Film Franchises Are Great, But Can We Please Stop The Fanboy Fights? (Cross Talk Ep. 29)

I just came back from a fantastic date at the theatre – Star Wars Episode VIII was on the menu today; it was an early Christmas gift from my fiancee. Sweet deal right?

As you may know by now, I love movies, and this was an ideal way for Mysticque and I to spend some time together, with one of my favourite activities, and then bask in some post-film analysis. She SO gets me on a personal level, and I’m super excited to share this passion with her and our family, especially as Miguel grows up, and as we add onto our little tribe – family time is important to me.

This is why of the many reasons why The Fast and the Furious franchise stands out in my mind as an excellent piece of film, worthy of your attention, admiration, and love. But this is not a post or a video about that love, rather it’s a plea to the general populous. Please stop hating on other peoples spirit movies.

Chris channels Star Trek and Friday The 13th on a regular basis, Mike loves him some John Wick (more than anyone I’ve ever met), and I can’t help but carry the torch for Star Wars, Marvel, and my BFF – The Fast and the Furious franchise. Chris also wanted to let me know that he loves Star Wars, much to the chagrin of Fanboys out there – contrarian to what pop culture and water cooler etiquette teaches us.

But didn’t Yoda teach us why fear is such a bad thing already? We fear what we don’t understand, but if we could have a little empathy for The Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Grey and Harry Potter, maybe we’d all be a little bit more settled… Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Yeah I have Star Wars on the brain, and no, I’m not going to spoil The Last Jedi for you. We should have all learned that lesson from episode 28 of Cross Talk.

Franchise wars are a very real thing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hold hands and try to love one another better. This episode of Cross Talk is a thorough discussion on the matter and all three of us gents have some excellent points to make on the topic.

And yeah… I totally flubbed on the title shown in the video, but I’ll correct it soon. I promise – I’m not at my house this evening, where all of the files are stored on my computer. Please just enjoy that small error, knowing I’m human too, and consider that I was so excited to get this video out to you, that I decided to bite the bullet and edit as soon as possible.

With all of that shared… tell us what your opinions are on the ongoing challenges of film franchise wars! We love comments. And shares! And subscribers! No more theories for today friends, but come back y’all and we’ll give you something in the way of an album review tomorrow.

Tim!

The Fast and the Furious (Watch Culture EP. 1)

So, you’re sitting at home on a Friday night and you want to watch something cool, but you just realized you don’t even know what’s cool anymore. Ya feel me?

Well, this is it, the latest and greatest venture on timotheories.

Ever so timely, and thanks one more time to Andre Lindo for inspiring me to come up with a new series of shows talking about Culture, from my perspective.

We’re doing something to challenge those top 10 lists and review videos that are ever so popular, creative cuties. These are going to be shorter videos with a more intimate feel and will feature myself at the helm (most of the time), guests, and and lots of unbridled passion about the topics at hand.

These ain’t your momma’s review shows, because we’re not going to focus only on the new and novel – Nope, we are going to inject into your consciousness the culture you need to navigate this crazy world of ours.

But enough of that, I think this show should be able to speak for itself, Watch Culture episode one is going to dive right into the thick of it, and it features my all-time favourite movie to watch when I’m sick, when I’m excited, when I’m ringing in the new year, and sometimes just to have on in the background when I’m painting or drawing. That’s right, we’re opening this can of worms with an episode on The Fast and the Furious,

Hit the jump to watch this video or stick around to stay on the site. Either way, This is going to be a fast paced 6 and half minutes of passion, fun, and entertainment on an amazing film that spawned an even better franchise.

theories Summarized

Look how happy I am just to talk about this movie, dear readers! And we haven’t even dug in just yet. I have so many more things to say about this movie, other movies and tv shows, and heck, who knows, I may dip my toes into some other creative channels. But you’re just gonna have to stick around to see what shows up next on timeotheories. Campfire theories continue to unfold and I’m stoked for it.

But you know what’s even more important here? Your feedback. Tell us what you think in the comment section, subscribe to the reading list for more great content, and please share this with your fellow lovers of creativity. We do this for you! Yet another theory to unravel folks.

Tim!

Spoilers Ahead (The Fate of the Furious)

I really do love The Fast and the Furious.

The original movie, with all of it’s flaws, is a clear derivation from the equally ridiculous Point Break, and all of the challenges that came with telling a story about a cop gone native.

The story was simple – Brian, as played by the late Paul Walker, was an undercover cop investigating street racers in hopes of uncovering a group of thieves that committed larceny using their cars. Dom, played by Vin Diesel, was the head of one of these gangs, and because of their mutual love of street racing, and Brian’s interest in Dom’s sister Mia, a friendship was born.

