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, 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~

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


In the ridiculous parlance of Hollywood blockbuster promotion: if you only see one movie (in theaters) this year…


If you see only two, see THE WORLD'S END twice!

If you see only umm… *counting* six, see TWE, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, IRON MAN 3, PACIFIC RIM, ELYSIUM, and then TWE again.

Why am I pushing THE WORLD'S END? Cuz I love it. Cuz it's still in theaters now. Cuz it's the latest and I'm-not-sure-I-can-yet-say-greatest-but-I-think-it's-frickin-wonderful in a remarkable body of work by some brilliant, creative, thoughtful, and talented nerds. Cuz it is just plain wildly entertaining. And cuz I want the filmmakers who brought this to screen life to make MORE, and voting with your (wholly satisfying) ticket purchase is gonna help!

(I don't typically follow box office, but it was difficult not to hear about the likes of ELYSIUM and PACIFIC RIM doing less than blockbuster in the states. How does that happen?!)

THE WORLD'S END is the latest from Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost, the creative team supreme that brought you SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ. The premise: Gary King, leader of the pack back in high school, rounds up his faithful now 40-something friends to take care of some unfinished business. On their last day of school, the boys embarked upon the Golden Mile, a twelve pub crawl thru their home town of Newton Haven. Alas, being only 17-yo humans at the time, they were unable to complete the 12-pint crawl, but did share what Gary considered to be the greatest night of their lives. Now, 20-some years later, he wants to recreate that evening, recapture that feeling, and finally complete the Golden Mile and down that final round of pints at The World's End pub with his friends. Five friends. Twelve pubs. Sixty pints. What could possibly go wrong? (Please answer in 400-500 words. You must refer to SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ in your response.)

If you can, DO see SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ before you screen THE WORLD'S END. If SHAUN and FUZZ are not available, try out a few episodes of SPACED (available on Netflix streaming), a wonderful and amazing series by the same creators.


And if you haven't seen any promotion/ads/trailers for THE WORLD'S END, please don't go looking for any. If you really feel you need a taste, I'll point you to this teaser trailer and tell you that it's been described as a "sci-fi comedy…"

(Y'ask me, the more recent trailers spoil things better left unknown when you sit down to watch for the first time.)

I dare you to see it armed only with what I've just told you. =) Well, that and the company of your oldest, bestest friends. Even/especially that jerk who did that thing that time and everyone knows but no one talks about it and in spite of that you're still basically brothers…

The bastard.


As in their other films, there's a lovely bloody heart pumping at the center of all the wonderful mischief, drama, music, drinking, and action in this.

If after all my non-spoilery gushing you still feel the need for references, well, maybe it would help if you knew that…

Edgar Wright directed SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, and is set to direct Marvel's ANT-MAN. =)

You might know Simon Pegg as the new/rebooted Scotty in the STAR TREK films, as well as Benji in the recent MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE flicks.

Nick Frost co-wrote and co-starred with Simon in the very-funny-but-I-think-really-shoulda-been-funnier-I-mean-all-that-potential-and-material! close encounter of the nerd kind alien buddy comedy PAUL.

And, THE WORLD'S END also stars some small-time but rather promising thespians, including Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine, Rosamund Pike, and a James Bond. =)

Allright! You know what to do… Drink up! Let's Boo-boo!

Keep on keepin on~

P.S. Schedule allowing, I'd be very happy to join you for another round of THE WORLD'S END (currently playing in the main room at the beers-serving Somerville Theatre) as well as just about anything at the Brattle. Ever, basically. =)