John Wick: Chapter 3

Being such a fan of the 1st John Wick, I was hoping that this 3rd installment would emulate the 1st one, since I was so disappointed with John Wick 2. Unfortunately, it did not.

The problem I have with both the 2nd and 3rd chapters is the same: they’re so over-the-top unbelievable that they’re just plain stupid. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about fantasy entertainment (hello, Game of Thrones!), but if you’re going to make a plot that is so ridiculously unfathomable then you better have some kickass writing, acting, and character chemistry (i.e. Faceoff, Benjamin Button).

The first John Wick was such a great movie because most of it really COULD’VE happened, and the main protagonist is humanized (he cries, he loves, he drinks water), so you connect with him and are rooting for him to get vengeance. In 2 & now 3, he just turns into some sort of weirdo robot and there’s no real connection with any other characters. The plot was all over the place (A dark Russian orphanage with ballet and wrestling? The weird monotone lady agent who is affiliated with the High Table? Who really is the dude in Morocco who lives in a tent? How did John survive 48 hours in the desert with no water and still wearing his tie and not a drop of sweat on his shirt? What happened to Halle Berry’s character? How did Lawerence Fishburne survive 7 samari sword slashings? Why is he so eerily resembling his character on the Matrix?)

Sorry to go on and on, but I left the theatre unsatisfied, perplexed, and really irritated at the ending. John Wick, you were so cool on our first date…now I’m over you!


Transendence

I have a weird tendency to examine somewhat commonplace things from a fairly different perspective, not because I’m trying to be deep or ironic, I’m just an only child who has always been fairly inquisitive…

Which brings me to Johnny Depp’s latest flick., Transcendence, which was completely unbelievable and totally fucking bizarre…..Or was it?

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen this movie and you would like to enjoy it organically, please stop reading now.

First of all, this isn’t a movie review, so I’m not going to rattle on endlessly about the acting or the screenplay or the cinematography or the score. This is simply an essay describing my secondary analysis of the chain of events that happened within this particular science fiction movie.

From my perspective, there are quite a few metaphors taking place in this film. Each one symbolizes something else conjured up by the minuscule mind of yours truly, so please don’t assume that what I’m writing serves any purpose other than exercising my weary fingertips on a keyboard. I haven’t researched this movie AT ALL nor do I have any personal affiliation to it (other than my ongoing love affair with Johnny Depp, but that part of my psyche will be left alone during this prose. You’re welcome.)

ANYWAY, here’s my take on each portion of the film, metaphorically speaking of course:

Johnny Depp’s character (Dr. Will Caster) = Big Pharma and all of its militant devotees. This character was indeed a pioneer in the medical field, but it was his technological expertise that made way for the endless funding he received. He himself wasn’t even interested in changing the world, he was doing it for his “wife” (In the movie it was his wife who influenced him, but I believe this is a metaphor for the “marriage” of money and power to the fear of lack).

The innovative software that he created prior to his death (PINN) = the internet/world wide web. It was able to answer any questions and come up with informational facts, but all of its development was void of one pertinent thing: human interaction, contact, and emotion.

Depp’s character’s wife, Evelyn Caster = all of the passionate supporters in the technology industry, the ones who are truly excited about the good things that could be accomplished with such advancement in their field. The ones who astutely believe that they can find a way to cure the planet and all of mankind. They don’t feel this way because they have a God complex, quite the contrary, they feel this way because they have tapped into their subconscious enough to know that global healing is possible, and that everyone would immediately be on board with their philosophies, no matter how eccentric, as soon as they were explained the endearing premise behind such advanced technology.

The hundreds of civilians who were “healed” by Depp’s advanced technology and then became mindless drones = the “sheeple” of the world, those of us who believe everything that we see at face value. Those of us who are afraid to take responsibility for our own lives, those of us who never ask questions to our doctors or our bosses or our government, those of us who take whatever is given to us as long as we get our short-term needs fulfilled.

