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To War is Human, To Relinquish Unlikely

The film cache of War World I, World War II, and Vietnam dramatizations are continual fodder for the curious and critic alike. The ancient battles of Europe and Asia have had their turn in front of the camera lens and the recent terrorism and rogue posturing leave no doubt that the theaters will draw revelers back in droves for the foreseeable future. Does the war formula of the past persist in terms of viewer expectation and recent innovation such as night vision? How does the ever changing geopolitical agenda and the socioeconomic appetite influence the confrontational depiction on the silver screen or the plasma screen? Does CGI enhance or devalue the tendency to transcend the dilemma physically, ideological or existentially? Consider the early stop motion techniques of Jason and the Argonauts (skeleton sword attack), War Games (teen hacker), The Hunt for Red October (espionage), or Terminator 2 (apocalyptic dream) for analysis of realism and suspension of disbelief in new battle fronts. Are psychological warfare or cyber-attacks in virtual space the future of wars, drone missions and stealth raids a nascent ploy, or is there still a place for the dog fights and tank ambushes of early combat?

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    Sonic the Hedgehog/Bird of Prey: The Entitlement of Film Audiences

    This February a slew of both bad and good movies came out. However, two of them have been talked the most and those films being Sonic the Hedgehog and Bird of Prey.

    What should have been a feminist success turned out to a downright misogynistic disaster at the box office. While the other that gain a truckload of backlash for the C.G.I abomination that supposed to represent the beloved Sega video game character Sonic, turned out to be a box office success, beating Detective Pikachu as the newest adorable, expressive C.G.I character to date.

    These two films are where they are now because one decided to listen to the fans, while the other kicked them to the curb, thinking their message was far more important than actually adapting the source material.

    At the end of the day, one wonders should fans have a say in terms of the creative process in films when it comes to adapting a popular product or should fans leave it to the paid artists to take liberties with it?

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      Does diversity out of obligation temporarily or genuinly liberate minority groups?

      I was scrolling through Facebook the other day when a headline caught my eye regarding something about Disney casting a black actress to portray Ariel in the live-action remake. Although many people did comment some praise and lauded Disney for trying so hard to be more inclusive and represent minorities that have largely been left out of their platform, historically speaking, many other users commented on their distaste about the PR decision. Many people were commenting on how diversity should never be made out of "pity" or "obligation". What do you guys think? I think this topic has definitely been introduced before but I’d like to read an in-depth article about it. Do we have to feel the need to replace media/popular culture figures with minorities or do we just need more figures that represent those groups?

      • Instead of genuinely diversifying the Disney brand by creating new original black characters, they take an existing white one and that black character then becomes tokenized. This has happened before with the beloved classic Annie with the remake in 2015, in the comics, Ironman is replaced with a black girl Ironheart. Of course they make money regardless, the question then becomes: is it ethical or morally right to initallly replace a white chracter in hopes to make them equal, even if the new chracter has no sense of individuality and has a pressure to be like the chracter they replaced? – Amelia Arrows 5 hours ago
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      • I totally agree with your point about individuality- It questions whether the replacement even really identifies with the character they're replacing. Superficial diversity maybe is a good name for this lol. – hilalbahcetepe 5 hours ago
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      Are All Games Created Equally? What Constitutes a Serious Gamer? And Why Do We Make These Distinctions?

      Discuss why some people consider some games more "serious" than others. For example, games such as Animal Crossing and The Sims are often considered lower tier entertainment than more "difficult" games like, say, Call of Duty. Why do you think that is? How do sports games fit into the mix? Is it a problem of quality or is it subjective?

      • Might be an interesting topic, but it needs a bit more fleshing out. Start with writing a title which will point towards a specific angle from which the argument will develop. – Kaya 2 days ago
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      5

      Supporting problematic artists

      Many celebrated artists have been involved in scandals or socially problematic situations. From today’s Chris Brown to the deceased David Foster Wallace, many popular artists of their trade have been tangled up in scandals and/or crimes. Is it possible to separate the art from the artist? Is it possible to celebrate someone’s work without supporting the artist, too?

