Category Archives: Movies

Is Creative Culture Stagnating?

Spoiler warning for the new Star Wars movie.

I’ve read a few interesting pieces critical of The Force Awakens: Peter Suderman at Vox says TFA is a prime example of Hollywood’s nostalgia problem, there’s also a “nostalgia debate” around TFA at The Atlantic, and Ross Douthat at the NYT says TFA is a symptom of the decadence and cultural stagnation of our society.

I wondered if these people were having a romantic view of the past; has Hollywood just now started doing more sequels or have they always done so? I decided to take a look at the highest grossing movies from 1975-85 (when the original Star Wars trilogy came out) and compare it to the last 5 years. But it quickly became more complicated than I thought it would be; are sequels better or worse than remakes? Are movies based on books bad? Are movies based on comic book characters worse than movies based on books?  What about sequels of remakes of movies based on comic book characters?!  That sounds like the worst category, but it would include The Dark Knight, one of the best action blockbusters of the lack decade. Continue reading

Movies! Summer 2015

This is a break from the more issue-focused last couple of posts to talk about one of the more fun things I was able to get done this summer, see some great movies!

In total I was able to see 7 movies during the summer movie season: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max: Fury Road, Tomorrowland, Jurassic World, Inside Out, Ant-Man, and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.  It’s also worth noting that I tend to look at movies as a science fiction fan, and last year’s best summer sci-fi movie was far and away Edge of Tomorrow. How do this summer’s movies compare? Continue reading

Zodiac

Zodiac, the crime-thriller from 2007 starring Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club), was not something I remember putting on my to-watch movie list so I honestly can’t say how I heard about it, but the film surprisingly impressed me. According to wikipedia, it tanked at the box office, which is too bad, because Zodiac was masterfully done.

Fair Use

Theatrical Poster. Can or could be obtained from IMP Awards. http://www.impawards.com/2007/zodiac.html

I’m not usually one to enjoy films with serial killers as the subject matter, but Zodiac focused more on the detective work and the mystery, while adding the suspense of one of San Francisco’s most notorious unsolved crimes.  This realism mixed elements of a documentary with the suspense of a crime thriller and made for a compelling storyline.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo were excellent and  I would definitely recommend watching it. However, since it follows the book of the same name pretty closely, and relies so much on the realism, it’s not really an eye-opening film, just a really entertaining one. Still, check it out if you have a chance.

Overall: 4/5. Definitely would watch again.