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Super Heroes films as Genre Films

Super Hero films are here to stay. Each year a variety of super hero films are being released during the course of the year. While the genre "Super hero films" is the predominant label for these films, many super hero films fit very well into other established genres. Guardians of the galaxy fits well into the established Sci-Fi genre. Captain America 2’s cast and director said that the film was influenced by 70 thrillers. The trailer for the new Wolverine film title "Logan" used Johnny Cash’s haunting version of the song ‘Hurt’ to evoke a western feel. The director and star of Logan have gone so far as to dub it a "modern western". Recent trailers for Spider Man homecoming have focused Peter Parker’s high school experience, which might fit in with John Hughes films and other coming of age high school films.

A question that remains is this: What are the advantages and disadvantages of separating films from the label of "Super hero" films and putting them into other genres such as crime, western, sci-fi, and fantasy? Do we gain deeper insight into these super hero films when we examine the other genres that they are a part of.

Does saying that a super hero film like The Dark Knight is a crime film help the viewer better understand the film and thus analyze its themes?

This topic could be taken in many different directions depending the writer’s interest.

  • I agree with you. Super hero films have been and still are a go to choice as far as genre among people. and think are here to stay. They are popular for all ages. and I think are here to stay as far as popularity. You got me to put on my thinking cap on to separate the advantages and disadvantages on super hero films? – veyonna 2 months ago
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  • I think that there could be a backlash coming to super hero films. I think that, like the western, it will vanish. Eventually people will lose interest, especially once their favorite actors start being replaced e.g., Robert Downey Jr. will eventually not be Iron Man. I think that they should be put into the box that best represents the theme of the movie. Ant-Man is definitely a heist movie, up there with the Ocean's movies and doesn't bear much semblance to a super hero movie like Guardians of the Galaxy or The Dark Knight. – ZachCarlson 2 months ago
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Space Marines as Modern Military Satire

Few can watch a movie like Starship Troopers, and take it seriously. Most military satire incorporates some degree of jingoism and intensity to make a political point–but all these films run the risk of offending real people who sacrificed everything for their countries. But what if you place a movie in space? Make the adversary some alien–like a bug, gremlin, or otherworldly thing? Is sci-fi military the ultimate vehicle for satire?

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    The diversity of Best Picture Oscar Nominees 2017

    Explore the different topics and issues raised by this year’s Oscar Nominees: Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight are, compared to one another, incredibly diverse, and they demonstrate that Hollywood this year has been experimenting in new interesting ways. Especially focus on issues of gender, race and genre.

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      The Success of Marvel Movies and Why DC Falls Short

      A long fought debate since the dawn of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A comparison behind the cohesion between franchises, writing, and overall story arc between DC and Cinematic Marvel and where DC is heading next in order to keep up with and eventually catch Marvel. Could take many approaches for this.

      • A worthwhile topic. There are any number of possible reasons and explanations for why DC has been unable to live up to Marvel's success. This has come to a shock to a lot of people, considering that DC, overall, owns the more popular properties. I don't think anybody was expending Civil War to crush B v S in opening weekend box office the way it did; Batman and Superman are the two most famous superheroes of all time, and the lost out to an equally unnecessary grudge match between Iron Man and Captain America (who, it can be easy to forget, nobody outside of the highly esoteric world of comic book fandom had ever given a second thought prior to 2008). Personally, I think the biggest reason for DC's failure -- aside from the obvious point about Zack Snyder -- is a matter of anxiety of influence. It's actually not the case that this is a "long fought debate since the dawn of the Marvel Cinematic Universe," given that the DCEU only launched in 2013 with Man of Steel (i.e. five years after Iron Man 1) and only really became an extended universe this year with the release of B v S. Having come late to the party, DC is frantically trying to play catch-up, which has added the extra burden of trying to not seem as though they're overtly imitating their more successful rivals. The dark aesthetics that seem to have characterized their first three movies seems to be in direct opposition to the fun Whedonism that has contributed to the MCU's charm. This clearly deliberate differentiation effort has only worked against them, since it's operating off of the self-sabotaging premise of, "let's do the opposite of what seems to be working for Marvel." And the ironic thing is, the reason why the DCEU is so belated is because, while Marvel was getting things rolling with Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, Christopher Nolan was busy releasing what is objectively the greatest superhero movie ever made. If DC had used Nolan's trilogy as the jumping-off point for their universe, they might have had a much better chance for success -- as they would have gotten started even before Marvel (Batman Begins being from 2005), with a much stronger foundation. However, because of the realism factor (which was a large part of what made The Dark Knight so good), the world that Nolan created proved to be not very conducive to the inclusion of other (more "super") heroes, requiring a fresh start. – ProtoCanon 3 months ago
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      • Would be helpful to define success here - is this cinematic quality of success? Financial? Quantity of movies? Appeal to the masses? Are there some areas that DC movies are more successful than Marvel? – Kevin 3 months ago
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      • I think part of Marvel's success has come from making a large cinematic universe that connects over many movies and two TV shows (Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter). DC has TV shows that are not at all connected to the movies, which is why we are seeing two Flashes, instead of seeing the same actor play the same character in both TV and Film, like Agent Coulson. Also, Marvel built their world from the ground up, starting with iconic and traditionally important Marvel characters and working from there. DC started out by focusing on their most important characters, but then crashed (in my opinion) by making Suicide Squad. If you're a comics fan, you know that this completely ruins the normal timeline. We also skip over Harley Quinn's and all the other characters' origin stories. They tried to do too much too early. They should've known from Marvel's success that great movies are built on great and relatable characters. This is a really interesting topic, and one you can go in-depth on if you want. Great idea. – JamieRich 3 months ago
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      Bong Joon-Ho - Presenting an incompetent police force

      Analyze Korean director Bong Joon-Ho’s filmography (specifcally Memories of Murder, The Host, and Mother) and present how he uses visuals, themes, and insertions of comedy and tragedy to show the incompetence of the Korean police force.