      • A very timely topic. I think it's important to define what problematic means. It seems certain celebrities are "cancelled" for comparably minor offences compared to what is swept under the rug for others. There's also a difference between modern scandals that are known to be problematic as they occur, and generations past who do things that we now today see as problematic but were not considered so at the time. – Erin McIntyre 5 months ago
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      • I would argue that it is possible, especially if the artist in question is no longer alive. If you're simply reading (or watching or listening to) the work of someone who's dead, then they can't get any benefit from it. In that case, I'd argue, separating the artist from the work is a fairly straightforward process. Where it gets complicated is where the artist is still alive, and your purchasing the work would be rewarding their efforts (or lack thereof). – Debs 5 months ago
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      • I absolutely love this topic, and it's a discussion that I have often. Personally, I choose not to support artists, dead or alive, who have been tangled up in any crimes or scandals (although, Debs's comment above about the dead not necessarily gaining anything is quite insightful). I think that the tricky part with this conversation and the reason why I always opt for not supporting the artist or their work because I think that no matter the person, their actions need to be held accountable – sabinaramroop 5 months ago
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      • "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." Albert Einstein – AntonioFarfanFiorani 4 months ago
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      • I think this is a very important thing to discuss; unfortunately, almost any public figure will have their fair share of controversy. My mind immediately went to John Lennon. I am a huge fan of The Beatles, yet I feel a little bit uncomfortable when I think to his treatment of his wives and children. It is hard to ignore when a favorite writer, artist, singer, et cetera is problematic. I think maybe "celebrate" is the wrong word; you can still enjoy "Strawberry Fields Forever" without thinking John Lennon was infallible. The only distinction I will make is if someone commits a heinous act, especially one against children. – allisonhambrick 2 days ago
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      • There was a recent article posted by Rolling Stone in reference to the new Hulu original series High Fidelity. In one of the episodes, the owner, Robin, gets into an argument with her co-worker about whether or not it's okay for her to sell a customer Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall" record. Robin retaliates by arguing that her co-worker can't judge because she (a black American) still listens to Kanye West, who has been vocal about supporting Trump and "raps in a MAGA hat". You should check it out! I guess the question is, when do we stop supporting the artists, regardless of their accomplishments? Is it okay to outcast them because they disagree with our political, religious, social, or economic beliefs? Or do we stop supporting them when they are perpetrators of violent crimes? Or... do we separate the art from the artist, and if so, how can we justify the ability to do that? – hilalbahcetepe 2 days ago
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      6

      Media Literacy and the Meta-Narrative

      Discuss the rise of self-referential, "meta" narratives in contemporary film and television, and the links to the rising media literacy of consumers. Considering the introduction of media education in schools, particularly on English syllabuses, how has the audience’s understanding of media conventions and tropes affected the writing of media?
      In the UK in particular, English education in schools now has mandatory coverage of media writing. People are growing up with a knowledge of story structure, tropes, and genre conventions. This is leading to a rise in films and television which make deliberate nods to these conventions. Some examples: Community (TV series), Deadpool (Film), Scott Pilgrim vs The World (Film), Black Mirror (TV Series), Spaced (TV Series).

      • It's a little vague, maybe through some definitions to help clarify? – Andi 7 months ago
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      • This is a really fascinating topic! You make a good point that "meta" narratives assume that the audience is knowledgeable about that form of media, including the tropes that constitute it. But this topic is a little broad. I would suggest picking one form of media (tv, film, books, etc.) and finding examples of meta narratives and then compare their critical and popular reception. Then, the audience's understanding of meta conventions and tropes could be more acutely analyzed. I would really like to read an article about this! – Eden 6 months ago
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      • The central idea is an excellent one, but defining forms of media will help give structure and clarity to your central aim. For instance, how do you specifically define “meta-narrative?” Does it refer to specific tropes and story-telling conventions, or is there something more to mention? Highlighting the odds and ends of these terms will help flesh out the article. Consider also the effects of online fan activity in pushing creators to cater to those interests, even to the point of altering story threads to avoid being predictable. – James Polk 1 month ago
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      4

