Logan Director James Mangold is Taking Fansites to...

Sometimes, a movie grows to be about something else after it is released. Culture shifts, perspective moves, the audience grows to learn the intent of the artist more with future work, or hindsight vision reveals a new narrative or unseen or maybe even somehow added details. As showcased by Birth of a Nation to Wet Hot American Summer, this discovered value can make a film better or worse. Movies grow. They evolve. Usually this evolution, like any other, takes time. But this weekend, we saw one mutate. James Mangold’s Logan is straight killing it right now, by all logical measures. Currently, the film, Hugh Jackman’s farewell to the...

Why Did We Let Mel Gibson Come Back?

Growing up Jewish in New England during the 2000s, your life is punctuated at regular intervals by these little surprises. There’s the first time you learn what the Holocaust was, and you ask your mom why they hated Jews so much, and she doesn’t have an answer. There are uncomfortable afternoons you spend at your friend’s youth group, which he didn’t tell you was a Christian youth group beforehand. Maybe you get to school one day in December and there’s a little manger on your desk, and a patronizing card about “faith” from your classmate’s mom. One year, your friend texts you and asks if you’d be comfortable with him dressing up as a rabbi...

The Next Doctor Should Be A Woman

2017 will see the tenth season of the rebooted Doctor Who (the 39th season overall), and also the final season for showrunner Steven Moffatt, who took the reins in 2010 with the introduction of Matt Smith as The Doctor. Moffatt, much like his predecessor Russell T. Davies, was at the helm for two Doctors: Smith and the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi. It is assumed that when Chris Chibnall takes over the show in 2018 he will want to do so with his own Doctor much like the two previous show runners did. The BBC have yet to make the announcement but all the rumblings point to this happening and, logically, it makes sense. Doctor Who is in that...

Amy Schumer’s “Formation” Parody...

Filming on Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn’s action comedy Mother/Daughter wrapped in August, and to generate press for the film, Schumer and Hawn released a video last week where they lip-synced to their own interpretation of Beyoncé’s black female empowerment anthem, “Formation.” Actress Wanda Sykes also makes an appearance in the parody, which features Schumer and Hawn dancing in the tropics of Hawaii, where much of their film was shot. Of course, anyone who’s ever heard “Formation” knows that having two white, affluent actresses twerk to lyrics such as “I like my negro nose and Jackson 5 nostrils” would elicit some deserved anger from...

Why I Think Ghostbusters Is 2016’s Most Impo...

Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters finally hit theaters, and the reaction has been, well, mixed… to say the least. A wave of criticism of the all female reboot has clouded discussion in the months leading up to the film’s release, allowing a slew of sexist insults targeted at the cast and creators, the most racist and vile of which temporarily chased Leslie Jones off Twitter last week after the movie’s debut. Although Ghostbusters has been faced with an uphill battle for inane reasons, we can’t afford to allow the hate to have a louder voice than the love for the release of a film that showcases that women are finally...

Why The Last of Us Movie Needs to Happen

Video game movies are almost universally poorly-received. The critics don’t like them, they don’t resonate with general audiences, and they frequently have too little confidence in the source material to satisfy the fans. This was a similar place the superhero movie was in at the turn of the century. While films like Warcraft have their defenders, a lot of studios and moviegoers aren’t sold on the concept of a video game movie in the same way they are with superheroes -a genre that only grew to its current status after its success was proven in a number of different ways. Superman and Batman were successfully brought to the screen in...

Warcraft Wasn’t Made For You: Alienated Viewers an...

In terms of film-going, alienation can be a pleasurable experience. Admittedly, when it comes to genre properties I am rarely out of my depth. Like many filmgoers, I live and breathe nerd culture and thus feel comfortably immersed within the adaptations of these properties. Last week I attended a pre-screening of Duncan Jones’s Warcraft, and twenty minutes in I came to an awesome realization: I am fucking out of my depth. Sure I knew the fantasy genre, but Warcraft, with its hundreds of names, cities, creatures, and backstories, was a mystery to me. In those first 20 minutes, I realized I knew nothing. Even though some of the imagery was...

