Here Goes The Bloom (timotheories May 2017)

 

Keeping it brief today friends, it’s May the fourth after all. I’d rather let things go down the way they’re supposed to.

And yes, that is a cheesy graphic, but I honestly could not find much better for the joke in the way of license free content. So deal with it. And if you’re that unimpressed, there’s always the return of the fifth.

*Disclaimer* As always, every week I purchase an album and movie one week ahead of the actual review release and while I have the best intentions, I don’t always get what I want… so if you follow me on instagram (@timotheories) you can actually see what’s coming.

timotheories summarized – May

Stimulating Sundays – (05/07) Cross Talk. Ep 25, (05/14) Cross Talk Ep. 26, (05/21) Amanda Wall preview interview, (05/28) Amanda Wall interview
Melodic Mondays – (05/01) Arca, (05/08) Gorillaz, (05/15) Willie Nelson, (05/22) Wilsen, (05/29) Joan Shelley
Theatrical Tuesdays – (05/02) La La Land, (05/09) Ocean Waves, (05/16) Lion (05/23) Hidden Figures (05/30) Logan
Wisdom Wednesdays – (05/03) …, (05/10) Moving Along, (05/17) Arnold Schwarzenegger pt. 2, (05/24) Safety (05/31) Work-life Balance
Timely Thursday – (05/04) timotheories May, (05/11) Mothers Day, (05/18) Victoria Day, (05/25) Edmonton Valley Zoo

It probably seems like I’m never going to share another interview again, does it dear readers?

The last time I put one up was in January, and it’s now May. According to my original plan of one interview a month minimum, I’ve really shit the bed this year. But it’s not all for naught… I do have 6 interviews in the works, 5 of them already have passed the screening test, and one of them is on it’s way… plus I’ve got some feelers out there for additional interviews. So please stay patient!

I’m recording Amanda’s interview this weekend, so that’s happening in May. Plus, Alex Racine is waiting in the wings, and I have Vinse, Brendon, and Colin raring to go as well. But more on them later. And I’m particularly excited about Brendon, as his interview leads us into more campfire stories, for sure.

On top of that, I have five episodes of Watch Culture recorded and ready to release… so watch for those. I might have to share them on Fridays or Saturdays? The first intro video will be fun too, I promise.

Next, we have 2 more Cross Talk episodes in the can that speak to the genre defying themes topic we’ve gotten such good feedback on previously – Good VS Evil and Overcoming Differences. I’m so excited about them, I kind of just want to release them both ASAP.

And Just ‘n Time Games is also waiting in the wings… when are those coming you ask? May be May, maybe?

Good album reviews and films too! I have lots of theories on Logan, for instance. And It also appears that we have reached the end of the road on the Postconsumers inspired posts, so I may just have to come up with some new Wisdom Wednesday topics.

May the fourth be with you, creative cuties.

Tim!

Return of the Prequel (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story review)

Let me tell you a story from when I was a young lad. A story that always reminds me of the past, but not because it is of my own past, but because it is a story of another history, one of long ago and far away.

I first really and truly watched Star Wars when I was eleven years old. At Christmas time, no less. But I was actually exposed to it in would be one of many common experiences of my childhood. My dad was in the living room on a weekend evening  and I strolled in to find him just in the midst of a Star Wars marathon. I sat down and was enthralled immediately.

An odd kid looking to escape from the doldrums of youth. I had found one of my many happy places. Then again, as I mentioned, the next Christmas I found a box set of Star Wars under the tree with my name on it.

Thus began a lifetime of fandom.

 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Riz Ahmed
Director: Gareth Edwards
released on blu-ray April 4, 2017
********* 9/10

IMDB: 8.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%, Audience Score 88%
The Guardian: ****/*****

Gareth Edwards is a fairly young director. At age 41 he has directed only three major films. The first was Monsters, an independently made science fiction feature, followed up by the 2014 Godzilla remake, and now, the first of the Star Wars anthology films – Rogue One.

Rogue One is the original Star Wars fan film. It hits all the major heartstrings, while providing enough visual interest to feel different than the the original trilogy – a future that has already happened.