One of the things that haters of these kinds of movies seem to forget is that all films are stories. Some of us just happen to prefer certain story themes over others. But all good stories function well at both exaggerating and limiting elements of a tale in hopes of constructing a narrative that affects you on a personal level. I stand by the statement that these are good films.

The original The Fast and the Furious spoke to me not only because of the chemistry between it’s two male leads, but because of how the cinematography was handled, as not once did any shot remain static. Additionally, the attention to crafting relationships with dialogue, as well as the semi-plausibility of it all were essential – I could imagine an undercover cop falling in love with the sister of a suspect, and becoming friends with that suspect and his crew because the cop related to them at some level.

We Ride Together, We Die Together

Each of the subsequent films worked to build on this formula of bonding and added in details to flesh out the stories of Brian O’Connor and Dominic Toretto. Turning them from friends into brothers. This is where the mention of “family” in parodies later becomes brutally apparent. That said, family is what has made these films interesting, the glue that binds them together. Brian gave Dom a 10 second car at the last minute of The Fast and the Furious out of respect and love, but also because another of his best friends, Roman Pearce, was a criminal that he couldn’t/wouldn’t help. In 2 Fast 2 Furious we learned more about Brian’s past, which helped us better appreciate the first film.

Throughout the series Brian realized that family beats out everything, and it became the backbone of his purpose in the stories. Dom served as the father figure that would bring everyone together, and would fight for his loved ones at all costs.

As the franchise evolved, the action sequences and set up for each story became more elaborate, partly because of fan expectations, but also because of a theory I have which demonstrates the heroic nature of the protagonists. They could achieve the impossible, but most importantly, they were at the core, a group of misfits bound by love. They started out as street racers, but were really superheroes underneath it all. This is why when Paul Walker died mid-production of Furious 7,  I had hidden reservations about the future of the franchise.

This Time It Ain’t Just About Being Fast

But when the first trailer for The Fate of the Furious came out, I was still stoked.

Charlize Theron was cast, and I heard rumours that Helen Mirren was a last minute addition. I even did a Facebook live post while I watched the trailer. And as time went on, I enjoyed each of the subsequent trailers that cropped up. Maybe they had found a way to move on without Paul Walker.

After all, the series had managed to progress from robbery and street racing, to drug dealers, to heists, to fighting against international terrorism, why would this film be any different?

Well for a few reasons.

Without going into great detail about the plot of this film, I’ll start by saying that I was glad to go see it, and director F. Gary Gray has done the series justice in terms of cinematography and action sequences, on top of that we get to see the most dramatic portrayal of Dominic Toretto to date.

But it doesn’t have quite that same balance without the glue that is Brian O’Connor. Luke Hobbs, played by Dwayne Johnson, is way too big of a star to properly co-share the screen time with Dom, and adding in former villain Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), just feels dirty and wrong. Lest we forget that Deckard killed Han and several military types en masse as revenge for what happened to his brother Owen.

Deckard then becomes a sort of goofy trigger-happy member of the team in the last act, which, while entertaining, drove me completely nuts. Why couldn’t one of the other members of the team seen more screen-time, like Roman, Tej or Letty? Heck, I’d even have been happier to see more Ramsey, but less Ramsey as object of competition between Roman and Tej.

theories Summarized

In brief, F8 loses some of the charm and brotherhood that made The Fast and the Furious feel like home to me, though to be clear, Dom never really does turn his back on family, in fact, the twist is too good. It perfectly fits with his character. But, if this is a set up for what ends up being a satisfying trilogy conclusion to the Fast franchise post Paul Walker, I hope it’s all worth it.

It could just be a theory, but maybe Scott Eastwood could replace Paul as the new guy with good hair?

Tim!

Time Of Your Life (timotheories April 2017)

 

April is one of my favourite months of the year, for a few reasons.

It’s the month I was born, which every other year is the same time as the Easter holidays, and it reminds me of my family. You see, dear readers, when I was growing up, every Easter, my family of six would all cart ourselves from one province to another to visit the grandparents. We called our grandparents Papa and Nana, of course. Because of the Ukrainian ancestry.

Which is why this month I decided to focus a lot of my posts on things that matter to me personally. Music, film, the arts, and how to be successful as an artist.

Just kidding, I do that every month. A little late for an April Fools joke, but you can’t say I didn’t try. Terribly.

Also, I mentioned this in my HMV post, but technically I won’t have a problem with reliable forecasting on film and music choices, now that I’ve converted to Amazon Prime, but for the sake of humility, I’ll keep this disclaimer up… just in case.

