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The Next Step in the Horror Film Industry

What do filmmakers of the horror genre need to do to improve its reception and future in cinemas? I’m not a fan of horror films; my imagination and perception when watching films doesn’t allow me to enjoy them enough. But when I hear about a new horror movie release, there isn’t much praise that follows. It Follows is the most recent movie I’ve heard of that gained great appreciation as a horror film for how it differed itself from other horror movies. Instead of making sequels or prequels to existing horror movie films, would it be better if each new film was of a new subject and story entirely? Would horror films have a better chance if they weren’t sequels and covered a new idea or concepts others before them have yet to?

  • Well, it's easier said than done to say every new movie should cover a new subject or story. There will always be overlap or elements which have been done before. What makes a genre is the repetition of specific characteristics. I'd say there are so many sequels etc. because companies just want to milk the fandom until it's dry, not because they expect it to do as well as the original. You say that mentality is hurting the industry and I'd agree to that. At what point does it become too much? – Slaidey 2 months ago
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  • I'm a major horror film fan and think about this question all the time. Particularly because most popular horror subgenres can often be applied to specific decades (we went from slashers, to torture-porn, to the supernatural). Would be interesting to consider what the next big theme of horror will be. – Sonia Charlotta Reini 1 month ago
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Taken by Jonathan Judd (PM) 2 weeks ago.
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How 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) and Drive (2011) Operate as Multi-Genre Films

Analyze how these two films balance multiple, often opposing, genres to create something unique and engaging. In what ways are the films similar in their approach to genre-switching? How do the liberties or risks each film takes illustrate that risk-aversion in movie making can be limiting?

  • I agree 10 Cloverfield really tried to keep viewers guessing because they utilized viewer's expectations of multiple genres at the same time. At one point you're wondering whether this is apocalyptic horror vs just captive horror all while drawing suspense; confirming apocalyptic horror first, keeping the captive horror and in the end reintroducing the alien invasion horror. It was a nice juggling act. Mind you I felt that once she got out of the capsule it was really jarring but that was good! It's great to actually get confronted by other genres that have been leading up to, when really you're just sitting there thinking "they won't do it, that'd be too much". Nice combination. – Slaidey 4 weeks ago
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  • Hi, just to clarify, are you talking about Drive (2011) with Ryan Gosling, Carrie Mulligan, and Albert Brooks? Or is there another movie called drive from 2015?Sounds like a very interesting topic! – SeanGadus 4 weeks ago
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  • Yes, that was an error. Thanks for catching it SeanGadus! – Kira Metcalfe 3 weeks ago
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  • And are genres restrictive because they have 'requirements'? If I wrote a rom-com noir would people lose their minds (joking)?Genres are entirely human-imposed, so they're infinitely interesting to me. Thanks for the positive spin on the debate! I feel like using genre expectations is a great film-making practice (as long as it's not obnoxious/self-important, ha). – m-cubed 2 weeks ago
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Cybernetic Existentialism; Existential Philosophy and Cyberpunk

An analysis of existential themes in cyberpunk fiction. How does the genre deal with questions of human nature? What is the value of the human experience when it can be replicated? Good examples can include Ghost in the Shell, Blade Runner, Neuromancer, etc, tackling existential situations from those perspectives.

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    The Superhero Origin. Why?

    Do you know the origin of how James Bond came to be a spy? Does it take away your enjoyment of the Bond films if you don’t? What about Indianna Jones? Movie after movie after movie, it’s still fun, they are like issues of a comic book series. Why does Hollywood insist on pummeling us with repeatedly telling us the origin of a superhero? Whether it’s 45 minutes of the "first" Spider-Man film, or a five minute recap to remind you (Batman vs Superman) before the next installment commences. Is it necessary? Can’t we just go into the next installment of the movie?

