Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
Page Number: 176
When I started reading this in 2017, I didn’t think it would take me this long to finish it. I must have been missing my days of being in school. This book deals with semiotics, which is another word for signs and its processes. Semiotics is often associated with sociological and anthropological thought, but it crosses into other fields too. You aren’t going to read this book for an in-depth study of semiotics. There are much lengthier books out there and probably not as quick of a read compared to this book (unless you’re talking about me). The illustrations break up the main reading so if you’re looking for a book with easy stopping points, they are plentiful. It’s basically good while you’re waiting for your doctor, for your train to arrive, for your dinner to cook, or for your child’s karate class to be done. If you’ve read any material regarding sociology including its theories, then you will probably be drawn to this book. If you like to learn new things, then you will probably like this book. If you like to use emojis, but don’t care about the significance of their universality or as a form of communication, then this probably isn’t the book for you. No need to worry because there are other topics to pick from such as psychology, capitalism, consciousness, literary criticism, romanticism, and the ever popular topic called American politics. Enjoy.
Let me know if you have any book suggestions too.
October 30, 2018: How Long Will Movie Theaters Last?
I’ve been thinking about the longevity of movie theaters and how long they will be in business. The need for a fairly cheap diversion from reality and entertainment is the reason why they will always have a place in the world, but I feel over time the desire will decrease if the trends keep going as they are. Much like drive-in theaters are a phenomenon of the past, it maybe that theaters as we know it today are few and far between. While it won’t be on the level of Blockbuster where only one store exists and that is in Bend, Oregon as of August 2018, the ability to watch movies on big screens in the confines of your home or apartment/loft has already made an unwanted dent in Hollywood and un-Hollywood movies.
There are some, like myself, who frankly wishes that studios would give more of a chance on other movies besides remakes and comic book heroes/heroines. I know there are other independent movies (that meaning has definitely changed over time) and adaptations that are worthy of viewing. The thing is I’m now willing to wait for movies to either come on Netflix or Hulu and if I feel the compulsion, go to Redbox or something similar to it. If I miss those opportunities, I can always buy it online. Let’s face it. The flooding of the ways in which to view movies has made the current experience of going to the movie theater less appealing to some. I used to be gung-ho in buying the ticket, waiting in line for the popcorn (large with butter please if you’re at Arclight), watching the previews, and finally 20 to 30 minutes later enjoying the movie.
Now, I’m less willing to sit in the theater although the current one has reclining seats to the point of you could fall asleep if you wanted, but you don’t because these days movie tickets aren’t cheap. The prices for me ranged from eight to 17 dollars when I lived in Los Angeles. For years, I went to AMC with their discounted tickets. Sometimes, I went to Arclight where the movies were the highest priced, but had the best popcorn. I liked Laemmle Theatres as it was a family run movie theater. I went to Regency right before I left Los Angeles. Now, they are around 12 dollars. The other reason I’m less willing to watch a movie in the theater because I’m pickier nowadays with the movie quality.
The movies I thought had opportunities to be good and possibly great viewing experiences were mediocre when the credits rolled. I was disappointed one too many times. Yes, movie reviews should be taken with a grain of salt. I’ve read enough to know there is something missing in many movies being released today. I can’t put my finger on it, but from what I’ve seen, there isn’t enough depth. The characters have backstory, but the actions only go halfway into the belly of the problem or issue. I’m severely missing that layer of fat. Not that I want eat it, but I want definitely want it dangling in front of my nose. Take off the saran wrap, please. Let me experience the smell.
I plan on seeing Bohemian Rhapsody in the theater. Not sure on opening weekend, but I will go eventually. I think the days of seeing movies every month are gone for me. I’m finding it too time consuming. Bad, I know, but times have changed. The large bucket of popcorn should be enough for a family of four, but now it is usually deemed as suitable for one or two people. Then, you get the refill. I’m not sure what will replace the movie trend of remakes and comic book adaptations, but when it does happen, I’ll be looking forward to it.
