M K Keane

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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Latest Topics


Reboots, Remakes and Reunions: is there any original content left or are we forced to try to remake the past

In the wake of Halloween (2018)’s trailer (which looked pretty cool), I can’t help but wonder why we’re rebooting and remaking so many stories. I’m reminded of when Andrew Garfield was cast as the "new" Spiderman. And then, Tom Holland. The uproar. The hate. It (2017). The Star Trek reboots. Top Gun’s getting a sequel. Older sitcoms are getting reunions. We’re revisiting these old universes, these old characters, these old stories. Some of it is nostalgic for the older generations. Some of it is outrageous and insulting. I’m left wondering what will be remade from my youth, fearing who will be the next Iron Man (and crying about it). What’s with the demand for these reunions. Who’s deciding to remake these movies? Are we so scared of the new, we revert back to the old, or are we out of new? Is that well all dried up?

  • This is a great topic and one that's being discussed a lot lately. I'd recommend checking out Lindsey Ellis's video essay on the 30 year cycle. I think it's also worth mentioning that a lot of the most revered achievements in cinematic history are based on books (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Nosferatu), folk stories (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and most everything else in Disney's repertoire), plays (The Jazz Singer, Casablanca, the vast majority of mid-century movie musicals such as West Side Story-- which, in turn, is based on Romeo and Juliet-- which is based on Ovid's Pyramus and Thisbe, incidentally), and historical events (The Titanic via the sinking of the titular ship, Texas Chainsaw Massacre via the Ed Gein case, Amadeus via the life of Mozart). Adaptation seems to be a fact of art one way or another, but there is something different of films directly adapting and spinning off other important films, as the marketing and viewership is fueled specifically by nostalgia and fandom more than anything else. On an unrelated note, you may want a snappier title for this; what you have currently is a bit of a mouthful, and the phrasing is a little awkward. Maybe limit it to 5-7 words? – TheCropsey 1 week ago
  • Very interesting topic, but I would like to put the comic book movies in a different category. Since they are based on characters that pretty much do not age in the original medium (generally speaking, yes, there is Kingdom Come, Batman Beyond etc), they have to be rebooted, i.e. recast, in order to keep on going. You cannot have Superman, who is supposed to not age, being played by the same actor for 20 years. Also, please distinguish between reboot and sequel. The line can be blurry sometimes, but there are distinctions. Battlestar Galactica 2003 was a reboot/re-imagining of the original series, not a sequel. Scream 4 was a sequel, not necessarily a reboot etc. – tanaod 1 week ago

The appeal of an anti-hero and should they be idolized?

Is it because they’re more human than the traditional hero (see: Captain America, Superman, any character who is Inherently Good and Morally Right). There are studies that have shown that people like to watch/read about characters who are on good moral high ground, that they feel elevated by this. So then, why are characters like Deadpool, Loki, Severus Snape, Robin Hood–even Jack Sparrow–so popular? Are they easier to relate to? Should they be idolized, as may be seen with the more traditional heroes?

  • in many ways the anti-hero is often idolized for their ability to make their own rules. opposing the traditional hero, who is bound by moral imperatives set by society which may often weaken them or cause them mental/emotional anguish, the anti-hero is often shown as disregarding the social/moral law in favor of their own rules. Friedrich Nietzsche and Plato write about this phenomena quite a bit, their work may provide a nice starting point for anyone who chooses this topic. – ees 4 weeks ago
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Latest Comments

Thank you for saying this! You articulately stated why it was wrong to continue casting abusers/awarding abusers. Why the #MeToo movement isn’t something to scoff at/ignore. A lot of women I know argue that the people receiving end of the abuse knew what they were getting into/are just seeking revenge because they didn’t get as famous as they wanted. Having the power to start someone career, holding it over someone’s head in return for sex–or thinking you’re invincible and can violate those around you because of your namesake . . . I mean, it’s just wrong, isn’t it? I don’t care that that’s how Hollywood has operated for years and years. It’s shit. The whole world needs an attitude adjustment, idk. I’m exhausted.

Stop Rewarding Abusers In Hollywood

This article has very much sold me on seeing this movie. When I first saw the trailer a couple months ago, I thought it was creepy looking (the dogs aren’t as cute as you want dogs to be, idk, I guess that was really it) AND! I was put off that there were Japanese characters and a predominately all white cast. When I saw the trailer a second time, I paid closer attention to the plot line and I was begrudgingly intrigued, but still annoyed about the white-washing thing. But, now I see that it’s less about representing Japanese culture exclusively and more about representing humanity. Awesome. Can’t wait to watch it.

Isle of Dogs: Humanity in the Inhuman

Marvel NOW!’s Ms. Marvel was my favorite in terms of commentary on sexist costumes. Kamala is so charming. Everybody just needs movable, breathable, practical, protective gear for battle. That’s what I’ve never understood.

Sexism, Impracticality, and the Hopeful Future of Costuming

such a fantastic analysis of the dysfunctional mother character.

Maternal Horror Films: Understanding the 'Dysfunctional' Mother

I’ve noticed I’ve kind’ve grown bored with origin stories myself. It’s almost like a misplaced, lengthy character description in first person, y’know? Looking in the mirror . . . noticing how plain and unremarkable you are . . . but here’s three pages about my mousy brown hair and how I always struggle with it. Kinda like that. I think there are definitely better, more interesting ways to weave an origin story into a story. And you’ve pointed out some great examples of where we’ve already seen that happen! I think it may call for audiences to pay closer attention, but I personally love when a character’s backstory is a mystery.

Origin Stories: Do we need them?

I’d literally never heard of any of these. I’m so grateful that these were brought to my attention. I don’t think I ever would’ve known about them otherwise. Thank you!

The 21st Century's Most Meaningful Animated Shorts

When I think of feminist characters, I think of a female narrative where goals and morals are independent of a man’s. Too often, we get lead female characters who are written in to support a man’s goals and act as some sort of sexual awakening for them and the female characters don’t have any goals of their own. Disappointing. And I would argue that all of the Disney Princesses have goals unrelated to the men in their lives. Also, Tiana is a really FANTASTIC representation of a feminist character in Disney.

Feminism and Disney: They're Not As Different As You Might Think

The whole time I watched this series, I totally thought Eren’s anger was just. And then, I read somewhere that Isayama kinda hates Eren and wanted Eren’s depiction in the anime to be unlikable and annoying, and I was like . . . why, though? Because I care about Eren and I like him.
His humanity is being angry. I can’t imagine being disjointed from the world. No, I may not have the means to travel it, but if I did, it’s there and it’s available. (Also, the need to have means to travel it truly annoys me, but, whatever.) If I lived within walls that cut me off from the rest of the world–if the world that I lived in was so threatened by something that it locked me inside such a small, minuscule section of it, yeah, I think I’d be pissed. His anger is relatable, for sure.
Now, I don’t know why/where the titans came from, and for all I know, they could be used as a device to keep humanity away from Earth because they are susceptible to killing it, but I really have no clue.
This show is all about putting your humanity on the back burner to do what’s right for humanity. And, with my predictions, that could be a task taken on by either side. This maybe is an unpopular opinion, but I didn’t mind Eren’s anger. I saw it as a relatable motivational standpoint.

Attack On Titan: Anger as a Source of Motivation