CriticalOtaku

CriticalOtaku

Graduated from the University of Connecticut with a major in English. I'm a lover of literature, film, and anime, and I can be followed on Twitter @AlanPolozov

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    Latest Articles

    Latest Topics

    1

    True Detective Season 2 Comparison

    An in-depth comparison of seasons 1 and 2 and how they differ, how they are similar, and whether or not the changes made are for the best.

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      The Work of Christopher Nolan

      A retrospective look at Nolan’s films and a discussion on aspects of his work that attracts most audiences while detracting from others. This article can involve looking at the themes in his work, character development, or the general scope of the worlds his stories take place in.

      • I love Christopher Nolan's work, so it'd be great to read an article about his approach. I think he does a great job of balancing dark and intellectual themes while reaching a broad audience and achieving commercial success at the same time. I'm personally drawn to his portrayal of Batman in his The Dark Knight series, and think he conveys a level of depth to the characters that most other super hero movies don't. At the same time, there's still a lot of action, great graphics, and humour at play. Overall I think this could be an interesting topic, and there's a lot to cover! I would suggest focusing on a few connecting threads across all his works, or focusing on a few specific films and making connections between them to have a more focused approach for some strong writing! Would love to read more on Nolan. – Kim 6 years ago
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      • This article should certainly include an analysis of "Memento" ! – Rachel Watson 6 years ago
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      3

      Film Adaptations of Cormac McCarthy's novels

      An analysis of the film adaptations of McCarthy’s works (The Road, No Country for Old Men, Child of God, and The Sunset Limited), and a discussion of how they deviate or stay faithful to the original works and whether that has paid off or failed in terms of critical reception.

      • There's also All the Pretty Horses that came out in 2000; besides that, though, the author could also talk about McCarthy films that have not been made and discuss whether or not they should be. For the longest time, Blood Meridian was scheduled to be directed by Ridley Scott but has since been deemed, "unfilmable" (which probably led to Scott working with McCarthy on The Counselor). Mariana, an author here at The Artifice, wrote an article about this subject so I'd say don't write too much about Blood Meridian; either mention it a bit or you could even have a link to her article in yours. – August Merz 6 years ago
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      • I think there's a lot of scope in a piece like this. I'd be particularly interested in contrasting the successes of each adaptation, especially since the reaction to each of these films has varied so much. – Luke Stephenson 6 years ago
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      Expectations for True Detective Season 2

      Drawing from various interviews Nic Pizzolatto (the showrunner for True Detective) has given, the recent season 2 teaser, and the themes explored in season 1, discuss what audiences may come to expect from season 2 (premiering on June 21).

        7

        Lars Von Trier's Depression Trilogy

        A look at Von Trier’s three films (AntiChrist, Melancholia, and Nymphomaniac) and an analysis on the theme of depression and how it is portrayed in each film. Questions to consider include: does Von Trier start and end with the same perspective on depression? Are there parallels between the films and, if so, how are they explored?

        • I would offer that to go forward with this topic, you would need to first distinguish "depression" from other forms of mental illness. For example, does the couple in Antichrist truly battle with depression, or is it PTSD as a result of losing their child? The language of mental illness that you would intend to use would need to be solidified--I'm not an expert at all in the different psychological make-ups of mental illnesses, but I know there are others that would appreciate the distinction.Secondly, I would note the difference between a film that showcases a character with "depression" (or another mental illness), and a film that is "depressing" to the audience. For example, I have watched Melancholia several times and I actually find the film to be beautiful and even uplifting rather than depressing. Is this a consequence of my own personal viewing of the film, or did Von Trier in fact strive for a more ambiguous feeling in Melancholia rather than a slew of sadness and despair as the film's title implies? Certainly it would be interesting to draw parallels between the three films, and you could do so on many levels: marriage, sexuality, children/adult relationships, the significance of scenery and mise-en-scene, etc. This is an interesting topic, but maybe narrowing the subject matter down to looking at depression in the three films but through one lens (again, whether that's mise-en-scene, gender relations, etc.) would make this topic more narrow and therefore more specific. Good luck! – RachelWatson 6 years ago
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        The Success of Paul Thomas Anderson's Films

        A retrospective look at all the work Anderson has done (including notable examples like There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights) and a discussion on why his films have resonated with audiences and critics–whether similar themes are explored in each film, or if he constantly changes direction with the subjects he chooses to explore.