    • I agree. Origin stories lose the whole mystery. A good example is LOST where the final season explained how everyone got to the island and then proceeded to undermine the whole backstory with a finale that made everything out to be a dream. What a total waste of time and so disappointing. I definitely agree with you that I don't need an origin story. Familiarity breeds contempt! – Munjeera 9 months ago
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    • I personally love origin stories, if they're good and come out gradually. It's the same reason I love learning about an author after reading their work -- it often explains the actions and reactions of a character in a way that makes you want to read the story or watch the movie again and search for subtleties you may have missed in the character's various interactions throughout. – Cait 9 months ago
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    • I personally don't mind the background story as long as there are variations, of some aspect. If i were to go see two or 3 or etc. version of spider man movies and they all showed the same origin story then it would be pointless and i understand what you are saying then. Although by giving a back-round this also attracts the rest of the population that might not know all the facts about spiderman or etc. . – tranpreet 9 months ago
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    • It's a difficult question because on one hand fans want the film to be so faithful to the comics, the origin is necessary but on the other hand, it does take away a large chunk of the film which could have been used elsewhere to enhance the film further. Not having an origin could also confuse those who aren't familiar with the characters comic history. Depending on the character and context to the film, an origin should be explained in some way or another, whether it be ten minutes or even one simple line. – ajgreen94 9 months ago
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    • The origin of the superhero is interesting because it provides insight into the character's motives and drives. Knowing certain aspects that occurred before the individual reached this level allows the viewer to understand why they act the way they do and it does create a level of understanding and acceptance. The background of Batman is probably one of the most interesting; yet it does not have to be reiterated in every single franchise installment--this I agree with, 100%! I hope someone picks up this topic, especially with the upcoming onslaught of superhero films set to hit the big screen in the upcoming months. – danielle577 6 months ago
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    • In my opinion, an origin story, done well, brings a lot to a story because it shows you something about the hero's attitude to their status as hero. For Batman, understanding that he does what he does because of his parents' death throws light on what he's going through internally while he's out fighting bad guys. For Spiderman, seeing him first as a nerdy outcast brings a kind of humour to his sudden freedom when he becomes a superhero. All this brings vulnerability to the characters, which isn't easy to achieve in a genre when victory is mandatory and usually absolute. Interiority obviously isn't the main point of a superhero, but you've got to have some or the thing falls flat. For that, you basically have to reach into their past. – TKing 6 months ago
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    • I actually really love origin stories. In fact, you talking about how James Bond became a spy or how Indiana Jones became a treasure hunter really got my mind working. I don't think its necessary, but I think it's fun for audiences to realize why a character does what they do and feel a little more sympathy towards them. The same goes for villains, before I knew Harley Quinn's backstory, I didn't really have an opinion about her one way or another. Now that I do, I love her and think she's a super interesting character. – Jenae 3 weeks ago
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    • Ok, let's agree that an origin story is fun and interesting. I think 99% of the people by now know Spider-Man was bitten by a spider. The story is so well known. Spider-Man began in 1960's and ran monthly ongoing to the present with over 1,000 issues to his name. Only ONE issue contained his origin. (And that was in another title). We had 45 min origin in the 2002 movie, we had another 45 min origin in the 2012 movie. We wait so long for a movie to come out, do we really need another 45 min origin story in 2017 when there is sooo much to be told that hasn't. – DrTestani 3 weeks ago
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    • This depends on how the creator wants to the story of that character to be played out. Origin stories are good in order to see how the character came to be and why. Some origins stories can come in the beginning, like how Peter Parker became Spider-Man, or in the middle of the plot, like how Marinette and Adrien became Ladybug and Cat Noir in Miraculous Ladybug. Sometimes, there is no origin story and that is what makes it interesting; it makes the audience guess and look for answers on that specific character. Origin stories are what help make the entire story plot come together, as long as it makes sense. A good plot makes a good origin story. – Sagemaster1 2 weeks ago
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    Explore how fans' (of other genres) anticipation and/or rejection of film adaptations may be tied to human biology

    Is there a connection between the human bias towards visual stimuli and the way people react positively to the prospect of having something they love (a book, a video game, a comic strip, a play, etc.) brought into the screen realms of either television or movies? Conversely (or complementarily), is there something similar in the way people react adversely to having something they love "done badly" onscreen? Does the visual override other sensory inputs? other memory centers (be they intellectual or emotional)?