The underground vigilante society that waged civil war against computerized Depp and his monstrosity of an empire = all of the free thinkers, the radicals, the rebels…those of us who are taking our lives in our own hands by asking questions, becoming informed, taking control of our health, our wealth, our families, and not blindly trusting our future in the hands of someone else.

The garden that was featured in the beginning of the movie and then again at the end focuses in on a close-up of a plant. On this plant is a flower and on that flower is a droplet of rainwater. The droplet falls off the petal and is caught on film as it drips to the earth (in slow motion, of course). In my opinion this represents Mother Nature and her regenerative properties. In the beginning of the movie she is thriving, and in the end of the movie she is still thriving. Her robustness never fails, and it never will. You see, we cannot destroy the planet. We can build on top of a blade of grass but it will eventually force its way through concrete. We will just destroy ourselves and then the planet will regenerate itself like it always does. It is more powerful than us. It is not the weak, dying planet that we have all read about in a magazine or seen on a documentary. It is a strong planet that will allow us to die off in order to save itself…

That was my take on the movie. I could go on but it’s really getting late and I seriously doubt anyone is still reading this. Holy crap, it’s a good thing I don’t smoke weed.

Namaste. 

Julie


My Take on “Jobs”

I was shocked at the number of disinterested people I encountered when talking about the recent “Jobs” movie.

It appears I grossly overestimated the percentage of folks who would share in my obsession for stories about eccentric genius innovators who put a dent in the universe. This baffles me…

I’ll admit I have a rather unusual fixation on autobiographical stories involving egocentric millionaire maniacs, BUT, considering Jobs’ impact on, well, THE WORLD, I really felt this film would be a tad better received, especially amongst the main consumers of his mighty empire.

I’ve read more than a couple negative reviews, but what’s more disturbing is that a majority of the world just seems aloof to the fact this movie even exists.

When I found out the film was being released, I was more than excited for it. In fact, I couldn’t fucking wait. I was at the beach with my family, and the night it came out I announced my plans for the evening. Only two members of the Wilson clan volunteered to accompany me, which I brushed off as no big deal since most of the brood were either sunburnt or hungover. (Me included…)

However, when the three of us arrived at the theatre almost 10 minutes late, we were shocked to learn that there were only two additional people in the entire movie theatre. Two additional people!

What other movie could anyone possibly want to see this evening? 2 Guns? Elysium? We’re the Millers?? It suddenly dawned on me that the two other members of my family that had anxiously came along with me to see the Jobs movie were also CEO’s of their own companies, both having very inventive minds and self propelled visions in their own respective companies. I silently wondered if the two people sitting ten rows behind us were business owners as well.

The good news is we were able to score pretty awesome seats. 🙂

So anyway, on to my Jobs movie review:

It was fucking awesome.

It had me captivated from the opening credits till now. I was enthralled with his story, not just because he invented, well, Apple, but because he had a mysterious artist appeal that eerily resembled that of a troubled rockstar. His creative genius, mixed with the typical mommy/daddy issues, led him down a somewhat dark and melancholy path indeed, and this “darkness” is what fueled him to ironically create a light for all mankind…

Now, I’m in no way an expert on the fundamentals of acting, but in my humble opinion, Ashton Kutcher did a fantastic job with this role. He managed to authentically portray Steve Jobs as the bizarre nonconformist he was. He couldn’t seem to knock the painfully handsome thing, but that’s a God-given curse that Kutcher must contend with on his lifelong journey, I s’pose….

ANYWAY, the movie….yeah, so I liked it. I felt myself empathizing with him during several occasions, specifically when he was frustratingly unsuccessful at communicating his vision to others. I can sorta relate to that (on a ridiculously smaller scale, of course). From the very beginning, he had a clear visualization about what Apple was going to be. He lived it, felt it, dreamed it…he saw the impossible before anyone else, and this can be extremely frustrating to a creative innovator like Jobs because what was so commonplace to him was completely foreign and unheard of to just about everyone else.

Imagine explaining what the color blue looks like to a blind person. Now imagine describing it using only half the alphabet. I am guessing this would’ve been easier than explaining what Apple was going to be back in the 70’s…but Steve knew. He knew all along. And it’s never fun being the only person who understands something so profound.