      • This is a phenomenal prompt. Deconstructing patriarchal institutions has been a major aspect of modern South Korean cinema, especially as a reaction to the dictatorship of the fifth republic in the 1980's. Someone familiar with Bong Joon Ho's filmography and other benchmark works of Korean cinema could do wonders with this. – PeterThelonious 2 weeks ago
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      The Monsters of Love Lost: An Otherworldly Take on Separation in Film

      There have been many films that follow a romantic relationship from hopeful beginnings to an optimistic future and there are those that take it to the other end: when a relationship fails and the repercussions that entails. While some take a more realistic approach to the emotions riding through a former couple and their separation, there are others that follow one partner and see the other as almost literal monsters. Examples like David Cronenberg’s The Brood which gives the main character’s wife the ability to create child monsters or Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession having from Mark’s perspective seeing his wife Anna become a crazy sociopath and another woman as almost a double of the former, go into an almost otherworldly plane to explore how painful separation from a loved one can be. There might be other examples of this, like maybe Hideo Nakata’s Dark Water, which is more of a focus on how divorce can effect children in the short term and long term in the realm of a ghost story. So I think the article should be an exploration of films that go into themes of love lost that goes more into the horror aspect and how people can seem to change into monsters when the rose tint is taken away.

      • Hmm, I would also suggest looking into Spike, a 2008 horror adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. – Emily Deibler 3 weeks ago
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      Superheroes on Screen: Entertainment or Escapism?

      Superman arose in comics in the aftermath of The Great Depression. Captain America was designed to fight Hitler. The X-Men were a brilliant allegory to the Civil Rights Movement. Comic book superheroes were created or rose in prominence when readers saw them fighting their enemies or representing and overcoming their struggles. Although the last 10 years haven’t featured any crises of that scale, superheroes have dominated our media. Has the stigma of comic books simply elapsed and everyone can be a nerd in the mainstream or does the rise of superhero media indicative of a country looking to be distracted?

      • i don't understand this topic. how is entertainment different from escapism? which represents the way that comics can operate as allegorical or literal consideration of big issues? why does the topic's author claim "the last 10 years haven’t featured any crises of that scale"? how about the global financial crisis / the great recession? how is the rising acceptability of comic books/nerd culture opposed to a society "looking to be distracted"? and again, if the two are indeed in opposition, which is "entertainment" and which is "escapism"? it seems the whole topic is premised on a false dichotomy and an irrelevant preamble. – Richard Marcil 3 weeks ago
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      • I would examine the superheroes & see what aspects of society they represent and check to see how they have transformed in pop culture over the years – BMartin43 3 weeks ago
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      • I like the idea you have going. I wouldn't say that the last 10 years haven't featured any crises on that scale though. – Bfitts 2 weeks ago
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      • It's an interesting idea you have going, but I think you should explain your theory more, – shazia 2 weeks ago
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      Which Green Lantern should join the DC Comics Cinematic Universe?

      Justice League will debut next November. The Justice League, also known as the Justice League of America, has been DC Comics most prominent super hero team for 56 years! Now, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg will now join forces to fight the forces of evil and defend the innocent on the big screen.

      However, there is one long time member of the Justice League that is missing…Green Lantern. Green Lantern is one of DC Comics "flagship" titles and has been a long time staple of the Justice League. So why no Green Lantern? Is it because the Green Lantern film from 2011 starring Ryan Reynolds bombed in the box office? Possibly.

      But another reason may be the fact that DC Comics has been retooling and updating Green Lantern for decades, in order to make Green Lantern a more diverse character. As a result, there have been seven prominent versions of the ring wielding hero. Hal Jordan, who is Caucasian and was played by Reynolds in 2011, has been DC Comics definitive Lantern since 1960.

      However, DC Comics has allowed minorities, such as John Stewart from the Justice League animated series, to take the ring for a time. A film focusing on the Green Lantern Corps is supposedly coming out in 2020, but Warner Bros has yet to reveal which Lantern will lead the Corps. Should DC Comics and Warner Bros remain faithful to the source material and fandom by giving Hal Jordan a second chance, or should they let a more diverse character become the definitive Green Lantern for their Cinematic Universe, and an entire generation of young super hero fans? This article would go into the histories of each major Green Lantern (Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, Simon Baz, and Jessica Cruz) in order to see which Green Lantern should join the DC Comics Cinematic Universe.

      • I think, in order to create the cinematic universe it so covets, DC has to introduce two or more Lanterns in one movie. Then they could do a great character dichotomy/foil thing, which would develop multiple characters (as pretty much none of their characters are developed at this point, in part due to lack of substantive character interactions). I'd say intro Hal as Parallax, and they develop Guy and John (so much great contrast there, I love it), but I was always a fan of chronology. Probably with John as the protagonist and Guy as comedic relief. Alan....doesn't count in my head, ha. Kyle is great, but they could start him off as Ion to avoid overcrowding GLs. Simon and Jessica probably don't have enough stories to adapt yet.Now I really want to write this topic, but don't have the time... Good luck to whomever writes this! I greatly look forward to reading it. – m-cubed 3 weeks ago
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      • A couple of weeks ago, DC officially announced that Green Lantern Corps would be made starring both Hal Jordan and John Stewart, so maybe the article could instead focus more on the comic origins and significance of those characters and what they would be contributing to the DCCU? And possibly why another Lantern may have been a better decision if the author feels that way. – LC Morisset 3 weeks ago
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