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    Latest Topics


    The Healthy and Unhealthy Aspects of Harley Quinn and the Joker's Relationship

    What do onscreen adaptations of abusive relationships tell us? Why do ex’s get back together? When does someone know if they are in an abusive relationship? Does having too much in common turn a relationship venomous? Is there anything redeemable about Harley Quinn and the Joker as a couple? "The New Batman Adventures" episode, "Mad Love" gives the viewer an inside look of how the Joker seduced Harley Quinn and how abusive their relation is. It is obvious through the trailer of "Suicide Squad" that that relationship will be established and built upon. Maybe it is time for someone to try to make sense of their relationship and address the suggested questions? You up for the task, puddin?

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    Shock Factor versus Quality Story Telling

    Do movies rely too much on shock factor that they lose their purpose or quality? For example, in the timeless movie, "Swing Time," a door would conveniently open in front of the camera to avoid the audience from seeing Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers kiss. Furthermore, homosexuality, cannibalism, and incest are only implied but never explicitly shown or stated in Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift’s movie, "Suddenly Last Summer." On the other hand, modern movies and TV shows alike are not only exploiting these kinds of racy subjects but also glorifying them. The TV version of "Game of Thrones" has surpassed the books in some areas and completely gone astray from them in other areas simply to initiate a reaction from the audience. For example, Jamie and Cersei Lannister’s relationship is not only developed but given plenty of passionate onscreen scenes all the while their offspring wears the crown. Where movies are concerned, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" displays a blowjob, rape, and several torture scenes explicitly throughout the film. What should the boundaries in story telling be without assuming immoral or questionable affairs simply do not happen? Do these explicit scenes further the story telling and constitute as art, or do they get in the way?

    • this could also be vital in "click-baiting" on the internet, not with just films but also youtube videos which can be used as a form of storytelling too. – scole 8 years ago
    • Real terror in something like Rosemary's Baby or The a Silence of the Lambs vs. the cheapness of using tense music setting up the viewer for a someone or something appearing as the orchestra hits the home run note. Hemingway used a British officer's polite and understated description of enemy soldiers being "potted" to heighten the sense of war's inhumanity. Implication and allusion are deeper wells than the ham-handedness of statement. – Tigey 8 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    I think the positive message within Disney altered fairy tales princesses is that we have some model of perfection to strive toward. I view perfection as unattainable and subjective, but that does not mean it is not worth striving toward. Even if one falls short of the princess model of perfection, that person has still made significant progress in temperament, self-awareness, and by eating right and staying in shape. It is true that there cannot be one without the other, so there will be people that think this model is too overwhelming, and it might affect their health by malnutrition or poor self image. Yet, that does not mean the dangers outweigh the benefits. Furthermore, these visual aids help with the storytelling. What makes Cinderella beautiful is her kind, unselfish, and generous nature paired with an unmeaurable amount of grace and femininity. Why would one make this character unappealing to an audience if one is trying to promote this character? Moreover, burning all fairy tale books containing the story of Cinderella and trashing all the film copies would be eliminating history. So much culture is wrapped into a story that has been valued and loved for decades. Just because culture has changed does not mean there is nothing to be learned from this story. Lastly, I completely agree with your digression about the man’s character. For the most part, Disney princes are only there to have status, save the day, and look pretty. Instead of making Cinderella bloat, I think Disney should revist why they are telling children that a man loving you is the only way to a happy ending.

    Fairytales and Feminism: "I Don't Wanna be Like Cinderella"

    I have to admit that I absolutely hated the Disney version of The Little Mermaid. My childhood analysis was here was this spoiled brat that rebelled against her family, legacy, and title to jump into bed with a hot stranger, and she got what she wanted in the end. Also, happiness depended on a man and his love. The moral of that weak story line is not only disappointing but also a poor message for children. That being said, I never read the original story by Hans Christian Anderson. After reading your synopsis and unique critique, I have fallen head over heels for the story. I am a sucker for a story wrapped with theology, and I think that your interpretation of the conclusion shows that she got the happiest of any ending suggested. Also, I think it is worth mentioning that the joining of souls through marriage or “the two shall become one flesh” comes straight out of Matthew 19. Thus, the grandma’s solution is less about needing a man to be complete and more a testimony of the power and immortality of love between spouses.

    In Defense of the Conclusion to "The Little Mermaid"