      How a Husband Helped and Hindered Jo March's Development as a Woman in Little Women (2020)

      Analysing Jo March’s character development in the movie Little Women (or the book) and how her beliefs about women changed through falling in love with a man. Contrasting her initial beliefs that women should not have to be married for society, and should be allowed to work for themselves even if married, Jo’s ideas change when she discovers loneliness and love. How does meeting her husband alter her overarching beliefs?

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        Flashblacks and flashforwards in fiction - how useful/necessary are they? When does too much become

        The use of flashbacks and flashforwards is a controversial subject among writers and writing advice pages. Some encourage flashbacks/flashforwards, while others encourage to avoid (especially if they bogg the narrative down or doesn’t contribute anything to the overall plot). How does this criticism and in depth understanding of this literary device assist writers in improving their craft? How does this affect the way writers read/analyse flashbacks and flashforwards in fiction?

        *Two novel’s that could be discussed in detail is "A Visit from the Goon Squad" by Jennifer Egan and "Time’s Arrow" by Martin Amis.

          Film

          All The Director’s Men: A Notable Kennedy Narrative
          All The Director’s Men: A Notable Kennedy Narrative
          The Paradox of the Strong Female Character
          The Rise of Skywalker Succeeds As A Legacy Film But Illustrates The Flaws Of Disney Era Star Wars
          Adapting Worlds, not Stories

          TV

          The Sobering World of BPD in ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’
          The Sobering World of BPD in ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’
          GLOW: Actual Feminist Filmmaking in #MeToo Hollywood
          The Age of Streaming Services: Then, Now, and Beyond
          How The Golden Girls Changed the Face and Narrative of Aging

          Animation

          How Princesses of Color Have Improved the Disney Princess Narrative
          How Princesses of Color Have Improved the Disney Princess Narrative
          The Legendary and Cautionary Tale of The Simpsons
          Ray Harryhausen: The Monster Maestro
          Live-Action Disney Remakes and the Souring Faith in Animation

          Anime

          The Religious Politics of Hellsing Ultimate
          The Religious Politics of Hellsing Ultimate
          Interpreting Live-Action Adaptations of Anime
          Exploring The Theme of Death in Anime
          In Defense of the Deadman Wonderland Anime

          Manga

          The Horrifying Appeal of Junji Ito
          The Horrifying Appeal of Junji Ito
          One Punch Man vs. My Hero Academia: Reconstructing the Silver Age of Comics
          Manga: How to Travel Between Dimensions
          Naruto: The Unresolved Revolution

          Comics

          Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
          Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
          The Social Stigma of Comic Book Reading
          What Should Happen To Captured Super Villains?
          Finding the Bridge Between Superhero Comics and Hip-Hop

          Literature

          An Analysis into Screen Adaptations
          An Analysis into Screen Adaptations
          Edgar Allan Poe: Unknown Horrors
          How Cosmic Horror Made Paganism Great Again
          Holocaust YA Literature and the Indomitable Feminine Spirit

          Arts

          Alienation in Simon and Garfunkel’s Music
          Alienation in Simon and Garfunkel’s Music
          Craft-Mageddon: The Explosion of DIY Culture
          Crying Clowns: Comedy’s Relationship with Mental Health
          Shakespearean Angst in Beethoven’s Third Symphony

          Writing

          Creative Texting: Writing and Textspeak
          Creative Texting: Writing and Textspeak
          Parallel and Alternate Realities; Fiction Tells us the Difference
          Genre Fiction in University Writing Programs: No longer the MFA’s Red-headed Stepchild
          Can you Teach Someone how to Become a Writer?