In this new and hopefully regular feature, I will, using a combination of observation, inference, and irresponsibly haphazard conjecture, attempt to surmise the plots of upcoming films based on scene-by-scene deconstructions of their trailers. In this first installment, I take on the 2018 feature film “A Star Is Born”.

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We open on a nationalist rally for some sort of strongman ruler. Zealots fervently wave a diverse assortment of flags, a melange of patriotic salutes to an indecisive despot. What does this despot want his flag to look like? This despot cannot decide.

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This despot is Bradley Cooper. He serenades his throng of rabid supporters with a revolutionary anthem: “Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die.” A changing of the guard has occurred. The previous regime has been ousted at the hands of Cooper’s insurgency.  The film’s title begins to become apparent. A Star Is Born. On the American flag, each star represents a state. This is the beginning of a new state.

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Dear Leader Cooper stumbles around. A big hat sits low on his head, concealing bloodshot eyes. He is drunk. Drunk on what? Drunk on power.

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In this shot, Cooper unscrews a bottle of liquor, an on-the-nose physical representation of his authoritative intoxication.

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Honorable Chairman Cooper points to the heavens. He thinks himself God.

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The symptoms of Cooper’s power-inebriation and subsequent power-hangover continue to manifest. Here Cooper covers his ears to block out loud sounds. He eschews a shirt to air out his sweat-drenched skin. And still delirious, he insists on godhood.

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Fuhrer Cooper’s friend Dave Chappelle tries to tell Cooper how concerned he is about his friend’s turn into a megalomaniacal dictator, but a power-sloshed Cooper is not listening as he has already blacked out.

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Our Supreme Leader saunters up to a meeting of his cabinet, the notorious Circle of 8, to discuss the blackmailing of dissidents and general quashing of opposition.

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Generalissimo Cooper visits the red-hued darkroom at the headquarters of his secret police to get compromising photos of his political opponents developed.

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A woman, Lady Gaga, is on the chopping block, her head literally rolls to the side as she foreshadows her own execution. Cooper contemplates saving Gaga, asking if she “writes songs or anything?” Perhaps she can be of use to him. Gaga, demonstrating her rebellious streak, does not directly answer his question: “I don’t sing my own songs.” Cryptic. Cooper further grills Gaga with hard-hitting questions like “Why?” and “Why don’t you feel comfortable?” The harsh interrogation induces Gaga to have flashbacks to life before she was detained.

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Flashback: Gaga looks into the mirror to make sure the secret police aren’t behind her, about to murder her.

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Flashback: Gaga writes her last will and testament by the light of phone in a cramped recess, hiding from the secret police who will likely murder her.

Gaga finally breaks under the pressure and spills the beans. Gaga confesses to Cooper that she has a good singing voice. She also drops the bombshell that she is an ugly person who no one likes to look at.

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The twist that Lady Gaga is a hideous crone is upstaged by an even bigger twist that Daddy Cooper digs her odious homeliness: “I think you’re beautiful.” Gaga’s surprise is registered by the raise of her revolting eyebrows on her monstrous mug. Gaga knows from watching state TV that Dictator Cooper is indecisive as hell, and the fact that he is so cocksure in his attraction to her physical abomination is astounding. This scene also demonstrates the degree to which Cooper’s absolute authority has deluded him, to falling for such a grotesque goblin as Lady Gaga.

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In this scene, Tyrant Cooper sports a burnt crimson complexion symptomatic of advanced Stage-4 Asian glow. It contrasts with the ghastly wraithlike pallor of his new personal muse/songstress Lady Gaga. Cooper rolls down the window of his car to tell Gaga he just wants to look at her again. She is an object to him, a sort of lovely, unsightly trophy. He is a king, and his subjects are mere objects for his own pleasure and entertainment.

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Lady Gaga twirls like a helicopter, desperately trying to create enough lift to whisk herself out of her hellish subordination.

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Keeping her eyes on the skies, Gaga attempts escape by way of some sort of improvised zipline, but the beastly regent Cooper thwarts her, wresting her out of the air like a Giant Trevally snatching a low-flying seabird.

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As the honeymoon period wears off, Cooper’s approval ratings begin to sour. He holds another rally to reinvigorate his base. He commands Gaga, “Here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to sing that song that I love.” She has no choice in the matter. But Gaga resists. “No, I can’t do that.” She doesn’t want to do it.

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She really doesn’t want to do it.

But Cooper insists, trying to forcefully drag her out on stage with him. He finally lets her go, and she sees that despite Cooper’s corrupted heart, he has a weird soft spot for her.