Steve Jobs was an asshole. He was paranoid, anxious, and exhausting. He was a perfectionist and a micro manager. He was a reclusive loner who built walls around his heart while launching missiles from his brain, but that’s what most people choose to see in someone who is on a level that they would never understand. It makes it easier to accept our own mediocrity if we condemn those who have accomplished greatness.

I see Jobs in a different light. I see someone who was tortured from a dark past, someone with aspirations that went way beyond anything of monetary value. He was driven, obsessive, determined, and extreme. He was a true visionary, but more importantly he just wanted to share his dream with the world. This is a frustrating task when the world has no idea what the hell you’re talking about.

Even down to him giving up rights to see his daughter (which he later made amends with), it all stemmed from fear of loss and an obsessive dedication to leaving a mark on the world. If you recall the story of Achilles in ancient Greek mythology, you might remember the speech his mother gives him when he goes to Troy. She says, “If you stay here, you will find peace. You will find a wonderful woman. You will have sons and daughters and grandchildren, and they will love you. When you are gone, they will remember you. But, when your children are dead and their children after them…your namewill be lost. If you go to Troy, glory will be yours. They will write stories about you and all of your victories for years to come. The world will remember your name…”

Steve Jobs knew this, and not because he read the Iliad and the Odyssey. It’s because he knew, deep down, that in order for him to accomplish something of such great magnitude that it would put a dent in the universe and change mankind as we know it, sacrifices had to be made.

I, for one, am thankful for the determination and tenacity Steve Jobs put forth in cultivating his dream. Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently….

Here’s to you, Steve Jobs.

Cheers,

Julie Wilson
Founder/CEO/Self-Professed Apple Lover


Wolf of Wall Street

This movie was more fun than attending an AVN show with Charlie Sheen.

The 3-hour intoxicating ride down Wall Street was not only full of guilty pleasures and excessive debauchery, it also provided a couple of educational lessons for hopeful business owners.

I know, I know, why would anyone want to learn from such an egotistical maniac who got filthy rich off of weaseling money out of innocent people then using their money to party like a fucking rockstar? Well, that is precisely why you would want to learn from him. He was a genius salesperson who simply used his talents in the wrong way. The basic premise of sales is always the same and I promise you if he would’ve chosen an honest route to employ his genius abilities he probably would’ve been just as successful. And with less diseases…

Lesson #1: In order to sell something, you MUST create a need for it.

There was a scene in the movie where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character was sitting in a diner with his friends. He handed a pen to one of his buddies and proceeded to ask him to “sell it to him.” The friend then tossed him a napkin and nonchalantly said: “Sign your name on this.”

DiCaprio said: “I can’t. I don’t have a pen.”

The friend then said: “Exactly. You need this fucking pen.”(or something like that)

Later in the movie DiCaprio tries the same stunt with a group of wannabe salespeople. Every person he hands the pen to proceeds to uncomfortably rattle off a broken list of generic benefits of pen ownership, but none are witty enough to actually take the pen away from him like the aforementioned friend in the diner did.

The point? In order to sell something you must have utmost confidence and the ability tofill a need. Whether or not the person truly needs the item at the beginning of the conversation is pointless. You must create the need, and then they will buy.

Lesson #2: Never, ever, ever think you are invincible.

I was going to make lesson #2 be about practicing good business ethics in order to manifest good karma, but that is too obvious. I think the real lesson here is that the higher your ego, the easier it is to fall (and the harder the fall will be). Maintaining humility amongst a wave of insane good fortune and financial success can prove to be quite difficult, but the moment you start to believe that everything you touch turns to gold, it is sure to stop. Just ask Donald Trump. And MC Hammer.  And Mortimer and Randolph…

The good news is that you can always rise to the top again, especially once you’ve experienced it and know how to attain it, but it’s a dark and dismal trek that you don’t necessarily have to experience if you just remember one thing: your shit DOES stink.

Happy selling!