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The Role of the Sacrificial Hero in Cinema

From Jean Reno’s portrayal of Léon (Léon. AKA: The Professional. 1994) to Shin Hyeon-jun’s portrayal of Hyun-jun (Kiss Me, Kill Me. 2009), the Hitman who rediscovers his humanity through self-sacrifice and atonement is a familiar theme. Are these characters merely bad men turned good or do they represent a convenient scapegoat for the ills of Society in general? Perhaps more importantly, do we learn anything from them as anti-heroes or damaged role models?

  • Definitely worth considering whether we are escaping moral dilemmas by having the troubled men die instead of having to deal with them afterward. – IndiLeigh 1 week ago
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  • A very interesting topic. I feel like this is a trope that we as a society have taken for granted. An in-depth look at the moral implications of this kind of narrative would be a fascinating read. – SophieCherry 1 week ago
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Marvel Cinematic Universe: How much is too much?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is complex and fascinating, and like many fans, I love the crossovers among the films. However, with the addition of several TV series (Daredevil, Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D., etc.), it seems nearly impossible to keep up with the intricacies of the world. With more TV content on the horizon for Marvel, I wonder if the platform is too much. It’s confusing for new watchers to fully understand the overall plot without having seen previous Marvel films. I think the argument can go both ways. On one hand, the multimedia platform is exciting and facilitates depth. On the other hand, is there a point when it will all be too much?

  • This is a very interesting point that you have brought up. With solo films for Black Panther, The Wasp and many other superheroes coming up too, it has become next to impossible to keep track of all the stories. One can also contrast the current times where a superhero film is released every 6 months and series like Luke Cage, Jessica Jones on Netflix ensure that we have stuff to watch all year round with say, a decade earlier when people used to have to wait for a couple of years to get a Batman or Spiderman movie. – Vishnu Unnithan 4 months ago
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  • Is it possible that the constantly growing scale of the MCU won't necessarily kill it but force it to become more and more niche? A casual viewer may reach the point of superhero fatigue or throw up their hands and say "I can't keep up with this anymore", but the more hardcore comic book fans who've kept abreast of decades of comic book history as well as all the multi-verses, galaxies, and timelines would theoretically still support these stories coming to life in all forms (as long as they maintained their level of quality). – LC Morisset 4 months ago
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  • You can never have too much Marvel. Just like you can't have too much ice cream. – Munjeera 4 months ago
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  • Both are good arguments but to me that whether it is too much or not, people are and will still watch these Marvel shows and movies. It's interesting that maybe on some level these points to bridge the gap between the amount of consumption of watching these shows and imagining ourselves in the world of the superheroes. – daisy 1 week ago
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  • The market has definitely been flooded. They don't seem to hold the same weight they once did. It would be interesting to see if its because we are spoiled for choice, or is it a case of Disney choosing quantity over quality? Either way, I hope we stick to one Star Wars a year, Disney; any more would be overkill. – AGMacdonald 1 week ago
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  • I think we can see the stretch sometimes with Agents of Shield fumbling to connect but not spoil the Marvel movies that happen during its seasons, and Netflix's shows trying to ignore The Avengers (and, soon, Spider-man) in New York. – IndiLeigh 1 week ago
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Taken by AGMacdonald (PM) 1 week ago.
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Is Creativity Dead Within the Film Industry?

Over the last couple of years, we have entered a new era of filmmaking. Studios only make safe bets, some of which pay off (The Force Awakens, Mad Max, Star Trek), but many of them bomb (Baywatch, Ghostbusters and King Arthur). Is this due to the death of creativity in these fields? Is looking for the safe bet, sticking to a formula and attaching people with no care for the source material, responsible for abysmal sales?

  • Remakes have become a common since Hollywood may have trouble coming up with original concepts. – BMartin43 3 weeks ago
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  • I would compare/contrast mainstream Hollywood and Indie films. You often find new and creative ideas in the indie movies because the monetary risk isn't as high and the success of those can often shape what risks Hollywood will take – BreannaWaldrop 2 weeks ago
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  • I think this is actually a misleading question as the film titles listed are all Hollywood productions. No, creativity is not dead within the film industry, we just need to broaden our horizon and acknowledge that original and creative films are being made outside of Hollywood, both within American independent cinema and in many countries around the world. Hollywood makes product and product must sell, hence the remakes and reboots, ostensibly made to introduce a younger, upcoming generation to an old popular story or series, because all that really matters to the Hollywood executives is how the latest product performs over the next financial quarter, therefore risks are rarely taken. My taste in films is admittedly biased as I prefer European and Oriental films (although I also have Russian, Polish, Iranian, Turkish and Indian films in my collection, to list just a few) so I tend to ignore the latest mega-hyped Hollywood blockbuster because I find independent film making and 'World' cinema far more rewarding in terms of its style, content and storytelling. True creativity doesn't have a price tag attached and Hollywood has long forgotten this point. – Amyus 2 weeks ago
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Whitewashing In Films And TV Shows - Is There Really An Excuse?

Recently, there have been more and more movies aiming to tell more racially diverse stories, many of which have been historical events omitted or ignored in the past due to discrimination, for example 12 Years A Slave (2013). However, many films are still criticised for ‘whitewashing’, the term for casting white actors in historically non-white character roles, with African Americans, Native Americans, and Asians experiencing this the most. The argument most commonly used for this is that the actors are ‘better qualified for the role’, however the truth behind this is often that directors often choose actors of similar backgrounds. Recent shows and movies that have come under backlash for their casting include the new Power Rangers film, the Death Note adaption, and Ghost In The Shell (2017). There are certainly far less Latino, Asian, or African American actors than there are Caucasian, but is there really so few that none are good enough for these POC roles?

