Influenced, My Stories

Life Messages from The American Wolf Of Hustle Wall Street and others – 2013 Best off in Cinema… Part 1

American Hustle and The Wolf Of Wall Street

These two movies are for all the people who don’t know how the world works. For all those people that still believe that if you work hard, get a good education and put in the 12 hour days, that somehow, success will work itself out and befall on them.

But it doesn’t really happen that way at all. Everybody is hustling. Everybody is putting a scam in motion. The whole recording business is a scam, overrun by liars and cheaters, who get artists into contracts and then proceed to underpay the artists due to some creative accounting.

Both movies show an accurate reflection of life where scammers and hustlers work only for themselves, constantly tweaking and adjusting their methods to stay ahead of the law. Look at “The Pirate Bay” in music. It innovated more in one year than what the whole recording business did in 15 years and the law still cant get to it. Heard the music business scream “Piracy” lately. It’s because fans of music are slowly getting serviced with streaming.

What these movies have shown is that it doesn’t matter what level of education a person has. It doesn’t mean that they will win. Quitters never win and it is the winners that write history. The winners write history because they bend the laws and they twist social morals to suit them. People may not like it, but it’s the truth.

Oblivion

I love it’s eeriness. Director Joseph Kosinski, who also wrote the story did a great job in bringing back the Seventies sci-fi movie with “Oblivion”. Progress is derivative right.

This movie is for the people who only believe what they are told and even when they come across something that questions that belief, they re-frame it and twist it, so that it conforms with what they believe in, because that is all the know. Whatever Mission Control said was the truth and the whole truth.

We life in an information society right now with everything at our fingertips.

Don’t be a fool. Do your own research and question everything. Don’t just follow. Whereas “The Wolf Of Wall Street” and “American Hustle” reflect the hustling mentality of life, “Oblivion” reflects our servitude to institutions.

We serve the needs of companies and get paid a wage in return. That wage gets broken up and some of it goes to the tax institution. Some of it goes to the banking/mortgage institutions, some of it goes to the utility companies. If you get paid a basic wage, basically all of your wage is consumed before the next one is due.

We serve different religions and different creeds. That is what “Oblivion” is about. Serving “Mission Control”. The powerful and the wealthy tell us how to act and behave by rewriting history and bending laws to suit them. People may not like it, but it’s the truth.

Now You See Me

This movie was a super surprise. A sleeper hit. I read the reviews about how this smaller budgeted movie blew away the big budget blockbusters during the 2013 US Summer. For a movie that cost $75 million to make and promote, it has returned over $350 million. French director Louis Leterrier did a great job bringing the movie to life. As is the norm these days, the directors are as a big as the movie stars and in some cases bigger. They have their own blogs, own social media accounts and what not.

So what does this movie teach us about life.

In a similar vein to “American Hustle” and “The Wolf of Wall Street”, scammers and hustlers are everywhere however in this case, revenge is obtained by the person that was wronged.

The insurance company scammed the dead magician’s family. The dead magician’s tricks got exposed by another magician who was a hustler. Fast forward a few decades and the son of the dead magician is now old enough to orchestrate the greatest trick/scam/hustle ever.

The powerful and the rich write bend laws to suit themselves. People may not like it, but it’s the truth.

World War Z

Yeah, I know it’s got Brad Pitt and Zombies, however I really liked this movie. It played out like stages in a video game.
We have had a pretty clean run in relation to epidemics compared to previous centuries. This movie got me thinking about “The Happening”.

In “The Happening”, humans had become a threat to the planet and the plants released some form of a neurotoxin (which I will call a virus) that causes anyone exposed to it to commit suicide. In “World War Z” the virus needs a viable host to spread and therefore it is found that people inflicted with various diseases are immune from the zombie swarms as they cannot spread the disease.

In both movies they deal with nature. Nature requires a live host to spread the virus in “World War Z” and Nature fights back against the humans in “The Happening”. Respect our world is the message that I get from WWZ. The more we disrespect it and pollute it, the more we and our future generations will suffer.

The rich pharmaceutical companies care about treatments. There is no money in cures for them. They lobby hard to rewrite the laws and protect their business models. People may not like it, but it’s the truth.

Escape Plan

I don’t know what people have against Stallone and Schwarzenegger as actors. They have proven themselves in the entertainment business for over 40 years. Swedish director, Mikael Håfström delivers again in Escape Plan. It is a great story line.

As I am watching “Escape Plan”, I am thinking, wow, if someone wants to imprison a person just to get them out-of-the-way, they can, just because they have power or money.

Bradley Manning is in jail. He didn’t kill anyone. He didn’t hurt anyone. All he did was embarrass his government.

