tolkienfan

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Castlevania's Big Shift

    The third season of Netflix’s series appears to take a big turn towards scenes of "violent" sexuality in its most recent season, almost contrasting that of it’s previous two seasons where there is minimal to no scenes of sexuality. Nonetheless, they do have significance for individual character arcs.

    Is this what audiences demanded? Are audiences taking it well, or will it turn off some of its core viewers? How does Castlevania’s video game community react to Season 3? And how do these scenes of sexuality change our previous understandings of characters?

    • This is an interesting topic to explore. This was something I also noticed when watching the 3rd season. I felt that this was a drastic shift compared to season 2. I think that we will have to season how these characters stories progress in season 4 to fully see whether these scenes were effective/necessary. Alucard's scene seem to hint at a dark road for him ahead, so we may have to wait til season 4 to see if those scenes provide to be critical. – Sean Gadus 3 weeks ago
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    Latest Comments

    I’m not very invested in either the MCU or the DC Universe’s fanbases, and I will admit that I’ve seen plenty more Marvel movies than I have DC movies, but I’d just like to start out by saying that I agree with everything that has been said in this article. I’m just a casual viewer of these movies, so pardon my inaccuracies.

    I loved the Dark Knight trilogy. It was dark and edgy with a great cast and amazing props. Although Joaquin Phoenix played an excellent Joker in the solo movie, Heath Ledger will always be Joker to me, and Christian Bale will always be Batman to me. I also enjoyed Man of Steel, although I’ll say that I enjoyed the Dark Knight movies better because of its story and its memorable character line up. But when I first heard that Ben Affleck was going to play Batman and was just going to show up out of nowhere for a movie with Superman, none of it made sense to me and I vowed to never watch it. I believe that there are several people like me who cannot handle a casting change, which is why DC is going downhill. Ben Affleck has now dropped Batman and I’ve heard they are going with Robert Pattinson, an actor from the disreputable film series, Twilight. Sure, that’ll make things even better for DC! I watched Wonder Woman (and no, not because I’m a woman and I wanted to) and I felt that it was too close to the first Thor movie for my liking, but it did have a similar undertone to Man of Steel that I appreciated.

    And while I’m on the topic of female-starring films, no, I did not like the Captain Marvel film. As a woman, I felt as though I was insulted by the character, then even more in Avenger’s Endgame. She had no emotion, her humour was dry, and she was extremely condescending to the other heroes in Endgame. This is not a role model for women, it is an insult. There are several other women already in the MCU who are better role models than Captain Marvel that Marvel/Disney overlooked in their feminist-targeting marketing, but the newest, most egotistical one is the most praised. Clearly there is an issue here. So, DC fans, you’ll be glad to hear that the MCU has had its downfalls in recent years. To be honest, if I had to choose between Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, I’d go with Wonder Woman any day.

    What draws me to Marvel films, as I’ve seen it said before, it the casting choices that effectively harmonize the actor with their role. I also love, as mentioned in your article, the build-up of character backstories that gives audiences enough context and time for familiarization to appreciate ensemble films. Audiences feel as though they grow up alongside their favourite heroes and this develops a large, passionate fanbase that led to Endgame’s grand success in Box Offices. I also love the humour, RDJ as Tony Stark will never cease to make me smile. But I do have criticism for Marvel, as you’ve seen already. For example, I’m not fond of the way that the studios have handled Bruce Banner’s arc, I prefer the character as he was in the first Avenger’s film and AOU. I don’t like not having a movie to explain what exactly happened to Hulk between AOU and Ragnarok. I believe that Marvel could have done big things for the character, but they never took the opportunity. Meanwhile, solo films like Doctor Strange and Black Panther give audiences something new and “fresh” to turn our eyes away from the main plotline with the introduction of new, interesting characters. This is why Wonder Woman was successful and BvS was not, there’s no uniqueness, there’s no backstory for Batman, and there’s no attachment towards these characters before they meet. Superman should have had at least another film to build this before jumping straight to Justice League. If Iron Man went from one film to Avengers, it wouldn’t have worked out either.

    The Success of Marvel Movies and Why DC Falls Short

    I read this article mostly for your analysis on Malvo, since even now it’s hard to find a good analysis on him. Your article is fantastic and I agree that Malvo is not just a successful villain, but a humorous one as well. I still watch the show often and he still makes me crack up, particularly the part when he tricks the motel owner’s boy to urinate in the gas tank of her car, and when he sets the crickets loose in Phoenix Farms and he stands on the roof looking proud of himself. I understand that this was written several years ago but I wish you had embellished more on the rest of the season in another article, however, as I would’ve liked to have read what you had to say about Malvo in the later episodes, particularly the final one.

    Fargo's Lorne Malvo and the Enjoyable Villain

    This is such an enriching article about the power of music in films! As someone who plays the flute leisurely, it’s an incredible experience to be able to read the scores of popular movie soundtracks and feel the life and emotion that they envoke from the point of view of a performer. It makes me wonder how the musicians who are called to perform in an orchestra for a major film feel when, for the first time, they hear the music coming together and creating the atmosphere of a particular scene.

    As an avid fan of Peter Jackson’s Tolkien adaptations, I own many particular soundtracks from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I can listen to The Uruk-hai track on my way to university (no orcs, unfortunately), Flaming Red Hair when it’s a sunny day and I feel particularly Hobbitish, the Dwarf Cast singing Misty Mountains on a peaceful night, and even the Sons of Durin soundtrack when it’s a Friday and I just want to march my way back home! I can also play these tracks and recall exactly where they occur in the film, just as your article indicates. In addition, I own many other tracks from many other films simply because they fill my life with the emotion that I either need to empower or uplift myself. Good, emotion-provoking music is indeed essential to every successful film and this article proves it.

    Your example from the Hunger Games reminded me of Castaway (starring Tom Hanks), as the music in this film is not played for the majority of the storyline until much later in the film, at a particular turning point in the protagonist’s story. Thus, I do agree that the absence of music is almost, if not as, powerful as the music when it is played. It robs us of the sensation of emotion that we get from music, only for it to become overwhelming when the music is later brought back to enhance the scene’s significance as an emotionally-charged moment. The absence of music parallels with the protagonist’s situation, emphasizing his losses and his separation from everything he loved (or bore emotion to). The audience is meant to feel that loss of emotional connections through the lack of music.

    The Importance of Scoring in Films