    I completely agree that death is sometimes an unnecessary plot device in motivating superheros, but it is also does not only target women. For example, when Jason Todd dies at the hand of the Joker, Batman is thrown into a depression that his family (all male) help pull him out of that depression. Next, Robin becomes paralyzed fighting the Flamingo with Batman. Superman dies with Doomsday. Thor with Ragnarok. Also, for superheros or their counterparts to never die would be dishonest, too. No one lasts forever even if their legacy does. Just because the way a character dies is unsatisfactory, it does not mean that part is not essential to the overall plot. For instance, when Robin fails to save Sasha, she embraces the mask PYG fused onto her face and becomes Scarlet that fights crime alongside the Red Hood. For all intensive purposes, that character has been redefined, reinvented, and she has resurrected herself into a new person. She changes once again when the mask falls off after the Red Hood’s capture. Moreover, there is an alternate universe where Gwen Stacey has the powers of Spiderman and cannot save Peter Parker in her universe either which is admittedly heart wrenching. Furthermore, Pepper Potts throws on a suit to aid people in the comics alongside Anthony Stark. Thus, there’s a lot of women empowerment in the comics. Lastly, I have to disagree with you about Game of Thrones. Spoiler Alert for those who are not caught up. First, you have a rockstar of an up and coming queen, Daenerys. Then every single time that someone temporarily gets the upper-hand on Cersei, she exacts revenge with extreme prejudice. Next, you have Yara Greyjoy that attempts to claim the iron isle’s even though her brother has returned and asks Daenerys to help her. Finally, Aria Stark was one of two girl proteges of the many faced gods, and she fights her way out of their control by reclaiming her identity. That looks more like women empowerment versus Women in Refrigerators. In the end, I’m not trying to say that there is absolutely no discrimination for women in comic books or in any other material because I think there is. I also think that you did a great job bringing light to this issue. However, I just think your frustration stems from the author’s lazy writing. I can understand someone wanting to talk about Batman fighting off the Joker versus explaining and making the audience feel the blow of being a millionaire orphan. Yet, that suggest lazy writing to underestimate the impact of those preceding characters and to make them, particularly the women characters, feel disposable.

    Women in Refrigerators: Killing Females in Comics

    I loved everything about this article, and your writing style is absolutely beautiful. I think it’s worth noting that Batman is also a beacon of hope. Whereas, like you mentioned, he does teach us to channel our anger into something productive and to put a face on the things that petrify us, he also has a strict ‘no killing rule’ that his son immensely struggles with in “Batman Reborn.” Although there’s irony in this vigilante believing in the justice system, he wants everyone to be saved. He wants everyone to have a chance to rise out of their circumstance. That, to me, is such a powerful statement of hope for the every day citizen just as much as it is for the super-villains of this world. Batman is relatable and timeless because he has been there. He understands getting lost in his grief, himself, other’s expectations, his failures, legacy, and his reputation. Lastly, Batman is okay with being alone. Few people can battle with pain in the ways he has completely alone and rise triumphant which is probably why asking his family for help during his depression after the death of Jason was so ridiculously hard and inconceivable at first.

    What Batman can Teach Us About Depression

    I completely agree. However, I do think that modern movies try so hard for the motion picture to be considered art by means of aesthetically appealing shots or the clever use of an editing style because their trailers rob the audience of interacting and discovering the story. I would infer that their answer to, ‘why should I see this movie now that I know what it is about’ is for the artistic qualities of the production. The quality of the story is underestimated and frankly never given a shot (pun intended) due to the marketing ploy of trailers like Batman versus Superman.

    Time to Trim Trailers? The Death of Surprise in Modern Hollywood

    I have to respectfully disagree. “Spectre” was a good, though not great, film, but it was not a 007 movie which was its problem. The classic formula for James Bond was perfectly portrayed in “Skyfall” when he responds to the words “agent” with “provacative,” “woman” with “provacatrix” (meaning challenge), and “heart” with “target.” Especially after he watches his first love drown in “Casino Royale,” James Bond begins in “Skyfall” to treat women with respect not love. The confusion with this distinction and 007’s good looks ultimately seduces the leading ladies until he is off to the next mission and thus the next movie. Notice there are three women he gets involved with in “Skyfall” yet none last, and he is not upset about that fact. Whereas I appreciate the writers developing the character from “Casino Royale” to “Skyfall” in this way specifically, they appear to have completely forgot that he has ‘learned his lesson’ from falling in love with the women he is hired to get close to because 007 would never regardless of his age turn his back on his company or country to chase tail. There are ways of making James Bond vulnerable and relatable without all of a sudden making him fall in love with every other women that waltzes into the camera’s view. “Casino Royale” and “Skyfall” stood out so well because they stayed true to the nature of the Bond character yet allowed the audience to see him vulnerable either emotionally or physically partly due to age. However, “Spectre” tried too hard to find more trauma’s in Bond’s past as well as make him weak in the knees for a girl because both of those worked the first time the audience saw it in the last two movies.

    Why was Spectre a Disappointment?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article; I think your analysis of the innocent man theme and its connection to childhood trauma was clever and intuitive. I enjoyed the exploration of different movies throughout Hitchcock’s lifetime and how diverse he made his movies exploring that specific theme. There is a lot to be said about the editing style of his movies. If you do not show the audience what is hidden in the flowerbeds in Rear Window, than whatever that object is becomes more menacing and subjectively terrifying. For someone that used actors as props, how interesting was it that he got the creme of the crop for his movies from that generation and that certain actors kept coming back for more staring roles such as Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart.

    Male Protagonists in Hitchcock Films

    I think the movie did an excellent job in showing how ugly and hurtful a broken relationship is, not only on the two but anyone else that gets involved. Also, these two beautiful and successful people stopped being who they were and became Nick and Amy. One being. They stopped growing and being individual which ultimately is unhealthy. Now, the movie being a thriller took these principals to an extreme, and I agree that not everyone in the audience understood the complexity of this aesthetically beautiful film with clever uses of narration. On the other hand, I disagree with the writers using rape as a front. Rape is never funny, beneficial, or a means to an end, but that does not mean every woman will lie about being sexually assaulted or is crazy. Jumping to that conclusion is simply ignorant.

    What The Audience Got Wrong About "Gone Girl"