Ed Snowden is on the run, seeking asylum. He didn’t kill anyone. He didn’t hurt anyone. All he did was embarrass his government.

On both occassions, Manning and Snowden also informed the world at large to the crimes of their government. Torturing inmates is something that is associated to dictatorships, not to democratic countries. Spying on your citizens is common in dictatorships, not in democratic countries.

In both cases, if Manning and Snowden are reporters, they would have been seen as heroes.

Then you have the cases, where power and money gets you off on charges. Last year was littered with the kids of rich parents, driving cars intoxicated, killing others while driving or just speeding, Guess what they didn’t do any time and they also kept their driving permits.

The wealthy bend the laws to suit them. People may not like it, but it’s the truth.

Another thing that Escape Plan brought to mind is the conflict of interests that people have and the revolving door of politicians to private firms or to lobby groups.

The politicians write and pass laws to benefit the wealthy and then when their term in office is finished, they get a well-paying job for the same companies that they made rich while in office. People may not like it, but it’s the truth.

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Music

American Hustle

I watched “American Hustle” last night. Christian Bale is a dead set rock star. He is the most versatile actor I have seen. He plays American characters better than American characters. He even gained 19.5 kg for the flick and who can forget his ghost/wraith like appearance in “The Machinist” where he lost 27kg.

What a top supporting cast in Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Smart and Robert DeNiro. DeNiro was at his best in his small cameo. He was menacing, especially when he broke out the Arab talk to the fake Mexican sheikh.

Great movie and a lot of funny scenes like when Cooper’s character goes to town on his FBI boss. That is a WTF moment especially afterwards when the boss is confessing to the Prosecutor the events and whole confession gets hijacked by Cooper into setting up the sting that his FBI boss was against. And we never got to hear the end of the ice fishing story.

The other star of the movie is Director, David Russell.

Silver Linings Playbook was a surprise to me. It was funny but real in a way and it kept you interested through the whole thing. Even though it was essentially a romantic comedy, it didn’t really come across like that at all.

American Hustle did the job as well. When looking at both flicks now, I think the key part are the characters in these movies and how all of them are eccentric in a way, none of them could really be seen as normal, there is something about them that makes them all complicated and nuts.

Jennifer Lawrence was the funniest in this flick though, she was a complete nutter but she knew exactly what she was doing. There is the aluminium foil in the “science oven” scene and the Amy Smart toilet confrontation. Add to that the scene when she sells out Christian Bale to the mob, and afterwards convinces him to thank her for it.

Russell is on a hit streak. He has followed up a “The Fighter” with “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle”. In a world where here today and gone tomorrow is the new paradigm, Russell has stuck around by delivering the hits.

Russell is building a reputation like Tarrentino. He has his own style and own way of making a movie. With his hit ratio, he is able to draw in whatever talent he wants and like Tarrentino he is proving that whatever actor/actress he chooses their stocks go up a notch. Russell’s next flick is “Legacy of Secrecy” will star Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. The JFK assassination gets another cinematic round. Will it be another hit for Russell.

In “The Fighter” Bale stole the show again as the ice addicted older brother of Wahlberg’s character that just couldn’t shake a drug habit and in the end it cost him his boxing career. It’s got some WTF scenes in that movie as well like how scared he was from his mum and when she went to one of the drug houses, Bale gets freaked out and jumps out of the second story, landing on a couch and walking away with a limp.

Bale is one of those actors that is outputting movies. He first came to my attention in “American Psycho” released in 2000. It was a small budget film that tripled its return. Reign Of Fire and Equilibrium came next in 2002. Reign of Fire had a $50 million budget and it made money, while Equilibrium didn’t make money however it was my favourite. I love the whole dystopian society theme. It cost $20 million and returned around $6 million.

In 2004, “The Machinist” hit the market along with a very thin Christian Bale. It was another small budget movie (costing $5 million and returning $9 million).

From when “Batman Begins” came out in 2005, Bale’s star has risen with each movie. There is a mix of big budget movies and low budget movies. The big budget movies returned profits and some of the low budget movies are hit and miss. In eight years, up until 2013, Bale churned out 15 movies. You see, he gets it. It’s about being in the public eye, however musical artists still don’t get it.

Along with the record labels, they keep releasing an album every two years only to see that album disappear from the conversation after six weeks. Of course some albums hang around longer than that. Volbeat, Five Finger Death Punch, Skillet, Killswitch Engage, Avenged Sevenfold and Shinedown are a few bands that come to mind.

Just because everybody is still doing it the same way, that does not mean an artist can’t break the rules. But the music business is lost in the past, shackled by legacy. Always screaming for laws to get passed to protect their business models. However, the actors get the modern paradigm, even though the studio heads don’t.

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