What If the Ghostbusters Reboot Is Bad?

As we approach the theatrical release of writer/director Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot later this July, many fans of the seminal paranormal-comedy of 1984 (and its immediate sequel from 1989) are still scratching their heads as to how to feel about the new film. Feig’s new movie will appropriate the name of the original film co-created by original Ghostbusters Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Rick Moranis, while transporting the original movie’s central roles onto the shoulders of four new leads. With Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones filling out the newly established and eponymous team of paranormal...

A Battle of the Senses: Civil War’s Logical ...

Any artistic medium is to some degree in conversation with its audience. It evolves in reaction to the cultural climate in which it lives. Maybe that means embracing convention, or maybe that means rejecting it, or maybe that means something else entirely. Art does not exist in a vacuum. This is especially true when it comes to film, a medium which has been largely controlled by corporate interests for its entire lifespan. Mainstream film exists, for better or for worse, in response to the perceived will and whim of the consumer. But that’s not news to anyone reading this. Most of us are capable of watching a Hollywood film and recognizing...

How to Superhero Movie

To talk about this topic, you first need to realise that there are 3 types of superhero movies – no more, no less: The first is the origin story. This movie asks the who, how and why of a superhero’s story. Traditionally, people aren’t hugely keen on these stories. A lot of viewers are comic book fans who already know these origins or, if the character is Batman, Spider-Man or Superman, it is an origin everyone has seen over and over. Normal people aren’t enamoured with the prospect because, no matter the character, origin stories are pretty same-y. You take a normal person, give them an inciting incident such as a murder,...

The War on Fun 2: The Nitpicking (or… “...

The War on Fun continues. Or… maybe it’s over and we already lost. Maybe we just don’t know we’ve been conquered yet, and we’re the small pockets of resistance trying to keep movies and movie criticism a free place where people can unashamedly enjoy the films they like and dislike the films they don’t. If that is the case, though, we must continue to fight the good fight. Today’s report from the front lines is all about nitpicking and plot holes. Before we begin though, let’s define a plot hole for those of you who don’t know what a plot hole is ( oddly enough the people who talk about plot holes the loudest). A plot hole...

In Defense of the Spider-Man: Homecoming Title

With great power, comes great responsibility… and with every new reboot comes a new title for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Webhead swings into theaters alongside Captain America and Iron Man this summer but his standalone series will open nationwide next year. So what was the official title announced by Sony at Cinema Con? Spider-Man: Homecoming. Lo and behold, I find myself in the minority in championing this title. As a lifelong spidey fan, and if this title implies what I think it does – Peter Parker trying to balance puberty, schoolwork, supporting Aunt May, and being Spider-Man all while trying to make it to the homecoming...

I Hope the Superhero Movie Bubble Bursts

Hello. Take a seat. Tea? Coffee? You’re probably realising now that this isn’t going to be an article about the Superhero movie bubble and my hope for its destruction. No, this is an intervention. Some of you, hopefully most of you, came to this article because you know me either personally or from my writing, or you read Audiences Everywhere on the reg and wanted to see what we had to say vis a vis the superhero movie bubble and its tenacity. You folks feel free to stay. Listen to what I have to say and let me know what you think. Some of you though… You guys came here for a fight. About a year ago I wrote something here,...

We Need To Talk About Batman: On Snyder’s Su...

“What a wonder is a gun/ What a versatile invention/ First of all, when you’ve a gun/ Everybody pays attention” – Stephen Sondheim, Assassins I was sitting in my tiny dorm room when I saw the news about a mass shooting at a school in my home state. It was near the end of my first semester of college, and my too-frequent weekend visits didn’t quell the homesickness. I no longer went to school in Connecticut, but two of my sisters did. When I found out the name of the town where the shooting took place – Newtown, CT – the first thing I did was plug the school’s address into Google Maps to see how far it was from my home. It was less than an...

