The old familiar… feeling! Meaning the effect that Sam has on Stephen when she appears.


This is the only pub (and publican) that remembers Gary without any Blanking help—because he's been barred for life, the (in)famous cock. Pretty awesome that the sign's rooster is actually wearing a coat. I wonder if it's got a Sisters Of Mercy tattoo on its breast?

(Can't remember if we saw what he did in 1990 that won him this (dis)honor.)

This is where the band see Basil, who is unresponsive to their greetings. It's outside of this pub that Gary downs the remains of three pints sitting on a table. A disturbing sign of his dedication to the Golden Mile. To my eyes a conspicuously edited/lingering scene, even as a heavy accent or bold styling on Gary's addiction issues.


"Cross" as in "angry." This is where Gary punched the wall tile in the gents 23 years earlier and almost does so again. He catches himself when he sees that same dent in the tile. IS it the same dent? Is it a trace of another young Gary making his way down the Mile some year since? Collateral damage from a now-Empty, resisting his Blankening?

This is where the gang first fights (and takes apart) the young Blanks, so there are "cross hands" on both sides. The opening grab-salvos between Gary and the young Blank leader are all about grabbing and blocking wrists and hands, as depicted on the sign.

It's here that Andy, Stephen, Peter, and Oliver discover that Gary lied about his mother passing away, making them a crew of cross "hands" to Gary's obsessed captain Ahab.

A stretch—Peter encounters his childhood bully, who does not recognize him. The bully's hands might be considered cross hands as well.

The while the pub's name describes the hands as angry, the pub's sign shows five clasped hands, reflecting the solidarity of the band (in spite of the King's lie) in the face of the cyberpunks attack in the gents. The checkerboard pattern background certainly evokes bathroom tile.


The expressions of the one comedie and four tragedie masks of the sign reflect the state of Gary and the Enablers—the unreasonably chipper King (and Jester) and his unhappy knights, while the fact that they are masks demonstrates that they are sticking to Gary's plan and pretending to have a good time getting on with the Golden Mile.

A reference to the Priestley novel? Of which I personally know nothing, alas. I'm unfamiliar with the English novel or the adapted play and films, but the internet tells me it's the title of those, which tells the story of three travelers who apparently save/join a band called The Dinky Doos.


This is where the gang loses Oliver *Chamberlain* (aka the trusty servant) to the Network. You can hear the hand dryer still running when Blank O emerges from the Gents. (Funny how the first thing I thought when I saw grown-up O-Man w the earpiece was "Cyberman." =)

(This is the pub where they "lost" O-Man back in 1990.)

This is also where they meet the Reverend Green and the two Newton Haven Blankolytes, humans who have gone along to get along w the Network. Sadly, it's when the reverend tries to illuminate Gary and the Enablers that he's called upon by his supervisor to join the Blank ranks, turning him into/replacing him with a true "trusty servant."

I think that the servant in the sign resembles *both* O-man and the good Rev to some degree, and the faded figures behind him represent the Shifty Twins.

And the word "Servant" does jive nicely with the pub debate over the use of the word "robot," as it is derived from "robotnik" which means "slave," and neither the robo-sapiens, nor their human collaborators (the Rev Tyres and War Bastard and friend), would consider themselves slaves.


This is where the fellas run into Sam again and she, Gary, and Stephen fight the twins, aka "the two headed dog." Their synchronized creepy twin behavior demonstrates their connection to the pub name, and while both the twins' heads do get popped, after a bit of hip and shoulder replacement, the canine resemblance to the pub sign is more about having four legs than two heads. Also makes for the wonderful line—"Get your feet off of her!"—and a crazy fun bit of foot-and-fisticuffs.
Question: can a two-headed dog look up? =)


The band encounters the youthanized Marmalade Sandwich at the Mermaid. They are the story's sirens of School Disco who attempt to lure our sailors to their Blanking doom.

The pub's name is kind of a contraction of "marmalade" (to "mermaid"), and the sign's image shows the Marmalade Sandwich in mermaid form.

This is also where Basil reappears to educate Steven on the truth behind Newton Haven since the June 22, 1990 shooting star. Basil, the conspiracy nut and truth-is-out-there believer who probably has an online degree in cryptozoology.

A stretch?—Does that golden pearl in the Strawberry mermaid's hand look just a bit like golden ring?


Cool teacher Guy Shepherd has a sit-down w the gang to explain the "merger" offered by the Network, basically a worry-free hive mind existence for Simulant replacements and human sympathizers. He basically asks them to join the beehive.

