Batman v Superman v The Dark Knight Returns

Zack Snyder has cited Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns as his main source of inspiration for the film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Up until its release, as a big fan of Snyder’s Watchmen adaptation, I was excited. Since its opening midnight showing, I have been trying to get my head around Batman v Superman. I have studied the film and the source and after multiple viewings and re-reads of the book, I am still baffled by most aspects of the film and by Snyder’s comments. Continue reading “Batman v Superman v The Dark Knight Returns”

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Four Horror films in four weeks.

In four weeks I have seen four horror films at the cinema (five, if you include Fifty Shades of Black). They are, in viewing order: The Forest, The Other Side of the Door, The Witch and The Boy. 

          For all but The Witch, hopes were not high; mainly because contemporary horror just doesn’t seem to be doing anything interesting, with a small number of exceptions. Although, regardless of genre, I was not looking forward to any film carried by The Walking Dead’s Lori. Quiet… Quiet… Bang! is the formula for jump scares, which are the essence of nearly all modern horror movies e.g Unfriended, the Insidious, Sinister and Paranormal Activity franchises and basically everything else. Half of the films watched over the last four weeks follow this trend. Continue reading “Four Horror films in four weeks.”

On Hangmen

 

Directed by Matthew Dunster and written by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths), Hangmen at the Royal Court Theatre brings a new meaning to the term ‘swinging sixties’. A witty, dark, contemporary drama that descends steadily into savagery and hilarity. David Morissey, of Walking Dead fame, shines in his role as number two Hangman in all of England. Harry (Morissey) must come to terms with more modern times as abolition takes effect.

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On Henry Jenkins, Audiences and Participatory Culture

Henry Jenkins’ essay, Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars?: Digital Cinema, Media Convergence and Participatory Culture aims to provide a different perspective on fan appropriation and media transformation. Jenkins outlines how ‘too often’ these things are ‘marginalised or exoticised’, the common assumption being that anyone spending time or energy creating ‘products of mass culture’ must have ‘too much time on their hands’ or ‘something wrong with them’. Jenkins, alternatively, treats media fans as ‘active participants within the current media revolution’ and treats their cultural products as an ‘important aspect of the digital cinema movement’. He correlates the multitude of Star Wa Continue reading “On Henry Jenkins, Audiences and Participatory Culture”

On Goosebumps

 

There is something extra pleasant about enjoying a film that you thoroughly did not expect to enjoy. In the midst of all the nostalgia-fuelled reboots, remakes and reimagining’s we are bombarded with at the cinema, Goosebumps stands out. It isn’t patronising or insulting like most kids films. There were laughs, genuinely creepy moments and enough nods to the parents in the audience to keep them entertained too. Not much more can be asked for from a kids film. Continue reading “On Goosebumps”

On German Expressionism and The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari

Expressionism is an art movement and form of modernism that is not just confined to film; it can be found in architecture, poetry, painting, literature, theatre, dance, music and film. Expressionist artists such as Braque, Balla and Munch sought to manipulate form instead of analysing it in the way that the Impressionist painters such as Monet and others chose to. Through this manipulation of form feelings were expressed The feeling: mostly post-World War One despair and fear Continue reading “On German Expressionism and The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari”

On Deadpool

Marvel’s second attempt at the ‘merc with a mouth’ is an ultimately enjoyable one-hundred and forty-eight minutes. Deadpool, unlike an Avengers or an X-Men (more on those guys later) movie, doesn’t have huge box office draw or mass appeal due to being a relatively unknown character outside of the comic book community. Largely brought about by a Ryan Reynolds led fan campaign, the fact that this film exists is a testament to the current grasp that the superhero genre has on Hollywood. 20th Century Fox giving Deadpool his own film, as opposed to plucking him out of the Marvel archives for a final boss fight in a Wolverine movie, could literally only happen at this time of superhero saturation.

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