The notion of the villain or the "bad guy" is a theme that often appears in many films, particularly superhero narratives, or similar films. However, as a viewer, sometimes questioning the way in which someone is depicted could be interesting as well. Is the villain entirely bad? Or are they in some ways victims as well? Do you think the hero is always right? Or do they have a past that could have easily made them the villain? How much of the villainization is inherent and how much of it is fed to us?
Villains are always interesting. I think Magneto was a sympathetic villain. Could you correct the spelling? Thanks! – Munjeera2 years ago
Though it is not the central theme of the article, perhaps one paragraph could focus on villains turned heroes later on? For instance, Zuko, from Avatar the Last Air Bender, or Root, from Person Of Interest. Do such (not-so-)villains differ from “true” villains? If so, how? If not, why? What impact it may have on the viewer? – Gavroche2 years ago
Interesting. I think you should look at superheroes or Disney films. The villains are quite interesting. You could compare different types of villains to see what makes them a villain, why they are villain. Most of the time it’s because of the hero. – zazu2 years ago
I agree with zazu's suggestion about exploring superhero films, particularly films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (while we're on the subject of Disney and superheroes). The MCU started off with villains that were basically just dark mirrors of the heroes (Iron Man 1 had Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger, The Incredible Hulk had The Abomination). Villains like Loki and Killmonger, however, have been praised as some of the more interesting of MCU villains due to their sympathetic motivations. Both of them are still tied to the heroes' origins in some way, yet they represent the outcome of a different upbrining than the hero in the same environment. You could either explore how MCU's potrayal of villains changed from Iron Man to a film like Black Panther or the ways in which the MCU has designated certain characters as 'villains.' – CharlieSimmons2 years ago
This brings to mind the 2003 film, Monster, where the heroine can be both viewed as good as well as a villain. Just one small error fix, change villian to villain. This would be an interesting topic for me to write except I'm not a fan of superheroes. Whoever decided to write this can use the character, AIllen Wournos, in Monster as a stepping stone. – Montayj796 months ago
I absolutely think a villain with sympathetic qualities, or one who is more complex than simply being the "big bad" of any given book/show/film, is far more interesting than a two-dimensional "evil" character! I think of Lord of the Rings, and the fact that for me, it is the Witch Kings who are far more ominous adversaries than Sauron himself. They're "fallen" men, corrupted by power, and are far more dynamic than the evil eye in distant Mordor... also "villains" like Denethor, or even Boromir to an extent when he's influenced by the ring (before he overcomes it, and dies a hero). Their humanity, flaws and pitfalls, and the fact you can map their trajectory toward their "villainy", makes them all the more fascinating! And think of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire... the white walkers and Night King are terrifying, yes, but it's villainous characters like Cersei, Littlefinger, and Ramsay Bolton who make for more interesting storylines. Once again it's the humanity in them that fascinates and compels. – elizheff5 months ago
I think an important character to consider when examining villains is Walter White from Breaking Bad. A high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with terminal cancer turns to manufacturing and selling meth to be able to leave money for his family after he passes. However, as the story progresses, an Walter becomes more evil and is enamored with power, control and greed. He becomes the villain of his own story, yet the viewer still emphasizes with him – greenturnedblue5 months ago
Very interesting topic. I definitely like flawed heros and villains with good reasons to be evil, and I love when morality wavers and falters. Think of a so-called hero in a science fantasy that would bomb an entire city of civilians just for a show of power, but at the same time freaks out if the foes do the same to his country.
In this regard, Erikson's Malazan series gives us the perfect example of moral ambiguity in fiction. – mnorman5 months ago
Make a top ten list of the amazing settings that have added richness to their movies. From the iconic scene of King Kong on the Empire State Building, to Central Park, to Chicago and LA. How have various scenes been influenced by their settings? Go as far back as Hitchcock. Discuss Central Park as a location that has added a certain flavour to movies.
All of these are US locations. Perhaps it would be good to compare with movies set in eg London or Paris? Are there differences in the way locations are used across the cutlrual settings? – CharlotteG3 years ago
I think making a list with so many options would be hard maybe if it was broken by individual city like New York City, you could list all the notable places within it. New York City and San Francisco I would say have some the most popular locations so I feel like it wouldn't be doing other cities justice to put them on the same list when you might much more information on these two cities – tingittens3 years ago
I agree all of these locations are USA locations.
