Five Finger Death Punch - Wrong Side Of Heaven
I spoke to God today
And she said that she's ashamed
What have I become
What have I done
I spoke to the Devil today
And he swears he's not to blame
And I understood
'Cause I feel the same
Arms wide open
I stand alone
I'm no hero
And I'm not made of stone
Right or wrong
I can hardly tell
I'm on the wrong side of Heaven
The first time I listened to this song about war veterans, the first thing that comes to mind is The Punisher. But now that I listen to this again, it reminds me of John Walker. As much as everyone hates him, I can’t help but actually feel sorry for him. The latest episode with the council proves my theory that something terrible did happened in Afghanistan that he regretted doing simply because of orders.
Sam knew what it’s like as he himself lost his wingman in Afghanistan as well.
The thing about the war against terrorists is different than war against NAZI. Because in WWII Germany, you knew who you’re fighting, you knew who your enemies were, they wore grey or black uniforms with swastika but with terrorists, you can’t tell, because they’re often disguised as civilians. And they attack you when you least expect it making it hard for you know whom to trust.
I guess that’s why Sam ran that therapy session in Captain America : The Winter Soldier for fellow veterans who came back a different person. If you noticed, when Walker was struggling against Dora Milaje, he urged Bucky to stop it. And when they confront Walker for the shield where Walker asked, if they want to do this, Sam seems reluctant but Bucky answered, “We do.”
I think Sam tried to avoid fighting Walker as much as he could because he knew he’s not the real enemy but has to fight him eventually, pulling his punches which resulted in the tearing up of his own wings until Bucky jumped in to stop Walker. The look on Sam when he sees the blood on the shield as if thinking that it could’ve all been prevented if he had not given up the shield.
Bucky and Walker are similar in a sense that they’re both plagued by their dark past killing people they didn’t want to kill. Bucky was mind-controlled into killing them while Walker was ordered to because he thought that’s what a good soldier does, following orders. Now they’re both broken and filled with regrets, which is why neither of them is fit to be the new Captain America.
Sam is the ideal choice, he remained a strong and good man, despite all the shit he had seen and went through in Afghanistan. The only one who seems to be in control of his emotions and capable of making the right decisions. Bucky has Sam to help him through his past trauma but Walker doesn’t, and the only person who is willing to listen to him is that Madame Hydra.
That pretty much sealed his fate of redemption, going into the arms of Hydra. So, who’s the real villain? I’ll tell you, those men in suits and tie, the military top brass and the government, who made him that killing machine and put him in that Captain America suit knowing that he’s still broken and in need of help and then spurn him when he messed up.
I’d probably get shot by the haters for seemingly “siding” with Walker but I’m just trying to see things from the middle ground and understand why he is the way he is because he’s not someone who is born evil and sadistic. Because we already knew Bucky’s backstory but we had no clue of Walker which I am curious to know.
Anyway, I am very much looking forward to the next two episodes, which I’m afraid is kind of short. That post credit had me wondering if Walker is building his U.S. Agent Shield to replace the original shield. I just hope they don’t rush the ending or at least have a second season. I daresay, this is probably the best Marvel series thus far with a compelling “villain” like Walker.
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Countdown to Day Zero
by Jay S. Jacobs
January 18, 2008
With the ongoing conflict in the Middle East there have been rumblings that eventually the United States may have to reinstate the military draft. The film Day Zero takes this one step further – imagining what will happen after this occurs.
Day Zero focuses in on three New York-area friends who receive their draft notices. They have thirty days to get their lives in order before being shipped off to war.
George Rifkin (Chris Klein of American Pie) is a well-off lawyer whose thriving career and terminally ill wife (Ginnifer Goodwin) have him desperate to pull any strings to get out of the obligation.
James Dixon – played by Jon Bernthal, late of the sitcom The Class – is sort of the protector of the group. Though on a lower economic scale – he is working as a cabbie – he is the strongest and possibly most principled of the friends. Dixon actually believes that the cause is just; however he finds he does have something to lose when right before he is supposed to leave he falls for a pretty local schoolteacher (Elisabeth Moss of The West Wing.).
Aaron Feller (Elijah Wood of Lord of the Rings) is the most sensitive of the group, a neurotic writer who had a popular first book but seems unable to follow it up. Once his draft notice comes in, Aaron snaps, diving into a world of sex-for-sale, alcohol, drugs, tattoos and skinheads.