  • Intermingling of cultures has ALWAYS existed.But, how about making movies about diverse people in those time periods? At that point, diverse groups of people existed in the world but their histories are ignored by many in the West.The latest Tarzan reboot actually had a storyline rooted in history called George Washington Williams who did travel to the Free Congo to protest slavery in that region. A very intelligent weaving of history and fiction.I think the problem is when Hollywood rewrites history to a very Western view which detracts from revealing that we all have so much more in common than we think we do. – Munjeera 2 weeks ago
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  • I think the question starts with who is making the movies; who is crafting the stories? We need more POC/minorities/women producing/directing movies. – tamarakot 1 week ago
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What makes a good action movie romance?

What makes two people (usually a man and a woman) compatible in an action movie? How do these moments get interspersed with action? What’s the difference between a Bond seduction and a Tron flirtation? Why is The Matrix my favorite romance series? Are there harmful stereotypes, is there empowerment of female characters? Does kink gloss over unhealthy habits? Much to discuss!

  • Interesting connection here. Good examples too. – Munjeera 2 weeks ago
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  • Good choice for favorite romance series – Linden 2 weeks ago
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Taken by mattcarlin (PM) 2 days ago.
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Is popular "geek culture" infantilising a generation of adults?

A generation ago, merchandise for film/TV/anime/literature pitched at children and young adults was also aimed at children and young adults. In 2017, we are seeing a rise in merchandise pitched to adult aficionados – think Pokeball serving bowls and superhero-themed shot glasses. Do these trends mirror an entire generation that is unable to grow up? Is this just about rampant capitalism? Or is this generation of 20 and 30 somethings just passionate, and less ashamed than their Gen X and Baby Boomer family members?

  • Yes. But in a way it is nice to see people keeping their inner child alive. Last September I attended a ComicCon and was impressed by the quality of handmade items available by various artists. Also, in talking to some of these adults, I sensed that for them, their work was a real labour of love. It was an eye opener for me.I like your point that these are not shameful pleasures as in the past. I think Cosplay also could be included to support your point. "Embracing the Inner Child" could be a title here. – Munjeera 2 weeks ago
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  • Amazing topic. I've never really grown up, myself (my PopVinyl collection will tell you all you need to know about that😁). It might also be interesting to delve into the blurring of fact and fiction and how many young people on social media are using fiction to illustrate injustices in the real world. – AGMacdonald 2 weeks ago
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  • I think you'll need to make important distinctions between types of merchandise that have gotten more popular; there have always been statues and t-shirts, for example. But now you see leggings and underwear, pop figures, piggy banks, etc. There are Rick and Morty (and Mr. Meeseeks) plushies! It also, obviously, depends on the show. – IndiLeigh 2 weeks ago
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Taken by AGMacdonald (PM) 2 weeks ago.
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The Rogue Grows Up: Harrison Ford's Characters, 30 Years Later

Waiting on the release of Blade Runner’s sequel, and perhaps Han Solo prequel film (if this topic doesn’t become cyber dust first), but I’d be taking a look at the treatment of Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Rick Deckard in their much-later sequels; how Hollywood treats them differently and the same from their original movies, how Hollywood addresses age and new generations, and general significance conveyed by the classic series’ choices.

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    Why is hollywood making so many remakes?

    Hollywood is almost obsessed with remaking films despite previous success. Remakes of film though often flop in cinema’s begging the question; Why does Hollywoods keep making remakes? What’s the point? So many remakes face criticism before being released. Diehard fans make judgements of the film before it is even released, while the film itself has a bar often set so high that ‘failure’ is inevitable.

    Perhaps companies are simply relying on the success of the previous films in a pursuit of profit. From changing casts to all female (Oceans 11, Ghost Busters) to changing the tone of the film (The Mummy), is Hollywood simply trying to find ways to justify remaking a movie that doesn’t need to be remade?

    • Being the art form that it is, film is just as prone to a version better expressed, so to speak. One director (or author) believes his rendition was final and releases it. Another director feels his release was not perfect, and remakes it as a sequel. Others simply cannot move on unless they've added their $0.02 to the squabble. No matter what the reason, 'priming the pump' never ends and must be tolerated. As long as there are disagreements, there will be remakes and sequels. – lofreire 2 weeks ago
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    • One thing I'd be interested in seeing someone explore is the Disney side of this topic, how they are doing live action remakes of so many of the classics. It is to appeal to the children of the children who first experienced these movies? Simply to make more revenue? Or is it to maintain copyright to prevent it from entering the public domain? This all is true for other franchises as well. – BreannaWaldrop 2 weeks ago
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    • I'm not sure if it's just because of the age of myself and my friends (mid 20s), but I feel like nostalgia is very much the "flavour of the month". Sequels that were 10+ years in the making, such as Scream 4 and American Pie:the reunion, kicked off an era of sequels and reboots. I don't think Hollywood has run out of ideas like I have heard some people suggest, I just think that there is so much money in remakes. by growing old, Disney is no longer appealing to the audience who helped to make it so successful. Sure they still make films that kids love but by remaking all our old favourites (Jungle Book, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast to name a few) they can also re-appeal to the older generation. – jackson2601 2 weeks ago
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    Taken by MikaylaMargaret (PM) 2 weeks ago.