Now, I’m going to do my best not to retell the whole plot of Rogue One, because I think that this story deserves to be seen first rather then read. But I will give you a brief overview out of consideration for what this movie does.

Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelson) has hidden his family away from the Empire. One day Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) arrives to get assistance in completing the Death Star. In the process Galen’s wife Lyra is killed, Galen is captured, while daughter Jyn escapes and is taken to safety by Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker).

Jump forward fifteen years, and Empire cargo pilot Bodhi (Riz Ahmed) has defected, and smuggled a message from Galen to Saw… One that will set forward the next three films in the main Star Wars story. During this story we see adult Jyn (Felicity Jones) meet fellow rebels Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), and Jedha temple monks Chirrut Imwe () and Baze Malbus ().

Cassian is on a mission to kill Galen, and prevent the Death Star from being completed, while Jyn wants to get Bodhi to the Alliance to prove her fathers worth. Because of this conflict Krennic does everything he can to tie up loose ends, destroying cities, killing members of the Empire and Rebel Alliance alike, even gaining the attention of Lord Vader.

In one of the most epic wartime sequences ever, we witness The Battle of Scarif, where the Alliance fights to gain essential intel on the Death Star. There are heavy losses on both sides, but in the end the Rebels gain a victory and set up the beginning of A New Hope – mere moments later.

 

This is a movie for the fans, made by someone who is a fan of the Star Wars mythology. With direct tie-ins to Episodes I, II, II, IV, and the animated series Rebels, Rogue One is Star Wars. Which probably seems vague, but what I mean is that it is so clearly miming the 1977 Star Wars film, before it became Episode IV, that it can’t help but make us happy. Because it looks new but retains that retro future aesthetic we’ve come to love.

Pros: The fast pacing and limited interactions we get with each character only further demonstrate the impact of war on life, appearing at once fully, and then suddenly gone. It expands upon the universe in a very satisfactory way.

Cons: After the bleakness and the hard won battle are over, you have to wonder if you really experienced anything new at all. Plus where is the charm? Also, I didn’t like Vaders red eyes, like at all.

Runtime: 2 hours 13 minutes

Points of Interest: The Rebel base at Yavin IV features the same kinds of cardboard cutout ships that the original movie did back in 1977. The is the first Star Wars movie to not mention the name of Skywalker in it.

Rogue One is a mad dash to the finish action-adventure film, and one where we know how it all ends. But it’s in the journey that we get to enjoy new characters like Chirrut and Baze, and witness Saw Gerrara as he fits into the mix, as a sort of de-powered Darth Vader.

theories Summarized

In light of my recent Cross Talk episode wherein we discussed movie Easter eggs, I would like to point out that this film is absolutely riddled with them – and some cameos too! Now to be clear, that doesn’t mean that I want to spoil the rest of my review by pointing them all out, but yes, R2-D2 and C-3PO do make a very brief appearance.

Is Rogue One perfect? No, but I can gladly admit that it holds true to canon, is entertaining, and if you are a fan, like the vast majority of the world is at this point, you’ll enjoy it too.

Tim!

Netflix and Take A Pill (timotheories presents: Watch Culture)

Internet culture is cool right? Reshoots and disputes and set leaks galore.

Oh wait, nope, that’s not cool at all.

It’s all just a hype machine and it sucks. Because legitimacy of so many of the films coming out right now aside (read: Justice League, Baywatch, Pirates of the Caribbean), we don’t need to spend hours upon hours of our time reading click-bait themed single paragraph articles from buzz sites, tweeting from similar newsfeeds that should be reporting on politics, and binging on YouTube video theories and opinions. I mention this because we’re talking about things which haven’t even come out yet.

It’s weird though, because culture has shifted.

You probably didn’t notice it, did you?

Yeah, funnily enough, the notion of hyping movies has been around for a while. You see dear readers, there used to be a time when we would get on a hype machine ahead of a release date, but we didn’t have a place to vomit all of our millions of ideas about it. And people didn’t capitalize on all of the theory, using their particular geek skills to funnel people Then the internet came along. And we lived a happy place between hype and geek culture for a few years.

So what happened and where’s the shift?

