The Taking of Pelham 123 x2

Wednesday, 16 August, Year 9 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

The first Taking of Pelham (123) is this 1974 thingi, whereas the second Taking of Pelham (123) is this other Sony bullshitii that recently came out.

Neither item is worth seeing on its own merits, it's a dumb, tired story about "what if the schlubs in the subway were somehow interesting". They're not gonna be fucking interesting, that's why they're in the god damned subway. "Yes, but what if something interesting happened to them". Like what, someone got their period unexpectedly ? That's about the pinnacle of excitement for the cattle boxes, what the fuck's gonna happen down there.

Nevertheless, it's somewhat interesting to compare recent USG.Mosfilm productions with the offerings of that same industry thirty-five years ago, decades before it was... how do you say nationalization in this nationless language, did you settle on something as of yet ?

Anyways. To get the puss out of the way let us point out that The first Taking of Pelham (2009 version) is little more than a brutish, miserable pile-up of propaganda conceits and pantsuit nonsense. Let's try and ennumerate, in no particular order :

  • The mayor rides the subway. Because it's totally not a class thing, the cheap mass market thing is better (tm).
  • The only thing you can do with stolen money is... give it back to the fucking beast, and don't you dare think different. Seriously, some little guy gets 35`000 under the table and he... "pays his children's college". God fucking help you taking money out of the system, do I need to link that money laundering piece again ? The empire's scrip is for giving back to the empire. Nothing else. You got that, whore ? Good. Now back to work -- oh and by the way, you'll still owe. Plus interest, late fees and penalties. Ha-ha, fuck you.
  • Niggers can be heroes too! Say it with me now! We're all God's children! Hold hands! Touch the screen now! Heal! HEAL!
  • It is very good when police shoot up some random dude's dog and ailing grandfather during "forced entry" right before dawn and without bothering to check if they got the right address, because that one time in that one film (this one) they "saved a hero's life" by shooting without checking. It all checks out, here's a stack of scientific studies on it.
  • The most important thing for any "decent, law-abiding citizen" aka herdemocracy chump (other than immediately turning over to the Great Inca any scrip he might find anywhere, of course) is to be ever vigilant under the relentless onslaught of "fake news" and "toxic facts" (here conveniently embodied in the psychopath-antisocial-terrorist-goatee guy) and keep their soul pure an' true to teh Motherland version of occurences and events. "Do not let him suck you into his reality", says the anointed catamite. Words to live by. Remember that.
  • Some dude's life is less important than the wife's (and, in keeping with the African shamanism passed for thought process throughout the movie, some dude wearing the same male brotherhood ring as the husband can die for him, and also must). Because that's the fucking idea, guy gets killed and the stupid, worthless, insufferable cunt sits right there and nods. I'll bet you anything she's thinking "it's ok, I have a kid", because yeah, totally.iii
  • And speaking of purity : fucking around is bad mkay ? Fucking generally is not so good, but especially if you do it of off the rails, oh my god. Great Inca gave you an ugly bag, fuck her and don't go around spoiling her rightful spunk around! Or else all the other people will look at you in stunned silence! Shame! Hurr durr!
  • "Wall Street guys" are the criminals. Вредители, кулаки, враги народа! Say it with me now. V-r-a-g...

I could go on, but why bother. Instead, let's point out that the 1974 train topped out at 70 mph ; whereas the 2009 version tops out at 60 mph. I suppose you call this progressiv, yes ? Meanwhile a car cost 150`000 in 1974. And since we're speaking of money : the reward is 1 million in 1974, which the city doesn't have, ie roughly seven subway cars. The insult is "20 a trick hooker", which the hooker in question protests (thinking it too low).

Now on the other side of the great socialist leap forward (when did it happen by the way ? 1988 ? 1992 ?), a carv costs 1.28mn (up 853% in 35 years, implying 7% pa inflation) while the reward went up to 10mn (1000% in 35 years, implying 7.5%vi pa inflation) and the crack whore went down to about a dollar a trick.vii This pretty much sums up the situation : material wealth went up some, aspirational expectations of future wealth went up slightly more, while the actual labor wage collapsed by 95%. Don't look away, because this is your story : you're hoping to get a slightly better house than your daddy had, even if the same house would be somewhat better already, but you're doing it while bringing home five cents to your daddy's dollar.

