Early cinema fair often turned to literature for inspiration and source material. The space horror genre is no different; its roots can be traced back to early 20th century science fiction writers such as H.G. Wells (The War of the Worlds, 1898) and Robert Potter (The Germ Growers, 1892), featuring alien invasion storylines. As films grew in popularity, filmmakers were looking past the reality shorts that defined the medium, realizing that this new format could be used to tell stories that entertained.
After Sundance 2014, I was ready to discuss my favorite films I had the pleasure of seeing and share my overall views on the festival, like usual. As my time in Park City, Utah, drew to a close, I’d begun compiling a list of movies I wanted to recommend to our FBC community. It all seemed pretty straightforward.
Shortly thereafter, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away. My overall experience of the festival and the films I saw there, in particular the two he starred in (A Most Wanted Man and God’s Pocket), films that I watched alongside him in the theater, has now changed considerably.
*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.
Steven Spielberg. Martin Scorsese. Francis Ford Coppola. George Lucas. These master storytellers are some of my biggest influences for two reasons. The first is their incredible repertoires of work. The second is the freedom they had to tell their stories. These are the guys that taught me how to be a filmmaker, and that if you wanted to be one, you needed to grow a beard. (See Exhibits A-D) They pioneered one of the greatest eras of cinematic history, The Storyteller Era. The period in the annals of filmmaking history, where the director had true control over his/her story. Some of the greatest movies ever made were made in this time. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Taxi Driver, The Godfather, Jaws, Raging Bull, Apocalypse Now. I could go on. And on. And on.
UPDATED AS OF SEPTEMBER 21, 2012
UPDATED AS OF JULY 25, 2012
Dear Carl's Jr.,
When I first heard about your recent “Dress as Spider-Man and receive a free Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger” promotion, I was very excited. As a life-long fan of Spider-Man and an ingester of cheeseburgers, I felt like this promotion was made for me; however, I was extremely disappointed as my visit to Carl's Jr. took a turn for the worse.
It’s said that we look back on the past with rose-colored glasses; I’m not entirely sure what that is supposed to mean, but those would have turned the subject of this article purple, so that’s fun. I’m always quick to tell people that I was actually a fan of the time Superman turned into a bright blue energy dude, but that was fifteen years ago. Lately, it’s been coming up a lot, so I thought I would put my money where my mouth is by sitting down with 11-year-old me and re-reading all of my comics featuring “Superman Blue.” Also, the red one. How did it hold up? What new discoveries were made? How is this even possible? Read on.
(For those of you who are fussy about details, the issues I read are: The Adventures of Superman #545-6, 555; Action Comics #732,742; Superman: Man of Steel #67, 77; Superman #123, 132; Superman Red/Superman Blue #1; and JLA: Secret Files and Origins #1)
He floats by the fountain in the desolate park, waiting. His allies are gone, systematically taken out . . . it all happened so fast. First, the young man in the alien suit who called himself Spider-Man, followed by Aztek, the Ultimate Man. Thrown together by fate, they were not destined to fight together for long. No, now it is only Superman. Silently, he curses these strange new energy-based abilities. If he had his old, familiar powers, perhaps, he could have saved them . . . perhaps he would have stood a chance. Perhaps.
As a geek with over a quarter-century of experience in experiencing the last quarter century, I have seen my fair share of supervillainy. Whether of the Saturday morning cartoon “world domination” variety, or the more nuanced evil scheming in more “adult” films [but not that kind of “adult,” as that would be weird (though highly watchable, now that I think about it…I mean, I’d watch it)], supervillains and masterminds of all kind perpetually frustrate me. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I often find myself rooting for the bad guys. Not completely, of course, I’m not a monster, but sometimes I just want to see what would happen if their devious plan actually succeeded. Perhaps, I’m just tired of watching them suffer defeat after defeat at the hands of their respective heroes, and seemingly never learning anything from the affair. Well, all you evil schemers and would-be dictators, I am here to help---I am here to offer you the wisdom I have gleaned from witnessing your countless embarrassing defeats.
For those of you in the know, my last article was a shocking exposé on the link between vaccines and autism, wherein all of my collated data irrefutably proved---oh, wait. This is for Fanboy Comics…ok, right, then, my last article was If Superheroes Were More Realistic. I was recently reprimanded by a reader for not including any Marvel characters, but I assure you, I had my reasons:
1. I’m not as knowledgeable about the Marvel universe.
2. Marvel is already so much about covering all of the minutiae and the petty, everyday issues that their characters are faced with.
However, since I’ve never been someone who let my own ignorance or a simple numbered list keep me from running my mouth, I present the article that at least one of you has been waiting for: If Superheroes Were More Realistic---The Marvel Edition.
I recently acquired all four boxed sets of Batman: The Animated Series at a yard sale for $20. (It’s ok to be jealous.) Needless to say, I have since been watching the crap out of those DVDs. I’m sure most of you remember the show, but if you’re like me, you haven’t seen it since you were a kid. Well, I’m here to tell you that the show is just as good as you remember; nay, better. In fact, I come to you today with a bold proclamation: that the animated series version of Batman is the best version of Batman there is, and if you disagree, you are wrong.
I should probably mention up front that I don’t fully understand how arguments work.
Disclaimer: I will be comparing animated Batman to the more current and popular interpretations of Batman, since I shouldn’t have to explain why Adam West’s Batman or the Batman from Batman and Robin aren’t as cool. You should have no problem accepting that.
Superheroes are our modern-day myths, “living” legends of immense power whose exploits thrill and inspire us. In the midst of all this hero worship, though, it’s easy to forget that beneath the masks and the emblems is a real human/human-like alien/mutant with real thoughts and feelings. I say this, not as a reminder of the human frailties and emotional vulnerabilities that these living gods must deal with in private moments, but more to point out that these figures are not so different from you or me---which is why they should be screwing up much more often in stupid and embarrassing ways. Perhaps, in situations like these: