Topics: Marcus Dean

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How Infinite Time Loop Movies Have Avoided Their Own Groundhog Day

A list of the most well-received infinite time loop movies and how they managed to keep it fresh. Analysing how each one, like the recent Palm Springs and TV equivalents like Russian Doll, handled this well-known concept but changed enough to keep audiences interested.

  • Thanks for the note, the piece was actually more to acknowledge how popular this type of movie is despite how many of them there have been over the years. I think going into too much detail on one would go against the idea of it and instead some shorter analyses on a few different films would be better. Showcasing their varied approaches. – Marcus Dean 2 years ago
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Life Under Lockdown on Screen

With many countries all over the world experiencing lockdowns and other imposed ways of living – what films have shown this life best? Contagion? 28 Days Later?

  • It would also be worth considering those films that do not ramp up the fear factor, but instead deal with self-imposed isolation, either by choice, social imposition or an underlying mental of physical debility. For instance, how would this worldwide lockdown affect Japan's hikkomori - those who have become recluses. Also consider closed religious orders and communities that do not generally mix with 'outsiders.' A lockdown is only a lockdown if we choose to view it that way. For some it can act as a release from daily toil and stress at work etc. The only real prison is in the mind. – Amyus 3 years ago
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  • I would say the film that best depicts the effects of isolation is It Comes At Night (2017). The film makes fantastic use of Point of View to make the viewer side with the main family since we only see what they see, and their extreme paranoia in the face of this unknown virus comes across as palpable on the screen. It's legitimately hard to watch. – LoganTaylor 3 years ago
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The Best Standalone Episodes

Having recently finished watching Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, I was struck by how my favourite episode was #5 Dark Quiet Death – a standalone episode that featured two completely separate characters. It got me thinking of other examples, like a similarly video-game focused episode of You’re the Worst, and countless others.

So thought it would be a great idea to accumulate these into an article, or perhaps even analyse why audiences respond to these episodes (as Dark Quiet Death is the highest-rated Mythic Quest episode on IMDB by far).

  • Another example that might fit: among the three best-rated episodes of Stargate SG-1 on Imbd, two of them can be considered as standalone episodes: Window of Opportunity and The Fifth Race. The monster-of-the-week episodes of The X-Files might also belong in such an analysis. There might also be a difference between standalone episodes in more ‘procedural’ TV shows (such as SG-1 or X-Files), where standalone episodes are a regular format), and TV shows where, no matter how good they are, standalone episodes stay an exception. (I haven't watched Mythic Quest, so I don't know in which 'category' it would go.) Could that issue be discussed in the same article or would that fact call for two separate ones? – Gavroche 3 years ago
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The Masked Hero

With The Mandalorian being so successful, what other examples of a protagonist concealing their identity have really struck a chord with audiences? Obviously, an intriguing trait in terms of mystery, are there any other reasons why this has been successful in The Mandalorian? Moreover, what’s the purpose of using a masked hero? What changes when the main protagonist is unmasked? Is there a downside?

  • I think you may want to touch on what it is about a masked hero that makes audiences intrigued. What is necessary for them to have since one cannot see who (or what) they are. Great topic idea! – majorlariviere 3 years ago
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  • Off the top of my head the only character I can think of right now is 'V' from 'V for Vendetta' (2005). It's interesting how that Guy Fawkes mask even struck a chord with those who haven't seen the film or read the original graphic novel. – Amyus 3 years ago
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  • I think what draws us to the Mandalorian in particular is his willingness and really desperation to remain masked. Even when his remaining masked threatens his life, he is adamant to following the code. It would be interesting to examine how his strictness regarding his mask/suit plays against his rebellious nature (against the bounty hunter guild) throughout the first season – erinouye 3 years ago
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Bucking the Trend or Rinse & Repeat?

With the continued success of anthology series like Fargo, American Crime Story and many more, do TV shows have more of a chance if they remain with the same formula that found them success? Or by changing the cast and locale and telling a similar story once more. This could be particularly interesting with the re-emergence of True Detective after a couple of years. Would it have had its season 3 much earlier if it remained with Rust and Marty?

  • I think this may not be as extended a discussion as you would like, perhaps reconsider the wording of what you really want to examine. The issue is that formulaic TV is a norm, an accepted format that most TV is structured on - it is either considered serialised or procedural - this means it is either like Fargo, where it is has one long running story arc (serialised) or it is like NCIS where there is a clear formula to every episode (procedural). Perhaps have a listen to the Nerdist Writer's podcast to consider more fully the manner in which TV is written. The second question you have raised considering the use of ongoing characters versus the break from original characters, such in the Fargo and True Detective series, could actually be a more interesting discussion as this is a contentious area. – SaraiMW 5 years ago
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How Many Times Can We Get Them To Buy It?

With recent repacking and re-releases of old titles, what are the most egregious examples of bringing out the same versions of games for that yankee dollar?

  • Final Fantasy X. I own that game four times over. First PS2 disc got scratched, so I bought another (nothing to do with corporate greed, but it explains the four); I bought the remaster on PS3 then a couple of years later got it again for ps4. – AGMacdonald 5 years ago
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Will an Audience Still Want to go on the Road with David Brent?