Culture Conundrum

Well, I think at some point publishers of ideas, and cultural icons realized that the volume of new content being created reached far beyond their own individual capacities to give opinions on it, so they instead choose to focus only on the new and glamorous, adding in their two cents as it were. Luckily for the vast majority of us, technology has shifted too and our attention spans for the new and novel are increasing, so we don’t have time to look at everything. We instead spend five minutes on one thing we care about, to then move onto another five minutes segment about the thing we care about.

Content creators benefit from this in a big way, and everyone is happy. Because we can all share in that hype machine, never really contributing anything in the way of constructive feedback and driving our subscribers to purpose.

Which is why I decided to introduce a new series of video posts called WatchCulture into the mix. In this series, I will be sharing brief recommendations on movies which have been around for more than a year, and which I think you should watch for your own cultural edification. These are going to be short videos on film, music, art, etc., which fit into the cultural norm, but the difference is that instead of saying netflix and chill, I’m going to ask you to take the red pill.

theories Summarized

You can thank André Lindo, the producer of my Cross Talk series, for this idea, and a greater insight into my own thoughts and feelings on what culture we should be consuming at any given time. Expect to see Watch Culture episodes cropping up every week, very soon.

But for now, I’ve no more theories to share. Only well wishes and a hope for a new tomorrow.

Tim!

 

 

Grey Matter (Governance)

 

Decision making is hard, dear readers.

And sometimes implementing an easy decision really is the wrong thing to do, while implementing the complex decision turns out to be the right one. Unfortunately for all of us, life is not quite so simple as those black and white principles, and even Luke Skywalker is probably going to realize that going grey is the most pragmatic solution. But don’t take my word for it, read this theory about why jedi and sith are likely old news, and that by Episode IX’s end, we’ll likely see a new type of force user emerge victorious.

I hold that this theoretical decision making on Skywalkers part will come down to good governance. We cannot have light without dark, and if you increase one over the other, the secondary element must evolve in kind. But when we combine elements of light and dark, the contrasts give way for subtle shifts in grey and a much stronger range of tonality.

I personally believe this applies to how governments should operate as well. Well as much as I can say in 1000 words or less.

When public funded institutions conduct their public affairs and manage public resources in a responsible and effective way, they are enacting good governance. Those actions cannot be conducted only out of selfish needs nor can the patrons be so altruistic that they never stand up and fight for their people.

But what is governance anyway?

According to wikipedia, governance refers to

all of the processes of governing, whether undertaken by a government, market or network, whether over a family tribe, formal or informal organization or territory and whether through the laws, norms, power or language.

That means working with many different people of many different functions to organize and operate all of those functions in a way that benefits those people.

Not Just A Liberal’s Fancy-Free Dream

What this means to me is that we HAVE TO work together to ensure everyone’s voice is heard, and that decisions are made which always put safety and welfare FIRST and which are for the aid of as many constituents as possible. Good government operates as a sum of it’s parts, the light, the dark, and everything in between. The grey matter of the body.

As an example of support by representation, The Canada Council for the Arts exists primarily to ensure the Canadian people are given a range of public art projects regularly, by investing in the arts through grants and services which bolster the broad range of cultures which make up Canada.

That and they help to raise awareness for the arts too.

But this is just one example of many types of programs which exist in modern day governments, and which are key to the success and development of our communities in a state of global communication.

Programs exist for the disabled, for impoverished, for sports, and for education.

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But, and I hesitate to share this, there is this notion out there that a great many conservative supporters like to say fairly often – creative types are bleeding hearts, and successful ones are supposedly so far removed from the real world that they cannot see the forest for the trees – but I strongly disagree with this notion.

And I don’t share this point lightly, because it is true that we can’t all be movie stars and music geniuses, a great many of us live our lives in the working class, and that ain’t so bad. But good governance should see through classism and recognize the issues at hand first and foremost, no matter what voice an issued is raised with.

Ashton Kutcher – Smart Cookie and Model Citizen

I originally planned for this post on governance (inspired by the Postconsumers response to the OECD index) to be about how artists can uniquely contribute to our communities in the voting process, and where supporting local initiatives and pitching in in ways other than with our pocket money DO make a difference… But then I ran across a tweet about Ashton Kutcher this morning.