Walking the Straight and Narrow: Bisexual Represen...

J.J. Abrams sparked an internet blaze this week after answering a question about the possibility of an openly gay character being introduced to the canon in future Star Wars installments. His enthusiastic response that it would only make sense that a galaxy as fast as this one would contain characters of all sexual orientations and should be represented has, as you can imagine, ignited some pretty heated conversations on social media and strong opinions on various other outlets. Much of the sudden interest in the possibility of a gay storyline stems from a movement that erupted shortly after The Force Awakens that revolved around...

The Force Awakens in a Dark & Burdened Climax

A month after its release, there continues to be much discussion about Star Wars: The Force Awakens having borrowed multiple plot elements and devices from one of its predecessors, Episode IV: A New Hope. Fans aren’t denying it, and Director J. J. Abrams concedes that this was his initial plan to reintroduce the property to a new generation of fans. It’s easy to dismiss The Force Awakens as an A New Hope rehash again, but then easy to get excited for Episode VIII, which most fans are assuming will be the Empire Strikes Back (or “the dark one”) of the new trilogy. However, to reduce The Force Awakens to this narrow an interpretation isn’t...

The War On Fun

At the end of 2015, the teaser trailer for Star Trek Beyond was released. Backed by the song “Sabotage,” as performed by The Beastie Boys, the ninety seconds of footage features quips, explosions, a motorbike jump, aliens, fighting, derring-do, and a space battle – as far as teaser trailers go, it is an impressive little taste of the movie and, seemingly, a big reassurance that the navel gazing seriousness of Star Trek Into Darkness was a misstep that is being corrected. So, obviously, a vocal corner of the Internet hated it. The internet argument against the trailer was simple: Star Trek was a serious show about science, not...

Tron’s Lack of Legacy

Disney rules the entertainment industry. Everybody from our parents to our goldfish knows this. From establishing the singular dominant superhero franchise to reinvigorating a galaxy far, far away, there are plenty of billion dollar cows to keep well fed. That doesn’t even consider the Pixar and animated film brackets. But what if there was even an ounce of that focus on one of their most promising independent properties: Tron. I’m going to level with you: I love Tron. While neither movie is particularly great, I find the content ripe for the next big franchise. The issue with Tron: Legacy is that nobody seems to pay much...

George Lucas Owes Us Nothing

We all know the story. A man creates a trilogy that captures the imagination of millions, and through a combination of harnessed merchandizing rights and pre-internet accessibility, he becomes a geek-god. But like the fabled Icarus, he flies too close to the sun. He delivers unto us a new trilogy that’s deemed unworthy of its predecessors, unworthy of its very genre. Stripped of his godhood, rebuked by fans and critics, George Lucas was cast down, unworthy. Restrained by the chains of his former fans’ so-called “ruined childhoods,” pinned by nitpicks that exacerbated his inherent flaws, no longer Icarus but Prometheus bound to stone,...

A Defence of Rocky V

Rocky V was not, to put it mildly, well-received. I came to this series late, and after hearing so many bad things about this movie in advance, I was expecting the worst. What I found is that I actually really enjoy this installment. It is definitely one of the weaker entries to the series, but for all its flaws it is still a good film. In fact, with the exception of Rocky Balboa, Rocky V is the most faithful and ambitious of the sequels. Everyone loves an underdog story, but it’s difficult to keep a character on that side of things after winning the fight at the end of four consecutive movies. Rocky V makes the sensible decision to return...

A Takedown of Rocky IV

This might be a bold statement as a fan of the Rocky series, but I’m not a fan of Rocky IV. I love to talk about its strange quirks and ham-fisted approach to Cold War politics, but it’s a mess that I can’t get behind. It did well with the fans of the series at the time of release (certainly better than Rocky V did), and it is the most successful entry at the box office, but I want to ask: is it a good “Rocky Movie”? What staples are commonly associated with the Rocky series? American flag shorts, montages, “Eye of the Tiger”-style anthems, patriotism, the final fight. These are all present in these films, but they are not even close...