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As the light adorning her changes from blue-green to red, Gaga makes the choice to become the monster – to give in to what Bradito Cooperlini wants in order to destroy his autocracy from the inside.

A montage ensues of Gaga’s seduction of the authoritarian Cooper intercut with scenes of her rebellion.

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Gaga romances Cooper. The bottle in her hand mirrors the one Cooper held earlier in the trailer. In the process of deceiving Cooper, is she becoming just as drunk on power as he is?

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Gaga writes a coded message on sensitive intelligence she’s gathered while undercover as Cooper’s First Lady.

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Gaga, masked, accompanies Cooper on a Colectivo-style motorcycle raid to beat and terrorize protesters. Complicity.

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Gaga enjoying the ill-gotten but decadent comforts of the monarchy.

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Gaga’s life of luxury contrasts sharply with the barren wasteland into which the rest of the country has devolved under Cooper’s despotic rule.

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Gaga cries. Despite her superficial physical beautification, signified by the flower tucked behind her ear, Gaga weeps for the internal monster she has created.

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A former revolutionary leader and mentor to Cooper, Sam Elliott, tries to warn him that he has gone astray and to be wary of those around him.

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Gaga gives her all to Cooper, using her body to further entrance him.

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Gaga is unable to look herself in the mirror anymore. At the beginning of the film, in spite of her repulsive appearance, Lady Gaga is able to look her reflection dead in the dead eyes. But now, she can’t stand the sight of the true menace she’s become. She smashes glass. She squats and screams at the floor of a public restroom.

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The Coop appears to learn of Gaga’s betrayal. Will she be able to convince him otherwise?

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Yes. Gaga turns Cooper on his former hero. He lashes out at Elliott for suggesting that he has lost his way and that Gaga is to blame.

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Bradley Cooper likes to swim, I guess.

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A deceased Cooper is carried off by body guards following an assassination attempt by Resistance forces using intelligence delivered to them by Gaga.

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Gaga, ushered away by another body guard, is visibly perturbed by Cooper’s death. In her quest to beguile the despot, she has developed real feelings for him.

The Tsar has been deposed. But at what cost? The love of Gaga’s life? Her own conscience and identity? The suffering of her people?

One revolution begets another.

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A final dictatorial salute. Long live Bradley!

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broccoli express

HIGH CHAIR, CA – Traveling from the Fork Street terminal for Mouth Station, the Broccoli Express derailed early Wednesday afternoon, leaving twenty-six people dead and dozens more injured.

The eight-floret passenger train careened wildly off the tracks at approximately lunch time, plummeting several feet to the Kitchen Floor underpass.

Twenty-six passengers were killed on impact. Seventy-seven more sustained injuries, ranging from life-threatening to boo-boos, and were escorted to the medicine cabinet for treatment.

Eye witnesses say the Broccoli Express collided with a “soft, cheeky” obstruction shortly before arriving at Mouth Station, then “jumped the tines,” and hurtled towards the tile below.

At the time of the crash, the train was moving at .15 miles per hour, according to transportation authorities. Nook Metro Spokeswoman Deirdre Moreno told reporters that the catastrophic wreck would take “seconds” to clean up. “We are devoting all available resources to help deal with this emergency. Every finger. Every bit of napkin. All hand is on deck.”

The derailment is currently under investigation. Operator error has not been ruled out.

The Broccoli Express’ black box event recorder was recovered by first responders as they searched through the pile-up for survivors. Audio from the recorder documents the train engineer’s final correspondence before the stalk uncoupled from the tines and the train overturned: “Here comes the Broccoli Express! Choo! Choo!”

Constructed nine minutes ago, the Broccoli Express was making its inaugural run. In a press release at the time of its approval, the new steamed-engine locomotive promised more consistent performance and more “regular departures.”

Despite this setback, railway officials were adamant that they would see this high-fiber rail project to ingestion.

17609-a-breakfast-with-toast-pvSHIPROCK, NM – Giving his choice a disproportionate amount of thought, Vic’s Diner patron Ryan Partridge was asked early Saturday what type of toast he would like to completely ignore alongside his two-egg breakfast. “White or wheat?” asked waitress Bev Rodgers, presenting the two varieties of pre-buttered, toasted bread Partridge could abandon untouched on the diner table. “Wheat’s fine,” said Partridge, opting for the healthier option which would in no way and at no time enter his body. At press time, Partridge was fumbling with packets of marmalade he would ultimately place back into the basket.