Bernthal has been making his way into the mainstream of show biz in the decade he has been working in TV and film. He has been in movies like World Trade Center and Tony ‘N’ Tina’s Wedding and has appeared in TV series such as CSI: Miami, Law and Order: SVU, How I Met Your Mother, Boston Legal and Without A Trace. In 2006-2007 he was a breakout character in the extremely hyped but ultimately short-lived sitcom The Class.
A few days before Day Zero was released to theaters; Bernthal was nice enough to give us a call to discuss the film.
Day Zero has a very controversial subject matter. What was it about the script that appealed to you?
The character. I read the script and this was something I felt that I had to do. As soon as I put the script down, I was on a mission. I was writing letters to the producer and to the writer begging for an audition. You know, the way the state of affairs is in Hollywood in this day and age – guys like me don’t really get to play lead roles in movies… when you’re starting out like I am. I just knew that I had to play this part. I really wasn’t going to take no for an answer. I pretty much did everything but kick down their doors and force my way into the thing. (chuckles) As soon as I put the script down I knew I had to do it.
Between this film and World Trade Center you have been in two very dramatic films which revolve around Middle East terror and how it impacts us in the US. Now I know I’m stretching here a bit, but I saw in your bio that you were born and raised in Washington DC.
Yes, I was.
Was your family in government? Did growing up in the environment of the city make this kind of political films more intriguing to you?
You know, I don’t know. Somebody else just asked me a question sort of like that. Whether I feel like I’m more connected with 9/11 because I made these movies… or something like that. I think that what happened on 9/11 was the defining moment for this generation. I feel like all Americans are extremely connected with that. It’s a visceral gut connection that we have. It’s in all of our blood. It’s changed all of our lives. The answer to your question is that neither of my parents is in politics. But I knew many people whose parents were. A lot of my friends have since gone on into politics. So, yeah, I have a political conscience and I care deeply about it. I don’t necessarily know that growing up in DC made that happen.
Do you think the draft could ever really be reinstated? If it were, do you think you could go if called to duty?
You know, I would love to say that I would. It’s the type of question that you can’t really answer until you’re in the situation. There are countries in the world [where] all people have to do military service. I think there is something extremely positive about that. This country affords us unbelievable opportunities. I’ve gotten so much out of this country. People in other countries wouldn’t believe the comfort and the opportunities that we have. I think giving back is really important. Politically, if there was a draft – if the military responsibility and burden was one that was shared by all – I think that we would be a lot more careful and a lot less quick to jump into things.
Dixon was sort of supposed to be the character who voiced the pro-war side of the debate. With the unpopularity of the war effort now was that a hard side to take?
You know, no, I don’t think so, because I never really saw Dixon as a pro-war guy. He’s a New Yorker. Like I said before – 9/11 had an enormous effect on him. But, I think he’s a pro-America guy. He’s a patriot. People often mistake being a patriot for being a hawk. I think they are completely different. He feels a duty to his country. Like I said before, this country has afforded him a great opportunity. He cares deeply about his responsibility to his country, as he cares deeply about his responsibility to his friendships. When asked, he feels like he has to go. Being drafted is not an invitation. It’s an order. That’s where it lies, because so many times in his life until then, he has been called on to do things and he’s answered that call. It affects him so deeply that his friends sort of want to back out of it. It’s just something that sort of existed in their friendship when they were young.
Dixon was sort of the protector for the group. The three guys were probably never very similar and over the years they became more and more different. Why do you think that they stuck together?
Well, I think like a lot of good friends that have known each other from [when they were] kids, your friendships are really solidified when you’re young. I’d like to think in this group, Dixon, in a way, was the glue. Dixon and these guys became friends very early on. They all went to a magnet school. The whole idea of Stuyvesant [High School – in New York City] is that it brings people from all sorts of socioeconomic and class differences, just based on the fact that if you are talented enough and a good enough student, you can go study there. Their friendships were made at an early enough stage and it is Dixon’s fierce loyalty to these guys that got him into trouble. When he went and fought Rifkin’s fight for him, they sent him off to a juvenile detention center. Yes, they started to go their different directions, but I feel like because Dixon made the sacrifice that he did, these guys also have a fierce loyalty to him. They’ve obviously gone out in different directions and career paths, but this connection was solidified when they were young and it’s something that can’t be broken. I love the fact that this external circumstance of being drafted solidifies them once again – puts them all in the proverbial same boat. Now they have to deal with it. It’s been something that they’ve been dealing with since they were young.