In case you aren’t familiar, Ashton Kutcher got his start as a professional model before eventually breaking out into television and film as an actor, and then working his way into investment opportunities as a venture capitalist. He’s been involved in numerous startups over the years including Skype, Foursquare and Airbnb. He’s a smart cookie, though he plays a dummy on TV.

Probably the most impressive thing about him though, is that in 2009 he established an international human rights organization called Thorn with now ex-wife Demi Moore. It’s goal is to address the sexual exploitation of children and human trafficking on a global scale. I mention this because in the tweet that twitter user shared, the author acknowledged how ludicrous it was that Kutcher had to defend his profession as an actor before he could address a US senate committee on the successes of the software his company has developed to fight human trafficking.

He then explains how his technology will helps save thousands of lives, and how investing in it is necessary for us to commit to good governance.

I’m going to share a clip of his speech because I cannot do it more justice than Mr. Kutcher did himself.

theories Summarized

When we practice good governance, we are using our grey matter appropriately. And my hope is that by recognizing all human beings have the capacity for light, dark, and grey actions in-between, that creative professionals are not limited by their hearts, rather their strengths of language allow them to communicate what good governance is. At least, that’s the theory anyway.

Tim!

When I Left You, I Was But The Learner, Now I Am The Master (Cross Talk Ep. 16)

 

The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner, now I am the master.

– Darth Vader

Of all the choices I could make to start this post off right, this is easily one of my favourite quotes from Star Wars because it demonstrates rather visibly resolution, the progression towards an end. Plus, it helps tie in A New Hope directly with my third favourite Star Wars film, Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Each of us moves through life encountering teachers, those who already have key abilities of intelligence, judgment and experience, realized as wisdom.

Darth Vader roughly translates to Dark Father. At least that’s the popular statement. An excellent coincidence that George Lucas used to his advantage when building the lore of Star Wars for us young fans.

But that’s what great storytellers do, they build into the mythos they’ve created and simultaneously strengthen the chronology with each addition to the franchise. Thus making those initial choices seem intentional and enmeshed with later stories. The value of of prequels and sequels is that they enrich an already great story. When the content lines up, exploration of themes is worthwhile.

So while Darth Vader is correct to say that he is now a master of the force, Obi-Wan is also correct in saying that he has only mastered the dark side of the force as a Sith. And when you watch Revenge of the Sith, you can see how handily Obi-Wan beat Anakin, how he admonished him for taking a risk and getting cut down, but only because Obi-Wan had wisdom which Anakin did not.

Because Obi-Wan knew better.

and-he-said-to-the-romans-if-you-strike-me-down-i-will-become-more-powerful-than-you-can-possibly-imagine_o_6496953

When you begin the process of watching films, one of the biggest lessons you can learn is that there are levels of emotion which you can experience. Through repeated viewings, with different genres, and by having shared experiences. A popular one that is a perfect example of this is a parent watching one of their favourite movies with their child. You witness their emotions as they experience similar feelings that you had the first time you enjoyed that art, and then you gain the enjoyment of sharing that art with them, plus another bond you now have available in relating to your child.

That now shared, Chris and I have spent a lot of time discussing the inherent value of film before, but today we run through some real-world examples of the merits of this medium and why the more time you spend with it, the more likely you are to build social relationships, enhance your passion, step outside of your comfort zone, and learn about humanity. The highs and lows of the hobby, and the maturation the love is real my friends – wisdom to be gleaned from watching film.

This is episode sixteen of Cross Talk, produced by my friend and yours, Andre Lindo. I hope that you enjoy this episode as much as we enjoyed creating it. Cross Talk is a passion project, and this exemplifies that passion very well!

Yet another theory knocked right out of the park, and I’m spent. This is atypical of our normal Cross Talk videos, but I really do  hope you enjoyed this episode creative cuties, and that you have a wonderful week. Check back-in for a review of the new AFI album.

Otherwise, please comment, subscribe, and share this video with friends. We want to hear your feedback!

Tim!