During this discussion, Andy smashingly reveals Oliver to be a Blank, which leads to the full-on brawl with the Newton Haven drones en masse, when Andy goes all "Clobberin' Time" on the smashy smashy eggmen. The Blanks swarm the pub, providing the most beautiful big screen hooliganism ever witnessed. =)

(This is the pub where Andy Hulked out in 1990. Also the last pub that they drank at back then.)

Funny, a hive must have its queen (hrm… didn't spot anyone in drag), but there's no place for a King! =)

When they find the Network's drones to be unbeatable and inexhaustible, the gang escapes by going to the Smokehouse. Smoke is used by beekeepers to keep bees docile while they harvest the honey (ale =).

Crazy talk stretch—Could the inclusion of this pub be an environmentally conscious callout/connection between the mysterious plight of honey bees and the end of the world?


This is where Gary recovers consciousness (after Andy knocks him out) and decides to keep on with the Golden Mile, demonstrating how far gone he is, where his/the King's head is at, concussed as it may be (from beatings both self-inflicted and not).

The King of the sign bears an uncanny resemblance to Gary.

Another interpretation: this is where Gary's head (or perhaps "playhead"?) has been for the last 20-some years, paused just before this pub, as Gary and his court quit the crawl before making it here in 1990.


Stephen smashes the Beast thru the wall of this pub in an attempt to save Andy and Gary. Gary and Andy make their exits from this pub thru a hole smashed in a window.

Perhaps the pub name foretells of Andy's next encounter with the Strawberry of the Marmalade Sandwich. Specifically, with the wall of her robot tummy.

A stretch—After exiting the pub, Gary and Andy manage to evade the entire town's Blanked forces. They relatively easily punch a hole in the Network's defense, like when you run the ball in one of those old handheld electronic football (U.S. =) games from Radio Shack. A hole that leads/herds them directly to…


The name and the sign say it all. It's here, or rather beneath here, that Gary, Andy, and Steven's drunken case for humanity's freedom-loving incorrigibility sends the Network packing back to Legoland, leaving us literally to our own devices and catastrophically returning the world to the dark ages (goodbye to the likes of Ampera and Droid).

There are two cathartic revelations of a personal worlds' ends…
1. Before the end of *everyone's* world, at the climax of their fight on the ground floor of the pub, Andy discovers that Gary has attempted to end his world by suicide.
2. And below ground, when the Network offers Gary an eternally youthful existence (what he's been living/dreaming of in his head for decades), he rejects it by popping the top of his frightfully cute younger (Blank) self.

The image of the burning world is a pretty close match for what happens when the Network pulls up its technological stakes and unfriends the Earth.

13. THE RISING SUN. (Not the actual image, does anyone know how any of the names/images would line up w Tarot?)

This pub name calls back to the morning of June 23, 1990, that blissful sunrise of the first day of the rest of Gary King's life. It also refers to a new day, and thusly, a new start, specifically for Gary King, freedom fighting leader of his Blank knights, who chooses to challenge the haters in just the way Andy did at one time—by ordering water in a bar full of drunken hooligans done up in war paint.

Now, *here's* a bit of crazy. What if "sun" is a pun on "son?" (See STAR TREK TOS =) The Gary we see leading his band of Blanks into the pub might be a bit spryer, a bit more baby-faced than the 40-something Gary we've watched up til then, donchathink? Remember Gary's story about Karen Edgarton (Eggerton? Edgar-ton?) back in the Old Familiar? And his toast: To children—wherever they may be! What if this is long lost Gary, Jr.? Found by his newly sober father and inspired to take up his post-Network cause, the quest for freedom and Blank equality? So, the rising son…

Yeah, just crazy talk. =)

Still, "son" does work with the rebirth angle. Gary King, Blank freedom fighter, as the son of Gary King, the monumental drunken cock-up. Y'know, from a certain point of view. =)


Not everything these guys do is a reference, but my brain is wired for cinema and story pattern recognition/connection. Faultily, perhaps, but wired nevertheless…

The fight between Andy and Gary at The World's End totally gave me deja movie for the cathartic Dante v. Randal fight in Kevin Smith's CLERKS. The energy more than the choreography, certainly. =)

And below the World's End, the underground complex and confrontation, along with both Guy Sheperd's and the Network's pitch to Gary and the boys, had me thinking of John Carpenter's THEY LIVE, with a spacebook twist. And the case made by Gary King of the humans and his Prince and Knight, along with the verdict and sentence took me back to the end of ESCAPE FROM L.A. Also to CABIN IN THE WOODS.