When Pistol Speaks, She Listens
Pull it out.
Nice and shiny.
The power. The glory. The spotlight.
You want it.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
You got it.
Many times over.
You have it.
All of it.
Quote from Bodyguard by Julia Montague: “That doesn’t require apologizing for the past.”
Writer: Jed Mercurio
Director: Thomas Vincent and John Strickland
Cast: Richard Madden, Sophie Rundle, Gina McKee, Ash Tandon, Nina Toussaint-White, Stuart Bowman, Richard Riddell, Nicholas Gleaves, Matt Stokoe, Anjii Mohindra, Shubham Saraf, Stephanie Hyam, and Keeley Hawes
Rating: TV-MA for Sex & Nudity, Profanity, and Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking
Episode Number: Six
Episode Length: 60 minutes
I read good things about this show and looked forward to seeing Richard Madden again. The last thing I had seen him in was Medici: Masters of Florence. Who knows what to believe about the whole James Bond gossip? Back to this six episode series where his character, David Budd, is assigned the role of protecting the Home Secretary, Julia Montague. Yes, he fought in Afghanistan. Yes, he was at odds with his new assignment because of Montague’s views. Yes, there were unnecessary sex scenes. (Sex sells. Ladies love the romance. Okay, most ladies). Sometimes, it advanced the plot forward. Other times not. I could have taken it either way.
The first episode hooked me and kept me engaged. I thought some scenes could’ve been toned down (a touch of overacting), but it led me wanting to know more and why. I began the second episode, and after that was done, I pretty much decided to binge watch the show in one day. The tension, both sexual and political, continued between Budd and Montague. His relationship with his own family gains traction. He continues to have common issues many go through after fighting a war including flashbacks, drinking, and hiding emotions. The sixth episode comes to a close with David Budd forced to commit to soul searching.
While this show does highlight the reality of terrorism and terrorists in today’s global world, it’s a tricky subject to tackle. You don’t want to paint a picture of a certain ethnic group in an unfavorable light, but unfortunately, this does happen at times. These tragedies repeat itself in many parts of the world and sometimes by the same individuals. People also can turn on its own neighbors/citizens. The recent terrorism spreading across the United States last and this week is a prime example. Because it’s easy to view others as the enemy, it’s also easy to justify deadly means to get a deadly end. In regards to the show, this model of thinking was present in more than one area.
Bodyguard is good in the sense of a given a tiny slice of one type of cake to eat. It allows for complications within and among the politicians and police forces. It errs on the side of caution when it comes to having a tidy answer by the end (okay, in one story line). On the flip side, a drawback to this show was the almost band aid like treatment of explaining a few things during the latter half. There should have been a little more leading up to the answers given. It’s almost like the creators skipped a letter between X and Z. We see X happening. Z was given as a possibility. Y was the reason given. There wasn’t enough “ah, that makes complete sense.” I was left more with “okay, could’ve used a little more detail earlier, but whatever. I still get it.” In conclusion this wasn’t the greatest show I’ve seen, but it had enough content to be rated as good overall.
Bodyguard gets Three Fingers with 80%.
I’m very excited for the new season of Narcos to begin next month. I’ve been patiently waiting for this show for quite some time. The showdown between Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (played by Diego Luna) and Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena (played by Michael Peña) will take the center stage and lead to the unfortunate ending. The fight over who controls the drug trade out of Mexico lands in the hands of the Guadalajara Cartel. The struggle to bring the Jalisco state some order isn’t an easy task as DEA agents continue their uphill battle against police and government corruption. Much like the other three seasons, it will pace itself to the climatic ending and include strong performances by Luna and Peña.
Quote from High Noon by Martin: “You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If you’re honest you’re poor your whole life and in the end you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star.”