Although Aaron’s list obviously was a little disturbed [the Elijah Wood character makes a list of ten experiences he wants to have before going to war – i.e. see a peep show, get a tattoo, visit a prostitute], if you had thirty days of freedom left what things would you want to do?
Hmm… That’s a good question. I guess I’d like to be around my family. Play a lot of basketball. Hang out with my dog. Be in the ocean. Man, I don’t know. I don’t know. That’s a really good question. I would want to enjoy myself and say everything that I could possibly say – to as many people who I love as I could.
I interviewed Elijah a couple of years ago and in real life he seems nice and basically harmless. Was it surprising to see the places he went with his character in the later scenes?
Oh man, I was so excited to see it. Elijah is… you’re right; he’s such an extremely nice person. He’s such a professional. It’s just a dream to have him on set. When we were in New York one day, we were filming and a guy comes up to him – Elijah wasn’t facing the guy – and the guy kind of slaps Elijah in the back and asks for cigarette. He didn’t realize who he was. I immediately went to defend him, just because he’s a small guy and that’s no way to walk up to somebody. I sort of got in the guy’s face. Once the guy realized it was Elijah he’s like, ‘”Oh, man, Elijah…” Elijah hugged him and all that. I was like, man, this guy is so freaking nice! He’s such a nice guy. But, people get it confused. He’s an extremely talented actor. He’s wonderful at what he does. He’s so nice and so professional and so gracious… [but] I think there is no limit to the places that he can go. I really believe in him as an actor.
You just mentioned filming in New York. There was one scene you did with Chris Klein which appeared to be done during an actual anti-war rally.
Yeah, it sure was.
What that like to be an actor in the midst of a real life event?
Oh, man, that was magic. It was completely unplanned. It just happened to be near the location that we were shooting in. We just went guerrilla-style and just started taking all the equipment into the subways, trying to get in front of the march, set up our shots. We tried to get as much footage as we could in that march. It was such an unbelievable thing to be able to play off of. That energy was just amazing. It was weird, because that scene with the three of us the day before we were supposed to go – it never really made sense in rehearsals. We never really knew what that scene was about. But then when it was about us watching this protest it made complete sense. It’s just one of those movie-making magic events that really had resonance for all of us.
Despite the fact that your character was the one who believed that the cause was just and that it was his responsibility to go, even you were given a reason to question his service – meeting a woman. Why do you think it was important that he suddenly have something to lose at home?
I think he has been showing this undying loyalty to people his whole life. It’s what I was talking about earlier with his friends. He feels the same way with his country. That being said, I’m not sure he’s ever felt what it feels like to have that unwavering, undying loyalty back to him. He falls in love with this woman. Not only does he fall in love with her, she’s a good woman. She shows him the kind of loyalty he’s been showing his friends his whole life. Even though he’s kept [his draft status] a secret from her, she says to him, “I love you and I’ll wait for you.” That’s something that just touched him in a way that he hadn’t been touched before. That was important because it put him in a… you know, the one thing about Dixon is he has piece of mind, because he lives by a code. Everything makes sense to him. He knows exactly how he’s going to react to any situation. He runs it through the priorities and the code with which he lives by and then makes a decision. This just totally fucked everything up. This made everything go haywire. He had to really make a decision, because his heart was being pulled in two ways. He had to figure it out. It’s really an incredible circumstance for [screenwriter] Rob [Malkani] to have come up with. It’s wonderful. It’s one of the key obstacles, the key dilemmas of the movie.
It was interesting to me that despite the fact that your character was the only one who was certain that he was right to be going to war; he never told his new girlfriend – or even to a lesser extent the little girl in the building who has a crush on him. Why do you feel he did that? Do you think this was a little cruel on his part?
Yeah, I think that the scene with Lizzie Moss, where he finally does tell her, it’s the first time Dixon’s ever found himself in a situation where he didn’t know what to do next. He’s just sort of wavering in the wind. I think he’s averse to all weakness. To waver to him is to be completely weak. He was at a place of complete vulnerability and weakness in front of her. He screwed up. He knew he had screwed up. Look, it happened because he had met this wonderful girl and – you know there’s a lot in the movie that didn’t make it into the final cut, obviously. There was a whole storyline with her brother. Her brother had just been drafted, as well. It comes up in one of their first dates. It sort of puts him up against the wall. He doesn’t know whether to tell her or not. You go through that journey with him, whether he’s going to say it or not. That doesn’t come out in the movie. That’s why I love that movie so much. He fucked up. He screwed up. He should have said something and he didn’t.