The Opening of Spect...

Spectre, the fourth James Bond outing for Daniel Craig, takes the typical Bond cold open and immerses the viewer into an experience with a single long shot through crowds of people as the famed agent approaches his target. What I feared would only work as a callback to Live and Let Die with...

Are We Too Hard On Young Adult Adventure Films?

What type of music do you listen to? At a young age, I found myself often denying my ears any right to listen to country music. The unyielding sound waves thudding against my eardrums left me uninterested and agitated. That’s not to say all country music was bad. After all, how could someone make that claim without listening to all country music? The genre left me cold. But other people seemed to like it, so they should be allowed to enjoy it. Nobody should dismiss any form of artistic expression. Art should not be condensed into what can and should fit a personal perception of what we consider worthy. And yet so many people will gladly...

Where Are All the Female Movie Critics?

Since clueless adults only seem to ask children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I got that answer down and down fast. Veterinarian, duh. It’s the obligatory career desire of every young girl, and I was going to be no exception. Quickly, though, that answer morphed into trauma surgeon, mostly fueled by my favorite childhood program, Trauma: Life in the ER, a show I insisted watching while eating dinner much to my parents’ disgust. Not to spoil the ending, but in keeping with my childhood passions, naturally I chose to be an English teacher. But somewhere in between my fixation on all things surgery and...

Diablo Cody’s Troubled Girl-Children

Diablo Cody can’t help herself, in life and in the films that she has written, produced, and sometimes directed. A one time stripper and subsequent sex phone operator, the star Hollywood provocateur has made a name for herself in developing characters for the big screen who refuse to capitulate to conservative gender norms and expectations. Through characters like Juno MacGuff, in Jason Reitman’s sophomore outing Juno, Cody has distilled the rebellious nature so ingrained within herself as it is reflected in the world around her, with Ellen Page playing the quintessentially spunky, fiery libido of what viewers must assume comes pretty close...

M. Night Shyamalan Has Been Great The Whole Time

When did the statement “M. Night Shyamalan is a great filmmaker” turn from a widespread public sentiment to a punchline? Was it after Unbreakable, which seemed underwhelming in the wake of critical and commercial darling (and nominee for Best Picture!) The Sixth Sense? Maybe the cracks started to show after Signs, which still gets ridiculed for what people see as a heavy-handed and ridiculous conclusion. I think it was after The Village that he became a laughingstock in film discourse. People saw a sloppy thriller with a stupid twist, and that was all they needed to create a narrative about him. He became the guy who captured lightning in a...

Adapting David Foster Wallace in The End of the To...

In our coverage of Brett Morgen’s Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck earlier this year, we examined the idea of fame as a distorting factor of certain folk heroes. Kurt Cobain, whose status as the unofficial king of the Grunge music scene in the 1990s, has (since his untimely death in 1994) been turned into a caricature of himself by legions of fans, pop-culture historians, and music aficionados who might wish to project their own ideologies onto the person who was the lead singer of Nirvana. In Morgen’s film, Cobain comes off not so much as a character of a shared imagination as much as he does the person that he may well have been in real life....

Marvel vs DC: The De...

What’s the best thing about movies? Be honest. You may want to say watching them or, if you have the skills, making them. Reading about them is cool, and writing about them is fun, too. But do you know what the the best thing is about them? The very bestest of the best things?Social...

Cool It With Sharknado

Have you ever laughed at a toddler falling down? Whoa, easy! I mean after it was clear that they weren’t hurt? Have you ever noticed what happens when the toddler first makes the connection between their falling and your laughter? The kid stands up and falls again, right? This time on purpose. And you laugh a second time to placate the child’s first commitment to comedy. Then the third time, and the fourth, and the fifth, and on and on. Such a sight gag is only actually funny the first time, when the physical failing was real. The second time might be mildly bemusing as a milestone of observable cognitive development, but from...

Is Man of Steel a Good Superman Movie?