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WASHINGTON – The Republican Congressional and Executive apparatus failed to not sign into a law a “ruinous” tax reform bill early Friday morning as President Donald Trump regretfully endorsed the GOP-concocted legislation with his trademark autograph.

Despite their best efforts, Republicans in Congress were unable to stop the passage of a tax bill which independent analysts estimate will massively redistribute wealth to corporations and the rich.

“We did everything we possibly could to tank this bill,” lamented a visibly distraught Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senator McConnell pointed to the bill’s rushed and haphazard passage; eschewing of regular order; and inclusion of widely unpopular amendments as evidence of the Republican party’s concerted effort to produce an unpalatable piece of legislation.

“You tried your best, Mitch,” consoled Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, blotting the tears trickling down the Majority Leader’s face with a one-hundred-dollar bill.

Many GOP operatives were left scratching their heads: How on earth did this bill not not pass?

A slapdash, closed-door, and partisan process used in drawing up the legislation was meant to turn off legislators like Arizona Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain who claim to care about that kind of stuff for some weird reason.

House Republicans also introduced measures in the bill which were meant to violate arcane Senate procedural rules. “If the American people suffer from this tax bill, it is definitely the fault of the Senate Parliamentarian,” said Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

The GOP tax legislation also included a number of “safeguards” designed to incense voters and sabotage the bill’s prospects from ever blowing up the deficit by more than one trillion dollars. Premium hikes, limits on state and local tax deductions, cuts to entitlement benefits, incentives for businesses to offshore jobs, long-term tax increases on millions of middle class Americans, and “being dicks to grad students” were all bids made by Republican authors of the bill to prevent its passage.

Efforts to make the House and Senate versions of the bill irreconcilable proved futile as well.

“I promised only to vote for this bill in exchange for stabilization of the health markets, knowing full well House Conservatives would never go for that,” said Maine Senator Susan Collins. “And yet here we are. The bill is passed. There is no stabilization for health markets. And my signature is on the bill. It’s like some sort of dark voodoo magic.”

When Senator Collins was asked what that “dark voodoo magic” could possibly be, another older, whiter, more male senator interjected, “Science.”

The bill’s stunning non-defeat comes at the end of a disappointing year for Republicans – one full of flops on key campaign promises like ACA repeal, “draining the swamp” of lobbyists and corporate influence, and “locking her up.”

None were perhaps more dismayed by the tax bill’s passage, than President Donald Trump who detailed his own personal endeavors to torpedo the GOP tax bill:

“I tried not to sign the bill. I did. I watched eight hours of television. The best television. I golfed a lot. A tremendous amount. I was so distracted. No one’s ever been so distracted. I drank twelve cans of diet coke so I’d be so jittery – that’s my word, a word no one’s ever said before, jittery – so jittery, isn’t that a great word? – so jittery, I couldn’t write my own name, but in the end, the bill is signed because of the democrats and because of Crooked Hillary and the fake news media and because of Tiffany.”

Asked whether there was anything Republicans could have done differently to stop the tax bill’s realization, White House Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “What can I say? We just did have the votes.”

mtredoubtedit1

WASHINGTON – North Korea successfully delivered an armed nuclear missile to the United States mainland six months ago, according to a classified assessment conducted by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The confidential intelligence report indicates that the North Korean ICBM landed “just east” of the Sea of Japan in an urban region known as “Sacramento”. U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, expressed grave concern at the pace of the North Koreans’ fulfillment.

“All of our old estimates are out the window,” said one intelligence official. “Before, we predicted they were two, maybe three years away from being able to carry out a nuclear strike on U.S. soil. This accelerates their timetable to last February.”

Analysts described the missile program’s latest stage as “complete” and “done-zoes”. The next hurdle for North Korean weapon scientists will be to miniaturize any remaining sense of restraint they have and stockpile an irresponsible number of nuclear weapons.

“Fortunately, this was just a test – which it wasn’t” said nuclear arms expert Judy Spears, “but had this nuclear missile actually struck a major American metropolitan area – which it did – hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians would be dead – which they are.”

In response to this report, President Trump warned Pyongyang to not have conducted any more attacks on the U.S. or they “will have faced fire and fury like the world already saw.”

The international community has tried to rein in the Kim regime’s nuclear development using shows of military force and economic sanctions, but those efforts have been undermined by the Chinese government, who has been reluctant to travel back in time and retroactively apply more pressure.

When asked whether he was worried about North Korea’s fully fledged nuclear capabilities, one American citizen said, “No. I’m dead.”

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