    • The question is about what connection there might be between humans being visual creatures in their cerebral hardwiring (biology) and their reactions to "seeing" something created in live action that they'd only before imagined or seen in non-moving pictures. It would be up to the writer to "narrow" the topic to include whatever genre(s) interested her most. – pjoshualaskey 1 month ago
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    • Your note provides much more clarity and sounds interesting. It was not as evident beforehand. The psychology and biology aspects are the gem of the topic and should take center stage. – aprosaicpintofpisces 1 month ago
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    • Thanks for your help in clarifying the topic! – pjoshualaskey 1 month ago
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    Should Hermione have ended up with Harry instead of Ron?

    Analyze why Harry would’ve been romantically better for Hermione. If not, why is Ron best for her? Compare them in both the books and the movies.

    • I think you made a typo here. It should be "Hermione." – aprosaicpintofpisces 3 months ago
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    • There are a bunch of articles on this topic. The writer may want to look at these articles, some including actual quotes from J.K. Rowling, to enhance their own thesis. – Jaye Freeland 3 months ago
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    • Perhaps they should have. But their relationship was primed from the beginning to represent a sibling like arrangement, while conversely Hermione and Ron always bickered like a married couple. – mynameisreza 3 months ago
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    • Despite receiving mixed reviews from fans, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child can be referenced for this topic since it gives some insight into the married life of Ron and Hermione and their parenting. In the play, Ron serves as a character mostly for comedic relief, but perhaps this compliments nicely with the immense pressure of Hermione's career. – AlexanderLee 1 month ago
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    • Ron is in more need of Hermione than Harry. When you watch all the movies, with this question in mind, you notice immediately that Harry and Hermione don't go well together at all. Hermione is a strong-willed and able leader in her own right, and being matched with Harry, who is also the leader type, is awkward. Can you imagine Hermione taking a backseat to anyone, even Harry? Ron on the other hand compliments her much better because he is not a leader, and is in the backseat throughout the movies. – MikeySheff 1 month ago
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    Can I Get a Take Two?: Actor Replacements in Film Franchises

    What happens when an actor takes on a character played by someone else within the same franchise? I’m not talking about reboots that completely refresh the cast (as in Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and most recently Tom Holland as Spider-Man). I’m talking about a single franchise where the film brings an entirely different actor to play the same character. For example, in the Harry Potter film series the initial actor who played Dumbledore passed away and Michael Gambon had to step in for the rest of the series. There are also The Mummy movies, where Rachel Weisz dropped out of the cast by her own volition and was replaced by another actress for the third film in the franchise. In my experience, the different Dumbledores didn’t bother me at all but to have Brendan Fraser’s character with a different woman playing his wife was confusing. How have these transitions fared for films that have replaced actors in the middle of the same series? Were they considered jarring and rejected by audiences or did they do little to affect the series as a whole? Does the nature of these replacements have an effect as well (i.e. an unprecedented event such as an actor’s death vs. an actor’s or studio’s decision)?

    • I wrote a long response that I think got erased... TLDR; The actor switch with Dumbledore suited the dark progression of the movies. The first guys was sweet and soft spoken, all about love while the second actor was full of movement, emotion and "did you put your name in the goblet harry?!" I think it was a fortunate (but unfortunate since the actor died) turn of events. In such a case, say, an actor can't fill a role right later in a franchise, better to replace them than have a sub-par rendition? – Slaidey 1 month ago
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    • You make a very good point about the Dumbledore example. Michael Gambon's portrayal adds a great deal of emotional heft to the role, which is fitting for the increasingly darker tone of later Harry Potter films. It also aligns well with the change from an optimistically bright, Chris Columbus-style introduction to the Potter universe in the first film to the more melancholically heavy, David Yates-style of the final films. – aprosaicpintofpisces 1 month ago
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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 1 month 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 1 month ago
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    Taken by BMartin43 (PM) 1 month ago.