As we prepare for the final months before Batman and Superman go head-to-head in a brawl that will surely make over a billion dollars at the box office, Zack Snyder’s first film venture into DC’s most famous comic property, Man of Steel, still elicits some of the most heated debate in film-obsessed corners of the internet. With all the attention again focused squarely on the impending showdown between The Dark Knight and Krypton’s hometown favorite Kal-El, we think it’s time we attempt to settle whether Man of Steel is a good or bad film representation of the the world’s greatest superhero (or at least most...

Let’s Stop Gender-Classifying Movie Genres

Sometimes I wonder if I was aware as a child of how pop culture products are artificially gendered by the mysterious powers that be– you know, the marketing agencies and television networks and movie studios and entertainment journalists that all seek to categorize and further dictate what media you should and shouldn’t consume. If I did know this, I didn’t seem to care: I consumed whatever I wanted to consume, with very little gender-coaxing from my parents. I remember making up soap operas with my Barbie dolls one moment, and action scenarios with my Legos the next, with equal enthusiasm and not an ounce of...

Rise of the Minions

Despicable Me has for a long time now been a thorn in my side as a moviegoer, cinephile, and general film enthusiast. Released in 2010 (within a month of Disney and Pixar’s far superior animated feature Toy Story 3) the Universal Pictures release has since garnered a lot of acclaim and popular attention (some of it critical, but most of it commercial). Inexplicably, and despite debuting to initial reviews and viewer reception that at first appeared tepid at best, the film has since gone on to wide critical acclaim, winning the hearts and minds of the mainstream viewing populace of family friendly fare at the multiplex, and necessitating a...

The Secret Greatness of the Ocean’s Trilogy

“Ocean’s Eleven is the best movie of the trilogy,” they’ll say. “The sequels are just okay,” or “Ocean’s Twelve isn’t as good.” And I’m not going to flat out tell anyone they’re wrong in making these statements. I will, however, ask why people would say such hurtful things? Or better yet, I’ll ask you to take a look at the Ocean’s Trilogy from a different perspective. Ocean’s Eleven is still a marvel in the pantheon of heist movies. The film hits a smooth rhythm between scenes, doing the traditional assembling of the team to establish the central players and lay out the central heist of the film’s plot trajectory. And the team is...

Terminator as Sub-Genre Piecemeal

Time Travel, as a trope within the science-fiction genre, has become a tired set piece within the contemporary blockbuster sub-genre, used by filmmakers who hold little originality of their own (their scripts tired, boring exercises in past genre filmmaking successes), with a few exceptional independent and studio marvels being the exceedingly rare exceptions to the rule (see Safety Not Guaranteed and Edge of Tomorrow). For some contemporary filmmakers and blockbuster technicians, time travel is a convenient tool by which potentially convoluted or genre heavy feature films can be made more accessible via dramatic obfuscation. In certain...

The Terminator & Time Travel

“This time travel crap; just fries your brain like an egg.” That line (taken from Rian Johnson’s Looper) perfectly encapsulates how to approach time travel in movies and TV shows. There are so many variations of how to travel through time, and so many corners being cut for the sake of storytelling, that it’s become almost a necessity to forsake the argument of “plot holes” (which is a boring argument, regardless). But most importantly, there’s no real way to determine what sort of time travel may be realistic unless there have been successful time travelers from the future reading this article (and...

Inside Out & the Bing Bong Problem

Pete Docter’s new film for Disney and Pixar, Inside Out, is a veritable wonder to behold. In its attempt to visually encapsulate the aesthetic mindscape of its fourteen-year-old protagonist, who struggles against an existential melt down and its attendant crisis of personal identity (brought on by a move from small-town Minnesota to the liberally, metropolitan San Francisco), Inside Out succeeds on a seemingly impossible scale. Where other less capable directors of family fare might drown in the apparent preposterous ennui of the film’s stated premise and pretentious, thematic intentions, Docter (alongside co-director Ronaldo Del Carmen)...