What is intresting is that there are certain locations that are used to give off a certain mood
Like all snow locations are filmed in Quebec
All majestic and fanatsy places are filmed in Norway and Ireland
– Amelia Arrows3 years ago
This is really an excellent projection of historical truths and their undeniable roles to shaping the present world and its people. – kiru1003 years ago
Take a look at how Denzel Washington’s character, Whip Whitaker creates a disconnect between consciousness and his underlying alcohol and drug addiction. Modern cinema doesn’t often put viewers in the shoes of someone who realizes their problem by the end of the film. Some of the saddest scenes in the film occur when Whip is drinking. Additionally, he is a great pilot and his drunkenness does not seem to get in the way of that. Perhaps it would be interesting to see how addiction becomes reliance in this case, and how well the movie portrays two characters: drunk Whip and sober Whip.
I saw Flight a while ago and I was blown away by Washington's very raw performance and portrayal of an addict/alcoholic. – Sean Gadus4 years ago
Maybe this can be broadened to look at alcoholism in several movies so Denzel Washington's portrayal has some perspective. Are there general ways that alcoholism is presented? Are there significant differences? I was thinking of Ray Milland in The Lost Weekend and Frank Sinatra in The Joker Is Wild. – Joseph Cernik4 years ago
In both the world of television and movie old classics (whether it be movie to movie adaptations, movie to TV, or literature to movie) have been given a new breath of life. Some of these reboots have been successful such as Riverdale, Lethal Weapon, Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, 90210 and Pretty Little Liars, Star Trek, Chris Nolan’s Batman Trilogy. While others have not been so successful such as Baywatch, Knight Rider, Charlie’s Angels, Power Rangers, Robocop, Fantastic Four, TMNT. Why is that some of these Television and Movie reboots fair better than others and what could’ve been done to turn the not so successful into a success.
I don't have much of a definitive answer, but I have some observations based on the examples you gave.
The Baywatch reboot was (judging solely by the trailers) a comedy. If it failed, it failed as a comedy, or maybe because people expected it to be like the original Baywatch and it wasn't...because it was a comedy.
The Power Rangers movie improved on the single worst part of the old Power Rangers TV show - the painfully terrible acting/dialogue. But it failed to recreate the action/effects that made the old show so cool, especially for young children, which was the only reason the show lasted for 20+ years of redesigns. It misunderstood what the people wanted. – noahspud4 years ago
It'd be a good idea to stablish first the success parameters used to classify these productions. Is it profits, critics' reception, cultural impact? – T. Palomino6 months ago
What Tree of Life by Terrence Malick and Melancholia by Lars Von Trier have in common is that they are two films that are poetic in their imagery and dialogue. With nuanced characters, each film seeks to explore the human experience and provide its own answer to question of life’s ultimate meaning. Analyze each film in depth. Discuss differences and similarities between the characters of each film, and how each affirms the films central themes. Also examine the differences and the possible similarities in the messages of both films.
This is a very interesting subject when it comes to two entirely different filmmakers. I would be very interested in approaching it from the angle you propose. – caryleiter5 years ago
There have been many films that follow a romantic relationship from hopeful beginnings to an optimistic future and there are those that take it to the other end: when a relationship fails and the repercussions that entails. While some take a more realistic approach to the emotions riding through a former couple and their separation, there are others that follow one partner and see the other as almost literal monsters. Examples like David Cronenberg’s The Brood which gives the main character’s wife the ability to create child monsters or Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession having from Mark’s perspective seeing his wife Anna become a crazy sociopath and another woman as almost a double of the former, go into an almost otherworldly plane to explore how painful separation from a loved one can be. There might be other examples of this, like maybe Hideo Nakata’s Dark Water, which is more of a focus on how divorce can effect children in the short term and long term in the realm of a ghost story. So I think the article should be an exploration of films that go into themes of love lost that goes more into the horror aspect and how people can seem to change into monsters when the rose tint is taken away.
