Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Concerning Kingdoms

Watched The Kingdom on Sunday with project BoomGard (for me, movies fall into six categories - the first one, then the ones i want to watch with Boomgard, the horror titles I want to watch with shakira, The ones I want to watch in a group, the animated ones I watch with Candy and finally the ones I want to watch alone.)

If i had to describe this movie in two words, it would be 'irresponsible Film-making'. Many times one will engage with a media text critically, dissect it per se – look at the deeper meanings embodied in it. Whether it is a work of fiction that depicts some cataclysm, or an advert that reveals a certain prejudice (Its hard to look for deeper meaning in everything mind you)


OK, backtrack – the Kingdom is loosely based (I assume) on the American compound bombings a few years ago in Saudi. Pushing aside the diplomatic option, four agents enter the Kingdom and proceed to blow shit up. The movie paints a bleak picture of Islam and Muslims( well, not so much paints but rather hurls a bucket of red paint our way) I’m very critical of the Saudis, but the courtesies taken by the film maker are inexcusable. Its one thing to have a fictional little Middle earth and have little creatures decimate each other mercilessly, but to have constant negative reality based references to give your movie a sense of authenticity is just wrong. Every image in this movie was a calculated attack at Islam, Mostly subtle, and implicit. There must be some checklist of things you need to include to make a movie like this – like, after every shot of a musjid or a minaret, there was a terrorist activity of some sort. The use of kids for making bombs, the good arab weaned on tv shows like the Incredible Hulk, helping the good Americans (this can be seen in 3 Kings as well) And a few men (well, I include Jennifer Garner in this category – the bitch is butch) wiping out over thirty armed gunmen and not sustaining a single bullet hole.


This was just ridiculous – picture this – you’re in an alley of some sort – over twenty gunmen, armed with RPG’s, and automatic weapons are firing at you from all directions and from an elevated vantage point, yet you manage to kill all of them, even though you aren’t Army, SAS, or even Mossad – you’re just Mulder or Scully with a gun! Two of the four guys in the team were CSI types – forensic mofos. Very unbelievable. I know this review seems fragmented, and for this I apologise.

Herein lies the rub – will I recommend people to watch it- yes. I would suggest sneaking into the theatre so that none of your money goes back to Michael Mann, but in the end you’re only really hurting Nu Metro (and I feel sorry for them losing the Edgars partnership already) Why watch it? Simple really – Education. There is nothing worse than an ignorant muslim trying to torch a cultural item that he does not understand. A lot of people watching this movie feel like this towards Arabs already and in way, the movie is irresponsible, but there are also people who negotiate the movie. I'm not apologising or denying that there are crazy muslims out there. The scariest thing about the movie is that there are Muslim fanatics out there, who hate non Muslims and will kill without conscience. There are.

Two quotes from the movie that illustrate its agenda

[before breaking open a door in terrorist apartment]
Ronald Fleury: Which side do you think Allah's on?
Colonel Faris Al Ghazi: We are about to find out!

Adam Leavitt: What did you say to Mayes to get her to stop crying?
Ronald Fleury: I said we were going to kill them all.

Compared to Syriana or Babel which took a more balanced look at post 9/11 tensions, this movie does nothing positive for peace. The quote above ‘kill them all’ is actually the moral of the movie. MY solution – pump money into movies that portray Islam and Muslims positively – nothing too explicit At first – subtle at first – have a look at this comic book, I think its amazing

I wonder how I would have engaged with the text if I wasn’t a muslim. If I was a Christian South African or a New Zealand Jew or an American who lost his brother in the two tower attacks. I wonder…

MJ

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Concerning Nemo

Taken at Kelly Tarltons (Last trip to New Zealand)
Marlin: I can't afford any more delays and you're one of those fish that causes delays. Sometimes it's a good thing. There's a whole group of fish . They're delay fish.
Dory: You mean... [whimpers]
Dory: . You mean you don't like me?
Marlin: No, of course I like you. It's because I like you I don't want to be with you. It's a complicated emotion.
MJ

Monday, November 05, 2007

Concerning Non Sequiturs

Why does Milk need to be Halaal? I don’t see the point. The MJC does not need to be a part of the packaging. If there is Bacon flavoured milk, I will not buy it. Do not stamp my milk – That space should be reserved for serving suggestions – It should read – this product should be used in making tea, coffee or horlicks.