Insidious: Chapter 3 as Allegory

In a recent article published in the “Sunday Book Review” of The New York Times, Fantasy genre writer Neil Gaiman began his review of the seventh and most recent volume of prose by English novelist Kazuo Ishiguro with the following caveat: “Fantasy is a tool of the storyteller. It is a way of talking about things that are not, and cannot be, literally true. It is a way of making our metaphors concrete, and it shades into myth in one direction, allegory in another.” A few weeks ago, the James Wan and Leigh Whannell penned Inisidious feature film franchise saw the release of its third installment in the form of what is largely a return to the...

Why Proper Representation And Diversity Matter

I went to watch Aloha this weekend to see what all the fuss was about, having heard overwhelmingly negative word of mouth from people about its portrayal of the Hawaiian people. It’s terrible in a way that could make you angry, but I found it depressing and unintentionally upsetting. With bizarre attempts at committing to quirk by awkwardly spoken dialogue and a poor production feel (like, ABC Family-level), Aloha will most likely make a dozen “worst of the year” lists. That being said, the most controversial aspect of the movie is director Cameron Crowe claiming he wanted to honor the people of Hawaii with this movie,...

Women in Refrigerators and Lazy Writing

In the sixth episode of season five of Game of Thrones, Sansa Stark is raped. It is an awful scene that feels gratuitous and pointless. One of the oddest things about it though, is that while Sansa is being raped, the camera lingers on another character’s face. The face we’re shown is that of Theon, the traitor, who is being forced to watch while the audience watches him as though his torment is what we should be worried about. When this happens we call it fridge-ing. Fridge-ing refers to when a female character in a movie, book, comic book, TV show or song is murdered, tortured, raped or brutalised in some way solely to give the male...

Insidious: Chapter 2 is Awesome

Insidious: Chapter 2 is the kind of film that I expected audiences to hate right out of the gate. As a sequel to 2011’s relatively straightforward haunted house flick, it was pretty much a given that people would reject this one at hand because of just how different it is from its predecessor. Insidious: Chapter 2 gets weird and kind of goes off the rails towards the end. I might be over selling the weirdness since the film doesn’t go too crazy, but it is decidedly more bizarre than anything we have seen from the recent influx of haunted house films that have flooded the market over the past few years. That is what I appreciate most about...

The Cameron Crowe Apologist

With Cameron Crowe’s tenth directorial feature coming to theatres this weekend, the question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Aloha will be any good, or will prove to be simply more romantic drivel from an American filmmaker who has seemingly ceased to make anything worthwhile in the past fifteen years. Not since his semi-autobiographical coming of age dramedy Almost Famous, which was released in 2000, has Crowe produced anything that has been greeted by the mainstream movie going audience with as much fanfare and critical acclaim as his early features enjoyed. Seemingly, there are no moviegoers left who would count themselves among...

The World Needs More Elizabeth Olsen

Elizabeth Olsen is a powerhouse of an actress. At a relatively young age, she’s already proven herself to be able to submerge herself in roles in multiple genres such as psychological drama, horror, thriller, coming-of-age, action, and both the light and the dark romances. She hasn’t turned in a bad performance, and continues to test her range as an actress. She has created a filmography of differentiating roles that are all, on paper, either strong or complex characters that she’s able to ground and help make feel real. She definitely knows how to pick a role. The usage and execution of the role depend on the director, wherein lies the...

BREAKING: Joss Whedon Is Still A Feminist

The fruits of Joss Whedon’s latest labor of geek love, Avengers: Age of Ultron, has officially hit theaters, and the internet is officially ablaze with feminist backlash surrounding Whedon’s treatment of Black Widow. Feminists are angry. Whedonites are angry. Comic fans are angry. Hulk smash. So much anger. And now the king of geek has officially left the Twitter-sphere. Sure, maybe it’s simply because he’s finished with the franchise and needs a break from the exhausting chore of keeping up with social media. Or maybe it’s because of the death threats, because who wants to listen to all that hate when a film...

