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    The Cultural Indication of 'The Superhero'

    Marvel, and to a lesser extent DC, have taken the film (and slowly the television industry) by storm. What do superhero movies do for us, and why do we like them so much? Flashback to the early 2000s and we see the germination of the modern superhero film; flashback further and the way in which the superhero film was culturally received varied wildly from how it is today.

    Are superhero movies, now, a mock resurgence of patriotism in the face of an ever dwindling sense of privacy? Perhaps we create these larger than life characters in order to find some of ourselves in them; we look to Captain America and Iron Man and see the individual as supreme. The ever powerful individual has the means of affecting global change himself and needs to truly fear no one. Are Americans totally ensnared by this fantastical creation — and most importantly, if they are, is this a good thing? Is it okay for this to go unspoken and unrealized or is our affair with the superhero a rationalization of deeper fears we’d rather not confront?

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    Latest Comments

    If you were born in the latter part of the 1980s or the 1990s, you were born into a strange new world. Technological and cultural reform has sped ahead at record speeds, and the proliferation of “old” content, as it were, in the public conscious today speaks to the existence of a new ‘Lost Generation’; they didn’t die, but look for them and you might not find them.

    This generation was born too old for the tech of your Dad, but too young to grow up on tablets and App Stores. In a way, Nickelodeon’s grab at pulling an older crowd back into the fold is not just a smart business decision or a clever re-branding of an aging production company, but the affirmation of the existence of a displaced generation consoled not by the content of the post-millennials, but only by that which they grew up with.

    Nickelodeon’s The Splat: Bringing Back Classic Content for Millennials

    I’d have to say the biggest thing, the most important aspect of making a successful film deriving from already exiting source material is understanding. And an intimate understanding at that. Feel can’t be overstated. Authorial tone, style, subtext, etc. are all understandably lost in their original form with transference to the screen; a filmmaker is tasked with reapplying the original nuance of the text to the film, and refashioning it in a cinematic manner.

    But this understanding isn’t everything. Take the recent Hunger Games adaptations; for the first film the author herself helped to write the screenplay, but still the film adaptation managed to mistreat key moments and upset fans. The following film, Catching Fire, managed to stay truer to the book without the guiding light of the author.

    What I’m saying is the creator of a work isn’t the end all, be all of knowing how to make a good film. Authors and filmmakers have different skillsets and even with good source material and a well-versed filmmaker, some stories are not well-disposed to the screen.

    How 'By the Book' Should Literary Adaptations Be?

    Interesting read. I found your distinction between critic and reviewer rather fresh. Personally, I’ve never thought there was much a distinction – reviewer, critic, synonyms, right? But I do think your point is fair; however, perhaps there is something to be said on the moral relativism of criticism as whole.

    It might be that, indeed, a reviewer describes how a film “impacted their feelings,” but this implies the feelings of the critic are, what, at distance, shall we say? And that’s not entirely accurate. Ebert himself, when he would judge a film, would quantify his own feelings informed by his experience watching many a film and engaging with them intellectually.

    Maybe I’m splitting hairs here, but when you take such pains to differentiate between the critic and the reviewer, it’s a fair point to make. Both critics and reviewers explore whatever piece of media they’re tasked to evaluate with feeling, and both try to qualify and justify their responses (their feelings!) to film with that very evaluative judgement of merit: a review.

    The Glaring Importance of Critics in Filmmaking