I like to think that the events of THE WORLD'S END take place during those of CABIN, and that Newton Haven is the Facility's Avalonian outpost—designed to appease a different giant god or gods, perhaps of industry and technology. And just as the cabin site, it fails hard that night. Let's see. In this case, the Facility would want to honor a contract with a higher power that involves an exchange of human subservience and/or sacrifice for the gifts of technology, connectivity, perhaps even electricity itself. The ritual would be inherently British—the quest (as a pub crawl). The archetypal participants as well—check the surnames of Gary and the Enablers (a little more on that next). Success would have the drunken, beaten, despairing humans accept the Network's invitation, giving them continued license to bring order and advance technology on the planet. Failure would have them reject the Network's offer, leaving humanity to its own primitive devices.

Love that Gary evokes The Three Musketeers and King Arthur and his knights when rallying his band of misadventurers. You've gotta remember, with these guys (Wright and Pegg) apparent castoff remarks like these, as colorfully true to their characters as they are, will also serve another purpose in a Cornetto film, just as the pub signs and names, they're part of the map to the movie. In SHAUN Ed telegraphs exactly what will happen in the film when he attempts to rally Shaun to get over Liz with a short crawl. In HOT FUZZ, Nicholas's exchanges with his fellow Sandford officers all play out as actual action later in the film. When Gary makes a mess of literary history by bringing up the five musketeers, he ends the discussion by realizing that Dumas would've done well to start with five, cuz then he could lose two of them and still end with three! And King Arthur, well, I'm not up on my Pendragons, but let's see… A quest for a golden chalice (check out how the twelfth pint at The World's End is presented, waiting for the King)? A king who loses his lady love to his most devoted knight? Hey! A stretch and a bit of a combo, but a king who might have sired a child who attempts to replace him? And hey hey! Skip to the end and who do we see wielding an actual sword and leading his knights into battle for another chalice, right? Well, a pint, actually, and of rain.

I had this flash to a possible BRAZILlian MAZES AND MONSTERS ending/framework to the film. That somewhere along the evening, Gary's mind cracks as his reality-denying self keeps getting bombarded by reality checks from interactions with his friends and the present day Newton Haven. His memory selection fails. It would be the moment when the young Blank grabs his arm in the Gents. This is the start of the fantasy—more believable to him than the truth—that explains why no one remembers the one and only Gary King!

He is on his fourth pint by then after all.

Love that Gary's introduction to the young Blank deja TV'd me to SPACED. Y'know, the male telepathy/oregano episode—"Are you havin' a good night?"

Maybe it's a UK thing? Or maybe it's a pub/bar thing? I have little to no experience in either sector, but I just do *not* cotton to conversation and interaction with strangers in the gents. Can anyone out there provide anecdotal or authoritative evidence on such interactions as the norm?

You don't see this in SHAUN, but the surnames of the characters in FUZZ reflect something of their nature and/or role in town. The same goes for THE WORLD'S END, as the King's court is composed of a Prince, a Knight(ley), a Chamberlain (two, including Sam), and a Page. Also, in the course of their adventures, they encounter a Reverend Green and a Shepherd.

Love that this brand of alien invasion is described as a merger, an old school body snatchers-type execution on the ground with a new school social network framework/philosophy. An alien species or culture doesn't physically arrive to impose itself on us, but instead lures us into joining them from afar with the promise of new apps and upgrades.

Love that once the Blanks are unplugged from the Network they reboot as individuals. I imagine that's what it's like to quit the facebooks, eh?

Coming back to the pub names and signs…

The image of the royal post box in The First Post sign wants to have more to it. I wonder if I'm missing some native UK significance. In a broad sense, as a mailbox, it is a node in a network on a global scale, just as Newton Haven has become for the Network-assimilated Earth. And as the Earth is meant to become for the galactic Network. Hrmm… That's not bad.

I'd really like for "familiar" from the name of the second pub to take on the witchy meaning as well as the "well known" one. Hrmm… Perhaps Sam IS the familiar in the movie's story's framework? That's not bad, either. I mean, she does come in and save our hapless heroes in the end, as an archetypal trusted sidekick would? I like it, but maybe a stretch. Foo.

And I also still feel like there should be more to the significance of The Hole In The Wall. The hole in the Network's defense is pretty frickin thin, and the literal hole in the wall made by the Beast seems, well, literal. Maybe I've forgotten something else that happens there.

Maybe the hole in the robot's tummy made by Andy's fist? =)

O well! Guess I'll just have to see it yet again! Drat! =)

Keep on keepin on~