The Real Problem With The Joss Whedon Situation

*Be wary of Age of Ultron spoilers in this post* People fuck up. We’re human. Examining our graceful failings is one of the many purposes of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Whether you love or hate the film, the movie poses questions over which most superhero movies skim. It’s a movie that makes the heroes question their very existence and their shortcomings. By the finale, the movie answers this question by letting Ultron and Vision discuss humanity’s fallibility. It promotes a discussion on whether the heroes are in the right. So why can’t we apply this logic to our actual everyday conversations? There’s an idea...

It’s Time to Give Jessica Chastain Her Own A...

For the sake of entertaining the stupid individuals who might disagree with the point I’m about to make, let’s say that maybe Jessica Chastain isn’t really tough. I mean, pull her out of a cinematic scope and you have an old-Hollywood throwback starlet who weaves between delicate and glamorous and gives kind and patient answers to interviewers. So sure, maybe she’s not a bar room brawler in her spare time. Perhaps she hasn’t even thrown a punch recently. Or ever, maybe. But, doesn’t that make it all the more obvious that her ability to convey quiet strength and frightening intensity needs to be contextualized at the center of a high-paced...

Nostalgia Wars: The Nerd Menace

When Han Solo appears for the first time in picture in the closing shot of the most recent trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, actor Harrison Ford is once more joined by his Wookie best friend and personal confidant, and the viewer receives a visceral rush of nostalgia. Sure, Han is a little more grizzled and grey than the last time we saw everyone’s favorite intergalactic gun-for-hire, and it’s still unclear just what kind of performance Ford will be able to muster for a genre franchise that he has never been reticent to criticize in the past. And yet, when we see Ford smiling, it feels as though the character Han Solo...

Are There Too Many Superhero Movies?

  In 2016, there are going to be 7 new superhero movies gracing the screens. In 2017, there are going to be 8, and in 2018, there are already 7 more scheduled to fill theaters. Now as much as I enjoy watching our favorite heroes grace the screen armed with big budgets and ensemble casts, I can’t help but neglect that nagging voice in the back of my head that maybe, just maybe, it is all being overdone a bit too much. Now why is this a problem? Predictability. Every superhero movie is ostensibly a formula: the invincible hero, the villain clouded with self-vindication, and about two hundred million dollars worth of special effects; they...

Are Superhero Movies a Cultural Genocide?

In many ways I think Alejandro González Iñárittu would make the perfect supervillain. He’s warped this perception of superhero movies as a “cultural genocide” from which there is no escape. To him, film is a dying medium when it comes to artistic integrity. From the depths of his mind, Birdman was born. The elitist viewpoint on superhero movies being such a negative impact is unfiltered insanity. I’ve written before on how superhero movies are here to stay (and why it’s okay), but I need to expand on those thoughts before proceeding. There are countless other genres that flood the marketplace with their own brand of mediocrity (not to say...

The Lone Gunman and the MCU

Of late, the superhero film franchise has become all-important within the mainstream, and Hollywood has very quickly adapted to the rise in popularity of independent properties like Batman and Iron Man in a way that it has never done before. While films like Richard Donner’s Superman and Tim Burton’s early Batman features were and still are well regarded as seminal heroic capers and dark comic fantasies, the current superhero climate, as precipitated by Marvel Studios, itself a subsidiary of the licensing property giant that is Walt Disney Studios, has gone so far as to incorporate each subsequent film in relation to the ones that have come...

Black Widow Needs Her Own Movie

As great as Marvel’s movies are, it’s impossible to deny that they’re basically a boys’ club. Sure, there are a number of supporting female characters, but so far most have been trapped in roles of damsel in distress, comic relief, or plot device. The MCU’s strongest female character is undoubtedly Black Widow. After first appearing in Iron Man 2, Scarlett Johansson made a bigger impact as the character in The Avengers, most notably during her scene with the caged Loki. Though Joss Whedon and Russos beefed up her role and made her an integral part of the team, she’s still a secondary character whose background is undeveloped. She may have...