        • His art style in very interesting and distinctive; he basically make his sets look like a giant doll house. His strange and at times dark humor is also what makes his films so distinctive. – Aaron Hatch 6 years ago
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        Cormac McCarthy's The Counselor

        A discussion of why this film received such a polarizing reception, comparing critics’ opinions to those of the casual viewers as well as the issues critics who have given the film negative reviews to those who gave it positive reviews.

        • As a casual viewer, I found the dialogue to be too metaphorical. It didn't fit with the movie and made it seem like the characters were talking about something else the entire time. I really wanted to like this movie because the screenplay was written by McCarthy, but it just didn't work for me. – S.A. Takacs 6 years ago
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        1

        Influence of Metatheatre

        A discussion on the popularity of metatheatre in film or television and whether it is used to create commentary on a particular subject or used to enhance the entertainment experience of the genre being depicted. For example, the tv cult comedy Community uses metatheatre frequently through Abed’s character and is mainly employed for parody and humor.

        • Supernatural (also tv) has many elements which are specifically meta. Far from being a comedic aside, 4th-wall-breaking is a major component of the overall plot of the show. – Monique 6 years ago
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        • Would The Avengers series be eligible? The humour revolves around the ridiculousness of each pressing situation. – Thomas Munday 6 years ago
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        Latest Comments

        CriticalOtaku

        Very well written article! I’ve actually never seen the concept of “Chekhov’s gun” being applied to plot twists; generally I’ve always just seen it involved in playwrighting–as you mention Chekhov claims a gun on stage must go off. On a personal note, I’ve never been a huge fan of plot twists–in general, I think there must be something lacking in the ability of a writer if he or she relies on it too much.

        Plot Twists in Fiction: Making a Story Standout
        CriticalOtaku

        Just watched Joe and really enjoyed it. Southern Gothic is such a great genre. Will definitely look at some of these other titles too. Great article!

        The 10 Best Movies of 2014
        CriticalOtaku

        Nice review, Jordan! I had similar thoughts about the show–I actually couldn’t keep going past episode 5 because of how similar it seemed to so many other anime before it. Visually it was definitely stunning, and personally I don’t mind stories that don’t have much going for them in terms of plot development, but only on the condition that the characters prove unique with complicated motivations and conflicts. It really is a shame the direction the show chose to go in. It could have been a real gem

        Terror in Resonance (2014) Review: A Melody that Ends with a Poignant Crescendo
        CriticalOtaku

        Hmm, I’ve only seen the first episode a while back, so I can’t say whether or not it’s a good show. I do know that Steins;Gate and Robotics; Notes are both from Nitroplus and 5pb’s series of sci-fi stories (including the first Chaos; Head)–so if you enjoyed Chaos; Head and Steins;Gate, then odds are you’ll find something in Robotics; Notes that you’ll enjoy as well. I might end up reviewing Robotics; Notes in the near future, so if you want to wait until then, or look at other sites that have reviewed the show already, it’s up to you. Here’s one thing to consider though: Steins; Gate is probably the most well-known show out of the entire series, and if that is the case, then there’s probably good reason for that. For example, while I loved Steins; Gate, I could not stand Chaos; Head despite both taking place in the same universe and being from the same people. In short, it’s up to you whether or not you want to take the plunge into the show, but I can’t offer any advice at the moment 😛 .

        Steins; Gate (2011) Review: Time Travel and Weirdness
        CriticalOtaku

        From what I hear, Berserk is most definitely the opposite XD .
        And you are most welcome 🙂

        Mushishi (2005) Review: Short Story-telling at its Finest
        CriticalOtaku

        Much appreciated man! 🙂

        Steins; Gate (2011) Review: Time Travel and Weirdness
        CriticalOtaku

        It’s definitely worth the watch 🙂

        Mushishi (2005) Review: Short Story-telling at its Finest
        CriticalOtaku

        Yup, there’s nothing else quite like it. Thanks for the comment!

        Mushishi (2005) Review: Short Story-telling at its Finest