Michael Scalera

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Latest Articles

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    6

    Thoughts on the New Oscars Award for Outstanding Popular Film

    The Oscars recently announced that they are introducing a new award category for "outstanding achievement in popular film." Although the Oscars have periodically added new awards categories, some might think that this is a desperate ploy by the Academy to attract more viewers. On the other hand, others might perceive the introduction of this new category as a legitimate attempt to celebrate both the commercial and critical successes of box-office hits that are rarely nominated for Oscars. What do you think? In the context of this latest award category, do you believe that the Academy is under pressure to attain higher ratings? How have previous awards additions been received by the public, such as the "Best Makeup and Hairstyling" award in 1981? In comparison to the introduction of other awards categories, do you think this new award will have any kind of impact on the film industry?

    • I am honestly relieved after the announcement of this category, because while it seems to me less prestigious than "Best Picture," I feel it will take the pressure off of the "Best Picture" category to simply be the most popular film of the award season, rather than the objective best, or most artistic/creative/original, as the category should be. – jillholstad 3 weeks ago
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    • I absolutely think that it's an attempt for the Oscars to salvage ratings. They hit record lows last year (26.5 million I believe) and amid all the scandals and scrutiny that Hollywood is under I think people are getting too disillusioned to watch rich celebrities walk a red carpet. Even calling it a "popular film" award is really on the nose. Considering how many quality movies get snubbed because they don't exude the apparent "grace" that the academy swoons over. You may as well call it the MCU-Fast and the Furious sponsored Marketing Budget award, because those are the films that are going to be represented every year. I don't think it'll matter anyway because anyone who would care that those movies win that award still won't watch the ceremony. – JamesR 3 weeks ago
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    Should other film studios try to duplicate Marvel Studios' success at establishing a cinematic universe?

    Joe Russo, co-director of Avengers: Infinity War, recently stated that other major film studios should avoid trying to establish cinematic universes like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although Russo said that audiences crave new methods of storytelling, he stated that some things simply cannot be "sustained through a cinematic universe." Do you agree with Russo?

    • I think that no other studio simply has the resources to create such an in-depth and comprehensively filled out universe quite like the MCU. I think more takes on this interesting idea would be fascinating, but the reality is that I don't know who could really keep up with Disney's high standard that's been established. It might be best for other film-makers and studios to explore new ways to tell stories, like Russo suggested. – Dimitri 4 months ago
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    • The MCU has managed to prevail even when it has released some less triumphant movies (by MCU standard) in its line of released. I think more than several factors go into a successful cinematic universe. I recognize a sense of difficulty now to become immersive in another cinematic universe, when the MCU has been relatively successful in capturing my attention for the past ten years. I personally find it difficult not to compare a new cinematic universe to the MCU because I've become accustomed to the MCU as a sort of figurehead for a successful, engaging cinematic universe. Then again it could all be boiled down to fan expectations and taste. I think I would like to see film studios try to establish a cinematic universe, but with Disney's influence with the MCU I believe it'd be rather difficult to set a new cinematic universe apart as a new, original method of storytelling without the obvious comparison. – pinkofthemoon 4 months ago
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    • Every studio has the freedom to express their own cinematic style and I wholeheartedly accept that, but there are many characteristics that the Marvel franchise possesses that it wouldn't hurt other studios to strive to as well. While I deeply love DC comics, the DC Cinematic Universe is, to me, beginning to lag as of late. The casting in some of their recent features is less than stellar; some actors are failing to embody the characters we've come to know and love. And the plot of many recent films, "Wonder Woman" being the exception, seems to be rushed and severely lacking. While Marvel films run long, it is because their plot is well thought out and perfectly paced to ensure that their are no holes or pointless scenes. Every bit of humor or drama that they add has point to it and adds to the big picture; they don't add a five minute long joke just for laughs or to fill time, which ends up taking away from the main plot line. Their films are also thoroughly planned and expertly cast. – EmskitheNerd 4 months ago
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    • I think that one of the main reasons that no other studio can do what the MCU can do it because the majority of their content is based on comic books that have been sucessful for decades and already have a huge fanbase even before the movie is made. – NikkySalvatore 4 months ago
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    • I am still waiting for the next installment of the Avatar Universe. I think that there is huge potential, and last I heard there are supposed to be at least 4 movies total once it is completed. One of the more interesting universes out there is the Alien universe. It includes crossover movies like Alien Vs. Predator, and well as the unofficial prequel Prometheus. However, this universe isn't very cohesive, and could use some tying of loose ends. – TPA97 4 months ago
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    • Probably something interesting to note is how DC's cinematic universe pales in comparison to MCU's, but its television-based Arrowverse does quite well. Perhaps the difference in time constraints, air times, even the medium of television itself play a role? In an attention economy, you'd struggle to hype up movies in a cinematic universe, what with trailers, interviews, other promos your only main ammo. TV shows, though. They can leave a trail of breadcrumbs towards a bigger banquet. – Starfire 4 months ago
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    Latest Comments

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    An interesting piece! Glad I got to read this

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