The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

Archive for July 2012

Just because you shot Jesse James…

with 2 comments

jesse james, just because you killed jesse james,

Proving he has a clearer grip on reality than anyone else in the show, Mike pretty much sums up the theme we’ve seen develop over three episodes with that amazing quote: “Just because you shot Jesse James don’t make you Jesse James.”

Jesse James, Doc Holliday, Walter White, Mike, Just because you kill jesse james

I’ve always thought of myself as more of a “Doc Holliday.”

Not that Walt is getting the message, nit-picking over mule-fees and hazard money like he has a lot of other options. Seriously, what can we possibly make of his big-man posturing over whether or not they should pay to keep Mike’s “guys” quiet except that he was, well, playing the big man? What part of “don’t force them to spill their guts and send us all to prison” does he not understand? His stand-off with Mike over the “legacy fee” coupled with his complete ignorance of how “the business” actually works left him seeming even more dangerous, if that was possible. The look of fear and disbelief in Jesse’s eyes at the end of the episode when Walt was making not too veiled references to killing Mike to teach him “not to fly too close to the sun” said it nicely: what kind of lunatic has Mr. White become? Read the rest of this entry »

The Dark Knight Rises – Is anyone else kinda wishing he’d stayed down?

with 4 comments

Dear Kathryn,

While I actually saw TDKR on Tuesday night, I’ve had a hard time sitting down to write to you about it. I just did not enjoy it, and am puzzled by the overwhelmingly positive response it is getting from reviewers I generally respect and agree with. Am I missing something here? Help me understand! Over at the AV Club, Scott Tobias calls the movie a Rorschach Test, and I think that begins to capture my frustration. While debates pass back and forth over whether this is right wing propaganda or right wing propaganda undoing itself from within in some form of postmodern play, I’m left wondering if Nolan even knows the real answer. Not that authorial intent needs to drive our sense of meaning here, but my sense is that TDKR isn’t playing with political themes because it’s interested in the ambiguous dimensions of cultural zeitgeist; rather, it’s playing back and forth with these themes because these themes sell. I don’t want the film to pick a side (and my hunch is that with some distance, just as with the second, the side will end up looking much more like right-wing, uber-capitalist wet dreams than the inevitably failing moments of ambiguity currently allow it to do). Sure, Occupy appears here as both “unifying force” and “order-upending menace,” as Tobias notes. But the intrigue of a Rorschach Test lies in the fact that one’s response is immediate – I see what I see immediately. With TDKR, it’s 5 days later, and I still don’t know what the hell I saw besides a lot of explosions, a ridiculously moping millionaire, and a lot of Catwoman’s ass on a motorcycle. Read the rest of this entry »

Are You Alone?

with one comment

Mad Men Season 5 Blu-Ray Gets A Post-Emmy Release Date image
Dear Kathryn,
Well, we’re obviously a little late on this – but I know we’ve both been thinking about the Mad Men finale and trying to find the time to post…so I thought I’d get us started.
In the often overly-stylized world of this show, I nevertheless loved this shot – especially Burt’s posture! It was a foreshadowing moment, the partners all together but each still alone. It set us up for that final sequence, which didn’t even resonate fully for me until I was thinking about it later. Megan finds this cheap version of the thing she wanted, setting the whole thing off – the spotlight isolates her from Don, which was gorgeously pathetic and painful to see…a perfect illustration of an artless soul that wants to be an artist (what a scathing but dead on critique from the woman who has known her longest!). Then Peggy, for the first time on a lone business trip finds her joy at independence disrupted by humping dogs. Pete, grasps for some alone time with his headphones and finds he is more alienated from his life than he realized. Roger, afraid to do LSD alone earlier in the episode finds his solitude liberating (what a fantastic shot!). And Don, back in a sequence that evoked visually both the opening scene of the entire series with the drink being carried across the room, and the beautiful scene of the old Don from earlier this season between him and Joan with the lighting and setting) begins his philandering again. And I have no doubt here…whether his answer is yes or no to the question, that was the old Don we saw! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

July 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Going forward where?

leave a comment »

Dear Bryan,

Well, here we have it: a perfect episode to show us just how far Walt has come and just how deluded he is about his future. There were many hints of this escalation and delusion, but how about that scene of Walt and Skyler in bed at the end of the episode for starters? Walt reprises his creepy, possessive manipulator role with the added ick factor of paralleling the sex scene at the end of the very first episode of the series. Then, Walt has returned home after stowing the corpse of Emilio in the RV outside Jesse’s house and the almost-corpse of Crazy 8 in Jesse’s basement. His first attempt at breaking bad has not gone so well and he is wracked with guilt, anxiety, and just the first taste of power. He initiates sex with Skyler with the desperation and intensity of a man who almost died (besides the fact that he thinks he is dying of lung cancer) and she is shocked, but also titilated, by his intensity: “Walt, is that you?” she asks breathlessly. Read the rest of this entry »

I Forgive You

leave a comment »

Yeah bitch! Magnets!

So, I guess I’ll start at the beginning. How awesome is the hipster version of Walter White? I loved his glasses and beard. What we learned in the cold open is that at some point in the future, Walt will end up having a lonely 52nd birthday breakfast where he purchases a large amount of weaponry. So, it seems that while he did “win” against Gus Fring, he still has plenty of battles to fight.
Read the rest of this entry »