Hmm, I would also suggest looking into Spike, a 2008 horror adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. – Emily Deibler6 years ago
Freddy, Jason, Micheal, Pinhead, Chucky… all original horror characters (some with funny jokes) but today the Horror movie genre seems dead (no pun intended). The only thing still keeping the genre is alive is turning old books into films, or films attempting to copy the mastermind, Wes Craven.
There is a rise in the number of horror short films and many are quite good. Perhaps these will replace full-length feature movies in the genre.
– Jeffery Moser7 years ago
Short horror stories, especially the best of Creepy Pastas available out there, would only last about a half hour at most in a visual format. But these are the stories that have managed to scare me and affect me the most, except for maybe "Hellraiser" 1 and 2. These stories, written by everyday teens and young adults, are clever, innovative, original, and surprising. Something that modern horror cinema has failed time and time again to do. Modern horror films, for the most part, do not understand what is truly scary. They do not try to be terrifying. Rather they go for the quick and simple thrills and jump scares, and disturbing imagery. But the funny thing is, even the imagery isn't as freaky or disturbing as it could be. Because something as innocent as a doll facing just the right way in the middle of an empty old room with one eye missing can be scarier than a dead person's body cut open on a table or something. It's more about subtlety, misdirection, showing people one thing, but then revealing it to be more than what it appeared at first. "Sinister" managed to do some of this at first, but then went so far beyond itself that it became laughable by the end. It tried to be creative and original, and really mysterious, but then it broke that barrier between scary and stupid, and it just lost its grip. If horror wants to get better, then it needs to look into Creepy Pastas for inspiration, and not just to fit them into the tried-and-true molds that already exist, but to present them as they were intended, where they can actually elicit a palpable and lasting reaction. – Jonathan Leiter7 years ago
I would give reasons why the genre "seems dead" to you. What did past horror characters have that may be lacking today? What makes Wes Craven "the mastermind"? – StephenMatthias7 years ago
Was Wes a "Mastermind?" I mean, he had like two big films that are respected to this day, and then a bunch of sequels that slowly got less and less innovative. The other things he did I couldn't even name for you. Whereas someone like John Carpenter created "Halloween," "The Thing," "The Fog," and "In the Mouth of Madness." Even his first feature, "Dark Star," went on to inspire Ridley Scott's "Alien," because both films had a similar plot-line, the same writer, and the same VFX supervisor. I get that Craven has always been a big deal, I just don't quite get why compared to other horror directors. I mean, heck, what about Tobe Hooper? – Jonathan Leiter7 years ago
One area of focus could be the numerous sequels to certain horror movie franchises. – JDJankowski7 years ago
The trend of showing just about everything in media, even if it seems unnecessary. I’m not talking about censoring, but about limiting the audience’s act of imagination to fill in the rest of the picture. What happens when a level of subtlety, implicitness, and mystery is lost? I was thinking of some classic black-and-white films such as M, The Innocents, Nosferatu, The Third Man, Gaslight, etc. whose atmosphere is heavily reliant on what is shrouded by shadow. A lot of suspense, dread, as well as intrigue is created by what we can’t see. When many movies now are so well-lit and in high-definition color, has something been lost? It seems like there is a strong desire to expose and reveal as much as we can instead. Has this transition affected how movies are filmed in other ways?
This is a great topic, and I do agree. The unspoken leads to contemplation, inquiry, and suspense. Though people fixate on the evolution of film technology, which is without a doubt extraordinarily impressive, some of basic cinematic concepts that make film so wonderful have been lost--what you are posing here is one. – danielle5776 years ago
Interesting but if you pay attention to independent film(not commercial ones) they still adopt fade to black in their scenes. Maybe not common but it doesnt mean no more. When i 'm writing my script, I would sometimes use fade to black and fade in for transitions. I dont think it is fully abandoned. – moonyuet6 years ago
I definitely agree with what you're saying about independent films. I'm not just talking about transitions, though, but about the general use of shadows or unseen areas in movies. I feel like we as an audience are often granted greater access to scenes we either would not have been shown before or would not be able to view with as much clarity, which is probably especially true in the case of commercial films. I hadn't intended to sound like I was making a generalization about all recent movies, just that it was a trend I had noticed. Sorry for not making myself clearer in that regard. – aprosaicpintofpisces6 years ago