I’m a big fan of Elisabeth Moss as well. I have to admit during all of your romantic scenes, I kept half-expecting the Secret Service to break in and take you somewhere so President Bartlett could give you a stern lecture. (Moss had played the President's daughter Zoey for several years on The West Wing.)
(He laughs heartily.)
Seriously, what was she like to work with?
A dream, man. A dream. I fell in love with her. Our first rehearsal I was in love. I was too big of a coward to send her flowers the next day, but I fell in love with her, man. I couldn’t wait to see her everyday on the set. She’s the best.
Last year you were a cast member of The Class – which was one of the big buzz shows of the season. How did you get the role and what was that like to work on?
It was great. I loved everybody I worked with. The writers were great. I didn’t think I had a chance in hell of being in that show. It’s not the kind of acting that I normally do. The process of getting a network show, you go through a crazy long process of all sorts of auditions. So, I think one of the reasons I got it was because I thought there was no way I would get it. It took all the pressure off myself. (laughs) I totally didn’t feel like I fit in that world at all.
Well, like you said, you haven’t done all that much comedy. Do you find comedy harder than drama?
No. I mean, look, I studied acting for stage. I studied in Russia for a few years. I have my MFA [Masters of Fine Arts] in acting here for stage. I feel like I’m pretty comfortable with whatever comes my way. The characters that that I’m super drawn to, the things that really excite me, are the heavy dramatic, really masculine roles.
© 2008 PopEntertainment.com
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Mr. McCarthy Drabble
Another drabble prompt! This one for another underrated, lesser liked (it seems) Jon character, Mr. McCarthy. I took the liberty of using the name Joey, which I decided on in my own one shot series for him. Requested by @darlingshane , I hope you like this! The prompt was “You got a cute butt.”
There weren't a lot of things that you had seen Joey nervous for but going to the dentist was apparently one of those things. He had cracked a tooth and needed to have it pulled. Given his level of anxiety, the dentist had opted to sedate him for it, both before and during the procedure. You had no problem driving him to and from, hoping to help soothe any worry. Well, as much as you could.
The medication had left him a little out of it but not overly so. He was able to hold a decent conversation on the way in, something that you knew distracted him from the nerves that were still plaguing him. The drive was no more than twenty minutes but you had seen the man fidget more in that period of time than you had in the entire seven years that you had known him.
You reached over and gave his hand a small squeeze when you arrived, a soft smile on your face in hopes of providing extra reassurance.
“Everything’s going to be fine. You won’t know what’s going on once he gives you more medicine okay?”
“Let’s get this over with,” he murmured, returning the squeeze.
As predicted, everything went smoothly and you were brought back to the room to help guide Joey back to the car. You had all you could do not to laugh as you helped him up from his seat. The normally composed, though at times over excitable man, was still unsteady on his feet and let out what couldn’t be described as anything other than a giggle.You didn’t know what was going on in his mind at the moment.
“All right big man. Time to get you home.” He slung an arm over your shoulder, his lips brushing your cheek sloppily. It turned into a hug after a moment, another amused sound coming from him. This time, you couldn’t help but laugh. “What’s so funny?”
“Nothing. Just thinking.”
“About?” You got him out of the room, having snaked out of the hug without him falling on his face.
“You got a cute butt.” You could feel a blush come to your cheeks as he made the statement not too quietly but laughed at it anyway. Joey wasn’t one to hide his affection but that was a pretty public statement, even for him. Getting him outside, you finally responded.
“Glad to know you like it.”
“Liked it enough to marry it.” His words were still sluggish.
“Yes you did.” You got him in the car and buckled him up.
“Should marry it again.” You rolled your eyes as you slid into the driver seat.
“We’ll come back to that when you sleep off your current state.” Another kiss was pressed to your cheek before he leaned back in the seat. Within moments, he was sleeping. You shook your head to yourself and headed on home, assuming he wouldn’t remember any of this.
To your surprise, he did.
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