Sucks to be you, huh. No wonder the quality of propaganda work went into the toilet -- you need much louder, blunter instruments for the five cent to the dollar crowd. Do you understand you're faring worse with your minimum wage jobs today than actual naked-in-the-street cotton-picking coloreds did back in the '50s ? Good thing teh pantsuits've been doing such a bang-up job of cluelessly watching your back all these years, huh! Dja feel that herdemocracy uplifiting you and giving you hope you can believe in or however it went ?

But back to the movies. In 1974, the uppity black kid riding the subway gets cracked once over the mouth and told to keep it shut. He complies, nary a peep sallies forth out of his oppressed ass for the remainder of the ride. Also in 1974 women had just been admitted in the professional pit one month prior, and the hardass in charge would rather quit the job than quit the lingo.

Somewhat in the funny vein, they had an undercover cop in the car back then (not these days). He's a cool pussycat sporting a poncho and long hair ; the men wonder whether the undercover's a dame or not, and eventually decide she must've been, judging by the hairdo on the corpse. A fair cop.

They also had a much more evidently involved, obviously functional administrative process back in the day, and a helluva lot more cops, all of which in fine physical shape. The 2009 version resembles closer the masturbatory fantasies of a teenager, including very little actual workings of the actual machineries involved, real or ideal. Consequently, it's all a sort of made-for-TV soap opera, provided with pre-cooked conflicts and pre-painted occurences, decoded by the braindead spectators from hieroglyphs enacted by the camera and stage crews as per recipe. The blonde stands in front of the fuzzed background brunette, that means they're having a fight, the guy is running his hand through the hairline, means he's thinking, the hangman came out upside down and the button on the cash register has a little coffee cup painted on it. Action, emotion, and ultimately meaning can't spring out of the interaction of actual items with actual events, because there's nobody at the other end to decode depictions of reality and as such they have to stem from symbolic writing, divorced from any specific content. Just hold your hands like this and the viewers at home will know it's raining...

Evidently there's very little humor, and very little anything of any import, or even vaguely interesting available in the 2`000% flatter world of the five cents to the dollar workers. What can you do ? Oh, I know, high speed motorcyclesviii and lampshade the helicopter.

  1. The Taking of Pelham 123, by Joseph Sargent (very shitty TV guy) with Walter Matthau. []
  2. The Taking of Pelham 123, 2009, by Tony Scott with a washed up Denzel Washington and an even more washed up John Travolta, not to mention the Happy Forceps Poster Kids (Guzman & Turturro), fucking weirdo face contorsionist clowns.

    Sony blew $100 mn worth of imaginary money on the crap, got back 65 million domestic and another 85 million foreign, all clear and Tide-fresh. But hey, it's all good, who's gonna ask fucking Sony about "money laundering", eh ? []

  3. If you believe this, by the way, if you think the entire set of wives with all their dozens of children are worth half the guy they're by and for you're a fucking dreamer yourself -- and the darkening is coming for you.

    Motherfucker! The husband was in the fucking marines or whatever manhood club they got over there, what's the stupid bitch done ? Don't fucking tell me "she's a writer, just like Diane Keaton" and don't fucking tell me she produced with the uterus! That's not anything.

    Say it with me now : that. is. not. anything. []

  4. Well, either that or else "not having anything to do anymore", I guess. []
  5. Say the R160 []
  6. Pro tip : to calculate per-year compound interest on the basis of the per interval, raise the per-interval to a power equal to the ratio of year and interval. So for instance, if you get 10x in 35 years, then you get 101/35 yearly ie 1.0746. Cool huh. []
  7. Don't believe me, check out wikipedia. That's what it's for, amirite ? []
  8. Fact : a motorcycle is the slowest land conveyance besides a ride-on lawn mower. A car tops out at 200, maybe 250. A motorcycle will not see 150 with you riding on it. I get that the "impression of speed" is much stronger on the rickety 500 cc junklet, but a car with an engine twice that size is called a prius. []
Category: Trilematograf
Comments feed : RSS 2.0. Leave your own comment below, or send a trackback.

2 Responses

  1. The motorcycle remains something like ~steerable~ at his top speed. ( This on top of , and aside, from his worming his way through alleys, columns of autos, misc. obstacles beloved by Hollywood )

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 16 August 2017

    Absolutely not. Motorcycle steering is limited by its position and road coupling in ways car steering is not. This becomes evident if you consider running either on a plain sheet of ice with an inch of snow on top.

Add your cents! »
    If this is your first comment, it will wait to be approved. This usually takes a few hours. Subsequent comments are not delayed.