MJ gets hungry at night, so I walked into the pantry, and found some cheese crackers (those Malaysian types with the cream cheese inside) The ratio of cheese to cracker is unequal. Its like the ratio of good footballers in South Africa to Violent criminals. I put Melrose on my crackers, because I like giving the underdog a little support. After about two crackers I ran out of Melrose. I was not going to put marmalade on the crackers, but I did find hunk of cheese in the fridge. Cheese does not taste like Melrose – they should start making cheese out of Melrose – but not in the pizza shape that they do currently – that shape is not practical. I do not have crackers that are shaped like little pyramids.

Watched Ratatoouie last night. I was glad that the rats looked like rats, and not little humans with whiskers. If you’ve seen Antz or a Bugs Life you would know what I’m talking about. But chances are, you won’t because I’m guessing you also have a mental block on crappy movies. Ratatoouie was great. It wasn’t fill of witty humour, pop culture references or adult innuendos, but had this drawn out feel to it, which made it feel engaging. It was long though – about two hours, but was the type of movie that you’d enjoy more in a cinema setting (like a hindi movie)

I used to swear a lot. I still do, but I used to too. I would never swear an old lady. Unless she was in a car, driving. In oncoming traffic. I’d like to see a fourth Austin Powers movie, but not a fourth Matrix – Matrix four will be so dumb – No Neo. That’s like Fifa without the licenses – it’l still suck but now there’s less of a point in playing it.

I don’t eat brown meat on a chicken, but I love chicken wings. If there’s something I can eat every week, it would have to be chicken wings ( I find Spur to be amazing)

One thing that I don’t ‘get’ on Facebook is the Super Wall/ Fun Wall/ Advanced Wall and probably BFW being introduced in the future. There is nothing on this wall, which I don’t get in my spam inbox in my e-mail anyway. I’m sick of seeing photos of Sami Yusuf posing with a Waahid CD. You want to get my attention? Have the guy pose with a half naked Angelina Jolie or a bottle of Jack Daniels. And whats with everyone bringing ‘sexyback’. Some of you people need to be bringing ‘purdahback’! Ive got no issues with you being fat, hairy and ugly – doesn’t bother me – but why do you think you’re bringing Sexyback?

So Musgrave has finally invested in Butter Salt. Thumbs up to them Four movies in five days – that’s three and a half litres of coke, and if I was good in measuring I’d tell you how much popcorn I ate, but for now I’l just say ‘tons’. What else do you do in Dbn – I wish uShaka was open at night and had heated pools and a DJ. I used to love those parties. Back in the days when I used to watch my friends get high on Acid. Acid messes you up. Its like rat poison, but for people. You’ll see beams of light and start hearing hooters and car tyres screeching. I never did drugs, but some of my best friends did. And they were cool people. We all have our shortcomings. As Waahid toting Sami says (with Outlandish) 'A couple of big ones at my heart cause the thing is freezing cold'.


Mum has been trying to get me to cut down on Coke, so she bought a whole lot of juice – but its never just Orange or Pineapple – it has to be carrot and mango or apple and papaya. You’re not getting twice the juice for the price of one mum. Mum wanted to know the status of MJ’s love life (what’s with old people and their unborn grandchildren anyway) Mum got a little touchy when I didn’t tell her but I was rushing for maghrib so I had no time to resolve it so I screamed from the gate that I’d make dua that Allah takes the Jinn out of her, to which she hollered back, “He did, 25 years ago”. I love my mum. I wish my dog will only bark if someones in my yard and not if another dog is walking across the street (I’l make an exception for a hot poodle though – I mean, it is my dog after all) I used to be a dog before, not in the karma reincarnation sense. Now I just have canine tendencies.

Sigh, I Missed You


MJ

Busy week up ahead - two meetings, three parties, one inaugral address, one bowling outting, and (sorry, nothing highlighted here today, but thanks for checking)