With his first film in a while, Special Correspondents, coming out on Netflix this week, could look ahead to Ricky Gervais’s next film project, the revival of David Brent in Life on the Road. Is there still an apetite for it? Admitting he was swayed to do the film because of the success of the Alan Partridge movie, will this attempt suffer in comparison to the original? Considering there is no Stephen Merchant involved and that his later online skits of Brent on youtube weren’t as successful, can the movie recapture the formula that made The Office so successful?

  • I don't know if the audience that actually 'get' The Office will appreciate it. Of course the fact he's doing it at all could be a big ironic statement on how Gervais is perceived. He's clearly smart enough to know that it's an unpopular choice to egg out Brent's character but that might well be the point. – JChic 7 years ago
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Twin Peak(s) TV

A look at the upcoming series of Twin Peaks and how it could differ from the old series and how it fits in with this current era of ‘Peak TV’ and will that have any bearing on how the show looks or how we consume it?

  • Revisiting something as postmodern as Twin Peaks might cause a ripple in the space/time continuum. At this point Twin Peaks has come full circle and is more reflective of 1980's entertainment impressionism. But good topic, definitely. – Jason052714 7 years ago
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Actors Changing Characters

I recently read an interview with Stephen Falk commenting about the second season of You’re The Worst and he commented that Chris Geere’s character of Jimmy was not intended to be British but the character was specifically altered after seeing his Audition. This surprised me as a Brit because a lot of Jimmy’s humour is so quintessentially British that I thought his character would have had that running through all of the early scripts. So an interesting article could be how much a certain actor can influence changes in their character, a few more examples springing to mind are Morgan Freeman in Shawshank and Mackenzie Crook in The Office. Could be Film or TV.

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    Are More Elmore Leonard Adaptations Justified?

    After the conclusion of FX’s successful drama Justified, what other pieces of Leonard’s work could be adapted for either screens big or small? Could be a Literature, TV or Film article depending your angle!

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      Better Call Saul and the Opportunity for More Spin-Off Series

      With Better Call Saul wrapping up its first series to critical acclaim and already being confirmed for a second, it’s clear to everyone that spin-off series are starting to become popular once more. With the Walking Dead already working one, what other favourite series would you like to see receive the spin-off treatment? You could analyse why Better Call Saul was a success, in its differences and similarities to Breaking Bad and suggest potential other series from TV’s current crop. For an added bit of fun, you could also talk about ones you’d have to loved to have seen in the past that may have just missed the boat.

      • I love Breaking Bad, but I have never seen Better Call Saul. I hear that it is really good, and would love to read an article about the show. – Amanda 8 years ago
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      • Ryan Murphy is doing American Crime Story. – Arlinka Larissa 8 years ago
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      • How I Met Your Mother had a cancelled pilot for How I Met Your Dad and apparently news just broke that Agent's of S.H.I.E.L.D is getting a spin off. Also Arrow is getting another spinoff adding to the DC universe on TV- this is as well as the animated series Vixen which also ties into this universe. – Tyler McPherson 8 years ago
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      Where Next for Louis Theroux?

      After his recently aired new documentaries about criminals pleading insanity and transgender kids, what area should Louis investigate next? After a shift in style over the last couple of years to more serious documentaries, do you want to see him continue in that vein? Or revert slightly? What areas do you think could be interesting for him to explore? Or do you think a return to a subject, like he did with the Westboro Baptist Church would be more interesting?

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        Where Next for Phil Lord and Chris Miller?

        Having successfully rebooted 21 Jump Street into a successful franchise and helmed The Lego Movie into a one also, the comedic duo are in high demand. Having signed on to write and produce the future installments in the Lego series, while also negotiation a potential Jump Street and Men in Black crossover, they are not actually contracted to direct any of these projects. So what will they do next? You could look at the mass amount of rumours flying around or you could simply suggest a few potential properties that would be interesting to see their kinetic style put to.

        • Cool article, checking out their particular directorial style (use of visuals etc.) might a good basis for the article. – Thomas Munday 8 years ago
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        • They have just been contacted to write the Flash sequel as well and currently they are directing or writing (not sure which) The Last Man on Earth TV series. – Tyler McPherson 8 years ago
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        Jane The Virgin and Other Series That Have Transcended Their Restrictive Titles

        Having only seen a handful of episodes and being acutely aware of the critical adulation it has received from many sources, Jane The Virgin is a much better show than any show called Jane The Virgin had any right to be. It got me thinking of more shows that had restrictive names and ended up being much better than their titles would have suggested, another example that came to mind was last years Trophy Wife and Bill Lawrence’s Scrubs follow up Cougar Town, which even wanted to change its name in Season 3. Also for a little fun aside, you could have a brief look at shows that didn’t transcend their titles and were just bad all round like Baby Daddy and Gary Unmarried.

        • This could become a kind of "How to" op-ed piece about how to create a cracking Fall season show. – Thomas Munday 8 years ago
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