There’s something to be said for a movie that has a fairly simple plot, developed characters, and sharp and to the point dialogue. High Noon offers this and more as it was made in response to the blacklisting of Hollywood professionals in regards to Communism. Many shut out of Hollywood were screenwriters and actors including Carl Foreman, who adapted High Noon from a magazine story titled “The Tin Star” by John W. Cunningham. The emotions in every scene are captured in the best way possible. The relationship between the two women of Will Kane, past lover and current lover, is not overly dramatized. The relationship between Kane and his protégé, Harvey Pell, is much like a dysfunctional father and son would have. The various relationships between the townspeople and Kane each have greater significance as the day progresses. The relationship between Kane and Miller, while not reaching the greatest heights of suspense, is enough to be satisfied by the end of the film. It garnered seven Academy Award nominations in 1953 and won four including Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Film Editing, Best Music (Original Song), and Best Music (Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture). High Noon continues to be a favorite among Western movie enthusiasts and movie buffs in general. It was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1989.
High Noon is written by Carl Foreman (screenplay) and John W. Cunningham (based on an article titled “The Tin Star.” It is directed by Fred Zinneman and produced by Carl Foreman and Stanley Kramer. The main cast includes Gary Cooper as Marshal Will Kane, Lloyd Bridges as Deputy Marshal Harvey Pell, Grace Kelly as Amy Fowler Kane, Katy Jurado as Helen Ramírez, Otto Kruger as Judge Percy Mettrick, Thomas Mitchell as Mayor Jonas Henderson, Lon Chaney Jr. as Martin Howe, and Ian MacDonald as Frank Miller. The MPAA rating is PG for some western violence and smoking. It is one hour and 25 minutes long. It is produced by Stanley Kramer Productions and distributed by United Artists. High Noon is a movie about standing alone in your convictions though the many voices around you state otherwise.
High Noon starts with a wedding ceremony between Marshal Will Kane and Amy Fowler in the town of Hadleyville. He is turning in his badge to start a new life in another town. The only problem is someone he put away in the past named Frank Miller wants revenge. He dismisses this and leaves town to begin his new life, but is pulled back when realizing running away was never an option for him. This doesn’t sit well with Amy. She makes him choose between her and his pride. His decision to stay and face Miller and his gang only upsets her further. She waits for the noon train, which will take her away from Hadleyville. Kane has to let her go. His focus is on persuading the townspeople to fight for him. It doesn’t go as planned and finds a few who are eager to fight by his side. As the movie ends, Kane’s willingness to not back down is tested. The showdown begins. Bullets fly. Some connect. Some miss. The intent was clear on both sides. You have to fight your own battles.
There’s something I like about Westerns. It might be the grit and dirt of the West. It could be the simple stories they usually have. Bad guys fighting the good guys or bad girls fighting the good girls or a combination. The opening of the three bad guys riding horseback set the tone. There was a clear leader of the pack and that was Frank Miller even though he was not even present. Everything they did was predicated on his command. The same goes for Will Kane where he was the leader of the town, and because of this the power remained with him until he passed it to the next person. The supporting cast of Katy Jurado and Grace Kelly portrayed quite different women, but their relationship proved to be each other’s ticket to freedom. The underlying affection for his boss is evident in a later scene between Pell and Kane. I think this is one of the best scenes in the movie. Kane’s interactions with the various townspeople is what made this movie also great. The ending is not your typical one in regards to what some thought back in the 1950s. Yet, by today’s standards it would be seen as proper and necessary. Some movies should stay in black and white, and this is definitely one of them. You can’t go wrong with the music score and song either.
I would hand downs recommend this movie. If you don’t care for Western movies, I’d say this is a good place to start as it doesn’t have the usual shoot ’em and ask no questions later in every other scene. High Noon is more about the relationships between and among people. While there are guns and fights, it played out as a response to being slapped in the face one too many times. Sometimes planning and plotting is the best course of action taken, which is what Kane ultimately did. It is a slower paced movie so young kids probably won’t have the attention span to sit through it, but most adults should. Anything resembling a suggestion would be to prolong the ending by a few minutes, but this is nitpicking. I watched this movie for the historical aspects first and entertainment a close second. Great from start to finish.
I give High Noon Four Fingers and One Thumb at 98%.