*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 – April

Stimulating Sundays – (04/02) …, (04/09) Cross Talk Ep. 21, (04/16) Cross Talk Ep. 22, (04/23) Cross Talk Ep. 23, (04/30) Alex Racine interview
Melodic Mondays – (04/03) Sampha, (04/10) The Mavericks, (04/17) Arca, (04/24) Father John Misty
Theatrical Tuesdays – (04/04) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, (04/11) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, (04/18) A Monster Calls (04/25) The Founder
Wisdom Wednesdays – (04/05) Li Kunwu, (04/12) Life Satisfaction, (04/19) David Deida, (04/26) Facebook Success Stories
Timely Thursday – (04/06) timotheories April, (04/13) Easter, (04/20) Fate of the Furious, (04/27) Birthdays

So I missed the mark on the first Sunday of this month – it’s been a bit of a challenge to stay focused with all of the personal changes going on, and my day job, and a new(ish) relationship. Not making excuses, just letting you see that I too am mortal and fully capable of failing.

But let’s focus instead on the fact that I’ve got three Cross Talk episodes coming your way, one of them about Easter Eggs in film (super fun topic), plus the beginning of a series further exploring how certain themes exist in film, but defy genres.

And no, I didn’t forget about Amanda Wall creative cuties. We’ve been trying to figure out a way to make her interview happen. She is a freelancer and full-time mom after all, and scheduling has proven more challenging than originally anticipated. That said, I do have something in the works with a local game designer by the name of Alex Racine – I promise that’ll be fun.

The rest of the topics are gonna be amazing too, from films set in the Star Wars universe, Harry Potter lore, and an adaptation of the beginnings of McDonalds, plus some Mavericks from my past, I have a ton of theories to share on books I’ve read and social media too. Also, did I mention it’s my birthday month? And that the eighth instalment of my favourite film franchise opens in less then a week?

So many theories, so little April to shower you with ideas. But I’ll do my darnedest!

Tim!

Campfire Theories (timotheories January 2017)

Yesterday I promised that I would reveal the timotheories theme of 2017, and today I fulfill that promise dear readers.

I’ve been humming and hawing on what that theme should be for weeks now, and dammit if I didn’t wait until the last minute to hope the idea would just pop into my head. Conveniently enough, when you live a fast and furious lifestyle, things happen when you need them to happen. Which is why this year I’m really embracing the notion that the culture of The Fast and the Furious series pushes on us over and over again.

No, not the theme of family, though that might be a good direction to explore somewhere down the line. It’s more eloquent than family. It’s the activity that holds the family together and which lights up their eyes – the metaphorical barbeque OR campfire.

the-best-fast-and-the-furious-memes

That’s why 2017 is the year of stoking the campfire – the ties that bind us creative professionals together. A campfire invites people together to ask questions and share stories but it also serves as a beacon, and a deterrent to that which we are afraid of – a fantastic symbol of community. And I think after almost a year of consistently writing theories and reviews, sharing resources and events with you, that I should begin the process of building my own campfire. That means putting together proper logos, marketing, and even giving valuable self-contained theories that you can take with you on the go. Its a step forward, but not without some effort on my part.

 

Let’s see what January looks like creative cuties.

*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 – January

Stimulating Sundays – (01/08) Cross Talk Ep. 15, (01/15) Byron Martin preview interview, (01/22) Byron Martin interview, (01/29) Cross Talk Ep. 16
Melodic Mondays – (01/02) Sum 41, (01/09) Gord Downie, (01/16) Kid Cudi, (01/23) The Flaming Lips, (01/30) The xx
Theatrical Tuesdays – (01/03) Don’t Breathe, (01/10) Snowden, (01/17) Deepwater Horizon (01/24) Ouija: Origin of Evil (01/31) The Monster
Wisdom Wednesdays – (01/04) Community, (01/11) Decompression, (01/18) Peggy Orenstein, (01/25) Education
Timely Thursday – (01/05) timotheories January, (01/12) Family Tree, (01/19) AGA, (01/26) Sugar Swing Dancing

My album choices are inspired by politics, mental health, and creative expression, while the movie picks are similarly inspired. Funny how those posts seem to cycle together quite nicely.

I’ve got an extra special interview lined up for January with Byron Martin, founder of Grindstone Theatre who also happens to be it’s visionary artistic director. Byron is in the process of setting up a new YEG based theatre space in the heart of Edmonton’s creative sector.

On top of that, we’ve got a couple of cool Cross Talk episodes lined up – benchmark moments in film AND life lessons we’ve learned as film enthusiasts. These’ll be fun, and who knows, you just might see the return of one of our favourite new additions to the team…

And I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but there is some wisdom brewing on the topics of community, decompression and education… plus I’m reading a book about the western phenomenon of princess culture and how it’s marketed to our female youth. And I’ve got some timely posts about dancing, the Art Gallery of Alberta and an ongoing art project I designed for my mother.

I guess you could say I have a few new theories I want to fuel the fire with, you fine folks. But I promise that we’ll have some fun along the way, and who knows, we might just keep that bogeyman on his toes with all that warmth and light.

Tim!